LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (April 26, 2023) – In 2023, Walt Disney World Resort is the place to embrace thrills of all kinds. Exciting new experiences set to debut this year include one of the fastest coasters at any Disney theme park, a new restaurant to savor, the continued transformation of EPCOT, returning nighttime spectaculars filling night skies throughout the resort and so much more.
New and Returning Character Greetings – All Year
New and returning character experiences are sure to thrill guests of all ages. On April 22, Moana began greeting fellow voyagers on Discovery Island Character Landing at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park – just in time for the park’s 25th anniversary. Fans of Figment will get the chance to hug the long-time EPCOT icon at the Imagination! pavilion beginning late summer. Mickey Mouse and friends will also have a new home at Communicore Hall opening later this year as part of the EPCOT transformation. And, at Magic Kingdom Park this fall, Mirabel from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ hit film “Encanto” will greet guests in Fairytale Garden surrounded by whimsical décor inspired by La Familia Madrigal. These new experiences follow the return of several Magic Kingdom character experiences 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 – will introduce 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 and 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 returns to light up the night sky over Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park beginning April 3. New this year, the nightly fireworks show will fully immerse 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” returns to World Showcase Lagoon starting April 3. 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 will be in place when TRON Lightcycle / Run opens 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, Pandora – The World of Avatar. Make plans now to visit this special place that celebrates the magic of nature.
EPCOT Transformation Continues – Late 2023
This fall will bring even more exciting experiences as part of the multi-year transformation of EPCOT. Guests will be able to explore the wonders of water when Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana opens. This fun, interactive outdoor trail offers a chance to play and interact with 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.
Fall 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 both Communicore Plaza as well as Communicore Hall, where guests can meet Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. World Celebration will also anchor the park’s renowned festivals. Guests can also discover Dreamers Point, an inspiring overlook showcasing a statue of Walt Disney called “Walt the Dreamer.”
Guests will be treated to the debut of an all-new EPCOT nighttime spectacular later this year. 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 – Late 2023
Later this year, Walt Disney World Resort will join the global celebration of The Walt Disney Company’s 100th Anniversary – 10 decades of creativity and innovation.
While the celebration officially kicks off Sept. 22 in EPCOT, there are already opportunities to celebrate this momentous milestone. Guests can take a selfie with special Disney100 backdrops at EPCOT as well as the other three 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.
Once the celebration is underway, guests can snap a photo with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in their platinum best in the Imagination! pavilion, while Spaceship Earth will light 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 also sip and savor the tastes of the Disney100 celebration with limited-time food & beverage locations 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
Later this year, more dining delights will debut, including Summer House on the Lake at Disney Springs and The Cake Bake Shop at Disney’s BoardWalk.
Experiencing Walt Disney World Theme Parks
To experience all that Walt Disney World theme parks have to offer, guests need both valid park admission and a park reservation on the same date. Guests can visit DisneyWorld.com for more information about planning their visit.
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