First-Look: New Design Details from Journey of Water, attraction at EPCOT

Many exciting things are happening across Walt Disney World’s parks and resorts in celebration of World Princess Week, and today I’m excited to share a first-look at some design details within Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana. This upcoming attraction at EPCOT is taking shape before our eyes, as the Walt Disney Imagineering team and crew of artisans have already begun sculpting the rockwork in this immersive exploration trail.

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 life, and the team tasked themselves with capturing the beauty of the natural water cycle within the attraction.  They were also inspired by Moana’s fierce determination to protect her environment – her bond with water is unique, and I’m excited for guests to learn about the importance of water and experience its playful personality just as she did.

Fans of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Moana” will be delighted to see familiar shapes and characters carved into the rocks and waterways throughout Journey of Water. A great example of this is Moana herself, who will be positioned proudly – celebrating water’s arrival to our ocean.

As part of the design process, Imagineers create models, mock-ups, and maquettes to bring their beloved characters and stories into the parks in sometimes unexpected ways. Above is a behind-the-scenes look for World Princess Week of Principal Dimensional Designer, Jim Towler, sculpting the foam maquette of Moana for this attraction.

This gives a glimpse into the earliest stages of the design process, before paint and additional details have been added. Once the pose of the character is defined, sculptors add detail and texture until the emotional expression of the carving is just right. They then do a paint study and often create full scale samples to test final materials and carving techniques. This process ensures the production and creative vision for the experience align.

Below is another making-of example, showing a sample from the mountain-like forms that will soon mark the entrance to the attraction. Fans will recognize Moana’s iconic spiral, which we portrayed in one of the first concept renderings for Journey of Water.

There’s a lot more to share in the coming weeks and months, so be sure to keep following along here for the latest on this exciting part of the EPCOT transformation!

Ready to begin planning your vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort? Give me a shout.