Though February is generally the start of the slow season at Walt Disney World, the massive popularity of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance has been continuing to draw massive crowd thorugh the end of January. And as we get closer to the Spring Break holidays, here's everything that is opening at Walt Disney World in 2020 and beyond!
1. Space 220 (Epcot)
Opening in: March 30, 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 in just a few weeks at the Mission: Space pavilion.
Guests who enter 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 Disney has not technically confirmed an opening date for this much-anticipated restaurant, rumors seem to suggest Space 220 will begin welcoming guests on March 30, 2020.
2. Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue (Epcot)
Opening in: Early 2020
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 have a Muppets tie-in, and will be themed to Sam the Eagle's Centennial Cook-Off: A Salute to All Cook-Offs but Mostly Barbecue, which is described as:
"A competition fit for all patriots and pit masters” – as it brings in a variety of classic backyard barbecue selections from across the country to vie for Sam’s top honor."
Though no specific opening date has been confirmed yet, Disney has said that this location will open in a few weeks.
3. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway (Disney's Hollywood Studios)
Opening in: March 4, 2020
Though Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway will be opening in just a few weeks and 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.
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.
This attraction will be open very soon on March 4, 2020, and is strongly rumored to not have FastPass+ availability at opening, much like Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run did when it first opened last year.
4. Cirque du Soleil: Drawn to Life (Disney Springs)
Opening in: March 20, 2020
Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba at Disney Springs closed forever at the end of 2017, but just before it did, Disney confirmed that a new Cirque du Soleil production was being developed for this theater. But this time, this all-new show will have a uniquely Disney flair, and be unlike anything else either Disney or Cirque du Soleil have produced in the past. Based around some of Disney's most iconic films, this new show will “draw its inspiration from Disney's heritage of animation,” and will “celebrate Disney’s legacy of storytelling in Cirque du Soleil’s signature way, with a tribute to the one-of a kind craftsmanship that makes Disney so extraordinary.”
According to Disney, this new show will center on the story of a young girl and her father, who is a Disney animator. In an effort to connect with his child, the father sends his daughter on a magical journey of self-discovery in the world of Disney animation.
This new show will begin preview performances early next year on March 20th, with an official debut on April 17, 2020. The show will then be performed on a Tuesday through Saturday schedule, with showtimes at 5:30 PM and 8:30 PM.
5 . Harmonious (Epcot)
Opening in: Spring 2020
Though Epcot Forever is still running at this park, a new permanent nighttime spectacular named Harmonious is set to debut in just a few months. This new show will be a celebration of Disney music, and will show how Disney music inspires people around the globe, and will feature large floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, kites with special effects, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, and lasers. Confirmed Disney IPs that will be featured in this new production include Coco, Hercules, and Moana. Moving forward, this will be the permanent replacement for IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, and the finishing touches for this show are being worked on right now in preparation for a spring debut!