#5 A Mickey and Minnie Disneyland Celebration - January through Spring 2019
With Mickey's recent birthday, Disneyland decided to continue the party into 2019 with a long-lasting party they're calling "Get Your Ears On". The celebration features one of the most iconic couples out there - Mickey and Minnie! - and honors all things love. Enjoy ear-themed treats, merchandise, decor, and tons of great shows. Main Street USA will be home to an all new high-energy show complete with brightly colored lasers and DJ Mickey spinning some tunes in Mickey's Magic Mix. The park will also bring back the crowd favorite of Mickey's Soundsational Parade. The celebrations will start later this month and go through Spring of 2019.
And it looks like I'll have to make a special trip down in February as I'm a sucker for all things sweet. Disneyland will be partaking in a full-blown celebration of love for Valentine's month with adorable decor and delectable treats that will be almost unbearably sweet. But the cutest of all? Visitor can play along in Minnie's Valentine Suprise - a park-wide scavenger hunt that allows guests to search for the hidden valentines Minnie has hidden for Mickey and her friends. If you've got an annual pass or are someone who visits the park a lot, these sort of seasonal event are perfect ways to mix it up the next time you visit!
#4 The Skyliner at Walt Disney World - late 2019:
This one is a bit of a wild card, but after learning about it I thought it was too cool not to mention. I've only visited WDW once, and I am more than overdue to head back there. When my husband and I do visit, I will be stoked to check out this new Skyliner system. Opening in late 2019, this high-rise system will completely change transportation for those staying in the "value" and "moderate" resorts surrounding the parks. The system will connect Epcot and Hollywood studios to four different resort hotels and allow super easy in and out access - something that the park is severely lacking. Besides convenience, the guests taking the system will also get a beautiful bird's eye view of the theme parks to enjoy on their way in (much better than a stale bus ride!).
I think this awesome new addition is also a nod to the old Skyway gondolas that were once a part of Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, and Tokyo Disneyland. All three attractions were ultimately closed in the 90's, but guests who were around in the decades before will take a trip down memory lane when they board this new park addition later this year.
#3 Disney Plus Streaming Service - Late 2019
Even though I have mixed feelings about this one, I am still intrigued by the news of Disney dropping its own rival to Netflix. This exclusive streaming service will feature film and television content for all Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. Following the Disney purchase of Fox early last year, it's likely that content will also include entertainment and even some of Hulu's family oriented content.
Naturally, the studio will specifically develop original programming to also release on its property. And seeing the success that Netflix and other services have had with their original content, I am definitely curious to see what Disney will come up with. I'll wait to see just what the cost of entry will be for this new subscription based service, but I'll no doubt give it a month or two of trial before making a permanent decision on whether or not it's worth the cost (or if I'll just keep playing my collection of Disney DVDs).
Instead of boring you with an image of the new Disney+ logo that is anything but interesting, check out this chart that breaks down the different levels of business within the Walt Disney Company. Specifically, the Media Networks and Studio Entertainment sections gave me some clarification into what sort of content we will be viewing on the new platform.
#2 Big Box Office Releases - All year long!
Starting as early as March this year, Walt Disney Studios is releasing a litany of likely hits. I can't remember another year when this many awesome movies were coming out of the same studio in the span of 365 days! From animated sequels, to Marvel releases, here is a breakdown of what's coming to theaters this year:
The studios are bringing to life a couple all time classics this year - a whopping three to be exact: Dumbo (March), Aladdin (May), and Lion King (July). Being the 90's kid I am, I wanted to be excited for Aladdin, but I have to say that I am most excited for Lion King. Joh Favreau is directing another CGI film set in the wild, and if his success with The Jungle Book is any indication on how this movie will do, I'd say they are positioned for a hit.
Some long-awaited sequels are also coming to theaters in the animation department. Frozen 2 (November) and Toy Story 4 (June) will bring hoards of fans. While I will certainly go check out Frozen 2, I am really looking forward to the release of TS4 (which just so happens to come out in my birthday month in case my husband is reading!). The plot for our favorite group of toys is a bit vague right now. All we know is that a new toy called "Forky" will be introduced. John Lasseter has also commented that the film may also weave the backstory of where Bo Peep - Woody's love interest - has gone, since this was originally talked about as the main plot. Regardless, I am incredibly excited to see what the studios do with these two films!
Of all the teaser trailers released so far (only Dumbo has a full one at this point), the cutest in my opinion is definitely Toy Story's (below). Check out the voices of Key and Peele as they portray some adorable little carnival animals in this brief but hilarious teaser.
Lastly, Marvel and Star Wars fans will not have too much longer to wait for the much anticipated conclusions of their trilogies. We will learn just what did happen to the Avengers after Thanos tried to play God in Infinity War with the release of Endgame (April), and we will join back up with Rey and her motley crew in Episode IX (December).
And just a side note- if you're reading this and you haven't seen Mary Poppins Returns yet, do yourself a favor and head to the theater right now. My sister and I saw this on Christmas Eve (a great time to see movies in case you were wondering) and laughed, sang, and teared up at least three times. It is incredible. Don't miss the chance to see this heart-warming film on the big screen!
#1 Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - opening Summer 2019
Of course, one of the first things on my mind when that big glittering ball dropped was when my next Disneyland trip with my husband will be this year. And even though it might mean total insanity, I know my next trip will have to be when the official opening of Galaxy's Edge takes place at Disneyland. The land designed in collaboration with Lucasfilm Story Group will contain 14 acres of pure Star Wars fantasy fun. It will include themed rides where guests get to climb onboard the Millennium Falcon and get immersed in battle with the First Order. Guests can fully explore Planet Batuu which will no doubt include themed shops and restaurants with all the nerdy Star Wars merchandise and treats a droid can handle.
For those out in the sunshine state, Galaxy's Edge will be coming to Disney World soon after its Anaheim sister (currently slated for late fall). The land, which will be located in Hollywood Studios, will feature the same attractions and design as California.. but knowing the Imagineers, there will likely be plenty of fun notable differences. Guess I will have to check them both out! Take a sneak peek with this preview video for Disneyland Resort.