Walt Disney World confirmed the opening of nearly a dozen new attractions, shows and restaurants coming to the Florida theme parks in the next 18 months, including a Star Wars hotel, a surreal Mickey Mouse ride and a remade film in the round for the Canada pavilion at Epcot.
With some 600 media members from around the world assembled in Orlando this week for the opening of the new ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Disney used the opportunity to announce a slew of attractions.
Star Wars hotel
Star Wars fans will have another reason to fork over money to the Mouse when a new hotel known as the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser opens in 2021. Guests will feel like they are aboard a starship. The windows will look like portals into space, and there will be a cantina and lightsaber training. Disney has not yet released hotel prices.
Disney shared new concept images including the interior of the transport that will take visitors to their “port of call” on the planet of Batuu, otherwise known as Hollywood Studios’ new theme park land Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The idea is to keep the experience immersive, making guests feel like they’re on a spaceship and not a tour bus in Central Florida.
New Mickey Mouse ride
Believe it or not, Mickey Mouse has never had a ride-through attraction dedicated to the character that started it all. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, which was originally scheduled to open late this year, will open March 4 at Hollywood Studios.
In addition to the announcement, Disney showed a sneak peek of the attraction, and it’s pretty trippy. An original Mickey short was created for this in the same style as Steamboat Willie, but it’s in dazzling color and called Perfect Picnic.
Guests will burst through the movie screen and ride through the cartoon world of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and pals.
The Jan. 17 opening of Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts, which features visual, culinary and performing arts, is also the day Disney will launch three new film attractions at the park’s pavilions. It’s all part of a broader, multiyear overhaul of Epcot that will dramatically change the look of the front of the park and add attractions based on movies.
A new Beauty and the Beast sing-along in the France pavilion is a CliffsNotes version of the 1991 animated hit. For the 15-minute movie, song lyrics helpfully dancing across the screen, and Disney brought back voice actors, including Angela Lansbury, and some of the original animators to craft a side story involving Lefou, Gaston’s abused yet loyal sidekick.
Impressions de France, which holds the Guinness world record for longest running daily screening of a film in the same theater at 37 years, will return to the theater with a new digital projection system and a new exhibit in the preshow gallery area. It will play between the sing-along screenings.
France will be getting a Ratatouille dark ride in a brand-new expanded area that will double the size of the pavilion. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is scheduled to open next summer.
A remade film in the round in the Canada pavilion ditches 2007-era Martin Short for Canadian actors Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy of Schitt’s Creek for an updated Circle-Vision movie called Canada Far and Wide.
The Land pavilion will be getting a movie addition called Awesome Planet filled with nature photography, space sequences and an environmental message.
The new Space 220 restaurant at Epcot near Mission: SPACE will provide diners with the sensation of eating 220 miles above Earth. Disney said it will open “this winter.”
At Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Land will get a new restaurant in 2020 called Roundup Rodeo BBQ. The new indoor (and blissfully air-conditioned) dining locale will look like it was constructed from Andy’s favorite play sets and games.
Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue is set to open this month in Epcot’s American Adventure. It will serve classic barbecue and home-style craft brews.