This Walt Disney World journey refurbishment calendar lists the closure schedule for 2023 at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios & Animal Kingdom. Points of interest shut for routine upkeep, security upgrades, enhancements, and reimaginings. (Up to date January 23, 2023.)
Whereas nobody needs attraction downtime throughout their journey to Walt Disney World, refurbishments are essential to maintain the rides wanting good (and protected!) for future guests. Often, there are solely a handful of simultaneous closures, plus new points of interest being constructed. Be aware that the listing beneath contains a number of refurbishments which have both been scheduled last-minute, prolonged, or are longer than regular.
If you happen to’re visiting Walt Disney World the final week of January 2023, it’s notably brutal. Not solely did considered one of Walt Disney World’s most main points of interest simply completely shut, however key transportation and each water parks are additionally presently closed. Right here’s a rundown of what to anticipate this month and past in 2023…
There’s additionally quite a lot of development occurring, albeit not almost as a lot as even just a few years in the past. Nevertheless, that massively understates the present closures and affect of development on guests to Walt Disney World all through 2023.
At Epcot specifically, the refurbishment listing is misleading, as colossal modifications have begun that aren’t absolutely mirrored on the listing beneath. There are partitions up round a lot of the entrance of Epcot, with bypasses in place that lead company previous the middle of the park. These have not too long ago barely shrunk in dimension due to a brand new path in entrance of Connections Cafe and Creations Store, however they received’t be gone completely till someday in 2023.
In order for you all the newest updates on attraction closures and journey refurbishments–subscribe to our free Walt Disney World electronic mail e-newsletter. We additionally share different information and on-the-ground studies from the parks, when reductions are launched, and rather more.
Right here is the present schedule of Walt Disney World refurbishments to points of interest, when the closure begins, and when the refurbishment will conclude, up to date as of January 23, 2023:
- Kali River Rapids – Presently Closed Via Mid-March 2023
- Maharajah Jungle Trek – Aviary Presently Closed (Reopening TBD)
- Primeval Whirl – Completely Closed & Demolished
Kali River Rapids is closing in Winter 2023 for routine upkeep and attributable to an absence of demand for water rides when the climate is colder. This occurs with out fail between November and March, often reopening in time for busier timeframes. Whereas the reopening date has not but been revealed, our greatest guess can be in time for Orange County’s Spring Break (March 13-17, 2023).
Moreover, the Maharajah Jungle Trek aviary is presently closed, with the reopening doubtless for Presidents’ Day or Spring Break. Nevertheless, the tiger viewing space–the primary draw–stays open, with a bypass across the aviary. So no big loss there.
The opposite closure at Animal Kingdom is Primeval Whirl, which is a precursor for what’s to come back sooner or later. All of Dino-Rama is prone to shut sooner or later in 2023, as that’s the following massive growth web site at Walt Disney World. This was basically confirmed throughout the D23 Expo. Throughout that, Disney shared potential growth plans for a substitute of Dino-Rama, together with detailed idea artwork for a Moana Mini-Land at Animal Kingdom.
One other risk is a Zootopia Growth for Animal Kingdom that may be constructed past Dino-Rama. The idea artwork present that each of those proposals are concurrently viable. The element of the idea artwork suggests they’re far alongside within the improvement. The caveats supplied by Disney point out that they’ve not but been greenlit or funded, which means that they might by no means occur. No matter what finally ends up changing it, it’s clear that Dino-Rama’s days are numbered.
- Enchanted Tales with Belle – Reopening February 19, 2023
- Enchantment Fireworks – Ending April 2, 2023
- Fortunately Ever After Fireworks – Returning on April 3, 2023
- Splash Mountain – Completely Closed
- Tiana’s Bayou Journey – Opening in Late 2024 or 2025
- TRON Lightcycle Run – Opening April 4, 2023
With stage exhibits and parades now again, issues are largely again to the pre-closure regular at Magic Kingdom. It solely took nearly two years! Subsequent up, Ariel’s Grotto and Enchanted Tales with Belle, which had been two of the final holdouts when it comes to devoted venues.
The massive replace as of January 23, 2023 is that Splash Mountain is now completely closed. Yesterday was its last day of operations in Magic Kingdom, and throngs of followers had been readily available for its farewell. Imagineering has wasted no time in starting the transformation into Tiana’s Bayou Journey, which is tentatively slated to open in Late 2024.
Already, development partitions are up round Chick-A-Pin Hill and Imagineers have been noticed on and across the attraction starting work on the overhaul. The transformation timeline is an aggressive one, and we’re skeptical that Tiana’s Bayou Journey will really open in 2024. Extra doubtless, it’ll be delayed till 2025. That’s really our hope–as we need to see this reimagining achieved correct justice, with the size and high quality that the long-lasting attraction deserves.
If you happen to didn’t get an opportunity to say your last goodbye to Splash Mountain, maybe that’s a great factor. Splash Mountain has been in tough form for some time, and is on the level that it’s not even present prepared anymore. The lighting isn’t even on in some scenes, a number of Audio Animatronics are damaged, and the backgrounds simply look soiled and drained. Walt Disney World stopped spending cash on routine upkeep and maintenance months in the past…and it exhibits! The model that exists in your reminiscence is sort of actually the one which exists within the park.
With that stated, there nonetheless is not any cut-off date for Splash Mountain at Disneyland, so that you in all probability have at the least just a few weeks to get on the market if you wish to send-off that model of the attraction. Our expectation is that it closes very quickly. Probably shortly after Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway opens or Toontown returns. Disney can’t maintain kicking the can down the street on its closure and nonetheless open the Disneyland model in 2024.
- EPCOT Ceaselessly – Returning on April 3, 2023
- Harmonious – Ending on April 2, 2023
As lined in Fortunately Ever After & EPCOT Ceaselessly Fireworks Return Dates!, Harmonious might be dismantled and a brand new everlasting nighttime spectacular will exchange it in late 2023. Within the meantime, the interim EPCOT Ceaselessly will return for the third time in as a few years. No different refurbishments are presently occurring at EPCOT.
Don’t let the dearth of journey closures idiot you into pondering EPCOT is in nice form. On the contrary, the core of the park remains to be a sea of development partitions with an enormous dust pit within the center. Issues have improved with the opening of Creations Store, Membership Cool, and Connections Cafe & Eatery. With the opening of this, the trail connecting Spaceship Earth to World Showcase is again, which is a welcome reduction.
Talking of Spaceship Earth, our expectation is that it’ll go down for a prolonged refurbishment sooner or later someday in 2023. This might embrace the previously-announced reimagining. Both approach, there’s appreciable work needing to be achieved on the journey system that may’t wait an excessive amount of longer.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Frozen Sing-Alongside Celebration – Closed by way of January 27, 2023
- Jedi Coaching Academy: Trials of the Temple – Completely Ended
- Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster Starring Aerosmith – Closing February 20, 2023 by way of Summer time 2023
- Star Wars: Galactic Spectacular – Completely Ended
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid – Presently Closed
“For the First Time in Ceaselessly: A Frozen Sing-Alongside Celebration” beforehand was scheduled to go darkish within the fall low season for just a few weeks, however was formally delayed till January 2023. Walt Disney World calls this one a “routine refurbishment.”
One other routine refurbishment in keeping with Walt Disney World is the multi-month closure of Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster Starring Aerosmith. We cowl downtime particulars and why the favored curler coaster wants a prolonged refurbishment in that submit. Plus, what’s NOT taking place–quashing “rumors” about Taylor Swift, Hannah Montana, or Black Panther (fairly the trio!) prematurely…
Exterior Theme Parks
- Blizzard Seaside Water Park – Closed January 23, 2023 (As a result of chilly climate)
- Hurricane Lagoon Water Park – Reopening date TBD (Possible Spring 2023)
- Disney Skyliner Gondolas – Closed till January 29, 2023
All routes of the Skyliner will shut in late January 2023 “with a purpose to keep the very best high quality requirements,” in keeping with Walt Disney World, suggesting that is merely routine preventative upkeep.
Bus transportation might be obtainable in any respect Disney Skyliner Resorts all through the deliberate closure so company can attain their desired locations throughout Walt Disney World.
In any other case, the attraction closures above are fairly straight-forward. To the extent that particular dates usually are not but listed, these might be up to date as soon as Walt Disney World offers exact begin and/or finish dates.
Along with scheduled attraction refurbs, unscheduled downtime may happen throughout a go to. This often solely happens for just a few hours at a time, so when you discover an attraction is closed throughout your trip and it’s not listed beneath, it’s doubtless a short lived closure that can final (at most) for just a few hours. Verify with close by Solid Members to verify.
For resort work, please see our 2023 Walt Disney World Resort Building & Refurbishments. If you’re apprehensive that any of resort lodge renovations will affect your keep, right here’s a common rule to remember: room refurbishments not often affect lodge stays. These happen in particular clusters, and also you’ll not often discover the work being achieved.
Now, right here’s a little bit of my philosophy regarding refurbishments…
Normal Ideas on Refurbishments
When information comes out about any refurbishment, my speedy response is at all times, “that is nice–it means they’re really doing one thing to the attraction!” My thoughts races with the probabilities of how points of interest may very well be improved or plussed by Walt Disney Imagineering. Regardless that we would miss it on our subsequent Walt Disney World go to, I’m at all times excited.
In studying suggestions from others, I’ve found this angle places me within the minority. Others on-line fume about this, and the way it might alter or affect their trip plans. The saying “trip ruined” has attained near-meme standing amongst some followers, and that felt apt for among the complaints. I can perceive the attitude. Assessing the scope of the refurbishment prematurely, scheduling liberal refurbishment dates, and opening early (under-promising and over-delivering) is at all times preferable to the choice.
I may perceive that there’s different pent-up frustration at play right here, starting from radio-silence on initiatives to Walt Disney World’s tardiness in releasing park hours whereas anticipating company to plan a number of months prematurely. Neither of those strikes by Disney, amongst others, are defensible. At finest, this communication is poor visitor service. At worst, it’s demonstrative of a contemptible angle in the direction of company.
Nevertheless, I stay of the mindset that this refurbishment extension–and different present refurbishments–is doubtlessly a great factor. Among the many most vocal followers upset in regards to the extension are those that are like me: company who go to Walt Disney World at the least every-other 12 months. We’re enjoying the ‘lengthy’ fandom sport. We are able to look again on the times of the notorious wand over Spaceship Earth and are additionally wanting ahead to Walt Disney World’s fiftieth Anniversary.
From my perspective, investing within the long-term high quality of an attraction is way extra vital than the momentary satisfaction I’ll get out of using it on my subsequent go to. I get excited when eager about methods rides may very well be plussed, bettering the expertise for years to come back. This is the reason it at all times perplexes me when regulars contend that their trip might be ruined as a result of their favourite attraction might be closed.
If it’s your favourite attraction and also you’re energetic within the Disney fan neighborhood, meaning you’ve been to Walt Disney World earlier than and possibly will go to once more. It could thus stand to cause that you’d need one thing you like to get the TLC it deserves, and proceed to enhance.
DINOSAUR works as a great instance right here. This attraction was once known as Countdown to Extinction (“CTX”) earlier than an ill-advised film tie-in was added. Throughout that period, DINOSAUR had a litany of extra results, a lot of its AAs had better performance, and the attraction was, as an entire, extra spectacular.
If you’re a long-term fan, would you somewhat expertise DINOSAUR each single 12 months with 66% of the results working, or each single 12 months minus one with 95% of the results working? For me, the reply to that’s straightforward. I’ll take a superior long run expertise each time. (That that is even a reputable query for long-time followers speaks to the ‘on the spot gratification’ nature of issues in the present day, however that’s effectively past the scope of this submit.)
Past that, there’s the rather more compelling justification for normal refurbishments: they’re important for the protection of points of interest. Whereas we consider these points of interest as all enjoyable and video games that supply a protected sense of exhilaration, that’s when they’re correctly maintained.
It’s disagreeable to consider, however there have been a number of preventable deaths within the historical past of Disney’s parks. Throughout a darkish period of Disneyland historical past, improper upkeep was the reason for demise on Large Thunder Mountain (fortunately, Paul Pressler’s reign of terror is over). Years of neglect at Disneyland Paris have led to incidents of damage that may very well be attributed to an absence of upkeep (once more, this has been addressed).
This isn’t meant to scare anybody or provoke an emotional response; the very fact is that Disney’s worldwide security document is sterling as in comparison with different park operators. It’s nonetheless vital to do not forget that these enjoyable, ‘magical’ locations additionally exist in the actual world and use quite a lot of doubtlessly harmful parts if security isn’t seen as key. (Or, in Disney’s case, one of many “5 Keys.”)
In terms of upkeep that isn’t important to the protected operation of an attraction, we’re left to ponder what quantity of present high quality must be accepted. If following a strict Nunisian practitioner of the 4 Keys, present is one other paramount consideration, and it ought to at all times be 100%. That is good company propaganda, however I believe the sensible actuality is that 100% is an unworkably excessive threshold in lots of circumstances.
I believe we have now seen this play out with Expedition Everest. Followers joke in regards to the “Disco Yeti” and lament the truth that this jaw-dropping Audio Animatronics determine has not labored in almost a decade. There are quite a few theories as to why the Yeti hasn’t been mounted; what every of those share is that there are large-scale issues and no fast fixes.
Fixing the Yeti would require a closure of at the least 6 months, and be fairly costly. The working Yeti is really a powerful sight to behold (and one most of you in all probability haven’t seen in A-mode except you rode over a decade in the past), however the attraction remains to be spectacular with the Disco Yeti. At this level, it’s doubtless that Disney has decided the closure would take too lengthy, price an excessive amount of, and the development wouldn’t be well worth the funding.
There’s additionally the fact that Animal Kingdom is missing in rides. Even after the opening of Pandora – World of Avatar, the park nonetheless is heavy on exhibits and animal displays and light-weight on rides. Taking one of many park’s flagship rides down for six months to a 12 months to repair one Audio Animatronics determine that company see for 1-2 seconds may not be well worth the sacrifice.
As a staunch proponent of present high quality, I’ve a troublesome time accepting the identical argument for any attraction in Magic Kingdom, a park with a veritable “mountain vary” and numerous slate of different points of interest. In truth, the identical goes for each fort park. These parks have sufficient points of interest to choose up the slack if 1-2 points of interest need to be taken offline concurrently with out ruining any holidays.
Friends are understandably involved when it seems an inordinate variety of points of interest are closing throughout their trip. Walt Disney World holidays usually are not low-cost and are sometimes as soon as in a lifetime experiences. First-timers actually don’t need to miss out on experiences about which they’ve learn in depth hype.
Nevertheless, the issue with a “not throughout my trip” angle like that is that it’s at all times going to be somebody’s (or tens of hundreds of someones) trip. If points of interest with present high quality points don’t shut for refurbishments for concern of some company throughout a time-limited window lacking out, all company in perpetuity are going to have a lesser expertise.
Working an attraction with damaged results is simply going to compound issues, and ultimately a single damaged impact will flip into myriad damaged results. Think about this state of affairs park-wide, performed out to its pure penalties. That’s not precisely what I’d name the “Disney Distinction.”
Once more, DINOSAUR is an efficient instance right here. If it’s your first go to and also you expertise DINOSAUR with 66% of the results working, you received’t know what you’re lacking. Driving it can, little question, be superior to not using it. Nevertheless, I’m guessing your satisfaction ranking of the attraction wouldn’t be almost as excessive, and also you may query why so many individuals love the attraction, and why Disney was lazy with a lot empty, darkish area. (Or, maybe you received’t: when you solely ever eat pet food, you received’t know what you’re lacking in a pleasant steak.)
The factor is, if Disney wouldn’t shut DINOSAUR throughout your trip so that you don’t miss out on it, chances are high that they’d prolong the identical “courtesy” for different company, and it might be normal working process to by no means shut something throughout anybody’s trip.
The top results of this could be a park filled with “66% points of interest” and first-timers can be left questioning why there was a lot hype about Walt Disney World, within the first place. If you happen to’re studying this as a lifelong fan, contemplate the likelihood that you simply wouldn’t have change into a lifelong fan if this had been really Disney’s modus operandi. (In truth, I’d argue that Walt Disney World is trending on this course, dragging its ft on a number of crucial refurbishments, with the inaction being predicated upon quick time period visitor satisfaction or cost-savings.)
This may sound like we’re making use of ‘heavy’ Rawlsian idea to the lighthearted matter of theme parks, however philosophy isn’t price a rattling if it could actually’t be utilized to theme parks. 😉
A number of this may appear to be an effort to absolve Disney of blame on the subject of refurbishments, however this isn’t the case. Disney has introduced quite a lot of the visitor unrest regarding refurbishments upon itself. The primary situation is that Disney has quite a few parks which have opened within the final twenty years with incomplete slates of points of interest, making it troublesome to justify taking points of interest offline for refurbishment. So the 1st step, an entirely impractical step at this level, can be to open theme parks which might be full on day one.
Failing that, Disney might keep away from quite a lot of the visitor backlash regarding refurbishments if they’d schedule extra 3-4 day refurbishments of points of interest to proactively tackle issues with preventative upkeep. Though this could not completely negate the necessity for prolonged refurbishments, it might enhance present high quality throughout the board and assist keep away from quite a lot of conditions the place points of interest need to abruptly shut as a result of they’re in dire want of upkeep. Furthermore, a 3-4 day refurbishment is shorter than the period of most holidays, permitting vacationers to successfully plan across the refurbishment.
On this case, each events planning forward would forestall these “trip ruined!” complaints. Don’t fear, Disney, we followers are resilient: we’ll nonetheless discover one thing else to complain about. 😉
Joking apart, I notice that’s a troublesome line to attract between an excusable refurbishment and a frustratingly irritating one. Even when you subscribe to the some extent of the ‘philosophy’ I’m advancing, there isn’t any bright-line rule. It’s nonetheless going to quantity to a price judgment about what ought to ‘set off’ a necessity for refurbishment, what number of points of interest must be down concurrently throughout Walt Disney World, and what occasions of 12 months are perfect for which refurbishments.
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Any questions in regards to the present refurbishments at Walt Disney World? What do you concentrate on refurbishments on the Disney Parks? Are you extra involved about an improved long-term expertise, or do you suppose “not throughout my trip!”? The place do you draw the road? Another elements you suppose are price contemplating? As talked about, we predict it is a dialog, so please share your ‘refurbishment philosophy’, or another ideas or questions you will have, within the feedback!