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10 Big Changes Coming to Disney That You Need to Know

We love that Walt Disney World is constantly changing. Walt Disney World keeps the magic fresh and exciting by bringing in new rides, shows, dining, and more for Guests. It is always fun to have new experiences when visiting Walt Disney World. It is one of the main reasons we keep returning because there is always something new to try out for the first time.

As 2023 wraps up and we prepare for 2024, some big changes are headed to Walt Disney World. If you are planning a trip, you will want to be aware of these changes that could impact your vacation experience.


Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana: EPCOT

As EPCOT continues to be transformed, we are anxiously awaiting the opening of the new Moana (2016) experience. Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana, is set to open by the end of 2023. We have been watching construction via the monorail, and significant progress is being made.

We have also seen Cast Members testing the water features, which is a huge step towards opening on time. This experience will be a walk-through where Guests learn about the importance of water on the planet.

We can’t wait to experience this unique attraction and see the fantastic statue of Tafiti.

Dreamers Point
Credit: Disney

World Celebration: EPCOT

Another area in EPCOT is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023. World Celebration is being transformed and will be a beautiful hub for those visiting EPCOT. Several gardens will be an excellent place for Guests to relax.

This area will also feature Communicore Hall and Coomunicore Plaza, two new homes for festivals. Along with these two areas, Guests will also be able to experience Dreamers Point. This area will include a new statue of Walt Disney titled “Walt the Dreamer.”

World Celebration will be a beautiful area for Guests to explore, relax, and dream during their time in EPCOT.

Journey into Imagination with Figment
Credit: WDW Magazine

Figment Meet and Greet: EPCOT

One final significant change coming to EPCOT is the return of the Figment meet and greet. Disney announced that by the end of 2023, Guests will again be able to meet their beloved Figment at EPCOT.

Figment represents imagination, and he will share his imagination once again in EPCOT. Be prepared for long lines if this is your must-do meet and greet. Figment is one famous friend.

Mickey and Minnie in Disney100
Mickey and Minnie in Disney100

Celebrating 100 Years

Throughout Walt Disney World, Guests will be able to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Walt Disney Company. We slowly started to see the 100 Years logo at the four Disney Parks, with more to come as 2023 wraps up.

September 22 through December 31, the celebration will be focused on EPCOT with a brand-new night-time show. Although we have seen work done in the World Showcase Lagoon, additional information about this new show has yet to be shared. We hope it is a big celebration of all the magic that has taken place over the last 100 years.

Look for Disney100 decor, novelty treats, and merchandise throughout the Walt Disney World Resort Property in celebration of 100 years.

Disney Dining

Hatbox Ghost: Magic Kingdom

During D23 Expo 2022, we were told that the beloved Hatbox Ghost would make its way to Magic Kingdom sometime in 2023. Although we had high hopes of it materializing during MIckey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, we still await its arrival.

With the release of the Haunted Mansion film, we were given a little more information about the Hatbox Ghost’s arrival. It was said that it would appear to Guests following the Endless Hallway. Until then, we wait with great anticipation.

summer house
summer house

Summer House on the Lake: Disney Springs

Disney is always looking to add new dining experiences for Guests. Summer House on the Lake will be opening in 2023 at Disney Springs. This California-inspired menu will feature fresh, simple ingredients.

Guests will have the option of a full-service restaurant and an in-house bakery for something quick on the go. We look forward to experiencing this new dining option at Disney Springs soon.

Cake Bake Shop
Cake Bake Shop

The Cake Bake Shop: Disney’s Boardwalk

Another new dining experience will be opening in 2023 at Disney’s Boardwalk. The Cake Bake Shop will feature delicious desserts such as cookies, cakes, macarons, brownies, and more.

If Guests are hoping for something a little more, The Cake Bake Shop will also offer table-service dining and quick-service bakery options. There will also be an elegant afternoon tea service.

The shop looks beautiful, and we can’t wait to try delicious treats.

Disney Dining Plan 2024
Credit: Orland Date Night Guide/Disney

Disney Dining Plan is BACK- January 2024

A significant change that will impact your trip in 2024 is the return of the Disney Dining Plan. Guests will have the option in 2024 to add one of two dining plans to their Walt Disney World vacation package. This is a great way to make your Disney vacation feel more all-inclusive.

Guests prepay for the dining plan and then use credits throughout their trip during meals or when having a snack. Please read our detailed post below for more information on how this will impact your trip.

Related: What You Need to Know About the Dining Plan

No More Theme Park Reservations

Another big change coming in 2024 is the removal of Theme Park Reservations for those with date-based tickets. Starting January 9, 2024, Guests who have purchased a Disney package or date-based tickets will no longer need to make Theme Park Reservations.

This is one less planning step for Guests to take before their trip. Guests will now be able to head to whatever Disney Park they want each day of their trip.

Related: Theme Park Reservations 

Disney Genie
Credit: Disney

Genie+ Updates

Finally, a significant change that we are looking forward to learning more about is the adjustments to Genie+. Disney stated that they are looking at making Genie+ easier for Guests. Disney wants Guests to spend less time planning while in the Parks. We haven’t been given more information about what this will look like, but we hope it will allow us to be on our phones less and present in the magic more.

Those are the big changes coming in the future at Walt Disney World and how they could impact your trip. We love that Disney is constantly changing, but it also means being aware of those changes before traveling. We hope we have helped you do just that.



Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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