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2023 Walt Disney World Closures and Refurbishments

2023 Walt Disney World Closures and Refurbishments

It’s always good to know what is going to be closed during your trip to Walt Disney World (so bookmark this page!). This page is a list of the 2023 Walt Disney World Closures and Refurbishments of attractions and dining venues.

It’s always good to know what is going to be closed during your trip to Walt Disney World (so bookmark this page!). This page is a list of the 2023 Walt Disney World Closures and Refurbishments of attractions and dining venues.

What is an Attraction Refurbishment at Disney World?

 Disney will periodically close down an attraction to perform routine maintenance or to add upgrades and updates. We have seen a lot of queues, like Peter Pan at the Magic Kingdom get a brand new interactive queue. More recently, attractions like Splash Mountain have been closed for an extended refurbishment where they are completely changing the them and story to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. 

It’s important to also note that not all attraction closures are planned in advance. Sometimes things happen and Disney closes an attraction unexpectedly.

Why Does Disney Do Refurbishments? 

Disney World regularly closes attractions for refurbishments to ensure that they are operating at their best and safest capacity. Refurbishments allow for necessary maintenance, repairs, and upgrades to be made to the attractions, as well as to keep them looking fresh and up-to-date.

Many of Disney’s attractions are highly technical and rely on complex systems to operate properly. By closing attractions for refurbishments, Disney can ensure that these systems are functioning correctly and safely for the guests. Additionally, refurbishments allow Disney to update attractions with new technology or to make changes to them to better fit current trends or themes.

Water rides often need the most refurbishment time than any other attraction. Water plus complicated technology does not mix well. Disney has always tried to make the scheduled refurbishments for the water rides like Kali River Rapids coincide with the weather. While a Florida winter isn’t “cold”, it is less likely that the crowds are going to be lined up for a water ride in January. 

Overall, refurbishments are essential to ensuring that Disney World continues to offer high-quality, enjoyable attractions that guests can safely enjoy.

How Far in Advance Do We Know About Disney Attraction Closures?

Disney typically announces ride closures and refurbishments a few months in advance, although the exact timeline can vary. For scheduled refurbishments, Disney usually announces the closure dates and expected duration on their official website and social media channels, as well as in the park maps and schedules available to guests.

When rides are expected to close for an extended amount of time, once again like Splash Mountain, Disney gave guests almost a year’s notice so that they could schedule around the refurbishment if Splash Mountain was important to their trip. 

In some cases, unexpected ride closures may occur due to technical difficulties or other issues. In these situations, Disney will typically notify guests as soon as possible and provide updates on when the ride is expected to reopen. If you see a ride go down during the day, don’t panic. Disney engineers are magicians with these rides and often get the attraction back up and running in no time at all. 

Why Do You Need To Know About Ride Refurbishments?

Knowing about ride refurbishments is important if you are planning a trip to Disney World, as it can impact your itinerary and expectations for your visit. Here are a few reasons why it’s useful to know about ride refurbishments:

1. Planning Your Schedule

 If a ride you were looking forward to experiencing is closed for refurbishment during your visit, it can affect your schedule and plans for the day. Knowing ahead of time can help you plan your itinerary accordingly and prioritize other attractions.

2. Avoiding Disappointment

Finding out that a ride you were excited to experience is closed unexpectedly can be disappointing. Knowing ahead of time allows you to set realistic expectations and avoid any surprises that may negatively impact your trip.

3. Safety and Comfort

 Refurbishments help ensure that attractions are operating safely and comfortably for guests. Knowing about these updates can give you peace of mind when experiencing the rides and attractions.

Overall, keeping up-to-date on ride refurbishments is an important part of planning a successful trip to Disney World, allowing you to make informed decisions about your itinerary and enjoy a safe and enjoyable experience.

Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World

Pirates Disney World Closures and Refurbishments

Refurbishments

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – Closing January 9, 2023 and Reopening January 13, 2023
  • Tiana’s Bayou Adventure – Expected to open 2024

Opening in 2023!

  • Pete’s Silly Sideshow Meet and Greet – Opening January 15, 2023
  • Meet and Greet with Ariel in her Grotto – Opening January 22, 2023
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle – Opening February 19, 2023
  • Winnie the Pooh and Friends are back at The Crystal Palace – February 28, 2023
  • The Princesses are back at Cinderella’s Royal Table – February 28, 2023
  • Tron Lightcycle Power Run – Opening April 4, 2023
  • Happily Ever After Fireworks – Opening April 3, 2023

Closures

  • Splash Mountain – Closing January 23, 2023
  • Enchanted Fireworks – Closing April 2, 2023

Epcot Walt Disney World

2023 Walt Disney World Closures and Refurbishments 2

Refurbishments

  • Disney Skyliner – Closing January 22, 2023 and Reopening January 29, 2023

Opening in 2023!

  • EPCOT Forever Fireworks – Opening April 3, 2023
  • Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana – Coming Fall 2023

Closures

  • Harmonious Fireworks – Closing April 2, 2023
  • Play! Pavilion – Project canceled

Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World

2023 Walt Disney World Closures and Refurbishments 3

Refurbishments

  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration – Closing January 9, 2023  and Reopening January 27, 2023

Opening in 2023!

  • Roundup Rodeo BBQ – Opening 2022

Closures

  • Voyage of The Little Mermaid

Animal Kingdom Walt Disney World

2023 Walt Disney World Closures and Refurbishments 4

Refurbishments

  • No scheduled refurbishments

Opening in 2023!

  • Nothing new for 2023

Closures

  • No new closures

Disney Water Parks Closures and Refurbishments

Typhoon Lagoon

  • Reopening March 19, 2023

Blizzard Beach

  • Closing for refurbishment March 19, 2023, no reopening date was announced.

Disney Springs Refurbishments

2023 Walt Disney World Closures and Refurbishments 5
  • No Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique – No opening date has been announced

Disney Resort Refurbishments

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

  • 1900 Park Fare – No reopening date announced
  • Garden View Tea Room – No reopening date announced
  • Narcoosee’s – Reopening April 1, 2023

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

  • ESPN Club – Closed to make was for The Cake Bake Shop by Gwendolyn Rogers
  • BoardWalk Bakery replaced with the BoardWalk Deli

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

Fried Chicken Trails End
  • Trail’s End – Closing for major refurbishment and will reopen as a Quick Service option

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

  • Current construction is underway for the new DVC building

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel

  • Rosa Mexicano opening in March 2023 replacing the former Fresh Mediterranean Market

Rumored Projects, Expansions, and Attractions in Disney World

At the D23 summit last fall, Disney announced a bunch of Blue Sky projects for Walt Disney World. Blue Sky projects mean that these projects have gone past just being an idea, that imagineers have started mock ups, models, and plans, but there has been no financial definitive “GO” on any of these projects. 

Magic Kingdom

There is a plot of land behind both Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, (formerly Splash Mountain), that Disney is looking to use for expansion. Disney noted in the presentation that the Magic Kingdom expansion with New Fantasyland was the single largest expansion that Disney has ever made within a park…Until now. 

But what are they looking to put back there? Here’s some of the ideas Disney shared at the D23 Summit in 2022. 

Coco

We imagine that if the land became devoted to Coco there would be some type of ride similar to Avatar Flight of Passage where you would get to ride your own Pepita. A Pepita is that colorful spirit animal in the afterlife. 

Encanto

Picture it – A Disney fun house inspired by Casita! It would have to have an area behind the walls so we can find Bruno! 

Villains Kingdom

Yes! YESSSS! Please, Disney! Make. This. Happen! How amazing would it be to be surrounded by the Disney villains! The real question would be who would have the focal point evil villain lair? Would it be Maleficent with her castle? Or Ursula with her cave? Oh! And picture a wild car ride with crazy Cruella. 

Animal Kingdom

It looks like Animal Kingdom is also about to get an upgrade! Disney pointed to the area east of Asia in Animal Kingdom for a new expansion/upgrade, but let’s be real… Dinoland U.S.A. is looking pretty pathetic and empty so all signs point to here. 

Zootopia

This is a perfect match. Zootopia in Animal Kingdom! I’m not sure what type of attractions it would host, but imagineers are amazing and could come up with something great. 

Now, this is all still in planning ideas phases, buuuuut, Disney just shared last week a brand new somersaulting animatronic that looks suspiciously like Officer Judy Hopps. Just saying. 

Moana

Moana’s island would fit in beautifully with the lush plant life of Animal Kingdom. But is this really the best choice? Moana’s Journey of Water is just about ready to open in EPCOT so it seems pretty redundant to repeat the same IP. 


Now that you have read what is going to be closed at Disney, make sure you put together a list of all your new must-dos for your next trip. You can organize it all in our FREE Disney vacation planner! Next, come back for news, trip planning, and great insights into building your perfect trip! Also, you should be sure to read our list of permanently closed attractions at Disney World.

If you want some more information on planning your 2023 trip to Disney World, we have a couple of book recommendations. Be sure to give a look at both The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World and the Official Birnbaum’s 2023 Walt Disney World. Plus keep checking back, as we are constantly updating this list as Disney World makes announcements on new opening dates and refurbishments! 

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Casey

Monday 11th of December 2017

Totally bummed that Pirates of the Caribbean will be closed during our stay 😣 That is definitely one of our favorites.

Kira Bloomer

Thursday 9th of November 2017

I have a question about one of the closures. The Mike and Sulley meet and greet, does it have a new temp location somewhere? Or can we meet them somewhere. We are going Jan 26 - Feb 4

Patty Staricha

Friday 10th of November 2017

Unfortunately, Mike and Sulley aren't making any appearances at Disney World right now. If you are big fans of Monsters Inc. I recommend stopping Monsters Inc laugh floor over at the Magic Kingdom.