Walt Disney World Resort is a place of magic, wonder, and constant evolution, so it shouldn’t be surprising when closures are announced.
To keep the park experience fresh and exciting, Walt Disney World Resort regularly updates its attractions and introduces new experiences for its guests. As we look forward to 2024, there are several notable closures and rethemes on the horizon that will add a touch of excitement and anticipation to your next visit.
If you’re planning a visit to Walt Disney World’s four theme parks– which include Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom– you should be aware of the latest developments happening at “The Most Magical Place on Earth.”
As we look ahead to the rest of this year, there are seven attractions that Disney has shared will spend time in closure in 2024. Here’s a look at those Disney Park attractions and what we are expecting in terms of closure, potential retheming, and much more.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
One of the most thrilling rides in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, is set to close its doors for “routine maintenance” on January 8, 2024. While the closure is framed as routine, many fans have speculated whether this might be the perfect opportunity for Disney to retheme the coaster. There have been rumors swirling about a potential change, but Disney has yet to confirm any details regarding the ride’s future.
There have been numerous ideas and speculations for what could come in the place of the coaster if it were to be rethemed. Some believe that the Disney World park might just take Aerosmith off the attraction and go for a more generalized approach. In this case, the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster could pay tribute to numerous rock bands, potentially even give some of those with stars on Sunset Boulevard some shine inside the attraction.
Another idea that has been popular is the thought that Disney could retheme the attraction to be Powerline.
Powerline is the electrifying pop star sensation from Disney’s A Goofy Movie (1995). Fronted by the musician Tevin Campbell, Powerline’s music and persona captivated both the movie’s characters and real-world audiences alike. His performance of the hit song “Eye to Eye” at the film’s climax remains one of the most iconic moments in Disney cinematic history.
Since its debut in 1999, the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster has been a fan favorite, known for its adrenaline-pumping launch and the rockin’ tunes of Aerosmith. According to the official Disney World website, “Your super-stretch limo is decked out with a 125-speaker, 24-subwoofer, 32,000-watt audio system. Each vehicle broadcasts different Aerosmith hit songs, including ‘Walk This Way,’ ‘Dude (Looks Like a Lady),’ ‘Sweet Emotion’ and ‘Back in the Saddle.’ The classic ‘Love in an Elevator’ was rewritten as ‘Love in a Roller Coaster’ specifically for this rocktastic attraction.”
If a retheme is indeed in the works, it will be intriguing to see what new story or music will replace the iconic band’s presence. Until we receive official confirmation from Disney, fans will have to hold their breath and wait in eager anticipation for the coaster’s summer 2024 reopening.
Country Bear Jamboree (Magic Kingdom)
The Country Bear Jamboree is a beloved opening day attraction at the Magic Kingdom that has entertained guests with its charming bear characters since 1971.
Located in Frontierland, “Country Bear Jamboree is one of the very last attractions that Walt Disney personally helped develop. Originally planned for a never-built Disney ski resort in Mineral King, California, the show with the singing bears happily moved out to Florida in 1971 and has been performing daily at Magic Kingdom Park ever since,” Disney shares.
While we don’t have an exact closure date, Disney has revealed its plans to retheme this classic attraction as the Country Bear Musical Jamboree. Staying true to its “country” theme, the reimagined attraction will pay homage to Nashville shows and renowned country singers.
This exciting revamp will introduce a fresh perspective and new voices to our beloved bear characters, including Henry, Trixie, and Big Al. One of the most anticipated aspects of this update is the inclusion of country renditions of several cherished Disney classics, such as “The Bear Necessities.” Drawing inspiration from a rich blend of musical genres, including rockabilly, bluegrass, and contemporary pop country, this transformation aims to preserve the essence of the Country Bear Jamboree while infusing it with a new musical vibrancy. Fans of both country music and Disney nostalgia have much to look forward to when this rethemed attraction debuts.
It’s Tough To Be A Bug! (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, It’s Tough To Be A Bug! will close permanently later this year. While no official date has been provided, Disney has exciting plans to replace and retheme the attraction with a new experience inspired by the beloved film Zootopia (2016).
As fans of the movie know, Zootopia is a bustling metropolis filled with anthropomorphic animals, and this retheme promises to bring that world to life in a way that will undoubtedly delight guests of all ages.
There were once teases that Walt Disney World Resort could build an entire land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom themed to Zootopia, but it doesn’t seem like this will be the case anymore. While it hasn’t been confirmed, Disney’s latest teaser points to a land themed to both Encanto (2021) and Indiana Jones, which will replace DinoLand, U.S.A. This most likely will not happen in 2024, though.
For now, though, the one thing we do know is that It’s Tough To Be a Bug! will close this year to make way for the new attraction.
Kali River Rapids (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)
Adventure awaits at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with Kali River Rapids. However, from January 8, 2024, to mid-March of the same year, the attraction will be temporarily closed for regularly scheduled maintenance. This refreshing river journey through the lush jungle landscape is a must for those seeking a cool escape on a hot Florida day.
During the closure, Disney’s team will work diligently to ensure the ride remains in top-notch condition, ready to offer exhilarating experiences once it reopens.
One thing to know about the attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: “You will surely get splashed on this attraction—and you may even get soaked. Guests wishing to remain dry are encouraged to bring a waterproof poncho, extra clothes, or a towel to dry off. Lockers for mobile devices and other items you want to stay dry are located across from the entrance to Kali River Rapids and are available during your ride (on a first-come, first-served basis).”
Test Track (EPCOT)
EPCOT’s Test Track is another classic attraction set to receive a significant update. Disney has announced that Imagineers, in collaboration with teams from Chevrolet, are drawing inspiration from the original World of Motion to bring a new spirit of optimism to the ride.
“Imagineers along with teams from Chevrolet are reaching back into history for inspiration – from the original World of Motion – and bringing that spirit of optimism to the next iteration of the Test Track attraction!” More to come in the future, Disney shared.
While the exact closure date has not been announced, fans can expect this transformation to breathe new life into one of EPCOT’s beloved attractions. As the history of transportation and innovation meets the future, Test Track promises to deliver a fresh and exciting experience for all who dare to step inside.
Currently, here’s how Disney describes Test Track:
“Cruise over to the gleaming Chevrolet Design Center to create your own virtual concept car. When you’re done, buckle up in a 6-passenger ‘SIM Car’ and take it for an exhilarating spin on the test track.
Rev through rough terrain and obstacles along the winding circuit. Accelerate through straightaways, maneuver switchbacks through inclement weather, hug curves banked at 50-degree angles and scale hills up to 3 stories high.
Reach speeds of up to 65 miles per hour as you put your car through its paces. After each test, check the scoreboard to see how your vehicle performed!”
Frozen Ever After (EPCOT)
For fans of the hit animated film Frozen (2013), EPCOT’s Frozen Ever After is a must-visit attraction. The good news is that the closure here is relatively short-lived. On January 24, 2024, the attraction will close its doors for a single day, with plans to reopen on January 25, 2024.
During this brief closure, Disney will ensure that everything is in perfect working order, allowing guests to continue their journey through the magical world of Elsa, Anna, and Olaf without interruption.
Frozen Ever After serves as one of the most popular attractions in EPCOT. The ride typically has either the highest wait time inside the Disney theme park or is second, just behind Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. With it closed on January 24, we expect that wait times for other attractions will rise.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Magic Kingdom)
The wildest ride in the wilderness, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, is slated for a brief closure from January 16, 2024, to January 20, 2024, due to regularly scheduled maintenance. As one of the most popular attractions in the Magic Kingdom, this thrilling roller coaster through the Old West promises adventure, humor, and excitement. During this short hiatus, Disney’s team will ensure that the ride is ready to deliver heart-pounding thrills once it reopens.
Here’s how Disney World describes Big Thunder Mountain Railroad:
“Legend has it that soon after gold was first discovered here in the 1850s, eerie things began to happen. Trains would take off and race through tunnels—by themselves.
After you arrive at the legendary Big Thunder Mining Company, descend into an abandoned mine shaft and board your train. As you enter the cursed cavern, the engine speeds up along the rickety track. Dodge exploding dynamite and falling boulders as you swoop around turns, drop into canyons and dart through the mysterious ghost town of Tumbleweed.
Your rip-roaring adventure proves that some legends are true. You’re sure to have a real blast!”
Walt Disney World Resort is always evolving, with old favorites making way for new adventures and experiences. While it may be bittersweet to say goodbye to beloved attractions, the promise of fresh and exciting rethemes, updates, and enhancements ensures that the magic of Disney continues to captivate and inspire guests of all ages. So, whether you’re a fan of classic attractions or eager to embrace the future of Disney storytelling, 2024 promises to be a year filled with anticipation, excitement, and enchantment at “The Most Magical Place on Earth.” Stay tuned for more updates as Disney continues to work its magic in the years to come!
Disney Dining will keep you updated on all the latest closures, refurbishments, and updates happening at Walt Disney World.