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Every new land and attraction coming to Disneyland and Disney World in 2023 and beyond

Sept. 12, 2022
11 min read
presenters at D23 Expo
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Disney Parks, Experiences and Products chairman Josh D'Amaro took to the stage yesterday at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, in what can only be described as an hour-and-a-half whirlwind of announcements and updates (plus a few musical numbers and a celebratory burst of confetti) for Disney parks around the globe.

The theme of the presentation was "A Boundless Future," and after getting a preview of both the soon-to-open and blue skies projects Disney has in the works, that claim appears to be true. Curious about what might be new on your next Disney trip? Here's a rundown of everything that was announced and when you can experience it for yourself.

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Disneyland

New attraction and character coming to Avengers Campus

DISNEY

Avengers Campus opened at Disney California Adventure in June 2021 with two attractions, Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission Breakout and Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure. The newest attraction coming to the Marvel-themed land does not yet have a name or an opening date, but it does have an original storyline and a supervillain from the multiverse. Riders will join the Avengers in a battle against bad guys from everywhere and everywhen, including King Thanos — an all-new multiverse variant designed specifically for Avengers Campus.

DISNEY

Since the land's opening, Disney has consistently added new meet-and-greet characters; this is thanks to new Marvel movies hitting the theaters and series such as "Loki" and "Moon Knight" debuting on Disney+. During the presentation, representatives introduced the newest Avengers Campus walkaround character: a life-size Incredible Hulk. Hulk isn't a robot or animatronic. Instead, Disney developed a full-body exoskeleton, allowing a performer to assume the identity of everyone's favorite big green guy while walking through the parks and interacting with guests. Hulk will be making appearances at Avengers Campus for a limited time beginning in mid-September.

Pacific Wharf to become San Fransokyo

DISNEY

Also in Disney California Adventure, the Pacific Wharf area that is currently themed as a California fishing port is going to receive a "Big Hero 6" makeover. The area will take on the look of San Fransokyo (the fictional city that served as a setting for the 2014 animated film); it will have new spots to shop and eat and a Baymax meet-and-greet.

Mickey's Toontown reopening with Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway

DISNEY

In November 2021, Disney announced that Mickey's Toontown would close in March 2022 for a major refurbishment. During the presentation, we learned that the land will reopen in 2023 with Disneyland's version of Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway and other additions designed just for families.

DISNEY

Concept art illustrates fun-filled areas where kids can climb, slide, run and play. It even includes a splash area with Donald Duck's boat docked right in the center. Based on the concept art, it seems like these play areas will be wheelchair accessible.

The Mandalorian and Grogu coming to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

DISNEY

We've known since the Star Wars Celebration in May 2022 that Din Djarin and Grogu — better known as the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda — would be coming to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in Disneyland. We now know that those appearances will begin in mid-November when Mando and Grogu join Rey, Chewbacca and other "Star Wars" characters who roam the land.

Magic Happens parade returning to Disneyland

DISNEY

The Magic Happens parade had the misfortune of debuting at Disneyland just before the start of the pandemic in early 2020. The daytime parade will finally return to Disneyland in early spring 2023. The parade should run on multiple occasions daily and times will be available in the Disneyland app.

Tiana's Bayou Adventure to open in 2024

DISNEY

Disney has been slowly releasing details of Splash Mountain's "The Princess and the Frog" makeover at Disney World and Disneyland since the re-theme was announced in the summer of 2020. In July of this year, we learned the name would be Tiana's Bayou Adventure and would be a continuation of the 2009 hit animated film. There will be new and returning characters, a New Orleans setting and a soundtrack of toe-tapping jazz. While we still don't have an exact opening date, the ride will open in Florida and California in late 2024, according to the announcement.

Two new nighttime spectaculars for Disney 100th anniversary celebration

DISNEY

Next year marks the 100th year of The Walt Disney Company and Disneyland. Disney parks across the globe will join in the celebration, but Disneyland will serve as "home base" for the centennial. In honor of the special occasion, Disneyland will debut two new nighttime spectaculars in late January 2023.

DISNEY

World of Color — One will run nightly at Disney California Adventure's Paradise Gardens Park with music, projections, fountains and pyrotechnics.

Wondrous Journeys will light up the area around Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park, featuring fireworks, an all-new original song and nods to all 60 Walt Disney Animation Studios to date.

Walt Disney World

Ongoing Epcot expansion

TARAH CHIEFFI/THE POINTS GUY

Epcot's ongoing transformation has been in the works for more than three years at this point, and Disney fans have been eagerly awaiting the removal of the construction walls that line the park. There have been some great new additions like the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind coaster and Remy's Ratatouille Adventure, but much of the park is still under construction.

Related: Epcot was becoming the park of yesterday — here’s how Disney is making it the hot park of tomorrow

Presenters announced that the largest area — the World Celebration neighborhood at the front of the park — is still under construction and will be completed in late 2023. Plus, Journey of Water — inspired by Moana in World Nature — will open in late 2023 and the cult favorite character Figment will return to the park for meet and greets for the first time in years.

TRON Lightcycle Run to open in late 2023

DISNEY

If you've visited the Magic Kingdom anytime in the past couple of years, you've probably seen TRON Lightcycle Run under construction in Tomorrowland. The coaster is similar to one already in operation at Shanghai Disneyland and is based on the TRON film franchise.

As construction has progressed (people have even been spotted taking test rides), guests have been waiting (and waiting) for an opening date announcement. Sadly, we still don't have a set-in-stone date, but we do know the coaster will open in spring 2023. Spring technically runs through June 20, so let's hope it opens a little closer to March or April.

Happily Ever After nighttime spectacular returns to Magic Kingdom

DISNEY

When you have millions of fans, it's impossible to please everyone. Some of those complaints are temporary and fade away as guests adjust to the new iteration of whatever show or ride was updated. Others, however, continue to sting. One of those complaints came when Disney Enchantment replaced the Happily Ever After nighttime spectacular at Magic Kingdom for Disney World's 50th anniversary.

Based on the weekend's announcements, it appears Disney will phase out Enchantment to coincide with the 50th-anniversary celebration; it will bring back an updated nighttime spectacular featuring the eponymous anthem from Happily Ever After. Details about how the show's updates were scarce, but based on the applause in the room, hearing that song again will be enough for most fans.

New nighttime spectacular at Epcot for Disney's 100th anniversary

Not to be outdone, Epcot will also debut a new nighttime spectacular to celebrate the company's milestone anniversary next year. Details, including the show's name, have not yet been revealed, but the new show will debut in late 2023.

New character added to the Haunted Mansion

DISNEY

OK, it's storytime. When the Haunted Mansion opened at Disneyland, a character called the Hatbox Ghost was among the mansion's 999 happy haunts for a short time. The effect of the ghost's head disappearing and reappearing in his hatbox never worked quite right, so staff removed the ghost.

Related: Disney transforms from Halloween to Christmas overnight — look inside the warehouse that makes the magic happen

Fast forward to 2015. Technology caught up with the imaginations at Disney, and staff restored the Hatbox Ghost to his rightful home in Disneyland's Haunted Mansion. He has never visited Disney World's Haunted Mansion, but that is all about to change. Next year, he will "materialize" in Disney World's Haunted Mansion, as well.

A look at what's to come

DISNEY

In a break from the deluge of announcements, Disney representatives took a few moments at the end of the presentation to share some blue-sky, 30,000-foot-view, what-if ideas they've been working on behind closed doors. They didn't announce anything definitive, but they shared concept art for what could become of Dinoland U.S.A at Disney's Animal Kingdom as well as currently undeveloped areas at Magic Kingdom.

They are exploring concepts such as "Zootopia" and "Moana"-themed lands to replace Dinoland U.S.A. For Magic Kingdom, they discussed both "Coco" and "Encanto" as possible themes for expansion. While none of these are confirmed and Disney could go a different direction entirely, getting a rare peek behind the curtain to see Disney's biggest, wildest dreams made the park's future feel hopeful and exciting.

Disney Cruise Line

DISNEY

We know Disney Cruise Line isn't Disneyland or Disney World. Still, it is essentially a floating theme park so it deserves a bit of lip service here. Just a few months after the debut of Disney's newest ship, the Disney Wish, the company shared the name and details of its next ship: the Disney Treasure.

Related: Not like the other ships: 9 things you can only enjoy on Disney Wish

The ship's design concept is inspired by the theme of adventure. So, the decision to feature Aladdin, Jasmine and their Magic Carpet in the signature Grand Hall statue is a fitting choice. The Disney Treasure is scheduled to set sail in 2024.

Bottom line

Much of what Disney shared involved small touches such as bringing back beloved shows and characters or explaining blue sky ideas that may or may not come to fruition. However, it's clear from the presentation that Disney is listening to fans. The pandemic threw the world into upheaval and Disney was not immune to that.

After two years of pandemic-fueled closures, delays and changes, it seems Disney is back on track and ready to do what they do best: Turn fantasy into reality.

Featured image by The Walt Disney Company
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

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  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases