Here’s When Everything New Will Open at Walt Disney World This Year
Okay, keeping up with Disney release dates can feel overwhelming. You’re planning a vacation, and you want to know when something will open.
Otherwise, you’ll just miss it, a frustrating feeling, one I’ve experienced many times.
Over the past few years, I’ve missed Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, and Frozen Ever After, just to name a few.
However, that’s what I love about Disney theme park visits. You’ll always discover something new the next time you come!
To wit, you’re in business if you plan to visit during the second half of the year! Here are the Disney opening dates we know for the rest of 2021!
2021 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival
A quick glance at the list reveals how active Walt Disney World will be this year. Now that the pandemic’s over, we can fully embrace the festivities.
Yes, the Most Magical Place on Earth is ready to turn 50, and Disney’s throwing an 18-month party!
However, the fun begins in a matter of weeks. After a year of “Taste of…” events, EPCOT will return to normal next month.
On July 15th, the 2021 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival will open to the public, and it’s a full-fledged affair rather than a half-measure like last year.
The 2021 version will run from mid-July through November 20th, giving you ample time to enjoy all the Global Marketplaces, some of which are new this year!
Disney After Hours Boo Bash
The news is even better for Halloween fans, as 2020’s regrettable events forced the closure of everyone’s favorite spooky party.
Park officials have chosen to introduce something new for 2021 rather than bring back the old Halloween party.
So, starting on August 10th, you can attend a brand-spankin’-new event called Disney After Hours Boo Bash.
This limited engagement event will run about every other day through Halloween Night, again giving you plenty of chances to experience it.
You can speak with a MickeyTravels agent to learn the best time to visit this party, which promises to provide tremendous bang for the buck.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Okay, here’s the big one for many people. Over the past two years, EPCOT has updated its skyline to allow for the arrival of two upcoming projects.
The first one is the Disney Skyliner, which has been in operation for a while now. The other is Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, the new ride at the France pavilion.
Based on the Disneyland Paris attraction, this one promises to become the most popular thing at EPCOT since Frozen Ever After.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that Disneyland Paris’ park attendance relies on its Ratatouille ride. Americans have wanted their own version for years!
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will open on October 1st, which is a date you’re about to hear a lot for…reasons.
Hey! Guess what else debuts on October 1st! Okay, this one’s not as much of a mystery.
Happily Ever After is apparently going on sabbatical for a while so that Magic Kingdom may exhibit a 50th anniversary nighttime presentation.
Called Disney Enchantment, it’ll raise the bar for what we expect from Magic Kingdom fireworks displays.
Apparently, digital projections will go all the way down to Main Street, U.S.A.!
Disneyland already does something similar, but it’s a much smaller space.
I’m very much looking forward to how Imagineers pull this off at Magic Kingdom!
Fans of Disney’s Animal Kingdom held little hope for a new show at this park, as Rivers of Light died even before the pandemic started.
For whatever reason, this park could never persuade guests to watch its admittedly confusing nighttime presentation.
Still, Disney doesn’t want any of the parks looking left out during this 50th anniversary celebration. So, it’s introduced a new show.
Disney KiteTails will utilize the same locale as Rivers of Light, the Discovery River Amphitheater, to tell an original story involving kites.
As the name implies, cast members will fly kites and windcatchers, some of which are three-dimensional representations of popular characters like Baloo and Simba.
Animal Kingdom will host this show several times per day, making it a staple of the upcoming birthday party!
Mickey’s Celebration Cavalcade
You won’t need to wait until after dark to witness new entertainment at Magic Kingdom!
Disney also revealed a new cavalcade as part of its birthday celebration.
Several times each day, Mickey and Minnie Mouse will put on their festive EARidescent garb and wave to the crowds.
Donald and Daisy Duck will join them, as will the dogs, Goofy and Pluto, and the chipmunks, Chip ‘n’ Dale.
Next, there’s the new show we already knew about, the one we’re all anxiously anticipating.
Harmonious will make its long-overdue debut at World Showcase Lagoon on October 1st.
Obviously, Disney will pull out all the stops for its 50th birthday, forcing park guests on that date to make some tough calls about what to do.
You can probably squeeze in the cavalcade and your choice of nighttime presentations.
However, you may need to pick between Magic Kingdom and EPCOT, as the crowds for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure may be too long for later Park Hopping.
No matter what you decide, October 1st will be an unbelievable day for Disney fans.
In fact, we’re still not done. Here are some more speculative opening dates!
Somewhere, there’s an 18-month-old baby who has spent its entire life waiting for Space 220 to open.
In a perfect world, this EPCOT restaurant would have opened in the fall of 2019.
Instead, we’re still describing it as “coming soon” in the summer of 2021! Sure, there was a pandemic in the middle of that, but it’s still been a prolonged wait.
Thankfully, the delays are nearly over. Space 220 is currently hiring staff in anticipation of a Fall opening.
In fact, I think it’s safe to say that this place will open by…October 1st! Get used to that comment, as I’m about to say it three more times.
Moana Themed Rooms
As a Disney analyst, I’m supposed to say that I love all Walt Disney World resorts equally.
However, my parents taught me not to lie. So, let me be clear on the point that Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is the best official Disney hotel!
Unfortunately, vast swaths of the resort have remained closed during the pandemic as Disney re-themes some of the rooms.
When these buildings reopen, they’ll feature Moana imagery throughout the rooms, some of it subtle and some overt.
I’ll add that the other significant hotel projects — the new monorail station and the Great Ceremonial House redesign — will finish around the same time.
Yes, Disney estimates that all these things will be ready on or before…October 1st!
The Incredibles Themed Rooms
While the Polynesian started its re-theming much sooner, Disney’s Contemporary Resort has recently gotten into the act.
A small portion of its rooms will switch to a new theme, The Incredibles. The official Parks Blog recently posted some images that look, well, perfect.
I especially love the closet area, which will make your clothes look like The Incredibles are wearing them. The new showers are lovely, too.
Please remember that most Contemporary hotel rooms won’t feature this theming. It’s more of a unique attraction.
You should expect to pay more for it, too. You’ll have that opportunity on or before…October 1st!
The New Restaurant at the Contemporary
Here’s the project that comes with the most mystery. Disney has confirmed that The Wave… of American Flavors will receive new theming.
The company didn’t go so far as to confirm the specifics of the new theming, just that The Wave you know (and possibly love) will close forever.
That will happen in July. Afterward, Imagineers will work furiously to get the new version of this restaurant up and running by – you guessed it! – October 1st.
For a while now, the expectation was for Disney to add The Incredibles as the primary theme for the restaurant.
However, a newer rumor suggests that an eatery akin to Steakhouse 55 at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is in the offing.
Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised by a combination of the two, with the new steakhouse offering an Incredibles character meal.
Pretty much all of this is unconfirmed speculation for now…except for the fact that it’ll open on or before October 1st!
Friends, if you’re planning to end your Disney vacation in late September, you should strongly reconsider adding more dates to your trip!