Disney Shares Update After EPCOT Location’s Permanent Closure

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A large geodesic sphere, reminiscent of the iconic structure at Disney World’s Epcot, looms in the background. The sphere has a striking red X painted over it. Colorful balloons float around the sphere, contrasting against the clear blue sky above.

a Credit: Inside the Magic

A permanently closed attraction in EPCOT at the Walt Disney World Resort has officially been resurrected.

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

The Walt Disney World Resort prides itself on imagination and innovation, and no park does this more than EPCOT.

The second park to open in Orlando, Central Florida, EPCOT’s name (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) is a key signifier to Walt Disney’s original vision and how theme park officials molded that idea into what fans know and experience today.

A look at Future World including Spaceship Earth from the entrance to World Showcase
Credit: Jonathan (IceNineJon), Flickr

While it may not have become the lived-in experimental city Walt envisioned, education and innovation are at the heart of what the company does at EPCOT.

From classics like Spaceship Earth to new additions such as Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind to Figment himself, EPCOT has a long history of evolution, and this story at the Disney resort continues to this day.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at night with Spaceship Earth in the background at EPCOT in Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Disney

Presently, EPCOT is undergoing one of the largest refurbishments at Disney World. With the regeneration of the Future World area into three new neighborhoods—World Celebration, World Discovery, and World Nature—that join the adjacent World Showcase, EPCOT is nearing the end of its multi-year project.

The renovation of the Disney park has already seen Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana, open in World Nature and the aforementioned Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind open inside World Discovery. Next to debut will be the CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza inside World Celebration.

Aerial photo of World Celebration at EPCOT with Spaceship Earth in the lower left
Credit: Bioreconstruct, Twitter

Both of the CommuniCore locations will be part of the wider EPCOT experience, acting as the hub for the many festivals the Disney park hosts annually, such as the International Flower & Garden Festival and the International Food & Wine Festival.

The Hall and Plaza will open on June 10, 2024, alongside new activities and attractions.

One of these experiences will be ¡Celebración Encanto!, a sing-along stage show based on the 2021 Encanto movie and featuring Mirabel and Bruno. Also, the new Mickey & Friends character spot will debut, officially replacing the old EPCOT Character Spot once found inside Future World.

Magical performance under a festive canopy: a vibrant scene from Disney's 'Encanto' where characters come together to enjoy music and celebration in a warmly lit, colorful setting adorned with flowers and lights.
Credit: Disney

The EPCOT Character Spot closed on September 8, 2019. At the location, guests could meet characters such as Mickey and Minnie, Baymax from Big Hero 6 (2014), and Joy and Sadness from Inside Out (2015).

When CommuniCore Hall and Plaza opens, though, fans will once again eventually be able to meet Mickey Mouse and his pals in a brand-new area at the Disney resort.

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in front of Cinderella Castle at Disney World
Credit: Disney

Related: “Prepare Your Family”: Advisory Issued for All, Disney World Guests Forced To Take Note

Sharing to Instagram, Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) posted a first-look video of the new stage area featuring some very familiar faces.

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The video reveals Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Goofy–all in their classic attire–as part of the character spot. Mickey & Friends will be found inside CommuniCore Hall.

Meeting Mickey Mouse is a fan-favorite thing to do while on vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort. Meet-and-greet locations can be found throughout Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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

This new addition to EPCOT, though, will surely be popular, and fans should brace for long lines when the attraction opens in a few weeks.

While Disney Experiences (formerly Disney Parks, Experiences and Products) is always evolving its offerings, there is a sense of heightened development happening at the moment.

A picturesque view of a fairy tale Cinderella Castle with spires, under a clear blue sky with the sun setting behind, casting a warm glow over the scene at Walt Disney World Resort.
Credit: Disney

It may be due to Disney World’s competitor, Universal Orlando Resort, readying its major new third gate, Universal’s Epic Universe, or it could be that things are settling following the pandemic disruption. Still, Disney is keen to “turbocharge” its development.

At Disney World, both Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom are getting expansion projects. The former will expand into the area behind the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland, seemingly beginning the colloquially-named “Beyond Big Thunder” project first teased at D23 Expo 2022.

Concept art for the all-new area coming to Animal Kingdom inspired by Encanto and Indiana Jones
Credit: Disney

Related: “I Am Cancelling My Reservation,” New Disney World Offering Terrifies Guests

Animal Kingdom will lose DinoLand, U.S.A. land in favor of Tropical Americas, which features the Encanto and Indiana Jones franchises.

These developments may not be the fifth gate many theme park fans want from the Walt Disney World Resort, but they will do well to remind guests that their experience and satisfaction are top of mind.

Are you looking forward to Mickey & Friends opening in EPCOT at Disney World? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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