Why Fans Should Be Excited About Disney’s New Moana Attraction

August 25, 2022, 3:39 p.m. · Am I crazy to be really excited about Walt Disney Wold’s upcoming “Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana” attraction?

Disney shares new construction photos of the attraction, which is coming to Epcot’s World Nature area. The images show numerous rock works, which Disney World guests can see taking shape from the monorail as it passes over the construction site.

Water construction trip
Images courtesy of Disney

I’m a sucker for good rock work at a theme park or attraction. Whenever I see good rock work, I immediately forget where I’ve been and embrace this new thematic environment. A cave, a mountain, a canyon – whatever the rock art is supposed to represent, I send my imagination there without hesitation.

More Moana Pass Building

That’s why Epcot’s new Moana attraction has me so excited — because well-themed physical environments shouldn’t be limited to big-ticket attractions and immersive themed lands. Journey of Water is a walk through the heart of the park. I imagine that, ultimately, most people who experience Journey of Water will have stumbled upon it while going elsewhere to Epcot. It is not designed as a destination attraction.

Concept image for Journey of Water, inspired by Moana

And that makes it all the more exciting for me. It excites me to see Disney seem to be making efforts to create more well themed and highly decorated environments for “in-between spaces” in its parks. This attention to detail from berm to berm sets Disney and other major theme parks apart from competitors who design and maintain their parks more simply as a collection of individual rides and shows.

According to Disney, “Journey of Water will allow guests to explore and engage with water as it travels from our skies to our oceans and back again.” The tour will describe the cycle of water through a variety of environments, overseen by Moana, who will be depicted in the rock work as the water reaches the ocean.

Lead Dimensional Designer Jim Towler sculpts Moana’s foam model.

Disney hasn’t announced an opening date for this experience, but based on its progress, I’m guessing mid to late next year. So it will be some time before we can judge how good Disney is on this concept. Granted, I wouldn’t be so excited for Journey of Water if Disney hadn’t recently opened Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at Epcot. If Disney tried to market Journey of Water as a star attraction, it would set this experience up to disappoint many Walt Disney World visitors.

But as a supporting attraction that brings new texture and experience to the heart of the old future world, Journey of Water promises to be exactly the detail Walt Disney World needs to maintain its lead among the destinations of theme parks.

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