Looking Forward to 2019 at the Disneyland Resortby Megan Walker, contributing writer
Each new year brings new and exciting opportunities at the Disneyland Resort, and 2019 is shaping up to be another exciting year! Here are the top five things I'm looking to at the Disneyland Resort in 2019.
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Probably the one thing most people are looking forward to in 2019 at the Disneyland Resort is the grand opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Casually called "Star Wars Land," the new area in the park is shaping up to be one of the most expansive, immersive, and impressive lands in any Disney theme park. If the concept art, released photos, and released plans for the land are any indication, Galaxy's Edge will be unlike anything we've ever seen. The land itself is larger-than-life, with buildings and rock formations towering over the area, and it truly seems like you will feel as if you're stepping in to the galaxy we know and love from the films. With two new attractions, shops, and a cantina planned, as well, there will be a ton of things to keep visitors occupied. All that's known about Galaxy's Edge is what Disney has released, but it hasn't been much, so there will certainly be some surprises when it opens its gates.
Mickey's Mix Magic & More Mickey
In celebration of Mickey's (and Minnie's) 90th birthday last year, Disneyland is planning on some celebrations focused around the head mouse. Beginning in January, there will be a new nighttime show featuring projections on "it's a small world," the Rivers of America, and on the buildings along Main Street; a family-friendly dance party; and fireworks on some nights. It is always fun to get new nighttime entertainment, and it's always a joy to have more things focused around Mickey and Minnie Mouse. As it's their big year, I expect there to be a few more MIckey and Minnie-centric celebrations or events throughout the year and I can't wait.
Food & Wine Festival
Ever since it made its return to Disney California Adventure Park, I have looked forward to the Food & Wine Festival each year. Held in the spring, the Festival has been a fun way to spend some time in the parks while taking a break from the regular park activities. You could easily spend a good part of your day visiting each of the booths at the Festival trying all of the different foods. You could even spend multiple days at the Festival, especially if you wanted to attempt to try every offering! The most exciting part of the Food & Wine Festival each year is seeing what the team of Disney chefs and bakers come up with for the menu. While some fan favorite items will make a comeback, most of the offerings change every year, keeping it fresh and exciting. Additionally, throughout the Festival there are also cooking demonstrations; celebrity chefs; and wine, beer, and spirit tastings which are fun to partake in, as well.
The holidays are the best time of year at the Disneyland Resort, from mid-September when Halloween starts, through the end of the year and the wintertime holiday celebrations, the parks are full of decorations and entertainment bringing a whole new spark. With each new holiday season also brings an opportunity for new holiday offerings. I'm mostly excited for the holidays this year to see how they accommodate Galaxy's Edge opening. It will be interesting to see if they try to push more of the holiday offerings over to Disney California Adventure Park in order to alleviate the traffic and amount of people in Disneyland.
Surprises & Celebrations
Each year at the Disneyland Resort there are bound to be some surprises and celebrations along the way and 2019 definitely looks like it won't be an exception. Many attractions are hitting big milestone anniversaries this year that will almost certainly result in some celebrations and special offerings (and merchandise). The one I'm most looking forward to is the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Haunted Mansion attraction in August, which should certainly bring some celebrations at Disneyland. Other attractions with big anniversaries include the 30th anniversary of Splash Mountain, the 40th anniversary of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and the 60th anniversary of the Matterhorn Bobsleds.
Bonus: D23 Expo
I couldn't end this without mentioning the D23 Expo! Coming this August, the latest installement of the D23 Expo is bound to bring a bunch of exciting announcements for the future of all things Disney, including the theme parks. A ton of news and announcements always come out of the Expo, so it'll be really exciting to see what happens this year and what the company has in store for the years to come!
With the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, Disneyland will look completely different from here on, and it will also open the doors for other lands (new or remodeled) to potentially take on the planned immersive nature and experience of the land. It'll also be interesting to see how the opening of the new area affects everything else at the Resort both this year and beyond. With all of these things and more, what are you most looking forward to at the Disneyland Resort in 2019?