Disney World celebrates Encanto in new Communicore Plaza

June 9, 2024, 9:41 PM · Walt Disney World celebrated the completion of its EPCOT renovation project tonight with the debut of a new Encanto-themed live show.

¡Celebración Encanto! plays on the new Communicore Plaza stage, which opens to park guests Monday morning. The show will play multiple times daily. Check the My Disney Experience app for showtimes.

A pair of affable Encanto fans host this variety show, which features trivia, clips from the movie, and music for fans to sing along with. And yes, you do get to talk (and sing) about Bruno.

In fact - nah, this is so predictable that I refuse to invoke a spoiler alert - Bruno himself show up, along with Mirabel, to join the party and congo with fans.

Here is the media premiere performance from tonight. Now, while the show talks and sings about Bruno, online video hosting services will not allow that, so that segment is cut from these highlights.

The new area, which replaces the long-gone Communicore West building, also includes the Commincore Hall events space plus an indoor Mickey & Friends character greeting area. There's also a "Festival Favorites" food stand that will be serving popular items from EPCOT's various food festivals.

Mickey & Friends character greet
Mickey & Friends character greet

Stay tuned for more news from Walt Disney World on Monday, including my review of the new Tiana's Bayou Adventure.

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Replies (8)

June 10, 2024 at 8:17 AM

I’ll be very happy to finally enjoy EPCOT again with ALL of the construction walls finally taken down. This sounds like it will be a much more engaging space than the old Innoventions area was. I’m most intrigued by the “Festival Favorites” section of this area. Will it offer a “best of” offering of whatever festival is currently happening or maybe a selection of fan-favorites from every festival?

June 10, 2024 at 9:44 AM

A seven-year, billion dollar overhaul that amounts to...a lateral move at best. Guardians is the only unmitigated upgrade to come from this project; the central hub area has seen a serious drop in quality, Ratatouille helps some with capacity but isn't actually good, and the nighttime show is significantly worse. Epcot is now firmly locked in as the worst of the four WDW parks and likely will be for decades to come. I am no Epcot nostalgist and have significant problems with the original incarnation of the park, but there was an opportunity to make it so much more here and, between bad decisions from upper management and the pandemic, it was largely squandered.

June 10, 2024 at 10:28 AM

I kinda agree with evanweston here, but maybe not to the degree that EPCOT is an inherently terrible park. I think the biggest issue here is that there was a grand vision to truly upgrade the park, and whether it be the pandemic, economic factors, or a lack of vision and willingness to take a risk, the updated park is far from what it should be. As noted above, the money invested here probably means there won't be any significant additions/changes to EPCOT for the next 5-8 years (save for the potential rekindling of the Play Pavilion project), so the half-baked, underwhelming renovation, which brought nearly 5 years of pain and construction, has put the park essentially a tick below where it was when this work was green-lighted. The park went from having tons of flexible space capable of hosting lots of different types of performances and attractions to more rigid spaces. I do like the conversion of the architecture to integrate nature more so spaces are more inviting and habitable (especially in the hot Florida summer), but it's still unclear what people are supposed to do in the spine aside from sitting down to give your feet a rest, which in EPCOT is far more interesting to do in one of the World Showcase pavilions. That's what I think is the biggest failure of the spine renovation is that in renovating this massive area, all WDI did was to rework pathways and spaces, but didn't really give guests a reason to linger and better control the way guests flow to the rest of the park. When EPCOT first opened, this area used to be vibrant and full of action with impromptu performance from acrobats, singers, various corporate displays and all kinds of attractions to occupy guests' time before World Showcase opened later in the day. Whether it be a loss of guest interest or a failure from Disney to continuously update and maintain the area, this area was slowly abandoned, and I guess with the addition of thrill rides around the park, people didn't want to linger here anymore. This renovation seems to play to the current sentiment of facilitating guests getting through the middle of the park to more interesting/exciting areas of the park.

It really kind of bugs me that Disney has chosen what is essentially an Encanto sing-a-long to anchor the new performance space and not something more reflective of EPCOT's bold mission (not to mention that this stage is massively downsized from what was initially planned when WDI announced the spine renovation. To me this is a waste of potential and a recurring theme with Disney over the past 10 years or so with grand plans that never quite meet expectations due to budget cuts and downsizing of plans.

I do really like the idea of a food stand that is a permanent stand paying homage to the various Festivals, which is really what put EPCOT on the map when Disney realized they couldn't keep the park up to date with rapidly advancing technology. I assume this stand will turn into a regular Festival stand when there is one going on.

June 10, 2024 at 1:15 PM

It appears I have the opposite view from most on the whole Epcot renovation, I think the new buildings (including this Encanto show) + Ratatouille area are the only thing I like about the Epcot renovation. Connections, Creations, Communicore, Mickey and Friends were a badly needed refresh. The old buildings (Electric Umbrella especially) were so outdated it was embarrassing. Could it be better? Sure, but at least it doesn't look stuck in the 80s anymore. Although I do wonder if a decade or two from now people will look at this area as stuck in the late 2010s-early 2020s, although i'm not sure how to avoid that in an area that has no specific theme other than trying to look nice.

The main issue I have with the Epcot renovation is by forcing Disney IP into areas where it makes no sense creatively and ruins the park: the fireworks show, Guardians, the parking lot, and Moana in particular (I think Moana would have been fine if it were hidden in a corner next to The Seas or something, but where it is looks so bizarre).

June 10, 2024 at 2:57 PM

I really like the World Celebration space in EPCOT compared with what the Communicore area had become before the renovations. But visiting here this week, I cannot for the life of me understand why Disney is building any outdoor performance spaces in Florida. Everything new here needs to go indoors - full stop. The summer heat - and summer remains the most popular vacation time for American families - is getting worse every year. People need relief.

June 10, 2024 at 3:21 PM

Precisely why I only visit Toy Story Land in the evening at DHS Robert. The lack of shade is almost spiteful, backyard theme be damned.

June 10, 2024 at 3:24 PM

That's something I've been noticing in a lot of the photos of the renovated space. It's all fine and dandy that they're trying to move away from the stiff concrete-dominated architecture to bring in more natural surfaces, turf, and landscaping, but there still appears to be a lack of shade and other spaces that could provide respite from inclement weather.

June 10, 2024 at 6:51 PM

For the record, I still like going to Epcot for a lot of reasons and Guardians was a wonderful addition. I'm just disappointed that the overhaul fell woefully short of what it should have been and probably made the park a bit worse.

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