'Sup?! Tad here, the resident family thrill-seeker and videographer. I always have my green finger on the pulse of what’s hoppening in the parks, so I am toadally excited for the upcoming events, rides and new lands coming to Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, Universal Studios Hollywood and more. For those of you looking for what opened last year and even what opened the year before that, we've got you covered! Let’s hop to it and explore what's coming to Disneyland Resort and Universal in 2023 and beyond! Also, don't froget to bookmark this page so you can come back and see what's opened as you get closer to your trip!
What’s Coming to Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood in 2023 and Beyond
Many events and entertainment options are coming in 2023 and beyond. You'll want to keep hopping back for updates! In fact, 2023 is shaping up to be a very exciting year.
Disney 100 Years of Magic Celebration — beginning Jan. 27, 2023 — To commemorate this platinum anniversary, all-new entertainment, food, decor and more are coming to the Disneyland Resort! The Magic Happens parade will return (Feb. 24, 2023), but also, two new nighttime spectaculars will make their debut: World of Color — One and Wondrous Journeys fireworks January 27. Mickey, Minnie and pals get sparkling new outfits for this celebration, which is said to be the biggest one in history! Keep an eye out for more magical surprises to be announced.
The parks will be decorated in shining platinum. To celebrate "wonder," the castle will be decorated with platinum banners and bunting. Look for the three Good Fairies who illuminate it with shimmering pixie dust. The moat will receive two water fountains on either side. To top it off, you can make a wish on the wishing star sparkling from the tower. You can expect special food, beverage, merchandise and more.
While Mickey's Toontown will be reopening in spring, the new long-awaited Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway ride will open ahead of the rest of Toontown on Jan. 27 just in time for the celebration!
Paradise Pier Hotel Retheming — TBD and changes are currently underway — Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel is getting a new theme soon! The hotel — to become Pixar Place Hotel — is undergoing a transformation, weaving Pixar touches all throughout the property: Check out that Pixar Lamp in the lobby! Guests are now able to enjoy a walkway straight into Disney California Adventure Park. Cool!
The hotel will have a new "Finding Nemo" splash pad for the tadpoles.
Great Maple — TBD — Local favorite Great Maple (known for fried chicken and maple bacon doughnuts) is opening a flagship restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner on the first floor of the Pixar Place Hotel. It will also operate more food and beverage locations throughout the hotel.
Magic Happens Parade Returns — Feb. 24, 2023 — The magical parade that ran for just two weeks in 2020 returns and we could not be any hoppier. Hop over to our Magic Happens post to find out all the details.
"Hey, Disney!" — 2023 — The "Hey, Disney!" voice assistant will work with Alexa on Amazon Echo devices, including those in Disneyland Resort hotel rooms.
Disney Vacation Club location — TBD — If you are a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) member, then you will be hoppy to hear that Disneyland is currently building a new DVC tower adjacent to the Disneyland Hotel. It includes a restaurant, deck area, Mickey pool and pool restrooms. The DVC tower project area is located between South Walnut Street and the Disneyland Hotel’s Frontier Tower and swimming pool. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa has 71 DVC units and is currently the only DVC resort on the West Coast.
runDisney Events return — 2024 — Take your mark! We've missed runDisney races on the West Coast! Good news — they're returning in 2024.
Adventureland Treehouse — 2023 — Ever since Tarzan's Treehouse closed in 2021, fans have been speculating of what version of treehouse is coming to Adventureland. Well the tree is going back to its roots, so to speak.
The Adventureland Treehouse is inspired by the original Walt Disney’s Swiss Family Robinson tree house, built in 1962 for the hit movie, “Swiss Family Robinson.” The new Adventureland Treehouse will return in a fresh, new way some time in 2023.
The Adventureland Treehouse showcases wonderous new environments nestled amongst the branches of a giant tree on the shores of the Jungle River. Guests can once again enter near the giant waterwheel, climbing the wood rope stairways up into the boughs.
The tree has rooms that the family in the new story created. Visit mother’s music den or the young sons’ nature room, or the teenage daughter’s astronomer’s loft. The treehouse is built with discovered objects, natural resources, and pure imagination.
For those who who like to keep their feet or wheels on the ground, they can explore the bottom floor kitchen and dining room, along with the father’s art studio. They won't miss out on seeing the other rooms, though. The father displays hand-drawn sketches and paintings of each of the rooms.
Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway — opening Jan. 27. 2023 — All aboard! Woot, woot! This new ride rolling into Mickey's Toontown will be the first major Mickey-themed ride at Disneyland.
The ride features an original story (and catchy theme song) where Mickey and Minnie are premiering their newest short, “Perfect Picnic,” at the El CapiTOON Theatre. Before you enter the theatre, you'll explore the special exhibit featuring props and costumes from the toon world. Then, you’ll step from the human world straight into the unpredictable cartoon world of Mickey and Minnie, and board a trackless train with Goofy as the engineer.
What could possibly go wrong in this magical, out-of-control ride with surprising twists and turns? Hold onto your ears, because it's a multi-dimensional cartoon world, so anything can happen! The ride will have state-of-the-art technology and dazzling visual effects to immerse you into Mickey's and Minnie's zany animated world. The entrance will be where the current Gag Factory store is. This ride opens for the 100th-anniversary celebration ahead of the rest of Toontown.
Reimagined Toontown — opening March 8, 2023 — Toontown is getting a fresh makeover in honor of the new ride featuring grassy play spaces perfect for tadpoles to get the wiggles out. One of the new areas coming to Toontown will be CenTOONial Park, showcasing a fountain designed for play, including water tables. The fountain will be brought to life at night, as well. Nearby, a dreaming tree will provide opportunities to play, crawl and explore. Toontown temporarily closed as of March 9, 2022, to make way for these new changes.
Roger Rabbit's CarToon Spin, Mickeys House and Minnie's House will remain. Gadget's Go Coaster, Goofy's House and Donald's Boat, however, are being "reimagined in new and exciting ways." Don't worry. Donald's Boat and Goofy's House are still there, but with all-new sensory experiences and Gadget's Go Coaster will return with new and exciting changes.
Roger Rabbit's CarToon Spin does get a new plot twist. Jessica Rabbit gets a lead role in a new update for this ride based on the 1988 movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit." This more relevant version will have Jessica Rabbit as a private eye working to fight a Toontown crime wave run by none other than the Toon Patrol Weasels.
Wondrous Journeys Fireworks Show — Late January 2023 — As part of the Disney 100 Years of Wonder celebration, this new fireworks show will feature all 60 Walt Disney Animation Studios films to date. The show is filled with artistry, music, storytelling and heart. Projections will turn Main Street, U.S.A., Sleeping Beauty Castle, the façade of “it’s a small world” and the Rivers of America into an artist’s canvas as fireworks fill the sky. “Wondrous Journeys” has a new song called, “It’s Wondrous.”
Disney Vacation Club Star View Station Lounge — expected to open in the first half of 2023 — A new DVC member lounge is coming to Tomorrowland at Disneyland. This new lounge takes over the second floor of the Star Wars Launch Bay building.
Tiana's Palace — TBD in 2023 — The French Market Restaurant in New Orleans Square at Disneyland is being reimagined into Tiana’s Palace! French Market and Mint Julep Bar close beginning Feb. 17, 2023, to start the refurbishment. Don't worry. Mint Julep Bar will return for those delicious Mickey-shaped beignets and Mints Juleps.
Tiana's Place remains a quick-service dining location. The menu expands on current favorites served at French Market, includes seasonal flavors and adds some New Orleans classics. We can expect a new look, with peach-colored walls, fancy green wrought-iron balconies and elegant fixtures that reflect Tiana’s life and friendships. Tiana’s Palace will have much of the same pizzazz as the restaurant in the film.
Tiana's Bayou Adventure — Late 2024/Early 2025 — Splash Mountain at both Disneyland and Disney World will undergo a major re-theming with a new storyline, starring Princess Tiana. Guests will be "goin' down the bayou" with Princess Tiana, Prince Naveen, Louis, Ray, Mama Odie and other favorites from the film "Princess and the Frog" to continue the adventure post-kiss and join the hoppin' Mardi Gras celebration. To quote Tiana, these frogs think it'll be "the bee's knees!"
What's the storyline? Tiana is hosting a party and needs to head into the Bayou to find the special ingredient. We'll embark on a journey with her and Louis. We can expect music and an aura of Bayou magic. There is some incredible nighttime lighting coming to the nighttime facade of Tiana's Bayou Adventure too!
Guests will be drawn in by original zydeco music —a special blend of rhythm and blues that originated in Louisiana — inspired by songs in the film. Louis will explain where this music is coming from. The band members sing and play instruments made from natural items found in the bayou. Tiana makes new friends, including an otter, a rabbit, a racoon, a beaver, a turtle and more. Imagineers describe this attraction as a love letter to New Orleans.
A closing date for Splash Mountain for Disneyland has not been announced yet. (Splash Mountain closes starting Jan. 23, 2023, at Disney World.) One thing we can rely on is the heart-pounding drop. Gonna take you down, gonna take you down, gonna take you all the way down ...
Eudora’s Chic Boutique Featuring Tiana’s Gourmet Secrets — Sept. 20, 2022 — A new retail store opens in New Orleans Square. Tiana collaborates with her dressmaker mother, Eudora, to open a shop, selling accessories to create and serve masterful Orleans-style cuisine and more. It's located near Blue Bayou.
Disney California Adventure Park
World of Color – One — January 27, 2023 — As part of the Disney 100 Years of Wonder celebration, we are getting a new World of Color show. This nighttime spectacular celebrates 100 years of storytelling that Walt Disney began. The story shows how a single action, such as a drop of water, creates a ripple that can grow into a wave of change. The show features new and classic courageous, loving and inspiring characters as well as a new original song, “Start a Wave.”
Avengers Headquarters — TBD — The iconic Avengers Headquarters building opened when Avengers Campus opened, but the ride it houses will come at a later date. In the meantime, lift your eyes to the rooftops to spy Avengers and the Quinjet parked up there. The Avengers have heard reports that a villain called the Taskmaster is planning to break into the Avengers command center. Black Widow, Iron Man, Captain America, Captain Marvel and others will be greeting new recruits and keeping an eye out for threats. Should the Taskmaster and his crew appear, the Super Heroes will be ready to spring into action. Watch for a confrontation that takes place all over the building, including the rooftop!
This building is the future entrance to a brand-new “E-Ticket” attraction (opening at a later date) that puts you right in the middle of the Multiverse.
Third Avengers Campus Attraction — TBD — According to Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios president, this new attraction will take you all over the Multiverse, featuring Marvel characters and villains from many timelines. But there's one new villain we'll encounter: King Thanos, who won in another timeline.
Pacific Wharf Overhaul — TBD — Pacific Wharf is becoming San Fransokyo from "Big Hero 6!" You'll be able to meet Baymax, your personal healthcare companion, of course. (We can only imagine how great his hugs are!) The area will have eateries and shopping. The food court will be reimagined to include more storytelling and characters while serving as a base for the Lunar New Year festival that takes place annually late January to mid- February.
Construction has begun in transforming the area. The Pacific Wharf renovation turns the Monterey Bay fishing port–inspired land into a cross between the San Francisco Bay and Tokyo Bay areas. The “Big Hero 6” fictional city of San Fransokyo is a visual East meets West mash-up of both cities featuring Japanese and American architecture.
Downtown Disney Expansion — beginning in January 2022 — A multi-year project to expand this shopping, dining and entertainment space will begin in early 2022. More details will be coming soon! The businesses west of the Monorail track (from Starbucks to Earl of Sandwich) are closed and construction is hoppening now.
New restaurants are coming. Earl of Sandwich will reopen in a new location. Yay! It temporarily sets up shop in the former La Brea Bakery location starting February 2023. Also to come is the world-renowned restaurant Din Tai Fung, offering guests their soup dumplings handcrafted right on site and dishes served family style. Michelin-starred Chef Carlos Gaytan will bring his inclusive vision of Mexican cuisine to the locations currently occupied by Catal & Uva Bar. Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen will incorporate vibrant California energy and a fresh approach to the menu while staying true to the heart of New Orleans. SoCal fave Porto's Bakery & Cafe is also coming to Downtown Disney.
The changes will introduce more innovative shopping, dining and entertainment experiences. The refurbishment draws inspiration from Southern California's mid-century modern architecture. The west-end area will be a beautiful blend of vibrant color palettes, design elements and patterns influenced by the region, and will include an open lawn for relaxation and future events. In the meantime, check out the two newest stores to open Pelé Soccer and and Lovepop.
The Distant Future at Disneyland Resort
Disneyland Resort is seeking approval from the City of Anaheim, the city in which it is located, to expand the resort in multiple areas. This is a long-term plan that may take place over the next few decades. Details are still developing, but Disneyland is looking to expand the theme park, retail, hotel, dining, entertainment and parking options, utilizing space around the resort. Disneyland will be asking the city for more flexibility in plans approved in the 1990s for the eastern and western edges of the Disneyland Resort.
The Immersive Theme Park west side expansion could include a theme park expansion on the land that currently surrounds the Disneyland Hotel, parts of Downtown Disney (where the unused ESPN Zone and AMC theater are currently located), Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel and some surrounding parking lots. The streets that surround this area include Katella Avenue, Walnut Street and Magic Way.
The other major area being looked at for east-side expansion is the current Toy Story lot near the Anaheim Convention Center. The Disney Entertainment Destination expansion, if approved, would include hotels, retail, dining, entertainment and theme park experiences.
A parking lot off Disney Way with a pedestrian bridge across Harbor Boulevard could create a new access point to Disneyland. The bridge would upgrade accessibility for hotels and businesses located along Harbor Boulevard. Disney is not asking for any public funding to complete this project.
It could take a few years for the planning and approvals to be complete and take many years to construct. But it's toadally exciting to see what may be coming to the Disneyland Resort!
Universal Studios Hollywood
Super Nintendo World and Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge ride — Feb. 17, 2023 — 'Sup gamers? Universal Studios Hollywood will be bringing an expansive and immersive Nintendo-themed area to Universal Studios Hollywood in early 2023. You can see construction underway in the Lower Lot, to the left of Transformers: The Ride-3D. Guests will enter this colorful and interactive new land via a Warp Pipe.
The land features a new ride, Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge, located inside Bowser's Castle. Guests will be immersed in a large, interactive moving track ride that brings together augmented reality (assistance from head-mounted goggles) with projection mapping technology and set pieces. The ride is inspired by the video game, and you've never experienced anything like it.
Riders will climb aboard four-person, stadium-style Mario Kart vehicles from the dungeons of Bowser's Castle. Then it's time to put on the goggles and wait for the 3-2-1-Go! signal from Lakitu. In the quest to win the Golden Cup, riders will steer through courses in the clouds and even underwater! The ride has a variety of outcomes, which means riders will want to go again and again! The ride appeals to guests of all ages, even those with little gaming experience.
The new land also includes dining and shopping at Toadstool Cafe (thanks, Chef Toad!) and the 1-UP Factory. Visitors can expect colorful animatronic scenery with spinning gold coins, boxes with question marks, and more. To begin the countdown, Universal reimagined the Feature Presentation store into Super Nintendo World theming. Mario and Luigi apparel and iconic character hats, along with plush characters (including Mario, Luigi, Yoshi and Bowser) and more, are available for purchase. You can also find Super Nintendo World merchandise in the Universal Studio Store.
Throughout the new land, guests can use wearable Power-Up Bands that work with the Universal Studios Hollywood app to level-up the experience and enhance interactive elements, such as collecting digital coins by punching blocks. Power-Up Bands come in six design options with character themes and will be available for purchase in Super Nintendo World, Nintendo-themed shops at Universal Studios Hollywood and CityWalk.
The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen — opening early 2023 — A Universal Orlando CityWalk family favorite is coming to the West Coast, and we are hopping with excitement! We're also hoping to burn some calories in advance because we plan to do some damage when it opens! The menu offers all-day brunch (yes, please!), lunch and dinner items, but the creative milkshakes and decadent desserts are what really get my attention. The steampunk-decorated restaurant will be found in the former Hard Rock Cafe location, near the Universal Cinema. Toothsome will join other recently opened restaurants at Universal Studios Hollywood CityWalk, including Antojitos Cocina Mexicana, VIVO Italian Kitchen, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville and Voodoo Doughnut.
What's Coming to Other Southern California Theme Parks (and Zoos) in 2023 and Beyond
SeaWorld San Diego
Arctic Rescue — 2023 — It's time to hop on the fastest and longest straddle coaster on the West Coast! Arctic Rescue will be a family-friendly thrill ride that reaches speeds up to 40 mph and has three launches and over 2,800 feet of track.
Knott's Berry Farm
All-new Reimagined Fiesta Village — 2023 — Fiesta Village comes alive in celebration of culture. Inspired by Hispanic influence in SoCal, Fiesta Village will have new experiences, entertainment, dining, shopping and thrills. Part of that is the reimagining of Montezooma's Revenge. Visit Fiesta Mercado, which is inspired by Olvera Street in Los Angeles, to discover a variety of merchants with unique and authentic items, surrounded by colorful alebrijes and landscaping. Bite into made-to-order burritos and tacos at the new full-service Casa California restaurant, or enjoy a cold cerveza or specialty cocktails at the new adjacent Cantina Del Sur. Take in more live entertainment at the transformed open-air Fiesta Stage.
MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress — 2023 — As mentioned, the beloved Montezooma's Revenge is being re-themed. Many treasure hunters have searched for the legendary Montezuma's gold. They have dredged Mexican rivers and plunged into the Pacific in search of riches. But a handful of the clever scavengers have found themselves in the true resting place of the infamous gold — just outside a small village in California, Fiesta Village. Will new adventurers succeed in extracting the gold and breaking the curse that has fallen upon many who have tried and failed? The way forward might not always be as expected. A new twist on this classic coaster experience may alter your ability to escape with the treasure once and for all!
The coaster will have a new randomized launch sequence. Will you shoot forward or backward? You'll only know once it's hoppening!
If you're as excited about what’s coming to Disneyland and Universal in 2023 and beyond as I am, then you might be planning your next visit. If you are looking for discount theme park tickets, rental cars, transportation or hotels near Disneyland or Universal Studios you can score some hoppin’ good deals through Undercover Tourist. Choose “Los Angeles” and then you can narrow down your search.