PHOTO REPORT: Epcot 1/4/19 (New Year’s Eve, Odyssey Remodel and More!)

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New Year’s Eve at Epcot is a sight to behold. I had other plans for that evening, though, so I decided to check it out during the day instead! Let’s see what they have set up for this year.

The were expecting the biggest possible crowd, so the first people who arrived at the parking lot got “VIP” grass parking.

If you stay for the “ball drop”, you have to walk back to your car.

Construction continues at the entrance near the Monorail and bus loop. I’m curious to see what changes are made.

It’s…pretty busy today. Spaceship Earth is one of the highest capacity rides on property, and it was really pulling its weight today. When it eventually closes for refurbishment, it will make days like today all the harder.

A pleasant surprise today: The Odyssey has reopened after its long remodel! It has been closed for the better part of 2018 to be re-arranged into a multi purpose venue.

From the outside it looks about the same, but once you step indoors…

It’s quite different! You can see our whole report on the remodel right here.

Around World Showcase

Christmas is over, and the tree is gone until next year.

With the International Festival of the Holidays officially over, all the seasonal shows throughout World Showcase are no more.

Stroller parking in Norway (which had been the season show stage for Festival of the Holidays) has been transformed for one day only into… a food stand!

The queue for Frozen Ever After was long, but not as long as it could be. The cast members seemed to be expecting more people, and they had the line set up just in case.

Work continues in the lagoon for the new fireworks show premiering in 2019.

Meanwhile the pyrotechnic crew is busy setting up for Epcot’s biggest show of the year to ring in 2019.

The China pavilion has one of a few big stages added to World Showcase just for New Year’s Eve. This one specifically is great because, well, there’s a dragon.

The “Holiday” Market that popped up in Africa for the festival is now selling 2019 paraphernalia.

The merchandise has been available on property for close to six weeks, but now is the first time it really makes sense to buy some.

Stage number two! This one is in Italy. No dragon, unfortunately.

The America Gardens Theater had a DJ starting in the early afternoon. He usually draws in a pretty good crowd.

The stage was set just for today. No sign of the Candlelight Processional which was there just last week.

Note: you can’t see fireworks from inside of a theater.

Work is progressing slowly on the new restaurant in Japan. Mostly just dirt moving and utility laying so far.

Unfortunately it looks like the bonsai tree from the Agent P scavenger hunt has been removed. Hopefully it returns at a later date.

Crowd control is one of the major priorities on New Year’s Eve. It doesn’t look bad now, but it definitely will be once night falls.

The entire length of World Showcase was taped off with lanes showing which way to walk. It was actually working amazingly well. It wouldn’t hurt to install these permanently.

Mary Poppins seemed quite popular today. Maybe all these people just saw her new movie.

Busy days call for extra restrooms.

With no festival shows currently, they took all the seating out from the Canada stage. I guess they need every square inch of pavement they can get.

It was kind of warm this afternoon. This, plus the crowds, led to the absolute busiest I have ever seen O Canada.

A full show! Unfortunately about a fourth of these people left before the movie was finished. Maybe Disney is right to want to replace it.

Around Future World

One of the main stages for tonight’s festivities. The countdown clock will be projected behind on Spaceship Earth.

Or you can enjoy the “Silent Groove” and listen to a DJ with headphones.

Over near The Seas, another pop-up food stand.

Walls are still up in the Imageworks, but there seems to be no sign of actual construction.

And last but not least, over near The Wonders of Life, they’re setting up to give things away instead of letting them be stolen. New Year’s Eve hat and horn distribution will be here later in the evening.

Happy New Year! I’m gonna go somewhere quiet to celebrate…

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Henry Taylor

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