Nov 132013

Walt Disney World Closures and Refurbishments

Magic Kingdom

  • A Main Street USA bypass will soon be built to provide an alternative entry and exit to the Magic Kingdom. Facing Cinderella Castle, the bypass will be built behind the buildings on the right side of the street. There is currently no specific timeframe for this work to be completed.
  • “it’s a small world” will be closed for a short refurbishment from December 2 through December 12.
  • The Plaza Restaurant will close for refurbishment from January 5 to February 16, 2014.
  • The Fantasyland Expansion is currently underway and is scheduled to open in phases through 2014.  Fairytale Hall opened on September 18 in the former spot of Snow White’s Scary Adventure.  A new roller coaster called the Seven Dwarves Mine Train will open in Fantasyland sometime 2014.
  • Splash Mountain will close for it’s annual refurbishment from January 6 through March 21.
  • Tomorrowland Speedway will close for refurbishment from January 6 through January 12.
  • Casey’s Corner, on Main Street USA, will close for refurbishment from January 6 through February 15.


  • A Character Experience featuring royal sisters Anna and Elsa from Disney’s upcoming movie, Frozen, has arrived in Epcot’s Norway Pavilion. Guests will also find a new gallery exhibit exploring how the culture and beauty of Norway inspired the filmmakers in the creation of Frozen.
  • Tokyo Dining will be closed for lunch from November 2 – 30. The restaurant will remain open for dinner.
  • Spice Road Table, a new restaurant in the Morocco Pavilion is currently under construction and is expected to open by the end of 2013. 

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Honey I Shrunk The Kids Movie Set will be down for refurbishment from September 3 – November 20.
  • ‘Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show’ will be closed November 18 through to November 21 for refurbishment
  • The Studio Backlot Tour will close for refurbishment from January 5 through March 1.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • Festival of the Lion King will be moving to a new theater located in Africa by 2014.
  • Disney Parks has announced a long-term relationship with James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the fantasy world of AVATAR to life at Animal Kingdom Park. The new Avatar land will feature multiple attractions, entertainment, merchandise locations, restaurants and other immersive elements to bring the world of Pandora to life. Construction expected to begin by 2013 and end in 2017.

Disneyland Closures and Rehabs

  • “it’s a small world” will be closed for transition to Holiday overlay from October 21 through November 17.
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad will be closed for refurbishment from January 7 through early 2014.
  • Casey Jr. Circus Train will be closed for refurbishment from December 2 through December 12.
  • Storybookland Canal Boats will be closed for refurbishment from December 2 through December 12.
  • Fantasmic! will be dark from January 6 through February 13.
  • Alice in Wonderland will be closed for refurbishment from January 6 through May 22.
  • Haunted Mansion will be closed to remove holiday overlay from January 7 through January 17.
  • Club 33, Disney’s exclusive restaurant located in New Orleans Square, will close on January 6, 2013 for an extensive expansion. The last available day for reservations for Club 33 dining will be January 5, 2014. Both the past and the future will be embraced in the design elements of this expansion, which is expected to be completed some time during the summer of 2014 with a new entrance and foyer located Disneyland’s Court of Angels (which is currently closed).

Disney’s California Adventure Closures and Refurbishments

  • Tower of Terror will have reduced capacity now through January 1, 2014.
  • Grizzly River Run will be closed for refurbishment from January 6 through February 13.
  • Redwood Creek Challenge Trail will be closed for refurbishment from January 6 through February 27.
  • World of Color will be closed to remove holiday overlay from January 7 through January 16.

Downtown Disney (WDW)

  • Disney Quest, located in Downtown Disney West Side, will undergo refurbishment of it’s lobby from September 16 through November 19. During this time guests will enter and exit the venue through the Emporium Merchandise shop turnstiles.
  • Wetzel’s Pretzels closed on October 20 and will reopen in mid-November 2013 with two kiosks – one for Wetzel’s Pretzels and one for Haagen-Dazs – near DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park. Additionally, a Starbucks will open at Downtown Disney West Side next year in the current Wetzel’s Pretzels location. A Starbucks kiosk will also open near World of Disney at Downtown Disney Marketplace.
  • Downtown Disney will undergo a multi-year transformation into Disney Springs. New and completed areas will open in phases, and the project is expected to be complete in 2016.

Downtown Disney (Disneyland)

  • The Blink Store has closed for conversion to a new Starbucks location, opening sometime Winter of 2013.


Water Parks

  • Typhoon Lagoon will be closed through December 21 for it’s annual refurbishment.
  • Blizzard Beach will close for it’s annual refurbishment beginning December 22.

Outside the Theme Parks

All Walt Disney World Resorts:

  • All Walt Disney World Resort Swimming Pools will implement new operating and lifeguarding hours for feature and other popular pools at the resorts. Lifeguards will be present at guarded pools during all hours they are open. Operating hours will vary seasonally and based on Guest demand. Generally, the guarded pools will open at either 7 am or 9 am and close at 11 pm; however, these hours can be extended or modified to accommodate special events and high demand. Feature pools will be closed when lifeguards are not present. Quiet pools will remain available to Guests 24 hours a day and will continue to be unguarded. Implementation will begin with Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s All-Star Resorts and is expected to be complete in November. Additionally, Disney is in the process of adding fences around resort pools to limit access as part of their regular refurbishment process.

All Star Sports Resort

  • Intermission Food Court will undergo renovations from August 5 through December 26. Grab and go menu items only will be available in the arcade location. No made to order food will be available. Buses will be running throughout the day directly from All Star Sports to other All Star resorts for food court service or for those who wish to enjoy the arcades. Two motor coaches will run during mealtimes.



Polynesian Resort:

  • Resort Renovations will begin at the Polynesian resort starting in September that will enhance the entire resort. As part of these ongoing renovation projects, views in some Guest rooms will be impacted beginning in September. In order to accommodate guests, Disney will be making changes to certain room categories in impacted buildings. The renovation will impact views from some rooms in buildings 5, 9, 10 and 11. Also, beginning in September, a portion of the east parking lot nearest to building 11 will temporarily close. In addition to that, access to the beach area on the east side of the resort, as well as Sunset Pointe (the grassy hill overlooking the Seven Seas Lagoon, located between the east beach and the main beach near the Nanea Volcano pool), will be unavailable. All other amenities (restaurants, pools, merchandise locations, etc.) will be available
  • ‘Never Land Club’ children’s activity center will be closed from January 1 through March 31, 2014, for refurbishment.

Elsewhere at Walt Disney World

  • Palm golf course will be closed for a major rehab from June 10 through November 16. The work will include a redesign by Arnold Palmer Course Design. Both 18 hole courses, Magnolia and Lake Buena Vista, will be open for guests to enjoy.
  • Magic Kingdom Bus Loop is currently under expansion to add a third bus loop to the resort guest drop-off/pick-up area. The new loop will be configured to accept over-sized buses and will also allow park guests to catch buses to other Disney theme parks directly from the Magic Kingdom.
  • Osprey Ridge golf course its pro shop and the Sand Trap restaurant closed on August 11, 2013 for a 10 to 12 month transition over to a course for the Four Seasons resort, which is currently under construction and scheduled to open in 2014. The Four Seasons resort is being built on the site of the old Disney Eagle Pines golf course. Also on that site is the new Disney Golden Oak residential community, whose residents will also have access to Osprey Ridge when it reopens.

Upcoming Events at the Walt Disney World

Upcoming Events at Disneyland Resort

  • Holidays at Disneyland – November 15 through January 6.
  • Tinkerbell Half Marathon, January 17-19, 2014.
  • Disneyland Half Marathon, August 29-30, 2014.

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