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The 24 New Rides, Shows and Restaurants Coming to Walt Disney World by 2021 (Spring 2019 Edition)

 10. Awesome Planet (Epcot)

Image: Disney

Status: Confirmed 

Opening in: Fall 2019

Earlier this year Disney announced Awesome Planet, a brand new original film especially designed for Epcot, that will be coming to the Harvest Theater at the Land pavilion later this year. Here is the official description of this upcoming new film: 

An on-screen exploration of the realm we call home, showcases the spectacular beauty, diversity and dynamic story of our earth with all the grandeur guests have come to expect.

With spectacular nature photography, immersive in-theater effects, and space sequences created by none other than Industrial Light & Magic (which provided the cinematic foundation for the Star Wars franchise), “Awesome Planet” will stir Epcot guests and deliver an environmental message that will resonate far beyond its final scenes.

Of course, this description is fairly general and vague, but the concept behind this new film still sounds really interesting and the ecologically-friendly message in Awesome Planet is definitely something that will align with the overall theme of the Land Pavilion, but will hopefully feel more up-to-date than its Lion King-themed predecessor. We're also excited about the prospect of the Harvest Theater being upgraded to facilitate the special effects detailed above in the description of the new show. 

11. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Disney's Hollywood Studios)


Status: Confirmed 

Opening in: TBA 2019

While the Millennium Falcon ride will use new technology to deliver a thrilling experience the likes of which hasn’t been seen before at a Disney park, the new Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride will be a more traditional dark ride experience, and will be using some amazing technology to bring the world of the First Order to life

According to the several sources, this attraction will have a whopping total of 305 animatronic figures and droids, almost a third of which are expected to be Stormtroopers. In addition, hat this attraction will have 18 different show scenes that involve 5 different ride systems, making it one of the most (if not the most) technically advanced rides at a Disney park ever. 

The entire Star Wars: Ride of the Resistance experience is said to be a half hour long, with three pre-show segments happening before the ride itself, which is said to be less than ten minutes long. 

And while this all sounds super exciting, one thing that Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance doesn't have is an opening date, as Disney has delayed this attraction, saying that it will open as part of a second phase of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, hopefully opening later this year. 

12. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway (Disney's Hollywood Studios)

Image: Disney

Status: Confirmed

Opening in: Fall 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. However, with the phased opening now confirmed for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge (and no opening date officially confirmed for this attraction), we might be looking at a late 2019 opening for this attraction. 

13. Unnamed restaurant in Japan (Epcot)

Image: Disney

Status: Confirmed

Opening in: 2019 

Back in 2018 Disney confirmed that an all-new table service restaurant would be coming to the Japan Pavilion in the World Showcase sometime in the near future. This new location will offer guests a signature dining experience inspired by the natural beauty of Japan.The setting will draw from both nature and takumi, which means “artisan” in Japanese, and the relationship between Japanese craftsmanship and the natural world will be evident throughout the space. Once completed, the restaurant will add to the rich tapestry of authentic cultural experiences available to guests in World Showcase.

This new restaurant will be operated by Mitsukoshi USA, which is a name you probably recognize as the operator behind the merchandise, restaurants (Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining), and kiosks that are already in the Japan Pavilion.

Construction is currently underway on this new restaurant behind where the Mitsukoshi department store currently sits, and while we're expecting the restaurant to be close to this building, it probably won't actually be connected. The size of this new restaurant is actually reported to be a bit smaller than the one happening now in Future World, and while nothing has been officially announced we are hoping that this new restaurant will open later this year. 

14. Unnamed film in Canada Pavilion (Epcot)

Status: Confirmed

Opening in: TBA 2019

The current O Canada circle-vision attraction's days are numbered as it has been confirmed that a brand new O Canada film will be coming to Epcot's Canada Pavilion sometime in the near future, though no timeline has been provided for this upcoming change, but we'd expect this new film to debut sometime later this year.    

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