Here are five new Disneyland Resort attractions and events to look forward to over the coming year.
At Disneyland Resort, 2017 saw the introduction of MaxPass, the arrival of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and the return of the Rivers of America, and 2019 will bring the debut of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of exciting new additions coming to the Southern California theme park in 2018. Here are five new attractions to look forward to.
Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire
If watching (and re-watching) The Last Jedi and riding Tomorrowland’s recently updated Star Tours simulator isn’t enough to slake your anticipation for Disneyland Park’s upcoming Star Wars land, head at hyper-speed to Downtown Disney and experience Secrets of the Empire. The newly opened virtual reality experience from The Void combines 3-D headsets and motion-tracking sensors with physical effects to put you and three friends into the middle of your own galactic adventure. Watch Rogue One before playing, so you’ll recognize some friendly faces, and book your appointment in advance to avoid waiting.
A Wrinkle in Time
For the millions who grew up with Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless tales, the upcoming film from director Ava DuVernay fulfills the dream of bringing A Wrinkle in Time to life on the big screen. The movie—which stars Oprah Winfrey (Mrs. Which), Reese Witherspoon (Mrs. Whatsit), and Mindy Kaling (Mrs. Who)—doesn’t open until March 9, but Disney California Adventure Park guests can catch a special 4-D preview (complete with in-theater special effects) at the Sunset Showcase Theater in Hollywood Land beginning February 9.
New Dumbo Queue
Dumbo the Flying Elephant has been a favorite ride of the young (and young at heart) since Disneyland Park’s 1955 debut, but on a hot day, its open-air queue is anything but the happiest place on Earth. Fans will rejoice to learn that the classic attraction, which is currently closed, will reopen in early spring with a new shaded waiting area, plus a fresh coat of paint. Disney hasn’t announced plans for adding FastPass, so early mornings and during the parade will still be the best times to ride.
Pixar Pier has always been the problem child at Disney California Adventure Park. Originally inspired by flashy seaside carnivals, it was rethemed in 2010 as a quaint Victorian boardwalk. Hopefully, the third time’s the charm, as it's now being transformed into Pixar Pier, home to the computer animation studio’s beloved characters. The centerpiece will be the Incredicoaster, which will merge the thrills of the California Screamin’ roller coaster with the fun superhero family of the Incredibles movie (and its sequel, arriving this summer). Be sure to grab a FastPass or use the speedy single-rider line when this popular attraction returns this summer.
While Disney California Adventure Park prepares for the arrival of Pixar Pier, the original Disneyland Park will celebrate the resort’s first-ever Pixar Fest, starting April 13 with Together Forever—A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular. Building on 2015’s successful Disneyland Forever fireworks show, this immersive presentation will bring favorite Pixar scenes to life with pyrotechnics, projections, and even a flying Buzz Lightyear. The best viewing is from Main Street U.S.A. (between the Coca-Cola Refreshment Corner and Photo Supply Co.), but the crowds are less crushing around It’s A Small World.
Members enjoy special discounts when booking travel to Disneyland through AAA.
This article was first published in Winter 2018. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.