Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Journey of Water Impressed by Moana at EPCOT: Opening Date & Particulars

Walt Disney World has lastly formally introduced the opening date of Moana’s Journey of Water at EPCOT! This shares the debut date, new particulars, combined with a couple of of my first images after experiencing it. Plus, all the things it is advisable to find out about preview dates, predictions about digital queue v. standby, Genie+, crowds, and extra!

In case you’re unfamiliar with it, the attraction is formally often called Journey of Water Impressed by Moana (or Moana’s Journey of Water, as we’ll name it for simplicity’s sake). That is the primary Walt Disney World attraction based mostly on the Walt Disney Animation Studios hit movie Moana, and is a walk-through exploration path somewhat than a journey.

This ‘Moana Maze’ (probably not a maze–it’s completely linear) is an expertise the place visitors work together with magical, residing water in a gorgeous and provoking setting on the entrance of EPCOT, with Spaceship Earth looming within the background. Moana’s Journey of Water consists of a lush atmosphere that engages and educates visitors in regards to the water cycle and the way it sustains our world.

Moana’s Journey of Water is technically a part of the brand new World Nature neighborhood of the previous Future World. World Nature is devoted to understanding and preserving the wonder, awe and stability of the pure world. Along with Journey of Water Impressed by Moan, World Nature additionally options The Land and Seas with Nemo & Buddies pavilions.

Regardless of being a part of World Nature, this walkthrough is true on the sting of World Celebration, which is house to points of interest such because the Large EPCOT Grime Pit™️ and development partitions. Sometime, it’ll function CommuniCore Corridor & Plaza in addition to the Dreamer Walt Disney statue, which simulates the person, the parable, the legend, considering whereas on the throne.

This displays Disney’s scaled again imaginative and prescient for the EPCOT overhaul plans. Primarily, they’re rebuilding what was beforehand there, including some bushes, and taking 4 years to do it. That is related for a few causes. First, as a result of Moana’s Journey of Water is the greatest addition to return from these 4 years of development partitions. Second, as a result of mentioned partitions are nonetheless up–and certain might be for a couple of extra months–and that has operational impacts that we’ll circle again to in a bit.

Luckily, followers gained’t have to attend an excessive amount of longer, or for the entire development partitions to return down as a way to expertise the brand new exploration path! Walt Disney World introduced that Moana’s Journey of Water will formally open on October 16, 2023.

Imagineers additionally shared that Moana herself will start showing in World Nature at EPCOT along with her personal meet & greet beginning on October 16, 2023.

The timing with that is virtually actually strategic. In any case, Moana’s Journey of Water is completed and has been for a number of weeks (it might’ve debuted months in the past, had Walt Disney World needed it open for the summer season season).

It’s not debuting at the beginning of the Disney100 celebration, which was initially meant to be when Walt Disney World wrapped up the EPCOT overhaul. As a substitute, Moana’s Journey of Water is opening when the climate is a bit cooler and crowds are usually decrease at EPCOT. Though we by no means love delays, this one might be for good purpose. However earlier than we get forward of ourselves with crowd evaluation, let’s cowl extra of the small print.

Visitor Previews

Let’s subsequent rapidly flip to the matters of soppy openings and affiliation previews for Moana’s Journey of Water. Comfortable openings are also called trial operations or technical rehearsals, and are principally an unannounced and managed check interval. They supply a chance for theme parks to open an attraction previous to its official opening and conduct operations and Solid Member coaching in a extra forgiving and low-stress atmosphere.

Usually, delicate openings are usually not publicized by way of official sources. In consequence, they at all times draw considerably fewer crowds than official openings. They’re a pleasant perk for visitors who’re already within the park and essentially the most plugged-in Walt Disney World followers. (We preface that with “usually,” as a result of TRON Lightcycle Run had a publicized delicate opening in 2023, which is a primary in our expertise at Walt Disney World.)

Previous to TRON Lightcycle Run, Walt Disney World had gotten away from delicate openings lately. With Moana’s Journey of Water, I believe there’s as soon as once more an inexpensive likelihood of soppy openings. However most likely not publicized ones. Moderately, as a result of I imagine it will be prudent of Walt Disney World to slowly burn off as a lot demand as doable previous to the official opening date, in order that it’s not chaos on October 16, 2023.

No matter a delicate opening, we already know that Moana’s Journey of Water will supply previews for choose affiliation teams, together with Disney Trip Membership Members, Annual Passholders, Golden Oak Residents, Membership 33 Members. In case you missed it, see Moana’s Journey of Water Preview Dates & Particulars for more information.

The pertinent element for these previews is that they don’t require registration. This can be a vital change as in comparison with Remy’s Ratatouille Journey and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (each additionally at EPCOT). Having previews for these points of interest supplied locals a “squeak/sneak peek” on the new attraction with shorter wait occasions, whereas additionally serving to spike attendance for EPCOT in the course of the low season and pulling ahead a few of these locals’ visits from October. Having a ‘launch valve’ on demand was good for these points of interest, however not important.

Neither used standby strains upon opening, so there was no concern about overcrowding and lengthy standby strains. (Not having as many locals ‘struggle’ vacationers for spots within the digital queue is an effective factor, however not an operational crucial.) Which brings us to the subsequent matter…

Standby v. Digital Queue

Don’t snicker or roll your eyes. Sure, Journey of Water Impressed by Moana is “solely” an interactive exploration path and never a blockbuster E-Ticket. However the factor is, digital queues are usually not determined based mostly upon how “large” an attraction is, however somewhat, how a lot it’s operationally essential. Merchandise releases additionally aren’t main thrill rides, and but, digital queues are used for these every now and then.

The large query marks with Moana’s Journey of Water are hourly capability, visitor demand, and the place to place the standby line amidst the ocean of development partitions surrounding the Large EPCOT Grime Pit. As talked about above, CommuniCore Corridor isn’t but prepared. The present hall is already cramped because of the development, and there’s not a ton of house for a bodily standby line on this space till extra partitions come down.

Presumably, that may occur to some extent between now and the opening of Moana’s Journey of Water. The partitions round CommuniCore will shrink, releasing up an space for overflow queue. Nevertheless, I’m nonetheless skeptical that there might be adequate house to accommodate a standby line.

Once more, you would possibly snicker on the notion that there might be lengthy strains for a glorified interactive queue, or no matter derogatory terminology you would possibly need to use to indicate that Walt Disney World followers will watch for something. And yeah, it’s true that us diehard followers do have an affinity for standing in lengthy strains at EPCOT.

However that is additionally a query of throughput. Journey of Water is actually interactive, and most of the results “work” greatest when there’s a gradual trickle of visitors by way of the expertise. In any other case, the timing is thrown off or there’s congestion in all places and it’s much less spectacular/gratifying. Operations will thus both have to pulse visitors by way of Journey of Water slowly, or simply open the floodgates and let among the expertise be misplaced in the course of the preliminary interval of excessive demand. (I might see that going both manner.)

Anyway, all of it is a contributing issue in the case of affiliation previews, delicate openings, and even the official opening date. If Moana’s Journey of Water opened with zero previews in the course of the hottest stretch of summer season, it will’ve been so fashionable that it wanted a digital queue, or else had a standby line all the best way again to the turnstiles.

My robust suspicion is that Walt Disney World has accomplished the entire above as mitigation measures, with the hope {that a} digital queue gained’t be essential. They know digital queues are unpopular, however view them as a “essential evil” of types. With a walkthrough expertise, utilizing a digital queue presents those self same complications–and would additionally create unrealistic visitor expectations. (It’s one factor to rise up at 7 am for an superior thrill journey…however one other completely to do it for a exploration path!)

With all of that mentioned, I nonetheless suppose there’s an inexpensive likelihood Moana’s Journey of Water will want a digital queue at first. Disney diehards love something new, and EPCOT lovers are the “worst” of all. Regardless of what number of previews or how strategic the timing, that is going to have excessive demand on the outset. Even opening throughout a lull could not assist a lot, as October by way of December is an extremely fashionable time of yr amongst annual guests–so there’s going to be a gentle stream of followers for whom that is brand-new.

Genie+ Standing

Once more, don’t snicker or roll your eyes. On the plus aspect, I believe/hope there’s not a lot of an opportunity that Journey of Water Impressed by Moana might be an Particular person Lightning Lane attraction. Just like the digital queue, this comes all the way down to managing expectations–there can be numerous annoyed first-timers in the event that they purchased an ILL for the brand new “Moana attraction” solely to search out out it’s not a journey. Walt Disney World (hopefully) is aware of higher.

So the higher query is whether or not it’ll be a Genie+ expertise. I might see this going both manner. Though there are not any Lightning Lane tapstiles on the attraction entrance, there’s nothing to say that it couldn’t use handheld iPad scanners, similar to a handful of different points of interest. The problem is extra certainly one of queue administration, and the truth that there isn’t house for one line, not to mention two. It has the potential to be an operational quagmire.

Then again, cash. Moana’s Journey of Water being a part of Genie+ would assist promote the service, and in addition “permit” Walt Disney World to lift the value of Genie+ at EPCOT. Heck, Walt Disney World might obviate numerous the aforementioned points by having Moana’s Journey of Water be Genie+ solely (no standby line or digital queue) for some time. I don’t need to give them any concepts, however that might truly be fairly savvy…and awfully unscrupulous!

With that mentioned, I’ll be the optimist right here: Moana’s Journey of Water most likely gained’t supply a Lightning Lane. Yeah, Walt Disney World loves cash, however they nonetheless haven’t added Lightning Lane viewing to the fireworks, and I assumed having that for Harmonious would’ve been an simple strategy to promote the service.

Generally Disney does go on making a buck when it’ll come on the expense of the visitor expertise. My wager is that’s what occurs right here. Regardless that having Journey of Water be Lightning Lane-only for a couple of months would remedy the aforementioned points and make them a boatload of money, they (hopefully) gained’t do this–or a Lightning Lane in any respect–because of the injury it’d trigger to the visitor expertise.

In the end, we’re very a lot prepared for Journey of Water Impressed by Moana to open and I’m cautiously optimistic about what it’ll add to the lineup at EPCOT in the long run. (I’ve already had the prospect to expertise Journey of Water, however I’ll save ideas about the way it “suits” EPCOT and whether or not it’s a worthwhile addition for a separate evaluation.)

Within the near-term, I’ve numerous issues and unanswered questions on how Journey of Water will “work” till demand dies down. Personally, I believe these logistical hurdles and the tradeoffs Disney makes to “remedy” or reduce them are fascinating, however I’m additionally a geeky blogger and never strictly an everyday visitor. Between its capability and the brand new attraction odor, I anticipate quite a lot of unavoidable operational points which are going to frustrate followers. Simply do not forget that Disney doesn’t have any good options to the demand dilemma–it’s a bunch of least-bad decisions. So when you discover all of this annoying, your greatest wager is to easily wait till 2024 to expertise Moana’s Journey of Water.

Planning a Walt Disney World journey? Study lodges on our Walt Disney World Motels Critiques web page. For the place to eat, learn our Walt Disney World Restaurant Critiques. To save cash on tickets or decide which kind to purchase, learn our Ideas for Saving Cash on Walt Disney World Tickets put up. Our What to Pack for Disney Journeys put up takes a novel have a look at intelligent gadgets to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Trip Guides will assist. For complete recommendation, the very best place to begin is our Walt Disney World Journey Planning Information for all the things it is advisable to know!

Your Ideas

What do you consider Moana’s Journey of Water? Excited to expertise this throughout your Christmas-time journey to Walt Disney World? Will you attempt to do it straight away, or wait till demand dies down and it’s simpler to expertise the ‘Moana Maze’ minus the chaos and congestion? Does this exploration path look interesting to you? Do you suppose this might be a stable addition to EPCOT, or do you would like it had been added elsewhere? Do you agree or disagree with our evaluation? Any questions we can assist you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even while you disagree with us–is each fascinating to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles