2022 welcomed the long-awaited 50th anniversary at Walt Disney World and kicked off the start of Disney’s second century of magic. With celebrations extending into 2023, this year promises to continue bringing exciting new attractions, entertainment, and festivals for guests to enjoy at Disney parks worldwide. We want to highlight some of the top Disney experiences that visitors should watch for in the upcoming year. From the opening of major new rides to the return of beloved events, 2024 is shaping up to be monumental.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure
Arguably the most anticipated addition is Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, the Princess and the Frog-themed attraction coming to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in late 2024. This family-friendly ride will pick up after the movie left off, taking guests on a musical adventure through the bayou alongside Tiana, Naveen, and Louis as they prepare for a Mardi Gras performance. Bringing to life one of Disney’s most recent and culturally significant princesses, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure promises to feature vibrant sets, toe-tapping music, and state-of-the-art ride systems to fully immerse visitors in an enchanting re-telling.
Scenes may include Tiana’s famous restaurant, bayou landscapes, and lively Mardi Gras celebrations that capture the heart and soul of New Orleans. As Disney’s first ride-through attraction themed to The Princess and the Frog, opening almost 15 years after the film’s debut, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is sure to draw huge crowds and become an instant classic. We’ll be covering opening dates, ride details, and tips for experiencing this headliner addition coming to both U.S. Disney resorts.
New Star Tours Destinations
While not as flashy as a whole new attraction, Star Tours at multiple Disney parks will receive an exciting update in early 2024. The classic Star Wars simulator ride will add brand-new scenes and characters, giving guests fresh adventures each time they climb aboard the Starspeeder 1000. Among the new faces riders might encounter is Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker’s former Jedi padawan who has grown immensely popular thanks to live-action appearances.
Other rumored additions include visiting the Black Spire Outpost on Batuu, the planet where Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is set, or experiencing new locations from the Obi-Wan Kenobi series. Whatever the new Star Tours sequences end up entailing, these updates will thrill Star Wars fans who can’t get enough of this fan favorite Disney ride. We’ll share news on the opening date along with early reactions from riders as this re-imagined intergalactic excursion takes flight.
All-Day Park Hopping & The Return of Disney Dining Plans
Beginning Jan. 9, guests at Disney World with a ticket with Park Hopper benefits or an Annual Pass will be able to once again visit another theme park at ANY TIME OF DAY during park hours!
After being suspended during the pandemic, Disney’s fan-favorite dining plans will officially make their return in 2024. Both the standard Disney Dining Plan and the plus-sized Deluxe Dining Plan will once again be available for travelers looking to simplify costs and planning around food. Offering discounts and perks across quick-service and table-service restaurants at Walt Disney World, the dining plans can help guests better budget for their vacation while discovering eateries they might otherwise miss. With the plans back just in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary finale, we’ll outline what’s included and who can benefit the most from these money-saving meal options.
EPCOT Continues Its Historic Transformation
As the multi-year reimagining of EPCOT continues through the park’s 40th anniversary in 2022, 2024 promises to be one of the most monumental years yet for this beloved Walt Disney World theme park. While concrete details are still under wraps, Disney has promised more new attractions and experiences debuting across various EPCOT neighborhoods. Most speculation points to openings related to the World Celebration, World Discovery, World Nature and World Showcase areas.
This may include rides, restaurants, and interactive exhibits themed around Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars properties yet to be represented in EPCOT. Whatever ends up emerging throughout 2024, it’s sure to continue EPCOT’s expansion into a next-generation Disney park celebrating the magic of possibility and the joy of discovery. We’ll recap each new reveal and share tips for navigating the ongoing transformation happening throughout this fan-favorite destination.
Special Events and Festivals
Of course, no Disney Parks experience would be complete without the wide range of beloved special events and festivals happening year-round. From foodie affairs to family-friendly celebrations, 2024 will see the return of many popular festivals across Disney’s U.S. theme parks.
Walt Disney World Festivals
At Walt Disney World, the fun kicks off with the Epcot International Festival of the Arts from January 12 through February 19. This artistic showcase celebrates visual, culinary and performing arts with special entertainment, workshops, exhibits and themed cuisine around every corner.
Then from February 28 through July 3, EPCOT’s annual Flower & Garden Festival invites spring with dozens of Disney-themed topiaries, gardens in bloom, hands-on seminars and fresh bites from outdoor kitchens.
No Disney fan can miss the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival from July 25 through November 16. The longest-running Epcot festival spans over 100 days, offering mouthwatering dishes, sips from around the world, concerts and more.
Finally, Festival of the Holidays at EPCOT and across Walt Disney World wraps up 2024’s event lineup from November 29 through December 30. Holiday kitchens, joyful entertainment and traditions from across cultures come together to ring in the most wonderful time of year.
On the West Coast, Disneyland Resort offers seasonal celebrations like the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival in spring and the holiday Festival of Holidays bringing entertainment, cuisine and cheer throughout winter.
Plus, the resort’s beloved Halloween Time and Lunar New Year festivities will return with spooky and joyful fun for families and friends. Across both coasts, these spirited Disney festivals infuse the parks with extra magic all year long. In 2024 and beyond, we’ll continue providing tips, reviews and recommendations to help travelers experience these can’t-miss events at their best.
Pixar Day at Sea & Marvel Day at Sea with Disney Cruise Line
For Pixar Day at Sea, Pixar stories will come to life on the Disney Fantasy through a cowboy sing-a-long breakfast with favorite Toy Story characters, Crush’s totally awesome pool party, themed activities and treats, a Pixar Pals dance party on the upper decks, character encounters and a deck show starring the Incredibles.
For Marvel Day at Sea, on the Disney Dream out of Fort Lauderdale, the largest assembly of Marvel Super Heroes and Villains on land or at sea will gather for Marvel Day at Sea for an action-packed day that’ll unlock the inner superhero in all guests.
Pixar and Marvel Day at Sea offerings are included in the price of a Disney cruise. All the regular guest favorites, including Broadway-style shows, themed rotational dining, fireworks at sea and spaces and activities for everyone in the family, will still be present on all Disney Cruise Line sailings.
From Aug. 9 to 11, 2024, this one-of-a-kind event will have spectacular shows, new venues and multiple days of entertainment and experiences that bring together all the wonderful worlds of Disney.
On Thursday, Aug. 8, 2024, the D23 kickoff celebration will take place at Disneyland Resort followed by shopping, exhibits, panels, presentations, and more on Aug. 9 – 11, 2024 at the Anaheim Convention Center during the day, with the fun extending into the evening at the Honda Center—the bigger home to marquee shows.
Tickets for the event will go on sale in Spring 2024 and more details will be announced early this year.
Disney Lookout Cay in The Bahamas
This summer, Disney Cruise Line’s newest, one-of-a-kind retreat on the island of Eleuthera in The Bahamas, Disney Lookout Cay, will open.
As we’ve shared, when guests step foot on this one-of-a-kind island destination, they’ll discover a celebration of Bahamian storytelling, artistry and culture.
The vibrant island retreat at Lighthouse Point will be a unique celebration of Bahamian culture brought to life with the quality and service of a Disney vacation.
Beyond new attractions and entertainment, we also want to highlight significant Disney operational changes coming in 2024 that could impact visitors’ trip planning. Most notably, January 9 marks the end of Disney’s park reservation system for most guests at most Walt Disney World parks. Implemented due to the pandemic, this change signals a return to more normal park operations with no advance bookings required. We’ll outline the updates to reservation policies and what that means for planning 2024 Walt Disney World vacations. Additionally, with the Disney Genie service now complementing traditional FastPass, 2024 may usher in updates to this platform with new features or changes to availability. As Disney’s paid line-skipping service continues evolving, we’ll share key details to know before your trip.
The Outlook for 2024
From major milestone attractions to the return of festivals and dining perks, Disney Parks on both coasts have a magical 2024 ahead. We’ll be covering all these exciting experiences in detail, while also providing tips and recommendations for planning the perfect Disney trip around these new offerings. Whether you’re most excited about Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, EPCOT’s transformation, or just being back at the Disney Parks after years away, 2024 promises to be an exceptional year. We wait to share every update and opening with readers and help guests make lifelong Disney memories. Stay tuned throughout the coming year as we count down to all the Disney magic set to unfold in 2024!