What’s New at Disney World This Year

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2020 is going to be a year full of new at Disney World. From rides to resorts to shops and more, there are plenty of new experiences for even the most seasoned Disney World guest. Check out this helpful list of what’s new at Disney World this year before you plan your next vacation!

What's new at Disney World this year? New rides, new restaurants, and more! Check out these 20 new things to do at Disney World in 2020! #disneytravel #disneyworldtips #disneytraveltips

20 New Disney World Experiences in 2020

As we look forward to Disney World’s big 50th anniversary celebration in 2021, don’t sleep on 2020! There are so many great new things to look forward to this year. Special events, ride openings, new restaurants, and more are all waiting to be explored at Disney World. New experiences are popping up all year long, so no matter when you plan a visit, you’re bound to have the opportunity to check out something new!

New Disney World Rides

First on my list of exciting new things at Disney World is all the new rides we are getting this year! Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance technically debuted in 2019, but since its counterpart in Anaheim won’t be opening until January 17, 2020, I’m considering this a new experience for many this year.

The first ever Mickey themed ride is opening March 4, 2020! Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will debut in Hollywood Studios. Guests will follow a Mickey cartoon through different scenes in the former building that housed The Great Movie Ride (may it rest in peace).

Artist concept from Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway Ride
Photo: Disney Parks

Finally, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will debut in the France Pavilion at Epcot in summer 2020. This trackless ride, only the second of its kind at Walt Disney World, takes guests on an adventure with Remy through Gusteau’s kitchen.

Brand New Restaurants at Disney World

Speaking of the France Pavilion in Epcot, it is also going to be home to a new restaurant. La Creperie de Paris will offer table service and quick service meals. It opens in the summer of 2020 as well and is inspired by the Brittany region of France.

Nearby in the American Adventure, Regal Eagle Smokehouse is set to replace the former quick service restaurant in that location. Featuring barbecue from Texas, Memphis, Kansas City, and North Carolina, Regal Eagle Smokehouse will fill a much needed void for some good grub representing some of the best cities in America!

Epcot is getting all the good openings for restaurants in 2020! Space 220, a space themed restaurant, will take guests on a journey to “space” and offer a one-of-a-kind dining experience. This restaurant location is next to the Mission: SPACE ride.

The final restaurant opening in 2020 will be in Toy Story Land. It will finally be getting the sit-down restaurant it deserves. Roundup Rodeo BBQ opens in summer 2020 as a new table service location complete with food, toys, and games!

Epcot’s New Films

Not one, not two, but three new films will debut on January 17, 2020 in Epcot!

Entrance sign for Epcot at Disney World.

First up is the new film “Awesome Planet” which will be in The Land pavilion. It is 10 minutes long and will showcase the beauty and diversity of Earth.

Next, “Canada Far and Wise in Circle-Vision 360” will open in the Canada pavilion. I am sad to see the original film replaced as it held some nostalgia for me, but new hosts Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy might change that for me.

Lastly, the “Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along” will play in the France pavilion in addition to the original film “Impressions de France.” It will be narrated by Angela Lansbury, who voiced Mrs. Potts in the original animated classic.

Three new films coming to Epcot in 2020 in France, The Land, and Canada Pavilions.
Photo: Disney Parks

Disney After Hours New Dates for 2020

Guests couldn’t get enough of the Disney After Hours events, and they’ve been brought back for 2020. The only caveat this year is there are currently no After Hours events for Hollywood Studios.

Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World

Magic Kingdom After Hours events as well as Villains After Hours Events at Magic Kingdom will both take place in 2020. Here are the dates for the regular events:

The event takes place from 10:00 PM to 1:00 AM on the following dates:

  • March 9, 2020
  • March 16, 2020
  • March 23, 2020
  • March 30, 2020
  • April 5, 2020
  • April 13, 2020
  • April 20, 2020
  • April 27, 2020
  • May 5, 2020
  • May 25, 2020

The event takes place from 9:00 PM to midnight on the following dates:

  • January 17, 2020
  • January 20, 2020
  • February 3, 2020
  • February 10, 2020
  • February 17, 2020
  • February 24, 2020
  • May 11, 2020
  • May 18, 2020

The event takes place from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM on the following dates:

  • January 6, 2020
  • January 13, 2020
  • January 23, 2020
  • January 27, 2020
  • January 31, 2020
  • March 2, 2020

Finally, Animal Kingdom After Hours events will continue to be hosted from 9pm to midnight on these dates:

  • January 9, 2020
  • January 16, 2020
  • January 22, 2020
  • January 30, 2020
  • February 6, 2020
  • February 13, 2020
  • February 19, 2020
  • February 27, 2020
  • March 5, 2020
  • March 12, 2020
  • March 19, 2020
  • March 26, 2020
  • April 1, 2020
  • April 7, 2020
  • April 14, 2020
  • April 22, 2020
  • May 2, 2020
  • May 9, 2020
  • May 16, 2020
  • May 19, 2020
  • May 26, 2020

Villains After Hours Dates in 2020

Villains After Hours will introduce a new experience called the “Villains Caravan.” The procession of characters include Gaston, Oogie Boogie, Cruella De Vil, and more. Below are the dates for the Villains After Hours events in 2020:

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Tips

Disney Villains After Hours takes place from 9:00 PM to 12:00 AM on the following dates:

  • February 7, 2020
  • February 21, 2020
  • March 6, 2020

Disney Villains After Hours takes place from 10:00 PM to 1:00 AM on the following dates:

  • February 14, 2020
  • February 28, 2020
  • March 11, 2020
  • March 18, 2020
  • March 27, 2020
  • April 3, 2020
  • April 10, 2020
  • April 17, 2020
  • April 24, 2020
  • May 1, 2020
  • May 8, 2020
  • May 14, 2020
  • May 22, 2020
  • May 29, 2020
  • June 5, 2020
  • June 12, 2020
  • June 19, 2020
  • June 26, 2020
  • June 29, 2020
  • July 6, 2020
  • July 10, 2020

Festivals and Celebrations

As always, Epcot is the place to be for festivals in 2020. The dates have been released for the first two festivals of the year, but we have not heard when the last two festivals will be.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts will be January 17-February 24, 2020. At this festival, guests can watch live art demonstrations, sample artistic culinary treats, meet artists, or see a live performance from the Disney on Broadway series.

Entrance display for the Festival of the Arts at Epcot

Second, the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival will be March 4-June 1, 2020. The event will be a grand total of 90 days, the longest Epcot Festival so far in 2020!

While no confirmed dates are available yet, we do know that both Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and Epcot International Festival of the Holidays will both return in 2020.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival with Kids

Last, “Epcot Forever”, the current nighttime fireworks show, will be replaced with “Harmonious” in 2020. This new show celebrates the music of Disney and will feature floating set pieces, moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, and more!

New at Disney Springs

Not to be left out, Disney World’s premiere shopping and dining destination, Disney Springs, will also be seeing some new experiences this year.

Next, Cirque du Soleil’s new show “Drawn to Life” will debut in April. Tickets are now on sale, including preview performances in March.

Opening this winter, Ample Hills Creamery Sweet Treats will be a new stop on the West Side for ice cream. A signature flavor for each location not to be found anywhere else sets this Brooklyn-based creamery apart.

Also opening this winter is the City Works Eatery & Pour House. The restaurant and bar will have over 80 beers on tap and plenty of tvs for watching your favorite sports live.