Nine Things We’ll Be Doing at Walt Disney World for the First Time in 2021

We’re looking forward to trying some new things in Walt Disney World this year! After the rough year that was 2020, we’re excited to have a fresh start with a brand new year.

Cinderella Castle

Here are nine things we’ll be doing at Walt Disney World for the first time in 2021!

Dining at new restaurants!

There are a handful of new restaurants that we’re already day-dreaming about visiting for the first time. Of course, there’s the incredible Gideon’s Bakehouse in Disney Springs, which already soft-opened in the final days of 2020. Gideon’s temporarily closed following the soft-opening, but we can’t WAIT to go snag some delicious cookies, cakes, and coffee after the official grand opening arrives!

Gideon’s Cookie

There are several other exciting restaurants that will (hopefully) make their debuts in 2021. In EPCOT, Space 220 was originally slated to open in late 2019, but the opening date was pushed back several times. Disney has been pretty hush-hush about the updated timeline for the opening of the new restaurant, but the construction walls surrounding the entrance have recently started to come down. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that this super immersive space-themed restaurant will be ready to welcome guests in 2021. We’ll be right there ready to enjoy our first meal in space whenever it’s cleared for takeoff!

Space 220 Construction

Another restaurant we’ll (hopefully) be able to experience for the first time in 2021 is Roundup Rodeo BBQ in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It was originally set to open in 2020, but as with several Disney World construction projects, the timeline was pushed back due to the extended park closure. Hollywood Studios doesn’t have quite as many of our favorite go-to dining spots as the other parks, so we’re excited to soon have another option for a Table Service meal!

Roundup Rodeo BBQ Construction Walls

Riding new attractions!

Now let’s talk about brand new rides we’ll be experiencing for the first time in 2021! In EPCOT, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure looks like it’s getting super close to shrinking down guests to rat size for an epic adventure. The signs outside the attraction have been lit up recently, and we even got a sneak peek inside the ride. We’re so ready to have our first ride with Remy later this year!

France Pavilion Signs

Also in EPCOT, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is currently set to debut in time for Disney World’s 50th anniversary in October 2021. Disney shared a video showing the ride vehicles in action, and we can’t get over how incredible they look! We’re happy to have another thrill ride added to EPCOT, since there aren’t currently many options in the park for adrenaline-seekers.

Guardians of the Galaxy Ride Vehicle ©Disney

Planning our trip differently

While there are a ton of new additions coming in 2021, there are also some changes that will switch up how we spend our days in Disney World. First, we’ll be eating at “odd” hours on our vacation. Avoiding the most common meal times has previously been a helpful tip for saving time and bypass crowds, but it’s especially helpful now. Since the reopening, most Quick Service locations are requiring — or at least highly encouraging — guests to use Mobile Order.

Aloha Isle Mobile Order

This has led to some ordering backups, meaning you might not be able to actually pick up your order for an hour or longer if you’re trying to eat at a common time and/or on a super busy day. We’ll be switching our meal times up the next time we visit and planning our meals for less common times of the day!

Cheeseburger Pods

Another thing we’ll be doing for the first time is switching up our park hopping strategy. As of January 1, 2021, guests are once again able to hop to multiple parks on the same day. But there are some limitations to park hopping. Guests must still get a Disney Park Pass reservation for their first park of the day, and they have to actually visit that park before they can try to enter a second park. Park hopping isn’t allowed until 2PM, and parks are still subject to capacity limits, so you can’t hop to a park that’s already at capacity. With all of the additional factors in place right now, it might not be worth it to splurge for the park hopper ticket add-on depending on how you and your family vacation. We’ll definitely be revisiting our strategy in 2021!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

And last but not least, we’ll also be staying at a different hotel for the first time in 2021. A handful of Disney World hotels are still closed and some don’t even have reopening dates announced at all. With some fan-favorites like Port Orleans Resort and the non-DVC section of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort still not accepting reservations, some of us will be trying out some new-to-us hotels this year!

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Lobby

We’re so excited for the new experiences 2021 has to offer. And that includes trying some brand new (and some new-to-us) things in Disney World. So here’s to a fun year of exploring all the Parks, Resorts, and restaurants have to offer!

What will you be doing in Disney World for the first time in 2021? Let us know in the comments!

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