We were finally able to experience Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana at EPCOT during recent Cast Member previews this week. The new attraction takes over the spot that once held Innoventions West, which was knocked down years ago. We shared news about what we only knew to be a water maze back in April 2019 and it was confirmed later that year. Disney originally indicated the attraction would open in 2021, but that was quickly redacted. Now in August 2023, we’re finally nearing a grand opening. Though an exact timeframe for regular guests to visit Journey of Water has not been announced, it’s set for “late 2023,” and is definitely coming soon.
Now join us on this brand-new experience.
Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
The attraction is a self-guided tour and you can technically spend as much time inside as you want, although Cast Members are encouraged to move people along as necessary.
The new World Nature Cast Member costumes are environmentally friendly. They’re blue and the shirt sleeves can be rolled up to show off a wave pattern when Cast Members are working at Journey of Water. The sleeves are rolled down when they are working at The Seas with Nemo & Friends.
At the start of the attraction, guests are greeted with a rock structure covered in moss and vines, with the heart of Te Fiti symbol carved into the top.
Mist rises throughout the attraction, which is interactive to teach people about the water cycle.
In fact, the first sign in Journey of Water is about the water cycle:
Water Connects Us
All of the water in the world constantly circles the planet, from the sky to the seas and back again.
It brings life to each of us in turn. This global cycle of water connects us all.
This is the only water we will ever have! If we can conserve it, wherever we find it, everyone will have the water they need to live.
If you don’t want to get wet, don’t worry. There is a dry path you can take instead, and if you take the wet path, we promise, you will get wet. We were soaked by the end of our tour.
The cycle begins with rain. Each sign has basic information, as well as conversation-starters to help kids learn. The rain sign says:
Does water call to you? What parts of the water cycle can you enjoy in your community? Dance in the rain, visit the ocean, or tell your family about a local lake or stream.
A misty rain descends from the rock structures in this section of the walk-through.
There are signs reminding guests to not drink any of the water in the attraction, which is collected and recirculated.
Next, guests can touch “strings” of water to trigger musical sounds.
Lanterns hang throughout the attraction to keep it lit at night. There is some shade for hot summer days, though Journey of Water is not completely covered.
Next in the cycle is the stream.
Here, guests can stand on a water drop symbol and wave at the stream to trigger an effect.
There are hidden icons and characters on rocks throughout Journey of Water. Here, you may be able to spot Maui’s fish hook.
The wetland section is all about building community.
There are a few opportunities to enter the dry path if you change your mind after getting a taste of Journey of Water.
The water is everywhere, even on the ground.
As guests move under some decorative shades, they arrive at a spring.
Unfortunately, the “water is not feeling playful or responsive” in this area. As we visited during previews, malfunctioning or turned off effects are to be expected.
As we continued, we noticed a character in the rocks: Pua!
Moving from the spring, we learn about how the land is “shaped by water.”
Here, guests pass through cavernous structures.
If you move slowly, a waterfall might open for you — just don’t run.
In this rock wall, we found the sail of Moana’s boat.
There are restrooms off a path in the middle of the attraction.
Guests then approach a small lake with a large figure of Te Fiti leaning over it.
Te Fiti is the nature goddess made up of vines, leaves, and flowers.
A waterfall pours into the lake.
Te Fiti sits on moss-covered rocks also wrapped in vines and flowers, with small waterfalls in front of her.
There are signs with information about how to protect water resources.
After Te Fiti and the lake is the river.
Here, there are jumping fountains crossing over the thin river that runs next to the path.
We also found a baby Moana rock.
Along with Tamatoa.
There’s a shaded area with jumping water to walk through — in case you aren’t wet enough by now.
This area also has the Kakamora carvings.
Before the biggest interactive water features are reminders about various rules:
- No food or beverages in the interactive water feature or on interactive water feature wet deck. Commercially bottled water in plastic bottles is allowed on the interactive water feature wet deck for interactive water feature patron hydration.
- No glass in the interactive water feature or 50 feet from unfenced interactive water feature.
- Bathing load: 151 persons
- Children under the age of 12 must have adult supervision
- Do not swallow the fountain water, it is recirculated
- Do not use fountain if you are ill with diarrhea
- For safety, diaper age children must wear swim diapers
Arrows indicate where the restrooms are and that service animals must remain on the dry path.
Now, it’s time to enter the ocean.
Here, guests need to jump on the water drop symbols to “send water back to the sky” to complete the water cycle.
More jumping fountains send water into the air.
And as we circle back to the front of the attraction, water fills the air again.
Cast Members weren’t sure how the experience will operate when it does have its grand opening. Most new attractions these days utilize virtual queue and Lightning Lane with Genie+, but no standby line. It’s possible Journey of Water will be the same, but seeing as it is a very different kind of attraction than something like Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, there could be a different system.
We had fun during our Journey of Water! Are you excited to visit the new EPCOT attraction soon? Let us know in the comments.