After several years of focus on Disney's Hollywood Studios that brought us Toy Story Land, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, and Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway, the focus at Walt Disney World has shifted to Epcot. The second gate of the resort has been undergoing a major transformation that, when it's all finished, will see an almost entirely new entry plaza and a front half of the park. Little of this work has been completed, so we don't know what a lot of it will look like when it's all said and done beyond concept art, but overnight saw the installation of some beautiful new design elements at the new entrance fountain that will make Epcot purists smile.
Walt Disney Imagineering's Zach Riddley posted a collection of images to Instagram that revealed three transparent pylons that will be part of a brand new entrance fountain inspired by the original entrance fountain that was there at the opening of Epcot, which was replaced several years later by the Leave-A-Legacy project. Check out the images below.
Epcot is one of those parks that many feel has lost its uniqueness over the years. Originally, you couldn't even find a Disney costumed character at Epcot, but over the years that has changed. While Epcot still has a lot of attractions you would never expect to find anyplace else, it also has rides and shows that wouldn't be out of place in any other Disney park.
For fans of classic Epcot, this is wonderful to see as it harkens back to an earlier time that most probably assumed was gone forever. Walt Disney World is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021 and Epcot will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2022, and it's clear that part of the celebration will include not only brand new elements and attractions but a remembrance of what came before as well.
These look amazing, especially at night with the light reflecting off them. Looking at them with Spaceship Earth in the background is particularly awe-inspiring.
This is just one small part of a massive update to the Epcot entrance plaza as well as most of Future World, that will turn it into three separate new pavilions called World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery, to match the naming scheme of the other half of the park, World Showcase. We'll see a pair of major new attractions, the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind roller coaster as part of World Discovery, as well as a Moana-themed walkthrough attraction called Journey of Water, as part of World Nature.
A pair of additional updates originally planned for this time period, a redesign of Spaceship Earth and a Mary Poppins attraction inside the UK pavilion, have been indefinitely postponed.
We'll likely see the new Epcot in stages rather than an all at once reveal. According to Zach Riddley's post here, it looks like the rest of the new fountain is expected to be completed by the end of the year, which is likely later than originally planned, but it's something to look forward to.