Disney World shut down in one reality in mid-March and reopened in mid-July to an entirely changed world.
Before 2020 got weird, to say the very least, Disney World was on track for some pretty aggressive additions and expansions. The iconic theme park’s 50th anniversary is next year in 2021. That means 2020 was a good time to make everything from Cinderella Castle to the entrance of Epcot as new, fresh and exciting as possible.
But the company didn’t just lose four months of theme park operating revenue.
Disneyland in California remains shuttered with no announced reopening date, Hong Kong Disneyland has closed for a second time, major Disney film releases continue to be delayed and no one knows at what level theme park attendees will return. However, we do know that park capacity is severely capped to aid social distancing efforts.
We also know that as of Disney’s last investor call, which occurred in early May, Disney had already identified $900 million in reduced capital expenditures for this fiscal year, driven primarily by paused construction and refurbishment work.
With costs increased, revenue dramatically decreased and no true end to any of this in sight, what Disney originally thought it was doing in 2020 or 2021 and what it will really be able to do live in two separate worlds. While the park remains tight-lipped on most official plans (trust us, we asked), here are the new projects and attractions that we know are still happening in Disney World. Plus, we include a few that may have been “indefinitely postponed” as part of that $900 million in fiscal year savings.
1Runaway Railway opened just in time
One marquee attraction for Disney World in 2020 opened just days before the shutdown and is now available for any who are heading to the reopened parks. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway (the first ride featuring the famous mouse couple) opened on March 4 and is one of the more popular rides now as the parks have reopened.