Walt Disney World Resort Update for September 27 - October 3, 2022by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer
Walt Disney World Resort Update for September 27 - October 3, 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
Central Florida, including Walt Disney World Resort, is under an active hurricane watch as I publish this week's WDW Resort Update in the afternoon of September 27, 2022. Hurricane Ian is a significant threat to the region. As of this posting, the storm's sustained winds are in excess of 100mph, and its outer bands extend across most of South Florida. The outer bands will likely start reaching Central Florida, including Walt Disney World, by this evening, with the center of the storm expected to make landfall along the Gulf Coast as a Category 3 or Category 4 storm by tomorrow night. Parts of the region have been told to expect a foot of rainfall and hurricane force winds, and the storm is not expected to be clear of the region until late Friday.
Walt Disney World Resort has posted a Weather Updates & Information web page that it is updating with operational changes at the resort due to the storm. As of 2 p.m. Eastern time on September 27, the operational changes include:
*Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Copper Creek Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, Treehouse Villas at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and the Bungalows at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort will temporarily close Wednesday, September 28 through Friday, September 30 due to the weather. Disney is contacting Guests with current and upcoming reservations.
*Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser voyages departing Tuesday, September 27 and Thursday, September 29 have been canceled due to the potential impact on the guest experience. Guests with reservations for these dates are asked to please call 407-939-5209 for help with modifying their plans.
Disney's Typhoon Lagoon will close temporarily Wednesday, September 28 and Thursday, September 29. (Disney's Blizzard Beach is currently closed and has been for some time). Winter Summerland Miniature Golf and Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf will also temporarily close Wednesday and Thursday.
- Dining, Enchanting Extras, and Special Events
Disney will not enforce cancelation policies until further notice for dining and other experiences like Savi’s Workshop and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Performances of Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue have been canceled September 28-30 due to the temporary closure of Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Guests with pre-paid reservations will be automatically canceled and refunded.
In light of the current storm forecast, expect that the closures will eventually reach the theme parks, Disney Springs, and additional places around Walt Disney World Resort. The Disney resort hotels themselves are built to withstand significant storms, and they likely will maintain a level of guest services, but with notable closures. The other attractions around the region have begun announcing their closures as well. If you're visiting the region, it's time to be aware of the services offered where you're staying and what precautions to take to stay safe. If you live in the region, like me, you should be finalizing your plans for staying safe through the storm.
EPCOT 2022 Candlelight Processional and Festival of the Holidays Details Released
As previously announced, the 2022 edition of the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays returns November 25 through December 30. Yesterday, EPCOT released additional details about this year's festival, including a first look at this year's edition of Candlelight Processional, which appears to be fully returning to its pre-pandemic form, with a celebrity narrator retelling the Christmas story accompanied by the Voices of Liberty, a 50-piece live orchestra with herald trumpets, and a massed choir consisting of both Disney cast members and local community groups.
The first look at the lineup of this year's celebrity narrators was published in Disney Parks Blog as follows:
- 11/25 – 11/26: TBD
- 11/27 – 11/29: Edward James Olmos
- 11/30 – 12/1: Raul Esparza (NEW)
- 12/2 – 12/3: Whoopi Goldberg
- 12/4 – 12/6: Isabella Rossellini
- 12/7 – 12/9: TBD
- 12/10 – 12/12: Josh Gad (NEW)
- 12/13 – 12/14: Gloria Estefan (NEW)
- 12/15 – 12/18: Neil Patrick Harris
- 12/19 – 12/20: Mariska Hargitay (NEW)
- 12/21 – 12/23: Cal Ripken Jr.
- 12/24 – 12/26: Marie Osmond
- 12/27 – 12/28: Courtney Vance
- 12/29 – 12/30: Angela Bassett
As in past years, guaranteed seating for a single showing of Candlelight Processional is available by purchasing a Dining Package for each member of your party. Packages go on sale October 6. Find out more by visiting EPCOTholidays.com. That site will also include updates to the narrator schedule.
Additional returning Festival offerings include:
- “JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season” – performances of music in celebration of Christmas and Kwanzaa multiple times daily.
- Storytellers, musical acts and other performers will bring holiday traditions of the world to life around World Showcase.
- Holiday Kitchens featuring recipes and festive drinks from around the globe.
- The Holiday Cookie Stroll offers guests the opportunity to embark on a sweet adventure by purchasing designated cookies and receiving a complimentary "completer" cookie.
EPCOT says it will announce even more details closer to the Festival. We already know from a previous announcement, of course, that the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind attraction will add holiday tunes to its mix as well.
Disney After Hours Events Return in January
Disney After Hours events return to Disney's Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom starting in January, 2023. These separately ticketed events allow guests three additional hours in the park after regular operating hours and include ice cream, popcorn, and selected beverages. Ticket sales are "limited" to provide for lower wait times for some attractions. Ticket purchasers can enter the park on event night as early as 7 p.m. (before park closing).
Tickets go on sale on October 4 for guests of Disney (owned/operated) Resort hotels, Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort, and Shades of Green Resort only, and then on October 7 for the public. Prices range from $129 to $159/person plus tax. Disney Vacation Club members and Annual Passholders can purchase discounted tickets for select dates. The events are scheduled on selected nights at Disney's Hollywood Studios between January 4 and April 19, and at Magic Kingdom on selected nights between January 9 and March 27. The Special Events page of DisneyWorld.com is the place to watch for details when they are posted and tickets.
Exciting news! 🎉 🏰 🌙 Disney After Hours events will return to @WaltDisneyWorld starting January 2023. Get the all the details on these fan-favorite experiences now on the Disney Parks Blog: https://t.co/uheAlZMy30 pic.twitter.com/YMuqtZPVxI— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) September 27, 2022
Views from Disney Springs (and one from Disney's Polynesian Village Resort)
With just a month to go until Halloween, there are plenty of themed items to purchase around Disney Springs featuring characters from Disney's various brands, including Star Wars and Marvel.
Grogu (aka Baby Yoda) from "The Mandalorian" is available in a number of Halloween themed items under the Star Wars umbrella.
Speaking of babbies, Baby Groot from Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is available in a pumpkin plush.
Maybe not for Halloween per se, a new mask inspired by the upcoming Marvel release "World of Wakanda" is available for sale in the Marketplace Co-Op.
Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.
"Avatar" has returned to the big screen ahead of the release of its sequels. All of the films are distributed by the now-Disney-owned 20th Century Studios. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
Outside the AMC Dine-In Theaters, the photo backdrop promotes the new version of "Pinocchio" that debuted on Disney+ Day earlier this month. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
Kona Café at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort is closed for refurbishment. My Disney Experience says that it's expected to return with an enhanced table-service experience this fall. Mobile ordering is available through the app for a to-go menu during the refurbishment for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
UPDATE: DIS Con Shifts Because of Hurricane Ian
In light of Hurricane Ian, DIS Con (formerly DIS Family Reunion) is transitioning its scheduled events at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort to October 1 and 2 (from September 30 and October 1). Revised panel and meet and greet schedules were not available at our publication time
The event, 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, will honor all tickets sold originally for September 30 and October 1. The 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 is still expected to take place as originally scheduled.
Details and tickets are available at gktw.org/discon.
This & That & Reminders…
…October 1 is the 40th anniversary of EPCOT. Disney Parks Blog shared a first look at some of the special merchandise designed for the occasion. And, of course, there is also a Disney Parks Blog Foodie Guide for the occasion too.
…For those flying into or out of Orlando International Airport, this month saw the opening of the brand new Terminal C with a collection of both domestic and international airlines. That also means that there is a new Walt Disney World Store at the airport in the new terminal. You can read more about it on Disney Parks Blog.
…REMINDER: On Thursdays and select Sundays in October, Annual Passholders can get early entry, special menu offerings, complimentary towel rental, and more at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. (Park admission is required, and park capacity is limited, so entry is not guaranteed, but reservations are not required.)
…REMINDER: The Annual Passholder merchandise discount temporarily increased from 20% to 30% at Disney owned and operated locations at Walt Disney World through October 14. As always, valid Passholder ID and matching photo ID are required.
…REMINDER: 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).
…REMINDER: Magical Dining is back across the Orlando area, where restaurants offer special prix-fixe menus for $40 per person plus tax and gratuity with $1 per meal going to charity (restaurants also offer their regular menus) through October 2. As in the past, several Disney Springs restaurants are participating, including Jaleo, which is featuring what it describes as the "ultimate tapas tour of Spain," available exclusively for Magical Dining. The list of the 2022 participating restaurants is available at MagicalDining.com.
…REMINDER: 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.
…REMINDER: 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.
…REMINDER: And, speaking of the holidays, Maria and Enzo's Ristorante will host its first annual Breakfast with Santa dining series this winter. The experience will include a breakfast of classic menu items, a visit with Santa Claus, family-friendly holiday activities, take-home treats, and a keepsake photo souvenir. Adults (21 and over) will get complimentary Prosecco mimosa while kids enjoy take-home treats. Platinum and gold seating categories are available: seating category determines table location and the order in which guests meet Santa; Platinum will feature the best views of Lake Buena Vista and will be first in line to see Santa. Pricing will vary by category, date, and time, starting at $30 for children (no charge for children age 2 and under) and $50 for adults (plus tax and gratuity). Breakfast experiences are an hour and a half long. More information and reservations are available on this page of the Patina Restaurant Group's website.
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 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 monkeypox virus in Florida and elsewhere. We will include more information here in future Updates should it relate to visiting Walt Disney World Resort.
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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: 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. Seniors, 62 and older, can also save up to 25% on stays. Visit swandolphin.com/offers/ for more information and reservations.
Walt Disney World Annual Passholders can save up to 25% on select Disney Resort Hotels during the holiday season, most nights from October 23 through December 25, 2022. More information and availability is available on this page of DisneyWorld.com.
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.
We did After Hours at MK, DHS AND DAK pre-CoVid and we had a blast. Worth every penny. Much better than the Halloween and Christmas parties in terms of lower crowds and minimal wait times. There were sections of the parks where my boyfriend and I were the only ones around. That was a little scary especially at DAK but wonderful.
Disney PR invited me to After Hours at all four parks and there were many times where the only folks around were the folks I went around the park with; we often had rides to ourselves, and even the Enchanted Tiki room one of the times.
P.S. Since this afternoon's post, Disney has announced that the parks will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday, and that Disney Springs will be closed on Wednesday. I expect Disney Springs will also be closed Thursday.