These days, it can be hard to keep up with all the changes and updates happening around Disney World.
From one day to the next, things are a bit different. We do our best to keep track of it all so you don’t have to, and so far, 2023 sounds like it could be one heck of a year for Disney World! If you’re heading to the parks in 2023 or are thinking about planning a trip, these are the dates you should know!
NOTE: We’re updating this article throughout 2023 as openings take place and new experiences are announced!
Dates We Know
Disney typically keeps dates to themselves until the last possible moment, but luckily we do know a few different events coming up in 2023 that already have solid spots on the calendar.
January 4th and 9th, 2023: After-Hours Events Return
When Disney announced that After Hours Events would be returning to the parks in 2023, we were THRILLED! They’ll kick off on January 4th in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and on January 9th in Magic Kingdom.
After Hours events are separately ticketed parties where you can stay in the Disney theme parks for 3 hours after the park closes. There are special treats and drinks included in your ticket. And because the number of tickets sold for the parties is limited, you can often find lower wait times than usual on the rides and attractions.
January 13-February 20th, 2023: EPCOT International Festival of the Arts
The first EPCOT festival to take place every year (since 2017 at least!) is the EPCOT Festival of the Arts! In 2023, this festival will take place from January 13th through February 20th.
The Festival of the Arts combines visual, performing, and culinary arts — you can expect fancy foods, performances, gorgeous artwork, and plenty of merchandise. Some of our favorite eats come from this festival, and we love checking out all the incredible Disney-themed art on display.
March 31st, 2023: 50th Anniversary Celebrations End
The Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Celebrations kicked off in style on October 1st, 2021, and we’ve seen plenty of new entertainment, merchandise, snacks, and more over the past year. But sadly, all good things must come to an end.
The 50th Anniversary Celebration will officially end on March 31st, 2023 — so if you want to experience any of this historic event, make sure you book your 2023 trip before it ends!
Things That Will Happen “Sometime” in 2023
The rest of these dates are events we know will happen at some point in 2023 — either because Disney has announced it or because these events typically happen every year — we just don’t have solid dates for them yet. We’ll continue to update this article as we learn more!
Spring 2023: TRON Opens in Magic Kingdom
We’ve been waiting for TRON: Lightcycle Run to open in Magic Kingdom for quite some time now, so when Disney announced the coaster would finally be opening in 2023, we were pretty excited, to say the least.
For now, all we know is that the coaster will be opening sometime in the spring, but when exactly that might be remains to be seen. We’ll continue to keep an eye on the latest construction updates and keep you posted if we hear any more news on when we can ride this coaster!
The EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival usually sprouts up around the spring — in 2022, it ran from March 2nd to July 4th. We’re expecting another spring harvest for this festival in 2023, but we don’t have the specific dates yet.
Incredible floral topiaries and artwork are scattered across the park, not to mention delicious springtime-themed eats and drinks from the festival booths. You’ll also find plenty of entertainment at this fest too, so stay tuned for the official 2023 dates!
2022 saw the return of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party after a two-year hiatus. We finally danced and dined with goblins, ghouls, and ghosts once again — and got to go trick-or-treating around Magic Kingdom!
In 2022, this separately ticketed party took place on select nights between August 12th and October 31st — so chances are we can expect a similar time frame for 2023. We’ll keep an eye out for any more announcements from Disney!
EPCOT’s longest festival kicks off mid-year and lasts almost until the very end! That’s right — we’re talking about the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival. This is the ultimate foodie fest at EPCOT — it’s completely food-themed and completely awesome. The 2022 festival dates are July 14th to November 19th.
We have quite a few favorite snacks that return to this festival year after year — which is why we return year after year, too! Disney hasn’t shared the official 2023 dates for this fest yet, so stay tuned.
We’re closing out the EPCOT festival lineup in style — the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays celebrates traditions and cuisines from around the globe. Plus, who wouldn’t want to attend an event with something called a Cookie Stroll?! Sign us up!
All the eats, entertainment, merchandise, and special events you can expect from EPCOT festivals can be found at this one too — but with a festive holiday twist! The event typically runs from November through December, but we’ll let you know once the dates have been announced for 2023.
We also got to see the return of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in 2022! The event takes place on select nights from November 8th to December 22nd, so we’ll likely see something very similar if the party comes back for 2023.
Be sure to stay tuned to DFB for the latest Disney news and important dates you need to know about!
Late 2023: Journey of Water — Inspired by Moana Opens in EPCOT
If you haven’t been to EPCOT lately, you might have missed the giant construction zone that’s the future home of Journey of Water — Inspired by Moana. This immersive, water-based, walkthrough attraction is going to bring a whole new type of experience to Disney World, and we can’t wait to check it out!
Disney shared at the 2022 D23 Expo that this attraction (and Te Fiti!) would be ready to greet guests sometime in late 2024. We’ll have to wait for more specifics, but we’ve been keeping track of all the specifics and will let you know if we learn anything new!
NEW Figment Meet and Greet
2022 was also the year that traditional character meet and greets and many character dining meals returned to “normal” too! Slowly but surely, we were able to high-five, hug, and hang out with characters once again.
But, Disney revealed at the 2022 D23 Expo that a NEW meet and greet would be coming to the parks. Over at EPCOT, Figment will be meeting guests “by the end of 2023.”
100th Anniversary Celebrations
While we don’t have any specifics on what exactly the 100th Anniversary of the Walt Disney Company will bring to Disney World, we can probably expect some sort of celebration! The Disney 100 Years of Wonder Celebration looks like it’s mostly centered around Disneyland Resort, but we’re hopeful some of it will trickle over to the east coast as well.
There’s no doubt Disney will release some 100th Anniversary merchandise, and we do know that a new fireworks show will be coming to EPCOT…
NEW Nighttime Shows Coming to EPCOT and Magic Kingdom
Speaking of NEW fireworks and entertainment, not one — but TWO new nighttime spectaculars will be debuting in Disney World next year. Disney has revealed that Harmonious will be ending its run in 2023 to make way for a 100th Anniversary-inspired fireworks show.
And over in Magic Kingdom, Disney has announced that the Happily Ever After theme song will be returning next year to Disney World as part of an updated fireworks spectacular. The big fireworks change was announced this year during the 2022 D23 Expo. For now, we’re not sure when either show will premiere, but we’ll continue to update you!
Whether you’ve already got a trip planned to Disney World in 2023 or are just starting to think about planning one, keep these dates in mind so you can be prepared for your visit.
We’ve got a great resource for you when you plan your NEXT Disney World trip – our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining. We wrote our ebook after decades of visiting Disney World, so that we could help you have a stress-free vacation! Click here and use code WDW2022 to get 25% off!
As always, stay tuned to DFB for the latest Disney World planning tips and news!
Are you planning a 2023 Disney World vacation? Let us know in the comments!
The post 2023 Dates You Should Know If You’re a Disney World Fan first appeared on the disney food blog.