Epcot’s Magical Revival

by Michaela Thomas

Coming in 2021, just in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort, Epcot is undergoing a brand new transformation with the addition of new attractions that guests can enjoy.

On Friday, Aug. 23 at the D23 Expo, Bob Check, Disney parks, experience and products chairman and Zach Ridley, from Walt Disney’s Imagineering made the announcement about the renovations happening to the park. 

“[Epcot] is the last of the four major parks to be reimagined,” said Tommy Zilinski, merchandise and guest experience manager at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. “It’s a very exciting time for not only Epcot but for Walt Disney World as well.”

New attractions will be all over the park in World Discovery, World Celebration, World Showcase and World Nature.

The World Showcase will be seeing new attractions in the UK, France, Canada and China pavilions. In the UK pavilion, there will be the first Mary Poppins inspired attraction. In France there will be anew “Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure,” a new restaurant named “La Crêperie de Paris” and finally a new Beauty and the Beast sing along.

In the Canada pavilion, there will be a “Canada Far and wide in Circle-Vision 360” film and in China there will be a new 360 film named “Wondrous China”.

In the World Celebration, a new pavilion will be unveiled that will include an elevated view of the entire park. There also will be a new statue celebrating the legacy of Walt Disney himself.

In the World Nature, there will be an entirely new Moana inspired attraction called “Journey of Water” and a new film called “Awesome Planet” that will showcase the story of the planet. 

One of the more anticipated attractions will be in the World Discovery with the “Guardians of the Galaxy” themed showcase and 360 storytelling coaster. The World Discovery transformations also include an expansion of the Mission: SPACE pavilion and a brand new play pavilion. 

The larger attractions are scheduled to be completed by the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort, which is on Oct. 1, 2021, with some of the smaller attractions set to debut in 2020.

Due to its complete transformation, there are large amounts of construction taking place, which is affecting the current park.

“I’m excited that they’re opening all these attractions but at the same time I feel like they almost should have shut the park down and updated everything because everything is closed,” said Jessica Brown, a Disney annual passholder. “Test track is closed for refurbishment, they have walls everywhere, the whole entrance is mauled, all the stores are gutted…it takes forever to get around the park. It’s not even fun anymore.”

While the construction can become a major annoyance for guests because things are either closed or blocked off, others feel like this transformation is right on time.

“Walt Disney himself said that you have to keep moving, you have to keep up with the times. If you’re being stagnant and not making progress then you’re gonna lose money,” said Peyton Wilson, former Disney College Program participant. “Magic Kingdom is always having new stuff, Animal Kingdom just got the giant Pandora stuff, Hollywood Studios just got all of their new Star Wars stuff and the new Toy Story Land, so now it’s Epcot’s turn to make a splash.”

With these new renovations, Epcot is not going to be the same amusement park it once was. It will have an updated look to not only keep up with the times but with the other parks around it. So be on the lookout for a completely new experience from a brand new Epcot.

Michaela Thomas can be reached at michaela.thomas@spartans.ut.edu

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