This Walt Disney World experience refurbishment calendar lists the closure schedule for 2023 at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios & Animal Kingdom. Sights shut for routine upkeep, security upgrades, enhancements, and reimaginings. (Up to date January 23, 2023.)
Whereas nobody desires attraction downtime throughout their journey to Walt Disney World, refurbishments are essential to maintain the rides trying good (and secure!) for future guests. Often, there are solely a handful of simultaneous closures, plus new points of interest being constructed. Be aware that the checklist beneath consists of a number of refurbishments which have both been scheduled last-minute, prolonged, or are longer than regular.
In case you’re visiting Walt Disney World the final week of January 2023, it’s notably brutal. Not solely did certainly one of Walt Disney World’s most main points of interest simply completely shut, however key transportation and each water parks are additionally at the moment closed. Right here’s a rundown of what to anticipate this month and past in 2023…
There’s additionally a variety of building occurring, albeit not practically as a lot as even a couple of years in the past. Nevertheless, that massively understates the present closures and affect of building on guests to Walt Disney World all through 2023.
At Epcot particularly, the refurbishment checklist is misleading, as colossal adjustments have begun that aren’t totally mirrored on the checklist beneath. There are partitions up round a lot of the entrance of Epcot, with bypasses in place that lead friends previous the middle of the park. These have lately barely shrunk in measurement because of a brand new path in entrance of Connections Cafe and Creations Store, however they received’t be gone totally till someday in 2023.
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Right here is the present schedule of Walt Disney World refurbishments to points of interest, when the closure begins, and when the refurbishment will conclude, up to date as of January 23, 2023:
- Kali River Rapids – Presently Closed By Mid-March 2023
- Maharajah Jungle Trek – Aviary Presently Closed (Reopening TBD)
- Primeval Whirl – Completely Closed & Demolished
Kali River Rapids is closing in Winter 2023 for routine upkeep and on account of a scarcity of demand for water rides when the climate is colder. This occurs with out fail between November and March, often reopening in time for busier timeframes. Whereas the reopening date has not but been revealed, our greatest guess can be in time for Orange County’s Spring Break (March 13-17, 2023).
Moreover, the Maharajah Jungle Trek aviary is at the moment closed, with the reopening possible for Presidents’ Day or Spring Break. Nevertheless, the tiger viewing space–the principle draw–stays open, with a bypass across the aviary. So no large loss there.
The opposite closure at Animal Kingdom is Primeval Whirl, which is a precursor for what’s to return sooner or later. All of Dino-Rama is more likely to shut in some unspecified time in the future in 2023, as that’s the subsequent massive growth web site at Walt Disney World. This was primarily confirmed through the D23 Expo. Throughout that, Disney shared potential growth plans for a substitute of Dino-Rama, together with detailed idea artwork for a Moana Mini-Land at Animal Kingdom.
One other risk is a Zootopia Growth for Animal Kingdom that will be constructed past Dino-Rama. The idea artwork present that each of those proposals are concurrently viable. The element of the idea artwork suggests they’re far alongside within the improvement. The caveats provided by Disney point out that they’ve not but been greenlit or funded, that means that they might by no means occur. No matter what finally ends up changing it, it’s clear that Dino-Rama’s days are numbered.
- Enchanted Tales with Belle – Reopening February 19, 2023
- Enchantment Fireworks – Ending April 2, 2023
- Fortunately Ever After Fireworks – Returning on April 3, 2023
- Splash Mountain – Completely Closed
- Tiana’s Bayou Journey – Opening in Late 2024 or 2025
- TRON Lightcycle Run – Opening April 4, 2023
With stage exhibits and parades now again, issues are largely again to the pre-closure regular at Magic Kingdom. It solely took nearly two years! Subsequent up, Ariel’s Grotto and Enchanted Tales with Belle, which had been two of the final holdouts when it comes to devoted venues.
The massive replace as of January 23, 2023 is that Splash Mountain is now completely closed. Yesterday was its last day of operations in Magic Kingdom, and throngs of followers had been readily available for its farewell. Imagineering has wasted no time in starting the transformation into Tiana’s Bayou Journey, which is tentatively slated to open in Late 2024.
Already, building partitions are up round Chick-A-Pin Hill and Imagineers have been noticed on and across the attraction starting work on the overhaul. The transformation timeline is an aggressive one, and we’re skeptical that Tiana’s Bayou Journey will really open in 2024. Extra possible, it’ll be delayed till 2025. That’s really our hope–as we wish to see this reimagining accomplished correct justice, with the dimensions and high quality that the long-lasting attraction deserves.
In case you didn’t get an opportunity to say your last goodbye to Splash Mountain, maybe that’s a superb factor. Splash Mountain has been in tough form for some time, and is on the level that it’s not even present prepared anymore. The lighting isn’t even on in some scenes, a number of Audio Animatronics are damaged, and the backgrounds simply look soiled and drained. Walt Disney World stopped spending cash on routine upkeep and maintenance months in the past…and it exhibits! The model that exists in your reminiscence is nearly actually the one which exists within the park.
With that mentioned, there nonetheless is not any cut-off date for Splash Mountain at Disneyland, so that you most likely have at the least a couple of weeks to get on the market if you wish to send-off that model of the attraction. Our expectation is that it closes very quickly. Probably shortly after Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway opens or Toontown returns. Disney can’t maintain kicking the can down the street on its closure and nonetheless open the Disneyland model in 2024.
- EPCOT Endlessly – Returning on April 3, 2023
- Harmonious – Ending on April 2, 2023
As lined in Fortunately Ever After & EPCOT Endlessly Fireworks Return Dates!, Harmonious will probably be dismantled and a brand new everlasting nighttime spectacular will change it in late 2023. Within the meantime, the interim EPCOT Endlessly will return for the third time in as a few years. No different refurbishments are at the moment occurring at EPCOT.
Don’t let the dearth of experience closures idiot you into considering EPCOT is in nice form. On the contrary, the core of the park remains to be a sea of building partitions with a large filth pit within the center. Issues have improved with the opening of Creations Store, Membership Cool, and Connections Cafe & Eatery. With the opening of this, the trail connecting Spaceship Earth to World Showcase is again, which is a welcome reduction.
Talking of Spaceship Earth, our expectation is that it’ll go down for a prolonged refurbishment in some unspecified time in the future someday in 2023. This might embody the previously-announced reimagining. Both approach, there’s appreciable work needing to be accomplished on the experience system that may’t wait an excessive amount of longer.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Frozen Sing-Alongside Celebration – Closed by way of January 27, 2023
- Jedi Coaching Academy: Trials of the Temple – Completely Ended
- Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster Starring Aerosmith – Closing February 20, 2023 by way of Summer season 2023
- Star Wars: Galactic Spectacular – Completely Ended
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid – Presently Closed
“For the First Time in Endlessly: A Frozen Sing-Alongside Celebration” beforehand was scheduled to go darkish within the fall low season for a couple of weeks, however was formally delayed till January 2023. Walt Disney World calls this one a “routine refurbishment.”
One other routine refurbishment based on Walt Disney World is the multi-month closure of Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster Starring Aerosmith. We cowl downtime particulars and why the favored curler coaster wants a prolonged refurbishment in that submit. Plus, what’s NOT taking place–quashing “rumors” about Taylor Swift, Hannah Montana, or Black Panther (fairly the trio!) prematurely…
Outdoors Theme Parks
- Blizzard Seaside Water Park – Closed January 23, 2023 (As a result of chilly climate)
- Hurricane Lagoon Water Park – Reopening date TBD (Seemingly Spring 2023)
- Disney Skyliner Gondolas – Closed till January 29, 2023
All routes of the Skyliner will shut in late January 2023 “in an effort to preserve the best high quality requirements,” based on Walt Disney World, suggesting that is merely routine preventative upkeep.
Bus transportation will probably be accessible in any respect Disney Skyliner Resorts all through the deliberate closure so friends can attain their desired locations throughout Walt Disney World.
In any other case, the attraction closures above are fairly straight-forward. To the extent that particular dates aren’t but listed, these will probably be up to date as soon as Walt Disney World offers exact begin and/or finish dates.
Along with scheduled attraction refurbs, unscheduled downtime may happen throughout a go to. This often solely happens for a couple of hours at a time, so for those who discover an attraction is closed throughout your trip and it’s not listed beneath, it’s possible a short lived closure that may final (at most) for a couple of hours. Test with close by Solid Members to verify.
For resort work, please see our 2023 Walt Disney World Lodge Building & Refurbishments. If you’re fearful that any of resort lodge renovations will affect your keep, right here’s a normal rule to remember: room refurbishments not often affect lodge stays. These happen in particular clusters, and also you’ll not often discover the work being accomplished.
Now, right here’s a little bit of my philosophy regarding refurbishments…
Basic Ideas on Refurbishments
When information comes out about any refurbishment, my instant response is all the time, “that is nice–it means they’re really doing one thing to the attraction!” My thoughts races with the probabilities of how points of interest may very well be improved or plussed by Walt Disney Imagineering. Though we would miss it on our subsequent Walt Disney World go to, I’m all the time excited.
In studying suggestions from others, I’ve found this angle places me within the minority. Others on-line fume about this, and the way it might alter or affect their trip plans. The saying “trip ruined” has attained near-meme standing amongst some followers, and that felt apt for a few of the complaints. I can perceive the angle. Assessing the scope of the refurbishment prematurely, scheduling liberal refurbishment dates, and opening early (under-promising and over-delivering) is all the time preferable to the choice.
I may perceive that there’s different pent-up frustration at play right here, starting from radio-silence on tasks to Walt Disney World’s tardiness in releasing park hours whereas anticipating friends to plan a number of months prematurely. Neither of those strikes by Disney, amongst others, are defensible. At greatest, this communication is poor visitor service. At worst, it’s demonstrative of a contemptible perspective in the direction of friends.
Nevertheless, I stay of the mindset that this refurbishment extension–and different present refurbishments–is probably a superb factor. Among the many most vocal followers upset concerning the extension are those that are like me: friends who go to Walt Disney World at the least every-other yr. We’re taking part in the ‘lengthy’ fandom sport. We are able to look again on the times of the notorious wand over Spaceship Earth and are additionally trying ahead to Walt Disney World’s fiftieth Anniversary.
From my perspective, investing within the long-term high quality of an attraction is much extra vital than the short-term satisfaction I’ll get out of driving it on my subsequent go to. I get excited when serious about methods rides may very well be plussed, bettering the expertise for years to return. That is why it all the time perplexes me when regulars contend that their trip will probably be ruined as a result of their favourite attraction will probably be closed.
If it’s your favourite attraction and also you’re lively within the Disney fan group, meaning you’ve been to Walt Disney World earlier than and possibly will go to once more. It will thus stand to motive that you’d need one thing you like to get the TLC it deserves, and proceed to enhance.
DINOSAUR works as a superb instance right here. This attraction was once referred to as Countdown to Extinction (“CTX”) earlier than an ill-advised film tie-in was added. Throughout that period, DINOSAUR had a litany of extra results, a lot of its AAs had better performance, and the attraction was, as a complete, extra spectacular.
If you’re a long-term fan, would you slightly expertise DINOSAUR each single yr with 66% of the consequences working, or each single yr minus one with 95% of the consequences working? For me, the reply to that’s simple. I’ll take a superior long run expertise each time. (That that is even a reputable query for long-time followers speaks to the ‘instantaneous gratification’ nature of issues as we speak, however that’s properly past the scope of this submit.)
Past that, there’s the far more compelling justification for normal refurbishments: they’re important for the security of points of interest. Whereas we consider these points of interest as all enjoyable and video games that supply a secure sense of exhilaration, that’s when they’re correctly maintained.
It’s disagreeable to consider, however there have been a number of preventable deaths within the historical past of Disney’s parks. Throughout a darkish period of Disneyland historical past, improper upkeep was the reason for loss of life on Huge Thunder Mountain (fortunately, Paul Pressler’s reign of terror is over). Years of neglect at Disneyland Paris have led to incidents of damage that may very well be attributed to a scarcity of upkeep (once more, this has been addressed).
This isn’t meant to scare anybody or provoke an emotional response; the actual fact is that Disney’s worldwide security file is sterling as in comparison with different park operators. It’s nonetheless vital to keep in mind that these enjoyable, ‘magical’ locations additionally exist in the true world and use a variety of probably harmful parts if security isn’t seen as key. (Or, in Disney’s case, one of many “5 Keys.”)
In terms of upkeep that isn’t important to the secure operation of an attraction, we’re left to ponder what quantity of present high quality needs to be accepted. If following a strict Nunisian practitioner of the 4 Keys, present is one other paramount consideration, and it ought to all the time be 100%. That is good company propaganda, however I feel the sensible actuality is that 100% is an unworkably excessive threshold in lots of circumstances.
I feel we’ve seen this play out with Expedition Everest. Followers joke concerning the “Disco Yeti” and lament the truth that this jaw-dropping Audio Animatronics determine has not labored in practically a decade. There are quite a few theories as to why the Yeti hasn’t been mounted; what every of those share is that there are large-scale issues and no fast fixes.
Fixing the Yeti would require a closure of at the least 6 months, and be fairly costly. The working Yeti is really a powerful sight to behold (and one most of you most likely haven’t seen in A-mode except you rode over a decade in the past), however the attraction remains to be spectacular with the Disco Yeti. At this level, it’s possible that Disney has decided the closure would take too lengthy, price an excessive amount of, and the advance wouldn’t be well worth the funding.
There’s additionally the fact that Animal Kingdom is missing in rides. Even after the opening of Pandora – World of Avatar, the park nonetheless is heavy on exhibits and animal displays and lightweight on rides. Taking one of many park’s flagship rides down for six months to a yr to repair one Audio Animatronics determine that friends see for 1-2 seconds won’t be well worth the sacrifice.
As a staunch proponent of present high quality, I’ve a troublesome time accepting the identical argument for any attraction in Magic Kingdom, a park with a veritable “mountain vary” and various slate of different points of interest. Actually, the identical goes for each fort park. These parks have sufficient points of interest to choose up the slack if 1-2 points of interest must be taken offline concurrently with out ruining any holidays.
Visitors are understandably involved when it seems an inordinate variety of points of interest are closing throughout their trip. Walt Disney World holidays aren’t low-cost and are sometimes as soon as in a lifetime experiences. First-timers actually don’t wish to miss out on experiences about which they’ve learn in depth hype.
Nevertheless, the issue with a “not throughout my trip” perspective like that is that it’s all the time going to be somebody’s (or tens of 1000’s of someones) trip. If points of interest with present high quality points don’t shut for refurbishments for worry of some friends throughout a time-limited window lacking out, all friends in perpetuity are going to have a lesser expertise.
Working an attraction with damaged results is barely going to compound issues, and finally a single damaged impact will flip into myriad damaged results. Think about this situation park-wide, performed out to its pure penalties. That’s not precisely what I’d name the “Disney Distinction.”
Once more, DINOSAUR is an effective instance right here. If it’s your first go to and also you expertise DINOSAUR with 66% of the consequences working, you received’t know what you’re lacking. Driving it can, little doubt, be superior to not driving it. Nevertheless, I’m guessing your satisfaction ranking of the attraction wouldn’t be practically as excessive, and also you would possibly query why so many individuals love the attraction, and why Disney was lazy with a lot empty, darkish area. (Or, maybe you received’t: for those who solely ever eat pet food, you received’t know what you’re lacking in a pleasant steak.)
The factor is, if Disney wouldn’t shut DINOSAUR throughout your trip so that you don’t miss out on it, likelihood is that they might prolong the identical “courtesy” for different friends, and it might be customary working process to by no means shut something throughout anybody’s trip.
The tip results of this might be a park filled with “66% points of interest” and first-timers can be left questioning why there was a lot hype about Walt Disney World, within the first place. In case you’re studying this as a lifelong fan, take into account the likelihood that you just wouldn’t have turn into a lifelong fan if this had been really Disney’s modus operandi. (Actually, I’d argue that Walt Disney World is trending on this course, dragging its toes on a number of crucial refurbishments, with the inaction being predicated upon brief time period visitor satisfaction or cost-savings.)
This would possibly sound like we’re making use of ‘heavy’ Rawlsian principle to the lighthearted subject of theme parks, however philosophy isn’t price a rattling if it could actually’t be utilized to theme parks. 😉
Plenty of this would possibly seem to be an effort to absolve Disney of blame in the case of refurbishments, however this isn’t the case. Disney has introduced a variety of the visitor unrest regarding refurbishments upon itself. The primary difficulty is that Disney has quite a few parks which have opened within the final twenty years with incomplete slates of points of interest, making it troublesome to justify taking points of interest offline for refurbishment. So the first step, an entirely impractical step at this level, can be to open theme parks which can be full on day one.
Failing that, Disney may keep away from a variety of the visitor backlash regarding refurbishments if they might schedule extra 3-4 day refurbishments of points of interest to proactively deal with issues with preventative upkeep. Though this might not completely negate the necessity for prolonged refurbishments, it might enhance present high quality throughout the board and assist keep away from a variety of conditions the place points of interest must abruptly shut as a result of they’re in dire want of upkeep. Furthermore, a 3-4 day refurbishment is shorter than the period of most holidays, permitting vacationers to successfully plan across the refurbishment.
On this case, each events planning forward would stop these “trip ruined!” complaints. Don’t fear, Disney, we followers are resilient: we’ll nonetheless discover one thing else to complain about. 😉
Joking apart, I understand that’s a troublesome line to attract between an excusable refurbishment and a frustratingly irritating one. Even for those who subscribe to the a point of the ‘philosophy’ I’m advancing, there isn’t a bright-line rule. It’s nonetheless going to quantity to a worth judgment about what ought to ‘set off’ a necessity for refurbishment, what number of points of interest needs to be down concurrently throughout Walt Disney World, and what occasions of yr are perfect for which refurbishments.
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Any questions concerning the present refurbishments at Walt Disney World? What do you consider refurbishments on the Disney Parks? Are you extra involved about an improved long-term expertise, or do you suppose “not throughout my trip!”? The place do you draw the road? Another components you suppose are price contemplating? As talked about, we expect this can be a dialog, so please share your ‘refurbishment philosophy’, or another ideas or questions you’ve gotten, within the feedback!