A wall along the eastern edge of the under-construction World Celebration neighborhood at EPCOT has been moved back, offering us a glimpse at the area as it approaches its previously announced December opening window.
Moved Wall Reveals World Celebration Walkway
The moved walls are across from Creations Shop, the park’s flagship retail location. A small plot of pavement is now visible thanks to the pushback, offering us our first in-person look at the World Celebration pavement and metal ground tiles that were first revealed in June of 2022.
Imagineer Zach Riddley, who spearheaded the years-long EPCOT reimagining, shared images of the tiles on Instagram last year. He provided insight about the metalwork, writing “These walkway elements will include metal panels of weathered steel, aka corten steel, which will cure to form a rich orange-hued patina – providing a distinctive color and a protective corrosion barrier to the solid cast metal panels. These panels will also serve as protective grating for a large allée of trees that will follow the architectural curvature of the Connections Café and Eatery and Creations shop façades.”
Riddley, at the time, wrote that the metalwork “will pave a pathway between Dreamers Point and the center of World Celebration,” with previously released concept art showing the pathway running along the eastern edge of the central World Celebration plaza in front of Creations Shop and Connections Café and Eatery.
Spherical shapes are repeated throughout the dark walkway, perhaps a reference to the Spaceship Earth attraction that’s located in the World Celebration neighborhood. The 180-foot tall geodesic sphere has served as the icon of EPCOT since it opened as EPCOT Center in 1982. Aerial photographer @Bioreconstruct shared a closeup of the detailed pavement and grating between the metal tiles on X:
Abstract three-dimensional cube shapes appear next to the flat circles.
Openings are present between the metalwork while drainage holes are seen throughout the general pavement. The openings will allow rain to escape through the pavement and, in theory, prevent puddling and buildup.
Four of what will likely be a significantly larger number of trees are currently fully visible along the walkway. At the time of Riddley’s June 2022 Instagram post, plans called for trees to be planted along the entire walkway.
Riddley was promoted to Global Creative Strategy Executive for Walt Disney Imagineering in August of this year following his work on the EPCOT reimagining.
World Celebration will be the final neighborhood to open at EPCOT as part of the park’s multi-year reimagining. The large overhaul saw the addition of several new attractions to the park, including Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in the France Pavilion at World Showcase in 2021, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in World Discovery in 2022, and Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana in World Nature earlier this month.
World Celebration, upon opening later this year, will contain CommuniCore Hall, CommuniCore Plaza, and Dreamers Point. Named after the former CommuniCore pavilion, CommuniCore Hall will serve as a multi-purpose structure that contains a demo kitchen, mixology bar, gallery space, and a permanent Mickey and Friends meet and greet area, while the adjacent CommuniCore Plaza will contain a concert stage and evoke a park-like feel. Both CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza will host offerings related to EPCOT’s seasonal festivals as they occur throughout the year.
The Walt the Dreamer statue will be located at Dreamers Point on a set of steps behind Spaceship Earth; the statue seemingly arrived at EPCOT earlier this month, and Walt Disney World Resort started selling depictions of the statue as merchandise in mid-September.
What do you think of the new World Celebration pathway? Are you excited about the neighborhood’s upcoming opening? Let us know in the comments.