Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Disney announces new “play pavilion” and park entrance design for Epcot

Today, Disney announced several new enhancements for Epcot, including a new play pavilion, a reimagined main entrance and an Experience Center showcasing the park’s future. These are the latest additions to a robust lineup of new projects already announced for the park.

“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.”

The new pavilion in development will include first-of-their-kind experiences devoted to playful fun, inviting guests into an innovative, interactive city bursting with games and hands-on activities. Friends and family will interact with favorite Disney characters in an energetic metropolis unlike anything ever seen before at Epcot. The as-yet-unnamed space will come to life under the vast dome of the pavilion previously known as Wonders of Life (more recently the Festival Center) and will debut to guests in time for the Walt Disney World Resort 50th anniversary.

“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.”

Two more exciting new projects were also revealed today:

Changes are coming to the Epcot main entrance, where the plaza will welcome guests with new pathways, sweeping green spaces and a newly reimagined fountain. This new design will pay homage to the original park entrance with fresh takes on classic elements. As part of this new entry experience, Leave A Legacy photos will move into a new 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.

Guests will also be able to visualize upcoming plans for Epcot when doors open later this year on a new Experience Center in the Odyssey Events Pavilion. They will discover engaging and interactive exhibits that showcase the innovation, energy and excitement driving the future of the park all throughout this unprecedented period of transformation.

“Epcot is beloved for its focus on imagination, innovation, fun, food and family,” said Kalogridis. “It’s a timeless place where the real is made fantastic through the magic of Disney. It has a very bright future ahead and the best part is that we’ve only just begun to dream.”

These new announcements join other projects already underway as part of the Epcot evolution. Larger-than-life Super Heroes will descend upon the park with the opening of a Guardians of the Galaxy-themed attraction. This new experience will be one of the longest enclosed roller coasters in the world and feature a brand-new ride system when it also opens in time for the Walt Disney World Resort 50th anniversary.

Other new developments underway at Epcot include:

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure attraction in the France pavilion, patterned after the number-one family attraction at Disneyland Paris

“Beauty and the Beast” sing-along in the France pavilion, showing in addition to the pavilion’s current film, Impressions de France

Circle-Vision 360 film for the China pavilion and updated O Canada! 360-degree show

Signature Dining experience inspired by the natural beauty of Japan

Space-themed table-service restaurant 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

Joe Kleimanhttp://www.themedreality.com
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe has been News Editor and contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, and MiceChat. His blog, ThemedReality.com takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @themedreality Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his fiancé, two dogs, and a ghost.

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