All the Big Changes and New Experiences Coming to Disney World in 2024

Graphics by: Aryana Johnson
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson

Over the past few years, Disney World has gone through an immense amount of changes—it can feel impossible to keep up. In 2020, the parks closed from March through early July due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When they reopened, they did so with quite a few changes in place. While many of those changes have since gone back to “normal,” there are still quite a few in effect at the parks. 

But, a few major elements will be reverting to their pre-pandemic status in the coming weeks as we enter a new year. Along with these returning experiences, there will be lots of Disney World updates and newness coming to the parks as well. To help break it all down as you plan your next trip to the Most Magical Place on Earth, we’re sharing some of the major changes and experiences coming to Disney World in 2024.

Walt Disney World Changes Coming in 2024

The Return of the Disney Dining Plan

After taking a hiatus back in 2020, the popular Disney Dining Plan service will return to Disney World on January 9, 2024. The Disney Dining Plan acts as a pre-paid meal packaging, where you can purchase “credits” that can be used at Table-Service or Quick-Service dining at Disney World.

When you book a Walt Disney World hotel, you can add on the classic Disney Dining Plan or the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan. The regular Disney Dining Plan can be purchased for members of your party aged 3 and older and includes a Resort-Refillable Mug, as well as a Quick-Service meal, a Table-Service Meal, and a Snack per night of your stay.

On the other hand, the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan includes a Resort-Refillable Mug, as well as two Quick Service Meals and a Snack per night of stay for each member 3 and older in your party. These credits can be used at the majority of dining establishments at Walt Disney World (though you can view a full list here). 

Disney Dining Plan Pricing

The cost of the regular Disney Dining Plan is $94.28 for ages ten and up or $26.69 for ages 3 to 9 for each night of your trip. The Quick-Service Dining Plan is $57.01 per day for ages 10 and up or $23.38 for ages 3 to 9 for every night of your stay.

For stays on select nights in March, April, May, and June 2024, Disney is also offering the Kids Play and Dine for 50 percent off, offering 50 percent off dining plans for ages 3 to 9 when you book a four-night, four-day Disney vacation package.

Source: @sa_anderson

Park Hopping and Park Pass Reservation Changes

Another major change beginning January 9 is the return of all-day park hopping, as well as a few Park Pass reservation changes. Since Disney World reopened in July 2020 following its months-long closure due to the pandemic, it has required Park Pass reservations. What this means is you must make a Park Pass, reserving your spot at a certain park on the date you are choosing to visit.

Beginning January 9, this will change for date-based tickets. If you purchase a date-based Disney World ticket, you will be purchasing for a certain date at a certain park. Once this change goes into effect in January, these tickets will automatically serve as your Park Pass, meaning you won’t need to make a separate reservation.

Another Disney World change beginning this date will be all-day park hopping. Park hopping means you have a Disney World Park Hopper ticket, meaning you can visit more than one park in a single day. Since park hopping returned in 2021, guests had to wait until 2 p.m. to travel to a second park. When this change goes into effect, you will no longer be required to wait until that time of day to park hop.

Disney World Changes
Source: Courtesy Disney

New Disney World Attractions Coming in 2024

The last few years have included some exciting new attractions and experiences at Disney World, including Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in 2021, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in 2022, and Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana in 2023. This year includes more exciting Disney World changes, including:

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

One of the most exciting new things coming to Disney World in 2024 is the highly-anticipated Tiana’s Bayou Adventure! The new ride will be replacing the previous Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom.

The story of the attraction is set a few years after the events of The Princess and the Frog, where Tiana has created a food co-op known as Tiana’s Foods. When you enter the ride, you do so as a guest visiting during Carnival season, where Tiana is hosting a celebration for the people of New Orleans. She realized she’s missing a “key ingredient,” and you’ll need to join her and other familiar characters on a trip to the bayou.

The log flume attraction will feature both returning and new characters, fantastic audio-animatronics, music, and thrills. While an official opening date hasn’t been revealed, we do know it will be coming in late 2024 to Magic Kingdom.

New Tiana Ride
Source: Courtesy Disney

The Little Mermaid – A Musical Adventure

From 1993 to 2020, Voyage of the Little Mermaid was a live show available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The stage show featured a combination of live performers and puppets to tell an abridged version of the 1989 film. 

This year, Disney officially revealed that the show will be getting revamped, with The Little Mermaid – A Musical Adventure set to open in fall 2024. The transformed show will feature new set pieces and effects but will feature the return of musical numbers such as Part of Your World and Poor Unfortunate Souls

Asha from Wish Character Meet and Greet

For little ones who love a Disney princess moment, the newest character Asha, from the 2023 movie Wish, is now greeting guests in EPCOT.

disney world changes asha from wish
Source: Courtesy Disney

New Restaurants at Walt Disney World

In 2023, Disney World welcomed a host of new restaurants. These included Roundup Rodeo BBQ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as well as eet by Maneet Chauhan and Summer House on the Lake in Disney Springs. Shiki-Sai: Sushi Izakaya is another new restaurant that opened in the Japan Pavilion at EPCOT. 

In 2024, we have even more restaurants to look forward to in Walt Disney World. This will include two new spots at Disney’s BoardWalk: The Cake Bake Shop and Blue Ribbon Corn Dogs. While exact dates have not been released, we know that both of these new dining spots will be joining Walt Disney World Resort in the new year.

Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Refurbishments

If you’ve visited Walt Disney World during the past few years, you’ve likely seen some updates to many of the Disney hotels. The rooms at Disney’s Contemporary Resort got an Incredibles-themed makeover, while Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort now has Moana-inspired rooms.

Many of these refurbishments are still ongoing, including a new lobby and Mary Poppins-themed rooms at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and an in-process makeover at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. If you’ll be staying at a Disney World Resort hotel, make sure to check the official website for the most up-to-date information on refurbishments as they are announced.

Another hotel change will be the completion of the Disney Vacation Club tower at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, a new expansion slated to finish construction at some point in 2024.

Also, in summer 2024, Disney will unveil their newly refurbished cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort will be the newest Disney Vacation Club Resort, with a refreshed look that’s perfect for the whole family. Each cabin will sleep up to six guests and will even be dog-friendly if you’re bringing along a pet!

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