For better or worse, Walt Disney World will be changing and evolving once again in 2024. Several construction projects are currently underway around Walt Disney World property and are scheduled to wrap up in 2024. A notable retheme to an iconic attraction will likely steal the headlines, but there’s quite a few projects going on that should be fascinating to follow.
Here are the five things we’re the most excited (or curious) to see at Walt Disney World in 2024.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom
We have to start with the biggest and arguably most controversial change coming to Walt Disney World in 2024. The retheming of Splash Mountain into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom has attracted a ton of attention (both positive and negative) long before construction ever started. The updated attraction is scheduled to open at some point in 2024, but a specific date hasn’t been announced.
Disney needs to knock Tiana’s Bayou Adventure out of the park. To date, Disney has shared a lot of details on the story, background, and research going into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, but they haven’t done a lot of sharing about the updated ride experience. That’s making us, and most Disney fans, extremely curious about what the ride will actually feel like, and how it compares to the old Splash Mountain.
Will Tiana’s Bayou Adventure live up to the hype Disney has promoted? We can’t wait to find out.
New DVC Tower at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is expanding at Walt Disney World through a new multi-story tower at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The tower has been under construction since the middle of 2023 and currently has a planned opening date of 2024.
This DVC addition at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is a story every Disney fan should be following. For starters, it represents the next major hotel addition at Walt Disney World that will show what design style Disney and Imagineering is favoring for the foreseeable future. We’ll go out on a limb and predict it’ll be a modern and clean design that lacks any real identity – similar to other Walt Disney World hotel refurbishment designs.
It was clear how much the DVC tower will dominate the area as construction progressed.
The concept art depicts a decent departure from the existing design and theming at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. We’ll reserve judgement until it’s completed, but we imagine Disney’s current design trends will be a long-term mistake as guests gravitate more to themed spaces and destinations.
We also want to see how the DVC tower impacts operations at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The tower will add a lot of new guests to the resort, and that could strain existing services like the Monorail station.
It’ll be interesting to see what Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort looks and feels like once the tower is finished. There’s no question the relaxed vibes might be a bit different with a large hotel tower looming nearby. The same can be said over at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort with its Wedding Pavilion sitting very close to the Polynesian’s new DVC tower.
New DVC Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort is also seeing a big Disney Vacation Club (DVC) change in 2024. The rustic cabins are being replaced with new, modern cabins that will be available to DVC guests. Interior concept art for the cabins shows a big departure from what guests are used to at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.
Few would argue that the cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort were due for an update. However, Disney has once again decided to abandon unique theming in favor of designs that could belong to any hotel or resort. We want to see how those decisions (which are occurring all over Walt Disney World) play out as prices continue to rise. We may not see any fallout from that in 2024, but it’ll be worth monitoring.
The DVC train is showing no signs of slowing at Walt Disney World. At what point will Disney stop expanding its resort and DVC presence and focus on needed theme park capacity increases?
Country Bear Jamboree Update at Magic Kingdom
Disney announced at Disney D23 that the Country Bear Jamboree attraction at Magic Kingdom will be updated. The classic bears will perform new songs from the Disney catalog in different musical styles. The new show will take on the format of a musical review.
As sad as we are that ‘Blood on the Saddle’ and the other Country Bear hits are going away, we’re glad Disney is keeping the bears at least in some capacity. We hope their new show tries to retain some of that Country Bears humor, and is simply a new take on a beloved attraction.
CommuniCore Hall & Plaza at EPCOT
The bulk of EPCOT’s World Celebration area opened to guests in December 2023. But, one key component still hasn’t been completed – CommuniCore Hall & Plaza. This area, which in a lot of ways looks like a rebuilt half of the old Innoventions West building that Disney demolished, will operate as the home of EPCOT’s festivals.
World Celebration has been met with mixed feedback from guests, especially when comparing the finished space to the old concept art. The area needs something to really tie it together, and it remains to be seen if CommuniCore Hall & Plaza will be able to fit that bill.
CommuniCore Hall & Plaza needs to provide new entertainment and things for guests to do. It needs to be a true gathering space as Disney has marketed.
Honorable Mention – Universal’s Theme Park Expansions
Why are we talking about Universal in this article? Well, Disney fans should be thrilled to see Universal expanding so rapidly both in Orlando and in other locations around the world. Universal seems to recognize what Disney doesn’t – good theme parks print money and require continuous investment.
Universal’s Epic Universe isn’t set to open until 2025, but it could (and should) shake up the theme park scene in Orlando. Disney doesn’t have anything lined up to counter Epic Universe. Disney has talked about many things they could build, but any of those ideas are years down the road. And, only a few of those ideas are genuine expansions that can help the capacity problem.
We’re rooting for Universal. We’ve said it repeatedly that Disney fans need to be excited for Epic Universe because only competition will push Disney forward.