PHOTO REPORT: Epcot 2/7/19 (Japan Restaurant Goes Vertical, Space Restaurant and Other Future World Construction, Festival of the Arts, ETC.)

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We’re about halfway through the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, and between that and the myriad of construction projects going on, there’s always something cooking at Epcot. Let’s see what’s new.

Future World Construction

The new space restaurant in between Mission Space and Test Track is coming together very quickly. It seems like just the other day there was nothing but trees there.

The best view of construction (if you don’t have access to a helicopter) is while riding Test Track. Although, at 65 miles per hour, you have to look quickly.

Speaking of Test Track––if you’ve ever wondered how they keep those cars in the post-show looking so fresh, here’s a Cast Member hard at work accomplishing that goal.

Not much seems to have changed over at the Energy Pavilion for Guardians of the Galaxy, at least not that guests can see.

Now that the show building is almost fully enclosed, anything could be going on in there. It’s hard to tell how track construction is going when you can’t see the track.

Over in ImageWorks in the Imagination! Pavilion, work continues on new permanent meet and greet space for Wreck-it Ralph and Vanellope.

A frame of sorts has been erected behind the construction walls. I’m not sure if this will be where they meet, or if this is just the doorway to the meet and greet. There is a large room in the space behind, currently only used for backstage operations.

Either way, I look forward to seeing what the final product looks like. Honestly, at this point, anything in this space is better than what we have.

The sign out front is back, too. It had been taken down briefly for refurbishment. It had mold growing on the inside of the plexiglass.

I popped into Innoventions East for the first time in a while just to check it out.

I was surprised to find out that SpectacuLAB had closed on January 12, and apparently no one noticed. It was there for just over a year.

All the signs were gone and the video screens turned off.

Show times? What show? Move along.

Festival of the Arts Updates

The sidewalk chalk art gallery is one of my favorite parts of the festival. Almost every day there’s new artwork on the ground, even as the old artwork fades.

Check it out if you haven’t yet, it’s on the main drag in between Future World and World Showcase. (Just south of the Fountain of Nations).

If you’re there at the right time you can even see one of the artists at work. This woman said she will have done 14 drawings by the end of the festival.

Over at The Art of Disney near the park entrance, they have these fun Festival of the Arts branded drawings.

You can get them in various framing options or just matted, if you desire.

Festival of the Arts also brings a plethora of original works by Disney artists to the Art of Disney shop. You can find many more options this time of year, if you have the coin to afford it.

A couple weeks ago I wrote about the fun character art hidden all around World Showcase. I found another one! This time in The United Kingdom pavilion, back by the hedge maze.

World Showcase Construction and other Updates

Construction in France for the upcoming Ratatouille attraction has progressed closer to current guest areas. The majority of the new area will be behind the current pavilion, but a pathway to connect the two areas has to be built. Dirt was being actively moved in the space just behind the perfume shop.

It also appears more walls are being built along the waterway. I guess they don’t want you to see the International Gateway while you’re on your way to the new attraction.

Work continues in World Showcase Lagoon on infrastructure updates for the show that will replace Illuminations.

I thought this was interesting: they had a small area completely dammed in the center of the lagoon. Concrete laying, maybe?

They’ve planted some new trees to “hide” the construction.

Over in Japan, work continues on the new restaurant to the right of the current pavilion. From ground level, it doesn’t look like much.

From up above, however, is a different story. Good progress has been made since my last visit.

Concrete has been laid and new walls are going up!

The Mitsukoshi Department Store at Epcot is famous for it’s “weird” Japanese snacks. But nothing is weirder than…

… something you can find at your local Publix.

In America, I ran into what they call “Characterpalooza”, which is essentially training day for the characters. You never know who you’ll run in to on a Characterpalooza day.

Inside the American Adventure gift shop, Jim Shore seems to have taken over this display that used to house the photos of previous and current US Presidents.

They’ve been relegated to this bin in the corner.

Next door in Italy, the pizza window was closed.

Seemed like an odd choice on a busy afternoon.

I also found this adorable little Pinocchio plush. You can read more about it here.

When you change your product, but forget to change the fixture on which its displayed.

Don’t forget the Lunar New Year! It’s now officially the Year of the Pig.

Happy New Year!

That’s everything of note for today. Catch you next time!

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