Home News & Stories From New Characters to Nighttime Shows – New at Walt Disney World in 2023

From New Characters to Nighttime Shows – New at Walt Disney World in 2023

by lifeinorlando

From a highly anticipated roller coaster to a return of a beloved nighttime show, there’s plenty to look forward to at Walt Disney World in 2023. Here’s a rundown of the top attractions that you can expect to see throughout the year.

Roundup Rodeo BBQ – March 23

Woody's Roundup

Roundup Rodeo BBQ is a table service restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Located in Toy Story Land, Roundup Rodeo BBQ will be serving up barbecue-inspired comfort foods, in the first “Toy Story” table-service restaurant in the world.

Return of Happily Ever After – April 3

As the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration ends on March 31, fan-favorite nighttime spectacular “Happily Ever After” returns to light up the night sky over Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park beginning April 3. In addition to spectacular fireworks and castle projections, this year’s Happily Ever After will feature projections that will extend down Main Street U.S.A.

Return of EPCOT Forever – April 3

In addition to the return of “Happily Ever After” another nighttime show is returning. “EPCOT Forever” returns to World Showcase Lagoon starting April 3 replacing Harmonious, the 50th Anniversary-inspired show. However, don’t get too attached. EPCOT Forever will be running for a limited time to make way for a new nighttime show debuting later in the year.

TRON Lightcycle Run – April 4

Starting April 4, you’ll be able to race across the Grid in TRON Lightcycle a high-speed coaster located in Tomorrowland.

Moana Character Greeting – April 22

To kick off the 25th Anniversary celebration of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Moana, will greet guests for the first time on April 22 in Discovery Island.

Animal Kingdom 25th Anniversary

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Since it opened on April 22, 1998, this one-of-a-kind theme park has offered awe-inspiring animal encounters, thrilling attractions and larger-than-life musical stage shows. In April, there will be new ways to join in the celebration for Earth Day and this milestone, including new sweet and savory treats, specialty merchandise and limited-time character sightings in the park. There will be more surprises on April 22, when the park officially turns 25.

Figment Character Greeting – Summer 2023

Finally, guests will get the chance to meet long-time EPCOT icon Figment . This fan favorite and colorful character will be located at the Imagination! later this summer.

Tiara-topped Water Tower – Summer 2023

Construction on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure continues to take shape, and later this summer, a tiara-topped water tower emblazoned with the Tiana’s Foods logo will make its way to Magic Kingdom. Replacing Splash Mountain, Princess Tiana’s story will be told in a new attraction debuting at Walt Disney World Resort in 2024.

Mirabel Character Greeting – Fall 2023

This fall, Mirabel from Disney Animation’s Academy Award-winning film “Encanto” will greet guests in the Fairytale Garden at Magic Kingdom, which will be transformed from the Merida meet and greet to whimsical décor inspired by la Familia Madrigal.

Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana – Fall 2023

Moana Journey of Water

The very long-awaited Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana will debut this fall in World Nature in the newly transformed EPCOT. This self-guided trail will take you through the natural water cycle – from the skies to oceans and all the way back again.

Disney100 Celebration at EPCOT – Late 2023

EPCOT will host the Disney100 celebration at Walt Disney World Resort. Enjoy all-new experiences from meeting Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in their platinum attire to photo ops with a platinum sculpture with Walt himself. Spaceship Earth will illuminate at night with special lighting to commemorate this monumental milestone.

New EPCOT Nighttime Spectacular – Late 2023

Replacing EPCOT Forever, a new nighttime spectacular will debut at EPCOT later this year, inviting everyone to gather around World Showcase Lagoon for a show that is designed to “unite us through commonalities of the heart in a dazzling display of fireworks, lasers, music and light,” according to Disney. Featuring an original composition along with select songs from the Disney songbook, this new spectacular will remind us that we’re more alike than different, connecting our hearts together as one.

CommuniCore Hall Opens – Late 2023

As part of the new EPCOT transformation, CommuniCore Hall will in World Celebration later this year. CommuniCore Hall will be the new home of a new character greeting location called Mickey & Friends. It will also serve as a much needed center of festival programming where it will transform with each festival throughout the year.

Playing with light, shapes and reflections, the architecture of this building was designed by Walt Disney Imagineering to celebrate the legacy of EPCOT and the original CommuniCore buildings.

Cake Bake Shop – Late 2023

Replacing ESPN Club on Disney’s Boardwalk, the Cake Bake Shop by Gwendolyn Rogers, is a new table service restaurant and bakery that will offer both savory and dessert menus, along with afternoon tea service, in a whimsical atmosphere.

Summer House on the Lake – Late 2023

A new restaurant will open at Disney Springs in late 2023. Summer House on the Lake embodies a breezy, beach house vibe that will pair perfectly with the sweeping views of Lake Buena Vista. You’ll be able to enjoy a California-inspired menu featuring simple, sustainable ingredients – from pizza and pasta to fresh salads and sandwiches. Plus, you can savor the restaurant’s exclusive Summer House Rosé along with a selection of wine, beer, handcrafted cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks.

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