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11 Things Coming to Disney in 2019

From a galaxy far, far away to the very first ride featuring Mickey Mouse, there are more reasons than ever to vacation with Disney in the coming year.

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mickey minnie runaway Courtesy Disney

Take a ride through a Mickey Cartoon

You’ll find Mickey Mouse’s iconic ears hidden in the decor of many hotels and restaurants, recreated in food from cinnamon buns to ice cream, and for purchase on beanies and headbands—but, surprisingly, you won’t find the world’s most famous mouse on a ride-through attraction. That’s all set to change in fall 2019 when Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando. Described as a multi-dimensional journey through a Mickey Mouse cartoon, the ride will feature a new original story and catchy original theme song. Find out 10 foods you have to try at least once at Walt Disney World.

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Star wars galaxys edgeCourtesy Disney

Step into another galaxy, far, far away

Star Wars geeks are at the edge of their X-wings waiting for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to open. The new themed land will feature two attractions: Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, on which guests will be able to follow in the footsteps of Han Solo and Chewbacca and take control of the infamous ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs; on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, guests join in a battle between the Resistance and the First Order, including a face-off with villain Kylo Ren. Because using the Force works up an appetite, you can grab a bite to eat at Oga’s Cantina—just be sure to keep an eye out for bounty hunters, smugglers, and Stormtroopers while enjoying the other-worldly fare. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is set to open at Disneyland in summer 2019 and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Disney World in late fall. Until then, check out these Disney attractions for Star Wars fans.

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world of animationCourtesy Disney

Celebrate Disney’s Hollywood Studios 30th anniversary

Disney’s Hollywood Studios turns 30 on May 1, 2019, and the park will celebrate it in true Disney style. Debuting on that day will be the Wonderful World of Animation, a brand new nighttime cinematic experience presented on the facade of the Chinese Theater. The multi-sensory, state-of-the-art technology show takes guest on a journey through the past 90 years of all things involving Mickey and Disney. Hold on to your mouse ears!

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Disney skylinerCourtesy Disney

Glide through the sky

Depending on where you stay at Walt Disney World, you can get around the resort by land, sea, and—in fall of 2019—air: The Disney Skyliner gondolas will offer sweeping views and countless moments perfect for posting on social media as they carry you from Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot to four of the resort’s hotels, including Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and the new Disney’s Riviera Resort (more on that below).

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riviera resortCourtesy Disney

Stay and play on the Riviera

Disney’s Riviera Resort is slated to open in the fall 2019 and will pay homage to Walt Disney’s love affair with the art, architecture, food, and culture of the Mediterranean coast. The waterfront property, which is on tap to become the 15th Disney Vacation Club property, will offer rooftop views of the nightly fireworks and is a Disney Skyliner ride away from Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot. While exact details about the hotel’s amenities are scarce, we think it’s safe to assume guests will be treated to tres magnifique Mediterranean-inspired food and luxury.

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coronado springs resortCourtesy Disney

Coronado Springs Resort expansion

The Spanish-explorer themed resort that’s a favorite of budget-minded park goers is getting a lavish expansion with a new 15-story lakeside tower that includes an additional 500 rooms including suites and concierge-level services. The resort’s grounds are getting refreshed too with floating gardens and an island oasis connected by bridges. Sounds like the perfect place to grab some R&R in between all the fun.

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Courtesy Disney

Even more dining options

There’s a new restaurant adjacent to Mission: SPACE where diners are promised an out-of-this-world experience. For grown-up eats, Nobel Peace Prize-nominated chef José Andres is opening up a branch of his much-loved tapas restaurant Jaleo at Disney Springs. City Works Eatery and Pour House will also open its doors at Disney Springs and will start pouting a vast selection of local and global craft beers in the summer of 2019. You don’t even need to buy a resort pass to eat at Jaleo or City Works; Disney Springs is just one of the ways you can experience Disney without buying a park ticket.

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illuminationsCourtesy Disney

Say farewell to Illuminations

After a 20-year run, “Epcot’s Illuminations: Reflections of the Earth,” which tells the story of Earth, will be retiring in a blaze of glory in the summer of 2019. But don’t worry, firework fans, in true Disney fashion, the yet-to-be-revealed replacement that will debut in 2020 promises to be bigger and better than anything seen before. The new nighttime spectacular show is all part of Disney’s plan to update Epcot and will focus on Disney music while featuring choreographed moving fountains, lasers, and, of course, fireworks. In the interim, “Epcot Forever,” will incorporate new arrangements of classic Epcot tunes including “Tomorrow’s Child” and “One Little Spark,” along with special effects kites, lasers, and yes, fireworks. Don’t miss these 14 insider secrets from a Disney World super fan.

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stockholmCourtesy Disney

Cruise to new European ports

For the first time in August 2019, Disney Magic will be making port calls in Sweden, including Stockholm (via Nynashamn) and Gothenburg. Then in September 2019, the ship will add Belfast Northern Ireland to her itinerary. Here, guests can explore Giant’s Causeway, a World Heritage site that was formed by volcanic activity about 60 million years ago; or, explore the ruins of the medieval Dunluce Castle along the Antrim Coast. Other new ports of call for Disney Magic include Toulon (Provence) and Brest, France; Cartagena, Spain; and Fredericia, Denmark.

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DCL RomeCourtesy Disney Cruise Line

Roundtrip sailings from Rome

Cruisegoers who want to start and end their sailings from Rome will want to sign up for the June 14, 2019 cruise aboard the Disney Magic. It’s the first and only Disney cruise in 2019 that will embark from and return to the Eternal City. The eight-night cruise also hits Salerno (Positano, Amalfi, Pompeii) and La Spezia (Florence, Pisa), Italy; Villefranche (Monte Carlo, Cannes, Nice) and Marseilles, France; and Barcelona, Spain.

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Japan itineraryCourtesy Chloe Rice

Discover Japan, the Disney way

Also new in 2019, Adventures by Disney is introducing its first packaged vacation to Japan, created in collaboration with the Japan National Tourism Organization. Since it’s Disney, you won’t find yourself doing the standard touristy stuff on the ten-night trip: Think bicycle tours through farm villages, river cruises through rice paddies, and rickshaw rides through a bamboo forest. You’ll also get the chance to engage with local artisans including caligraphers and origami experts, catch a Samurai swordsmanship demonstration and a maiko dance performance, learn how to make sushi, and take advantage of more once-in-a-lifetime experiences. And, of course, while you’re there, you’ll also need to plan a trip to Tokyo Disney Resort. Find out more about VIP Disney vacations you need to take at least once.

Anne L. Fritz
Anne L. Fritz is a freelance writer, editor and mom of two based in Stamford, CT. Prior to launching her freelance career, Anne worked for Woman's Day, Life & Style, Seventeen, and more. You can find more of her musings on motherhood and more at

Fritz is on a lifelong hunt for the fountain of youth. She's convinced her two young kids, who won't let her sit down for longer than five mintues at a time, are it. Or maybe it's karma paying her back.