Walt Disney World Resort Update for April 12-18, 2022

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for April 12–18, 2022

 Writer's Note, News & Views

For Walt Disney World Resort guests and those who plan to visit in coming weeks, it was a rather quiet week for news. The major announcement this week was that it is earmarking 80 acres of its land near the Flamingo Crossings Town Center area for affordable housing. The development, which is expected to include more than 1,300 units, will be constructed by a third-party affordable housing developer. The development will be available for qualifying applicants in the Central Florida region, including Disney cast members, though no specific timeline has been announced. The housing market in Central Florida, especially in the past few years, has gotten much more expensive than it had been, and affordable housing has grown increasingly scarce.


As for theme parks news, it would not be surprising if we were to see EPCOT provide an opening date for Connections Café & Eatery soon. As we noted last week, the last official word was "spring" and with "summer" now defined by the May 27 announced opening of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, the number of days remaining in spring are rather limited. As I noted earlier this spring, announcements like this may pop up in such places as Imagineer Zach Riddley's Instagram account or elsewhere, so I'll keep my eyes open and make sure to share the news on our MousePlanet social media channels as well when there's official news.

To those who celebrate, Happy Easter and Happy Passover. And don't forget—Monday, April 18 is this year's tax filing deadline. We haven't seen any official announcement about whether there will be any mini-Easter parade featuring the Azalea Trail Maids at Magic Kingdom or such, as there had been before the global pandemic; EPCOT has added its annual Easter Egg-stravaganza scavenger hunt to the offerings, with character-decorated eggs "hidden" around World Showcase to be found with a map purchased at designated locations which can be redeemed for a prize, while supplies last.

This & That & Reminders…

…With EPCOT opening at 8:30 a.m. (and 8 a.m. for resort guests) during April, Isla Fresca has added breakfast to its menu from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

…With Easter coming up quickly, Disney Parks Blog has published its Foodie Guide for the holiday for Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Resort, and Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. The guide also highlights some of the hand-crafted Easter egg displays now available (to view, but not to eat) at Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

Easter eggs at Disney's Beach Club Resort 2022
Disney's culinary team produced Easter Eggs for display in Disney's Beach Club Resort again this year. Photo by Gregg Jacobs.

…Eligible Disney Vacation Club members with Disney Resort hotel reservations for May 24, June 16, and July 14 may register online for a DVC Moonlight Magic event on those dates at Disney's Hollywood Studios beginning April 20 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. DVC Moonlight Magic registration opens to all eligible DVC members on May 10 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time (pending availability).

…As Walt Disney World Resort heads into the summer season, additional live entertainment offerings are on the horizon at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Mickey and Minnie greetings will return, "Festival of the Lion King" will see the return of the popular tumble monkeys to the show, Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond will debut in the place of Finding Nemo: The Musical, and the KiteTails show on Discovery River Lagoon will be "refocused" to be more easily viewable from additional viewing points around the water where that show is performed (and it will be performed more times per day).

…Through April 12, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern, you can enter The Walt Disney World Resort 50th Anniversary Sweepstakes for a chance to win a 5-day/4 night vacation for four plus a $500 BoxLunch Gift Card. (It's a Disney sweepstakes, not MousePlanet!).

…And, all week long, the Disney synergy machine will be peppering HGTV, TLC, and Food Network with programming celebrating Walt Disney World Resort's 50th Anniversary. Read more about the programming on Disney Parks Blog where Rex Rainy, Yellow Shoes Creative Group's Content Programming, & Synergy Manager provides the details.

…Disney Cruise Line's new ship, Disney Wish continues to make progress toward embarking on its first voyages from Port Canaveral Florida later this year. It has left the shipyard and entered open water for the first time.

…Last week, Disney Parks Blog and United States Department of Defense announced that the U.S. Army will host the 2022 Warrior Games at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort from August 19 to 28, celebrating the resiliency and dedication of wounded, ill, and injured active duty and veteran U.S. military service members. Additionally, the 2022 Veterans Institute Summit presented by Disney Institute will take place August 19 through 20 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, an event designed to empower companies to build effective veteran hiring, training and support of their own with speakers from Disney’s Heroes Work Here initiative, U.S. government officials, veterans and military spouses, among many others.

…REMINDER: Benefiting Give Kids the World Village, an Aladdin 30th Anniversary Reunion will headline DIS Con 2022, a one-of-a-kind expo celebrating all facets of the wonderful world of Disney—from Disney, Marvel and Pixar animation to film, television, theme parks, music and memorabilia, at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort September 30 through October 1. The event will feature more than 50 iconic Disney personalities participating in presentations, panels and meet and greets on two stages. There will also be an exclusive After Hours Party sponsored by Yogibo held at EPCOT on October 1, EPCOT’s 40th anniversary. Tickets are on sale now at GKTW.org/discon.

Scheduled panels and personalities participating in the event include:

  • Aladdin 30th Anniversary Reunion featuring Linda Larkin and Jonathan Freeman
  • Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak
  • Phineas & Ferb Panel with Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, Dan Povenmire, Dee Bradley Baker, Vincent Martella, and Jaret Reddick
  • Walt Disney Imagineer Tony Baxter
  • Screenwriter, producer, and director John August
  • Bear in the Big Blue House Panel with Noel MacNeal, Vicki Eibner, Tyler Bunch, Peter Linz and James Kroupa
  • Tom Nabbe, the original Tom Sawyer at Disneyland
  • Show writer Brian Collins
  • American artist Shag
  • Special guest Mark Daniel, host of Inside Disney Parks

The After Hours Party at EPCOT is an additional ticket. That event will take place from 10:30 pm to 12:30 am on October 1, and includes admission to Remy's Ratatouille Adventure; exclusive entertainment at the France, Morocco and United Kingdom Pavilions; rare character meet-and-greets; and enhanced dessert offerings. Yogibo is a worldwide lifestyle retailer of next generation furniture and gift accessories.

Give Kids The World Village’s mission is to create the happiness that inspires hope for wish families. More than 30,000 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with a critical illness each year, and half of those who are eligible for a wish choose to visit Orlando. Give Kids The World is the nonprofit that fulfills these wishes—providing every wish family with transportation; accommodations; all meals and snacks; nightly entertainment; donated theme park tickets; and more. Since 1986, more than 177,000 wish children and their families from all 50 states and 76 countries have been welcomed to the Village.

The Usual Writer's Note

For vaccinated guests, the only places that face coverings remain mandatory (per Federal directives) are on the monorails and buses. Unvaccinated guests are expected to wear masks in all indoor locations. Of course, since the health and safety protocols in the State of Florida remain unchanged: they're on their honor. There is no statewide vaccine mandate, COVID-19 testing, 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, set requirements for visiting their property that you must be aware of if you decide to visit, but they are not permitted to require proof of negative COVID-19 test or vaccine status. Walt Disney World Resort encourages eligible guests to get vaccinated.

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 continue to be 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. We have not heard any suggestion, as yet, that new pass sales will resume.

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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.

Everyone can save up to $500 on a 5-night stay at select Disney Resort Hotels in Spring and through July 7, 2022.

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 July 7, 2022.

NEW For the first time ever, Disney+ subscribers that link their Disney+ account to their My Disney Experience account can also save up to 25% on select Disney Resort hotels for select night stays July 8 to September 30, 2022.

Our travel partner Get Away Today is available to help you book rooms and packages. When you book a Walt Disney World Resort Package with Get Away Today with a minimum 3-night stay at a Disney Resort Hotel plus tickets, you receive its complimentary concierge service which includes:

  • Free Price Monitoring - if a special comes out after you book, we'll automatically apply it!
  • Dining Reservation Assistance - we wake up early and snag those hard to get dining reservations so you don't have to.
  • The GAT expert team is available to you! Contact them any time for extra assistance with your vacation planning; transportation, theme park recommendations, etc.

You can get a free Walt Disney World Resort vacation quote by calling 855-GET-AWAY (and tell them MousePlanet sent you) or, you can find sample prices and submit a free quote request here.

Be sure to check out Get Away Today's Universal Orlando Resort ticket offers too. Right now, if you buy 3 days, you can get 2 days FREE at Universal Orlando Resort! By May 5, purchase a select promo 3-day ticket for travel by December 15, 2022, and you'll get 2 extra days free! The ticket usage must occur on or before December 15, 2022, when the ticket will expire in full and any unused days will be forfeited. Ask Get Away Today about additional restrictions which apply.

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Only purchase Disney theme park tickets directly from Disney, an authorized seller, or a travel agency like MousePlanet travel partner Get Away Today! As always, we remind our readers that Walt Disney World Resort theme park tickets are rarely offered at deep discounts unless you are a resident of Florida or eligible for U.S. Military Personnel benefits. Historically, non-Florida residents tend to benefit the most by purchasing tickets in advance (and, of course, being mindful of the rules relevant to those tickets). Don't get scammed! Never buy tickets from an unofficial or secondary outlet, such as through eBay or Craigslist. Never rent or purchase tickets from people approaching you outside Disney property stating they have remaining days or leftover tickets. This practice is against the terms of use for Walt Disney World Theme Park admissions, and may result in denial of entry. There is no way to determine if these tickets are valid until you try to use them to enter the parks.