Disney World Refurbishment Schedule & Ride Closures for 2021 & 2022

Disney World Refurbishments & Closings

Nothing is more frustrating than spending hours upon hours arranging a vacation to Walt Disney World only to discover that your favorite attraction is closed for renovations. That is why we produced this 2021 & 2022 Disney World Refurbishments and Closure Schedule to assist you to understand what is open and what is closed.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at Walt Disney World’s four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom) and tell you about the renovation schedule and which rides are closed in each.

- Advertisement -

We’ll also discuss temporary closures, such as those caused by the current health crisis, as well as which rides at Walt Disney World are permanently closed.

It is very uncommon for Disney to move the refurbishment dates about on the calendar, so make sure to check back here several times before your next trip to see which rides will be available and which will be closed. We’ll also talk about Disney World hotel, restaurant, and store renovations.

Why Does Disney Do Ride Refurbishments?

While it’s always a disappointment to visit Walt Disney World and discover that your favorite ride is closed, it does happen from time to time. Sometimes you can avoid it by checking the closure schedule and rescheduling your vacation, but other times, Disney decides to repair attractions at the last minute, with no notice.

Why does Disney refurbish its rides?

Attraction refurbishments, as much as we dislike them, are essential from time to time. With millions of people riding these attractions each year, they ultimately break down and need to be repaired.

Some Disney World ride closures may last a few days, while others may last months. It all depends on the nature of the task. It’s best for these attractions in the long term, and if they didn’t close from time to time, their life-span would be considerably shorter.

So, while it’s never nice to be unable to ride some attractions, it’s unavoidable.

Walt Disney World Refurbishments

Which Disney World rides will be phased down in 2021 and 2022? Below is a list of all the current Walt Disney World refurbishments, as well as which ones will be closed. Each one contains a start date for the renovation as well as an estimated completion date.

Again, these dates vary frequently, and Disney is notorious for having refurbishments take longer than initially anticipated, so plan your vacation with caution, knowing that things may have changed by the time you arrive.

Magic Kingdom

Disney’s Magic Kingdom will be the focal point for Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, thus there will be several attraction refurbishments across the park from now through the end of 2021 and into 2022.

Disney would want to restore several of the older attractions before the celebrations begin, but it is uncertain how much money is available for major renovations. It’s more probable that we’ll see a slew of minor upgrades.

Refurbishments:

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (NOW OPEN) – A short refurbishment for regular maintenance.
  • Hall of Presidents (Closed 1/20/21 – TBD) – Long refurbishment to add the Joe Biden audio-animatronic figure and possibly other changes.
  • Jungle Cruise (Not Closing, Operational During Refurbishment) – Major refurbishment making the ride more inclusive, changing multiple scenes and adding audio-animatronic skipper and chimpanzees.
  • Main Street Confectionery (Closed 3/29/21 – TBD) – This Magic Kingdom sweets shops is closing for re-imagineering and will have a fresh look and layout.
  • Swiss Family Treehouse (Closed 3/12/21 – 12/25/21) – Closed for regular maintenance.
    Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover (NOW OPEN) – The PeopleMover went down in March 2020 and reopened in April 2021. The attraction’s refurbishment included replacing the magnetic linear induction motors throughout the track.
  • Walt Disney World Railroad (Closed 12/3/18 – TBD) – The Walt Disney World Railroad has been closed since 2018, and we won’t be seeing it in 2020 either. The attraction was shut down for the new TRON coaster being built since its track is in the way. Expect this to open back up in 2021.
  • Disney World Monorail – The monorail is running, but it is undergoing regular maintenance and therefore can have changed schedules and delays. Plan accordingly.

Temporary Health & Safety Closures:

  • Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD)
  • Character Meets (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD) – All Character Meets throughout Walt Disney World have been temporarily suspended due to new health restrictions. No date has been given yet when they will open again.
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD)
  • Festival of Fantasy Parade (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD)
  • Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD)
  • Let the Magic Begin (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD)
  • Main Street Vehicles (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD)
  • Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD)
  • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD) – Even though other indoor shows are running at the Magic Kingdom, Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor remains closed.
  • Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD)

Coming Soon:

  • TRON Lightcycle Run – (Opening 2022)

EPCOT

This is the park in Disney World that is presently receiving the greatest renovations, which is logical given the huge makeover project that EPCOT is currently undertaking.

Have patience, especially when visiting EPCOT park, because attraction conditions are likely to change between now and your vacation.

EPCOT is also the park with the most upcoming attractions, but this is still in flux due to Disney’s massive budget cuts last year, and they aren’t investing as much money as they had anticipated.

We predict that several of the park’s attractions will be delayed, and that the whole project will progress much slower than anticipated.

Refurbishments:

  • Electric Umbrella (Reopening Date TBD) – Temporarily closed for refurbishment.
  • EPCOT Entrance (Completion Date TBD) – Most of the work is finished on the new EPCOT entrance including the new fountain. Expect it to be done by late 2021.
  • Mouse Gear (Reopening Date TBD) – Temporarily moved to another location during the refurbishment.
  • Project Tomorrow: Inventing the Wonders of the Future (Reopening Date TBD) – This area has closed and will be getting a refurbishment when the Spaceship Earth project moves forward.

Temporary Health & Safety Closures:

  • Advanced Training Lab (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD)
  • Bruce’s Shark World (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD)
  • Character Meets (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD) – All Character Meets throughout Walt Disney World have been temporarily suspended due to new health restrictions. No date has been given yet when they will open again.
  • Turtle Talk with Crush (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD) – Rumored to be coming back soon, but no date yet.
  • EPCOT performers throughout World Showcase (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD)
    Disney World Monorail (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD) – The monorail is not running to EPCOT at the moment and guests need to find another method of transportation.

Coming Soon:

  • DuckTales World Showcase Adventure (Opening 2021/2022) – No opening date yet.
  • Disney Harmonious (Opening 10/1/21) – This new nighttime show was supposed to open in Summer 2020 but has now been delayed until sometime in 2021.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (Opening 2022) – The huge E-Ticket attraction based on the Guardians of the Galaxy was supposed to open sometime in 2021 but will now open in 2022.
  • Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana (Opening TBD, 2022) – The first attraction in a Disney park based on Disney’s Moana. No opening date has been given.
  • Play! Pavilion (Opening TBD, 2022) – The Play! Pavilion was supposed to open in 2021, but might be delayed until 2022.
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (Opening 10/1/21) – This trackless ride based on Pixar’s Ratatouille was supposed to open in Summer 2020 but has since been delayed. No opening date has been given but it now will open sometime in 2021.
  • Space 220 (Opening TBD, 2021) – This new space restaurant was supposed to open in Early 2020, but has since been delayed and without an opening date.

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios has recently undergone a significant amount of new development, and the majority of projects are now complete.

See also  Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort

Refurbishments:

  • No current refurbishments

Temporary Health & Safety Closures:

  • Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD)
  • Character Meets (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD) – All Character Meets throughout Walt Disney World have been temporarily suspended due to new health restrictions. No date has been given yet when they will open again.
  • Disney Junior Dance Party (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD)
  • Disney Movie Magic (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD) – All nighttime spectaculars including fireworks shows are closed right now in Disney World.
  • Fantasmic! (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD) – All nighttime spectaculars including fireworks shows are closed right now in Disney World. The moat has been drained so we won’t see this for a while.
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD)
  • Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD)
  • Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD) – All nighttime spectaculars including fireworks shows are closed right now in Disney World.
  • Star Wars Launch Bay (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD)
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD) – Some have rumored that the
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid will close for good and be replaced though that hasn’t been confirmed from Disney.
  • Wonderful World of Animation (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD) – All nighttime spectaculars including fireworks shows are closed right now in Disney World.

Coming Soon:

  • Roundup Rodeo BBQ (Opening TBD, 2021) – The new table service restaurant in Toy Story Land was supposed to open in Summer 2020, but that has been delayed. No date has been given at this time.

Animal Kingdom

There are very few renovations going on at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and everything is relatively calm save for the park’s entrance.

Refurbishments:

  • Animal Kingdom Entrance (Completion Date TBD) – The entire entrance of the park is being re-done including the drop-off area and security checks. This will make for a more seamless entry process for guests.

Temporary Health & Safety Closures:

  • Character Meets (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD) – All Character Meets throughout Walt Disney World have been temporarily suspended due to new health restrictions. No date has been given yet when they will open again.
  • Finding Nemo – The Musical (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD)
  • Affection Section (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD)
  • Primeval Whirl (Closed permanently) – After months of seasonal operation, this ride was closed down permanently. No replacement attraction has been announced yet.
  • Fossil Fun Games (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD)
  • Rivers of Light – We Are One (Closed permanently) – Canceled and will eventually be replaced with a new show.
  • The Boneyard (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD)

Coming Soon:

  • No Coming Attractions

Water Parks

Since March 2020, both Disney World Water Parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, have been closed. Disney has stated that one of the two water parks would reopen in March 2021, but has not specified which one.

Blizzard Beach

  • No current refurbishments

Typhoon Lagoon (Closed – Reopening Date TBD)

  • No current refurbishments

General Disney World Water Park Refurbishment Info

  • The Walt Disney World water parks run seasonally and are close often due to the weather. The water parks usually close one at a time from January to March annually for regular maintenance and refurbishments, so one park should always be open.

With hundreds of Walt Disney World Resort Hotels on site, they all require periodic renovations. These can be on the hotel rooms or anywhere else in the resort, such as the pools, restaurants, lobby, bars, and common spaces.

Many of the rooms at the Disney World resorts have become obsolete in recent years, and are not what you’d expect to pay $200-$500 per night or more for a hotel room. Fortunately, a lot of hotels are undergoing comprehensive renovations, including new furniture and furnishings.

Arriving at a hotel during a big building project can be aggravating, and excessive construction noise might make it difficult to sleep.

Before you plan your trip, check out this list of Disney World hotel refurbishments to see what type of work is being done at your hotel and if you’re okay with it.

Unfortunately, numerous hotels in Walt Disney World remain closed, with many having no reopening dates. We’ll keep updating the list as soon as we obtain those dates.

The following is the most recent list of Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Refurbishments:

  • Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort

    • Lobby Remodel and Update (Closed from July 12, 2021 – Mid October 2021) – The entire lobby is getting updated with a refreshed look and new layout and design similar to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and Old Key West Resort.
    • Re-Imagined Guest Rooms  Work recently finished on reimagined rooms throughout the entire resort.

    Disney’s All-Star Music Resort (Closed – Reopening September 16, 2021)

    • Temporarily closed back in March 2020 with the other All-Star Resorts. Reopening September 16, 2021.
    • Re-Imagined Guest Rooms (Opening TBD, 2021?) – The reimagining of all the guest rooms at All-Star Music was going on when the resort closed. It’s unclear how far along they are and when the rest of the rooms will be upgraded.

    Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort (Closed – Reopening December 9, 2021)

    • Temporarily closed back in March 2020 with the other All-Star Resorts. Reopening December 9, 2021.
    • Re-Imagined Guest Rooms (Not Yet Started) – Like the other 2 All-Star Resorts, the All-Star Sports was scheduled for a re-imagining of all the guest rooms. Work has not started yet and it’s unclear when they will be finished.

    Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort (Closed – Reopening August 26, 2021)

    • Jambo House temporarily closed back in March 2020. The Villas are open and the regular rooms at the Jambo House will reopen on August 26, 2021.

    Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas

    • Samawati Springs Pool at Kidani Village (Closed January 2022 – April 2022) – Multi-month refurbishment to the pool area.

    Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

    • Big Blue Pool (NOW OPEN) – The pool is closing for a standard refurbishment. The Flippin’ Fins Pool, Cozy Cone Pool, and the Schoolyard Sprayground will remain open for guests.
    • Guest Room Refurbishment (Opening TBD) – Guest rooms at Art of Animation are being lightly upgraded with changes to furniture, carpeting, etc. Work is done on the Cars suites, and now being done to the Nemo suites, with The Little Mermaid and The Lion King after that.

    Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

    • No current refurbishments

    Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

    • No current refurbishments

    Disney’s Beach Club Resort

    • No current refurbishments

    Disney’s Beach Club Villas

    • No current refurbishments

    Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

    • Luna Park Pool (Reopened) –
      The Luna Park Pool has reopened following renovation of the scariest pool in Disney World. The terrifying clown has been removed from the Keister Coaster Waterslide, which now has Mickey and Friends motif. The pool is now open; however, the slide is currently closed.

    Disney’s Boardwalk Villas

    • No current refurbishments

    Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

    • No current refurbishments

    Disney’s Contemporary Resort

    • Resort Rooms Refurbishment (Closed April 2021 – Fall 2021)  Disney has announced a major refurbishment to the guest rooms in the main A-frame building of the Contemporary Resort. The rooms are getting re-themed to The Incredibles with a more modern design.

    Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

    • No current refurbishments

    Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

    • No current refurbishments

    Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

    • Citricos (Closed 2/1/20 – 7/15/21) –
      Citricos is undergoing major renovation, which will include the addition of Mary Poppins theming throughout the restaurant. The entire menu has been changed as well. 
      The dining area and cuisine will be revamped, among other things. Work was expected to be completed in Summer 2020, but it is unknown how much progress has been made on the project and when it will be completed.

      .

    The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

    • Disney Vacation Club Expansion at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. The Disney Vacation Club is converting 200 villas from existing hotel rooms at the Grand Floridian Resort. (Opening Summer 2022)

    Disney’s Old Key West Resort

    • Lobby Remodel and Update (Closed from Early July 2021 – Early October 2021) – The entire lobby is getting updated with a refreshed look and new layout and design similar to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.

    Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (Closed – Reopening July 2021)

    • Resort-wide Refurbishment (Closed through July 2021) – Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is closed for a massive refurbishment from Now through July 2021.
      Total refurbishment being done on the Great Ceremonial House, lobby entrance, carport, monorail stations, and more. Guest rooms are being re-themed to Moana. The Villas are still open and the front desk is located at Pago, Pago building 11.
    • Monorail (Closed from November 2, 2020 – July 2021)  The Disney World Monorail station at the Polynesian will be closed through July 2021 as the entire monorail station is getting refurbished.

    Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

    • No current refurbishments

    Disney’s Pop Century Resort

    • No current refurbishments

    Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter (Closed – Reopening October 28, 2021)

    • Temporarily closed back in March 2020. It is reopening on October 28, 2021.

    Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside (Closed – Reopening October 14, 2021)

    • Temporarily closed back in March 2020. It is reopening on October 14, 2021.

    Disney’s Riviera Resort

    • No current refurbishments

    Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

    • Resort-wide Refurbishment (Completion in 2021)  Disney is working on a massive refurbishment to many areas of Saratoga Springs including the interior and exterior of the resort. Completely re-imagined rooms with new style sofa beds. The exterior of the buildings is also changing. Expect this to be completed sometime in 2021.
    • Lobby Remodel and Update (Closed from Early July 2021 – Early October 2021) – The entire lobby and outside hallway are getting updated with a new layout and design similar to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. The porte-cochere will also be closed between mid-July and late September.

    Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

    • Resort-wide Refurbishment (Completion Date TBD)  The Wilderness Lodge is undergoing a huge refurbishment to all its regular hotel rooms. Some of the rooms are now available as the rest of the refurbishment continues.

    Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

    • No current refurbishments

    Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge (Project On Hold /Canceled)

    • This is a new Disney World Resort Hotel that was being built on the site of the old River Country water park. Site work has come to a stop and construction crews removed the concrete and rebar. At this point, it’s unclear if the project has been canceled altogether or just put on extended hold until a future date.

    Disney World Transportation

    • The Disney Skyliner (Closing 1/23/22 – 1/28/22) – The EPCOT/Riviera Resort/Caribbean Beach Resort Line will be closed during this time.

    Disney Springs

    • There are currently no major refurbishments happening in Disney Springs.

Permanent Ride Closures

While some attractions close only temporarily, others sadly close permanently. This happens when the ride is no longer deemed popular enough or Disney has other plans for that space, perhaps bringing in a new attraction in its place.

Here is a list of the permanent closures in Disney World in the recent past:

Magic Kingdom

  • The Pirates League – (Closed 3/15/20)
  • The Muppets Present…Great Moments in American History – (Closed 1/1/20)
  • Stitch’s Great Escape – (Closed 1/6/18)
  • Wishes – (Closed 5/11/17)

EPCOT

  • Mariachi Cobre Presents… The Story of Coco – (Closed 6/2/20)
  • Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure – (Closed 2/17/20)
  • The Circle of Life – (Closed 2/4/18)
  • Ellen’s Energy Adventure – (Closed 8/13/17)

Hollywood Studios

  • The Disney Society Orchestra and Friends – (Closed 10/4/20)
  • Wonderful World of Animation – (Closed 5/13/20)
  • Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away – (Closed 2/23/20)
  • The Great Movie Ride – (Closed 8/13/17)

Animal Kingdom

  • Primeval Whirl – (Closed 3/16/20)
  • Rivers of Light: We Are One – (Closed 3/16/20)

Disney World Seasonal Closures

Some closures in Disney World are seasonal, meaning similar work happens on those rides around the same time each year. Some of this is weather-based, like water parks for example, that are less likely to be popular during the Winter.

Here is a list of Seasonal Refurbishments in Disney World. These dates are estimates based on closures in past years:

  • Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park – Closes October to January for general maintenance and seasonal refurbishment.
  • Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park – Closes January to March for general maintenance and seasonal refurbishment.
  • Kali River Rapids – Can close anytime from January to March for general maintenance and seasonal refurbishment.
  • Jungle Cruise – Usually closes in Late October to Early November for Jingle Cruise holiday overlay; closes in Early January to remove holiday overlay.
  • Splash Mountain – This is one of the most refurbished attractions in Disney World. Usually closes in January/February for general maintenance and seasonal refurbishment.

What Season Does Disney Do Refurbishments?

In the “off-season” and when there are fewer guests in the parks, Disney prefers to conduct additional refurbishments and ride closures.

January and February are popular months for tuning up the rides following the holiday season. This is particularly true for water attractions such as Kali River Rapids, Splash Mountain, and water parks.

September is another popular month for Disney World refurbishments because most of the visitors have gone home with the kids back in school. That means now is an excellent opportunity to repair attractions that require upkeep.

While visiting Disney World over the holidays or during the peak season is more crowded, you are also less likely to find your favorite attraction closed for renovation, which is a distinct perk.

Rumored Refurbishments
Many rides at Disney World require refurbishment, with some remaining unchanged for decades.

Here is a list of Disney World attractions that are believed to be undergoing renovations and maybe shutting shortly. The majority of them have yet to be verified by Disney, but they are the most likely to close.

Magic Kingdom:

  • Big Thunder Mountain – special effects additions
  • Jungle Cruise – scene updates
  • Walt Disney World Railroad – scene enhancements
  • Carousel of Progress – scene change
  • It’s a Small World – Disney character addition
  • Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse
  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
  • Astro Orbiter

EPCOT:

  • Spaceship Earth – A total overhaul of this attraction was supposed to happen in May 2020, but then was postponed when the parks closed. No new date has been given yet.
  • Journey Into Imagination – This has been the most rumored attraction to be getting a refurbishment, yet nothing is confirmed from Disney. Many fans are not fans of the current version, but doing something that keeps Figment in the attraction is a must.

Hollywood Studios:

  • Tower of Terror – It’s possible new special effects could be added

Animal Kingdom:

  • Expedition Everest – We’ve been hearing about fixing the Yeti for years now, but it’s a very complicated task that would take months to do. Not sure that this will ever get done but we can hope.
Comments

TalkDisney.com is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program. Some links may be affiliate links. We may get paid if you buy something or take an action after clicking one of these.