Walt Disney World has released 2020 opening dates, info & concept art for rides & restaurants, including Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Hotel, DuckTales World Showcase Adventure, Toy Story Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant, Space 220, Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along, and more.
Almost all of these additions will be opening at some point in 2020. A pair of restaurants at Epcot have received vague “this winter” opening dates, but with it already being the first week of December 2019, it seems highly unlikely that either of those are opening this year given the lack of concrete opening dates at this late stage in the year. (As we’ve continually stressed, “this winter” runs until March 19, 2020.)
Let’s start over at Epcot, the park in the biggest state of transition right now (and for the foreseeable future) at Walt Disney World. The first debuts there will come during the 2020 Epcot International Festival of the Arts, which we’ve repeatedly endorsed as our favorite event of “festival season” at Epcot…
There, a trio of new films will debut on January 17, 2020. Two of these are in World Showcase, with the other in Future World. The latter is “Awesome Planet” in The Land pavilion; this is a 10-minute film showcasing the Earth’s beauty and diversity with in-theater effects and an original musical score from Academy Award-winning composer Steven Price.
Next, “Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360” debuts (obviously) in World Showcase’s Canada pavilion. While technically new, Disney has also stressed that this is an update to the previous “O Canada!” film. Given that it’ll feature new hosts and narration by actors Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy (and not Martin Short), it’s likely to be fairly different. “Canada Far & Wide in Circle-Vision 360” will also have new scenes and a new musical score by Canadian composer Andrew Lockington.
Finally, “Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along” in World Showcase’s France pavilion will play in rotation with “Impressions de France,” which will receive an upgrade to 4K projection (arguably the most exciting news of all!). This is directed by Don Hahn, who also produced the animated and live-action Beauty and the Beast films. “Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along” features narration from Angela Lansbury, who played Mrs. Potts in the original film.
Continuing in Epcot’s World Showcase, the next 2020 opening will be Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue, which most people have simply been calling, “Regal Eagle’s Distinctly Patriotic Smokehouse: A Salute to All Foods, But Mostly Barbecued Meats ~ A Sam Eagle Craft Drafts & BBQ Joint.” Some might say the latter rolls off the tongue, so it’s no surprise that it’s been taking social media by storm. (You couldn’t even blame Disney if they changed Regal Eagle’s official name to that.)
No new details about Regal Eagle’s, aside from the above concept art. It looks nice and perfect for spring, although it’s currently a balmy 49º at Walt Disney World as I write this, and the idea of eating outside doesn’t sound all that appealing. Although on second thought, warming up by a delicious-smelling meat smoker does sound pretty glorious. See our recent Epcot’s Regal Eagle BBQ Menu Details for more info on what barbecue will be served once this restaurant opens this winter.
Bouncing over to Future World, we have the Space 220 Restaurant. Walt Disney World has not officially indicated that this will be opening in 2020, but anyone who has read our recent Walt Disney World News & Rumor Roundupknows why “this winter” almost certainly means February 2020 (at the earliest).
The only new details (to my knowledge) here are that Space 220 Restaurant begins by stepping into a special space elevator that will take you 220 miles above the earth’s surface, offering breathtaking celestial views. Guests will 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.
Sticking with Epcot, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is coming to an expansion in the France pavilion that also includes shopping and dining in Summer 2020. That’s not new news, but it’s something Walt Disney World has reiterated with this slew of opening dates, so we’ll restate it here. Given recent track records, it’s at least newsworthy that this hasn’t been delayed or moved forward.
Given that this screen-based, family-friendly trackless dark ride has been open at Walt Disney Studios Park for ~5 years (you can read our review of it here), there’s not really anything that Walt Disney World could truly “reveal” at this point regarding the ride, save for a precise opening date.
Next, Disney’s DuckTales World Showcase Adventure invites guests to join Scrooge McDuck, Donald, Launchpad, Webby and the nephews in search of priceless treasure. It’ll invite guests to join the DuckTales crew while discovering exotic destinations, exciting mysteries, and maybe even a few thieves, villains and supernatural guardians of ancient artifacts.
Heading over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the upcoming Mickey Shorts Theater will show an original short film in the style of the popular Disney Channel animated series “Mickey Mouse.” The Mickey Shorts Theater will offer photo ops in addition to the film, plus some fun details.
Mickey Shorts Theater will take the place of ABC Sound Studio, which is the former home of Star Wars: Path of the Jedi and Sounds Dangerous (located next to Hyperion Theater).
Obviously, the main Mickey Mouse event in 2020 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the opening of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Walt Disney World has announced that this attraction will debut on March 4, 2020.
A lot is already known about Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and we won’t rehash that here. Suffice to say, this is the 2020 opening that we’re most excited for at Walt Disney World. Here’s hoping the ride concept lives up to its potential and does Mickey Mouse and friends justice!
Construction is well underway (and moving quickly) on Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant backstage behind the Toy Story Land entrance sign (the one with Woody), so hopefully we’ll see this sooner rather than later. Toy Story Land could use more that’s indoors–especially in Florida’s summer heat and humidity!
Behind Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort will begin transporting guests to a galaxy far, far away in 2021 in this new type of vacation experience that fully immerses guests in a 24/7 Star Wars story. We’ve been meaning to do another update on this project, but every time I take construction photos they leave something to be desired.
As we’ve said before, we’re really intrigued by the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort. It’s something that appears envelope-pushing, ambitious, and risky…but also likely to be really expensive. We plan on doing it once (well, pending rate charts) just to see what it’s all about.
That wraps up the main 2020 openings at Walt Disney World…or at least, what we know about for now. It’s very likely we’ll see much more debut at Epcot in 2020 (and close at Epcot in 2020, for that matter). More on the entertainment and dining fronts is also highly likely throughout Walt Disney World, especially as the resort complex gears up for the 50th Anniversary in 2021. We’ll have more on all of that as Walt Disney World releases more details, so stay tuned…
What are you looking forward to most in 2020 at Walt Disney World? Which of these restaurants or rides has you most intrigued? Anything you’re not interested in? Planning on heading to Walt Disney World next year, or sitting it out until the big 50th Anniversary celebration in 2021? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!