Walt Disney World is shaking things up in a big way are the 50th Anniversary approaches. Lots of plans are in the works with completion anticipated by 2021. However, not all projects will meet that target. Many of the changes coming to Walt Disney World in the not-too-distant future will rely on closures to begin construction. Some closures have already taken place while more are to come; especially under Project Gamma, which is a particularly ambitious endeavor. If you plan to visit Walt Disney World in the next year, here are some upcoming 2020 Walt Disney World closures.
2020 Disney World Closures: What's going away in 2020
Walt Disney World Railroad Photo Ops
You won't be able to sit on the train and take pictures anymore, at least not where it's currently parked. Instead, guests will have the opportunity to take the Grand Circle Tour once more. The railroad has been shut down due to the construction of the Tron coaster and will finally be up and running again sometime in 2020.
Project Gamma is the Imagineering term for the radical aesthetic changes that are about to take place at Epcot. The new design will be lush with green spaces and calls for a few surprises. The project is so extensive that several 2020 Walt Disney World closures are expected to happen for a lengthy amount of time. We don't know a whole lot of specifics at this time.
Disney is shutting down Spaceship Earth for a two-year refurbishment. There is no telling how extensive the renovation will be, other than the fact that two years is a very long time. Given that much of the new design will be taking place in the area immediately surrounding Spaceship Earth; the closure is maybe just a matter of accessibility.
I'm really curious to see what this will look like when it's refurbished. Spaceship earth is a big piece of Epcot nostalgia but the update is long overdue. If you want to read more about my recent ride on Spaceship Earth, you can check out my 1-day Epcot Touring Plan with Kids post.
The Festival Center, aka the old Wonders of Life Pavilion, now has a new purpose. Disney is developing a Play Pavilion, which will serve as a counterbalance and a partner pavilion to Imagination. The Play Pavilion will be a child-centered attraction near the park's three biggest thrill rides. Inside will be an interactive cityscape for kids to play in and enjoy. A new Festival Center will soon be constructed behind Spaceship Earth.
Future World West Closures
One of the biggest shocks of Project Gamma seems to be true. The buildings housing Innoventions West, Fountain View, Character Spot, and Club Cool are all slated for destruction. Closures will begin late 2019. During 2020 the entire area will be reconstructed into a green space with gardens and a new festival center. The Characters will relocate to another section of the park, but the long term fate of Inventions, Starbucks and Club Cool are as yet unknown.
I have mixed feelings about this one. I know part of the beauty of Disney is that they keep things fresh, but man…I really love Club Cool and I hope it comes back in some form.
Read more about things you can't miss at Epcot here.
Resort Refurbishments – 2020 Walt Disney World Closures
Love staying on the Disney property at one of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels? Me too.
Some resorts have been under construction and undergoing refurbishments. The value resort refurbishments are expected to end sometime in 2020. However, further closures will take place in the pools around Art of Animation and All-Star Music in 2020, as will the Typhoon Lagoon water park. Refurbishments have just begun at the 15-year-old DVC resort Saratoga Springs and those will be complete sometime in 2020 as new “hard goods” replace the old look of the Disney Springs area hotel.
I'm interested to see the plans for Saratoga Springs. We stayed there last year and thought everything looked very fresh and pristine. This property has some of the best pools at Disney World so I'm curious to see how they'll make it better…although I have no doubt that they can.
Changes are always happening at Disney World. That's what keeps the magic going. I hope these 2020 Walt Disney World closures help you plan a great trip. To learn more about what changed in 2019, read here.