Things are always changing around the Disney Parks! After all, Walt Disney himself said that Disneyland would never be finished and that they must “Keep Moving Forward.”
And change is certainly the name of the game in 2019! All kinds of things are happening in Disney World and Disneyland that have NEVER. HAPPENED. BEFORE. — from new entertainment, new technology, and new food!
Here are 14 Things Disney’s Doing for the First Time in 2019:
1. Serving Alcohol in Disneyland
For the first time EVER, alcohol is available to the general public in Disneyland Park. Previously, alcohol was only served at the very-exclusive Club 33, but now, thanks to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, anyone that ventures into Oga’s Cantina can purchase a boozy libation. (Pending you’re of age, of course.)
But — you’re not allowed to take anything outside of the Cantina, and drinks are limited to 2 per I.D., so it’t not a free-for-all. 😉
2. Smoking Is Banned Inside the Disney Parks
For the first time EVER, smoking has been banned inside the Disney parks. Previously, smoking was allowed in designated areas inside the parks. But beginning May 1, 2019, all Smoking areas were moved outside the parks’ main entrances.
3. New Fireworks at Disney World Hard-Ticket Holiday Parties
Walt Disney World is debuting brand NEW Fireworks Spectaculars at BOTH Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! Both shows promise to incorporate projections on the castle, new soundtracks, and favorite characters!
Additionally, both parties will feature Attractions Overlays for the Holiday. We aren’t exactly sure how Space Mountain will be a Christmas attraction, but we can’t wait to find out!
4. Disneyland’s Oogie Boogie Bash
Magic Kingdom isn’t the only park getting new Halloween fun!
The all-new Oogie Boogie Bash is coming to Disney California Adventure Park! The Bash will feature trick-or-treating, a “Frightfully Fun Parade,” and an all-new “Villainous” Version of World of Color!
5. The NBA Experience Is Opening
Coming to Disney Springs this month is the all-new NBA Experience! The NBA Experience will be located in the former home of Disney-quest, and will be host to several different basketball themed activities.
B-ball fans can learn how to “execute the perfect Slam Dunk,” improve their jump shot, access a team locker room, and MORE!
6. Ice Ban
Smoking wasn’t the only thing banned this year — ice also made the list. This may seem like a weird policy upon first hearing it, but it’s designed for folks bringing in their own coolers.
As a security measure, all bags and coolers must be thoroughly inspected, which means rummaging through the entire cooler full of ice. This was an incredibly lengthy process when people are already anxious to get into the park, so Disney decided to make the whole thing easier and just ban loose ice all together. We recommend using re-freezable ice packs to keep your items cold!
7. Reservations (and Time Limits) Just to Get into a Land
For the first time EVER, Disney required guests to get a reservation just to simply get into a land — not for dining, not for an attraction — just to actually step foot into a land.
The reservation system did appear to help with crowds, however they are not using it in Walt Disney World when their Galaxy’s Edge opens on August 29. May the force be with anyone attempting to go in the first days of it opening!
8. EXTRA Extra Magic Hours
Typically one to two parks a day have Extra Magic Hours — those special extra hours of park opening only available to Disney resort hotel guests — at Walt Disney World. But starting this fall, THREE of the Disney World theme parks will be hosting Extra Magic Hours EVERY DAY.
Why? Well, as we just noted there is no reservation system at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, so it’s a pretty safe guess that the EXTRA Extra Magic Hours are there to help alleviate the crowds. As of now, the Extra Hours are from September 2 – November 2.
9. Signature Celebration Package at Cinderella’s Royal Table
An all new dining package was announced at Cinderella’s Royal Table! The Signature Celebration Package starts this August, and includes a three-part magical experience!
Guests will have the chance to dine with the princesses as they enjoy dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table, view Magic Kingdom’s Happily Ever After Fireworks from reserved viewing, and end the night with an exclusive dessert party!
10. Disney Skyliner Is Opening
The all-new Disney Skyliner opens this fall on September 29. This brand new transportation system will connect Hollywood Studios and Epcot to four Disney Resorts (Pop Century, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach Resort, and the all-new Riviera Resort).
The gondolas can seat up to 10 guests and are brightly colored, or donned with characters!
11. Stroller Size Restrictions are in Place
Along with the banning of ice and smoking, large strollers and wagons were also added to the no-no list for the Disney parks. The rationale being that the parks are crowded, and it’s a safety hazard to be pulling a large wagon behind you (or even pushing it in front of you).
Disney also began testing various new types of strollers available for rent at the parks. Up until now, the hard plastic strollers (in doubles or singles) were the only strollers available. But with a recent test at Animal Kingdom, Disney is looking at expanding to more comfortable varieties.
12. Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival is a Record-Breaking Length
The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is running for a RECORD 87 Days this fall!
The Festival kicks off on August 29, 2019, and ends on November 23, 2019. That means more time than ever to enjoy delicious food, wines, brews, and musical acts!
13. Mobile-Order Is Offered at Disney Resorts
Have you tried Mobile-order yet? It is probably one of our FAVORITE things! Mobile-order allows you to order and pay for food at various Quick Service Locations using your My Disney Experience app. You then skip the line when you arrive at the restaurant and can get straight to eating!
But up until this year, Mobile Order was only available in the parks. This year, seven Disney World Resort restaurants were added, including The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Everything POP! at Pop Century, and Contempo Cafe at the Contemporary.
14. Epcot Forever Will Debut
This fall, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth will shoot off its last firework at Epcot. The nighttime spectacular has been an incredibly popular entertainment offering for 20 years, and the final show is on September 30, 2019.
Premiering the next day is “Epcot Forever,” an all new spectacular honoring the magic and history of Epcot. While we are sad to see Illuminations go, we are excited to see an all new spectacular!
What are you most excited about this year at the Disney parks? Let us know in the comments!