This Disney California Adventure and Disneyland ride refurbishment calendar for 2024 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 January 7, 2024.)
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 2024 Disneyland Vacation Planning Guidefor 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
Beast’s Library in the Disney Animation Building – Permanently closed
Better Together: A Pixar Pals Celebration! Parade – Debuts on April 26, 2024
Grizzly River Run – Closed January 8, 2024 to TBD
Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind – Closed January 22 to February 8, 2024
Paint the Night Parade – Return Date Unknown
Rogers: The Musical – Return Date Unknown
World of Color ONE – Closed January 8-18, 2024
Several new refurbishments added to the calendar, as is common with the start of the winter off-season. In 2024, these are staggered slightly, which is likely a result of the Disneyland Half Marathon–Disney wants to maintain as much capacity as possible until after that runDisney weekend.
A few of these are water-based attractions, which typically close for refurbishment when the weather is cold and demand is low. The rest are mostly routine maintenance or the removal of seasonal overlays. Expect at least a few more closures to be added to the calendar for Winter 2024.
The biggest closure is World of Color – ONE, which will go down at the end of the holiday season and return around the start of the Disney California Food & Wine Festival on March 1, 2024. What’s not yet known is which World of Color will return, or even if it’ll be an all-new show. Our guess is that it’ll be the original World of Color, potentially with an Inside Out 2 pre-show.
For reasons unknown, the World of Color – ONE refurbishment was substantially shortened, reduced from multiple months to just 10 days. It’s possible this was partially a closure due to a lower off-season crowd forecast–and those expectations have changed with the SoCal ticket deal and Magic Key sales resuming. It’s also possible that it’s not possible to accomplish certain maintenance (labor? parts?) during this closure, so the can has been kicked down the road and World of Color will have another refurbishment in 2024.
Either way, World of Color – ONE (the Disney100 version of the nighttime spectacular, not the original version) will be returning in January 2024. Only a few days later, the exceptional ‘Hurry Home’ pre-show tag will return for the Lunar New Year celebration at Disney California Adventure. (Don’t miss Lunar New Year or Hurry Home–both are fantastic!)
Next, let’s take a look at the 2024 Disneyland attraction closure calendar…
Adventureland Treehouse – Now open!
Astro Orbitor – Reopening Date TBD
Fantasmic – Returns May 24, 2024
Haunted Mansion – Closed January 22, 2024 to TBD
“it’s a small world” – Closed January 7-17, 2024
Magic Happens Parade – Returns February 2, 2024
Main Street Electrical Parade – Return Date Unknown
Mark Twain Riverboat – Reopens February 2, 2024
“Mickey’s Mix Magic” – Returns January 8 to March 21, 2024 and April 15-25, 2024
Sailing Ship Columbia – Closed January 8-11, 2024
Splash Mountain – Permanently closed
Tale of the Lion King – Permanently closed
Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular – Returns on April 26 to August 24, 2024
Wondrous Journeys Fireworks – Returns March 22 to April 14, 2024
Don’t be surprised if the ride doesn’t reopen for several months–and if OG Haunted Mansion doesn’t return until 2025.
Additionally, Disneyland has officially released the entertainment schedule for 2024, which includes a variety of fireworks shows and nighttime spectaculars. What changes that might be in store for a reimagined Fantasmic are unknown, but even when the nighttime spectacular does return, it’ll be in b-mode. 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.
That post also discusses why we’re expecting more than just a reimagined Fantasmic to make a splash next summer. With nothing else to celebrate and no new attractions to drive crowds, it’s likely that Disneyland leans on entertainment and builds out an ‘event’ that revolves around Fantasmic and other nighttime spectaculars. Our guess is that Paint the Night finally makes its return over at DCA in Summer 2024, too.
Finally, Splash Mountain is now officially closed to be reimagined into a new ride based on The Princess and the Frog. There are already visible signs of the transformation into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.
It was 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. 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.
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!