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World Discovery at Epcot – Every We Know And What’s On The Horizons

Concept Art for World Discovery

Did you say Horizons? Yes, we did. The former home to the legendary attraction is gearing up for it’s World Discovery makeover. With the D23 Expo in the rearview mirror, we learned a lot about the overall updates coming to the front Epcot. In the second part of our four-part series we’re digging the World Discovery neighborhood. Rocket aka trash Panda is waiting to give us his tour, let’s discover what’s coming to the neighborhood! 

World Discovery is the red section of the map
New Epcot Map

Mapping It Out  

How else are we going to find our way around the neighborhood? As we discussed in our World Nature article, the Future World portion of Epcot is being transformed into three new neighborhoods. Work on the World Discovery neighborhood kicked-off in late August of 2017 with the closing of Ellen’s Energy Adventure to make way for the Guardians of the Galaxy.

The World Discovery neighborhood will consist of the following attractions, Test Track, Mission Space, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Play Pavilion. As well as the new Space restaurant. Small in overall size, the World Discovery neighborhood is definitely not small in experience. 

Passholder Insights: A great way to get multiple rides on Test Track is with the single rider line. With two rows of three seats, the single rider line moves very quickly. 

Concept Art for the Space 220 Restaurant in World Discovery
Space 220 “Elevator”

Out Of The World Dining  

Space ice cream anyone? At the D23 Expo, Bob Chapek peeled back the layers to reveal more about the new space restaurant attached to Mission Space. Top the list is the confirmed name of the sit-down restaurant, Space 220. Drawing from the restaurant’s overall themeing, guests will dine 220 miles above Earth.

Opening this winter, guests will be blasted 220 into space where the transporter docks with a space station. Walking into the stations guest will have grand views of the galaxy through large “windows”. These “windows” are the same technology on the Disney Cruise Ships and soon to be Star Wars Resort, which creates the feeling of different outside environments.

Passholder Insights: Space 220 will be operated by the same restaurant group that operates Morimoto Asia, as well as Via Napoli. 

Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind Vehicles

Flip And Reverse It 

Ride vehicle that it. World Discovery announcements were centered around names. We’ve have a name for the new Guardians of the Galaxy coaster coming to the neighborhood, Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind. The well-suited name was not the big news about the coaster. Thanks to Bob, we learned about the most interesting aspects of the new ride, the reverse launch. That’s right, hold on your everything, you will be “rewound” from the get-go with the coaster launching up the initial hill facing backward. 

The question we have in the DVC Duo house is whether or not the cars would spin on the way up the hill or at the peak. We’re hedging our bets they will rotate at the top of the attractions. With the cars designed to keep your eyes on the action by using controlled rotation, it would make sense some type of rotation would occur early on. For now, we’ll have to speculate until the attraction opens in 2021.

Passholder Insights: Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind will be the longest indoor roller coaster in the world. 

Concept Art for the exterior of the new play! pavilion
PLAY! Pavilion Concept Art

Play Time!  

Character interactions galore! Within World Discovery the area that is still a mystery is the new PLAY! Pavilion. Situated between Mission Space and the Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind, the PLAY! Pavilion will be a digital metropolis. We’re thinking something similar to the look and feel of the scene from Wreck Breaks the Internet, where Ralph and Vanellope arrive at the “internet”.   

From the D23 Expo, we got a glimpse of what’s coming in time for the 50th anniversary. A couple of the attractions will include helping Edna Mode rid the world of poor fashion choices, as well as interactive water-balloon fight with Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby. What really caught our attention is connecting with Disney characters both real and virtual. Could the new PLAY! Pavilion be the first time we see Disney use augmented reality (AR) in the parks? With Bob Iger previously saying AR is a better direction than virtual reality (VR), it leads us to believe the PLAY! Pavilion would be an application of this type of technology. This is just speculation for now and we should find out more in the months ahead.

Passholder Insights: During the Food and Wine Festival you’ll find Remy dancing the night away by the stage outside the PLAY! Pavilion. 

Our Thoughts 

Subtle themeing done well! World Discovery encompasses everything within the neighborhood. Guests will discover how cars are created and tested, what it’s like to travel through space, and everything technology has to offer. For us, World Discovery is the closest thing to Future World of all the new areas. You know us, we’re excited about the new Space 220 restaurant coming to the area. We’re projecting this restaurant will be a hidden gem within the Epcot. We’ve got a lot more discovery to do before we see the final neighborhood. Your new home is looking solid Rocket!

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