Hello, and welcome to Dateline Disney World! This week, we’re taking a look at Epcot news and projects as the Flower and Garden Festival starts to wind down. Taking these photos was an adventure due to wild rain this week that had me shooting underneath an umbrella, but we have to bring you your weekly WDW fix.

It also came to my attention that this column marks an entire year since Dateline Disney World first popped up on MiceChat! I just want to thank all of you for following my journey in the parks, thanks for all your comments and support, and hopefully you’ll all stay on board for many more to come!

If you’d like to support the column and shop on Amazon.com at the same time, just click HERE and a percentage of anything you buy will support us, at no extra cost to you! It’s a great way to help yourself and keep this column going at the same time.

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Welcome to Epcot!

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I entered the park through the International Gateway this week, which, while I don’t have a photo, now has the touch to enter RFID gates.

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In France, the walls keep getting pushed further and further over as Disney prepares for the June opening of the new ice cream parlor.

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In Morocco, there isn’t much see when it comes to the construction of the new waterside restaurant.

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Aladdin and Jasmine are now meeting in the back of the pavilion in one of the gift shops.

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With the rain this week, crowds were relatively thin. Take this shot inside the Mitsukoshi department store for example!

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Over at the American Adventure, there really isn’t much visual progress on the new bathrooms going in between this pavilion and Japan. But, you could hear construction vehicles moving quite well from inside the park.

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In Germany, I noticed many of the outdoor seats have been removed, which was odd.

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Also in Germany, a Cast Member was outside handing out maps telling guests that Snow White was meeting in Innoventions West due to the rain.

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Some exterior work is still going on over at at Maelstrom.

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The ride is still open during this refurbishment.

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Even on a rainy day, the park is beautiful.

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Passholder RFID exchanges are still going on until the middle of this month.

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I don’t think I’ve seen this ‘truck’ open since it came back. Maybe it’s just propping up the ticket exchange sign!

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Inside MouseGear, the Monsters University merchandise has taken center stage.

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Hipster Mickey is also apparently the flavor of the month.

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There isn’t much left, but a few pieces of EPCOT30 merchandise is available still.

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Over at Mission: Space, the paint job is finally done, and the exterior is once again a thing of elegant beauty!

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It really looks great. Don’t you think?

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Rumors have been floating around that a new Epcot attraction is being designed for 2015, and Universe of Energy being revamped is one of the ideas floating around. What do you all think?

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Over at MouseGear again, some birds were building a nest in the exterior signage. Not newsworthy, but I thought it was neat.

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Starbucks is coming to the old FountainView, and while the photos don’t really show it, the inside is basically gutted.

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Chip and Dale were hiding from the rain.

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These ponds were all empty the other day, probably for some cleaning up. The ones by Imagination are still a little bit shallow.

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Leaving the park, the Boardwalk Bakery has recently reopened after being completely redone on the inside.

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It now features a much more streamlined look and a queue on the inside, which is greatly needed.

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I love seeing the resort name on the sweets.

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Well, that does it for this week’s column. What do you all think of the many projects now taking place at Epcot? Let us know in the comments below.

If you’d like to support Dateline Disney World and you shop regularly at Amazon.com, please CLICK HERE before you do. It won’t cost you any extra, and it’ll help out the column!!

If you enjoyed the column, especially the photos, and you want to check out more photos and tutorials on Disney photography, please check out my photo site, [URL=”http://www.DisneyPhotographyBlog.com”]Disney Photography Blog[/URL]. And if you like listening more than reading, you can hear us talk about Disney and photography on my podcast, [URL=”http://www.ISO5571.com”]ISO5571[/URL]

  • tofubeast

    Congrats on your first year!!! You’ve done a wonderful job giving Walt Disney World a nice weekly highlight on this web site with your fabulous photos and write ups. It was much needed and is much appreciated!

    Lovely photos of EPCOT. Mission Space looks great indeed. Curious about the 2015 rumors. Would it be an update or a new attraction all together?

    • They have been pitching an update to the attraction to some MAJOR US companies. One of which recently fell through after a long period of discussions. But it is clear that they want to do something big in this location soon.

  • Cory, congratulations on one year here at MiceChat. You are an absolutely amazing photographer, as evidenced by today’s beautiful Epcot photos.

    Looking forward to many more updates!

  • BC_DisneyGeek

    Updating Universe of Energy would be great, but I wonder, why not just add something new instead? The Wonders of Life Pavillion continues to be under-utilized. I think I’d rather have one new attraction plus one dated attraction, instead of just one new or refurbished one.

  • TCadillac

    Oh lawdy, Hipster Mickey??? Worse than real hipsters. Anyways Cory your column is definitely one of the best on the site. Keep up the good work man.

  • Dapper Dan

    When you said some ponds were empty I hoped they were finally fixing the waterfall fountain at Imagination. It’s got to be close to a year that it’s had that broken bit.

  • silvercuffs

    Last time I worked at Mission:SPACE it still had all those ugly walls up, I can’t wait to come back to a pretty shiny building! I don’t suppose you went in and looked at anything else, did you? Because there were also some walls up inside, specifically by Mission Space Race, and I wanted to know what has become of those too!

    As for Energy, there’s been some rumors floating around from friends who work there about Pixar. But, I have also only heard that from one person, and we’re all a little skeptical about where he got that information… I wouldn’t mind an update, but I also agree that something needs to be done with the Wonders of Life Pavilion. Just looking at it empty most of the time makes me sad!

    Wonderful pictures of one of my favorite Parks! Thank you 🙂

  • gortex

    As an advid listner to ISO5571 I was hoping for a Mater topiary picture!

  • quizkid8279

    The shirt in your “hipster Mickey” picture has been around for a while. I bought one at Disneyland in September 2011 or February 2012. I think it’s supposed to be a “nerdy Mickey” — notice the tape on his glasses. (No tape on the glasses on the darker top, though.) That shirt certainly draws attention whenever my girlfriend or I wear it.

    • DisneyNuts

      Maybe it’s a “Big Bang Mickey?” Although no glasses with tape on that show … I still think it’s a cute shirt!

  • DisneyNuts

    Great update! I also agree that your photos look great despite the rain. Mission Space looks pretty amazing. I have never been to the Boardwalk resort before, but I may need to stop in at that Bakery this August. That place and those chocolate goodies look awesome!

  • SpectroMan

    I’d welcome an update to UofE, as long as it’s not a rip out. I’d want them to keep the current diorama and ride vehicles for sure.

  • animatronic

    Gorgeous pictures. I hope they add rather than replace in attractions Energy pavillon. I like the way Ellen’s Energy Adventure Ride system works and hope it is not affected.

  • wdwprince

    I bought the hipster/nerd Mickey Tee last May 2012. Its been around a while. Love it.

  • JennaGarms

    I NEED a hipster Mickey shirt!!!

  • QPerth

    Cory, Dateline WDW has been one of my compulsory reads every week since it was launched, congratulations on the first year anniversary! Every week is filled with just stunning pictures from all over the WDW resort.
    This week my favourite was the potted plants near (I think) American Adventure, wow, I wish my little courtyard of pots looked that amazing and lush! Also the overcast day really gave a new look and colour to the pics and flowers, truly beautiful.
    I think any update to an Epcot attraction has the potential of being a good thing, especially UoE which from what I’ve heard doesn’t really reflect any recent developments, or optimism of renewable energy potential. From what I’ve read also, the Ellen figure should probably be updated?
    Thanks for another wonderful read, I love these!