PHOTO REPORT: EPCOT 7/22/20 (RIP Jose Carioca, Project Tomorrow Gone Dark, and a Socially-Distanced Winnie the Pooh)

Walt Disney said, “EPCOT will always be in a state of becoming.”, and we can certainly agree with that after today’s shake-up with entering the park this morning. While in the scheme of things, only minor alterations were made to the routine of entering the parking lot and the park, we are creatures of habit, and were surprised to see the pattern deviate today.

Up until now, at exactly 60 minutes prior to opening time, cars were allowed to line up at the parking booths to wait to enter the parking lot of a park. Today at EPCOT, we were pushed through to the exit as late as 10:15am, and were told to return at 10:30am to enter the parking lot.

Once we were allowed to line up at the parking booths, we were only held a few minutes before being allowed to park, but that wasn’t the end of our story. Once out of the parking lot and past the temperature check and security check stations, we were held again along with guests who had come from on-property locations before being allowed to enter the park. This was the first time we had witnessed guests being held at the gate of a park before opening since the reopening of Walt Disney World. While it was only for a few minutes, several small lines did form at several tapsiles to enter the park.

Once inside, we headed straight for the Gran Fiesta Tour in Mexico to check on our friend Jose Carioca, one of the animatronics featured at the end of the ride. Yesterday was a rough day for him, and we wanted to check in and see how he was doing after all that “excitement.”

We found him completely removed from his spot, and a bunch of flowers laid in his place. After speaking with a Cast Member working the attraction, she said he was “taking a siesta” and would be returning, so don’t worry. For more pictures and a video, see our article here.

At the EPCOT Experience, the model of the Cherry Tree Lane project remains, although we don’t hold much hope for the project. We suspect the 3D mapping of the rest of the show is what keeps this little model in place, but we enjoy looking at it.

Demolition was actively underway in the former Mouse Gear building. This worker was seen taking a sledge hammer to the ceiling, as well as welding something.

There’s a new “The Child” doll in town, and this one talks! Simply squeeze his body and this little Baby Yoda will make baby cooing sounds. For more information and pictures, see our article here.

Around midday, the Land Pavilion closed due to technical difficulties, and all guests were escorted out of the building. Guests were allowed to remain close to the building and take shelter from the rain under its awning.

The Islands of the Caribbean booth, part of the Taste of Food & Wine Festival, was closed last time we were here, but was open today. We were glad to be able to sample some of its offerings.

The line for the ever-popular Frozen Ever After stretched around the corner again today, this time only claiming to be a 25-minute wait time.

While at the World Showcase, we came across royalty with the new Princess Promenade Character Cavalcade. For more photos and video of this beautiful procession, click here.

Winnie the Pooh was spotted searching for honey and blowing kisses to guests despite the sprinkling rain. He melted our hearts with his antics. Silly old bear! For more pictures and video, see our article here.

Project Tomorrow, while originally partially powered on when the park reopened, is now fully turned off in an effort to reduce touch points for guests and Cast Members.

There’s even more merchandise in the Canada line, including this double walled Tervis wine glass, featuring the new Canada art. We are loving the new look!

Over in the United Kingdom, the very popular British rose ears have been restocked. These ears debuted just before the parks closed in March, and will surely be even more popular now that the parks have reopened.

We had a great day at EPCOT, and hope that you enjoyed coming along with us. Have a magical day!

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