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Updates and transformations at Walt Disney World tend to go in cycles. Each park gets a period of focus where improvements and additions are made before Walt Disney Imagineering moves on to the next location. Following the completion of Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, at Disney's Hollywood Studios, the focus is now at Epcot. A lot of construction is currently underway, and while many changes are still a couple years away. there's already something new ready to debut, in the form of three brand new films which will make their bow at the park starting tomorrow, January 17.
Probably the biggest of the new films is the Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along. The film is being added to the France pavilion in World Showcase, and will run in rotation with the previously existing film, Impressions de France. The new film was produced by Don Hahn, who produced the original Disney animated classic, and will include narration from Angela Lansbury, as well as new animation that will tell a slightly modified version of the story. Guests will be encouraged to sing along with many of the films' popular tunes.
In addition to the film itself, Tales as Old as Time: French Storytelling on Stage and Screen is a new walk through gallery exhibition that will show off costuming and other elements of French storytelling, including how French literature inspired many Disney classic films, like Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella.
Over in the Canada pavilion, the Circle-Vision 360 film O Canada has been updated and will debut tomorrow as Canada Far and Wide, a new film which will be narrated by Catherine O' Hara and Eugene Levy with a score by composer Andrew Lockington.
Finally, The Land pavilion will also debut a new film. Awesome Planet, will be a 10-minute film about the history of life on the Earth, and the importance of caring for it. It will use in-theater effects like lighting and wind to enhance the experience and will be narrated by Modern Family's Ty Burrell. It has music by the Oscar winning composer of Gravity, Steven Price.
Tomorrow is a big day for Epcot in general. In addition to the debut of these three films, it's also the first day of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. This time of year is traditionally one of the slower periods of the year for Walt Disney World, but with new experiences ready to be had combined with the popular festival, expect to see a boost of attention given to Epcot by guests.
These new films are only the beginning of the major transformation that Epcot is receiving. The entire front half of the park, currently known as Future World, is undergoing a massive change to a series of smaller pavilions that will include major new attractions like the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind roller coaster and the Journey of Water experience themed after Moana. Epcot will will look like a very different park when it's all said and done, which is exciting for many Walt Disney World fans, even if they're also sad to see the familiar go.
Image Courtesy WDWNews.com/Disney