Am I nuts for being really excited by Walt Disney Wold's upcoming "Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana" walk-through attraction?
Disney is sharing some new construction photos from the attraction, which is coming to Epcot's World Nature zone. The pictures show a lot of rock work, which Disney World guests can see taking shape from the monorail as it passes above the work site.
I'm a sucker for good rock work in a theme park or attraction. Whenever I see good rock work, I immediately forget where I have been and buy into this new themed environment. A cave, a mountain, a canyon - it doesn't matter what the rock work is supposed to represent, I send my imagination there without hesitation.
That's why Epcot's new Moana attraction has me so excited - because well-themed physical environments should not be limited to big-ticket attractions and immersive themed lands. Journey of Water is a walk-through in the heart of the park. I imagine that, eventually, most people who experience Journey of Water will have just stumbled into it on their way to someplace else in Epcot. This isn't being designed as some destination attraction.
And that makes it all the more exciting to me. It excites me to see Disney appearing to put some effort into creating more well-themed and highly decorated environments for the "spaces in between" in its parks. That berm-to-berm attention to detail distinguishes Disney and other top theme parks from competitors who design and maintain their parks more simply as a collection of individual rides and shows.
According to Disney "Journey of Water will allow guests to explore and engage with water as it travels from our skies to our oceans and back again." The walk-through will depict the water cycle through a variety of environments, overseen by Moana, who will be depicted in the rock work as the water arrives at the ocean.
Disney has not announced an opening date for this experience, but based on its progress, I would guess sometime in the middle to the end of next year. So it will be a while before we can judge how well Disney has delivered on this concept. Granted, I would not be as excited for Journey of Water had Disney not also recently opened Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and Remy's Ratatouille Adventure in Epcot. If Disney were trying to pass off Journey of Water as a headline attraction, it would be setting this experience up to disappoint many Walt Disney World visitors.
But as a supporting attraction that brings new texture and experience to the heart of the former Future World, Journey of Water promises to be exactly the plussed detail that Walt Disney World needs to maintain its lead among theme park destinations.
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