Disney World is in a perpetual state of transformation. One could make the case that there is always some kind of major new construction project taking place.
Over just the past few years, we have watched the development and opening of entire new lands including New Fantasyland, Pandora – The World of Avatar, and Toy Story Land. In between, we received new attractions like Frozen Ever After and new evening shows like Disney’s Movie Magic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Rivers of Light and Tree of Life Awakening at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom’s spectacular Happily Ever After fireworks. And that’s just the big ones!
The current time is no exception — there are new attractions, shows, resorts and even a new transportation system being built right at this moment! Walt Disney World says it is in the midst of its most significant growth of the past two decades!
Here’s a round up of what’s new at Disney World in 2019.
The ‘World’s Biggest Mouse Party’ is a celebration of Mickey’s 90th birthday that’s taking place across all the Disney Resorts around the World. At Walt Disney World, from Jan. 18 to Sept. 30, Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration at Magic Kingdom will feature new food, merchandise and entertainment, including a new dance party with Mickey, Minnie and their friends, and a chance to meet Mickey and Minnie together in their new birthday outfits.
- Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration will honor those true originals, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, with new entertainment, merchandise and specialty food and beverages at Magic Kingdom.
- Mickey and Minnie will greet guests together inside Town Square Theater, wearing all-new, colorful outfits for their special celebration.
- Guests will enjoy Celebration Station inside Town Square Theater, where they may sign a guestbook to let Mickey and Minnie know, personally, how much fun they had during the party.
- An all-new song, “It’s a Good Time,” will play several times daily as part of the new “Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party.” During this high-energy bash, singing hosts will invite guests to join in the fun with Disney pals including Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, and many others.
- Mickey’s beloved dog, Pluto, will meet guests under the big top at Pete’s Silly Sideshow in Storybook Circus.
Also in Magic Kingdom, Tron – the thrill ride attraction at Shanghai Disneyland– is currently being constructed in Tomorrowland. It is planned to open in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary in 2021.
Epcot is in the midst of a multi-year transformation designed to honor the park’s original vision while making it more timeless, more relevant, more family and more Disney.
We recently learned brand new “Beauty and the Beast” sing-along, created by Don Hahn, producer of the animated and live action “Beauty and the Beast” films. There will also be an update to the O Canada! 360-degree show. This is in addition to the previously announced new film for the China pavilion.
A big change coming in 2019 is the closure of the long-running IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. An all-new, transformative spectacular set to debut in 2020. It will celebrate how Disney music can inspire people from around the world, featuring massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics and lasers.
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But before that new show debuts, there will be a limited-time experience Epcot fans will love, called Epcot Forever, a true celebration of this timeless park. Debuting in fall 2019 and set to classic Epcot tunes, the show begins with a spark of imagination that quickly grows into an epic spectacle of fireworks, music, lighting, lasers, and choreographed, special effects kites.
More Broadway Music Than Ever at Epcot International Festival of the Arts
The Epcot International Festival of the Arts comes to life Jan. 18-Feb. 25, 2019, where guests will indulge in world-class culinary, visual and performance arts. The Disney on Broadway Concert Series expands to seven days a week during the festival, providing more opportunities than ever before to hear pairs of Disney on Broadway stars sing favorite tunes from award-winning productions. The lineup will rotate regularly, featuring music from “The Lion King,” “Frozen,” “Beauty and the Beast” and other hit shows.
The 2019 festival provides fun every day for the whole family, including performance artists, complimentary seminars, hands-on activities and Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt.
At World Showcase, a Ratatouille experience much like the attraction at Walt Disney Studios at Disneyland Paris is coming to the France pavilion. It will be called Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. This is expected to open in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th in 2021.
A “Guardians of the Galaxy”inspired attraction will be added to Future World (in the place of Ellen’s Energy Adventure), adhering to the original vision of Epcot’s Future World as the place to experience the excitement and adventure offered by space travel. This will be a thrill ride roller coaster with a new state-of-the-art vehicle design. This is also expected to open in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th in 2021.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is one of the larger single projects in Walt Disney World history. Since Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was announced at D23 Expo 2015, we have learned that guests can take the controls in one of three unique and critical roles aboard Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run attraction. On Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride, guests can join an epic battle between the First Order and the Resistance – including a face-off with Kylo Ren. These two new incredible experiences, paired with the land’s interactive components and optional integration with the Play Disney Parks app, will invite guests to become galactic travelers and live their own Star Wars stories in a galaxy far, far away.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is currently being created in the space that used to be The Great Movie ride. Disney says this attraction will use breakthrough technology to transform a two-dimensional cartoon into an amazing real-world experience. This first-ever ride-through attraction themed to Mickey Mouse is set to open in fall 2019. It will feature a new original story and lovable theme song as it takes guests on a journey inside the wacky and unpredictable world of Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts.
30th Anniversary and New Nighttime Spectacular
May 1, 2019, marks the 30th anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The park will celebrate this milestone all year long, starting Jan. 18 with the reveal of a new 30th anniversary logo. 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 will use state-of-the-art projection technology to take guests on a magical journey through more than 90 years of Disney animation.
Pixar Pals, Disney Junior and More
Pixar Avenue (the former entrance to Toy Story Midway Mania) will become the place for guests to show off their inner Supers with The Incredibles. Guests will celebrate the heroic deeds of Mr. Incredible, Mrs. Incredible and Frozone, who will make appearances throughout the day during a party featuring lively music, dancing, interactive games and more Super fun. Guests will meet super-suit designer Edna Mode and see some of her greatest creations. They may also spot signs for the whereabouts of the youngest Incredible – the mischievous and multi-powered Jack-Jack.
A door to the monster world will open inside Walt Disney Presents, inviting guests to visit with Mike and Sulley from Disney•Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.”
In addition, the new high-energy live show “Disney Junior Dance Party!” will feature characters from Disney Junior television series, including Vampirina, Doc McStuffins, Mickey Mouse from “Mickey and the Roadster Racers, and many more.
And in spring 2019, Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy will speed into Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This new show experience will welcome guests to the world of Pixar’s Cars films, bringing them face to face with racing legend Lightning McQueen. As the next generation of rookie racers, guests will learn from Lightning’s years of experience on the track. This will be the untold story of Lightning McQueen … as told by Lightning McQueen!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
It’s been 25 years since Simba, Timon, Rafiki and all the other treasured characters from Walt Disney Pictures’ “The Lion King” first roared into our hearts. In 2019, guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be able to celebrate the classic animated film more than ever.
Each day from Jan. 18 to Sept. 30, guests will feel the love during the “Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party,” a raucous celebration where young adventurers will let their inner animals roam free on the dance floor. Timon and Rafiki will engage everyone in entertaining dances and games inspired by “The Lion King,” as wildly talented musicians provide the perfect soundtrack in a World Beat style.
Also from Jan. 18 to Sept. 30, guests will imagine themselves in scenes from the film via new three-dimensional photo opportunities at the park. These backdrops will allow guests to re-create iconic “Lion King” moments ideal for sharing on social media platforms.
Stunning New Resorts
Disney’s Riviera Resort
Projected to open in fall 2019, Disney’s Riviera Resort, inspired by the European grandeur Walt Disney experienced in his travels along the Mediterranean coastline, will be the 15th Disney Vacation Club property. Located adjacent to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, this property will have a great view of fireworks spectaculars and easy access to the Disney Skyliner, which will have a station at the resort.
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
In summer 2019, Walt Disney World Resort will unveil a completely reimagined Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, featuring hundreds of new guestrooms and a plethora of new amenities in addition to the 1800-plus existing rooms, which have also been refurbished. The biggest addition to the property will be a 15-story tower offering a two-level entrance lobby, 545 guest rooms (including 50 suites), a themed and unique rooftop table-service restaurant, two presidential suites and more. It’s name is Gran Destino Tower and its rooms are already available for booking.
A second new restaurant will be located on an island in the middle of the resort’s 14-acre lake, Lago Dorado. New walkways will stretch across the lake, allowing quick and convenient passage to and from all areas of the resort.
Other Resorts in Progress
Walt Disney World recently revealed plans to build a 900 hotel room deluxe, nature-inspired resort called Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge. This is another proposed Disney Vacation Club villas property. It will be located on the shore of Bay Lake adjacent to Fort Wilderness. The opening time frame is 2022.
Adding to the excitement, a groundbreaking Star Wars resort is coming to Walt Disney World Resort. This multi-day, fully immersive adventure will take guests aboard a luxury starship with all the features expected of a first-class hotel, including dining, recreation, and accommodations, all authentic to the Star Wars universe. Guests staying here will also have direct access to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
This is an incredible lineup of new experiences to enjoy at Disney World and we haven’t even covered it all!
Are you planning your visits in each of the upcoming few years to enjoy all of these new attractions and offerings?
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