Epcot Update: Pixar Short Film Festival, Soarin's Closure

Epcot has seen quite a few changes in the past few weeks. In addition to the ongoing construction taking place in the Noway pavilion (the new Frozen Ever After ride and the nearby character greeting location will open to Guests later this year), Captain EO officially closed its doors and was replaced a few weeks later by the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival. In addition to that, Soarin' closed for a six-month refurbishment that also brought other changes in The Land.

Let's take a quick look around the park to check out the changes that have been highlighted above:

The park is much quieter now. It's definitely nice to see such short wait times:

Let's begin by taking a close look at the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival:

The show includes three different shorts that are accompanied by special effects (when they work):

The attraction's marquee and the Stand-By and FastPass+ signs are also new:

The lobby includes drawings and artworks from the shorts:

Entering The Land pavilion:

Soarin' is still advertised within the pavilion:

Soarin's closure has deeply affected The Land. Previously, the pavilion felt very busy (actually, it felt too busy, as it was not designed to handle the massive crowds that Soarin' pulled), while now there is a more relaxed atmosphere, which is great. We actually find this to be a nice change of pace:

Unfortunately, Disney doesn't seem to be very happy about this, as the pavilion's two restaurant have never felt emptier. In fact, Sunshine Seasons now only operates from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Similarly, the Circle of Life attraction now operates from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m.:

The Soarin' marquee is still in place. We expect it to come down soon:

Groups waiting for the Behind the Seeds tour now gather in this area before the tour begins:

Back outside:

Work continues on the new Frozen-themed character greeting location in the Norway pavilion:

The Norway restrooms are currently closed to be expanded:

Here you are some exclusive behind-the-wall photos of the new area:

The facade of the future Frozen Ever After attraction is being refurbished:

And that is all for now. Before concluding, remember to like us on our official Facebook page and follow us on Twitter for live updates from the parks. If you would like to make a donation to OTPN, feel free to use the "DONATE" button found on the sidebar. Thank you for your support, and see you again soon.

PHOTOS BY: Alex, Official Orlando Theme Park News Team Member and Photographer.


  1. Is there any rumors on when the Frozen ride will be opening?

  2. Doesn't it seem like the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival would be more appropriate at Disney's Hollywood Studios since that park is more about movies & tv rather than Epcot. I understand Captain Eo was needing to be replaced but with another 3D movie that really has nothing to do with the Imagination theme?

  3. I hope the Frozen ride turns out well and stays for a long time. The little girls and boys it delights can then experience it with their own children in 20 years...that's Disney magic. The Magic Kingdom is filled with such classic, timeless attractions. Epcot could use a few more of these.

  4. Frozen is listed to open to everyone on the 1st May but can see soft opening a week before.

  5. Just a thank you for another picture update. I appreciate these so much more than all those video bloggers out there as I can read at my leisure and examine actual photos without dealing with video chatter and annoyances.

  6. It's ok that there aren't more rides for little kids at Epcot.

  7. I wish they never closed Maelstrom to make room for the Frozen ride... some things you should just leave alone. Now you won't even be able to enjoy Norway or the country's near it without seeing Frozen everywhere...

  8. I'd love to see Imagineering turn the Journey Into Imagination pavilion into some sort of Inside Out attraction. Seems like a no brainer.

  9. The inside out idea sounds great, but then people will complain that it belongs in Hollywood studios, since it is a movie property. But then again, aren't they all movie properties?!?! We should just shove everything into DHS and close the other parks. Maelstrom was a dated, and sad ride. Sure it had history, but it was growing old. Things change. Its a good thing.

  10. Epcot should be the only park free of Disney characters, it was designed or intended to be another Magic Kingdom.

  11. Finish that and then put the Ratatouille ride in the France pavilion like the one in Disneyland Paris


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