We’re Uncovering the SECRETS of the Moana Attraction Coming to EPCOT

You may have seen the concept art for the NEW Moana attraction coming to EPCOT a thousand times, but have you REALLY looked at it?!

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Concept Art

We’ve watched the construction progress on this attraction and shared all the latest details with you, but today we’re doing a DEEP DIVE into the concept art to see what secrets may be hidden within!

Concept Art Disclaimer

Before we begin, we do have a few disclaimers. The first is our concept art disclaimer. What we’ll be breaking down today is Disney’s concept art that has been shared for this space. The concept art is just that…a concept. It doesn’t necessarily show everything in its final form.

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Journey of Water construction — September 2022

Things could look very different once they’re finalized and actually inside the park. So take everything here with a grain of salt because some of the foliage, structures, etc. in this concept art might be totally different or not even there when we get to the final version of this attraction!

DFB Disclaimer

Our second disclaimer is a disclaimer for ourselves. To do this breakdown, we zoomed in on Disney’s concept art…a LOT. We analyzed each corner and really tried to do a real Sherlock Holmes on this thing. \"😆\"

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But the truth is that these mysteries will probably only be solved once the attraction opens. Rockwork that looks like a fish to us might just be totally normal rockwork without any fishy tendencies. Heck, we were seeing all KINDS of stuff when we analyzed the Tiana’s Bayou Adventure model and the concept art for the potential Coco, Zootopia, and other areas teased for Disney. So bear with us as we go on this “I Spy” adventure. And pull our your glasses while you’re at it. \"😉\"

The Attraction

And finally, before we begin, let’s go over what this attraction is meant to be. Journey of Water — Inspired by Moana is a walk-through attraction coming to EPCOT, scheduled to open in late 2023. The experience is meant to be a “lush exploration trail” that’ll allow guests to “play with magical, living water” and learn about the importance of the natural cycle of water.

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Images will guide guests through the cycle of water in “fun and engaging ways to tell our story of the vital link we share with water across our planet, and inspire the important role we all share in preserving this life-giving and life-sustaining precious resource.” Okay, let’s get into our analysis.

Our Analysis

Let’s start with an overall look. You can see that the entire area is housed across from The Seas With Nemo and Friends (you can see that existing pavilion in the lower left-hand corner of the image). So if you leave that Nemo area, step under the monorail line, and across the small path, you’ll be led to what appears to be the Moana attraction’s main entrance area.

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One note, the entire attraction does seem to make heavy use of rockwork. We wonder if any of that is inspired by one part of the movie that also features a lot of rocks — the “You’re Welcome” scene on that little island Maui had been stuck on. Hmmm…

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©Disney

Now, let’s take each little area of the walk-through experience individually.

At the front, it looks like there is a sign that says “Journey of Water” made out of materials that look very natural, with an almost island vibe — pretty fitting. To the left of the sign, there appears to be a path leading into the walk-through attraction. Next to that is an awning and what appears to be the area where Cast Members will likely chat with guests and answer any questions before going in.

Past that it looks like there is another entrance (or, more likely, an exit) to the attraction. Since this is a walk-through attraction, it would be a bit chaotic to have guests coming in through multiple entrances and potentially having to cross one another on the paths. So this could primarily serve as the exit.

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Okay, let’s tackle what’s just past that main entrance by the sign. Here, it looks like there will be a rock and water feature with the signature emblem of Moana — that spiral design.

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It looks very much like some of the rockwork Disney revealed not too long ago.

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This entryway also seems to be the same as what was depicted in much earlier concept art. It looks like this area will probably have some flowers and water features to really set the tone of this attraction and welcome guests in.

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Journey of Water Concept Art © Disney

And we’ve actually seen a structure with that same design in the works at the park! It’s so great to see things go from concept to physical form.

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It has Moana’s symbol!

Next, we get to an area of rockwork with what appear to be some jumping water fountains on the top, and some more unique and colorful effects on the bottom.

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It could be that those water effects on the bottom will be somewhat similar to the ones that were used at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train queue where you could wave your hand under the spouts to make the water dance and make music play.

The concept art for the Moana attraction does seem to display some color effects, so it’s possible that music or other effects will be tied to it as well.

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Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

This area also seems to match up with earlier concept art that had been shared, showing some water coming out from rocks with special effects, and people playing with the water by putting their hands underneath the rocks. We have a feeling this will be a popular spot with little ones!

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Journey of Water Concept Art as seen in The EPCOT Experience

From this area, it seems like there will likely be a path that leads you up to a larger area with more water and rockwork. That path isn’t clearly marked here though and seems to be covered in foliage. It’s very possible that there will be more water effects or other special things to look at here, but Disney hasn’t given us a peek at those just yet!

In the next space, it looks like there are some streams and pond-like water features with rocks that cross them. There’s also a lot of lush greenery depicted in this area, with some big trees, bushes, and plants.

In the back, it almost looks like there could be an awning, similar to the one at the front of the attraction, offering guests a shady area to relax under. It’s not totally clear where the paths go in this space. Will you get to walk behind the waterfall? Closer to the little ponds and streams? We’ll have to wait to find out. But it does seem like the big “draw” in this area is that waterfall. We have a feeling that, especially on an empty day, it’ll be a lovely spot to take in the views and just listen to the water.

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If we do end up walking past the back of the waterfall, we could get a little surprise moment (perhaps!) inspired by the scene in Moana where she discovers the boats behind the waterfall. Bring on the epic music and some cool lighting effects!

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From there, it looks like you go down a path that passes by more greenery, some of the unique lampposts that dot the area (giving us some Pandora: The World of Avatar vibes with those for sure), and a structure to the right of more rockwork. The concept art almost makes it look like some of the water from the larger structure we’re about to get to is jumping into that smaller rock structure you pass on this path, and then pours out from there. It’s possible that might pour out into a stream that then leads back to the waterfall, ponds, and little streams from the previous area.

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Then, you enter what appears to be a more interactive play area, or at least an area with some more eye-catching effects. There’s a LOT of jumping water here, and it even looks like some water may jump on top of the entrance to the “main” part of this space — creating a sort-of water gate you must go under to enter.

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To the right-hand side, there are some guests standing near a central lamppost in front of rockwork with water spouting overhead. The water appears to “jump” across the rocks and OVER the people below. This isn’t exactly a water ride so you likely won’t get soaked, but we could definitely see the potential for some water to splash you (just a bit) while standing underneath this area.

It looks like the rockwork to the right-hand side has more of a waterfall effect, while the other rockwork is made of more “pools” of water that then spout outward to other little rock pools.

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There appear to be some carvings in these rocks, though it’s difficult to get any true sense of what they are. Could they be representative of the gods or demigods, like Maui and Tamatoa? Could they be representative of the sea and its many creatures? Or maybe they’ll have more of a Kakamora feel to them? Is it just us or do those give you some fish…or bird(?) vibes?

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There are some carvings in rocks in part of the Moana film, during the “You’re Welcome” song — so maybe they’ll be more similar to that.

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They could also just be regular carvings, ’cause you know…that’d be totally normal. \"😂\"  It’s not entirely clear but we can’t wait to find out.

And do you see the little figures with their arms spread out? Like that one person with a red backpack who has their arms up in the air? Is it possible that this area will include some kind of guest interaction that CAUSES the water to jump so spectacularly?

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It seems possible. In another part of the concept art for this area, there are actually 2 people with their arms stretched out, and some of the water around them rising up from the pools below. Did their movements cause that or somehow lead to the water effect? Disney has a lot of technology in the works that are meant to focus on guest interactivity, so it’s certainly possible.

This space as a whole seems to really focus on the guest’s involvement and interaction with water. It does seem, however, that there are barriers (like fences) in place to keep guests from interacting a little too much with that water!

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Quick question as we transition between areas, who are these people? We see guests depicted throughout the attraction wearing differently-colored clothing, etc., and yet these people all seem to be dressed in the same sort-of brown color. Are they just a color-coordinated family? Are they Cast Members? Is there a reason they’ve congregated in this one area? We have a lot of questions.

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In the top part of this interactive area, it looks like there is a big awning tied to some posts in the area.

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The awning has some designs on it reminiscent of the designs from the film, like those used on the sails for the boats.

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Underneath the awnings, it looks like water is pouring from the ceiling? Or maybe those are shiny poles or other structures of some sort? Considering that this is a water-themed attraction, our guess is that they are water or something water-related, meant to encourage guests to play and have fun.

Perhaps this is part of the attraction that discusses the water cycle as it comes from the sky to the ground. The attraction is meant to teach guests about the importance of the natural water cycle. In one image depicting the style of graphic that’ll be used throughout the attraction, it did show the part of the cycle where water goes from the sky and rain into a stream. Perhaps this has something to do with that!

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There appears to also be a structure underneath the awning — perhaps a seat or structure for guests to rest on or play on? The entire area underneath that awning on the top is shaded and out of sight, so it’s not clear what this would be.

Does anyone else get The Boneyard, like the dig site and playground from DinoLand U.S.A.? The ocean does have a lot of sand on its sea floor, so maybe this space could be used for a fun activity like that for kids.

The final area looks like it is a space focused mainly on rockwork and some water/mist effects. And then it looks like you exit through that final piece of the path.

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At this point, you might be wondering, “where on earth is that GIANT Te Fiti sculpture going to be?”

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WOW!

Well, good question. At the D23 Expo, Cast Members indicated that she would be located in the area circled below.

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It *Should* Be Around There

And we can sort of see that in some of the model imagery Disney shared at D23 Expo. In one of the images shared, it looks like Te Fiti is facing guests, with an awning behind her. That could be the awning we saw at the front (in the area that is likely for Cast Members greeting guests coming to the attraction). It’s possible that she will be in that grassy area just past some of the rockwork and it simply isn’t depicted in the concept art. She is near a pond that could feed into that water/misting effect we do see in the concept art. And it looks like a family is posing near her for a photo. Sees like the perfect opportunity to snap a shot before you leave.

She’s also massive so it would make sense to have her be the big “reveal” right at the end of the attraction’s walk-through.

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How Incredible!

Another question — where will this rockwork featuring Moana go? It’s not totally clear! Disney had previously noted that Moana will be very noticeable and will be seen celebrating water’s arrival to the ocean.

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The attraction does sort of form a circle, similar to the “cycle” of water. So if the awning near the end with the water falling down does represent the sky and rain, perhaps the next portion (closer to the exit) represents wetlands, the entryway can represent springs, the rock section (where there is water underneath the rocks with the colorful effects) can represent the water IN the land, then we get into the area of the waterfall and ponds which could be representative or rivers and lakes, with the playful area right before the awning then representing the playful ocean. It’s a thought!

If the playful area does represent the ocean, then Moana could be near there. But it’s also possible that this organization of the cycle is off and perhaps Moana will be much closer to the front.

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What Do You Think?

What do you think? Tell us your thoughts and theories in the comments.

For more concept art breakdowns, click here to see our analysis of the Coco, Villains, and other areas teased for Disney World, and our analysis of the Tiana’s Bayou Adventure model.

Stay tuned for more news!

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What did you spot in this artwork? Tell us in the comments.

The post We\’re Uncovering the SECRETS of the Moana Attraction Coming to EPCOT first appeared on the disney food blog.

source https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2022/09/17/were-uncovering-the-secrets-of-the-moana-attraction-coming-to-epcot/

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