Though World Celebration Gardens won’t officially open at EPCOT until December 5, we were able to catch a first look at the new area in the currently unfinished World Celebration neighborhood on December 4.
First Look at World Celebration Gardens at EPCOT
World Celebration Gardens is located behind Spaceship Earth, which has served as EPCOT’s icon since the park’s opening as EPCOT Center in 1982. The new area consists of several gardens that meet at a central circular pathway that surrounds a planter. The five-ringed EPCOT logo appears atop the pathway; it’s outlined by lights laid into the ground.
From an overhead view, the circular planter serves as the centerpiece of the EPCOT logo. Though not an entirely convincing replication from the ground, the planter does look akin to a globe (at least the one seen in the EPCOT icon) from the sky.
Rustic detailing appears alongside several plants inside the structure. This aesthetic is expanded upon in other sections of World Celebration Gardens.
The surrounding pathway is bordered by tall white light posts that match the lighting installed around other areas of World Celebration in appearance. These lights started changing colors in synchronization with Spaceship Earth’s nighttime shows earlier this month; these specific posts and the EPCOT logo on the ground will illuminate alongside Spaceship Earth each night once guests are allowed entrance into World Celebration Gardens.
A depiction of a Spaceship Earth icon that appeared on various souvenirs and maps in the park’s opening year can be found laid into the ground just a short distance away from the central planter.
Inspiration Garden is one of several plots that guests will be able to visit on December 5. It’s the only garden that’s not named after a nearby building or shop; it will ultimately contain different stages that will be used for shows.
Inspiration Garden expands upon the rustic motif introduced in the central planter. The area contains several tree-like sculptures made of rustic metal.
Geometric patterns are carved out of the upper portions of the sculptures. They’re filled in with a mesh-like material.
Spotlights sit atop some of the rustic trees, while others contain speakers.
Shapes are carved into their bases, further adding to the contemporary aesthetic.
Wood-topped benches surround the large circular area in which the sculptures reside. They’re curved and feature arched back support.
The rest of the area is surrounded by a curved half-wall that again features geometric detailing. The ground in this section is a sandy-beige tone, with some of it featuring the same shape-filled pattern found in other sections of World Celebration.
CommuniCore Garden is named after the nearby CommuniCore Hall and Plaza; despite being part of the World Celebration neighborhood, neither of these offerings will open on December 5. Construction on both CommuniCore Hall and Plaza remains ongoing.
This garden allows for a great view of progress on CommuniCore Hall, providing ample seating from which you can watch.
There are several seating areas throughout CommuniCore Garden, most of which are shaded thanks to the surrounding plants and trees.
The seating options range from wood-topped benches to tables with stools, allowing you to stop and rest for a quick bite. Some even feature some light theming; the circular bench seen above, for example, looks similar to the logo of the former CommuniCore pavilion, which was an opening day offering at EPCOT Center in 1982.
Several of the seating areas offer charging ports, allowing you to recharge your phone as you relax.
This unique wooden bench, which is vaguely reminiscent of the divider panels found at Travelport in CommuniCore East in the 1980s, is sat next to a charging port.
CommuniCore Garden is illuminated by modern light fixtures that feature geometric patterns and colored glass.
Creations Garden is located outside of Creations Shop, which is the flagship retail location of EPCOT.
It, like Inspiration Garden, features seating in the form of curved benches around the edges of the area.
The benches are made of concrete with wooden interiors.
Creations Garden may feature a subtle nod to EPCOT’s history in the form of the blue and green waves that are laid into the ground around the area. The color choice is perhaps a reference to the former entrance of Innoventions, the pavilion that replaced CommuniCore and operated from 1994 until September 2019. Both Innoventions West and East featured green-to-blue gradient coloring on their façades in their final years.
The wave patterns are made of colored stones laid into the concrete.
Unique light fixtures also appear amidst some of the flora in Creations Garden. These clear tubular pieces will light up at night,
The Connections Garden is located outside of Connections Café and Eatery. The Connections Café is home to EPCOT’s Starbucks location, so this plot should serve as effective overflow seating and provide some scenic views for guests enjoying a cup of joe.
Contemporary seating is complemented by modern sculptures placed throughout the area.
The art pieces feature tall straw-like structures emerging from the ground through black circles.
The seating in this garden doesn’t feature much in the way of unique theming; the chairs and tables are quite standard, with the benches being planks of wood emerging from the side of the concrete flower bed.
There are a few lawn chairs in this garden that offer views of the central hub.
The ground detailing in this area differs depending on where you’re standing; some of the detailing looks akin to broken, sand-colored rockwork, while a brick-like pathway allows entrance into the garden from the central planter.
Dreamers Point is located directly behind Spaceship Earth and is home to the Walt the Dreamer statue. The sculpture was introduced via concept art several years ago and was on display at D23 Expo 2022; the final sculpture, shown off by Disney last week, is slightly different from the concept art, sitting on a bench as opposed to on a staircase.
The statue and its bench rest in front of a mostly-obscured view of Spaceship Earth. It depicts Walt in the later years of his life; he sits on the seat with clasped hands and a smile on his face.
The back of the bench features detailing that emulates the proposed design and layout of Walt’s EPCOT, an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow that would have been an inhabited and functional city as opposed to a theme park. The community was the centerpiece of Walt’s ‘Florida Project;’ plans were greatly altered after his death in 1966.
The design continues onto the concrete in front of the statue.
Modern light fixtures are attached to both ends of the bench.
Walt looks out at the rest of Dreamers Point and the central hub of World Celebration Gardens. The section of Dreamers Point between the Walt the Dreamer statue and the center of the Gardens contains a long rustic metal bench that contains oval slots for drainage.
Triangles are indented into the side of the bench. It is actually rusty, as our pants got stained when we sat on it.
The floor contains geometric detailing that, like several other areas of World Celebration, contains drainage holes as to prevent puddling and buildup.
Which section of the World Celebration Gardens is your favorite? Will you be checking the area out when it opens on December 5? Let us know.