At the end of 2019, we had a lot of new Disney World projects on our radar. In true 2020 fashion, a lot of those projects didn’t quite pan out as expected this year. As we get ready to say goodbye to this year and (hopefully) get things back on track, let’s take a look at what we have to look forward to and which plans have been put on the back burner for now.
Earlier this year, Cinderella Castle underwent a spring makeover, which was completed this year. Magic Kingdom’s other major project is happening in Tomorrowland.
Tron Lightcycle Run
TRON Lightcycle Run is an exciting new roller coaster being built behind Space Mountain. Modeled after the original attraction in Shanghai Disneyland, the motorcycle adventure is inspired by the TRON and TRON: Legacy films. The coaster was meant to open in time for Disney World’s 50th anniversary on October 1, 2021, but rumor has it that the thrill ride’s opening may be pushed back to 2022.
Other projects on the horizon at Magic Kingdom include an update to the Hall of Presidents to reflect the recent presidential election and the Princess and the Frog makeover at Splash Mountain. Full details and opening dates have not been released on either project yet. Hopefully, we’ll get more info in the new year!
More than the other Disney World Parks, Epcot had huge plans for the park this year. The pandemic has created many setbacks for Epcot’s historic transformation, interrupting the construction timelines for most of the projects around the park. Some things are still on track, some have been majorly delayed, and some are completely off the table (at least for now!).
Part of the major overhaul includes the elimination of Future World in favor of three all-new neighborhoods: World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery. World Celebration starts at the entrance of the park, (which has already been completely transformed) and leads into Dreamer’s Point. Along with a large statue honoring Walt Disney, this area will feature “beautiful natural elements filled with Disney magic and surprises, including a wishing tree in an enchanted forest”. No further details of World Celebration have been released, and it’s likely that this area won’t be totally complete by October 2021. Elsewhere in the park other projects have been postponed or delayed for now, including:
- A new Mary Poppins attraction in the United Kingdom pavilion
- Journey of Water, a Moana-inspired attraction in the upcoming World Nature pavilion
- The Play! Pavilion, an interactive digital playground planned for World Discovery
- Disney’s Ducktales World Showcase Adventure: This interactive scavenger hunt will eventually replace the Phineas and Ferb adventure.
- A Spaceship Earth overhaul
- The World Celebration Festival Center
Space 220 Restaurant
Space 220 was set to open next to Mission: SPACE at Epcot in early 2020, which obviously did not happen. New projections are that the out-of-this-world restaurant will open in 2021 when restaurant restrictions are lifted.
The restaurant set up will be similar to the Coral Reef Restaurant with a two-tiered dining room, but instead of a giant aquarium display guests will look out at a large space projection while dining.
As guests enter the restaurant, an elevator will be waiting to lift them 220 miles above the Earth’s surface. Once in the dining area, parties will be guided to their table past a spinning wall of produce called the Grow Zone. The wall displays fresh ingredients used in the restaurant while mimicking the Earth’s gravity. More details on the atmosphere and the menus for the one-of-a-kind Space 220 Restaurant will be released as we get closer to an opening date!
France Pavilion Makeover
The France pavilion in the World Showcase has been under construction for most of this year. The makeover project includes the addition of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and La Creperie de Paris.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is Epcot’s first all-new major attraction in the history of the park. The family-friendly 4D ride is modeled after “Ratatouille: L’Adventure Totalement Toquee de Remy” at Disneyland Paris. The ride brings sights, sounds, and smells of Gusteau’s Restaurant come to life with stellar special effects.
Along with the new attraction, you will soon be able to enjoy a variety of new treats when La Creperie de Paris opens in the pavilion. The restaurant menu, created by chef Jeremy Bocuse, will celebrate the traditional flavors of France with sweet and savory crepes.
From all appearances, construction on both of these locations is complete, and a 2021 opening date has been confirmed. It’s very likely that the France Pavilion makeover will be the first of the Disney World projects to make their official debut at the parks.
Construction for Epcot’s new nighttime spectacular, which was supposed to open in spring 2020, is currently underway at the park. Although a new opening date for HarmonioUS has been officially announced, it’s a high priority project for the park, and progress on show elements can be seen daily on the World Showcase Lagoon. When HarmonioUS does finally make its debut, it will be the largest evening spectacular ever created for a Disney park!
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
One of the biggest additions on the list of upcoming Epcot projects is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. The Marvel-themed attraction has been rumored for the parks in various ways over the years, and finally became a reality when construction began on the roller coaster. The thrill ride is located in the World Discovery area of the park, along with Test Track, Mission Space, and eventually the Play Pavilion. Cosmic Rewind is taking over the building that was formerly home to Universe of Energy. Although there has been quite a bit of progress with the coaster, it’s not looking likely that it will be ready in time for the 50th anniversary celebration this year. However, rumor has it that the celebration may last at least 18 months, so there’s a chance it makes in debut sometime in that time frame.
As we wait for the epic transformation to be completed, you can get a sneak peek at several Disney World projects in The Epcot Experience!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Most of the major construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has taken place over the last few years with the additions of Toy Story Land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Next up, an expansion to Toy Story Land is in the works, starting with Woody’s Roundup Rodeo BBQ.
The new table-service restaurant will take diners inside another one of Andy’s creations, a rodeo made with pieces of his favorite games and playsets. Tables will be set up amidst western town and train station playsets, and guests can enjoy “rodeo festivities” during their meal. This is one of many projects that has been delayed due to COVID-19, so we’re still waiting for an official opening date.
While we don’t have firm deadlines for most of these Disney World projects, we do know what we can expect to see this upcoming year. Be sure to check back in for updates as we get more information in the coming months. To stay in the loop on all things Disney, be sure to follow @Tickets2you on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!