Because you’re always looking for some good excuses to visit Disney World, right? Here are nine practically perfect reasons your next Disney vacation should be this year!
1. Mickey and Minnie’s Surprise Celebration
We are all about a good Magic Kingdom celebration, because they always bring the triple crown of Disney parties: great music, great meet-and-greets, and great treats! And since it’s Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday, you can bet this one is special. Mickey and Minnie’s Surprise Celebration has everything: an all-new dance party on Main Street U.S.A. with the awesome name Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It!, surprise characters to meet and mingle with in Town Square, and delicious new eats making cameos all over the parks.
I have my eyes on that Minnie Kitchen Sink sundae from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor… and I’m weirdly tempted by the burger with macaroni and cheese over at Cosmic Ray’s in Tomorrowland!
2. Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Have you been here yet? Toy Story Land is the addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios we’ve all been waiting for… well, if you’re more of a Pixar fan than a Star Wars fan, anyway (don’t worry, Star Wars fans, your time is coming).
Everything great about Disney theming comes to play in Toy Story Land, with towering toys and backyard scenes to make you feel like you’re toy-sized yourself! After you’ve ridden Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers, get a yummy snack from Woody’s Lunch Box, where you’ll find fun new treats like the chocolate-hazelnut lunch box tart — hint, it looks like a Pop Tart! Plus, old favorite Toy Story Mania! is open, with a great new themed entrance.
3. More Brand-New Pixar Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Time flies — because Toy Story Land opened last year. 2019’s new Pixar fun includes an Incredibles spin on the area formerly known as Pixar Place, and an all-new show coming in Spring featuring Lightning McQueen.
First there’s Municiberg, the transformation of Pixar Place, with Super Hero fun like a dance party featuring The Incredibles and Frozone, Edna Mode’s Super-Suit Gallery, and a fun search for Jack-Jack. Great details around Municiberg include mid-century style posters, some of which echo classic Walt Disney attractions posters.
Nearby, Walt Disney Presents is now home to a monstrously fun new meet and greet with Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan — that’s “Sulley” to you. Mike and Sulley are happy to hug, take pictures, and maybe, if you’re lucky, give you a (tiny) scare!
Finally, the Sunset Showcase theater is welcoming an all-new show, Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, beginning around March 31, 2019! Featuring Lightning himself, along with his good friends from Radiator Springs and some of the racing buddies he’s made on the circuit, this show promises to be a lot of fun as the Piston Cup Champion tries to share his racing wisdom via his new high-tech simulator. Hopefully everything goes according to plan for Lightning… we’ll see!
4. Hakuna Matata Dance Parties at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Here’s the thing about dance parties: kids love them. So if you’re ever wandering around the parks and hear a bass beat start to pump, watch those kiddos follow the music wherever it leads them. Luckily, at Walt Disney World, it leads them straight to some pretty fun animal friends! The new Hakuna Matata Dance Party features Timon, Pumbaa, and some other Disney pals, dancing worry-free at the Discovery Island stage.
It’s an awesome chance for parents to unwind and take some great pictures while the kids get their groove on — unless the music is so infectious, you have to join in too!
5. Nonstop Concerts at Epcot
Epcot is turning into a serious live-music destination in 2019, welcoming a variety of genres to the America Gardens Theater for free concerts. First off, there’s the Disney on Broadway Concert Series, running as part of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts through February. Stars of Disney on Broadway will be performing nightly seven days a week, a big jump from previous years!
Next, there’s Garden Rocks, part of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. Every night from March through June, Epcot will feature performances by bands like Berlin, The Smithereens, Lonestar, and Jon Secada.
When summer hits, it’s time for Guardians of the Galaxy — Awesome Mix Live! to make its triumphant return. Star-Lord, Gamora and a galactic back-up band will be back with their favorite hits from the 70s and 80s.
6. Typhoon Lagoon After Dark
Typhoon Lagoon is one of my family’s favorite places at Walt Disney World… honestly, it might be my favorite park. There’s water, there’s palm trees, there’s an ice cream sundae that comes in a full-size sand pail, complete with shovel — what more does a girl need on a hot Florida day?
How about late-night fun on a hot summer night? Disney is bringing back H20 Glow Nights at Typhoon Lagoon, a specially-ticketed event with a beach bash posted by your favorite pals from Toy Story, special menu items, and more. It will be held Thursday and Saturday nights May 30th through August 24th, giving you plenty of summer to enjoy it in. Talk about a refreshing evening after a day in the parks!
7. A Full 12 Weeks of Halloween Fun
Okay, first I had to get over my disappointment that it’s not 13 Weeks of Halloween Fun. Then I got a hold of myself, because 12 weeks is a lot of Halloween! It’s perfect, though, because Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party has exploded in popularity, and the more people who get to enjoy this amazing night at Magic Kingdom, the better. Once a local’s only-secret, now everyone wants to get in on the party — because it has what most fans consider the best shows, parades, and fireworks of the year, plus free candy!
Tickets for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party are already on sale, making now the perfect time to plan your fall vacation… and by fall, we mean anytime between August 16 and November 1. Costume ideas, anyone?
8. Baby Animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Maybe this should be number one. But I already numbered it. Anyway, the baby animal scene at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a serious reason to visit Disney World in 2019. First of all, a baby giraffe has just joined the party — he was actually born on the savanna! Disney animal keepers say he’ll be back out on the savanna for guests to see later this spring. If you get there sooner, though, don’t worry — Amira and Aella, born in autumn 2018, are already out on the savanna.
But wait, there are more! Also on the savanna of Kilimanjaro Safaris, you’ll find a baby hippo, born in January 2018, and a baby mandrill monkey, born in August 2018. And at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, you might glimpse a baby Okapi, born in October.
9. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Well, I have to put this one last, because we just don’t have an actual opening date for the newest land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But Disney’s official website says “opening Fall 2019,” and from the looks of things, the construction is ticking along nicely.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will feature an immersive environment that takes you to the planet Batuu, and its two big attractions promise cutting-edge technology and some serious thrills. Titled Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, it’s hard to imagine these won’t be the FastPass+ snags of the year. If you’re a die-hard Star Wars fan, you might want to hedge your bets with a resort booking for late fall.
All of those reasons to visit Walt Disney World in 2019, and we barely talked about food! Crazy, I know. But there’s more to Disney than dining… that’s what they say, anyway 😉
Which events are you looking forward to in 2019? Will we see you here in Florida this year? Let me know in the comments!