Well, Disney fans… it looks like it’s actually happening. With the former Disney CEO Bob Chapek out of the picture as of November 2022, it seems like Disney’s returning CEO, Bob Iger, is finally rolling out the news we have all been hoping for.
While typically, the D23 Expo (held in September 2022) is the place for Disney announcements, this year’s expo fell flat with “what ifs” and open-ended reveals. But, on January 10, 2023, Disney fans were shocked at the number of announcements revealed for the Disney Parks and Resorts.
We’re breaking down Disney’s single-day news drop, so you’ll be in the know for your next Disney vacation.
Disney Enchantment End Date / Happily Ever After’s Return Date (Magic Kingdom)
Disney started the morning with a heavy focus on Walt Disney World Resort’s nighttime spectaculars. While we learned at the D23 Expo that Happily Ever After would be returning to Magic Kingdom to replace the not-so-popular Disney Enchantment, now we finally have official dates. Disney Enchantment’s last performance is on April 2, 2023. Happily Ever After will return on April 3, 2023.
Harmonious End Date / EPCOT Forever’s Return Date (EPCOT)
Moving on over to EPCOT’s nighttime spectacular! EPCOT’s Harmonious is considered a lackluster show, despite Disney’s efforts with it being “one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for Disney Parks.” We learned during the D23 Expo that Harmonious would be leaving EPCOT, but we have dates to go along with the announcement finally. Harmonious will end on April 2, 2023. EPCOT Forever will return on April 3, 2023.
Harmonious Barges Will Be Removed (EPCOT)
Cheers to this news! With the announcement of Harmonious leaving EPCOT, Disney has confirmed that instead of repurposing the massive Harmonious barges within the World Showcase Lagoon, they will be removing the eyesores.
New Nighttime Drone Show (Disneyland Paris)
More news of another nighttime show was announced, this one over at Disneyland Paris. Disney has announced the arrival of Avengers: Power the Night coming to Walt Disney Studios Park from January 28, 2023, to May 8, 2023. What makes this news so exceptional is that the show will feature impressive drone technology that, with the help of 500 drones, will provide images in the sky above The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
TRON Lightycle / Run Opening Date (Magic Kingdom)
Probably the biggest news revealed on January 10, 2023, was the official TRON Lightycycle / Run opening date! While Disney teased an opening date clue, they revealed the grand opening date of April 4, 2023. During the D23 Expo, Disney revealed the long-awaited Magic Kingdom roller coaster would be opening in “Spring 2023”. We’re thrilled to have an open date after five years of construction.
Disney Park Hopper Change (Disneyland Resort)
Currently, at both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, Guests are welcome to Park Hop daily after 1 pm. Starting February 4, 2023, however, Disneyland is lifting some of its Park Hopping restrictions by allowing Disneyland Guests to Park Hop beginning at 11 am. Additionally, Guests will receive complimentary PhotoPass downloads for attractions in celebration of The Walt Disney Company’s 100th anniversary.
FREE Resort Guest Parking (Walt Disney World Resort Hotels)
In March 2018, Walt Disney World Resort began charging its Resort Guests a parking fee while staying at one of its many onsite Resort hotels. Now, it seems like Bob Iger himself has decided to reverse the fee he initially implemented. As of the night of January 10, 2023, Guests are no longer charged a parking fee while staying at a Disney Resort Hotel.
Park Pass Reservation Change for Annual Passholders (Walt Disney World Resort)
Guests visiting both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort likely know by now that a valid Park ticket is no longer enough to enter one of Disney’s theme parks. Guests must also have a Park Pass Reservation. Well, great news for Annual Passholders at Walt Disney World!
Disney revealed, in the coming months, Passholders no longer need a Park Pass Reservation if entering a Disney Park after 2 pm. The one restriction is at Magic Kingdom Park on Saturdays and Sundays. Passholders will still need a Park Pass Reservation if planning on visiting Magic Kingdom after 2 pm.
Complimentary PhotoPass Downloads with Genie+ (Walt Disney World Resort)
Purchasing the line-skipping Disney Genie+ service at Walt Disney World? Coming in the next few months, Guests that have purchased Disney Genie+ will receive complimentary digital downloads of attraction PhotoPass photos. This is one we’ll be sure to share details on when Disney releases an official start date.
Passholders Get More Perks (Walt Disney World Resort)
With the addition of relaxed Park Reservations for Annual Passholders at Walt Disney World, Disney is also giving Passholders more perks. Soon, Passholders will receive access to Disney PhotoPass lenses and one complimentary Cinderella Castle Mural of Memories experience.
January 10, 2023, was an exceptional news day, with everything above in the works. Keep in mind Disney already unveiled more changes this month, such as the new Disney Dining Promo Card replacing the Disney Dining Plan, as well as special Resort Hotel room discounts.
As always, we will be sure to share more details with Disney Dining readers about all of these new and returning experiences as they unfold. Keep the good news coming, Disney!