What do kitchens have to do with construction? When it comes to a Remy construction update, everything! When the attraction opens we will be joining Remy on an adventure through the kitchen after all. Over the past few years, we’ve been keeping tabs on the new attraction and area, coming to Epcot’s France Pavilion. In our last update on January 27, 2020, we mentioned the attraction would be opening Memorial Day weekend (May 23rd to 25th). Then March happened and we all hit the pause button until now. Is it time to unpause for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure? Let’s dive into this Remy construction update!
Before The Pause
Is that like before the Thanos snap? If so, we’re happy to go back in time to change the course of history. Sign us up! Prior to everything being paused on March 16, 2020, we had a lot of information on the progress of Remy. According to martni1971, a well-known user for leaking Disney insider info on WDWMagic forums said the upcoming attraction was estimated to being nine weeks away from completion. This timing matches up well with our early reports of a Memorial Day opening weekend. Further confirmation came with the announcement that Spaceship Earth would close for its major refurbishment on May 26, 2020. Disney World would not close a major attraction like Spaceship Earth without another attraction ready to open.
Passholder Insights: When entering World Showcase from Future World the shortest way to the France Pavilion is to head right through both the Canada and UK Pavilions.
Game on? That’s what we’re investigating in our Remy construction update, Gareth. On May 27, 2020, Disney announced Walt Disney World would begin its phased reopening on July 11, 2020. With the parks reopening the question turns to what about the construction projects and when will Disney give them the green to restart construction? Lucky for us, we did not have to wait long. By June 3, 2020, reports came out that projects around Walt Disney World have restarted. A few days later, we got pictures showing work being down on Cinderella’s Castle for the upcoming celebration. Additionally, we saw work on the walkway from the Grand Floridian Resort to the Magic Kingdom begin as well.
Wait, this is a Remy construction update, isn’t it? Yes, yes it is. With France Pavilion expansion tucked away within Epcot’s World Showcase, its challenging to see if work has restarted. Then on top of that, the majority of the work remaining is in the attraction building, not on the exterior. With the knowledge that Disney has begun different projects around the property, in the DVC Duo house it makes think work could have restarted with Remy as well.
If, and it is still an if at this moment, progress has restarted on Remy our estimates have the new attraction opening Labor Day weekend. Hmm, didn’t something else open Labor Day weekend last year? Just a small thing known as Galaxy’s Edge. Nothing is confirmed and Disney has not commented on the attraction. However, if they were able to open Labor Day weekend, Disney could still fulfill its original announcement of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure opening in the summer of 2020.
Passholder Insights: The new walkway from the Grand Floridian Resort to the Magic Kingdom will also connect with the walkway that runs to Polynesian Resort and the Transportation and Ticket Center.
There’s always a but. There are a couple of things that could slow everything down. According to Jack of DSNY Newscast, Disney’s original plan for the opening of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure called for cast members from Disneyland Paris to fly over to Disney World to operate the attraction. The cultural representative cast members would train in their native country prior to relocating to Florida. At the moment, the international travel ban is preventing the Disneyland Paris cast members from traveling altogether. It is possible Disney moves forward without the use of cultural representative cast members in the early stages of opening, as they have announced they will have regular cast members operating the World Showcase when Epcot first opens.
The other “but” is around the announcement Bob Chapek made during the May earnings call. You know the announcement, the $900 million statement. Due to this statement, there are rumblings that Disney could continue to pause construction on the France Pavilion expansion until the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 2020). If this turns out to be true, then we’re more than likely looking at December 2020 opening.
Passholder Insights: The new France Pavilion expansion will also include two new dining options. A new creperie restaurant will offer both a sit down and quick-service option.
It’s a wait and see for now. When Epcot reopens on July 15th we will get our first glimpse of the construction site. We could see Disney going either way when it comes to an opening date for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. Now that we know the Spaceship Earth refurbishment is paused, the need to accelerate the France Pavilion expansion has definitely lessened. Additionally, with lower capacity through the remainder of the year, Disney may look to hold off opening a new headline attraction. The big Remy construction update is knowing how much work is left. It is safe to say that once construction restarts we are about 9 weeks away from the opening of the attraction. Fingers crossed it is sooner than later.