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Are you planning a trip to Walt Disney World anytime soon? Before you start dreaming of magical adventures, knowing Disney World's refurbishment schedule and which parks and attractions are currently open/closed is essential. So, if you are heading to the most magical place on earth soon, keep reading. This blog will explore what has closed and any scheduled future closures at Walt Disney World.
Theme Parks Closure And Refurbishment Schedule at Disney
The Disney World refurbishment calendar outlines the shutdown timetable for Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom in 2023-2024. Disney closes its attractions mainly for routine maintenance, safety updates, redesigning, and renovations. Thus, you must plan your trip accordingly. Imagine spending weeks or months organizing your trip just to be disappointed to learn that your favorite rides and attractions are closed for refurbishment.
The following is a list of all the refurbishments currently underway at Walt Disney World in 2023 and 2024. However, Disney frequently changes its schedules, and occasionally, refurbishment takes longer than expected. Therefore, be cautious while making travel arrangements to Disney World at the last minute.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Refurbishment
Disney's Animal Kingdom is undergoing very few refurbishments, and everything is very tranquil aside from the park's entrance.
Primeval Whirl has been inactive since June 17, 2019. Disney stated in September 2019 that it would reopen on March 21, 2020. However, the resort could not reopen owing to its shutdown during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. After months of anticipation, Disney permanently closed Primeval Whirl on July 16, 2020.
Dino Diner closed its doors in September 2022. Disney closed it shortly after the Animal Kingdom expansion project was completed. However, it is unclear if the restaurant is undergoing refurbishment or if Disney has closed it permanently. Although its webpage is still on the Walt Disney World website, there are no signs of operational hours.
Rivers of Light – We Are One
Disney canceled Rivers of Light – We Are One in July 2020. Although it has not been verified that it will be replaced, many current rumors imply that the program will be replaced with a new one.
Kali River Rapids
During the winter months, Disney closed its Animal Kingdom's Kali River Rapids briefly for refurbishment. It was, however, reopened on March 16, 2023.
Disney World's Magic Kingdom Refurbishment
The heart of Walt Disney World, Disney's Magic Kingdom, has undergone a number of recent refurbishments, both significant and minor. Most likely, we'll only observe numerous little modifications.
On January 1, 2023, Disney permanently closed Splash Mountain. At Magic Kingdom, Tiana's Bayou Adventure will replace Splash Mountain. The new Disney attraction takes its inspiration from the iconic Disney picture “The Princess and the Frog.” It will transport guests to the heart of New Orleans to join Princess Tiana and her pals on an exhilarating journey through the bayou. Thanks to its breathtaking sights and energetic music, this new attraction will undoubtedly be popular with families and Disney guests.
Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant
Disney has closed Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant since August 2021. But don't panic; there is still a chance to be a part of the magic! Only exquisite desserts are served during the Magic Kingdom Fireworks Dessert Parties.
On October 1, 2021, Disney Enchantment, a fireworks and projection mapping performance, had its Magic Kingdom debut as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of Walt Disney World. This nighttime show had its last performance on April 2, 2023. Happily Ever After replaced the show, which itself returned after a 1-year+ break.
Happily Ever After
It is a fireworks and projection mapping event that debuted on May 12, 2017, in the Magic Kingdom in the Walt Disney World Resort. However, this beloved nighttime spectacular came back nightly at the Magic Kingdom on April 3, 2023, after being gone for 18 months. This show came as the replacement for Disney Enchantment.
Liberty Square Riverboat
The Liberty Belle Riverboat is an attraction that takes visitors on a picturesque 12-minute tour of the Rivers of America at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom theme park. Disney usually closes Liberty Square Riverboat for a short time maintenance.
Disney World closed Haunted Mansion from August 7 until August 9, 2023, for a quick refurbishment. When the ride did not return on the 10th, the shutdown was slightly prolonged, and the chilling ride eventually opened. Rumor had it that this refurbishment might be for installing the beloved Hatbox Ghost animatronic. The ride has undergone several internal updates and changes, but the Hatbox Ghost is still unavailable.
Walt Disney World Railroad
The Walt Disney World Railroad has reopened, and it has a new loop around the park and a new narration for the attraction. It was missing for four years, and finally, it’s great to have it back.
Disney's Hollywood Studios Refurbishment
Hollywood Studios saw a ton of refurbishment just lately, and the majority of projects are currently being completed in other parks. For the time being, there are no significant renovations planned.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
On May 26, 2023, Disney's Hollywood Studios' beloved Rock ‘n' Roller Coaster reopened after refurbishment. It has been closed since February 21, 2023, following a lengthy renovation.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
We've got news from a galaxy far, far away—or, more precisely, from Orlando's Walt Disney World! In September 2023, the much-awaited “Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser” attraction will set sail on its last journey. The visitors were disappointed since they were looking forward to engaging in immersive entertainment with a Star Wars theme.
Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Since COVID-19 in March 2020, Disney has closed Voyage of the Little Mermaid at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Disney is still asking visitors about it, though. It mainly consists of a live stage production that mostly uses the 1989 movie's famous songs to convey the plot.
Disney World EPCOT Refurbishment
EPCOT is now undergoing more renovations than any other Disney World park, which makes sense given the enormous makeover project EPCOT is currently engaged in.
Tokyo Dining is a table service restaurant at Walt Disney World's Epcot. Its location is in the World Showcase Japan pavilion. Disney has closed it now for refurbishment. Disney announced on May 9 that a new Table Service restaurant would open in the Japan pavilion at Epcot this summer. Shiki-Sai: Sushi Izakaya would replace Tokyo Dining.
Shiki-Sai Sushi Izakaya
The restaurant will be on the second floor of the Japan Pavilion, which means it will be in the Tokyo Dining location. This new restaurant will provide a lively eating experience through a sharable Izakaya. You'll be able to immerse yourself in the spirit of Japan's seasonal holidays, with each month bringing a fresh celebration to your table.
A total overhaul of this attraction was supposed to happen in May 2020 but was postponed when the parks closed. So, for now, all Phoenician fans may breathe easier. Because, despite Disney's announcement of a very major refurbishment of Spaceship Earth (complete with a closing date! ), that project has been halted.
Journey Into Imagination
The most widely reported attraction thought to be undergoing refurbishment is Journey Into Imagination, although Disney has not confirmed anything. Even though many fans dislike the present iteration, some things need to change to preserve Figment as a part of the attraction.
On April 2, 2023, Disney permanently shut off Disney Harmonious. In 2023, a brand-new show will take its position as the evening program. EPCOT Forever, however, has temporarily taken its place.
The show returned on April 3, 2023. It is a temporary show that continues to resurrect. It is presently returning as the interim evening show between the closure of Harmonious and the debut of the new nighttime spectacular Luminous, which will open on December 5, 2023.
It first launched at Epcot in 2019; however, it was only open for a few months before the coronavirus epidemic forced it to close for over two years. This high-end restaurant reopened on November 23, 2022. It has a brand new menu with two omakase multi-course meals.
Parking Lot Trams
Parking lot trams have returned to EPCOT after a three-and-a-half-year hiatus, making trams available at all four Walt Disney World theme parks for the first time since March 2020.
Temporary Walt Disney World Resort Refurbishments and Closures
While no one likes to miss out on an attraction while visiting Walt Disney World, refurbishments are important to keep the attractions in good condition and safe for future guests. Typically, there are just a few simultaneous closures along with the construction of new attractions. Let’s explore a few of them that won’t be opening anytime soon.
1900 Park Fare
Disney has currently closed its 1900 Park Fare for refurbishment. While the buffet may not be available, you can still admire the iconic Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. This Disney gem is undergoing some exciting changes, including updates to the lobby area. It might not return until Spring 2024.
Animal Kingdom Villas
If you are planning a stay at Walt Disney World Resort, you need to be aware of the refurbishment happening at the Animal Kingdom. There's construction happening at Animal Kingdom Villas until September 2023.
On March 19, 2023, Typhoon Lagoon reopened while Blizzard Beach closed for refurbishment. Disney has not yet announced a date for Blizzard Beach's return. This isn't the first time Blizzard Beach has taken a break. It has reopened before, and we hope the water park will be just as exciting when it returns. Although Disney World has Blizzard Beach water park, guests don't have to miss out on the fun. The Typhoon Lagoon water park remains open, offering the same thrilling experience.
BoardWalk Resort & Villas
BoardWalk Resort & Villas guests can soon enjoy refreshed rooms, a redesigned lobby, and exciting new dining and entertainment options. It was scheduled to start in September 2023, with anticipated completion in mid-2024 (though it may take a bit longer!). We love seeing what surprises Disney has in store for us and look forward to the new changes.
Disney's Beach Club Villas
Starting January 7, 2023, Disney's Beach Club Villas in the Magic Kingdom will undergo construction until the late fall. But don't worry, guests can still enjoy all the amenities of the Beach Club Villas during this time.
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort
The Grand Floridian Resort is currently undergoing some changes. The Disney icon has already had the outside updated, and now crews are working to renovate the lobby area.
Disney's Polynesian Village
A new Disney Vacation Club tower will open at Polynesian Village in late 2024. While construction on the building will start soon, don't worry – Polynesian Village will remain open. So, if you're dreaming of a stay at this iconic Disney destination, don't let the construction shut you out!
Disney has closed the Fantasia Pool at All-Star Movies for guests from January 2024 through April 2024 for refurbishment. But don't worry, the rest of its many attractions will still be up and running! Of course, with some construction happening during daytime hours, families may see or hear some work done. But we all know that Disney never rests in ensuring their parks are always in tip-top shape.
Fuentes del Morro Pool
If your family is planning to visit Disney's Caribbean Beach resort, keep this in mind. Disney World has closed the Fuentes del Morro pool for routine maintenance from January 2024 through April 2024. While this news might be disappointing, guests can still get their aquatic thrills at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon. We're crossing our fingers that this is true because it would be an exciting addition for everyone to enjoy!
The Doubloon Lagoon
Unfortunately, Disney has closed the Doubloon Lagoon pool at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter since January 2024 through April 2024. Don't miss the reopening of one of our favorite Walt Disney World spots!
Trail's End Restaurant
Disney has temporarily closed the Trail's End Restaurant for refurbishment. It will reopen in Summer 2023 with a new marketplace with new quick-service options for the whole family to enjoy.
In conclusion, planning a Walt Disney World trip is a magical adventure in itself, but understanding the park's refurbishment schedule is crucial. This article has provided a comprehensive overview of what's open and closed, ensuring your visit remains well-informed and enjoyable. While closures may disappoint momentarily, Disney's commitment to innovation promises new wonders around every corner.
From thrilling attractions to captivating experiences, Disney World continuously reinvents itself for your delight. So, as you plan your trip, stay updated, embrace the anticipation, and remember that in the world of Disney, enchantment is eternal. Your journey to the most magical place on Earth is bound to be filled with cherished memories and the timeless spirit of Disney.