Te Fiti in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana is a Beautiful Addition to EPCOT

Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana is finally open! Announced in 2019, construction was delayed until 2021 thanks to the pandemic.

This attraction is a beautiful addition to an area of EPCOT that has been hidden by construction walls for far too long. My family really enjoyed our time exploring Journey. Unfortunately, it felt crowded during the soft opening. I hope that we’ll have more peaceful visits once the newness wears off. Yeah, we can hope.

Note: Click or tap any attraction photo for a larger view.

What is Journey of Water?

Explore the wonders of water along a lush trail that’s fun for all ages—based on the Disney animated film Moana.

Official Disney description

Journey of Water is a self-guided trail that explores the global water cycle. Guests are immersed in that cycle via interactive water features. The different sections are:

  • Rain
  • Stream
  • Wetland
  • Spring
  • Land
  • Lake
  • River
  • Ocean
  • Sky

Where is it?

Journey of Water is in the shadow of Spaceship Earth, very close to the entrance to The Seas with Nemo and Friends.

EPCOT map showing location of Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
EPCOT map showing location of Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

Will You Get Wet?

You can stay as dry as you like. Each section has areas where you can interact with water. Other than a kids’ splash area, none of them will get you drenched. Additionally, a dry path is available whenever there is the possibility of getting wet. I imagine most people will opt for the wet paths during Orlando’s brutal summers. In fact, the dry paths were empty the day we visited in October.

Dry path direction sign in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

How Do You Get In?

October 19, 2023 edit: It looks like the virtual queue hasn’t been used since opening day. This could change during busier times (Thanksgiving and the holidays), but for now, enjoy being a little more spontaneous at Walt Disney World!

Like all new Disney attractions, you’ll most likely need to sign up for the virtual queue to enjoy Journey of Water. However, unlike TRON and Cosmic Rewind queues, you can only join once you’ve scanned into the park. So don’t worry about setting your alarm for 6:55 AM. We entered EPCOT at 11 AM last week and snagged a return time for early afternoon. There could be times when a virtual queue is not needed for entry, however.

Using the MDE app to get a Virtual Queue for Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

The queue wrapped around the side of the attraction toward Spaceship Earth. It moved steadily, and we were walking the trail within minutes.

Queue for Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Queue for Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Entrance sign for Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

Journey of Water is Educational

No, you won’t be required to dive too deeply into water (see what I did there), but you might learn a couple things as you journey through Journey. At the very least, you’ll be able to teach younger guests about the importance of the water cycle. In addition, informational signs offer advice for how you can make a difference at home.

Honestly, we didn’t see many guests reading the signs. The water features were too enticing. I can imagine walking through at slower times and reading everything. It wouldn’t take very long.

"Stream" info sign in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

Alright, Let’s Get Into the Attraction

Journey of Water begins with a beautiful mountain adorned with the Heart of Te Fiti. Imagineers did stunning work creating the mist-cloaked monolith. I had a difficult time getting a photo of the mountain without its misty clouds, but I love the effect.

Waterfall in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Waterfall in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

Water features respond to guests interactions quickly and easily. If anyone has tried getting a 50th Anniversary Statue to react to your wildly waving arms holding a MagicBand+, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much more easily the water responds to your movements in Journey. For example, these water “strings” play musical tones as soon as your hand touches them. You’ll notice they light up your fingers with pastel colors, as well.

Strings of water in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Strings of water in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Monorail passing by Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Monorail passing by as guests enter Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

As you can see, Journey drew decent crowds during the soft opening. I assume those crowds will remain consistent with what you see in these photos, at least for the foreseeable future. I wish I could’ve taken photos of an empty attraction, but that obviously wasn’t in the cards.

Spaceship Earth as seen from Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Spaceship Earth as seen from Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Instructions sign in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Guest waving at the water in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

Stream allows guests to wave at the water, which will “wave” right back. This area has a beautiful backdrop, Spaceship Earth. I love the juxtaposition of that geodesic sphere with the rocks, moss, and trees that make up Journey.

The hanging pots are more than decoration. They house the sensors that enable you to interact with the water.

Spring feature sign in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Guests interacting with the spring feature in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Spring in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Guest interacting with spring in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

Spring ups the interaction considerably. Guests are instructed to hold their hand over the water spring, moving it up and down. The fountain will match the height of their hands. Again, the responsiveness of the water was incredible. No MagicBand+ required.

Guest interacting with rain curtain in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Guest interacting with rain curtain in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

Land invites guests to walk through mountain caves that house rain curtains. You won’t even feel a drop if you walk slowly. But sprinters will definitely get wet. This was a very popular spot with younger guests who kept running back and forth. I can’t blame them. It was a hot day.

As usual, a dry path is also available.

Next up is Lake, the masterpiece of the entire attraction.

Lake information sign in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Waterfall in Lake area of Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Te Fiti in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Te Fiti and a pool in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Te Fiti in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Te Fiti in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

Ah, Te Fiti. She is the stunning. There isn’t any interactivity here, but none is needed. I wish there was a park bench in this section. I’d sit here for hours.

Guests who have purchased the Disney PhotoPass will be able to get a great shot with Te Fiti in the background. Look for the Cast Member in the green shirt.

Te Fiti in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
A family poses for pictures with Te Fiti. PhotoPass Cast Member not pictured.

River comes next. The jumping water is a nice touch, but this area doesn’t have the same impact as Lake or the upcoming Ocean.

River area of Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

Ocean is the grand finale to Journey. Jumping water, a splash pad, and the best water interaction of the entire attraction are in this area. If you want to get wet, this is the place for you.

Also, keep an eye out for rock carvings of your favorite Moana characters throughout the attraction. I need to go back when it’s less crowded so I can get more photos. For now, here’s Moana looking fierce.

Moana rock carving in Journey of Water, Insprired by Moana
Jumping water in Ocean area of Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Ocean area of Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Splash pad in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Child playing in fountain in Ocean area of Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Jumping water in Ocean area of Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

That Ocean water feature? Yeah, it’s impressive. Gather some friends and feel the power of some serious waves.

Ocean spray in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Monorail track as seen from the exit of Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

Closing Thoughts

I was mildly surprised when Journey of Water was announced as one of the replacements for the area formerly known as Future World. But it totally works. Plenty of people have said this attraction would be a better fit for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I disagree. Journey might not look like what we’re used to seeing in EPCOT, but the educational entertainment it provides definitely feels like EPCOT. And while its aesthetics match Animal Kingdom’s, it is completely devoid of animals.

I don’t imagine this will be a must-visit attraction for everyone. I’m cool with that. I’ll seek it out whenever I get tired of the crowds. Just like when I pet goats in Animal Kingdom.