Rumor StatusIn Development
Disney's continued hotel expansion points to a resort coming to the entrance of Epcot. The resort is expected to extend from the park entrance to the West, wrapping around the back of The Seas With Nemo and Friends Pavilion.
The resort will require building a new pond North of the resort and a potential parking lot expansion. The opening date is unknown but probably in the 2021-2023 range.
While Disney has not publicly confirmed the resort, permits filed with the Southern Florida Water Management District have us classifying this rumor as "In Development".
February 5, 2018: BlogMickey.com has posted photos from the Southern Florida Water Management District that showcase development at the front of Epcot. These photos show the creation of a new pond, an extension of the existing parking lot and the likely location of the rumored Epcot resort. The plans also feature the label, "Epcot World Center" directly on Spaceship Earth, indicating a hint at a potential name change to Future World or the park itself.
The photo above best represents these changes with the greenish section in the top left the location of the new pond. The yellow section at the front entrance of the park is the expected location of the new resort with the blue grid lines potentially a parking lot expansion.
The remaining photos offer closer looks of the area with the final photo showing the location of the resort.
Februray 4, 2018: @Epcyclopedia on Twitter is reporting that the Southern Florida Water Management District is working to approve Disney's plans for an Epcot resort, new lake feature for the waterfront resort and shifting Epcot's parking over to accommodate the new construction. A photo of the potential layout is in the tweet linked above.
November 29, 2017: WDWMagic.com user Magic Feather is reporting that there is a hotel coming to Future World to one of three possible locations.
November 29, 2017: WDWNT.com is reporting that there are currently two hotel site plans for Epcot. One, West of the Seas Pavilion and another directly at the park entrance.
October 24, 2017: On Episode 138b of the Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish podcast, Jim Hill discusses that the $2 billion budget to redo Epcot may be modified to facilitate the construction of a hotel.
They discussed two possible locations for the hotel. One would be South East of the current Wonder Parking Lot, and the other is near the Bus Parking area. The hotel is expected to go out for bid in the next 6 months.
October 13, 2017: WDWMagic.com is reporting that Disney is conducting "Exploratory Geotechnical Borings for Epcot NW Pond". While this is exploratory, it indicates a potential new large scale project North West of Epcot.
July 27, 2017: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that Disney is considering four possible hotel options around Epcot with the expectation that one or two will be approved.
February 18, 2017: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 is reporting that Disney is looking to add a DVC at or near Epcot's entrance.
July 17, 2014: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 reported that the next DVC after the Polynesian Village Resort will be at Wilderness Lodge. He did however indicate that the Epcot DVC is still a possibility despite moving to the back burner.
April 9, 2014: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 posted a rumor that the next spot for a DVC after The Polynesian Villages could be near Epcot's entrance. It would be expected that the new DVC would have a separate entrance to Epcot.