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  • Writer's pictureMartha Vignati

21 Ways to Kick Off Disney in 2021

Updated: Feb 9, 2021

Walt Disney World Resort says it is ready to help guests make the new year magical. From new and classic attractions to culinary experiences to character interactions and more, the resort has plenty to offer those wanting to immediately turn the page on 2020. Here are 21 reasons to visit Walt Disney World in early 2021:

Explore the Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Arts: Beginning Jan. 8 through Feb. 22, guests are invited to an expansive collection of visual, performance and culinary arts throughout the park.

Gaze Upon the Reimagined Entrance Fountain at EPCOT: The new water feature in front of Spaceship Earth harkens back to the park's origins and highlights a greener, more open and welcoming entry experience for guests. The fountain is the most recent milestone in the historic transformation of EPCOT now under way.

Step Inside the Cartoon World of Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway: This attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which opened back in February 2020 in what was once The Great Movie Ride, takes guests through the movie screen as a retro Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Engineer Goofy and Pluto take them on a trip through Runnamuck Park.

Embark on a Star Wars Adventure in a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Disney's Hollywood Studios is also home to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, the immersive land featuring two thrilling attractions: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

Check Out Cinderella Castle's Royal Makeover: This treasured icon at the heart of Magic Kingdom Park now features bold, shimmering and regal enhancements befitting its royal status, making for a great photo op with family and friends.

Experience Classic Attractions at Magic Kingdom Park: Yes, these classic attractions are still open, including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, The Haunted Mansion, It's a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain. The new year is a great time for guests to reconnect with these classics.

Watch for More New Residents on the Harambe Wildlife Reserve: Located at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Nigerian dwarf goats now play like kids at the warden's outpost near the end of Kilimanjaro Safaris.

Bask in the Cuteness of Baby Animals: In addition to the Nigerian dwarf goats, guests can catch a glimpse of some of the other animals born in 2020 at Walt Disney World while at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Aboard Kilimanjaro Safaris, for example, they can see young Masai giraffe now out on the savanna.

Celebrate the Magic of Nature in Pandora-The World of Avatar: At Disney's Animal Kingdom, guests can travel to the Valley of Mo'ara to hike among the floating mountains of Pandora and experience two great attractions: Avatar Flight of Passage and Na'vi River Journey.

Find Disney Characters in New Places: From cavalcades to caravans to flotillas and even special "pop-up" appearances, guests can discover their favorite Disney characters at all four theme parks and the occasional special surprise at Disney Resort hotels.

Hop from Park to Park: Beginning Jan. 1, guests who purchase a ticket or annual pass with Park Hopper benefits will be able to visit more than one park per day (with some new modifications).

Indulge in Sweet New Treats at Disney Springs: Guests visiting this shopping, dining and entertainment district of Walt Disney World have plenty of new options to satisfy their sweet spots, including newly opened Gideon's Bakehouse, along with the forthcoming M&M’s store and Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew.

Pick Out the Perfect Post-Holiday Gift: Disney Springs also is the place for guests to find a little something they may have missed on their holiday shopping list. From the massive World of Disney store to boutiques and just about everything in between, Disney Springs is home to the latest Disney merchandise and trendy accessories, apparel and gear from other top brands.

Return to Favorite Disney Restaurants: As part of the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, restaurants continue their return to operation. Recent reopenings include the Crystal Palace inside Magic Kingdom and the character breakfast at Chef Mickey's inside Disney's Contemporary Resort.

Make Some Time to Relax Outdoors: Central Florida weather is often gorgeous in the early months of the year, and Walt Disney World offers special ways to enjoy some outdoor recreation, including golf and miniature golf, fishing expeditions, horseback riding and more.

Buzz Through the Taste of EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival: Beginning March 3, guests can find fresh cuisine, creative gardens and unforgettable topiaries as part of this annual festival.

Soak Up the Sun at Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park: After being closed for all of 2020 due to the pandemic, this wintry-themed water park is planning to reopen in March and celebrate its 25th season.

Look for Some Fresh Pixie Dust at the Walt Disney World Entrance: Guests can make new memories as they pass these iconic gateways to the resort, which are getting a refreshed color palette complementing the recent Cinderella Castle makeover.

Add Extra Theme Park Magic to Vacations: Available to book beginning Jan. 5, 2021, guests buying non-discounted four-night/three-day room and ticket packages at select Disney Resort hotels for arrivals most nights Jan. 8, 2021, through Sept. 25, 2021, will receive an additional two days of theme park tickets.

Florida Residents Can Take Advantage of a Special Ticket Offer: Beginning Jan. 4, 2021, the four-day Florida Resident Discover Disney Ticket invites Floridians to visit any of the four Disney parks through June 18, 2021 (subject to blackout dates), for a special price of $199 (plus tax). More information is available at

Get Excited for Even More Magic Later this Year: Remy's Ratatouille Adventure, the new family-friendly attraction coming to the France pavilion in EPCOT, will debut in 2021. And the new Cirque du Soleil show "Drawn to Life," coming to Disney Springs, will be a collaboration between Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney Animation Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering. More details about these experiences and other excitement happening around Walt Disney World will be released at a later date.

Walt Disney World continues to operate with enhanced health and safety policies so everyone can enjoy the magic responsibly. To manage attendance, guests are required to have valid theme park admission and make a park reservation for each day of their visit through the Disney Park Pass system. For more information, visit

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