Disney announced on Thursday two major changes coming to the Florida park. An entire mini-city intended for children will open in 2021, along with a staggering overhaul to the park’s iconic entrance.
With a new Marvel coaster and Ratatouille-themed Pixar ride on the way, it’s no surprise that Epcot is undergoing a paradigm shift. Even more attractions, entertainment and experiences are slated to open within the next two years — and this first dose is already revolutionary.
An all-new play pavillion in the likes of a futuristic city will provide a dedicated child-friendly area with activities, character appearances and activations, a first for the technologically-inclined park. Early artist imagery feels reminiscent of the Oh My Disney area seen in Ralph Breaks The Internet with its colorful building facades and emoji-like imagery of famed characters, though there is no announced correlation.
Epcot’s interactive and family-friendly expanse will be located within the Wonders of Life pavilion, which previously housed attractions you may remember from childhood, like Body Wars and Cranium Command. With Ellen’s Energy Adventure already having shuttered in 2017 to make way for the forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy indoor roller coaster and a space-themed restaurant on deck near Mission:Space, the entire Future World East section of Disney’s Epcot will be transformed come 2021.
The main entrance of Epcot will also be changed permanently. Large metal wall displays known as Leave a Legacy will be moved to outside the front gates as a new lush design and restored fountain are incorporated under the gaze of the iconic Walt Disney World monorail system and Spaceship Earth, the emblematic dome of the Disney park. Other significant areas of Epcot Center, like the fountain-filled expanse between Spaceship Earth and World Showcase, are slated for redevelopment as well.
It’s just two of the many enhancements in a list of widespread changes coming to the Florida theme park in advance of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebration in 2021. A fanfare of new attractions and experiences, including the Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure ride currently being built, are on the way. Walt Disney World will open a Disney Skyliner gondola system this fall, providing sustainable transportation to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios from select resorts, and a new nighttime performance will be replacing IllumiNations, the longest-running current evening show at Walt Disney World Resort.