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After five years of renovations, Epcot’s transformation is complete

When it opened in 1982, Epcot’s attractions were intended to give visitors an exciting glimpse into what the future might look like. But as time passes, that future becomes more and more like the past.

Over the years, Disney has reimagined Epoct and its mission to “entertain, inform and inspire.” Admittedly, refurbishing an entire park (especially one this large) is not without its difficulties. Epcot, for a time, was covered in construction walls. Getting around the park is confusing even for frequent visitors, and with a lack of new attractions, this is the obvious choice to skip if your time at Disney World is limited.

As of June 10, Epcot’s transformation is finally complete after five years of construction. Every last wall has been removed, revealing new attractions, experiences, entertainment and even new restaurants. Recent additions showcase what Epcot does best: share emerging technologies and innovations, spark curiosity, and foster a spirit of togetherness. And because today’s vision of the future looks a little different from how it was imagined four decades ago, Epcot looks very different.

Now that the park is no longer a construction site, here are the new spots Epcot.

Related: Why Epcot is now Disney World’s must-do park

New attraction, established ethos

Epcot is currently defined by four zones: World Celebration, World Nature, World Discovery, and World Showcase. Each neighborhood is home to attractions and experiences that match its theme.

For example, in World Nature, you can visit existing Epcot attractions like The Seas with Nemo & Friends and Living with the Land, along with the park’s newest attraction: Journey of water, inspired by Moana.

If I let my kids have their way, they’ll spend hours playing with Journey of Water’s interactive water features. But what they don’t realize is that Epcot has also created a new educational “Moana” attraction: As they play, Water Journey teaches young visitors about the water cycle. Since Epcot first opened, education has been one of the park’s core tenants, and now the park can execute on that principle in new, innovative ways that weren’t possible 42 years ago. can be done.

The same is true for Epcot’s first (and only) roller coaster, Guardians of the Galaxy: Universe Rewind in Explore the World. While the roller coaster experience offers pure adrenaline-fueled thrills, its innovative ride system makes it Epcot-worthy. Not only is it one of the longest canopy coasters in the world, it’s also Disney’s first “OmniCoaster.” Each car will rotate to direct the driver towards excitement, making you completely immersed in the story.

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Related: Disney World’s 30 best rides

Inspirational entertainment

“Morning: Our Symphony.” TARAH CHIEFFI/SPOILER

At Epcot’s World Showcase, there are 11 pavilions representing a country around the globe, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, China, Mexico, Norway, Germany, Italy, Japan, Morocco, and France. Booths introduce visitors to the traditions and customs that make each culture unique, while focusing on similar themes across all cultures.

Epcot’s newest nighttime spectacular, “Luminous: The Symphony of Us” (held nightly at World Showcase Lagoon), has a similar mission and highlights the shared experiences that connect humanity between races.

“Celebracion Encanto” at Epcot. TARAH CHIEFFI/SPOILER

Epcot’s newest entertainment show is “Celebracion Encanto.” The high-energy, interactive show celebrates family with a soundtrack of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Encanto” and takes place multiple times daily at the newly opened CommuniCore Plaza stage at World Celebration.

Next to CommuniCore Plaza, you’ll find CommuniCore Hall – Epcot’s new meet-and-greet location for Mickey, Minnie and Goofy. I stopped by twice on my most recent visit and had some of the best character interactions I’ve ever experienced at Disney. Each character takes the time to make every visitor feel special, no matter how many people are waiting in line.

New space to gather

CommuniCore Hall and Plaza provide Epcot visitors with an indoor-outdoor space to gather, eat, rest and recharge. You can step inside to enjoy the cool breeze of air conditioning, take shelter from Orlando’s frequent storms, or enjoy Epcot’s beautiful exterior.

Food booth at Epcot’s CommuniCore Hall. TARAH CHIEFFI/SPOILER

At CommuniCore Hall’s food booth, you can sample a rotating menu of festival favorites. During my visit, this spot served cheese-stuffed arepas, coconut tres leches, and a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. During Epcot’s annual food festival, Disney says this multi-use area will be used for things like “art exhibits, live entertainment, cooking demonstrations and more.”

Spaceship Earth at Epcot. TARAH CHIEFFI/SPOILER

In Epcot’s World Celebration neighborhood, you can stroll through the World Celebration Garden. This outdoor space offers shade, seating, and beautiful views – the perfect place for guests to relax and enjoy time with friends and family at Disney World. At night, the colorful garden lights change in sync with Spaceship Earth.

Statue of Walt the Dreamer. TARAH CHIEFFI/SPOILER

Near Dreamers Point, the statue of Walt Disney inspires visitors to never stop dreaming. Walt’s vision for Epcot was of a futuristic “city of tomorrow.” He didn’t live long enough to see that dream come true, but with the new statue of Walt the Dreamer, he can look out over the park he so inspired.

Bottom line

Walt Disney once said that Epcot would “always be in a state of becoming” and even though he is gone, his sentiment still rings true today. The future changes every day, and so a park must have the goal of showing what the future will be like while also hoping to inspire the next generation of dreamers and doers.

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