LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The Epcot park at Walt Disney World is now split into four new neighborhoods.
In August 2019, Disney announced that Epcot would undergo the "biggest transformation of any Disney park in history" over several years, bringing in new attractions, restaurants, and experiences. With these changes, Epcot will be unified by four neighborhoods: World Showcase, World Nature, World Discovery, and World Celebration.
As part of its historic transformation, EPCOT at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., will be unified with four neighborhoods that each speak to important aspects of the world and its people: World Showcase, World Celebration, World Na
Disney has since confirmed that those four new neighborhoods took effect on October 1st, the first day of Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration, dubbed ‘The World’s Most Magical Celebration.’
"These neighborhoods are filled with new experiences rooted in authenticity and innovation that take guests to new destinations, where the real is made fantastic in a celebration of curiosity, discovery and the magic of possibility," they said.
Disney has also outlined some of the new experiences coming to each neighborhood.
Disney said that World Showcase will "continue to be a celebration of culture, cuisine, architecture, and traditions -- infused with new magic." The existing country pavilions will be located in this world.
At the center of this neighborhood is the ‘World Showcase Lagoon,’ where one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney park will debut on October 1st. Called ‘Harmonious,’ the show is said to celebrate the way Disney music inspires people all over the world.
It features Disney tunes reinterpreted by a group of 240 artists from around the world, massive set pieces, custom-build LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, and lasers, Disney said.
"Harmonious" will debut Oct. 1, 2021, at EPCOT at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. As one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney park, the show will celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people the worl
’Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure’ officially opened on October 1st inside World Showcase, specifically in the expanded France pavilion.
The new attraction is based on Disney and Pixar’s Academy Award-winning animation, ‘Ratatouille.’ Riders are transported to Paris that feels straight out of the film. Those onboard reportedly "shrink" down to the size of Chef Remy as they race through Gusteau’s restaurant on an adventure.
FOX 35 got a ‘squeak peek’ at the attraction in early September.
Also now open inside the France pavilion is ‘La Crêperie de Paris,’ a new restaurant that will offer table-and quick-service options, Disney said. The menu includes sweet crepes, buckwheat galettes, and French hard cider.
Then, there is also the ‘Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along’ inside the France pavilion. Disney said that the show is directed by Don Hahn, the producer of both the animated and live-action versions of this tale.
Finally, Disney said that there will be a new fast-casual restaurant at the American Adventure pavilion. ‘Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue’ will serve classic barbecue dishes and home-style craft brews.
‘World Celebration’ will "offer new experiences that connect us to one another and the world around us," Disney said. This neighborhood greets guests with open pathways and green spaces as they enter Epcot. It bridges the gap between the past, present, and future of the park with a new fountain and three pylons at the base of the ‘Spaceship Earth' attraction. There will also be new lighting, music, and flags around the fountain, representing the six original Epcot icons.
(Disney Parks Blog)
Starting October 1st, ‘Spaceship Earth’ will transform at night into a ‘Beacon of Magic’ with new lights shining across the geodesic sphere’s reflective panels. The lights connect together in what Disney says is a "symbol of optimism resembling stars in a nighttime sky."
(Disney Parks Blog)
Epcot's new flagship merchandise destination, ‘Creations Shop’ is said to have opened inside World Celebration earlier this month. The store celebrates the park’s past and the exciting future by using one-of-a-kind art installations, meaningful souvenirs, and a contemporary architectural design.
Creations Shop at Epcot (Photo from Walt Disney World)
For example, Mickey Mouse, who has served as a symbol of creativity at Disney for decades, can reportedly be seen in a number of homages throughout the space, like in murals or as a sculpture.
Creations Shop at Epcot (Photo from Walt Disney World)
The merchandise sold at Creations Shop includes unique items sold only at Epcot. For instance, Disney said that the ‘Epcot Light & Color Collection’ is exclusive to this store specifically. It showcases futuristic designs inspired by the park’s historic transformation.
EPCOT Light & Color Collection (Photo from Walt Disney World)
There is also ‘Club Cool Hosted by Coca-Cola’ inside World Celebration. Visitors reportedly get to taste drinks from around the world.
Disney said guests in World Celebration will also get a chance to take in a new, breathtaking view at ‘Dreamers Point.’ The spot overlooks the World Showcase and features natural environments, global design elements, and a new statue honoring Walt Disney.
Finally, around Dreamers Point, there are said to be several new merchandise and dining locations. There will also be a reimagined festival area that will allow for future events.
Disney said that ‘World Nature’ is dedicated to "understanding and preserving the beauty, awe and balance of the natural world." This neighborhood will include ‘The Land’ and ‘The Seas with Nemo & Friends’ pavilions. The ‘Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana’ area will come later.
Inside ‘The Land’ pavilion will be the ‘Awesome Planet’ film, which Disney said showcases Earth’s beauty, diversity, and dynamic story. It lasts ten minutes and features both in-theater effects and an original musical score from Academy Award-winning composer Steven Price.
Then, the ‘Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana’ experience is said to be an exploration trail where guests can meet and play with "magical, living water." It is the first Disney Parks experience based on the hit Disney animation.
Journey of Water, Inspired by "Moana" at Epcot will be the first attraction inspired by the hit Walt Disney Animation Studios film. (Photo by Disney Parks Blog)
"Just like Moana’s friend the ocean, water will have a personality of its own, helping guests learn how to protect the natural water cycle in a fun and engaging way," Disney said.
Finally, the last of the four new neighborhoods is ‘World Discovery.’ Disney said that it will bring stories about science, technology, and intergalactic adventure to life. It will include the existing ‘Mission: Space’ pavilion and the first ‘other-world’ showcase pavilion at Epcot.
Earlier this month, the ‘Mission: Space’ pavilion expanded as the ‘Space 220’ restaurant opened. It features a panoramic view of Earth from space and prix fixe menus that take fine dining to a whole new level.
Space 220 restaurant outside (Photo from FOX 35's David Martin)
"Your immersive experience begins as you check in to the Space 220 Departure Lounge in Future World," Disney explained. "From here, you’ll board one of ‘Space Elevators’ that will transport you in what seems like 220 miles above Earth to Centauri Space Station. As you begin your ascent, you’ll look down through a viewport to see Epcot shrink away; looking up you’ll see the Space Station come into view."
Once in space, guests can purchase meals and drinks while taking in the extraordinary views.
Space 220 restaurant inside (Photo from FOX 35's David Martin)
Also coming to World Discovery in 2022 is ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.’ Disney described the attraction as a "family-friendly ‘storytelling coaster’ that will feature a groundbreaking ride system with vehicles that rotate 360 degrees and can even do a reverse launch."
Photo by DisneyParks Blog
They explained that riders will begin their adventure in the ‘Galaxarium,’ a planetarium-like exhibition that explores Earth’s galaxy and Xandar, a planet from Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ films. From there, riders will go on to learn about the treasures found on the planet but are interrupted when the Guardians of the Galaxy arrive.
Disney previously shared a video of the ride vehicle for the coaster, stating that "each individual cab in the attraction’s OmniCoaster ride system will direct your eyes to the story happening around you. Instead of whizzing by the action, the system will fully immerse you in the attraction’s story from the minute you take off."
Epcot guests can visualize the upcoming transformations at the ‘Walt Disney Imagineering presents the EPCOT Experience’ in the Odyssey Events pavilion.
For more of what you need to know about the upcoming anniversary festivities, check out ‘What to expect during Disney World's 50th anniversary celebration’ by FOX 35.
In addition, watch FOX 35 Orlando for a look back the last 50 years at Walt Disney World, what’s to come during The World’s Most Magical Celebration, and the future of the Florida theme park resort.