The Walt Disney Company has announced a lot of closures planned for 2023. But with closures comes exciting change! We at Disney Fanatic are thrilled to announce that many new and fantastic Disney Attractions will open in the Parks in 2023.
Related: List of 2023 Closures
Walt Disney World
Magic Kingdom Attractions Opening in 2023
- Walt Disney World Railroad (Now Open!) – In 2018, the Disney Park closed the train because the new Tron roller coaster would bridge the track. This has been a cause of frustration. The railroad is an iconic way to see the Park and helps with crowd control. But lo and behold, following a number of documented reports from Guests about ongoing test runs being conducted, the WDW Railroad has at long last reopened to the public as of December 23, 2022. This is well ahead of the originally speculated timeline of Spring 2023, which would have coincided with the opening of TRON Lightcycle Run.
- TRON Lightcycle Run (Opening Spring 2023) – This ride has been under construction for four years in Walt Disney World’s Tomorrowland. That’s longer than it took to build the entire Magic Kingdom! Its long-awaited opening day will hopefully be announced soon since multiple test runs have already been spotted. The coaster is similar to one already in operation at Shanghai Disneyland.
- New Character at Haunted Mansion (Early 2023) – When the Haunted Mansion opened in Disneyland in 1969, among its 999 Happy Haunts was Hatbox Ghost. Unfortunately, the effect where his head would disappear and reappear in a hatbox frequently malfunctioned. So after only three days, he was decommissioned. Fast forward to 2015, Imagineers could use new technology leading to “Hatty’s” reintroduction. The lauded effect has led Guests to claim that Disneyland has the better mansion, which may be why WaDisney World is now adding him.
- Happily Ever After Nighttime Spectacular (Spring 2023) – The iconic fireworks display was replaced by “Enchantment” for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. At the D23 Expo, Josh D’Amaro announced its return in 2023, but he did not disclose an official date. Though it should be by the anniversary celebration’s end in March.
EPCOT Attractions Opening in 2023
- Overall Expansion – Work should conclude in the area by late 2023 after nearly three years of continuous construction. Despite the arrival of rides like Guardians of The Galaxy: Rewind and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, much of the Park is still behind fences. Luckily the new entrance, Spaceship Earth, and Club Cool are finished. Meanwhile, EPCOT Gardens should open in late 2023 with more greenery, shade, and embedded lights in the pavement. Despite significant budget cuts, the Festival Center (CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza) will open in late 2023, allowing for character meet-and-greets, an art gallery, a mixology bar, a demonstration kitchen, and musical performances. Dreamer’s Point, a storytelling fountain and Walt Disney statue, will open soon near Spaceship Earth.
- EPCOT Nighttime Show (April 1, 2023) – After Walt Disney World’s 50th Celebration ends, the corresponding firework display, “Harmonious,” will be replaced with this new attraction. This was a surprising announcement at the 2022 D23 Expo, as it was believed “Harmonious” would be a longer-running show.
- Moana Journey of Water (Late 2023) – The long-awaited attraction has been a part of a significant EPCOT reworking. It will open in the World Nature neighborhood “dedicated to understanding and preserving the beauty and balance of the natural world.” Work has steadily progressed in the area, including the arrival of a 16-ft tall Te Fiti!
- Figment (Late 2023) – The lovable dragon will return for meet-and-greets! Figment joined the Park with the attraction Journey Into Imagination in 1983 but disappeared after refurbishment and a renaming of the ride in 1999. Figment has since joined and left Theme Park multiple times. But die-hard fans exist. He made cameo appearances in Inside Out (2015) and Toy Story 4 (2019). Now Figment is returning to the Park and getting his feature film!
Related: Figment’s Feature Film
Water Park Attraction Opening in 2023
- Typhoon Lagoon (TBD) – The water park closed in late 2022 for refurbishment. There is no announcement for when it will reopen, but it is expected to tag team with Blizzard Beach at the very least. There is also speculation it could come with some new exciting features. There were a few surprise characters when its sister water park, Blizzard Beach, reopened after refurbishment. Will this have the same?
Related: D23 Expo Announcements
Disneyland Attractions Opening in 2023
Toontown (March 8, 2023) – Imagineers have been revamping the cartoon playland since its closure in March 2022. This “ambitious transformation” will be focused on younger children and their families, featuring an “interactive play area and a new era of inclusive experiences.” The central design entails “open, grassy play spaces for everyone to unwind.” Key highlights include CenTOONial Park’s fountain, water tables for play, and a “dreaming tree” with sculpted roots for crawling and climbing exploration. The area will also have the following:
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (January 27, 2023) – As a part of the Disney100 Anniversary Celebration, this Toontown attraction is opening early! Goofy will guide Guests through the “wacky and unpredictable cartoon world of Mickey and Minnie.”
- Goofy’s How-To-Play Yard (March 8, 2023) – This whimsical portion of the Park will include a sound garden, elevated clubhouse, and an interactive, candy-making “contraption!”
- Donald’s Boat and Donald’s Duck Pond (March 8, 2020) – This sprinkler park/splash pad will feature all sorts of water-based play for little ones, including spinning water lilies, balance beams, and rocking toys. On Donald’s boat, children and adults alike can spot beloved Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby!
- Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster (March 8, 2020) – Alongside classic ride Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin, Imagineers are unveiling a new kid-friendly roller coaster with a Rescue Ranger theme.
- Cafe Daisy (March 8, 2020) – The Daisy Duck-inspired eatery will offer diner-style comfort food.
- Toontown Farmers Market (March 8, 2020) – This quick-service snack and beverage joint will be within Good Boy! Grocers.
Related: Photos Revealed of New Toontown
Magic Happens Parade (February 24, 2023) – Debuting on Main Street, U.S.A., this attraction had a brief but very successful run in 2020. The daytime parade will reopen and include “fantastical floats,” Mickey Mouse, and characters from Coco, Moana, and Frozen 2. It also features a new song co-composed by singer-songwriter Todrick Hall.
Disney100 Celebration’s New Fireworks (January 27, 2023) – Disneyland will be the focal point of the 100th Anniversary of The Walt Disney Company. As such, it is getting a decked-out Sleeping Beauty Castle and gaining two new firework shows! The first “World of Color – One” will take place in California Adventure Park and celebrate Disney’s storytelling legacy. The second, “Wondrous Journeys,” can be seen on Disneyland’s Mainstreet, U.S.A., and is a nod to Disney’s incredible contributions to animation.
Disneyland After Dark (Early 2023) – The Park is introducing two firework displays! The first is the return of Sweethearts’ Nite for the dates of January 31, February 2, 5, 7, 9, 14, and 16. The romantic, date-night event has appearances from iconic Disney couples and a royal ball hosted by Princess Jasmine and Aladdin. The other display will be an all-new Princess Nite. Only open on March 7 and 9, 2023, this unique event will feature many beloved characters who “light the world with kindness, courage, and a touch of magic.”
Thanos is Coming to the Avengers Campus (TBD) – At the 2022 D23 Expo, Imagineers unveiled a new attraction that is in its beginning development stages. Kevin Feige, Marvel Studio’s President, announced that Guests would accompany Avengers on the ride to battle against Thanos… A King Thanos, to be precise. This new villain “is the Thanos that won, and the Avengers are not too happy about that, and you have to help them,” said Feige. He did not specify a name or release date for the attraction.
San Fransokyo from Big Hero 6 (TBD) – makeover is coming to Disney’s California Adventure. Plans are to remodel The Pacific Warf to look like “San Fransokyo” (from the 2014 film). It will also introduce a new sports shop, eatery, and Baymax meet-and-greet.
International Attractions Opening in 2023
- Tokyo Disneyland – Josh D’Amaro announced that Japan’s Park will receive a new land themed around the franchise, Frozen (2013). It will be a part of Fantasy Springs, a new mega-land consisting of themed experiences around Peter Pan (1953), Tangled (2010), and now Frozen (2013). It is a part of the overall Tokyo DisneySea Expansion, which will be completed in 2024. Arendelle Land is already being built in Shanghai Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris.
- Disneyland Paris – The French Park has ambitious plans to update before the 2024 Summer Olympics. Between now and then, there will be a complete reworking of Disneyland Hotel, where they aim for a 5-star rating with new restaurants, an expanded spa, and updated pools. A fully immersive Frozen Land will emerge within the Park with a restaurant, character encounters, and a shop.
- Shanghai Disneyland – The first ever Zootopia (2016) based attraction is opening up in China’s theme Park in early 2023. The film was a smash hit during its Chinese release, breaking multiple records for animated movies in the region. We’ve already seen photos of the two skyscrapers they are building, which will be near the mysterious main attraction of which little has been released. We have this on the new attraction from the Disney Parks Blog: “[it] will seamlessly blend Disney storytelling and state-of-the-art technology to bring this fan-favorite movie and its characters to life…”
Check back in for more up-to-date announcements as they unfold!