Glowing Sidewalks To Return To World Celebration In EPCOT

In 2019, Disney announced at its D23 conference that EPCOT would be undergoing a major transformation with updated and new attractions, restaurants, and experiences. Now, in 2022, we have begun to see the results of this transformation and enjoy the park’s new neighborhoods as well as the opening of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Connections Café as we celebrate Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary.

Outside Remy's Ratatouille Adventure
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is the newest attraction to open at EPCOT, expanding the France Pavilion in the World Showcase. Photo by

Upon the opening of the 18-month-long 50th anniversary celebration, Spaceship Earth, the large ball-shaped icon in EPCOT, received a stunning glow-up as each point on the sphere was adorned with a beaming LCD light. The illuminations change color and make patterns once the sun sets and undoubtedly catch the eye of park guests. With the news that the LCD lights are here to stay even after the 50th anniversary celebration concludes, we didn’t think EPCOT could appear any more beautiful at night, but this month we learned that the glowing sidewalks are returning!

Disney World Epcot Spaceship Earth
Spaceship Earth gleams and glimmers each evening at EPCOT shining brightly with LCD lights that change color and pattern. Photo by Disney

The glowing sidewalks will be a part of World Celebration, an area of the park that “will be a can’t-miss destination for evening activations at EPCOT” according to imagineer Zach Riddley. World Celebration replaces what was long-known as Future World, the area between Spaceship Earth and the lagoon in front of the World Showcase. The updated area will also include trees and several different gardens that will change appearance with the different seasons and festivals that are held each year at EPCOT.

Epcot Instagram post
Imagineer Zach Riddley presents on Instagram artistic representations of the upcoming World Celebration, which will replace Future World.

The original glowing sidewalks were removed once construction began and it was uncertain whether they would return. Guests enjoyed the glowing sidewalks which made EPCOT even more charming after dark. The glowing sidewalks ranged from speckled illuminated tiles to intricate designs created by fiber optics.

Epcot Glowing Sidewalks
The original glowing sidewalks were illuminated designs created by fiber option embedded in the concrete. What will the new glowing sidewalks look like? Photo by Kelly Verdeck (CC BY-ND 2.0)

In the above Instagram post where Mr. Riddley confirmed plans to bring back the beloved glowing sidewalks, he also detailed that the glowing sidewalks would be constructed with “updated technology and controllability to deliver some fun new lighting capabilities.” With that statement, it makes me wonder if we will see an interactive element to the new glowing sidewalks!  The entire World Celebration neighborhood will feature more than 12,000 controllable light fixtures inviting the guests to discover the wonders of this section of the park at night.

New Epcot Lights
Artistic representation of additional light displays in the soon-to-come World Celebration in EPCOT. Photo by Disney

Are you happy to hear the news of glowing sidewalks returning to EPCOT? Which part of EPCOT’s transformation are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured Photo by Disney

Written by

Shelley Wehler

Contributing Writer

Shelley is a stay-at-home mother of two girls living outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. Her love of all things Disney has grown even more as she sees the magic come alive through the lens of her young daughters. She spends her free time keeping up with the latest in Disney news and daydreaming of her next trip to the parks!

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