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California Rings in 2019 with Major Openings and Milestone Anniversaries

Golden State welcomes visitors to experience new luxury hotels, thrilling attractions and special milestones

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Dec. 27, 2018) – The Golden State will ring in the new year with a wealth of new offerings for visitors to enjoy, ranging from state-of-the-art entertainment centres and theme park attractions to luxury beachfront resorts and historic anniversary celebrations.

“California encourages innovation while embracing our rich history, making every trip a unique experience for visitors,” said Caroline Beteta, president & CEO of Visit California. “With so many new offerings to explore and milestones to celebrate, 2019 will be a special year to plan a trip through the Golden State.”

Below is just a sampling of what visitors can enjoy in the coming year. For more information about what’s new in California, visit

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Coming to Disneyland in Summer 2019 
Guests will experience intergalactic adventures in the highly-anticipated Star Wars–themed land, “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge,” at the Disneyland Resort. The 5.5-hectare land will open in summer 2019 with two anchor attractions – one that gives guests the chance to pilot the Millennium Falcon on a customised secret mission, and another that puts guests right in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Guests will also encounter characters, including BB-8, Chewbacca, Rex and Kylo Ren.

Jurassic World Opening at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2019 
Colossal, dimensional dinosaurs will roam the Earth and astound guests when Universal Studios Hollywood debuts an all-new “Jurassic World” ride, an epic adventure inspired by Universal Pictures’ blockbuster film Jurassic World. Drawing from favourite elements of the original “Jurassic Park—The Ride,” this next-generation thrill ride will be a fully reimagined iteration of the ground-breaking adventure, elevating every facet of the experience.

Moscone Center Expansion Debuts in January 2019 
The $551 million expansion of the Moscone Center will be celebrated Jan. 3, 2019. For optimum space and greater flexibility, 14,585 square metres were added to create 46,908 square metres of contiguous space, including a new 4,624-square-metre column-free ballroom. The facility includes 2,322 square metres of secure outdoor terraces with views of the South of Market neighbourhood. The project includes four new public art commissions, including “PointCloud,” the latest light installation by Leo Villareal, designer of “The Bay Lights” on the Bay Bridge.

Chase Center Opening in San Francisco in Summer 2019
A first-of-its-kind in San Francisco, Chase Center will serve as a world-class sports and entertainment destination. Scheduled for completing in August 2019 – in advance of the 2019-20 National Basketball Association season – the centre will be the new home of the Golden State Warriors, while offering visitors a tremendous culinary and retail scene.

Rosewood Miramar  Beach Montecito Opening February 2019 
Santa Barbara’s highly anticipated beachfront resort, Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito, will open Feb. 11, 2019. The expansive resort will offer 124 guestrooms and 37 suites, many of which will be located in single-story cottages and bungalows. Guests will enjoy amenities including an oceanfront bar and restaurant, two swimming pools, a Sense® spa, state-of-the-art fitness centre, and one of the most beautiful and secluded beaches in Santa Barbara.

Tidal Twister Debuts at SeaWorld in May 2019 
Tidal Twister, an all-new duelling roller coaster, will make its debut as a new attraction at SeaWorld San Diego in 2019. The first of its kind in the world, Tidal Twister demonstrates the power of the ocean. Accelerating to 30 mph, riders will twist and bank as if riding the tide along a tight figure-8 track that includes a dynamic Zero-G roll at the centre section. A lower 121-cm height requirement makes this a perfect ride for families.

Aquarium of the Pacific to Complete Pacific Visions Wing in Spring 2019
Aquarium of the Pacific’s new $53 million Pacific Visions wing, a 2,694-square-metre, two-story sustainable structure designed by the San Francisco-based architecture and design firm EHDD, will open in spring 2019. The first major expansion project ever undertaken by the Aquarium, Pacific Visions will house a state-of-the-art immersive theatre, expanded special exhibition and art galleries, and additional space for live animal exhibits. Upon completion, the Aquarium will have the capacity to serve 2 million visitors annually.

Calico River Rapids Coming to Knott’s Berry Farm in Summer 2019 
A new expedition awaits eager explorers with the upcoming debut of Calico River Rapids, opening at Knott’s Berry Farm in summer 2019. Knott’s whitewater raft ride, currently known as BigFoot Rapids, will undergo a major renovation with the addition of new features including new animatronics, themed show scenes, a new story overlay and dynamic water effects. The circular raft ride, which seats six passengers, will take rafters through a variety of wild surprises, such as roaring rapids and indigenous wildlife.

Camarillo Welcomes New Conference Centre in Late 2019 
Mian Plaza is the newest lodging and conference centre development to arrive in Camarillo, aimed for completing in late 2019. A development by the Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand, the property will feature two new Hilton hotels totalling 277 rooms, and a 1,625-square-metre conference centre, ideal for large gatherings or conferences. The new project also features 929 square metres of retail space and 1,393 square metres of restaurant space.

Academy Museum Opening in Mid-City in Late 2019 
The Academy Museum will be the world’s premier institution dedicated to the art and science of movies. Located on Wilshire and Fairfax in Los Angeles, the museum will be immersive, experimental, educational and entertaining. More than a museum, the dynamic film centre will offer unparalleled experiences and insights into movies and moviemaking.

City of San Diego and Old Town Chamber Celebrate 250th Anniversary 
The City of San Diego and Old Town San Diego Chamber of Commerce will mark the 250th anniversary of the birthplace of San Diego in 2019. To commemorate the special anniversary, throughout the year visitors will be able to enjoy monthly lectures, special events like a Founders’ Day Festival, and other family friendly activities in Old Town San Diego.

150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad 
The completion of the Transcontinental Railroad on May 10, 1869 connected the East with the West. The railroad brought technological change, encouraged innovation, promoted agriculture and supported industries. Sacramento was the western terminus of the transcontinental railroad and will again host a historic celebration, including special exhibits, programs, activities, tours and train rides.

Highway 49 Celebrates Centennial 
Gourmet eateries, classic inns, hilltop wineries and incredible history are the trademarks of California's historic Highway 49. Discovery of gold in 1849 sparked the largest mass migration in U.S. History, with more than 300,000 pioneers heading west. In 2019, the highway will celebrate its Centennial and the 170th anniversary of the Gold Rush.

Pebble Beach Resorts Centennial 
Pebble Beach Resorts will celebrate its centennial in 2019, and with it the culmination of years of work dedicated to readying the iconic resort for the next 100 years. The centennial will pay homage to the resort’s storied past, while recognising its recent accomplishments, ranging from the expansion of The Lodge at Pebble Beach via Fairway One to the complete renovation of all guest rooms across its three resort properties – The Lodge at Pebble Beach, The Inn at Spanish Bay and Casa Palmero. Also in 2019, Pebble Beach Golf Links will host its sixth U.S. Open Championship, an honour during its milestone centennial year.

Anniversary of the Original Comic-Con 
The original Comic-Con started and remains in San Diego, and during July 18-21, 2019 visitors can take part in a 50th Anniversary event at the San Diego Convention Center. The largest comics and pop culture event in the United States, Comic-Con International attracts thousands of artists, celebrities and fans of comic books, movie memorabilia and all things related to pop culture.

Oakland Museum of California Celebrates 50th Anniversary 
The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019, with a variety of new exhibits and a special birthday event Sept. 20, 2019. Throughout the year, the museum will continue its mission to offer thought-provoking and timely programming including Black Power; Queer California: Untold Stories; and No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man.

LEGOLAND California Resort Celebrates 20th Anniversary 
In honour of its 20th anniversary, throughout 2019 LEGOLAND California Resort will welcome any child age 12 and under into the Carlsbad theme park with free admission on their birthday. Along with this special offering, LEGOLAND will debut new shows like “LEGO® City 4D - Officer in Pursuit,” screenings of The LEGO® Movie™ 2: The Second Part, and more.

Visit California is a non-profit organisation with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs – in partnership with the state’s travel industry – that inspire travel to California. Travellers spent $132 billion in 2017 in California, directly supporting more than 1.1 million California jobs and $10.9 billion in state and local tax revenue. For story ideas, media information, downloadable images, video and more, go to