Planning Your Visit to Walt Disney World in 2023 | Magic in the Planning

Planning Your Visit to Walt Disney World in 2023: Monthly Guides, New Attractions, and More!

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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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Year At-A-Glance

Epcot Festival of the Arts | magicintheplanning.comJanuary

  • 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.

More about January 2023…

February

  • 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.

More about February 2023…

March

  • 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.

More about March 2023…

France in Epcot | magicintheplanning.comApril

  • 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.

More about April 2023…

May

  • 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!

More about May 2023…

June

  • 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.

More about June 2023…

Stormtroopers on Rise of Resistance | Magic in the PlanningJuly

  • 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.

More about July 2023…

August

  • 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.

More about August 2023…

September

  • 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.

More about September 2023…

Takumi-Tei in Epcot | magicintheplanning.comOctober

  • 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).

More about October 2023…

November

  • 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!

More about November…

Christmas on Main Street in Magic Kingdom | Magic in the PlanningDecember

  • 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.

More about December…

 

Ride Closures and Refurbishments

*Please note that this list could change at a moment’s notice.

Magic Kingdom

  • Walt Disney World Railroad is finally open after nearly 4 years of closure due to Tron construction!
  • Pete’s Silly Sideshow reopened on January 15 in Storybook Circus.
  • The Little Mermaid meet and greet with Ariel officially returns on January 22, 2023.
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle is reopening on February 19, 2023.
  • Happily Ever After (an updated version) is returning to Magic Kingdom on April 3, 2023.
  • Tron Lightcycle Power Run is opening on April 4, 2023.
  • Splash Mountain is closing permanently on January 23, 2023, to become Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. The newly rethemed attraction is scheduled to open in 2024.

EPCOT

  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is now open!
  • Moana: Journey of Water, a brand new attraction, will be opening in 2023.
  • Canada Far & Wide in CircleVision 360 is closed through November 2022 (most likely for the Food & Wine Festival)
  • The American Adventure is closed from September 19 thru December 16, 2022
  • A new nighttime show will be opening at some point in 2023 to replace Harmonious.

Hollywood Studios

  • Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away (stage show) has permanently ended
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration will be closed January 9-27, 2023
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith will begin a length refurbishment beginning February 20, 2023. It is expected to reopen in the summer of 2023.
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid is temporarily closed with no reopening date yet.
  • Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple is also temporarily closed.

Animal Kingdom

  • Primeval Whirl is permanently closed
  • Kali River Rapids will be closed for refurbishment beginning January 9

 Other

  • Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park will be closed for refurbishment beginning November 13, 2022.

 

Everything Coming to Disney World in 2023 (and beyond)

Magic Kingdom

Tron Construction at Magic Kingdom | magicintheplanning.comApril 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.

2023 – Updated Nighttime Spectular – It was announced at D23 that the popular anthem “Happily Ever After” will play again in an updated nighttime show over Cinderella Castle.

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.

Epcot

Mission Space in Epcot | magicintheplanning.comNow 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.

Early 2023 – 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.

Late 2023 – World Celebrations Neighborhood – There are currently construction walls everywhere in Future World as Disney is making some massive changes to the park. In fact, Future World is being replaced with three new neighborhoods. This will likely not be completed until 2023, but we should start seeing walls start coming down slowly over time.

Late 2023 – Moana: Journey of Water – 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.

Late 2023 – Figment – This popular EPCOT character will be appearing live to park guests by the end of 2023!

Late 2023 – New Nighttime Spectacular – A brand new nighttime celebration is coming to the World Showcase Lagoon in late 2023 as part of the Disney100 Celebration! More details to be announced soon…

Animal Kingdom

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.”

Hollywood Studios

Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway | Magic in the Planning

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 – Scheduled to open on March 23, 2023, Toy Story Land will be getting a new table service restaurant in Andy’s backyard! Here’s a sneak peek at the family-style menu.

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!

Disney's Yacht Club Resort | magicintheplanning.comWalt Disney World Resorts:

 

Walt Disney World Dining:

 

Spaceship Earth in Epcot | magicintheplanning.comWalt Disney World Attraction Guides:

 

Planning your Walt Disney World vacation? Be sure to visit my step-by-step guide to help you get started! 


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