As the arms race between the theme parks intensifies in 2019, tourism experts say they expect huge crowds — and rising ticket prices — to continue in Orlando.
“All the major theme park operators have put a lot of money in 2019, Disney in particular,” said Rick Munarriz, a senior analyst for Motley Fool.
The biggest new expansion will be Star Wars land built on 14 acres with two signature rides. It’s scheduled to open in late fall in Orlando.
“Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge has the potential to be as big, if not bigger, than Hogsmeade’s addition to Universal’s Islands of Adventure,” said University of Central Florida hospitality associate professor Duncan Dickson, referring to the Harry Potter expansion that opened in 2010. “It’s going to be an exciting year.”
Universal also is building a new roller coaster based off the Harry Potter franchise that’s set to open sometime in 2019 at Islands of Adventure. The theme park operator has kept quiet on the details of the ride and not announced which month it will open.
A Universal spokesman did not return a message for comment for this story, although a company public relations employee teased recently news is coming on social media.
2019 could also be time for Universal Orlando to start making major announcements, Munarriz predicted, with the company sharing more about what will be coming to get people to thinking about travel plans early.