Announcement Recap: What’s Coming to WDW in 2019

Courtney ReynoldsBlog

Here’s a recap of what has been announced for Walt Disney World this year, including new experiences, resorts, events, and more!

If you’re on the fence about taking a trip to Walt Disney World in 2019, you won’t be for much longer once you see just how much Disney has to offer! In case you missed some of the individual announcements, we’ve made it easier to keep track of what’s coming to WDW this year with this announcement recap.

New Celebrations

Mickey and Minnie’s Surprise Celebration starts January 18th, 2019. Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog.
  • Mickey and Minnie’s Surprise Celebration: Starting January 18th, guests can enjoy new entertainment, merchandise, and food honoring Mickey and Minnie Mouse. The highlight of this celebration will be the debut of a the new “Move It! Shake It! Mousekedance It! Street Party” parade at Magic Kingdom Park.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios will have a new logo this year, celebrating its 30th anniversary. Logo courtesy of Disney.
  • 30th Anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios: This year, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will celebrate its 30th birthday! In addition to new entertainment coming to the park this year, Disney revealed a new logo honoring this achievement.

New Experiences

Guests will be able to meet Edna Mode starting January 18th, 2019, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Concept art courtesy of Disney.
  • Party with Pixar Pals at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Starting January 18th as a part of the park’s 30th anniversary celebration, guests can mingle with popular Pixar characters like The Incredibles, Frozone, Edna Mode, and Mike & Sulley from “Monster’s, Inc.”
Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy is expected to open Spring 2019. Image courtesy of Disney Parks Blog.
  • Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy: Learn all about racing straight from Lightning McQueen himself at “Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests can enjoy this new experience starting this spring.

UPDATE: The opening date for Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy will be March 31st, 2019.

A new nighttime show is coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 1st. Concept art courtesy of Disney.
Starting January 18th, 2019, guests can let their inner animals roam free on the dance floor at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Concept art courtesy of Disney.
A temporary nighttime show is coming to Epcot as Imagineers prepare for the new nighttime spectacular in 2020. Concept art courtesy of Disney.
  • Epcot Forever Fireworks Show: Imagineers are still working on a replacement for “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth”, which will be ending its 20-year run this summer. A temporary fireworks show called “Epcot Forever” will debut this fall to provide nighttime entertainment until the new permanent show is ready in 2020.
The NBA Experience is expected to open Summer 2019 at Disney Springs. Concept art courtesy of Disney.
  • The NBA Experience at Disney Springs: This new addition to Disney Springs will be feature 13 immersive, hands-on basketball activities perfect for sports fans! It’s expected to open this summer.

New Restaurants and Hotels

  • Jaleo at Disney Springs: Chef José Andrés is bringing the flavors of Spain to Disney Springs by way of his new tapas restaurant, Jaleo, which is expected to open this winter.
The Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs is expected to open Summer 2019. Concept art courtesy of Disney.
  • Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort: Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort has already undergone a huge transformation with the final piece set to be completed this summer. The Gran Destino Tower will feature a rooftop restaurant and 545 new guest rooms spanning 15 stories.
Disney’s Riviera Resort is expected to open Fall 2019. Concept art courtesy of Disney.
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort: Walt Disney World will soon welcome its 15th Disney Vacation Club resort, the first DVC resort to open since Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort in 2004. Disney’s Riviera Resort is expected to open this fall.

New Rides & Attractions

The Disney Skyliner transportation system is expected to open in 2019. Concept art courtesy of Disney.
  • Disney Skyliner Transportation System: Although no specific timeframe has been released, the Disney Skyliner transportation system is still expected to open sometime this year, giving guests a new way to travel between Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Riviera Resort.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is expected to open in 2019. Concept art courtesy of Disney.
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway: This “multi-dimensional” attraction is the first ride-through attraction themed to Mickey and Minnie Mouse and will take guests through the unpredictable world of the new Mickey Mouse shorts. It’s being built inside the Chinese Theater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and is set to open sometime this year.
Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is expected to open at Walt Disney World Fall 2019. Concept art courtesy of Disney.
  • Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge: Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, which is expected to open at Walt Disney World this fall! This highly-anticipated land will surely transform Disney’s Hollywood Studios into an absolute must-do for park-goers. This will definitely be the biggest draw of the year!

Returning Events

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts returns for its third year. Photo courtesy of Disney.
  • Epcot International Festival of the Arts: The Epcot International Festival of the Arts is returning for its third year from January 18th-February 25th. Guests can enjoy art workshops, interactive exhibits, unique food, special performances, and more. The Disney on Broadway concert series has been extended to seven days a week for the first time.
The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is returns this spring. Photo courtesy of Disney.
  • Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is returning this spring from March 6th-June 3rd. Guests can enjoy floral workshops, beautiful topiaries, unique food, special performances, and more. The Garden Rocks Concert series has been extended to seven days a week for the first time.
The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is returning this fall. Photo courtesy of Disney.
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is returning this fall, although no dates have been announced yet. Guests can enjoy culinary workshops, unique food, special performances, and more. The Eat to the Beat Concert Series will also return.
H2O Glow Nights will return to Typhoon Lagoon this summer. Photo courtesy of Disney.
  • H2O Glow Nights at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon*: On Thursdays and Sundays from May 30th-August 24th, guests can enjoy an exclusive nighttime experience at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. Eat, swim, and dance the night away with your favorite Toy Story Pals.

*Indicates a special event that requires a separate ticket for admission.

2019 Announcement Recap

Have we convinced you yet?? I can’t believe how jam-packed this year is going to be!

Make sure to bookmark the WDW Magazine blog for all the latest Walt Disney World news, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates and live content throughout the year!

If you’re ready to get started on planning your Walt Disney World vacation, don’t forget to contact our partner: Destination To Travel.

By Courtney Reynolds

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About the Author

Courtney Reynolds

Courtney is a Photographer for WDW Magazine. She is originally from New England, but is currently enjoying life in Orlando. You will often find her with a camera in one hand and a coffee in the other. In addition to photography, she loves tacos, Donald Duck, and riding roller coasters. Her favorite holiday is Halloween. For more about Courtney, you can find her on Facebook and Instagram.