2023 has just begun, but we’re taking a look ahead to everything coming to Disney Parks around the world in 2023. As always, plans can change, and sometimes projects get delayed or canceled. Take the parking lot trams for example, which were supposed to return to all Walt Disney World parks in 2022 but only came back to half. This list is based on Disney’s official timeframes unless otherwise noted.
Walt Disney World
- TRON Lightcycle / Run — After numerous delays, TRON Lightcycle / Run, the Magic Kingdom’s latest roller coaster, is finally set to take guests on a journey through The Grid around this spring! No date has been announced as of yet for its exact opening, but we know it’ll be soon. Take a look at our latest update here, as well as Good Morning America’s preview of the coaster.
- Happily Ever After — The iconic nighttime spectacular is set to make its return to the Magic Kingdom with some updates after going dark in favor of “Disney Enchantment” for the 50th Anniversary celebration.
- Hatbox Ghost — At D23 Expo 2022, Disney revealed the Hatbox Ghost from the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland would be joining the happy haunts at Walt Disney World sometime in 2023.
- Splash Mountain begins its transformation — Although Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is scheduled to open in 2024, its transformation begins this month with the closure of Splash Mountain. In Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, you’ll join Princess Tiana and jazz-loving alligator Louis during Mardi Gras season as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind celebration for the people of New Orleans.
- Journey of Water inspired by “Moana” — This new walkthrough attraction is set to open right at the center of World Discovery near the end of 2023. Designed for all ages, Journey of Water will allow guests to explore and engage with water as it travels from our skies to our oceans and back again. Check out our latest construction update here.
- New nighttime spectacular — “Harmonious” is set to end its run around the end of the 50th Anniversary, which may or may not be good news depending on how you feel about the polarizing show. While we aren’t sure about the fate of those barges at the center of World Showcase Lagoon, we know the new show will focus on the Disney 100 Years of Wonder celebration.
- Figment Meet & Greet — At D23 Expo 2022, Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products President Josh D’Amaro revealed to crowds that a new Figment greeting opportunity would return to EPCOT sometime in 2023, with details still vague.
- CommuniCore Hall — CommuniCore Hall will be home to a Mickey & Friends meet and greet area, demo kitchen, mixology bar, gallery space, and more. There’s also a stage which can be used for outdoor events. This is all alongside a massive green space appropriately entitled CommuniCore Plaza. This outdoor space will revive two staples of the area prior to its demolition — a massive EPCOT logo as part of the area pavement, and light-up features within the ground similar to those seem prior to the west side’s demolition. This area is set to open late this year along with Journey of Water.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Roundup Rodeo BBQ — This project was originally set to open in 2022 and brings an indoor dining option to Toy Story Land. Guests can enjoy barbecue fare while surrounded by a kaleidoscope of toys, games, and play sets that Andy has brought together to create his one-of-a-kind rodeo. Stepping into the lobby and waiting area, guests will experience what it feels like to be one of Andy’s honorary toys, before progressing into two larger dining room spaces where Andy’s rodeo takes place. Here, the rodeo will be in full swing, with western town and train station playsets mixing with surprising, playful details, like some fan-favorite Pixar characters as they’ve never been seen before.
- Summer House on the Lake — A new sit-down dining opportunity based on the popular Summer House Santa Monica restaurant in Chicago, this new eatery is set to open sometime in 2023. Read our latest construction update here.
Walt Disney World Resort Hotels
- The Cake Bake Shop — In the former home of the ESPN Zone will sit The Cake Bake Shop by Gwendolyn Rogers, set to open sometime this year. Afternoon tea in this dreamy restaurant will bring a whole new feeling of Disney magic! Alongside the water’s edge of Disney Boardwalk Inn, you’ll be able to enjoy cocktails, coffees, sweet treats, and ornate entrees. Check out our latest construction update here.
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Refurbishment— Alongside the opening of The Cake Bake Shop, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn will see a new update to its lobby and the rooms within as part of a resort-wide refurbishment project which also included the new Carousel Coffee.
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Lobby Refurbishment — This year, the universally beloved lobby at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will see a controversial refurbishment for the first time in 35 years. Disney claims the update “will maintain the classic theming you know and love with some fresh new enhancements.”
- Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway — This wild and kooky adventure is transferring over from Walt Disney World to Disneyland starting January 27. This first major Mickey-themed ride-through attraction at Disneyland Park will put guests inside the wacky and unpredictable world of a Mickey Mouse Cartoon Short where anything can happen. Once guests step into the cartoon world of Mickey and Minnie, they will board a train with Goofy as the engineer. Then, one magical moment after the next leads to a zany, out-of-control adventure filled with surprising twists and turns.
- Wondrous Journeys — This all-new nighttime spectacular will celebrate 100 years of Walt Disney Animation Studios in “an experience that ignites the dreamer in all of us.” “Wondrous Journeys” will reportedly feature “nods to every film released by the studio over the past century,” with music, characters, and special moments from stories including “Encanto,” “Hercules,” “The Princess and the Frog,” “Peter Pan,” “Frozen,” “Treasure Planet,” “Big Hero 6,” “Moana,” and more. The show lights the skies above Disneyland starting January 27.
- World of Color: ONE — The second attempt to replace the original “World of Color” show will also celebrate 100 Years of Wonder, highlighting the storytelling legacy started by Walt Disney a century ago. It will tell a new story of how a single action, like a drop of water, creates a ripple that can grow into a wave of change. It brings some of the most courageous, loving and inspiring characters to life in new ways. The show will also feature a new original song, “Start a Wave.” This new show also kicks off January 27.
- Adventureland Treehouse — Going back to its roots as the Swiss Family Treehouse, the newly-refurbished Adventureland Treehouse will open sometime this year. The new treehouse will have an original story about a family living in the treehouse on Jungle River. It will look more like the original 1962 Swiss Family Treehouse, including a water wheel at the entrance, but the family is different, hence the name Adventureland Treehouse.
- Toontown Reimagining — The newly-reimagined Mickey’s Toontown will reopen to guests in March this year featuring more open, grassy play spaces including CenTOONial Park, the first space guests will see when they enter the land. CenTOONial Park will be anchored by two new interactive play experiences: a fountain featuring water tables designed for play and a dreaming tree with sculpted roots for children to crawl through. Donald’s Boat and Goofy’s House also have new play infrastructure, and there’s been a slight refresh to Gadget’s Go-Coaster.
- Magic Happens — After performing for a mere two weeks in 2020 prior to COVID-19 lockdowns, the still-new “Magic Happens” parade is set to return to the streets of Disneyland on February 24! “Magic Happens” features stunning floats with Disney characters, imaginative (and extremely catchy) music co-composed by singer-songwriter Todrick Hall, artistic costumes, and modern choreography.
Tokyo Disney Resort
- Tokyo Disney Resort 40th Anniversary “Dream-Go-Round” — Tokyo Disney Resort is set to kick off its 40th Anniversary “Dream-Go-Round” celebration on April 15, which will feature new merchandise, food, and the new “Disney Harmony in Color” parade.
- Disneyland Paris 30th Anniversary Grand Finale — Disneyland Paris is marking the end of its 18-month 30th Anniversary celebration, although few details have been released other than its kickoff date of January 9.
- Disney100 — The 100 Years of Wonder celebration is coming to Disneyland Paris as well, with special merchandise, entertainment, and other surprises coming in October.
- Pixar We Belong Together — A new stage show starring the Pixar pals will come to Walt Disney Studios Park this year as part of the 30th Anniversary Grand Finale! Details on this show are scant, we expect to hear more as the year goes on.
- Disney Village reimagining — Disney Village is shedding what’s left of its 1990s aesthetic in favor of a homogenized, modern shopping center look. Imagineers said about the redesign “True to its original purpose and design, Disney Village will remain a dining and shopping district that celebrates Disney storytelling in an artistic and contemporary style. This creative vision governs the current transformation of the area and is also an opportunity to reintroduce consistency into an area that has considerably evolved over the years.”
- The Royal Pub — At Disney Village, King Ludwig’s Castle has closed for the opening of a new restaurant in its place — The Royal Pub, themed of course to English pubs.
Hong Kong Disneyland
- Arendelle: World of Frozen — In the second half of 2023, Hong Kong Disneyland will open its first major expansion in nearly a decade with the new Arendelle: World of Frozen. The area will include a small version of Arendelle, a clone of Frozen Ever After, and the new Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs, a coaster through the mountains.
Shanghai Disney Resort
- Zootopia — While no update has been given of late, the last time we heard, Shanghai Disneyland’s new “Zootopia”-focused land was set to open this year. This could have changed due to factors related to China’s former zero-COVID policy and we haven’t heard even a part of the year this could be slated for, so stay tuned on this one.
What project are you most excited for in 2023? Let us know in the comments below!