Hold on to your kites because Disney just dropped a huge announcement at the the 2019 D23 Expo on Sunday. It was revealed that Walt Disney World is about to get a magical makeover, with one very important addition — a Mary Poppins-themed attraction at Epcot. Needless to say, it's going to be practically perfect in every way.
Sunday's announcement came from Bob Chapek, Chair of Parks, Experiences and Products with the help of 93-year-old Dick Van Dyke, a certified Disney legend who played the beloved chimney sweep, Bert, in the original 1964 film. “It's the biggest transformation of any park we’ve ever accomplished,” Chapek said, according to CNN.
As for why Mary Poppins holds such a special place in the hearts of fans, Van Dyke reasoned, "What made it was ‘Uncle Walt.’ Walt Disney was a creative genius who looked at the world through a child’s eyes."
In terms of the fine details, Epcot will create an entirely new neighborhood within the United Kingdom pavilion to look and feel like Cherry Tree Lane, the home of the Banks family and live-in nanny Mary Poppins. Park goers will be able to walk up and down the fictional street, and they'll get a chance to enter the new ride through the front door of the Banks' house. Too cool, right?
The ride, along with other improvements to Epcot, should be completed by 2021, just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Walt Disney World resort, according to the Disney Tourist Blog.
“Every inch of every park should be magical, and that’s why I’m so excited about this transformation,” Chapek said in a statement. "It was Walt’s vision for our theme parks to be places where Disney stories come to life in amazing ways, and with the world’s most creative and talented team of artists and dreamers, there’s no shortage of inspiration."
No other details were given about the ride or what aspects of the film will be incorporated into the streetscape, according to Polygon. But what's clear? Fans are hyped for this update.
"Yesss!! Flying over London towwwwn in an umbrella. Better be good," one Twitter user said in anticipation.
One fan hopes that this famous scene is incorporated, writing, "If the Mary Poppins ride isn't a carousel that goes off the rails, then why even bother?" This might be a little hard to recreate, but it would be pretty awesome.
Really, the sky is the limit when it comes to Disney and their recreations of fan favorites, "I am really looking forward to what they can create for a Mary Poppins attraction!!" said another user.
The original Mary Poppins, starring Julie Andrews as the title role, told the story of the Banks family and their encounters with a magical nanny that made life anything but ordinary. And in 2018, Emily Blunt took up the floating umbrella and bottomless carpet bag to portray the icon (and seemingly ageless) nanny in Mary Poppins Returns, a sequel to the 1964 version, which followed the adult Banks children as they grappled with their own problems.
Let's hope that the imagineers over at Epcot remember these very important words from Poppins herself as they bring the scenes from the big-screen to life: "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun!"
I can't speak for everyone, of course, but I can't wait to visit when this addition opens in 2021.