Big Changes Coming to Walt Disney World in 2021

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On October 1, 2021, Walt Disney World will turn 50, and like many people around the world do when they are going to turn 50, Walt Disney World wants to celebrate this huge milestone with a bang. A huge party that will end all parties to celebrate the fact they have been around for half a century. Well, Disney hopes to do the same thing by making some big changes to their landscape at the park.

The Company is extending the celebration to all four Resort theme parks with attraction openings, new entertainment, food and beverage and merchandise. Many new rides, shows, restaurants and even hotels are coming to Walt Disney World, with others recently opening to the public. There’s plenty of construction going on and expansion plans that still need to be approved, but so far there are opening dates to assure the public there will be plenty to see and do until the big event.

Here are some of the things that will be open and new for 2020-2021 at Walt Disney World theme park:


A forest with Spaceship Earth, Epcot’s iconic symbol, in the distance. Photo Credit: VIAVAL/

A new plan for a multi-year transformation of Epcot with new experiences for guests is one of the many things coming to Walt Disney World Resort in 2021. Designed to make the park more family-friendly than it already is, three new neighborhoods will be added: World Celebration, World Discovery and World Nature. The World Showcase will continue to celebrate culture, food, architecture and traditions from around the world. 

At World Celebration Epcot, Spaceship Earth will continue to represent the park as its grand icon but will now feature new scenes showing the universal nature of the human experience. Another feature will be breathtaking views at Creamers Point, lush gardens, a wishing tree, an interactive new fountain and a new statue celebrating the legacy of Walt Disney himself. A new pavilion at the park will celebrate Epcot’s signature festivals and will be an ideal spot to witness the park’s nighttime events.

The new look of Epcot’s Spaceship Earth. Photo Credit:

The newest addition is the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind experience at the World Discovery neighborhood in Epcot. It is Walt Disney World’s biggest-budget project since Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. It is a hybrid roller coaster that will debut in Future World sometime in 2021. There will also be a new restaurant called Space 220. It will feature simulated views of Earth by day and night, transporting guests to 220 miles above the atmosphere. No word yet on the menu, but it is believed the restaurant will feature internationally-inspired cuisine and over 1,000 bottles of wine and a wide selection of craft beer.

In the World Showcase, the first attraction inspired by Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane will open, as will “Wondrous China” in the China pavilion. Guests will be taken through China in a completely seamless 360-degree digital format. The film “Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360” will debut in January 2020 in the Canada pavilion with new scenes and a new story. Other debuts in January 2020 include “Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along” in the France pavilion. 

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser

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Fans and non-fans alike can enjoy the experience of Star Wars and the galaxy with the long-hyped Star Wars-themed hotel, called Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser. It is scheduled to open in 2021 and is organized like a cruise. This two-day event experience will take you onboard the Halcyon starcruiser where you will participate in various Star-Wars-themed activities (yes, you can fight with a lightsaber, just like in the films). You can also get a glimpse at the vast galaxy and visit the outer rim planet of Batuu (also known as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge). 

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Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Photo Credit: @Disney

Opening on March 4, 2020, is Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway ride, once the home of the Great Movie Ride. This ride will transport visitors into a Mickey cartoon short and is actually the first-ever ride for Mickey and Minnie Mouse at a Disney theme park. The ride is “2-and-½-D” and trackless.

Cirque du Soleil

There will be a Cirque du Soleil show titled, “Drawn to Life”, celebrating Walt Disney Animation Studios. The collaboration between Cirque du Soleil and Disney Imagineering will travel through beloved Disney animation stories. It will open for previews on March 20 and officially open to the public on April 17, 2020.

Photo Credit: Disney/Cirque du Soleil

It is going to be an exciting time in Disney history as the company prepares to expand its parks for its 50th-anniversary celebration. We can’t wait to see what stops Disney will pull to make their vision a reality for all to see.

There’s much more to be seen, done and heard so if you’d like to learn more, please visit Disney’s 50th-anniversary website page.