What’s New at Walt Disney World 2019: What To Know Before You Go

What’s New at Walt Disney World 2019: What To Know Before You Go

If you’re visiting Walt Disney World in 2019, you’re in for a treat! While many are holding off until the construction is over, because there is a lot of construction, 2019 promises quite a few new things you will definitely want to enjoy during lower crowds. Disney even has a new logo for the year: “Now More than Ever! With new resorts, restaurants, services, shows and rides, Walt Disney World has a whole list of upcoming changes planned for 2021, the official 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World. And so far it seems 2019 will see some big projects finished and couple fun shows added to the mix to keep things fresh. Here’s everything you’ll need to know if you’re visiting Walt Disney World in 2019. 

Ok, so if you haven’t visited Walt Disney World in the last couple years, you may not realize all the new things that have actually already arrived!

And if you’re traveling specifically in Summer, Fall or During the holidays, read our more comprehensive posts here. 

Everything Happening This Summer at Walt Disney World

Everything New at Walt Disney World Fall 2019

What’s New At Walt Disney World For Christmas

New Things at Walt Disney World Now

The now more than ever countdown is just the beginning for all things 2019 at Disney Parks. It pretty much aims to offer guests surprise pop-up experiences and new magical surprises all year! 

Pandora: World of Avatar is open in Animal Kingdom and still seeing 120 minute waits for Fight of Passage. This is a Tier 1 fast pass ride, so be sure to book it as soon as your fast pass window opens. If you haven’t seen this land yet, Pandora is amazing and perfectly themed to the World of Avatar. Even if you’re not familiar with Avatar the movie, you will still appreciate the breathtaking landscape that Disney has created here. We make sure to visit Pandora every time we visit. The food is great, the rides are great and it’s amazing at night.

toy story land visiting walt disney world 2019

Toy Story Land is officially open in Hollywood Studios. And while this new land is loads of Toy Story fun, we aren’t seeing hardly any waits here. We’re going to blame it on the fact that Hollywood Studios is sorta empty. Apart from the afternoon rush on the Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster where we typically see a 75 minute wait, it’s easy to arrive early and have waits under 30 minutes. Alien Swirling Saucers is another new ride in this land, but waits have been lower there as well.

Big Changes Coming to Walt Disney World 2019

Extra Extra Magic Hours Aug 29 – Nov 2: If traveling to Walt Disney World in the Fall of 2019 get ready for 4 months of early hours! The parks are opening EARLIER to help manage the influx of crowds expected. Take this info into consideration when planning your vacation. 

Hollywood Studios

From Aug 29- Aug 31 Hollywood Studios will be open for ALL GUESTS at 6 am. Afterwards Extra Extra Magic Hours will kick in as follows. 

  • When: Sept 1- Nov 2
  • Time: 6 am-9 am
  • Who: Disney Resort and Select Hotel Guests
  • What: Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land and select attractions will be open

Capacity rules enforced.

Magic Kingdom

  • When: Aug 29- Nov 2
  • Time: 7 am-8 am
  • Who: Disney Resort and Select Hotel Guests
  • What: Fantasyland and Tomorrowland attractions and select attractions will be open

Animal Kingdom

  • When: Aug 29- Nov 2
  • Time: 7 am-8 am
  • Who: Disney Resort and Select Hotel Guests
  • What: Pandora: World of Avatar and select attractions will be open

Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge: Opening August 29, 2019. Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge will include new rides, restaurants, shopping and a completely immersive experience for Star Wars fans. You can find Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge right next to Toy Story Land on 14 acres of land in Hollywood Studios. If you’re visiting earlier in 2019, you need only walk into Toy Story Land to see the spires from Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge peering over the construction fencing. This land will open in phases starting Aug 29th, so come the end of 2019 we expect Hollywood Studios to be flooded with Star Wars fans.

  • Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Rides, Restaurants and More
    • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run Ride
    • Rise of the Resistance Ride ( opening later in 2019)
    • Cantina Quick Serve
    • Cantina Table Service Immersion Restaurant

Read up on all the details in our guide for what you can expect.

star wars land 2019

Animal Kingdom Changes in 2019

Animal Kingdom has been adding stuff like crazy the past year. In 2019, we will see the addition of the Tree of Life Awakenings Lion King Themed and the Rivers of Light show becomes Rivers of Light: We Are One, complete with Disney Characters now included in the show. 

We will also see Christmas arrive at Animal Kingdom in 2019, beginning November 8, 2019.

  • Wintry Tales on the Tree of Life
  • Holiday Hoopla Dance Party in Dinoland USA
  • African Holiday Music and Performances in Harambe
  • Holiday Dining at Tusker House
  • Kitschy Holiday Decor lands at basecamp in Pandora, Pongu Pongu

Magic Kingdom 2019

Magic Kingdom features the Move it Shake it Mousekedance it, parade to celebrate Mickey’s 90th Birthday. You can also grab Specialty Merchandise and a Meet and Greet with Mickey and Minnie in their Celebration outfits. Construction on the Tron Roller Coaster continues.

Epcot Changes 2019

Closings across the front of Epcot are slated to begin September 8th. This includes the removal of Character Spot, Innoventions East, Colortopia, Nanooze Break, Club Cool, Electric Umbrella, the Fountain View Starbucks, Art of Disney, and the Camera Center underneath Spaceship Earth. Construction on Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind Roller Coaster continues. 

New Services Coming to Walt Disney World 2019

Disney Skyliner Transportation System: For guests staying at Art of Animation, Pop Century, or Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort a new gondola transportation system opens on September 29, 2019, allowing guests to avoid buses to get to both Hollywood Studios and Epcot. This Gondola system will hopefully help thin bus crowds and car traffic and give guests a faster and prettier transportation option to these parks.

Walt Disney World also recently introduced Mobile Ordering at select restaurants, Minnie Van transportation courtesy of Lyft, and the ability to unlock your room door with the My Disney Experience app on your phone.

disney skyliner gondola pop century

New Restaurants Coming to Walt Disney World 2019

Sebastian’s Bistro| Caribbean Beach Resort

Replacing the Shutters Restaurant at Caribbean Beach Resort, Sebastian’s Bistro will be a table service restaurant with waterfront views in true Little Mermaid style. This restaurant is completed! Read our review of Sebastian’s Bistro. As Caribbean Beach Resort is acting as the hub for the Disney Skyliner system, guests will be able to take the Skyliner gondola from Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Art of Animation, or Pop Century to access this restaurant easily.

CBR Disney, Sebastian's Bistro, Disney restaurants, disney resorts, sebastians caribbean beach, new disney restaurants, new disney restaurant, new disney dining, sebastians bistro

art of animation gondola skyliner

Toledo at Gran Destino Tower | Coronado Springs

This new Spanish Tapas, Steak and Seafood Restaurant gives you a rooftop dining experience. As signature dining goes, this ones is a little pricey at 35-60 per adult. You do however get the rooftop experience , joining the rooftop restaurant ranks of Topolino at Disney’s Riviera Resort and California Grill. See the Toledo menu to decide if this place has what you’re looking for. 

Takumi Tei | Epcot Japan

No official menu yet, Takumi Tei opens Summer 2019. A table service, artisan, restaurant mixes with more inspired flavors from Japan and the natural gardens, and waterfalls. This signature dining experience has a multi-course tasting menu and a full traditional tea service. 

Regal Eagle Smokehouse Craft Drafts & Barbecue | Epcot America

As Liberty Inn in The American Adventure Pavilion of the Epcot World Showcase closes on July 8 2019, we’ll be sure to welcome an all new eatery to town. This BBQ smokehouse replaces the aforementioned “fast food” focused restaurant to reveal a little more robust offering on the American cuisine front. No menu or opening date yet, so stay tuned. 

Space Restaurant | Epcot Future World

Planned for a location right next to Mission Space we can count on a new Space Experience restaurant in 2019 to show up towards the end of the year. Complete with Space views and astronauts, this dining experience is table-service, so get ready to add this one to your Advanced Dining Reservation list. The cuisine will be lead by Maria and Enzo’s Executive Chef Theo Schoenegger, so the food is bound to be amazing. Stay tuned for details regarding an opening date, and name! 

Disney Resort Construction to Complete in 2019

Resort Refurbishments will be going on for several resorts at Walt Disney World, so be aware if you’re staying at any of the following that you may be inconvenienced by or hear construction during your stay. Know that at some of these resorts, construction is still affecting Disney bus transportation times, so plan ahead.

  • Animal Kingdom Lodge- Jambo House thru fall 2019
  • Art of Animation is being refreshed and has Disney Skyliner construction on site, located on the bridge over hourglass lake leading to Pop Century Resort.
  • Boardwalk Inn has some light refurbishments but shouldn’t interfere with guest stay

Walt Disney World Hollywood Studios 30 years anniversary logo

New Shows and Character Meets Coming to Walt Disney World 2019

  • Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy: Starting spring of 2019, you can find the Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy near the Rock n’ Roller Coaster in Hollywood Studios. This will be a brand new show featuring an opportunity to meet both Lightning McQueen and Cruz Ramirez. We’re not sure if this is a permanent installation yet.
  • The Lion King Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party: 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of The Lion King, and with that comes a new dance party in Animal Kingdom! Found on Discovery Island, the dance party will run from January 18- September 30 and will feature Simba, Timon and Rafiki.
  • Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party: Replacing the Move it! Shake it! Dance and Play It Street Party in Magic Kingdom, this new party will feature Mickey, Minnie and other characters dancing to popular Mickey Mouse Club remixes. The party starts January 18 in Magic Kingdom and will include merchandise, and themed food and beverages as well! We’ve never seen these extras offered for a street party so we’re interested to see how
  • Mickey and Minnie’s Surprise Celebration: features meet and greets with Minnie and Mickey in the Town Square Theater, new foods, merch and a dance party. 
  • Walt Disney Presents featuring Mike and Sully: Starting January 18 our favorite friends from Monsters Inc will take center stage in a new Meet and Greet area at Walt Disney Presents theater next to the Star Wars Launch Bay. 
  • Hollywood Studios 30th Anniversary: The Hollywood Studios name change is coming! May 1st marks the anniversary of Hollywood Studios so special things will be happening all over the park. From January 18- September 30, Pixar Place will be transformed into a Municiberg city block featuring appearances from Elastigirl, Mr. Incredible, Jack-Jack, Edna Mode, and Frozone.
  • Wonderful World of Animation: Another feature in Hollywood Studios this year is the new show debuting May 1st. This show will use state of the art technology as guests are brought through the 90 year journey of Disney Animation Studios. 

hollywood studios 30th anniversary

Visiting Walt Disney World in 2019

So there you have it! All the major things happening at Walt Disney World during 2019. What do you think? Will it be worth it to visit Walt Disney World in 2019? We definitely think so!

Planning for 2020 instead? Check our Everything New at Walt Disney World for 2020.

Visiting Walt Disney World in 2019? Heres a list of all the new rides, restaurants, resort refurbishments, services and more happening at Disney during 2019. #starwarsgalaxysedge #disneyresortrefurbishments #sebastiansbistro #polkadotpixies #WaltDisneyWorld #Disney2019 #WDW2019


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