EPCOT is currently undergoing its most extensive renovation project since the Park opened at the Walt Disney World Resort over 40 years ago on October 1, 1982.
The overhaul of this Disney Park reimagined the former Future World into three new neighborhoods; World Nature, World Discovery, and World Celebration, opened one of the Resort’s newest thrill rides with Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and will soon welcome a new-to-this-Park character with Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana. Along the way, the Park also completed work on new shops and restaurants, including a renovated Club Cool, Connections Cafe & Eatery, and Creations Shop.
During this year’s Meeting of the Shareholders, CEO of the Walt Disney Company Bob Iger briefly touched on EPCOT’s transformation noting that Journey of Moana, Inspired by Moana was the final piece of the project that has yet to open.
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Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana will be a walkthrough attraction in World Nature that uses the beloved characters and storytelling from the 2016 Disney animated film to offer an immersive look into the importance of water and how it moves through our world.
Completion of the attraction comes at the same time as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson announced that a live-action Moana film is in the works at Disney, set to star the former wrestler-turned-actor in a reprisal of his role as Maui and Auli’i Cravalho as Moana.
In addition to the photo above from Iger’s recent visit to the attraction, @bioreconstruct has shared several overhead shots of EPCOT that show Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana nearing completion:
In this aerial photo of Journey of Water
1 Construction bypass starting to disappear.
2,3 Recently opened walkway.
4 Latest concrete in a main route of World Celebration.
5 Te Fiti pic.twitter.com/WiEm7ob5Sh
— bioreconstruct (@bioreconstruct) April 2, 2023
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What about the rest of EPCOT’s reimagining?
While Disney fans anxiously await the opening of the new attraction, we would be remiss to gloss over Iger’s comment during the Shareholder call that Journey of Water is the final piece of EPCOT’s reimagining. When the project was announced, there were several other additions to the project that have since fallen to the wayside.
One such development was a refurbishment of Spaceship Earth that would have revamped some of the show scenes and added a new motif using light to highlight human communication throughout the attraction. After the pandemic shook things up at Disney World and around the theme park industry as a whole, in 2020, the company confirmed that the Spaceship Earth refurb was put on hold indefinitely.
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In World Showcase, another project was seemingly scrapped when the previously announced Mary Poppins attraction in the UK Pavilion never came to be. In fact, recently revealed concept art for the attraction actually proved to be disappointing to many fans (so maybe it’s for the best…)
The original plans also called for a new festival center, and while work was previously spotted underway at the former Wonders of Life Pavilion, Guests have not noticed any updates to this area for some time.
Disney has not yet confirmed the specific opening date for Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana; however, we will continue to monitor updates from EPCOT and will be back with new information as we have it here on Disney Tips.