We’re back at EPCOT, which is currently short for “Endless Projects: Construction of Tomorrow” as we continue our October 2019 Walt Disney World updates. In this, we’ll share photos of walls walls, everywhere a wall plus some other random stuff at Epcot.
For this update, we arrived via the Skyliner (click here to read that update) from Disney’s Hollywood Studios (that update coming later today) through the International Gateway entrance, which means no aerial photos from the Highway in the Sky. However, we took that route last week, and not much is different as compared to our last update.
The most noticeable changes are that more land has been cleared around both Innoventions buildings, and the new park entrance plaza is taking vague shape. For the most part, it’s all just prep work. There’s one, exception to that, which is the new Epcot arrival experience, which has now opened…
This means the new security screening and parking lot tram drop-off loop are now open (but not 100% finished), with much more space for crowds and bag check now occurring under the monorail station.
The biggest winner here is guests arriving from Magic Kingdom via the monorail, as there’s no longer any double-screening. Previously, you could park hop from Epcot to Magic Kingdom (via TTC) without going through bag check a second time, but due to the layout at Epcot, the same was not possible in reverse. Now it is!
Inside the park, the construction wall has been brightened up with a new design and splashes of color.
PhotoPass photographers (of the human variety) are up here and can take your picture in front of Spaceship Earth or these walls, if you’re so inclined.
Walls are up surrounding what used to be Club Cool and Fountain of Nations.
I’ll spare you images of the carnage, but Fountain of Nations has mostly been demolished.
Back over by the Seas pavilion, land clearing continues at a brisk pace. If the concept art is accurate, this area will be a mix of trees (which could actually be a backstage facility–those are often given the “tree treatment” in concept art) and part of the Moana Journey of Water walk-through.
This update would be interminably long if I documented every other wall throughout Future World, so just know that there are a lot of them. I’m not sure there’s a single spot you can stand in Future World without seeing walls in some direction.
Continuing in this area, the Seas pavilion has received some TLC. The wave machine in this fountain is working again, the seagulls are actually clean, and things are looking good.
Ditto inside the pavilion itself and on the Seas with Nemo & Friends dark ride, where several long-broken effects are once again working. (Including the KUKA Arm Angler Fish!)
Inside, there’s new directional signage with the original Living Seas pavilion logo.
I’d expect to see an exponential increase in the usage of these old school logos. EPCOT Center fans are surprisingly easy to placate, and will get excited for these while the substance of the park heads in a radically different direction. It’s reliable and simple subterfuge.
Bouncing over to the other side of Future World, here’s a current look at the Space 220 Restaurant by Mission Space.
Walt Disney World originally gave a “later this year” opening range for Space 220, which has subsequently been reworded to “this winter.” That might seem like a distinction without a difference, but the latter runs until March 19, 2020 whereas the former ends on December 31, 2019. I’m sure Walt Disney World would love to have this debut for the holiday season, but I’d be shocked if that happens.
New views have opened up throughout Epcot thanks to the land clearing. I don’t think you could see the Wonders of Life/Play Pavilion from over by Test Track previously.
Speaking of which, you can no longer walk to that side of Future World East. In fact, pretty much the only pathways that are not closed are those leading to Mission: Space, Test Track, MouseGear, and the Epcot Experience. Several little side pathways have been closed.
This Figment Park Pals is a new item that “holds on to you or your favorite accessories.” Also, apparently, there’s a display stand (which is not included) for these.
Sometimes I feel old or out of touch when perusing stores at Walt Disney World because I have no clue what 50% of the stuff is, or what purpose it serves. At first, I thought this was a straw clip. I guess I wasn’t technically wrong, so long as a straw is one of my favorite accessories.
Back in Germany, there’s a new line of Christmas items.
I know exactly what this is and what purpose it serves.
Same with this.
I really like all of these Frohes Fest items in Germany. I hope more country-specific holiday merchandise is released.
I also checked Norway for new holiday merchandise, but instead found a bunch of new-to-me regular merchandise.
I love this entire wall of items. There’s also a “don’t feed the trolls” line on another wall that is…interesting?
Continuing around the World Showcase shops, Heritage Manor at the American Adventure is now closed. This will become the Art of Disney in early 2020 when the location at the front of the park closes.
Expect pretty much all stand-alone Future World retail to close around that time. We’re expecting MouseGear to set up temporary shop in the portion of Innoventions behind Electric Umbrella that’s currently being gutted. (That’s just a guess, though–nothing has officially been announced.)
Finally, we’ll end with some aerial photos showcasing the progress on Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure:
The facades in this area are starting to take shape ahead of the Summer 2020 opening of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, the crêperie, and everything else in the France expansion. There’s actually more space back here than we anticipated, but this will still likely be a pinch-point for crowds.
That wraps up this update from Epcot. Now that the new bag check area is open–and doesn’t require double screening–we’ll make a point of taking the monorail from Magic Kingdom at some point in the next couple of weeks for a different vantage on these projects!
What do you think of the current state of Epcot and its construction projects? Looking forward to visiting Endless Projects: Construction of Tomorrow during your next WDW trip, or dreading visits to the park while it’s an active construction site? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!