Walt Disney World Resort Update for August 23-29, 2022

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for August 23-29, 2022

You can view a larger version of the photos included in the Update by clicking on the photo. Each photo will open in a separate tab without a caption.

 Writer's Note, News & Views

Sorry to skip last week's Walt Disney World Resort Update, but with very little Florida news (and nothing particularly timely), and the Disneyland Resort releasing long-awaited details of its Magic Key program (the California resort's current iteration of annual passes, which are largely only available to current participants looking to renew), it just seemed appropriate.

We have a lot of things to share this week, but, as I have been writing for more than a month now, the bigger resort-wide news likely will be forthcoming during the sold-out, three-day, 2022 D23 Expo, September 9–11. Disney makes its big Parks and Experiences announcements on the big stage there. The Parks presentation was live-streamed by Disney during the 2019 Expo and, simultaneous with each of the big announcements, Disney Parks Blog released articles, concept art, and photos to accompany them—we expect pretty much the same for this expo.

Recapping the items of news we have been waiting for around here that may get announced at the D23 Expo: opening dates for TRON LightCycle Run, Journey of Water Inspired by Moana, Play! Pavilion, or additional phases of EPCOT's transformation. Then again, Disney may not be ready to announce any of that. The focus of D23 Expo (on some overall level) will be the 100th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company coming up in 2023, and we'll probably hear about how Walt Disney World Resort will transition from The World's Most Magical Celebration (of the 50th anniversary of the Resort) when it ends next spring into whatever celebratory name the centennial will have. The competition at Universal Orlando Resort isn't getting any more quiet around here, with its Epic Universe construction project well underway and social media reports of a major delivery of roller coaster track having just occurred. We're left to wonder: will Disney announce any new capital-intensive projects for the Florida resort? Stay tuned.

TRON construction
Testing continues at the still-under construction TRON Lightcycle Run attraction in Tomorrowland. Perhaps D23 Expo next month in Anaheim will provide a clue as to when the attraction announced back at D23 Expo 2017 will open. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party: 2022 Edition

For the first time since Halloween 2019, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party returns on select nights at Magic Kingdom. The separate-admission-required party on select nights through October 31 runs from 7 p.m. until midnight, though ticket holders may enter Magic Kingdom as early as 4 p.m. without an additional day park ticket or reservation. Be sure to visit this page at DisneyWorld.com for remaining available dates (there are more than 20 as of publication). Applicable prices start at $119 for the two remaining September dates, and range from $139 to $179 for the remaining dates in September and October ($10 less for ages 3–9, and Passholders and DVC members can save $10 per ticket on certain nights). Disney Parks hosted MousePlanet at the Family Media Night of the Party on August 16.

On nights when Magic Kingdom hosts Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, the parking toll plaza is decorated for the event.

The TTC advertises Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

Guests entering Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party are directed to Market Street (behind Main Street) to receive their trick-or-treat bags and first treats.

Market Street is also decorated for Halloween.

Party attendees mix in with park guests next to The Plaza Restaurant. After 6 p.m., cast members start actively looking for party wristbands to allow guests to pass into the lands of the park.

Instead of the Mickey-head-shaped pumpkins, Main Street is lined with Cinderella pumpkin coaches for the park’s 50th Anniversary (as it was last Halloween).

Halloween character meet-and-greets this year include Stitch’s salute to Elvis, as spotted here from the PeopleMover in Tomorrowland.

New this year are walk-in photo opportunities, like this salute to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (located inside the entrance to Stitch’s former attraction in Tomorrowland).

At least during my visit, the Tomorrowland walk-in photo opportunities were not attended by Disney PhotoPass photographers.

As in the past, Main Street U.S.A. has numerous pumpkins to explore, and the passages under the railroad say farewell.

Guests at this year’s Party receive a complimentary poster when they exit the park.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

As was true of the past editions of the party, guests are welcome to dress in costume (subject to Disney’s rules), and meet-and-greet characters—some in their own version of Halloween or cosplay attire. Multiple trick-or-treat locations are set up around the park, offering complimentary candy to fill this year’s new reusable-style bag (and, yes, alternative treat options are available for those who inquire in the Market Street “welcome” trick-or-treat location behind Main Street U.S.A. when entering the park for the party).

The Sanderson Sisters also return to the Castle Stage multiple scheduled times during the Party in the “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular!.” With Hocus Pocus 2, the long-awaited sequel film being released on Disney+ on September 30, Disney has quite a few bits of cross-promotion for that around the park, too.

While Magic Kingdom has lacked regular nighttime parades since The Main Street Electrical Parade last “glowed away” back in the fall of 2016, Party guests have two opportunities to see the return of the full (weather-permitting) Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade, featuring Mickey and friends in Halloween costumes and more than a few Disney Villains. Preceding the parade showings, as in the past, the Headless Horseman rides down the parade route. Following that ride, Max Goof “cosplaying” as Powerline, is featured in a pre-parade cavalcade that makes a few stops along the parade route to invite folks to dance along to Powerline songs.

Headless Horseman
The Headless Horseman rides down the parade route ahead of Mickey’s Boo-To-You Parade. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Max Goof
Max Goof “cosplaying” as Powerline is featured in a new pre-parade unit as well. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Mickey’s Boo To You Halloween Parade is scheduled to run the parade route twice during each night of the party.

Mickey and Friends are all dressed for Halloween in the parade.

Captain Jack Sparrow rides high atop a pirate ship in the parade.

Grave diggers scrape up sparks along the parade route.

The Haunted Mansion’s ghostly bride leads a bunch of ghostly ballroom dancers along the parade route.

The Hitchhiking Ghosts from the Mansion get a ride.

Toy Story aliens appear just ahead of Buzz Lightyear.

Bowler Hat Guy gets up close and personal with guests along the parade route.

The Evil Queen and her Mirror bring up the end of the parade.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular is the party-exclusive fireworks display hosted by Jack Skellington and featuring many Disney characters projected on Cinderella Castle. It includes perimeter fireworks launches, so if you are driving around Magic Kingdom on party night, be aware of road closures.

Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular fireworks show can be viewed from all over the park, but Jack Skellington and the characters projected on the castle are best viewed from about the hub. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Also new this year, guests can join zombies and cheerleaders at the ZOM-BEATZ BASH! “as they BAMM out to music” inspired by the Zombies original movies on Disney Channel inside Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café. Storybook Circus hosts the Disney Junior Jam dance party featuring Vampirina and other Disney Junior characters. In Tomorrowland, Monstrous Scream-o-ween Ball features Mike Wazowski and Sully in another dance party.

Four attractions also get special “Halloween Twists” that are offered only during the party. Space Mountain is an even darker ride than usual with creepier music. The Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor is a trick-or-treat location with ongoing interaction with the on-screen characters making Halloween “funny.” In Fantasyland, Mad Tea Party features special lighting and music after nightfall. And, over in Adventureland, some live pirates again join the queue and scenes of Pirates of the Caribbean.

Disney Parks Blog provided a rundown of the Party’s exclusive food and beverage items earlier this August. During the Media Night, I took a look but did not sample any.

In addition to the complimentary candy, party-exclusive Halloween-themed food and beverage items are available for purchase during the party at select locations around the park.

M&M’s Peanut Butter Churro is available at the Castle Hub Cart during the event: it’s a churro rolled in peanut dust with peanut sauce, chocolate sauce, and M&M’s Peanut Butter.

In one of the many Hocus Pocus-themed items around the park, Winifred’s Elixir of Youth is available at Casey’s Corner - black tea slushy with kiwi foam and a Winifred chocolate piece.

Lots of Halloween merchandise is available all across Walt Disney World Resort, whether or not attending the party.

Disney also pointed out that quite a bit of the Halloween themed merchandise is also available this year on shopDisney (note more Hocus Pocus).

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

And, of course, Disney PhotoPass has a bunch of special party-exclusive photo opportunities as well.

Disney+ Day Celebrated in the Parks on September 8

Disney Parks will again celebrate Disney+ Day on September 8, 2022, with special offerings in the theme parks on both coasts. Disney+ subscribers and their party can enter the parks 30 minutes before regular opening (the subscriber may be required to show they are logged in to their Disney+ account on their mobile device, and, of course, park reservations and valid admission media are also required for the whole party). On Disney+ Day, guests staying in resort hotels with early park admission privileges (and also have reservations and valid tickets) may enter the parks 60 minutes before regular park opening.

At Walt Disney World Resort, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will again be the park with the most special Disney+ Day offerings: Complimentary Disney PhotoPass photo downloads at select locations, Disney+ meet-and-greets and cavalcades, and more “surprises.” At Walt Disney World Resort hotels, there will be special Disney+ Movie Under the Stars screenings.

Snapchat and the My Disney Experience will also offer limited-time Disney PhotoPass Lenses for Disney+ Day.

Disney's Veterans Institute Summit 2022

Disney’s Veterans Institute Summit presented by Disney Institute and sponsored by Wounded Warrior Project took place on Friday and Saturday, August 19–20, at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. The complimentary two-day event was created to inspire business professionals and organizations to create their own military veteran-hiring programs using insights from The Walt Disney Company’s Heroes Work Here initiative. Heroes Work Here was introduced in 2012, and to date has resulted in more than 11,000 veterans joining the company, representing all lines of work.

Josh D'Amaro at Veterans Institute
“We’re proud of the veterans and military spouses who work here at Disney and the powerful impact they make across our company, our teams and our guest experience” said Josh D’Amaro, Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. Photo courtesy Disney.

This year’s Veterans Institute Summit marked its return to Walt Disney World since the inaugural event in 2013. The summit included remarks from U.S. government officials and Disney executives as well as advice and insights from veterans service organizations, firsthand perspectives shared by veterans about their transition to the civilian workforce, and best practices from organizations that have created their own successful programs delivered through keynote presentations, panel discussions, and Disney Institute content.

This weekend also marked the return of the Department of Defense Warrior Games at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. The games, which run through August 28, celebrate military heroes and feature 12 sports, including archery, cycling (both road race and time trials), precision air marksmanship, sitting volleyball, swimming and more. Beyond physical skills, the Warrior Games highlights the mental toughness of wounded, ill, and injured active-duty and veteran service members.

Warrior Games athletes at Magic Kingdom
Department of Defense Warrior Games athletes served as the honorary grand marshals in a celebratory welcome parade at Magic Kingdom. The athletes, joined by U.S. Army General Paul E. Funk, and representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Special Operations Command and Marine Corps as well as Canada and Ukraine, took turns carrying the Warrior Games torch that lit the cauldron at Friday's opening ceremony at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Photo courtesy Disney.

This & That…

…Starting on October 2, the day after EPCOT celebrates its 40th anniversary, the Behind the Seeds one-hour walking tour of The Land pavilion’s greenhouses at EPCOT will return (published price not including park admission: $35/guest over age 3). On the same day, The Seas with Nemo & Friends will again offer EPCOT Seas Adventures-DiveQuest for SCUBA-certified gusts (not including park admission, pricing starts at $219/guest), and EPCOT Seas Adventures-Dolphins in Depth for all guests (not including park admission, pricing starts at $199/guest). Advanced bookings (which are recommended) reopened yesterday, August 22. Visit the Enchanting Extras Collection page of DisneyWorld.com for the complete list of available tours and other additional-charge experiences around Walt Disney World Resort. The links there provide pricing, availability, and booking opportunities.

…Speaking of EPCOT, as previously announced, mid-August brought the opening of the remaining Global Marketplaces for the 2022 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, which runs through November 19. Over at America Gardens Theatre, the signs announcing the Eat to the Beat Concert Series performers and other Festival news have finally been converted to digital displays.

Mac & Cheese
Several kinds of Macaroni & Cheese are available at the recently opened Mac & Eats Global Marketplace located just outside Creations Shop (on the Test Track side) in the World Discovery area of the park (formerly FutureWorld East). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Digital Signs
Always check digital signs around the parks, like the new ones outside America Gardens Theatre, for the latest changes in the park’s schedule and operations. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

…Disney Parks celebrates World Princess Week through August 27 as part of the ongoing “Ultimate Princess Celebration” that The Walt Disney Company started last year highlighting “the impact of Disney Princesses and the courage and kindness they inspire in fans all around the world.” The American Adventure pavilion at EPCOT has a Tiana and Naveen-inspired paper grown giveaway. At select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, Movies Under the Stars feature princess movie screenings all week. There will also be a princess themed DJ dance party at Disney Springs on Saturday, August 27. And Disney Parks Blog has published its Foodie Guide for the event.

…At Magic Kingdom, Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen recently introduced some new menu items.

…Disney Skyliner will be closed for refurbishment January 22-29, 2023. Disney bus service and FriendShip boats will operate (the latter, of course, weather permitting).

…If you are an Annual Passholder and you didn't get over to Disney Springs during the distribution of the 50th Anniversary Mickey & Minnie magnet, you can pick one up at Creations Shop at EPCOT between August 25 and September 21 during regular park hours. Annual Pass and matching photo ID required; there will not be a virtual queue, and it remains one per passholder, so if you already picked one up, you are not eligible for another. Passholders should check out this page of DisneyWorld.com from time to time, as it reflects the latest perks and discounts available to passholders, including for the after-hour parties in Magic Kingdom, “Drawn to Life” by Cirque du Soleil & Disney, merchandise, and more.

AP Magnets
Passholder magnets will be available to those who did not already get one at Creations Shop at EPCOT from August 25 through September 21. Screenshot from My Disney Experience app.

…The 10th annual Great Irish Hooley boutique music festival will take place at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Disney Springs over Labor Day weekend, September 2 through September 5. The full schedule is available on this page of Raglan Road's website. There is no cover charge and reservations are available. MousePlanet has been invited to a media preview on September 2, and we'll share highlights on our Instagram account that evening!

NEW DISCOUNT As previously announced, DIS Con (formerly DIS Family Reunion) will take place at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort September 30th – October 1st, with proceeds benefiting Give Kids the World Village, the not-for-profit Central Florida Resort that provides week-long cost-free stays to critically ill children and their families. DIS Con will feature celebrity panels, meet and greets, unique vendors (with twice as many artisans as last year), photo ops, and a huge memorabilia silent auction. In addition to all of the convention offerings, the event is hosting a separately ticketed After Hours Party in EPCOT on its 40th anniversary, with access to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Test Track, and Mission: SPACE, plus special desserts, entertainment, and character meet and greets. Full details are available at gktw.org/discon. To thank MousePlanet for its past support, Give Kids the World Village has shared a special discount code DISCON15 for 15% off convention tickets and EPCOT After Hours Party tickets.

…Give Kids the World Village is also hosting Gingerbread Run: Valentine’s Day Edition on Saturday, February 11, 2023. This event “will enable fundraisers of all ages to run, roll or stroll a 5K or family fun run through the 89-acre nonprofit resort - past snoring trees, an enchanting castle, the world’s largest game of Candy Land, and other whimsical attractions. For more information and to register visit gktw.org/gingerbreadrun.

…Planning for the holidays around Walt Disney World Resort? If you’re planning a gathering between November 28 and December 30 (though not on Christmas Day, December 25), Enzo’s Hideaway at Disney Springs is offering a “Mingle All the Way” promotion: if you use code HOLIDAY and book your event (signed contract and deposit) by September 30, you will receive a $50 digital bonus card for ever $1,000 spent on food and beverage. Bonus cards delivered after the event and are valid January 2 through March 31, 2023. More details and contact form available on this page of Patina Restaurant Group’s website.

…Recently, Sports Illustrated provided an update on Walt Disney World Golf’s on-going reimagination of the Magnolia course. For those that drive on Floridian Way from time to time (passing Disney’s Grand Floridian and Polynesian Village Resorts), it’s now possible to see quite a bit of construction activity going on at the golf course.

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 recently 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 seen nothing further about when Disney plans to resume sales of new passes following their brief surfacing this summer.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to monitor the cases of the rare monkeypox virus in Florida and elsewhere. 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. It also rains a lot at this time of year at Walt Disney World Resort, often with dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning strikes. It gets hot and humid. Please be prepared!

Join Our Networks

Follow MousePlanet on Facebook:

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.

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 through 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.

Get Away Today Logo

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.