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On the Horizon: What 2019 Holds for Walt Disney World

The most magical place on earth keeps getting more magical, and we have to admit that while it’s hard to wait for new attractions and lands at Disney World during their construction phases, we sure are happy once the finished projects are open for us to enjoy. The year 2014 saw the opening of the New Fantasyland expansion at Magic Kingdom and the exciting Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. In 2017, we were finally able to experience the World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and ride on the back of a banshee. Earlier this summer—after hoping and dreaming and wondering what it would be like—we finally got to walk outside into Andy’s backyard at Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. That’s a lot of magic in a short amount of time, but 2019 promises to be an even more magical year for Walt Disney World. Here’s a look at what’s in store.

 

EPCOT’s new Ratatouille-inspired experience

We’ll mention this one first because right now, completion and subsequent opening of the new ride in the France pavilion at EPCOT are slated for very late 2019—and with any setbacks, it might even be early 2020 (but we’ll keep our fingers crossed!). Imagineers began work on the new attraction in September of 2017, and if you’ve been to the parks since then, you may have noticed a large building going up behind the France pavilion. It’s not in plain sight, but many of us watch intently as new things are being put in place at the parks. The Ratatouille-inspired ride has not been named yet, but Disney is conducting surveys to get opinions about potential names for the ride. Remy’s ride will be a carbon copy of the ride at Disneyland Paris. In the new 4D ride, Guests are “shrunk” down to Remy’s size (much like we are “shrunk” down to toy size at Hollywood Studios’ new Toy Story Land). They must duck and dodge all kinds of dangers—including the evil Chef Skinner—across a huge kitchen inside Gusteau’s restaurant. Bon appetit!

Hollywood Studios’ Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Finally! An attraction starring the main mouse! Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is being built inside the space that housed the Great Movie Ride attraction at the Chinese Theater at Hollywood Studios. We were so sad to see the Great Movie Ride takes it final bow, and every stroll past the theater reminds us of our loss, so we’re eagerly awaiting the opening of the new ride. In this all-new “2 ½ -D” experience, Guests will board a rail car of some type and jump through the movie screen into the world of a Mickey Mouse short cartoon where anything is possible. Imagineer Kevin Rafferty said “This is one of the boldest, most important things I’ve ever worked on in almost 40 years of being an Imagineer. It’s going to be game-changing!” Wow. Now we’re more excited than ever! Mickey’s new attraction is set to open to Guests in late 2019, and we can’t wait!

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Disney’s Skyliner Gondola System

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get from your Disney World Resort hotel to the parks without getting in a car, on a boat or on a bus? Thanks to Disney World’s new Skyliner transportation system, Guests in some of Disney’s resort hotels will soon be able to do just that. The new gondola system will take Guests from Disney’s Pop Century and Art of Animation Resorts to Hollywood Studios. Guests staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will also be able to board a Skyliner gondola en route to Hollywood Studios. The system will also take Guests from the Caribbean Beach Resort to a proposed new resort called Disney’s Riviera Resort and then on to EPCOT. The gondolas have been designed to look like Disney characters are along for the ride too. Some of the gondolas have already arrived at Disney World! The current plan is for the Skyliner to be open to Guests in the spring of 2019 and we couldn’t be more excited!

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

The highly-anticipated new Star Wars-themed land at Hollywood Studios is set to open to Guests in late 2019. The 14-acre land will be called Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Imagineers promise that the land will offer Guests a fully-immersive experience, likely meaning that if you’re a Star Wars fanatic, you won’t have lived until you’ve been to Disney World’s new land. The new expansion will include two all-new attractions. In one of the attractions, Guests will be able to realize their dreams of piloting a Millennium Falcon. Guests will also be able to dine at the Cantina and encounter the likes of Kylo Ren and BB-8. The fascinating new land is set to take flight in late 2019, and it may be the most highly anticipated addition to Disney World yet.

2019—bring it on!

About Rebekah Tyndall Burkett

Rebekah grew up in Forney, Texas and lives just outside of Dallas. She’s been a Disney superfan since childhood, experiencing the magic at Walt Disney World for the first time at the age of 11. Journeys to Neverland are at least a yearly occurrence for her, her husband and her four children (the Fab Four). When they go to the parks, they stay in Florida for three weeks at a time. Rebekah loves exploring the history of the parks, the genius behind the Magic in the person of Walt Disney, and she is intrigued by all things Disney World and Disney Imagineering. When in the parks, Rebekah and her husband Scott make the most of their time by enjoying every minute with their Fab Four, by delving deeper into Walt’s vision for the parks and into the history behind the Walt Disney World Resort, and by photographing the many different types of architecture at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and on the World Showcase at EPCOT. When she’s not in the parks, Rebekah is excitedly setting travel dates and planning her family’s next adventure to their happy place deep within the Sunshine State. On breaks from planning her next trip, Rebekah is a writer, journalist and children’s author, penning children’s books about kids with special needs that she affectionately calls “believement-achievement” stories. Her hobbies include creative writing, paper crafting and interviewing Imagineers. She is also an advocate for Autism Awareness and for children with developmental disabilities of all kinds.