What’s New at Walt Disney World in 2021? Everything to Know!

What’s New at Walt Disney World in 2021? Everything to Know!

Wondering What’s New at Walt Disney World in 2021? It’s is all about new rides, restaurants, shows and the 50th Anniversary celebrations. Here’s everything you can plan to see at Disney in 2021 and everything you need to know to make sure your vacation is amazing! Get ready for the most magical year ever. 

Walt Disney World Calendar of Events in 2021

From the 50th Anniversary Celebrations to the runDisney Wine and Dine Marathon, there is so much happening this year in the parks! Check out the lineup of everything happening at Walt Disney World in 2021, not only the new stuff! From returning festivals to events, special days, and more. We’re keeping track of everything on our 2021 Walt Disney World Calendar with tentative and confirmed dates of everything happening!

New Events and Shows at Walt Disney World

Harmonius EPCOT Nighttime show for the 50th Anniversary
“Harmonious” will debut Oct. 1, 2021, at EPCOT at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. As one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney park, the show will celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people the world over, carrying them away harmoniously on a stream of familiar Disney tunes reinterpreted by a diverse group of artists from around the globe. “Harmonious” will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers and more. (Kent Phillips, photographer)

Harmonious Fireworks Digital Show| October 1, 2021

The newest show to arrive at EPCOT, Harmonius adds even more technology to the digital light show experience. Replacing Epcot Forever ( Retires September 28, 2021) this show promises a cultural mashup of amazing music, honoring all cultures with special sights and sounds. Opening: OCTOBER 1 2021

New Magic Kingdom 50th Anniversary Fireworks
A new nighttime spectacular, “Disney Enchantment,” will debut Oct. 1, 2021, at Magic Kingdom Park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Created to launch with the “World’s Most Magical Celebration” the show will take guests on a journey filled with adventure, wonder and empowerment, inspiring guests to believe in magic. (Disney)

Disney Enchantment Fireworks and Digital Show | October 1, 2021

Special for the 50th Anniversary, Magic Kingdom will be getting a whole new show complete with amazing effects, fireworks, music, and lighting! Crawling not only on Cinderella’s Castle but also all down Main Street USA. Opening: OCTOBER 1, 2021.

disney castle rose gold

Walt Disney World Most Magical Celebration 50th Anniversary | October 1, 2021

The World’s Most Magical Celebration officially starts October 1st and runs for 18 months until March 2023. You can expect new shows, commemorative merchandise, special snacks, and the completion of the 50 magical “enhancements” by the 50th. Even a new logo was made especially for The World’s Most Magical Celebration. Take a look at everything coming to Walt Disney World in time for the 50th Anniversary.

Mickey’s PhilharMagic Adds Coco “Un Poco Loco” Scene | By end of 2021

As Disney begins to add even more characters to each park Coco arrives in Magic Kingdom. Being added to Mickey’s PhilharMagic this year is “Un Poco Loco,” a new scene featuring Pixar’s Coco takes the stage to give Donald Duck even more trouble in this 4-D attraction. 

disney's projection show oogie boogie

Disney’s After Hours Boo Bash | Select Nights August 10- October 31, 2021

This hard-ticket event offers evening activities from 9-12 pm with a 7 pm park entry on select nights from August 10- October 31st. Similar to the other Disney After Hours events, this Halloween Party includes spooky character cavalcades, new snacks, merchandise, and snack stations. Check out all the details in our Disney’s After Hours Boo Bash post. 

Wickedly Delicious Wine and Dine Half Marathon | November 4-7

The Wine and Dine Half Marathon is taking on the Disney Villains this fall! Running November 4- 7 this runDisney event comes with a bunch of things you need to know before you go as running events return to Walt Disney World this fall. 

Destination D23 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort | November 19–21

Promising to be the biggest thing to hit Walt Disney World just in time for the 50th Anniversary is the Official Disney Fan Club’s annual gettogether. Destination D23 is taking place November 19-21 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Tickets go on sale in July. 

Disney's Very Merriest After Hours Christmas Party

Disney’s Very Merriest After Hours | Nov 8- December 21

Christmas at Walt Disney World just got a whole lot merrier! A brand new Disney After Hours Event is on the way this holiday season! Disney’s Very Merriest After Hours will open with select dates starting November 8 and run through December 21, 2021. And will require an additional ticket. Check out all the details about this new Disney Christmas event! 

Flower and Garden Festival Epcot

EPCOT Festivals in 2021

Just like every other year, we have EPCOT annual festivals to look forward to! With new merchandise, new foods, and new experiences. Check out everything to know about these festivals below and get ready for an interesting and New 2021 season at EPCOT. Check out all the dates for the EPCOT Festivals in Walt Disney World Events Calendar for 2021. 

Walt Disney World Changes coming for the 50th Anniversary in 2021. Disney changes in Disney Parks

New Rides and Attractions

One of the main things coming to Walt Disney World is new rides and attractions! Magic Kingdom and EPCOT both have amazing rides coming soon in 2021 and 2022. 

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure EPCOT | October 1, 2021

Shrink down to the size of a rat in this ride that weaves you through Remy’s busy kitchen. As a trackless ride, you’ll be sure to experience something new every time you ride! Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure anchors a beautiful new area in the World Showcase France courtyard. Opening: OCTOBER 1 2021

Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind Roller Coaster  | EPCOT 

Bringing Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy to Cosmic Rewind, you can experience a 360 ride starting with a backward launch into “space.” Tasked to save the universe, we are super excited to see this ride in action, as it’s supposed to be the first of its kind! Opening: Summer 2022

TRON Lightcycle Run Roller Coaster | Magic Kingdom

This amazing light cycle rollercoaster speeds around on winding tracks over Tomorrowland. Riding a light cycle both indoors and undercover outdoors. This ride will be the most fun at nighttime!  Opening: 2022/23

Woody's BBQ Restaurant

New Restaurants Coming to Walt Disney World in 2021

In addition to the La Creperie de France, we’re hoping to see the Roundup Rodeo BBQ come to fruition in Hollywood Studios. Originally slated for a 2020 opening and under construction in January, we’re not sure this one will take priority over other higher-profile projects to complete sooner. 

BoardWalk Ice Cream | Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

The newest ice cream place to hit the boardwalk area can be found in the old Ample Hills Creamery location, near Boardwalk Inn. With things like Mickey sundaes, brownies a la mode, and strawberry shortcake ice cream there is plenty to try at  BoardWalk Ice Cream

Citricos x Mary Poppins Returns | Grand Floridian Resort

Previously a table service restaurant at Grand Floridian, Citricos is being re-themed to Victoria and Albert’s Bistro, BUT until those details get in place, you can find cloudy skies, and styles reminiscent of Mary Poppins Returns at this freshly refurbished signature restaurant. One of the many ways Walt Disney World is improving the Grand Floridian Resort, be sure to also check out the Enchanted Rose Beauty and the Beast-inspired Lounge.

Woody’s Roundup Rodeo BBQ | Hollywood Studios

This new table service restaurant is slated to arrive in Toy Story Land as a family-friendly and budget-friendly dining experience. Woody’s Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant is located right inside Toy Story Land before you reach the Slinky Dog Dash rollercoaster. Meet and Greets with Woody and Jessie are on the table alongside a classic American bbq menu. We love this excuse to sit down to some air-conditioned family dining in Toy Story Land. Opening: TBD

Space 220 | Epcot Future World

This space-themed restaurant with views of the universe promises out of this world dining an extensive wine and beer list and a varied menu. Set alongside Mission space guests will enter through a spaceship-like portal to reach their dining destination. Opening: September 20, 2021.

La Creperie de Paris EPCOT France | October 1, 2021

As part of Remy’s Ratatouille, Adventure Courtyard La Creperie de Paris will anchor the courtyard in the streets of pairs! This creperie will offer both quick service and table service dining to keep you going through your Epcot day! 

Gelateria Toscana| Epcot Italy

Gelateria Toscana arrives in Epcot’s Italy pavilion in the World Showcase, offering gelato flavors, desserts, and espresso. 

And be sure to check out everything new at Disney Springs. From the best new restaurants to food trucks to cookie stops, we’re adding to our list in the post. 

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New Disney Snacks for 2021

We go crazy for Disney Snacks. And are sharing a running list of New Snacks at Walt Disney World for 2021 as they arrive. So what kinds of snacks can we expect to arrive in the parks? Well, just like Disney Dooney and Bourke Bags, Disney Snacks usually follow a character or color theme and a focus on Disney Films celebrating an anniversary. Here are our predictions for the kinds of snacks we’ll see in 2021.

  • Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary
  • 60th Anniversary of 101 Dalmatians
  • 55th Anniversary of Winnie the Pooh
  • 70th Anniversary of Alice in Wonderland
  • 25th Anniversary of Hunchback of Notre Dame

And if we’re digging deep, 2021 is also celebrating 15 years of Cars, Pirates of the Caribbean, and High School Musical! So many great things to celebrate we’re sure to see special treats to commemorate them. 

The Incredibles Rooms at Disney's Contemporary Resort

New at Disney Resorts in 2021

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Moana Refurbishments

 Disney’s Polynesian Resort just completed some re-theming to Moana colors and vibes!  According to the Orlando Sentinel, a spokeswoman from Disney World indicated that the Polynesian theme is making  “a move to a Pacific Ocean-inspired color palette as well as details, patterns, and textures from Disney’s ‘Moana.’” We’ll be sharing pics as soon as we can!

Walt Disney World Swan Reserve | November 3, 2021

The newest hotel to land at Walt Disney World can be seen from the Disney Boardwalk! This upscale boutique hotel sits right between The Swan Hotel and The Dolphin Hotel. Albeit on the other side of the road, it’s still within walking distance to the boardwalk, EPCOT, and Hollywood Studios. This hotel combines rooms and suites to accommodate families of 6-10 people. This is a Mariott Bonvoy Autograph Collection Hotel.  

What’s Changed at Walt Disney World for 2021?

  • Park Pass Reservations are REQUIRED through the Disney Park Pass Reservation system through 2023.
  • MagicBands are No Longer Free.  MagicBands are now 5 dollars to purchase in the My Disney Experience App, and still available at gift shops across the parks and on shopDisney.com but know that these are phasing out. 
  • Park Hopper Tickets have Returned.  But with Park Pass Reservations still in play, there are limitations on how you can use this ticket, which allows you to park hop only after 2 pm every day. 
  • Park Capacity is increasing.  
  • Early Theme Park Entry arrives October 1, 2021.
  • Annual Passes have returned. Read all about the new Disney Annual Pass prices and perks.
  • Extra Magic Hours are Canceled in 2021. But Early Park Entry for Disney Resort Guests returns later this year allowing guests who stay on Disney property access to the parks 30 minutes before opening. 
  • Disney’s Magical Express is Retiring at the end of 2021. Running out the current Mears contract, Walt Disney World is leaving guests on their own to find transportation to and from the Orlando International Airport. As the Brightline high-speed train system set to connect Disney Springs to the airport isn’t slated to arrive until 2026, guests starting with arrivals on January 1, 2022, will be on their own. Consider all forms of transportation available, like shuttles, Uber, and Lyft to get you and the family to Walt Disney World. Learn more about what is replacing Disney’s Magical Express.
  • Advanced Dining Reservations Can be made 60 days in Advance, differing from the Disney Timeline that previously allowed reservations 180 days in advance.
  • MagicMobile Wallet was introduced, allowing guests to attach tickets, credit cards, and more to their Apple Wallet or Google Wallet 

Walt Disney World in 2021

We’ll be sharing Disney plans as they arrive. Here’s hoping you are as excited as we are about all the amazing things coming to Walt Disney World in 2021.

Walt Disney World Plans for 2021 include new rides, restaurants and more. With the 50th Anniversary starting at the end of 2021, there will be even more to do! #disney2021 #disney50thanniversary #disneyvacation #polkadotpixies

Co-Founder and Director at Polka Dot Pixie Co LLC | Website | + posts

Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.

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