An influx of new Epcot attractions, inspired by Disney and Pixar characters, are headed to the Florida theme park as it undergoes a major makeover in anticipation of its upcoming 40th anniversary.
One of the new Epcot attractions will be Mary Poppins, floating into the United Kingdom pavilion on her magical umbrella. The Guardians of the Galaxy will be elbowing their way into Epcot’s World Showcase with the first pavilion dedicated to a fictional planet. And Ratatouille’s Remy will be bringing Pixar’s version of Paris to the France pavilion.
Epcot will undergo the biggest transformation of any Disney theme park in history over the next few years. The massive renovation will create four distinct neighbourhoods within Epcot: World Showcase, World Celebration, World Nature and World Discovery.
A preview centre highlighting all the changes coming to Epcot is located in the park’s Odyssey Events Pavilion between Test Track and the Mexico pavilion.
Let’s take a closer look at six of the biggest new Epcot attractions coming over the next few years.
Six new Epcot attractions
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Epcot’s World Showcase is all about transporting Disney World visitors to far-flung locales around the globe: Japan, Morocco, Norway. Soon you can add Xandar to the ports of call in World Showcase.
The new Guardians of the Galaxy attraction will be based in Epcot’s first “other world” showcase pavilion.
“You will step into a pavilion sponsored by the Xandar planet,” Walt Disney Imagineering executive producer Michael Hundgen said. “You’ll get to learn about the origins of Xandar, their culture and their people.”
Just like in the other World Showcase pavilions, visitors will learn all about the fictional planet from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films.
“It’s really going to change the face of our park,” Epcot general manager Melissa Valiquette said. “It’s our first out-of-this-world pavilion.”
Discover the Galaxarium
The adventure aboard Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind begins in the Galaxarium. The planetarium-like exhibit explores the mysteries of Xandar and its similarities to Earth’s galaxy. Riders will join the Guardians of the Galaxy on an adventure across the cosmos.
“Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind celebrates the fun of that franchise,” Hundgen said. “The characters are irreverent, the storylines are out of this world and the music is iconic. So we are taking all those same elements and infusing them throughout the attraction.”
The Cosmic Rewind storytelling coaster will feature train cars that rotate 360 degrees, allowing Disney Imagineers to focus riders on the action.
“It is massive. It’s going to be one of the longest indoor roller coasters in the world – a game-changer,” Valiquette said.
Cosmic Rewind will include a first for a Disney coaster: A reverse launch. “It’s certainly breaking the mould for us,” Hundgen said.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is set to open in 2021.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Another of the new Epcot attractions coming next year is this Ratatouille ride coming to Epcot’s France pavilion. The ride will shrink riders to the size of Remy the rat as they race through Chef Gusteau’s restaurant. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will be a carbon copy of Remy’s Totally Zany Adventure motion-based trackless 4D dark ride at the Walt Disney Studios Park in France.
“Guests will hook around the corner of the France pavilion into a Pixar version of Paris, which will have a little more character to it,” Hundgen said. “More crooked streets that are not quite as linear as the traditional architecture.”
The expanded pavilion will also include a new La Creperie de Paris. Celebrity chef Jerome Bocuse is creating menus for both a table-service experience as well as quick-service grab-and-go options.
“We’re nearly doubling the size of the France pavilion,” Valiquette said. “You’ll actually come around behind the pavilion and there’s so much there. We keep joking, it’s so grand, it’s almost a land.”
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will debut in Summer 2020.
Mary Poppins attraction
Disney has been purposely vague on the new Mary Poppins attraction coming to Epcot’s United Kingdom pavilion. We still don’t know the attraction’s name, opening date or what the “adventure” will entail.
“This is the first time anywhere around the world that we’ve had an attraction dedicated to Mary Poppins,” Valiquette said.
One thing is certain: Visitors will walk along a cobblestone street past Admiral Boom’s house to an address familiar to all Mary Poppins fans.
“You’ll actually enter on Cherry Tree Lane and you’ll see Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane, the Banks family home,” Valiquette said. “That’s going to be really special to people who have cherished the Mary Poppins movies for so much of their lives.”
Disney will renovate and update the Spaceship Earth attraction inside Epcot’s iconic golf ball-like geosphere centrepiece.
“Spaceship Earth is a favourite attraction for so many people and really is a host attraction as you come into Epcot,” Valiquette said. “So it was really important to us that we maintain the heart of this park in that attraction. When you go to Spaceship Earth, it’s almost your pre-show before the park. This is where we set the tone for the park.”
The ride experience will remain a voyage through time and the history of humanity.
“Spaceship Earth is taking on the overarching Epcot theme,” Hundgen said. “This is a celebration of us as people and the fact that we’re all storytellers wherever we come from. The common language we share is that we tell stories. So that becomes a central theme for the story itself.”
Spaceship Earth will get a new narration and musical score, reflecting the power of storytelling to unite the human experience.
“We have some great classic scenes in that attraction that we will update and bring new magic to and then introduce some new show scenes throughout,” Hundgen said.
A magical “story light” will guide riders through the dark ride journey.
“That light is going to take many different forms along the journey,” Valiquette said. “It’s really a beautiful story that will touch the hearts of our guests in a whole new way.”
Disney has not announced an opening date for the revamped Spaceship Earth.
Journey of Water
The Journey of Water exploration trail inspired by Disney’s “Moana” animated film will let visitors play with “magical, living water.”
“Just like in the film, water becomes a central character to Moana’s journey here at Epcot,” Hundgen said. “We want guests to feel that same experience and feel water. Literally touch it and feel it and see how it can be playful and become a character as you walk along and explore that trail.”
The new Journey of Water coming to Epcot will be nothing like the leaping fountains next to Journey into Imagination, according to Valiquette.
“This is interactive, magical water,” Valiquette said. “It’s telling the story of how water is magical. Imagine that water is doing something at your command. You have this magical interaction with the water. I don’t want to give it all away, but there are just so many special things about this. I felt like a child when I was just in a warehouse seeing a mockup because it really is magical.”
Walking through the water-centric attraction doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get soaking wet.
“One thing that was important to me is I need two tracks, one where you can get wet and one where you can stay as dry as you want.”
Journey of Water is another of the new Epcot attractions that does not yet have an opening date.
The new Space 220 will be as much an attraction as a restaurant when the out-of-this-world eatery opens in the expanded Mission: Space pavilion.
“You’ll board this hovering spacecraft that allows you to dine literally among the stars and have a great meal with views back down to planet Earth,” Hundgen said.
The experience begins before the diners even reach the dining room. The culinary experience will take diners to a space station hovering 220 miles above Epcot.
“We’re taking guests into a space elevator,” Hundgen said. “You’ll actually see Walt Disney World as you’re going up in the elevator.”
Viewport screens will also offer celestial daytime and nighttime panoramic views of Earth. “There’s stuff hovering in space, so you’ll see some of those elements fly in and out as you dine,” Hundgen said.
Disney hasn’t yet revealed the intergalactic menu for Space 220.
“Epcot is sort of a foodies’ park in many ways,” Hundgen said. “So whatever we do, you know we’ll have a unique Epcot twist on it.”
Space 220 chefs will be able to pick from ingredients grown right on the space station.“You’ll walk through a grow zone where you can see how vegetables are being grown in space,” Valiquette said.
Space 220 is expected to open in February 2020.
With the announcement of these exciting new Epcot attractions, the future looks bright for this much-loved park.