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Credit: Disney

NEWS: New Disney World Experiences Announced at D23’s Destination D Event

This weekend at the D23 Destination D: Celebrating Mickey Mouse event, Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products Chairman Bob Chapek announced new experiences as well as additional details on the biggest Disney projects at Disney World. We’ve got all the details below.


Here are all the details from Disney Cast Member Thomas Smith:

In 2019, there are exciting new experiences coming to Disney Parks – all inspired by Mickey Mouse!

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Bob unveiled news of an all-new cinematic nighttime experience, “Wonderful World of Animation,” which will debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in May 2019, as part of the park’s 30th-anniversary celebration. The show will use state-of-the-art projection technology to take guests on a magical journey through more than 90 years of Disney animation, all beginning with Mickey himself.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Bob Chapek also revealed the names of the two signature attractions set for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge when it opens at the Disneyland Resort next summer and at the Walt Disney World Resort in fall 2019.

Guests can take the controls in one of three unique and critical roles aboard Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. And on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, guests can join an epic battle between the First Order and the Resistance – including a face-off with Kylo Ren himself!

Here are two videos shared at the event:

Here are more details on the attractions from Disney Cast Member Scott Trowbridge:

The first attraction, entitled Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, puts guests behind the controls of the most famous ship in the galaxy in one of three unique flight crew roles.

Our second attraction, which puts guests in the middle of an epic battle between the Resistance and the First Order, is called Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. As you can see from this video, which was shot in the actual attraction, both the stakes and the excitement are running high in this epic Star Wars cliffhanger!

These two new incredible experiences – paired with the land’s dynamic elements and optional interactive integration with the Play Disney Parks app – invite guests to become galactic travelers and live their own Star Wars stories in a galaxy far, far away.

But that’s not all! When you think about Star Wars, I’m sure that the iconic music of legendary composer John Williams comes to mind. Today, Bob shared more exciting news in that Oscar-winning composer John Williams is creating new and original Star Wars themes exclusively for the land! Bob shared a stirring preview of the all-new music, recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios. You can listen to the preview as well in this new video, which showcases recent construction progress at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

And there’s so much more to do at this exotic outpost. For example, you can visit a street market in Black Spire Outpost, shop at food stalls where you can enjoy delicacies like blue milk, or visit the Cantina where you can see an old friend Rex, as well as encounter creatures and characters that are hallmarks of the Star Wars universe. Guests from across the galaxy can experience this new larger-than-life land at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort beginning in 2019.

Adding to the galactic excitement, Bob shared new details about the currently in-development Star Wars resort coming to Walt Disney World. This groundbreaking experience is unlike any resort experience you’ve ever seen. From the moment you board your launch pod, it’s a fully-immersive, multi-day Star Wars adventure aboard a luxury starship complete with high-end dining, space-view cabins and all of the exciting action you would expect from an authentic Star Wars experience.


Bob shared an exciting update on a new spectacular planned to open at Epcot in 2020 as part of the multi-year transformation of the park!

The new nighttime spectacular will celebrate how Disney music inspires people around the world and will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, and lasers.

Credit: Disney

Before that new show debuts, there will be a limited-time experience Epcot fans will love, called “Epcot Forever,” which will debut in fall 2019 and will feature classic Epcot tunes.

Also at Epcot, Bob revealed that the Ratatouille experience coming to the France pavilion will be called Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.

Credit: Disney

And coming soon to the France pavilion at World Showcase: In addition to “Impressions de France,”: a brand new “Beauty and the Beast” sing-along created by Don Hahn, producer of the animated and live-action “Beauty and the Beast” films, is set to debut.

Disney Resorts

During his presentation, Chapek unveiled details about Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge, a deluxe, nature-inspired resort coming to Orlando that will feature more than 900 hotel rooms and proposed Disney Vacation Club villas. This resort was announced last month.

RELATED ARTICLE: 15 Things We’re Crazy Excited About Arriving in 2019 at Disney World!

By Mike and Jamie Sylvester

2018 was an exceptional year at Walt Disney World! As we celebrated Pandora – World of Avatar’s 1-year anniversary at Animal Kingdom, we were also welcoming a new land in Hollywood Studios – Toy Story Land. Among these highlights – loads of new restaurants, entertainment, and retail options joined Walt Disney World. While 2018 was fantastic, we’re thrilled to say… 2019 is going to be INSANE at Walt Disney World! If you haven’t already, you should definitely start planning a trip of a lifetime! Check out these 15 things we’re crazy excited about arriving in 2019!


15 – The Incredibles Arrive at Hollywood Studios

Opening: January 18, 2019

The Incredibles has been a huge success this summer in Magic Kingdom with their fantastic set-up in Tomorrowland. For 2019 however, The Incredibles will be shifting over to the former Pixar Place where the Toy Story Mania entrance was once located in Hollywood Studios. This Pixar Place is getting a transformation into a Municiberg city block – home to The Incredibles characters! There will be a block party featuring Mr. & Mrs. Incredible and Frozone. PLUS – enjoy meeting our favorite superhero clothing designer, Edna Mode.

14 – Mike & Sulley Meet and Greet

Opening: January 18, 2019

Remember the days when you could meet Mike Wazoski and Sulley from Monsters, Inc. at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Great news! These best buddies are coming back to Hollywood Studios for a meet and greet to be held at Walt Disney Presents. This will replace the current meet and greet with Star Lord and Groot. We can’t wait to hug these two!

13 – Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party

Opening: January 18, 2019

It means “no worries”! Time to dance along as Disney celebrates The Lion King’s 25thanniversary with a Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party located in Discovery Island at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Timon and Rafiki are ready to dance along with the crowd while reminding us “Hakuna Matata”!

Credit: Disney

12 – Epcot International Festival of Arts

Opening: January 18 – February 25, 2019

The Epcot International Festival of Arts is back for 2019! This new“ish” festival is well worth a visit. With lower crowds than you’ll find compared to the other three Epcot Festivals (Flower and Garden, Food and Wine, and Festival of Holidays), we especially love visiting this time of year! The visual and performing arts are at their finest, including Disney on Broadway Concert Series and even indulging in “tasty arts” with food and beverages.

11 – Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration

Opening: January 18, 2019

2019 at Magic Kingdom is all about our favorite Disney couple – Mickey and Minnie! Get ready to celebrate Mickey and Minnie in several ways such as:

  • “Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party” – Guest will have an opportunity to dance along with their favorite Disney pals with music beloved Mickey Mouse Club songs.
  • The timeless Magic Kingdom Dapper Dans will sing about the sweet couple!
  • Mickey and Minnie themed snacks and sweet treats will be available for purchase at many of the eateries and gift shops.
  • Plus, who doesn’t love some special Mickey and Minnie merchandise!

The Mickey and Minnie’s Surprise Celebration is only for a limited time, however, so be sure to enjoy all these mouse couple celebrations at Magic Kingdom while you can.

 10 – Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy

Opening: Early Spring 2019

Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ shows are some of the very best on Walt Disney World property! Well, a new show is racing into the mix from the belovedCarsfilms! Located near Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, guests will have an opportunity to experience Lightning McQueen and his best friend, Tow Mater. Plus, after the show, guests will have an opportunity to meet Cruz Ramirez. Get ready to sit back and enjoy the show! Ka-Chow!


9 – The Disney Skyliner

Opening: Fall 2019

Disney’s newest form of transportation is currently under construction and scheduled to open in 2019! This is the greatest transportation task Disney has tackled in quite some time and is much needed with the influx of people traffic. The transportation is a gondola-style system that will take guests to and from multiple locations including Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Riviera Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, Art of Animation Resort, and Pop Century Resort. Get ready to glide along in your Skyliner cabin with unbelievable views and ease of transportation.

8 – The Return of “Rafiki’s Planet Watch” Area

Opening: Rumored Spring 2019

This one is still under much speculation! As of October 21, 2018 – Rafiki’s Planet Watch in Animal Kingdom closed for “refurbishment”. Much speculation is surrounding this area. When it was first rumored to be closing, it was said to be a permanent closure. Now, the latest news is that this area will in fact reopen but may have some changes. We are excited to hear what these changes may be and to experience them hopefully in Spring 2019.

7 – Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Opening: Between April and May 2019

We were sad to see The Great Movie Ride close in 2017, but when it was announced that Mickey and Minnie were finally getting a ride to feature them – we couldn’t help but get excited about the change! Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will allow guests to ride along through a Mickey Mouse cartoon with unexpected scenes in “2 ½D” form which according to Disney means no glasses required. The rumored opening date is speculated to fall between April and May 2019.

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway Concept Art. Credit: Disney

6 – The NBA Experience

Opening: Summer 2019

Remember DisneyQuest? Well, as you may know by now, the former DisneyQuest location is currently being transformed into The NBA Experience at Disney Springs. The NBA Experience is said to feature interactive games and competitions, immersive experiences, a retail store, and an adjacent restaurant. If you’re a basketball fan, it sounds like THIS will be an experience not to pass up!

5 – Coronado Springs 15-Story Tower

Opening: Summer 2019

The quiet, Moderate Resort known as Coronado Springs is getting a MASSIVE expansion that is already noticeable when driving by. This resort likely won’t be so “quiet” anymore, as a very large, 15-story tower is being built to offer 545 resort rooms. Plus, beyond the expansion of the tower, all 1,800 resort rooms at Coronado Springs are getting updates! This huge overhaul and expansion is scheduled to be complete by summer 2019.

 4 – Epcot’s New Nighttime Spectacular

Opening: Rumored mid-2019 / End of Summer

It was recently announced that in mid-2019, Epcot’s long-running “IllumiNations” Nighttime Spectacular will be ending. While this was a shock to us, we also believe this nighttime show is due for a change in our opinion. The new nighttime spectacular, which will debut in 2020, will celebrate how Disney music inspires people around the world and will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, and lasers. Before that new show debuts, there will be a limited-time experience Epcot fans will love, called “Epcot Forever,” which will debut in fall 2019 and will feature classic Epcot tunes.

 3 – Riviera Resort

Opening: Fall 2019

A new Disney Vacation Club (DVC) Resort is in the works for Fall 2019! Being a DVC Resort, this means that Disney will open their DVC Membership timeshare for this resort. DVC members will be able to use their “points” to stay. This doesn’t mean non-DVC members can’t stay here, however! Anyone is welcome to stay, just the payment method is slightly different for the two. One exciting component to this 300-room resort is the ability to hop on the Disney Skyliner for easy transportation to and from Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Plus, there is a planned roof-top restaurant we can look forward to dining at.

2 – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Opening: Late 2019

In 2017 it was Pandora – World of Avatar; 2018 was Toy Story Land, and 2019 promises to be one of the most exceptional lands yet… Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Home to Hollywood Studios, this 14-acre land is going to be a Star Wars’ fans dream come true. All the details have yet to be released, but we do know enough to keep us impatiently waiting! Expect two attractions: Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. We also know there will be dining options (both quick service and table service restaurants), a Marketplace for shopping, and plenty of character encounters. We can’t wait for this EPIC land to open in late 2019!

1 – Epcot Space-Themed Restaurant

Opening: Rumored Late 2019 or Early 2020

Disney has released the development of a space-themed restaurant that is going to be built above Mission: SPACE near Test Track in Epcot. We also know the restaurant is being operated by the Patina Restaurant Group which is the same group behind the beloved Via Napoli and Tutto Italia in Epcot. Simulated space views are expected to be around every turn in the restaurant so that guests dining will literally feel like they are dining in outer space! While no opening date has been released, the rumors all point to late 2019 – possibly around the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge timing.

2019 is going to be AMAZING! What are YOU most excited about?

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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!