The Disney theme parks are never complete, which makes the parks even more exciting for visitors who return year after year. So many new things are coming to Walt Disney World in the coming years! Recent announcements include the re-theming of both Dinoland, U.S.A. in Animal Kingdom as well as Test Track in Epcot. The opening of Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana has finally been announced, and Disney even announced the arrival of a new nighttime spectacular at Epcot. And that’s just a glimpse of what Disney has in store for the parks!
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Planning a Disney World vacation in 2023? Be sure to check out our guide to all that the Walt Disney World Resort has to offer this year including the opening of TRON Lightcycle Run Roller Coaster, updated nighttime spectaculars, and more!
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.
**Be sure to check back regarding new rides and attractions as this page will be updated often!
Are you excited about all that is coming to Walt Disney World in the near future and want to plan your next vacation? Be sure to visit my step-by-step guide to begin planning!