Written by: Mark Plante Published On: February 15, 2023
April 2023 will mark the end of the 50th Anniversary Celebration at Magic Kingdom. With the end of the 50th Anniversary Celebration will bring the end of some of the entertainment that has been in the park for the previous 18 months. I don’t think that I would be exaggerating if I said that the 50th Anniversary Celebration was, well, a flop. I am not saying that this is all Disney’s fault, a little virus had a bit to do with it.
During the celebration, Disney World made quite a few changes. The following is a list of perks that Disney World removed, or replaced with a similar offering at an additional fee.
- Extra Magic Hours – Now only available to guests on selected nights that stay at Deluxe Resorts ($1,000/night). There are also extended theme park hours at various parks on select nights for an additional ticket price.
- FastPass+ – Replaced with Genie+ and Lightning Lanes for an additional cost per day, per ticket or ride.
- Park Hopping – You are not allowed to Park Hop until after 2PM
- Magical Express – Replaced with Mears Transportation at a cost of approximately $30 each way to and from the airport per person.
- Magic Bands – Magic Bands are no longer provided free to guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel. You are still able to purchase Magic Bands starting at $20 per band.
In addition to this list, ticket prices have increased and the price of food, snacks and souvenirs inside the parks are quite expensive.
What will be new at Disney World in April, 2023
There will be some HUGE new attractions at Disney World in April. Disney announced that “Tron Lightcycle Run” will be opening to the public on April 4. The high-speed roller coaster has been under construction for almost five years and is a copy of the same ride at Tokyo Disneyland. Expect huge crowds for the opening of this attraction which will not have a “Stand-by Line” when it opens. Riders must obtain a spot in a Virtual Queue which will give a designated time for them to ride this attraction. Limited Individual Lightning Lane entry will also be available at an additional cost.
Magic Kingdom will also be bringing back one of their most popular nighttime shows… “Happily Ever After” also returns on April 4. This show that features fireworks and projections on Cinderella Castle will now also feature projections on the Main Street USA building along with some other additions that have not been released.
Happily Ever After ended for the 50th Anniversary Celebration at Magic Kingdom and was replaced by “Disney Enchantment”. Although liked by fans, they were disappointed that it replaced Happily Ever After.
Magic Kingdom is not the only park that will be featuring New, Old shows. On April 2nd, EPCOT will be saying good-by to “Harmonious”. “EPCOT Forever” will be opening on April 3 as EPCOT’s newest nightly show. You may remember that EPCOT Forever was the temporary nighttime show in EPCOT before Harmonious opened in 2021.
Not too much information has been released about any new contents of EPCOT Forever. The previous incarnation contained many of the voices and songs that were part of EPCOT since it opened in 1985. The show also included segments of rides that have been closed and even original soundscores of thos rides that have changed over the years, such as “Soarin Over California” and “Spark of Imagination”. Those that are true veterans of EPCOT held these rides and songs dear to their hearts.
Although visitors enjoyed the performance of Harmonious, the taco-looking barges were not able to be moved and had to be left in the lake. They blocked the view of EPCOT from one side of the lake to the other and, well, were quite ugly.
With the new offerings that I’ve mentioned, along with Easter Break happening the week of April 9th and on top of that there are several RUNDisney events, Disney World is going to be a very busy destination. Keep in mind that Disney World is still requiring Park Reservations as well as a paid park admission to even just get in the park. This means that in April, it is possible that you may not even be able to get into the park that you want to due to crowd levels.