Walt Disney World

How are Disney Parks Changing?

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Disney Parks, the magical kingdoms that have been delighting children and adults alike for decades, are changing in significant ways. They are undergoing a transformation to enhance the visitor experience, introduce new attractions, update old ones, and plan for major expansions. This article will take an in-depth look at these changes and explore how they are shaping the future of Disney Parks.


Disney Parks are changing by updating legacy attractions, introducing new experiences and attractions, planning major expansions, and introducing new themed lands. They are also implementing health and safety measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, embracing diversity and inclusion, addressing environmental concerns, and leveraging technology to enhance visitor experiences. These changes are aimed at enhancing the visitor experience, adapting to new circumstances, and continuing to innovate in the theme park industry.

Updating Legacy Attractions

Disney Parks are breathing new life into some of their classic attractions. The Country Bear Jamboree, one of the first attractions when Walt Disney World opened in 1971, is being revamped to feature new takes on Disney songs. The much-loved Epcot’s Test Track is also undergoing a significant update, with design teams drawing inspiration from historical rides.

New Attractions and Experiences

Disney Parks are not just updating old attractions; they are also introducing new ones. The TRON Lightcycle Run in Magic Kingdom now allows riders to board a train of two-wheeled Lightcycles and race through a dark, computerized world. Another new attraction is the Moana-inspired Journey of Water, which offers a walk-through experience where guests can interact with water.

In addition to new rides, Disney Parks are also introducing new character meet-and-greets. For instance, the character of Moana is now available for meet-and-greets at the Journey of Water attraction. A new Mickey & Friends Meet-and-Greet is also set to open in EPCOT in late 2023.

Nighttime Spectaculars

Disney Parks are known for their spectacular nighttime shows, and they are introducing new ones in 2023. EPCOT will debut a new nighttime spectacular called “Luminous: The Symphony of Us”, featuring fireworks, lasers, music, and light.

Major Expansions

Disney Parks are planning major expansions. For instance, expansion plans for Disney World’s Magic Kingdom are said to be the “largest ever for the park”. The area beyond Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is being considered for an expansion even larger than Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Pandora—The World of Avatar.

Themed Lands

Disney Parks are planning to introduce new themed lands. For example, the Dinoland U.S.A. area of Animal Kingdom is set to be transformed into a “tropical Americas” theme, inspired by the Encanto and Indiana Jones films.

Health and Safety Measures

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney has implemented health and safety protocols to ensure the safety of its guests. These include social distancing measures, mandatory mask-wearing, and temperature checks.

The Impact of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly influenced the operation and visitor experience at Disney Parks. The company has reported substantial financial losses due to the pandemic. Visitor attendance has also been drastically affected, with the Magic Kingdom seeing its visitor numbers drop from 20.9 million in 2019 to an estimated 6.9 million in 2020. Disney Parks had to implement several operational changes due to the pandemic, including park closures, the implementation of new safety protocols, and the furloughing or laying off of thousands of workers.

Embracing Diversity and Inclusion

Disney Parks are incorporating diversity and inclusion in their changes through various initiatives. They are focused on developing a diverse workforce and leadership team, improving content creation, updating attractions, and improving accessibility.

Addressing Environmental Concerns

Disney Parks are addressing environmental concerns through various initiatives, including reducing emissions, conserving water, reducing waste, implementing sustainable design, investing in renewable energy, using lower-impact products, and eliminating single-use plastics.

Leveraging Technology

Disney Parks are leveraging technology in various ways to enhance visitor experiences. These include interactive games, a virtual world simulator, mobile apps like My Disney Experience and Play Disney Parks, the Disney MagicBand RFID, and the Mobile One System.

The changes happening at Disney Parks are a testament to Disney’s commitment to enhancing the visitor experience, adapting to new circumstances, and continuing to innovate in the theme park industry. As Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney parks, experiences, and products, said, “Over the next decade, we’re going to have more projects underway than at any point in our history. Our sole purpose is to give you more and more of what you love about a Disney experience. And then surprise and delight you with things you never dreamed possible”.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the new safety protocols implemented by Disney Parks due to COVID-19?

Disney Parks have implemented several safety protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These include mandatory mask-wearing, social distancing measures, temperature checks, enhanced cleaning and sanitation, capacity limitations, and the implementation of reservation systems to manage visitor numbers.

Can you provide more details about the new TRON Lightcycle Run ride in Magic Kingdom?

The TRON Lightcycle Run is a new roller coaster ride in Magic Kingdom. It is based on the TRON series and allows riders to board a train of two-wheeled Lightcycles. The ride takes place both indoors and outdoors, with riders racing through a dark, computerized world.

What are some examples of Disney Parks’ initiatives to address environmental concerns?

Disney Parks are addressing environmental concerns through various initiatives. For instance, they are reducing emissions by using cleaner fuels and energy-efficient transportation, conserving water through irrigation practices and water-saving devices, reducing waste by recycling and composting, and implementing sustainable design in their construction projects. They are also investing in renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, using lower-impact products, and eliminating single-use plastics.

What is the Disney MagicBand RFID and Mobile One System?

The Disney MagicBand RFID is a wristband that serves as a ticket, room key, and payment method in Disney Parks. It uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to connect to the park’s systems. The Mobile One System is a mobile ordering service available through the My Disney Experience app, which allows guests to order food and drinks from select locations throughout the parks.

What are some of the diversity and inclusion initiatives being implemented by Disney Parks?

Disney Parks are implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives in several ways. These include developing a diverse workforce and leadership team, improving content creation to reflect diverse stories and characters, updating attractions to remove negative stereotypes and include diverse narratives, and improving accessibility for guests with disabilities.

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