As we look forward to the reopening of Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in July, we’re excited to share a few details about the attractions and entertainment guests will be able to experience when they return. Though these may look a little different than in the past, there will be plenty of magic for everyone to enjoy when Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park open on July 11, and EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios open on July 15.
Most attractions will be available at each park – for example, live your adventure at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with attractions like Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. At Magic Kingdom Park, classics such as Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean are waiting to welcome guests with thrilling adventures for the whole family. Time travelers, take note that the iconic Spaceship Earth attraction at EPCOT will also continue to be available in its current state while we pause on its planned refurbishment, along with other favorite attractions like Soarin’ Around the World, Frozen Ever After and Test Track presented by Chevrolet. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, the magic of nature awaits with Kilimanjaro Safaris, Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain and Avatar Flight of Passage.
If you are hoping to see some familiar friends or take in the tunes of treasured performers, you’re in luck! Our characters will appear in new and different ways that bring a smile to your face while also being mindful of physical distancing. From special cavalcades down the Magic Kingdom Park parade route and friends sailing the waterways of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, to processions along the World Showcase promenade at EPCOT and motorcades on Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ Hollywood Boulevard, each area will come to life throughout the day. You never know when a party of your pals may come by, so be prepared for plenty of surprises!
For example, after rocketing through space in Tomorrowland guests might see that famous Space Ranger, Buzz Lightyear; or discover a captive Captain Jack Sparrow as they traverse the Castillo del Morro on their way to Pirates of the Caribbean. Guests could cross paths with Queen Anna and Elsa as they venture “into the unknown” on a journey around World Showcase at EPCOT or spy members of the Resistance hiding out from the First Order throughout Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu.
Looking beyond our beloved characters, several musical groups will also return. You can look forward to seeing Main Street Philharmonic at Magic Kingdom Park, plus the Mariachi Cobre and everyone’s favorite funky drumming crew the JAMMitors at EPCOT, just to name a few.
As we prepare for the reopening of our theme parks next month, we’re taking a measured and deliberate approach to our planning that applies appropriate new health and safety measures. We continue to follow guidance from government and health officials for responsibly operating our theme parks, so we can make the right adjustments to our offerings, including our upcoming fall events.
One staple of the fall season at the Walt Disney Worl Resort is the annual EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival. Today, we’re pleased to share that not only have we cooked up a creative, modified festival experience, it will also be our longest festival yet – giving you plenty of time to enjoy “A Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival!”
This new take on the foodie festival will debut July 15 and continue through the fall, offering over 20 signature global marketplaces like Hawaii, Hops & Barley, and Islands of the Caribbean, spaced out around the park. And, if you’ve ever imagined a world where the floral fun of Flower & Garden is sprinkled in with the global goodies of Food & Wine, here’s your chance – guests will be able to see our newest topiary, Remy, in the France pavilion and find Flower & Garden merchandise. For scavenger hunt fans, Remy’s Ratatouille Hide and Squeak scavenger hunt returns. And stay tuned as Food & Wine merchandise joins the fun later on after the festival begins.
We know the popular musical acts during the “Eat to the Beat Concert Series” often pack the house and, in an effort to accommodate proper physical distancing, we will not be able to host these concerts this year. There will be plenty of music to enjoy at America Gardens Theatre with local EPCOT entertainment such as Mariachi Cobre, the JAMMitors and more. These fan favorites will spread out their performances throughout the day, giving audiences more options to enjoy them.
While assessing another fall special event, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, we determined that many of its hallmarks – stage shows, parades and fireworks – are unable to take place in this new, unprecedented environment. With that in mind, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Additionally, Disney H2O Glow Nights, the nighttime special ticket event at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, will not take place for the remainder of 2020. Guests who have already bought tickets to these events will be assisted with refunds over the coming weeks.
Looking ahead to the holiday season, this may spark questions about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays, which includes the Candlelight Processional. We are monitoring our new environment closely, and will make a decision on these events as we continue to learn more from government and health officials. As always, our goal is to explore every option and look at ways in which we can still host events and festivals full of Disney magic, while still operating responsibly with the health and safety of our guests and cast members in mind.