What’s New at Walt Disney World in 2020? New rides, restaurants, shows and services are arriving throughout the parks in preparation for the 50th anniversary in 2021. With all the changes that have happened and those soon coming, here’s everything you’ll need to know before you go! Here’s the lineup with all the busy times to avoid! Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom OPENS July 11, 2020 and Epcot and Hollywood Studios OPENS July 15, 2020. Read all about Walt Disney World’s Opening Plans .
Everything New at Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom is in full swing with the Tron ride construction, so everything else is taking a back ( or rather side-car) seat. But, here is everything happening so far.
The sign in Tomorrowland has already changed. With a lighter more futuristic scheme, Tomorrowland has already welcomed a brand new patterned wall at Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor, and the new geometric Purple Wall. We additionally saw a brand new white terrace arrive at at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe early in 2019 to match the Tron Lightcycle theme which will be taking over that part of the park.
Under Construction at Magic Kingdom
- Jungle Cruise- extensive refurbishments in 2020
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad- extensive refurbishments in 2020
- Tomorrowland Speedway will have intermittent closings due to Tron construction
- Wreck it Ralph Attraction to replace Stitch’s Great Escape by 2022. Permits have been filed.
- PeopleMover Refurbishments including new areas and scenes within the ride
- Tron Lightcycle roller coaster is started, completion by 2021 in Tomorrowland
Everything New at Epcot
In honor of 40th Anniversary in 2022 Epcot is getting a major overhaul with an emphasis on greenery and connection across spaces. The front part of the park, including Club Cool and Starbucks will be relocated. We will hopefully also have the Regal Eagle BBQ smoke house at the America pavilion in full swing before 2019 is out, replacing Liberty Inn.
Here are some of the things changing in 2020 to prepare for the anniversary both of Walt Disney World in 2021 and Epcot the year after. But check out our complete Epcot 2022 post for details.
Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue
The American Adventure Pavilion is getting a new and much needed refresh with a brand new restaurant! Replacing Liberty Inn, best known for it’s burgers and fries, the Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue is set to open this winter in Epcot’s World Showcase, bringing with it an offering of American Craft Beers and a variety of Barbecue. Open now.
Awesome Planet | The Land
A New Movie, Awesome Planet, arrives at The Land Pavilion replacing Circle of Life. You can find this on the second floor of The Land building, and will be an excellent respite from the heat and rain.
Interactive Play Pavilion
Interactive Play Pavilion will take over the Wonders of Life Building in Future World. Previously used as the festival center, this new experience includes character meet and greets and interactive exhibits for the whole family. Consider this your one stop shop for the most Disney characters you’ll see in one place. May be delayed due to 2020 closing.
Epcot Forever Nighttime Show
Running probably right up until Fall 2020, this show is the interim show that appeared in Oct 2019 as a replacement for Illuminations.
Harmonious Nighttime Show
A new Epcot Nighttime Spectacular called Harmonious arrives in 2020 honoring music around the globe and replacing the interim show Epcot Forever ( which debuted Oct 1 2019).
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure | France
This new dark ride will be like the Disneyland Paris version, where guests are driven around a very large kitchen amidst all sorts of catastrophes one might find if you were a rat, like Remy.
French Creperie | France
A new French Creperie set to open near Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure location. This quick serve location will be overseen by Chef Jérôme Bocuse, who oversees both Monsieur Paul and Chefs de France.
Beauty and the Beast Sing Along | France
There is a New Beauty and the Beast Sing Along in Epcot. This 15 minute film in Epcot France allows you to follow along in song to this twist on Beauty and the Beast. LeFou helps add a little comedy to the story.
Wondrous China 360 | China
A new Chinese film to replace old film Reflections of Earth in China/ Epcot. This is a seamless 360 circle-vision film set to arrive just in time for Festival of the Arts in 2020.
Canada Far and Wide 360 | Canada
New Canada 360 to premiere with Festival of the Arts in 2020 replacing the Martin Short O’Canada film. We are soooo excited for this as Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara take the reigns of sharing their beloved Canada. Think of this as a pretty informational video. Unfortunately, there is no hilarity a la Martin Short in redo.
Space 220 Restaurant
As part of World Discovery the Space 220 Restaurant offers out of this world dining with outer space views that help guests feel as if they are on a spaceship sailing through the galaxy. And will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Disney Ducktales World Showcase Adventure
Replacing the beloved interactive game, Agent P’s Showcase, this new Ducktales themed game will call for all sorts of interaction as you help hunt down treasures throughout World Showcase. Just like the Star Wars Interactive game, this one will be available on the Play Disney Parks App.
Under Construction at Epcot
- Test Track Refurbishment January 13, 2020 through February 26, 2020
- Mary Poppins Attraction in UK, may be scrapped due to closing.
- Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind indoor “storytelling” Coaster. Completion by 2021.
- Epcot entrance and Gardens of Wonder area called World Celebration encompassing the front of the park
- Four New Areas of Epcot
- Spaceship Earth set to close for refurbishments. 2 year closure rumored, complete renovation planned. Read the Details.
Everything New at Animal Kingdom
Nothing. Except of course the new snacks that are finally popping up in Animal Kingdom. There is A RUMORED expansion of Pandora has been announced in preparation for the additional Pandora movies that Disney plans to release in the next few years. No word yet on when construction will start, but Pandora is still seeing 3 hour waits for Flight of passage, so an additional ride could be in the future to help disperse those crowds ( rumored).
As of right now the popularity of Pandora has Animal Kingdom busy enough, so no new construction plans are underway at this time for 2020.
Christmas at Animal Kingdom
2019 saw a brand new marionette style animal interaction at Animal Kingdom. Complete with gorgeous creatures to add more magic to the holiday season. Such a hit so far, we imagine this element along with all of the New Things for Christmas at Walt Disney World will continue in future years.
After Hours at Animal Kingdom
New to the After Hours lineup, Animal Kingdom is the cheapest evening experience so far. Offering treats in the park, nighttime shows, and evening Kilimanjaro rides across the Savanna. Check out this late night experience if you’re looking to get out of the heat of the daytime in Florida.
Under Construction at Animal Kingdom
- unknown at present
Everything New at Hollywood Studios
Rise of the Resistance over in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge has opened with a virtual queue only accessible once you enter the park. Make sure you know how the boarding pass virtual queue system at Walt Disney World works.
Star Wars Offerings
The March of the Stormtroopers may or may not continue with the opening of Galaxy’s Edge, as all Stormtroopers may be needed on hand on planet Batuu.
We will see the switch of the Kylo Ren meet and greet to Darth Vader at Star Wars Launch Bay. No doubt scaring all small children with some heavy breathing, we’re interested to see how Darth Vader interacts with the guests here.
Rise of the Resistance Boarding Pass System
If you plan on getting a spot in line for the Rise of the Resistance at Hollywood Studios, then read up on all the tips and tricks on HOW to get a boarding pass in our post here. You cannot just walk up and get one. And fast passes are not available for Rise. So be prepared and read the post before you go.
Mickey Shorts Theater | March 2020
Nestled near Olaf’s Frozen Sing A Long this new theater will show Mickey shorts and offer respite from the heat and rain. Check out our review and everything you need to watch before checking out this new Hollywood Studios attraction.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway | March 4, 2020
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be the first Mickey attraction in Walt Disney World and the imagineers are pulling out all the stops! Check out our entire post on Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway; open now.
Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant| Toy Story Land
Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant in Toy Story Land is planned as the new Table Service, indoor, restaurant in Andy’s Backyard. Expect a complete Wilderness Playset here as a new addition to Andy’s backyard toys. We are thrilled to have an air conditioned sit down restaurant in Toy Story Land, so cannot wait for this one!
Under Construction at Hollywood Studios
- unknown at present
Cirque du Soleil Show | April 17, 2020
Drawn to life is the new Cirque du Soleil show featuring the story of a young girl inspired by art. This acrobatic show is an homage to Disney Animation complete with a new beautiful score and all new elements of the show.
Ample Hills Creamery Disney Springs
(Update: Ample Hills Creamery has filed for Bankruptcy. We don’t know how this affects it’s new store locations at Disneyland or Disney Springs. March 2020)
Nothing like another ice cream place, full of a little Disney magic to keep Disney Springs on its toes. Ample Hills Creamery comes with a devoted following. And up until now, you could only grab this at Disney’s Boardwalk, so we’re excited to see this classic arrive in Disney Springs later this year.
Walt Disney World 2020 Events Park Wide
runDisney has new artwork for races in 2020 and a whole lineup of races for 2020. Be sure to check out the lineup and register in advance! Because these sell out quickly.
New things coming to Disney Resorts in 2020
Disney Resorts have all been slowly undergoing refurbishments, with most recently the Disney Rivera Resort opening Dec. 16 2019 and the Coronado Springs Gran Destino Tower Refurbishment. The Grand Floridian is also undergoing some major changes and with the arrival of Enchanted Rose; The Beauty and Beast inspired Bar and Lounge and there are still more changes to come.
- Refurbishments begin at Saratoga Springs
- Citricos at The Grand Floridian will become Victoria and Albert’s Bistro, may complete by end of 2021. As part of the Grand Floridian re-imagining. Citricos will close in 2020.
- Star Wars Hotel Galactic Starcruiser Immersion Experience.
- Disney’s Lakeside Resort, Reflections, is under construction disrupting some Fort Wilderness offerings.
- The Cove: The 3rd property to join Swan and Dolphin on Disney Boardwalk is planned and set to complete.
New Disney Services in 2020
- Park to Park Bussing Begins
- Bus Fleet now includes usb charging stations on seats inside bus
- Disney Genie App set to debut to help make planning a vacation easy peasy. A new up-charged Fastpass option is set to launch within the app at the same time.
The Busiest Times to Visit Walt Disney World in 2020
Check out our main post on the best days to visit each park, no matter when your vacation this year. For reference here is the years activities announced so far. Keep in mind that the 2021 50th Anniversary Celebrations for Walt Disney World will most likely start late fall in 2020.
January 8– 12, 2020: runDisney Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
January 17 – 20, 2020: Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend
February 13 – 18, 2020: Valentine’s Day/President’s Day Weekend
February 20 – 23, 2020: runDisney Princess Half Marathon
February 23- 29, 2020: Mardi Gras Week
March 4- June 1, 2020: Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
March 10 – 31, 2020: Spring Break
April 10 – 13, 2020: Easter
April 16th – April 19th, 2020: Star Wars Rival Run Weekend
May 1-3, 2020. Dapper Day
May 22 – 25, 2020: Memorial Day Weekend
H20 Glow Nights Begins
July 1- 6, 2020: Fourth of July Week
August 2020: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Begins
August 2020: Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Begins
September 4-7, 2020: Labor Day Weekend
October 9 – 12, 2020: Columbus Day Weekend
November 5 -9, 2020: Wine and Dine Half Marathon
November 22 – 28, 2020: Thanksgiving Week
November 2020: Epcot International Festival of Holidays
December 20 – 30, 2020: Christmas Weeks
Walt Disney World Plans for 2021
We have written and are keeping an up to date post on all the changes coming to Walt Disney World for 2021. Read that here. Stay Tuned!