Step into EPCOT, as we did this past weekend, and you can feel it in the air—there’s a change coming. In fact, the transformation that’s set to take place, which will transpire over the next several years, is considered, according to Walt Disney World spokespeople, the biggest transformation of any Disney park in history.
While visiting EPCOT, your clients can take a peek at this historic transformation at The EPCOT Experience, located right near the Test Track attraction. It’s an immersive look at the new attractions and ideas transforming the park—whether that’s Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, where guests will shrink to the size of Chef Remy and race through Gusteau’s restaurant on a wild adventure; the new restaurant, La Crêperie de Paris, offering both table- and quick-service options and a menu from celebrity chef Jerome Bocuse; and “Harmonious,” said to be one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney park, celebrating the way Disney music inspires people the world over, and featuring massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers and more. There will also be a new statue honoring the legacy of the original dreamer, Walt Disney, at World Celebration, which is one of four neighborhoods that will preside over EPCOT, the other three being World Showcase, World Nature and World Discovery.
Scott Mallwitz, executive creative director/Walt Disney Imagineering, told us this past weekend during a media visit to Walt Disney World, that he’s most excited about seeing the project to fruition. “I’m excited for the end. That sounds really silly, but we’ve been working on this project for a very long time and there’s an amazing amount of accountability. Our team has taken this responsibility and are so energized by the opportunity. Not only am I excited to see people use this park in a way that we think is going to be energizing, inspirational and aspirational, but also to stand there that day with the team and say, ‘Look, we did the right thing; we realized a further execution of Walt’s original vision for EPCOT and we should be proud of that because people love this place and will continue to love it for generations.’”
He points to Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure as an attraction that will bring the France pavilion’s food culture story to a younger audience. “Ratatouille is a story about a chef. To bring that story to a younger audience and a family audience is super energizing. And it’s so appropriate here, it’s building on the legacy.”
Rick DeCicco, F&B proprietor for Walt Disney World, also has France on his mind, noting that as a foodie, he’s quite “excited about the brand-new creperie that’s going to be right next to the Remy attraction, I’m really looking forward to that.”
The aforementioned Walt Disney statue is also getting lots of attention, because, as Mallwitz notes, it will be accessible to guests, and “you can sit with him and think about this place and think about what it means to him and to you. Disney was passionate about Walt Disney World, he was passionate about things that extended beyond the park…things that eventually became EPCOT, the stories of stewardship, of environmentalism, of technology, but most of all of faith in the future and optimism.”
Other highlights of the EPCOT transformation include the Creations Shop, set to open this summer and featuring artistic homages to Mickey, including large, dynamic murals that tap into the park’s original artistic spirit. Adjacent to Creations Shop will be a revitalized Club Cool Hosted by Coca-Cola, opening summer 2021. Celebrating Coca-Cola in a fresh new way, Club Cool will invite guests to explore tasty drinks from around the world.
Meanwhile, Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana will be the first Disney Parks experience inspired by the Walt Disney Animation Studios film. This lush exploration trail will invite guests to meet and play with magical, living water. Just like Moana’s friend the ocean, water will have a personality of its own, helping guests learn how to protect the natural water cycle in a fun and engaging way. You can also tell clients about Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, the first “other-world” showcase pavilion at EPCOT, and the new restaurant Space 220, an expansion of the Mission: SPACE pavilion, which will offer the celestial panorama of a space station, including daytime and nighttime views of Earth from 220 miles up.
Flowers in Bloom..and Tasty Treats
The Taste of EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, which takes place through July 5, is brimming over with gorgeous flowers and tasty treats. Everywhere you look there are gardens, such as the English Tea Garden Presented by Twinings of London; topiaries of Disney characters, such as the Lady and the Tramp in the Italy pavilion; exotic gardens from across the globe, and flowerbeds bursting with vibrant colors.
But, most importantly, especially for your foodie clients, there are outdoor kitchens offering mouthwatering delights. We savored grilled citrus chicken souvlaki with summer barley, sundried fruit salad and harissa chimichurri; seafood couscous; watermelon salad; corned beef brisket hash; and lavender honey mustard-marinated chicken flatbread. Our favorite, hands down, the Fruit Loops milkshake. Wow!
Click here to tell your clients the 10 things adults can do at EPCOT.
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