In the next year, thanks to the D23 convention, we’ve been told that Walt Disney World will be adding at least nine new attractions and areas to its theme parks. From cool walkthroughs to attraction overhauls, here’s the scoop on the fun things coming to Disney World this year and beyond to help you plan your next trip.
Ten Fun Things Coming to Disney World This Year and Beyond!
If you know me, you know I live and breathe Walt Disney World (WDW). And with that fervor of the parks comes the need to practically inhale all new information the second it comes out. This past weekend, D23, a membership group for folks that love Disney, released so much information regarding what’s to come this year and in the coming months. Here’s everything you need to know about the fun.
Mirabel Meet and Greet
“Encanto” lovers, get ready! In just a few days on September 15, 2023, Mirabel will make her meet and greet debut in Fairytale Garden (the former home of Merida from “Brave”) near Cinderella Castle and an entrance to Fantasyland. While the decor may have been influenced by Merida’s Scottish heritage, the nook is getting a bold, colorful Columbian makeover with Madrigal family touches.
Journey of Water – Inspired by Moana
On my last visit last month, I was able to see just the entrance to Journey of Water – Inspired by Moana compliments of some scrim being taken down for a castmember preview and it looked amazing. This weekend, YouTubers including Paging Mr. Morrow had the chance to go in and test drive the entire attraction and it was nothing but a thumbs up from the collective group.
The official opening date is October 16, 2023, so if you need to lock down a park reservation for Epcot, do it now.
Moana Meet and Greet
to compliment Journey of Water, beginning on October 16, 2023, Moana will have her own meet and greet in Epcot near the attraction and walkthrough.
Hatbox Ghost in Haunted Mansion
We were all given a big “psyche!” this summer when it was announced that Haunted Mansion in Magic Kingdom would be unavailable to ride for a few days for upkeep and the addition of Hatbox Ghost, a beloved spooky character from Disneyland’s Haunted mansion attraction. While ride parts did get a refresh, the Hatbox Ghost is still nowhere to be seen.
Happily, Hatbox will definitely appear in November 2023.
Luminous – The Symphony of Us
Another announcement for us Disney fireworks lovers – Luminous – The Symphony of Us will debut at Epcot on December 5, 2023. Replacing Epcot Forever, I, personally, can’t wait to see the beauty of World Showcase Lagoon return sans massive black barges.
Asoka Tano in Star Tours
We all know what a bad a$$ Asoka Tano is, so adding her to Star Tours will only improve it. Before Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was the hottest land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Star tours was just about the only way to get your Star Wars fix in the park. Since the land opened, Star tours is still fun and ideal for riding as the attraction offers low wait times.
We can look forward to Tano’s appearance in Spring 2024.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure
I love “Princess and the Frog” and, thanks to a complete Splash Mountain overhaul in Magic Kingdom, Tiana will be cooking up something special in the summer of 2024. The attraction will showcase Tiana’s Foods, a cooperative that transformed an aging salt mine into a lucrative business.
Bye, bye, “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Hello, “Zootopia”! The well-worn show featuring all-things creepy and crawly will get a much-needed makeover with a “Zootopia”-themed show. No official date announced, but we can look forward to it soon.
Country Bear Jamboree Replacement
I’m not sure if I’m happy about Country Bear Jamboree at Grizzly Hall in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland going away or not. For one thing, it was one of the first attractions at Disney World in 1971. Second, it’s a great respite from the hot, humid theme park days. Third, it’s cool in a historically old-school way.
But we don’t have to fret too much: “Country Bear Musical Jamboree” is replacing it in 2024, so we can look forward to some of the same corny fun we’ve seen for 50+ years.
Pirates of the Caribbean Lounge
I’ve always thought it would be cool to hang out in a pirate-themed pub and I’m getting my wish. In Adventureland at Magic Kingdom, D23 announced a brand new “Pirates of the Caribbean” lounge will be a fin addition to the already-loved land. No date for opening has been set yet.