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Planning Disney in 2023 – 100 Years of Wonder

Planning a 2023 magical vacation to Walt Disney World, Disneyland or aboard a Disney Cruise Line could never be more exciting!! With so many new and exciting events and entertainment announced for next year, there is no shortage of fun for the whole family. Let’s break down all of the amazing events and activities planned in 2023 so you won’t miss a thing!

Next year marks the end of the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration in Florida (ending March 2023), but also the beginning of the 100th anniversary platinum celebration of the Walt Disney Company, perfectly named “100 Years of Wonder”. It kicks off on January 27, 2023 at Disneyland in California. Celebrations are planned globally in honor of this momentous occasion.

Thinking about vacationing at Walt Disney World or Disneyland? There is truly no better time to visit the Disney parks than in 2023. Not only are things returning to a true “normal” post pandemic, but we also have the return of a beloved CEO (Bob Iger) and it’s the start of an extravaganza marking an incredible milestone -100 magnificent years of the Walt Disney Company. There is so much to celebrate and enjoy. You will truly be immersed in the magic of Disney!

Before getting into the specific celebrations, opening attractions, festivals, and various events that are happening across the parks next year, let’s refresh on a few key pieces to be aware of as you start to plan.

Planning Disney is complicated. There is no way around that these days. Park tickets, Park Reservations, Genie+, Dining, Hotels, and so much more need to be taken into consideration. Gone are the days you can just show up to your vacation  and expect to get it all done. You need to have a plan and a strategy for at least some portion of your trip if you want to maximize your time at the park(s) and make it worth your time and money.

Using a Travel Planner

Enter Love of the Magic Vacations. Using an authorized Disney travel advisor like Love of the Magic Vacations is highly recommended. Truthfully, with the ever-changing Disney landscape, it’s almost necessary. How can anyone honestly keep up with all the changes? With Love of the Magic Vacations involved, you don’t have to.

The Disney Parks have grown exponentially over the years and planning a trip requires research, organization and most importantly knowing all the steps that need to be done (and when). It’s more complicated now than ever before, I won’t lie. And unfortunately one misstep can cost you. But that doesn’t have to happen. Love of the Magic Vacations is here to help with all of that! Jamie and her team of experts can provide you with their personal planning service, customized itineraries, expert advice and so much more!

Benefits of a Travel Planner

So, why use them?

  • Their services are completely FREE and easy. You will never pay more than the cost of your vacation when booking with Love of the Magic Vacations.
  • It’s STRESS FREE! Jamie and her team will provide you with personalized planning services. They take time to get to know your needs and vacation “must-see” and “must-do” ideas and will support you before, during, and after your vacation, making sure your trip is stress and worry free!
  • They care about YOU! Love of the Magic Vacations wants to provide you with the best vacation possible and can customize anything you need. Every trip and family are different, so they will work with you to create the perfect, easy to use, one-of-a-kind plan specific to you.
  • You will always get the best deal possible. Love of the Magic Vacations stays informed on the latest discounts and promotions, so even after a vacation is booked, they can apply the best rates to your reservation.
  • Love of the Magic Vacations agents are experienced, honest and reliable! Through their own travel experiences, they will share their tips, tricks and honest opinions to guide you through the best vacation planning decisions for your trip and family.

I believe wholeheartedly that using a travel advisor is the best, maybe the only, way to plan your magical vacation in 2023. There are far too many variables when traveling, and you want to get it right.

Not convinced? Learn more about all the benefits and services of Love of the Magic Vacations here.

Now let’s dive into all of the events of 2023 at Walt Disney World and Disneyland! You won’t want to miss a minute.

Let’s start planning!

Platinum Celebration at Walt Disney World & Disneyland

2023 is going to be a unique year, especially for Walt Disney World. Not only are the east coast parks still celebrating the 50th Anniversary (until March 2023), but the year will start with an overlap of the 100th Anniversary of the Walt Disney Company. 

Beginning January 27, 2023, the Walt Disney Company will kick off its Platinum Celebration in Disneyland. Experience decked out decor, dazzling merchandise and a feast of tasty treats in Disneyland Park and California Adventure.

There are so many new and fun surprises coming to the parks this year.  Here’s a list of what you can expect:

Disneyland

  • Wondrous Journeys – An all-new nighttime spectacular is coming to Disneyland Park to celebrate 100 years of the Walt Disney Company. Gaze as incredible fireworks swirl and burst over Sleeping Beauty Castle as Disney celebrates 100 years of Disney animation.
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction will open in Toontown on the first day of the celebration on January 27, 2023 to much excitement of fans!
  • “Magic Happens” Parade will return to Disneyland on February 24, 2023.
  • California Adventure will get an all-new update to the nighttime show World of Color – ONE to celebrate 100 years

Walt Disney World

  • The Happily Ever After nighttime spectacular will return in 2023 after the 50th Anniversary celebration ends on March 31, 2023. BEST. NEWS. EVER!
  • The long anticipated TRON will finally open in Spring 2023
  • The World Celebration area in EPCOT will be completed by late 2023. It will include a life-size bronze statue of Walt Disney called “Walt the Dreamer”. This is an incredible tribute to Walt, the man who started it all. I couldn’t think of a better way to honor his legacy and celebrate 100 years of the Walt Disney Company.
  • In World of Nature, where Soarin’ and the Nemo attraction currently reside, Moana’s Journey of Water will join them in late 2023. Disney Imagineers shared the first look at Tefiti that will be part of this attraction. It’s beautiful and I’m so excited to explore this new area when it opens. 
  • An all-new nighttime spectacular at EPCOT will be replacing Harmonious next year in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company. Rumor has it Harmonious will end on March 31, 2023.

runDisney Race Events

Are you a runner? Have you tried a runDisney event at Walt Disney World or Disneyland? They are incredibly popular and sell out almost immediately when tickets are released. You will find it no different for 2023. Many of these races listed below are indeed already sold out, but there are many virtual race opportunities as well.

Walt Disney World Races

January 2023 – Marathon Weekend 30th Anniversary

January 4 – 12th – 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon, Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, Dopey Challenge, Virtual Race, Disney Castaway Cay Challenge (Disney Cruise Line – January 12)

February 2023 – Princess Half Marathon Weekend 15th Anniversary

February 23 – 26th – Princess Yoga, Princess 5K, Princess Enchanted 10K, Princess Half Marathon, Fairy Tale Challenge, Virtual Races

April 2023 – Springtime Surprise Weekend

April 13 – 16th – Springtime Surprise Yoga, Disney Pixar Cars 5K, Disney Pixar Monsters 10K, Disney Pixar Toy Story 10 Miler, Springtime Surprise Challenge, Virtual Races

November 2023 – Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

November 3 – 6th – Wine & Dine 5K, Wine & Dine 10K, Wine & Dine Half Marathon, Two Course Challenge, Post Race Party, Virtual Races

Disneyland Races

After a very long 5-year hiatus, runDisney will be returning in 2024 to Disneyland!! This comes with a lot of excitement from race fans across the globe. Stay tuned to the runDisney website for all the details as we get closer to the first race.

Seasonal Festivals

Walt Disney World and Disneyland would not be the same without our beloved festivals. We LOVE them! And can’t seem to get enough. At Walt Disney World, there is literally a festival almost 365 days a year at EPCOT. They have become part of Disney’s culture and fans look forward to them every single year.

At Walt Disney World, all of the festivals take place in EPCOT. At Disneyland, the festivals take place in California Adventure. 

If you have not attended or explored any of the Disney festivals, here’s a great starting point. This article highlights the 2022 EPCOT festival at Walt Disney World and what you can expect at each of them.

So, what’s in store for 2023? 

Disneyland

Lunar New Year Celebration – January 20 – February 15, 2023 – Ring in the Year of the Rabbit with culinary delights, fun festivities and Disney Characters during Lunar New Year.

California Food & Wine Festival – March 3 – April 25, 2023 – Celebrate California’s incredible bounty with vibrant cuisine, entertainment and more!

Walt Disney World

EPCOT Festival of the Arts – January 13 – February 20, 2023 – The Epcot International Festival of the Arts instantly became a hit its inaugural year in 2016. Each year the festival continues to grow in popularity and Disney continues to broaden our mind and our palette with amazing new and returning experiences. The festival highlights art in all different forms – ink and paint, photography, culinary, and so much more!

EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival – Dates not yet announced for 2023. This festival usually begins in March and runs through May/June. Beautiful weather, topiaries, flowers, butterflies, and delectable cuisine. What more could you ask for at this incredible festival. Delight in the wonders of Spring!

EPCOT Food & Wine Festival – Dates not yet announced for 2023. This festival usually begins in July and runs through November. Taste your way around EPCOT as you savor and sip all of the delicious bites and drinks from around the world.

EPCOT Festival of the Holidays – Dates not yet announced for 2023. This festival usually takes place in late November and December. Celebrate traditions from around the world at this joyous and festive event.

Disney Cruise Line 25th Silver Anniversary Celebration

To commemorate Disney Cruise Line’s 25th anniversary, Disney will launch special “Silver Anniversary at Sea” entertainment, merchandise and celebratory experiences that will be featured during summer 2023 sailings onboard all five of their ships! New family entertainment and activities will culminate in shimmering evening experiences created exclusively for the anniversary celebration.

The anniversary of Disney Cruise Line also heralds the unveiling of a brand-new membership tier for Castaway Club, Pearl status. This new honor can be earned after 25 Disney Cruise Line sailings. 

Bookings for summer 2023 cruises featuring the “Silver Anniversary at Sea” celebration are available now on disneycruise.com, and there are plenty of itineraries to choose from:

  • Departing from Miami May 24 to Sept. 4, the Disney Magic will visit destinations in the Bahamas and Caribbean, including Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. 
  • The Disney Wonder will depart on Alaskan voyages from Vancouver, Canada May 15 to Sept. 11 with stops in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and more. 
  • From May 7 to Sept. 17, the Disney Dream will sail transatlantic and European itineraries, including the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Greek Isles.
  • The Disney Fantasy will set sail from Port Canaveral, Florida May 6 to Sept. 2 to the Eastern and Western Caribbean, each with a day at Castaway Cay.
  • Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Disney Wish, will depart on sailings to Nassau, Bahamas and Castaway Cay May 1 to Sept. 8 from Port Canaveral. 
Marnie Raimondo
Marnie Raimondo
Hi there! I'm Marnie, Disney blogger and writer. My passion is helping people plan magical Walt Disney World vacations. I love sharing Disney tips and advice based on my personal experiences from many, many magical trips over the years. I hope through my writing I can help you navigate your way through Disney news, the parks, dining, resorts and so much more! Happy planning!
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