Entire EPCOT Land Closed Down, Guests Forbidden Access as Updates Shared

in Walt Disney World

Guests walking around World Showcase at EPCOT

Credit: Inside the Magic

Walt Disney World faces an entire land closure, currently affecting one of the resort’s popular theme parks, and updates have been shared from a third party about what exactly is going on.

View of Spaceship Earth from World Showcase with buildings and trees in the foreground
Credit: Reinhard Link, Flickr

EPCOT opened in 1982, 11 years after Walt Disney World Resort officially debuted with what would become the Magic Kingdom Park. Joining Cinderella Castle, EPCOT’s Spaceship Earth dominates the park’s skyline and is perhaps one of the most recognizable and unique elements of Disney World.

Since its inception, EPCOT has been an industry leader in education meets entertainment. Initially intended to be an inhabited cityscape, EPCOT — Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow — eventually became a more traditional theme park, with nods to a future way of living laced throughout the destination.

Performers in front of Spaceship Earth
Credit: D23

From marine conservation at The Seas With Nemo & Friends to vehicle experimentation at the Test Track attraction to a far-future science-fiction experience with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy at Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, EPCOT theme park is known for its wide variety of family-friendly attractions.

And that’s just in the former Future World area, the neighborhoods now known as World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery, because adjacent to this is the sprawling World Showcase Lagoon and the 11 countries that encircle it. From Mexico to Canada, Disney guests can partake in the cultures, food, drinks, and merchandise of an assortment of countries that really bring the World to Disney World.

Japan pavilion at EPCOT with the lake and Spaceship Earth in the distance
Credit: Disney

While World Showcase is currently facing construction thanks to the new nighttime spectacular Luminous: The Symphony of Us, which replaces the 50th-anniversary show Harmonious, the other neighborhoods at EPCOT are under some kind of development.

Over in World Nature, Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana, just opened to regular guests after a string of cast member and Annual Passholder previews, bringing the marine world of Moana (2016) to the park. But, the biggest development happening currently at EPCOT, and perhaps at the entire Central Florida resort, is World Celebration.

Te Fiti Statue with Spaceship Earth in the background at EPCOT in the new Disney attraction, Journey of Water Inspired by Moana
Credit: Disney

At present, Guests are forbidden and not permitted access to the area behind Spaceship Earth. Instead, they must walk past Creations to enter the theme park. This development has been ongoing for years and will eventually become a new area consisting of the CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza, as well as being the “hub” of EPCOT’s many festivals — the International Food & Wine Festival, the International Festival of the Arts, and the International Flower & Garden Festival.

EPCOT International Festival of the Arts sign with Spaceship Earth at EPCOT
Credit: Disney

In a thread of new aerial images, Bioreconstruct (@bioreconstruct) has shared a number of construction updates happening in this prohibited area of EPCOT. The first photo notes:

Aerial photo of the World Celebration walkways and gardens between the main EPCOT gift shop and CommuniCore Plaza.
1 Pavers form the patterned pavement
2 Many of these trellis style structures recently added
3 Disney 100 photo ops
4 Purple Martin nests

Another aerial image from the photographer shows the EPCOT logo, which will be at the center of the World Discovery area, noting:

Aerial photo of the 5-ring EPCOT logo being filled with sand for a flower garden. At center of World Celebration.

EPCOT's new Walt statue, Dreamers Point
All Images Credit: Disney

One image actually may include something rather remarkable: the legend himself, Walt Disney.

Aerial look at the variety of pavement, shade, and seating areas in the center of EPCOT. The 5-ring logo is being filled with sand for a flower garden. The box in top right might contain the statue of Walt Disney planned for Dreamers Point.

Dreamers Point, a part of the World Celebration EPCOT land, will feature a statue of Walt Disney. One of the earliest looks of the statue was shared at the D23 Expo 2022 in Anaheim, Southern California, and will sure be a popular photo location for guests when they aren’t forbidden from accessing this part of the Disney park.

The World Celebration construction has taken quite some time, delayed also by the theme park shutdown of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. And while guests are excited to get the EPCOT land back, some have voiced concern that Disney is yet to build a major new expansion or even a fifth gate at Disney World.

Walt Disney World EPCOT's World Celebration Concept Art
Credit: Disney

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When looking at the other parks in Orlando, Universal Orlando Resort will soon open their massive new theme park, Universal’s Epic Universe, in 2025, which will consist of SUPER NINTENDO WORLD, a How to Train Your Dragon area, and even a new expansion to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

As for Disney’s future in the theme park space, Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger recently announced that Disney intends to spend $60 billion across its theme park and cruise business over the next decade. Could a fifth theme park be coming? While there are many developments coming to the resort, like the retheme of DinoLand, U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a $60 billion investment into its Parks & Experiences could signal that a fifth theme park is actually on the way.

Animal Kingdom Park entrance
Credit: Disney

Related: Unruly Guests Force Disney To Change Magic Kingdom Layout

With pressure from its Universal neighbors, Disney may wrap up their EPCOT land developments and push forward with the thing that all Disney fans truly want.

What do you think about the development of the World Celebration EPCOT land? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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