Usually, it is easy to predict what new attractions will be opening in Walt Disney World during the next 12 months. Disney advertises new attractions in advance to encourage vacation bookings. However, due to resort closure, there have been several delays to attractions previously scheduled to open in 2020 and rumors of cancelation of previously announced projects. As we approach a new year, what new attractions can we expect at Walt Disney World in 2021?
Budget cuts will reduce new attractions
The pandemic has led to significantly reduced revenues at Disney Parks. In August, it was announced that capital expenditure would be reduced by $700 million this year. Disney has designated Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland as “priority projects.” The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort has also been given priority status.
Several projects have already been postponed for the foreseeable future. However, there has been little mention about projects which already had significant work completed.
Don’t expect any big new attractions to open until crowds increase
Yes, waits at Disney World increasingly are causing concern, but the parks are still operating at reduced capacity and limited operations. It does not make any sense to open a big new attraction until operations return closer to normal. Don’t expect any big new attractions to open until Spring 2021 at the earliest.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure was going to be the big highlight of summer 2020. Construction has continued on the site recently, but rumors are that there has been minimal internal work completed since the resort closed.
We suspect Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will open in 2021 and open shortly after its operating capacity is increased. Even if resort capacity is not increased, we still expect an opening by October 2021, in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. Walt Disney World will want to mark the 50th birthday with at least one big new attraction.
HarmonioUS is the big new nighttime show planned for Epcot. The show was originally scheduled to open in 2020.
“HarmonioUS ” will debut as the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney park. It will celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people the world over, carrying them away harmoniously on a stream of familiar Disney tunes reinterpreted by a diverse group of artists from around the globe. “HarmonioUS” will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers and more.D23
There is no indication of when nightly shows will return to Walt Disney World, but social distancing might be easier at Epcot compared to the Magic Kingdom. Construction is continuing on the show, and Disney has recently filed a new permit.
Expect an opening of 2021 in time for the 50th anniversary. HarmonioUS is likely to be the big 50th birthday nighttime spectacular.
Paint the Night
A new nighttime parade at the Magic Kingdom has long been rumored for the 50th celebrations. Many of the rumors have suggested it will be an Orlando version of Paint the Night. Due to the huge amount of planning involved in introducing a parade and the current uncertainties over guest numbers, we just can’t see this happening in 2021.
TRON Lightcycle Run
TRON Lightcycle Run was expected to be one of the big new attractions for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary. There are now increasing rumors from reliable websites and forums that TRON LIghtcyle Run will not open in 2021. It is now expected the attraction will not open until 2022. Delays in construction and reductions in budgets have probably contributed to the delay.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at Epcot is another big new attraction originally slated to open in 2021. Construction restarted on the project in July, but there have been no updates on the opening. However, it was noted it wasn’t named as one of the priority attractions.
Epcot is desperately in need of new attractions. We expect Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind probably will open in 2021, but wouldn’t be surprised if it was pushed back to 2022.
50th Birthday Celebrations
There hasn’t been much news on what we can expect for Walt Disney World’s 50th birthday. Disney loves an excuse for a party and an excuse to sell some limited edition merchandise!
Quite how much celebrations occur will probably depend on the resort returning closer to normal operating. However, even if the celebrations are not as grand as usual, the event will be marked.
Learn more about Walt Disney World in our Guide to Walt Disney World for Beginners which contains essential reopening information.