There are lots of fun things to see and chat about today from Walt Disney World. Let’s tour Epcot and see what’s new.

Welcome to Epcot!
Welcome to Epcot!
Beautiful morning at Spaceship Earth!
Beautiful morning at Spaceship Earth!

_DSC9282

Rumor has it that Soarin' will be receiving a third theater to help capacity.
Rumor has it that Soarin’ will be receiving a third theater to help capacity. That would certainly be a good idea before the new Sorin’ Over the World film lands in the next few years.
Would it be visible from here?
I’m guessing that it would be located behind this tree line between the Land and Imagination.

_DSC9285

The holidays are over, and so the porta-pottys are gone as well.
The holidays are over, and so the porta-pottys are gone as well.
Canada.
Canada.
Apparently, the Lumberjack show now includes logs and a pool.
Apparently, the Lumberjack show now includes logs and a pool.
Disney also apparently just decided to uses refurbishment walls here instead of theming or something up to show standards.
Disney also apparently just decided to use refurbishment walls here instead of something up to show standards.

_DSC9290

_DSC9291

_DSC9292

_DSC9293

_DSC9294

This area that hosted the Brazil pavilion for Food and Wine seems to not be going back to being grass. It is rather nice and quiet here.
This area that hosted the Brazil pavilion for Food and Wine seems to not be going back to being grass. It is rather nice and quiet here.
Spice Road Table status - still empty.
Spice Road Table status – still empty. Have you eaten here?

_DSC9298

_DSC9299

Some walls up in Japan.
Some refurbishment walls up in Japan.

_DSC9301

_DSC9302

_DSC9303

Rolly bush carts are up around the tower in Italy.
Rolling bush carts are up around the tower in Italy.
It's been 'chilly' here in Orlando, so these scrims are up at some of the restaurants.
It’s been ‘chilly’ here in Orlando, so these screens are up at some of the restaurants to keep patio guests warm.
Stopped by Via Napoli for a delicious lunch.
Stopped by Via Napoli for a delicious lunch.

_DSC9308

_DSC9309

Inside the Temple of Heaven.
Inside the Temple of Heaven.

_DSC9312

_DSC9313

Big news from Epcot now is that there seem to be plans to expand the Norway pavilion to go into the plot of land in between Norway and Mexico.
Big news from Epcot now is that there seem to be plans to expand the Norway pavilion to go into the plot of land in between Norway and Mexico.
The rumors say that the new plot of land will host a giant Frozen meet and greet as well as a women's restroom.
The rumors say that the new plot of land will host a giant Frozen meet and greet as well as a women’s restroom.

_DSC9316

That would mean that this restroom would become exclusively for men's use.
The current restroom is on the side of Norway facing Mexico.
Construction walls up near Mexico.
Construction walls are up near Mexico.

_DSC9319

No more Christmas tree!
No more Christmas tree.
Beautiful day.
Beautiful day.

_DSC9322

Walls up on the path from Future World to World Showcase.
Walls up on the path from Future World to World Showcase.

_DSC9324

_DSC9325

 

Disney fans are going crazy for the park-specific mugs now being sold at the in-park Starbucks locations. Disneyland and DCA mugs are selling out daily.

Starbucks now has You Are Here series mugs for Magic Kingdom as well as the Epcot locations. They can be purchased for $14.95 and I think they're classier than any Epcot merchandise Disney has put out in a while.
Starbucks now has You Are Here series mugs for Magic Kingdom as well as the Epcot locations. They can be purchased for $14.95 and I think they’re classier than any Epcot merchandise Disney has put out in a while.

 

_DSC9327

That's it for this week!
That’s it for this week!

That about wraps things up for this week. How do you all feel about the state of Epcot? Are you a fan of a Frozen expansion to go along with the Frozen takeover of the Maelstrom attraction? Let us know in the comments below!

If you appreciate what we do here and would like to support Dateline Disney World, you can shop at Amazon.com, using my link (please CLICK HERE before you do). It won’t cost you any extra, and it’ll help out the column!!

If 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]

  • Park Hopper

    Fantastic photos! They really make me want to be there!

  • danyoung

    Excellent photos – thanks for the walk around the World!

    About a year ago I was walking through the World Showcase with no real plans for lunch, and I saw that Spice Road Table was mostly empty. I walked up and was seated right away. I had an excellent lunch, including a wine flight with 3 small glasses, calamari and some very tasty beef & chicken skewers. Highly recommended!

    • Bob Dole

      Good to know about Spice Road Table. We’re going to WDW at the end of May. Any other good ideas for lunch?

  • SFMike

    A meet and greet at the Norway/Frozen pavilion is not my idea of a new attraction. Meet and greets belong at the Magic Kingdom not Epcot.

    • docandsix

      The sooner the Frozen fad flames out and is left in the ash bin of inexplicable cultural obsessions, like Cabbage Patch Dolls, pet rocks, and Tickle-Me Elmo, the better.

      • billyjobobb

        At the rate Disney builds things, Frozen will have flamed out before these new “improvements” are up and running.

  • FerretAfros

    The new Soarin’ theater will be just west of the southern-most existing theater. During the 10K a couple weeks ago, the course went directly past that location and the construction trailer was in place and site clearing had already begun (bare soil, formerly a concrete pad/loading dock)

    Regarding the construction walls by the lumberjack show, my impression was that they were there while they installed the new fencing and pool, but were designed so that guest could still watch the show while the construction was in progress. It appeared to be a very temporary solution to me

  • SLUSHIE

    Those mugs are great. Do you know if they are available online anywhere?

    • daveyjones

      ebay and laughing place. i’m not sure if you can call deliverears or not, since starbucks is a quasi-separate thing.

  • JiminyCricketFan

    Fantastic photos! Epcot is just a great park. My concern for the park is the long term. It feels very static and lifeless. Epcot needs an exciting new E ticket, not a knock off of a recent movie which replaces a ride. I really hope that Disney recognizes the jewel they have in this park and do not let it continue to grow stale and dated.

    • billyjobobb

      how about leaving the screaming rides for another park and adding a few new countries?

      • Co Foo

        If seeing France, Italy, China or Mexico wasn’t bringing people in then India or Brazil won’t either. After the top attractions are built the 2nd tier wouldn’t be too exciting.

      • Amy VandenBoogert

        An E ticket ride doesn’t have to be a thrill ride. Remember Pirates and Haunted Mansion are E Tickets. Spaceship Earth would be considered an E ticket as well (and Horizons, World of Motion and the original Journey Into Imagination) if ticket books still existed when EPCOT Center opened.

  • Erik Olson

    Fantastic report. I “missed” the lumberjack show and didn’t see those walls up (or those in Japan) when we were there last week. Epcot looked lovely, though I was thinking how nice it will be during the spring show. Wish I’d snapped up a few mugs while I was in the Parks – cool merchandise there.

  • WRDup

    Cory! Great pics. Are these shots hosted on flickr as well? What are you shooting with? Camera? Lens? Im leaving for WDW at the end of February and I’m trying to step up my game. What are your thoughts on the Sony A7II?

  • epcod

    The Epcot mugs were taken off the shelf, as they noticed that the monorail in the mug design was purple, or the one involved in the fatal monorail crash a few years back. No time frame has been given for when the updated version will be available. So at this time Epcot, does not have any Starbuck mugs available, until the new version is put onto the shelf.

  • Showoffca

    Location specific merchandise – imagine that! Now if someone besides $5bucks would do that in the parks as well. So much crap sold and so little unique quality.

  • WRDup

    I agree about location specific merchandise. I would love more of it. We basically stopped buying merch cause it was all generic. Hopefully the Starbucks mugs will prove a good lesson to the powers that be.

  • Big D

    The new lumberjack show sounds fun. I have no desire whatsoever to try Moroccan food, so I’ll pass on the Spice Road. The park looks great, but I wish they’d do a $1B DCA-style makeover for Future World so it doesn’t look so 1970’s. For Soarin, they should probably add two new theaters and bring it up to four show buildings while they are at it.

  • steve2wdw

    Just announced that the Epcot-Starbucks mug has been pulled from the shelves, due to the purple stripe on the monorail. Monorail Purple was the train involved in the accident a few years back, and the color purple was retired.

    • steve2wdw

      Missed the comment above mine….sorry for repeating the news.

  • bespinally

    And just like that we now have a holy grail collectible mug that is currently selling for $100-300!

    • billyjobobb

      Just looked on eBay. This morning it was a $25 mug. Now they’re selling for hundreds…. stupid people.

  • Darth Goofy

    The pictures came out nice, however this park is really starting to look stale and dated in the future world area.

  • Nitsud

    Wonders of Life and Universe of Energy need to be given to Star Wars.
    Imagination and the Land need to become Marvel attractions.
    All the buildings need to be torn down so Imagineers can come up with something truly special and not be limited by an old building’s design.

  • jcruise86

    Thanks for the excellent photos, Cory!

    I think the Starbucks Disneyland mug is the best looking of the six. (Photos of all 6 are linked on a thread in the Disneyland section.). Yesterday I went to the Starbucks in Anaheim’s Downtown Disney hoping they’s be sold there. Nope–only in the parks.

  • tooncity

    Turn Spaceship Earth into a Death Star. Tourist can shoot Planet destroying laser-beams at Harry Potter.

    This park is great place for Sleep Walking. Nothing new here folks, keep moving.

  • WorldLover71

    That is the bluest sky I have ever seen! What a beautiful day you picked to visit this week. Lucky you!

  • tcsnwhite

    Is it possible to offer the photos on Cory’s “Dateline Disneyworld” in the same full-size that the “Dateline Disneyland” column offers?

    So many great photos that are in such a small size when you click on them.

  • animatronic

    Beautiful Photos. We just booked a week in WDW for this summer and plan to spend 2 days and an evening at EPCOT because we only get back every few years (San Francisco is much closer to Disneyland). Epcot is my fav because of the use of animatronics (RIP Horizons) there and I think because I’ve always loved the envisioning of a better future. Interesting that you blogged about the mug before the “controversy” – kinda lame. We have premium dining – what are current best eats in Epcot?

  • danielz6

    Epcot is awesome, definitely the most unique of Disneys parks. I went for the first time last month and I can see how it must feel quite stale to repeat visitors. Space ship earth and mission space were awesome, beyond that future world is acres of wasted space imo. Soarin 2 should help but still lots of room left.
    World showcase is beautiful, but like I said not much to do on repeat visits. Unfortunately I never experienced the original Mexico ride or maelstrom, but I think thats the type of attractions world showcase needs. I don’t think those rides failed because they were bad attractions, but because they were left to wither. I can’t help but thinking if there was a Tokyo Disney level of maitaining and plussing those rides then they would be crowd pleasers even today. Unfortunately disney seems intent on turning epcot into Magic Kingdom 2.

  • BrerDan

    Beautiful photos! Looks like I have some new wallpaper!

    I’m actually looking forward to getting over to see the lumberjack show. I’ve actually seen such a show in Canada–it was at a tourist area (Grouse Mountain near Vancouver) and super cheesy–but it was also very, very fun. Before people write this one off, they should give it a try. Bear in mind, I do really like Flights of Wonder though–so maybe I just enjoy these kinds of shows.

    I have to begrudgingly admit that the park specific Starbucks mugs look really nice. I love park-specific items, and these are really classy looking. I’m still not a fan of Starbucks in the parks though.

    Thanks for the update!