3 Clues That Could Point to BIG Changes at EPCOT

EPCOT is already undergoing a massive transformation, but we’ve got some clues that could point to more big CHANGES in this park’s future.

Spaceship Earth

We already know that EPCOT will soon have a NEW Moana-inspired walk-through attraction, some festival areas in World Celebration called CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza, a new Walt Disney statue, and more. But could some of the items in and announcements about this park be a CLUE to other changes coming for EPCOT? Let’s take a look!

Park Map

First, a change has hit EPCOT’s park map and it could be a big indication of how things are moving forward on one BIG project previously announced for this park.

The NEW park map

Notice anything missing?


A part of the EPCOT map used to say “Future Home of PLAY!” near the pavilion that was set to house the PLAY! Pavilion

(OLD MAP) Play Pavilion and Guardians Coaster

…but that designation has since been REMOVED. 

NEW MAP — Notice anything?

In case you aren’t familiar with it, the PLAY! Pavilion was set to be built within the old Wonders of Life pavilion. It would house a number of interactive, technology-enhanced/based experiences that would let you interact with Disney characters in unique ways.

The PLAY! Pavilion’s future has been a mystery for quite some time. Though it was announced a while ago, there have been instances where other parts of the EPCOT Transformation have been discussed, but the PLAY! Pavilion has gone totally unmentioned.

Play Pavilion Concept Art ©Disney

We’ve noticed some other things about the PLAY! pavilion too. There used to be some signs on construction walls in the park with concept images for the pavilion, but (at least based on our recent trips) it seems many of those have disappeared.

In the past, we’ve seen some construction workers on the outside of the building, but that, unfortunately, doesn’t tell us much about the INSIDE of the building, where this new experience was set to be built.

PLAY! Pavilion (October 2022)

It’s not necessarily all bad news though. There is still a portion of the monorail loop at EPCOT that references this pavilion by noting that you could enter a city built on the power of play. Plus, we have seen what appears to be the retro-futuristic logo of the PLAY! Pavilion in a few spots in EPCOT. And the PLAY! Pavilion matted print remains available on shopDisney.

But, considering the fact that the remainder of World Celebration is set to open in 2023, and we’ve gotten updates about other projects in the park like Journey of Water — Inspired by Moana, while news about the PLAY! Pavilion remains scarce, some BIG changes could be taking place here.


Could Disney be scrapping the entire idea of the PLAY Pavilion? It’s possible. Perhaps they’ve realized that an interactive, hands-on place may be more difficult to sanitize and keep clean in a post-COVID world (or maybe less attractive to those who are staying extra conscious about what they touch). Or perhaps there’s a fear that the “technological” aspect of this won’t feel very futuristic years from now, at which point technology likely would have moved well past whatever is included in the attractions.

Or maybe Disney simply feels that this valuable real estate in the park can be used for something more profitable — like a hit ride that could come with Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lane access.

PLAY! Pavilion at the EPCOT Experience

Whatever the case, the fact that Disney really has not provided an update on the PLAY! Pavilion in a while and it was recently removed from the EPCOT Park Map could signal that a big change is coming for this space.

Click here to see more about the PLAY! Pavilion

Parking Lot Signs

Another change has hit EPCOT and it could also be a clue about what the future could hold. EPCOT now has a new marquee for its parking lot entrance, and the parking lots have been re-themed to feature Disney characters. Many of these characters make sense because they are featured in attractions at or coming to EPCOT.

There’s Moana and Hei Hei (which fits with the Journey of Water experience coming soon), Rocket and Gamora (which fits in with Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind), and Dory and Crush (which fits in with The Seas with Nemo and Friends).

Rocket Sign

But then there are two other interesting character additions — WALL-E and Eve. Currently, WALL-E and Eve are not represented in EPCOT in any really significant way.


There is a playground in EPCOT called The Green Landing Play Zone which has had a few different themes over the years. Currently, it is themed to WALL-E and you can find WALL-E and Eve on the entrance sign to this spot. But that’s not really a full attraction or experience the likes of which the other characters have in the park.


So, what could the inclusion of WALL-E and Eve in the parking lot indicate? Why choose those characters over, say, Anna and Elsa (who are featured in Frozen Ever After), Ratatouille and Emile (from Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure), Figment and Orange Bird (who often serve as “ambassadors” for EPCOT’s Festivals), or Donald Duck and the Three Caballeros (from Gran Fiesta Tour). There are SO many options for other characters with more prominent appearances in the park — why choose WALL-E and Eve instead?

It could be because they simply represent EPCOT best — moving us toward the future while also helping us look to the past. Or maybe they match best with the rethemed EPCOT tram routes (Earth and Space), giving us more characters on the “Space” side since Moana’s characters and Finding Nemo’s characters are more representative of Earth.

©Walt Disney Imagineering via Instagram

Or…could this parking lot sign be an indication that we’ll see more of WALL-E and Eve in EPCOT soon? We’ve seen them featured in certain magic shots in the park for Earth Day, but what if a roaming WALL-E meet-and-greet gets added to World Discovery? Could the PLAY! Pavilion get a WALL-E-based experience or overhaul? Maybe we’ll simply see them incorporated more in “smaller” ways throughout the park.


Right now it’s unclear but we’ll certainly be interested to see what the future may hold for these two characters.

Don’t leave EPCOT without doing these 6 things!

Harmonious Barge Removal

And finally, we’ve got an update that relates to EPCOT’s nighttime show. Though Harmonious didn’t arrive all that long ago, it will soon meet its end. Harmonious’ last performance will be held on April 2nd, 2023. Then, on April 3rd, 2023, EPCOT Forever will return for a limited time while EPCOT works on a NEW nighttime show which is set to debut in 2023.


When Harmonious arrived in EPCOT, it brought with it some things that became extremely controversial — the Harmonious barges. People have complained about the way the barges look during the day (especially since they never got the previously announced daytime fountain look), how they block the view across World Showcase Lagoon, and more.

But Disney announced something very important in 2023 — with the end of Harmonious will come…the REMOVAL of the Harmonious barges! They will be removed in phases following Harmonious’ final performance.

Harmonious barges

So what does that tell us about the future of EPCOT nighttime entertainment? Well, the barges were crucial for Harmonious and the way it was designed. They featured giant screens and housed effects that were utilized throughout the show.

Without the barges, we can expect EPCOT’s new nighttime spectacular to look VERY different than Harmonious. We will no longer be looking to those barges to see water effects and projections, displays on the screens, or colorful fountains.

Harmonious in EPCOT

Disney hasn’t revealed much about what EPCOT’s upcoming spectacular will look like. But it seems like we at least know at this point that it will NOT simply be a different version of or adjustment to Harmonious. Does that mean we won’t see any barges in World Showcase Lagoon in the future? Not necessarily.

In the past, Disney has floated out some barges closer to showtime, so barges that come in and out of the Lagoon as necessary may be utilized. But we’ll just have to wait and see!


And those are our 3 big clues about the future of EPCOT. What do you think will happen with this park within the next few years? Will we see an introduction of more WALL-E and Eve experiences? What will EPCOT’s new fireworks show look like? Has the PLAY! Pavilion gone to the graveyard of Disney ideas? Only time will tell, and you can bet we’ll be looking for ALL the updates to keep you informed. Stay tuned!

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What big changes do you think could be coming to EPCOT? Tell us in the comments.

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