Since late 2016, Disney has been building anticipation for a monumental overhaul of Epcot, and the fruits of that labor are now almost ready for public enjoyment.
These aren’t just minor touch-ups or cosmetic changes we’re talking about.
Far from it. We’re referring to ambitious, large-scale endeavors designed to completely revitalize whole areas of the iconic park.
Although the journey since the initial announcement has seen some bumps in the road, including project scale-backs and even some cancellations, the end is finally in sight.
As the grand unveiling of the new Celebration Gardens in December 2023 is just a few days away, we bring you the latest updates on what features will be ready for the opening and which ones are still in the works.
Here’s what’s happening at EPCOT (and when!):
What is still under construction at Epcot?
Although much of the construction at Epcot has been completed, several highly anticipated projects are still a work in progress:
- World Celebration:
- World Celebration Gardens – opening December 5
- Dreamers Point – opening December 5
- Communicore Hall & Communicore Plaza – still under construction, maybe opening in late 2023 or early 2024
- Mickey and Friends – still under construction, maybe opening in late 2023 or early 2024
- World Showcase:
- Luminous – the Story of Us (nighttime entertainment) – opening December 5
- World Discovery: Construction complete
- World Nature: Construction complete
New Neighborhoods of Epcot
If you haven’t been to Epcot in a while, you might want to hold on tight to your hat because gone forever is “Future World”.
Ok, yes, maybe we are being a *tad* bit dramatic. It isn’t “gone” gone. Physically (and we like to also think spiritually) it is still there. It’s just no longer called Future World.
Instead, the old Future World has been subdivided and re-branded into 3 new “neighborhoods”, bringing the total number of lands at Epcot to 4:
- World Discovery (formerly part of Future World)
- World Celebration (formerly part of Future World)
- World Nature (formerly part of Future World)
- World Showcase
Now that we are nearing the end of the Epcot overhaul, things aren’t exactly as we expected.
The good news is, no longer will we have to struggle with remembering which side is Innoventions East and which one is Innoventions West.
The bad news is that the changes we will see in the new Epcot neighborhoods will not be as extensive as originally presented.
Now, before you get too worried, you should know that each neighborhood will still see varying levels of enhancements.
However, as we mentioned above, some projects that were originally released—even some highly anticipated projects — were cut.
Want to see what is currently open? Check out the Epcot Map below:
In most cases, Disney hasn’t come out and said, “we cut this project.” So, to figure out what is still happening, we are left to weed through clues Disney has left for us.
More on that below.
The last remaining spot for large scale construction at Epcot centers around World Celebration. This is also the area of construction that has caused the most headaches, primarily because it meant that if you wanted to get from the front of the park to the World Showcase, you’d have to go on a quest through eleventy billion miles of plywood lined paths.
Ok, maybe that is an exaggeration, but it has been so very long since we have been able to walk from the front of the park to the back, so we are more than elated that it appears as if we’ll be able to do that once again very, very soon.
Here’s everything that can be found in the new World Celebration. We’ll go into more details on a few of the components down below, as well:
- Spaceship Earth (open; scheduled refurbishment on hold)
- Epcot Experience (now permanently closed)
- Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival (open, no updates planned)
- Journey into Imagination with Figment (open, no updates planned)
- Club Cool (new location now open)
- Mickey & Friends NEW! (under construction, likely opening sometime in 2024)
- Figment Meet & Greet NEW! (now open)
- World Celebration Gardens NEW! (opening December 5)
- Dreamers Point NEW! (opening December 5)
- Communicore Hall and Communicore Plaza NEW! (under construction, likely opening sometime in 2024)
- Connections Café & Eatery NEW! (open)
- Creations Shop NEW! (open)
- Gateway Gifts (open)
- Pin Traders – Camera Center (new location now open)
World Celebration covers the area around the front of the park, including everything around Spaceship Earth all the way back to almost the World Showcase Lagoon.
Disney has said that this new neighborhood will offer “experiences that connect us to one another in the world.”
World Celebration Gardens (opens December 5th, 2023)
What it is: A re-imagined hub space near where the old Fountains of Nations once was
One thing that Epcot definitely needed was green stuff, especially in the old Future World area.
Thankfully, from the recently released artwork, it looks like the new gardens planned for World Celebration will help with that.
According to Disney:
World Celebration will offer a beautiful hub divided into several different gardens, with a central planter based on the five-ring EPCOT logo. Filled with ample seating and shade, you’ll be invited to connect with one another and the nature around you in this lush new area. Each of these gardens will have their own identities, and they’ll change along with the festivals throughout the year.
Are we still a little salty at the removal of the Fountain of Nations? Yes. But are we willing to trade the fountain for some shady places to sit? Absolutely. The Fountain of Nations is dead to us now. Bring on the shade!
Now, one thing we are *definitely* excited about is the return of the illuminated paving designs. From recent reports, it appears these new lighting packages will have updated technology that will make the pavement sparkle better than ever. Swoon!
And one place that we will get to see these new lights in action will be around the planter in this new garden area. When lit up, the rings on the ground will join with the planter to create the Epcot logo.
Those lights are just a small piece of the over 12,000 individually controllable light fixtures that will blanket the entire land.
And speaking of lights, the image below is an artist rendering of what you might be able to see during the Festival of the Holidays. For this element, light “becomes a unifying element of global holiday celebrations.”
We aren’t sure exactly what that means, but it sure does look pretty, and we hope that whatever eventually is built resembles it!
The gardens will also be the spot where we can expect to see topiaries, large-scale decor, and other artistic elements that mark the changing of the festivals. These always make for fun photo ops, and we can only imagine that seeing them in new surroundings will be amazing.
CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza (opens Late 2023 or Early 2024)
What it is: CommuniCore Hall is a multi-use facility and CommuniCore Plaza is an outdoor event space
We now know what is replacing that proposed (and now scrapped) gorgeous 3-tiered festival center that Disney presented back in 2019: CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza.
Although it isn’t as grand as what was originally proposed, the new CommuniCore Hall area will serve to provide a much-needed indoor space for festival activities, something that has been missing.
CommuniCore Plaza, on the other hand, will be compiled of 2 stages designed to accommodate both small and large-scale concerts.
Please allow us some space, however, as we mourn what could have been. Sigh.
Mickey & Friends (opens Late 2023 or Early 2024)
What it is: character meet & greet location
Located next to CommuniCore Hall, “Mickey & Friends will be the replacement for the former Character Spot.
Disney hasn’t released much information on it yet, but we anticipate you’ll be able to meet characters like Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy.
Dreamers Point (opens December 5th, 2023)
What it is: Statue of Walt Disney
As shared at D23 Expo in 2019 and further confirmed at the D23 Expo in September 2022, the construction for Dreamers Point is still on.
Once finished, at Dreamers Point you will find a statue of Walt Disney celebrating the legacy of the “original dreamer.”
At the time of the announcement, Disney also revealed the addition of a wishing tree in an enchanted forest and a “story fountain” celebrating the power and music of iconic Disney storytelling.
Read more on the Disney Parks Blog.
Figment Meet & Greet (opened September 10, 2023)
What it is: character meet & greet
The Figment Meet and Greet is now open! It replaced the Vanelloppe Meet & Greet inside the Imagination! pavilion.
He meets daily (check the My Disney Experience for times) and there is a PhotoPass photographer there, however, he does not sign autographs.
New park entrance (completed in 2022)
What it is: A complete overhaul of the park entrance
Most people who visited Epcot in the 90’s and 2000’s may not know that the space between the entrance and Spaceship Earth looked a lot different from it does now.
Originally, that space was a lot less “concrete” and a lot more “green.”
That’s why the announcement that the main entrance into Epcot would be getting a makeover reminiscent of the original design was so very exciting to hear.
Old-school Epcot fans were excited to see the use of the Epcot logo in several prominent locations, as well as the introduction of pavilion logos that now adorn the flags that surround the area.
And, to top it all off, Spaceship Earth is now decked out with bright lights known as the Points of Light and the monorail beams are decked out with their own brightly colored lights, too.
When added to the new color block paint scheme on the surrounding buildings, the entire area is *chef’s kiss*.
The entrance work is now complete, but because of all the nearby construction, there are still lots (and lots) of walls. You have been warned.
Connections Café & Eatery (opened April 27, 2022)
What it is: Restaurant (including a Starbucks)
A new Epcot quick service location called Connections Café and Eatery has opened next to the Creations Shop in World Celebration.
Connections Café is the new permanent home for Starbucks at Epcot and Connections Eatery replaces the now closed Electric Umbrella Quick Service Restaurant.
Creations Shop (opened September 15, 2021)
What it is: Gift shop
Every theme park has a flagship store, and at Epcot, that shop is now called Creations Shop.
This new store replaces Mouse Gear, and it comes with a totally new look. If Epcot apparel is what you’re after, this is the shop for you.
Club Cool (re-opened in new location September 15, 2021)
What it is: Attraction & gift shop
Club Cool (home of the infamous Beverly) is a combination of attraction and gift shop. It closed in the early stages of construction, only to reopen in a brand-new location.
Located next to Creations Shop (the replacement for Mouse Gear), you can find Coca-Cola gifts alongside stations where you can taste test Coke products from around the world.
Leave a Legacy (reopened in new location February 9, 2021)
What it is : Disney calls it an attraction, but it really just some panels with tiny tiles made up of people’s faces on them (it is pretty, though!)
Leave a Legacy was a project that allowed visitors to purchase tiny little tiles with their pictures on it to commemorate their visit to Epcot
From 1997 to 2007, a total of over 550,000 spots were sold, and for years and years, they were displayed on giant unattractive monoliths located between the tapstiles and Spaceship Earth. Honestly, the way they used to look was pretty ugly.
But, as part of the updates, the Leave a Legacy tiles were relocated to an area outside the front gates where they are now displayed on bright panels that align with the new Epcot color block scheme.
These definitely got a much needed glow-up!
World Celebration projects that were cut (not happening)
Ok, now for the sad part. These are previously announced projects for the World Celebration area that do not appear to be happening.
Multi-Level Festival Center (definitely cancelled)
One of the most highly anticipated pieces of the announced projects back in 2019 was a multi-level, futuristic looking festival center that was supposed to be near where the old Fountain of Nations was located.
It was an ambitious project, and clearly too good to be true.
Because, Disney has now confirmed that those plans are being shelved and replaced with a much scaled back CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza.
Read more about the original announcement for the pavilion on the Disney Parks Blog.
Spaceship Earth refurbishment (still hope this might happen…someday)
All the Phoenician fans can breathe a bit easier – at least for the time being.
Because, although Disney announced a fairly extensive renovation of Spaceship Earth (complete with a closure date!), that project has been put on hold.
Much like the Celebration Pavilion, the fact that no actual construction had started made this project an easy target for cost-saving measures.
But, while the refurbishment may not be happening right now, we believe it is realistic to think that Epcot’s icon will be getting some enhancements and upgrades someday. It just may not be for several years.
You can read about the original announcement of the refurbishment of Spaceship Earth on the Disney Parks Blog.
World Celebration Closures
As you can imagine, a construction project this large in scale will include a lot of closures
Here’s what is gone:
- Fountain of Nations – closed on September 8, 2019
- Electric Umbrella – closed on February 16, 2020 and was replaced by a new restaurant called Connections Cafe and Eatery
- Camera Center – closed in Fall 2019, and has reopened with Pin Traders
- Innoventions East (including Colortopia & Nanooze Break) – closed September 8, 2019
- Character Spot – Closed on September 8, 2019 and is being replaced by a new character location that is still under construction called Mickey and Friends.
- Pin Central – Moved from the previous location to the former Camera Center location and is now open.
- Epcot Experience (closed March 14, 2022) Let’s talk a little bit more about the Epcot Experience because while it was short-lived, it was a pretty cool part of the early months of construction.
With so many changes to Epcot happening, Disney (for several years) provided guests with an opportunity to preview what is coming.
Located in the Odyssey Events Pavilion (which historically had been used as the Festival Center during many of the Epcot festivals), the now closed “Experience Center” provided Epcot visitors with a chance to see and explore the future of Epcot.
But, although the construction at Epcot is ongoing, Disney has permanently closed this display. (*whispers* possibly because a lot of what was represented in the presentation is now on the cutting room floor…)
- Fountain View Starbucks – closed on September 8, 2019. A temporary location called Traveler’s Café was open near the Refreshment Port in World Showcase, and the new permanent location called Connections Café opened Spring 2022.
- Mouse Gear – has been replaced with a new store called “Creations Shop”
- Art of Disney – moved from Future World to the Heritage Manor location in The American Adventure
- Epcot Experience – closed March 14, 2022 to make room for ??? Currently being used for festival seating
- Awesome Planet NEW! (open)
- Soarin’ Around the World (open, no updates planned)
- Living with the Land (open, no updates planned)
- The Seas with Nemo and Friends (open, no updates planned)
- Turtle Talk with Crush (open, no updates planned)
- SeaBase (open, no updates planned)
- Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana NEW! (now open)
- Sunshine Seasons (open, no updates planned)
- Garden Grill (open, no updates planned)
- Coral Reef Restaurant (open, no updates planned)
Disney describes this new neighborhood as “dedicated to understanding and preserving the beauty, awe, and balance of the natural world.”
This section includes The Land pavilion (which houses Living with the Land, Soarin’, and the new Awesome Planet movie) and The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilion. For the most part, the new enhancements here appear to remain on track.
Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana (opened October 16, 2023)
According to Disney, this “first-ever experience based on the Walt Disney Animation Studios hit film, ‘Moana,’ lets guests interact with magical, living water in a beautiful and inspiring setting.
The new exploration trail and experience opened to guests on October 16, 2023.
Awesome Planet film (opened January 17, 2020)
What it is: New show/attraction
Billed by Disney as an “on-screen exploration of the realm we call home,” a new film focusing on the world around us has opened up in the former Circle of Life theater inside of the Land Pavilion.
This new 10-minute film uses a few in-theater effects paired with a lovely score by Academy Award-winning composer Steven Price to showcase the amazing power of our awesome planet.
- Mission: SPACE (open with updates)
- Test Track (open, reimagining planned but no dates given)
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind NEW! (Opened May 27, 2022)
- Play Pavilion NEW! (maybe?)
- Space 220 NEW! (open)
Disney says this neighborhood is where “stories about science, technology, and intergalactic adventure come to life.”
This section of the park is where the current Test Track and Mission: SPACE attractions are located, and where the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (opened May 27, 2022)
What it is: Indoor roller coaster
Can you believe it?! Epcot now has its very own roller coaster (complete with a reverse launch)!
Way back in July of 2017, Disney made the announcement at the D23 Expo that Epcot would be receiving a new Guardians of the Galaxy attraction.
What we didn’t know all those years ago was just how cool it would be.
Epcot’s new Guardian of the Galaxy themed attraction is located where the old Ellen’s Energy Adventure was located. In fact, part of the old structure is used.
Were we worried the reverse launch might make us sick?
A little bit.
Did we ride it anyway? Definitely.
Space 220 (opened mid-September 2021)
After a long wait, the hottest new place to dine in Epcot is now officially open.
According to Disney, Space 220 is “an out-of-this-world culinary experience with the celestial panorama of a space station, including daytime and nighttime views of Earth from 220 miles up”.
This restaurant is located next to Mission: SPACE and is heavily themed to appear as if guests are dining among the stars.
If you are familiar with Epcot’s layout, a new restaurant on that side of
Future World World Discovery is a welcome addition indeed!
This new Table Service option is run by the Patina Restaurant Group and has a menu that features “internationally-inspired cuisine, more than 1,000 bottles of the world’s finest wines, and a wide selection of craft beer.”
The menu features a 2-course prix fixe at lunch and a 3-course prix fixe for dinner.
You can also order a la carte selections in both the lounge and dining room.
Check out our review of Space 220 for more info!
Mission: SPACE (re-opened August 13, 2017)
What it is: Attraction
Mission: SPACE closed a few months before the 2017 D23 Expo, where it was announced that it would be receiving a brand-new video sequence for the Green (less intense) side and updated graphics for the Orange (more intense) side.
Unfortunately, that also meant that we had to say goodbye to
Lieutenant Dan Gary Sinise in the pre-show.
PLAY! Pavilion (insert shrug emoji here)
What it is: Interactive experience
The PLAY! pavilion was another one of those big enhancements that we were worried might not make the cut.
In fact, Disney was fairly silent about it for a long time before it started popping back up again.
And, while we haven’t seen much about it in new press releases, it is still noted on the paper Epcot maps:
Before the initial announcement, rumors of something coming to the former Wonders of Life pavilion had been swirling for several months.
Billed as “unlike anything you’ve ever seen” at Epcot, the former Wonders of Life pavilion will be transformed into what Disney is calling a “play pavilion” that will be devoted to immersive fun.
Featuring an “innovative city,” this pavilion will host “interactive experiences, Disney characters, hands-on-activities, and engaging entertainment.”
Included here will be the chance to help out the legendary fashion icon Edna Mode as well as the chance to make a splash by competing in a water balloon fight with Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby.
With no new news released aside from it still appearing on maps, we can only speculate that Disney is moving forward with the original plans.
Read more about the original announcement on the Disney Parks Blog.
World Discovery Closures
You had to know something was going to have to close to make room for all the new stuff in this land.
Here’s what’s gone as the result of this major Epcot overhaul:
- Ellen’s Universe of Energy – closed August 13, 2017 to make room for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
- Circle of Life – closed February 3, 2018 to make room for Awesome Planet
- Gran Fiesta Tour (open, no updates planned)
- Frozen Ever After (open, no updates planned)
- Reflections of China (open, updates scheduled)
- The American Adventure (open, no updates planned)
- Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along NEW! (open)
- Impressions de France (open, shares space with Beauty and the Beast Sing Along)
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure NEW! (open)
- Canada Far and Wide NEW! (open)
- Luminous – the Story of Us (nighttime entertainment) NEW! (opening December 5) – replaces Epcot Forever!, which replaced Harmonious
- DuckTales World Showcase Adventure (adventure game) NEW! (opened December 2022)
Note: World Showcase is packed with restaurants, and if we listed them all, you’d probably fall asleep reading them. So to keep things simple, we are just going to list out new restaurants that have opened as part of the Epcot overhaul.
- Takumi-Tei NEW! (reopened November 2022)
- Regal Eagle Smokehouse NEW! (open)
- La Creperie de Paris NEW! (open)
- Shiki-Sai Izakaya and Sushi NEW! (open)
According to Disney, the World Showcase will continue to be “a celebration of culture, cuisine, architecture, and traditions – infused with new magic.”
And while most of the planned projects will continue, there is one that Disney has quietly shelved and another one that is sort of up in the air after some recent news.
DuckTales World Showcase Adventure (opened December 16, 2022)
EPCOT is kind of famous for scavenger hunts, and although we had to wait awhile after the old Agent P themed scavenger hunt closed, the new DuckTales one is equally fun.
In this new adventure, Scrooge McDuck, along with his adventurous nephews and associates, is set to embark on a quest throughout the World Showcase to unearth the 7 Lost Magic Treasures. This high-stakes mission aims to secure these invaluable artifacts before they fall into malevolent hands.
Spearheaded by the illustrious Mr. McDuck, the quest will take participants through an international journey, spanning country pavilions from Mexico to the United Kingdom. The goal? To assist Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby in following intricate clues, vanquishing villains, and ultimately recovering the hidden treasures.
It’s a collective endeavor that underscores the importance of teamwork and exploration. Get ready, because when it comes to hunting for lost treasures at EPCOT, anything is possible.
EPCOT Forever (opened April 3, 2023 and ends December 4, 2023)
What is it: Nighttime entertainment
EPCOT Forever originally debuted in 2019 as a temporary replacement for IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth while the long-term show replacement Harmonious was being developed.
Only, SURPRISE! Harmonious wasn’t around as long as we thought it would be. It closed on April 2, 2023.
EPCOT Forever is now making another run as the interim nighttime show between the closing of Harmonious and the opening of the new nighttime show Luminous
The show celebrates the history, present, and future of Epcot and features fireworks, laser shows, and kites controlled by jet skis.
Luminous – The Symphony of Us (opens December 5, 2023)
What is it: Nighttime entertainment
Nightime shows have been short-lived recently, including Harmonious, which was barely around long enough for us to decide whether we loved it or not before it was replaced with Epcot Forever!, a temporary show that keeps rising from the dead.
However, it appears that Epcot may finally get a show that will be sticking around when the new Lumious debuts in December 2023.
La Crêperie de Paris (opened October 1, 2021)
What is it: New restaurant
Another project that has opened is the new restaurant La Crêperie de Paris.
Opening on October 1, 2021 near the highly anticipated “Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure” attraction, this authentic crêperie is home to more amazing French cuisine from chef Jérôme Bocuse – who is already behind Chefs de France and Monsieur Paul in the Epcot France pavilion.
The new restaurant features savory and sweet crêpes and has both a quick-service and table service dining option available.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (opened October 1, 2021)
What is it: Attraction
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure opened with a bang as part of the big 50th anniversary celebration.
As you can imagine by the name, this family-friendly attraction follows Remy on an exciting adventure through the kitchen of Gusteau’s.
If you don’t mind spoilers, check out the video to see what that looks like.
Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue (opened February 19, 2020)
What is it: New restaurant
A new quick-service restaurant has taken the place of Liberty Inn, which closed on July 8th, 2019.
Serving up American Barbecue, this new indoor dining spot offers up fantastic meats, sauces, brews, and even a solid plant-based BBQ Jackfruit Burger option.
Check out the menu.
Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along (opened January 17, 2020)
What is it: Attraction (show)
Building on the popularity of the Frozen Sing-Along in Hollywood Studios, Epcot now has its own Beauty and the Beast version.
Housed in the same theater as Impressions de France, the new show is an ok distraction. Without live actors, it can’t compete with the Frozen version over in Hollywood Studios, but if you have a Beauty and the Beast hardcore fan, it may be worth a stop – even if just to sit in the AC for a bit.
Since both Impressions de France and the Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along take place in the same theater, make sure you check the My Disney Experience App for the current schedule.
Read more on the Disney Parks Blog.
Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360 (opened January 17, 2020)
Attraction type: Show
Announced at Destination D in November 2018, Canada has now received an updated 360-degree film. The new film, called Canada Far and Wide, premiered in January 2020 and is narrated by Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara.
Takumi-Tei (opened July 5, 2019)
What is it: Table service restaurant
Good news for all the fancy dining fans! A new Signature Restaurant is now open.
One cool thing to note is that this new dining location is being operated by the same people that operate the stores, kiosks, and restaurants in the Japan pavilion: Mitsukoshi USA.
The name Takumi-Tei means “house of the artisan,” and the design elements used in this new restaurant “celebrate the relationship between Japanese craftsmanship and the natural world.”
Sound tasty? Check out the menu for more info.
Disney Skyliner (opened September 29, 2019)
Location: The Epcot station is located at the International Gateway. Other stations are located at Hollywood Studios, Art of Animation/Pop Century, Disney’s Riviera, and Caribbean Beach.
While not an attraction or restaurant, the announcement of the Disney Skyliner at D23 was very well received by nearly all Disney fans.
This new mode of transportation allows guests to easily move between 4 resorts: Art of Animation, Pop Century, Caribbean Beach, and Disney’s Riviera Resort and 2 parks : Hollywood Studios and Epcot.
Read more about the Disney Skyliner gondolas.
World Showcase Projects that may not happen
Wondrous China (insert shrug emoji)
Announced at Destination D in November 2018, China (along with Canada) was slated for an updated 360-degree film. Canada’s new film has premiered, but China’s has not.
Disney has been quiet on when we might expect to (finally) see Wondrous China, but we are hopeful that it will still happen.
Read more about the original announcement in the Disney Parks Blog.
Mary Poppins area (our hopes are fleeting)
Not gonna lie: the quiet removal of any mention of this new area stings a little.
At the D23 Expo in August 2019, Disney got all of our hopes up with the announcement that Cherry Tree Lane would be joining the United Kingdom pavilion.
And while the details were few and far between, Disney did say that guests would be able to “step in time down Cherry Tree Lane past Admiral Boom’s house, then enter Number 17, home of the Banks family, where your adventure will begin.”
The attraction even made it into the now closed Epcot Experience pavilion, where guests were dazzled with visions of Cherry blossoms flying across the large screens before having our *literal* breath taken away at the fantastical imagery of the much-beloved Mary Poppins.
Recently, there has once again been some chatter that Disney would be bringing this project back, however, nothing has been confirmed. We’ve been hurt before, so we’re just going to work towards the acceptance part of this grief journey (while keeping our fingers crossed that it might, possibly, someday, be resurrected).
World Showcase Closures
Here’s what had to close to make way for all the new stuff:
- Epcot Forever – closed on September 28, 2021 to make room for Harmonious, and again on December 4, 2023 to make room for Luminous – the Story of Us
- Liberty Inn – closed on July 8, 2019, to make room for Regal Eagle Smokehouse
Epcot Timeline & List of Completed Projects
Want to see a timeline of everything that has been completed?
Check it out:
- Original announcement was made at a Destination D event about a “major transformation” coming to Epcot (November 2016)
- Epcot project was once again confirmed at the D23 Expo (July 2017)
- Mission: SPACE (re-opened with updates August 13, 2017)
- Takumi-Tei (opened July 5, 2019)
- More project details were (finally) revealed at D23 Expo (August 23, 2019)
- Disney Skyliner (opened September 29, 2019)
- Walt Disney Imagineering presents the Epcot Experience (opened October 1, 2019 and closed March 14, 2022)
- Awesome Planet film (opened January 17, 2020)
- Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along (opened January 17, 2020)
- Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360 (opened January 17, 2020)
- Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue (opened February 19, 2020)
- Leave a Legacy (reopened in new location February 9, 2021)
- Creations Shop (opened September 15, 2021)
- Club Cool (re-opened in new location September 15, 2021)
- Space 220 (opened mid-September 2021)
- Harmonious (opened October 1, 2021)
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (opened October 1, 2021)
- La Crêperie de Paris (opened October 1, 2021)
- Connections Café & Eatery (opened April 27, 2022)
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (opened May 27, 2022)
- Figment Meet & Greet (opened September 10, 2023)
- Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana (opened October 16, 2023)
- Dreamers Point (opens December 5th, 2023)
- World Celebration Gardens (opens December 5th, 2023)
- Luminous – The Symphony of Us (opens December 5, 2023)
List of Epcot Projects Still Under Construction
Although a lot of the work has been done, there are still some significant projects yet to be completed:
- CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza (under construction)
- Mickey & Friends (under construction)
- New park entrance (completed)
The Disney community is full of rumors. And, truth be told, who doesn’t love dreaming about the possibilities?
But alas, in light of what we saw in 2020, we don’t think we’ll see either of the popular rumors below any time soon.
New Epcot resort hotel (rumor)
This rumor has been floating around since the D23 Expo in July 2017. It has been picking up steam again recently as permits have been filed that may indicate the preliminary work to begin prepping for infrastructure construction will be starting soon.
Most people are guessing that if this new resort happens, it will be situated towards the front of the park, possibly even near the monorail station.
New World Showcase pavilion (rumor)
Every year, rumors float around that a new pavilion will be coming to the World Showcase.
The most commonly mentioned idea is that of a Brazil pavilion. Still, alas, Disney has never confirmed or released anything that would indicate that such a pavilion is in the works.
Lots of changes are coming to Epcot in the next few years! Which of the Epcot updates are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments.
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- 2023 Epcot Holiday Cookie Stroll (Festival of the Holidays) - November 30, 2023
- Epcot updates: what’s still coming (and what isn’t) - November 30, 2023
- 2023 Epcot Festival of the Holidays: Guide to Storytellers & Entertainment (Including Santa) - November 29, 2023