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S’up?! Tad here, the resident family thrill seeker and videographer. I always have my green finger on the pulse of what’s hoppening in the parks, so I am toadally excited for some of the upcoming events, rides and new lands coming to Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, Universal Studios Hollywood and more. Let’s hop to it and explore what's coming to Disneyland and Universal in 2018-2019 and beyond!
What’s Coming to Disneyland and Universal in 2018 to 2019
The Disneyland mobile ordering service was recently expanded to 20 quick-service locations at the Disneyland Resort with use of the Disneyland App. It is available at the following locations:
- Bengal Barbecue
- Galactic Grill
- Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor
- Edelweiss Snacks
- Harbour Galley
- Hungry Bear Restaurant
- Jolly Holiday Bakery Café
- Red Rose Tavern
- Refreshment Corner
- Royal Street Veranda
- Stage Door Café
- Tiki Juice Bar
Disney California Adventure
- Award Wieners
- Bayside Brews
- Clarabelle's Hand-Scooped Ice Cream
- Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill
- Corn Dog Castle
- Flo's V8 Cafe
- Lucky Fortune Cookery
- Pacific Wharf Cafe
- Paradise Garden Grill
- Smokejumpers Grill
We are excited to see what changes come to this service in 2019. They recently added some seasonal treats to the mobile ordering service. Our frog family looks forward to more and more restaurants offering this service.
It's no secret that we frogs love to eat when we are at Disneyland. We are especially hoppin' excited to discover an upcoming dining location in Adventureland called The Tropical Hideaway, the restaurant is being built in the spot that used to be Aladdin's Oasis between the Enchanted Tiki Room and Jungle Cruise. You'll be able to rub elbows with your favorite Jungle Cruise skippers in this exotic trader's market. There is no official opening date (it’s set to open late 2018) but we’ve gotten a sneak peek at some menu items. The menu features tastes from around the world like three kinds of bao— Spiced Vegetable, Kaffir Lime Chicken and Bulgogi Beef (can you really have too much bao? No way!) — Chilled Ramen Salad, Sweet Pineapple Lumpia, a Pineapple Sweet Cream Cheese Spring Roll. The restaurant will be a feast for the eyes as well, with tropical waterfront views and flickering torchlights in the evening. The location will also welcome Rosita, a performing bird from the Enchanted Tiki Room. She will be taking on a solo career along the river’s edge, greeting guests and entertaining them with her jokes and one-liners that are sure to impress a Jungle Cruise Skipper.
Our frog squad is not alone in anxiously awaiting Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to open in 2019. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is expected to be the largest and most immersive themed land yet. The 14-acre land will transport guests to a trading post on the planet Batuu, where the stories and characters come to life. This remote outpost on the galaxy’s edge is a thriving port, home to smugglers, traders and those seeking adventure (as well as a haven for rogues seeking to hide from the First Order). It will have a cantina where adults can order drinks with alcohol for the first time in Disneyland. Everyone can enjoy blue milk, a performance stage and two main rides. As a thrill seeker, I am anxious to learn all I can about these rides. Here’s what I know: one ride allows you to pilot the Millennium Falcon on a critical mission (cool!). You can shoot blasters, pilot the ship and prepare for hyperspace. Your performance in this mission has consequences. You could earn galactic credits or end up on a Bounty Hunter’s list (which would cause problems if you show your face at the cantina). The other ride puts you on a Star Destroyer in the hangar bay in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance (way cool). You’ll encounter droids, other characters, be able to shop for a light saber, eat at quick service restaurant or a table-service sit down restaurant and check out a land speeder garage. Is the force with you? I think so.
Turning 90 is a big deal for a mouse, so starting January 18, 2019, Mickey and Minnie continue to celebrate the big birthday with an epic park wide party, and everyone’s invited! Every great party needs a theme, and theme of this one will be Get Your Ears On: A Mickey and Minnie Celebration. It will feature new nighttime entertainment called Mickey’s Mix Magic with new projection, music and lasers that turn Disneyland Park into a rockin’ dance party. You can expect exclusive food and merchandise. (Mommy Frog? Can we please go to Disneyland January 18???) Mickey and Minnie will be wearing their new white birthday celebration outfits next year. Mickey’s suit has colorful confetti on it and Minnie’s puff sleeve dress has pompoms and a bubble skirt. And to top it all off, Mickey’s Soundsational Parade will be returning in January 2019 with Mickey leading the party on an all-new float!
Disney California Adventure
In 2018, Paradise Pier was transformed into Pixar Pier with new neighborhoods, restaurants, characters to meet, new foods to try, shopping opportunities, and revamped rides (like the Incredicoaster and the Pixar Pal-A-Round). But there are two more family friendly rides, perfect for my little sister, Lily, still to come. Jessie’s Critter Carousel will be a new carousel ride in the Toy Story neighborhood, inspired by the characters from Woody’s Roundup. It replaces King Triton’s Carousel. The fourth Pixar Pier neighborhood, Inside Out Headquarters, will be making its debut in 2019. The colorful Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff has already opened with whimsical snacks and Memory Refreshers — frozen drinks of every color with toppings like cotton candy, popping pearls and colorful candy. This colorful new neighborhood is where guests will be able to take a spin on the Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind. If you are familiar with the now-closed A Bug’s Land, this ride used to be Flik’s Flyers. The remaining areas of Paradise Pier from Paradise Gardens to The Little Mermaid — Ariel’s Undersea Adventure will become a land known as Paradise Gardens Park, but aren’t expected to change much.
For those of you who can’t wait for the new Star Wars Land, Galaxy’s Edge to open — why does it feel so many light-years away? — you can immerse yourself in the the Secrets of the Empire at The Void at Downtown Disney. This multisensory 3-D virtual reality experience is now open to guests 10 and up who are at least 48 inches tall — sorry, Lily. Gather your team of four family or friends to become Storm Troopers and be transported to a galaxy far, far away.
There are new restaurants to come to Downtown Disney. Ballast Point will serve up California cuisine, award-winning craft brews, and have the first brewery on-site in Downtown Disney. Back Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes will have luncheonette style food with old-school hip-hop music and out-of-control CrazyShake milshakes #drooling. Theyrecently opened a new ice cream shop at Downtown Disney, The Salt & Straw. They serve handmade, organic ice cream with creative flavors that taste oh so good. Good luck making a flavor choice. Also, we are all awaiting the news on what they will do with the west end of Downtown Disney. Earlier in 2018, they closed several restaurants to build a new hotel, but that is no longer happening. They have recently reopened The Earl of Sandwich, much to the delight of everyone, but Disney has made no announcements about the other empty spaces and what restaurants are to come. In the meantime, you can enjoy food trucks brought in mid-afternoons into the evenings while you wait for the news of future restaurants or entertainment in that area.
Disneyland is building a new 6,500-space parking structure. This much-needed structure is well under construction on the Pinocchio Lot next to Mickey & Friends. The new structure will have six stories and will come with six additional entrance lanes, adding to the current 10 lanes. This will help us get into the parking structures and then to the parks even faster. Mommy Frog will love this time-saver, for sure!
Disney will redesign the tram loading area to accommodate both parking structures. If you’ve ever wanted to get to Downtown Disney more easily from the parking structure, well that wish has been granted too! The new structure will have a pedestrian bridge over Magic Way, feeding into Downtown Disney, allowing you to skip the parking shuttle and get some food, play with Legos or do some souvenir shopping on the way to and from the parks. You could also hop on the Monorail from there to be transported straight into Tomorrowland. The new parking structure will open in 2019.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Just a little north of Disneyland is Universal Studios Hollywood. In September 2018, the Jurassic Park ride went extinct…to evolve into Jurassic World, which is due to hatch in 2019! The new ride will be part expedition, part heart-thumping water ride. Can't wait!
Have you ever wished you could run down the streets where movies like Back to the Future, King Kong, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, War of the Worlds and so many more were filmed? Get your running shoes laced up, because Universal Studios is opening up the gates for the first Running Universal 5K event Featuring Illumination’s Minions. The event kicks off May 11, 2019, with a 6 a.m. race time. You’ll rush through the front gates into the Upper Lot and make your way to the Backlot, racing through iconic movie sets. Finish at the 5 Towers on Universal CityWalk and find yourself surrounded by a party with live music, food and beverages (included!) and plenty of post-race swag (like collectible Minion pins and more). Runners must be at least five years old on race day — no strollers or baby carriers allowed — but you can wear costumes that fit specific guidelines. Register in advance. Hop here to find the route map, registration and Running Universal Minion 5K event info.
What’s Coming to Disneyland and Universal in 2020 and Beyond
Disney California Adventure
At Disney California Adventure, you can see walls surrounding the now-closed A Bug’s Land with the Stark Industries logo (from Marvel’s “Iron Man” movies) on the gates. Behind the fence, they are making way for a new, but yet-to-be-named, Marvel-themed land to open in 2020. This Super Hero land will feature Spider-Man and the Avengers, including members of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America, Doctor Strange, Black Widow, Thor Loki, and Black Panther with his Dora Milaje. In the meantime, you can ride the toadally awesome Guardians of the Galaxy—Mission: BREAKOUT! next to those Stark Industries gates and meet various Avengers in Hollywood Land or catch Star-Lord, Gamora and Groot in the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off!
Universal Studios Hollywood
S’up gamers? While there are not a lot of details released yet, Universal Studios Hollywood is planning on bringing an expansive and immersive Nintendo-themed area to Universal Studios Hollywood in the next couple years. Check back for updates.
If you are as excited about what’s coming to Disneyland and Universal in the upcoming months and years as I am, then you might be planning your next visit. If you are looking for discount theme park tickets, rental cars, transportation or hotels near Disneyland or Universal Studios you can score some hoppin’ good deals on through Undercover Tourist. Choose “Los Angeles” and then you can narrow down your search.