Since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down Walt Disney World Resort for four months in 2020, things have looked a little different for the Florida theme park.
Now, however, things are beginning to return to normal in Orlando in regard to the Guest experience. Face mask mandates have been lifted, new rides and attractions are taking shape — including the Moana-inspired Journey of Water at EPCOT — character meet and greets are returning in droves, and summer crowds are back at all of Disney World’s theme parks.
But despite the fact that some construction projects are moving forward at EPCOT, the theme park took the brunt of the hit when Disney changed its spending structure during the pandemic.
The Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow is undergoing a massive overhaul that includes the addition of new rides and attractions — including the aforementioned Journey of Water and the recently opened Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind roller coaster — a reimagined entry, and several new “neighborhoods” like World Discovery and World Celebration.
Despite all of the changes that are still happening, though, numerous EPCOT projects were scrapped as COVID-19 ravaged Disney’s budget. The planned Mary Poppins-inspired Cherry Tree Lane addition in the Great Britain World Showcase pavilion and a refurbishment of Spaceship Earth, for example, were both tabled.
Now, though, EPCOT fans seemingly have something big to look forward to — a major 40th anniversary celebration, presumably beginning in October 2022!
Earlier this week, British patent practice Opus shared a Tweet about Disney’s copyright filings for the Park’s upcoming 40th birthday. The filings, which were made in 2021, indicate that 40th anniversary merchandise will debut this Fall.
EPCOT officially opened to Guests on October 1, 1982, so it seems likely that its anniversary celebration will begin on that date. Specific plans for the event have not been unveiled at this time.
The entire Walt Disney World Resort is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary with a long-running “party in the Parks.” The event began on October 1, 2021 — Magic Kingdom Park’s 50th birthday — and will run through March 2023.
Are you excited to see what Disney World has in store for EPCOT’s 40th anniversary?
Visit the official Disney World website to plan your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district OR the official Disneyland website to plan your trip to Disneyland Resort’s two theme parks — Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park — and the Downtown Disney District!