EPCOT Transformation

Walt Disney World’s EPCOT is undergoing a massive transformation, one step at a time. Since the announcement in 2019 that EPCOT would receive a massive reimagining, various attractions, dining, and retail locations have closed and demolished, while new buildings and spaces have been built and eventually opened.

Here we’ve assembled a list of all of the changes that are already open, still underway, postponed, or planned as part of EPCOT’s multi-year transformation.

EPCOT

EPCOT’s New Neighborhoods

Renamed October 1st, 2021

Say “goodbye” to Future World and hello to World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery — three renamed neighborhoods that joined World Showcase!

NEW EPCOT Map ©Disney

Learn more about EPCOT’s neighborhoods here.

World Celebration

New Entrance Plaza

Opened 2020-2021

EPCOT’s new entrance area includes updated paths, a new fountain, and green spaces. The design pays homage to the origins of EPCOT.

EPCOT entrance

Though the old Leave a Legacy monoliths have been removed from the entrance area, they have been reimagined into a display at the entrance to EPCOT.

Leave a Legacy

As part of Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebration, Spaceship Earth got an updated nighttime look, with TONS of lights that can alternate colors and even help to create special designs.

EPCOT!

While the nighttime look was introduced as part of the 50th Anniversary celebration, the lights on Spaceship Earth are a permanent addition.

Creations Shop

Opened September 15th, 2021

Creations Shop is a reimagined gift shop — EPCOT’s largest gift shop — in the former location of Mouse Gear (now closed). The shop is creative, of course, with colorful murals of Mickey Mouse on the walls, pops of color throughout, and other fun details.

Creations Shop

This is where you’ll find a lot of new merchandise, including apparel, Minnie ear headbands, designer purses, accessories, and more.

Get a look inside Creations Shop here

Club Cool

Opened September 15th, 2021

The original Club Cool closed in 2019 when EPCOT began its massive transformation, and it reopened adjacent to Creations Shop in September 2021. This bright and funky space features floor tiles embedded with recycled Coca-Cola bottles, plus lots of glass and natural light!

Club Cool Reopening

Explore Club Cool’s reopening here. And don’t worry — tasting sodas from around the world is still a free experience here!

Connections Cafe and Eatery

Opened April 21st, 2022

This new quick-service spot in World Celebration has 2 sections: the cafe and the eatery. The Cafe is actually a new Starbucks location! There’s a tasty liege waffle there if you’re looking for a quick, sweet snack.

Connections Cafe

And the Eatery is a quick-service restaurant with open kitchens and lots of seating. The menu here has classics with a twist — you’ll find burgers inspired by French and Asian cuisine, fried chicken sandwiches, curry pizza, and more.

Connections Eatery

There are some more basic flavors on the menu, but you can also try out the adventurous eats.

See a first look inside Connections Cafe and Eatery here!

Update to Spaceship Earth

Postponed indefinitely

Disney had previously announced that some changes would be made to Spaceship Earth. Under these changes, Spaceship Earth would still take us on a trip through time but with new narration, new music, and a new focus on the moments and ideas that define the human story. The attraction would follow a magical “story light” that would bring the attraction to life in new ways and ties each scene to the entire human journey.

Concept Art for Reimagined Spaceship Earth ©Disney

Spaceship Earth was set to close on May 26th, 2020, but the reimagining was postponed indefinitely in the summer of 2020. Disney hasn’t commented on the changes since then.

World Celebration Gardens

Opened December 5th, 2023

In a space behind Spaceship Earth, guests can explore the World Celebration Gardens, complete with a new statue, Walt: The Dreamer.

The new area is just past Spaceship Earth, where the area splits off before taking you around the construction walls. Now, you’ll be greeted with some new signage pointing you toward the revamped World Celebration area, where the Gardens are located!

 

When you head into the Gardens, you’ll immediately be greeted with trees, seating, and a serene, relaxing area. Oh, and did we mention that you’ll also get a pretty great view of Spaceship Earth?

Beautiful!

One thing we noticed about the area is that it feels more like a seating area in Central Park or something similar. It’s a GREAT place to unwind while still being in the center of EPCOT.

Tables and chairs

The gardens will have ample seating and shade, inviting guests to “connect with one another and the nature around you.” Each garden will have its own identity and its own character, with the ability to amplify festival programs throughout the year. Plus, there are charging stations throughout the area to recharge your devices.

Charging station!

There’s also PLENTY of seating. It’s like a large-scale relaxation station. The seating design is super modern — fitting in nicely with the theming of EPCOT.

They even got the wood details

At night, these gardens will take on “new life” with controllable lighting that evolves throughout the seasons.

EPCOT at night

Plus, the popular glowing lights in the pavement will be returning to this area.

CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza Festival Area

Expected to Open Early 2024

Back when Disney first announced the planned refurbishments coming to EPCOT, they mentioned that a new festival pavilion would be coming. That later transitioned to a festival “area.” And now it seems we have an updated idea of what this festival area appears to have become — CommuniCore Plaza and CommuniCore Hall.

CommuniCore Plaza will be an outdoor area with the flexibility to host a giant concert stage or an intimate performance that extends into the gardens nearby.

©Disney

CommuniCore Hall will be an indoor space that’s the first “fully purpose-built structure in festival programming.” It’ll be home to an exhibition and gallery space that can host a wide variety of experiences like food, fine art, and more. Inside, there will be a demonstration kitchen and mixology bar that gives chefs the space to showcase the “global experiment of food.”

©Disney

Disney has said, “CommuniCore Hall will also be the home of a dynamic exhibition space that will transform with each festival throughout the year, as you can see here in one possibility imagined for EPCOT International Festival of the Arts. Playing with light, shapes and reflections, the architecture of this building was designed by Walt Disney Imagineering to celebrate the legacy of EPCOT and the original CommuniCore buildings.”

©Disney

CommuniCore Hall will also be the home to the new EPCOT character meet and greet called Mickey and Friends.

©Disney

The 2024 Festival of the Arts is planned to be the first festival to utilize this new space.

World Discovery

Space 220

Opened September 20th, 2021

Space 220 is a space-themed restaurant in the Mission: SPACE pavilion. When you enter the restaurant, you “travel” to a space station that includes views of Earth from 220 miles up as you enjoy your meal.

Space 220

Space 220 opened on September 20th, 2021. Advance Dining Reservations can be made for this one-of-a-kind experience. Check out our first look at Space 220 here!

Space 220 Restaurant

Rating: N/A Recommended By: N/A
Menus: Children's Lunch/Dinner, Dinner, Lunch
Services: Table Service

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Opened May 27th, 2022

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opened in May 2022. The new attraction is a “storytelling coaster” that has seats that rotate 360 degrees to focus riders’ attention on the story. This new coaster also includes the first reverse launch for a Disney ride.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Learn more about Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind here!

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Innovative roller coaster featuring vehicles that turn to enhance storytelling

PLAY! Pavilion

Opening Unknown

The PLAY! Pavilion was expected to open in time for Disney World’s 50th anniversary on October 1st, 2021, but it has yet to open and a new opening date has yet to be announced. The pavilion is set to be a digital metropolis full of games and experiences that allow guests to interact with Disney characters — both virtually and in real life.

Play Pavilion Concept Art ©Disney

Learn more about the PLAY! pavilion here.

World Nature

Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

Opened October 16th, 2023

Journey of Water is an exploration trail where you will meet and play with magical, living water.

Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

The water will have a life of its own — just like Moana’s friend, the ocean — and you’ll learn about the importance of the natural water cycle.

Water Cycle

Note that you CAN get wet on this attraction, but you don’t have to. So if you don’t want to get wet, follow the Dry Path sign. Note: the dry path bypasses all the interactive elements, so you’ll miss most of the attraction if you take it.

Each interactive area has its own theme, including Rain, Stream, Wetland, Spring, Lake, River, Ocean, Sky, and Land.

Rain!

Watch for hidden characters in the rockwork as well!

Learn more about Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana, here.

World Showcase

DuckTales World Showcase Adventure

Opened December 16th, 2022

Use the Play Disney app on your phone to join the adventure. Turns out we’ve signed up for the “archeological expedition of the century” — recovering treasures from around the world. But things get complicated when a DuckTales nemesis tries to complicate our plans.

DuckTales — Woo-hoo!

Check out our first look at this new scavenger hunt here!

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

Opened October 1st, 2021

Disneyland Paris’ Ratatouille makes a trans-Atlantic trek to open its kitchen doors in the France pavilion in World Showcase! Shrink down to the size of a rat, and get ready for adventure as you race around the kitchen.

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at EPCOT

Check out our FIRST LOOK at Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure here!

La Creperie de Paris

Opened October 1st, 2021

A brand new creperie opened in 2021 near Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. La Creperie de Paris features a menu inspired by the Brittany region of France. The new location offers Table Service dining as well as a Quick Service stop for guests craving sweet or savory crepes.

La Creperie de Paris

Check out our FIRST LOOK at La Creperie de Paris here!

La Creperie de Paris Restaurant

Rating: 6.75 / 10 Recommended By: 75%
Menus: Lunch/Dinner, Children's Lunch/Dinner
Services: Table Service

Crepes A Emporter Restaurant

Rating: 9.33 / 10 Recommended By: 100%
Menus: All Day
Services: Take Out or Walk-up Window

Harmonious

Played between October 1st, 2021 and April 2nd, 2023

Harmonious began blasting off over World Showcase Lagoon on October 1, 2021! This show is Disney’s largest nighttime spectacular ever. The show includes Disney music reinterpreted by artists from around the world to illustrate how music inspires people everywhere.

Harmonious

There were floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers, and more. Harmonious has since ended. EPCOT Forever is temporarily showing in EPCOT while the park prepares to get a brand NEW nighttime spectacular in 2023.

Luminous, The Symphony of Us

Opened December 5th, 2023

Disney’s newest fireworks show, Luminous, The Symphony of Us, debuted on December 5th, 2023. The show features fireworks, water fountains, lasers, lighting effects, and classic Disney music. Hey, those are all our favorite things!

©Disney

This show is replacing the temporary placeholder show, EPCOT Forever, and after the long-running fireworks display (and fan-favorite), IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.

Luminous has amazing music!

Disney also shared more information about the show on the My Disney Experience website. The new description for the show reads:

“Delight in a dramatic show designed to bring us all together. Marvel at a dazzling pageant of fireworks, fountains, music and lights set to an original composition. New music, along with evocative selections from the Disney songbook, come together to remind us that we are more alike than we are different.”

Luminous fireworks

Wondrous China

Opening Unknown

The China pavilion is set to get a new Circle-Vision 360° film called Wondrous China. This will be a similar format to the Canada Far and Wide film, which is located in the Canada pavilion.

© Disney

Disney hasn’t given any updates about the opening timeline for this attraction.

Mary Poppins Attraction

Postponed Indefinitely

Disney previously announced that a new Mary Poppins attraction would be coming to the UK pavilion.

Mary Poppins Attraction Poster

Disney has put this new attraction “on pause,” but we’ll be sure to update you if anything changes.

Closures

Electric Umbrella ©Disney

Several EPCOT staples have been closed, will be closing, or will be relocated as part of the transformation. These include:

  • Innoventions: closed September 8th, 2019
  • Original Club Cool: closed September 8th, 2019
  • Fountain View Cafe: closed December 3rd, 2019
  • EPCOT Character Spot: Characters have been relocated around the park.
  • Mouse Gear: Closed September 15th, 2021
  • Electric Umbrella: closed February 16th, 2020
  • Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure: closed February 16th, 2020

What do you think of all of the changes to EPCOT? Let us know in the comments!

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