Epcot updates: everything that we know is happening in 2019 and beyond (plus a few rumors)

(Article last updated: April 11, 2019)

Epcot has an important 40th birthday coming up in 2022, and it feels like Disney is preparing for that with lots of new stuff. From attractions to restaurants, there are many things already under construction at this popular park.

But just what all can you expect to see in the upcoming years? We've got it all broken down in our list of Epcot updates. We've even added in a few rumors we hope just might be true.

Take a look...

Epcot updates - maps

We have a couple of maps that show the general areas of the current projects that have been formally announced by Disney. The locations aren't exact, but they should give you a good idea where all the new stuff will be going:

Epcot - Future World construction

Epcot - Future World construction map

Epcot - World Showcase construction

Epcot - World Showcase construction


Experience Center

With so many changes to Epcot happening in the next few years, Disney is providing guests with an opportunity to preview what is coming.

Located in the Odyssey Events Pavilion (which is frequently used as the Festival Center during), a new "Experience Center" will provide Epcot visitors with a chance to see and explore (through interactive exhibits) the future of Epcot.

Look for the new Experience Center to be open sometime in mid to late 2019.


New park entrance

Most people that visit Epcot may not know that the space between the entrance and Spaceship Earth used to look a lot different than 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 exciting to hear.

New Epcot entrance

As you can see in the concept art above, the new entrance will have a lot more green spaces, winding pathways, and even a re-imagined fountain. And, while not identical to the original entrance it definitely has the same feeling.

The Leave a Legacy photos that are currently found at the entrance will be relocated to an area just outside the park's gateway and Disney has said that "additional significant redevelopment will begin between Spaceship Earth attraction and the World Showcase Promenade" with more details on that to come sometime in the future.

No date has been given for this update but most people speculate that the project should be completed by Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary in 2021.

Read more on the Disney Parks Blog.


Awesome Planet film moving to former Circle of Life theater

Billed by Disney as an "on-screen exploration of the realm we call home", a new film focusing on the world around us will be coming to the Land Pavilion.

While not many more details have been released, it is nice to see something new coming to the Circle of Life theater.

Awesome Planet Land Pavilion of Epcot

Read more on the Disney Parks Blog


Wonders of Life pavilion to become a new "Play Pavilion"

Attraction type: interactive experiences
Location: Former "Wonders of Life" pavilion (new name TBD)
Estimated completion date: 2021 (exact date TBD)

Rumors of something coming to the former Wonders of Life pavilion have been swirling for several months and now we know what Disney has planned.

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."

Play pavilion at Epcot

Play pavilion at Epcot

Read more on the Disney Parks Blog.


New nighttime spectacular (replacing Illuminations: Reflections of Earth)

Final showing of Illuminations will be September 30, 2019

A new nighttime spectacular will be coming to the park in 2020.

This new show will celebrate how Disney music inspires people around the world and will include large-scale floats, LED panels, fountains, lights, fireworks, and lasers.

new nighttime show epcot

Disney has said this new show, when it debuts will be on a massive scale "like we've never done." Sounds amazing!

Epcot Forever (interim show beginning October 1, 2019)

But, before this new show begins Epcot will host a limited-engagement nighttime show (which is similar to how Disney rolled out Rivers of Light with the Jungle Book show running with a limited engagement before Rivers of Light began).

This new show debuts in the fall of 2019 and will be called "Epcot Forever". Music for the show will feature all of your favorite Epcot tunes and will include something new to nighttime shows at Disney world: special effect kites!

Epcot Forever Kites

In a recent post on blooloop.com it was revealed that the kites will be kept afloat in the air by 8 Jet Skis (each with a driver and kite handler on-board). 

The music for Epcot Forever will feature some classic Epcot tunes including rumors of the classic "One Little Spark" from Journey into Imagination. Check out this video preview of what to expect with the new show:

Updates

March 2019

Construction on the islands in World Showcase Lagoon is well underway. If visiting Epcot, expect to see lots of activity as crews continue the necessary upgrades to bring the new shows to life.

Construction for new nighttime show at Epcot

Read more on the Disney Parks Blog.


Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along

Attraction type: show
Location: France pavilion
Estimated completion date: TBD

Building on the popularity of the Frozen Sing-Along in Hollywood Studios, Epcot will soon be getting its own Beauty and the Beast version.

Disney has confirmed that this show will not replace the popular Impressions de France, but rather rotate showings with it, however, no dates have been announced yet.

Read more on the Disney Parks Blog.


Updated films for China and Canada pavilions

Announced at Destination D in November 2018, both China and Canada will be getting updated 360-degree films, however, no dates on when they will premier have been released.

Read more about these updates in the Disney Parks Blog.


Guardians of the Galaxy attraction (construction underway)

Attraction type: roller coaster
Location: inside the old Universe of Energy building and a new building being constructed adjacent to it
Estimated completion date: Disney hasn't confirmed anything, but the general thought is it will be completed by Spring of 2021

Guardians of the Galaxy exterior Epcot

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.

Rumors had long been swirling that Hollywood Studios would be the home of the new Guardians of the Galaxy attraction with Tower of Terror getting a makeover much like the one at Disney's California Adventure. So, as you can imagine, there was quite a bit of surprise when Epcot was announced as the location instead.

Epcot's new Guardian of the Galaxy themed attraction will be located at the old Ellen's Energy Adventure location. The general thought is that the old building will hold the queue while the attraction itself will be housed in a new building, which is currently under construction.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Updates

November 15, 2018

Ride vehicle concept art

The new attraction has been described as a "storytelling coaster" and therefore will require a new and innovative ride vehicle.

When talking about the new vehicles, Bob Iger said: "On most coasters, the vehicles point straight ahead throughout the ride. But on this attraction, each individual cab will be programmed to direct your eye to the story happening around you."

Concept art for the vehicles is below.

Guardians of the Galaxy Coaster Ride Vehicle

May 17, 2018

Construction photos

Recent photos of the area now show a new construction wall and a crane clearly visible behind the building.


Guardians of the Galaxy construction photos Epcot updatesMay 4, 2018

Foundation is poured

What do you get when you mix 960 truckloads of concrete, 80.4 miles of rebar, and a lot of human power?

In Disney's case you get the foundation for a massive new building being built to house the Guardians of the Galaxy-themed coaster.

Read more about it in the Disney Parks Blog.

February 11, 2018

New Guardians of the Galaxy attraction confirmed to be a roller coaster

In February at the D23 Expo in Japan, Disney shared more information about this coming attraction, and it was there that it was confirmed that this would in fact be what the fans had been hoping for: a roller coaster.

Guardians of the Galaxy epcot interior

Billed as a "one-of-a-kind family attraction", Disney says it will be one of the longest enclosed coasters in the world and the new ride system is guaranteed to "wow" guests.

Read more on the Disney Parks blog.


Space-themed restaurant

Location: in an undeveloped swath of land between Test Track and Mission: SPACE
Estimated completion date: Disney hasn't confirmed anything, but the general thought is it will be completed by sometime in 2021

Another July 2017 D23 Expo announcement was of a new space-themed restaurant.

New Space themed restaurant in epcot

This restaurant will be located next to Mission: SPACE and will be heavily themed to appear as if guests are dining among the stars.

If you are familiar with the layout of Epcot, a new restaurant on that side of Future World is a welcome addition indeed!

Updates

March 2019

Construction is well underway as evident on the photo below. Just outside the view to the right is Test Track, and to the left is Mission: SPACE.

Space Restaurant Epcot

May 9, 2018

Location revealed

Disney finally revealed the location of this new restaurant, which will be in a newly developed spot located between Mission: SPACE and Test Track.

New space themed restaurant location

The restaurant will be operated by the Pantina Restaurant Group, which also operates the popular World Showcase eateries of Tutto Italia and Via Napoli.

Read more on the Disney Parks Blog.


Disney Skyliner (construction underway)

Location: The Epcot station will be located at the International Gateway. Other stations will be located at Hollywood Studios, Art of Animation/Pop Century, and Caribbean Beach.
Estimated completion date: Fall 2019 in time for the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

Disney Skyliner gondola station at the international gateway Epcot

While not an attraction or restaurant, the announcement of the Disney Skyliner at the D23 was very well received by nearly all Disney fans.

This new mode of transportation will allow 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.

Updates

March 2019

The station near the International Gateway is nearing completion. From this angle you can clearly see how Disney has done a fantastic job adding details that will blend this new structure into that area of the park.

Gondola at International Gateway

May 17, 2018

Towers visible

The towers are now fully visible around the International Gateway.

Skyliner construction tower with friendship

Skyliner gondola tower

Skyliner gondola sign


Remy's Ratatouille Adventure (construction underway)

Remy's Ratatouille Adventure

Attraction type: 4-D ride similar to the Ratatouille: The Adventure ride at Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris
Location: France pavilion in the World Showcase
Estimated completion date: Disney hasn't confirmed anything, but the general thought is it will be completed by spring or summer of 2020

This attraction is inspired by the one at Disneyland Paris. Check out the video to see what to expect when it opens at Epcot.

Updates

May 17, 2018

Construction clearly visible

Now clearly visible high above the trees is the top of the new Ratatouille attraction in the France pavilion.

Ratatouille construction


Signature restaurant in Japan

Location: Japan pavilion in the World Showcase
Estimated completion date: TBD

Japan pavilion

This announcement just kind of appeared recently and took a lot of people by surprise.

This new restaurant will be operated by Mitsukoshi USA who also operates the stores, kiosks, and other restaurants in the Japan pavilion.

Disney is calling this a new "signature dining experience" which means it will fall into the same category of the priciest Disney restaurants. In the announcement, Disney says that the "setting will draw from both nature and takumi, which means “artisan” in Japanese, and the relationship between Japanese craftsmanship and the natural world will be evident throughout the space."

Read more on the Disney Parks Blog.


Epcot rumors

New Epcot resort hotel (rumor)

This rumor has been floating around since the D23 Expo in July 2017 and 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.

DuckTales themed World Showcase interactive game (rumor)

This rumor suggests that the current Agent P's World Showcase Adventure will be replaced with a DuckTales themed adventure.

The current Agent P adventure takes guests around World Showcase in an interactive scavenger hunt game to crack clues in order to defeat Dr. Doofenshmirtz. If the rumors are true, the Agent P aspect of the game will be re-themed to Ducktales.

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Lots of changes 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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