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Coming to Walt Disney World in 2020

If you’re planning a trip to the Walt Disney World Resort in 2020, there are few important dates to keep track of as they mark the opening of new attractions.

January 17, 2020 – Awesome Planet, Canada Far and Wide, and Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along Open (EPCOT)

As part of the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, 2 new films and a new sing-along show will begin at EPCOT.

Awesome Planet at The Land pavilion is a 10-minute film showcasing the diversity and beauty of our home planet.

Also debuting is Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360.  After several months of refurbishment, the theatre inside the Canada pavilion in the World Showcase is getting a new film all about Canada.  Hosted by Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, Canada Far and Wide will explore all that Canada has to offer.

A few doors down across the International Gateway plaza, France is getting set to host it’s first of many new offerings in 2020 with the Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along show.  Join the Beauty and the Beast characters for this 15-minute interactive sing along as we find out how LeFou helped to bring Belle and the Beast together and keep Gaston at bay.

Early 2020 – Regal Eagle Smokehouse and Space 220 (EPCOT)

Although no opening date has been announced, it is widely expected that the Regal Eagle Smokehouse in the American Adventure pavilion will be opening, featuring Sam the Eagle of the Muppets fame.  Home to all things American barbecue, the new fast casual restaurant will be home to its own grill and smoker and will be needed to fill the gap left by the closure of Electric Umbrella later this year.

Also set to open (expected February 2020) is the new Space 220 restaurant in a newly constructed building next to Mission Space in Future World.  Take a special elevator up to 220 miles to a space station where all windows overlook the solar system to a enjoy meals and alcoholic beverages that are out of this world!

Early 2020:  City Works Eatery & Pour House (Disney Springs)

City Works Eatery and Pour House is set open on the West Side of Disney Springs this winter. The restaurant and bar will offer more than 80 beers on tap, will feature numerous television screens, including a 165-inch screen, perfect for viewing live sporting events. 

March 4, 2020:  Mickey’s Runaway Railway (Disney Hollywood Studios)

After several delays in opening, the Chinese Theater comes alive once again with the first ride ever dedicated to Mickey and Minnie called Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.  This trackless ride immerses guests into a 2½D cartoon short featuring none other than Mickey and Minnie as they go on a picnic.  Expectations are high for this ride as it takes up residency in the park’s former icon Chinese Theater and replaces the beloved Great Movie Ride.

Also opening in March (no date set), is the Mickey Shorts Theater next to the Runaway Railway attraction which will play the new Mickey Shorts cartoons (including one you can only see there!).

March 20, 2020 (Previews) and April 17,2020 (Opening Night):  Cirque du Soleil’s Drawn to Life (Disney Springs)

This year, Cirque to Soleil is bringing an entirely new show built around Disney Animation to the west side of Disney Springs.  Drawn to Life, the new show is the first-ever collaboration between the company, Walt Disney Imagineering and Walt Disney Animation Studios as we track the story of Julie, the daughter of a Disney animator who discovers her father’s unfinished cartoon and sets a course to finish it.

Tickets are on sale and are selling fast, with many of the first shows already sold out.  If you’re planning a visit and want to see the show, get your tickets sooner rather than later.

Spring 2020:  HarmonioUS (EPCOT)

Although no official date has been announced, HarmonioUS, the new, permanent nighttime fireworks show at EPCOT is scheduled to replace the interim EPCOT Forever show.  Stated to the be largest fireworks ever at a Disney park, HarmonioUS celebrates how the music of Disney inspires people around the world through familiar Disney songs reinterpreted by a diverse group of artists from around the globe. The show will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, and lasers, essentially bringing the best of all of the previously designed shows into a single nighttime spectacular.

Summer 2020:  Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and La Creperie

As part of a massive expansion of the France pavilion at EPCOT’s World Showcase, a new trackless ride and restaurant will be opening.

Join Remy has he journeys through a larger than life Gusteau’s kitchen in Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, which is identical to the one in Disneyland Paris.

Behind Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, a new area is under construction will offers a new dining option.  La Crêperie de Paris is chef Jérôme Bocuse new culinary offering in the France pavilion offering both table and quick service options.

Unannounced 2020

The following have unannounced opening dates but are set to open in 2020:

Woody’s Round-Up Rodeo BBQ (Disney Hollywood Studios)

With crowds continuing to rise at Disney Hollywood’s Studios, a sit down restaurant near Galaxy’s Edge is needed.  Woody’s Round Up Rodeo BBQ in Toy Story Land is the answer.

Themed to Toy Story, Andy has built a rodeo toy set using toys, board games, and some of our favourite characters which hosts a new barbecue restaurant.

Disney’s DuckTales World Showcase Adventure (EPCOT)

Replacing the current Phineas and Ferb adventure, guests are invited to join Scrooge McDuck, Donald, Launchpad, Webby and the nephews in search of priceless treasure. Using the Play Disney Parks mobile app, guests will journey around World Showcase discovering exotic destinations, exciting mysteries, and maybe even a few thieves, villains and supernatural guardians of ancient artifacts.

Things to Watch in 2020

Finally, there are a few things to keep an eye out for in 2020 as we gear up for what promise to be huge years in 2021 and 2022 at the Walt Disney World Resort.

EPCOT Reimagining

With much of EPCOT currently under scrim, progress on the reimagining will begin to take shape throughout the year.

The entrance plaza is beginning to take shape with the first of the walls down.  Be on the lookout for the rest of the planters and the fountain to be finished as the park gears up for the International Flower and Garden Festival.

New pathways opening the first week of January will also signal that Imagineering is gearing up to begin the refurbishment of Spaceship Earth and the World Celebration plaza (formerly Future World), including Dreamer’s Point, the new area behind the attraction, complete with Walt statue and fountain.

Also of note will be the build outs of the Festival Center and Moana Journey of Water attractions as well as how the new lands (World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery) begin to take shape.

Magic Kingdom Updates

Over at the Magic Kingdom, Tron Lightcycle Run, the new roller coaster in Tomorrowland has the track built and work will continue on the canopy throughout 2020 in time for the 2021 opening date of the new attraction.

Also of note will be minor changes throughout the year in anticipation of the 2021 50th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort.  Although we’re most likely to see many of the details unveiled in the fall a Destination D, work is already underway to redefine the entrance to the park and work will likely continue throughout the park to get it ready for the year long celebration next year.

General Maintenance Issues

The Walt Disney World Resort has experienced many maintenance issues in 2019 and heading into 2020, including the downtime of the Astro Orbiter (Magic Kingdom), Primeval Whirl (now seasonal at Animal Kingdom), and initial issues with Rise of the Resistance (Disney’s Hollywood Studios), seeing how these maintenance issues get resolved in advance of large crowds expected next year is going to be a fascinating to watch.  Clearly there are some issues in Tomorrowland that have caused attraction downtimes and even smoke (January 2, 2020), as well as the fire in December 2019 in Storybook Circus, these sorts of issues will need to be fixed in 2020.

Galaxy’s Edge Crowds and Boarding Groups

With the opening of Galaxy’s Edge, there has been increased traffic into Galaxy’s Edge, bringing with it a host of challenges in the short-term.  Seeing how long the crowds last and what they will be once they stabilize and working out the kinks with the boarding groups, with the technological challenges with MyDisney Experience, and general lack of boarding group space availability after park opening and the booking window opens will be an important thing to keep track of throughout the year.

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