2019 is a Huge Year for Disneyland Resort: Here’s Why it’s Not to be Missed

2019 is a big year for Disneyland

Celebrating 90 years of magic with Mickey and Minnie, journeying to the planet Batuu in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and two new attractions at Pixar Pier lead the way

No matter how you slice it, 2019 is going to be an epic year for travel to Disneyland Resort. So whether you’re a regular traveler to the Happiest Place on Earth, or you’ve been considering booking your next Disneyland vacation, there is a long list of great reasons why 2019 is poised to be one of the best years in Disneyland history.

The year kicks off with a bang in January with Get Your Ears On – A Mickey and Minnie Celebration. This legendary party celebrates Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse at the place where it all began. Walt Disney is often famously quoted as saying “it all began with a mouse,” but Disneyland is the place where everyone’s favorite mouse really came to life.

Disney California Adventure Park will celebrate Lunar New Year and the Year of the Pig with a special appearance by the Three Little Pigs. In the spring of 2019, the annual Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival will offer tasty treats and special entertainment for guests of all ages to enjoy. Nearby, the Downtown Disney District will continue its ongoing promenade-wide transformation, while the three Disney hotels at Disneyland Resort will open special dining locations as well.

In the summer of 2019, you will be able to live out your own Star Wars adventure at the highly anticipated new land: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This new addition to the Star Wars universe is one of the most hotly-anticipated park openings in years and Disneyland guests will be the first to experience the thrills of authentic, intergalactic adventures — beating out the opening date for the attraction at Walt Disney World by several months.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these amazing new additions to Disneyland Resort.

Mickey's Magic Mix, Disneyland.

Artist’s concept of Mickey’s Magic Mix, Disneyland.

Get Your Ears On – A Mickey and Minnie Celebration at Disneyland Park

The biggest celebration of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in Disneyland history begins in January 2019.

In honor of 90 years of magic for this beloved couple, guests at Disneyland Resort will discover new and enhanced entertainment plus limited-time décor, specialty foods and merchandise.

Starting on January 18, “Mickey’s Mix Magic” will light up the night at Disneyland park with an all-new high-energy projection show. The nightly extravaganza creates a family-fun dance party throughout the park, with “DJ” Mickey spinning the new celebration song “It’s a Good Time,” along with more new and fun takes on other favorite Disney classic songs. Throughout the park, state-of-the-art projections, lighting and lasers transform Main Street, U.S.A., the water screens on the Rivers of America and the façade of “it’s a small world” into a colorful, dazzling display of light and sound, all in celebration of the lovable Mickey Mouse. If you’re visiting, be sure to check the schedules because on select nights “Mickey’s Mix Magic” will light up the sky when the show is enhanced with the addition of fireworks. Now that’s something you won’t want to miss.

Mickey's Soundsational Parade, Disneyland

Mickey’s Soundsational Parade, Disneyland.

A longtime fan favorite, “Mickey’s Soundsational Parade,” returns to Disneyland starting January 25. It features a rockin’ new opening to kick off the party. Mickey leads the way in a new larger-than-life opening, inspired by classic and nostalgic Mickey pull toys. Next, Chip ‘n’ Dale arrive with a giant celebration cake, as Mickey and his drum corps kick off a procession of Disney characters.

From January 22 through February 18, Disneyland Resort will celebrate the love of Minnie and Mickey during Valentine’s month. If you like to collect limited-time Disney artwork, watch for a new Mickey Mouse flower “portrait,” along with lovely and festive Valentine’s décor all along Main Street, U.S.A. Looking for some interactive fun? Watch for Minnie’s Valentine Surprise, a special scavenger hunt experience in Disneyland park. After purchasing a commemorative map and stickers at select merchandise locations, you’ll be able to search for the hidden valentines that Minnie has left for Mickey all around the park. When you’re done, the maps can be returned to a designated location to redeem a special Valentine’s surprise. How cool is that?

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge invites guests to live their own Star Wars adventure

In the summer of 2019, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will make history as the largest single-land expansion ever at the Disneyland Resort. In this epic, new land, you’ll be able to live out your own adventure in a galaxy far, far away and explore Black Spire Outpost. As the story goes, this was once a busy spaceport on the planet Batuu, but is now home to those who prefer to stay out of the mainstream. The fun will be all around you as you may encounter smugglers, rogue traders and exotic creatures traveling between the frontier and uncharted space. So get ready to have some epic galactic fun, Disney style!

Black Spire Outpost, Galaxy's Edge

Artist’s concept of the Black Spire Outpost, Galaxy’s Edge, Disneyland.

When it comes to rides and attractions, there are several things to look forward to. Take the controls in one of three unique and critical roles aboard Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. On Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, you’ll be able to join a battle between the First Order and the Resistance – including a face-off with Kylo Ren. These two new experiences — paired with the land’s interactive components and optional integration with the Play Disney Parks app — will all add to your experience as a galactic traveler as you live out your own Star Wars adventures in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

But we’re not done yet… In addition to these two long-awaited attractions, you can try blue milk (well-known to Star Wars fans) and pop into the local Cantina for more libations. Adventures and hidden treasures await as you make your way through winding alleyways and merchant stalls. If you’re lucky, you even come across some familiar Star Wars faces, including Chewbacca and stormtroopers. No matter how you choose to explore this new land, the beauty of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is that it was designed so that each guest can choose to follow their own unique adventure in the galaxy.

Finally, keep your ears tuned because Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will feature original music created especially for the land by Academy Award-winning composer John Williams.

Lunar New Year celebration returns to celebrate the Year of the Pig

From January 25 through February 17, Disneyland Resort will ring in the Year of the Pig this Lunar New Year in Disney California Adventure. As a joyous celebration of Asian cultures, the Lunar New Year celebration will welcome guests of all ages to commemorate the tradition with the addition of beloved Disney characters. So be sure to come out and welcome another year of good fortune!

Watch for Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession, a limited-time offering that takes place during the Lunar New Year celebration. This bright and bold parade is hosted by Mulan and her faithful dragon, Mushu. As a special treat for the Year of the Pig, the Three Little Pigs will join the procession. Delicious Asian food and kid-friendly crafts and activities will be available as well.

Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival showcases a bounty of flavors

A fan favorite, the vibrant Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival will return to the Disneyland Resort from March 1 through April 23, 2019.

Seasoned foodies along and culinary newbies alike will definitely enjoy this eight-week celebration of California-inspired cuisines. Indulge in favorite dishes and broaden your palette with more than a dozen delicious Festival Marketplaces, featuring small plates, specialty wines and craft beers.

From celebrity chef appearances to family-friendly cooking demonstrations, there is something for connoisseurs of all ages to enjoy. In addition, children can participate in Junior Chef, a fun, hands-on “cooking” experience, specially designed for young chefs. Participants will even receive a sweet surprise following the seminar.

Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind and Jessie’s Critter Carousel arrive at Pixar Pier

In 2019, Pixar Pier welcomes two new attractions that will officially complete the first iteration of the land: Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind and Jessie’s Critter Carousel.

This Pixar-inspired land is full of family-friendly fun, including the thrilling Incredicoaster, the popular Toy Story Mania! attraction and the beautiful Lamplight Lounge restaurant overlooking Paradise Bay. This is where you’ll have the opportunity to meet and greet characters from Disney•Pixar films, including Mr. Incredible and Mrs. Incredible and Edna Mode from “The Incredibles,” and Jessie and Woody from “Toy Story.” Even the iconic Pixar Lamp makes an appearance, atop the Pixar Pier marquee.

Plus, don’t forget that at Pixar Pier and at both theme parks, you can maximize your visit with Disney MaxPass. This will allow you to get digital Disney FastPass selections through the Disneyland app (subject to availability) and receive unlimited digital downloads of Disney PhotoPass photos captured during the day.

Downtown Disney District continues promenade-wide transformation

The Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort is a fun one-of-a-kind Disney experience, especially convenient for guests of onsite Disney resort hotels. Here you’ll gind fun things to do day or night, including an exciting mix of dining, shopping and entertainment that’s fun for all ages.

Downtown Disney has been undergoing a promenade-wide transformation, which included the opening of Splitsville Luxury Lanes, the Disney Home store, The Disney Dress Shop and Salt & Straw scoop shop, along with a reimagined design for the World of Disney store. Coming soon to Downtown Disney are a fresh, new look at Naples Ristorante e Bar, plus two new dining locations: Ballast Point brewery and Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes.

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse at Disneyland.

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse at Disneyland.

Here’s a complete snapshot of the new and limited-time magic at Disneyland Resort in 2019

Disneyland Park

  • Tropical Hideaway opens, featuring Rosita from Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room (late 2018)
  • Disneyland After Dark special after-hours ticketed events (Sweethearts’ Nite on Feb. 7 and 90s Nite on March 7)

Disney California Adventure Park

  • Vampirina joins Disney Junior Dance Party! (February 1)
  • Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind attraction opens at Pixar Pier (2019)
  • Jessie’s Critter Carousel opens with a rootin’ tootin’ spin at Pixar Pier (2019)
  • Captain Marvel, one of the most powerful heroes in the universe, begins encountering guests (2019)

Hotels of the Disneyland Resort

  • Tangaroa Terrace, Tropical Bar and Grill opens at the Disneyland Hotel (early 2019)
  • Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa opens a new bar in the pool area (spring 2019)
  • Character Dining: Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet recently debuted at Storytellers Café and Donald Duck’s Seaside Breakfast at Disney’s PCH Grill

Downtown Disney District

  • New hyper-reality experience, “Ralph Breaks VR,” is now open at The VOID
  • New look at Naples Ristorante e Bar (early 2019)
  • Ballast Point brewery opens (early 2019)
  • Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes opens (early 2019)

General Disneyland Happenings

  • Halloween Time returns (Sept. 2019)
  • Holiday entertainment, festivities and décor return (Nov. 2019)
  • Play Disney ParksϮ app will feature exciting new updates (throughout 2019)

Upcoming anniversaries

  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage (originally opened as Submarine Voyage), 60th anniversary (June 6)
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds and Disneyland Monorail, 60th anniversaries (June 14)
  • Splash Mountain, 30th anniversary (July 17)
  • Haunted Mansion, 50th anniversary (Aug. 9)
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, 40th anniversary (Sept. 2)

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As a Luxury Travel Blogger, I write regularly about Disney vacations of all shapes and sizes. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook for the latest news and insights on luxury Disney travel.

Mike Belobradic: The Finer Side of Disney Travel
Luxury Travel Blogger – Luxury Disney Travel Expert