Journey of Water, inspired by Moana is a brand new attraction at EPCOT at Walt Disney World! Based on the Walt Disney Animation Studios film fan favorite Moana, this new attraction is inspired by Moana’s friendship with water and her devotion to nature.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about this new experience, a NEW look at the attraction and info on how to access the Moana experience.
We have been inside the new Moana Epcot attraction and have our review and photos included below.
Moana’s Journey of Water Now Open
Moana Journey of Water is NOW OPEN. Moana is also available at World Nature for a character meet-and-greet with guests in her dedicated space near Journey of Water.
Disney shared a sneak-peek of this experience on their Instagram:
View this post on Instagram
You can read more about other new attractions and rides at Disney World in our tracker.
NEW- Virtual Queue for Moana Journey of Water
Moana Journey of Water uses a virtual queue as needed. Guests can request a spot once they enter at EPCOT and starting at 9AM via the My Experience App.
Inside New Moana Journey of Water Epcot Attraction
Recently I had the opportunity to go inside the new Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana, attraction. This walk through experience is a trail through interactive water elements, rock sculptures, and greenery. The melodic, calming, Moana score plays throughout the area.
The experience immerses guests in a lush environment featuring the global cycle of water which will be brought to life. Guests can interact and play with water as it travels from our skies to our oceans and back again. This experience is designed for all ages and is inspired by Moana’s friendship with water and her devotion to protecting nature around her. What all this means is that there are placards throughout featuring commentary on our reliance on water cycling throughout our world.
Journey of Water includes each zone of the water cycle which is introduced with trail markers. These trail markers are illustrations that tell the story of each stage of water and include instructions on how to interact with the water one each zone. The attraction includes interactive elements which focus on each stage of the water cycle: Rain, Stream, Wetland, Spring, Land, Lake, River, Ocean and Sky.
And this is one interactive experience at Walt Disney World that does not require a MagicBand+ to access the interactive elements, everything is purely on connecting with nature, no wristbands required.
While walking through the experience, there is also always a clearly labeled “dry path” where you can avoid getting wet completely. This is great for parents to avoid the water while kids play. It will also be crucial during the colder January and February months.
During my time walking through the new attraction, we got to “teach the water how to play”. From making a wave ourselves to then having the rocks explode with that same wave to playing a musical instrument, many of the water elements are currently interactive.
My favorite two water features are a curtain of water that opens when you walk up to it slowly. It feels very James Bond-esque and like I’m walking up to a secret layer – maybe I am thinking of the scene in “The Incredibles” where they part a waterfall to enter the secret lair. The other favorite one is where you can jump on a pad and the water shoots up. Supposedly the water goes higher the harder that you land on the pad.
Other water cycles encourage guests to wave to the water when rainfall gathers into streams along with direct interactions with the water like playing a water harp which results in actual music being played when guests run their fingers over the strings of water.
Perhaps my favorite aspect of the trail was the impressive Te Fiti figure that rises over a pond about halfway through the experience. So far I have only personally see the train during the day, but know that at night this figure lights up stunningly.
The area does include shaded canopies inspired by canoe sails which further connects to the Moana film. Considering the Florida heat, this was a wise decision for Imagineers and truly makes this an amazing place to spend time. This is also not an experience that is guaranteed to get you wet. You can pretty much decide how interactive you truly want to be with the water. At one point I was walking passed some of the rockwork in the Moana area under a jumping fountain and a gust of wind came up and the water dumped down on me drenching my back. Be careful not to get too close on a cold day.=
Parents can just enjoy a spot in the shade while their kids go all in and play with water. There is also a specific puddle area where water jets jump up and kids where playing.
As you’ll be able to tell from my photos throughout this article, there was a Florida thunderstorm inbound while we were enjoying the attraction. There were multiple pre-recorded announcements while we were walking through Journey of Water Inspired By Moana that the attraction could close. The attraction did end up closing just before the rain started.
Additional Commentary on Moana Journey of Water
One key reason that Disney built Moana Journey of Water at Disney World is the popularity of the film and character. The movie is continuously one of the top titles on Disney Plus. This popularity coupled with the promotion this new attraction has received, the demand for the experience will be high. I am sure that Disney shares my worry that demand will far outweigh the capacity of this walk-through experience.
Perhaps Disney is purposely having longer preview periods and pushing out the opening until a slightly slower period to try to take as much of the pent-up demand off the attraction when it opens to day guests. Based on the recently announced Moana attraction previews the demand for “opening day” ride chasers – the locals and content creators – will pretty much be gone by the time the attraction officially opens to the public.
The other difficult aspect of this attraction is that capacity isn’t fixed. There is no, “if we run this attraction on a consistent basis it should bring through a certain amount of guests per hour.” This was part of the argument for having the original Haunted Mansion use Doom Buggies instead of creating a walk-through exhibit. In this case, there are variables at play including the weather and guest type that will shift how long people spend enjoying this new experience.
Disney also has to be careful with the amount of people in the attraction to avoid pushing the interactivity elements to their limits. During our preview, there was already one section that was not open and likely had some element break.
The new Journey of Water Inspired by Moana attraction at Epcot is a great addition to the park. I look forward to getting this area and the rest of the middle of Epcot fully open again. At that point, the attraction should be a nice no-wait addition that gives younger guests a great place to run around and play.
Background on New Moana Disney World Attraction
In the film Moana, the ocean is seen as its own individual character that guides Moana in her journey and even adds a sense of commentary to different moments in the movie. Just like how water is a character in the movie, it is said that water also acts as its own character in the Journey of Water as it reacts to guest interaction.
Walt Disney Imagineering partnered with artists and cultural consultants from Walt Disney Animation Studios to design this experience and capture the beauty of the natural water cycle within the attraction. Imagineers were also inspired by Moana’s fierce determination to protect her environment.
Guests will notice familiar shapes and characters carved into the rocks and waterways through Journey of Water. An example of this will be Moana herself as she celebrates water’s arrival to the ocean.
Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana is part of EPCOT’s transformation and is located in the World Nature neighborhood of the park where Living with the Land and other similar themed attractions are located.
Te Fiti Figure Moana’s Journey of Water
The most predominant feature you will notice in Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana is the 16-foot-fall Te Fiti figure which is positioned along the trail inside the attraction.
When I first saw this image on my social media feed, I thought it was a photoshopped rendering at first and it took me a moment for my eyes to catch up! She’s absolutely breathtaking and I cannot wait to see the beauty that Imagineers have created for this experience.
Moana’s Journey of Water fits in nicely with EPCOT especially when you consider the long-standing history this park has had with nature. All you have to do is look towards Living with the Land to see that connection and innovation. This is a nice opportunity for Disney to add a popular, beloved film franchise into the park while still ensuring it maintains its relevance to what EPCOT stands for. They’ve hit it out of the park with this one and I think even the most hesitant EPCOT fans will end up liking what they see.
Te Fiti Concept Model Moana
The Te Fiti figure was originally revealed as a concept model at 2022 D23 Expo. Disney used scale models to develop the color and digital models to get all the details right.
Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana is a great addition to EPCOT.
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