'Sup! Welcome to Tad's toadally awesome list of what's coming to Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and the other Florida theme parks in 2023 and beyond! As the Frog Family’s resident thrill seeker, tech junkie and head frog videographer — thank you very much — I live to keep tabs on all of the attractions and experiences heading to the Orlando theme parks, and I've been doing it for a few years. After a few unusual years for theme parks, with temporary closures due to COVID-19, some openings and projects were delayed or postponed indefinitely. But there are a lot of exciting things to look forward to in 2023 and beyond!
We're so frogcited about the new rides and experiences coming in 2023, including TRON Lightcycle / Run now running at Magic Kingdom, and a new Minion Land at Universal Orlando in the summer. Plus, we're also looking forward to many more exciting hoppenings on the horizon, such as Tiana's Bayou Adventure (the retheming of Splash Mountain) in late 2024 and Universal's Epic Universe in 2025.
If you're curious about all of the Universal Orlando and Disney World construction around the parks, you're at the right place. Be sure to bookmark this page because I add to it as new rides, shows and other hoppenings are announced! (Hop here to see what opened in 2022 and previous years.) And with great openings comes great crowds, so if you're wondering about the best times to visit Disney World and Universal Orlando, this post should help as you plan your trip, whether you want to be first in line or avoid the elevated crowds.
What's Coming to Disney World and Universal Orlando in 2023 and Beyond
Magic Kingdom Park
"Happily Ever After" — returned April 3, 2023 — Once again, you can "reach out and find your Happily Ever After" at Magic Kingdom, as the fan-favorite show returned with all-new projections down Main Street, U.S.A.
TRON Lightcycle Run — opened April 4, 2023 — Imported from Shanghai Disneyland, TRON Lightcycle Run is a coaster-style attraction where riders board a train of two-wheeled Lightcycles. The ride pushes you into the energy, lights and excitement of TRON’s high-tech universe.
Meet Mirabel — fall 2023 — Starting this fall, you can enter the Casita Madrigal and meet Mirabel at Fairytale Garden at Magic Kingdom.
Hatbox Ghost Materializes in the Haunted Mansion — 2023 — The Hatbox Ghost will join the other happy haunts of the Haunted Mansion next year.
Tiana's Bayou Adventure — late 2024 — Splash Mountain will be getting a total makeover as it transforms into “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure,” debuting in late 2024 at Magic Kingdom (along with Disneyland Park). Inspired by "The Princess and the Frog," the popular log flume ride's new storyline will pick up after the final kiss, and follow Princess Tiana, Naveen and Louis on a musical adventure. Enjoy lively Mardi Gras celebrations with familiar faces as guests travel through the bayou with original music inspired by the film. Splash Mountain permanently closed Jan. 23, 2023, to prepare for this retheming.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Moana Arrived — April 22, 2023 — Moana is now greeting voyagers on Discovery Island, just in time for the 25th anniversary of the park.
Reimagined main entrance — in progress — EPCOT's main plaza will include new pathways, green spaces and a reimagined fountain (which is now complete!). The Leave A Legacy photos have moved just outside the park's gateway in a new, multi-colored display. There will be additional redevelopment to the area between Spaceship Earth and World Showcase Promenade, which includes several unique gardens, united by a central planter based on the five-ring EPCOT logo. Special lighting will provide a different experience at night.
Figment Meet and Greet — summer 2023 — Guests will be able to meet Figment, formerly only available in our imaginations.
Shiki-Sai: Sushi Izakaya — summer 2023 — A new table-service restaurant is coming to the Japan pavilion at EPCOT, which will sit on the second floor, offering views of World Showcase during the day and fireworks at night. In addition to a full menu of shareable sushi and teppan menu items served Izakaya-style (all-you-care-to-eat), there will also be an open sushi bar and grill.
Disney 100 Celebration — fall 2023 — EPCOT will play host to the Disney 100 celebration at Walt Disney World! More details to come.
Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana” — late 2023 — This brand-new walkthrough attraction will "let guests interact with magical, living water in a beautiful and inspiring setting," and you'll get to learn about the importance of the natural water cycle.
Dreamers Point — late 2023 — Near the exit of Spaceship Earth, a new statue that celebrates the legacy of Walt Disney will be placed alongside natural environments. It will include a wishing tree and a story fountain that plays iconic music from Disney storytelling.
CommuniCore Plaza and CommuniCore Hall — late 2023 — This new multi-use facility and outdoor event space will support EPCOT's festivals. The plaza will have an outdoor stage to host musical performances, and the hall will be an exhibition and gallery space, featuring experiences that highlight art, live music and food (complete with a demonstration kitchen). Also, a permanent Mickey & Friends location will find its home right next to CommuniCore Hall.
New Nighttime Spectacular — late 2023 — Harmonious will have its last performance April 2, 2023, while EPCOT Forever will return April 3 with a limited-time run before an all-new nighttime spectacular debuts later this year.
PLAY! pavilion — date TBD — Originally slated to open in time for Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary, this new pavilion in the former Wonders of Life location will showcase first-of-its-kind experiences devoted to play and fun, including an interactive city where guests will be able to interact with characters. Help Edna Mode on a fashionable quest to rid the world of uninspired style, or compete in a water-balloon fight with Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby.
"Wondrous China" film — date TBD — This World Showcase pavilion will receive a new film that is presented in a seamless 360-degree format.
Mary Poppins Attraction — postponed — At this time, development for this attraction has been postponed indefinitely. The United Kingdom pavilion was set to host the first attraction inspired by Mary Poppins, allowing guests to stroll along Cherry Tree Lane, past Admiral Boom's house, and enter Number 17, the Banks family's home.
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Roundup Rodeo BBQ — opened March 23, 2023 — A table-service restaurant is now open at Toy Story Land! Themed to feel like a rodeo run by Andy's toys, this immersive restaurant has toys, games and playsets scattered around, including toy versions of Jessie riding on the back of a Trixie pull-toy and Bo Peep and her sheep performing in the rodeo together.
Walt Disney World Resort Hotels
Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge — date TBD — Disney's 16th Disney Vacation Club property is in the works at the former site of River Country water park. Originally slated to open in 2022, the nature-themed deluxe hotel will be located between Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. The project has likely been postponed.
Corckcicle — opened April 28, 2023 — This is the first-ever retail location for this Orlando-based business that sells insulated drinkware, coolers and accessories.
Summer House on the Lake — late 2023 — This new restaurant coming to Disney Springs will feature a California-inspired menu and a beachy, breezy environment. The full-service restaurant will also include an in-house bakery and an extensive cocktail and wine list.
Universal Orlando Resort
Illumination's Villain-Con Minion Blast — summer 2023 — Fuel up on those bananas and practice your aim because you're about to enter Villain-Con, the biggest gathering of criminals anywhere. If you want to join the hallowed ranks of The Vicious 6, you're going to need to prove your worth. Grab an interactive blaster and step on the moving pathway where you'll journey through different despicable scenes and earn points by blasting a variety of objects. This brand-new attraction will combine screen technology, gaming interactivity and physical sets to create a unique adventure, causing mayhem with mischievous Minions and nefarious foes alike.
Minion Cafe — 2023 — Dine like a supervillain at the all-new Minion Cafe in the newly-designated Minion Land opening this year!
Universal's Epic Universe — summer 2025 — Universal Orlando Resort announced that it's building a brand-new theme park called Universal's Epic Universe. Little is known about the themed lands, but Universal says it will be its most immersive and innovative theme park yet. In addition to the lands, it will feature an entertainment center, hotels, shops, restaurants and more. Located about 12 minutes away from its existing properties, Universal's Epic Universe will nearly double Universal's total available acreage! Check out the latest developments in our Universal's Epic Universe guide.
Due to COVID-19, further development had been postponed, but construction has restarted and it's been confirmed that the park's completion will hoppen by summer 2025.
Super Nintendo World at Universal's Epic Universe — summer 2025 — Universal has partnered with Nintendo to bring to life experiences based on Nintendo's games, characters and worlds. It has been confirmed that Super Nintendo World will be one of the themed lands at Universal's Epic Universe. The very first Super Nintendo World (which will likely be similar to the future Orlando version) opened at Universal Studios Japan on March 18, 2021.
New Nighttime Spectacular — date TBD — Universal Orlando's Cinematic Celebration has ended its run at Universal Studios Florida. Universal has announced that a new nighttime show experience will be taking its place. No further details have been shared.
What's Coming to Other Florida Theme Parks in 2023 and Beyond
Pipeline: The Surf Coaster — May 27, 2023 — SeaWorld Orlando is living up to its title as the Coaster Capital of Orlando with the introduction of its seventh toadally tubular roller coaster. The world's first surf coaster will allow frogs to ride the waves along 2,950 feet of track and feel the rush with speeds up to 60 mph. These one-of-a-kind standing seats will rise and fall to mimic the sensation of the waves. Hang on tight, because you're about to ride crests up to 110 feet tall and even conquer a curl with one epic inversion. Cowabunga!
Turi's Kid Cove — May 18, 2023 — Tucked away between Big Surf Shores and Mango Market, this all-new water adventure attraction is set to bring tadpole-sized wet and wild fun to Aquatica Orlando! Not only will your littlest guppies will be able to splish, splash, spray and play among watering palms, tipping buckets, spraying jets and water bobbles, but also hang ten on Tamariki Twirl — a miniature wave slide designed just for them! Parents will also be able to rest and relax while keeping a watchful eye on the little ones with ample seating surrounding the area.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Serengeti Flyer — opened Feb. 27, 2023 — The world's tallest and fastest ride of its kind, Serengeti Flyer will feature twin dueling arms that progressively sway back and forth reaching speeds of 68 mph and a maximum height of 135 feet at its peak. Frogs will be seated back-to-back in rows of 10 across two gondolas and will experience multiple negative-G moments before plunging back toward the Earth. This screamin' swing will allow frogs to soar high above Busch Gardens' 65-acre Serengeti Plain when it opens.
LEGOLAND Florida Resort
Pirate River Quest — opened Jan. 12, 2023 — Join the LEGO pirate crew on a quest to find Captain Redbeard's lost treasure. Along the way, the pirate crew will meet Calico Jade and encounter flamingos, monkeys and even a kraken.
I hope you've enjoyed this look at what's coming to Disney World and Universal in 2023 and beyond. Make sure to come back to see what's been added as you get closer to your visit. Hop on over to our When to Visit Orlando page for more planning tips, part of our Orlando Planning Timeline!
Related: Best Time To Visit Disney World
Related: Best Time To Visit Universal Orlando Resort