Anaheim, Calif - August 25, 2019
By: William A Guerro Sr
More changes are coming to EPCOT at Walt Disney World, Florida. On Sunday at the annual D23 Fan Expo, Disney announced more additions, that will make for a major makeover over the next few years — as part of that, a new attraction inspired by ‘Mary Poppins’ is poised to become part of the Disney theme park universe.
Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Bob Chapek made the announcement, laying out the projected plan for EPCOT, including an overhaul that will divide the park into four new neighborhoods — World Showcase, World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery.
World Showcase will retain much of the DNA of EPCOT, continuing to focus on the celebration of culture, cuisine, architecture, and more of the countries of the world.
World Showcase at Epcot will welcome the first attraction inspired by Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane, which will join the United Kingdom pavilion as an entirely new neighborhood!
The alterations will be “the biggest transformation of any park that we’ve ever accomplished,” Chapek said. He has repeatedly stated the notion of making Epcot “more Disney, more family-friendly.”
Disney brought some Mary Poppins magic to the announcement with a surprise appearance from Dick Van Dyke, who starred as a chimney sweep Bert in the original film (and made a cameo return as Mr. Dawes, the owner of the bank, in Mary Poppins Returns). Accompanied by an electric “Step in Time” performance from some very talented performance, Van Dyke took to the stage to surprise guests before Chapek made the Poppins announcement.
Van Dyke received the longest cheer and standing ovation of anyone onstage at the D23 Expo this year, before making a few brief remarks about the legacy of Mary Poppins and Walt Disney. He called Disney “a creative genius who looked at the world through a child’s eyes” and “would come on set every day…to bring out the child in you.”