2019 is shaping up to be a great year to visit the Walt Disney World Resort! If you visit Disney annually, we recommend planning your trip during the fall or winter if you can so that most of these new offerings will be open by then. If you’re unsure of whether or not 2019 is the right year to plan your less frequent Disney trip, you may want to wait until 2020 (or even 2021 for the resort’s 50th!) so that some of the other upcoming attractions are open and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge won’t be as “brand new.”
With 2019 just around the corner, here are nine things you can look forward to at the Walt Disney World Resort in the coming year:
Epcot International Festival of the Arts
This year’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts runs January 18-February 25. Epcot’s most underrated festival (in my opinion) has slowly been expanding in terms of length and offerings since it debuted a couple of years ago. New for 2019, the Broadway concert series will be offered every day of the week throughout the event! If there is any performance you’re set on seeing, be sure to book a dining package to save your seat. For complete information on the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, visit artfulepcot.com.
4 Park Magic Tickets
In the past Disney has occasionally run special promotions to save money off the cost of theme park tickets, and one of these offerings is making a comeback for the beginning of 2019! The 4 Park Magic ticket includes access to each theme park for one day with a total of four days on the ticket. Prices vary by date from $85/day ($340 total) to $95/day ($380 total) per adult, and you can find all the details and learn where to purchase them here.
Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration at the Magic Kingdom
Beginning January 18, Mickey and Minnie will be hosting a special celebration in the Magic Kingdom with all new entertainment, merchandise, and snacks! Complete details haven’t been released yet, but so far you can plan to expect:
- New meet and greet experience with Mickey and Minnie (together!) in new outfits specially designed for this occasion
- “Celebration Station” to be located inside Town Square Theater and will include a guestbook you can sign for Mickey and Minnie
- The new dance party “Move It! Shake It! MouskeDance It!” will debut and feature and all-new song, “It’s a Good Time”
- Pluto will have a new meet and greet location inside Pete’s Silly Sideshow in Storybook Circus
Pandora & Toy Story Land
The longer you can wait to experience new lands in a theme park, the better–at least in terms of crowds. While I would not expect the crowds at either land to become substantially smaller in the coming year, they should not be as bad as when they first opened. So if you’ve been waiting to plan a trip to these lands or are just hoping for a slightly less crowded visit, 2019 could be the year for you! Just keep in mind that when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens, the crowds at Disney’s Hollywood Studios are sure to be insane…
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
If you haven’t seen IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, the nightly fireworks show at Epcot, or if it’s been some time since you last saw it, this will be the last year to see it! The show is coming to an end in summer 2019 to make way for an all-new nighttime spectacular. We’re optimistic that the new show will be a stellar replacement (as Disney fans who prefer Happily Ever After to Wishes) but IllumiNations is such a unique and memorable experience so we’re still sad to see it go. The final date has not yet been released, so if seeing IllumiNations is on your list plan a trip earlier in the year or keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog.
If you happen to visit the Walt Disney World Resort during fall 2019, you’ll be treated to an all-new and super limited time Epcot fireworks show called Epcot Forever. Details haven’t been completely released for this temporary show yet, but we do know you can expect classic Epcot music and pyrotechnics. Once Disney shares the closing dates for IllumiNations and the opening date for this show, we’d get right on to booking a vacation that would *hopefully* cover both!
Fall 2019 brings the debut of the Disney Skyliner system, an all-new form of complimentary transportation to get around the Walt Disney World Resort! This gondola system will be similar to the ones you have seen in major cities, and while they will not have air conditioning (a controversial decision according to DisTwitter) we’re pretty confident that whatever ventilation system they come up with will be adequate for Central Florida (it’s not like the weather in Orlando is a surprise…) The Disney Skyliner will connect Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Art of Animation Resort, Pop Century Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, and the all-new Disney’s Riviera Resort.
Disney’s Riviera Resort
The 15th Disney Vacation Club Resort will be completed and open by summer 2019! Adjacent to Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Disney’s Riviera Resort will continue and enhance the theming of the current resort while offering new guest experiences and amenities. A major selling point of the new resort will be the rooftop restaurant, which will offer the best views of the fireworks in two parks; Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We’ll share more details on the new resort as they become available, and you can always find the latest updates on the Disney Parks Blog.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
The most anticipated addition to the Walt Disney World Resort will be coming in fall 2019 with the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This new land is set to be totally immersive with two new attractions, updates to old favorite attractions, dining, shops, and a resort that will seamlessly blend with the rest of the Star Wars experience. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be opening at Disneyland first, so we’ll be keeping tabs on what new additions debut on the West Coast over the summer!