NEWS: Disney Announces Closing Date for Upcoming Refurbishment of Frontierland Attraction and More

At last year’s Destination D23, Disney announced that Country Bears are getting ready to put on a new show that pays homage to the Opry-style shows of Nashville. To prepare for the new show, Country Bear Jamboree will soon close temporarily and will reopen later this summer. Disney has also shared a small update on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Learn more below.


Here are all the details from Disney Cast Member Lori Besig:

We know you’ve been itching for an update on Country Bear Musical Jamboree and more coming to Walt Disney World’s Frontierland in 2024 and beyond. So saddle up and let’s get started!

Country Bear Musical Jamboree 

Get ready to knee slap and toe-tap to a little country twang this summer!

If you’ve been too busy trottin’ through the wild west and have missed the news, the Country Bears are getting ready to put on a new show that pays homage to the Opry-style shows of Nashville. While the Country Bear Musical Jamboree will include easter eggs from the beginning to the end including a familiar tune fans may remember, the bears will sing new, reinterpreted Disney tunes in different genres of country music – like bluegrass, pop-country, Americana, rockabilly and other styles. Here’s a look at one of the clips we shared at Destination D23.


To prepare for the show, Country Bear Jamboree will close temporarily beginning January 27 and will reopen later this summer.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure 

Another attraction a little down yonder in Frontierland is also being reimagined and you can’t believe the incredible detail going into this all-new experience.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will take guests on a musical adventure inspired by the beloved story and characters from the fan-favorite film. Picking up where the film left off, guests will join Princess Tiana, jazz-loving alligator Louis and others on an adventure through the bayou as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind celebration during Mardi Gras season where everyone is welcome.

You may have seen that we recently dug a little deeper into the story behind the latest addition to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure — a custom handcrafted weathervane by Louisiana’s master blacksmith, Darryl Reeves, now visible to guests strolling past Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom.

Credit: Disney

When you visit Tiana’s Bayou Adventure we want you to feel like you are taking a trip down the Louisiana Bayou in a way only Disney can bring to life. The weathervane does just that and its installation is another important milestone cast members and Imagineers are celebrating ahead of the new adventure opening for our guests later this year.

But hold your horses, we’re not done yet. We have a lot of growth and investment planned for our theme parks in the coming years and look forward to sharing more announcements about Frontierland … so y’all come back now, ya hear?

RELATED ARTICLE: 18 Changes Coming to Disney World in 2024 and Beyond You Need to Know About

by Chad and Cindy Nykamp

2024 is here, and a lot of changes are coming to Walt Disney World, many of which should improve guest experiences. Here are the eighteen changes coming to Walt Disney World in 2024 and beyond that you need to know about!


1 – January 9, 2024 – Disney Dining Plan Returns

One of the most anticipated offerings returning to Walt Disney World in 2024 is the return of the Disney Dining Plan. While the plans don’t necessarily save money, they offer guests an easy way to enjoy dining at the resort without counting every penny spent and are therefore popular with guests. There are two different plans available to purchase with vacation packages with dates of January 9, 2024, and beyond. These vacation packages are now on sale.

2 January 9, 2024 – Removal of Theme Park Reservation Requirements for Date-Based Tickets

Theme park reservations have been required since July 2020, when the parks reopened after being closed for four months because of the pandemic. While they originally were used to control the crowd levels, Disney kept the reservation system in place long after distancing measures were needed. The need for reservations has been particularly unpopular, and many rejoiced when Disney announced they would no longer be needed for most ticket types beginning on January 9. Any date-based ticket will no longer need a park reservation for that guest to enter. However, annual passholders will still need to make theme park reservations! You can check which admission types require park reservations by visiting DisneyWorld.com/ThemeParkReservations before you purchase.

3 – January 9, 2024 – All-Day Park Hopper Access Returning

Since January 2021, park hopping has been restricted to guests being able to park hop only after 2:00 pm. It’s a restriction that many guests, including us, have really disliked. Thankfully, beginning January 9, 2024, guests with a ticket with park hopper benefits or an annual pass will once again be able to visit another theme park at any time of the day during park hours. Note that annual passholders will still need first to visit the park where they have a park reservation (as noted above, it’s still a requirement for passholders) before entering their second park.

4 – January 9, 2024 – Changes to Booking Virtual Queues & Lightning Lane Reservations

Because all-day park hopping is returning, you’ll need to know some slight policy updates for Virtual Queues and Lightning Lane reservations. Guests with a park hopper ticket will only be able to join one attraction virtual queue at any theme park where they have valid admission, and guests can only hold one attraction virtual queue at a time. So you won’t be able to book both TRON Lightcycle / Run and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at once. However, it appears if you get a morning boarding group at TRON and make it over to EPCOT to join the Virtual Queue at 1:00 pm (you have to be in the park), assuming there is availability, you’ll be able to do so. Do note that annual passholders still need a park reservation (when required) at the park where the attraction is located to join the Virtual Queue at 7:00 a.m.

Also, when booking your Lightning Lane attractions with Genie+, since the 2:00 pm restriction on park hopping will be lifted, be aware that late morning and early afternoon selections may fill up more quickly. With guests no longer needing to wait until after 2:00 to book an attraction at another park, this may affect the availability of return times.

5 – January 11, 2024 – Good to Go Days for Annual Passholders

While annual passholders still need to make park reservations, Disney is relaxing the requirement of how often they are required to do so. Disney will offer “good-to-go” days for annual passholders. On those days, annual passholders may enter the theme parks without needing a reservation (blockout dates will continue to apply). The theme park reservation calendar, Annual Passholder admissions calendar, and My Disney Experience app will show days that are good-to-go. The first good-to-go days will be added to the calendars starting January 11, 2024. Good-to-go days will be added periodically and may be released days or weeks in advance. On days that are not “good-to-go” days, annual Passholders may also continue to visit without a park reservation after 2 p.m. unless visiting Magic Kingdom Park on a Saturday or Sunday (blockout dates continue to apply).


6 – Disney After Hours Events Returning to 3 Parks

Disney After Hours events return to Walt Disney World Resort starting January 2024. On event nights, guests can enjoy an extra three hours of magic-making at Magic Kingdom Park, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT. Guests attending the separately ticketed events get more time to experience fan-favorite attractions, character greetings, and unlimited complimentary snacks, including select beverages.  

Disney After Hours events allow a limited number of guests to enjoy Magic Kingdom Park, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT after the parks officially close for the day, offering shorter wait times for select attractions and character experiences. Guests can also indulge in ice cream novelties, popcorn, and beverages –– all included in the cost of the ticketed event. Early arrivals can access the parks starting at 7 p.m. to squeeze even more moonlight joy out of their visits. 

Disney After Hours ticket prices range from $155 to $175 (plus tax) at Magic Kingdom Park and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Disney After Hours ticket pricing at EPCOT ranges from $149 to $159 (plus tax). Specially priced tickets are available for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members. 

7 – Confirmed EPCOT Festival Dates So Far

Disney has confirmed the following dates for the first two EPCOT festivals of 2024.

  • Festival of the Arts – January 12 to February 19, 2024
  • Flower and Garden Festival – February 28 (end date has not been announced)

8 – 2024 – Completion of World Celebration Neighborhood

While originally set to open in late 2023, Disney pushed back the completion of the final two projects of EPCOT’s multi-year transformation to 2024. Still yet to be finished is the completion of the World Celebration neighborhood, specifically Communicore Hall, a place to meet Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, and Communicore Plaza, which will be the new home for festivals. We recently walked through the area in mid-December 2023, and there is still much work to be done. So much work is needed; it makes you wonder how they thought it could be completed by December. The transformation of EPCOT has been going on for four years now, and everyone is tired of the walls and construction there. We’re looking forward to seeing this finally completed.

9 – 2024 – New Bakery Coming to Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

A new bakery is coming to Disney’s Boardwalk Inn. While originally set to open in 2023, this is another project that got pushed back to a 2024 opening. Disney recently shared more details and photos about this bakery. Here are all the details from Disney Cast Member Nicole Cantore:

Another addition that sweet lovers are sure to be excited about is The Cake Bake Shop at Disney’s BoardWalk. This new location recently began construction to bring the new spot to life and is slated to open in [2024]. We recently shared a first look at what you can expect The Cake Bake Shop to look like once it opens its doors on the BoardWalk – just look at how pretty it is. As you walk past this spot, you’ll be able to get a glimpse at some of the tasty dishes that lie ahead once it opens. This restaurant is owned by Gwendolyn Rogers, a self-taught baker with a love for Disney and obviously cakes!

Upon opening, this sweet spot will feature both savory and sweet items on its menu, and of course showcase the incredible cakes that Gwendolyn and her team have created, for brunch, lunch, and dinner. In addition to the regular menu, you’ll also be able to enjoy an elegant afternoon tea service – how lovely! And the offerings don’t stop there. Not only, will there be table-service offerings, but also a quick-service bakery for you to pick up these delicious delights on-the-go.

There aren’t just cakes here. The restaurant and bakery will serve cookies, French macarons, brownies, dessert bars, pies, and cheesecakes in addition to the handmade cakes. These treats aren’t just beautiful but delicious too. The whimsical atmosphere of The Cake Bake Shop and its goodies are sure to be a charming addition to the BoardWalk.

Credit: Disney

10 – 2024 – Simplifying the Disney Genie+ Experience

Disney heard from guests that they would like ways to plan with Disney Genie+ service and individual Lightning Lane selections before the day of their park visit, and Disney announced they are working on ways guests may do this for visits in 2024. Disney’s goal is to give you the opportunity to spend less time planning in the park and more time enjoying your visit with friends and family. While Disney is not yet able to share specific details, they look forward to sharing more information at a later date.

11 – Summer 2024 – The Cabins of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – A Disney Vacation Club Resort Opening

In April 2023, Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Vacation Club announced proposed plans to bring refreshed cabin hideaways to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, offering guests a private retreat in the midst of nature with many of the comforts of home. Nestled across 750 acres of scenic woodlands, proposed plans call for more than 350 new cabins to replace the existing cabins at the resort, which have delighted guests for many years. The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – A Disney Vacation Club Resort is projected to open in 2024 and will be the 17th Disney Vacation Club resort. As with all Disney Vacation Club resorts, the proposed cabins will continue to be open for reservations to all guests, including those who are not Disney Vacation Club Members, based on availability.


12 – 2024 – Tiana Bayou Adventure – Magic Kingdom

Opening in 2024, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will take guests on a musical adventure inspired by the beloved story and characters from the fan-favorite film, “The Princess and the Frog.” Picking up where the film left off, guests will join Princess Tiana, Naveen, and jazz-loving alligator Louis on an adventure through the bayou as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras celebration where everyone is welcome. Along the way, guests will encounter familiar faces, make new friends, and travel through the bayou, listening to original music inspired by songs from the film as they are brought into the next chapter of Tiana’s story. Walt Disney Imagineering is creating an original, next-chapter story for Tiana. Within the attraction queue, guests will discover that she continues to grow her business with Tiana’s Foods – an employee-owned cooperative. Combining her talents with those of the local community, Tiana has transformed an aging salt mine and built a beloved brand. While originally announced for “late 2024,” promotional material now lists the attraction opening in 2024, which may mean the attraction will open earlier than originally anticipated. However, with the delays in construction elsewhere on property, we expect this to open in the fall at the earliest and most likely still in late 2024.

Credit: Disney

13 – Fall 2024 – New ‘The Little Mermaid’ Show Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

In fall 2024, a new, fully reimagined theatrical production inspired by the Walt Disney Animation Studios classic “The Little Mermaid” will debut in the newly refreshed Animation Courtyard theater. Disney Cast Member Joey McElroy recently shared this news:

Disney Live Entertainment has been dreaming up innovative ways to bring new life to the beloved story of Ariel’s journey to be part of the human world. When it opens, the show will feature stunning new set pieces, cutting-edge effects, and a bold new design that captures Ariel’s imagination and emotions through her unique view of the world around her.

“The Little Mermaid – A Musical Adventure” will have guests flipping their fins to musical numbers inspired by the film including “Part of Your World,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” and more. Check out this beautiful concept artwork of the show’s “Kiss the Girl” scene – an all-new addition that captures the magic of this fresh production.

14 – 2024 – Country Bear Jamboree to be Reimagined!

Country Bear Jamboree will be getting new songs, and the Bears will be performing a new act! Disney Imagineer Chris Beatty shared that when the show debuts, the bears will be reinterpreting favorite Disney songs in different genres of country music – like rockabilly, bluegrass, pop-country, and other styles. Imagineers are envisioning the new take as a homage to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and they’re working with Nashville musicians to get the authentic country sound.  The popular attraction will continue to have the fun and friendly tone and the same characters.


… and Beyond

These projects have officially been announced; however, no opening estimates have been given.

15 – Test Track is Being Re-Imagined

Test Track will be reimagined at EPCOT in Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Imagineers, along with teams from Chevrolet, are reaching back into history for inspiration from the original World of Motion and bringing that spirit of optimism to the next iteration of the Test Track attraction. More details to come in the future.

Credit: Disney

16 – New Pirates of the Caribbean-themed Lounge Coming

A new Pirates of the Caribbean-themed lounge is coming to Adventureland at Magic Kingdom. This first-of-its-kind experience will extend the story of Pirates of the Caribbean. Imagineers are in the design process now, and more details are coming in the future.

17 – New “Zootopia” Show Coming to the Tree of Life

A new show based on “Zootopia” is being created for the Tree of Life theater at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. The current concept for the new “Zootopia” experience has guests visiting the different biomes seen briefly in the film, traveling along with Judy Hopps, Nick Wilde and other characters. Imagineers are currently finalizing the concept and more details will be coming in the future.

18 – DinoLand USA to be Re-themed

Walt Disney Imagineering is planning to reimagine Dinoland U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park into a new land inspired by a region sometimes referred to as “tropical Americas.” As part of their research, Imagineers are looking at some of the most biodiverse areas on the planet in the regions just north and south of the equator in the Western Hemisphere – the northern part of South America, stretching up into Central America. New experiences inspired by “Encanto” – the Academy Award-winning Walt Disney Animation Studios film – and the fan-favorite adventurer Indiana Jones are being considered for the reimagined land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Credit: Disney

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Chad & Cindy Nykamp

After years of multiple Walt Disney World vacations, Cindy and Chad's dream of living in Orlando came true in 2010. After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched DisneyLists.com in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Chad and Cindy have been Disney World Annual Passholders for years, DVC members, together have raced more than 70 runDisney races, and particularly love cruising on the Disney Cruise Line. Chad and Cindy also regularly represent DisneyLists.com at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, they get an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World. These experiences have helped them gain knowledge and expertise they happily pass on to their followers. They still can't believe how lucky they are to have such an amazing opportunity and will continue to share Disney with anyone who will listen!
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