EPCOT: How Has It Changed In The Last Decade?

Spaceship Earth at night

If you haven’t visited the Disney parks recently then you might be surprised at how much they’ve changed. EPCOT in particular has seen massive renovations and changes in recent years and is almost unrecognizable in some ways now than 10 years ago. Walt Disney’s vision was to have theme parks that were constantly evolving and changing, and this mission is noticeable in all Disney parks. EPCOT, which stands for Experimental Protype Community of Tomorrow, was one of Walt Disney’s dream communities. He saw EPCOT as being an ever-changing community that sought the latest and greatest technologies for its residents. Of course, the EPCOT that came to be is not a community but rather a theme park that celebrates world cultures, science, and entertainment. How has EPCOT changed in the last decade? Continue reading to find out!

All New Look for the Front Entrance of the Park

If you haven’t visited EPCOT in the last decade you will notice right away the changes that have taken place. Previously, EPCOT’s entrance was marked by several Leave A Legacy Monoliths which featured guests’ photos and names. These monoliths were removed during the entrance’s renovation in 2019. Their removal made way for a more spacious entry complete with a sleek new fountain, and EPCOT’s famous Spaceship Earth monument was upgraded with additional lighting wired within.

EPCOT Entrance. Photo: Emily Murray.

World Celebration

If you haven’t visited EPCOT in a while you might remember that it was separated into two areas: Future World and World Showcase. While World Showcase remains without many changes, Future World has been recently replaced with World Celebration. The attractions and pavilions that were in Future World remain, however they have been recategorized into World Discovery, World Nature, and World Celebration. World Celebration is the area just past Spaceship Earth and features a new statue entitled “Walt The Dreamer”, representing the idea that EPCOT was Walt’s dream.

World Celebration. Photo: Emily Murray.

World Discovery is home to Test Track, Mission: SPACE, and Guardian’s of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. World Nature is home to the new attraction: Journey of Water Inspired by Moana, as well as The Land Pavilion, and The Seas with Nemo and Friends.

Closed Attractions and New Attractions

Throughout the last decade EPCOT has seen its fair share of attraction closings. Ellen’s Energy Adventure, Maelstrom, Innovations, Captain EO, The Circle of Life film, as well as the nightly fireworks spectacular Illuminations Reflections of Earth, have all seen their final days. However, with each closure brings new opportunity and EPCOT has welcomed several new attractions in the last decade as well.

Disney’s 50th Anniversary Statues Are Located Throughout EPCOT. Photo: Megan Woodard

Frozen Ever After, a Frozen adventure dark ride attraction, has taken the place of Maelstrom in the Norway pavilion, and brought with it an Anna and Elsa meet and greet. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure has opened in the France pavilion, and Luminous The Symphony of Us is a new fireworks spectacular taking place at World Showcase lagoon. Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival has replaced Captain EO, and Guardian’s of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind has taken the place of Ellen’s Energy Adventure. The Journey of Water Inspired by Moana is a brand new walkthrough attraction that teaches guests all about water and the journey it takes to get to us.

Frozen Ever After
Frozen Ever After. Photo: Disney.

A new restaurant has also opened up at EPCOT: Space 220. This interactive dining experience is out of this world, as guests ascend to outer space in a special “elevator to space”. Guests will dine on space-inspired cuisine while they gaze out of interactive “windows” to space.

Space 220 at Epcot
The atmosphere of Space 220 features views of Earth (Photo from Instagram: @disneyforfoodies).

Skyliner and New Entrance

One of the biggest changes that EPCOT has seen in the last decade is the addition of the International Gateway park entrance. This additional park entrance is located in World Showcase near the France pavilion and allows guests who are using the Disney Skyliner to enter and exit the park. This gateway is also close for those staying at Disney’s Beach Club Villas, and Boardwalk Villas. This additional entrance and exit to EPCOT has made it to where guests are more separated coming in and out of the park and helps to reduce crowding at the entrances.

Disney Skyliner
Disney Skyliner. Photo: Emily Murray

Overall, EPCOT has changed quite a bit in the last decade, yet the overall spirit of the park has remained the same. Has it been a long time since you’ve visited the Disney parks? Do you enjoy these new changes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Featured Photo: Emily Murray.

Written by

Megan Woodard

Contributing Writer

Megan was born into a Disney family. Her first trip to Disney World was when she was only 18 months old. Now as an adult, Megan loves to share the magic of Disney with her two toddlers. Keeping up with Disney news and Disney World knowledge is a fun hobby for Megan. Disney World is her favorite place to be and continuously brings back her childhood joy.

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