It's almost the end of the year, and though 2019 has been one for the record books, with the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney took some time earlier this week to look to the future, and confirm over half a dozen new attraction opening dates in 2020, as well as provide some final 2019 updates on attractions like Tron Lightcycle / Run

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

Image: Disney

Status: Confirmed

Opening in: Winter 2019

Walt Disney World has announced a new fast-casual barbecue restaurant that will replace the former 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 just in time for the holiday season, and will include several BBQ-inspired menu items, including an all-American burger topped with BBQ pork and an onion ring and a plant-based BBQ burger made with a plant-based patty topped with BBQ jackfruit served on vegan garlic toast. 

Though no specific opening date has been confirmed yet, Disney has said that this location will open in a few weeks, just in time for the holiday season! Disney has also recently shared some concept art detailing how this new restaurant will look when finished! 

2. Awesome Planet (Epcot)

Image: Disney

Status: Confirmed 

Opening in: January 17, 2020

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. Disney has confirmed that this new show will open on January 17, 2020, the first day of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts! 

3. Canada: Far and Wide (Epcot)

Image: Disney

Status: Confirmed

Opening in: January 17, 2020

The current O Canada circle-vision attraction closed in August 2019, and will be replaced by an all new Circle-Vision 360 movie at Epcot's Canada pavilion, which will also open on January 17, 2020. Using all new seamless digital technology, the new 360 movie, Named Canada: Far and Wide, will include new scenes, story and music. 

4.Beauty and the Beast Singalong (Epcot) 

Image: Disney

Status: Confirmed

Opening in: January 17, 2020

Last year it was announced that a brand new new Beauty and the Beast sing-along attraction would be coming to Epcot's France pavilion, and will play in the theater that is currently home to “Impressions de France.”This new show will play in addition to the French film, and is being created by Don Hahn, producer of the animated and live-action “Beauty and the Beast” film. This new film will also open on January 17, 2020.  

5. Space 220 (Epcot) 

Image: Disney

Status: Confirmed

Opening in: Early 2020

Though Space 220 might seem like a strange name for a restaurant at Walt Disney World, the number actually refers to the number of miles above Earth diners will have to "travel" to get to this new dining location, which will be opening later this year at the Mission: Space pavilion.

Though Disney hasn't shared all the details yet, guests who show up to the entrance of this new restaurant will be able to board a special elevator outfitted with windows that let guests take in the views of the earth below them as they blast off into space and travel from Earth to this out-of-this-world dining location. 

Then once guests step into the dining room, they will be able to see amazing views of space with intergalactic scenery in the background, including a space station and a friendly astronaut floating nearby. Diners will be waited on by an international crew, and then, once their meal has concluded, will ride the elevator once again to return to Earth from their space dining experience. 

Though this restaurant was originally due to open in 2019, it looks like there have been a few delays, and Space 220 is now targeting an early 2020 launch, with rumors suggesting a February grand opening. 

6. Mickey Mouse Imagination meet and greet (Epcot)

Image: Disney

Status: Confirmed

Opening in: Early 2020

Because of Epcot's central spine redesign, many of the character meet and greets in this park have had to move to new locations. However, soon guests  will be able to meet Mickey Mouse in a new permanent meet and greet area in the Imagination Pavilion as part of the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival. Mickey Mouse will be moving in to a new area of the indoor queue space for this attraction and have a special film strip background that will showcase this beloved characters' history. 


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