Disney Reopens Shut Down Land After 1825 Days

in Disney Parks, Walt Disney World

EPCOT's Spaceship Earth

Credit: Disney

It’s been five years, and now, one of Disney World’s lands is finally open to the public.

EPCOT, short for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, is one of Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks in Orlando, Florida. The park was previously divided into two main sections: Future World and World Showcase. Now, World Celebration, World Discovery, and World Nature are being added.

Spaceship Earth in EPCOT
Credit: Lee (myfrozenlife), Flickr

In World Celebration, World Discovery, and World Nature, attractions like Spaceship Earth take guests on a journey through human communication history. Test Track offers an interactive experience where visitors can design and test their virtual concept vehicles. Soarin’ Around the World simulates a hang glider ride over global destinations, and Mission: SPACE provides a space-themed simulator experience.

World Showcase showcases 11 countries with unique architecture, attractions, and dining. These countries include Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, the United States, Japan, Morocco, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

The park features notable dining locations, such as Les Chefs de France in France, known for classic French cuisine, and Biergarten Restaurant in Germany, offering a festive buffet with German specialities. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Norway provides a character dining experience with Norwegian-inspired cuisine. Teppan Edo in Japan is a hibachi-style restaurant with interactive cooking, and Le Cellier Steakhouse in Canada is famous for its Canadian-inspired dishes.

Model train derails at EPCOT in the Germany Pavilion.
Credit: @Mickey_Central

EPCOT hosts annual festivals like the International Flower & Garden Festival and the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, showcasing additional food and beverage experiences from around the world. At the moment, EPCOT is celebrating Festival of the Holidays.

Walt Disney World Resort is perpetually in a state of transformation, in line with Walt Disney’s vision that Disneyland would never be considered complete. This philosophy extends to Disney World, where constant updates and renovations keep the parks infused with the latest technology, stories, and intellectual properties, always leaving guests eager for more.

The most recent major overhaul was at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, with the additions of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land. Presently, EPCOT is the focus of a substantial transformation, particularly in the front half of the park known as Future World. Numerous construction walls previously greeted visitors as this area undergoes significant renovations. Future World, as we noted, is being reimagined into three distinct neighborhoods: World Celebration, World Discovery, and World Nature, while World Showcase remains situated in the back of the park.

Spaceship Earth at EPCOT with Figment
Credit: Edited by Inside the Magic

Notably, the newly opened Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana, adds to the evolving experience. This attraction offers guests a self-guided tour along a trail where they can engage with water elements, tracing its journey from the sky to the oceans and back.

These changes began back in 2019, and after five years in 2023, as of today, the gardens of World Celebration and Dreamer’s Point, where Walt Disney sits, is officially open!

Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) shared that the new area has been added to My Disney Experience.

World Celebration Gardens at EPCOT added to the Walt Disney World app.

Additionally, Daisy Duck has been added as a meet and greet character in this newly opened area.

Daisy Duck has a new home in World Celebration near Dreamers Point at EPCOT.

Below, you can see the new Walt Disney photo spot, with Walt posed behind Spaceship Earth. The placement allows all photos to be taken with Walt with a backdrop he expected for the park, as he looks onto World Showcase, a section he did not imagine in his original plans.

New dedication plaque at the Walt the Dreamer statue at Dreamers Point.

“…always be in a state of becoming.”

While there is still a lot of ongoing construction at EPCOT, these walls have certainly opened up the park a lot more, instead of having the entrance look like a maze of construction walls.

At the dedication, Kartika Rodriguez, vice president of EPCOT, said:

“I am thrilled to be here at Dreamers Point with all of you celebrating the company’s original dreamer, Walt Disney. The view of this new space and beautiful statue of Walt contemplating one of his biggest dreams, means so much to transformation, and all that EPCOT represents.

“Walt Disney’s vision for EPCOT was to create a beacon of innovation and place the possibilities and somewhere where individuals from all walks of life can come to work, to play and to learn.”

Scott Mallwitz of Walt Disney Imagineering said, “Here, you will find Walt at the end of his career, thinking about his legacy and thinking about how he has changed the world and how many people he’s inspired.

“As you walk around this beautiful expansion and sector of the park, you’re going to see many details that are driven up from some of those early planning documents, some of the early architectural and original pavilions, the materiality, pattern, color and shape. It’s all intrinsically EPCOT. You’re in no other place, but in the heart of that.”

Tonight, Luminous, the new nighttime show, will also debut. 

More changes are coming to EPCOT. In the coming years, Test Track is poised for a significant transformation. Collaborating with Chevrolet, the attraction’s sponsor, Imagineers will undertake a comprehensive overhaul to create a “reimagined” version of Test Track. Drawing inspiration from its predecessor, World of Motion, the goal is to infuse the ride with the same “spirit of optimism.”

Are you a fan of the new World Celebration Gardens? 

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