Visiting Walt Disney World, or anywhere, may not be for everyone in 2023. That decision should be left up to you and your family. All of those reasons are valid for you, but there are plenty of reasons to visit Walt Disney World in 2023, and we give you 23 of them. Get it? 23 for 2023? Aren’t we clever?
#1 – Because it’s Time
Let’s face it, 2020, 2021 and 2022 have been a catastrophe, a train wreck, a dumpster fire, a cherry bomb in an outhouse type of year. Our world has been turned upside down. I think we are universally glad that the past few years are in the rearview mirror. With stay at home, school at home and work at home, we are all sick of our homes. We could all use a break.
2023 is going to be better than 2022!
#2 – Health and Safety Measures
The Walt Disney Company has spent over $1 BILLION dollars on health and safety measures, most of which has been at Walt Disney World. When you visit Disney World, you will notice the incredible detail they go into cleaning the parks and resorts. Disney World has always been “clean”, but nothing compared to what it is like now. While many of us consider the pandemic to be over, or at least the threat to be minimized, Disney continues making sure all of their guests are safe.
Stay up to date with the latest status of Walt Disney World safety measures here: Know before you go Walt Disney World
#3 – Parks and Resorts are returning to Normal
Prior to the pandemic, Walt Disney World was the largest employer in Central Florida with over 70,000 employees. One day they all had jobs, the next day they did not. When Walt Disney World partially reopened in July 2020, most of their previous employees had found other work. Disney has had a horrible time rehiring enough people to fill all of the jobs available. Finally, just this week, Disney World announced that housekeeping would return to pre-pandemic standards. As this year goes on, many of the cutbacks made due to staffing will return.
#4 – Happily Ever After
The much loved Magic Kingdom firework show is returning to the Magic Kingdom on April 3, 2023! Not only is it returning with all of the incredible fireworks and projections, but many new projections have been added, which is going to make it even better!
#5 – Character Cavalcade
Character Cavalcades are like mini parades, however, they are unscheduled, they just happen, they are smaller (typically include one float and a few characters), and they are quick and magical. While many character meet and greets have returned, these super popular character cavalcades have remained a popular part of each park. Everyone who has experienced a Character Cavalcade realizes that this is the future of Disney parades. Imagine seeing Merida on horseback riding down Main Street or Anna in her royal carriage.
#6 – Disney Characters
Most of the Meet and Greets have returned to the Disney World parks. We have not been able to meet our favorite Disney characters in person in years, but now, we can finally do it! Plus, many new characters are showing up in the parks, including stars from Encanto and Coco, as well as your favorite Star Wars characters and even Nick and Judy from Zootopia. Even a new Figment meet and greet is coming to Epcot late 2023.
In addition to the meet and greets and the character cavalcades, Disney is still placing characters throughout the parks, in their “natural” habitat. They are placed away from guests, so no meeting them, but you can see and hear them. Imagine seeing Winnie the Pooh chasing butterflies, or the evil Step Sisters heckling guests from the castle balconies. My favorite? The Country Bears come to life and appear on the balcony above the entrance to their attraction.
#7 – Princess and the Frog Splash Mountain
The unnamed remake of Splash Mountain, complete with a Princess and the Frog theme, will set sail in 2023. Splash Mountain has officially closed and the work has begun. The ride itself should remain the same but Song of the South will be replaced with Princess and the Frog characters and music. No opening date has been announced, but it is expected to open in Fall, 2023!
#8 – 50th Anniversary
The 50th anniversary was October 1, 2021, but Walt Disney World has extended the celebration into 2023. Enjoy all of the special events through March 31, 2023. The event will be celebrated across all four theme parks at Walt Disney World, and will feature some incredible EARidescent excitement!
#9 – Disney 100
Disney parks around the works are starting to celebrate Disney 100, the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company. Celebrations started at Disneyland on January 27. With the 50th anniversary still going strong until the end of March, Walt Disney World has not announced much at all about the event, wanting to keep the focus on the 50th. With some special events happening at Disney World during April (Happily Ever After – #4 – April 3 and Tron – #16 – April 4), it sure sounds like something important is happening in early April. Expect to see some announcements soon about Disney 100, it will be another incredible event not to be missed.
#10 – Disney Skyliner
While technically the Skyliner opened in late 2019, it is a reason why you should visit in 2023. Disney’s Skyliner is the future of Walt Disney World transportation. While the buses and boats aren’t going away anytime soon, it is obvious that more and more Disney resorts will be connected to the Skyliner system in the future. The Disney Skyliner is a gondola system, similar to what is used in ski resorts around the world. The Skyliner currently serves Pop Century, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach and the new Riviera Resorts and connects them to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot (and technically the Epcot area resorts can use the Skyliner to access Hollywood Studios, but it takes a while).
The great thing about the Skyliner in 2023 is that they limit each pod to your group only, so if you are concerned about riding on a bus with a bunch of people you do not know, you can ride the Skyliner all day with just your family.
#11 – Updated Polynesian Village Resort and Contemporary Resort
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort has finally been reopened after being partially closed for a few years. The resort featured a new monorail station, entrance, grand house interior, water areas and remodeled Ceremonial House and retail outlets. In addition to the overhaul, Disney has adding a lot of Moana-themed additions throughout the resort, from the pool and Ceremonial House to the guest rooms. Construction is still on going at the Polynesian Village as additional buildings are being constructed where the old Spirit of Aloha theater used to be.
Disney’s Contemporary resort is also got a big makeover. All of the guest rooms have been completely redone with a classy Incredibles theme. They are Incredible!
#12 – Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
This was probably the most looked forward to addition at Walt Disney World since Animal Kingdom opened in 1998 (can it really be that long ago?!!). The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is not a ride, and in reality, it is not a resort, it is a combination of the two. You will not be able to spend your entire vacation at SW:GS, you will be limited to a 2-night stay. But that 2-night stay will be fully immersed in Star Wars from check-in to check-out and will include immersive activities at the resort as well as in Disney’s Hollywood Studios (the planet Batuu). Have you noticed that the rooms do not have real windows?
Disney’s Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser opened in March 2022 to rave reviews. It was packed all last year. Availability has finally opened up a little bit for much of 2023, so now is your chance to fulfill your Star Wars fantasies!
Plus, there is even a discount available on a 2-night Starcuiser and 2-night Disney World stay! Find out more here: Walt Disney World Glactic Starcruiser Discount
#13 – Roundup Rodeo BBQ
You can never have too many Toy Story-themed meals. Roundup Rodeo BBQ will be located in Toy Story Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and will be hosted by Woody, of course, your favorite sheriff. Currently scheduled to open on March 23, 2023!
You will be surrounded by all your Toy Story friends participating in Woody’s rodeo. Roundup Rodeo BBQ isn’t just a restaurant, it is an immersive experience, featuring toys, games and playsets for children of all ages. Roundup Rodeo BBQ will be a table service restaurant, and reservations will be required/suggested.
#14 – Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Open in Fall, 2023, Journey of Water will explore the wonders of water along an interactive trail that’s fun for all ages. It is based on Disney’s animated film Moana, and will incorporate many Moana-themed water features.
Journey of Water looks incredible! It will be part of the new World Nature neighborhood, one of the new neighborhoods in Epcot (see #21 below).
#15 – Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Another addition to Epcot, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind has just recently opened, where Ellen’s Energy Adventure used to be located. Guardians of the Galaxy is a “family-friendly storytelling coaster”. The cars spin 360 degrees and even reverse just for takeoff. Guardians will be a fun, incredible attraction. Make sure to visit the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride in Epcot’s World Discover.
#16 – Tron Lightcycle Run
If you are lucky enough to have been to Shanghai Disneyland (I have!!!), you had a chance to experience the original Tron ride, Tron Lightcycle Power Run. The new Walt Disney World version is being built in the Magic Kingdom next to Space Mountain. Tron is easily the second-best ride in Shanghai behind Pirates of the Caribbean, and my guess is that the Walt Disney World Tron will become a park favorite. An upright roller coaster, it is everything you can imagine. Just look up a few Youtube Videos of the Shanghai version, you will be planning a trip tomorrow, I promise you.
One hint, you must ride Tron during the day and again after it gets dark. The ride is partially outdoors, and the nighttime version is INCREDIBLE.
Tron is nearly complete, and many visitors have posted videos of the ride during testing. Tron Lighcycle Run is scheduled to open on April 4, 2023!
#17 – Epcot Festivals
In 2023, Epcot announced a full schedule of festivals! Festival time at Epcot is my favorite time to go, I love all the food booths and extra activities around the park. So fun!
- Epcot International Festival of the Arts – January 13 – February 20, 2023
- Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – March 1 – July 5, 2023
- Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – July 14 – November 19, 2023
- Epcot International Festival of the Holidays – November 25 – December 30, 2023
If you are planning a visit in 2023, be sure to include an Epcot festival, it will be worth your time.
#18 – Hatbox Ghost
An original part of the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland, the Hatbox Ghost has become a cult classic. Removed from the Disneyland ride not long after opening and never installed at Walt Disney World, the Hatbox Ghost was reinstated in the Disneyland attraction in 2015, but is finally making his way to the Magic Kingdom location of the Haunted Mansion in 2023!
#19 – Magic Kingdom Railroad
If you have been to the Magic Kingdom in the last few years, you will have noticed one major attraction has been missing. Due to the construction of Tron Lightcycle Run (#16), the path of the Magic Kingdom railroad had to be altered, and therefore the train has not run since 2018. Good news for railroad fans, the Magic Kingdom railroad is scheduled to open sometime around April 4 with the Tron opening, and will be operating full steam ahead for the rest of 2023!
#20 – Epcot Neighborhoods
Epcot has been a hot mess for some time now, and finally, it looks like during 2023 much of the mess will finally be resolved. Epcot will be divided into neighborhoods. We have all known World Showcase for years, the rest of Epcot will receive names as well. While the names for these neighborhoods were announced in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary, 2023 will be the year that Epcot neighborhoods come together. From the new shops and restaurants in World Celebration to new attractions in World Discover, World Nature and World Showcase, Epcot looks to be emerging from the ashes of years of bad decisions. New attractions will include Journey of Water (#15) a Figment Meet and Greet, Dreamers Point and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (#16).
#21 – Discounts!
Everyone loves to save money. Walt Disney World has released some 2023 discounts! Check out the currently available discounts:
- 2023 Walt Disney World Dining Promo Card Giveaway – Kind of like free dining, but not. Get a Disney Dining Card to use during your stay, up to $150 per night!
- Walt Disney World Spring Discount – Save up to 25% on your Disney Resort between March 1 and July 10, 2023
- Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Discount – Save up to $350 per night on a 2-night Starcruiser tour and a 2-night Walt Disney World stay. This is the first discount ever available on the Starcruiser.
#22 – One More Thing
While you may have been to Walt Disney World recently, maybe even many many times over the years, but there is always that one thing you haven’t tried. That could be a Disney Resort you have always wanted to stay at, or a Disney restaurant you just can’t seem to get into. Maybe there is a new ride you haven’t been on yet. You can admit you have a Disney bucket list here, you are in a safe space. Make this next trip about complete items on your list, make it special.
#23 – Because Mouseketrips Agents Make it Easy
We know the process of planning a Disney vacation can be overwhelming. The Mouseketrips agents have the experiences, knowledge and know-how to create the Disney vacation of your dreams. We do this absolutely for free, no additional fee when you book your Disney vacation package with Mouseketrips.
If you would like more information or make a visit Walt Disney World in 2023 or would like to check on some options and prices for any Disney vacation. please feel free to contact us for a free, no-obligation Mouseketrips quote.