Disney World's second theme park will celebrate its 40th anniversary on October 1, 2022 with a line-up of new and refurbished attractions, including a transformation of the park's entrance plaza. To help you plan the best time to visit the park over the next few years, we present this timeline for new attraction openings at Epcot.
Winter 2019/2020 — Space 220 Restaurant, Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts and Barbecue
Two restaurants, on opposite sides of the park, should kick off the next round of changes at Epcot. Space 220, operated by the Patina Group that runs the Italy pavilion's restaurants, is going into a new building next to Mission: Space in what we become the World Discovery land, while Regal Eagle Smokehouse replaces the Liberty Inn in World Showcase's The American Adventure pavilion.
January 2020 — Awesome Planet, Canada Far and Wide 360, Beauty and the Beast Sing-a-long
Three new movies will debut at Epcot just after the new year, with Awesome Planet replacing Circle of Life in The Land pavilion, Canada Far and Wide 360 becoming the new CircleVision production in World Showcase's Canada pavilion, and the Beauty and the Beast Sing-a-long playing in rotation with Impressions de France.
Summer 2020 — Remy's Ratatouille Adventure, French creperie, HarmonioUS
Epcot gets its next "E ticket" ride next summer, when a clone of Walt Disney Studios Paris' Ratatouille trackless dark ride opens in the expanded France pavilion. A new French creperie restaurant will accompany the ride. Then on the World Showcase Lagoon, the new nighttime spectacular HarmonioUS will debut, replacing the limited-run Epcot Forever show.
Sometime in 2020? — Wondrous China
World Showcase's China pavilion is also getting a new CircleVision film, though Disney has not yet announced an opening date, saying only that it will debut later than the other three new movies coming to the park. At this point, a 2020 debut remains our best guess, but as with anything involving U.S. companies doing things with China right now, don't write any dates in permanent ink.
2021 — Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Play Pavilion
We are more certain that 2021 will welcome two more major attractions to World Discovery, the east side of what is now called Future World. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is the new rotating "story coaster" that has taken over the former Universe of Energy pavilion (launching into a massive new show building behind that, too), while the Play Pavilion takes over the former Wonders of Life next door.
2021? — Moana: Journey of Water
This new water play area is under construction next to the Imagination pavilion. It's part of a major reconstruction of the center of Future World, which Disney will rename World Celebration. But we expect this attraction to be completed earlier than the immense World Celebration project, so we now estimate sometime in 2021, though a 2020 debut isn't out of the picture if Disney decides to fast track this.
2022 — Dreamers Point and the World Celebration Plaza
As described by Disney Parks chairman Bob Chapek at the D23 Expo last summer, Dreamers Point will be a new, shaded, park-like area beyond Spaceship Earth, including a three-level structure that overlooks the World Showcase Lagoon. You can bet that Disney will do everything it can to have this project completed by the anniversary date on October 1, 2022. But given the amount of demolition that Disney needs to do before then, including the Innoventions building, we're not expecting to walk through Dreamers Point any earlier than the summer of 2022.
Who knows? — A new Spaceship Earth, Mary Poppins attraction
Disney has announced two more attraction projects for Epcot: a redesign of the Spaceship Earth attraction, including a new narration and show scenes, plus a new Mary Poppins attraction on Cherry Tree Land in World Showcase's United Kingdom pavilion. Disney has not announced any timeline for either, and we've not heard enough from insiders to take a guess when these attractions will open.
I'd invite you to read our interview with Walt Disney Imagineering President Bob Weis, who outlined Imagineering's seven-step process for developing new attractions. Our best guess is that the Spaceship Earth project is somewhere in the design phase while Mary Poppins might not even be there yet.
Forcing a guess, Spaceship Earth might be wrapped by the 2022 anniversary date, but we'd be surprised to see a major, multi-scene Mary Poppins dark ride by then. But Disney gave no hints at the D23 Expo as to what its Mary Poppins attraction would be, so if Imagineering is pursuing a more limited project — such as a carousel or "Enchanted Tales with Belle"-type experience — a 2022 debut could be in play.Tweet
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