PHOTO REPORT: Epcot 2/23/18 (Wonders of Life, Flower and Garden, New Norway Merchandise, New Sake Bar, ETC.)

This post may contain affiliate links; please read the disclosure for more information.

Our latest photo report brings us to Epcot as the International Festival of the Arts comes to an end and the park prepares for the Flower and Garden Festival next week.

Figment Welcomes You

You’re Beary Welcome

The Disney Vacation Club kiosk by Canada has added these carved bear statues. The idea is it will draw guests in for a photo and then it may start a conversation with a cast member at the DVC kiosk.

Whoever decided that the trash collection bins should be decorated deserves a raise. Too often this is an unsightly but necessary item in the parks.

Even More in Store

For weeks, we have been covering this new “Discover the Magic”/”Passport”/”4 Parks” collection at Walt Disney World, and it only continues to grow. We seem to find more items every time we visit.

Some ceramic plates, $14.99 each.

The art from the “Discover the Magic” collection has made it to Alex and Ani bracelets, $39.95 each.

MouseGear is getting rearranged a bit at the moment. Hats have moved to the back wall.

A new, limited edition Black Panther MagicBand for sale.

The Figment Funko Pop Vinyls have made a miraculous return.

The “Passport” collection now has its own section at the very front of the store, where the hats were located for years.

The new comic strip collection can be found up here as well.

The American Adventures Continue

The American Adventure returned from refurbishment a few days ago. Among the changes, the entire show’s film portion finally went digital, offering crystal clear, HD projections for the first time ever. Smaller visual upgrades were also made, such as these illuminated backdrops for the Declaration of Independence and Two Brothers audio-animatronic sequences.

The biggest changes come at the end, where the Golden Dream montage has been reworked quite a bit. The classic song has been rearranged and rerecorded, with the montage removing many background sound effects that would play, such as the noises of the equipment during the moon landing sequence. Added to the montage are many more contemporary celebrities and luminaries: Michael Phelps, Michelle and Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Jimmy Carter, Lebron James, Serena and Venus Williams, Beyoncé, Elon Musk, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Mark Zuckerberg, various United States Olympics Teams, and more. More controversial figures such as Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong have been removed, as well as the kids with sparklers (who did nothing wrong and are not controversial, to my knowledge).

The new score carries through the montage into the ultimate end of the show. I think I prefer the song as it was before, but there certainly isn’t anything wrong with this new version. It’s somewhat less gospel-sounding and that does make the end feel a little less grand perhaps. I’ll give the show a few more tries before I pass any judgment. Either way, check out the entire new montage and rearranged Golden Dream portion of the show below:

Already in Bloom

Many of the topiaries for the International Flower and Garden Festival are already installed. The event begins February 28th, and of course we’ll have plenty of coverage.

None of the Peter Pan characters are on rooftops this year.

This and That

A new ladies shirt in Germany featuring Snow White.

Does anyone need a Swarovski Crystal Stormtrooper Helmet? It’s only $8900…

There’s Norway

A ton of new merchandise was released at the Norway pavilion, and it’s not even Frozen related.

No More Art

The final weekend of the Festival of the Arts featured art created by cast members using recycled materials.

The Skyliner poster never returned.

Some chalk art.

The guest-painted murals adorned the Universe of Energy construction walls.

Even though it won’t be the Festival Center, the roof repair on the Wonders of Life pavilion continues.

That dark section to the left isn’t a shadow, it is a portion of the roof that has been repaired and cleaned.

Some final bites of the Art Festival.

Now I know how they made the logo…

I have to have the poutine from Refreshment Port every time I visit now…

It’s the Signage of Life

Signage for The Cirlcle of Life remains up following its closure.

At least they turned off the sign.

Mouse-Cellaneous

The totem poles in Canada now have signage describing them.

For a better look at Disney Skyliner construction in International Gateway and France, check out our recent post.

The temporary room in the back of Mitsukoshi is now closed to begin work on the new signature seafood and steakhouse restaurant.

The remodel of the store is now complete with the registers moved to the other side of the back room and the Sake Bar given its own space.

Here is where the registers used to be.

I don’t know about you, but there are times when planning a Disney vacation can be overwhelming! There are so many options, where to stay, when to go, is this the best price. So, I want to introduce you all to Cindy Minor and the team at Small World Big Fun. They will help you plan your Disney vacation for FREE. Contact them today!

Get a FREE Disney Vacation Planning Video

About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

4 Comments

Click here to post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Uggh…except for Michael Phelps, all of the new characters in the AA montage are pretty much anti-American letdowns. I guess Disney refuses to be foiled in their virtue signaling endeavors.

    • Keith, really? Let’s look at the list…

      Michael Phelps – American Olympic athlete
      Michelle and Barack Obama – former President and First Lady of the United States
      Bill Gates – Extremely successful American businessman and huge philanthropist
      Jimmy Carter – former President and First Lady of the United States
      Lebron James – if you like the NBA, better I guess, but also an Olympic athlete
      Serena and Venus Williams – also both Olympic athletes
      Beyoncé – doesn’t quite fit with everyone else
      Elon Musk – man currently responsible for getting the United States back into space
      Neil Degrasse Tyson – brilliant American astrophysicist and educator
      Mark Zuckerberg – successful businessman, that’s about all

      Your worldview must be pretty dark and lonely to think of this list as “anti-American letdowns”. The fact you’d list any U.S. Presidents as “anti-American” is probably sign enough we shouldn’t take your comments that seriously though.

Latest Videos