top of page
  • Writer's pictureGotta Go Orlando

Walt Disney World - What's New, Events, Refurbishments & Closures August 2023

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

Check out all the latest news from Walt Disney World, including special events, ride closures and more.

Walt Disney World Refurbishments and Closures for May 2023

Welcome to another month of special events, closures and refurbishments at Walt Disney World Resort

We know it can be difficult to keep up to date with what's happening at the theme parks, and that's why we produce this monthly update, so you can enjoy all that's new and happening, together with letting you know what rides and attractions are scheduled for refurbishment.

Let's start with this months events, and the big news is that The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival is now underway, with lots of food, drinks, and awesome live entertainment. Plus Flavors Of Florida continues at Disney Springs until August 13.

Now read on for all this months details.

Flavors of Florida at Disney Springs

Flavors Of Florida at Disney Springs
Now - August 13, 2023

Foodies – are you ready? Flavors of Florida presented by CORKCICLE is set to turn up the heat this summer at Disney Springs.

Flavours of Florida will be serving up some mouthwatering and fresh flavors inspired by the Sunshine State. From July 1 through August 13, over 30 locations all throughout Disney Springs will be featuring a variety of dishes and sips you simply must try.

You’ll be able to embrace summer and delight in homegrown flavors from Florida, like the Lime Garage Burger from D-Luxe Burger or the Gambas Gabardina from Jaleo by José Andrés. And who can miss the Florida Shrimp Tacos available at Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar? From the sweet to the savory, and everything in between, there are plenty of items you’ll want to come back for again and again.

Interested in seeing first-hand demonstrations from renowned chefs and restaurant owners? You’re in luck because this year Disney Springs will be featuring a new culinary series!

Check out the official site to get all the details and register for this exciting new offering.

The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival
Now - November 18, 2023

The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival is dishing up delights at Walt Disney World Resort now through November 18, 2023.

Get ready to sip and savor at more than 25 Global Marketplaces throughout EPCOT, including returning favorites such as The Fry Basket, Flavors from Fire, Canada, India and Spain. Several new Global Marketplaces will open later during the festival as summer turns to fall.

The festival will also welcome back the popular Eat to the Beat Concert Series presented by Florida Blue Medicare at America Gardens Theatre.

And don’t forget to commemorate your EPCOT visit by bringing festival magic home with official event merchandise including apparel, home décor, trading pins and more.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Select Nights, August 11 - November 1, 2023

Get ready for a spooktacular celebration with plenty of tricks and treats when this year's Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party returns to Magic Kingdom on August 11, and runs through select nights to November 1, 2023.

Enjoy spellbinding entertainment, favorite Disney characters dressed in their Halloween best and so much mo get ready to celebrate the most haunting time of the year at Walt Disney World Resort.

This limited-capacity, nighttime event starts at 7 pm and allows guests to experience shorter wait times on attractions, themed food and beverage and more.

Walt Disney World celebrating World Princess Week with sweets fit for a Princess

Princess Week
August 20 - August 26, 2023

Did you know that there is a Princess Week? Well now you do, and Walt Disney World is going all in on the regal celebration that is returning this year to the resort from August 20 through 26.

To get ready for this year’s festivities, Disney have put together all the princess-inspired treats and eats you can enjoy across Walt Disney World all month long.

Walt Disney World celebrating World Princess Week with sweets fit for a Princess

With a combination of exciting new items, like the Rapunzel Petit Cake at Amorette’s Patisserie, and returning favorites, including the Enchanted Rose at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there is no shortage of the ways you can commemorate this occasion through your taste buds.

New Dumbo Experience

Walt Disney World has announced that a new addition sponsored by Scentsy is coming to Magic Kingdom soon,

Guests entering Storybook Circus will find a casting call from Timothy Q. Mouse, seeking out a "Whiff-sistant" to join Dumbo's newest act.

At the ticket booth in front of Big Top Souvenirs, Cast Members will provide a map and sticker sheet to guide guests in their training.

"Whiff-sistants" in training will explore Storybook Circus to find a number of Smellephants statues, each with a unique, circus-inspired fragrance - popcorn being one of them.

As part of the new addition, Scentsy will also now sponsor Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

Walt Disney World reveal where the The Hatbox Ghost will be located in the Haunted Mansion

The Hatbox Ghost

Later this year at the Walt Disney World Resort, one of Disney's most iconic specters will set up residence in the Haunted Mansion of Liberty Square in Magic Kingdom Park

The Hatbox Ghost will appear to guests as they pass the Endless Hallway, welcoming himself inside from the swinging wake in the cemetery and grinning at the Doom Buggies as they set off deeper into the mansion.

Guests will soon see temporary barriers materialize as we await his apparition!!!

Walt Disney World reveal where the The Hatbox Ghost will be located in the Haunted Mansion

Interestingly Disney have decided not to place The Hatbox Ghost in the same location as he’s in at the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland.

In the original version of the ride at Disneyland, he’s at the very end of the attic scene, after the Bride. while at Magic Kingdom, he’ll be much earlier in the ride, next to the Endless Hallway scene, where guests see a candelabra floating by itself.

This will make the Hatbox Ghost the first specter guests actually see on the ride. In fact, the ghost will appear before the narration that states happy haunts are “beginning to materialize.”

Closures and Refurbishments

August sees the weather heat up, the crowds getting larger, and thankfully the closures and refurbishments few and far between, with Disney preferring to have as many rides and attractions open as possible in the summer months.

Here we have listed all the latest closures and refurbishments at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom, plus the resorts

Magic Kingdom

Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain is permanently closed, with the ride currently undergoing major refurbishment to be transformed into Tiana's Bayou Adventure, opening late 2024.

The Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom closing for refurbishment, could The Hatbox Ghost be added?

The Haunted Mansion

Walt Disney World have announced that The Haunted Mansion will be closed for a short refurbishment in August.

The refurbishment will last from August 7 through until August 9,

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Voyage of the Little Mermaid

The only entertainment currently closed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the long time shuttered Voyage of the Little Mermaid.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

No current closures, or refurbishments.

Spaceship Earth at EPCOT


Right now there is no current closures, but, if you visit EPCOT you are going to see quite a few construction walls, thankfully not as many as in recent years as the parks transformation hits the home stretch, but be aware you are still going to see lots of construction in the park.

Here's a look at what's coming soon to the park this Fall...

Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana EPCOT

EPCOT Transformation

This fall will bring even more exciting experiences as part of the multi-year transformation of EPCOT.

Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

Guests will be able to explore the wonders of water when Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana opens.

This attraction is currently in cast previews and could open at any time, so watch this space!

This fun interactive outdoor trail offers a chance to play and interact with water as it travels from the sky to the oceans and back again. Along the way, guests learn about the importance of water and discover its playful personality – just as Moana did on her heroic voyage.

The new World Celebration neighborhood EPCOT

Fall will also see completion of the new World Celebration neighborhood. As the hub of the park, it will feature different gardens that change with the seasons.

Dreamers Point, an inspiring overlook showcasing a statue of Walt Disney called “Walt the Dreamer.”

Dreamers Point

It is also where guests will discover Dreamers Point, an inspiring overlook showcasing a statue of Walt Disney called “Walt the Dreamer.”

World Celebration neighborhood, CommuniCore Hall EPCOT

CommuniCore Hall

When CommuniCore Hall opens in World Celebration later this year, it will be the center of festival programming throughout the park.

In new renderings, you can see this will be home to a new character greeting location called Mickey & Friends. You’ll be able to meet Mickey Mouse and some of his best pals in this colorful space.

CommuniCore Hall  in World Celebration EPCOT

Also located in the World Celebration neighborhood, CommuniCore Hall will be the home of a dynamic exhibition space that will transform with each festival throughout the year, as you can see here in one possibility imagined for EPCOT International Festival of the Arts.

Playing with light, shapes and reflections, the architecture of this building was designed by Walt Disney Imagineering to celebrate the legacy of EPCOT and the original CommuniCore buildings.

A new nighttime spectacular will debut at EPCOT later this year

New Nighttime Spectacular

Plus, a new nighttime spectacular will debut at EPCOT later this year, inviting everyone to gather around World Showcase Lagoon for a show that will unite us through commonalities of the heart in a dazzling display of music, pyrotechnics, lasers and lighting, the show will feature an original composition and evocative selections from the Disney songbook – all woven together to remind us that we are more alike than different

EPCOT is also hosting the Disney100 celebration at Walt Disney World Resort.

Enjoy all-new experiences as Walt Disney World celebrate this momentous anniversary and the culmination of the EPCOT transformation – from meeting Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in their platinum attire to snapping a selfie with a platinum sculpture of Walt Disney, and watching Spaceship Earth illuminate the evenings with a special lighting design.

Walt Disney World reveal details on Disney 100 celebrations coming to EPCOT this September

The celebration of The Walt Disney Company’s 100th anniversary is underway, and I’m excited to share that Disney100 will ramp up at Walt Disney World Resort beginning late September! Throughout the year, we’ve been celebrating the fans and storytellers who have sparked the joy that is Disney over the last century. It’s been so fun to see all of the special surprises at Disney parks across the globe helping fans and families relive beloved Disney memories and experience new, heartwarming stories.

You may have heard that EPCOT will be the center of the Disney100 celebration at Walt Disney World, marking not only a century of magic and innovation, but also ushering in the future as the multi-year transformation of the park wraps up.

Walt Disney World reveal details on Disney 100 celebrations coming to EPCOT this September

So, what’s in store for this limited-time celebration at EPCOT? Keep reading to learn more about what you’ll find starting September 22!

Have you taken a selfie with any of the Disney100 backdrops located at all four theme parks and Disney Springs? You’ll be able to snap a photo with a new platinum Mickey Mouse sculpture in World Celebration with Spaceship Earth in the background. And don’t forget about the dazzling Disney100 Magic Shots and PhotoPass offerings currently available across Walt Disney World.

Be sure to check out the all-new mural at the heart of World Celebration to see how many of the 100 Disney characters you can find in the incredible scene. This expansive mural located along the walkway to World Showcase will feature some of your favorite characters hidden throughout the various neighborhoods of EPCOT. The rest of World Celebration will also be decked out in Disney100 platinum banners and décor.

Walt Disney World reveal details on Disney 100 celebrations coming to EPCOT this September

Mark your calendars because you’ll be able to meet, hug and snap a photo with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in their platinum best in the Imagination! pavilion.

They won’t be the only ones sparkling in honor of the celebration. Spaceship Earth will light up each night with special colors and lights accompanied by the Disney100 anthem, a unique rendition of “When You Wish Upon a Star.”

Walt Disney World reveal details on Disney 100 celebrations coming to EPCOT this September

Our favorite part of any celebration is the food, and this one won’t disappoint! Sip and savor the tastes of the Disney100 celebration with limited-time food & beverage locations during both the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival and the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays! I can’t wait to sample all of the culinary delights and delectable drinks that evoke new and timeless Disney memories.

Walt Disney World reveal details on Disney 100 celebrations coming to EPCOT this September

That’s not the only exclusive food and beverage you’ll be able to enjoy during the celebration! You won’t want to miss out on the purple metallic Mickey Balloon Premium Popcorn Bucket available only at EPCOT during Disney100.

We can’t wait to join the excitement of the Disney100 celebration at Walt Disney World from September 22 to December 31, 2023!

Blizzard Beach Water Park

Temporarily Closed

Hotel Construction & Refurbishments

Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Kidani Village

Through September 2023, Kidani Village will be undergoing refurbishment.

BoardWalk Inn

Right now the new Cake Bake Shop Restaurant is currently under construction in the space that was the ESPN Club.

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Due to refurbishments of guest rooms and buildings at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, construction will be noticeable in the resort, including the resort lobby.

Polynesian Village Resort

Walt Disney World is building a new DVC tower at Polynesian Village Resort between the existing Polynesian longhouses and Wedding Pavilion, near the Grand Floridian.

New DVC tower at Polynesian Village Resort

For the very latest news and information from Orlando and Central Florida, check back often here at Gotta Go Orlando as we keep you informed throughout the day, every day.

You can also keep up to date on our socials, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

Plus, subscribe to the Gotta Go Orlando YouTube Channel, your free guide to Orlando.

Planning your next vacation? Check out Top Villas, offering the best vacation homes, in the best resorts.

Enquire or book online. Top Villas guarantee the very best rates on all luxury villas, condos & townhouses.

Top Villas Orlando Vacations

Please Note:

We are supported by our advertisers via digital ads, sponsored content, and affiliate links. Articles may be paid for, or contain affiliate links where we could earn money if you purchase products or services via a link our site.


Emma Walton News Producer

Emma Walton

  • Instagram

News Producer

Shane Walton News Producer

Shane Walton

  • Instagram

News Producer

Aly Mac News Editor

Alastair Mac

  • Instagram

News Editor

bottom of page