D23 dropped some bombs on us this year. Exciting, riveting, entertaining bombs. From the Land to the World, we are going to be seeing some extraordinary expansions, evolutions and revamps around Disney. What are they? When are they coming? Here is a rundown of what’s changing at Disney World. Let’s start at none other than the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Or Epcot.
The unfinished concept developed by Walt Disney himself. The vision was to be a real city that would never cease to be a blueprint of the future. While the original intent was not fulfilled, many of his ideas and concepts have been implemented in Epcot. Now it’s getting a major re-Imagineering.
- HarmoniUS. IllumiNations- Reflections of Earth has ended. Epcot Forever will too. Making way for a new permanent nighttime spectacular in 2020, HarmoniUS. According to Disney, this is will be the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney Park. So enjoy Epcot Forever, as it won’t be lasting forever.
- Space 220. If you’re asking yourself, what is that? It’s the official name of Epcot’s space-themed restaurant. It will be an out of this world dining experience. Living up to its name, Space 220 will take guests on a dining adventure 220 miles above Epcot! Guests will board an elevator that will simulate real-time rocketing into orbit as they travel to a space station hovering above the Earth. Diners will see daytime and nighttime views of Earth as they’re surrounded by a full panoramic view of space! This table service will host an internationally inspired cuisine in addition to the 1,000+ bottles of the finest wines and a wide selection of craft beer. Opening Winter 2019.
- Regal Eagle Smokehouse- Craft drafts & Barbeque. This isn’t a whole new restaurant like Space 220. It will remain here on earth at the American Adventure Pavilion. It will replace the Liberty Inn. Guests will enjoy the smell of a classic American backyard barbeque at the fast-casual dining. A sneak peek at the menu includes a plant-based BBQ Burger complete on vegan garlic toast. Texas beef brisket sandwich with house-made spicy mop sauce on garlic toast. You can also feast on Kansas City smoked chicken, Memphis dry rub pork ribs, North Carolina chopped pork butt and more. You can even get that all on a platter!
- Awesome Planet. The Land Pavillion will debut the new film, Awesome Planet in January 2020. The film is about where we call home and “showcases the spectacular beauty, diversity and dynamic story of our earth with all the grandeur guests have come to expect.” The Land Pavillion will eventually become part of the World Nature Neighborhood in Epcot.
- Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along. Get those voices ready, words memorized. The producer of the animated and live-action Beauty and the Beast films, Don Hahn, created the new show. Set to also debut in January 2020 in Epcot’s France Pavillion.
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. Also coming to the France Pavillion is everyone’s favorite rat. Based on a similar ride at Disneyland Paris, you will journey on a trackless dark ride. You will shrink down to Chef Remy’s size and race through Gusteau’s restaurant. Look out for this in the Summer of 2020.
- La Crêperie de Paris. With Chef Remy hanging out, it’s only fitting to add another dining experience to France. Joining Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, La Crêperie de Paris will also be opening Summer 2020. This dining option will feature the cuisine of celebrity chef Jérôme Bocuse of Chefs de France and Monsieur Paul and offer table service and quick service options.
- Canada Far and Wide. Another one right around the corner, January 2020. “O Canada” is being replaced with a new Circle-Vision 360° film. New scenes with a new story, it can be enjoyed soon with Canada Far and Wide.
- Wondrous China. Yet another new Circle-Vision 360° film to be launched. This one landing in China. Date not official, but rumored in January 2020 in part of the 2020 Epcot International Festival of the Arts.
- Guardians of the Galaxy- Cosmic Rewind. Are you screaming? We’re screaming. One of the most anticipated attractions in the lineup. This hybrid coaster will be a part of the World Discovery neighborhood that’s coming to Epcot. It should open 2021 in line with Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.
- PLAY! Pavillion. Joining the line up to open in 2021. In time with Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. This is said to be an interactive fun addition. A Digital Metropolis where you’ll be able to connect with others in new and fun ways like games, activities, and experiences. The future World Discovery Neighborhood is looking to be a must-experience area.
- Mary Poppins. This one is last but not least on our Epcot tour. We don’t know many details yet. We know she is dropping into the United Kingdom Pavillion in the World Showcase. Other than Guests will start there adventure at Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane, it’s still pretty hush.
- Rumor. It is rumored that 2 new countries (possibly Spain and Brazil) will be added to the World Showcase.
The staple to many in a Disney World vacation. The most magical place on earth. Hosting over 20 million visitors making it the most visited theme park in the world. Not surprising, since it’s the 13th consecutive year. Now they’re adding more for guests to enjoy.
- TRON Lightcycle Run. Cloning the Shanghai Disneyland’s popular coaster TRON Lightcycle power run. It is now debuting at Disney World around its 50th anniversary. Many have been watching the construction of it going up behind Space Mountain. It will actually be an expansion of the existing park. We will have to patiently wait until 2021 for this highly anticipated ride.
- Tomorrowland. Along with Epcot’s futuristic potential, Tomorrowland was almost mentioned to be getting a little uplift. I wouldn’t expect anything major. Some aesthetic changes to help TRON fit right in.
The out of this galaxy world of Star Wars land has opened. Phase one of Galaxy’s Edge at least. We have seen some recent changes to Hollywood Studios (Forever MGM to many). From the closing of the Great Movie Ride, saying goodbye to Mickey’s Sorcerer hat and the arrival of Toy Story Land. Here is what else we can expect.
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Said to be the longest Disney ride they’ve created. The flagship attraction will open on December 5th, 2019. After the opening of Galaxy’s Edge, some were waiting for the second attraction. Well, the wait is almost over.
- Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant. A new dining option to add to the new Toy Story Land. The theme is Andy and toys invite some guests over for a traditional back yard style BBQ. It will be a colorful mashup of toy and game pieces, western rodeo fun and train sets. You may spot some of your friends. Not actual characters, as this will not be a Character Dining, but a cute addition none the less.
- Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad. The Chinese theater will now be home to Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad. This is the first fully themed ride attraction with our favorite mouse. Mickey. It will be a wild ride through the screen and will put you inside the wacky and unpredictable world of a Mickey Mouse cartoon short where anything can happen!
Not any major overhauls at AK. You can now catch Kevin, from the movie “Up” who is roaming around. Or join Timon and Rafiki in Lion King’s 25th Anniversary with “Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party” on Discovery Island.
Disney Springs doesn’t have much left to do. It is mostly re-imagined already, with 75% of it new or remodeled already. The former Downtown Disney is a hotspot for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Cirque Du Soleil. The show must go on, and we can’t wait! It has been a while since the doors were closed to the high flying Cirque Du Soleil. First of its entertainment kind is coming. Joining forces with Walt Disney Imagineering and Animators studios, they will offer a show that will blow us away. Through storytelling and heart with Cirque du Soleil’s signature artistry. Tickets are on sale for the preview, beginning March 20, 2020. The World Premiere will be on April 17th.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. Are you ready for this 2 night, all-immersive adventure at Disney World? You will get to enjoy exclusive amenities and experiences as they come to life in your very own Star Wars story. This resort will immerse you further into another Galaxy. The opening is unknown but at the earliest, 2020.
Riviera Resort. Disney World’s newest Disney Vacation Club resort, Riviera Resort, is set to open December 16th, 2019. Another nice addition that will connect to Disney’s new Skyliner Gondola style transportation.
We will update you on any new dates or releases to Disney World. Keep an eye out for what’s new for Disneyland article, coming soon.
Are you excited for what’s to come? My name is Jamie Porter and I am an independent travel agent with Amazing Magical Adventures. I am a Disney Addict and a current AP holder. My family loves experiencing the magic of Disney and I would love to help you book your next Disney Vacation. Follow me on Facebook, click here. Or email me, Jamieporter@amazingmagicaladventures.com.
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