It’s never too early to start planning your visit to Walt Disney World in 2023! This coming year is shaping up to be an exciting one for Disney as we are anticipating several exciting openings. Highlights include the TRON Lightcycle Run Roller Coaster in Magic Kingdom, updated nighttime shows in both Magic Kingdom and Epcot, Moana: Journey of Water in Epcot, and Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant in Hollywood Studios!
As things return to “normal” after its phased reopening, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to your trip to Disney World in 2023. Park reservations are here to stay (for the time being) with park hopping available after 2:00 PM for those with park hopper tickets. And if it’s been a while since your last visit to the parks, you may want to visit our guide on Disney Genie+ to learn all about Disney’s new paid service that replaced FastPass+ in 2021.
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- Weather: Prepare to wear layers! January tends to be a dryer month in the parks, but the weather can be unpredictable. The average high is 72 degrees and the low is typically around 51 degrees.
- Crowds: New Year’s, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend tend to be busier times for Walt Disney World. If you’re visiting in January to avoid the crowds, be sure to avoid these weekends.
- Other Considerations: Park prices, hotel prices, and airfare prices are typically lower in January as it isn’t a peak travel time. Disney is also known to offer discounts and incentives for January, so be on the lookout for these when planning your vacation! Also, plan on a few refurbishments. Because January sees fewer crowds, Disney often uses this time to refurbish certain attractions. This includes some of the bigger water attractions like Splash Mountain.
- Weather: February temperatures tend to be a bit cooler. Typically, you will want to layer up as mornings and evenings are cooler and afternoons warm up a bit. The average high is 75 degrees and the low is typically around 54 degrees. It is also typically a dryer month in terms of rain.
- Crowds: February isn’t generally a peak time at Disney World, but that doesn’t mean crowds aren’t a factor. If you’re visiting in February to avoid the crowds, you may want to avoid President’s Day weekend as well as the final weekend of February due to the Disney Princess Half Marathon. These two weekends tend to bring in crowds and were quite busy in 2022.
- Other Considerations: Because February sees fewer crowds, Disney often uses this time to refurbish certain attractions. This includes some of the bigger water attractions like Splash Mountain.
- Weather: March is a warmer month, but you will still want to wear layers. Mornings and evenings will still be a bit chilly, but afternoons will typically be warmer. The average high is 78 degrees and the low is typically around 58 degrees. It is also typically a dryer month in terms of rain. And compared with both January and February, the days are getting a bit longer as well, which will allow more daylight hours in the parks.
- Crowds: March is one of the busiest months of the year. With spring breaks happening all across the country, the parks will be busy… especially during the last two weeks of the month.
- Other Considerations: Major refurbishments are usually finished in March, but there may still be a few. Disney tends to schedule their refurbishments during less busy months (such as January or February), but some of these may still be finishing up early in March. Also, this particular month could potentially be busier than usual. Not only is it spring break season, but March 2023 is the final month of Disney’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.
- Weather: Overall, the weather in Orlando is quite pleasant in April. So if you’re looking to visit Disney World without the extreme heat, this may be the perfect time to go. The average high is 83 degrees and the low is typically around 60 degrees.
- Crowds: April tends to be less busy than March. The first two weeks will be a bit busier with the final two weeks being a great time to visit the parks if you want to avoid major crowds. This will be especially true for 2023 as Easter falls earlier in the month. Easter is April 9 this year so expect crowds that weekend!
- Other Considerations: Disney tends to schedule their refurbishments during less busy months (such as January or February), but that doesn’t mean closures can’t or won’t happen in April.
- Weather: Temperatures in May are definitely not quite as hot as in June or July, but it is definitely beginning to heat up. The average high is 88 degrees and the low is typically around 66 degrees.
- Crowds: Expect crowds for Memorial Day Weekend! This three-day weekend does bring its fair share of crowds, but many schools are not out yet for summer so the rest of May shouldn’t be too busy.
- Other Considerations: The first two weeks of May are an amazing time to visit Walt Disney World. Warmer weather, lower crowds, and fewer refurbishments make the first two weeks of May one of our favorite times to visit the parks!
- Weather: The average high is 90 degrees and the low is typically around 71 degrees. It is also the start of Orlando’s rainy season. That being said, most rain in June will come in short “spurts” as brief afternoon downpours are very typical.
- Crowds: Most of June is busy, and the crowds only increase as the month goes on and schools release their students for summer break. Of the summer months, June is slightly less hot, but it is also a little more crowded because of it.
- Other Considerations: Due to the hotter temperatures, the pools can get quite busy during the heat of the day as well as in the evenings when guests return from a day in the parks. Consider visiting in the mornings when they will be less busy.
- Weather: The weather in Orlando is quite hot in July. The average high is 92 degrees and the low is typically around 75 degrees. It is technically Orlando’s rainy season as well, so be prepared for rain. Ponchos may be a good thing to pack!
- Crowds: July is usually less busy than June, but there are steady summer crowds for most of the month. Be prepared for an increase in crowds during the Fourth of July weekend.
- Other Considerations: The summer sun can be quite intense, especially when combined with Florida humidity. As the parks are open longer hours each day, afternoon breaks at your resort can be a great way to beat the heat.
- Weather: Overall, the weather in Orlando is quite hot in August. The average high is 91 degrees, and the low is typically around 75 degrees. It is technically Orlando’s rainy season as well. That being said, most rain in August will come in short “spurts” rather than be an all-day thing. Brief afternoon downpours are very typical.
- Crowds: Many schools are back in session at some point in August, so between that and the heat, many opt to avoid August when selecting their vacation dates. August is typically the least crowded of the summer months, but it does heat up a bit when it comes to temperatures. If you’re able to withstand the heat and the beginning of school isn’t an issue for you, August could be a great month to visit… especially in the final two weeks of the month.
- Other Considerations: The Food and Wine Festival is quite popular with locals. Consider visiting Epcot on weekdays if you’re trying to avoid the crowds.
- Weather: The weather in Orlando is quite hot in September. The average high is 90 degrees and the low is typically around 72 degrees. It is technically Orlando’s rainy season as well. In fact, September is often considered to be the wettest month of the year. It is also worth noting that September has seen about six closures since 1985 due to hurricanes coming through. While that makes hurricanes a rare event, it is something to think about if planning a September vacation to Florida.
- Crowds: September tends to be one of the lightest months of the year in terms of crowds. This is due to several factors including the start of a new school year as well as the weather. Weekends at Epcot will be busier than normal with locals due to the Food and Wine Festival, and the Magic Kingdom will undoubtedly see some smaller crowds in relation to the Disney After Hours BOO BASH. Labor Day weekend is really the only “holiday” during the month of September. And while you may see a slight uptick in crowds, it’s typically not a huge draw in terms of crowds due to most families not wanting to pull their kids out of school during their first weeks back.
- Other Considerations: The Food and Wine Festival is quite popular with locals. Consider visiting Epcot on weekdays if you’re trying to avoid the crowds.
- Weather: The weather shifts greatly in the month of October. We finally get some relief from the summer heat! The average high is 85 degrees and the low is typically around 65 degrees. Rain is starting to let up as well as October marks the end of hurricane season.
- Crowds: The crowds in October 2023 will most likely be moderate and steady. While there are no major holiday weekends, Halloween festivities do bring many to the parks as well as Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival.
- Other Considerations: Halloween in Walt Disney World is quite popular. Ticketed events are held on select nights in Magic Kingdom (which will affect park hours).
- Weather: The weather can be a bit unpredictable in the month of November, but it is typically one of the most beautiful months to visit Disney World. The average high is 79 degrees and the low is typically around 59 degrees. Hurricane season is typically over by November as well, meaning there will be fewer rainy days. You will undoubtedly want to dress in layers, however. The days (especially if they are sunny) will feel quite warm, but the evenings will probably get a bit chilly.
- Crowds: November is fairly average in terms of crowds, with the exception of Thanksgiving week. In fact, Thanksgiving weekend is typically one of the busiest weekends of the year.
- Other Considerations: The holidays begin throughout the parks during the month of November. Christmas decorations and holiday events typically begin the second week of November. So be prepared to celebrate!
- Weather: The weather can sometimes be a bit unpredictable in the month of December, but it is typically one of the most pleasant months to visit Disney World. The average high is 73 degrees and the low is typically around 53 degrees. It may be a little cooler, but it is typically one of the dryest months of the year in terms of rain. You will want to dress in layers as the days will feel warm but the evenings will undoubtedly be a bit chilly.
- Crowds: Being in Walt Disney World for Christmas can be truly magical, but be prepared for crowds. Typically, the beginning of December sees moderate crowds with the final two weeks of December being two of the busiest weeks of the year.
- Other Considerations: Christmas is a popular time to visit Walt Disney World. While festivities are in full swing at all four theme parks, Magic Kingdom holds ticketed events on select nights throughout the season. Get your tickets early if you want to attend, and keep in mind that these events will affect park hours at Magic Kingdom.
Ride Closures and Refurbishments
*Please note that this list could change at a moment’s notice.
- Disney Enchantment closed permanently on April 2, 2023. It was replaced by Happily Ever After (an updated version) on April 3, 2023.
- Tron Lightcycle Power Run is now open!
- Splash Mountain closed permanently on January 23, 2023, to become Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. The newly rethemed attraction is scheduled to open in 2024.
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is now open!
- Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana will be opening on October 16, 2023.
- EPCOT Forever returned on April 3, 2023 (replacing Harmonious which permanently ended on April 2, 2023)
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid is temporarily closed with no reopening date yet.
- Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple has permanently ended.
- Primeval Whirl is permanently closed
- It is anticipated that Dino-Rama, as a whole, will likely close at some point to make way for a major expansion. Disney has shared plans for potential replacements, such as a Moana Mini-Land, which includes detailed concept art. Additionally, there is the possibility of a Zootopia Expansion beyond Dino-Rama. Although these proposals are promising, it should be noted that they have not yet been approved or funded by Disney. Therefore, the fate of Dino-Rama remains uncertain, but it is evident that its days are limited.
- Blizzard Beach closed on March 19, 2023, for refurbishment. No opening date has been announced.
Everything Coming to Disney World in 2023 (and Beyond)
April 3, 2023 – Happily Ever After – This popular nighttime spectacular returned over Cinderella Castle on April 3, 2023, with what Disney describes as some “updates.”
April 4, 2023 – TRON Lightcycle Run Roller Coaster – Without a doubt, this is the biggest attraction coming to Magic Kingdom. After being delayed by the pandemic, this ride is scheduled to open on April 4, 2023! Based on Shanghai Disneyland’s Tron Lightcycle Power Run, this attraction features a thrilling coaster race on two-wheeled Lightcycles. Its opening means some general re-imagining for Tomorrowland as well (including some changes that have already taken place) in order to match the Tron Lightcycle theme.
November 2023 – Haunted Mansion Hatbox Ghost – The renowned Hatbox Ghost is scheduled to haunt the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World in Florida, starting in November. Visitors can expect to encounter this iconic ghost while exploring the creepy Endless Hallway.
Late 2024 – Splash Mountain – It was announced some time ago that this attraction would be reimagined, but it was just announced that this rethemed water flume ride will open in late 2024! Called “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure,” this iconic ride will be welcoming Tiana and her friends for a brand new Princess and the Frog theme. Splash Mountain as we know it will close permanently on January 23, 2023, to begin work on this project.
2024 – Country Bear Jamboree – The Country Bear Jamboree at Walt Disney World will undergo renovations and debut a fresh act in 2024. The revamped show will feature the beloved bears showcasing their unique country style while performing popular Disney songs. Disney is collaborating with renowned musicians from Nashville to ensure an authentic experience with the singing bears.
TBD – “Beyond Big Thunder Mountain” – Disney has been teasing the idea of a new expansion to Magic Kingdom they’ve referred to as “Beyond Big Thunder Mountain.” Although no specific details were shared at this year’s D23 event, speculation is ongoing, with the promise that the final plans will surpass the size of New Fantasyland and offer an immersive experience similar to Pandora and Galaxy’s Edge.
TBD – Tavern near Pirates of the Caribbean – Adventureland will soon welcome a new tavern near Pirates of the Caribbean, further immersing visitors in the story of the famous attraction.
Now Open – Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind – Now open, this brand “omnicoaster” features vehicles that rotate on the track to turn the guests to face the action happening around them.
Now Open – DuckTales World Showcase Adventure – While no opening date has been announced yet, all signs point to it being available to guests sooner rather than later. Replacing Agent P, this World Showcase Adventure will allow guests to interact through the Play Disney Parks mobile app on their mobile phones. Join your favorite DuckTales characters as you search for treasure, find exotic destinations, discover mysteries, locate thieves, or even uncover artifacts.
September 10, 2023 – Figment Meet and Greet – Figment will be greeting guests in the recently completed space at the Imagination Pavilion starting September 10.
October 16, 2023 – Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana – This new walkthrough attraction will be coming to the World Nature section of the park and will allow guests to “interact with water” just like Moana does in her film. Also beginning on October 16, Moana herself will be greeting visitors from her very own special area, conveniently situated near Journey of Water.
December 5, 2023 – Luminous: The Symphony of Us – Limited details have been provided about the new show, however, it is anticipated to feature fireworks, fountains, lasers, lighting effects, and an abundance of music.
December 2023 – World Celebrations Neighborhood – There are currently construction walls everywhere in Future World as Disney has been making some massive changes to the park. World Celebration is set to connect World Discovery and World Nature, two existing areas in Epcot.
TBD – Asha Meet and Greet – Asha (from the upcoming Disney film Wish) will be coming to Epcot to greet guests.
TBD – Test Track – While we have no information yet about dates, Test Track will undergo a new transformation with assistance from Chevrolet, marking another evolution for this attraction since its inception with the original World of Motion.
Now Open – Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond! – A newly reimagined show made its return on June 13, 2022! The show is set in the timeline of the movie Finding Dory and includes new story material as well as popular songs from the original musical such as “In the Big Blue World” and “Go with the Flow.”
TBD – Zootopia Show – A new show based on the popular animated film Zootopia is currently being developed for the Tree of Life and will replace “It’s Tough to Be a Bug.” This upcoming experience will offer guests the opportunity to explore the different biomes featured in the movie while being accompanied by familiar characters such as Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde.
TBD – Tropical American (re-theming of Dinoland U.S.A.) – Exciting changes are coming to Dinoland U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! The area is set to be transformed into a “Tropical Americas” land, drawing inspiration from the enchanting film Encanto and the action-packed Indiana Jones franchise. While specific attractions have not been officially announced, there are speculations about the potential re-theming of the popular ride DINOSAUR, as it utilizes the same ride vehicles as Disneyland’s Indiana Jones attraction. We will keep you posted if Disney makes any formal announcements!
Now Open – Fantasmic! – This nighttime show has finally returned to Hollywood Studios and includes a brand new sequence featuring live performers, stunts, special effects, and a lineup of characters that have never been part of the show before!
March 23, 2023 – Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant – Now open in Toy Story Land, this new table service restaurant allows guests to experience what it’s like to be one of Andy’s honorary toys! Here’s a sneak peek at the family-style menu.
Spring 2024 – Star Tours – New adventures are set to debut in 2024 featuring Ahsoka. The new adventures will also be featured in Disneyland and Disneyland Paris.
Outside the Parks
MagicBand+ is now available to Walt Disney World guests! This new accessory offers interactive features including color-changing lights, haptic vibrations, and gesture recognition. Guests are able to interact with the Disney Fab 50 golden character statues as well as the fireworks shows in the parks. (Disney Resort guests and Annual Passholders will get a discounted price.)
Disney World hotel rooms will also begin to offer Alexa very soon. In fact, some resorts are already in the process of installing the devices in select rooms. This new service called “Hey, Disney!” will be a virtual assistant that can introduce guests to Disney characters, set alarms, answer questions, and even guide guests to surprises. You will also be able to check on transportation wait times, park hours, and make requests for deliveries to your hotel room.
On March 15, 2022, Disney confirmed that the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show will be ending permanently at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and that brand new Disney Vacation Club Villas will be built in its place. While many are deeply saddened by the news of the show’s ending after a nearly 50-year run, the new project will pay homage to the well-loved show. Opening in late 2024, the tower will be inspired by early concepts for Disney’s Polynesian Resort and include an infinity-edge pool, new recreation offerings, and dining options.
Disney World Planning Guides
Magic in the Planning offers numerous guides to help you get started in your Disney World vacation planning! Here are some to get you started!
Walt Disney World Resorts:
Walt Disney World Dining:
Walt Disney World Attraction Guides:
Planning your Walt Disney World vacation? Be sure to visit my step-by-step guide to help you get started!