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The 22 New Rides, Shows and Restaurants Coming to Walt Disney World by 2021 (Fall 2019 Edition)

 16. Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue (Epcot)

Status: Confirmed

Opening in: TBA 2020 

Walt Disney World has announced a new fast-casual barbecue restaurant that will replace the current Liberty Inn quick service restaurant in the American Adventure pavilion. This new location, which will be named Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue will open later this year after the Liberty Inn closes permanently on July 8th. Here's the official description of this new establishment:

The new location will be a modern barbecue smokehouse, with all the accompanying sights, sounds, smells and flavors you love – including a large smoker preparing fine food every day right on the pavilion’s promenade. There will also be a redesigned patio.

17. Journey of Water: Inspired by Moana (Epcot)

Image: Disney

Status: Confirmed

Opening in: TBA 2021 

Disney announced yesterday that the first-ever attraction based on the Walt Disney Animation Studios hit film Moana is coming to Epcot. Named Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana, this new attraction will let guests interact with magical, living water in a beautiful and inspiring setting. Though we don't know exactly where this new walkthrough attraction will go, we'd guess that it will be some part of the reimagined Central Spine of the park, which will lead to new lands in the area of the park formerly known as Future World.  

18. Untitled Mary Poppins Attraction

Image: Disney

Status: Confirmed

Opening in: TBA 2021 

Disney has announced that as part of the Mary Poppins enhancements to Epcot's UK pavilion they will be building entirely new neighborhood at the pavilion: Cherry Tree Lane. This new section of this part of the park will have recreations of Admiral Boom’s house as well as Number 17, which is the iconic home of the Banks family. Though guests will only be able to look at Admiral Boon's House, they will actually be able to enter Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane, to see a recreation of the house made famous by the Mary Poppins films. And once they enter this house, they will be able to "start their adventure", as this will lead to some kind of attraction. Disney has not shared what kind of attraction this will be, but rumors seem to indicate that there will be some kind of carousel or themed flat ride in this space. 

19. Permanent Festival Center 

Image: Disney

Status: Confirmed

Opening in: TBA 2021 

A new pavilion is coming to Future World that will be a permanent Festival center for Epcot's signiture events. This location will host live events, and will provide a stunning elevated view of the entire park and an ideal spot to witness Epcot’s nighttime spectacular. This beautiful three-level structure will have one of the most remarkable architectural designs at any Disney park, featuring a plaza level, a middle expo level, and a park that sits in the sky on the top level.

20. Tron Lightcycle Power Run (Magic Kingdom)

Image: Disney

Status: Confirmed

Opening in: TBA 2021

Though it has been rumored for a few months, we finally got confirmation at the 2017 edition of the D23 Expo that Disney is indeed bringing a duplicate of Shanghai Disneyland’s Tron Lightcycle Power Run attraction to Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom. This attraction, which allows guests to board a train of two-wheeled Lightcycles and go on a high-speed adventure through Tron’s high-tech universe, has been one of the most popular attractions at Shanghai Disneyland, and certainly is a sensible addition to the Magic Kingdom that should help draw thrill seekers and sci-fi fans to this park. You can check out a ride through of the version in Shanghai (which is supposed to be virtually identical to the upcoming Magic Kingdom version) here

However, in an interesting twist, it looks like rumors that predicted the destruction of the Tomorrowland Speedway to make way for this attraction were premature, as concept art shows Tron Lightcycle Power Run being built in an unused area next to Space Mountain, with a re-worked (and possibly re-routed) Tomorrowland Speedway in the foreground. Interestingly, it looks like changes may also be in store for some of the Magic Kingdom’s transportation options as well.

Image: Disney

Though preliminary work on the Tron Roller Coaster has been going on for almost a year now, it looks like construction is really going to be ramping up in the new year as Disney prepares to get this attraction for its 2021 debut. The project recently went vertical, as you can see in the video below: 

As a result of all the construction in this area, the Walt Disney World Railroad is now closed for an indefinite amount of time to accomodate work in Tomorrowland, and potentially alter the track of this attraction as well. Though nothing has been specifically confirmed, concept art released last year seems to indicate that some substantial changes could be coming to the railroad that will alter the track to make way for the new Tron roller coaster

21. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (Epcot)

Image: Disney

Status: Confirmed

Opening in: 2021

A Guardians of the Galaxy-inspired attraction will be added to Future World sometime in the next few years. Though this might seem like a strange addition to this part of Epcot considering the Guardians of the Galaxy film franchise is supposed to take place in the present day, Disney has said that this franchise makes for a good addition to Epcot’s Future World because it gives guests the chance to experience the excitement and adventure offered by space travel.

This attraction will be an indoor roller coaster that will repurpose much of the original Universe of Energy building, as well as a giant new structure that is currently under construction behind this area, that will be big enough to house FOUR Spaceship Earth structures. 

Disney has developed a new ride system for this attraction that will feature elevated roller coaster trains that conceal track underneath, and can also move independently, spinning around to face screens or setpieces, similar to the roller coaster trains used by Universal's Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts attraction. 

Disney has also announced that this attraction will be a first-of-its kind roller coaster that will feature a new innovation from Walt Disney Imagineering a special ride vehicle that rotates 360 degrees so guests can focus attention on the action of the ride. 

22. "Play" Pavilion (Epcot)

Image: Disney

Status: Confirmed

Opening in: 2021

After more than a decade being used as a Festival Center, it looks like the Wonders of Life pavilion is finally being turned into attraction space once again, and is being re-designed and re-branded as Future World's new "Play" pavilion (we're not quite sure if this is the official name or not). This updated space will be designed to look like an innovative indoor city that’ll come to life with interactive experiences, including ones that will include Disney characters. Though no specific IPs or attractions have been confirmed for this new pavilion, the concept art above features Mickey Mouse, as well as characters from Inside Out, Zootopia, the Aristocats, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan and Frozen, which is certainly exciting for Disney character fans!

Though no specific opening date was given for this area, Disney did confirm that this new pavilion will open just in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort in 2021. Zach Riddley, portfolio executive, Walt Disney Imagineering had this to say about this new "Play" pavilion:

“This innovative, new pavilion is beyond anything we’ve ever created and is completely unique to Epcot. Built on the power of play, it introduces an immersive and interactive ‘city’ where you can explore, create, and interact with some of your favorite Disney characters. This is an experience worthy of our bold vision for Epcot – and another signature element of our transformation.”

So there it is...Disney's slate of new additions for the next few years. What are you most excited about?

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