Walt Disney World Quarterly Refurbishment Schedule Starting January 1, 2019

Credit: Disney

The rides, attractions, and restaurants at Walt Disney World are maintained on a regular basis. This keeps guests safe. Sometimes, though, extra work is needed. A ride, attraction, store, or restaurant might close for refurbishment. It could be that the closure is just for a few days so that the elements of the area can be deep-cleaned, and maybe a fresh coat of paint added. Other times the refurbishment will last longer. It might even be that the place in question receives a complete makeover. Parts of resorts will close for refurbishment as well. It is never a bad idea to check to see if there are any refurbishments scheduled during your vacation. You don’t want to be disappointed once you arrive and learn that a favorite is closed.

Below is a list of current and future refurbishments and closings at Walt Disney World. Please be advised that the dates and other information could change at any time. This list is up to date starting in January, 2019, to the best of our knowledge.

Theme Parks:

  • Magic Kingdom:
    • Walt Disney World Railroad; all stations: currently closed for Tron Lightcycle construction. Expected to reopen sometime in 2019. Until then, guests can see the train up close in the Main Street, U.S.A. Station.
    • Tomorrowland Speedway: closing January 2, 2019, will reopen May 18, 2019.
    • Peter Pan’s Flight: closing January 7, will reopen February 2, 2019.
    • Stitch’s Great Escape!: closed, permanent closure has not been announced.

  • Epcot:
    • IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth: closing permanently “in the second half of 2019”. Will be replaced temporarily by Epcot Forever in fall, 2019. A new show will debut in 2020.

  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios:
    • Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy is scheduled to open early 2019.
    • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is scheduled to open in 2019.
    • Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is scheduled to open fall, 2019.

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom:
    • Rafiki’s Planet Watch: closed for lengthy refurbishment. This includes Wildlife Express Train, Affection Section, Conservation Station, and Habitat Habitat!. Rafiki’s Planet watch is expected to reopen spring, 2019, which could be seasonally.
    • Kali River Rapids: closing January 7, will reopen March 23, 2019.

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Water Parks:

  • Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park:
    • Currently closed through January 5, 2019 for its annual refurbishment.
  • Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park:
    • Will be closed January 6, 2019-March 16, 2019 for its annual refurbishment.

Disney Springs:

  • La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil:
    • Closed permanently December 31, 2017. Will be replaced by a new Cirque du Soleil show featuring Disney themes, no opening date has been announced.

Resorts (in alphabetical order):

  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort:
    • The Big Blue Pool will undergo refurbishment, starting in fall, 2020.
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort:
    • Resort is currently under refurbishment. Construction takes place 9:00am-5:00pm to minimize guest disruptions. Gran Destino Tower is set to open July, 2019.
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort:
    • The Hippy Dippy Pool will undergo refurbishment, starting in fall, 2020.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.