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Disney Making Big Changes at One of Its Oldest Theme Parks

The company has already started the transformation and Walt Disney himself may not have approved.

First introduced in 1982, Disney's (DIS) Epcot has never been about crazy roller coaster rides. You go to the Magic Kingdom for that (well, for more of that as true thrill-seekers probably go to Comcast's (CMCSA) Universal Studios or Seaworld/Busch Gardens (SEAS) ..

Instead, Epcot has always had a more educational flair. 

Once short for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (but no longer), the park was conceived by Walt Disney as a large-scale world’s fair (and an actual community). 

The park has long been dedicated to displaying the wonders of today’s science, while giving us a glimpse of what the future may hold, through attractions such as the Universe of Energy, the flight simulator Soarin’ and the centrifugal motion simulator Mission: Space.

While it might not have been an overt marketing strategy, part of the appeal of Epcot to parents is that if they make a whole vacation around Disney, they can spend a day making sure their kids learn something.

Epcot closed during the pandemic, along with the rest of Disney world. But now the theme park is back on its feet, and has recently shared an image of what the future of this most futuristic attraction might look like. 

So What’s In Store For Epcot?

Disney has revealed concept art that gives an indication of what coming to Epcot, as reported by the Theme Park Insider

The art shows that a greater emphasis on gardens and greenery, with much of it belonging to “The Journey of Water Inspired by Moana” walk-through attraction, which will allow guests to interact with what’s termed "living water."

Epcot Concept Lead JS

Additionally, the space formerly occupied by CommuniCore West will be renovated with a CommuniCore Plaza outdoor stage, which will feature live entertainment and interactive lighting displays at night, as well as the CommuniCore Hall multi-purpose building, which will feature Mickey Mouse meet and greets as well as demonstration kitchens and other functions that are currently spread across the park.

Epcot Concept Lead JS

Disney first raised the idea of a multi-story event spaceD23 Expo back in 2019. 

According to Theme Park Insider’s interview with Walt Disney Imagineering's Zach Riddley, the idea behind the revamp was to honor Epcot’s legacy while making it a “must see” place for visitors. 

“We talk about possibility as being the theme of this park,” Ridley notes, calling “The Journey” an outdoor, interactive exploration trail. “The focus is to learn about the cycle of water and our relationship with water, and the importance of preserving water as resource.”

Epcot Concept Lead JS

Epcot Is Getting A Marvel-Inspired Rollercoaster This Month

It’s unclear at the moment when “The Journey of Water Inspired by Moana” and the other features will be ready, though Theme Park Insider reports that construction is currently underway. 

But coming later this month on May 27 is “Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.

Inspired by the popular Marvel film, the Cosmic Rewind is a family rollercoaster in the Galaxarium, a planetarium-like exhibition that explores t the formation of Earth’s galaxy and its similarities to the Guardian’s planet Xandar. (We never said there were no rollercoasters at Epcot.) 

The attraction is set to be one of the longest fully enclosed coasters in the world, and each vehicle will rotate 360 degrees and will include the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster. Hey, who says science isn’t fun?