With the Disney theme parks shut down at the moment, guests have been wondering about the construction of new lands and attractions at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. While Disney initially announced early on in the pandemic that they had halted construction, it seems like they have now moved back into building some of these things.
There are several new builds and updates going on between both resorts at the moment. Disney also announced a retheming of Splash Mountain at both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom parks that will take effect very soon. You can read my latest post on the future of Critter Country at Disneyland.
Splash Mountain Retheming
With their recent announcement, D23 asked Bob Weis, president of Imagineering, when guests could expect to see changes to these attractions. His answer? “We have separate project teams working on these efforts, but we are still evaluating project timelines based on the extended closures we’ve experienced due to COVID-19.”
Basically what that means is they have no timeline. Weis said that both Magic Kingdom and Disneyland will reopen with the existing Splash Mountain attractions in operation, though I predict that the Disneyland one will be not be open whenever the resort reopens. I could be wrong and they may keep it open until they start the actual construction. We’ll find out sometime this fall!
Either way, Splash Mountain will at some point in 2020, start to receive its makeover into Princess and the Frog which means they will probably be down for about 8-10 months, aka 2021 is likely the year guests will be able to ride these attractions again.
Avengers Campus – California Adventure Park
Bob Weis did mention specifically 2 projects that they are going full force on. One of them is the Avengers Campus land that is replacing A Bug’s Land at DCA Park in California.
He mentioned that the only reason this land is “surging forward” is because of where they were at on the project when COVID hit.
Disney was about 3-4 months out from finishing the project when the shutdown happened. Looking at the entire process of Avengers Campus, this was getting close to the finish line. Thus they are making it a priority to finish it since it is so close to being done.
Avengers Campus had an original opening date of July 18th, 2020. After being halted for a few months, I would expect this new land to open sometime late fall, assuming Disneyland reopens in early fall.
TRON – Magic Kingdom
This is probably the attraction I’m most excited about, but according to Weis, it’s getting put on the backburner. “…There are others that will be picked back up in stages—like Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and TRON.”
Bummer! This is one of the most popular attractions at Shanghai Disneyland and one that many guests were looking forward to. I was actually a bit surprised that he said in would be picked back up in stages as TRON has been under construction for quite some time now. In fact, the entire track was completed in November of 2019.
It was slated to open in 2021 for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary but now I’m not sure. I would guess that Disney would try to have it completed by late 2021 or early 2022.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway – Disneyland Park
This attraction seemed like it was the furthest away and will probably remain so for quite some time. Disney had basically cleared the backstage of Toontown at Disneyland to make way for this attraction, but that was about it before it was halted.
The attraction, which opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2020, was slated to open in 2022 as Toontown’s newest attraction. Now, I would guess late 2022 or 2023 is more likely, with other projects given priority over this one including Avengers Campus and Splash Mountain.
Guardians of the Galaxy Roller Coaster – EPCOT
Weis’s last statement was “…and some that are longer-term that we will need more time to assess.” I think that this attraction falls into that category though I hope I’m wrong.
EPCOT was facing a major overhaul of several areas and new additions when COVID struck. Work on this attraction had already started, including the building of the coaster carts and building.
Now Disney has backed out of several construction plans due to COVID, placing their focus on reopening and the safety of guests during this time.
With that draining a lot of resources, my guess is that this attraction won’t see an opening until late 2021, maybe even 2022.
Spaceship Earth – EPCOT
It had a closing date, but then Disney cancelled that closing date and paused the revamp of this classic attraction. I believe it falls into the same category of the Guardians Roller Coaster above, which means there is no timeline.
Disney has stated that this attraction will be open when EPCOT reopens on July 15th, in its original form. This means that nothing was done to it, and nothing will be done to it for some time.
This one is different that Guardians because it’s just receiving a retheming, not a new build. While these tend to take less time than new builds, it’s a staple for EPCOT and during these modified park capacities, Disney will need it up and running.