There is a lot changing at Walt Disney World in 2018. That sadly means ride closures, but it also means new openings! Along with some loved rides closing and new rides opening, the majority of rides are just getting a fresh refurbishment and will only be closed temporarily.
First, let’s go over the permanent ride closures in 2018. Luckily this list is so far pretty small. The Circle of Life at Epcot closed permanently February 4, 2018. While there is no official word, it looks like Stitch’s Great Escape at the Magic Kingdom, which closed on January 6, 2018, may be closed for good with no official reopening to date. As of May 2018, the former ride location is being used for Stitch’s Meet & Greet.
There were a few late 2017 permanent ride closures that are worth noting. Flights of Wonder, which was a stage show at the Animal Kingdom also closed permanently December 31, 2017, The Great Movie Ride at Hollywood closed permanently August 13, 2017, and also on August 13, 2017, Ellen’s Energy Adventure closed permanently.
Disney rides run a lot! From time to time they need a fresh coat of paint and some repairs. January and February are typically slower months and most refurbishments take place during this time. In the Magic Kingdom, Liberty Square Riverboat is closed January 8, 2018, until further notice. Pirates of the Caribbean closed February 26th and reopened March 18, 2018. The American Adventure at Epcot closed from January 15th and reopened in February 2018 and the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe is closed February 26, 2018 until further notice. At Animal Kingdom, Kali River Rapids closed January 2nd and reopened on February 10, 2018. Typhoon Lagoon closed for its annual refurbishment on January 7, 2018 and reopened on March 18, 2018.
Toy Story Mania is not set to close as they move the entrance from the Pixar area, around to the upcoming Toy Story Land. However, from April 9 through May 7, 2018, guests will NOT be able to make a Fastpass for Toy Story Mania in Hollywood Studios and guests will be loaded onto the ride through the standby queue.
The most exciting change in 2018 is the opening of Toy Story Land. With the opening of Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, two new rides will also open! Slinky Dog Dash will be a family-friendly rollercoaster themed around Slinky Dog. Alien Swirling Saucers will be themed around the Claw and Little Green Aliens and similar to Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree in Disney California Adventure. Right now Toy Story Land is set to open June 30, 2018!
Also planned for summer 2018 are two new attractions at the Animal Kingdom. At Explorers Meet UP! A Great Bird Adventure opened on April 22, 2018, guests help Russell and Dug discover species of birds from around the world at the Caravan Theater in Anandapur Village. “Dino-Tastic” Celebration for Donald Duck, Donald Duck will take over Dinoland, U.S.A. in new character celebration.
2018 Disney World Attraction Closures and Openings
Stitch’s Great Escape: Closed January 6, 2018 (no reopening announced)
Liberty Square Riverboat: Closed January 8 – TBD
Pirates of the Caribbean: Closed February 26 – March 18, 2018
Ellen’s Energy Adventure: Closed permanently August 13, 2017
The Circle of Life: Closed permanently February 4, 2018
The American Adventure: Closed January 15 – Early February 2018
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The Great Movie Ride: Closed permanently August 13, 2017
Toy Story Land: Opening June 30, 2018
Slinky Dog Dash: Opening June 30, 2018
Alien Swirling Saucers: Opening June 30, 2018
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Flights of Wonder: Closed permanently December 31, 2017
Kali River Rapids: Closed January 2 – February 10, 2018
Explorers Meet UP! A Great Bird Adventure: Opening April 22, 2018
“Dino-Tastic” Celebration for Donald Duck: Opening summer 2018
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
Closed January 7 – March 18, 2018
*The Monorail is undergoing refurbishment and may be on modified service and/or routes until further notice.