Is the Epcot redesign changing this Disney theme park to incorporate more magic?


The Epcot redesign has Disney fans both excited and curious. Will this new pavilion and entrance change the dynamic and feel to this Disney theme park?

Disney just unveiled an Epcot redesign. While the Disney theme park has previously announced attraction developments, like the Guardians of the Galaxy ride, a new nighttime spectacular and even a space-themed restaurant, this latest Disney theme park news seems to change the dynamic of Epcot. Is there a nod to a superhero metropolis?

While Disney has always focused on magic and wonder, Epcot has been a little different than the other Walt Disney World theme parks. Disney usually says that Epcot promotes “curiosity, wonder, optimism, belonging and human imagination.” Although these qualities are apparent in any Disney property, these qualities are less character driven at Epcot. In many cases, these qualities are promoted through individual discovery versus character interaction.

Building on those qualities, the Epcot redesign comes in two parts. First, the entrance to Epcot is being redesigned. While this action may not seem hugely transformative, the changes set a different tone. Some people feel that Epcot’s “futuristic” elements have become a little dated.

By giving “fresh takes” on classic elements, Disney is showing that redesign is important to stay relevant. Although the Leave a Legacy photos are part of Disney memories, they don’t captivate a younger audience with the ideals of curiosity and wonder. Today’s guests want more, different and more importantly, photo memory worthy.

Looking at the artist’s rendering, it appears that Disney character topiaries will be part of the entrance. The always popular Epcot Flower and Garden Festival displays these topiaries throughout the park. By adding them permanently to the entrance, Disney embraces nature and, in a way, eco-forward concepts.

Additionally, this entrance brings the classic Disney characters into the Epcot experience. While some Disney princesses, like Frozen and Belle, are well-represented at Epcot, having Mickey and Donald in the forefront is a reminder of the Disney history.

While the front entrance is a big part of the Epcot redesign, the interactive play area is quite curious. Based on the artist’s rendering, there seems to be a little wink and nod to a superhero world. While Disney cannot include some Marvel characters in Walt Disney World theme parks, this play area seems to capture that superhero feel.

In this artist rendering, a new play pavilion in development at Epcot will include first-of-their-kind experiences devoted to playful fun, inviting guests into an innovative city bursting with interactive experiences and hands-on activities. Friends and family will interact with favorite Disney characters in an energetic metropolis unlike anything ever seen before at Epcot. The as-yet-unnamed space will debut to guests in time for the Walt Disney World 50th anniversary. ( photo provided by Disney)

According to Disney, this area will be an interactive metropolis with hands-on activities and games. In the drawing, there are several characters, like Edna Mode. How each character will interact with guests or each other remains to be seen.

Additionally, the artist rendering gives a feel of a great expansive space. Since this metropolis is taking over the Festival Center area, it isn’t huge. But, Disney could be expanding the festival center area to allow for more space. In that case, the area could be much more interesting.

Also, the Festival Center (soon to be new play area) is right next store to the Guardians of the Galaxy ride. While these two spaces might not be connected, it does create a themed area in that section of Epcot. Again, not exactly the same as the Marvel lands in other Disney theme parks, it does sound like a wink and a nod to the superhero experience.

Overall, these two Epcot redesigns seem to focus on a younger Disney audience. Sometimes people think of Epcot as the more “adult” theme park. From drinking around the world to the various food festivals, this Disney theme park is where adults get to have a little fun. While this idea wasn’t necessarily the vision, the experiences tend to appeal to an older crowd.

The addition of the “play” pavilion gives the younger audience more experiences. Sure, Frozen will always have a long, long line. Now, there will be more experiences for people to enjoy beyond walking around the world.

Since there seems to be a commitment to updating Epcot ahead of the Walt Disney World Resort 50th anniversary, it will be curious to see what other attractions could get an update. The Figment ride is quite dated and can be overlooked by some guests. With Figment’s popularity, could this attraction finally get an update, too?

Although this Epcot redesign won’t be finalized for a while, Disney will continue to share exciting tidbits of information to keep fans engaged. As the pixie dust starts to sprinkle, what else could be in store?

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What do you think of the Epcot redesign? Will it be a positive or a negative for this Disney theme park?