The final elements of a multi-year expansion and renovation of EPCOT are making swift progress, as both CommuniCore Hall in World Celebration and Journey of Water Inspired by Moana in World Nature become more discernible.
CommuniCore Hall and World Celebration Updates
Previously, yellow sheathing was seen added to the exterior of the complex, and now almost completely ensconces the entire perimeter.
This area behind Spaceship Earth (previously utilized for CommuniCore and Innoventions) is the last large park space still closed off, and it is also intended to be the primary themed walking grounds for World Celebration. Workers can be seen traversing the scaffolding and finalizing the foundational elements of the structure.
When World Celebration is complete, it will serve as primary hub for the entire park, with new nighttime lights, exhibition spaces, music venues and room for food kiosks intended to expand festival opportunities at EPCOT and promote an ethos of community. This will all be split between CommuniCore Hall, a flexible indoor space, and CommuniCore Plaza — an outdoor event space. A new Mickey & Friends character meet-and-greet is also set to debut.
This corner of the building is the last to show the metal framework underneath.
Wall insulation is also being installed; this entire face is fully covered.
The official Disney Parks Blog offers an overview of this entire area’s atmosphere once finished:
World Celebration will offer a beautiful hub divided into several different gardens, with a central planter based on the five-ring EPCOT logo. Filled with ample seating and shade, you’ll be invited to connect with one another and the nature around you in this lush new area. Each of these gardens will have their own identities, and they’ll change along with the festivals throughout the year.
A new statue will also be installed in an area known as Dreamers Point, with Walt Disney resting upon some steps and gazing upon the final idea he conceived and began developing before his passing.
Moana Journeys to EPCOT
Not so far away from this site, Journey of Water Inspired by Moana is making strong headway. Major milestones have continued to pour in during recent months, as Disney posted a TikTok video sharing detailed glimpses of the attraction’s running water features for the first time up close.
The water features will be controlled from a station covered by two metal awnings surrounded by green fencing. Right now, the station is completely visible, but with more trees and foliage, it will probably be mostly hidden from guest view — at least, on the ground. It may still be visible from the Monorail.
“Along with Moana as a steward of water conservation, Te Fiti is a symbol of how we should protect and nurture water wherever we find it,” Reid Ekman, Lead Concept Designer at Walt Disney Imagineering, wrote on Disney Parks Blog.
This is an important theme in Journey of Water, where guests will learn more about how water travels from our skies to the ocean, and back again. This story will unfold along a lush trail inspired by the environments and art style of the beloved Walt Disney Animation Studios film.
This walk-through attraction is aiming for an autumn grand opening this year.
Current EPCOT Projects Almost Wrapped
Across EPCOT, a major overhaul and expansion has been ongoing for several years now, roughly coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World and 40th anniversary of EPCOT itself. This has included a plethora of new experiences, including Connections Café & Eatery, Creations Shop, Club Cool Hosted by Coca-Cola, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Space 220 Restaurant, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, La Crêperie de Paris, Regal Eagle Smokehouse, “Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along,” and “Awesome Planet.”
The new nighttime spectacular “Harmonious” was also a major component of this multi-year project, but is currently being dismantled after lukewarm reception. Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana is the last major attraction yet to be opened to the public.
Amid continuing speculation and various delayed or cancelled projects, CEO Bob Iger has confirmed that, for the time being, these projects at the front of the park are the final elements of the EPCOT expansion. Any other proposed ideas, from a Mary Poppins attraction to the Play! Pavilion, are now evidently set aside or scrapped entirely.
Which recent EPCOT addition have you been most excited about? Let us know in the comments.