We are back with our last Walt Disney World News & Rumors for 2019. Every month we bring you the latest from the most popular resort in the world. Our Walt Disney World News & Rumors December 2019 includes the latest on Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, 2020 Epcot International Festival of the Arts, a new look for Anna and Elsa, and the opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
2020 Epcot International Festival of the Arts
Epcot might be undergoing massive renovations, but the annual festivals will be continuing. To start the year will be the 2020 Epcot International Festival of the Arts. The festival will run from January 17 through February 24, 2020.
The event features visiting artists, food kitchens featuring culinary arts, and opportunities for guests to get involved.
Highlights in 2020 include:
- Le Cellier Brunch in the Canada pavilion
- Explore the Green Landing Family Play Zone
- Jump into photo-ops located throughout Epcot, such as the Peter Pan Storybook installation by the United Kingdom pavilion where guests can flap their fins in Mermaid Lagoon or get their pirate on at Skull Rock.
- Add color to a wall mural along World Showcase Plaza.
- Join Figment’s Brush with the Masters, a scavenger hunt around World Showcase.
- Purchase Disney inspired art.
- Watch visiting artists as they create new Disney-inspired works.
- Create festival-inspired T-shirts and candles.
Also, there will be the daily Disney on Broadway Concert Series. There will be performances three times a day by Broadway stars who reprise songs from past performances in award-winning shows.
Is the NBA Experience a flop?
There are reports of very low attendance at the NBA Experience, and reviews have not been brilliant. Not being a follower of the NBA, I always wondered the wisdom of this new attraction but assumed it would have a big draw in the US. However, it seems others are assuming it is one of the resort’s most significant flops.
Now it seems cast members are getting free tickets for themselves and friends, Annual Passholders & DVC members can get discounted admission, and the 4-Park Magic Ticket now includes a water-park option with free access. However, will this be enough to save the attraction?
Primeval Whirl is Now Seasonal
Primeval Whirl has reopened and is now closed again! However, it will be opening December 22, 2019, to January 4, 2020.
The attraction is now seasonal and presumably will only be opening during peak periods. The reduced opening would suggest that it might be for a permanent chop before too long.
Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama is now very out of place in the otherwise stunning Animal Kingdom. Hopefully, the whole area will be reimagined soon.
New Cirque du Soleil Show
A new Cirque du Soleil show is scheduled to open in 2020 at Disney Springs. Disney has shared a first behind-the-scenes look at this new production.
New look for Anna and Elsa
Anna and Elsa continue to greet guests at Epcot, but they now have a new look following the release of Frozen 2.
Epcot January 17, 2020
January 17th promises to be a big day in Epcot when the first of the new park attractions open.
- Awesome Planet in The Land pavilion showcases the Earth’s beauty and diversity
- Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along will open in the France pavilion. The new show will run in rotation with Impressions de France which is receiving a 4K upgrade.
- Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360 will open in the Canada pavilion. The new film will feature narration by Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
We have an opening date for the delayed attraction at Hollywood Studios. The eagerly anticipated attraction will open in the Chinese Theater on March 4, 2020.
Disney has also shared this fantastic new 3D poster for the attraction.
Also opening during March at Hollywood Studios is Mickey Shorts Theater.
Disney’s DuckTales World Showcase Adventure
Replacing Disney Phineas and Ferb – Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure at Epcot is Disney’s DuckTales World Showcase Adventure. Using the Play Disney Parks mobile app, you will join the DuckTales Gang as they search for treasures.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
We now know that the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser resort will open in 2021. Guests will take “a two-night, cruise-style itinerary” where they will be immersed in “24/7 in Star Wars storytelling”. All guests will be part of the story, which will include a call at Black Spire Outpost.
Disney has released two new concept arts of the experience. The first show The Galactic Starcruiser Terminal, where you will start your adventure. The second gives us a peek at the transport ships, which will transport you to Black Spire Outpost.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
The big news this month at Walt Disney World is the opening of the highly anticipated Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. What a ride it is, but as expected, there have been a few teething issues.
Currently, we recommend checking forums to get the latest advice on how to experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. As Disney works towards full capacity, the information will regularly change.
Fastpass+ is not available still for either attraction in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and you will probably have to join a virtual queue to experience Rise of the Resistance. Currently, the most common advice appears to be to arrive at the park early, before the scheduled opening. Guests have regularly been getting admitted from 6 am each day into Hollywood Studios.
Make sure you check My Disney Experience for the latest Hollywood Studios Park Hours. These have been getting changed regularly and additional Extra Magic Hours have been getting added too. Currently, the Rise of the Resistance is not available in EMH. Make sure you arrive early as boarding groups have been running out before scheduled park opening.
We will be back in January for the start of a new year of Walt Disney World News & Rumors. If you have missed any of our previous updates, you can find them all here.