15 Spectacular Additions Coming Soon to Disney Parks
We’re only a short time past the historic opening of Disney’s historical expansion, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. While most companies would coast off of its success for many months if not years, Imagineers are wired differently. They’ve still got plenty in store for their loyal fans. Here’s a look at 15 of the most exciting rides, shows, hotels, and attractions in the pipeline at Disney theme parks.
Anyone who has visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios recently knows that this new form of transportation is close to ready. Imagineers have done enough test runs by now that they’re comfortable with the reliability of the Disney Skyliner.
This transportation system marks the return of gondolas to Walt Disney World. To you, it means that you can travel directly from several hotels to theme parks and vice versa. Best of all, many of the gondolas have Disney character themes. You’ll love every moment that you spend in the air looking down at the Disney campus.
The Disney Skyliner should be open by the end of the summer.
Disney’s Riviera Resort
With park attendance at all-time highs, Disney needs more hotel rooms for its guests. It currently has three in development and one hotel tower expansion nearly complete. Disney’s Riviera Resort has a Disney Vacation Club focus, but people who aren’t members can stay here, too.
You’ll love a trip here. Imagineers have lovingly recreated remnants of Walt and Roy Disney’s trips to Europe in the days before Disneyland. The two brothers fell in love with the European sensibilities of the restaurants and lounges they visited. At the Riviera, park executives have tried to recapture this sense of tourist comfort. You can feel like Uncle Walt when you stay, starting in mid-December.
Epcot Forever and A Celebration of Disney Music
September of 2019 marks your last opportunity to watch IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. This Epcot presentation has earned its reputation as the best fireworks display in the world, winning Best Nighttime Show awards for more than a decade.
Disney has chosen to end IllumiNations in favor of a new, more modern show. That presentation, A Celebration of Disney Music, won’t be ready until 2020, though. Starting on October 1st, Epcot visitors can watch a special limited time engagement.
Epcot Forever salutes some of the best music and characters in the park’s history. Disney describes it as “a journey through the past, present and future of Epcot.” While it’ll be temporary, the show sounds spectacular to those of us who are Epcot fanatics.
Gran Destino Tower
We are only a few weeks away from the opening of this skyscraper. Gran Destino Tower represents a massive expansion to Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. It’ll include approximately 500 new rooms plus the hottest new restaurant at Walt Disney World.
Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood is an indoor Table Service establishment that will remind you of California Grill. It has floor-to-ceiling windows that provide panoramic views of multiple Disney theme parks. The hotel is adding the Dahlia Lounge and another restaurant, Three Bridges Bar & Grill, too.
Gran Destino Tower will elevate Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort into one of the hottest resorts at Walt Disney World. You’re going to want to stay here.
Guardians of the Galaxy Roller Coaster
Park officials famously closed Ellen’s Energy Adventure in 2017. They needed the space at Epcot to build a new themed attraction. Specifically, they’re adding a new roller coaster based on one of Marvel’s most popular intellectual properties, Guardians of the Galaxy.
Details about this one are still kind of sketchy. The Parks Blog has indicated that it will have a “ride system and ride vehicles unlike anything our guests have experienced before.” Beyond that, all we know is that it’s a huge ride building, and Disney’s describing it as a “storytelling coaster,” whatever that means. It sure sounds exciting and revolutionary, two things we’ve come to expect from Imagineers.
Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind
The next actual ride to open at a Disney theme park is Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind. Disney tore down the old Maliboomer and the apparatus of Flik’s Flyers at Disney California Adventure. They needed the space and some of the pieces from these rides to build a new spinner based on the beloved Pixar movie, Inside Out.
Despite its impending debut, Emotional Whirlwind is still something of a mystery. We should know a lot more about it over the next few weeks. So, keep checking MickeyBlog to learn all of the last-minute details.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Speaking of MickeyBlog content, we recently provided several updates about one of the most highly-anticipated attractions coming to Disney theme parks. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will debut in April of 2020 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It will then arrive at Disneyland the following year.
Disney did miss the projected release date for this ride by several months. They pushed it from the fall of 2019 into the spring of 2020. Presumably, the cause is the complexity of building the world’s first interactive cartoon theme park ride.
Since the attraction stars Mickey & Minnie, park officials understandably want to get this one right. I’m confident that they delayed it to guarantee that it’s a grand slam.
Mission: Space Restaurant
Two years ago at E3, one of the most shocking announcements involved Mission: SPACE. Disney revealed that they’ll open a new restaurant in this section of Epcot. It will maintain the outer space exploration theme of the attraction.
This new eatery is much closer to ready than anyone had anticipated. It’ll debut later this year. Its star attraction is a 250-foot digital projection screen system that will build the illusion that you’re eating in space. You’ll feel like you’re in orbit around the Earth. What’s better than that?
Two of Walt Disney World’s most important upcoming attractions are transfers from other parks. Ratatouille the ride is the most popular attraction at Disneyland Paris. Based on the marvelous Pixar movie, Ratatouille shrinks guests down to the size of Remy and then sends them through the streets of Paris. It’s a perfect fit for the France Pavilion. Sadly, we won’t get to ride it until the fall of 2021.
Marvel Land Ride
Perhaps the worst-kept secret at Disneyland right now is this attraction. Everyone knows that “Marvel Land Ride” is really the “Spider-Man Ride.” Even the unofficial Disney wiki calls it by this name.
We probably won’t get the confirmation until D-23, but construction is already underway. Disney’s even filed permits for the accompanying Spider-Man store! The current expectation is that this Disney California Adventure attraction will open in 2020. So, updates should come soon and often for this one.
Star Wars Dinner Club Restaurant
The next three entries all fall into the same category. They’re upcoming additions to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Technically, I could have added a fourth, as Star Wars Land won’t open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios until August 29th. That felt like cheating, though.
We don’t have an exact release window yet for this restaurant or the next listing. What we do know is that Disney will open a Star Wars-themed restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. To date, there’s no confirmation about one at Disneyland, which is understandable. Disney has a lot less space there and already had to get creative to build what’s already there.
This Star Wars restaurant is a dinner club. It’ll have live performances from creatures that don’t necessarily look human. Based on the artist’s renderings thus far, the singer is a cast member in moderate alien garb while the musicians are decidedly not human…and possibly Audio-Animatronic. As a Table Service restaurant, it’ll be affordable, too.
Star Wars Hotel
Disney is currently constructing a hotel that will connect to Hollywood Studios. It will have a Star Wars theme. It will be a Star Wars Hotel. What else do you need to know? When it opens, probably within the next 24 months, you will pay whatever it takes to stay here. We ALL will. Star Wars Hotel is the ultimate in Disney vacation stays.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
The most complicated E-ticket attraction in Disney history should be open right now. Disney missed their deadline for this one by several months. The current word is that Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will debut later in 2019.
The one thing that we can with confidence is that Imagineers believe that this is the best ride Disney’s ever built. That’s reason enough to anticipate Rise of the Resistance like it’s the most important attraction yet to open…which it may be. I’ll leave it up to you to choose which of the rides listed here has the best claim for that title.
The new Signature Dining experience at Tokyo Disneyland is mere weeks away from opening. As we just reported in MickeyBlog News, the newest restaurant at Epcot will have a dress code. It’s only the second one at the park to do so, and this requirement reflects the high-class nature of Takumi-Tei.
With a name that translates as House of the Artisan, the place will clearly deliver a perfect dining experience. Guests can even pay more to dine at the Chef’s Table. This section will even have a special tasting menu. It’s the most exceptional meal experience possible at Epcot. Even better, you can try it for yourself before the end of summer.
Tron Roller Coaster
When Shanghai Disneyland opened, it claimed two E-ticket attractions. One is their version of Pirates of the Caribbean. The other is a motorcycle-style roller coaster based on the Tron film franchise. You ride a Tron Lightcycle in and out of the ride building.
Tron Lightcycle Power Run is the shiniest thing imaginable. The distinctive color palette is hypnotic, and the lean-forward ride carts cause new sensations during the coaster’s journey. And the indoor/outdoor elements are a lovely touch, too.
Realistically, Tron becomes the anchor of Tomorrowland the instant that it opens. Currently, the projection is for this to happen by 2021. It could possibly arrive even sooner, but Tron will undoubtedly open in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World. In fact, that statement is true for everything listed here! It’s a fabulous time to be a Disney fan!