Disney Parks Opening Timelines vs. Predictions

Disney just lately reiterated opening dates and timeframes for brand spanking new rides, lands, eating places, resorts, and extra at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, in addition to the Disney Cruise Line fleet growth and the parks in Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Shanghai. This particulars the official timeline, plus our commentary and predictions about what opening dates are literally lifelike primarily based upon on-the-ground observations this week in each Orlando and Anaheim.

Usually, that is one thing we observe in our recurrently up to date What’s New & Subsequent guides:

In the course of the third quarter earnings name, supplied updates on a bunch of tasks coming to the Parks & Resorts late this yr and in 2024. Most of this reiterated earlier bulletins and public timelines, and thus didn’t appear significantly noteworthy. Nonetheless, that is exactly why it’s notable…

For one factor, there have been some conspicuous omissions from the earnings name slide sharing upcoming Parks & Resorts openings and occasions. It’s usually an indication when a serious undertaking simply quietly stops being talked about by the corporate, and there are a number of situations of that now that elevate some crimson flags.

Moreover, it’s curious that the corporate is sharing a few of these timelines as soon as once more, since on-the-ground proof (e.g. development progress) suggests in any other case. So both our expectations are off, or Disney plans on kicking tasks into excessive gear within the very close to future. However we’re getting forward of ourselves. Right here’s a take a look at the slide in query from the earnings name:

It’s additionally notable that there’s lower than a month till the large Vacation spot D23 occasion at Up to date Resort in Walt Disney World. This has reworked from an occasion largely about historical past to an off-year mini-D23 Expo, and the expectation is that information for Walt Disney World and Disneyland will likely be revealed at Vacation spot D23.

Whereas we’ve expressed skepticism that bombshell bulletins will likely be made given the corporate’s present place with streaming providers and debt, it’s one thing will likely be shared. In all probability a protected wager that when D’Amaro takes the stage, he’ll be celebrating extra than simply the return of churros, like final time. Official opening dates for tasks that presently solely have timelines are the lowest-hanging fruit.

As such, we needed to share the consolidated official timeline for Parks & Resorts tasks, adopted by our predictions of when a few of these will truly open at Walt Disney World. (Something with an asterisk is official, however not listed on the slide.)

Walt Disney World – Official Timeline

  • Late Summer season 2023 – Figment Meet & Greet at EPCOT*
  • September 15, 2023 – Mirabel Meet & Greet at Magic Kingdom*
  • September 22, 2023 – Disney100 at EPCOT*
  • Fall 2023 – Moana’s Journey of Water
  • Late 2023 – World Celebration at EPCOT
  • Late 2023 – CommuniCore Corridor & Plaza*
  • Late 2023 – Minnie & Mickey Mouse Meet & Greet at EPCOT*
  • Late 2023 – New Unnamed EPCOT Nighttime Spectacular*
  • 2023 – Cake Bake Store by Gwendolyn Rogers at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn*
  • 2023 – Summer season Home on the Lake at Disney Springs*
  • 2024 – Tiana’s Bayou Journey at Magic Kingdom
  • 2024 – Disney Trip Membership at Polynesian Resort
  • 2024 – Disney Trip Membership at Fort Wilderness*

Disneyland Resort – Official Timeline

  • August 31, 2023 – San Fransokyo Sq. (Large Hero 6 Land) at Disney California Journey
  • Mid-September 2023 – Avengers Vault at Disney California Journey*
  • September 28, 2023 – The Villas at Disneyland Lodge, New Disney Trip Membership Tower
  • 2023 – Tiana’s Palace Restaurant*
  • 2023 – Adventureland Treehouse at Disneyland
  • 2023 – Pixar Place Lodge
  • 2024 – Tiana’s Bayou Journey at Disneyland
  • TBD – Avatar Expertise at ???*
  • TBD – King Thanos Multiverse Attraction at Disney California Journey*

Disney Cruise Line

  • October 28, 2023 – Australia and New Zealand Sailings
  • June 2024 – Lighthouse Level Personal Island
  • Fiscal 12 months 2025 – Disney Treasure Ship
  • Fiscal 12 months 2025 – Acquisition Ship (World Dream)
  • Fiscal 12 months 2026 – Third Want-class Ship

Disneyland Paris

  • 2024 – Disneyland Lodge Royal Transformation
  • TBD – World of Frozen: Kingdom of Arendelle*

Tokyo Disney Resort

  • Spring 2024 – Fantasy Springs Port-of-Name at Tokyo DisneySea
  • 2027 – New House Mountain at Tokyo Disneyland*

Hong Kong Disneyland

  • November 2023 – World of Frozen Arendelle Land

Shanghai Disneyland

  • Late 2023 – Zootopia Land

Walt Disney World – Our Predictions

Figment Meet & Greet at EPCOT (Late Summer season 2023) – It’s been almost a yr since Disney introduced the Figment meet & greet, which is an incredible quantity of lead time for a personality addition in an current area. It appears possible that the Figment meet & greet was initially slated for the Mickey & Pals area in CommuniCore Corridor, however the plan is altering now.

Extra just lately, Walt Disney World indicated that Figment would seem “later this summer time.” The clock is ticking on summer time, which might usually conclude Labor Day weekend on the Walt Disney World calendar. They could be going by the precise seasonal calendar for this one, as summer time formally ends–very conveniently–on September 22, 2023.

Walt Disney World has additionally indicated {that a} meet & greet with Minnie & Mickey Mouse of their platinum outfits for Disney100 is coming to the Creativeness pavilion. Summer season ends and the 100 Years of Marvel begins on September 22, so that will strongly counsel to us that these meet & greets will each debut on or round that date.

Moana’s Journey of Water (Fall 2023) – This has been a bizarre one. As documented in our updates on Moana’s Journey of Water, work appeared to be nearly-finished again round spring break, main us to consider on the time that Moana’s Journey of Water may open throughout the summer time season (a wise timeframe for a water-based attraction).

Not a lot occurred for a number of months, then Solid Member playtesting started late final month. Cherry pickers have been noticed in Moana’s Journey of Water since, resulting in the logical conclusion that check & regulate is going on primarily based on suggestions receiving from Solid Members collaborating within the playtesting. In a number of days, broader Solid Member previews will open for registration.

Walt Disney World has bounced backwards and forwards with the opening timeframe for Moana’s Journey of Water. The above earnings name slide from final week nonetheless signifies “Fall 2023.” Nonetheless, the official DisneyWorld.com web page that simply launched for the attraction says “Late 2023.)

Which may look like the identical timeframe. In spite of everything, if we go by the astronomical autumn dates, Journey of Water has till December 20, 2023 to technically make a “Fall 2023” opening. However that’s not how seasons are usually noticed by Walt Disney World, the place that begins Halloween in early August. In Disney parlance, Fall 2023 is roughly Labor Day by means of mid-November. As soon as the Christmas festivities begin, that’s thought of “Holidays 2023” or “Late 2023.”

Actually, I don’t even know what to foretell anymore in the case of Moana’s Journey of Water. Beforehand, I figured the delays have been deliberate, with the objective of opening all the pieces within the Big EPCOT Dust Pit™️ on the identical time to extend the affect and keep away from “that’s it?!” reactions from followers. It’s additionally been potential that Disney didn’t wish to open throughout the summer time as a consequence of issues about the place to place the queue. Each of these are believable for why Moana’s Journey of Water has been delayed.

I’m now skeptical that’ll Disney will await CommuniCore to be accomplished for causes mentioned beneath, so perhaps they’ll open Moana’s Journey of Water as soon as previews and check & regulate wrap up. With all of that mentioned, I’m not inclined to consider Moana’s Journey of Water will open in time for the beginning of Disney100. There have simply been a bunch of little issues suggesting it might not arrive till later, however October or November nonetheless really feel lifelike with AP and DVC previews beforehand.

World Celebration at EPCOT (Late 2023) – That is given its personal line-item on the earnings name slide, with the implication being that the Big EPCOT Dust Pit™️ will likely be crammed in and the development partitions will come down. That’s the idea being made by followers, which is smart.

Nonetheless, there’s nothing to say that Disney received’t shrink the scale of the development space, open a planter and a few timber, and dub that the debut of World Celebration. Which leads us to the subsequent distinct entry on the record…

CommuniCore Corridor & Plaza (Late 2023) – After plenty of seen progress earlier this yr, the tempo of this undertaking has slowed to a crawl. Again when the primary flurry of bulletins have been made about Disney100 at EPCOT, the timeframe for CommuniCore Corridor was “later this yr” and the implication appeared to be that the finished transformation of EPCOT could be central to the celebration.

There’s completely no probability in any respect that CommuniCore Corridor will debut by September 22, 2023. There was some hypothesis that the 4 new meals cubicles will likely be positioned within the plaza, however we extremely doubt even that will likely be prepared. (The Culinary Hall behind Creativeness–additionally behind development partitions and transferring at snail’s pace–appears more likely.)

There’s plenty of time between now and the tip of the yr, and the tempo of development may at all times pace up (once more). A brand new fiscal yr is on the horizon, beginning October 1; it’s potential Disney is in a holding sample for now, attempting to shift prices into that. Possibly development kicks into excessive gear as crews and assets are reallocated, getting CommuniCore open by Thanksgiving or Christmas. I wouldn’t wager towards that, however I feel it’s equally possible that CommuniCore Corridor slips into 2024. There’s no method that is open by EPCOT’s anniversary, although.

New Unnamed EPCOT Nighttime Spectacular (Late 2023) – The final replace that Walt Disney World offered in regards to the new nighttime spectacular coming to EPCOT was again in March. That was previous to the return of EPCOT Perpetually or demolition of Harmonious starting.

At the moment, Disney indicated the brand new nighttime spectacular could be coming “later in 2023” (completely different than Late 2023) and the implication was that it’d debut for Disney100 at EPCOT. Since then, it’s been radio silence. Given its presumed scale, the brand new EPCOT nighttime spectacular was additionally a conspicuous omission from the earnings name slide.

Usually, a sluggish trickle of data is launched within the lead-up to new leisure debuting. It’s simple to distinction this with the approaches to Harmonious, Disney Enchantment, and even the return of Fantasmic. If the brand new EPCOT nighttime spectacular have been debuting in time for the beginning of Disney100, we’d have much more information. For one, we’d know a minimum of the identify of the nighttime spectacular. There’d most likely be extra idea artwork, perhaps a teaser video of an orchestra recording the soundtrack, a synopsis, and tech showcase.

Provided that we have now nothing in any respect, it’s extremely unlikely that the brand new nighttime spectacular will debut for the beginning of Disney100. That is actually the one element of that for which followers would get excited, and doubtlessly ebook journeys. However the window for that has now closed.

We’d truly go a step additional, and wager that the brand new nighttime spectacular at EPCOT received’t debut till 2024. I’d put the chances of EPCOT Perpetually having a yr or longer run this go-round at about 50-50. At this level, I’m form of anticipating subsequent yr’s advertising to revolve round this nighttime spectacular and different new summer time leisure, particularly if the subsequent entry will get delayed to 2025…

Tiana’s Bayou Journey (2024) – To the corporate’s credit score, Disney retains reiterating that 2024 opening date for each variations of Tiana’s Bayou Journey. As coated in our submit that covers The whole lot You Must Know About Tiana’s Bayou Journey, we have been skeptical of this tight timeline even earlier than the undertaking started.

Actually, our hope is that Tiana’s Bayou Journey slips into 2025. Have the large draw for subsequent yr be new leisure, and push this into 2025. There’s actually nothing else on the horizon, and even when extra have been introduced at Vacation spot D23, it’d be hard-pressed to debut in 2026. Given Imagineers time to prepare dinner and make one thing particular with Tiana’s Bayou Journey, slightly than speeding the undertaking to completion with a view to make a decent timeline.

Cake Bake Store (2023) – One other entry that’s lacking from the earnings name slide, however that’s probably not indicative of something. This can be a smaller scale addition and one which’s from a 3rd get together working participant. It wouldn’t warrant an earnings name point out even when it have been on schedule.

But it surely isn’t–not even shut. Building has moved extremely slowly on this, and there’s virtually no probability the Cake Bake Store debuts earlier than 2024. Our guess primarily based on watching the tempo of the undertaking could be Summer season 2024 for Cake Bake Store, however the pace may at all times decide up.

Summer season Home on the Lake (2023) – Nearly the very same story with the brand new restaurant coming to Disney Springs. Admittedly, we haven’t watched progress on this as carefully, however I used to be fairly stunned on the lack of it with my most up-to-date go to to Disney Springs this month. I’d put Summer season Home on the Lake on observe for a Spring or Summer season 2024 opening.

Disney Trip Membership Initiatives (2024) – There are two upcoming Disney Trip Membership tasks at Walt Disney World, the brand new Polynesian Tower and the Cabins at Fort Wilderness. The previous is transferring quick and the latter has but to start out.

Nonetheless, work has been taking place round Fort Wilderness to present the campground enchantment to a extra upmarket viewers, so the groundwork is already being laid. Not solely that, however the cabins are prefabbed, so it’s not like an incredible quantity of lead-time is important.

Nonetheless, it will possible be extra a matter of advantageous timing than the rest. Disney Trip Membership isn’t going to flood the market with factors–whether or not each of those truly open in 2024 will depend on the gross sales standing of Riviera, Disneyland Lodge, and (to a lesser extent because it’s promoting nicely) Grand Floridian. The cabins slipping to 2025 appears believable.

Disneyland – Our Predictions

Tiana’s Palace Restaurant (2023)Disneyland has but to slender the timeline for the transformation of French Market into Tiana’s Palace Restaurant, however we have now a fairly good concept that it’ll open quickly primarily based on development progress.

Our guess is early September 2023. In all probability not in time for the kickoff of the Halloween season, nevertheless it shouldn’t be too lengthy after Labor Day. UPDATE: Disneyland simply introduced that Tiana’s Palace Restaurant will formally open on September 7, 2023.

Avatar Expertise (???) – This can be a bizarre one. Regardless of zero particulars in any respect, together with what the “expertise” will entail or the place it’ll go, Bob Iger has teased this on a number of events. Simply final week, he mentioned throughout the earnings name that “later down the highway, we will likely be bringing an Avatar expertise to Disneyland, reinforcing the unequalled worldwide enchantment of our manufacturers and franchises.”

Oddly sufficient, this isn’t the primary time this has occurred with Avatar. The unique announcement for Pandora at Animal Kingdom contained zero particulars, and it wasn’t till years later that the specifics have been shared. (Satirically, this fulfills a promise made then of Avatar growth taking place elsewhere after Animal Kingdom.) I’m beginning to assume that perhaps Bob Iger is a diehard Avatar fan, talking fluent Na’vi, getting his face painted when he visits Pandora, sporting a kind of tails, and so forth. Maybe he pulled this concept out of skinny air and blurted it out, and now Imagineering is scrambling to provide you with an appropriate idea for an Avatar “expertise” at Disneyland.

As for when this occurs, my wager is between 2025 and 2028. Very concise timeframe, I do know.

King Thanos Multiverse E-Ticket (???) – As we’ve mentioned elsewhere, this was a Bob Chapek undertaking. It has not been talked about even as soon as since his ouster by Bob Iger or Josh D’Amaro, and it doesn’t seem on any timelines.

It’s not taking place. Iger wouldn’t be occurring and on about an undefined Avatar “expertise” whereas by no means mentioning an actually-announced Marvel attraction if it have been. Provided that the Avengers HQ facade has been constructed and there’s an growth pad behind it, one thing will likely be constructed right here finally. It most likely received’t be the King Thanos Multiverse trip, although.

Planning a Walt Disney World journey? Find out about accommodations on our Walt Disney World Accommodations Opinions web page. For the place to eat, learn our Walt Disney World Restaurant Opinions. To save cash on tickets or decide which kind to purchase, learn our Ideas for Saving Cash on Walt Disney World Tickets submit. Our What to Pack for Disney Journeys submit takes a singular take a look at intelligent gadgets to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Journey Guides will assist. For complete recommendation, the very best place to start out is our Walt Disney World Journey Planning Information for all the pieces it’s essential to know!


What are your ideas on the upcoming slate of additives at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and past? Predictions as to what, if something, will deviate from the official timeline? What has you most and least excited? Something you’re hoping does not find yourself coming to fruition? Do you agree or disagree with our assessments? Any questions we may help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even once you disagree with us–is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas beneath within the feedback!

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