ANAHEIM, Calif. – Disney's D23 Expo did not disappoint theme park fans around the world. Over the week Disney announced some major renovations and new attractions coming to the "Happiest Place on Earth."
When Disney Parks Chairman Bob Chapek took the stage, he gave us a more detailed look at the renovations that are planned for the park. This is what he had to say.
(All quotes in this article are from Bob Chapek during the D23 Expo Sunday.)
Epcot is getting a makeover
If you have visited the park recently, then you know there is a lot going on. For starters, Future World is being split up into three new "neighborhoods." The park will now consist of World Showcase, as well as World Celebration, World Nature and World Discovery.
"Epcot will be unified with four neighborhoods that each speak to important aspects of the world and its people: World Showcase, World Celebration, World Nature and World Discovery. These neighborhoods will be filled with new experiences rooted in authenticity and innovation that take you to new destinations, where the real is made fantastic in a celebration of curiosity, hands-on wonder and the magic of possibility."
What can you find in each area? Read on to find out.
World Discovery will be an area where science, technology and intergalactic adventure come to life. This area will be home to the new "Guardians of the Galaxy" roller coaster, titled: "Guardians of the Galaxy": Cosmic Rewind.
"Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewindwill be the first 'other-world' showcase pavilion at Epcot. The adventure starts in the 'Galaxarium,' a planetarium-like exhibition that explores the similarities and mysteries of the formation of Earth’s galaxy and Xandar. You will be invited to learn more about the treasures Xandar has to share – until the moment when the Guardians of the Galaxy arrive, and adventures across the cosmos ensue. The attraction will feature a new innovation from Walt Disney Imagineering – a storytelling coaster that rotates 360 degrees to focus your attention on the action, including the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster."
This area will also be home to a new space-themed restaurant titled Space 220. Want more info on this space eatery? Click or tap here.
If you have been to the park recently, then you probably noticed that the entrance to Epcot is missing some very large monuments. The Leave a Legacy photos were removed in May to make way for the Epcot renovation. This area will now receive a fresh updated look that is sure to bring a smile to anyone's face.
This new area will connect guests with one another, as well as with the world around them.
"The iconic Spaceship Earth will remain a voyage through time as the journey transforms to reflect the power of storytelling to unite the human experience. New narration and an entirely new musical score will focus on the moments and ideas that define our story. You will follow a magical 'story light' that brings the entire experience to life in dynamic ways, giving each scene energy and beauty that ties the entire journey together."
This new area will surely be the most beautiful spot in the park and will offer guests ample amounts of shade during the hot summer months.
The World Nature neighborhood will be dedicated to understanding and preserving the beauty, awe and balance of the natural world. This area will still be home to attractions like Soarin' but will also introduce new attractions like Journey of Water. The Journey of Water will be the first attraction based on the movie “Moana.”
Want to learn more about this new attraction? Click or tap here. Another new arrival will come in the form of a new movie set to premiere inside the Land pavilion.
"The Land pavilion’s new film, 'Awesome Planet,' which showcases the beauty, diversity and dynamic story of the planet, will debut in January 2020."
The last film to be shown inside the Harvest Theater was "The Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable." The attraction permanently closed on Feb. 3, 2018.
The World Showcase is getting a lot of attention during the overhaul mostly in the form of new attractions. You won't hear us complaining. The United Kingdom pavilion will soon host a practically perfect attraction. Of course, it's "Mary Poppins."
"The United Kingdom pavilion will welcome the first attraction inspired by Mary Poppins. You will step in time down Cherry Tree Lane past Admiral Boom’s house, then enter Number 17, home of the Banks family, where your adventure will begin."
Another attraction which was previously announced is Remy’s "Ratatouille" Adventure in the France pavilion. In addition to the new trackless ride, this area will also receive a new "Beauty and the Beast" singalong adventure.
For those who enjoy the circle vision films in both the Canada and China pavilions, you may want to sit down for this. The Canada and China pavilions will both be getting a new films: "Canada Far and Wide" and "Wondrous China."
There is, however, some sad news to report -- Illuminations: Reflections of Earth will end its run later this year. Enough of the sad news. World Showcase lagoon will now host not one, but two brand-new nighttime shows, with the limited Epcot Forever paving the way for HarmonioUS.
"In 2020, following the limited-time run of 'Epcot Forever,' the new 'HarmonioUS' will debut as the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney park. It will celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people the world over, carrying you away harmoniously on a stream of familiar Disney tunes reinterpreted by a diverse group of artists from around the globe. 'HarmonioUS' will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers and more."
Forget the Epcot you know or remember because this park is about to become an entirely new theme park, and we can hardly wait.