D23, the annual Disney conference, wrapped up last night but not before dropping a lot of information about the upcoming changes to the Disney parks! The information is a bit overwhelming, so we will break it down into sections without having a ton of articles. First up will be on Epcot due to the sheer number of announcements as well as it is my favorite park! So where do we begin with the Epcot D23 news, maybe with the overall structure of Epcot. One of the changes coming that was previously announced is the Skyliner gondola system opening on August 29th, 2019. This will drop guests at the International Gateway. Let’s look at what other changes were announced with the Epcot D23 news.
New areas of Epcot
We all know and love the World Showcase but it was announced that there would now be more “Worlds” to explore. This is part of the revamping of the entire experience at Epcot as a whole. There will now be World Celebration, World Discovery, World Nature along with the showcase. The new worlds will take over where the future world had been located.
The entrance of the park will now feature a beautiful water fountain that was part of the original design of Epcot and will be located as you are walking up to Spaceship Earth. Another addition within this general area is a new statue of Walt Disney. The Epcot signature festivals will have a new home within World Celebration including a new landscape to grab your imagination and celebrate our dreaming as a whole. The feel when walking into the park will be a complete transformation but including some of the old elements.
Spaceship Earth Changes
As reported previously, Spaceship Earth going to be updated but the details were limited at that time. Now we have a better idea of what changes will be made to the iconic ride. The ride will keep a lot of the classic scenes but will have new scenes and feel to the ride. The focus will be more on storytelling and adding new scenes including a magic light guide throughout the ride.
This will be home to the Guardians of the Galaxy ride and will also include a planetarium like an experience, Galaxyarium – will take you over the reaches of space from Earth to Zandar and back. Disney has finally announced the name of the new Guardians ride, Cosmic Rewind. Cosmic Rewind will be the first-ever reverse launch into space! Just down the pathway, you’ll find the ever-familiar Mission Space which will now have a Space themed restaurant, Space 220. Space 220 will provide the experience of viewing Earth from a space station and will open this winter!
Wonders of light has been transformed into a new Play Pavillion – which will have a bunch of interactive activities. This will include your favorite Disney Characters including Abu, Edna Mode, and the trio Huey, Dewy, Lewi. This will be open by the 50th anniversary. They describe it as an interactive city. The one I’m most excited for is the interactive water balloon fight!
The purpose of this area is to teach about preservation and the unique areas of the planet. First of which is Awesome Planet film which shows the beauty of the planet and will open early 2020. The location has not fully been released. The second big announcement for the Nature area is the inclusion of Moana experience. The Journey of Water will allow the guests to play with magical water and will teach about the importance of the water cycle.
World Showcase changes
The World Showcase overall is going to be unchanged with the architecture and feel. The first change will come to the China Pavilion with a new Circlevision film, Wonderous China which will be seamless 360 degrees HD video! The next is a change to the Canada Circlevision with the new film Canada Far and Wide. This will use the same type of style as Wondrous China and will include a whole new story.
France will be getting a new film but different than China and Canada with a Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along. This will include all your favorite songs with reportedly a comedic twist. This will be opening in January 2020. Also coming to the France Pavilion, the Ratotuli adventure with Remy and will be opening in summer 2020. There will be a new restaurant that will be opening in 2020 as well, le creperie which will have both quick service and table service.
Walking a little further back to the UK pavilion, Mary Poppins will be making an appearance. Before it was a meet and greet, but now it will be an entire attraction. You will be able to step foot into the movie with Cherry Tree Lane taking residence in Epcot.
New Firework shows
The evenings at Epcot will be changing as well! HarmoniUS – It is reported that this will be the biggest evening spectacular to date. The set release date is in 2020. This will be replacing Illuminations which had been the evening show for many years. HarmoniUS will have big shoes to fill but should be an impressive show! This will likely include special lighting, drones and of course fireworks. There will be a show in between the final performance of Illuminations and the start of Harmonius called Epcot Forever.
What changes from the Epcot D23 news are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below!