21 Attractions Coming to Disney Parks in 2020 & Beyond
As 2019 winds down, you’re undoubtedly thinking about how you’ll spend all of your 2020 vacation days. And, if you’re anything like me, you’re planning a trip to a Disney theme park. However, you may be wondering which of the confirmed new attractions and amenities will debut in time for your trip.
Here’s what we know about 15 things potentially opening at Disney theme parks between now and the end of 2020….plus six more we don’t think will be ready by then. Never say never, though!
Disney’s Riviera Resort – December 16th
I’ll try to list everything chronologically for trip-planning purposes. Please understand that all dates are subject to change, even general ones like “Spring 2020” or “Late 2020.”
The one certainty on this is Disney’s Riviera Resort, the newest Disney hotel. It’s only weeks away from its scheduled debut on December 16th. Guests riding the Disney Skyliner can already take a long look at the property. The resort hosts the primary hub for the transportation system.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – December 5th and January 17th
I wasn’t quite sure how to order this one, as one of the dates occurs before the Riviera, while the other is more than a month afterward. I settled on averaging them. So, I’ve ranked this one second chronologically, but it’s really first for Walt Disney World fans.
Yes, Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests are only a matter of days away from the debut of the most anticipated Disney theme park attraction of the 21st century. My brother’s family is one of them, and I’m so blind with jealousy that I can’t see straight.
While Disneyland fans aren’t quite as lucky, let’s be real. We’re only talking about six additional weeks before they get their version of this spectacular attraction. Neither Walt Disney World nor Disneyland will ever be the same again after the Resistance rises!
Regal Eagle Smokehouse – End of 2019
When Disney closed Liberty Inn in July, park officials expressed optimism about the timeline for its replacement. They suggested that Regal Eagle Smokehouse could debut in the fall.
Technically, Disney has until December 20th to meet that deadline, which the company may yet do. After all, Disney has posted the complete menu for the smokehouse. While it wasn’t announced until a few months ago, the odds of this one opening on schedule are better than the restaurant we’re about to discuss.
Space 220 — Late 2019/Early 2020
In space, no one can hear you chew. I’m not confident that Disney will utilize this suggested tagline for its upcoming Epcot restaurant. I’m throwing it out there just in case.
Anyway, the opening of The Patina Group’s Space 220 got delayed a bit by something unexpected. Wynn Las Vegas lured the executive chef that Patina had hired. He’d formerly worked at Sinatra, one of the famous restaurants in town. Apparently, the place couldn’t run without him. So, he left and took his sous chef with him.
Space 220’s top two chef positions are currently posted. Presumably, the restaurant can’t open until Patina has filled those two jobs. Space 220 still might open by the end of 2019. At a minimum, it’ll arrive early in 2020, which makes more sense anyway. “Space 220 in 2020” should have been the marketing tagline all along…although I still prefer mine.
Awesome Planet – January 2020
Epcot is about to undergo a historic change. The park that you’ve known all your life will evolve into some new and different and hopefully better. To prepare for this future, park officials had to close several attractions, stores, and restaurants.
To compensate for these losses, Epcot will wisely add a quartet of new attractions early in 2020. One of the shows will debut at The Land pavilion. Called Awesome Planet, it’s, well, I’ll let Disney describe it. The film showcases “the beauty, diversity and dynamic story of the planet.”
Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along – January 2020
Out of the four shows coming to Epcot, this one will have the highest demand. Hosted at the France pavilion, it’ll retell the story of Belle and the Beast through music and some acting. Details have been surprisingly scarce.
I presume that’s because everybody knows the deal about Beauty and the Beast by now. We’ll see if Disney introduces any unexpected surprises like in For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.
Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360 – January 2020
Do you like Canada? Would you like to watch a Circle-Vision movie about the country and its beautiful scenery? Well, starting this January, you’re in luck!
Wondrous China – January 2020
Remember what I just said about Canada? Scratch out the last five of those letters and replace them with H-I-N-A. Same deal.
Cirque du Soleil Presents Destiny — March 2020/April 17
During the D-23 Expo, Cirque du Soleil officials appeared onstage. They revealed more about the upcoming show at Disney Springs. While nobody confirmed an opening date at the time, we’ve since learned that sneak previews will occur in March of 2020.
Presumably, these shows aren’t open to the general public, although you may get lucky. The official launch date is April 17th, and Cirque du Soleil is historically quite good at meeting its deadlines. So, I feel pretty confident about this one.
Magic Happens Parade — Spring 2020
Disneyland’s Main Street, U.S.A. will finally receive a new parade in the spring. At D-23, park officials mentioned that YouTube sensation Todrick Hall has written the main song, which Jordan Fisher performed during Disney’s exhibition. Unprecedented floats will highlight Magic Happens, which the company promises will arrive this spring.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway – Spring 2020
Disney has already missed one launch window here. In fact, it missed badly. The initial plan called for the first Mickey and Minnie Mouse ride in the fall of 2020. Instead, it got pushed back to the spring of 2020.
The good news is that Disney has recently released some exciting posters for the ride. One of them shows the train underwater while everyone’s favorite mice wear snorkels. It’s a tantalizing promise of what’s to come.
HarmoniUS – Late Summer/Fall 2020
When Epcot Forever debuted a few weeks ago, everyone knew that its days were already numbered. Imagineers built this nightly show as a stopgap replacement for IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. The true successor won’t arrive until 2020.
While Disney has hedged its bets about HarmoniUS, the prevailing belief is that it’ll open in the August-October window. Those of you who plan to visit Epcot this summer may get lucky, but the safer bet is October.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure – Summer 2020
The previously discussed Disney Skyliner has provided guests with an unexpected bonus. During trips to and from Epcot’s International Gateway, guests have received a bonus view of the changes coming to the France Pavilion.
An exciting glimpse of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure comes with the package, and it reinforces Disney’s belief that the ride will open by the end of next summer. At the latest, it’ll come in the fall.
While I’m slotting this behind the Ratatouille ride on the schedule, I actually have more confidence about Avengers Campus. After all, Imagineers have worked on a gradual conversion of this area for a couple of years now.
Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: BREAKOUT opened in May of 2017. The new themed land will also feature a themed restaurant, Pym’s Kitchen, and a Spider-Man attraction at Worldwide Engineering Brigade, too. That’s not an unreasonable amount of stuff to prepare over the next nine months. After all, Disneyland retrofitted The Incredicoaster over California Screamin’ in just five months.
Roundup Rodeo BBQ
Disney has started construction on the much-needed Table Service restaurant at Toy Story Land. This place was initially planned as a part of the themed land’s opening but got pushed back in a budget cut.
Since then, the lack of seating and quality dining at Toy Story Land has become a sore spot with guests. I recently stuck my head into the mouths of several lions in trying to find a table for five at Woody’s Lunch Box. I’m hoping those fingers grow back someday.
I kid, but the situation is pretty bad, especially on crowded days. For this reason, I fully expect park officials to push to get this place open by the end of 2020. We need it.
Tron Lightcycle Power Run – End of 2020?
Now we’ve entered the “wishes and hopes” portion of the schedule. Disney has indicated all along that its new Tron roller coaster will be ready in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World/Magic Kingdom.
However, the progress that Imagineers have made on the tracks has led to some optimism. A few insiders believe that Disney might sneak Tron onto the 2020 schedule. I’d like to believe that, but I’m not holding my breath.
New Future World
Imagineers will spend the body of the next three years rebuilding Future World on the fly. So, I can’t put the project into any specific calendar period. Instead, guests will notice gradual changes over time, along with some heavily hyped major updates. For example…
Yes, this pavilion stands out as one of those massive updates. While some folks believe that Disney could have it ready by the end of 2020, I think that’s asking for too much from such a high-tech facility. If it happens, great! I just want to mislead you into expecting it. Similarly…
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
The upcoming Star Wars hotel will undoubtedly blow everyone’s mind. The idea of a simulated cruise at a landlocked resort embodies everything great about Disney.
However, to do it right, Imagineers will need to take their time. I’m not even sure this one will be ready in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World in 2021, much less 2020.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Speaking of 2021, Disney seems hard-locked on that year for the Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster. Since the company’s building one of its largest, most detailed ride buildings ever, I can’t say that I’m surprised. You’ll need to wait for Disney’s big 5-0 for this one.
Mary Poppins Ride
Similarly, the flat ride at the United Kingdom pavilion wasn’t even announced until D-23. Even a quick 18-month turnaround time on construction would place it in the first quarter of 2021.