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2020 & 2021 Disney World Refurbishment Schedule & Ride Closures

Nothing is worse than spending hours upon hours planning your trip to Walt Disney World, only to find out your favorite attraction is under refurbishment. That’s why we created this 2020 & 2021 Disney World Refurbishments and Closure schedule, which will help you know what’s open and what’s closed.

Walt Disney World Ride Closures and Refurbishments

In this post, we will look at all 4 theme parks at Walt Disney World (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom) and let you know the refurbishment calendar and which rides are closed in each park.

We’ll also cover temporary closures, like the ones due to the current health situation, and which rides in Walt Disney World are permanently closed.

It’s not uncommon for Disney to change the refurbishment dates around on the calendar, so make sure to keep checking back here multiple times before your next trip, so you can see which rides will be open and which ones will be closed. We’ll also cover refurbishments to hotels, restaurants, and shops in Disney World.

Of course, right now all nighttime spectaculars are closed, as well as many other entertainment options in the park. We’ll let you know when Disney decides to reopen those too. You can read our Disney World Reopening Guide for more answers to your most common FAQs.

Also, if you want the lateest Disney World Refurbishment News, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. We’ll bring you the latest updates as well as vacation planning tips. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter

Why Does Disney Do Refurbishments to Rides?

Disney World Refurbishments and Ride Closures

While it’s always the biggest bummer to go to Walt Disney World and have your favorite attraction closed, at times it happens. Sometimes you can prevent it by looking at the closures schedule and planning your trip for another time, but other times, Disney decides to refurbish attractions at the last minute, without notice.

Why does Disney do refurbishments to rides?

As much as we don’t like them, attraction refurbishments are necessary from time to time. With the millions of people that ride these attractions each year, eventually, they break down and need fixing.

Some of the Disney World ride closures could last a few days, and sometimes they last for months. It all depends on the type of work being done. In the long run, it’s best for these attractions and if they didn’t close from time to time, their life-span would be much shorter.

So while it’s never fun when you can’t ride certain attractions, they are unavoidable.

Walt Disney World Refurbishments

What Disney World rides will be closed in 2020 and 2021? Below we have a list of all the refurbishments happening in Walt Disney World right now, and which ones will be closed. Each one has a date with the beginning of the refurbishment and an expected completion date.

Again, these dates change often and Disney is unfortunately known to have refurbishments last longer than originally planned, so plan your trip with caution, knowing things can change by the time you get there.

Magic Kingdom

Tron Roller Coaster Construction Update December 2018 Magic Kingdom

Disney’s Magic Kingdom is going to be the centerpiece for Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, so there will be a lot of attraction refurbishments around the park from now through the end of 2021 and into 2022.

Disney would like to touch-up a lot of the older attractions before the festivities begin, but it’s unclear how much is in the budget for big refurbishments. It’s likely we’ll just see a lot of small improvements.

Refurbishments:

  • Liberty Square Riverboat (Closed 10/5/20 – 2/28/21) The Liberty Square Riverboat is undergoing regular maintenance including draining and cleaning the river bottom.
  • Tom Sawyer’s Island (Closed 10/5/20 – 2/28/21) Regular maintenance to get ready for the WDW 50th celebration.
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover (Closed 10/5/20 – 1/9/21) The PeopleMover went down in March and hasn’t reopened with the Magic Kingdom. The attraction’s refurbishment includes 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)
  • Happily Ever After (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD) All nighttime spectaculars including fireworks shows are closed right now in Disney World.
  • 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:

EPCOT

Spaceship Earth behind construction walls at EPCOT

This is the park in Disney World with the most refurbishments at the time, which is understandable considering the massive transformation project EPCOT is currently undergoing.

Have patience especially when visiting EPCOT park since it’s likely that attraction statuses could change between now and your vacation.

EPCOT is also the park with the most coming attractions, though again that is very much in flux right now since Disney’s huge budget cuts in 2020, and they aren’t spending as much money as originally planned.

We anticipate many of the park’s attractions to be delayed and the work as a whole to move much slower than thought.

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 with only the fountain left to finish. Expect it to be done by late 2020 or early 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.
  • EPCOT Forever (Closed 3/16/20 – TBD) All nighttime spectaculars including fireworks shows are closed right now in Disney World.
  • 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 2021) 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 2021/2022) The huge E-Ticket attraction based on the Guardians of the Galaxy was supposed to open sometime in 2021 but it’s unclear if they will still make that deadline.
  • Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana (Opening TBD) The first attraction in a Disney park based on Disney’s Moana. No opening date has been given.
  • Play! Pavilion (Opening 2021/2022) The Play! Pavilion was supposed to open in 2021, but might be delayed until 2022.
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (Opening 2020/2021)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 might not open until 2021.
  • Space 220 (Opening 2020/2021) This new space restaurant was supposed to open in Early 2020, but has since been delayed and without an opening date.

Hollywood Studios

Disney's Hollywood Studios Best Rides Tower of Terror

Hollywood Studios just recently went through a ton of new construction and now most projects are being done in other parks. No big refurbishments are scheduled for the time being.

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 2020/2021) 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

Animal Kingdom ride closures like Flight of Passage

There are very few refurbishments going on at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and except for the park’s entrance, everything is very quiet.

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.
  • Kali River Rapids (Closed 10/5/20 – 2/28/21) Regular seasonal maintenance.

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)
  • Festival of the Lion King (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

Both Disney World Water Parks, Typhoon Lagoon, and Blizzard Beach have been closed since March 2020. Disney has announced that one of the two water parks will be reopening in March 2021, though they didn’t say which one it will be.

Blizzard Beach (Closed – Reopening Date TBD)

  • 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.

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Resort Hotels

Disney World Resort Hotel Refurbishments

With dozens of Walt Disney World Resort Hotels on property, they all need to undergo refurbishments from time to time. These can be on the hotel rooms themselves or any other part of the resorts including the pools, restaurants, lobby, bars, and common areas.

In recent years, many of the rooms at the Disney World resorts have frankly been dated, and not what you’d expect when spending $200-$300 per night or more on a hotel room. Thankfully there are a number of hotels that are getting completely new rooms with new furniture and furnishings.

Showing up to a hotel when there is major work going on can be annoying, and loud construction noise can even make it hard to sleep.

Make sure you look at this list of Disney World hotel refurbishments before you plan your trip so you know what kind of work is being done at your hotel and if you are ok with it.

Unfortunately, there are also still some hotels in Walt Disney World that are closed, many without reopening dates. We’ll continue to update the list as soon as we have those dates. Read our post on Disney World Hotels after reopening to see all the changes to expect when you go.

Here is the current list of Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Refurbishments:

Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort (Closed – Reopening February 9, 2021)

  • Temporarily closed back in March 2020 with the other All-Star Resorts. There is no reopening date yet from Disney.
  • Re-Imagined Guest Rooms Work recently finished on reimagined rooms throughout the entire resort.

Disney’s All-Star Music Resort (Closed – Reopening Date TBD)

  • Temporarily closed back in March 2020 with the other All-Star Resorts. There is no reopening date yet from Disney.
  • Calypso Pool (Closed Mid-September 2020 – Mid-December 2020)
  • 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 Date TBD)

  • Temporarily closed back in March 2020 with the other All-Star Resorts. There is no reopening date yet from Disney.
  • 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 Date TBD)

  • Jambo House temporarily closed back in March 2020. The Villas are open but there is no reopening date yet from Disney for Jambo House.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas

  • No current refurbishments

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

  • Temporarily closed back in March 2020. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is scheduled to reopen on November 1, 2020.
  • Big Blue Pool (Closed through Mid-December 2020) – 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 (Closed – Reopening Date TBD)

  • No current refurbishments

Disney’s Beach Club Villas

  • Temporarily closed back in March 2020. The Villas are open but there is no reopening date yet from Disney for the regular Beach Club Resort.

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn (Closed – Reopening Date TBD)

  • Temporarily closed back in March 2020. The Villas are open but there is no reopening date yet from Disney for the regular Boardwalk Inn rooms.
  • Luna Park Pool (Slide Closed 10/5/20 – 10/30/20) – The Luna Park Pool will remain open while a refurbishment happens on the scariest pool in Disney World. The Keister Coaster Waterslide is closed through October, and work in the pool area will continue through November.

Disney’s Boardwalk Villas

  • No current refurbishments

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

  • No current refurbishments

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

  • No current refurbishments

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

  • No current refurbishments

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

  • Temporarily closed back in March 2020. Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is reopening on October 16, 2020, including the Gran Destino Tower.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

  • Citricos (Closed 2/1/20 – TBD) – A big refurbishment for Citricos was planned including overhauling the dining room and menu. Work was supposed to be finished in Summer 2020, but it’s unclear at this time how much has been done on the project and when it will be finished.

The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

  • No current refurbishments

Disney’s Old Key West Resort

  • No current refurbishments

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 Date TBD)

  • Temporarily closed back in March 2020. There is no reopening date yet from Disney.

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside (Closed – Reopening Date TBD)

  • Temporarily closed back in March 2020. There is no reopening date yet from Disney.

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. Exterior of the buildings is also changing. Expect this to be completed sometime in 2021.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (Closed – Reopening Date TBD)

  • Temporarily closed back in March 2020. The Villas are open, but there is no reopening date yet from Disney for the regular rooms.
  • Resort-wide Refurbishment (Completion Date TBD) The Wilderness Lodge is undergoing a huge refurbishment to all its regular hotel rooms. No concept art has been released yet for the room designs nor any completion date.

    Right now the Wilderness Lodge is currently closed with no reopening date, so work will continue while no guests are staying there.

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 Springs

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

Permanent Ride Closures

Permanently closed Disney World rides like Great Movie Ride

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?

Test Track refurbishment

Disney tends to do more refurbishments and ride closures in the “off-season” and when there are fewer people in the parks.

January and February are popular months and are a good time to tune-up the rides after the holiday season. This is especially true for water attractions like Kali River Rapids, Splash Mountain, or the water parks.

September is another popular month for refurbishments in Disney World since most of the crowds have gone home with the kids back in school. That means it’s a perfect time to fix-up attractions needing maintenance.

While going to Disney World during the holidays or the busy season is more crowded, you are also less likely to find your favorite attraction closed for refurbishment at that time, which is a definite advantage.

Rumored Refurbishments

Figment animatronic Journey Into Imagination EPCOT

There are many rides in Disney World that NEED refurbishing, some staying the same for decades.

Here is a list of some Disney World attractions that have been rumored to be getting refurbishments and could be closing soon. Most of these haven’t been confirmed by Disney yet, 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 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.

Your Thoughts

I want to know what you think about the current list of ride closures and attraction refurbishments at Disney World…

  • Which ride are you most disappointed to see closed?
  • Which rides need refurbishing the most?

Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂

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John W

Friday 23rd of October 2020

Frozen Ever After (Closed 11/2/20 – 11/6/21) – Small routine maintenance.

Is this really going to be closed a full year?

Ziggy

Friday 23rd of October 2020

haha, opps! Good catch John, I messed up the end date. it should be 2020, thanks!