Home / News / DISNEY NEWS ROUNDUP: New Attractions & More Open at Epcot, Menus & Foodie Guide for Festival of the Arts, Festival Opens, H2O Glo Nights Announced, Resort Showcase Coming & More

DISNEY NEWS ROUNDUP: New Attractions & More Open at Epcot, Menus & Foodie Guide for Festival of the Arts, Festival Opens, H2O Glo Nights Announced, Resort Showcase Coming & More

There’s nothing more exciting at Disney World than the opening of new things. There was a lot to be excited about this week. There were multiple openings this week at Epcot, including the 2020 Festival of the Arts. Speaking of Festival of the Arts, make sure you check out the menus and Foodie Guide. 2020 H2O Glo Nights were announced and tickets are now on sale. This coming week we’ll be doing a Resort Showcase featuring many of our favorite Disney World hotels and resort dining locations. Two classic Disney World attractions celebrated a big anniversary. All this and more in this week’s news round up.


1 – Three New Films and More Open at Epcot as Part of the Transformation of Epcot

As part of the transformation of Epcot, three new films debuted on January 17, along with the opening of the 2020 Festival of the Arts. You’ll find a new film in The Land pavilion, Canada pavilion, and France pavilion. The France pavilion also has a new exhibit! Check out the link below for more information.

Click here for details on the three new films and more now open at Epcot.

2 – The Epcot International Festival of the Arts Now Open

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts at Walt Disney World unveiled its annual global celebration of visual, culinary and performing arts on January 17 and continues for 39 days through February 24, 2020. The event features visiting artists, an array of foodie delights, and opportunities for guests to embrace their own inner artists. Epcot’s youngest festival, now in its 4th year, is growing in popularity and has seen heavy crowds this opening weekend. Head to the links below for everything you need to know about this festival.

Click here for the 15 offerings you don’t want to miss at the 2020 Epcot Festival of the Arts.

Click here for photos of 2020 Epcot Festival of the Arts merchandise. 

Click here for our Instagram Story highlight with photos and video from our preview day at the 2020 Epcot Festival of the Arts.

Click here for our Instagram Story highlight with photos and video from Opening Day of the 2020 Epcot Festival of the Arts.

3 – Food Guide and Menu Boards for the 2020 Epcot Festival of the Arts

One of the best parts of an Epcot Festival is the food! The 2020 Epcot Festival of the Arts is no different! This year there are so many fantastic food choices. Check out the links below for more information.

Click here for photos of all of the festival menu boards that have prices and snack credit designations.

Click here for the Foodie Guide to the festival.


4 – Walt Disney World Resort Showcase

We are firm believers in staying on property during your Disney World vacation. There are so many fantastic benefits to staying on property; from Magic Bands, amazing resort dining options, recreation, early FastPass selection, and more! We’ll be staying at the brand-new Riviera Resort this coming week, and will be checking out a bunch of other hotels and many the great resort offerings. We’ll be touring rooms, experiencing resort dining, and enjoying the resort recreation and relaxation at numerous spots around property. We’ll be covering everything on our Instagram page and adding to our Story throughout the week. We hope you’ll follow along! We’ll also have lots of articles up after the event sharing what we learned!

Click here to follow us on Instagram.

5 – H2O Glow Nights at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Tickets Now on Sale

One of the best ways to experience Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon in the summer is by attending H2O Glow Nights! This special after-hours event lets you experience the water park with lower crowds! Tickets are now on sale for 2020 dates. Check out the link below for more information, including our review of the event.

Click here for details and our review of H2O Glow Nights at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon.

6 – Space Mountain and Carousel of Progress Celebrate 45th Anniversary

On January 15, both Space Mountain and Carousel of Progress celebrated their 45th Anniversaries! It’s hard to believe that both of these attractions have been thrilling and entertaining guests for that long! To celebrate, Disney released special anniversary merchandise! Check out the link below for more information!

Click here for details on the 45th Anniversary Merchandise released this week.


7 – New Sign for Gusteau’s Restaurant Installed at Epcot

Some exciting new things are coming to the France Pavilion in Epcot this summer! This week a new sign was installed for a new restaurant coming later this year. Disney cast member Jeremy Schoolfield shares more below.

If you’re soaring to or from Epcot aboard Disney Skyliner starting today, there’s a tasty new treat for your eyes – the sign for Gusteau’s restaurant was just installed above the expanding France pavilion in World Showcase!

Credit: Disney

Gusteau’s is the famed Parisian establishment that is home to Chef Remy from Disney and Pixar’s “Ratatouille.” It’s also the soon-to-be setting for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, the delicious new attraction opening this summer at Epcot. This family-friendly experience will invite you on a super-sized adventure with Chef Remy, where you’ll race through Gusteau’s kitchen in special trackless ride vehicles.

Credit: Disney

The new sign is visible from your Disney Skyliner gondola as you approach or depart the International Gateway station at Epcot, so keep your eyes peeled. It’s the latest signal that we’re getting closer and closer to taking a ride with “Little Chef” on Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, one of several new experiences coming to Epcot as part of the park’s historic transformation already underway.

8 – Rustic Cuff to Open a Pop-Up Store at Disney Springs

A new store is coming to Disney Springs! Disney cast member Kelsey Noland has more details below.

With over 100 retail stores, over 60 places to indulge your taste buds, and unique experiences, Disney Springs continues to be the ultimate destination for shopping, dining, and playing or as we would like to say—happily whatever you’re after. (You may have seen this tagline on our new campaign that just launched on social and around Orlando last week!) 2020 is off to an amazing start as we gear up for an incredible line-up of anticipated openings, including City Works Eatery & Pour House, Ample Hills Creamery, Cirque du Soleil, and M&M’S. Today, I’m excited to add another announcement to the list—boutique jewelry brand, Rustic Cuff, will soon open a pop-up retail store at Disney Springs!

Credit: Disney

This new accessory destination specializes in beautiful statement cuffs with a focus on inspirational designs and personal connection. The brand will also feature a wide selection of beads, bangles, charm bracelets, and colorful stackable accent pieces personalization options like names, monograms, and favorite quotes. “We couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this special resort location that echoes everything that inspires us to dream,” said boutique founder, Jill Donovan.

The store is set to open for a limited time in the coming weeks and will be located across from Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar. Be sure to follow @DisneySprings and @RusticCuff on social media for more details and grand opening announcements.


9 – Celebrate the Year of the Mouse with Lunar New Year Merchandise at Disney Parks

Lunar New Year is here, and Disney Parks are celebrating! Disney cast member Anthony Armenia shares more below.

For those who don’t know, Lunar New Year is an annual tradition celebrated within Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures and celebrates the celestial journey of the sun and the moon toward another year.

This year, being the Year of the Mouse, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse are getting in on these transformative Asian celebrations at Disney Parks and global retailers! We’re also celebrating with new Lunar New Year merchandise inspired by different cultures of East Asia coming soon to Disney Parks and available now on and other shopping destinations around the world.

Credit: Disney

From plush and Minnie Mouse ear headbands to more traditional items as well, check out how you can join in on the festivities and dress up your Lunar New Year look:

Walt Disney World Resort:

Celebrating the Lunar New Year at Walt Disney World Resort? Be sure to visit World Showcase and check out the China pavilion at Epcot for a variety of merchandise including a spirit jersey, t-shirts, a Minnie Mouse ear headband, Mickey Mouse, and Minnie Mouse plush – also available on – and so much more!

Also, at the China pavilion, watch Candy Artist Wenbo Zhang create Sugar Paintings, a traditional Chinese candy art made by using sugar syrup to paint intricate pictures of animals through Feb. 24.

Disneyland Resort:

Visiting Disneyland Resort? Be sure to head over to Seaside Souvenirs and Elias & Co. at Disney California Adventure park, where you’ll find apparel, headwear, and more including a spirit jersey, t-shirts, Minnie Mouse ear headband and baseball cap as seen above.

Some other popular items include a Lunar New Year mug, bobble-head figure, and keychain featuring Mickey and Minnie along with their pint-sized friends, Chip and Dale!

Looking for more ways to ring in the Lunar New Year at Disneyland Resort? The Lunar New Year celebration at Disney California Adventure Park from January 17 through February 9, 2020. Click here for more information on the event.

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort:

Guests visiting Hong Kong Disneyland Resort can join in on the celebration as well with more than 50 new and exclusive merchandise items coming to Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, including brand-new Chinese New Year looks for Mickey and his friends, along with the ever-adorable Duffy and Friends. Guests can also pick up festive home decorations, red packets, colorful new headbands, and even Year of the Mouse-edition Tsum Tsums.

From now until Feb. 9, everyone’s favorite mouse friends will be ringing in the new year throughout Hong Kong Disneyland in the “Magical Year After Year” Chinese New Year events.

Shanghai Disney Resort:

Coming out just in time for the Spring Festival at Shanghai Disney Resort, the new Mickey Family 2020 Spring Festival Collection includes Mickey and Minnie plush in new outfits, new festive headbands, jackets in classic red and gold colors, mugs designed in the shape of traditional drums, and limited-edition Mickey-themed pins.

A new Duffy and Friends merchandise collection is also available, featuring Duffy, ShellieMay, Gelatoni, StellaLou, and the newly-arrived CookieAnn, all in their traditional Spring Festival attire. No holiday celebration would be complete without a Lucky Bag, and this year Shanghai Disney Resort is once again offering Spring Festival Lucky Bags filled with good fortune and exciting offerings.

Shanghai Disney Resort is also hosting a special Spring Festival celebration now through Feb. 9 to usher in the Year of the Mouse, complete with a resort-wide festive makeover, the return of beloved entertainment shows, incredible Spring Festival dining and much more to wow and amaze guests from near and far.

Available at Global Retailers:

Can’t make it to the parks during the celebration? There are still many ways to ring in the Lunar New Year, with wide-ranging Year of the Mouse products that are available around the world.

Disney x Gucci launched a Year of the Mouse collection consisting of ready-to-wear, bags, hats, sunglasses, shoes, and more, all adorned with The True Original, Mickey Mouse. Mickey is playfully incorporated into the designs, which include new motifs as well as classic Gucci pieces. The Disney x Gucci collection is available in stores and online.

Credit: Disney

Ring in the new year with your best-looking skin, with SK-II’s “Miracle Water,” which in celebration of the Lunar New Year and Year of the Mouse, features the True Original. SK-II PITERA Essence Limited Edition is available in stores and online.

Uniqlo celebrates the Year of the Mouse with a series of tees that feature Mickey and Minnie as your good luck charms for the year! Uniqlo’s fortune tees are available in stores and online.

Fans in Asia will have access to an exclusive Lunar New Year Mickey Funko Pop!, which pays homage to the Zodiac.

Who’s ready to join Mickey and Minnie for their Lunar New Year celebration kicking off the Year of the Mouse with good fortune and happiness around the world? Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog on January 27, when we take a trip around the world to check out how Disney Parks are celebrating the Year of the Mouse!

10 – 2020 Disney Dreamers Academy Winners Announced

Walt Disney World Resort revealed the 100 extraordinary high school students from across the nation who will participate in the 2020 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine. Each student receives an all-expenses-paid trip to Walt Disney World to participate in the immersive, transformational four-day experience that will take place March 12-15.

To celebrate the students’ selection, ABC’s Good Morning America surprised one member of the new 2020 class, Myah Mitchell of Cambria Heights, NY, by showing up at her school this morning to tell her the news. The full list of students is available at

The program, now in its 13th year, is a part of Walt Disney World’s commitment to helping the next generation of young people by inspiring them at a critical time in their development. The Disney Dreamers Academy theme is “Be100,” encouraging teens to be positive, to be “all in,” and to carry what they learn back with them so they can relentlessly pursue their dreams and make a difference in the lives of others.

“After 12 successful years, we know the profound impact this program has on these students,” said Tracey D. Powell, Walt Disney World Resort vice president, and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. “One dream can change the world, and through Disney Dreamers Academy, we hope to help these amazing teens turn their dreams into reality.”

Participating students, known as “Disney Dreamers,” embark on a journey throughout the Walt Disney World theme parks and behind the scenes of this 40-square-mile vacation destination. It’s a vibrant classroom where students discover new career opportunities, pursue their dreams, and interact with Harvey and other celebrities and motivational speakers. Past celebrity participants have included singer NE-YO, NBA legend and business mogul Magic Johnson, the star of the Disney’s upcoming live-action “Little Mermaid” Halle Bailey, gospel music star Yolanda Adams, and personalities and cast members from across the Disney corporate family including “Good Morning America’’, ESPN, Disney Channel, the TV series “black-ish” and “grown-ish.”

Students participate in immersive career-oriented workshops that explore a wide range of career disciplines found at Walt Disney World, learning life tools such as effective communication techniques, leadership skills, and networking strategies.

“I know from personal experience that big dreams lead to big success,” said Harvey. “Disney understands that concept better than any other company, and that is why I partner with them every year on this program to encourage big dreams for the next generation.”

Since 2008, Walt Disney World Resort has provided all-expenses-paid trips to more than 1,200 students, plus a parent or guardian, to participate in the annual Disney Dreamers Academy. Students are selected from thousands of applicants who answered essay questions about their personal stories and dreams for the future.

“Meeting the 100 impressive students selected for Disney Dreamers Academy each year is a personal highlight for me,” said Michelle Ebanks, Chief Executive Officer of Essence Communications Inc. “I am continually amazed by their ambition, talent, and perseverance. Partnering with Disney on this program is an opportunity to carry out our ongoing mission to inspire, inform, and empower.”


What’s New at Walt Disney World!

It’s a very exciting time growth and development at Walt Disney World. In fact, there are so many new things opening, coming and happening, it’s hard to keep track. Here’s a cheat sheet to help keep things straight and make sure you haven’t missed anything.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts, January 17-February 24, 2020

Click here for the 15 offerings you don’t want to miss at the 2020 Epcot Festival of the Arts.

Click here for photos of 2020 Epcot Festival of the Arts merchandise. 

Click here for our Instagram Story highlight with photos and video from our preview day at the 2020 Epcot Festival of the Arts.

Click here for our Instagram Story highlight with photos and video from Opening Day of the 2020 Epcot Festival of the Arts.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Now Open

Click here for everything you need to know at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Click here for our Survival Guide-What You Need to Know Before You go to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

Click here for our full review of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

Disney Skyliner – Now Open

Click here for what you need to know about the Disney Skyliner

Epcot Forever – Now Open

Click here to learn more about Epcot Forever.

The Epcot Experience – Now Open

Click here to learn more about the Epcot Experience.

Disney’s Riviera Resort – Now Open

Click here for what you need to know about Disney’s Riviera Resort.

Click here for our review and what you need to know about Breakfast a la Art with Mickey and Friends at Disney’s Riviera Resort.

Reimagined Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort – Now Open

Click here for our review and walkthrough with photos and video.

NBA Experience at Disney Springs – Now Open

Click here for our review and what you need to know about this fun new experience.

Coming Soon to Disney World!

Coming in 2020

Click here for the 15 exciting things coming to Walt Disney World in 2020.

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway – Opening March 4, 2020

Click here for what we know so far about Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, March 4-June 1, 2020

Click here for more on the 2020 Garden Rocks concert series and more for the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.

Epcot Reimagined – Now Through Fall 2021 for Walt Disney World’s 50thAnniversary

Click here for what you need to know about the new Epcot – including details on 20 new experiences!

Click here for more on our sneak peek at updates coming to the France pavilion in 2020.

Drawn to Life – New Cirque du Soleil Show – April 17, 2020

Click here for everything we know about this new show!

Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration – 2021

Click here for our rundown of everything that’s coming for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary!

Star Wars Hotel – 2021

Click here for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser-What We Know So Far About the Upcoming Star Wars Themed Hotel Coming to Disney World

Disney Cruise Line’s Lighthouse Point – Disney’s 2nd Island in the Caribbean – unknown

Click here for everything we know about Lighthouse Point!

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.



About Chad & Cindy Nykamp

After years of multiple Walt Disney World vacations, Cindy and Chad's dream of living in Orlando came true in 2010. After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Chad and Cindy have been Disney World Annual Passholders for years, DVC members, together have raced more than 70 runDisney races, and particularly love cruising on the Disney Cruise Line. Chad and Cindy also regularly represent at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, they get an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World. These experiences have helped them gain knowledge and expertise they happily pass on to their followers. They still can't believe how lucky they are to have such an amazing opportunity and will continue to share Disney with anyone who will listen!