New experiences and returning favorites for the whole family to enjoy take center stage throughout 2023
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Oct. 24, 2023) – In 2023, Walt Disney World Resort is the place to embrace thrills of all kinds. Exciting new experiences to celebrate this year include one of the fastest coasters at any Disney theme park, new restaurants to savor, returning nighttime spectaculars filling night skies throughout the resort, the continued transformation of EPCOT and so much more.
New and Returning Character Greetings – All Year
Character experiences are sure to thrill guests of all ages. Moana has begun greeting fellow voyagers in EPCOT – just in time for the debut of Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana. Fans of Figment can hug the long-time EPCOT icon at the Imagination! Pavilion, where the lovable, larger-than-life lavender dragon appears daily. In Magic Kingdom Park, Mirabel from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ hit film “Encanto” spreads joy and smiles to guests in Fairytale Garden, where she is surrounded by whimsical décor inspired by La Familia Madrigal. These new experiences follow the return of several Magic Kingdom character experiences earlier this year, including Pete’s Silly Sideshow, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Ariel in her underwater grotto and the return of character dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table.
Roundup Rodeo BBQ Comes to Disney’s Hollywood Studios – March 23
Yee-haw! Andy’s backyard welcomes more toys at Roundup Rodeo BBQ in Toy Story Land. Serving barbecue-inspired comfort foods, this one-of-a-kind dining experience is the first “Toy Story” table-service restaurant in the world. A collaboration between Walt Disney Imagineering, Disney Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney World Food & Beverage, Roundup Rodeo BBQ brings more toy-sized, tasty fun to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Step Into Relaxed Elegance at Narcoossee’s – April 1
Narcoossee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa welcomes guests to an exciting new dining experience. This signature-dining restaurant, renowned for its panoramic views of Seven Seas Lagoon, boasts a new interior along with a refreshed menu offering a perfect balance of updated classics and new culinary delights. Guests can enjoy house specialties such as the restaurant’s fan-favorite Bisque as well as new dishes like Blackened Redfish and tasty plant-based options.
Nighttime Spectaculars Brighten Skies and Warm Hearts at Magic Kingdom Park and EPCOT – April 3
Fan-favorite nighttime spectacular “Happily Ever After” Presented by Pandora Jewelry has returned to light up the night sky over Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park. New this year, the nightly fireworks show fully immerses guests in heartfelt Disney stories as brand-new projections extend down Main Street U.S.A., adding even more magic to this unforgettable spectacle.
“EPCOT Forever” has also returned, greeting guests over World Showcase Lagoon. Featuring stirring renditions of memorable EPCOT music, the show sparks fond memories from the park’s rich history.
The Grid Awaits on TRON Lightcycle / Run Presented by Enterprise – April 4
Guests can now climb aboard Lightcycles for a thrilling race on TRON Lightcycle / Run Presented by Enterprise. Located in Magic Kingdom Park, it is the fastest coaster attraction in a Disney theme park, alongside its sister coaster at Shanghai Disneyland. The attraction masterfully blends coaster thrills with speed, visual effects, music and a one-of-a-kind ride system to create an experience like no other. A virtual queue is currently in place for TRON Lightcycle / Run, and guests will also have the option to purchase individual Lightning Lane entry for the attraction via the My Disney Experience app on the day of their visit. For details, visit DisneyWorld.com.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park 25th Anniversary – April 22
2023 marks a special milestone as Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park celebrates its 25th anniversary. With the return of entertainment such as “Festival of the Lion King” and “Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond!,” there has never been a better time to explore this one-of-a-kind park. It is the spot to encounter wild animals, take in high-speed thrills and even journey to a world beyond belief in Pandora – The World of Avatar.
EPCOT Transformation Continues – Late 2023
This fall will bring even more exciting experiences as part of the multi-year transformation of EPCOT. Guests can now explore the wonders of water with Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana. This fun, interactive outdoor trail offers a chance to play and relate to water as it travels from the sky to the oceans and back again. Along the way, guests learn about the importance of water and discover its playful personality – just as Moana did on her heroic voyage.
December will also mark the completion of the new World Celebration neighborhood. As the hub of the park, it will feature seasonal gardens and will be home to Communicore Plaza. World Celebration will also anchor the park’s renowned festivals. Beginning in December, guests can discover Dreamers Point, an inspiring overlook showcasing a statue of Walt Disney called “Walt the Dreamer.”
Guests will be treated to the premiere of an all-new EPCOT nighttime spectacular, Luminous The Symphony of Us, on Dec. 5, 2023. A dazzling display of music, pyrotechnics, lasers and lighting, the show will feature an original composition and evocative selections from the Disney songbook – all woven together to remind us that we are more alike than different.
Disney100 Celebration – October 2023
Walt Disney World Resort has joined the global celebration of The Walt Disney Company’s 100th Anniversary – 10 decades of creativity and innovation.
There are many opportunities to celebrate this momentous milestone. Guests can take selfies with special Disney100 backdrops in all four parks and Disney Springs. They can also experience and view an all-new mural at the heart of World Celebration, which features 100 Disney characters hidden throughout the various neighborhoods of EPCOT.
Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse are greeting guests in their platinum best in the Imagination! pavilion, while Spaceship Earth lights up each night with special colors and lights accompanied by the Disney100 anthem, a unique rendition of “When You Wish Upon a Star.”
Also, as part of the celebration, guests can sip and savor the flavors of the Disney100 celebration with limited-time food & beverage locations. Through the end of the year, parkgoers can enjoy new global marketplaces including Char & Chop, Wine & Wedge, Bubbles & Brine and Swirled Showcase during both the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival presented by CORKCICLE and the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth.
More Disney Dining Options – Throughout the Year
Dining in Walt Disney World is always an adventure, and guests visiting the resort before the end of 2023 will have two new options to explore.
EET – Fall 2023
Visitors to Disney Springs will have the opportunity to savor the flavors of India at a fresh dining establishment created by the dynamic duo of Maneet Chauhan and Vivek Deora. Maneet Chauhan, a renowned chef, Food Network celebrity, successful restaurateur and James Beard Award recipient, and Vivek Deora, an international hospitality entrepreneur, have joined forces to bring a modern and enjoyable Indian culinary experience to the heart of Disney Springs.
EET, their latest venture, is a vibrant and contemporary take on Indian cuisine. This exciting restaurant offers a playful and approachable twist on traditional Indian flavors, combining them with cutting-edge cooking techniques and a modern touch to create a unique dining experience.
Summer House on the Lake – Winter 2023
Guests can soon experience Summer House on the Lake, also located at Disney Springs. Reminiscent of a cozy beach house, the contemporary new restaurant will offer guests plenty of delicious options and beautiful surroundings to enjoy. Whether guests choose to dine indoors, surrounded by charming coastal décor, or on the charming outdoor patios, it’s an idyllic place to share with family and friends.
Disney Jollywood Nights – Nov.11-Dec. 20
Celebrate this festive season with an extra dose of merriment and radiance through a truly enchanting experience. Disney’s Hollywood Studios will host an all-new nighttime party, Disney Jollywood Nights, spanning 10 select evenings from Nov. 11-Dec. 20, 2023. This separately ticketed event invites guests to experience a glamorous night filled with festive fusions, delicious tastes and sips, iconic retro characters and a holiday vibe full of glitz and shimmer. To add even more joy to the festivities, the party wraps with the return of the dazzling nighttime show, “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!”
Experiencing Walt Disney World Theme Parks
To experience any in-park offerings, guests must have valid theme park admission and may need a theme park reservation depending on type of admission and date of visit. Guests can visit DisneyWorld.com for more information about planning their visit.