What We Do (And Don’t) Know About New Rides and Projects Coming to Disney World

by | Nov 1, 2023 | Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, WDW Blog

What new Disney World rides and projects are coming soon? We’re sharing what we do (and don’t) know about future Disney projects.

Disney World is always changing and more major updates are coming soon! From the completion of the EPCOT transformation to updates to popular rides to a brand new land, there’s so much to look forward to in 2023, 2024, and beyond. We’re sharing all the details on these new park additions and cluing you into what other updates you can look forward to. 

New Rides and Projects Coming to Disney World

Keep reading for a complete list of planned Disney World projects and what we do (and don’t) know about them!

CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza in EPCOT

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Photo Courtesy of Disney

What We Do Know

The EPCOT Transformation is almost complete! The end of this massive park renovation will officially be here when the new neighborhood, Word Celebration, opens front and center in the park. And, the CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza will play a huge role in all that this area has to offer.

Set to open in December 2023, CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza will be the heart of EPCOT’s seasonal festivals. Located near the new gardens that will be at the center of World Celebration, this will be the first-ever multi-use facility and outdoor event space dedicated to the four festivals – the Festival of the Arts, the Flower and Garden Festival, the Food & Wine Festival, and the Festival of the Holidays.

According to Disney, CommuniCore Plaza will be where guests can enjoy musical performances including large-scale concerts. And, CommuniCore Hall will be a “flexible exhibition and gallery space” where guests can find special festival events including a demonstration kitchen. Plus, right next door to CommuniCore Hall will be Mickey & Friends’ new EPCOT meet and greet location!

What We Don’t Know

While this is one of the projects that we know the most about, Disney has yet to announce an official opening date for World Celebration in December. It’s also unclear what large-scale concerts may take place here, as it seems that the larger festival entertainment offerings, like the Candlelight Processional, will remain at the America Gardens Theatre for now.

Additionally, Disney has not revealed who will be meeting with Mickey at the new meet-and-greet location. In the past, Minnie Mouse and Goofy were often meeting alongside Mickey at EPCOT, but we’ll just have to wait and see!

Luminous: The Symphony of Us at EPCOT

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Photo Courtesy of Disney

What We Do Know

EPCOT is also getting a new nighttime show! Luminous: The Symphony of Us is set to debut for the first time on December 5th, 2023, and then make nightly performances in the center of World Showcase Lagoon. The show replaces the temporary show, EPCOT Forever, and will honor the 100th anniversary celebration of the Walt Disney Company.

According to Disney, the show will showcase fireworks, lasers, fountains, lighting effects, and brand-new music with an original composition along with songs from fan-favorite Disney movies. Disney’s website currently shows that Luminous: The Symphony of Us will begin at 9:30 PM through December, though this is subject to change.

What We Don’t Know

In the past, Disney has offered Fireworks Dining Packages at Rose & Crown and Spice Road Table. However, it is currently unclear whether this will return for Luminous: The Symphony of Us. If they do return, this is a great way to guarantee yourself a great view of the fireworks show.

Country Bear Musical Jamboree Updated Show at Magic Kingdom

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Photo Courtesy of Disney

What We Do Know

Country Bear Musical Jamboree is one of the longest-running shows in Disney World and the singing bears are getting a new set list soon! Disney is currently working with Nashville musicians to reinterpret popular Disney songs in different country music genres. So, we’ll likely be hearing “Bare Necessities” and other classics with a rockabilly, bluegrass, or pop-country style.

According to Disney, the new version of the show will pay homage to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN, and will maintain the “fun and friendly tone” that guests currently enjoy,

What We Don’t Know

This big update was announced at Destination D23 in September 2023, but Disney did not reveal any information on when this transformation could occur. They also did not mention if (or when) Country Bear Musical Jamboree would close to make way for these changes

New Adventures at Star Tours in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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Photo Courtesy of Disney

What We Do Know

Star Tours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has been updated multiple times to include adventures to new planets we’ve visited as the Star Wars franchise expands, and, more will be joining the attraction in 2024! According to Disney, the Star Tours ride at Disney World, Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris will feature all-new adventures to new places in the galaxy in Spring 2024. And, we might even get to see Ahsoka Tano along the way!

What We Don’t Know

Disney is still keeping the details secret on exactly what planets and characters will be added to the attraction. So, we’re waiting to learn exactly how many new planets we’ll explore, what new planets they will be, and if any other new Star Wars characters might make an appearance. Disney also hasn’t revealed an exact date for when these will be added to the rides in Disney World, Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris.

Transformation of It’s Tough To Be a Bug at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

new rides projects disney world

Photo Courtesy of Disney

What We Do Know

Disney’s Zootopia is taking over It’s Tough To Be a Bug at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! At Destination D23 in September 2023, Disney revealed plans for a new show based on Zootopia that will replace the current show inside the Tree of Life theater (which is actually underneath the Tree of Life!). 

Disney says that Imagineers are still “finalizing the concept,” but we do know that the new show will take us to different locations from the movie with Judy Hopps, Nick Wilde, and other characters.

What We Don’t Know

The Zootopia-themed makeover timeline is still to be announced, so it’s unclear exactly when this new show will debut in Disney’s Animal Kingdom – it could be 2024, 2025, or even beyond. It’s likely that Tough To Be a Bug will permanently close for the transformation, however, Disney has not revealed any details on this yet. Disney also didn’t reveal whether the new show will feature the 4D effects that are currently in use in the theater or even if it will be in 3D.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom

mama odie tiana's bayou adventure new rides coming to disney world

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Artist Concept. Photo Courtesy of Disney

What We Do Know

Splash Mountain has permanently closed in Disney World and Disneyland to make way for a brand new Princess and the Frog-themed ride called Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. The water-based attraction is set to open in late 2024 and will feature all your favorite characters from the movie (including Tiana’s mom, Charlotte, “Big Daddy,” the King and Queen of Maldonia, and Naveen’s brother Prince Ralphie), plus seventeen new characters (including a band of musical critters).

The storyline of the ride will pick up right “after the final kiss, and join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure – featuring some of the powerful music from the film – as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance.” According to Disney, Tiana is hosting a Mardi Gras party for her community at her newly opened restaurant, Tiana’s Palace, and you have to help her find the “missing ingredient.”

There will be a new costume and hairstyle for Tiana that’s never been seen before, a new original song created by PJ Morton, and all new sights and scenes in the queue area.

What We Don’t Know

This is one of the Disney projects that we know the most about, but we are still waiting for a few details to be revealed. For example, the attraction is currently set to open in late 2024, though an exact date has not yet been revealed. Additionally, it’s unclear whether guests will need to join a virtual queue to ride or if a regular standby line will be offered when it opens. Disney also hasn’t shared if guests will be able to skip the line by purchasing Disney Genie+ or if it will be an additional cost as an Individual Attraction Selection. And, if so, how much it will cost.

Test Track Reimagined at EPCOT

new rides coming to disney world

Photo Courtesy of Disney

What We Do Know

It’s been 10 years since Test Track underwent a major transformation in EPCOT and soon more changes will be coming to this fan-favorite attraction! According to Disney, Imagineers are working with Chevrolet (who currently sponsors the ride) to update the attraction with inspiration from the original World of Motion.

If you’re not familiar, World of Motion was an original EPCOT attraction that debuted on the park’s opening day. Guests boarded Omnimovers (which were similar to the ride vehicles on Spaceship Earth now) and went on a “time travel journey through the history of transportation.” From the original form of transportation – walking – all the way to cars of the future, this ride encompassed it all.

What We Don’t Know

Disney only hinted at the changes coming to Test Track at Destination D23 in 2023 and shared that more details will come in the future. So, we’re still waiting on an opening timeline, details on if (or when) Test Track will close for the changes, and if you’ll still be able to make your own car and put it to the test.

New Themed Land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

new rides coming to disney world

Photo Courtesy of Disney

What We Do Know

At Destination D23, Disney revealed that a new land is in the works for Disney’s Animal Kingdom! A complete reimagination of Dinoland U.S.A. is currently in the works with Imagineers drawing inspiration from The Tropical Americas (which encompasses the regions just north and south of the equator in the Western Hemisphere, the northern part of South America, and Central America).

Disney didn’t share much beyond this, however, we did get a look at the current concept art which includes an area with the Casita from Disney’s Encanto and the iconic temple from Indiana Jones.

What We Don’t Know

As of now, Disney says that the project is still in the planning process, so it could be a while before we learn more about an opening timeline and any details on the attractions that will be found in the new land. So, what Disney World project are you looking forward to the most? We’ll be keeping an eye out for updates on the all, so be sure to stay tuned for the latest details!

Posts by Jenna Saxton

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