2019 – There’s Magic in the Air!

The holiday season has come and gone for another year.  The decorations are packed away, the music on the radio has returned to their usual playlists, and the colder weather has arrived in a big way.   I now find my thoughts shifting from looking back on the past year, to enthusiastically awaiting the new changes happening at Walt Disney World in 2019!

Cinderella Castle lit up at night

Here’s my list of 5 exciting events for this year that I can’t wait to experience!

 

  1. The Opening of Disney’s Riviera Resort

Each time the Disney Vacation Club announces a new property there is an energy that fills the air!  Owners and Guests alike are excited to see the design, try the new amenities and watch as Disney Imagineers create a new place to call “home.”  Disney’s Riviera Resort is no exception!  Each time we drive by, I’m always asking my passenger to snap another shot of the progress on the building and look at the changes from one picture to the next.

exterior construction shot of Disney’s Riviera Resort with 4 stories built

exterior construction shot of Disney’s Riviera Resort with 9 stories built

Recently DVC confirmed that a new type of accommodation, “Tower Studios” will be part of this resort and it has fueled my excitement.  With a new room design that is built specifically for two people, and offers a pull-down queen size bed, I’m curious to see how this experience compares to my usual studio stays.  Disney announced that the resort will open in 2019, but has yet to release a specific date.  I’m hopeful now that news of the room configurations is out, it won’t be much longer before Disney also shares an official date for the Grand Opening.

 

 

  1. Mickey and Minnie’s Surprise Celebration

It’s no secret; I love Mickey and Minnie!  When they’re in a parade and they wave at me, I really feel like they waved at ME.

 Team Member Kelly hugging Minnie Mouse

So, to hear that this year there’s a Surprise Celebration happening at the Magic Kingdom makes me grin from ear to ear!  Last week the Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party debuted, and I’m counting down the days until I too will be standing in the Magic Kingdom seeing it first hand.

Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Sign

The limited time character Meet and Greet with both Mickey and Minnie at Town Square Theater is also on my list to experience.  After all, some of my biggest smiles can be when I’m saying hello to these iconic characters.  They’ve even dressed for the occasion with adorable matching outfits!

Town Square Theater Sign

Mickey and Minnie Meet and Greet sign at Town Square Theater

Mickey and Minnie in their Party Outfits

 

  1. The Continuation of Disney After Hours Events!

Disney After Hours are special ticketed events where the park closes to the public at the usual time, and guests who have purchased this ticket get to remain for an additional 3 hours.  Having tried it for the first time in 2018, I believe it’s a great way to see a whole new side of Disney!  Although the event is officially for 3 hours, guests can enter the park in the early evening (I always recommend double-checking times on the WDW site for your event date) often allowing 5-6 hours of park time with the ticket.

Last year, by the end of the night, we tackled every attraction that we wanted (some multiple times), as well as enjoyed the rare opportunity to walk through a near-empty park.  Looking around and seeing such a small number of people made the night even more magical than I could have ever imagined.

shot of the Magic Kingdom area by Gaston’s Tavern with no guests in sight

For me, Disney After Hours events are a great way to experience a park without the crowds and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Team Member Kelly standing in front of Cinderella Castle at night with no other people around

 

  1. Room Refurbishments at Disney’s Old Key West

It was the Original DVC Resort and holds a special place in my heart.

Lighthouse at Disney’s Old Key West

With some of the largest DVC rooms on property, and being the only DVC resort that has two queen size beds in the studios, Disney’s Old Key West is a favorite amongst our team.

Disney’s Old Key West studio with 2 queen beds

Beginning over a year ago and continuing throughout this year, every room at the resort is being refurbished.  The new color choices are welcoming, the enhanced lighting brightens the rooms, and the completely redone bathrooms look spectacular!!!!

Disney’s Old Key West studio table and 2 chairs

Disney’s Old Key West studio, bathroom vanity

Disney’s Old Key West studio, bathtub

Disney’s Old Key West studio with 2 queen beds

I’m also a big fan of the artwork within the room that fits the theme and features some of my favorite Disney characters.

Artwork in a studio at Disney’s Old Key West

I think DVC has hit the nail on the head with this refurbishment and I can’t wait for all of the rooms to be completed, which is listed to be done in 2019 (no official end date has been released).

 

& Finally….

 

  1. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Opening Fall 2019

Arguably one of the most talked about topics on Disney focused boards, is Star Wars Land!  From the initial announcement to each piece of information that is released, there is an excitement to learn more.  This will be the largest expansion within a park in WDW history, and the force is strong with anticipation.

model of part of the layout for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

I can’t wait to see how Disney does it; how they’ll make us feel that we’ve left Earth and are now walking around the Planet Batuu. I’m excited for the two new attractions where we can choose to fight the First Order or fly the Millennium Falcon (a dream that many of us have had since childhood).  If anyone can bring this dream to life, and make it as magical as my younger self once envisioned, I believe Disney can do it!   With Pandora, Disney showed us how they could take us to another world, and I do not doubt that a galaxy far, far away is within reach.

model of the Millennium Falcon

 

 

I’ve said it many times and this year is no different, I LOVE Disney!!!! For me, being at Walt Disney World is “home.”  Seeing the castle at the end of Main Street always brings a smile to my face.   Looking into 2019, that enthusiasm continues to grow.  When I’m at WDW, nothing is impossible, dreams come true, and I believe there really is magic in the air!

bus stops at the Magic Kingdom with the sunset in the background

 

~Kelly

Pocket