Dis­ney parks in­crease of­fer­ings for 2019

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - TRAVEL - Jen­nifer San­galang

Get ready for a lit­tle magic from the Magic King­dom. Scratch that, a lot of magic.

Walt Dis­ney World an­nounced a new lineup of things to do and places to go come 2019. Fresh from this sum­mer’s open­ing of Toy Story Land at Dis­ney’s Hol­ly­wood Stu­dios and the hotly an­tic­i­pated Star Wars Land, the Or­lando theme park re­sort shows no sign of slow­ing down.

How­ever, with some hel­los come some good­byes. Dis­ney an­nounced Rafiki’s Planet Watch is clos­ing in An­i­mal King­dom.

The en­tire land, which is home to “Lion King” fa­vorites Simba, Ti­mon and Rafiki, will op­er­ate un­til Oct. 21, ahead of the film’s 25th birth­day next year. The clo­sure will in­clude all char­ac­ter meet and greets, an­i­mal en­counter ex­pe­ri­ences and ex­hibits.

Don’t be too sad. New events are pop­ping up at all four Dis­ney parks.

“Whether you grew up with Mickey and Min­nie, ‘The Lion King,’ ‘Cars’ or an­other clas­sic story, you are go­ing to love what all four of our theme parks have to of­fer in the com­ing year,” Ge­orge Kalo­gridis, pres­i­dent of Walt Dis­ney World Re­sort, said in a news re­lease.

The last few months of 2018 will be jam-packed for the House of Mouse as the Or­lando theme park ex­pands its en­ter­tain­ment ros­ter next year.

Here’s what’s on tap for 2019:

Sur­prise for Mickey and Min­nie

The best part of this sur­prise cel­e­bra­tion for Dis­ney’s first cou­ple? A daily “Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party” aka pa­rade from Main Street to Cin­derella’s Cas­tle. The party con­tin­ues in the cas­tle with your fa­vorite Dis­ney char­ac­ters and “Mickey Mouse Club” remixes.

The Mickey and Min­nie party starts Jan. 18 at Magic King­dom.

Mu­si­cal and movie mo­ments

From Jan. 18 to Sept. 30 at Magic King­dom, check out the Dapper Dans, Casey’s Cor­ner pi­ano player and sur­prise mu­si­cal mag­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ences around the park. Also sure to be fun? Mickey’s “PhilHarMagic” and Mickey and Min­nie’s Run­away Rail­way, which will re­place the Great Movie Ride at Dis­ney’s Hol­ly­wood Stu­dios.

Party with the Pixar Pals

When the 11-acre Toy Story Land opened in June at Dis­ney’s Hol­ly­wood Stu­dios, guests got a taste of Andy’s world – hang­ing out with the Slinky Dog, Buzz Lightyear, Woody and the gang.

As the park cel­e­brates its 30-year an­niver­sary May 1, plans are in the works for some­thing in­cred­i­ble in the area dubbed “Pixar Place.”

❚ From Jan. 18 to Sept. 30, Pixar Place will be­come a Mu­ni­ciberg city block from the “In­cred­i­bles” films.

❚ Start­ing Jan. 18, keep an eye out (get it?) for Sul­ley and Mike Wa­zowski of “Mon­sters Inc.”


Pan­dora: The World of Avatar opened in 2017 at An­i­mal King­dom, but that doesn’t mean Dis­ney’s done with the mys­ti­cal land that boasts float­ing moun­tains and bi­o­lu­mi­nes­cent plant life.

New of­fer­ings like the Rivers of Light night­time show and twi­light trek on Kil­i­man­jaro Sa­faris give guests a new way to ex­pe­ri­ence the park.

Ep­cot flower fest con­certs

In 2019, Ep­cot cel­e­brates the 25th an­niver­sary of its iconic In­ter­na­tional Flower and Gar­den Fes­ti­val. Typ­i­cally run­ning March to May, the next flower and gar­den fest is set for March 6 to June 3.

The flower fest is well-known for its live mu­sic, the Gar­den Rocks Con­cert Se­ries and its mini food fes­ti­val.

Hello and good­bye

After al­most 20 years of Il­lu­mi­Na­tions: Re­flec­tions of Earth, the night­time spec­tac­u­lar at Ep­cot will end its long­time run in 2019.

How­ever, a new night­time at­trac­tion will re­place Il­lu­mi­Na­tions at World Show­case La­goon, but the Dis­ney team is mum on what that will be.

The Force

Storm Troop­ers, Jedis and per­haps a few char­ac­ters from the dark side are as­sem­bling for Star Wars: Gal­axy’s Edge at Dis­ney’s Hol­ly­wood Stu­dios.

Set to open in fall 2019, “Star Wars land” fea­tures char­ac­ter en­coun­ters with Kylo Ren, Chew­bacca and BB-8, and other “Star Wars”-themed en­ter­tain­ment.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Dis­ney’s 2019 lineup, visit dis­ney.go.com.


Artists will show­case their tal­ents dur­ing the Ep­cot In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val of the Arts, Jan. 18-Feb. 25, at Walt Dis­ney World Re­sort.


The Mickey and Min­nie party starts Jan. 18 at Magic King­dom.

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