Orlando is the vacation capital of the world, and Disney World remains the most popular destination in the area. I probably don’t have to tell you that, though! As if you need more reasons to visit Disney World, here are 20 reasons to visit in 2020!
I should mention that a lot of the reasons to visit this year are leading up to the 50th anniversary, which has been set up to see some of the biggest changes Disney World has seen since it opened its last new park in 1998.
1 – Star Wars
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is now fully open in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There are three exciting attractions including a new experience at Star Tours – The Adventures Continue and the recently opened Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, and the new and very popular Rise of the Resistance. This immersive land offers fun for the whole family!
2 – After Hours
Both Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom will host After Hours events this year. During these events, Disney limits the number of guests in the parks, and they enjoy shorter wait times on select attractions and special character meet and greets. You’ll even enjoy some complimentary snacks!
3 – International Festival of the Arts
Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts began in 2017 running just on the weekends. This festival has not only become very popular, but it’s completed the year-round festival offerings at Epcot.
Now, Festival of the Arts runs daily, and while it’s the shortest festival of the year, guests get to enjoy walk-through galleries, live art demonstrations, and even artwork for sale signed by the artists. There are also live performances during the festival called Disney on Broadway Concert Series. This year’s festival runs from January 17th through February 24th.
4 – Epcot’s New Films
It’s no secret that Epcot has been in need of some updates. Just this week, Epcot debuted three new films in both Future World and World Showcase.
Awesome Planet in The Land replaces Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable. The new ten-minute film celebrates Earth’s beauty and diversity with spectacular imagery, in-theater effects, and an original musical score.
Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360 replaces O Canada!. The new film features new scenes, a new musical score, and a new narration.
Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along in France was created by Don Hahn, the producer of both the animated and live-action Beauty and the Beast films, and narration by Angela Lansbury, who played Mrs. Potts in both films.
All three films opened on January 17th, 2020.
5 – Villains After Hours
Villains After Hours returns to Magic Kingdom this year for 24 select nights starting February 7th. This hard-ticketed event features a new Villains Caravan with some of your favorite Disney villains including Gaston, Oogie Boogie, Cruella de Vil, Captain Hook, and more.
6 – Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Crafts, Drafts, & Barbecue
It’s not just shows that Epcot is opening. We’ll also enjoy a couple of new restaurants in the parks. The first one to open will be Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Crafts, Drafts, & Barbecue. This fast-casual dining location in The American Adventure pavilion will feature delicious American barbecue like Sliced Texas beef brisket, Kansas City Smoked Chicken, Memphis dry-rub pork ribs, North Carolina chopped smoked pork butt, and even power greens salads to mention just a few.
7 – Space 220 Restaurant
On the other side of Epcot in Future World, Space 220, a table-service restaurant, will take you high above the earth in a one-of-a-kind dining experience. First, you’ll board a special elevator that takes you 220 miles above the earth to a space station. On your way up, you’ll see aerial views of Epcot and eventually of earth. There are very few other details about this restaurant available including the menu, but it is expected to this winter.
8 – Ample Hills Creamery
Ample Hills Creamery has been really popular on The Boardwalk, and now it’s coming to Disney Springs! You’ll love their unique flavor offerings like ooey gooey butter cake, peppermint pattie, and Nonna D’s oatmeal lace. Ample Hills opened January 16th.
9 – City Works Eatery & Pour House
City Works Eatery & Pour House is also coming to Disney Springs’ West Side. City Works is a restaurant and bar with more than 80 beers on tap and plenty of large televisions to watch the game. There’s even a 165-inch screen! Will you watch the Superbowl at City Works this year?
10 – International Flower & Garden Festival
The International Flower & Garden Festival has been a mainstay in Epcot for quite some time. It’s a great way to welcome spring with outdoor kitchens and beautiful Disney-themed topiaries. Don’t forget to check out the Garden Rocks Concert Series, which boats three thirty-minute shows a day all 90 days of the festival. There will be new and returning acts this year.
11 – Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is set to open March 4th, 2020. This is the first ride-through attraction featuring Mickey and Minnie Disney has ever created. You won’t want to miss your opportunity to travel inside a Mickey cartoon where anything can happen and Mouse rules apply.
12 – Mickey Shorts Theater
The Mickey Shorts Theater will also open in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in March. Inside, you can watch an original cartoon short and enjoy special photo opportunities.
13 – Drawn to Life
When the long-running Cirque du Soleil show closed, everyone was disappointed but eager to see what the acrobatic circus group would come up with next. Cirque partnered with Disney to create a unique show called Drawn to Life during which the stage is an animator’s desk. Previews for Drawn to Life begin in March, and tickets are on sale now for the public shows. Get your tickets soon, though, because shows are sold out into April.
14 – Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is well under construction. This fun ride in the France pavilion will shrink you down to the size of a mouse as you join Chef Remy in Gusteau’s kitchen. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is expected to open this summer.
15 – Le Creperie de Paris
Le Creperie de Paris, which opens this summer, is inspired by the Brittany region of France. Celebrity Chef Jerome Bocuse serves up the most delicious crepes in both table-service and quick-service options.
16 – International Food & Wine Festival
The International Food & Wine Festival is what started it all in Epcot, and this year, the festival celebrates its 25th anniversary. Guests can meet celebrity chefs, savor delicious aromas and flavors from around the world, try new food and wine pairings, and feast their ears on great music during the Eat to the Beat Concert Series. Don’t miss this great fall festival.
17 – Holiday Parties
Returning this year will be two very special holiday events including Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Keep an eye on WorldofWalt.com for details regarding these parties including dates and ticket sales.
18 – HarmonioUS
It’s pretty obvious from our list that Epcot is undergoing some major changes. One very significant change is the nighttime show. IllumiNations ended, and Epcot Forever has been filling its place until the new permanent show opens. Harmonious will be the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney Park, and it will celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people. You’ll enjoy some familiar tunes reimagined by artists from around the world synchronized with massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, moving fountains, lights, and of course fireworks. HarmonioUS promises to impress!
19 – Roundup Rodeo BBQ
Roundup Rodeo BBQ will fill a void in Toy Story Land. This new immersive, table-service restaurant will follow the theme of the land with toys, games, and playsets set up all around you. This combined with delicious food is sure to be a hit with the whole family!
20 – Milestones at Animal Kingdom
This year, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will celebrate some important milestones. While Disney’s Animal Kingdom hasn’t been around to see all of the Earth Days, it did open on earth day and celebrates every year. This year is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and Animal Kingdom will celebrate in a big way! It’s also the 25th anniversary of the Disney Conservation Fund, which was set up to help animals in need.
A little closer to home, Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s gorilla family will celebrate Lilly’s 10th birthday and Grace’s 1st birthday this spring!
What are you most excited in 2020 at Disney World?