Walt Disney World’s creative teams say Hollywood Studios is transforming. That’s why TravelingMom explored the park to spill the beans about the Disney future plans details. Guess what? They found transformation tips about other newness too! Peek behind the scenes to see what plans you can make.

Disney Future Plans feature the late autumn 2019 opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.

Black Spire Outpost is the village inside of the upcoming Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. As the largest settlement on the planet Batuu, Black Spire Outpost is an infamous stop for traders, adventurers, and smugglers traveling around the Outer Rim and Wild Space. Photo courtesy Walt Disney World.

Feeling giddy with anticipation of entering Walt Disney World’s newest wonder – Toy Story Land – is only the beginning of immersion excitement. Firm details point to even more coming in Hollywood Studios and beyond. Cultural Heritage TravelingMom reports the facts.

Future Plans For Disney: Look At Some Details

  1. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
  2. Star Wars Hotel
  3. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  4. Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy

Future Plans Well In The Works

  1. Skyliner Gondolas
  2. NBA Experience
  3. Coronado Springs Tower and Bridge
  4. Riviera Resort Disney Vacation Club
Disney Future Plans focus heavily on Hollywood Studios, but details are also across the Parks.

Jumping for joy: that’s what many Disney fans are doing with details of future plans. Photo courtesy Road Trip TravelingMom Karyn Locke.

Turning into a toy is just the first new way to transform yourself at Walt Disney World. Entering a cartoon is next. And telling your own Star Wars story will be possible soon. Immersion is the fave new word for acting out in Orlando.

Future Plans Start With Hollywood Studios

Toy Story Land is already the place to become a toy. Old favorites like Cootie and Tinker Toys and popsicle sticks are so big that visiting children and their parents are the tiny ones.


Need help picturing how that’s possible? Slinky is large enough to become a roller coaster.

That’s Immersion #1 filling 11 acres.

Disney Future Plans launched Toy Story Land June 30, 2018 attracting all ages.

Grandmothers become toys too when they pose with Toy Story Land icons. Photo courtesy Syd Blackmar


Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge To Open in California and Florida

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge intends to put you and me inside that far, far away galaxy — living and telling our own stories.

How will I feel in the midst of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance?  Hard to say, and that’s the whole point.

“This is an epic battle, where theater and technology merge,” says the executive director of Imagineering Scott Mallwitz.

“We’re breaking the laws of physics and defying logic to put you in a new world.”

Steering the Millennium Falcon through deep space sounds immersive to me and that too will be possible in Hollywood Studios by late autumn 2019.

The galaxy’s fastest ship with you and me firing laser cannons?

That’s Immersion #2 filling 14 acres.

TravelingMom Tip: Head to Southern California in the summer of 2019 because Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens first at Disneyland Park.

Sleep Star Wars In New Hotel

With this depth of galaxy immersion in the park, transition to routine Mother Earth won’t be necessary.

No date is set yet but a luxury Star Wars-themed hotel will rise up near Hollywood Studios. Designers say this will be the place to explore our stories on our own terms.  

TravelingMoms know how a day in Animal Kingdom Park and some nights in Animal Kingdom Lodge enhance each other. Waking to a giraffe outside your balcony is exciting, and understandable.

What ever will be the sights and sounds – and deep-sleep dreams – in a Star Wars hotel?

Disney Future Plans invite immersion by entering a cartoon.

Hollywood Studios guests will step through the movie screen and join Mickey and pals on a wacky adventure set to open in 2019, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Expect dazzling visual effects. Photo courtesy Walt Disney World Resort.

Enter Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway Cartoon

Entering the cartoon world by hopping on the train invites craziness since Goofy is the engineer, says Imagineering Executive Creative Director Kevin Rafferty.

Expect a new story and new songs when we can enter this animated world, opening in 2019. New immersive tech and theater combinations are happening too, says Rafferty.

Surprised to learn it’s the first ride-through attraction themed to Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse?

This is Immersion #3 in the transforming Hollywood Studios.

Meet Up With Cars Favorite Characters

Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy launches before the others.  This is a show and the curtain rises in early 2019.

Rookie racers, and fans of the Pixar Cars films already know that McQueen will provide twists and turns in this show’s roads. Missed the movies? Learn McQueen is an anthropomorphic stock car.

Taking a seat in the Racing Academy theater will be a good chance to get to know Cruz Ramirez, McQueen’s Hispanic female trainer and his friend Mater.

Consider this Immersion #4, to be found near the Rock ‘n Roller Coaster in Hollywood Studios.

Newness Already Underway at Walt Disney World

  1. App for In-Queue Times
  2. Polka Dot Cars and Vans
  3. Fine Wines

Play Disney With A Brand New App

In queue took on a whole new meaning June 30, 2018 when games, trivia and music entered the “waiting time” equation for certain Disney parks experiences.

This is not the My Disney Experience app, an efficient business booking experiences tool.

Play Disney Parks is about fun for families waiting in line. Download playlists of Disney songs from Apple music and earn themed achievements with games and challenges.

Disney Future Plans include just-released changes too likethe polka dot cars and mini-van shuttles.

Polka dots distinguish new shuttle options at Walt Disney World. Vegetarian TravelingMom says she’s pleased. Photo courtesy Judy Antell.

Travel Within WDW in Polka Dot Cars and Vans

Looking for a change from big-bus transportation through Walt Disney World?

Cast members now drive red vans and cars bursting with white polka dots. Called the Minnie Van Service, vehicles can be ordered through the Lyft app. Ride from 6:30 a.m. until 30 minutes after midnight.

Disney Springs Newness Unfolding Too

Sip Fine Wines Selected By An Expert

Know any master sommeliers? George Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort, says there are only 240 in the world and one’s in charge at Wine Bar George in Disney Springs.

His name is George Miliotis and he pours 130 selections by the ounce, glass and bottle.

Future Plans Elsewhere in Walt Disney World

Skyliner gondolas will connect hotels

Construction site with a vision is the feeling I received on the outside edge of Hollywood Studios.

That’s one of six locations where the Skyliner will connect us to two parks and four Epcot-area hotels – riding in gondolas!

No date yet announced, but here’s where to book a room to plan ahead for Skyliner connections:

  • Art of Animation Resort
  • Pop Century Resort
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort – proposed near Epcot with a rooftop restaurant for seeing nighttime sky shows. This will be the 15th Disney Vacation Club property.

TravelingMom Tip: Old Port Royal is part of a Caribbean Beach Resort transformation with a new centralized location for more convenient access. Late 2018 is the plan.

Experience The NBA

Summer 2019 is the target date for more immersion in Disney Springs: games, competitions, hands-on activities and a retail store.

Future Disney Plans involve changes to the Coronado Springs Resort.

The handsome Coronado Springs Resort will add a 15-story tower, plus a bridge across the lake. Photo by Credit Card TravelingMom Yvonne Jacinski.

Walk Across The Coronado Springs Lake

A pedestrian bridge across the lake isn’t the only newness coming to Coronado Springs Resort.

Look for 500 new rooms and suites in the 15-story tower rising to also feature a rooftop restaurant.

Concierge-level services will be part of this transformation, and the word is guest rooms are being re-imagined. Think summer 2019.

Read more about what’s new and fun at Walt Disney World:

What are the rides at the new Toy Story Land?