One thing that’s inevitable in Disney World is change.
New attractions open, while old ones close. There’s always some kind of construction going on. That’s all part of Walt Disney’s original vision, after all — parks that change and expand and grow with the times. So one thing we can be sure of in 2023 is that there’s going to be even MORE change from 2022.
So what will change in Disney World in 2023? Well, let’s take a look!
End of 50th Anniversary Celebration
The 18-month long 50th anniversary celebration at Disney World will soon come to an end, on March 31st, 2023. That means everything that came with the celebration will likely also end. We’re not sure what Disney World’s plans are for the 50th anniversary version of Cinderella Castle or the gold character statues throughout the parks, nor do we know if some of the 50th anniversary snacks might go away forever.
This probably also means the end of the 50th anniversary outfits for the characters, as well as the end of the 50th anniversary cavalcade. However, the end of the celebration could mean fewer crowds in the parks. We will update you if and when we see iconic 50th additions disappear.
100th Anniversary Celebration
Where one celebration will end, a new one will begin. The Walt Disney Company will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2023! We’ve already seen 100th anniversary merchandise in Disney World, but we’re sure there will be a LOT more released soon.
Although 100th anniversary celebrations will begin in Disneyland in January 2023, we don’t know when Disney World will begin celebrating — or how it will be celebrating (other than the two new shows coming to the parks). There is no doubt, though, that there will be SOME kind of celebration, so that could affect crowds in Disney World, depending on how elaborate the celebration is.
TRON Lightcycle Run
Disney World has SEVERAL new attractions under construction right now, and some of those will open in 2023. We’re going to start in Magic Kingdom with TRON Lightcycle Run, which is set to open in Spring 2023. This new attraction will take guests into the grid from the Tron films to race on two-wheeled lightcycles on a 59-mile-per-hour adventure.
The ride, which will be similar to the TRON ride in Shanghai Disneyland, will likely have a virtual queue when it opens, meaning guests will need to get on the My Disney Experience app at specific times of the day to obtain a boarding group to ride. It’s also likely that the attraction will be offered as a separate paid Individual Lightning Lane option through Genie+.
Splash Mountain will permanently close on January 23rd, 2023 to be re-imagined as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, a brand new attraction based on The Princess and The Frog. That means early January will probably see some high wait times as guests get that one ride on the attraction.
However, Splash Mountain will be closed throughout 2023 — Tiana’s Bayou Adventure isn’t expected to open until 2024. This could also potentially affect wait times for other rides in Magic Kingdom.
Magic Kingdom’s nighttime spectacular, Disney Enchantment, was introduced in 2021 as part of Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration. However, Disney has confirmed that this nighttime show will be ending in 2023 to be replaced with another fireworks show that will bring back the “Happily Ever After” song.
Disney has not yet, though, revealed an official closing date for Disney Enchantment.
Pete’s Silly Side Show
Many character meet and greets are returning to Disney World. We previously got word that Pete’s Silly Sideshow would return to Magic Kingdom. We expect to see characters returning to this circus-themed location in 2023.
Previously, this is where guests could meet Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and the Great Goofini (aka Goofy). In 2022, we did see some of these characters outside this location, but we expect the actual location to open soon.
Another nighttime show that will be ending in 2023 will be Harmonious. A brand NEW show, though will be coming that will focus on the Walt Disney Company’s 100th Anniversary.
No details or opening date have been revealed for the new show yet.
Journey of Water, Inspired by MOANA
Okay, so there’s been a LOT of change at EPCOT already over the past few years, thanks to a massive transformation. In 2022, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opened, but a NEW attraction is coming in 2023. Journey of Water, Inspired by MOANA is coming to EPCOT in late 2023.
The attraction will be a walkthrough trail where guests can “play with magical, living water” in an immersive way. Guests will also learn more about the natural water cycle in the process. We’re not sure how this attraction will be set up with guests or if it will have some kind of queue, but we do expect it could mean more crowds at EPCOT after its opening.
Tokyo Dining has closed in the Japan Pavilion and is undergoing a refurbishment. It is not expected to reopen until summer 2023.
However, Takumi-Tei has reopened in 2022, so there is another dining option in that pavilion.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Roundup Rodeo BBQ
Changes are happening over in Hollywood Studios, too. Roundup Rodeo BBQ in Toy Story Land has been under construction for some time, but Disney recently revealed that it would not open until spring 2023.
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
BoardWalk Inn is getting some new restaurants, including The Cake Bake Shop by Gwendolyn Rogers — we don’t have an official opening date yet, but we expect it to open in 2023. This restaurant will serve delicious pastries and food, as well as offer an afternoon tea service.
The coffee shop will take the place of the gift shop that used to be in the BoardWalk Inn’s lobby.
Summer House on the Lake
A new restaurant is coming to Disney Springs in 2023: Summer House on the Lake. We don’t have a menu for the restaurant yet, but other locations feature pizza, sandwiches, salads, pastas, and more on their menus.
Other locations of Summer House on the Lake also offer a weekend brunch.
We’ve already seen ticket price increases, Genie+ price increases, and food price increases in 2022, and although we can’t say to expect more price increases in 2023, guests should be prepared for that to happen.
It certainly seems like 2023 is going to be a year of HUGE change for Disney World again, and this doesn’t even take into account some of the things that haven’t returned or reopened since Disney World’s historic closure and reopening. Many experiences and entertainment remain unavailable without any word on if or when those things might actually return.
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What are you looking forward to the most in Disney World in 2023? Let us know in the comments!