Walt Disney World Resort Update for April 19-25, 2022by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer
Walt Disney World Resort Update for April 19–25, 2022
Writer's Note, News & Views
Not surprisingly, the week including Good Friday and the convergence of Easter, Passover, and Ramadan was another quite week for news for Walt Disney World Resort. For those who celebrate, happy holiday(s). Social media reports I saw over the weekend showed that Magic Kingdom did return some of its Easter pre-parade to the entertainment schedule for the first time since the global pandemic. Oh, and be sure to wish MousePlanet's Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix a happy birthday today, too!
We are still awaiting an opening date for EPCOT's Connections Café & Eatery, the combination Starbucks and quick-serve food location in the space previously occupied by Electric Umbrella and the temporary MouseGear/Innoventions East space. As often happens, such news may break on Tuesday or otherwise after we've published this page, and, if that happens, we'll make sure to address it on MousePlanet's social media channels.
As I've repeated in the update space the past couple of weeks, the highly anticipated new EPCOT attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opens on May 27. Cast member previews are underway now. Last week, preview registration for annual passholders, Disney Vacation Club members, and Golden Oaks owners seemingly came and went in a blink (OK, perhaps, a few hours) following an email sent to (many of) those eligible. As I've mentioned previously, MousePlanet has been invited to a May 4–6 media event at Walt Disney World, which will include a preview of the attraction as well.
With those previews underway, yesterday, Disney Parks Blog shared just a bit more information about the new attraction. With music being such a major part of the two Guardians of the Galaxy movies and central to the character Star-Lord/Peter Quill, Disney released the playlist of the six pop tunes that will accompany the Guardians the ride's "intergalactic chase through time and space." Disney says that guests will not know which track they will hear until they "actually blast off." The "Awesome Mix" of six songs, "in their classic versions" are:
- “Disco Inferno”
- “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”
- “I Ran”
- “One Way or Another”
In classic Disney theme park attraction fashion, Disney Parks Blog also confirmed that there is a "something's gone wrong" element to the attraction. As the story of the new attraction goes, the Guardians are asking for guests' help "to stop Eson, the Celestial," the creature shown in the image below, from completing what Jeremy Schoolfield of Disney Parks Blog says that he is "going to assume is a nefarious plan. I mean… look at that guy! Eson is huge. And powerful. And ancient. And seems poised to grab our pretty blue planet in one hand and slam dunk us like a basketball!"
Yesterday, April 18, also marked the start of the return of traditional Disney character greetings around the resort. If visiting up close with a particular character is on your park visit agenda, be sure to check My Disney Experience to see which locations are operating and during which hours.
Eating Around The World
For personal reasons, I have not had an opportunity to get to the parks in recent weeks, so, unfortunately, I do not have new views around the World to share. As you may know, the Patina Restaurant Group operates several restaurants across Walt Disney World Resort, including Via Napoli, Gelateria Toscana and the brand new Space 220 at EPCOT, and The Edison, Morimoto Asia, Enzo's Hideaway, and Maria and Enzo’s at Disney Springs. MousePlanet was given the opportunity to conduct a written interview with Chef Gabriel, Patina's Executive Pastry Chef, who oversees the pastries for all those locations.
Chef Gabriel is celebrating his first year in Orlando following a 15-year stint as Executive Pastry Chef for Patina’s venues at New York’s Rockefeller Center, including the iconic Sea Grill, which overlooked the famous skating rink and annual Christmas Tree. MousePlanet's Gregg Jacobs took the opportunity to correspond with the chef to find out what it’s like working at restaurants in iconic locations and what he has in mind for the future at Patina's Walt Disney World venues.
What attracted you to working with food in the first place, and what to pastries in particular? Was it something you’ve wanted to do since you were a child or did it come to you later?
What attracted me to working in the food industry was my daily family life. My mother cooked dinner every night for us five kids. Also, my grandmother cooked weekly Sunday dinners for all of us. As a kid, the first time I watched a morning show and saw Jacque Torres make one of his desserts from Le Circe, I was mesmerized and fell in love with the art of pastry.
I’m originally from the New York area and have been to the Sea Grill (great experience, by the way). What was it like working at such a famous restaurant in an iconic location such as Rockefeller Center?
Working at the Sea Grill restaurant in Rockefeller Center and being in the middle of New York City at one of the most iconic spaces was truly an amazing experience. One of the greatest things was working by the ice-skating rink and of course the world famous Christmas tree every year. We served power lunches and catered once in a lifetime events. I will forever cherish the time I spent there and all the great people I worked with.
What brought you to Patina/Orlando and to Disney? What was the attraction to the opportunity?
I had been working for Patina for 15 years and when I knew that we were closing our doors at Rockefeller Center, I needed a new opportunity. Relocating to Orlando was something I asked about a few years back and just waited for the right time. In February of 2021 I received a phone call from our VP of operations in Disney, Geoff Gljiva (who I worked with in New York) and he told me that it’s time! My attraction to this job was that it was an opportunity to run multi-unit spaces and that was something I had much experience in doing. And of course being in Disney, that was a bonus.
Also going back to your time at Rockefeller Center, does the unique setting dictate the menu choices at all?
I try to have a menu that will go with the style of the restaurant as well as the savory menu. The setting for me also helps when I am thinking of how I will plate something, whether it’s traditional or something more artsy.
Space 220 opened fairly recently. What was it like creating the menu for a new restaurant, especially one with such a unique theme? What’s your process in creating the menu?
Creating the menu for Space 220 was so much fun. When planning the menu, I first start with flavors and hand drawn pictures. Then I start making some of the desserts and tweaking the combinations and looks. Sometimes by the end of this process, it’s something totally opposite of the original concept but that’s the fun part.
Can you give us some hints about Disney-inspired treats you have coming to any of Patina’s Disney venues in the future?
Some hints with the new treats are orange blossom, warm gooey chocolate, and lastly some seasonal specialties.
Thanks to Chef Gabriel for giving us some insights into his background and his process in creating some of the delicious treats we enjoy at Walt Disney World. I can’t wait to try that warm gooey chocolate he’s planning.
Thanks to Gregg Jacobs for conducting the interview with Chef Gabriel.
This & That & Reminders…
…For Earth Week, Disney PhotoPass service is offering a number of magic shots for those visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom, and some new offerings for folks at home too.
Whether you’re celebrating Earth Day with us at Disney’s Animal Kingdom or at home, @DisneyPhotoPass Service is offering special opportunities your entire family tree can enjoy during your next visit: https://t.co/O9SWyzwBX1 pic.twitter.com/1TyH93eu7x— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) April 18, 2022
…And to celebrate Earth Day, there's a Foodie Guide too! For Earth Week, Disney Parks Blog also shared its Disney Planet Possible efforts to reduce food waste, provide excess food to food banks, and to compost food waste or covert eligible food waste into feed for farm animals rather than send it to landfills.
…REMINDER: 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 respective 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).
…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 are on the monorails and buses, though with a federal court ruling on Monday that the CDC has overstepped its authority in issuing the face covering mandate for transportation, that may end (be sure to check this page of DisneyWorld.com for the latest requirements. 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.
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.
Are you a @DisneyPlus subscriber? For the first time, you can save on a @WaltDisneyWorld Resort stay select nights July 8-Sept. 30, 2022! ✨ 🏰 Read more: https://t.co/QwPzejAOOY pic.twitter.com/SDSGC6gckx— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) April 5, 2022
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