Disney Provides Update on Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana at EPCOT

Things continue to move forward in the transformation of EPCOT. Today, Disney Parks Blog shared a look at the progress being made on Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana. The EPCOT attraction is starting to come together with details being added. The team from Walt Disney Imagineering and a crew of artisans have begun to sculpt the rockwork that will become an immersive exploration trail.

Disney describes the work on the attraction in the following way:

Designed for all ages, Journey of Water will allow guests to explore and engage with water as it travels from our skies to our oceans and back again. Walt Disney Imagineering partnered with artists and cultural consultants from Walt Disney Animation Studios to bring this experience to life, and our team tasked themselves with capturing the beauty of the natural water cycle within the attraction. We were also inspired by Moana’s fierce determination to protect her environment – her bond with water is unique, and we are excited for guests to learn about the importance of water and experience its playful personality just as she did.

As guests explore the rocks and waterways of Journey of Water, some familiar shapes and characters will be discovered. One of the faces that will be found will be Moana herself. Her likeness will be positioned in a place to celebrate water’s arrival to the ocean. To get to the point where a rockwork likeness of Moana can be found in the attraction,  Imagineers create models, mock-ups, and maquettes of the different ideas and likenesses they want to recreate in the parks. Below, Principal Dimensional Designer, Jim Towler is sculpting a foam maquette of Moana for the attraction.

This foam sculpture is fairly early in the design process. Once the pose of the character has been decided on, sculptors will add detail and texture until the emotional expression of the carving is just right. This is followed by a paint study and often will then create full-scale samples for testing of carving techniques and materials. This is all to ensure that the creative vision and the production of the experience come together.

Disney shared a sample of some of “the mountain-like forms that will soon mark the entrance to the attraction.” This has Moana’s iconic spiral that first could be seen in the original concept art that was released for Journey of Water. It can be seen how artisans use paint, scenic treatments, and foliage to bring things to life in the parks.

Looking back at the concept art for Journey of Water and then to the present of what is coming together, fans can now see more of the process of how an attraction like Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana comes from concept to reality in the parks. The attraction will be a part of World Nature. This is the EPCOT neighborhood that is “dedicated to understanding and preserving the beauty, awe, and balance of the natural world.” Moana’s story fits quite naturally into this mission for the neighborhood.

This new attraction will come to life even further in the coming months. An exact opening date has not been announced, however, progress seems to be speeding up. Expect more announcements to be made about this attraction in the near future.

What do you think of this new attraction? Are you excited to experience it? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!