It’s hard to believe that we’re more than half-way through 2019 already! 2019 has been a fantastic year to visit Walt Disney World. Disney’s campaign, #NowMoreThanEver is a great time to visit, certainly has proven to be true. But the year is not over yet, and there are still so many new things to enjoy and more to look forward to! Check out the 15 new things we’re crazy excited about at Walt Disney World in 2019.
15 – The Incredibles Hollywood Studios (now through September 30, 2019)
The Incredible Expo was a huge success last summer in Magic Kingdom with their fantastic set-up in Tomorrowland. In 2019 however, The Incredibles shifted over to the former Pixar Place where the Toy Story Mania entrance was once located in Hollywood Studios. Pixar Place received a transformation into a Municiberg city block – home to The Incredibles characters! There is 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 (now through September 30, 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 back in Hollywood Studios for a meet and greet at Walt Disney Presents. We can’t wait to hug these two!
13 – Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party (now through September 30, 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”!
12 – Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration(now through September 30, 2019)
2019 at Magic Kingdom is all about our favorite Disney couple – Mickey and Minnie! Celebrate Mickey and Minnie in several ways such as:
- “Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party” – Guests 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 are available for purchase at many of the eateries and gift shops.
- Plus, who doesn’t love some exclusive 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.
11 – Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, opened March 31, 2019
Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ shows are some of the very best on Walt Disney World property! Well, a new show has raced into the mix from the beloved Cars films! Located near Rock’ N’ Roller Coaster, guests have an opportunity to experience Lightning McQueen and his best friend, Tow Mater. Plus, after the show, guests have a chance to meet Cruz Ramirez. Get ready to sit back and enjoy the show! Ka-Chow! Click here for our review of the show!
10 – Coronado Springs Gran Destino Tower, opened July 9, 2019
The quiet, Moderate Resort known as Coronado Springs receieved a MASSIVE expansion that is noticeable when driving by. This resort likely won’t be so “quiet” anymore, as a very large, 15-story tower is now built offering 545 resort rooms. Plus, beyond the expansion of the tower, all 1,800 resort rooms at Coronado Springs received updates! This massive overhaul and expansion is now complete and the results are amazing.
9 – The Return of “Rafiki’s Planet Watch” Area, opened July 11, 2019
After closing for a lengthy refurbishment, Rafiki’s Planet Watch re-opened on July 11, 2019! Rafiki’s Planet Watch offers the opportunity to learn more about the animals that live at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, including how they are fed, their habitat and how to conserve and protect the environment that they live in. It is an excellent place with a lot of interactive components. Along with the re-opening a new Animation Experience can be enjoyed at Rafiki’s Plante Watch.
8 – The NBA Experience, opening August 12, 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! Click here for more information about this upcoming experience.
7 – New Firework Displays at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, debuting August 16, 2019, and November 8, 2019
Disney has announced that both fireworks shows at the holiday parties will be entirely new this year. First up at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party a brand-new show will replace HalloWishes after a thirteen-year run. The new show will feature state of the art projection effects, lasers, lighting, and fireworks. The show will take guests along on a trick-or-treating adventure. Then beginning November 8, we can look forward to catching a brand-new show hosted by Minnie Mouse! Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks show will celebrate the magic of Christmas with medleys of favorite holiday songs. Disney promises an incredible finale you won’t want to miss. For more details on the Halloween Fireworks, click here. For more information on the Christmas Fireworks, click here.
6 – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, opening August 29, 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. The land is open in Disneyland, and the reviews have been fantastic. Expect two attractions: Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. (Rise of the Resistance will open on December 5, 2019). There will also be plenty of out of this world dining and shopping. We can’t wait to experience it here at Walt Disney World.
5 – The Disney Skyliner, opening September 29, 2019
Disney’s newest form of transportation is currently under construction and scheduled to open on September 29, 2019! This is the most significant 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.
4 – Epcot’s New Nighttime Spectacular, opening October 1, 2019
It was recently announced that on September 30, 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 on October 1, 2019, and will feature classic Epcot tunes.
3 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Joins in the Holiday Fun for the First Time in 2019, debuting November 8, 2019
Disney’s Animal Kingdom will introduce the biggest holiday season in its two-decade history, with festive new entertainment and holiday décor in every land. Daytime and nighttime, guests will experience the majesty of nature and holiday magic. Here is some of what’s in store:
- In the heart of the park, on Discovery Island, guests will find themselves immersed in a magical scene. By day, stylized, life-sized animal puppets mingle with villagers who make the island their home. As day becomes night, rooftop luminaries in animal shapes and bird lanterns throughout Discovery Island will bring a warm glow to the village.
- As the sun sets, the Tree of Life will awaken with a series of wintry tales emerging from within, backed by a familiar and heartwarming holiday musical score. Between awakening moments, the Tree of Life will shimmer and sparkle throughout the night, alive with the magic of nature and the spirit of the holidays.
- Dinoland, U.S.A.will rock out with the DJ-led “Holiday Hoopla Dance Party with Chip ‘n Dale” and plenty of interactive fun and games. Throughout the land, characters gathered for “Donald’s Dino-Bash!” will get in the holiday spirit with colorful costumes.
- Diwali, the Holiday Festival of Lights in India, has inspired the residents of Anandapur in Glowing flowers, lanterns and more will illuminate the main square leading to the waterfront stage, home to authentic and colorful cultural performances.
- The village of Harambe in Africa will welcome guests with a unique holiday presentation, fusing Western traditions with the colors and texture of authentic African celebrations; colorful costuming and new music flavors each performance.
- Tusker Housediners get their merry on as Safari Donald Duck, and his pals spread holiday cheer.
- Guests will find out-of-this-world Christmastime fun at Pandora – The World of Avatar. Ex-pats living and working on the moon of Pandora roll out seasonal fun with a display at Pongu Pongu of kitschy holiday décor, pairing vintage pieces from Earth with items handcrafted from materials indigenous to Pandora.
- A Christmas tree will tower over the park entrance. Decorated with traditional ornaments and hidden animals, the tree is a prelude to the holiday magic that awaits inside the park.
2 – Epcot Space-Themed Restaurant, opening late 2019
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! Disney has announced this restaurant will be opening in late 2019.
1 – Riviera Resort, opening: December 16, 2019
A new Disney Vacation Club (DVC) Resort is in the works for December 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, Topolino’s Terrace, a rooftop restaurant, is one we can look forward to dining at.
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