Journey of Water, EPCOT’s new walk-through inspired by Moana, has finally emerged from behind construction walls, and the Unofficial Guides team has everything you need to know about this long-anticipated edutainment attraction.
Journey of Water, inspired by Moana, officially opens to the public at EPCOT in Walt Disney World on October 16th, but annual passholders with EPCOT park reservations were invited to preview the attraction between September 24th and October 4th.
The Unofficial Guides team visited during this period and took several trips through the attraction, in order to bring you this early review.
Review: Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Located in the World Nature neighborhood between the backside of Spaceship Earth and the entrance to The Seas with Nemo and Friends, the new Journey of Water attraction brings lush foliage and flowing fountains to the heart of EPCOT’s former Future World. Built atop the the area that original held Communicore West (later called Innoventions), this new outdoor environment features sculpted rockwork as impressive as anything found in Cars Land or Pandora, but here that artistry is used to effortlessly inform visitors about ecology.
Your pathway through the Journey of Water begins with a misty moss-covered monolith reaching into the sky, which is where all rain begins. From there, we follow a raindrop’s journey, from spring and stream to the ocean, and eventually back to the sky.
At each interactive station along the way, guests can choose to get hands-on with water, whether by strumming the musical strings of an aqueous harp or coaxing geysers to gush skyward in the style of Sorcerer Mickey.
Even the walkways themselves are occasionally covered with water, although there will always be a dry path to trod along, if you prefer. (Guests with service animals are required to stick to the water-free routes.)
Every interactive feature in the attraction is built at a height that is accessible to shorter people and those in wheelchairs. If you are on the taller side, be prepared to bend or kneel in order to reach a few of the effects.
Those who would rather stay dry can still participate in Journey of Water’s built-in scavenger hunt. Be sure to keep an eye open for subtle sculptures of characters from Moana, hidden all throughout the environment around you.
For the grand finale, Journey of Water provides the ultimate splash pad, with multiple ways to get spritzed (or soaked) that will tempt toddlers and grown-ups alike. We especially enjoyed the cove-like corner where a group of guests must all work together in order to generate a ginormous wave.
Fans of EPCOT’s original aim to educate while entertaining will appreciate that Journey of Water honors that inspiring mission perhaps better than any other addition to the park this century. You can choose to read all the informative (but not overwhelming) environmental information or simply engage on a surface level and let the deep lessons soak in through osmosis.
Enjoy a complete walk-through of Journey of Water, inspired by Moana, with this 4K HDR POV video:
Journey of Water Touring Tips
Once Journey of Water has been fully open for a week or so, you shouldn’t have to worry about waiting in a queue; simply stroll up and enjoy the attraction at any time that fits into your touring plan. However, be aware that the attraction will close for safety reasons during severe rain and lightning storms, which are common in the late afternoon throughout the fall.
Also keep in mind that you won’t find Moana herself inside Journey of Water. The new meet-and-greet with the popular Polynesian princess is located outside of the walk-through’s entrance area.
As satisfying as Journey of Water is in the sunshine, we highly suggest sticking around past sunset to enjoy the spectacular lighting package the Imagineers have installed. Much like the aforementioned Cars Land and Pandora, Journey of Water looks almost impossibly beautiful after nightfall.
One final word of warning: If you bring young ones in here, be prepared for them to exit somewhere between damp and drenched. Fortunately, there is a mid-attraction restroom just before the wettest area, in case you packed a change of clothes.
BONUS: Soarin’ Over California Returns
Although you shouldn’t have a long wait for Journey of Water, you will want to queue up for The Land’s Soarin’ simulator, which has resurrected the beloved Soarin’ Over California ride film for an unspecified limited run.
If you hate Soarin’ Around the World’s CGI animals and have missed the old attraction’s orange and pine scents, now is your chance to relive the past (albeit with a digital image instead of the original celluloid).
Note that standby wait times have increased at least 50% since Soarin’ Over California returned, so consider increasing its priority if purchasing Genie+ Lightning Lane access for the day.
For all there is to see and do at Walt Disney World, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, or to plan your family’s trip to Orlando, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World to Walt Disney World with Kids. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and sign up for our newsletter here. Be sure to follow us on Threads, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.