Walt Disney World Resort Update for January 11-17, 2022by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer
Walt Disney World Resort Update for January 11-17, 2022
News, Views & Writer's Note
Thanks to those readers that provided some input last week. The gist of my advice to those that raised questions about getting the best rates on resort hotel rooms is that authorized travel agents, like MousePlanet's travel partner, Get Away Today, stay on top of the latest discounts and package offers Disney makes: that's their lifeblood, and, at least as far as Get Away Today is concerned, you do not pay anything extra for booking your stay through the travel agency and using the services offered.
As always, more input is welcome in the comments here or on social media: what additional subjects can we cover here on MousePlanet that can help you get the most out of your visit?
Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 2022 Has Run Its Course
It has been another rather quiet week for news at Walt Disney World Resort, and that is not particularly unusual for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. The live return of runDisney's big winter racing event this past weekend brought with it a storybook ending for one runner. Brittany Charboneau of Denver, Colorado completed the Dopey Challenge—running the 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon (48.6 miles total) on consecutive days—by becoming the first person in the event's 29-year history to win all four races. She dressed as a different Disney character for each of her four races, and finished the marathon on Sunday well ahead of second-place runner Giovanna Martins of Salto, Brazil, despite having run 5.1 miles on Thursday, 6.2 miles on Friday and 13.1 miles on Saturday. Her marathon finish time of 2:45:15 was over three minutes faster than Martins' (2:48.16) and nearly five minutes faster than Megan Curham of Warren, New Jersey (2:50:11).
Brittany Charboneau makes runDisney history as the first person to win all four Walt Disney World Marathon courses during one weekend in their respective division after clocking a marathon time of 2:45:15. Photo courtesy runDisney.
Vanilson Neves of Sao Paulo, Brazil was the overall winner of the 2022 Walt Disney World Marathon, the 26.2-mile race through all four Disney theme parks – EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Neves finished the race comfortably ahead of the rest of the field, winning in 2:30:37. David Gramlich of North Canton, Ohio was second (2:40:31) and Mathieu Frechette of Quebec, Canada was third (2:42:24).
The 2022 Walt Disney World Marathon winner, Vanilson Neves of São Paulo, Brazil, crossed the finish line with a time of 2:30:37. It is the first time he has won this race. Photo courtesy runDisney.
Marathon Weekend was the second race weekend in the runDisney race season and the signature event in the series. Next up is the Princess Half Marathon Weekend on February 24–27, 2022. That will be followed by the Springtime Surprise Weekend on March 31 to April 3.
For those of us that are not runners, fun things we get to see pop up on social media during race weekends include not only photos of the costumed runners, but the Disney characters that pop up to cheer the participants. This weekend, even cast members from the former Pleasure Island Adventurers Club were out cheering on the racers. It sure would be great if that sentence was followed by news that the Citizens of Main Street and Citizens of Hollywood were also soon to return to the parks, but, alas, we've heard no such news.
Remy's Ratatouille Adventure Eliminates Virtual Queue
As of yesterday, Monday, January 10, Remy's Ratatouille Adventure at EPCOT's expanded France pavilion opened up its traditional standby queue and eliminated its virtual queue. Guests still have the opportunity to purchase access to a Lightning Lane queue at this attraction: the per-guest price for this Lightning Lane access can change daily, and the attraction is not included in nor does it require separate purchase of the Genie+ ride reservation service. Like when Disney's Hollywood Studios eliminated the virtual queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Disney phrased its announcement of the end of the virtual queue as being "for now," meaning that Disney may decide to reinstate the virtual queue in the future.
Starting January 10, ride Remy via Standby rather than Virtual Queue at EPCOT pic.twitter.com/ewN0ChfqH7— MousePlanet (@MousePlanet) January 7, 2022
Remy's Ratatouille Adventure opened at EPCOT on October 1, at the start of The World's Most Magical Celebration. It had operated with a virtual queue since that time, and individually purchased Lightning Lane access was added later in the fall when the Genie+ system debuted. File photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
As of this Update's posting, none of the Walt Disney World Resort attractions are using a virtual queue system. So far, Disney Parks on both coasts have used virtual queues for some of the new attractions as they debuted starting with Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (on both coasts), followed by Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure at Disney California Adventure, and Remy's Ratatouille Adventure at EPCOT. We will keep an eye out for announcements about plans for Disney's virtual queue plans as the other under-construction attractions get closer to debuting, like EPCOT's Guardians of the Galaxy-Cosmic Rewind, this Summer.
In Case You Missed It: New Disney Weekday Ticket For Florida Residents
In case you missed it yesterday (as Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix covered in an article on MousePlanet), Walt Disney World introduced a new discount weekday ticket promotion for Florida residents with some significant fine print. These new tickets provide theme park access for two, three or four weekdays before April 7, 2022, for as little as $149, and they go on sale today, January 11. The ticket can be upgraded by adding the Park Hopper option, Disney Genie+ service, and/or the water parks and sports options to the ticket at the time of purchase (and, of course, Disney Genie+ can be added separately later by the My Disney Experience app.) The tickets are blocked out March 14–18, and, as the name suggests, cannot be used on Saturdays or Sundays. Disney Park Pass Reservations are required like all other ticket categories.
|Ticket||Price (tax not included)|
|2-day base ticket||$149|
|3-day base ticket||$179|
|4-day base ticket||$199|
|Disney Genie+ add-on||$15 per day, per ticket|
|Park Hopper add-on||$35 per ticket|
|Water Park & Sports add-on||$30 per ticket|
Park Hopper Plus add-on
|$50 per ticket|
The ticket is available from our travel partner Get Away Today, and will also be sold on the Walt Disney World website. There are some important terms and conditions, so be sure to pay close attention to details before you purchase.
This & That & Reminders…
…The 2022 EPCOT International Festival of the Arts begins this Friday, January 14, and runs through February 21. Returning to much of its pre-pandemic form, this celebration of the visual arts, performing arts (including the return of the Disney on Broadway Concert Series), and culinary arts, was a surprise hit when it debuted just five years ago as a weekends-only Festival. The phased operation of EPCOT last year reduced it to a "Taste of" Festival," with limited live entertainment. We'll have more coverage next week. In the meantime, Disney Parks Blog has published its Foodie Guide to get your appetite warmed up and to show off the new Figment popcorn bucket that will debut with this Festival. I assume that since its the art of food and beverage being celebrated in this Festival, like past editions of this Festival, the "food studios" (kiosks) put their emphasis on food and beverage presentation rather than speed of service.
The EPCOT International Festival of the Arts Foodie Guide is here and filled with treats that are as beautiful as they are delicious! 🎨 Feast your eyes upon these tasty works of art by visiting the Disney Parks Blog to check out this guide: https://t.co/ma7dSsVbsO pic.twitter.com/D4GUFJsPmC— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) January 7, 2022
…And for those looking for a healthier start to 2022, Disney Springs has some winter offerings in that direction, including yoga classes (registration required).
Embrace the new year with a focus on health and wellness at @DisneySprings! From limited-time yoga classes to delicious, better-for-you bites, there are so many ways to meet all of your 2022 goals: https://t.co/paIvuaJvEk pic.twitter.com/qfkDJ3z9mE— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) January 5, 2022
On that note, some of the Patina Restaurant Group locations at Disney Springs passed along some of their healthier options to share with our readers:
- The Edison
Grilled Salmon: "Perfectly seasoned salmon served with crushed marble roasted potatoes, braised swiss chard with bacon and topped with a citrus herb butter."
- Morimoto Asia
Spicy Tuna Roll: "Fresh tuna topped with spicy mayo and scallion."
- Maria and Enzo’s Ristorante
Salumi E Formaggi: "A delicious spread of meats and cheeses, including prosciutto di parma, salami picante, finnochiona, parmigiano, pecorino and fontina, along with cured olives and grissini breadsticks."
…REMINDER: D23 Expo, the largest Disney fan event in the world, next celebrates The Walt Disney Company, including the best of Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel across film, television, streaming, theme parks, products, online, music, live entertainment, and more, at the Anaheim Convention Center on September 9, 10, and 11. This seventh edition of D23 Expo will also look at the Company's plans for celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2023. Tickets will go on sale on January 20, 2022. Visit this page of D23.com for more information.
The Usual Writer's Note
Like the rest of the State of Florida, and most other parts of the United States, numerous new cases of the COVID-19 virus continue to be reported here in Orange County, Florida, where Walt Disney World Resort is located. Hospital beds are more filled with COVID-19 patients than in recent weeks. As of publication, there have been no changes in health and safety protocols announced by the State of Florida, which has no vaccine, COVID-19 testing or face covering requirements or business capacity restrictions. The State repeatedly has blocked enforcement of municipal and county-imposed restrictions as well during the course of the pandemic. Private property owners, like Walt Disney World Resort, may set some requirements for visiting its property that you must be aware of if you decide to visit.
If you're traveling to or from overseas, be sure to check with the places you're visiting and traveling from or through for the latest rules. Though the United States government loosened international travel restrictions for entering the U.S.A. at the end of 2021, it remains important to check on and abide by the most up-to-date COVID-19 testing and vaccine requirements for entering the United States whether as a citizen, permanent resident, or visitor (and be aware of who needs a visa).
As for visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks, Disney Park Pass reservations are required for admission in addition to a valid ticket. If your tickets have the Park Hopper option, Park Hopping only becomes available after 2 p.m. daily, and only after you have first visited the park for which you have made a reservation that day. There have been instances where Magic Kingdom has reached capacity and paused admission of Park Hoppers, and Disney reserves the right to do so at all the parks.
Sales of new Walt Disney World Annual Passes have been paused in all categories except the Florida Resident Pixie Dust Pass. Disney reserved the right to pause those sales when it reintroduced its new Annual Passes. Current Passholders may continue to purchase renewals in all tiers regardless of the pause in new sales.
Even with the pause in AP sales and the uptick in COVID-19, it remains unlikely that the Resort will shut down again in the near-term. Disney Parks continue to follow the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. Remember that Disney does impose guest restrictions that are stricter than those imposed by the State of Florida, and it may impose further restrictions even if the State of Florida does not.
At Walt Disney World Resort, everyone ages 2 and up are required to wear face coverings in all indoor locations. Outdoors, face coverings are optional in most locations. All guests are required to wear face coverings on buses, monorails, and on Disney Skyliner. Walt Disney World Resort encourages guests to get vaccinated, and has mandated vaccination for new hires and existing cast members in most roles.
Here in Central Florida, at this time of year, we often get some of our best weather. Be aware that temperatures can range significantly during the day: a 30° to 35° swing across a day or two is not unprecedented, and a 20° change from sunrise to midday is not at all unusual. At this time of year, it typically rains only occasionally (rather than daily), and, in fact, the weather predictions of rain tend to be more reliable at this time of year than summer. Your mileage may vary.
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Resort Reservations, Ticket Advice & Special Offers
Note: MousePlanet does not edit past Updates to reflect price increases; for up-to-date prices, check the most recent Walt Disney World Resort Update.
This page of DisneyWorld.com features all the offers the Resort has publicly announced.
Annual Passholders can save up to 25% and Florida Residents can save up to 20% on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels for stays most nights through March 10, 2022.
Thinking about Hawaii? Walt Disney World Annual Passholders also can save on stays on select rooms over at Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii, from January 4 through April 8, 2022: up to 30% for stays of 5 or more consecutive nights, and up to 25% for stays of 4 consecutive nights. (From my personal experience, even as a repeat visitor to Oahu, a week is a good amount of time to spend on the island, particularly if you have a rental car or other transportation arranged.)
Our travel partner Get Away Today is available to help you book rooms and packages, and include its complimentary Concierge Services. More details are here. With Get Away Today's complimentary Price Monitoring, any time a special comes out, it will automatically price check it for each of its guests. If the new special is better, it will automatically apply the new savings and let the guest know. If it's not a better deal, they will leave everything as is, and keep their eyes peeled for future promotions that could save guests more.
You can get a vacation quote from Get Away Today here. (Responses provided in 1 to 3 business days.) You can also call 855-GET-AWAY during regular business hours (Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. MT) and tell them MousePlanet sent you!
Be sure to check out Get Away Today's Universal Orlando Resort ticket offers too.