8 MASSIVE Things That Happened at Disney World Last Month

Wow, what a month! January started 2023 off with a bang, at least in terms of big Disney World news.

January was a busy month for Disney World

So much happened that you probably missed some of it, so we’re doing a quick news round-up to get you up to speed as quickly as possible. So here are the biggest Disney World news stories of January.

Dining Card Promo

The Disney Dining Plan still hasn’t returned, but Disney World did release a new promotion that is about as close as we’ve been to the dining plan since it disappeared in 2020. Right now, select guests who book 2023 Disney World vacation packages can get a FREE dining card (basically a gift card JUST for Disney World dining) that can be used at Disney World restaurants.

Ohana Breakfast

The promotion is available to guests who book trips for arrival dates between June 25th-September 14th, 2023. The amount of the card depends on the arrival date, the number of nights, and which Disney resort you stay at.

Details on the Disney Dining Card and Why It’s DIFFERENT from the Dining Plan

EPCOT Festival of the Arts

The EPCOT Festival of the Arts is officially underway, bringing with it a ton of food booths, entertainment, fun activities, merchandise, and more that all revolve around the arts. This year also brought back the Figment popcorn bucket, for those who missed out on it last year.

EPCOT Festival of the Arts

The festival runs through February 20th, so you still have time to check it out.

EVERYTHING You Need to Know About the 2023 EPCOT Festival of the Arts

Roundup Rodeo BBQ News

We finally have an opening date for Roundup Rodeo BBQ, which will be opening on March 23rd in Toy Story Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Disney also released the full menu for the restaurant, which will serve family-style platters of salads, house-smoked meats, sides, and desserts.


Disney World also revealed that Roundup Rodeo BBQ would be taking advance dining reservations, although those are not yet available.

Everything You Need to Know About Roundup Rodeo BBQ in Disney World

Splash Mountain Closure

Splash Mountain officially closed last month — and its final day saw HUGE crowds and long lines of guests wanting to ride it one last time. Now that it has closed, we’re already seeing signs of construction that will reimagine it into a NEW attraction, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

Construction walls are up around Splash Mountain

Even Magic Kingdom’s park map has changed: Splash Mountain is no longer on the map, it’s been replaced with Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Coming in 2024.

Everything That’s CHANGED in Disney World Since Splash Mountain CLOSED

TRON Lightcycle / Run Updates

It’s official! TRON Lightcycle / Run will open in Magic Kingdom on April 4th. Disney has since released details about Cast Member previews of the ride and the ride’s sign was installed recently! We also learned that like other new attractions, TRON will not have a standby line — instead, it will have a virtual queue and be offered as an Individual Lightning Lane option on Genie+.

TRON Lightcycle / Run sign!

Guests will need to put their items in lockers prior to riding TRON Lightcycle / Run. The attraction will also offer on-ride photos and video.

5 CRITICAL Updates About TRON Lightcycle / Run in Disney World

Return of Happily Ever After and EPCOT Forever

Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration brought two new nighttime shows: Disney Enchantment at Magic Kingdom and Harmonious at EPCOT. However, the anniversary officially ends on March 31st, so those two shows will also be ending with it. In January, Disney has announced that Magic Kingdom’s previous show, Happily Ever After will return on April 3rd (with Disney Enchantment’s last show on April 2nd).

Happily Ever After

Disney also announced that EPCOT’s Harmonious would be ending on April 2nd to be replaced with the previous show, EPCOT Forever, which will begin again on April 3rd. However, a NEW show will be coming to EPCOT soon, but EPCOT Forever will act as the interim show.

PHOTOS & VIDEOS: The Last Showing of Happily Ever After Fireworks in Magic Kingdom

Park Pass Reservation Changes For Select Guests

Disney also announced in January that park pass reservations are changing for Annual Passholders. Soon, Annual Passholders will NOT need a park pass reservation to visit the parks after 2PM, except for Magic Kingdom on Saturdays and Sundays.

Mickey Annual Passholder Bucket

Disney also stated that “Passholders will also receive access to Disney PhotoPass lenses and one complimentary Cinderella Castle Mural of Memories experience.” Currently, there is no date for when this change will go into effect.

Park Pass Requirements Are CHANGING for Annual Passholders in Disney World

Free Parking For Overnight Resort Guests

Disney has recently been charging guests staying at Disney resorts fees for overnight parking. However, that policy has been reversed, and now, overnight self-parking is free for all Disney World hotel guests.

Overnight self-parking is now free again for Disney World resort guests

Previously, overnight parking self-parking was $15 per vehicle, per night at Value Resorts, $20 at Moderate Resorts, and $25 at Deluxe Resorts.

Disney World CHANGES Policy for Overnight Parking at Hotels

If you want to stay updated on ALL Disney news, be sure to keep checking back with us often!

The Best Way to Spend $20 in Disney World

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Which Disney World news surprised you the most last month? Let us know in the comments!

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