Walt Disney World Resort Update for May 3-9, 2022

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for May 3-9, 2022

 Writer's Note, News & Views

If you want my first takes on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, the new attraction opening at EPCOT on May 27, be sure to check out our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds on May 5, when I will have my first opportunities to ride this new indoor roller coaster and see the new Wonders of Xandar pavilion during an invited media event for the continued Walt Disney World Resort 50th anniversary celebration (remember, the celebration is scheduled to run until this time next year). As I mentioned last week, EPCOT's first roller coaster is now being previewed by cast members and soon by Golden Oaks residents, Annual Passholders, DVC members, and others too. Buzz from the previews so far of what Disney has billed as a family-friendly storytelling coaster remains mostly positive, but a handful of spinning-sensitive riders have posted comments on social media that the spinning was too much for them.

With just about a month until the official opening of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Disney Parks released a "teaser" video promoting the new attraction. Video courtesy Disney Parks.

Walt Disney World may make some additional announcements during the upcoming media event, but nothing on the schedule that I have received makes that certain. This past week, Disney Parks reiterated that the new MagicBand+ offering is coming soon, and, on the West Coast, Disneyland Resort announced that the "Hey, Disney" in-room product being built on the Amazon Alexa Show product announced at the kickoff of Walt Disney World Resort's 50th anniversary celebration as coming to the Florida hotels at an unspecified time in 2022 will come to California hotel rooms, as well. So, perhaps, we'll see more specificity about those products. Maybe there will be some updates on the EPCOT transformation timeline, and, even less likely but possible, a timeframe for the opening of TRON LightCycle Run attraction at Magic Kingdom. Stay tuned.

Disney Characters Dressed for the 50th Anniversary
The celebration of Walt Disney World Resort's 50th anniversary, started on October 1, 2021, and continues until around this time next year. Photo Courtesy Disney Parks.

Halloween 2022 Celebrations Detailed

As reported in the last Walt Disney World Resort Update, Disney Parks used Thursday, April 28, as a celebration of the halfway point to Halloween: a "full day of #HalfwaytoHalloween fun and spellbinding Disney Parks announcements." Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix provided a recap of all of the major domestic announcements, including the announced return of Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party to Magic Kingdom this August. I'll repeat those Florida Resort-specific details here:

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party returns to the Magic Kingdom for 37 select nights, from August 12 through Halloween. The event will be plussed for the 50th anniversary with "event-exclusive step-in photo opportunities," and past favorites will return, including the ride of the Headless Horseman before Mickey's Boo-To-You Parade, the Sanderson Sisters starring in the "Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular" stage show at Cinderella Castle, ride overlays at Space Mountain, Mad Tea Party, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, and the Jack Skellington-hosted "Disney's Not-So-Spooky Spectacular" fireworks. Guests will also receive a reusable trick-or-treating tote bag, and a special treat at the event, a Halloween-themed 50th Anniversary celebration commemorative print.

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Returns August 2022
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party returns to Walt Disney World August 12 through Halloween 2022. Photo courtesy Disney.

On May 18, tickets go on sale online or by calling (407) 939-4240. Prices range from $109 to $199 depending on the date. Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members may purchase discounted tickets for select dates. The event dates are:

  • August 12, 16, 19, 23, 26 & 30
  • September 2, 5, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27, 29 & 30
  • October 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30 & 31

If you have a Disney Resort Hotel reservation during the party's run, you will also have an earlier opportunity to purchase tickets. While Disney Parks describes this party as a "limited" ticketed event, in the years leading up to the global pandemic and suspension of the party, the party nights started to feel more and more crowded, kind of like regular nights in the park. It will be interesting to see where Magic Kingdom sets the nightly cap for this run. Based on Passholder reservations becoming more scarce this spring and reports of crowded parks, I would expect that Halloween party tickets will sell out for some or many of the nights in advance. I'll make sure to include a note or two about ticket availability in the weeks following the tickets going on sale.

This & That & Reminders…

…Tomorrow is May the 4th, and that's the day that celebrates all things Star Wars (since it sounds like the original film's iconic line, "May the Force be with you."). Among the in-park celebrations planned, there will be specialty food and beverage offerings. Here's the Disney Parks Blog's Foodie Guide.

…Speaking of Star Wars-related things to do at Walt Disney World, a new limited-time offering has opened at Disney Springs in the West Side building last occupied by NBA Experience, and—get this—it's "complimentary!" Meta Quest, ILMxLAB (Lucasfilm's immersive entertainment studio), and Disney Parks have collaborated on presenting a preview of "Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy's Edge" through July 21. Guests must be at least 13 years old to don the Quest 2 headset and experience 360-degree views of the Star Wars galaxy. The story takes place on the outskirts of Black Spire Outpost on Batuu (you know, the setting of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disneyland) and includes both new and "iconic" characters from the Star Wars galaxy. Guests that complete the experience receive giveaways, with an exclusive poster being provided on May 4th featuring the Guavian Death Gang and their leader Tara Rashin. Advance reservations are not available, but if an immediate opportunity to participate is unavailable when guests arrive at the building, guests will either be directed to an outdoor queue or will be allowed to reserve a time to come back.

…As part of the #HalfwaytoHalloween celebration, Disney PhotoPass Service rolled out a new "lens" for those that have purchased Genie+ service that adds a photo effect inspired by Tower of Terror; it can only be used in the My Disney Experience on Sunset Boulevard at Disney's Hollywood Studios (so be sure to have with location services turned on if you want to use it). Over at Magic Kingdom's classic attraction, The Haunted Mansion, the on-ride photo has received a bit of a makeover too.

…Also at Disney Springs this month, The Edison is offering a few special-ticketed events featuring specialty adult beverages and light bites. The announcement from this Patina Restaurant Group operation is as follows:

Join The Edison at Disney Springs for a curated mixology and culinary experience, where attendees will take a walk through time, tasting four one-ounce pours of differently aged bottles of Old Forester, featuring the Kentucky straight bourbon whisky from 1870, 1897, 1910 and 1920. As guests try each whisky, they will also enjoy an accompanying four-course meal, featuring a delectable dish that has been skillfully paired to highlight the different tasting notes of every aged bottle. For example, Old Forester 1870 — a whisky with notes of baked clove, cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as citrus-fruit mix — will be served with the tart and salty mixture of bacon and blue cheese. The Old Forester dinner will take place on May 12, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at The Edison’s Tesla Lounge. Tickets are $150++ per person and extremely limited. Ages 21 and older only. [Information and booking are here.]

This May, The Edison at Disney Springs will offer Espolòn cocktails and accompanying bites for its monthly mixology program. Each week, guests will indulge in two deliciously curated cocktails, highlighting the notes of sweet agave, lemon zest and tropical fruit of three types of tequila: Espolòn Blanco, Espolòn Reposado and Espolòn Anejo. The specialty beverages will be coupled with savory Mexican-inspired dishes to highlight the smooth tequila, like deep fried churros served with Mexican chocolate sauce and seared corvina tacos. These expertly paired samplings will take place on May 10, May 17 and May 25, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Edison’s Lake Side Patio. Tickets are $65++ per person per week and extremely limited. Choose to come one week or for the entire series! Ages 21 and older only. [Information and booking are here.]

…May is Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and Disney is celebrating those cultures and experiences all month long with a focus on "A World of Voices"—spotlighting cast members that make positive impacts across the Resort, including in the food and beverage areas (of course).

…Walt Disney World Golf is offering camps for young golfers ages 7 to 17, focusing on full swing, short game, putting and separately, on-course instruction, led by PGA of America Professionals. The Monday through Friday camps start June 6. More information is on the official Walt Disney World Golf Blog.

…REMINDER: The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic, scheduled for Friday, November 11 and Saturday, November 12, will see the return of its interactive food and beverage seminars for the first time since 2019. During the educational seminars, guests can expand their knowledge of wine, beer, spirits, or pasta-making through hands-on learning experiences led by the resort’s award-winning food and beverage team. The 2022 seminar line-up includes:

  • Pasta Making
  • Wine Blending
  • It’s Better to Wine in Italian (Italian Wines)
  • Base to Bubbles (Champagne)
  • Beer, Please
  • Craft Cocktails

The seminars will take place prior to the nightly outdoor festival. Beverage seminar tickets are $75 per person, excluding tax. Pasta Making tickets are $95 per person, excluding tax. Seminars require separate tickets and space is limited. Specific dates and times of each seminar are available at FoodAndWineClassic.com.

…REMINDER: General eligible Disney Vacation Club members may attempt to register for one of the upcoming Moonlight Magic Events scheduled for May 24, June 16, and July 14 at Disney's Hollywood Studios on May 10 starting at 11 a.m. Eastern Time (pending availability).

The Usual Writer's Note

Face coverings are now optional across all of Walt Disney World Resort. Remember to check this page of DisneyWorld.com for the latest requirements, as they can change at any time. Disney asks unvaccinated guests to wear masks at indoor locations and on enclosed transportation, but guests are on their honor. The health and safety protocols in the State of Florida remain unchanged. There is no statewide vaccine mandate, COVID-19 testing, face covering requirements or business capacity restrictions. The State blocked enforcement of municipal and county-imposed restrictions. 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. Local news reports that the latest regional COVID-19 positivity rate continues to rise.

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.

NEW Florida Residents can save 40% on a 4-Day Ticket and 30% on 3-Day Tickets compared to the non-Florida Resident price of a 3-Day or 4-Day Ticket. One-day, one-park tickets start at $109, depending on the date and the theme park. Florida Residents can save on 1-Day Tickets with Park Hopper Option, which offers 1-Day admission to multiple theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort. Visit this page of DisneyWorld.com for details and purchase options (plus an opportunity to provide digital proof of Florida residency). Remember, park admission requires both a ticket and a reservation; tickets expire, so be sure to do your homework before purchasing.

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.

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.

Last Chance: 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.