It’s been a long time coming, but the opening of the first permanent Disney Parks attraction dedicated to Moana is finally on the horizon. Just like Moana does in the movie, guests will be able to interact and play with water as they enjoy this outdoor trail in Epcot.
According to the Walt Disney World website, Journey of Water will give visitors the opportunity to “learn about the importance of water and discover its playful personality.”
Disney has been giving us sneak peeks at the attraction as construction has continued, and although no official opening date has been announced yet, fans can now look forward to finally checking it out sometime in late 2023.
Find out everything we know so far about this upcoming attraction in our complete guide to Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana.
Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana Quick Facts
Description: Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana is an outdoor trail that guests will take in at their own pace as they explore and interact with playful water features themed after the popular animated movie. More details are almost certainly coming soon as we get closer to the attraction’s late 2023 opening date.
Journey of Water will be found in the World Nature neighborhood of Epcot, which is close to the entrance of the park.
Judging by where the construction is currently taking place, the attraction will probably begin somewhere behind Spaceship Earth where the CommuniCore West building once stood.
How to Experience Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
As we find out more details about the way this attraction will work, we will update with more information.
It may be safe to assume that you will be able to enter and experience the attraction when you please, like any other outdoor space at Disney World, though it may involve queueing at first depending on popularity and the area’s capacity.
There may be a chance that the attraction even utilizes a virtual queue for entry for a time after it officially opens to help keep crowd levels manageable, which has been done at other new attractions that have opened recently at the parks, including Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, which is also at Epcot.
Do I Need Genie+ to Experience Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana?
So far, it’s not clear whether or not Genie+ will be offered at this attraction.
If it is, it might be worth making it one of your selections if you’re visiting immediately after it debuts, especially if you’re traveling with children or adults who are big fans of Moana and want to ensure that you get to experience it despite how popular it may be.
We anticipate that eventually, this attraction won’t need to be a Genie+ priority at all — from what we know so far, the self-guided aspect will help keep people cycling through at a reasonable pace when the early demand calms down.
Rider Switch/Child Swap
Rider Switch is Disney’s service that allows guests with small children to take turns riding bigger rides, while another person/people wait with the little one.
Seeing as Journey of Water isn’t a ride, we can say with confidence that Rider Switch will not be offered here.
What to Expect When You Visit
So far, we don’t know what the queue for Journey of Water will look like — or if there will be one.
From the information that Disney has shared so far, it seems to be a walk through experience that you can stop by at your leisure, so a queue may not be a necessary part of the permanent attraction.
Accessibility information for Journey of Water hasn’t been released yet.
Depending on the way the attraction is organized, it may be necessary to park ECVs and/or wheelchairs before entering, but many existing areas of Disney World that encourage guests to walk around and explore are accessible, like the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Animal Kingdom.
More details should be coming soon, before the attraction opens later this year, so stayed tuned!
On the Experience
From what we already know about Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana, this experience will include lots of water features and fountains to help guests learn about the way the cycle of water works.
As shared by Imagineer Zach Riddley in July 2022, the following image is a preview of “the graphic style that will be used throughout the attraction, inspired by the design and visual language of the Walt Disney Animation Studios film Moana.”
According to Riddley, “Graphics like these will guide guests through the cycle of water in fun and engaging ways to tell our story of the vital link we share with water across our planet, and inspire the important role we all share in preserving this life-giving and life-sustaining precious resource.”
The cornerstone of the attraction seems to be a giant Te Fiti statue that stands 16 feet tall, which was placed in December 2022. It’s a pretty impressive feat, and there’s no doubt this will end up being one of the most exciting parts of the attraction for Moana fans.
We’ve also seen a large fountain that features the heart of Te Fiti from inside the attraction that will also likely be a focal point for the area.
“Journey of Water will immerse guests in a lush environment, and it is here that the story of the global cycle of water will be brought to life in a story completely unique to Epcot. We’re creating an outdoor attraction for all ages, where you will be invited to play and interact with water as it travels from our skies to our oceans and back again,” Riddley also shared in on Instagram in May 2022.
So far, there have been no updates about whether or not Moana herself will appear in this attraction — for a meet and greet or otherwise.
Is Journey of Water Kid-Friendly?
According to what we’ve learned about Journey of Water so far, it sounds like this is going to turn out to be one of the most kid-friendly attractions at Epcot.
Since it’s an outdoor, walk-through attraction based on one of Disney’s most beloved animated characters, we expect that it will be a crowd pleaser with younger age groups.
Children who don’t like getting wet may not like this attraction, since a lot of water is involved.
Be sure to check out our guide on things that might scare little ones at Disney World.
Some outdoor attractions do allow you to keep your stroller with you, but we don’t know whether or not this will be one of them.
If strollers are not permitted, there will likely be a designated stroller parking area outside of the entrance to the ride; if not, there is usually plenty of stroller parking outside The Seas with Nemo & Friends nearby.
Disney officially announced Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana in August 2019 at the D23 Expo as part of an overhaul of Epcot that’s been in progress for several years now.
It was initially intended to open in 2021 to celebrate the parks’ 50th anniversary, but has since been pushed back to late 2023.
Almost a year later, Disney shared an update with fans, providing new concept art of the attraction once construction was underway.
Since then, Disney Parks Blog has shared new project milestones with eager fans, including the progress being made on a sculpture of Moana by Principal Dimensional Designer Jim Towler that will be featured in the attraction in August 2022.
During the 2023 Disney Shareholders Meeting in April 2023, Bob Iger toured the attraction, and from the footage shared, it seems like it’s close to being completed.
At the time, he revealed that guests will be able to interact with the water similar to the way that Moana did in the movie.
Other Fun Details
Once we’re able to experience Journey of Water, we will update with fun details.
Since this attraction is based on all things Moana, we expect that plenty of Easter eggs tied to the movie (and maybe even a few Hidden Mickeys) will be waiting for us to discover.
Be sure to check back!
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