CommuniCore Hall Marks Completion of EPCOT Transformation

CommuniCore Hall Marks Completion of EPCOT Transformation

CommuniCore Hall opened today, and with it, EPCOT’s transformation is complete. That’s according to Kartika Rodriguez, EPCOT’s Vice President:

It’s a very exciting time to be at EPCOT – after years of creative vision, innovation and dedicated work, I’m thrilled to share that the historic transformation of our park is complete.

These beautiful new spaces speak to the heart of the World Celebration neighborhood, which focuses on experiences that bring communities together. As you come together with your family and friends to explore these new areas, here are a few things that I’m most excited for you all to see.

CommuniCore is the last piece of the multi-year reimagining of EPCOT. Fans were thrilled with the concept art we were shown of the festival pavilion at the 2019 D23 Fan Event. Unfortunately, that multi-level beauty was scrapped during the pandemic in favor of a more conventional building. It wasn’t the only casualty. Plans for a Play! Pavilion, a major Spaceship Earth refurbishment, and a Mary Poppins attraction are no longer in the works, at least in the foreseeable future.

EPCOT Festival Pavilion concept art. Copyright Disney.
EPCOT Festival Pavilion concept art. Copyright Disney.
CommuniCore Hall with Spaceship Earth in the distance
EPCOT's CommuniCore Hall

I think I would like CommuniCore much more if I’d never seen the concept art from five years ago. While the exterior has a cool Spaceship Earth vibe, Disney Imagineers set a very high bar with their original design.

What is CommuniCore?

EPCOT’s festival headquarters offers some cool eats and entertainment. As the name suggests, “Festival Favorites” serves favorites from EPCOT’s four festivals. Right now, the quick-service restaurant has dishes inspired by Encanto, including a Cheese-stuffed Arepa with cilantro-lime crema and cotija cheese and the Coconut Tres Leches. CommuniCore will also be home to test kitchens during EPCOT Festivals.

Speaking of Encanto, “¡Celebración Encanto!” is the first show to grace the CommuniCore Plaza Stage. The 20-minute singalong goes off six times a day. In the evening, a Latin groove band will perform on the stage.

The CommuniCore Plaza will welcome music groups traditionally found elsewhere in EPCOT. Japan’s Matsuriza drummers, The American Adventure’s Voices of Liberty, and the JAMMitors will perform in the new space. I hope this new venue will provide more visibility for these great acts.

Character meet-and-greets are also back at Mickey & Friends. The backdrops for these photo ops are beautiful, as is the EPCOT mural found inside CommuniCore.

CommuniCore's mural wall. Copyright Disney
Copyright Disney

CommuniCore’s initial reviews have been underwhelming. We’re heading to Disney World this week, so I’ll post photos and my group’s reactions soon.