Walt Disney's coming to EPCOT for his birthday

November 28, 2023, 8:00 PM · Disney Parks' new statue of Walt Disney will debut officially at Walt Disney World's EPCOT on December 5.

That's the 122nd anniversary of Walt Disney's birth, so it's an especially appropriate day to honor Walt at Disney World's second theme park. Walt Disney Imagineering this evening shared a video of the statue's installation to make the opening date announcement.

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The "Walt the Dreamer" will stand behind Spaceship Earth in the World Celebration neighborhood, overlooking World Celebration Gardens.

EPCOT - or at least the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow version of the concept - was Walt's dream for the company's Florida property, which opened as the Walt Disney World Resort with the Magic Kingdom theme park and two hotels in 1971, nearly five years after his death.

For more information and our advice for visiting the park, please see our EPCOT visitors guide.

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Replies (7)

November 29, 2023 at 4:37 AM

Oh that is disappointing! The statue is great, but the high beige "bench" ruins the aesthetic, you can hardly see Spaceship Earth.
The concept art was much better with Walt sitting raised on "steeped platforms" so it more approachable, easier to pose with, as a group, and seemingly better backdrop due to its elevated position so at least the flower bed would have been visible.
I guess he as relocated as I'm sure he was supposed to be looking out over world showcase under the "multi storey thing" they were going to construct, At least further back from SSE, like where the 100 Mickey is now you would have got a better view.

November 29, 2023 at 11:02 AM

That's an interesting observation Richard, and I do find it odd that a statue called "Walt the Dreamer" would have him sitting on a bench in the middle of a renovated park space (not at the front of a park) and staged with him looking towards nothing iconic (like Spaceship Earth) or offer anything iconic as a framing mechanism.

I'm also not a fan of statues like this that appear to encourage posing and touching. Yes, some have become iconic, but I worry that yet another Walt statue at guest level in 1:1 scale does not really serve a purpose or provide any inspiration.

November 29, 2023 at 12:20 PM

I actually think that the best Walt statue is 1:1 scale at guest level - the one of Walt on the park bench looking at the carousel in Hong Kong Disneyland. (See it at https://www.instagram.com/p/C0PVt72Ph7V/ )

It references the alleged moment when Walt came up with the idea for the original Disneyland, so it has a historical link that other statues lack.

November 29, 2023 at 3:27 PM

Another imagineering overthink underwhelming project. I guess he can watch the Mona fountains for exciting entertainment

November 30, 2023 at 12:02 AM

And that leaves Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom as the last domestic parks without a Walt statue.

November 30, 2023 at 7:47 AM

@James - And DHS has an entire attraction devoted to Walt (One Man's Dream), which if I recall has a number of life-size representations of him throughout, though no official statues.

December 5, 2023 at 8:09 AM

At this point Walt and Mickey are empty marketing tools. It's kind of sad to see a company that is miles away from the core idea and value it's creator had.

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