'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!
Disney 100 Years of Magic Celebration — beginning Jan. 27, 2023 — To commemorate this platinum anniversary, all-new entertainment, food, decor and more are at the Disneyland Resort! The Magic Happens parade returned (Feb. 24, 2023), but also, two new nighttime spectaculars made their debut: World of Color — One and Wondrous Journeys fireworks Jan. 27. Mickey, Minnie and pals have 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 are decorated in shining platinum. To celebrate "wonder," the castle is decorated with platinum banners and bunting. Look for the three Good Fairies who illuminate it with shimmering pixie dust. The moat has 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 reopened several weeks later, the new long-awaited Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway ride opened ahead of the rest of Toontown 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.
The hotel will have a new "Finding Nemo" splash pad for the tadpoles.
Great Maple — Summer 2023 — 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. Even though the restaurant opens summer 2023, we still do not have an official date for the Pixar Place Hotel completion.
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 Villas location — September 28, 2023 — 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. The Villas at Disneyland Hotel blend timeless Walt Disney Animation Studios classics with contemporary designs. This is the fourth tower at 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.
The Villas at Disneyland Hotel has 344 whimsically themed rooms including:
- Duo studios
- Deluxe studios
- One and two-bedroom villas
- Grand villas
The Villas open September 28, 2023. You do not need to be a DVC member to stay here. Did you know you can book the Villas at Disneyland Hotel at a discount through Undercover Tourist? Ribbit!
Each villa includes modern amenities with Disney magic sprinkled throughout. Themes include Walt Disney Animation Studios films such as “The Jungle Book,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Princess and the Frog,” “Fantasia” and more. The lobby features a one-of-a-kind mural created by Disney Animation artist Lorelay Bové. She has worked on classics from “The Princess and the Frog” to “Encanto.” Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa has 71 DVC units and until September is the only DVC resort on the West Coast.
Villas are limited in availability, and restrictions apply.
runDisney Events return — Jan. 11-14, 2024 — Take your mark! We've missed runDisney races on the West Coast! Good news — they're returning in 2024 with the Disneyland Half Marathon and other races.
"Avatar" Experience — TBD — An "Avatar" experience is coming to Disneyland Resort. We don't know much about the endeavor yet, but there are more details to come.
Adventureland Treehouse inspired by Walt Disney's "Swiss Family Robinson" — late 2023 — Ever since Tarzan's Treehouse closed in 2021, fans have been speculating about what version of the 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 sometime in later 2023. As you may have guessed, there is a new Swiss Family Robinson television show in the works for Disney+.
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 the 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 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.
Now that the construction walls are down, we are getting excited to visit this new Adventureland Treehouse.
Disneyland After Dark: Pride Nite — June 13 and 15, 2023 — The first ever LGBTQIA-themed After Dark party takes place in June 2023. At this separately ticketed after-hours event, guests can enjoy unique, themed experiences, exclusive photo opportunities, event merchandise and much more! This special party takes place at Disneyland Park for two nights. Tickets are on sale to the public April 20, 2023.
Disneyland Park closes at 8 p.m. on party nights. Guests can arrive as early as three hours early, as of 6 p.m. After that, the private party runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. PT. Hop over to our Pride Nite post for more details.
Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway — opened Jan. 27. 2023 — All aboard! Woot, woot! This new ride rolling into Mickey's Toontown is 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 has state-of-the-art technology and dazzling visual effects to immerse you into Mickey's and Minnie's zany animated world. This ride opened for the 100th-anniversary celebration ahead of the rest of Toontown.
Reimagined Toontown — opened March 19, 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 is CenTOONial Park, showcasing a fountain designed for play, including water tables. The fountain is brought to life at night, as well. Nearby, a dreaming tree provides 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 remain. Gadget's Go Coaster, Goofy's House and Donald's Boat, however, have been reimagined. Don't worry. Donald's Boat and Goofy's House are still there, but with all-new sensory experiences and Gadget's Go Coaster returns 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 has 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 — January 27, 2023 — As part of the Disney 100 Years of Wonder celebration, this new fireworks show features all 60 Walt Disney Animation Studios films to date. The show is filled with artistry, music, storytelling and heart. Projections 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 — April 19, 2023 — A new DVC member lounge is open in Tomorrowland at Disneyland. This new lounge takes over the second floor of the Star Wars Launch Bay building. It has DVC member services, complimentary Wi-Fi, charging stations and complimentary soft drinks.
New Beverages and Foods at Table-Service Restaurants — Sept. 12, 2023 — Three Disneyland Park restaurants are adding drinks with alcohol (as well as some new non-alcoholic options) to their menus in conjunction with new seasonal foods as of September. River Belle Terrace, Carnation Café and Café Orleans all begin serving beer, wine and specialty cocktails. At that time, River Belle Terrace will begin serving brunch.
Heartbeat of New Orleans Projection Show — Sept. 29, 2023 through spring 2024 — A new nighttime projection show will play on Rivers of America while "Fantasmic" continues its refurbishment. Watch as a bayou frog hears the call of jazz music in the distance.
Tiana's Palace — Sept. 7, 2023 — The French Market Restaurant in New Orleans Square at Disneyland is being reimagined into Tiana’s Palace! The French Market Restaurant and Mint Julep Bar closed for refurbishment Feb. 17, 2023, and the restaurant will reopen as Tiana's Palace Sept. 7, 2023. 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.
Disney is updating the plaza between Haunted Mansion and Tiana's Palace, with construction starting in 2024. The new elegant park-like setting will be a place to relax. Guests can relax and enjoy live entertainment under the shade of new and historic trees. And speaking of the neighboring Haunted Mansion, it too is getting some enhancements in 2024.
Haunted Mansion Grounds Expansion and New Shop — TBD 2024 — The Haunted Mansion grounds and outdoor queue is expanding to build on the story of the attraction. The expanded queue will include new gardens inspired by Master Gracey, Madame Leota and the one-eyed cat. The pet cemetery and horse-drawn funeral hearse will remain. New gardens and elements will be added. Guests can enjoy unique elements such as a water fountain, gazebo, themed statuary and landscaping. A new greenhouse where the groundskeepers grow their plants will materialize.
When you exit the ride, you will pass an all-new retail shop. Madame Leota felt it was time to continue her presence beyond the walls of the Mansion in her carriage house full of goods she predicts you'll be "dying" to add to your collection.
Guests with disabilities will be able to use a new elevator to exit the attraction. Construction begins for these updates in January 2024.
Tiana's Bayou Adventure — Late 2024 — Splash Mountain at both Disneyland and Disney World is undergoing 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, Eudora, Charlotte, "Big Daddy," the King and Queen of Maldonia, Prince Ralphie 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!"
The ride will feature new, original characters, as well as familiar faces from the film! Keep an eye out for dozens of entirely new Audio-Animatronics figures. 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!
Do you love beignets as much as we do? You can enjoy the yummy scent of beignets being prepared for the party while in the ride's queue!
Moving from scents to sounds, 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 raccoon, a beaver, a turtle and more. Imagineers describe this attraction as a love letter to New Orleans.
Splash Mountain closed Jan. 23, 2023, at Disney World. At Disneyland, Splash Mountain closes May 31, 2023. 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 ...
New Adventures Coming to Star Tours — in 2024
In 2024, you can journey to new places with new stories and characters on Star Tours at Disneyland. This is also hoppening at Star Tours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and Disneyland Paris in France.
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."
San Fransokyo Square — Aug. 31, 2023 — Pacific Wharf is becoming San Fransokyo Square 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 good news is that the food options we love so much are staying! 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 from late January to mid-February.
Construction is almost completed in 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.
Rogers: The Musical — June 30, 2023 through Aug. 31, 2023— Disney Parks tweeted a video of Agent Carter with a playbill in her hand for Rogers the Musical. This one-act, 30-minute musical comes to The Hyperion for a limited time in the summer, from Tuesday through Saturday most weeks. We frogs will be 100 percent there for it!
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. A new gift shop is under construction in the meantime. The new shop will open mid-Octover 2023.
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.
Downtown Disney Expansion — beginning in January 2022 — A multi-year project to expand this shopping, dining and entertainment space began in early 2022. 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 has reopened in a new location. Yay! It temporarily set up shop in the former La Brea Bakery location with both quick-service and table-service dining as of 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 formerly 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 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. Disneyland has been hosting community coffees and town halls (scheduled May through October 2023) at Anaheim city parks to answer questions and share 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, 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.
The planning proposal has six possible projects themed around "Frozen," "Tangled," "Peter Pan," "Zootopia," "Toy Story" and "Tron." That could include new lands and attractions.
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
A Fast & Furious Roller Coaster — TBD — A new roller coaster is under construction in the Upper Lot. It is located at the former site of the Animal Actors and Special Effects Show theaters. The coaster will feature a "state-of-the-art ride system." Let's hope for a speedy construction so we can ride it as quickly as possible.
Super Nintendo World and Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge ride — opened Feb. 17, 2023 — 'Sup gamers? Universal Studios Hollywood introduced an expansive and immersive Nintendo-themed area to the park in early 2023. Guests can 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 are 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 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 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 are available for purchase in Super Nintendo World and Nintendo-themed shops at Universal Studios Hollywood and CityWalk.
The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen — opened Jan. 27, 2023 — A Universal Orlando CityWalk family favorite is here on the West Coast, and we are hopping with excitement! 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 is located in the former Hard Rock Cafe location, near the Universal Cinema. Toothsome joins 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 in 2023 and Beyond
SeaWorld San Diego
Arctic Rescue — Opened Spring 2023 — It's time to hop on the fastest and longest straddle coaster on the West Coast! Arctic Rescue is a family-friendly thrill ride that reaches speeds up to 40 mph and has three launches and over 2,800 feet of track.
Rescue Jr. — Opened Spring 2023 — SeaWorld San Diego re-vamped this water-focused play area in the middle of the park. Bring those swimsuits to cool off in the splash pad, and look at real rescue vehicles. There are still kid-friendly rides, a climbing structure and more, but now you can also meet real rescued animals during daily presentations. Learn about rescued animals, including marsupials, primates and reptiles.
Knott's Berry Farm
All-new Reimagined Fiesta Village — Opened in May 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.