What’s next? Walt Disney World continues expanding with new attractions and more

(Gilles BASSIGNAC/Gamma-Rapho)

'Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance', what Walt Disney World describes as their "most ambitious, advanced and immersive experience" yet opens on Thursday at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Yet, with such a big chapter coming to a close for the Disney Imagineers, the question of 'what is next' arises.

Across their entire resort, Walt Disney World is planning a variety of new expansions and attractions.


For example, the theme park company announced at the 2019 D23 Expo that Epcot will undergo a multi-year transformation, bringing several new attractions, restaurants, and experiences to the park. This is expected to be the biggest transformation of any Disney park in history.

They said that the park expansion will unite Epcot under four neighborhoods: World Showcase, World Nature, World Discovery, and World Celebration.

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World Showcase, which will feature the existing country pavilions, will celebrate culture, cuisine, architecture, and traditions. The following is planned:

  • In January 2020, a new 'Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along' will debut.
  • Also in January 2020, the Canada pavilion will reportedly get a new attraction, titled 'Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360.'
  • In the summer of 2020, 'Remy's Ratatouille Adventure' is expected to open in the France pavilion. Guests will shrink to the size of a rat and race through Gusteau's restaurant.
  • A new restaurant is also coming in the summer of 2020. La Crêperie de Paris' will offer table and quick-service options. The menu is created by celebrate chef Jérôme Bocuse, according to DisneyParks Blog.
  • Sometime in 2020, a new 'HarmonioUS' show will debut at Epcot. It will be the "largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney park," they said. It will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-build LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, and lasers.
  • Then, an attraction inspired by Mary Poppins is coming to the United Kingdom pavilion. Guests will be placed on Cherry Tree Lane and will enter 'Number 17,' the home of the Banks family. An opening date has not been announced yet.
  • Disney’s DuckTales is also coming to World Showcase. Guests will join Scrooge McDuck, Donald, Launchpad, Webby and the nephews in search of priceless treasure by using the Play Disney Parks mobile app. 
  • Disney says that a new fast-casual restaurant called 'Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue' will open at the American Adventure. Classic barbecue and homestyle brews will be served.
  • Finally, the China pavilion is said to be getting a new attraction called 'Wondrous China.' This will take guests on a spectacular journey across the country, filmed and presented in a completely seamless 360-degree format.

World Celebration will feature new experiences that connect us to one another and the world around us, DisneyParks blog said. Coming to this neighborhood is:

  • A new pavilion that will serve as a home base for Epcot's festivals and will provide an elevated view of the entire park. It will include a three-level structure that has "one of the most remarkable architectural designs at any Disney park."
  • Spaceship Earth will receive new narration and an entirely new musical score. As you exit the ride, you will see 'Dreamer's Point.' This location overlooks World Showcase, features a Walt Disney Statue, and has an enchanted forest.
  • Epcot's entrance plaza will also be transformed. DisneyParks Blog said that the new experience will include a re-imagined fountain, new pathways, and sweeping green spaces.

World Nature is reportedly dedicated to understanding and preserving the beauty, awe and balance of the natural world. It will include:

  • The Land and The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilions, DisneyParks blog said.
  • Moana's 'Journey of Water,' which will be a lush exploration trail where guests can meet and play with magical, living water. 
  • A new feature film titled 'Awesome Planet' that showcases the beauty, diversity, and dynamic story of the planet. This debuts in January 2020.

World Discovery, according to DisneyParks blog, will bring stories about science, technology, and intergalactic adventure to life. There will be:

  • The new 'Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind' attraction. It will feature new innovation from Walt Disney Imagineering, as it is a "storytelling coaster that rotates 360 degrees to focus your attention on the action, including the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster."
  • An expanded 'Mission: SPACE' pavilion with a new restaurant called 'Space 220.' This culinary experience will feature a panorama of a space station, including daytime and nighttime views of Earth from 220 miles up. This will open in winter 2019.
  • A 'PLAY! pavilion,' reportedly filled with games, activities, and experiences that will connect you with friends, family, and Disney characters. Guests will be able to help fashion icon Edna Mode on her quest to rid the world of uninspired style. They also will be able to participate in a water-balloon fight.


(Disney Parks Blog)

As the latest expansion to 'Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge' comes to a close, Disney's Hollywood Studios prepares for another new attraction:  'Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway.'

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The ride is expected to open on March 4, 2020 and will transport guests into the wacky and unpredictable world of Disney’s Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts except you’re the star this time, DisneyParks blog said. The ride is the first-ever ride-through attraction to feature Mickey and Minnie.

Courtesy: Disney Parks Blog

The attraction will be located inside Hollywood Studios' Chinese Theatre ― formerly the home of the Great Movie Ride.


'Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant' will open in 2020 at 'Toy Story Land' inside Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World announced. It will provide an immersive dining experience. 


(DisneyParks Blog)

According to the DisneyParks blog, a new Tron attraction is coming to Magic Kingdom.

The ride is expected to be similar to the 'TRON Lightcycle Power Run' coaster-style attraction at Shanghai Disneyland. On this, riders board a train of two-wheeled Lightcycles and enter TRON's high-tech universe.

(DisneyParks Blog)

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It will be located right next to the Space Mountain attraction and is expected to open in time for Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary in 2021.


(DisneyPark blog)

Walt Disney World is expected to close out 2019 with the opening of Disney's Rivera Resort.

They said that the hotel will celebrate "the grandeur of Europe— which has long inspired some of the greatest Disney stories with its castles and fairy-tale villages. Here, you can create your own great Disney story in the middle of the magic."

Room options include tower studios and one to three-bedroom villas.

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The resort is expected to open on December 16, 2019.


The 'Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser' hotel is an upcoming addition to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Walt Disney World.

It will operate like a cruise ship, as guests will stay on a spaceship for the entirety of their two-night itinerary, except for an excursion to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios. While on the ship, guests will become a part of a "multi-day story" that interacts with other passengers, members of the crew and familiar Star Wars characters. Additional experiences, like lightsaber training or exploring the ship, will also be available.

Each window in the galactic hotel will have a view of space, with ever-changing vistas as the ship progresses from place to place.

The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel will open in 2021.


Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will open to the public on December 5.

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Walt Disney World is currently offering a four-day, four-park Magic ticket. It costs just $89 per day, or $356 total. It allows guests to visit each of the four Disney World theme parks and can be upgraded to include admission to either the Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach water park.

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