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The 15 New Attractions, Shows and Restaurants Coming to Walt Disney World by 2021 (Winter 2018 Edition)

7. New Epcot Nighttime Spectacular

Image: Disney 

Status: Confirmed

Opening in: 2020 (rumored)

Though longtime readers probably won't be surprised by this development, Disney finally confirmed in 2018, that IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth will conclude its almost 20 year run at Epcot in summer 2019, giving guests almost a year to say goodbye to this landmark show. While it is certainly sad to see IllumiNations go, the development of a new nighttime spectacular as this park seems appropriate as this park reinvents itself with new attractions over the next few years. 

Image: Disney

Though Disney hasn't said much about the show that will be replacing IllumiNations, we do know a bit about what is coming next, thanks to a report released by the Orlando Sentinel. According to their sources, the Reedy Creek Improvement District has approved a new construction project that will bring extensive electrical upgrades to Epcot's World Showcase Lagoon. This nearly $2 million project will involve drilling a pipe from the South side of the lagoon onto one of the manmade islands as well as “electrical upgrades” that include money to purchase new transformers and switches, which will lay the technical groundwork for the successor to the Illuminations: Reflections of Earth nighttime spectacular. 

And while this work has been going on for some time, we'd guess that construction work is about to become a LOT more visible, which is probably why Disney decided to go ahead and confirm this new show's development almost a full year before the closure of IllumiNations. 

8. Future World Space restaurant

Image: Disney

Status: Confirmed

Opening in: TBA

Though we weren't totally surprised last year by the confirmations of the Guardians of the Galaxy and Ratatouille attractions, one announcement that we did not see coming was that of a new space-themed restaurant in Future World. No name or location details were provided, but Disney did specify that this establishment would have special "windows" that simulate views of the galaxy as diners “travel high above the earth” during their meal.

Though it has been awhile since this initial announcement was made, just a few weeks ago Disney finally began construction on the brand new building that will house this upcoming restaurant, which will be built in a newly developed area between Mission: Space and Test Track. Though it hasn't been explicitly confirmed, given the location of construction walls, it looks like the rumors about Disney attaching this new restaurant to the existing Mission: Space building are true, which means Mission: Space will be evolving into a pavilion style experience that will contain both the Mission: Space attraction as well as this new restaurant, similar to the way other Future World pavilions house both attractions and restaurants. 

9. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Image: Disney

Status: Confirmed

Opening in: 2019

Though Mickey Mouse has appeared in several rides over the years (including the now-closed Great Movie Ride), it looks like Disney is finally giving its most famous character the chance to star in his own ride, along with Minnie Mouse and some of his other pals. However, instead of being based on some of the classic Mickey Mouse cartoons, the new Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction (which is being constructed inside the building that formerly housed the Great Movie Ride) will be directly inspired by the Mickey Shorts that are shown on the Disney Channel (and have their own channel at Disney resorts). As you might expect, the people who produce the shorts at Disney Television Animation are partnering with Disney Parks and Resorts to help bring the attraction to life.

The actual setup of the attraction is pretty standard, as it will allow guests to literally step "through" a movie screen and join Mickey and his friends on a fun adventure where you’re the star of your own Mickey short and anything can happen. This zany out-of-control adventure will feature surprising twists and turns, dazzling visual effects and mind-boggling transformations that happen before your very eyes, including a forest instantly being transformed into a cityscape, which you can check out here

Image: Disney

Though this attraction sounds a bit like your standard screen-based affair so far, Disney is promising that this ride will be more than just a screen-based dark ride. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will make extensive use of new enhanced screen technology that Disney is calling 2 1/2D. Though we're not entirely sure what this really means, Disney said that the normally 2D world of Disney animation will pop in new ways inside this attraction, but interestingly, without the need for 3D glasses.  

Though it was rumored for some time, Disney confirmed in 2018 that this attraction would open with Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in 2019. 

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