A New Entrance at Epcot
A big transformation has been planned for Epcot at Walt Disney World over the next few years, with works already begun. Recently a new entrance to Epcot has been revealed, so guests can start to appreciate these changes as soon as they arrive.
These wonderful ideas from Walt Disney Imagineers have turned into a plan to transform Epcot’s Future World into three neighbourhoods: World Nature, World Celebration, and World Discovery. With these changes in place, they also thought it was a good time to change the entrance in time for Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.
The new entrance plaza brings a fresh take on classic elements, as it mixes the old with the new. The area is much more open and welcoming with new planters, pathways, beautiful landscaping and a vibrant new colour palette. There’s also special details including new manhole covers inspired by Spaceship Earth.
“The greenery and use of water celebrates a harmony between humanity and the natural world. This park was built to inspire optimism, and the imagineers are infusing this transformation with the magic of possibility.”
Epcot Entrance Fountain
Situated in front of Spaceship Earth is a new and reimagined fountain, welcoming guests to the park. It is the centrepiece of Epcot’s entrance plaza and stands in the footprint of the original fountain that welcomed guests on the park’s opening day in 1982.
The Disney Imagineers looked back to the geometry of the original fountain for inspiration, whilst also adding some new magic of their own. Featuring a retro design with modern touches it’s the ideal representation of Epcot and brings the theme park into the future with other ongoing transformations. The prism-style shape of the fountain partners perfectly with Spaceship Earth and when the sun shines and hits the pillars, it’s a wonderful sight.
It’s also worth seeing the fountain at night, as it lights up in changing colours and coordinates with the new lighting in the entrance area, which is discussed more below. Within the centre of the fountain is a light that shines upwards as a symbol of unity and optimism - themes that have always been a big part of this Disney theme park in Orlando.
The fountain stands at 16ft tall, with its vertical design drawing your eye upward to Spaceship Earth and the sky, presenting a stunning view and giving guests the chance to reflect on the past, present and future.
Leave A Legacy Returns to Epcot
As part of the new entrance experience at Epcot, Leave A Legacy has also been given a new home and will now be located just outside the park’s gateway.
With a new home comes a new design! All of the Leave A Legacy panels have been coloured in vibrant hues from the park’s new colour palette, but will continue to celebrate the spirit of optimism. There’s also a new way of searching for a tile; guests can use their smart phone to scan the QR code on the display, which opens up a tile finder search tool, providing coordinates for a tile’s location.
Epcot Entrance Flags
Flags have recently been raised within the Epcot entrance plaza surrounding Spaceship Earth. There are 12 flags in total, with each flag having a special meaning. The icons on the flags go back to the original design philosophy of the park, representing pavilions and attractions in a vibrant new palette.
New Epcot Welcome Music
The new main entrance music is uplifting and powerful, bringing energy and optimism to the remodelled architecture and landscaping. Inspiration for the music was taken from the magnificent views and aspirational architecture of the original Epcot and has been created using a hybrid orchestra, which combines live musicians and electronic elements.
“This soundtrack captures our mission with this park and our work – that our shared future is bright and rich when we connect and celebrate what makes us …. Us.”
New Nighttime Lighting at Epcot
A colour-coordinated light ribbon is situated around the entire edge of the welcome plaza, lighting up the area in colourful new ways.
This new lighting is:
- More than four football fields long
- Highly energy-efficient
- Has nearly 3,000 individually controlled points of light that blend together to create colour gradients and patterns
These colour gradients have always been a part of Epcot from the tiered amber, blue, and purple lighting of Spaceship Earth to the bands of colour on the Energy pavilion, but for the first time it will now be unified with dynamic lighting.
The ribbon lighting also connects to the new fountain, so they shine together. This lighting will eventually continue throughout the park creating a more dazzling nighttime experience at Epcot.
After 40 years of the same classic multi-colour lighting design, Spaceship Earth will soon have some new lighting too, as part of “The World’s Most Magical Celebration”. The idea of this lighting is to resemble shimmering stars in a night sky and will create a sparkling nighttime experience for guests entering the park.
It’s exciting to see these wonderful ideas at Disney World turn into reality. Be sure to follow our blog and social media on the most up to date information on Epcot, as it transforms over the next year. Epcot’s new firework spectacular located on the World Showcase Lagoon will also debut in 2021. Harmonious will be one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney park!
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Image Credits: Walt Disney World