As part of a huge transformation that's about to begin at Epcot, Disney has announced today that guests will soon be able to meet Mickey Mouse in a new location inside the park.
Mickey will soon be making appearances in a new location at the Imagination! pavilion, as part of the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival. Just inside the entrance, you’ll discover Mickey greeting his fans and celebrating his on-screen stardom.
Mickey Mouse used to meet guests alongside Goofy and Minnie Mouse at the Epcot Character Spot, which used to be part of Innoventions West. This location closed on September 8th so that demolition on the buildings in the area could begin. The meet and greet temporarily moved around the corner to the west side of the building, en route to The Seas with Nemo and Friends on the same day the original spot closed. This is where guests can currently meet Mickey, Goofy and Minnie and they will wait in one single line to meet each one individually. It's important to note that Fastpass+ stopped being offered for this experience once the move took place.
The north side of what used to be Innoventions West will mark the spot of where Moana's Journey of Water walkthrough attraction will be located. Therefore, this move around the corner for the trio was always meant to be temporary, because trucks will soon tear this building down too. This is exactly why Mickey is now moving to the Imagination! pavilion and it seems that the temporary Character Spot is way more temporary than we thought.
Disney has yet to announce the exact start date for when Mickey will meet guests inside the Imagination! pavilion. However given the announcement image used on the Disney Parks Blog, the tie-in to the Film Festival and the simple fact that Epcot will debut three new movies in January 2020, signals that this could possibly begin at the start of Festival of the Arts on January 17th. There is no word yet if Fastpass+ reservations will be available for this experience.
Despite the formal announcement and the appearance that this will be a semi-permanent home for Mickey, I wouldn't count on this being the final meet and greet location for the main mouse. Judging by the concept art for the upcoming Play! Pavilion, Mickey and his friends might set up shop for the long haul inside this new experience. The president of Walt Disney World, George A. Kalogridis, has previously stated that,
"Friends and family will interact with favorite Disney characters in an energetic metropolis unlike anything ever seen before at Epcot."
My money would bank that Mickey, Minnie and Goofy will have a new character spot under the marquee that can be seen on the left side of the concept art below.
This is of course all speculation, but one thing is certain right now; Mickey will soon have a new home at Imagination. For now, it appears that the Disney Visa Cardholder meet and greet at the Imagination! pavilion will not be affected in any way. Disney has previously stated that Minnie Mouse will soon move to the World Showcase Gazebo across the Disney Traders shop and that Daisy will shuffle back to the American Adventure. Goofy's future location is yet to be determined. For those keeping track of the Fab Five, Pluto is currently meeting guests at the entrance to the park just before getting in line for Spaceship Earth and Donald Duck is still at the Mexico Pavilion.
Source: Disney Parks Blog