Lots of excitement is in store for Disney World in 2021.
First of all, this year is Disney World’s 50th anniversary! Pretty big deal, right?! Disney’s already released some exciting details, from new costumes for Mickey and Minnie to a celebration that’s over a YEAR long. But there’s more to look forward to in 2021, as changes of all kinds take place in the parks and resorts. Let’s take a look at everything Disney’s confirmed to open (so far) this year!
Keep in mind, we’re only mentioning projects that Disney has confirmed will open in 2021. That means we won’t be talking about TRON Lightcycle Run, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, or Roundup Rodeo BBQ here. But we DID break those projects down here! Now let’s get this show on the road. Do note that the Star Wars hotel website still says 2021, but we are leaving it out of this post since an opening date has not been shared.
Park Icon Mini-Transformations
Now, speaking of Disney World’s 50th anniversary, we’re gonna see changes in all 4 parks to mark the occasion! Each park icon — Cinderella Castle, the Tree of Life, the Tower of Terror, and Spaceship Earth, will transform into “Beacons of Magic.” Cinderella Castle will get gold bunting, a 50th anniversary crest, and a glow that, according to Disney, will “sparkle like pixie dust.”
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the Tree of Life will sport a warm new glow, while enchanted fireflies dance around it.
The Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will glimmer with EARidescence (Guys, Disney made that word up, not us!)…
…while Spaceship Earth will get new lights shining across the icon’s reflective panels. The end result will look like a starry night sky.
And while the other 3 transformations will stick around throughout the 18-month anniversary celebration, Spaceship Earth’s new look will be PERMANENT! We’re excited to see how it’ll look next to the new lighting and other changes at the main entrance.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
After following the construction on Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure for what feels like FOREVER, Disney finally announced an opening date: October 1st! Sound familiar? That’s Disney’s 50th anniversary! Yeah, we’re kinda sensing a pattern here.
The trackless ride is part of EPCOT’s France Pavilion expansion. You’ll shrink to become rat-sized and scurry through Chef Gusteau’s kitchen in Paris!
We’re already expecting some MAJOR crowds in the park when this attraction opens, so plan early if you want to visit!
La Crêperie de Paris
Another part of EPCOT’s France Pavilion expansion, La Crêperie de Paris, is also opening on October 1st! This restaurant will have a table service AND a quick service option, and will serve both sweet and savory crepes by celebrity chef Jérôme Bocuse.
We’ve been following this construction for months, too! Safe to say, we can’t wait until we’re inside to give everything a taste. We’ll keep an eye out for the menu and any more updates to share!
The Walt Disney World Swan Reserve
Let’s take a break from the parks for a bit and head over to some resorts! The Walt Disney World Swan Reserve, a new addition to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, is opening this year. The Marriott has stated this hotel would open in July, but reservations are currently available for September 1st onward.
Guests at the Swan Reserve will get all the perks of a Disney resort, like complimentary transportation and package pickup. It’s also within walking distance from EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios! And if you wanna relax around the hotel, you get full access to the amenities at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, plus some new features at the Swan Reserve! There will be a new signature Mediterranean restaurant, a grab-n-go cafe, a pool area with a fire pit, and more.
We’ve been keeping a close eye on the progress of this resort, from a sneak peek of the rooms to checking out the view from the top of the hotel. We’ll keep you posted with more updates here at DFB!
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Retheme
But we’re most excited about the Moana-inspired transformation coming to the hotel rooms.
We recently shared a sneak peek of the new rooms, and they’re stunning! They feature patterns and textures inspired by Moana. You can even catch a few of the characters hidden among the details! The rooms have all-new furnishings and fixtures, and we can’t wait to see them in person.
Reservations are now available for these rooms, for stays beginning July 19th, 2021. The rest of the work around the resort should finish up this summer, too!
Disney’s Contemporary Resort Refurbishment
Just a little ways away, Disney’s Contemporary Resort is getting some work done, too! We’re not seeing quite the same level of construction, but room refurbishments will be taking place. The refurb will affect the Main Tower Guest rooms and will kick off this April. We have very few details about what will be taking place as of right now.
The new rooms should debut this September. We’ll keep you posted as we receive more updates!
Jungle Cruise Reimagining
Okay, let’s hop back into the parks for this last one. In Magic Kingdom, the Jungle Cruise is getting a brand-new storyline! Disney has shared that the reimagining will include “new adventures” and the attraction’s “first continuous story.” We’ll get to follow a Jungle Cruise skipper and their unfortunate crew through mishaps at every twist and turn!
Each member of the crew will get their own storyline — we’ll have a birdwatcher, an entomologist, a wildlife painter, and more. As part of their reasoning for the reimagining, Disney noted that they want to make sure the ride is “respectful of the diverse world we live in.” Chances are a few scenes may receive some tweaks, but the Jungle Cruise we know and love (and the puns!) will remain.
Disney hasn’t given a firm timeline for these changes, but they have stated the reimagining will take place later this year. We’ll keep an eye out and keep ya posted!
There sure is a lot to look forward to in Disney World in 2021! We’ll stay on top of these projects and bring you ALL the latest updates. Stay tuned to DFB for more Disney news! We will continue to update this post as more projects are confirmed in 2021. And just because something isn’t listed here now doesn’t mean it won’t be later. Disney has plenty of time to announce more openings and projects for this year.
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Which of these projects are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments!