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Top Theme Park rumors for 2020 – What’s coming next?

by Tharin White

2019 is coming to an end, and with this new decade comes a huge pile of theme park rumors for 2020.

theme park rumors

This article will contain theme park rumors for 2020 that have not been confirmed by any businesses mentioned. While strong guesses and leaks have certainly become true, understand that this article is our best guesses for now.

2020 has many confirmed ride and show openings for the Disney Parks. These include Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in summer 2020, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway on March 4, the Mickey Shorts Theater in March, three new Epcot films on Jan. 17, and more.

Journey of Water opening in late fall 2020?

journey of water

There are, however, some openings that haven’t yet been confirmed. “Journey of Water,” inspired by “Moana,” is on its way to Epcot. It will take over the old Innoventions West area, where guests were once able to meet Joy and Sadness, as well as Baymax from “Big Hero 6.”

There is still a lot of demolition that needs to be done in this area before anything can move forward, but Disney has been uncharacteristically quick this time. Half of the existing building has been reduced to its structural steel. With the Journey of Water attraction not having an actual track or ride system, we are hoping to see this open sooner rather than later.

In fact, theme park rumors suggest that this attraction could open in late fall. The current entrance of Epcot is in a bit of disarray from the constant construction. While Disney has done a good job placing walls and plants to hide the construction, the presence is still there.

Based on the concept art, this isn’t an overly complicated attraction. But it will add some new life to Future World. A major guest roadway, leading from behind Spaceship Earth to The Land, Imagination and Seas pavilions will be taken away during this construction as well – yet another reason to quickly clean up and present something new.


Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opening in late 2020 or early 2021?

theme park rumors

The “Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind” roller coaster is on its way to Epcot. After Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened, this went to the top of many fans’ hype lists. This backward-launching coaster will take guests on an exhilarating ride with characters from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” film franchise.

This attraction, much like the upcoming Play Pavilion, is harder to guess at than others, since a majority of the construction will be done after the show building is built. The show building itself was mostly completed as of January 2019. This gave Imagineers and construction crews time to get to work on the ride, unencumbered by weather, for the entire year.

With this information, rumors have suggested that the ride will be opening in early 2021. Since we are not sure exactly how far along the ride is, there could be a possibility of a late 2020 opening. Epcot is already expecting a big year with the opening of the third ride in World Showcase. Because of this, Disney could be holding back on needing to open Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind until 2021. However, 2021 is also expected to be the opening year for Tron Lightcycle / Run, a new nighttime parade, the Play Pavilion and more. This major coaster attraction’s opening date will be a guess for now. We will hopefully know an exact opening date in less than a year.


Roundup Rodeo BBQ to open in summer 2020?

roundup rodeo bbq

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a new BBQ restaurant is under construction. Roundup Rodeo BBQ will be an expansion to Toy Story Land and currently, it has a 2020 scheduled opening. Due to a recent push in construction and the nature of the project, it is assumed that this new restaurant will open in early summer 2020. This will allow the new eatery to help out with the large summer crowds.


The Bourne Stuntacular to feature fire, new audience seating?

theme park rumors

Coming this spring to Universal Orlando is “The Bourne Stuntacular.” While we know this show is opening soon, we don’t know a ton of specifics.

We know the show will feature chase scenes, fistfights, and death-defying leaps. This will be accomplished with a massive LED screen, high-tech props, and live performers. New ventilation on the buildings suggests a large use of practical effects like fire. Rumors suggest that there will be small modifications to the theater’s seating, but that the overall building will stay relatively the same.


The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash to soft-open summer 2020?

secret life of pets

Over at Universal Studios Hollywood, construction continues on an exciting new attraction based on “The Secret Life of Pets” franchise. The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash attraction is set to open in 2020 but does not have a set opening date. This new attraction is expected to begin soft-opening tests this summer.

The areas surrounding this attraction and Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem are also expected to get a small re-theming to make the entire area focused on Illumination’s animated films.


Major new store coming to Universal CityWalk Orlando?

theme park rumors

At the Universal Orlando Resort, CityWalk seems to be prepping an area for new stores. This has not been publicly announced, but it appears Universal is slowly clearing out room for a new major store.

universal orlando permit
Permit found by @Uoapb on Twitter

According to this permit, Universal seeks to turn four different real estate locations into one. The biggest of these stores would be the Quiet Flight Surf Shop – yes, the store that many fans use as an air-conditioned shortcut through CityWalk. The only store that has closed so far is the Fresh Produce clothing store.

Rumors suggest the whole space will be the basis for an upcoming super-sized Universal Parks and Resorts store, much like the World of Disney store at Disney Springs. The current Universal Studios store in CityWalk would then close, as a result. Another rumor suggests the space may become a Nintendo store, matching the upcoming land that will be in the new Universal’s Epic Universe theme park.

Imagine this new space, or the old Studios store as a preview area for the upcoming Universal’s Epic Universe park. If you’re worried about your favorite shortcut, don’t worry. Rumors also suggest that it will remain in some fashion.


VelociCoaster to open in early 2021?

theme park rumors

Another big rumor is the expansion of Universal’s Islands of Adventure with the VelociCoaster. This rumored roller coaster will be the most intense in the Florida-based Universal portfolio if built, with speeds of up to 70 miles per hour.

Work has been ongoing at this site for months. Like recent years, Universal Orlando is preferring to be silent with details on this upcoming expansion. No roller coaster track has shown up at the construction site yet, but large foundations imply a major structure will be installed in the area soon. This coaster is expected to open along the same timeline as the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind roller coaster. While we would love to see it open this year, we are expecting an early 2021 opening instead.

The reason this coaster included in 2020’s theme park rumors is because of the simplicity of the coaster’s design. This is not expected to be a highly themed coaster like Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. Instead, the theming will be lighter, much like the Incredible Hulk coaster on the other side of the park. Due to this less-restrictive building process, we could potentially see massive progress over the next few months. This surge in construction will be needed to see whether this new coaster can make the 2020 deadline.


attractions magazine

Theme park rumors like this appear in each quarterly issue of “Attractions Magazine.” You can get the latest issue now in print and digital via our subscription service.

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