Walt Disney World has a ton in the works for their upcoming 50th Anniversary Celebration; from Epcot’s long-awaited Harmonious to the triumphant return of Drawn to Life at Disney Springs! But if your trip falls in the next few weeks or less, you’re likely to miss out on more than a few of these special events! Don’t fret, there are still a ton of new things at Walt Disney World for you to see and experience, especially if you haven’t been to the parks in the past year or two and we’re going to list them out for you here on our latest edition of What’s NEW and What’s Coming to Walt Disney World? In addition, we’ll provide future plants for Walt Disney World, as well as some feedback as to whether or not we feel each new attraction is worth your time! So fasten your seatbelt, tug on your yellow safety strap, and away we go!

Magic Kingdom Park

Cinderella Castel

If the onslaught of pics, vids, shorts, and reels on social media didn’t already give it away, Cinderella Castle has recently undergone one heck of a makeover! The classic blue and grey colour scheme has since been replaced by a more grandiose and regal pink. Now, before you get too nervous about the sudden change, be sure to give it a good long look! I think you’ll agree, it is rather magnificent and quite fitting for the 50th Anniversary Celebration coming October 1st, 2021.

Is It Worth It Time?

If you’re visiting Magic Kingdom Park on your next trip to Walt Disney World, I highly doubt you’re going to skip snapping a photo or two in front of Cinderella Castle, reimagined or not. In fact, now that I think of it… how can you miss it?! Magic Kingdom Park is pretty much designed in a way that forces you to pay your humble respects to Cinderella Castle each time you enter or exit!

So, does this refurb merit any “extra” time devoted to admiring it? In our humble opinion… absolutely! Not only is there a colour change, but there are also additional territs, flags, bunting, and signage to commemorate the anniversary! Sure, you may have a dozen (or more) photos in front of Cinderella Castle already, but this will be the first (and maybe only) photo that shows off your super-fandom. After all, lots of people go to Walt Disney World. But you are one of the few fans brave enough to face the crowds and visit during the 18-month-long hoopla!

Last but not least, they did a phenomenal job with the detail work. While I had my own trepidations about this massive revamp, all in all, I can’t imagine it ever going back to the original. Frankly, in a side-by-side comparison, the old version just feels a bit drab now.


Beauty and the Beast Sing-a-Long

Start warming up those vocal cords, y’all, because Beauty and the Beast is repping over at the France Pavillion with the Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along! This new adaptation of the familiar fairytale arrived at World Showcase on January 17th, 2020 and has been charming (most) guests ever since. Housed in the same theatre where Impressions de France is shown, this interactive showcase features everyone’s favourite sidekick, Lefou and is narrated by none other than Mrs Potts herself—Angela Lansbury. As Belle and the Beast’s love story unfolds before your eyes, you are encouraged to tap your toes and sing along to the songs you know and love!

And for all of you Impressions de France fans out there – don’t worry; these two cinematic features share the space and are shown on an alternating schedule.

Is It Worth Your Time?

I mean… sure?

Look, it’s cute and a lot of fun to see so many familiar characters in an alternate ‘what if?’ scenario. But despite the artistry put into it, it still falls a little bit flat for me. Especially when you put it up against For The First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which for me was 150% more enjoyable than I ever expected it to be! I even attended Beauty and the Beast: Sing Along in hopes that it would capture some of Frozen’s sing-along. But, sadly, when it comes to Beauty and the Best Sing Along, even the title is blasé in comparison.

Now, forgoing to risk of being redundant, if this sing-along incorporated live actors or even some reimaged conceptual work (ala the DCL theatrical version) then maybe you’ve got something here. Alas, it reads as imaginative as an old-school VHS Disney Sing-Along; fun, familiar, and better than nothing.

Harsh judgment aside, for the right audience I am sure it is enjoyable. Truth be told – the seat, AC,  limited time commitment, and ultimate lack of line make it worth attending.

Awesome Planet

The Land Pavilion just got a little bit more… awesome! Following in the time-honoured tradition of Epcot’s zest for edutainment, Awesome Planet packs an immersive call-to-action punch highlighting an earth-shattering environmental message!

The 10-minute film features jaw-dropped nature photography, in-theater effects, and out-of-this-world space sequences created by Industrial Light & Magic!

Oh, and it is also voiced by Ty Burrell from Modern Family!

Is It Worth It?

I adore The Land Pavilion and once I’ve made the trek there, I am pretty much willing to do anything it throws at me. When you compare Awesome Planet to Living with the Land and Soarin’, it certainly reads as the redheaded stepchild of the bunch. (No offence to any redheaded stepchildren that may be reading this article). But just because it doesn’t measure up to the other two, doesn’t mean it isn’t enjoyable. Moreover, its masterful cinematography and on-point messaging make it a welcomed addition to the pavilion.

One word of caution: I have seen Awesome Planet four times and have sat in various sections of the theatre. I am not sure if I am crazy or just missing it, but the immersive and interactive effects are almost impossible to spot. So, if you’re expecting a Captain EO-like experience, you may be a bit let down. That being said, you don’t really need them, nor will you miss them!

Tip: This is an awesome option for when you want to wait for Soarin’ or Living with the Land wait times to cool down.

Canada Far and Wide

Say “goodbye” to Martin Short and “hello” to Eugene Levy and Catherin O Hara! The beautiful 360-degree film received a revamp in early 2020, cutting most of the humour and keeping all the breathtaking views of the Great White North.

Is It Worth It?

I adore Eugene Levy and Catherin O Hara! But I love Martin Short and am a sucker for his off-kilter Canadian-brand humour. So, you can imagine my dismay when I noticed that Levy and O Hara are physically MIA from the film, deduced only to an omnipresent voiceover. Not to mention, there is nary a giggle to be found in this updated ode to the Maple Leaf – a major departure from the smacking stylings of the Jiminy Glick himself.

I understand why Disney chose Levy and O Hara, capitalizing on the wildly successful Schitt’s Creek. However, I would have preferred to see Ryan Reynolds up there, testing out his witty banter and cheeky asides to the camera. It isn’t anything against the execution of Levy and O Hara’s performance if only there was a performance to be had. We know they’re both capable – why not let them soar? Go off script? Adlib! Anything!

On a positive note, the classic Canada (You’re a Lifetime Journey) song still fills the speaker with delight at the final curtain, montage included.

Now, as I stated above, this is currently listed as “Closed.” However, there is no indication as to why or when it will come back. So, if you’re travelling to Walt Disney World, I suggest you keep an eye on the My Disney Experience app in case it makes an impromptu comeback! HECK, you know – maybe they’re CLOSED because they’re adding some jokes!

So, is it worth your time or not? Yes! Despite my let-down regarding the lack of ha-ha, the film is stunning, and your Cheddar Cheese Soup will taste even better after you’ve paid your cultural respects.

Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue

You might not think that a new quick-service restaurant is worth adding to the list. But that only goes to show that you’ve never been! Located in the American Adventure Pavilion, this new edition offers all the sights, sounds, smells, and flavours you love about barbecue, along with a few brews and one stunning view.

Outside the Smokehouse sits a large smoker, whose thick billowing smoke calls to you from a mile away! In addition, everything on the menu is absolutely delicious and cooked to perfection.

Is It Worth It?

Yum! I mean – Yes!

I don’t know what I love more about Regal Eagle Smokehouse; the meat, the brews, the variety of meat and brews, or the not-so-subtle nods to The Muppets places throughout the entire joint!

I have eaten pretty much everything on the menu here and I can tell you firsthand… you can’t go wrong! Everything is as tasty as the next. This establishment has masterfully taken boutique BBQ and made it accessible to the masses in record turnover time.

Now, I will admit that there are times I do skip dining here. However, that has a lot more to do with my desire to sample EVERYTHING at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival and a lot less to do with my desire to pass up this succulent eatery!

All in all, this is an excellent option for those who are looking for that mix between “food kiosks” and “table service restaurants.” And if you time it just right, you ca enjoy your meal outdoors while listening to the live entertainment coming from The American Gardens Theatre.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Ever wish you could just burst right into one of Mickey and Minnie’s madcap cartoons? Well, now you can! Showcasing a brand-new technology Disney is calling “2 ½ D”, guests are invited to climb aboard a runaway railway and embark on a whirlwind ride through a world full of twists, gags and mind-boggling transformations found around each bend, as Mickey and Minnie try to save the day.

This family-friendly adventure is the first attraction ever to fully feature Mickey Mouse and is housed inside the Chinese Theater, the former home of The Great Movie Ride.

Is It Worth It?

Brace yourself… this is going to be a bumpy ride!

When I originally heard that The Great Movie Ride was closing, I was pretty devastated. I have pretty darn vivid memories of that attraction from my childhood and always imagined I would take my own child on it someday. My family is particularly obsessed with the Golden Age of Hollywood and therefore, it has always struck a familiar and wholesome chord for me, personally. In addition, you throw in audio-animatronics and Cast Member interactions and forget about it. Sign me up, I’m in, this is 100% what I loved and still love about the early Eisner era. But I digress…

Soon, word got out that The Great Movie Ride would be making way for a Mickey attraction. Okay – colour me intrigued, right? Disney’s Hollywood Studios was never supposed to be Mickey’s Park but I’ll bite. I’ll admit, what really got me excited was the news of a new trackless ride system. This new way of moving guests about on their various themed journeys was long overdue in making its way over to Walt Disney World. So, with my fingers crossed… I put my past behind me and got on board with the new attraction! However, when I found out that they would be employing the likes of the “new” Mickey and not “classic” Mickey… my sceptical side came out blazing, yet again! My journey with this attraction was soon becoming an emotional roller coaster and I hadn’t even been on it yet!

I’m rambling – I know! But it is important that you understand, I really didn’t want to like this ride as much as I do! Here’s the thing…

The ride itself is enjoyable. The trackless ride system lives up to the hype, the storyline is tangible, the soundtrack is memorable, and the queue is remarkable! But what I love most about it can’t be seen or heard. It is a general “essence.”

While I thought I would have preferred to experience classic Mickey (or even the various variations of Mickey throughout the years), I was shortsighted. Instead, I was treated to an updated Mickey whose cartoons I once refused to watch because, at first glance, I felt they strayed too far from the path. Silly me!

Upon further inspection, today’s Mickey I far more similar to Walt’s original scrappy friend than we might like to admit. In fact, you can see the wellspring of imagination spring forth just as it did once upon a time for Walt and his team. Here, animated antics fill each scene, obviously inspired (not replicating) by earlier shorts such as The Gallopin’ Gaucho and Plane Crazy. After this realization, I began to understand and appreciate not only this new Mickey but his flagship attraction, as well. The spirit of Walt’s ingenuity and child-like whimsy can be found high and low within the ride.

I would still love a little touch of forced nostalgia but hey – maybe that’s just how I like my Disney.

Oh, and if you’re a biased curmudgeon stuck in his “back in my day” ways? Turn on Disney+ and give this new Mickey a try. Once you eventually get over some of the stylistic esthetic changes, I think you’ll agree that the tone is pretty fun! Especially if you liked the Duck Tails revamp!

Mickey Shorts Theater

The new Mickey Shorts Theater opened in March 2020, replacing Star Wars: Path of the Jedi. The theatre features a short film, Vacation Fun, styled after the animated series “Mickey Mouse.” This adorable film celebrates a mixed bag of clips from fan favourites, such as Panda-monium, Couples Sweaters, Potatoland, Croissant de Triomphe, Entombed, Dumb Luck, Al Rojo Vivo, Yodelburg and Outback at Ya!

In addition, the theatre has been refurbed to fit Mickey’s iconic style and colour palate by adding some fetching architecture, movie posters, and more!

Is It Worth It?

I look at this film as a Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway primer – the attraction before the attraction, if you will. It will introduce (or reintroduce) you to the new Mickey Mouse, as well as get you excited for what lies ahead. Though it isn’t much more than that, I would definitely do it – once. After all, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a relatively small park, you should have time!

What Is Coming for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration?

Now, if you are going to be one of the brave few at Walt Disney World on October 1st, 2021, here is a quick cheat sheet of a few things that will be opening on the day!

Magic Kingdom Park

  • Disney Enchantment (Opening October 1st, 2021)


  • Space 220 (Opening mid-September 2021)
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (Previewing in September for select guests, Opening October 1st, 2021)
  • Authentic Creperie (Opening October 1st, 2021)
  • Wonderous China (TBA)
  • Harmonious (Opening October 1st, 2021)
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
  • Disney KiteTails (Opening October 1st, 2021)

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Roundup Rodeo BBQ (TBA)

Disney Springs

  • Drawn to Life by Cirque du Soleil (Opening November 18th, 2021)

What is Coming to Walt Disney World in 2022 or later?

In a perfect world, Walt Disney World would open the following attractions by October 1st, 2021 and blow everyone away for their 50th Anniversary Celebration. However, now that we are less than four weeks away from kick-off, we know that none of these attractions will be anywhere near ready! But if you’re planning a trip for mid-late 2022, you just may be able to catch some of these new and exciting additions!

Magic Kingdom Park

  • Tron Lightcycle Power Run


  • New “Play” Pavilion
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
  • Journey of Water

Wait… What about Princess and the Frog reimagining of Splash Mountain?

The timeline of this attraction reimagining is a complete mystery! If you look at Walt Disney World’s next 19 months, there is no good time to shut down one of their most beloved classic attractions! In addition, once the 50th Anniversary Celebration ends, there is no knowing how long the ride will have to be “down” or order to get it revamped for Tiana and friends! Ideally, they avoid Splash Mountain/Princess and the Frog being “out of service” throughout the peak summer months! Not just because people rely on the ride as an instant cool-down from the blazing Florida sun – it also takes a lot of guests off the “streets” during a VERY well-attended time of year.

If we had our druthers, we would wait till October 2023 to shut down Splash Mountain and gear up to have Princes and the Frog up and running by June 2024.

What is Waiting in the Wings at Walt Disney World?

Unfortunately, a number of projects that Walt Disney World announces are suddenly MIA. It is believed that this is due to cost-cutting measures brought on by the revenue lost during the height of the pandemic. However, we wouldn’t be surprised if most (if not all) of them made their way to Walt Disney World sometime in the not-so-distant future.


  • Mary Poppins Area
  • DuckTales World Showcase Adventure
  • Spaceship Earth refurb

Walt Disney World Resorts

  • Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge