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New EPCOT Changes & Expansion | Renovation Project Updates

As you may have heard, EPCOT park in Walt Disney World is at the end of the biggest transformation in park history over the next few years. Yes, there are many new changes coming to EPCOT in 2024, 2025, and beyond.

New Epcot Entrance Concept Art

In this post, we are going to share with you all the details about the EPCOT expansion and all the new changes including new attractions, restaurants, themed areas, logos, and more.

(UPDATE) – Disney has just announced the CommuniCore Hall and Plaza opening date, as well as details of a new Encanto Show that will be played there. They have also dropped the construction walls from around World Celebration and guests can now visit the lush gardens and the spine of EPCOT for themselves. Keep reading for the details.

It’s hard to believe that a huge EPCOT overhaul has been going on since 2019, but it’s easy to understand once you set foot inside. The entire park has been a construction zone recently, but this remodel is going to prepare EPCOT to finally step into the 21st century.

The Disney World closure in 2020 slowed down the EPCOT construction some, and we’ll get into all the changes because of that, and what is and isn’t getting built now.

Spaceship Earth EPCOT

We’ll look at the upcoming changes to:

  • World Celebration
  • World Discovery
  • World Nature
  • and World Showcase

We’ll keep this post updated whenever new information comes out, so keep checking back periodically to see the latest EPCOT overhaul plans.

Also, EPCOT is not the only theme park with new changes on the way. Make sure to read about all the new rides coming to Walt Disney World in the next few years.

Before we get started, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. There we bring you the latest EPCOT updates as well as vacation planning tips. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter!

(UPDATE) CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza Opening in June

After months of waiting, Disney has finally announced that the CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza will open on June 10, 2024 in EPCOT at Walt Disney World, and it has some new entertainment coming with it.

EPCOT Comminucore Plaza

As you know, World Celebration opened on December 5, 2023 after more than 4 long years of construction walls around the center of EPCOT. That’s right, you are now finally able to walk once again through the middle of EPCOT without taking the long way around to World Showcase or the park exit.

Originally, CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza were both supposed to open with the rest of World Celebration, but they were not quite ready at that time. If you remember from the original plans, these are the festival areas which will be a place for guests to gather, eat, drink and listen to live music.

One of the new exciting details we just found out about is that there will be a new “Encanto” show located alongside CommuniCore Plaza. This new limited-time shows is entitled “¡Celebración Encanto!” and it will run multiple times per day from June 10 to September 6.

Encanto Show CommuniCore Plaza EPCOT

The show is a sing-along with your favorite tunes from the film and invites the whole family to participate. But it doesn’t end there. Mirabel and Bruno will also perform on the CommuniCore Plaza stage.

Disney has been saying for years they want more IP in EPCOT, and the characters from Encanto make a lot of sense considering how big of a hit it was. Encanto is also rumored to be in the new Animal Kingdom expansion project, so it seems like Disney wants to strike while the iron is hot.

Besides the Encanto show, there will also be a new character meet location as part of the project with Mickey Mouse and his friends taking up residency there.

The official Disney press release reads:

“The beautiful greenspaces throughout the World Celebration Gardens will feature ample seating and shade, as well as a central planter based on the five-rings of the iconic EPCOT logo. Guests will be invited to connect with one another and the nature around them in this lush new area. Each of the garden spaces will have their own identities and change with the EPCOT festivals throughout the year. CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza will make their debut in 2024.

On a good note, the World Celebration Gardens are now open which are amazing, and even better at night. It is full of beautiful new lighting effects that you are going to love. You can also check out the Walt Disney statue at Dreamers Point, and if you don’t mind waiting in the long line you can even get your photo taken with Walt.

Then at the end of the night, guests now have a new fireworks show to enjoy around World Showcase, “Luminous The Symphony of Us.

Disney hasn’t announced an official opening date yet for CommuniCore Hall or CommuniCore Plaza, but we will update you with those when we have them.

What Changes are Coming to EPCOT?

Let’s face it, EPCOT has been in dire need of changes and a massive renovation for the last decade, and really much longer than that. Ever since the park opened in 1982, Disney has struggled to keep up with technology in the park, and the futuristic vision of EPCOT.

EPCOT World Celebration Concept Art
Epcot concept art

Most of Future World is tired out, and buildings such as Innoventions have been mostly empty for years now. Clearly, Disney had to make some changes to bring it up to date and use that valuable real estate.

EPCOT has been the most overlooked park in recent years as major expansions have happened already at the other Walt Disney World theme parks, with little happening here. Now brand new attractions and refurbishments to old ones are actually coming!

Disney has also been trying to make EPCOT more kid-friendly for years and has been slowly working more characters into the parks. That trend will continue during the EPCOT transformation, bringing in new and old characters.

looking at Spaceship Earth through the trees Moana Journey of Water EPCOT

Disney’s original plan for the first phase of the expansion was centered around Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary in 2021. They were hoping to have some of the new attractions in place for what should be the biggest celebration the resort has ever seen.

On October 1, 2022, EPCOT had its own 40th Anniversary, and Disney was hoping to finish the rest of the changes by then, but that never happened.

Since the park closures in 2020, Disney has greatly reduced its spending for new attractions and cut the budget by $900 million. Unfortunately, that means that many of the new EPCOT attractions were delayed, and some are outright canceled.

Space 220 restaurant Epcot concept art

While the 50th anniversary has already come and gone and some new attractions have been built, there is a lot more planned from now through the end of the celebration in 2023 and into 2024.

Since EPCOT is the home of the Disney100 celebration at Walt Disney World, the company has already announced that most of the new additions will be ready in time for the celebration, which starts in Fall 2023.

One good way to keep updated on the changes is in our Walt Disney World Construction Updates guide.  There we let you know the latest status on all of the current projects going on.

Without further ado, here is what’s new and what’s coming next to EPCOT in 2023 and beyond.

New Park Layout

The first new change to EPCOT affects the actual layout of the park. In the past, it was divided into 2 halves, Future World and World Showcase.

Epcot Neighborhoods concept art

At the 2019 D23 Expo, Disney announced that Future World was being eliminated, and in 2021, it split up into 3 new neighborhoods. This took place in 2021. When we say eliminating Future World we don’t mean the actual space, but the name Future World is now gone.

Future World is now split into:

  • World Celebration – From the entrance of the park through the center of old Future World, including Spaceship Earth and Innoventions areas.
  • World Nature – What used to be Future World West and home of The Seas, The Land, and the Imagination! pavilion.
  • World Discovery – This is the old Future World East and where Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, the Play! pavilion, Mission: Space, and Test Track are located.

Together with World Showcase, this means EPCOT park is now made up of 4 separate neighborhoods, giving each area a unique look and feel.

For more info, read our blog post here where we explain more about the 4 EPCOT neighborhoods.

New Attractions in EPCOT

Epcot Forever Fireworks First Show

So what new attractions are currently being built and what’s new and open already at EPCOT?

Below we’ve listed all the new changes and overhaul plans for the park and have broken them down by area. Some of them are open already, and some of them are still under construction. Let’s take a look…

Make sure to read our Guide to the Best Rides at EPCOT for more information about all of the attractions in the park.

Entrance Plaza

EPCOT entrance and Spaceship Earth

Before you even enter EPCOT, you will notice the completely overhauled entrance plaza. Gone are the Leave a Legacy stone monuments, and in are more trees, flowers, and gardens. We love this change as the whole area feels much warmer and more welcoming than the cold stone from before.

The plaza has much more space to walk now which should help with crowds for some of the future projects.

Our favorite part of the entrance plaza is the renovated fountain at the end and in front of Spaceship Earth. The design of the acrylic pylons is almost identical to the old EPCOT Center fountain and should put a smile on the face of any classic fan of the park.

concept art of Epcot remodel

Spaceship Earth also has new lights installed in between each of the panels on the outside of the structure for the new nighttime light show “Beacons of Magic.”

This change to Spaceship Earth will take your breath away, and it is easily one of the best upgrades the park has had in a long time. Make sure to go down that way once the sun goes down, and prepare to be amazed!

Spaceship Earth lit up at night in EPCOT

We love the new entrance and we can’t wait for you to see it in all of its classic EPCOT glory!

Read our EPCOT Entrance post for a better look at the whole area.

World Celebration

EPCOT World Celebration Concept Art

The first section of the park we are going to look at is World Celebration. This is the first area you will enter as you pass the EPCOT entrance plaza and it starts with Spaceship Earth. It covers the entire center section of what used to be Future World and it will include a totally new Festival Center.

Disney describes World Celebration as having “experiences that connect us to one another in the world.”

EPCOT World Celebration Map Concept Art

EPCOT Gardens

Estimated Opening Date – December 2023

As we know, Disney has made a strong effort to make EPCOT more nature-friendly filling the park with as much green as possible and World Celebration is where we see the most of this. Right in the very center of World Celebration is a vast network of lush gardens.

EPCOT World Celebration Gardens Concept Art

The hub here divides the area into different gardens, and in the middle of that is a planter inspired by the five-ring EPCOT logo. This area will be filled with plenty of seating for guests, and shade (something EPCOT is currently missing).

EPCOT World Celebration ground lights Concept Art

Another thing we are super excited about is that Disney is bringing back embedded lights to EPCOT in the pavement! This was a fan favorite and a classic feature of the old Future World, and it looks like it’s going to be a hit here too.

EPCOT World Celebration Garden lights Concept Art

The gardens will also evolve depending on the season with the decorations and lighting changing year-round for a new nighttime experience no matter when you visit. The area will take on a whole new life at night and offer amazing views of Spaceship Earth with the new lights!

Festival Center (CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza)

EPCOT Concept Art Communicore Hall
  • Estimated Opening Date – June 10, 2024

The new festival center has been the biggest mystery around the EPCOT expansion, and Disney has now finally given us an update after almost three years of waiting. Sadly budget cuts have hit the festival center since its original announcement, and the end result is going to be a much lesser version than the original plan.

This new area sits on the old location of the former CommuniCore West building and is now more like a festival area rather than an actual elevated pavilion structure in the original concept art. It will be called CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza after the former Future World pavilion.

EPCOT Communicore Hall Concept Art

It’s broken up into 3 different sections all next to each other. The first area is indoors and home to a Mickey’s Friends character meet called “Mickey & Friends.” As you can imagine, you’ll not only be able to meet Mickey Mouse, but also a number of your favorite Disney characters in this colorful space.

This will end up being pretty much in the same position as where the old character spot was located.

Comminicore Hall EPCOT

Next to that is another indoor area, CommuniCore Hall. This is a multi-use facility and will be a flexible exhibition and gallery space, offering a wide variety of experiences that highlight art, live music, and food – complete with a demonstration kitchen, mixology bar, and more.

Here is an example of what it could look like for the Festival of the Arts:

EPCOT Comminucore Plaza

The architecture of this building was designed by Walt Disney Imagineering to celebrate the legacy of EPCOT and the original CommuniCore buildings.

It should offer ways for chefs to connect with guests and expand on the overall festival experience in EPCOT.

EPCOT Communicore Plaza Concept Art

Right next to that is the outdoor event space, CommuniCore Plaza. This area will change with the park’s international festivals and tie the area in with the central garden space.

CommuniCore Plaza will have the flexibility to host intimate musical performances that extend out into the nearby gardens, as you can see in the rendering above, as well as large-scale concerts.  So basically, most events having to do with the EPCOT international festivals are going to take place right here.

One of the new entertainment options coming to CommuniCore Plaza is the Encanto show “¡Celebración Encanto!” This is a limited-time show that will run from June 10 to September 6, 2024, and it invites you and your family to sing along to your favorite songs from the film. You’ll also spot Mirabel and Bruno on the newly opened CommuniCore Plaza stage.

The reason we said this area is disappointing is when you contrast it to what could have been. This was going to be the most drastic of the EPCOT changes as the new festival center was planned to be a multi-story pavilion to be the hub for the 4 annual festivals.

New Disney Rides and attractions coming to Disney World
Epcot concept art

This building was to be filled with lush gardens, dining options, and shops. The highlight was a lookout point high above the park giving guests stunning views of EPCOT park and over World Showcase Lagoon.

Take a look at the difference between the original concept art and the final result now.

New Disney Rides and attractions coming to Disney World
Original EPCOT World Celebration concept art
EPCOT World Celebration Concept Art
New concept art for World Celebration

Ironically, the new building looks a lot like the old CommuniCore buildings they just tore down and they probably felt at this point the aesthetic would be better to keep it similar to the ones on the other side of the gardens.

We knew something like this was coming, but it’s still sad when it actually becomes official. We hate seeing something so promising and ambitious like the original festival building be turned into what is essentially a lawn and garden.

We knew the budget cuts had altered the plans here and Disney had already confirmed the previously planned festival center will not be built, or will at least be heavily modified, saying they would “take a different approach” with the new Festival Center.

In fact, the press release leaves out the words “festival center” and now describes it as a “newly reimagined festival area.”

Our only question now is what happens to the America Gardens Theatre now with concerts happening on this side of the park? Will the American Gardens Theatre close down and be replaced by something else, or will there be two locations in the park that serve as large concert venues?

Disney has announced that World Celebration will be open in December 2023, including all the above additions. We are waiting for further details and an official opening date.

Dreamer’s Point & Walt Disney Statue

Walt Disney The Dreamer statue coming to EPCOT D23 Expo
  • Estimated Opening Date December 2023

Dreamers Point will be an important area in between the middle of World Celebration and Spaceship Earth. Not only is the area filled with lush gardens, and a storytelling fountain, but it’s also highlighted by a statue of Walt Disney called: “Walt the Dreamer.”

Disney describes Dreamers Point as a “beautiful natural environment and global design elements filled with Disney magic and surprises, including a story fountain celebrating the power and music of iconic Disney storytelling.”

statue of Walt Disney at EPCOT Park Disney World

Seeing as he never got to see EPCOT built, it’s fitting that a statue of Walt Disney himself is being put in the park, and it is a great way to dedicate the newly renovated land once finished.

Thankfully, Disney decided to go ahead with Dreamer’s Point and the statue of Walt Disney amongst all the canceled projects in the park.

We got an up-close look at Walt the Dreamer at the most recent D23 Expo, and it truly is gorgeous and will be a great addition to EPCOT once installed.

Walt Disney Statue EPCOT

The only question we have is about the “wishing tree” which was previously mentioned in the description of this area but left out of the most recent release. We’ll keep an eye out for more info on that and if it is still getting built.

Club Cool

Bon Bon Anglais Madagascar Club Cool EPCOT
  • Opening Date – NOW OPEN

Get ready to sip some Beverly once again, because Club Cool is officially back! The old location closed down in 2019, and even though it changed locations, the premise is still the same.

Club Cool is a place to go in EPCOT where you can try unique soda offerings from around the world, and do it for free. It’s one of our favorite free things to do in Disney World and a must for any soda lover.

Drink until your heart’s content, just stay away from Smart Sour Plum from China, it tastes like BBQ gone bad.

Creations Shop

Creations Shop EPCOT
  • Opening Date – NOW OPEN

The new Creations Shop is the replacement for Mouse Gears and the new central merchandise location in World Celebration.

You can find everything here including, a wide selection of t-shirts, games, hats, accessories, bags, mugs, kitchenware, and more. The highlights of the store are the two giant Mickey Mouse murals on either end of the store, as well as the handcrafted Mickey statues on display.

Connections Café and Eatery

Connections Cafe and Eatery EPCOT Concept Art
  • Opening Date – NOW OPEN

We’ve been waiting for something good to eat in this area of the park for a long time, and the Connections Café and Eatery fills that need in spades. It’s located in the space that the Electric Umbrella used to occupy and the building has been completely overhauled.

It serves your typical theme park food like burgers, pizza, salads, and the like, but with an international twist. The food here is of higher quality though than what we originally expected.

Since it opened, it’s immediately become one of the best quick service restaurants in EPCOT and it is a must-try when you are hungry. Get the Liege waffle and one of the burgers or salads!

Spaceship Earth

New Egypt Scene in Spaceship Earth refurbishment
  • Estimated Opening Date – Refurb Suspended, TBD

Spaceship Earth was scheduled for a refurbishment in May 2020 but that never ended up happening and the ride has been running in EPCOT ever since.

The refurbishment planned will be the biggest one the ride has ever gone through with major scene overhauls, new scenes, new narration, and completely changing the way the story is told.

At this point, we aren’t sure if or when the renovation will start or how long the project will last. At the moment, it doesn’t seem like Disney is canceling the renovation completely, and at least most of the interior changes will eventually happen.

However, from the latest concept art of World Celebration, it seems that the expected changes to Project Tomorrow and the Spaceship Earth exit have now been canceled.

Even though the ride hasn’t changed, you will really love the new lighting package on the outside of Spaceship Earth.

No update has been given in more than 3 years now which makes us think even if this does eventually go through, it won’t be for at least a couple of years still.

World Discovery

What was formerly known as Future World East has now been renamed World Discovery. This is a place where “stories about science, technology, and intergalactic adventure come to life.”

World Discovery includes the current areas of Mission: Space, Test Track as well as the new Play! Pavilion and Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster.

Space 220

Dining Room Windows at Space 220
  • Opening Date – NOW OPEN

The Space 220 Restaurant brings guests on an out-of-this-world dining experience 220 miles above the Earth! We really love the giant LED screens acting as windows where diners can see out into space and the Earth down below!

It’s not only about looks here though, the food and drinks are also out of this world! Our favorites are the lobster salad, buffalo cauliflower, and the filet mignon with the cabernet butter sauce!

We think this was a smashing success and we now consider it one of the best restaurants in EPCOT.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Nova Corps Starblaster ship
  • Opening Date – NOW OPEN

If you like roller coasters and are a Marvel fan, you are going to love the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind coaster. Join Star-Lord, Groot, Rocket, and all the Guardians on the most thrilling new ride coming to EPCOT.

Taking over the former space of the Universe of Energy, this is one of the world’s longest indoor roller coasters. It also uses lots of screen technology and special effects, as well as ground-breaking new ride vehicles which turn in all directions so you never miss the action.

Cosmic Rewind officially opened on May 27, 2022, right in the middle of Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebration, and we absolutely LOVE it! It’s already taken the #2 position in our rankings of the best roller coasters at Disney World, and we can understand if some have it at #1.

Make sure you read our guide to the Virtual Queue and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind so you are able to ride it when you go.

Test Track 3.0

Test Track reimagining concept art
  • Opening Date – 2024

One announcement we definitely were not expecting, but we’ve been hoping for is the reimagining of Test Track in World Discovery. Imagineers and teams from Chevrolet are looking back to the classic EPCOT ride World of Motion for inspiration of the next version of Test Track.Not much is known about what it will be like yet, but with the current version being about 13 years old already and quite frankly, inferior to the original ride, we are very excited to see if Test Track can return to the glory days.

One thing that has us very optimistic is that the new version will be paying homage to the original attraction located in that building…World of Motion! I can’t wait to see what they have in store!

Play! Pavilion

Concept art for EPCOT Play! Pavilion
  • Estimated Opening Date – Cancelled? TBD

The Play! Pavilion is taking over the former Wonders of Life building and is going to be full of interactive attractions and experiences based mostly on Disney IP. It definitely will be a hit with kids and Disney describes it as an “immersive and interactive city,” which makes us curious about all the possibilities.

This has been missing in any of Disney’s latest updates for EPCOT, there hasn’t even been a mention. That doesn’t give us a warm and fuzzy feeling about it and it’s very possible that it could be canceled altogether.

Play Pavilion epcot concept art

Rumors are that Disney is having a hard time figuring out how to handle this space seeing that it is a very “hands-on” attraction in the post-COVID world.

If it does get built, this will be one of the later attractions in the EPCOT overhaul, so don’t expect to step foot inside until 2025 or beyond, if ever. We hope for more clarity on this as soon from Disney.

EPCOT Experience

Epcot Experience Odyssey Epcot Models and Display HarmonioUS 4
  • Estimated Opening Date – NOW CLOSED

The EPCOT Experience was an exhibit located in the Odyssey Center which highlighted all the new changes coming to EPCOT. There were models, posters, and even a film highlighting the future transformation of the park in 2022, 2023, and beyond.

Unfortunately, it has now closed and it is being used for the various food marketplaces during the many festivals throughout the year.

World Nature

While World Discovery is focused on science and technology, World Nature takes us to the animal and plants we find here on our planet Earth and to understand the beauty in the natural world.

The Seas with Nemo and Friends, The Land and the Imagination! pavilion are all found here, as well as one new attraction.

Moana: Journey of Water

playing with water at Moana Journey of Water EPCOT
  • Opening Date – NOW OPEN

This is the very first Disney attraction featuring Moana. This is a walkthrough in World Nature located near The Seas with Nemo and Friends and complete with lush gardens and water features that guests can interact with and be a part of.

Disney’s press release calls it a “lush exploration trail” that “will invite guests to meet and play with magical, living water.”

In fact, it follows the story of water on the planet, inspired by Moana’s connection to the ocean and “just like Moana, you’re encouraged to become a protector and friend to our natural resources.”

EPCOT Moana Journey of Water Concept Art

Here is some concept art from Disney that gives a nice overview look at this attraction. It shows the wooden pavilion, walking paths, waterfalls, and overhead springs.

Moana Journey of Water waterfalls Concept Art

There is even a huge Te Fiti topiary at the end of the experience which offers great photo opportunities.

It’s important to remember, this is not a ride, but a self-guided exploration trail. You can spend as little or as much time exploring here as you wish.

Moana Journey of Water Te Fiti Model D23 Expo

After that, there is also a Moana Character Meet that opened in the same area starting on October 16, 2023 with a meet and greet space with a similar look to Journey of Water.

We got to experience Moana: Journey of Water in EPCOT during one of the Annual Passholder preview events and we really enjoyed it. No, it’s not a ride (which would have been even better), but it’s a solid addition to World Celebration and there is no denying how beautiful this part of the park is now.

Awesome Planet

Awesome Planet Entrance EPCOT
  • Opening Date – NOW OPEN

Awesome Planet – The first of the new EPCOT films and located in The Land pavilion. This film explores planet Earth, showing the impact that humans are having on the environment.

Figment Character Meet and Greet

Figment Character Meet EPCOT
  • Opening Date – NOW OPEN

One of the most pleasant additions to World Nature is without a doubt that you now get the chance to meet Figment once again!  That’s right, fan-favorite character Figment is back in EPCOT and appearing to meet park guests.

This meet and greet is taking place in the ImageWorks area of the Imagination! pavilion, so hop on the Journey Into Imagination ride and then stop by to say hello to your favorite purple dragon once you get out.

We recommend getting there early if it’s a priority to you, as the queue can be an hour long or more.

World Showcase

Even though the front half of EPCOT is getting the biggest transformation, there are also quite a few changes coming to World Showcase including attractions, interactive experiences, and a brand-new nighttime spectacular!

The France Pavilion just got a huge expansion and has practically doubled in size now that it’s finished. Could we also see new World Showcase pavilions??

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

Remy's Ratatouille Adventure walk-in refrigerator
  • Opening Date – NOW OPEN

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure shrinks guests down to the size of a rat and brings them on a wild and crazy adventure through Gusteau’s restaurant from the film.

This ride uses the same trackless technology that has worked so well in other Disney attractions and is a clone of the version that first opened in Disneyland Paris. So far this has been an instant hit with kids and families and it has become the most popular ride in the park right now.

If you want to ride you’ll either have to get there early or pay extra for the new Genie+ service.

Disney’s DuckTales World Showcase Adventure

  • Opening Date – NOW OPEN

This interactive experience is the replacement for the popular “Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure,” where you now will follow Scrooge McDuck, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and their friends on a thrilling adventure in search of treasure.

We just got a new update as Disney announced that the DuckTales World Showcase Adventure was officially opening on December 16, 2022. That means it will be ready for your next trip to EPCOT.

La Crêperie De Paris

crepe from La Creperie de Paris EPCOT
  • Opening Date – NOW OPEN

As part of the huge France Pavilion expansion, one place you definitely want to stop to eat is La Crêperie De Paris. Billed as an authentic crêperie, it features both savory and sweet crepes, good for whatever your mood.

One of the reasons it has had success so far is that it’s being run by Chef Jérôme Bocuse, who was already in charge of Chefs de France and Monsieur Paul in the EPCOT France pavilion.

We really like the “Classique” with ham, egg, and Swiss cheese, or the “Poulet” with chicken, bechamel cheese sauce, and mushrooms. For dessert, we stick with the classics and get “Gourmande” which is made with Nutella and whipped cream.

Wondrous China

China pavilion gate Epcot
  • Opening Date – 2024?

Another new 3D film is coming to World Showcase, this one in China. The film “Wondrous China” is replacing the old China film with new visuals, new music, and higher resolution video.

Disney hasn’t announced an opening date yet for Wondrous China, but filming had been put on hold due to the global health situation. No mention of the film was made in Disney’s latest press release, and it may be on hold. We expect it to debut sometime in 2024.

EPCOT Luminous – (New Nighttime Spectacular)

Disney Harmonious
  • Opening Date – December 5, 2023

One announcement we did not expect to receive is that Disney is already working on a brand new nighttime spectacular called “EPCOT Luminous – The Symphony of US.”

This will be the permanent replacement for Disney Harmonious and it’s coming to EPCOT on December 5, 2023.

We are surprised that Disney pulled the plug after such a short amount of time, but apparently, they are now listening to the complaints from guests. They have even removed the giant barges that were obstructing just about every view of World Showcase. There will be floating barges for the new show, but they will be removable like in Illuminations.

New EPCOT fireworks show

According to Disney, the new show will feature “an original composition along with select songs from the Disney songbook, this new spectacular will remind us that we’re more alike than different, connecting our hearts together as one.”

We don’t know exactly what Luminous will be about (except for the whole “us” part, but Disney is making a concerted effort to appeal to a younger generation in EPCOT, only time will tell if those efforts pay off while at the same time not isolating the park’s older fans.

It sounds more like Illuminations to us than Harmonious, which is a good thing.

Until its final performance in December 2023, you can still watch EPCOT Forever. It features some cool new effects, pyrotechnics, lasers, and fireworks. While not our favorite show, it’s still worth seeing and it will be around until the new show debuts.

Disney Harmonious

Disney Harmonious barge with water screen
  • Opening Date – NOW CLOSED
  • Closing Date – April 2, 2023

While we were all sad when Illuminations ended, we understood the need for a new show. What was supposed to be its long-term replacement “Disney Harmonious” has now turned into a temporary holdover show.

Disney Harmonious was an intriguing show worth seeing, but it didn’t live up to its predecessor Illuminations in our opinion, and we are happy it is getting replaced.

It was filled with plenty of lasers, pyrotechnics, fountains, lights, and of course fireworks, and it was definitely much different than any past EPCOT shows. One of the most controversial aspects were the gigantic barges permanently built in the middle of World Showcase Lagoon which are anything but pleasing to the eye.

The last performance of Disney Harmonious was on April 2, 2023.

Other Projects

Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along entrance France EPCOT

Here are some of the other recently opened projects around World Showcase that you should check out.

Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along – This new film shares a theater with Impressions de France and is a re-telling of the Beauty and the Beast story, from Lefou’s point of view. This is one of the weaker new attractions and we aren’t huge fans.

Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 3D – New scenes and a new musical score and updated visuals make for an improved version of the old film.

Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue This new quick service restaurant opened at The American Adventure pavilion recently and is arguably the best BBQ in any Disney theme park. Oh yeah, and it’s inspired by The Muppets too!

Shiki-Sai: Sushi Izakaya This Japanese restaurant takes the place of Tokyo Dining in the upper part of the Japan pavilion. The food here is awesome with lots of options besides just sushi like rice bowls, tempura and other raw seafood dishes.

Takumi-TeiThis high-end Japanese steakhouse opened up in 2019 and is the most upscale restaurant in any Walt Disney World theme park, and offers the food quality to match. If you want a special meal in EPCOT, this is it.

Disney Skyliner Gondola in Disney World

Disney Skyliner This is Disney World’s newest transportation, and it has turned into an attraction all on its own. These suspended gondolas bring guests to the back entrance of EPCOT and are connected to 4 Disney hotels and Disney’s Hollywood Studios park. Definitely don’t leave without riding it!

Rumored Changes

Besides the official expansion plans EPCOT has already announced, there are some rumors for even more changes that we have yet to have confirmed. Here are a few:

Mary Poppins Attraction

Cherry Tree Lane Mary Poppins ride Epcot concept art
  • Estimated Opening Date – Suspended, TBD

One of the biggest surprises that was announced for EPCOT was a Mary Poppins attraction coming to the U.K. pavilion. In fact, Disney announced they were reimagining the back area of the pavilion into a Cherry Lane replica.

At this time Disney has confirmed that the Mary Poppins attraction has been put on hold, but not forgotten. It’s possible it could eventually get built at some point in the future. There were no definitive plans announced for what type of attraction it was supposed to be, and it doesn’t look like we will be finding out anytime soon.

Journey Into Imagination!

Is Figment staying in EPCOT or will he be replaced? Rumors have been circling for the better part of a decade about the future of the Imagination! pavilion and the character many guests consider to be the mascot of EPCOT.

Figment animatronic Journey Into Imagination EPCOT

It’s no surprise that fans are not thrilled with the current version of the ride and supposedly, Disney has plans for a Journey Into Imagination with Figment replacement eventually. Besides that, we don’t know if it will use the same ride system or turn into something more ambitious.

However, considering the financial state of the company at this time, it seems unlikely we’ll get a new ride here until at least the halfway point in this decade.

New Countries Coming to EPCOT?

Since EPCOT opened, people have been talking about new countries coming to World Showcase, and in the 80s there were two expansions that added Morocco and Norway.

Is there a new country coming to EPCOT’s World Showcase soon?

The most-rumored countries in recent years have been Spain and Brazil, with the latter seeming to be the more likely choice. We thought we would have had an announcement at the two D23 Expos ago, and we didn’t get one this time either.

Brazil Pavilion Epcot Map

While we don’t rule anything out, it doesn’t seem like it’s very high on Disney’s list of priorities for EPCOT right now so I wouldn’t expect anything in the next few years. If a new pavilion does get built, it won’t be part of this expansion, it will be further out into the future.

New EPCOT Logos

One of the first things that Disney shared is the new logo for Epcot as a park, and also new logos for the different pavilions located throughout the park. they are old-school in look and feel, and I LOVE them!

Here is the one for Epcot itself:

Epcot Logo

and here are the individual ones for the pavilions throughout the park:

Epcot Logos D23 Expo
photo by The Dis
Epcot Symbols 1
photo by The Laughing Place
Epcot Symbols 4
photo by The Laughing Place
Epcot Symbols 3
photo by The Laughing Place
Epcot Symbols 2
photo by The Laughing Place

They all have a futuristic, yet retro look to them borrowed very much from the original EPCOT logo.

Is EPCOT Closing?

You may be wondering: “With all this new expansion and construction work happening at EPCOT, with the park be closing anytime soon?”

The short answer is no.

Besides the necessary closure of all the parks that happened in 2020, Disney has no plans to close EPCOT as a park during the expansion project and it will remain open.

At times certain sections of the park will be closed, or certain attractions, but the park itself will continue running throughout the duration of the renovation.

What Will Be Closed at EPCOT in 2023 and 2024?

MouseGear exterior in Epcot

Even though we are excited about all the new changes coming to EPCOT, that unfortunately means we also had to say goodbye to some other attractions in the park to make room for the new ones.

If you are visiting this year, here is a list of EPCOT attractions that have closed either temporarily or permanently.

Permanent –

  • Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure
  • Disney Harmonious It’s being replaced by a new nighttime spectacular.
  • Electric Umbrella
  • EPCOT Character Spot
  • EPCOT Forever Illuminations: Reflections of Earth closed in 2019, and was replaced by this temporary fireworks show with new special effects and a soundtrack from the original EPCOT Center attractions.
  • Fountain View Cafe
  • Fountain of Nations
  • Innoventions
  • Pin Traders

For the latest info on attraction refurbishments around the parks, check out our post on Disney World Ride Closures.

Is EPCOT Worth Visiting in 2024?

France concept art EPCOT

So with all the changes, all the construction currently going on in the EPCOT remodel, is it worth visiting in 2024?

The answer to that question over the last few years could have easily been a “no.” We always recommend going to EPCOT, but with so much construction going on it was not worth a special trip there.

That started to change in 2023 with many of the new projects already completed and altogether it was a nice time to visit.

2024 is also a great year to visit EPCOT, especially for all the new rides and attractions in the park and pretty much everything will be finished by then. Already the France expansion is open with Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and it’s two dining locations.

Space 220 elevator EPCOT

You won’t want to miss the possibility of enjoying a meal above the atmosphere at Space 220, for sure one of the most unique dining experiences at Disney World.

It’s worth coming for one of the festivals, which are always fun. You can go on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, which has quickly become one of the best rides in Disney World.

Just make sure you understand how to use Genie Plus and Lightning Lanes since they dramatically change the way guests tour the parks.

And 2024 should be even better than 2023 because all of the expansion projects will be ready by Fall 2023.

In 2024 World Celebration will be completely open, along with its lush gardens and the new CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza. Not only that, but you’ll also be able to experience Moana: Journey of Water and the new EPCOT nighttime spectacular EPCOT Luminous.

Those are all excellent reasons to go and if you are planning to go to Walt Disney World in 2024, and I would definitely set aside a day for EPCOT without question.

Now, there are still a few things we are waiting for to be completed such as the new Test Track reimagining. Since we don’t have a date for that yet, WHEN in 2024 you go may make a difference. If you were hoping to experience this new version of the ride, I would not go early in the year.

It may end up being down for the majority of the year, and who knows if it will actually be complete by year’s end. The later you go the better chance you will have it will be open.

If you want to be safe, wait until the Fall or Holiday Season when it’s more likely that everything new will have debuted.

When with the EPCOT Expansion Project Be Completed?

EPCOT Fireworks show Disney Harmonious

At this time we can’t say for sure the exact date that the EPCOT project will be finished, but we did get some good news from Disney Imagineers have recently stated that it will be done by some point in Late 2023 (not counting Test Track).

Disney wants the majority of the new additions to be ready in time for the Disney100 celebration, which is starting in the Fall of 2023. Since EPCOT will be the center of the celebration in Disney World, it makes sense everything will be ready by that time.

There will always be new things coming to the park, but the majority of the things we talked about in this post will be completed by 2023. That means at the most we only have a few months left with all these construction walls.

That may seem like a long time, but considering already 3 years have passed, it doesn’t seem so bad. We only hope that when it’s done, it will be worth the wait and a worthy addition to one of our favorite theme parks on the planet.

That wraps up our look at the EPCOT expansion, keep checking back as we will update this post with the latest info.

In the meantime, check out our complete guide to EPCOT, where we break down all the vacation planning tips you will need during your visit, plus we share the history of the park with you.

Your Thoughts

I want to know what you think about the new changes coming to EPCOT…

  • Which new ride are you most excited for?
  • What closing are you most upset about?

Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂

Jeannette Sanchez

Saturday 21st of October 2023

I can't wait for the new Test Track 3.0! I love Test Track because It's my favorite ride at Epcot!


Thursday 19th of October 2023

Good article Ziggy. While I do like the nostalgia I do think some of the changes are really good. Test Track, Space Ship Earth, Figment definitely need to be updated, not replaced. On the other hand Harmonious needs replacing and glad it's coming. Be nice to see a new country, a new ride, Cherry Lane, ... Been coming for over 40 yrs and the really nice additions of Remy, Guardians, Moana, new restaurants, and shops keeps it fresh. Change is constant, and as long as Disney does it right, it's a good thing. Look forward to coming in Jan 2024!!!

Nancy M.

Friday 28th of April 2023

All our beloved Disney is leaving Disney. Audio-animatronics seems to be something of a bygone era. With the new attractions, we watch a TV screen. I can do that at home for free.


Friday 21st of October 2022

There are so many hearts, shares, what's next, number in a circle, and pop up ads, I just stopped reading. To bad for me, I was enjoying it, but when the text is blocked, it becomes annoying.


Sunday 15th of May 2022

We just visited Epcot and even though Guardians Of The Galaxy was not opened yet, we had so much fun! Loved all the food and flower and garden festival was beautiful! I sound day yes, you should definitely plan a day there and Remy ride from Ratatouille was my new favorite!