From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Jeremy Schoolfield
Happy New Year! Walt Disney World Resort is ready to help you turn the page on 2020 right away and begin 2021 with magic. From new and classic attractions to culinary experiences to character interactions and more, here are 21 reasons to be excited about a visit to The Most Magical Place on Earth in early 2021:
1. Explore the Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, Beginning Jan. 8 – Through Feb. 22, you’re invited to an expansive collection of visual, performance and culinary arts throughout the park.
2. Gaze Upon the Reimagined Entrance Fountain at EPCOT – The new water feature in front of Spaceship Earth hearkens back to the park’s origins and highlights a greener, more open and welcoming experience as you enter the park. The fountain is the most recent milestone in the historic transformation of EPCOT now underway.
3. Step Inside the Cartoon World of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Go through the movie screen as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Engineer Goofy and Pluto take you on a trip through Runnamuck Park … where anything can happen!
4. Embark on a Star Wars Adventure in a Galaxy Far, Far Away – Disney’s Hollywood Studios is also home to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the immersive, award-winning land featuring two thrilling attractions: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.
5. Check Out Cinderella Castle’s Royal Makeover – The treasured icon at the heart of Magic Kingdom Park now features bold, shimmering and regal enhancements befitting its royal status, making for a great photo with family and friends.
6. Experience Classic Attractions at Magic Kingdom Park – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, The Haunted Mansion, “it’s a small world,” Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain … the new year is a great time for you to reconnect with these classics loved by millions the world over.
7. Watch for New Residents on the Harambe Wildlife Reserve at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park – Nigerian dwarf goats now play like kids at the warden’s outpost near the end of Kilimanjaro Safaris.
8. Bask in the Cuteness of Baby Animals – In addition to the Nigerian dwarf goats, you may catch a glimpse of some of the animals born in 2020 at Walt Disney World while at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Aboard Kilimanjaro Safaris, for example, you may spot young Masai giraffe now out on the savanna.
9. Celebrate the Magic of Nature in Pandora – The World of Avatar – At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, travel to the Valley of Mo’ara to hike among the floating mountains of Pandora and experience two awe-inspiring attractions: Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey.
10. Find Disney Characters in New Places – From cavalcades to caravans to flotillas and even special “pop-up” appearances, you can discover favorite friends at all four theme parks and the occasional special surprise at Disney Resort hotels.
11. Hop from Park to Park – Beginning today, guests who purchase a ticket or annual pass with Park Hopper benefits will be able to visit more than one park per day (with some new modifications).
12. Indulge in Sweet New Treats at Disney Springs – When visiting the shopping, dining and entertainment district of Walt Disney World, you have plenty of new options to satisfy your sweet tooth, including newly opened Gideon’s Bakehouse and the forthcoming M&M’S store and Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew.
13. Pick Out the Perfect Post-Holiday Gift – Disney Springs is also the place where you’ll find a little something you may have missed on your holiday shopping list. From the massive World of Disney store to quaint boutiques and just about everything in between, Disney Springs is home to the latest Disney merchandise as well as on-trend accessories, apparel and gear from other top brands.
14. Return to Favorite Disney Restaurants – As part of the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, restaurants continue to return to operation across The Most Magical Place on Earth. Recent reopenings include The Crystal Palace inside Magic Kingdom and the character breakfast at Chef Mickey’s inside Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
15. Make Some Time to Relax Outdoors – Central Florida weather is often gorgeous in the early months of the year, and Walt Disney World offers special ways to enjoy some outdoor recreation, including golf and miniature golf, fishing expeditions, horseback riding and more.
16. Buzz Through the Taste of EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, Blooming in March – Beginning March 3, you’ll find fresh cuisine, creative gardens and unforgettable topiaries as part of this annual festival.
17. Soak Up the Sun at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park – After remaining closed for all of 2020 due to the pandemic, this wintry-themed water park is planning to reopen in March and celebrate its 25th season in splashy style.
18. Look for Some Fresh Pixie Dust at the Entrances to Walt Disney World – Make some new memories as you pass these iconic gateways to The Most Magical Place on Earth, which are receiving a refreshed color palette complementing the recent Cinderella Castle makeover.
19. Add Extra Theme Park Magic to Vacations – Available to book beginning Jan. 5, 2021, guests buying non-discounted four-night/three-day room and ticket packages at select Disney Resort hotels for arrivals most nights Jan. 8, 2021, through Sept. 25, 2021, will receive an additional two days of theme park tickets.
20. Florida Residents Can Take Advantage of a Special Ticket Offer – Beginning Jan. 4, 2021, the four-day Florida Resident Discover Disney Ticket invites Floridians to visit any of the four Disney parks through June 18, 2021 (subject to blockout dates), for $199 (plus tax). For more details on this special offer, click here.
21. Get Excited for Even More Magic Later this Year – Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, the new family-friendly attraction coming to the France pavilion in EPCOT, will debut in 2021. And the new Cirque du Soleil show “Drawn to Life,” coming to Disney Springs, will be a collaboration between Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney Animation Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering. Keep checking back with us here at the Disney Parks Blog for more details about these experiences and other excitement happening around Walt Disney World in the future!
As a reminder, Walt Disney World continues to operate with enhanced health and safety policies so everyone can enjoy the magic responsibly. To manage attendance, guests are required to have valid theme park admission and make a park reservation for each day of their visit through the Disney Park Pass system. Please visit Disneyworld.com/Updates for more information.
Happy New Year from all of us here at Walt Disney World. We hope to see you real soon!