The final Illuminations show was emotional. The Illuminations show was part of my childhood, bringing back memories of family, fun and overall Disney excitement. Seeing it for the last time, was bittersweet. We are sad to see it go, however, we are excited for what the future of Epcot is becoming. Today, we were invited out to see the preview of the new lands and attractions that are coming to Epcot at this Disney media event and then have an amazing spot for the premiere of the much anticipated “Epcot Forever” show.
Upon checking in and getting credentialed, we were off to explore some of the food offerings of Food and Wine and take in Epcot before the new changes really start coming to life. Being able to bring you, the Mayne Mafia along, ‘through the lens of this livestreamer’ is truly a joy and there was so much to see! Epcot is an immersive and always changing park and tonight it was beautiful as well with sunsets that were incredible, sort of paving the way as a ‘pre-show’ for what was to come later in the evening.
We were able to check out some really awesome merchandise. I am not really a ‘merch’ sort of guy (as you know) but this new Epcot merchandise was on point. The black shirt with the Epcot lettering was slick and clean. Of course, the holographic hat ears were awesome (more for women though) however, the holographic jacket had me feeling some sort of way! There were water bottles with the black and block letter design, figment cups and water bottles (hats off to Figment) all sorts of new and exciting things to celebrate this new phase into the future of Epcot.
We had to stop and get the much talked about “Slushie”. You are able to choose from a multitude of flavors and then slide over to the topping bar and just let loose. Of course, we had to choose some outrageous toppings to go along with my watermelon slushie, so pop rocks was the popular vote in chat along with a little sprinkle of nerds and boba balls in strawberry and blueberry flavors. It was quite sweet, of course, but also very delicious and after having it taken hostage by our good friend Big Fat Panda and gaining his seal of approval, we finished as much as we could and moved on to see what else was in store for the evening.
We made our way into the Odyssey Pavilion for the Epcot Experience and were given the opportunity to hear from the imagineers who designed and put this new concept together and will be bringing it to life. The presentation that highlighted each of the new lands and attractions, from Moana, Journey over Water to the new Mary Poppins attraction, overlaying the model coming to life alongside the massive projections on the screen.
The 3-D scale model of the new attractions and lands was truly remarkable and the 360 degree screen presentation was beautiful. Even through the best quality filming, it truly did not do it justice. I cannot wait to see these new changes come to light! The Play Pavilion was another part of this new Epcot Experience and blew me away!
There were photo opportunities for everyone including Guardians of the Galaxy:Cosmic Rewind and the Spaceship Earth background which was awesome. There was also this model of the three-tiered pavilion which will become the center of the new World Celebration. This is going to be amazing! According to Disney, “This multi-level structure will be the perfect place for live events, and the home base for Epcot’s signature festivals.”
After checking out the beautiful display offerings at the VIP dessert party (which were amazing) we found our spot for the main event.
“Epcot Forever” exemplifies the park’s founding principles – innovation, exploration, imagination and celebration. The voices of children sing of “one little spark of inspiration” which was such a great nod to Figment and Epcot itself as fireworks that pinwheel, corkscrew and explode in giant aerial starbursts. As colorful pyrotechnics dance across the heavens, the Epcot story plays out to a grand orchestral soundtrack. Noted conductor and composer Don Harper produced new arrangements of classic Epcot tunes to thread through the show. Illuminated kites that looked like comets in the sky danced and darted about over the lake and even a tribute to Walt Disney himself was included, which really touched my heart. The show was beautiful and no matter what you thought of it yourself, it shows the innovative and forward motion that Disney is taking in bringing this “future land” into the next century.
We look forward to seeing many more “Epcot Forever” showings before the permanent show of “Harmonious” is debuted in 2020. It was a truly exciting day and can’t wait to show you everything as it comes to fruition at Epcot over the next couple of years. There is truly a lot to see and experience coming up and you will always be the first to see it ‘through the lens of this livestreamer.’