6 Disney World Things We’re Excited for in 2019 That AREN’T Galaxy’s Edge

Don’t get us wrong — we are SOO excited for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to open on August 29! I cannot wait to pilot the Millennium Falcon and sip on a Fuzzy Tauntaun at Oga’s Cantina. But while Galaxy’s Edge is no doubt the headliner for new things coming to Walt Disney World this year, there are lots of other exciting shows, attractions, and restaurants we cannot wait to check out!

An artist’s conception of the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run (Courtesy of Disney Parks)

Here are 6 things we are super excited for:

1. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway


Concept Art for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway ©Disney

Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is the FIRST attraction ever dedicated to the Mouse himself! The attraction will be housed in the Chinese Theater, former home of The Great Movie Ride, and will put you in the middle of a cartoon. As you ride through the attraction, visual effects and cutting-edge technology will bring the cartoon to life all around you. An official opening date is yet to be released, but for now we know it’s set to open in Fall 2019. Stay TOONed for more details!

2. Tree of Life Awakenings: Lion King 

Tree of Life Awakenings

For almost three years, the Animal Kingdom’s Tree of Life has come alive at night with beautiful “awakenings.” These stunning projections happen every few minutes and dazzle onlookers as the tree becomes a canvas for beautiful projections of animals, nature, and characters.

This summer, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of “The Lion King,” all new collection of awakenings will join the lineup. These will feature your favorite characters and the award-winning score from the original film, in a new series called “Simba’s Journey.” This new awakening set will run in rotation with the current scenes every night from May 24 through September 30.

3. Epcot Forever


Artist Rendering ©Disney

Trust us, we are very sad to see IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth end after a 20-year run. But Walt himself said you had to “keep moving forward” and we are so excited to see what comes next! Debuting on October 1, the day after the final performance of IllumiNations, is “Epcot Forever,” a nighttime show featuring pyrotechnics, fireworks, lasers, and music from beloved Epcot attractions. There will also be airborne illuminated kites dancing along to the soundtrack!

Make sure you see Epcot Forever while you can, as it is only scheduled to be a short-lived production. Debuting next year is “IllumiNations 2020,” an all-new nighttime spectacular featuring huge LED panels, giant floating pieces, fountains and, we are sure, much more!

4. Hollywood Studios’ 30th Anniversary


Wonderful World of Animation Projection Show

Disney’s Hollywood Studios turns 30 on May 1, 2019, and we are very excited to celebrate! One of the most exciting things coming to the Studios this year (besides Galaxy’s Edge) is a brand-new nighttime show — “Wonderful World of Animation.” This laser and projection show will debut on the park’s birthday, and feature EVERY SINGLE animated feature film released by Disney and Pixar.

Special effects, fireworks, and a new soundtrack help Sorcerer Mickey bring to life more than 90 years of Disney animation. This 12-minute show sounds like it’s going to be a masterpiece (and that it’s going to make me cry a whole lot).

5. Disney Skyliner

Disney Skyliner test gondolas

We admit there are a few questions we still have about Disney’s newest mode of transportation, but that just makes us even more excited about the Skyliner!

The new system will connect several resorts –the Art of AnimationPop Century, the upcoming DVC Resort Disney Riviera and Caribbean Beach — with Disney’s Hollywood Studios and  Epcot.

The Skyliner has been spotted in testing for a few weeks now, but construction is still being done on the stations around the “World.” While no official opening date has been announced, the projected debut is Fall 2019 — possibly in time for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and the Food and Wine Festival? We can’t wait to find out and zip through the sky!

6. City Works Eatery & Pour House


City Works Eatery & Pour House Rendering

Home of self-proclaimed Beer Geeks, City Works is an upscale pub that features more than 80 beers on tap! Their menu also boasts unique twists on bar food classics — such as wings, burgers, dips, and more. City Works will be a great spot to watch “the game” as they will have multiple high-def TVs around the restaurant, including a giant 165-inch screen! We can’t wait to check it out. City Works is scheduled to open this summer in Disney Springs, possibly at the same time as its neighbor The NBA Experience, which has announced an August 12 opening.

What non-Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments!

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Molly is a lifelong Disney enthusiast, and former Walt Disney World Guest Relations Cast Member and tour guide. Her Walt Disney World favorites include Festival of the Lion King, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Fantasmic!, Mickey-shaped pretzels and rice krispie treats, and anything with Buzz Lightyear! She lives in Orlando with her husband (who she met in Guest Relations) and their two rescue dogs, Kronk and Cruella de Vil (Ella for short!)

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