By Jocelyn Bulman
We’re having a blast at Disney’s Contemporary Resort kicking off Destination D: Celebrating Mickey Mouse, our weekend-long birthday party for our favorite true original! Of course, a celebration this big deserves some big announcements! Bob Chapek, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products, shared exciting new details surrounding highly anticipated experiences coming soon to Disney Parks. “We are currently in the midst of one of the most extraordinary periods of expansion in our history,” Chapek said. “We are always pushing the boundaries of what’s possible as we deliver world-class experiences and attractions, new hotels and entertainment, itineraries and destinations for our guests.”
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Attraction Names Revealed
From the seasoned Jedi Master to the youngest Padawan learner, we’ve been waiting with baited breath for the newest Disney Parks land to enter our galaxy ever since we first heard about it at D23 Expo 2015. And while summer and fall 2019 still seem like a long time from now, we found out some news that makes the wait a little easier.
Destination D guests were the first to see Chapek reveal the names (and a stunning first-ever inside look) of the two signature attractions set for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will be landing in Disney Parks near you when they open at Disneyland Resort next summer and at Walt Disney World Resort in fall 2019, respectively. Get a first look at Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run in the video below:
On Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, guests join in an epic battle between the First Order and the Resistance—including a face-off with the sinister Kylo Ren himself! Both of the new, incredible experiences, paired with the land’s interactive components and optional integration with the Play Disney Parks app, will invite guests to become galactic travelers and live their own Star Wars stories in a galaxy far, far away.
One of the most iconic parts of any Star Wars story is the gorgeous score—that’s why Academy Award®-winning composer John Williams is creating original Star Wars themes exclusively for these lands, recorded at Abbey Road Studios. Guests of Destination D were some of the first to preview this thrilling new music.
Guests also saw an out-of-this-world sneak peek at the groundbreaking Star Wars resort coming to Walt Disney World Resort outside the borders of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This multi-day, fully immersive adventure will take guests aboard a luxury starship with all the features expected of a first-class hotel, including dining, recreation, and accommodations, all with the fun and flair you’d expect from the Star Wars universe.
More Mickey, More Fun at Disney Parks Everywhere
It’s not Mickey’s 90th without some announcements about the big cheese himself! We can’t wait to ride on Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in 2019 and explore the world of Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts. The first-ever ride-through attraction to feature Mickey Mouse, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway features breakthrough technology to transform a two-dimensional cartoon into an amazing real-world experience with a brand-new story and lovable theme song.
There’s even more Mickey to see at Disney Parks! Disneyland Resort is keeping the fun going with Get Your Ears On—A Mickey and Minnie Celebration, which will bring new entertainment, food and merchandise to the resort. Plus, on January 18, “Mickey’s Mix Magic” will light up the night at Disneyland Park with all-new music, projections and lasers that set the scene for an epic dance party that takes over almost the entire park. Of course, we can’t celebrate Mickey without the return of a fan-favorite. The party will get even bigger when Mickey’s Soundsational Parade returns to the resort in January 2019 featuring an all-new float with Mickey himself, who will lead the celebration down Main Street, U.S.A.
If you’re heading to Walt Disney World in 2019, you can join in the celebration from January 18 to September 30 with Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration at Magic Kingdom. Featuring new food, merchandise, and entertainment, including a new dance party with Mickey, Minnie, and their friends, and a chance to meet Mickey and Minnie together in their new birthday outfits, this is one party you can’t miss.
Animation fans, you’re going to want to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios this year! Chapek also announced an all-new cinematic nighttime experience, Wonderful World of Animation, coming May 1 as part of the 30th Anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The show will use state-of-the-art technology to take guests on a magical journey through more than 90 years of Disney animation, all beginning with—of course—Mickey Mouse himself.
On the high seas, Disney Cruise Line will welcome Mickey & Minnie Surprise Party at Sea, an all-new high-energy deck party on the Disney Fantasy next summer.
Adding to the excitement, Chapek shared a look at the recently opened Mickey: The True Original Exhibition in New York City. The exhibition provides visitors with an interactive experience inspired by Mickey’s impact on popular culture, from Instagram-worthy design elements to larger-than-life multimedia installations. The exhibition runs through February 10, 2019, and tickets can be purchased at Disney.com/MickeyTrueOriginal.
Epcot’s Amazing Transformation
All eyes will be on Epcot in the upcoming years, with amazing new experiences sure to wow every Disney fan. We already knew about the Ratatouille-themed attraction coming to the France Pavilion in World Showcase, but Chapek revealed that the attraction’s name will be Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. Guests will also enjoy a brand-new Beauty and the Beast sing-along, created by Don Hahn, producer of the animated and live-action Beauty and the Beast films. There will also be an update to the O Canada! 360-degree show.
Your nights at Epcot are about to get a little brighter, as Chapek announced that nighttime spectacular IllumiNations will have an all-new, transformative spectacular set to debut in 2020. It will celebrate how Disney music can inspire people from around the world, featuring massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, and lasers. Before that new show debuts, there will be a limited-time experience Epcot fans will love, called Epcot Forever, a true celebration of this timeless park. Debuting in fall 2019 and set to classic Epcot tunes, the show begins with a spark of imagination that quickly grows into an epic spectacle of fireworks, music, lighting, lasers, and choreographed, special-effects kites.
A Skyliner Sneak Peek
Since it was announced at D23 Expo 2017, we’ve been dreaming of the Disney Skyliner that is set to transport guests to their favorite Walt Disney World Resort location starting in fall 2019. For the first time ever, we got an in-person look at the Disney Skyliner gondolas, featuring our pals Mickey and Minnie!
The World’s Biggest #ShareYourEars Photo
The audience also celebrated Disney’s #ShareYourEars campaign by participating in a group photo, led by Chapek and Mickey Mouse. Chapek announced yesterday that Disney will add a second phase to the #ShareYourEars campaign in honor of Mickey’s 90th Anniversary. From November 18-27, participants can take a photo showing off their “Mickey Mouse ears”—or any creative “ears”—and upload it to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. For every public post with #ShareYourEars, Disney will donate US $5 to Make-A-Wish®, up to US $1 million, for a total of up to US $3 million. This is the third year in a row that Disney has run this campaign with Make-A-Wish to grant even more wishes.
Two New Resorts Full of Disney Magic
During his presentation, Chapek unveiled details about Reflections—A Disney Lakeside Lodge, a deluxe, nature-inspired resort coming to Orlando that will feature more than 900 hotel rooms and proposed Disney Vacation Club villas.
Chapek also offered a sneak peek at Disney’s Riviera Resort, inspired by the European grandeur Walt Disney experienced in his travels along the Mediterranean coastline. Projected to open in fall 2019, this proposed resort will be the 15th Disney Vacation Club property.
We can’t wait to see all these new attractions, experiences, and adventures in person at Disney Parks across the globe! Keep up with all the news via our friends at the Disney Parks Blog and, of course, right here on D23.com!