Disney: Reviewing 2019 & Previewing 2020

Disney: Reviewing 2019 & Previewing 2020

There’s been so much happening in 2019. We take time to review not only the wonderful world of Disney, but to take a look at what’s been happening at Disney at Work and Disney at Play. Then we do the same as we take a look at 2020, with exciting news of not only new attractions coming to the parks, but new offerings coming from our little house of the mouse.

You can find the podcast here on Podbean and here at iTunes. You can also type in “Disney at Work & Play Podcast” when you visit Spotify.

2019 in Review: Disney Highlights

Hong Kong Disneyland:

Ant Man And The Wasp: Nano Battle. March 28, 2019

If you love Marvel, know that no one is further down the path of creating a total Marvel experience than Hong Kong Disneyland. Not only do they have Iron Man Experience, they also have Ant-Man and the Wasp: Nano Battle.

Ant-Man and the Wasp at Hong Kong Disneyland. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
“Eggstra” surprises! Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Tokyo Disneyland

This year brought Soaring: Fantastic Flight on July 23, 2019 to Tokyo Disney Seas. This is evidence of how a really good attraction is often made into a phenomenally great attraction when sent to Tokyo Disney Resort.

Soaring at Tokyo Disney. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge

Disneyland was the first resort to premiere the new Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. It also remodeled Flik’s Flyers from Bug’s Land into the new Emotional Whirlwind, a themed attraction in Pixar Pier, based on the film, Inside Out.

Unique Fantasyland entrance to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Walt Disney World

This has been one of the busiest years Walt Disney World has ever had. Included were the following:

  • Move It, Shake It, MousekeDance It Party
  • Lightning McQueeen’s Racing Academy
  • New Disney Hollywood Studios Entrance Plaza
  • Remodeled Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort Olde Port Royale
Olde Port Royale. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
  • Meet Favorite Monster Friends at Walt Disney Presents
  • Premiere of Kevin from UP!
  • Donald’s Dino Bash at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
  • New Disney Junior Dance Party
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Grand Destino Tower
  • Incredible Celebration at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Animation Experience at Conservation Station
  • Wonderful World of Animation night time show
  • Remodeled Studio Arch at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge & Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
  • Takumi Tei in Japan at Epcot
  • The Epcot Experience at Odyssey
  • End of Illuminations and Premiere of Epcot Forever
  • Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Enchanted Rose at Disney’s Grand Floridian
  • Disney Skyliner
Disney Skyliner. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
  • Remodeled stores on Hollywood & Sunset Boulevards
  • New fireworks shows, attraction overlays and other offerings for Mickey’s Not So Scary and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party
  • New Museum in Morocco
  • New Epcot Entrance
  • Animal Kingdom Holiday Lights
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort
  • New Epcot Pin Central Store
  • Newly remodeled American Heritage Store at Epcot
  • New Disney Springs Offerings like Paleo, and NBA Experience
  • Rise of the Resistance
  • New Ralph and Vanellope Meet ‘n’ Greet at Imagination
  • New Temporary Starbucks at Epcot
  • New Star Tours Itinerary

2019 Disney Work & Play Highlights

Disney at Work & Play Podcast

This podcast marks our 40th podcast this year. Doing a podcast takes work, and with it, we not only provided new content from Disney at Play and Work for listeners to hear, but we provided a complete show notes page for each episode with additional material, images, videos and links! It’s a work in progress, but we’re pleased with our show, and we hope that you are too. Make sure to subscribe, and if you haven’t share with potential listeners a positive rating and/or review. You can find the podcast here on Podbean and here at iTunes. You can also type in “Disney at Work & Play Podcast” when you visit Spotify.

You Tube JJeffKober Channel

J. Jeff Kober YouTube Channel

We’re pleased to say that we’ve added some 70 videos this year. Please subscribe and join us. Check us out and most importantly, subscribe on YouTube.

Star Wars Galaxy: A Complete Guide

This year we provided what I truly believe to be the most comprehensive guide to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. We have kept it up-to-date with new information as it has come along, and it now includes hundreds of photos, videos, and unique interactive maps. You can’t find it anywhere else in the universe. Check it out!

2nd Edition: Lead With Your Customer

Our most popular business book has returned with a 2nd edition this year. It includes world-class insights from not only Disney, but nearly a hundred other best-in-business organizations. Check it out and grab a copy tomorrow!

Lead with Your Customer

Premiere of Excellence and You

At the start of this year we were also pleased to introduce Excellence and You, a new online curriculum from Performance Journeys, my business site. Excellence and You centers around our popular Chain of Excellence module, which is a focus on leadership development, employee engagement, and improved customer experiences. Check it out today!

Disney at Play Website Premieres

For some time I’ve wanted to provide a vehicle for sharing my fandom for all things Disney. Of course, Disney at Work has been around for some time, but now we’ve added a new website that celebrates the fun of all things Disney. If you can have Disney at Work, why not Disney at Play? We’re pleased with it and hope you get a chance to visit regularly.

New Disney at Play Website

All New Website Makeovers!

During 2019 we did a major remodeling on our websites to include:

Disney at Work Website

By the way, I try not to insert to many promotions, but this is a perfect opportunity to recommend a website developer who has been critical to my success this year. Dustin Meyer runs Libra Web and Marketing. I’ve worked with others to help run my web sites, and I’ve never found greater value than working with Dustin. He listens to people’s needs, and he exceeds expectations in delivering those needs. If you need an overhaul to your web site–or if you’re looking to do your very first site, please contact Dustin. You will not be disappointed!

2020 Moving Forward: Disney Highlights

Tokyo Disneyland

New Fantasyland, Toon Town & Tomorrowland Additions

Just prior to the summer Olympics in Japan, Tokyo Disneyland on its 37th anniversary, April 15th, 2020, will roll out its version of New Fantasyland along with a new ride based on “Big Hero 6” and other features as part of the largest redevelopment in the park’s history.

View from Sheraton of construction at Tokyo Disneyland. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

It includes the following:

  • Belle’s Village. Guests will immerse themselves in the tale as old as time upon entering Belle’s village, which features Maurice’s Cottage, Gaston’s fountain, restaurants and shops.
  • The Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast. Guests will enter the Beauty and the Beast Castle which houses an attraction where guests join a musical adventure in vehicles that dance in rhythm to the music from the animated film.
  • Fantasyland Forest Theatre, a 1500-seat indoor theater with live entertainment featuring Mickey and his pals.
  • The Happy Ride with Baymax, guests can join their own personal healthcare companion for an exciting ride that swings them round and round.
  • The Big Pop is an outer space-themed popcorn shop also coming to Tomorrowland.
  • Minnie’s Style Studio will be a new place in Toontown to meet Minnie Mouse in person.
Illustration by Disney.

Walt Disney World

New shows and attractions will premiere this year, while other areas of the resort will see massive construction. Included is:

  • City Works–January 2020
  • Awesome Planet–January 17th, 2020
  • Canada Far & Wide–January 17th, 2020
  • Beauty & The Beast Sing-Along–January 17th, 2020
  • Space 220–Spring 2020
Illustration by Disney.
  • Mickey Mouse Shorts Theater–March, 2020
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway–March 4, 2020
Illustration by Disney.
  • Cirque du Soleil, Drawn to Life–Previews will be March 20th, with the world premiere will be April 17, 2020.
  • New Tri-Circle-D Ranch–Spring, 2020
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure–Summer 2020
  • Creperie–Summer 2020
  • HarmoniUS–Fall 2020
Illustration by Disney.
  • Disney Genie–Late 2020
  • Beatrix at Disney Springs–2020
  • Club 33 Addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom–2020
  • Ample Hills Creamery–Disney Springs–2020
  • Toy Story Roundup Rodeo Barbecue Restaurant–2020
Illustration by Disney.

Disneyland Paris

June 15, 2020 marks the re-imagining of Disney’s Hotel New York to being a showcase of the Art of Marvel. This resort was needing TLC for some time, and this is a great addition to that property.

Illustration by Disney.

Hong Kong Disneyland

Castle of Magical Dreams

Below is a photo taken last April as construction got underway on the transformation of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle to the new Castle of Magical Dreams. I can’t seem to find a completion date, but we can expect it to be sometime later this year.

Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Illustration by Disney.


Rise of the Resistance

Clearly the attendance didn’t materialize with the opening of Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland. Will it with the addition of Rise of the Resistance? That will be the most important question of this upcoming year for this resort.

Rise of the Resistance. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Avenger’s Campus

Illustration by Disney.

Super power excitement among fans for this new addition to Disney California Adventure. The first leg of it will open this summer, with additional attractions thereafter. Will it have a better response than Star Wars? We’ll see.

All of this will include:

  • New Spiderman Attraction. Guests will sling their own webs in fighting spider bots as they join the WEB–Worldwide Engineering Brigade.
Illustration by Disney.
  • PYM Test Kitchen. Guests will enjoy food creations that are enlarged or shrunk in this themed area to Ant-Man and The Wasp.
  • Avengers Stunt Show. New entertainment will happen in the form of Avengers performing defying stunts on top of the buildings in Avenger’s Campus.
  • WEB Suppliers. A gift shop adjoining Spiderman providing retail opportunities.
  • Heroic Encounters. Meet ‘n’ greet locations with super heroes such as Black Widow, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Doctor Strange, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Super Heroes from Wakanda and Asgard, and Iron Man.
Illustration by Disney.

Magic Happens Parade

Parades are a big thing at Disneyland and many guests are anticipating this new parade, which will premiere on February 28th.

Illustration by Disney.

2020 Moving Forward: Disney Work & Play

More Meet Me At The Parks

Of all of the Disney-related projects, this is one of my favorite activities! It’s meeting guests like you who come to the parks, enjoying a snack (on me, no less!) and sharing our common love for all things Disney. If you’re heading to Walt Disney World, feel free to contact me and let me know when you’re coming. We’ll find a day and time and place to meet up. I’ll also let you know when I’m at other parks around the globe so we can meet up there as well. Let’s meet at the parks!

More Disney News on Parade

The irony of ironies is that I’m a heartbeat away from the Vacation Kingdom of the World, and we don’t cover enough of what is going on in the parks, not just at Walt Disney World, but elsewhere. Look for more Disney News on Parade coming this year!

New Spanish Customer Service Book

Finally! My first book, The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney will be available in Spanish. Translation is completed, and final details are in play for publishing this first quarter!

Disney Best Practices Global Tour 2020

We are heading around the globe this year with new best-in-Disney programs. You’ll want to join us to experience Disney ideas that can be applied to your organization back home. Check out this site for more about the programming we cover and the places we’ll go!

New Disney at Work & Disney at Play Membership Club!

That’s our working title for our new subscription service that will allow you exclusive access to unique Disney at Play fan content, as well as distinct Disney at Work best-in-business content. That subscription service will be tiered and will include such things as:

  • Exclusive and Early Access to Podcasts
  • Disney in Depth Fan Content
  • Exclusive YouTube Videos
  • Monthly Gift Packages
  • Best in Disney Business Practice Content
  • Excellence and You Toolkit Access
  • Disney Best Practices Network
  • Disney Best Practices Global Tour Discounts
  • Performance Consulting

Visiting Disney in 2020?

So much to know about planning your next trip to Disney. When I’m bringing my business groups to Disney parks around the globe, I make sure I utilize David Zanolla. First and foremost, he knows Disney! I’m not going to take risks with an important business group with someone who doesn’t know what he or she is doing. You shouldn’t either when it comes to your next Disney vacation. So touch base with Exclusive Travel by David. Tell him Jeff sent you.

J. Jeff Kober