EPCOT Reveals More Details for Disney100
In October, The Walt Disney Company officially turns 100 years old. As part of these festivities, EPCOT will anchor Walt Disney World’s centennial birthday celebration. We already had hints of what this event would entail, but Disney just shined a light on everything coming to EPCOT.
The Start of Disney100 at EPCOT
On March 31st, 2023, Walt Disney World’s 50th birthday party finally ended after 18 months. Starting the following day, the parks switched to some Disney100 offerings, most notably new outfits for Mickey & Minnie Mouse. They ditched their EARidescent threads for Disney100 gear as part of Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire at Cinderella Castle.
Most of the early changes were modest, as Disney saved most of the big stuff for the official party. Still, for the past three months, whenever you saw a Sensational Six Disney character, they were wearing platinum-colored clothing for a reason.
The parks have also employed monthly themes during Disney100. Characters and stories from Star Wars were highlighted in May, while Pixar took center stage in June, and Mickey & Minnie Mouse and friends are providing “swell fun” right now.
The theme for next month centers on Disney Princesses and Frozen characters. Finally, in September, the theme switches to superheroes. Disney hasn’t announced any other months beyond then.
The Confirmed EPCOT Highlights Coming Later This Year
Let’s start with the Disney100 timeframe. The Disney Parks Blog just announced that EPCOT will host Disney100 from September 22nd through December 31st.
Already, we can tell that Disney will approach this event differently. While Disney100 is technically ongoing as we speak, the most significant highlights will last for roughly three months as opposed to 18 months for Walt Disney World’s 50th birthday.
Disney has chosen EPCOT as Disney100’s base because the park is currently finishing construction on several of its projects. By the end of the year, Disney promises that the following attractions and amenities will debut:
- Dreamers Point, which will feature a Mickey Mouse Statue
- Journey of Water | Inspired by Moana
- A Nighttime Presentation at World Showcase Lagoon
- A Platinum Mickey Mouse Sculpture
- World Celebration Garden
- An Exclusive Character Greeting for Visa cardholders
Obviously, Journey of Water is the most significant attraction coming soon. However, Disney expects World Celebration Garden and Dreamers Point to become focal points of EPCOT events like this one. Management perceives the future of EPCOT as a gathering spot, with Disney100 its first real test.
The nighttime presentation is basically the Harmonious replacement. There isn’t much buzz about this one yet, indicating Disney is keeping a lower profile this time. One of the primary failings of Harmonious was that Disney spent multiple years hyping it, thereby creating unreasonable expectations.
Everything Disney Just Announced for EPCOT
On July 17th, the Parks Blog revealed the core of Walt Disney’s World celebration, the new stuff we hadn’t heard previously. Notably, all four theme parks and Disney Springs will offer Disney100 backdrops. You’re encouraged to take selfies at these spots throughout the Disney campus.
At EPCOT, World Celebration will host a gigantic mural that shows 100 different Disney characters. Disney wants you to play Where’s Waldo here and identify as many as you can. World Celebration itself will feature platinum banners and décor during the Disney100 party.
You’ll also want to visit the Imagination! pavilion, which you were probably going to do anyway. Mickey & Minnie Mouse will host a character greeting and photo op here. And yes! They’ll be wearing their platinum outfits!
Spaceship Earth will celebrate Disney’s centennial as well. Each night, the building’s exterior will light up in an event-exclusive style as a variation of When You Wish Upon a Star plays. This rendition is the musical theme for Disney100, and Spaceship Earth’s illumination will augment it.
Obviously, EPCOT will sell limited-time food and beverages exclusively for the event. If you’ve been at a Disney theme park store lately or visiting ShopDisney, you already know how plentiful the Disney100 merch is. Well, more is coming in September!
The Parks Blog also promises that the Mickey Mouse sculpture will be ready in September. Also, Disney100 Magic Shots and PhotoPass opportunities will be available during the event. Oh, and there’s a Mickey Mouse popcorn bucket that is already in high demand.
Journey of Water Is Nearly Ready
Finally, Journey of Water | Inspired by Moana is currently scheduling previews from July 25th through mid-August. Presuming nothing goes wrong, the attraction should open in plenty of time for EPCOT to host Disney100. In fact, you should be on the lookout for annual passholder and DVC member sneak previews.
While Disney100 won’t possess quite the same scope as Walt Disney World’s 50th birthday, at least not in Orlando, it’s still shaping up to be a must-do this September.