Imagineers share inside look at details of upcoming ‘Moana’ attraction at EPCOT

Journey of Water, inspired by ‘Moana,’ takes shape

Moana's spiral, displayed at the upcoming Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana attraction at EPCOT. (Walt Disney Imagineering)

BAY LAKE, Fla. – Where Innoventions West once stood at EPCOT, there now resides a construction site. Though park guests may still miss the departed showroom, or at least its air-conditioned interior in this summer heat, Walt Disney Imagineering seems optimistic that it can get you excited about the outdoors attraction currently being built there: Journey of Water, inspired by the film “Moana.”

Imagineers on Thursday shared news of the attraction’s continued development on the Disney Parks Blog. According to Imagineering Lead Concept Designer Reid Ekman, both his team and a crew of artisans are officially in mock-up mode and have begun sculpting the rockwork for Journey of Water, what’s planned to be an “immersive exploration trail” meant to teach guests about the water cycle.

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Fans will recognize familiar shapes and characters incorporated all over the walk-through attraction, Ekman said. At the moment, much of that sculpting work is still in its early stages.

“As part of our design process, Imagineers create models, mock-ups, and maquettes to bring our beloved characters and stories into the parks in sometimes unexpected ways,” Ekman said. “...Once the pose of the character is defined, sculptors add detail and texture until the emotional expression of the carving is just right. We then do a paint study and often create full-scale samples to test final materials and carving techniques.”

A behind-the-scenes look for World Princess Week of Principal Dimensional Designer, Jim Towler, sculpting the foam maquette of Moana for Journey of Water. (Walt Disney Imagineering)

The picture at the top of this story serves as a sample of the look Imagineers are going for with regard to the attraction’s scenery, a mountain-like form thoughtfully decorated with foliage, a realistically-rocky paint job and a movie reference, Moana’s spiral.

Compare that to the pre-paint picture below, and you’ll get an idea of how much artistic talent goes into turning foam, concrete and fiberglass into a new Disney attraction.

Natasha, an Imagineer, tends to the rockwork at Journey of Water. (Walt Disney Imagineering)

More updates on Journey of Water will be issued in the coming weeks and months, Ekman said.

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About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.