The Disney Parks, both American and foreign, are seeing more expansions and changes than they have in nearly two decades. Almost every resort is seeing a major expansion over the next five years, many of which are multifaceted. With all of these projects and expansions, things get a little hard to keep track of. Many people want to book vacations, so knowing when these projects finish up is a useful tool. That’s why we have this blog post!
I’m going to go through each Disney Resort and give an estimated (or announced) opening date for each major project. Some of the smaller projects will be left off but feel free to ask questions about anything that you don’t see in the post (or anything you do see in the post!) There is also a chance that I will have left something off this list so drop me a comment if I have.
2020 definitely changed the influx of projects going on in the Disney Parks world. With massive deficits that were unforeseen, it’s hard to know what projects will be moving forward and which ones will be scrapped. Nearly everything will be delayed from their original timeline, especially domestically. In other words, many of these additions are fluid and do not take my word on the timeline (or even the project happening) as final.
Each project will include a brief description of what is going on. I’m going to stay away from rumors for the most part, sticking to what Disney actually has announced. I will try to keep the post updated every year, adding whatever is announced along the way. We’ll go resort by resort, starting in Disneyland.
Avengers Campus (DCA) – Opened in June 2021
Avengers Campus, which will reside where A Bug’s Land used to be, will feature a Spider-Man attraction, meet and greets and an Ant-Man restaurant. The land was set to open in the summer of 2020 but that obviously has been pushed back. I do think it will open at some point this year, largely dependent on when Disneyland Resort opens. I also think the land will open in tiers and probably won’t be finished until 2023, if ever (see a little further down the list). Details are still somewhat scarce but a Spider-Man ride will be opening next year.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (DL) – 2022
Disney has announced that Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (unfortunately, no announcement on a shorter name) will be coming to Disneyland’s Toontown. The same attraction will be opening at Hollywood Studios in 2020 before coming to Disneyland 2 years later. 2022 may be an overestimate at this point but I remain optimistic as work has continued during the closure.
Avengers Ride – 2023?
An E-ticket attraction will (likely) be the final addition to Marvel Campus. Guests will fly with the avengers through Wakanda and beyond. A 2023 opening date may be slightly optimistic but time will tell. Out of the Disneyland Resort projects currently on the slate, this is the one I worry about getting axed.
Walt Disney World
Tomorrowland Refresh (MK) – Now through 2021?
Tomorrowland is slowly going through a refresh in terms of aesthetic and attraction refurbishments. The land is receiving a paint job and could end up with a refresh of the PeopleMover, Carousel of Progress, Tomorrowland Speedway and something going in the Stitch’s Great Escape building. While I doubt anyone is actually booking a trip based on these changes, I do think they are essential to Magic Kingdom. The PeopleMover has gone through a lengthy refurb.
Disney Enchantment Nighttime Spectacular (MK) – October 1st, 2021
For Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary, Magic Kingdom will debut a brand new nighttime spectacular that will feature pyro above the castle and projections up and down Main Street.
Space 220 (Epcot) -2021
Will this place ever open? Yes, probably. Space 220 is a restaurant in Future World that is set to outer space. Originally set to open in 2019, Space 220 was delayed due to staffing issues and then again once the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the parks.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (Epcot) – October 1st, 2021
This attraction in the France Pavilion is a replica of Disneyland Paris attraction, a trackless dark ride based on the Pixar film, Ratatouille. It was set to open in the summer of 2020 before the pandemic. Now I’m guessing we will see it in the summer of 2021, although all of the work on it appears to be done.
Harmonious Nighttime Spectacular (Epcot) – October 1st, 2021
Another Epcot addition that was supposed to debut in 2020 but was postponed, this new nighttime spectacular takes the place of the long running Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. HarmonioUS will show how Disney music connects people around the world.
Disney KiteTails (AK) – 2021
KiteTails is a new daytime show coming to Animal Kingdom that will feature large kites that make up famed Disney characters. This will reside in Animal Kingdom’s large ampitheater where Rivers of Light used to reside.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser – 2022
The immersive Star Wars Hotel will pair along with Galaxy’s Edge but will open later. We don’t have an exact opening date but it will be opening this year. Guests will take part in a 2-day immersive stay.
Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant (Hollywood Studios) – 2022
Disney World’s first expansion to Toy Story Land will be a table-service restaurant. The project was announced in late April 2019 but we think this could be built quickly to help ease Hollywood Studios influx of crowds. Post Pandemic update: I have no idea when this will happen!
Epcot Play Pavilion – 2022
The Epcot Play Pavilion will house characters and interactive exhibits for the whole family to explore. The new pavilion will reside in Future World and will likely be Epcot’s largest integration of Disney characters ever. A 2022 debut seems logical but may be on the optimistic side at this point.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (Epcot) – 2022
The coaster is taking the place of Ellen’s Energy Adventure and will be indoors. The story will be based around Guardians of the Galaxy, specifically Peter Quill. Originally slated to open in 2021, I’m guessing that the coaster will be pushed off to 2022 with a number of other additions coming to Epcot this year. A 2021 is still possible though.
Tron Lightcycle (MK) – 2022
Magic Kingdom’s newest roller coaster was slated to open by 2021 for the resort’s 50th anniversary but has fallen behind schedule and will now likely open in 2022. This attraction will be a replica, although maybe not exact, of Shanghai Disneyland’s.
Epcot Transformation – Ongoing
Epcot will look very different in a few years. The park will be divided into four lands instead of the original two, have a new entrance and will add several new pavilions. Spaceship Earth will also undergo a lengthy refurbishment at some point. More details will be released over the years and this project will take a long time. Many of the announced projects likely won’t happen at this point.
Mary Poppins Attraction (Epcot) – Postponed
A new Mary Poppins attraction will be coming to the UK Pavilion in the coming years. Cherry Tree Lane and an attraction inside the Banks’ house will be added to the pavilion. Not many details have been released about the attraction but rumors have been going around to not expect anything too grand. Disney has announced the postponement of this attraction and I have my doubts about it ever happening.
Tokyo Disney Resort
Toy Story Hotel – 2021
Work continues at a quick pace on Tokyo Disney’s next hotel. Located near one of the monorail stops, Toy Story Hotel promises to be a more budget friendly hotel than the existing ones that are close to the parks. 2021 may be ambitious and this could get pushed to 2022.
DisneySea Fantasy expansion – 2023
DisneySea is opening a fantasy port in the back of DisneySea that will be the biggest expansion in park history. The new port will feature Frozen, Tangled and Peter Pan and will add four new attractions plus restaurants and a lavish hotel.
Hong Kong Disneyland
Frozen Land – 2021
Hong Kong Disneyland will recreate the world of Arendelle with an ice palace and two new attractions, a roller coaster and boat ride. There will also be restaurants in this new expansion. There’s a chance that this could be pushed to 2022.
Marvel attraction – 2023?
Another Marvel attraction is slated to be opened in 2023, finishing off Hong Kong Disneyland’s expansion plans. More details will come and there’s a chance that this could be canceled.
Zootopia Themed Land- ??
Disney has announced Shanghai Disneyland’s first major expansion (not counting Toy Story Land which was already under construction when the park opened) in a Zootopia themed expansion. While no opening target has publicly been announced, construction has begun.
Marvel Land (WDS) – 2021
A rethemed coaster as well as a new show and attraction are slated to come to this new land that is kicking of the Studios Park expansions. The park will also introduce the same Spider-Man attraction that’s coming to California Adventure in 2020.
Star Wars and Frozen in WDS – 2023 and beyond
The Studios Park is getting an expansion and makeover but it will take some time. Frozen and Star Wars Land are coming but not for at least 5 years.
Those are all of the major announcements Disney has come out with for the next five (or so) years. Much like my life, Disney’s five-year plans hardly ever sticks to schedule so don’t take this as gospel, although we will try to update periodically and after big announcements. Again, if I’ve missed something please let me know in the comments and if you have questions about a certain item on the list then let me know!
Which of these projects are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments! Planning a Disney trip? Check out our Travel Guides to help you along the way! Thank you for reading Wandering in Disney. Please subscribe to the blog and like our social media pages, all of which you can do on the right side of the page. Have a wonderful day!