Walt Disney World Resort Update for June 28 - July 11, 2022by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer
Walt Disney World Resort Update for June 28 - July 11, 2022
Writer's Note, News & Views
Have a happy, healthy, and safe Independence Day celebration! With July 4 coming up on Monday the next, our Walt Disney World Resort Update will be published on July 12, 2022. By the time we publish next, the 2022 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival will have concluded (ends July 4), and we'll be just two days away from the 2022 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival (which runs July 14 to November 19).
Magic Kingdom will mark the occasion of Independence Day on both July 3 and July 4 with "Disney's Celebrate America! – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky" (check My Disney Experience for the time, as it currently says "Coming Soon"). We haven't seen whether EPCOT will offer anything to mark the occasion other than the usual nightly presentation of "Harmonious" at 9 p.m., and while My Disney Experience also lists "Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular" as "temporarily unavailable" over at Disney's Hollywood Studios, there hasn't been any hint that that nighttime show will return at all, let alone for a Fourth of July special presentation.
Speaking of fireworks, My Disney Experience lists twice nightly showings of "Disney Enchantment" at Magic Kingdom, at 9:20 p.m. and 11 p.m. each night from May 14 through 24. Other than on New Year's Eve and the night before, I don't recall Magic Kingdom showing the same fireworks show twice in one night. Perhaps the added second showing will help alleviate some of the crowding that has discouraged me from sticking around the park for this nighttime spectacular that debuted back at the start of the the 50th Anniversary Celebration. As we get into August, Magic Kingdom will offer two sets of fireworks on those select nights when Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party is offered in the park, but, of course, to see that second set of fireworks from inside the park, you need the separate ticket for that event.
And, as I figured in this space last week, the Disney Parks #HalfwaytotheHolidays celebration on June 23 confirmed that, starting the week after Halloween, the second fireworks show available on select nights will be for attendees at the return of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Yes, that's right, the hard ticket event will return on 24 select nights, from November 8 to December 22, after being interrupted by the global pandemic and the phased reopening. Tickets will range from $149 to $199 per person plus tax (and subject to some discounts for Passholders and DVC members on select nights), and go on sale June 30 for guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, and July 7 for the general public.
We have a #HalfwayToTheHolidays gift for you! 🎄❄️☃️ Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park returns select nights Nov. 8 - Dec. 22, 2022 along with more holly and jolly magic at Walt Disney World! https://t.co/Xhs9Bh0ajR pic.twitter.com/6PgTGdI3LG— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) June 23, 2022
This year's edition of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party will include a return of "Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration" stage show at Cinderella Castle, the fireworks show ("Minnie's Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks" that debuted just before the global pandemic), and "Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade." The Jingle Cruise will return for both daytime park guests and Party guests. Party guests also get exclusive attraction overlays at Space Mountain, Tomorrowland Speedway, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, and Mad Tea Party. During the Party, Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café will feature North Pole guests during its intergalactic dance party, "A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas" will feature Disney characters on the Rockettower Plaza Stage, and "Disney Junior Jingle Jam" will feature Disney Junior characters in a dance celebration at Storybook Circus.
As part of the 50th Anniversary celebration, the Party will include new photo opportunities. Party-goers will also receive "a special 50th Anniversary commemorative keepsake, themed for the holidays."
Beyond Magic Kingdom this winter, the "Beacons of Magic" moments at the park icons will continue with holiday additions in each park on select nights. Santa Claus will return in his red convertible during the Santa Claus Merry Motorcade at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and also in a flotilla at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Santa will also visit Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs for photo opportunities, and, at EPCOT, Santa joins the storytellers from around the world during EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays (which starts November 25).
While Disney did not announce the return of "Jingle Bells, Jingle BAM!" at Disney's Hollywood Studios, pretty much all of the other recent usual holiday entertainment is slated to return to the parks. At Disney's Hollywood Studios, "For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration" will see the return of Olaf and that show's holidays celebration ending. Disney's Animal Kingdom will have its Merry Menagerie of winter animal puppets return. Disney Springs will feature Disney "snow" in Town Center—and its "Christmas Tree Stroll" of character-inspired trees will return. Gingerbread displays will return in several resort hotels as well.
Not surprisingly, Disney confirmed that Candlelight Processional will return to America Gardens Theatre (though it did not elaborate on whether the full mass choir will return, as last year's smaller choir was all cast members). The biggest surprise news for the holiday season is that the brand new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind attraction will switch away from the "classic hits" music playlist that debuted with the ride just weeks ago and, instead, play a "mash-up of seasonal jams" that Disney Parks Blog described as follows: "Guests will blast off to the tune of an awesome holiday single, bringing joy to Xandar and Terra, too."
Back to summery thoughts here in Central Florida and vicinity. The Disney Wish, the newest ship sailing in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, will be christened at its home port, Port Canaveral, tomorrow, Wednesday, June 29. You can stream along live on Disney Parks Blog at 11 a.m. Eastern/8 Pacific. MousePlanet has been invited to attend the christening and then to sail aboard for a three night voyage that will visit Disney's Castaway Cay in the Bahamas. Stay tuned to our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds for news and views, and, perhaps if technology cooperates, a live stream or two!
Even More Live Character Experiences Around Walt Disney World Resort
This week, Walt Disney World Resort added more live character experiences and announced the return of some that had been suspended when the global pandemic caused the temporary shutdown of the parks back in March 2020 and the subsequent phased reopening. First up, starting this past Sunday, Mirabel from last fall's hit film Encanto made her debut in the "Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade" at Magic Kingdom, joining Miguel from Coco, Nick and Judy from Zootopia, Max, Goof, Moana and more several times each day.
We may not talk about Bruno, but we can definitely talk about Mirabel making her debut in the “Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade” on June 26 at Magic Kingdom Park! See what else is happening at @WaltDisneyWorld: https://t.co/7P9QhsviGY pic.twitter.com/G2zkkooQGi— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) June 22, 2022
Starting July 6, at long last, Minnie Mouse will join Mickey in Magic Kingdom's Town Square Theater for meet and greets wearing their EARidescent fashions celebrating Walt Disney World's 50th Anniversary. Mickey has been doing traditional (hugs and photos) meet and greets solo in that spot for several weeks now, and this location will continue to be a traditional meet and greet when Minnie joins.
On July 6, "Chip 'N Dale's Campfire Sing-A-Long" returns to Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Their celebration is followed by a classic Disney movie under the stars.
On July 10, Peter Pan and Snow White will again greet guests at Magic Kingdom. Exact locations are expected to be places where they were located in the past, but be sure to check My Disney Experience for the latest details.
At Disney's Hollywood Studios, on July 17, the Star Wars Launch Bay will reopen for meet and greets. Chewbacca, BB-8, and Darth Vader encounters will all be available. Chewbacca traditionally has been a hugger; Darth and BB-8, not so much.
Disney Parks Blog says that in the coming months additional character meet and greets will return as well. At Magic Kingdom, Aladdin, Jasmine, Merida, Pooh, Tigger, and The Great Goofini in Pete's Silly Sideshow are all slated to return. At Disney's Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Land characters will return. Over at Disney's Animal Kingdom, "Donald's Dino-Bash" will resume in DinoLand U.S.A. featuring time with Donald Duck and his friends.
Resort Studios Now Open at the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort
Disney Vacation Club, Disney's version of a timeshare vacation program, has taken over building 9 ("Big Pine Key") at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and converted the hotel rooms there to a new DVC room category they have named "Resort Studios." The building has been entirely renovated with 200 rooms now featuring two queen-size beds and a daybed that can sleep up to five guests. The room decor includes fairly subtle nods to Mary Poppins characters in these rooms which are available to DVC members using points or cash, and can also be rented by the public for cash like other hotel rooms at Walt Disney World.
The new Resort Studios join The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa which were refurbished in the existing building across the beach over the past couple of years. The primary distinction in the room type between the new Resort Studios and the Deluxe Studios available in The Villas is that the Resort Studios do not include a kitchenette which is included in the Deluxe Studios. There are also one- and two-bedroom villas in the DVC offerings at Grand Floridian as well as three-bedroom grand villas that sleep up to 12 guests and include full kitchens and large living areas.
The new Resort Studios were declared officially open on June 23, 2022 on the lawn next to The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The new Resort Studios are located behind the performers in building 9 which is named "Big Pine Key." Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
MousePlanet was invited to attend the grand opening of the new Resort Studios. I am also a 22-plus-year Disney Vacation Club member.
Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue Is Now Playing Three Times Nightly Again
After a more than two year absence caused by the global pandemic, the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is again playing three times nightly at Pioneer Hall at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. The dinner theater-style show first debuted back in 1974, and Disney says it's the longest running show of its kind in America. The show received minor scripting tweaks over the years, and, during its more than two year hiatus, the creative team took the opportunity to make additional minor changes to speak to modern audiences. Having said that, unless you knew the show quite well, it is pretty hard to know what has changed in the script. The running time of the show has not really be changed in a noticeable way either.
From a presentation standpoint, Tom Vazzana, Creative Director, Disney Live Entertainment said that in bringing the show back to the stage, the theater's lighting systems were all replaced, the set backgrounds were refreshed, and other backstage enhancements were completed. As a show set in the American old west, the scenery evokes that period without obvious modern intrusions like video or digital projections.
The show features six performers (three men and three women), set in America's Old West, singing songs from that era or ones that evoke that era from Broadway or elsewhere. The performers sing, dance, and playfully tease each other for comedy in an all-ages-appropriate show accompanied by a couple of live musicians. The all-you-care-to-enjoy menu is part of the show too (yes, they sing songs about some of the food). Chef Julie Hrywnak said that over 600 pounds of ribs are smoked daily at Fort Wilderness, and that much chicken is fried up too, for Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, most of which are served at Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue.
Chef Julie also said that the culinary team took the opportunity to enhance its recipe for Mac and Cheese, which is now officially part of the menu (topped with a cornbread crumble). The menu also now includes a creamy coleslaw served alongside the salad. Of course, the strawberry shortcake (which is also sung about), has remained on the menu. Admission to the meal/show includes fountain drinks as well as (for guests 21 and over) red and white sangria, draft beer, and wine in the ticket price. The venue now also offers local craft beers and a specialty cocktail for an additional charge. Tickets may be purchased in the My Disney Experience app which is now also used for checking in when arriving at the venue.
The embedded Instagram post below contains photos of Pioneer Hall, the show, the food, and more from the very first public performance of the revived show on June 23, 2022! MousePlanet was hosted at the debut show by Disney Parks.
This & That…
…Though our focus this week is on the upcoming christening of Disney Wish, Disney Cruise Line is also offering up an opportunity to win a sailing from one of its other ships sailing from Miami. At DisneyCruiseLineVacationSweepstakes.com you can enter for a chance to win a 4-night Disney cruise from Miami for up to 4 in a stateroom. Sweepstakes ends July 5, 2022, at 11:59 Eastern. See the complete rules on the sweepstakes website. MousePlanet is not affiliated with this sweepstakes.
…Back at Walt Disney World Resort, Walt Disney World Golf is reimagining Disney's Magnolia Golf Course. Having opened on October 1, 1971, along with Walt Disney World Resort, this reimagining will change holes 14 through 17 on the course's finishing stretch. The details are not yet final, but, at present are proposed to be as follows:
- Hole 14 – Currently a par 5, will become a par 4, with a new green location
- Hole 15 – Currently a par 3, will shift location and become a long par 5, dogleg to the right
- Hole 16 – Will shift location and remain a par 4, but will now become a dogleg to the left
- Hole 17 – Currently a par 4, will become a par 3, with new tee box locations
Holes 16 and 17 will be connected with a new wooden bridge through the forest, and there will be several new fairway and green side bunkers engineered to accommodate the shifting hole locations. The changes to the holes will retain the par 72 traditional nature of the golf course. You can read more about it on Walt Disney World Golf's blog.
…At Disney Springs, The Edison is offering a Mixology Series featuring Knob Creek products on July 6, 13, and 20, from 6–8 p.m. on its lakeside patio. Tickets are $65 per person plus tax and gratuity for each session for guests ages 21 and older only. More information and tickets are available on this page of the Patina Restaurant Group's website.
…The Edison is also offering "Red, White and Bull Cocktails" starting July 1. There are three adult beverages featuring Red Bull and two fruity non-alcoholic options as well.
The Usual Writer's Note
Face coverings remain optional across all of Walt Disney World Resort. Remember to check this page of DisneyWorld.com for the latest requirements.
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). The United States dropped the requirement for COVID-19 testing for entering the country.
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.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to monitor the cases of the rare monkeypox virus in Florida and elsewhere. Reports say that experts remain optimistic that the outbreak can be contained. We will include more information here in future Updates should it relate to visiting Walt Disney World Resort.
Finally, don't forget it's tropical storm season. As of publication, there are three systems being observed in the waters around the State of Florida, with no particular warnings yet. It rains a lot at this time of year at Walt Disney World Resort, including dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, and it gets hot and humid. Please be prepared!
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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.
Last chance: save up to $500 on a 5-night stay at select Disney Resort Hotels through July 7, 2022.
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.
Walt Disney World Annual Passholders and Florida residents can save up to 30% off regular rates on their stays at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. Guests can visit swandolphin.com/offers/ for more information or to book.
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.
Looking to go beyond Walt Disney World Resort when visiting Central Florida? Check out Get Away Today's Universal Orlando Resort ticket offers too.