In 2023, Walt Disney World Resort is the place to embrace thrills of all kinds. Exciting new experiences set to debut this year include one of the fastest coasters at any Disney theme park, a new restaurant to savor, the continued transformation of EPCOT, returning nighttime spectaculars filling night skies throughout the resort and so much more.
Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Continues Through March 31
It’s your last chance to experience a party fifty years in the making as the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration will conclude March 31, 2023. Make plans to visit now to see Mickey Mouse and his pals in their EARidescent finery one last time and enjoy all the special sights, tastes and merchandise that mark this momentous event.
New and Returning Character Greetings – All Year
New and returning character experiences are sure to thrill guests of all ages. Beginning April 22, Moana will greet fellow voyagers on Discovery Island at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park – just in time for the park’s 25th anniversary. Fans of Figment will get the chance to hug the long-time EPCOT icon at the Imagination! pavilion beginning late summer. Mickey Mouse and friends will also have a new home at Communicore Hall opening later this year as part of the EPCOT transformation. And, at Magic Kingdom Park this fall, Mirabel from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ hit film “Encanto” will greet guests in Fairytale Garden surrounded by whimsical décor inspired by La Familia Madrigal. These new experiences follow the return of several Magic Kingdom character experiences including Pete’s Silly Sideshow, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Ariel in her underwater grotto and the return of character dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table.
Roundup Rodeo BBQ Comes to Disney’s Hollywood Studios – March 23
Yee-haw! Andy’s backyard is preparing to welcome more toys at Roundup Rodeo BBQ opening March 23 in Toy Story Land. Serving barbecue-inspired comfort foods, this one-of-a-kind dining experience is the first “Toy Story” table-service restaurant in the world. A collaboration between Walt Disney Imagineering, Disney Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney World Food & Beverage, Roundup Rodeo BBQ will bring more toy-sized, tasty fun to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Nighttime Spectaculars Brighten Skies and Warm Hearts at Magic Kingdom Park and EPCOT – April 3
Fan-favorite nighttime spectacular “Happily Ever After” Presented by Pandora Jewelry returns to light up the night sky over Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park beginning April 3. New this year, the nightly fireworks show will fully immerse guests in heartfelt Disney stories as brand-new projections extend down Main Street U.S.A., adding even more magic to this unforgettable spectacle.
“EPCOT Forever” returns to World Showcase Lagoon starting April 3. Featuring stirring renditions of memorable EPCOT music, the show sparks fond memories from the park’s rich history.
The Grid Awaits on TRON Lightcycle / Run Presented by Enterprise – April 4
Beginning April 4, guests can climb aboard Lightcycles for a thrilling race on TRON Lightcycle / Run Presented by Enterprise. Located in Magic Kingdom Park, it is the fastest coaster attraction in a Disney theme park, alongside its sister coaster at Shanghai Disneyland. The attraction masterfully blends coaster thrills with speed, visual effects, music and a one-of-a-kind ride system to create an experience like no other. A virtual queue will be in place when TRON Lightcycle / Run opens and guests will also have the option to purchase individual Lightning Lane entry for the attraction via the My Disney Experience app on the day of their visit. For details, visit DisneyWorld.com.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park 25th Anniversary – April 22
2023 marks a special milestone as Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park celebrates its 25th anniversary. With the return of entertainment such as “Festival of the Lion King” and ”Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond!,” there has never been a better time to explore this one-of-a-kind park. It is the place to encounter wild animals, take in high-speed thrills and even journey to a world beyond belief, Pandora – The World of Avatar. Make plans now to visit this special place that celebrates the magic of nature.
EPCOT Transformation Continues – Late 2023
This fall will bring even more exciting experiences as part of the multi-year transformation of EPCOT. Guests will be able to explore the wonders of water when Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana opens. This fun interactive outdoor trail offers a chance to play and interact with water as it travels from the sky to the oceans and back again. Along the way, guests learn about the importance of water and discover its playful personality – just as Moana did on her heroic voyage.
Fall will also see completion of the new World Celebration neighborhood. As the hub of the park, it will feature different gardens that change with the seasons. It will also be home to the new Communicore Plaza and the new Communicore Hall, the latter offering a place to meet Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. World Celebration will also anchor the park’s renowned festivals. It is also where guests will discover Dreamers Point, an inspiring overlook showcasing a statue of Walt Disney called “Walt the Dreamer.”
Guests will be treated to the debut of an all-new EPCOT nighttime spectacular later this year. A dazzling display of music, pyrotechnics, lasers and lighting, the show will feature an original composition and evocative selections from the Disney songbook – all woven together to remind us that we are more alike than different.
Disney100 Celebration – Late 2023
Later this year, Walt Disney World Resort will join the global celebration of The Walt Disney Company’s 100th Anniversary – 10 decades of creativity and innovation. Look for more details to come, as EPCOT prepares to host this unforgettable celebration at Walt Disney World.
More Disney Dining Options – Throughout the Year
On April 1, 2023, Narcoossee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will welcome guests to an exciting new dining experience. This signature-dining restaurant – renowned for its panoramic views of Seven Seas Lagoon – will introduce a new interior along with a refreshed menu offering a perfect balance of updated classics and new culinary delights. Guests can look forward to the return of house specialties such as lobster bisque and new dishes like Blackened Redfish and tasty plant-based options.
Later this year, more dining delights will debut, including Summer House on the Lake at Disney Springs and The Cake Bake Shop at Disney’s BoardWalk.
Experiencing Walt Disney World Theme Parks
To experience all that Walt Disney World theme parks have to offer, guests need both valid park admission and a park reservation on the same date. Guests can visit DisneyWorld.com for more information about planning their visit.
A Disney blooded, crafty, fun-lovin’ wife/mom/organizer/planner, etc who is obsessed with all things Disney 🙂 Maria grew up with the Magic Kingdom and has loved watching WDW evolve into what it is today. A firm believer in the Power of Pixie Dust, she is the owner of The Disney Driven Life – A Community for Neurotic Disney People & a d.i.y. crafty blog, Carousel of Projects – create~inspire~share.