2023 Disneyland Refurbishment Calendar
This Disney California Adventure and Disneyland ride refurbishment calendar for the end of this year and 2023 lists temporary attraction closures so you know what won’t be operating before planning your vacation. Additionally, we offer info about reimagining projects that are underway to enhance experiences around the resort. (Updated May 20, 2023.)
While no one wants attraction closures during their visit, they are a necessary part of keeping Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in good condition, as routine maintenance, safety upgrades, and attraction improvements are all done during scheduled ride closures. Usually, there are only a handful of simultaneous closed rides, plus new attractions being built.
Having an idea of which attractions are closed at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure is important, but we recommend consulting our 2023 Disneyland Vacation Planning Guide for more comprehensive info. That covers everything from saving money on park tickets and hotels to where to eat, when to visit, and more.
In addition to scheduled attraction refurbs, unscheduled downtime can also occur during a visit. This usually only occurs for a few hours at a time, so if you find an attraction is closed during your visit to Disneyland Resort and it’s not listed below, it’s likely a temporary closure that will last a few hours. Check with nearby Cast Members to confirm.
Below is a schedule of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure refurbishments, when the closure starts, and when the refurbishment will conclude. To the extent that specific dates are not yet listed, those will be updated once Disneyland Resort provides precise start and/or end dates. The following day will be when the attraction is scheduled to reopen.
Here are the closure schedules for Disney California Adventure and Disneyland…
Disney California Adventure
- The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure – Closed June 5-7, 2023
- Rogers: The Musical – Opens June 30, 2023
- Paint the Night Parade – Return Date Unknown
Let’s start with Rogers: The Musical, which isn’t technically a refurbishment at all, but is replacing Frozen: Live at the Hyperion. Disneyland has announced that this limited time Marvel musical will debut on June 30, 2023.
Finally, Paint the Night Parade is listed above, but there’s no indication it’ll be returning anytime soon–if ever. It could find new life in Florida or return as part of a promotional push for Summer 2024.
Next, let’s take a look at the 2023 Disneyland attraction closure calendar as of May 20, 2023..
- Alice in Wonderland – Closed June 5-15, 2023
- Fantasmic – Paused until at least Labor Day (Tentative)
- Main Street Electrical Parade – Return Date Unknown (Likely June or July 2023)
- Matterhorn Bobsleds – Reopens on June 2, 2023
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride – Closed June 5-15, 2023
- Peter Pan’s Flight – Closing June 5-29, 2023
- Splash Mountain – Closing permanently on May 31, 2023
- Adventureland Treehouse – Opens sometime in 2023
Beyond these dates, let’s cover some specific closures and reopening dates…
The latest update comes via the official Disneyland website, which has quietly added an update that Alice in Wonderland, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and Peter Pan’s Flight will all be closed starting June 5, 2023 for refurbishment. End dates for these refurbishments have now been announced, with the first two rides reopening on June 16, 2023. Peter Pan’s Flight won’t return until June 30, possibly to receive additional repairs or reimagining for some reason.
If you’re wondering why Disneyland is taking down all of these classic Fantasyland dark rides simultaneously at the start of summer season rather than staggering them during the offseason, it’s likely that work needs to be done on the show building itself. All three of these iconic attractions are technically under one roof, so that’s the most logical explanation. Otherwise, there’s no way Disneyland would close them all at once.
As for what the project could be, probably a recently-discovered and urgently-needed repair. Southern California got hit hard by winter storms, so it could be water damage due to the roof leaking. Another possibility is mold remediation. My personal hope is that they discovered termites–not because I’m a fan of the insects, but because I want to see the entire building covered by a giant circus tent while spraying for those.
Those are all just guesses, obviously. Whatever the actual reason, we’d expect it to be completed as expeditiously as possible and not involve any substantive updates or changes to the attractions themselves. Disneyland is going to want these attractions back up ASAP for the busy summer vacation season.
Thankfully, we now know that the Matterhorn Bobsleds will return prior to the Fantasyland dark rides closing. That was previously an indefinite closure, and we feared that it would last for several months–potentially even a year or longer.
As previously noted, Matterhorn has had extended closures for several years running, with the most recent occurring last fall when the ride was closed for 10 weeks. The attraction is aging and numerous retrofits have been made in the last decade to extend its life or make the ride experience more comfortable for guests. Portions of the mountain have also been (literally) falling apart, so structural repairs have been necessary.
At some point, Matterhorn is going to need to close for an extended duration (likely a year or longer) to fully address, replace and rebuild its infrastructure and track. The current Matterhorn refurbishment will not entail that, but it’s always a possibility after the end of summer season. Regardless, future potential closures of the Matterhorn should be on your radar no matter when you’re visiting.
In the more immediate future, Disneyland has officially paused Fantasmic until at least Labor Day and teased that alternative entertainment for Summer 2023 is on the way. What that entails, and the changes that might be in store for a reimagined Fantasmic, are covered here.
It’s important to stress that Fantasmic returning after summer is entirely tentative at this point. Fantasmic could return even later than that–it all depends upon how quickly interim replacements for the damaged showpieces can be prepared. Judging by the nature and extent of the fire damage, it’s likely that the Murphy Audio Animatronics figure of Maleficent will be missing for far longer.
At the very least, the Maleficent dragon scene is likely going to be presented in b-mode for the remainder of this year. In general, do not expect to see the “full” Fantasmic until 2024. Even if the nighttime spectacular does return in Fall 2023, it’s likely to be a modified version of the show.
Finally, there’s now an official closing date of May 31, 2023 for Splash Mountain to be reimagined into a new ride based on The Princess and the Frog. Expect to see visible signs of the transformation into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure by early June. It’s a curious decision to close Splash Mountain right before the busy (and hotter) summer season, but it’s our understanding that the closure date had been pushed back a couple of times for various reasons and the team working on it needs as much time as they can get.
In Florida, Imagineers have already kicked that coast’s version of this project into high gear. Already, construction walls are up around Chick-A-Pin Hill and Imagineers have been observed on and around the attraction beginning work on the overhaul. The transformation timeline is an aggressive one, and we’re skeptical that Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will actually open in 2024. More likely, it’ll be delayed until 2025.
Now, a few notes about the above refurbishments. For starters, there’s much more on the above lists than normal. Most of these attractions are currently closed for budgetary, staffing, or other non-maintenance related reasons. There are actually far fewer traditional refurbishments occurring right now than normally.
Beyond that, Disneyland is notorious for changing its refurbishment schedules, adding or canceling planned downtimes weeks or days in advance. While this practice is still relatively uncommon in the grand scheme of things, it’s worth pointing out because it does happen.
Now, here’s a bit of our philosophy concerning refurbishments, with the specific example of the recent multi-year Disneyland Railroad refurbishment used to illustrate…
Thoughts on Refurbishments
Nobody likes a favorite attraction to be refurbished during their vacation. It means missing out and potentially not being able to experience the ride for another year or longer, depending upon the frequency of your visits to Disneyland. A couple of years ago, the Disneyland Railroad closed for an extended refurbishment due to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge construction.
At first, we were really disappointed. This might seem like an odd attraction to lament the closure of, but as Southern Californians with Disneyland Annual Passes, this was an absolute favorite of ours. We rode regularly when we wanted to rest our feet, or simply a break from the crowds. With the exception of maybe ‘it’s a small world’, we did Disneyland Railroad more than any other attraction.
However, that initial disappointment pretty quickly gave way to excitement. We began thinking about ways Disneyland Railroad could be plussed, improving the experience for years to come. Disney had already announced that some changes would be made (as the track needed to be re-routed), and we were excited for the prospect of new show scenes or other visuals.
From my perspective, investing in the long-term quality of an attraction is far more important than the temporary satisfaction I’ll get out of riding it on my next visit. This is why it always perplexes me when regulars contend that their vacation will be ruined because their favorite attraction will be closed.
If it’s your favorite attraction and you’re active in the Disney fan community, that means you’ve been to Disneyland before and probably will visit again. It would thus stand to reason that you would want something you love to get the TLC it deserves, and continue to improve.
Disneyland Railroad works as a good example here…in large part because it did receive significant changes and enhancements. (Arguably, the Rivers of America suffered due to being condensed, but that’s another topic for another day–we cover all aspects of this in our New-Look Grand Circle Tour of Disneyland post.)
The point extends to other attractions that have seen similar plussings, but also have more of a problem with effects breaking. Take Indiana Jones Adventure, for example. This is a ride that seems to get a refurbishment about every other year (sometimes more frequently) and we’d argue that it could probably use more regular maintenance than that.
If you are a long-term fan, would you rather experience Indiana Jones Adventure every single visit with 75% of the effects working, or every single visit minus one or two with 95% of the effects working? For me, the answer to that is easy. I’ll take a superior long term experience every time.
Beyond that, there’s the much more compelling justification for regular refurbishments: they are essential for the safety of attractions. While we may think of these attractions as all fun and games that offer a safe sense of exhilaration, that’s when they are properly maintained.
It’s unpleasant to think about, but there have been several preventable deaths in the history of Disney’s parks. During a dark era of Disneyland history, improper maintenance was the cause of death on Big Thunder Mountain. Likewise, years of neglect at Disneyland Paris have led to incidents of injury that could be attributed to a lack of maintenance. In both cases, this has been addressed, and maintenance has improved considerably.
This is not meant to scare anyone or provoke an emotional reaction. Disney’s worldwide safety record is sterling as compared to other park operators. It’s still important to remember that these fun, ‘magical’ places also exist in the real world and use a lot of potentially dangerous elements if safety is not viewed as key. (Or, in Disney’s case, one of the Four Keys.)
When it comes to maintenance that is not essential to the safe operation of an attraction, we are left to contemplate what amount of show quality should be accepted. If following a strict Nunis-ian interpretation of the Four Keys, show is an important consideration, and it should always be 100%. This is a nice goal to strive for, but the practical reality is that 100% show quality is an unworkably high threshold sometimes.
In my estimation, this is a good example of balancing guest interests with show quality. Get the effects working that are easily fixable, and find other ways to address effects that are frequently breaking. We’re not talking about safety here, just random effects. Indiana Jones Adventure has had a number of effects disabled or replaced over the years because they were unreliable.
Guests are understandably concerned when it appears an inordinate number of attractions are closing during their vacation, especially out of state visitors. Trips to California are not cheap and are often once in a lifetime experiences; first-timers certainly do not want to miss out on experiences about which they’ve read extensive hype.
With that said, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure ought to be publishing their routine refurbishment schedules several months in advance, allowing guests to plan around closures. Disney plans maintenance well in advance, and this info should be passed along to guests. For the most part, it is.
Obviously, unplanned maintenance can occur, which takes rides out of commission for hours or even days at the last minute. This is an unavoidable part of sophisticated theme park attractions, and there’s no real way to “plan around” this. It just is what it is.
However, the problem with a “not during my vacation” attitude like this is that it’s always going to be someone’s (or tens of thousands of someones) vacation. If Disneyland and Disney California Adventure attractions with show quality issues aren’t close for refurbishments for fear of some guests during a time-limited window missing out, all guests in perpetuity are going to have a lesser experience.
The end result of that thinking is a duct-tapped approach to attraction maintenance, with whatever work that can be done overnight accomplished, and two parks full of attractions with half their effects broken. First-timers would be left wondering why there was so much hype about Disneyland in the first place, as so many components of rides simply don’t work. If you’re reading this as a lifelong fan, well…maybe you wouldn’t have become a lifelong fan if this were actually Disneyland’s modus operandi.
Planning a Southern California vacation? For park admission deals, read Tips for Saving Money on Disneyland Tickets. Learn about on-site and off-site hotels in our Anaheim Hotel Reviews & Rankings. For where to eat, check out our Disneyland Restaurant Reviews. For unique ideas of things that’ll improve your trip, check out What to Pack for Disney. For comprehensive advice, consult our Disneyland Vacation Planning Guide. Finally, for guides beyond Disney, check out our Southern California Itineraries for day trips to Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, and tons of other places!
Any questions about the current refurbishments at Disneyland Resort? What do you think about refurbishments at the Disney Parks? Are you more concerned about an improved long-term experience, or do you think “not during my vacation!”? Any other factors you think are worth considering? As mentioned, we think this is a conversation, so please share your ‘refurbishment philosophy’, or any other thoughts or questions you have, in the comments!
very surprised that msep and fireworks aren’t going through labor day week given that people will be visiting for D23.
Halloween season starts at Disneyland the day after these end, so there will be fireworks (and a parade, albeit paid).
Will Disneyland be doing fireworks in September 2022? What about September 2023?
Yep! Halloween Screams replaces Disneyland Forever.
See our Guide to Halloween at Disneyland: https://www.disneytouristblog.com/halloween-disneyland-guide/
any ideas on projected dates for haunted mansion to be closed for the holiday overlay? hoping maybe it will be earlier this year due to halloween starting up a little earlier? open for d23 time maybe?
Indiana Jones really needs to be refurbished………every time we ride it , seems to have more of the special effects not working
Indiana Jones Adventure had a refurbishment earlier this year, but it was short.
Either way, I agree with you. Way too many regularly broken effects on IJA.
It’s funny, compared to dinosaur at animal kingdom , which has the same system, I believe, Indiana Jones seemed in wonderful working order. I guess since it was my first time at Disneyland i didn’t know what I was missing!
I always feel bad when I ride with what are clearly first-time riders, and then the giant snake doesn’t move and/or there’s no movement during the giant rolling stone climax. They must be so disappointed.
The snake hasn’t been moving for months now. It’s ridiculous.
I still do not understand why they didn’t do all of this maintenance and major refurbishments when they were closed for such a long time. So much could have been done before they reopened the parks.
Sadly: Dear Disney, I hope to see A bug’s land again sometime later this summer 2022
I love A Bug’s Life so much since I live the life of it, I will respect you for them, just make my dream come true, have Flik and Princess Atta Come back, I’ll do anything and stuff, I’ll help clean ride and another task, I’ll wash cars if I’m older, Thank you, Your Bug’s Life Fan, Isaiah PS. If you do I’ll give you god’s blessing
I wish Disney would go all in and do things right the first time. Why didn’t they build out the PhilharMagic theatre in the first place? Without the IMAX effects the show falls flat. Really, what’s the point?
Second, why hasn’t Pixar Pier been extended around the entire lagoon. Retheme of the swings, jellyfish, fliers and Goofy’s Flight School all need to happen. Meanwhile, the effects on the Incredicoster were bad from the start. The several Jack-Jack on a stick are really awful. 3D screen tech would work better inside the tunnels.
I worked at Disneyland during the Dick Nunis era. He had Card Walker holding the purse strings on him but he DID always put the show first. He would force Mr Walkers hand on several occasions to plus refurbs and continue good maintenance schedules because..”that is what Walt wanted”. He was very nice to me every time we spoke, he listened well.Robert
“Mickey and the Magical Map” is never coming back. Lion King show opens there shortly.
For some reason, I thought that was just for the “Celebrate Soulfully Summer.” In re-reading the press release, it does sound permanent. (Either way, I agree that Mickey and the Magical Map is almost certainly dead.)
Do we know what dates Disneyland is going to run the Electric Parade through? My daughter really wants to see this and I’d like to make plans to take her to see it.
Does anyone know if anything is scheduled for May 31 at Disneyland/DCA? It seems to be the only date in May that you can’t make a reservation for and I want to know whether it’s worth refreshing the reservation availability calendar daily to see if I can get a spot!
@jamilla, it’s a grad night at DCA, I believe.
Some additional info on Blue Bayou — we booked the second week of March, 2022, without checking on the refurb schedule (which was dumb since you always have that info ready for us) — and there were giant, ugly panels blocking any view of Pirates of the Caribbean which gave the restaurant quite the claustrophobic feel to it. I’m not sure what we were expecting, but I would strongly recommend guests give up their ADRs between now and the April closure. The food is never that terrific and without the ambiance of PotC, it was a waste of time and money. We went to the nearby Cafe Orleans the next night (on your recommendation) and had a wonderful experience.
@Karyl thanks for the thoughtful heads up!
Disneyland’s website is now saying that Pirates of the Caribbean will return sometime in early summer, which is longer than I thought.
Is Roger Rabbit closed for good? A replacement would be great with me.
We love the Red Car Trolley! I’ll be gutted if it goes permanently. That would be one more piece of the park’s theme gutted. They are making unnecessary changes while leaving spots that need help alone. We often ride the trolley for a few minutes of relaxation, and it adds such life and energy to the front of the park. Love it when Mickey & the Newsboys ride it through the park for their show. So cool.
I dislike the whole Avengers Campus change from the previous Bugs Land. The web slingers ride is way over hyped and not at all worth standing in line for, I would take bag the Bugs Life Theater show any day and keep the red trolley cars over the dismal Avengers crap.
I had no idea that Chip and Dale’s Stairway To Disappointment…er, I mean Treehouse, was closing.
I’m sure its fan is devastated.
Why cant i make ANY reservations for Blue Bayou restaurant through the app??? I search 3 months out, and even midweek I get “try again with another date”.., wth?
I tried the same and saw somewhere that maybe it is being refurbished?? We were just there last weekend and it was the best!
Its not being refurbished. I finally managed to eat there, but not by using the app
@laura, glad you found a way to eat at blue bayou without the app.. I’d be asking how except now both pirates and blue bayou are showing as closed from March 14 til summer. Trying to utilize tom’s positive spin on closures but since at 74 , I kinda feel this cross country Disneyland trip could well be my last, I’m selfishly disappointed to be missing pirates and blue bayou during my May 11 and 12 trip.
Just had a Splash Mountain CM confirm that the ride will reopen as is after the January refurb. Very glad to hear that!
We plan to visit in may 2022 on our honeymoon, we are from the UK so this could be a once in a lifetime trip, so for obvious reasons im desperate to see what will be closed at that time.
Probably your biggest closure in May will be Pirates.
One fan site says Indiana Jones will be closing in early November for refurbishment. Do you have any idea when it might re-open?