NEWS: Epcot’s Transformation Continues with New Entrance and New Play Pavilion

Disney has just announced several new changes coming to Epcot as part of the park’s multi-year transformation.  These new changes will be in addition to the previously announced changes and additions to the park.


The changes include a new Play Pavilion, a re-imagined entrance area, and an Experience Center showcasing the park’s future

New Play Pavilion Coming to Epcot

The Play Pavilion, currently in development, will feature first-of-their-kind experiences devoted to playful fun. The Play Pavilion will take guests into an innovative, interactive city bursting with games and hands-on activities. Play Pavilion visitors will interact with Disney characters in an energetic metropolis unlike anything ever seen before at Epcot.

New Epcot Play Pavilion. Artist Concept ©Disney

The as-yet-unnamed space will call the Wonders of Life (or more recently known as the Epcot Festival Center) building home and will debut in time for the Walt Disney World Resort 50th anniversary in 2021.

“This innovative, new pavilion is beyond anything we’ve ever created and is completely unique to Epcot,” said Zach Riddley, portfolio executive, Walt Disney Imagineering. “Built on the power of play, it introduces an immersive and interactive ‘city’ where you can explore, create and interact with some of your favorite Disney characters. This is an experience worthy of our bold vision for Epcot – and another signature element of our transformation.”

New Entrance Coming to Epcot

Epcot‘s main entrance plaza will see changes that include new pathways, sweeping green spaces, and a newly re-imagined fountain. The new design will pay homage to the original park entrance with fresh takes on classic elements.

Epcot’s New Entrance Plaza. Artist Concept ©Disney

The Leave A Legacy photos, currently in the entrance plaza, will move into a setting just outside the park’s gateway.

Additional significant redevelopment will  begin between Spaceship Earth and World Showcase Promenade; more details about the transformation of this area will be announced at a later date.

Epcot’s Multi-Year Transformation

The changes announced today are in addition to the changes announced at the D23 Destination D conference in November 2018. Park guests will be able to visualize the plans for Epcot when a new Experience Center opens in the Odyssey Events Pavilion later this year. The Center will  be home to engaging and interactive exhibits that showcase the innovation, energy and excitement driving the future of the park all throughout this unprecedented period of transformation.

Today’s new announcements join other projects already underway as part of the Epcot evolution including:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy-themed attraction, opening in 2021, will be one of the longest enclosed roller coasters in the world and feature a brand-new ride system
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure attraction opening in 2021 in the France pavilion, is patterned after the number-one family attraction at Disneyland Paris
  • “Beauty and the Beast” sing-along in the France pavilion opening “soon” will show in addition to the pavilion’s current film, Impressions de France
  • Updated Circle-Vision 360 film for the China pavilion and updated O Canada! 360-degree show
  • New Signature Dining in Japan Pavilion inspired by the natural beauty of Japan
  • Space-themed table-service restaurant opening in 2020 adjacent to Mission: SPACE, inviting guests to travel high above the earth for an unforgettable dining experience
  • Epcot Forever, a 2019 limited-time nighttime experience over World Showcase Lagoon set to classic Epcot tunes, followed by an all-new nighttime spectacular debuting in 2020

“Epcot has always been, and always will be, an optimistic celebration of the real world that is brought to life through the magic of Disney,” said George A. Kalogridis, president, Walt Disney World Resort. “The exciting plans we have on the horizon will honor Epcot’s rich legacy of creativity and innovation while continuing to exceed the expectations of our guests for decades to come.”

Which changes, updates, and additions are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments below!

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Sarah has built a career in communications and marketing that started when she was the editor of her high school newspaper. She has written for since 2018, and enjoys sharing Disney news and updates with the AllEars community. She's been a Disney fan ever since her first visit to Walt Disney World when she was 5, and has been known to arrange trips around visiting a Disney park!

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13 Replies to “NEWS: Epcot’s Transformation Continues with New Entrance and New Play Pavilion”

  1. It will be nice to have an updated entrance to Epcot. However, until the renovations are complete, the existing system makes life very difficult for disabled guests who need to rent a scooter or a wheelchair. Disabled guests are forced to walk about three times the prior distance to the rental desk, despite the fact that the rental desk is visible from the front entrance. We are forced to walk what seemed like a mile along the endless green construction fencing to reach teh rental desk. I was so exhausted by the time I walked to the rental area that I was tempted to leave the park. The same walk, of course, waits for the guest upon departure. Yes, some seniors rent a scooter for mere convenience, but some of us absolutely require a scooter to tour the park. Disney somehow thinks that this need does not kick in until the guest has reached the rental desk.

  2. We HATED “Leave a Legacy..” It ruined the entrance to the park. It looked like a mass grave to us. We figured in the future when everything was destroyed people would come by and think it was a cemetery. I just hope they move it far enough away from the entrance so it doesn’t mare Spaceship Earth as you enter.

    1. I agree with you Kathy. The Legacy was an eye sore to us. I compared our before The Legacy photos and the blocks really took away from our pictures of Epcot and Spaceship Earth. It also prevented a straight away exit for all the guests leaving at park closure.

  3. I get it that thrill rides are the core of theme parks, but half of Epcot is dedicated to the World Showcase. While there are upgrades and additions to the countries in the world showcase, isn’t it about time the world showcase is expanded? The world has changed so much since Epcot opened and people who visit WDW come from all over the world. And the demographics are that the population in the U.S. is getting older. Why not add something that adds something new and that doesn’t have thrill ride associated with it. And isn’t just adding to countries that are already represented. How about Antartica (imagine the ride possibilities) ? Poland? Korea? An African or South American country? Australia? There are lots of possibilities.

    1. “The Leave A Legacy photos, currently in the entrance plaza, will move into a setting just outside the park’s gateway.”

  4. I hope the new entrance includes a new security/bag check area for the monorail. That was the worst part. You get checked at TTC then again when you arrive at Epcot? Really?

  5. I just hope the the imagineers are not hell bent on turning EPCOT into a kiddie park. Please leave at least one park for the enjoyment of adults. Is that too much to ask?