Disney World New Rides - 2023 In-Depth Guide to the Magic

January 10, 2023

Futuristic roller coasters that light up the night, playful Polynesian water experiences, and finger-licking good BBQ with Woody and Jessie. As we make our way into the New Year, the Most Magical Place on Earth is hitting ‘refresh’ on everything from rides to anniversary celebrations.

Follow along to discover everything you need to know about the new rides at Disney World 2023.

Are you amped for the pure adrenaline of TRON lightcycle run? Or are you counting down the days till you can splash around with Tiana? The newest rides at Disney World promise to deliver.

In addition to thrilling upcoming Disney rides, Mickey’s magic home is set to unleash enchanting firework spectaculars, breezy Californian fare, and swoon-worthy island-inspired resort accommodations.

Can’t wait to experience the wonder of Walt Disney World Resort’s new rides for yourself? Read on..

Disney World Tickets

The first step in conquering all of the Disney rides in Orlando? Securing your Walt Disney World Resort tickets. Enjoy old favorites such as Jungle Cruise and the Haunted Mansion. Or pose for photo ops with Minnie, Goofy, and the whole gang.

With four unique parks to tackle, plus a slew of additional new rides, there’s never been a better time to return to the world’s most beloved theme park.

Family Running on the sidewalk with Space Ship Earth in the background at Walt Disney World's Epcot - Orlando, Florida, USADisney World Hotels

Psst…don’t forget to carve out some time for TLC. Ensure you are resting up in between flights with Dumbo and princess breakfasts when you book any of our premier hotels near Disney World.

Sip an ice-cold cocktail poolside at Margaritaville or savor a vacation villa complete with a BBQ grill. From official Disney Spring lodgings to more wallet-friendly options, we have accommodations for every budget and style.

Disney World New Attractions 2023

Calling all Disneyphiles! A new year means more than just a new calendar at Disney World. If you’ve been wondering ‘what’s new at Disney World,’ we are here to spill all the dirty details. From completely reimagined lands to rumored reunions with Zootopia characters, Walt Disney World future attractions will inject even more excitement and creativity into the park’s offerings.

Thanks to announcements at the D23 expo, loyal Mouseketeers can prime themselves for even more Disney World places to go and things to see. This bi-annual event is where the company unveils brand-new park experiences, ideas, rides, and product plans.

Whether you have your heart set on witnessing color and contortions with Cirque du Soleil or are on the edge of your seat waiting to try the newest ride at Disney World, 2023 will be a year of fresh fun.

Wide shot mockup of the Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind ride at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Fairy Tale Concierge, Erika Brombacher-Travel Agent via Facebook

New Disney World Attractions EPCOT

It’s only fitting that EPCOT, the land of the future, is sneaking in some truly spectacular new additions in 2023. However, before we dive into this park's expansions and sparkling attractions, we’d be remiss to not mention one of our favorite 2022 additions.

Strap in for a rollicking rock ‘n’ roll good time when you save the day with the Guardians of the Galaxy. The stomach-churning Journey of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind is not to be missed. Make it even more epic by timing your ride with the anniversary of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind, this May 27th, 2023.

After you’ve dodged intergalactic mayhem and space smugglers with Groot and Gamora, stay tuned for the newest EPCOT attractions and neighborhood additions:

Moana’s Journey of Water Nature Trail* 

Mini mermaids of all ages will be in awe of this immersive ocean-themed attraction which encourages guests to play with living water in a beautiful and inspiring setting. Frolic and feel free, as you engage with the aquatic elements and learn all about protecting the natural water cycle. This is the first Disney experience based on the mega-hit Walt Disney film Moana.

Concept art for Moana - Journey of Water with a mom and two kids walking towards a waterfall surrounded by greenery at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Theme Park Review via Facebook

EPCOT Gardens 

Flowers, food, and festivals oh my! Loyal devotees to the EPCOT Festival of the Arts, food, and wine, and more will have increased fragrant scenery in which to document their trip. Located throughout the World Celebration Space, these new gardens will serve up plenty of seating, gorgeous flora, and seasonal decorations in accordance with each festival celebrated at EPCOT.

Figment Character Meet & Greet 

The mascot of the ‘Imagination’ Pavilion is making a very royal (purple) entrance as a new character meet and greet. Our dino-loving experts say you can expect to see him waddling around as an animatronic or costumed character by the end of 2023.

New Neighborhoods 

2023 will see some new landscapes at EPCOT’s Future World. This expansion includes the following four neighborhoods: World Showcase, World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery.

Looking to the future ahead? While 2024 may seem like a far-off land, it will be here sooner than you think. Next year Disney guests will be able to delight in a new EPCOT Play pavilion. This digital metropolis is said to boast plenty of character experiences, hands-on activities, games, entertainment, and more.

*Expect to explore the reef with Moana come late 2023.

Artists rendering of new neighborhoods at EPCOT in Orlando, Florida.

Photo Credit: Attractions Magazine via Facebook

New Disney Rides Magic Kingdom

Yo, ho, ho, and a bottle of rum! Magic Kingdom may be best known for classic attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean and It’s a Small World, but this mecca of kooky characters and animated-inspired rides will have some novel new additions come Spring 2023 and beyond. Race through a gritty computerized world with TRON, peek at a poltergeist, and more:

Tron Lightcycle Run 

Climb aboard your very own light cycle and prepare for a high-speed escape on this highly anticipated roller coaster attraction. First announced way back in 2017 at the D23 expo, Tron will finally be making its debut this spring. Visitors of Shanghai Disneyland will recognize this gripping journey as a replica of the same Tomorrowland main attraction.

View of the track for the Tron Lightcycle Power Run at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: ACE Europe Region via Facebook

Hatbox Ghost

In the mood for some macabre? The iconic ‘Hatbox Ghost’ is slated to make his Magic Kingdom appearance this year in the Haunted Mansion.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

Pack that swimsuit, as things are about to get wet in 2024. Disney has let on that next year everyone’s favorite water ride will undergo a complete makeover. Splash Mountain will transform into a charming New Orleans Bayou, taking inspiration from the hit Disney film, “The Princess and the Frog.”

Upcoming Disney Rides Hollywood Studios

Lights, camera, action! Go behind the silver screen and get cozy with your most treasured characters and lightsaber-swinging heroes at Hollywood Studios. Once known mostly for the live stage spectaculars, in recent years this park has undergone a huge facelift with the creation of Star Wars Galaxy's Edge.

Now, little Jedi in training can get their fill of droid building, interplanetary smuggling, and the First Order. Whether you are a dedicated Star Wars nerd or a newcomer to this Galaxy far, far, away, you simply must swing by to revel in the immersive experience of Rise of the Resistance and Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

Once you’ve gotten your fill of Batuu and Blue Milk, head on over to Toy Story Land to reunite with Woody, Jessie, and Buzz:

Woody’s Roundup Rodeo BBQ 

Located in Toy Story Land, this down-home watering hole is set to open in 2023 and will feature finger-licking good BBQ plates with table service. In addition, the Rodeo will serve as a hub for meet and greets with both Woody and Jessie.

Artist rendering of entrance to Woody’s Roundup Rodeo BBQ 

Photo Credit: Share The Magic Travel - Paula & Rod Priester via Facebook

New Rides at Disney World Animal Kingdom

Ready to be whisked away for a Kilimanjaro Safari? Get wild at the Animal Kingdom, when you catch Mickey and Minnie floating away on their flotilla, or soar high in the sky on a winged mountain Banshee with Avatar Flight of Passage.

Uncover the secrets of the African plains as you spot giraffes, lions, and zebras. While nothing concrete has been announced for this land of foreign fauna, come 2023 the D23 expo did see Disney executives discuss inspirational projects for the future. Known as Blue Sky projects, these are mere whisperings of dreams to come.

Future lands that have been mentioned in connection with the Animal Kingdom include:

Lake in foreground and people riding Expedition Everest at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom - Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Visit Orlando via Facebook


Missing your dear friends Nick and Judy from Zootopia? Fans of this cute and cuddly buddy cop movie will be all a flutter when they (hypothetically) get to step foot in this future land. Keep the streets of Zootopia safe as you reunite with Chief Bogo, Bonnie Hopps, and more.

It is rumored that this animal-tastic space will bring guests even closer to the residents and landmarks of Zootopia. In addition to introducing us to new areas and characters not featured in the heartwarming movie.


Just how far you’ll go? There are no limits when it comes to the magic of Moana and her ocean sailing dreams. Get ready to put that soundtrack on repeat, as you’ll want to brush up on ballads from Maui, Gramma Tala, and Tamatoa.

While next to nothing has been leaked about this project, sources say it will involve an intrepid journey with Moana to the reef and beyond. We could also be confronted with new creatures from the sea and exhilarating battles with the Kakamora.

Still yearning for something new on the horizon? Moana and Zootopia lands may be a long time coming, but visitors in 2023 can ooh and aww over the ‘new’ and undeniably adorable residents of the Harambe Wildlife Reserve, Nigerian dwarf goats. Spot these tiny creatures frolicking towards the end of Kilimanjaro Safari.

Trees and Plants at Pandora The World of Avatar at Disney World's Animal Kingdom - Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Avatar via Facebook

Disney World Resorts

What’s a Walt Disney World vacation without an epic resort stay? From Deluxe Villas to rustic campgrounds, Disney provides lodgings for all types of travelers. Lap up the luxury and minimalist aesthetics of the Four Seasons Orlando, or celebrate your inner child at the Disney Pop Century Resort.

Pay tribute to your Pioneer heritage when you stay at the Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, or keep that getaway budget in check with more modest housing options. For those Mickey maniacs who are keen to explore a different side of Disney hospitality, this coming year will usher in some delightful refurbishments:

Polynesian DVC Towers

Have you been fantasizing about a Fijian getaway? While absconding to the South Pacific may not be in the cards, a stay at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort will do the trick. Enjoy the swaying palm trees, the succulent island flavors, and a perfectly prepared Mai Tai, as you wait with bated breath for the DVC Polynesian Project.

These state-of-the-art resort towers are on schedule to open in late 2024 and will showcase a new look combining accents from the Pacific Islands, with views of the water. This entirely new wing will be located in the area of the permanently closed Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show.

Families who delight in the placid tranquility of lake landscapes will have to continue to hold tight. Reflections, a Disney Lakeside Lodge, was originally slated to open its doors in 2022. This cozy resort addition would have highlighted the serene shoreside beauty of Bay Lake.

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the construction of the nature-inspired, mixed-use Disney resort has been on hold. The proposed location for this new rusticly charming escape was to be between Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.

Wide shot of the Polynesian Village Resort at night with their lights on and the golden reflection of the lights in the water in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Walt Disney World via Facebook

Disney World Park Celebrations

From Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party to the positively EARidescent 50th-anniversary celebration of Disney World, no one does a party quite like Walt. If you’re still angling for more anniversary festivities, parades, and keepsake collectibles don’t fret. While the 50th-anniversary celebration will be coming to a close in March 2023, Disney has revealed that in 2023 the party will go on in an exciting new form.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the entire Walt Disney Company. Precious little has been released about the specificity of the ‘100 Years of Wonder’ festivities. Still, loyal Mouse fans can expect tons of commemorative merch, food, and character celebrations throughout every park.

Disney Nighttime Spectaculars

In the mood for an after-dark interlude? Watch the night sky explode with vivid colors accompanied by your most beloved Disney tunes when you take in a Disney nighttime spectacular. Disney experts in the know will already be aware that fan favorite spectaculars Harmonious at EPCOT and Disney Enchantment at Magic Kingdom will be retired by March 2023.

Hold on to your mouse ears though, as the fairy tale fanfare will continue in a completely updated version of a Happily Ever After spectacular at the Magic Kingdom. This updated bonanza of fireworks, songs, and lights will contain new segments and possibly even a remix of the eternally popular Happily Ever After Disney theme song.

Furthermore, Happily Ever After 2.0 could likely feature character additions from newer Disney films such as Raya and the Last Dragon, Encanto, and Turning Red. Happily Ever After 2.0 is planned to make its debut on April 1, 2023, and is sure to make quite a splash. Tickets are expected to sell out fast, so plan your trip accordingly.

View looking up at the Enchantment Firework Show with Cinderellas Castles in front of it at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Steve Dausey via Facebook

Disney Spring Developments

Numerous runs on Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad do wonders to work up that appetite. Take a break from endless snacking on churros and Dole Whip, to sample the mouth-watering new eateries at Disney Springs.

Currently, famished guests can taste the decadent flavors of the famous West Coast ice creamery Salt & Straw. Savor a sweet double scoop of Salted, Malted, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough or Honey lavender, before moving on to more hearty offerings from Gideon’s Bakehouse. Known for their ridiculously hefty, almost half-pound cookies, a bite of the Pistachio Toffee Chocolate Chip is well worth the trek.

Need an infusion of savory to counter all that sweetness? Summer House on the Lake will be opening in 2023. This breezy California-inspired eatery will showcase delectable fresh seasonal dishes in a beachy ambiance. Chow down on crisp vegetable-laden salads, fish tacos, piping hot margarita pizzas, and more.

P.S. Dinner at Summerhouse would make the perfect accompaniment to the new Walt Disney Animation Studios and Cirque du Soleil Drawn to Life collaboration. Enjoy incredible Disney memories brought to life through dance, acrobatics, magic, and more.

close up of chocolate chip cookies on wooden board with bottles in background at Gideon's Bakehouse at Disney World in Orlando, Flordia, USA

photo credit: Gideon's Bakehouse via Facebook

Start Planning Your 2023 Disney Trip Today

Wonder, excitement, and enchantment are always on the menu at Walt Disney World. Furthermore, each year the magicians of Mickey continue to astound us with their dedication to bettering the Disney World attractions.

While we can already build Droids, drink Jabba Juice, and jam out to classic rock with the Guardians of the Galaxy; new rides in Disney World will bring even more mesmerizing thrills.

Get spooked with a peak of the new HatBox ghost or blend the lines of reality and imagination in the futuristic world of TRON.

From gobbling up giant cookies at Gideon’s to singing along to a sweet new Happily Every After serenade, 2023 at Disney World is a fantasy come true.

Tell us, Which New Disney World Rides Are You Most Excited About in 2023?

What new Disney rides in 2023 will you tackle first?

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Written By Isis Maya

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central America and her love o ...

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