Though next year will see the end of the Walt Disney World 50th anniversary celebration, 2023 will be a time of new beginnings for the resort as well as for fans as they eagerly look forward to the much-anticipated openings of TRON: Lightcycle Run, Journey of Water Inspired by Moana, and Dreamer's Point at EPCOT.
In addition, next year will officially mark the 100th year of the Walt Disney Animation studio, which will be celebrated in the theme parks as part of a special "100 Years of Wonder" event, which has been teased online, and will be fully announced in just a few weeks on January 1, 2023. This special event will bring limited-time offerings not just to Walt Disney World, but the Disneyland Resort as well.
However, beyond the new attractions and the Disney 100 celebration, we also know that next year will bring new nighttime spectaculars to Walt Disney World as both Harmonious at EPCOT and Disney Enchantment at the Magic Kingdom are set to be retired forever at the end of next March. And while Disney has yet to fully announce all of the details about these new nighttime spectaculars, we've got some pretty good information (and some speculation as well) regarding what fans can expect next year from these new nighttime shows.
1. Happily Ever After 2.0 is coming to the Magic Kingdom
Disney confirmed earlier this year that this April will see the return of the fan-favorite Happily Ever After nighttime show to the Magic Kingdom. However, this won't be the exact same show that was last seen in 2021, and will instead be an "updated" version of the show, likely with new segments, and perhaps a remix of the iconic Happily Ever After theme song.
As for what new components of the show we could see, it seems likely that recent Disney films like Raya and the Last Dragon, Encanto, Turning Red, Lightyear and Strange World could make an appearance in this updated show. The show could also feature a special pre-show or stinger acknowledging the aforementioned 100 Years of Wonder celebration as well, which would add an exciting (and potentially limited-time) component to the upgraded version of this returning show.
The updated version of Happily Ever After is being readied right now and is expected to debut on April 1, 2023, one day after the Walt Disney World 50th anniversary celebration finally draws to a close and Disney Enchantment officially becomes history. As with any nighttime spectacular at the Magic Kingdom, this is sure to be a popular offering, and there will likely be themed dessert parties and packages for this show's opening weeks that will sell out far in advance, so if you want to be among the first to check out this new version of Happily Ever After, it is worth giving these upcharge offerings serious consideration when they are made available.
Currently, there is no reserved space for Genie+ purchasers during Disney Enchantment, and we don't expect that to change with Happily Ever After. Though FastPass+ guaranteed viewing areas were available for this show in years past, it seems unlikely that something comparable will be made available under the newer Genie+ system for Happily Ever After 2.0, which means that those who do not purchase upcharges with guaranteed viewing will want to stake out their viewing spot early to get a glimpse of the new version of this show that will debut in just a few short months.