2019 is underway, and Walt Disney World (WDW) is planning to debut many new attractions and updates very soon! We’ve compiled a short list of what we’re MOST excited for this year at WDW.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Runaway Railway might not be the TOP newest thing on many lists, but there’s a big reason why it’s the top of ours! Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is the FIRST Mickey-themed ride-through attraction to ever hit WDW. The goal of the ride is to put you right smack dab in the center of a classic animated short featuring Mickey, Minnie, and their pals.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway replaces The Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios, which closed in 2017. We were so sad to see this classic attraction go, but we’re intrigued by the concept art revealed for this new attraction. This attraction provides us with a completely new ride experience that Disney calls “2 1/2-D ride” — no 3D glasses required! Expect to see this attraction unveil in the fall of 2019.
Next on our list is The Skyliner, debuting fall of 2019. It’s second because of it’s practicality…and because it offers a FUN and relaxing way to travel between select parks and resorts! The Skyliner is a new gondola lift mass-transit system that connects Epcot (at International Gateway) and Hollywood Studios with several resorts (Boardwalk Inn, Caribbean, Riviera, Art of Animation, and Pop Century).
It will be great to have another transportation option — aside from buses — available at some moderate and value resorts!
We’d love to see them introduce a new mass-transit system serving Animal Kingdom next!
New Fireworks at Epcot
It goes without saying that “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” is one of our favorite fireworks shows. However, it’s been around for a long time, and we’re excited to see a new fireworks show put in its place! An interim fireworks show called “Epcot Forever” will run from fall of 2019 to some time in 2020, when the new permanent fireworks show will begin. Complete details have yet to be released on either show, but we’re ready to see them either way!
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
A whole new land is set to open in fall of 2019 in Hollywood Studios. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge takes up nearly 14 acres of the park’s property, including the Streets of America section of the park.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge lands you on the planet Batuu in the Black Spire Outpost, a notorious smuggler’s paradise within the universe. The new land features at least two new rides — Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. The land will also have several dining options, including Oga Garra’s Cantina.
Rumors pertaining to the details of this land are widespread! One thing that peaks our interests is how interactive the land might be with the individual park guest. Technology affords Disney the ability to personalize the experiences guests have in the parks with the additions of the MagicBand and the Disney Park app. Even more personalized interaction in Galaxy’s Edge is something that has been mentioned, but few details have been released by Disney.
Coronado Springs Updates
Coronado Springs Resort is one of our favorite moderate resorts, and is always in the running when we vote on where to stay during our next WDW vacation! So, of course, we’re excited to see some major updates and upgrades take place throughout the entire resort! Through this refurbishment, every room on property receives a facelift. The introduction of the 15-story Gran Destino Tower introduces 545 new rooms, and a new restaurant on the rooftop called Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood. The update includes the addition of Three Bridges Bar & Grill, another restaurant located in the middle of Lago Dorado, the “Golden Lake” in the middle of the resort.
The Gran Destino tower will be the second Walt Disney World resort to reach 15 stories (Bay Lake Tower being the first), and the fourth resort to pass 10 stories (joining Swan and Dolphin). All projects at Coronado are scheduled to be completed by July.
Disney’s Riviera Resort
Opening in the fall of 2019, Disney’s Riviera Resort is the newest resort/lodging option within WDW (to be accompanied by a Star Wars hotel and a new nature-inspired resort in a few years). Riviera is a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resort with an estimated 300 rooms and a rooftop restaurant. While this is a DVC resort, it is also available to non-DVC members to book through the Disney website — reservations are able to be made by all guests starting in January 2019, and DVC point sales and rentals debut shortly after!
The theming for Disney’s Riviera Resort is “inspired by Europe, imagined by Disney.” Riviera has direct access to The Skyliner, making it an ideal choice for those who like to spend a great deal of time in Epcot or Hollywood Studios!
These are only six new additions that we are looking forward to in 2019. There are many other new features and events going on this year, including Mickey’s 90th Birthday Celebration. There are also new additions from 2018 that we are still personally excited to experience for the first time on our trip this year, like Toy Story Land! Fall of 2019 promises to deliver a huge number new attractions, and therefore, undoubtedly huge crowds. If you plan to join in on the fun, especially in the last half of the year, be sure to book early and be on the lookout for more specific dates as the fall approaches.
What attractions are you most looking forward to this year?