2023 is quite the year for new experiences at the Walt Disney World Resort!
In the Magic Kingdom, TRON Lightcycle / Run is now open in Tomorrowland, allowing Guests near Orlando, Florida the opportunity to ride this iconic roller coaster original to Shanghai Disneyland. Across the Park, Splash Mountain is now permanently closed and work continues to transform the attraction into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, inspired by The Princess and the Frog (2009).
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the first-ever table-service restaurant in Toy Story Land recently began serving Guests with the opening of Roundup Rodeo Barbecue. The new location offers a family-style barbecue feast complete with immersive experiences to keep the story within the Toy Story universe.
And at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Guests will soon be able to meet a new-to-this-Park character on Discovery Island, as the Park prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary.
As for EPCOT, this Disney Park has been undergoing a major transformation, and we’ve got a new video update showing the next new attraction operating for the first time.
RELATED: Everything We Know So Far About Tiana’s Bayou Adventure
EPCOT’s transformation has been underway for a couple of years now, with updates to the Park including the opening of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Creations Shop, Connections Cafe & Eatery, and multiple new fireworks shows (Harmonious during the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World, and a new one coming soon.)
While other parts of EPCOT’s transformation are no longer in the works, including an overhaul of Spaceship Earth, and a new Mary Poppins attraction for the UK Pavilion in World Showcase (that actually disappointed fans with its concept art), there is one final update for the Park still underway.
Located in World Nature, the next new attraction to open in EPCOT will be Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana. The attraction’s location has been to blame for the majority of the construction walls around EPCOT over the past few years, so this, coupled with excitement for the attraction itself, has made Guests feel more than ready to see Journey of Water finally open.
RELATED: VIDEO: First Look at EPCOT’s New Attraction: Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana, will take Guests on an interactive walkthrough sharing the path that water takes as it moves through the natural world. The attraction will combine imagery from the 2016 Disney animated film with classic EPCOT “edutainment.”
Walt Disney Imagineering recently shared a video update on Journey of Moana, which shows several of the attraction’s effects running for the first time.
In the video, Kate Worth, project coordinator for Walt Disney Imagineering explains:
We’re so excited that water has made its journey here to our trail. Guests will have the opportunity to engage with water as much or as little as they’d like, just like Moana did in the film. Our magical water still has much to learn by this fall 2023, but until next time!
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Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana is not the only Moana-themed attraction coming to Walt Disney World. A meet and greet with the titular character is coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom later this month, and with a new live-action retelling of the original film in the works, you never know if more attractions inspired by this story will pop up in the future.
Disney’s official description of Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana reads:
Where Water Comes to Life
Stroll along a self-guided outdoor trail where you can play and interact with water as it travels from the sky to the oceans and back again. Along the way, learn about the importance of water and discover its playful personality—just as Moana did on her heroic voyage.
Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana is scheduled to open within World Nature—the EPCOT neighborhood dedicated to understanding and preserving the beauty and balance of the natural world.
The attraction is set to open in “late 2023,” however, we will continue monitoring updates on Journey of Water, and will be back with additional information as we have it here on Disney Tips.