World Celebration Construction Progress Slows in Latest Aerial Photos (August 2023)

    As Disney World continues to target a “late 2023” opening for World Celebration, friend of the site bioreconstruct recently took to the skies over EPCOT to provide an updated look at the work taking place in The Pit.

    As a reminder, there are a few new offerings coming to World Celebration as part of the work, but the two most high-profile additions will be the CommuniCore Hall/Plaza area and the Dreamers Point Walt Disney statue. Before we get a closer look at each, here are a few overview photos of the work.

    We’ll use this first overview photo above to get our bearings a bit before we continue. If Spaceship Earth is at the 12 o’clock position, the guest-accessible Connections Cafe & Eatery and Creations Shop structure runs from the 1 o’clock position to 5 o’clock. Continuing clockwise, the CommuniCore Hall/Plaza structure can be seen between 7 o’clock and almost 9 o’clock. Journey of Water – Inspired by Moana rounds out the full rotation from just past 9 o’clock to 11 o’clock. As a reminder, even though Journey of Water is completely within the Monorail loop, it is considered to be in the World Nature neighborhood.

    Focusing a bit more on the central World Celebration Festival Gardens, there really isn’t a lot of progress of note here since the last update in July. There is some more concrete poured, but it looks like crews have mostly been focused on CommuniCore Hall, but more on that in a bit. It’s possible that progress in the central gardens has slowed down to accommodate more work on CommuniCore Hall, or there simply isn’t a ton of work left before the “late 2023” opening timeframe.

    Here’s a little bit closer look at the work. There is still quite a bit of hardscape to complete and the allure of a new fiscal year and all of the tax benefits that come with it is right around the corner. I hope I’m wrong and EPCOT can have a nice anniversary on October 1st, but there appears to be too much work here at the pace of Disney construction to get it all open by then. As the summer drags on, the optimism from this writer has dwindled considerably. I hope to be proven wrong and we’re all enjoying Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit in this newly renovated area, but time will tell.

    Here’s a closer look at the central EPCOT logo planter, which actually does seem to have made some progress since July, but it awaits a final pour. We’ve included concept art of the planter past the photo immediately below.

    Shifting our attention a few steps North, here’s a closer look at the Dreamers Point area which is where guests will find the Walt the Dreamer statue.

    Here’s a look at concept art for Dreamers Point followed by a few photos of the actual Walt the Dreamer statue from last year’s D23 Expo.

    Most of the construction efforts over the last month or two have been focused on CommuniCore Hall and the CommuniCore Plaza dance party area. CommuniCore Hall is described as a new multi-purpose building that will be home to meet and greets, a demonstration kitchen, a mixology bar, and serve as a festival support center.

    Here’s a peek inside one of the spaces of CommuniCore Hall via concept art. As part of the concept art below, Disney World released the following description “CommuniCore Hall will be a dynamic exhibition space that can transform with each new festival throughout the year”.

    Another piece of concept art showcases the Mickey & Freinds meet and greet space. Disney World said “Opening as a part of the new World Celebration neighborhood in EPCOT later this year, CommuniCore Hall will be home to our newest character meet and greet location, Mickey & Friends, where guests will have the opportunity to meet with Mickey Mouse and some of his best pals.”

    The second aspect of CommuniCore Hall is CommuniCore Plaza. Disney says that CommuniCore Plaza “will have the flexibility to host intimate musical performances that extend out into the nearby gardens, as well as large-scale concerts”.

    Going back to the aerial photos, CommuniCore Plaza will be surrounded by large lighting structures to the south and a covered stage (concept art above) to the north. The space will extend into the central plaza area where the EPCOT logo planter is located and the entire area will be called the EPCOT Festival Gardens. As part of the work to bring the entire World Celebration area to life, Imagineers have previously said that they will be installing more than 10,000 LED fixtures.

    Disney World has not announced an opening date for the World Celebration “pit” yet but with the Destination D23 event around the corner, it seems like the ball has been placed on the tee for Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro.

    As always, keep checking back with us here at as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!

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