Does Disney Have Plans Beyond Merchandise for EPCOT’s 40th Anniversary?

EPCOT is about to turn 40 years old on October 1, 2022, and Disney is gearing up to celebrate with brand new…spirit jerseys and Minnie ear headbands?

The second Walt Disney World theme park is currently undergoing the largest renovation project in its nearly 40-year history, changing the entire look and feel of the former Future World into three new distinct neighborhoods, World Nature, World Discovery, and World Celebration.

And while lots of new experiences have already opened to Guests, including Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Connections Cafe & Eatery, and the Creations Shop, a lot of work is still underway to bring new attractions to the Disney Park.


Credit: Zach Riddley

RELATED: Is the Rest of EPCOT’s Overhaul Still Happening?

With the 40th anniversary of EPCOT just one week away, Disney fans have been curious about how the Park will celebrate the milestone occasion. The only recent update from Disney, at least in terms of something specific to the 40th anniversary, was the release of new merchandise which received mixed reviews from fans.

Some EPCOT fans are gearing up to purchase the new items, including spirit jerseys, long and short-sleeve tees, Minnie ear headbands, pins, a Loungefly backpack, and more, as soon as they are available, while others are underwhelmed and hoping for something more to the celebration than a new merchandise collection.

EPCOT 40th anniversary merchandise

Credit: Disney

RELATED: EPCOT 40th Anniversary Merchandise Featuring Figment Just Revealed

For what it’s worth, and based on what we know so far, additional merchandise will be released exclusively for the day of the 40th anniversary (though we have to admit, we are worried about what the actual availability of such limited edition items will be like with resellers). And Disney did note in the merchandise announcement that more details on the celebration will be revealed soon. With little information to otherwise go on, and with October 1 rapidly approaching, we have to wonder if we will not receive more details on EPCOT’s anniversary until the day itself.

We can’t help but think back to EPCOT’s 35th anniversary, too, which came with a handful of special experiences for Guests who happened to be in the Park on October 1, 2017. The 35th anniversary featured some special entertainment, snacks and drinks around the Park, a commemorative map, merchandise, and perhaps the most exciting, a special version of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.

EPCOT 35th Anniversary

EPCOT’s 35th Anniversary, October 1, 2017, Credit: Disney

RELATED: Work Finally Continues on Disney’s Forgotten EPCOT Project

EPCOT’s 40th anniversary may include similar features to the 35th, as those types of experiences do not necessarily require much advance notice (and we can’t imagine any Disney Park anniversary without a specialty cupcake or commemorative map) but it is also clear that fans are expecting more, especially following a sort of lackluster 50th-anniversary celebration for Walt Disney World.

If you will be visiting EPCOT on October 1, be sure to keep an eye out for a commemorative map and new snack specials, and be sure to check back here on Disney Tips for all the latest updates if official 40th-anniversary plans are released in the week ahead.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."