What’s New in EPCOT: Exciting Progress on an Upcoming Ride and More Characters Return
But the festival isn’t the only thing happening in this park right now. We recently stopped by to check out all the updates, and we can tell you right now that there is a LOT going on. Let’s dive in to see what’s new with construction, snacks, merchandise, character meet and greets, and more.
We’re going to start by checking out a few construction projects going on around the park.
EPCOT Construction Updates
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Construction
This week, construction began on the huge Nova Corps Starblaster ship, which will be located at the entrance to this ride.
The decorative ship (which will be 51 feet tall when it’s finished) is just the latest in a series of updates on this upcoming attraction. We’ve also heard that ride testing has begun inside and filming for the attraction is already in progress.
The Skyliner is a form of transportation that takes guests between their resorts and some Disney World parks in suspended gondolas. There’s a stop for the Skyliner in EPCOT’s World Showcase (between the UK and France pavilions), but this stop is actually closed right now.
The Skyliner is still operating between certain hotels and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but the EPCOT line is currently under refurbishment.
This line is expected to be closed through January 28th, so if you’re traveling to EPCOT from a Skyliner hotel, you’ll need an alternate form of transportation, such as the Disney buses. Check with your hotel to see what the best transportation option is from wherever you’re staying.
In other construction news, we noticed that there’s a new sign for the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall restaurant over in the Norway pavilion.
We were hoping that this would mean the restaurant would finally reopen soon, but a nearby Cast Member told us that there weren’t any plans for reopening dates yet. It’s currently being used as a break room for Cast Members.
If you’ve been in Orlando lately, you probably noticed the chilly weather! Guests have been bundling up, and hot chocolate is available at a few snack stands around the parks. Another change that came with the cold is that EPCOT covered their flower beds to protect the plants in case of a nighttime frost.
Besides the flower beds, another grassy area was blocked off recently. Tarps appeared around an area near the Pop Eats! Festival Booth that had previously been used for extra seating.
We’re not sure what’s going on behind those tarps, but we’ll let you know as soon as we see any updates.
EPCOT Food Updates
Now, on to our favorite updates: new snacks!
This treat is usually just here for the holidays, but it looks like it’s sticking around for a bit!
We don’t know how long it’ll be here, so hurry in and get one ASAP. They’re $5.99 each and definitely big enough to share.
You can get this swirl in a cup or cone (or in a cup with a cone on top) for $5.25.
Kringla Bakeri og Kafe is a bakery in the Norway pavilion of EPCOT’s World Showcase.
This spot recently started selling Mickey-shaped Cinnamon Rolls, which were originally covered in colored icing.
Less than a week after we tried the new cinnamon rolls, they got a complete makeover. We like the new version a little better, since they’re softer and more dense, and the icing is also more runny.
You can get one of these treats for $6.29.
EPCOT Merchandise Updates
There were a lot of new souvenirs around EPCOT as well.
The Creations Shop had a lot of the new Alice in Wonderland-themed Dooney & Bourke bags. We spotted a tote bag, a crossbody bag, and a satchel here.
We also saw a new outfit for your nuiMOs, which are little plushes of Disney characters that you can dress up.
The shirt and pants combination was $12.99.
But if you’re looking for clothing for a human instead, you can check out the new Disney World Sweatshirt, which we found for $54.99.
This gift shop also had a lot of the Heroes Vs. Villains pins, which are part of a collection that was new in Disney World last year.
There are individual pins and pin sets of classic Disney hero-villain match-ups.
For all the avocado lovers out there, we saw a new keychain of an avocado with a Mickey-shaped pit! It says “Total Love” and costs $14.99.
Or if you’re looking for a blingier option to add to your keys, there was a rhinestone Mickey ears hat keychain available for $14.99 as well.
And last in our new keychain haul was this Avengers charm, which has symbols of the avengers around their classic “A” logo. It costs $14.99 too.
Our last find in this shop was a new 50th Anniversary Magnet Frame, which you can use to show off your pictures from Disney World vacations.
There are all kinds of 50th Anniversary souvenirs in Disney World, but if you can’t make it into the parks, you can also find several options online!
Port of Entry
And speaking of new 50th Anniversary merchandise, Disney recently dropped the latest new merch in the Vault collection. This collection features vintage-inspired items. The newest souvenirs are covered in maps of the Magic Kingdom as it appeared when Disney World first opened. There’s a new Spirit Jersey…
…and Crocs as well.
The Jersey is $84.99, and the Crocs are $65. You can find them at Port of Entry in EPCOT, although the Crocs have recently been sold out at this location. We’ll keep checking back to see if they’re re-stocked, though!
Gateway Gifts had a new t-shirt inspired by one of the most classic Disney World snacks ever: the Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar.
You can get this t-shirt now, which says “All I Need Is a Mickey Bar.”
In the UK pavilion, we spotted a couple of new shirts starring Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
There was a red Mickey Mouse t-shirt available for $24.99…
…and a red Minnie Mouse tank top for $34.99.
We also saw a new bag here that was shaped like a double-decker bus, like the ones you’d see in the UK.
This bag was $29.99.
House of Good Fortune
The China pavilion has a Lunar New Year display right now, which has several souvenirs to celebrate the holiday.
Some of our favorites are these Tiger ears, since 2022 is the Year of the Tiger.
You can get either pair for $15.95 each.
Mitsukoshi in the Japan pavilion had some new plush dolls with a delicious theme: Ice Cream!
We spotted a few different dolls in this collection, including a pink one…
…and a little blue penguin.
Figment Popcorn Bucket
It’s not really a surprise that the very popular popcorn bucket sold out within a few days of the start of Festival of the Arts, since people waited in multi-hour long lines to get their hands on one.
Now Figgy has been removed from the Pop Eats! booth menu (where the bucket was previously sold), and there is a sign near this booth announcing that it is unavailable.
The distribution tables near this booth have also disappeared, which might mean that a re-stock is not happening in the near future. When we asked Cast Members about possible re-stocks, they said that they don’t know when or if more buckets will arrive.
One of the activities that you can find at Festival of the Arts is a color-by-number mural that guests can help paint! You’ll pick up a little container of paint and a brush (for free) and then paint a few squares with the correct number.
In the end, there’s a beautiful picture that hundreds of people helped to create.
When we stopped by recently, there was a new mural just getting started.
Apparently the last one was completed, so they brought out a new picture so that guests can continue to enjoy this activity.
The last mural was a play on “Starry Night,” but this one looks like a pop art rendition of Figment.
Other EPCOT Updates
Like the rest of the Disney World parks, EPCOT has had a few unusually crowded days recently. We saw a LOT of people in the parks on Monday, January 24th despite the chilly weather.
But oddly enough there was no line for La Cava del Tequila, which is usually a popular spot in the Mexico pavilion. Maybe people didn’t want to hold a cold drink in their hand when it’s pretty cold outside.
Festival booths around the park got longer lines towards the afternoon on most days, so the best time to visit these booths is earlier in the morning or just before park closing.
Some booths get VERY long lines, such as Goshiki in the Japan pavilion. Make sure to hit these ones earlier if you want to try the snacks there!
Some of the biggest news in EPCOT this week is that a few fan-favorite character meet and greets returned! You can now greet Donald Duck in the Mexico pavilion…
The meet-and-greets were still socially distanced, and it was so fun to see these characters again.
Joy has been sighted around EPCOT recently, but now she’s available for one-on-one meets and photos.
In addition, we saw Minnie Mouse greeting guests in World Showcase…
…and Goofy and Pluto were both out front by the EPCOT entrance in the morning.
It was just a character-filled day in EPCOT!
That’s a wrap on our EPCOT update for this week! Keep following DFB for more of the latest news from Disney World.
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