2023 is here, and that means a whole new year of Disney magic is ahead of us! New rides and entertainment are on the way, and 2023 is looking to be the best year to be at the Walt Disney World Resort since the pandemic closure. Things are more “normal” than ever, not entirely back to pre-pandemic normal, but close. We recently made a list of things we hope to return this year, But here is a look at what we know is happening in 2023.
Tron Will Finally Open
Is it just us, or has Tron started to feel a bit like some phantom idea that will never happen? This brand-new coaster has been in the works for FOUR YEARS! Disney still hasn’t given us an EXACT opening date yet, but Disney HAS confirmed a Spring 2023 opening! We can’t wait to hop aboard a Light Cycle and ride through the grid!
Roundup Rodeo BBQ
The long-awaited table service restaurant aurant will finally be a reality in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! The family-style restaurant will be a Toy Story fan’s dream come true! Once inside, you’ll see your favorite pals in an all-new way! Animators from Pixar even created full comic strips about Woody’s adventures! This project has been delayed multiple times, but Disney has officially announced that it will make its debut in the Spring of this year!
Announced last September at D23, everyone’s favorite purple dragon is coming to EPCOT in an all-new way! For the first time in several decades, you’ll be able to meet Figment! This new character meet and greet will only be offered for a limited time during 2023, and many fans were disappointed that Dreamfinder isn’t appearing with him, but we are so excited to see Figment get some love!
EPCOT Getting a NEW Nighttime Show
The EPCOT news keeps coming as the Park wraps up its multi-year transformation. We barely had time to adjust to Harmonious before Disney announced it would be replaced. This is partially due to the 50th-anniversary celebration ending and partially ( we suspect mostly) due to extremely mixed reviews about the show. Fans…don’t love Harmonious. Disney has been tight-lipped about the new show. The only detail we have so far is that it will debut this year. In the meantime, EPCOT Forever will make an encore appearance as a placeholder, just as it did between Illuminations and Harmonious.
Happily Ever After Returns
This may just be my favorite thing to happen at Walt Disney World this year! With the 50th-anniversary celebration winding down, Magic Kingdom’s beloved firework spectacular Happily Ever After will return. We’ve been told that the music will be the same (whew!) But the show will be updated. We can’t wait to see what that means! No date has been given, but we expect it to debut in late March or early April after the 50th-anniversary celebration ends.
Journey of Water Opens
This attraction gained traction recently when Te Fiti was installed at the attraction in EPCOT’s upcoming World Nature neighborhood. Journey of Water isn’t a ride; it’s the edutainment we’ve come to love and expect from EPCOT. The walk-through attraction will take Guests on an adventure where they’ll learn about water and its impact on the world (and even allow Guests to interact with it). This brand-new attraction will open in late 2023.
Hatbox Ghost Takes Up Residence
This long-time haunt of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion has decided to take up a second residence in Liberty Square. The Hatbox Ghost has a long, sordid history at Disneyland, debuting with the ride only to disappear shortly after. He didn’t stay gone, though, and his return has been extremely popular. So much so that he will become a resident of both coasts. Just who is the Hatbox Ghost? Check out his backstory here!
Summer House on the Lake
Hollywood Studios isn’t the only one getting new eats this year! Disney Springs is getting a brand new restaurant, Summer House on the Lake. The California-inspired restaurant will be home to a delicious array of salsas, pizzas, and tacos, so there will be something for everyone here! The restaurant has locations in both Chicago and Baltimore.
Additionally, several hotels are getting room and lobby upgrades, including the iconic Grand Floridian. This year is shaping up to be a fantastic year to be at Disney World, and you won’t want to miss a magical second of it!