Disney clarifies some details on the transformation of EPCOT but raises more questions about what will be built

Nov 23, 2020 in "EPCOT"

Posted: Monday November 23, 2020 8:24am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Last week's announcements during the IAAPA and D23 Fantastic Worlds events gave some clarity to the direction of EPCOT, but raised more questions about some aspects of what was originally announced for the park's transformation.

As Disney moved to confirm that Remy's Ratatouille Adventure will move to a 2021 opening, we did not get a timeline update on the opening of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, or Space 220. Guardians has reached the milestone of vehicle testing, and some show elements are arriving on site, which seems to be a very positive step.

The PLAY! pavilion seems to have completely dropped off the menu, at least for now. In a press release issued this week there is no mention of the reworked Wonders pavilion. PLAY! was planned to be an interactive experience that may just become unfeasible given the current COVID-19 health restrictions. Disney may be waiting to see how things develop and if this could once again become a possibility. 

Another addition that is pending easing of health restriction is Harmonious. The return of nighttime shows at Disney is thought to be considered for Spring 2021, and construction of Harmonious is continuing. Disney also confirmed that the massive show barges will remain on the lagoon during the day, disguised by a daytime fountain show.

Also missing from any recent discussions is the rework of Spaceship Earth. Originally planned to begin earlier this year, the changes were put on hold as the company scrambled to save money and get EPCOT back open to guests in July. We may see this later, but for now Spaceship Earth will remain as is.

At the center of the park, there are more questions about what will become of the central spine.

As work slowly continues on gutting the former Innoventions buildings, the elaborate festival center is gone from the plans, but what will replace it is open to interpretation. New wording in the press release describes a "newly reimagined festival area." Are we looking at an open area of land that will house some event kiosks? It is a distinct possibility. 

Staying with the center of the park, Dreamers point remains, as does the statue of Walt Disney. We also expect the new Starbucks, Mouse Gear and other food, beverage and retail to feature.

The Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana remains in the plans, which means we should see a total demolition of the still standing Innoventions West building.

And finally there is Mary Poppins. The United Kingdom pavilion came so close to finally getting an attraction, but this one failed to get out of the starting gate and was canceled back in July.

Discuss on the Forums
View all comments →

Sirwalterraleigh9 hours ago

Almost like a couple of nitwits had not clue what they were doing and started throwing “ideas” at it like noodles against the wall? The greatest/most unique park ever created and now retired to history

zarpman9 hours ago

All this talk about the naming conventions, yet no one batted an eye when New Orleans Square broke that mold at Disneyland in the 60s. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

vikescaper9 hours ago

At least there is some demarcation between World Celebration and World Discovery with the former CommuniCore/Innoventions East/Creations Shop/whatever we are calling that building now.

lazyboy97o9 hours ago

It’s not just when you’re in the lands. In the best designed parks if you were to look at an unlabeled map you could figure out general sense where one land starts and another ends. There was a spatial organization to the lands and parks that contributed to the sense of place and immersion.

Clamman739 hours ago

Don’t forget the bathrooms are also color coded in case you’re lost. Lol

chriswacy9 hours ago

It just feels weird to split it into three areas without some demarcation noting which of those areas you're in (other than the trash can colors). In most other parks it's apparent which "Land" you're in, I'm not sure people are going to have the same reaction going between these three new ones as they would going between Future World/World Showcase where it's apparent you're entering a different area.

jpinkc12 hours ago

Yes thats the Disney Cancelation plan didnt you read the fine print. Until they get more money from a new Magical Source its on hold indefinitely

Sirwalterraleigh12 hours ago

Sorry… “Dragging their feet deliberately during construction and then letting things sit once finished”

jpinkc12 hours ago

I thought in the Current Disney translation guide "delay or holding off" was Bean speak for canceled

Sirwalterraleigh12 hours ago

Sorry…I thought that was a joke… boy…nothing worse than a trillion dollar penny pinching conglomerate

Clamman7312 hours ago

“a newly reimagined festival area that will be home to ever-changing events in a unique new environment.”

Sirwalterraleigh13 hours ago

Cancelled doesn’t bother me…delays and holding off really $&!:es me off I might have missed this…did they cancel the jetson’s lounge?

Sirwalterraleigh13 hours ago

The zenith

Animaniac93-9813 hours ago

They can call it whatever they want, it will always be EPCOT '94.