'Sup! Welcome to Tad's toadally awesome list of what's coming to Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and the other parks in 2021 and beyond! As the Frog Family’s resident thrill-seeker, tech junkie and head frog videographer — thank you very much — I live to keep tabs on all of the attractions and experiences heading to the Orlando theme parks, and I've been doing it for a few years. After an unusual year for theme parks, with temporary closures due to COVID-19, some openings and projects were delayed or postponed indefinitely. But there are a lot of exciting things to look forward to in 2021 and beyond! During the annual IAAPA Expo, Disney Parks, Experience and Products Chairman Josh D'Amaro confirmed that a number of attractions were progressing, including Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind, Remy's Ratatouille Adventure and the Star Wars hotel! Remy's Ratatouille Adventure at EPCOT was the only project to get an estimated opening date (some time in 2021).
If you're curious about all of the Universal Orlando and Disney World construction around the parks, you're at the right place. Be sure to bookmark this page because I add to it as new rides, shows and other hoppenings are announced! (Hop here to see what opened in 2020 and previous years.)
What's Coming to Disney World and Universal Orlando in 2021 and Beyond
Magic Kingdom Park
TRON Lightcycle Run — 2021 — Imported from Shanghai Disneyland, Tron Lightcycle Run will be a coaster-style attraction where riders board a train of two-wheeled Lightcycles. The ride pushes you into the energy, lights and excitement of TRON’s high-tech universe.
La Crêperie de Paris — 2021 — As part of the expansion in the France pavilion, a brand-new crêperie will serve savory and sweet crepes, along with table-service and quick-service dining options, featuring a menu from celebrity chef Jerome Bocuse. It will likely open alongside Remy's Ratatouille Adventure.
Remy's Ratatouille Adventure — 2021 — The France pavilion will be receiving an imported favorite. Similar to the popular 4-D ride Ratatouille: The Adventure that opened at Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris, guests will shrink to Remy’s size and scurry to safety within Gusteau’s legendary Parisian restaurant. It was due to debut summer 2020, but the opening has been delayed until 2021.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind — TBD —
Planned to be one of the world's longest enclosed roller coasters, the ride will feature a unique story currently being created by Walt Disney Imagineering and will include a new, innovative ride system that’s guaranteed to wow guests. The experience begins in the "Galaxarium," a planetarium-like exhibition that highlights the formation of Earth's galaxy and Xandar. But then the Guardians of the Galaxy arrive, and you're whisked away on an adventure across the cosmos. The D23 Expo revealed that it will be a storytelling coaster that rotates 360 degrees so you can focus on the action and will include the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster. Guardians was originally supposed to blast off in 2021, but that date has not been reconfirmed.
PLAY! pavilion — TBD — Originally slated to open in time for Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary, this new pavilion in the former Wonders of Life location will showcase first-of-its-kind experiences devoted to play and fun, including an interactive city where guests will be able to interact with characters. Help Edna Mode on a fashionable quest to rid the world of uninspired style, or compete in a water-balloon fight with Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby.
Harmonious — date TBD — After EPCOT Forever's limited run, the new main lagoon show is listed as “a worldwide celebration of Disney music” with highlights from the show featuring "Moana," "Brave," "Pocahontas," "Hercules" and many others. It's promised to be "the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney park." The all-new show will feature massive, floating set pieces, LED panels, moving fountains, lights, lasers, pyrotechnics and more. Due to the delays and current health and safety measures as a result of COVID-19, the opening date is still to be determined — but testing has been taking place in World Showcase Lagoon! At 2020's virtual D23 Celebration, it was revealed that the Harmonius barges will serve as fountains in the lagoon during the day. On Dec. 10, the first of five barges was moved into World Showcase Lagoon!
Spaceship Earth Lighting — date TBD — It was also revealed at D23 that Spaceship Earth's exterior (aka, the big golf ball) will be receiving a special, custom lighting package that connects to its surroundings (including the new entrance fountain, which will also feature special lighting effects) and offers a unique nighttime experience for park guests.
Space 220 — date TBD — Guests will have the opportunity to dine in the stars in a space station-themed table-service restaurant located next to Mission: SPACE. You'll hop in a special elevator that makes you feel like you're traveling to the space station in real time. Once inside, the restaurant will have panoramic daytime and nighttime views of Earth from 220 miles up. It will feature international cuisine, more than 1,000 bottles of wine and a wide selection of craft beer. Space 220 was originally slated for a 2020 debut.
"Wondrous China" film — date TBD — This World Showcase pavilion will receive a new film that is presented in a seamless 360-degree format.
Mary Poppins attraction — postponed — At this time, development for this attraction has been postponed indefinitely. The United Kingdom pavilion will host the first attraction inspired by Mary Poppins. Stroll along Cherry Tree Lane, past Admiral Boom's house, and enter Number 17, the Banks family's home.
Reimagined main entrance — in progress — EPCOT's main plaza will include new pathways, green spaces and a reimagined fountain (which is now complete!). The Leave A Legacy photos will move just outside the park's gateaway. There will be additional redevelopment to the area between Spaceship Earth and World Showcase Promenade.
Special events pavilion — date TBD — A new pavilion will provide a home base for the park's annual festivals and live events. The three-level structure will provide stunning views of the park from a plaza level, a middle expo level and a sky level.
Dreamers Point — date TBD — Near the exit of Spaceship Earth, a new statue that celebrates the legacy of Walt Disney will be placed alongside natural environments. It will include a wishing tree and a story fountain that plays iconic music from Disney storytelling.
Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana” — date TBD — This brand-new walkthrough attraction will "let guests interact with magical, living water in a beautiful and inspiring setting," and you'll get to learn about the importance of the natural water cycle.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser — 2021 — Debuting as part of the new Disney 360 vacation concept, this hotel is being billed as a living adventure that allows guests to immerse themselves in an entirely new form of Disney storytelling. Guests will check in for a two-night adventure aboard a starship, The Halcyon. You’ll become a citizen of the galaxy and experience all that entails, including dressing up in the proper attire. Once you leave Earth, you will discover a starship alive with characters, stories and adventures that unfold all around you. It is 100 percent immersive, and the story will touch every single minute of your day. It will culminate in a unique journey for every person who visits. This new resort will be located near Hollywood Studios, so there will be easy access to Galaxy's Edge! It's still expected to debut in 2021, as one of Disney's top priority projects.
Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge — 2022 — Disney's 16th Disney Vacation Club property is in the works at the former site of River Country water park. Slated to open in 2022, the nature-themed deluxe hotel will be located between Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.
M&M's Store — 2021 — A new M&M'S store will bring a colorful, immersive shopping experience to the West Side of Disney Springs. Sign me up for a sweet supply of chocolate candies!
Beatrix — date TBD — We're excited that this new restaurant coming to Disney Springs' West Side will feature healthy food options, including vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan menu items. Beatrix is your neighborhood restaurant, coffeehouse and grab-and-go market all rolled in one. It will also feature a bakery and full-service bar with beer, wine and fresh-squeezed juice cocktails.
Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew — now open — Hot, fresh donuts have arrived at Disney Springs! Drool. Located adjacent to Splitsville and near the west entrance and exit of the Orange Parking Garage, Everglazed offers up hand-crafted donuts, cold brew lattes and coffee cocktails.
Gideon's Bakehouse — Jan. 16, 2021 — An Orlando native, award-winning bakery, Gideon's is known for it's delectably crafted cookies. The cookies are small batch, but HUGE in size! The nearly half-pound cookies take about 24 hours to create — but you can wash them down with one of Gideon's iced drinks, such as Peanut Butter Iced Coffee. The Bakehouse recently opened its doors for a soft opening, revealing a haunted library-esque vibe. It will officially open its doors Jan. 16.
Universal Orlando Resort
Jurassic World VelociCoaster — summer 2021 — It finally has a name and a launch date, but little else is known about the coaster that has been slowly rising up in the Jurassic area of Universal's Islands of Adventure (which you can see in the video above). On Jurassic World VelociCoaster, heretofore known as the Jurassic coaster, you'll feel the rush of the hunt as you race along raptors!
Universal's Epic Universe — postponed — Universal Orlando Resort announced that it's building a brand-new theme park called Universal's Epic Universe. Little is known about the themed lands, but Universal says it will be its most immersive and innovative theme park yet. In addition to the lands, it will feature an entertainment center, hotels, shops, restaurants and more. Located about 12 minutes away from its existing properties, Universal's Epic Universe will nearly double Universal's total available acreage! Check out the latest developments in our Universal's Epic Universe guide. Due to COVID-19, further development has been postponed at this time.
Super Nintendo World — postponed — Universal has partnered with Nintendo to bring to life experiences based on Nintendo's games, characters and worlds. The first new addition — Super Nintendo World — will open at Universal Studios Japan in spring 2021. It was originally scheduled to make its debut Feb. 4, but has been postponed due to COVID-19. It has been confirmed that Super Nintendo World will be one of the themed lands at Universal's Epic Universe.
What's Coming to Other Florida Theme Parks in 2021 and Beyond
Ice Breaker — spring 2021 — SeaWorld's first multi-directional launched roller coaster is coming! It'll feature four launches — both forwards and backwards — that will ultimately launch you into the steepest vertical drop in Florida at 100 degrees. Expect lots of twists, turns and airtime!
Iron Gwazi — spring 2021 — Gwazi is getting a makeover! The former wooden coaster that closed in 2015 is being converted into a hybrid steel-wooden coaster, manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction. It will feature all-new thrills and restored elements from Gwazi. Standing at 210 feet tall, it will become North America's tallest and the world's fastest and steepest hybrid coaster. Iron Gwazi will also have three inversions, including a 180-degree stall that will keep riders upside down for a few seconds while moving forward.
I hope you've enjoyed this look at what's coming to Disney World and Universal in 2021 and beyond. Make sure to come back to see what's been added as you get closer to your visit. Hop on over to our When to Visit Orlando page for more planning tips, part of our Orlando Planning Timeline!
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