If you’re planning a trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney World Resort this year, you’ll find many new attractions, events, and experiences on tap. Disney parks are always adding ways to entertain their guests, and 2019 is shaping up to be a big year at both resorts.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
The biggest news is the opening of the long-awaited Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, a new Star Wars-themed land in Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
The 14-acre land includes two new rides. On Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, guests can play one of three unique roles aboard the fastest ship in the galaxy, and on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, riders take part in an epic battle between the First Order and the Resistance—including a face-off with Kylo Ren.
The new land’s interactive components and optional integration with the Play Disney Parks app are sure to engage Star Wars fans of all ages. The music for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge features original work by Academy Award-winning composer John Williams.
Although opening dates have not yet been announced, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is slated to open this summer at Disneyland Resort and this fall at Walt Disney World Resort.
Celebrating 90 Years of Mickey Mouse
It’s been 90 years since Walt Disney created a lovable cartoon character called Mickey Mouse. In celebration, Disney parks have a full schedule of events, entertainment, and even a new ride.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, the resort’s first Mickey-themed, ride-through attraction, opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios sometime in 2019. The ride will allow guests to step into the world of a Mickey Mouse Cartoon Short. The Disney team that created the attraction worked with Disney Television Animation, the same people who created the Mickey Shorts, to create authentic characters and storytelling for the ride. No opening date has yet been announced.
From Jan. 18 to Sept. 30 at Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration at Magic Kingdom will feature new food, merchandise, and entertainment, including a dance party with Mickey, Minnie, and their friends.
An all-new nighttime experience called Wonderful World of Animation will debut on May 1 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Using state-of-the-art technology, the show will take guests on a journey through more than 90 years of Disney animation—which, of course, began with Mickey.
At Disneyland Resort, Get Your Ears On – A Mickey and Minnie Celebration brings new entertainment to the resort, including Mickey’s Mix Magic, an all-new nighttime show using music, projections, and lasers to set the scene for a humongous park-wide dance party. Mickey’s Soundsational Parade returns to the resort Jan. 25, featuring an all-new float with Mickey.
New Experiences at Epcot
Fans of Epcot will be glad to hear of the planned multi-year transformation of the park, including new attractions at World Showcase, which features 11 country pavilions. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is a new experience coming to the France pavilion in 2019. There will also be an update to the O Canada! 360-degree show, which has always been a must-see film at the Canada pavilion in World Showcase.
The ever-popular Illuminations nighttime show at Epcot will get an all-new refresh in 2020 and will include new floating sets, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics and more.
Before that, however, Epcot will be running a limited time show called Epcot Forever. The show, which celebrates Epcot, will debut in fall 2019 and include special effects kites, lights, lasers, fireworks, and more.
Also coming this fall to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando is the new Disney Skyliner, a gondola lift system that will connect Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, and Disney Riviera Resort to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot.
Disney’s Riviera Resort, a new Disney Vacation Club property inspired by the European grandeur of the Mediterranean coastline, is set to open sometime this fall.
Toy Story Land
Although Toy Story Land opened at both Disneyland and Walt Disney Resort in 2018, for many guests it will be a new experience. Based on the Pixar Animation Studios’ Toy Story films, Toy Story Land immerses guests into a giant, toy-filled world.
Toy Story Land has two new rides—the Slinky Dog Dash, an 18-passenger coaster train inspired by the classic 1940s American toy—and Alien Swirling Saucers, where guests ride in spinning toy rocket ships while The Claw hangs overhead.
The ever-popular Toy Story Mania! is also part of Toy Story Land. During the interactive 4D ride, riders wear 3D glasses and take aim at moving virtual targets, earning points for each target they hit.
Be sure to check the Disney park websites for exact opening dates and ticket information.
Janna Graber has covered travel in more than 45 countries. She is the editor of three travel anthologies, including “A Pink Suitcase: 22 Tales of Women’s Travel,” and is the managing editor of Go World Travel Magazine.