Hi Everyone! Happy fall!
On this edition of the Disney Dad’s Dozen we look into the Disney World crystal ball and look at a the great new attractions, shows, restaurants and hotels that the Walt Disney Company has in store for us in the very near future. They are investing hundreds of millions of dollars to change, improve and add to an already packed family destination. There is a lot going on and I couldn’t be more excited!
Here we go!
1. New ILLUMINATIONS
In the fall of 2019, Epcot will end its nightly showing of Illuminations Reflections of Earth fireworks spectacular. Illuminations has been wowing guests for over 20 years. It is one of my favorite night time shows at Disney. Almost every trip my family, my friends and I will book a 7pm dining reservation at the Rose & Crown Restaurant in World Showcase for a late supper followed by a 9pm showing of Illuminations while having dessert and drinks.
While I love the show and will always be nostalgic for it, I am excited to see what Disney has in store for this new show. A lot of people were skeptical when Happily Ever After replaced Wishes over at the Magic Kingdom. Happily Ever After has been a huge success and I personally think it is better than Wishes ever was. So bring on the new show. I am sure it will be bigger and better.
2. TRON: LIGHTCYCLE POWER RUN
Where: The Magic Kingdom
After a long time, finally a new addition to Tomorrowland! This fast moving coaster-type ride, based on the TRON movies, will debut in 2021. It will be a duplicate of the ride currently featured in Shanghai Disneyland. The attraction will be located to the left of Space Mountain and behind the Tomorrowland Speedway.
In fact, the Speedway is going to close for a few months beginning in January 2019 to reposition their track to make room for Tron. As far as themed coasters go this looks terrific! It goes indoors and outdoors and will be a great thrill ride addition to the Magic Kingdom.
3. Ratatouille Attraction
Also coming in 2021 (and already well under construction), is the Ratatouille ride in the France section of World Showcase. The attraction will shrink you down to “rat size” where you will be chased all around a replica of Gusteau’s restaurant and Kitchen.
The ride will be based on its Disneyland Paris counterpart.
4. The Disney Skyliner Gondola Transportation System
WHERE: Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, Various Disney Resorts
This is the latest addition to the Disney transportation system. The “ski lodge” type gondolas will bring a steady stream of guests to the Disney Hollywood Studios and to the International Gateway Entrance of Epcot. The Gondolas will deliver guests from the Caribbean Beach Resort, The Art Of Animation Resort and Disney’s Pop Century Resort.
I think this will really increase the value of these three resorts. Having a resort with a direct connection to two theme parks will be a huge upgrade. The Caribbean Beach is one of Disney’s Largest resorts and this will help handle some of those crowds. Disney Boardwalk, Yacht/Beach Club are sought after resorts because they have the boat transportation to Epcot and DHS. The Monorail Hotels speak for themselves. Now these three resorts will be in that category as well.
Don’t forget you can also hop a monorail from Epcot to the Magic Kingdom. So with a little effort you could avoid taking the Disney bus with the exception of travel to the Animal Kingdom. I am “all in” for NOT EVER taking the Disney bus!
5. The Untitled Space Themed Restaurant
WHEN: Late 2019/ Early 2020
This mysterious space-themed sit-down restaurant will be located between Mission Space and Test Track. It will be owned and operated by the Patina Restaurant Group who also own and operate both restaurants in the Italy Pavilion of Epcot. Rumors say that diners will wait in a lower level area before taking “shuttles” into space and to their table.
The curved walls will be covered in high definition screens making one feel like they are looking out into space. Disney space characters like WALL-E and EVE are rumored to make appearances as well.
6. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Where: Disney Hollywood Studios
This dark ride attraction will be housed in the Grauman’s Chinese Theater at the center of the DHS hub where the Great Movie Ride once resided. This attraction is a big risk for the Disney Imagineers for two reasons:
There has never, ever, been a Mickey Mouse Themed Dark ride in any Disney Park. Let that sink in for a second…
The Great Movie Ride was beloved by many DisNerds. I even bought this special edition passholder only T-shirt on the last day of operation.
So, you can imagine the stakes are very high here. The attraction will be inspired by the “Disney Shorts” cartoon currently running on the Disney Channel. Disney has announced they have created a new special screen technology called 2 ½ D that is supposed to transport you “into” the cartoon world without the use of 3D glasses. I think parents will be happy for an additional attraction for younger children at a park that seems to be catering to thrill rides.
7. The Untitled Guardians of the Galaxy Coaster
This attraction replaced Ellen’s Universe of Energy in Future World at Epcot. Ellen’s was really looking old and clunky. I, for one, only experienced this attraction when I needed a quick mid-day nap. (It was almost 40 mins long!) We don’t know much about this new attraction except it is supposed to take place in present day and be an indoor roller coaster. It will be the first coaster in EPCOTs history.
With the closing of Ellen’s Universe of Energy it is the final piece of the transformation of EPCOT from the “educational park” to full on “fun park”. I am not sure how I feel about that change but I am a big fan of the Guardians Franchise and no one does indoor coasters better than the Disney Imagineers.
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