First announced at D23 Expo in 2019, EPCOT at the Walt Disney World Resort is currently undergoing a transformation. While new attractions like Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind have already opened, work continues within the central part of what is now known as World Celebration.
Adding to the now open Creations Shop and Connections Cafe and Eatery, this central part of the front-half of the park will also feature future gardens, a multi-purpose event and character space named CommuniCore Hall, an outdoor stage, and the outdoor attraction, Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana.
Thanks to the amazing aerial photography of Bioreconstruct on Twitter, we’re getting a bird’s eye view of some of the big changes happening within this central area of the park.
The official concept art below shows what this area of EPCOT will look like once complete. Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana can be seen to the right of Spaceship Earth. Above that is a new CommuniCore Hall and stage area. Across from this area, seen on the left, are the Creations Shop and Connections Cafe and Eatery, already open now. And within the center of this area will be new gardens and green spaces.
Below is a recent aerial photograph showing this area within the center of the photo. The completed and open shop and restaurant are to the left, and Journey of Water as well as CommuniCore Hall, still under construction, can be seen on the right.
Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana will be a walk-through attraction, set to open late 2023. It will lead guests through a winding path connecting World Celebration, behind Spaceship Earth, and World Nature, near The Seas with Nemo and Friends.
Disney describes Journey of Water as a “lush exploration trail that will invite guests to meet and play with magical, living water. Just like Moana’s friend the ocean, water will have a personality of its own, helping guests learn how to protect the natural water cycle in a fun and engaging way.”
A milestone for construction on this new attraction was recently hit as the centerpiece ‘Te Fiti’ statue was just installed, seen in the photo below labeled as number 3.
Disney says, “Along with Moana as a steward of water conservation, Te Fiti is a symbol of how we should protect and nurture water wherever we find it.”
Disney has released a close-up view of what the Te Fiti figure looks like, seen below.
Also under construction within this area, CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza will be home to character meet and greets, special event space, and an outdoor stage where guests can watch performances from both the front and back of the area.
In the photo below we can see the future CommuniCore Hall structure on left. The outdoor stage area is on the right, with foundations and shapes still being poured.
The photo below shows the reverse angle of this area. Number one is the label for the plaza’s circular stage. Number 2 shows planter shape that may be the edge of main audience viewing area. Arrow illustrates where additional audience viewing will be located behind the round stage area as well.
Below is a closer view of CommuniCore Plaza stage area. Arrows are showing roof of underground utilidor tunnel structure.
The graphic below illustrates the layout of these areas, including Mickey and Friends character meet and greet area within the CommuniCore Hall main structure, the plaza stage, Journey of water, central gardens, and the existing Creations Shop and Connections Cafe and Eatery.
Within the center of this round World Celebration area will be a new courtyard and gardens section of the park. The World Celebration gardens will create a new hub for the front half of EPCOT.
Some of the forms for walkways and curving paths within this area are already starting to take shape.
Directly behind Spaceship Earth, will be a small section of World Celebration named Dreamers Point. This area will feature a new statue, named “Walt the Dreamer.”
While concept art for the new statue for Dreamers Point was revealed years ago, we got our first look at the actual statue during the D23 Expo last September.
Disney has not announced when the rest of World Celebration will be ready for guests, only that Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana will be opening by the end of this year.
Before we wrap up, the next two photographs show what the area within this front section EPCOT looks like now, and how the area looked in 2019 before construction began.
A big thank you to Bioreconstruct on Twitter for providing us with these wonderful aerial photos. You can follow him for even more amazing views above the theme parks! And be sure to follow us for more Walt Disney World news and updates as we get closer to the official Tron Lightcycle / Run grand opening in April!