Walt Disney World is experiencing a lot of growth, and we’re not just talking about the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which will occur on August 29!
Indeed, Disney World is growing in many different ways, and by 2021 — just two years from now — our vacations to the World might look very different.
Let’s take a look at the changes coming to Disney World and what they might mean for you and your visit!
You might…stay somewhere brand new!
Five new hotels have been announced as opening in the next two years, and while some have set completion dates (like Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs and Riviera Resort), others are still works in progress. The Star Wars-themed hotel may be the most anticipated of the quintet. It’s billed as an immersive experience in which guests are essentially characters in the Star Wars universe, isolated from the World outside. (Even the view out the windows will mimic space rather than central Florida!)
Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge will be a deluxe hotel with 900 hotel rooms plus DVC villas. It will be located between Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge and will reflect the natural world around it. (Click here to read about the announcement!)
The Cove is a Marriott Hotel in the vein of Swan and Dolphin — which are on Disney property but operated by Marriott. The Cove will open on March 1, 2021, and feature 14 stories and 343 rooms. Disney says about half of those rooms will convert into business spaces, too, making it a resort that will cater to the business set.
Gran Destino Tower is a massive, 15-story, 545-room addition to Coronado Springs Resort that will include a rooftop restaurant with views of nighttime shows at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Gran Destino will open on July 9, 2019, which means you might be staying in the Tower even sooner!
Riviera Resort is a DVC property opening near Caribbean Beach Resort. Riviera will have several brand new dining spots (including another rooftop restaurant) and its very own Skyliner station! This family-friendly resort consists of spacious deluxe studios and villas of various sizes. Riviera will begin welcoming guests on December 16, 2019.
You might…eat someplace new!
Several new dining spots are set to open around the World, including Epcot’s space-themed restaurant! This table service spot remains shrouded in mystery for the most part; but we know it will be helmed by Chef Theo Schoenegger, who opened two other Patina Group restaurants in Disney World recently — Maria & Enzo’s and Enzo’s Hideaway. The space-themed restaurant will feature international cuisine along with craft beer selections and 1000 bottles of the world’s finest wines. It will open later this year!
Also to be located in Epcot: a brand new signature table service restaurant in Japan! Takumi-Tei is currently under construction with an opening season set this Summer. (See the latest Takumi-Tei details here!)
Meanwhile in Epcot’s France, a Crêperie will open with both a table service and quick service component. No opening date has been released for the restaurant, but with Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure rumored to open in 2020, we expect the Crêperie will follow suit. (Find Crêperie details here!)
Disney Springs continues to develop with two new West Side spots set to open this year. In summer 2019, City Works Eatery will open, bringing craft beer and American food. The NBA Experience is also set to open in summer 2019 — August 12, to be precise — and will allow guests to experience 13 interactive activities that put them in the shoes of a professional basketball player!
And of course Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will bring three new food experiences to Walt Disney World. Docking Bay 7 and Cargo will be the go-to place for plated meals, while Ronto Roasters and Kat Saka’s Kettle will be quick service and and snack spots, respectively.
New hotels also mean new places to grab a bite to eat, and Riviera Resort is set to open a rooftop restaurant called Topolino’s Terrace — Flavors of the Riviera that will also serve up a character meal as well as views of nighttime shows at Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Likewise, Gran Destino Tower’s rooftop Toledo — Tapas, Steak, and Seafood will offer views and Spanish-inspired food!
You might… grab a drink at a new watering hole!
Galaxy’s Edge will also offer two special spots to rehydrate! Milk Stand will serve up the iconic Blue Milk and the fun Green Milk — see their flavors here! And Oga’s Cantina will offer out-of-this-world libations crafted by Oga Garra, alien proprietor.
Toledo — Tapas, Steak, and Seafood atop Gran Destino Tower and Topolino’s Terrace atop Riviera Resort will both offer lounges and specialty beverages along with their views!
You might… travel by Skyliner!
Disney World’s newest form of transportation is making steady progress toward completion, and with stations at Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Pop Century/Art of Animation, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Skyliner is set to revolutionize how guests get around the World!
Gondolas on the Skyliner will feature some of our favorite Disney characters — making the Skyliner not just a way to travel from place to place but also a ride unto itself!
You might… experience lots of new attractions!
New attractions are set to open at three parks in the next couple of years, including: Rise of the Resistance, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Hollywood Studios; Ratatouille and a Guardians of the Galaxy coaster at Epcot; and Tron Lightcycle Power Run coaster at Magic Kingdom.
Each of these rides is on its own timeline, with Millennium Falcon set to open first (with Galaxy’s Edge on August 29), but construction is underway for all of them.
Other new attractions include films in Epcot’s France, Canada, and the Land Pavilions and the Play Pavilion coming to Epcot’s Future World!
It’s hard to imagine this near future where all these new experiences are open and ready for us — but that future is coming! And we. can’t. wait!
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Tell us what you’re most excited to experience in the future! Comment below!