Even With Projects Scaled Back, Epcot is one of the parks seeing major transformations This Year.
The 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort is this year. Opening day of Magic Kingdom was October 21, 2021 and that is the day that Disney World will begin their 50th Anniversary celebrations.
The celebrations will take place across all parks but the most work is currently going into Magic Kingdom and Epcot. A year ago we were preparing for a major Epcot transformation. Following an extensive shutdown and major profit loss, Disney has been forced to scale back projects and experiences.
With Disneyland still shuttered almost a year later, Disney is hemorrhaging money and that has meant that the 50th Anniversary celebrations and the projects expected to open for that have been delayed or canceled. But, there is still a lot in the works. Let’s check out what’s coming to Epcot.
Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind is one of the most highly anticipated projects coming down the pipeline at Walt Disney World. 2020 saw a halt in construction progress but in the last few months both this and Tron in Magic Kingdom have really come along.
It was always speculated that these two attractions would open in time for the 50th Anniversary, but neither attractions have an opening date at this time. We anticipate Disney to hold off opening this and the other big ticket item, Tron until they can hold a big celebration and pack the house.
In addition, Disney has worked to get both projects enclosed and they could be paused once construction reaches a certain point. Disney has not released anything official regarding these two projects and the timeline’s for construction or opening.
We believe Disney will hold off on opening both projects until they can really capitalize on each and bring in the crowds which will likely push them into 2022.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in Epcot is another project that was heavily impacted in 2020. This attraction comes to Florida from Disneyland Paris and is nearing completion and ready to open. The attraction, along with a new craperie both appear to be nearing completion and are expected to open sometime in 2021 although neither the attraction or the creperie have official opening dates at this time.
Although the current policies and procedures that are in place at Walt Disney World would help with crowd control, from a marketing standpoint, it’s not the best look for the company to roll out expensive new projects while many Americans struggle to put food on the table.
Although many are speculating or hoping Disney will push forward with the openings this year, we think it will likely be late 2021, early 2022 before we experience these coasters as Disney has a lot of factors to consider including optics and the opportunity to make more money off the openings should they delay them until capacity increases closer to pre-COVID numbers.
Also in Epcot, Space 2020 Restaurant, which was supposed to open in 2019 finally has new signage outside the restaurant. This is one that we do think will open in 2021 and sooner rather than later. A number of issues have delayed the opening including everything happening in 2020 and head chef leaving prior to the original scheduled opening.
The space isn’t very big but with reservations, Disney can limit everything and everyone in the space however they need to. Thus, controlling physical distancing.
The first and largest barge for Harmonius, the new nighttime spectacular at Epcot has been installed in the World Showcase Lagoon. Currently there are no nighttime spectaculars at any Walt Disney World parks but we think they are preparing for a return. We do expect fireworks shows to return to both Epcot and Magic Kingdom this year before the 50th Anniversary.
We expect Mouse Gear to reopen in it’s new shiny glory this year. The merchandise location has been under construction for almost a year and appears to be reaching completion.
There is a lot of other construction around Epcot. The entrance is now complete with the new Monolith structures recently revealed.
The middle of the park is undergoing massive renovations that currently have no timeline for completion but have been scaled back following the shutdown. This will include the new water based Moana attraction and an update to what used to be the Character Spot and more.
Although the projects laid out at the last D23 have been scaled back from the massive overhaul, Disney is pushing forward with several of the large projects and they are underway.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.