2020 has been A YEAR, hasn’t it? There’s no question that Disney World’s temporary closures have had a big impact on tons of upcoming projects across the parks and resorts.
With just a few weeks left to this calendar year, let’s take a look at the projects that should have opened this year, but were DELAYED due to the closures!
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
“Remy, the Ratatouille, the rat of all my dreams…” Okay, okay, we’ll admit that Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure has been on our minds lately for more than one reason! This trackless dark ride is coming to EPCOT directly from Disneyland Paris, where guests become the size of a rat as they traverse through a larger-than-life kitchen with Remy from the Pixar film Ratatouille!
We recently heard from Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chair Josh D’Amaro at this year’s IAAPA Expo, confirming that the new dark ride coming to the France Pavilion is scheduled to open sometime in 2021.
How far into 2021 remains to be seen at this time, but this newest EPCOT attraction was previously scheduled to open this past summer! With the attraction’s marquee being installed last month, we hope we don’t have to wait too long into next year to ride our “ratmobiles” through Gusteau’s restaurant!
La Crêperie de Paris
The France Pavilion isn’t just getting a new attraction; they’re getting a new dining location, too! La Crêperie de Paris was slated to open alongside Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure this past summer, but the closure definitely had an impact on its opening timeline.
The dining location will be a unique addition to World Showcase in that La Crêperie de Paris will be BOTH a Counter Service as well as a Table Service restaurant! The menu, created by celebrity chef Jérôme Bocuse, is expected to feature both savory and sweet crêpes.
It looks as though the attraction and restaurant may still be planning a joint opening, as we just learned that La Crêperie de Paris will also open in 2021.
Spaceship Earth Renovation
During the 2019 D23 Expo, we learned about what was supposed to be a massive transformation of EPCOT, due to be completed in time for the park’s 40th Anniversary in 2022. Part of this transformation included a total renovation of the park’s flagship attraction, Spaceship Earth.
The newly renovated Spaceship Earth would include entirely new scenes as well as updates to current scenes, as well as a new focus. Rather than be an attraction about inventions and developments in the way we communicate, Spaceship Earth would instead focus on storytelling. The ride would include a new “story light” which would appear throughout the ride to tie all of the scenes together.
The ride was scheduled to close in late May of 2020 before its lengthy refurbishment took place (some were saying the ride would have been closed for nearly two years!). But we soon learned that the ride would reopen with the park in its current form, and the renovation project was shelved indefinitely.
Ah, Space 220, will we EVER get to dine here? Technically, EPCOT’s out-of-this-world dining experience was supposed to open back in 2019, but was initially delayed due to construction snafus, its Head Chef stepping down, and a whole myriad of holdups that even pre-dated Disney World’s temporary closure.
We’ve been anxiously awaiting some sort of solid update as to when we can expect Space 220 to open. Situated 220 miles above Earth, guests are magically transported via elevator to the Centauri Space Station, where they will dine off a menu that includes internationally-inspired cuisine, 1,000 bottles of the world’s finest wines, and a wide selection of craft beer. Not to mention, your dining experience comes with panoramic views of outer space!
Since we finally got a quick glimpse at the construction happening inside, we may finally be close to getting an opening date for this space-themed restaurant. But only time will tell how long this dining location’s delays actually end up being.
We polled our readers to see if they thought Space 220 would actually open in 2020 — here’s what they said!
Drawn to Life
The Cirque du Soleil show La Nouba ended its long-running residency at Disney Springs in 2017, making way for a NEW show called Drawn to Life, which was set to open on April 17th, 2020, with previews starting on March 17th (days after Disney World closed). The show combines the wonder of Cirque du Soleil’s acrobatics with the magic of Disney to tell an entirely original story, noted as “a love letter to the art of Disney animation.”
The show was SO close to opening before the closures, we even got a first look weeks before the parks and resorts shut down and the show was forced to delay its opening.
Since then, Cirque du Soleil has been in a bit of financial trouble. They filed for bankruptcy protection over the summer, and just recently the company announced they would be permanently closing one of their long-running Las Vegas productions. The first show is now set to take place on February 10, 2021.
In 2019, fans of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth had to bid farewell to EPCOT’s long-running nighttime spectacular. The show was replaced temporarily by EPCOT Forever, which would then be replaced by the new resident show called Harmonious. The show was originally set to open in the spring of 2020.
It looks like Harmonious is promising to be a nighttime show the likes of which we haven’t seen, using the music we all know and love from our favorite Disney films to weave together a story of unity and harmony. So, think IllumiNations, multiply it by ten, but this time with Disney music.
The show certainly looks to be quite the technological feat, with intricate structures, LED screens, and fountains that will even perform around World Showcase Lagoon during the daytime hours. While a new opening date has not been announced, we have seen work taking place in the area. Hopefully, we will have more info on the show soon!
In 2019, we learned that a brand-new M&M’s Store was coming to Disney Springs at some point in 2020. During Disney World’s closure, we learned that the M&M’s Store was still on track for a 2020 opening, though we recently noticed M&M’s quietly updated their website to note that the Disney Springs location was opening in 2021.
There aren’t that many M&M’s Stores in the world; in fact, there are only four additional stores across the globe, in New York, Las Vegas, London, and Shanghai. So, it’s kind of a BIG deal that Disney Springs will be just the fifth location to have one of these M&M-filled shopping destinations!
There’s no denying that the closures had an impact on the store’s opening timeline, but just how long of an impact it had is yet to be determined.
Click here to learn more about M&M’s quietly changing their opening timeline for the Disney Springs store!
Roundup Rodeo BBQ
Remember when Toy Story Land was supposed to get a table service restaurant? Roundup Rodeo BBQ was scheduled to open in 2020, and we even saw signs back in early 2020 before the closures that work had begun on the restaurant.
Since then, however, it’s been pretty silent over in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which makes us wonder when we may learn more about the current status of this much-needed dining addition to Toy Story Land.
With 2021 just weeks away, however, it doesn’t look like we’ll be dining on ribs and corn on the cob in this calendar year.
Other projects that didn’t have a confirmed 2020 date
In addition to the projects we were told would open in 2020, there were a number of other attractions, restaurants, and offerings that we thought COULD have opened in 2020, although we never saw a confirmed opening date.
For example, remember when the China Pavilion in EPCOT was scheduled to open its new Circle-Vision 360 film Wondrous China? Back at the 2019 D23 Expo, we learned that several pavilions in World Showcase would be getting new films, including Canada Far and Wide, Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along, and Wondrous China. Well, two of those three films have opened, leaving us wondering what’s going on with Wondrous China.
It’s been radio silent over at the China Pavilion recently, so we’ll have to keep our eyes peeled for the latest developments on when we can expect Wondrous China to arrive!
Speaking of EPCOT, there are a number of other projects related to its 40th Anniversary Transformation that may or may not have been finished by now, including World Celebration and Dreamers Point, the new overlook area featuring a brand-new statue of Walt Disney.
Finally, back in 2019, Bongos closed at Disney Springs to make way for a new dining experience called Beatrix. The location was set to be a “neighborhood restaurant, coffeehouse, and grab-and-go market featuring healthy food options including vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan along with fresh-squeezed juice cocktails.”
We learned over the summer that construction on Beatrix was paused and a restart date had yet to be determined. We never got a confirmation of when Beatrix was originally thinking they would open, but we feel confident that, had it not been for the closures, we would have been enjoying some fresh vegetarian goodies by now!
With Disney World’s four-month closure having a drastic impact on operations at the parks, some serious decisions have surely been made regarding current and upcoming projects. While many of these projects are near completion or well underway, we could see some of these unfinished projects scrapped, especially smaller projects that weren’t slated to open until 2021 or 2022.
As always, we will be keeping a close watch on Disney World for the latest developments on all of these projects!
Click here to read about how Disney World is (and isn’t) preparing for its 50th Anniversary in 2021.
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Which upcoming ride, attraction, restaurant, or hotel are YOU looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments!