Is it the final countdown? Epcot’s Space 220 restaurant is one of the most anticipated restaurants coming to Walt Disney World. At least it is in the DVC Duo. We are foodies after all. Part entertainment and part dining experience, everything about the restaurant says it will be a shining star. With opening dates pushed back on multiple occasions could the stars finally be aligning? Is Epcot’s Space 220 restaurant in its final countdown to opening its doors? Let’s spacesuit up and head 220 miles above Earth.
Ready, Set, Oh
Originally projected to open in the Winter of 2019, Epcot’s Space 220 restaurant has hit a few bumps along the way. As we previously spoke about in our Space 220 update in November of 2019, the first bump was the loss of its chef to another opportunity outside of Walt Disney World. The job posting went up, a chef was found, and rumor had it Epcot’s Space 220 restaurant could open somewhere between February of 2020 to even late March.
Not another one! Those bumps. They get us every time. In early February reports surfaced around another potential delay. This delay is could blow the roof off the previous delay, both figuratively and literally. According to multiple sources, one of the large screens within the restaurant has a crack and needs to be swapped out. The crack occurred during construction. This isn’t like a crack in the windshield and making a call to Safeway. It is a custom piece of glass that takes about 8 weeks to have delivered. Additionally, the glass within this screen is so large in scale that it may require Disney to create an access point in the roof to make the swap.
According to Jim Hill of Jim Hill Media, the updates for the screen have been as of mid-April 2020. It looks like it’s all systems go, or is it?
Passholder Insights: Next door to Epcot’s Space 220 restaurant is one of our favorite Epcot attractions, Test Track. The attraction reopened at the end of February after an update to attractions software.
What Does This Mean?
It’s the million-dollar question. After a little research, we found the Pantina Group (the restaurant proprietors) were in the final stages of opening the restaurant. The question becomes when. Hmm, 2020? With everything happening in the world today, an opening date is definitely hard to pinpoint. As we discussed, in our “When Walt Disney World Reopens” article, there are rumors the parks will only open at half the capacity to start, and restaurants potentially lessen the number of tables. Not the ideal situation for a new restaurant.
We would not expect Disney and Patina Group to announce an opening date for Epcot’s Space 220 restaurant until the final decisions are made around how Disney World will reopen and what is the best situation to introduce a new restaurant. We would expect Disney to follow the traditional soft opening strategy where the restaurant opens a few days prior to the official date.
Passholder Insights: Early reports say Epcot’s Space 220 restaurant will not be part of the Disney Dining Plan when it first opens. This wouldn’t be a surprise as the other Pantina Group restaurant Via Napoli at Epcot is not either.
We’re getting closer! For a restaurant themed around space and traveling away from Earth, this is a project that has trouble lifting off. The end is definitely near and we’re crossing our fingers we’re experiencing Epcot’s Space 220 open in 2020. If this restaurant is anything like the Patina Group restaurant, we’re looking at you Morimoto Asia, it’s worth the wait! Until then, we’ll keep refreshing our My Disney Experience app.
UPDATE: As of October 22, 2020, Space 220 has not opened and we do not have a date. An external sign has been installed at the restaurant’s entrance and the exterior pathways have been cleaned up. Internal reports are pointing towards a March 2021 opening, with March 30th being the target date. However, the situation is fluid and we could see this date moved again. We’ll keep updating this article as more information around the opening of Space 220 becomes available.
UPDATE: On November 19, 2020, as part of his keynote speech at the International Association of Amusement and Park Attractions (IAAPA) virtual conference, Josh D’Amaro (Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. As Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products) gave us a glimpse inside Space 220 restaurant. Based on the picture it appears the restaurant is complete. However, Disney and The Patina Group are holding back the opening.
According to Jim Hill of Jim Hill Media, the new target date is the summer of 2021 for the restaurant. Additionally, Disney is planning to open the restaurant no later than beginning of the 50th-Anniversary (October 1, 2021).
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