Last night during a media event, Walt Disney World announced new details, opening dates, and even revealed some new experiences that will be opening within the next couple years throughout the resort.
Bob Chapek, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, was on hand to share these updates during a special presentation including new details for rides at Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Star Wars hotel, upcoming restaurants and more. Check out our breakdown of all of the news below and stay tuned for more theme park updates on these projects and more!
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway has been given the official opening date of March 4, 2020 for Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. The ride was originally scheduled to open in 2019 but was eventually pushed to Spring 2020. After it opens it will be the first Disney ride-through attraction to feature Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, inviting guests inside a zany Mickey Short cartoon.
This new ride is being built inside the Chinese Theater, former home of The Great Movie Ride. Much of the exterior, queue, and preshow theater elements have remained. The ride however, will be a much different experience, combining live-action pieces with projection mapping onto moving surfaces to make it feel like we are inside a cartoon. We will ride in a trackless ride vehicle designed to look like a train, with Goofy as our conductor… What could go wrong?
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
The so-called Star Wars hotel, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, will be accepting its first passengers beginning in 2021. Instead of a traditional hotel, this will be more like a cruise experience. Guests will arrive at the same time and depart together, for a two-night stay with a set itinerary. According to Disney, “you’ll become the hero of your own adventure in an experience that surrounds you 24/7 in Star Wars storytelling.”
From the Starcruiser Terminal, pictured above in new concept art, you will enter a launch pod for travel up to the “Halcyon” starcruiser. Through the pod’s viewport, it looks as though you are traveling through space to approach the massive ship that is much too large to land on any planet.
A “spaceport of call” visit down to Black Spire Outpost is included in every guest’s itinerary, where special passenger transports take you to the planet Batuu. To get from Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and back, you’ll remain fully in-story as you step aboard the transport ships (also known as buses) designed specifically for this new immersive experience, which you can see in the newly released concept rendering above.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
We got our first look inside of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, opening at Epcot in the summer of 2020. Located in a new area being added to the back of the France pavilion, this family-friendly attraction will invite you to shrink down to the scale of a rat for a culinary adventure with Chef Remy. This attraction will nearly the same as the original version which opened at Disneyland Paris in 2014. An exact date was not given for the ride’s opening in Epcot next summer.
Disney’s DuckTales World Showcase Adventure
A new interactive experience was announced for Epcot. Disney’s DuckTales World Showcase Adventure invites guests to join Scrooge McDuck, Donald, Launchpad, Webby and the nephews in search of priceless treasure. It will utilize the Play Disney Parks mobile app, and allow guests to interact with hidden game elements throughout Epcot’s World Showcase. This new experience is replacing Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure, which was based on the Phineas and Ferb television show. An opening date for the new interactive game was not given.
Three New Films to debut in Epcot Jauary 17, 2020
Awesome Planet in The Land pavilion showcases the Earth’s beauty and diversity in a 10-minute film featuring spectacular imagery, in-theater effects and an original musical score from Academy Award-winning composer Steven Price.
Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along in the France pavilion is directed and produced by Don Hahn, producer of the animated and live-action “Beauty and the Beast” films, and invites guests to participate in a twist on a tale as old as time. It also features narration from Angela Lansbury, who played Mrs. Potts in the original film. The new sing-along will run in rotation with “Impressions de France,” which will receive an upgrade to 4K projection.
Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360 in the Canada pavilion is an update to the previous “O Canada!” film with new scenes, a new musical score by Canadian composer Andrew Lockington and new narration by award-winning actors Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy.
Space 220 Restaurant
Debuting sometime this winter, Space 220 will be a new table-service restaurant at Epcot next to Mission: SPACE. It was recently revealed that the restaurant, which will be run by the Patina Restaurant Group, will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Meal prices will apparently range from $15 to $60. An exact date for the grand opening has not yet been revealed.
When you enter the restaurant, you’ll step into a special space elevator that will take you 220 miles above the earth’s surface and offer incredible celestial views. You’ll feel as if you’re traveling straight up into space to dock next to the Centauri Space Station suspended just beyond the orbit of Mission: SPACE. Upon arrival, you will be guided to your seats past the grow zone, a spinning wall of produce that mimics Earth’s gravity and represents some of the fresh ingredients used by the restaurant’s culinary team.
Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue
Also opening at Epcot this winter, the Regal Eagle Smokehouse will be replacing the Liberty Inn at The American Adventure in World Showcase. We’re seeing what this new fast-casual restaurant will look like when it opens thanks to newly released concept art, above. The dining location will offer classic barbecue with flavors from different regions around the United States, as well as home-style craft brews.
Mickey Shorts Theater
Opening March 2020 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Mickey Shorts Theater will be a place where your family can sit down to enjoy some of the popular Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts. We’re getting our first look at what the interior of the updated theater will look like thanks to new concept art. This theater was formerly showing Path of the Jedi in the Echo Lake area of the park.
Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant
Coming in 2020 to Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant, will be a new table-service restaurant that’ll invite you to a rootin’, tootin’ rodeo right in Andy’s back yard. Guests will be surrounded with all their favorite toy pals from Woody’s Roundup in this family-friendly dining experience. An exact date has not yet been given for the opening of this new dining location, but the piece of concept art for the restaurant’s entrance was just released.
Stay tuned for theme park news and updates for these upcoming experiences and more. And be sure to subscribe to the news feed so you never miss an update! We’ll be covering the update of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, opening tomorrow at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Stay tuned for photos from opening day tomorrow, as well as our review on the ParkStop Podcast early next week!
For help booking your next vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort, request your free vacation quote from Elizabeth, our vacation planning partner over at Destinations in Florida. She can help you book the best on-site room for your stay, as well as ticket packages and even dining for your whole trip — and the best part is, her services are free to you!