From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Disney Parks Blog

It’s almost time to set sail! The grand opening of Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana is just days away and we can’t wait for voyagers from near and far to explore the wonders of water in new and exciting ways. To help us celebrate this latest addition at EPCOT as part of the park’s ongoing transformation, we invited some special “wayfinders” from the Florida community and beyond to channel their inner Moana and experience the attraction before its official debut on Oct. 16.

Orange County Mayor Joins Boys & Girls Clubs for Attraction Sneak Peek

Students from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida had the time of their lives befriending the ocean – from literally creating waves, to making music with strings of water and even discovering how water connects people all over the world. It warmed my heart to see them laughing, learning and sharing in this truly unique experience together. Diving even deeper, Walt Disney Imagineers spent some time with the young voyagers, providing a peek behind the curtain into how the beautiful, lush landscape and interactive experience was created.


Once a Boys & Girls Clubs member himself, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings joined in the fun, helping students learn all about water conservation and how we can protect our planet together right here in Florida.

“As a former cast member and now Orange County Mayor, I see how invested Disney is [and has been] in making positive impacts for our community,” said Mayor Demings. “What they’re doing at this attraction in teaching the importance of water conservation to the thousands of guests who visit EPCOT each day will translate to awareness for our environments here in Florida and around the world.”

Wishes Come True at Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

Journeying from farther north, we also hosted a brave warrior from Maine and his family for an extra special wish trip to Walt Disney World. Nine-year-old Carter has been in and out of hospitals since he was 4 months old, and his family has been looking forward to this trip to make some happy new memories together. He wished to meet his favorite Disney hero, Moana. So, who better to be the first guest to meet Moana in her new greeting location at EPCOT than Carter? His eyes lit up when he first saw the strong-willed wayfarer and that smile never left his face as he splashed around inside the attraction joined by two of the Imagineers who dreamed up the new trail.

Wish-granting is a huge part of who we are at Disney, and I can’t wait to see all the other wishes that will come true at this incredible new attraction just like Carter’s alongside our friends at Make-A-Wish and other wish-granting organizations.

And, this was just one part of his wish trip! In addition to exploring all four theme parks, our friends from Give Kids The World Village hosted Carter and his family for a week-long stay. Give Kids The World plays an integral role in our wish-granting efforts here at Walt Disney World and provides a space for children facing critical illnesses and their families to laugh, play and create priceless memories together away from hospital visits and medical procedures.

Special experiences and surprises like this are part of our every day here at Walt Disney World! We’ve also had the chance to make big differences in our state through other recent efforts like granting $1.5 million total to 15+ local nonprofitshosting our resort’s largest wish-granting event ever and more. I’m so proud of the happiness we’re creating here and can’t wait to see what else our cast members will dream up for families in the future, especially as Disney plans to invest more than $60 billion in our Parks, Experiences and Products around the world over the next ten years.

Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana officially opens on Oct. 16 which coincides with the 100th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company – talk about an exciting day! Be sure to stay up-to-date with our latest adventures at our resort and around the state at DisneyFlorida.com. I can’t wait to see how far we’ll go … together.

How Disney’s Ariel Inspired My Journey From Make-A-Wish Kid to Disney Cast Member

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