Even WITHOUT the historic four month-long closures, Disney World has had their hands full with upcoming construction projects. With Disney World’s 50th Anniversary coming up in 2021 and EPCOT going through a massive transformation ahead of its 40th Anniversary in in 2022, several ambitious new attractions are in the works!
Let’s take a few moments to catch up on everything we know so far about these projects, including when we think each one should be completed!
When we spotted Cinderella Castle last month from our newly reopened hotel room, we suspected the intensely PINK transformation should have been completed in time for the grand reopening!
When we saw it up close for the first time at the Cast Member Preview, we noticed that it wasn’t quite 100% finished! But it sure is close!
We even caught Cindy Castle mid-paint job with her own PAINT-BY-NUMBERS on her lower half.
We first learned about the castle’s new pink look back in February in preparation for Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, set to take place in October of 2021! It’s nuts to think that this new look is nearly complete!
TRON Lightcycle Run
When TRON Lightcycle Run was first announced to come to Magic Kingdom from Shanghai Disneyland, it was slated to open in 2021, in time for Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. Due to the park closures, however, that timeline may have been impacted.
Walt Disney Imagineer Bob Weiss commented on the status of several in-progress projects, noting that some attractions like TRON, “will need to be picked back up in stages.“
It’s unclear at this time how much the timeline has been impacted by the park closures, but we’re keeping you updated weekly with construction updates from Magic Kingdom!
As part of the massive EPCOT transformation announced at D23, Spaceship Earth was due to close in May 2020 and go through an extensive refurb — one that was estimated to go on for about two years. Although the exact timeline was never confirmed, many assumed it would be completed in time for EPCOT’s 40th anniversary in 2022.
On July 15, Disney confirmed that the planned Spaceship Earth renovation will not happen as scheduled. That doesn’t mean the renovation will NEVER happen, but for now, it looks like the closure and construction has been put on hold!
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
An upcoming addition to EPCOT’s France Pavilion is Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. This family-friendly dark ride, direct from Disneyland Paris, was slated to open summer 2020. The attraction is also slated to open alongside La Crêperie de Paris, a new dining location for World Showcase!
We have been keeping an eye on construction from the Skyliner and it seemed to be progressing along very well! However, when we stopped by during EPCOT’s Cast Member Preview, we noticed that the “Opening Summer 2020” sign was missing!
The ride should be near completion, as the parks closed mere months before its slated opening. But we don’t know the extent to which the closures had an impact on its opening timeline. No official opening date has been given by Disney at this time.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
The next big THRILL ride to come to EPCOT is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind! This roller coaster-type attraction (with a reverse launch!) was originally projected to open in 2021, in time for Disney World’s 50th Anniversary.
There have been no major updates during the park closures, other than James Gunn commenting briefly on the ride during the park closures! At the moment, things still seem to be moving forward.
Unnamed Mary Poppins Attraction
One of the biggest announcements at last year’s D23 Expo was the unnamed Mary Poppins attraction coming to the United Kingdom Pavilion! No timeline was set by Disney before the closures, but when we noticed that this attraction was missing from the EPCOT Experience when the park officially reopened, we suspected it may have been on the chopping block!
Sure enough, Disney confirmed on July 15 that the Mary Poppins-inspired attraction will not go on as scheduled and that the development of this addition has been postponed. So, it looks like we WON’T “step in time” anytime soon, but hopefully, this project is picked back up in the future!
Splash Mountain’s Princess and the Frog Transformation
No exact timeline has been set since this announcement was made. All we know for now is that Splash Mountain, in its original form, will reopen with both Magic Kingdom and Disneyland. Guests will have the opportunity to ride the original Splash before it is transformed!
EPCOT is all about its pavilions. So it makes sense that for Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, they would want to add a brand new pavilion to the park! The PLAY! Pavilion will inhabit the former Wonders of Life Pavilion and was originally projected to be completed in 2021 in time for the big celebration.
It is unclear at this time if the park closures have had any impact on the PLAY! Pavilion’s opening timeline.
Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Journey of Water is going to be an immersive walk-through attraction inspired by the film Moana. It’s described as being a “lush exploration trail” where guests can play with magical, living water.
The walkthrough attraction is part of EPCOT’s transformation, implying that it would be completed by 2022. But Disney perhaps let the cat out of the bag a little early before the park closures through a merchandise release on shopDisney, including opening year information in the item’s description!
Disney quickly took that verbiage off the site, and since then we would imagine Journey of Water will experience some sort of delay due to the park closures.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
The fully immersive Star Wars-themed “hotel” is still in the works! The two-night experience is slated to be complete in 2021, just in time for Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. We don’t have any official word yet from Disney in regard to whether this project has been delayed due to the park closures.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will be unlike ANYTHING we’ve experienced staying overnight in Disney World before! Guests will board their starcruiser, The Halcyon, and embark on a two-night journey filled with Star Wars adventures!
Disney announced before the closures that reservations would become available in 2020, but there has been no update yet if everything is still on schedule.
Last but not least, there is the infamous Space 220. It has been quite the journey following the progress made on this one-of-a-kind restaurant coming to EPCOT.
We first learned about Space 220 WAY back in 2017 (doesn’t that seem like eons ago?) and it’s basically been a big ol’ bag of confusion ever since! While we have been anxiously awaiting this unique culinary experience, we are often reminded that this restaurant was originally slated to open in late 2019!
So, when will Space 220 open? Will it EVER open? We wouldn’t be lying if we told you guys we are a LITTLE worried, but last time we checked, things were still on track for a 2020 opening. But that could have changed since the parks closed.
It should come as no surprise that the unprecedented park closures at Disney World have had an impact on upcoming projects. With construction crews not allowed to work during most of the closure period, many of these projects were at complete standstills for months. That said, some were also VERY close to completion or at least very far along in their construction, so we shouldn’t see TOO much of a delay for some of these rides, attractions, and more! The 50th Anniversary may look a little different than what Disney had originally planned, but that doesn’t mean it has to be any less magical!
What upcoming Disney World attraction are YOU looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments!