Walt Disney World: All The New And Upcoming Attractions (And What We Know About Them)

50th Anniversary Cinderella's Castle at Magic Kingdom
(Image credit: Disney)

Walt Disney World is a massive vacation destination that millions of people visit every year. In order to get people coming back year after year, Disney World has to keep reinventing itself with different attractions and experiences, so there is always something new on the horizon. From massive, just built attractions to small incremental improvements that make the familiar feel fresh, no two trips to the park are ever quite the same.

If you’re looking at planning your next Disney World vacation, or just keeping tabs on everything that has been announced for the future, here’s a rundown of the new Walt Disney World rides and attractions for this year and beyond.

Mickey and Minnie in Christmas parade at Walt disney World

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party - Magic Kingdom (November 8-December 22, 2022)

After hours events are always a bit special, as parks close down early for most guests, and only those with the special ticket have access to unique events. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will return in 2022 with Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks and Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. And, of course, a limited guest list means shorter lines for your favorite Magic Kingdom attractions. 

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

International Festival Of Holidays - Epcot (November 25- December 30, 2022) 

Epcot has become the home to festivals. There are so many of them going on at different times of the year that it’s actually difficult to not find one or another of them happening during any given trip to the park. 2022's International Festival of Holidays will see the return of holiday favorites like the cookie stroll, and a variety of unique food kiosks offering holiday favorites from all over the world. You’ll also want to check the schedule for the Candlelight Processional, which sees a different celebrity reading the story of Christmas on different nights in November and December.  

Roundup Rodeo BBQ concept art

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Roundup Rodeo BBQ - Disney’s Hollywood Studios (TBA 2022) 

Toy Story Land has been open at Disney's Hollywood Studios since 2018, but since that time, a couple of things you would expect to find in any Disney theme park land have been missing. There wasn’t even a real gift shop until Jesse’s Trading Post opened early in 2022, and the only food option has been the Woody’s Lunchbox quick serve location. The Roundup Rodeo BBQ table service restaurant was one of many things delayed by the pandemic, but it was announced in early 2022 that it would be opening by the end of the year.  We'll assume that's still true until we hear otherwise.

Ducktales World Showcase Adventure

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Ducktales World Showcase Adventure - Epcot (TBA 2022) 

From 2012 until early 2020, guests at Epcot could use the My Disney Experience mobile app to play a fun little interactive game based on Phineas & Ferb called Agent P's World Showcase Adventure. You could wander around the back half of Epcot and answer questions that would cause the activation of physical props throughout the park. Prior to the pandemic it was announced that a new game based on the Ducktales reboot would be replacing Agent P. Following the pandemic it was unclear if the game had been postponed or entirely canceled, but Disney World has confirmed recently that Ducktales World Showcase Adventure would begin in 2022. 

Donald Duck at Pete's Silly Sideshow

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Pete’s Silly Sideshow - Magic Kingdom (TBA 2022) 

Technically, Pete’s Silly Sideshow isn’t new. It’s actually one of the live entertainment offerings at Magic Kingdom that we’re still waiting to see return post-pandemic. The show, that included meet-and-greet photo ops with several classic Disney characters including Donald, Daisy, and Goofy, is supposed to return in 2022, and since most other character interactions have returned, this does still seem likely. 

Disney Alexa screen

(Image credit: Disney Parks)

 Alexa In Disney World Hotel Rooms (TBA 2022) 

At this point, between phones and home devices, it seems like we have virtual assistants helping us with all sorts of things. Soon, you’ll be able to access your own virtual assistant in your Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort hotel rooms by saying “Hey Mickey.” The system is supposed to begin rolling out at Walt Disney World in 2022, though with more than 20 resorts, it will take time. It will come to Disneyland Resort as well, though no timeline on that has been given. 

artist paining Pluto at Epcot International Festival of the Arts

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Epcot International Festival Of The Arts (January 13, 2023 - February 20, 2023)

The first of the annual festivals to take place at Epcot each year is the International Festival Of The Arts. In 2023, the festival will run for about five weeks in January and February. The annual Disney on Broadway concert series will return, with a special dining package. Food Studios, showing off the culinary arts will be located throughout the park, but there will also be two new Food Studios, Moderne, will feature "avant-garde menu items" while Figment’s Inspiration Station at the Odyssey: Art, Food, and Little Sparks of Magic will deliver food inspired by everybody's favorite little purple dragon. Lots of visual art will be on display, and available for purchase. This one is not to be missed.

Tron Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Tron Lightcycle Run - Magic Kingdom (Spring 2023) 

The biggest new addition to Magic Kingdom in years will arrive in early 2023, when Tron: Lightcycle Run finally opens. Pandemic related construction delays resulted in this massive new coaster taking more than five years to complete. The attraction will put riders on the classic Tron Lightcycle for a high speed ride through the Grid. It will mark the second new roller coaster at Disney World in as many years, following the opening of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in 2022. 

Epcot Gardens concept art

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

World Celebration - Epcot (Late 2023) 

Epcot has been undergoing a massive renovation of about half the theme park for the last few years, and while we’ve seen some elements of that update, like Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, completed, a lot of it is not expected to be finished until the end of 2023. World Celebration is a new pavilion within Epcot which is designed to be the central hub of the park’s annual festivals. It's set to include a new Communicore Plaza for live performances and Communicore Hall for special food offerings and other exhibitions. 

Dreamer's Point statue of Walt Disney at Epcot, concept art

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Dreamer’s Point - Epcot (TBA 2023)

While there were a series of recent rumors that implied that Walt Disney World might be looking to distance itself from the man that started it all, Walt Disney himself, one of the reasons that seemed unlikely was that we knew a brand new statue of Walt was set to come to Epcot. While the theme park isn’t much like Walt’s original plan for Epcot, it is still a tribute to that dream, making the statue of Walt, in a location to be called Dreamer's Point, a welcome addition to the park.

Moana Journey of Water construction

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Moana: Journey Of Water - Epcot (Late 2023) 

While Tron: Lightcycle Run promises to be the most exciting new attraction opening in 2023, there will be another new attraction coming that same year that is looking to be quite interesting. Moana: Journey of Water will be some sort of walk through attraction that will take guests through the journey that water takes through the world. It's been said it will give guests some ability to control water the way Moana does. Exactly how this will all work is largely unclear, but it certainly sounds like fun.

Happily Ever After fireworks at Magic Kingdom

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

New Nighttime Spectaculars - Epcot And Magic Kingdom (2023)

In 2023, we'll mark the 100th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company and a lot is planned at Walt Disney World to go along with that celebration. We know that both Magic Kingdom and Epcot will be getting new nighttime shows as part of the 100th. The Magic Kingdom will see a return of the popular Happily Ever After, though whether it’s identical to the old show, or a modified version, is still an open question. 

Epcot will also be replacing Harmonious in 2023, the show that only started in late 2021, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World. The biggest question there is whether the barges created for that show will be part of the replacement or if they’ll be removed. Word seems to be the barges will go away, but that has yet to be confirmed by Disney.

Hatbox ghost at Disneyland's Haunted Mansion

(Image credit: Disneyland Resort)

Hatbox Ghost In The Haunted Mansion - Magic Kingdom (TBA 2023) 

While both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom have versions of the classic Haunted Mansion, they are not perfectly identical. Both versions have elements you won’t find at the other, but in 2023 the Disney World mansion will become a bit more like the one at Disneyland when it adds the Hatbox Ghost to the ride. The character, which sees his head transported between his neck and a hatbox he's holding, was an opening day attraction at Disneyland's Haunted Mansion that was pulled when it was decided the effect didn’t really work. In 2015, a new version of the Hatbox Ghost arrived at Disneyland, and eight years later he will make his Magic Kingdom debut.

New Splash Mountain concept art

(Image credit: Disney Parks)

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure - Magic Kingdom (Late 2024)

One of the most high profile updates coming to Walt Disney World is the complete retheme of Splash Mountain. The ride previously based on Disney’s controversial film Song of the South will be completely redesigned with a new story set to be a sequel to The Princess and the Frog. The new ride will send guests through a salt mine on an adventure to aide Tiana and her newest business venture. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is set to open both at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom in late 2024, but so far Splash Mountain is still running, so when work will even begin is unclear. 

Disney's Polynesian Village tower concept art

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Disney’s Polynesian Village (TBA 2024) 

Just like Walt Disney World theme parks are always getting updated, the same is true of Disney World resort hotels. Disney’s Polynesian Village was one of two resorts to open on day one at Walt Disney World in 1971, and in 2024 it will see the opening of a brand new hotel tower for Disney Vacation Club members. This new project does mean the end for Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show. It's final performance came prior to the pandemic closure as it never reopened with the rest of the resort.

Epcot Play pavilion concept art

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Play Pavilion - Epcot (TBA) 

The Wonders of Life pavilion previously held attractions like Cranium Command and Body Wars, but it closed in 2007. Since then, the location has been used sparingly, but in 2019 it was announced that a new interactive Play pavilion would take its place. Originally expected to open in 2021, the global pandemic stopped those plans. Little has been said about the Play pavilion since, but recently, work on the structure has been visible, so it does appear this project is moving forward, though there have been rumors the pavilion has been cancelled.

Everything changes at Walt Disney World, and that certainly can include the plans for those changes as well. The further out these items are the greater the odds that delays could happen or projects could change entirely, but right now this is what we’re expecting to see as Walt Disney World moves forward past its 50th anniversary and into the foreseeable future.