Walt Disney World Resort Update for October 11-17, 2022

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for October 11-17, 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

Yes, it's a later-in-the-day edition of the Walt Disney World Resort Update today. Since there was additional Disneyland price increase news for Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix to cover on MousePlanet this morning, it seemed best to hold the Florida news for a few more hours.

The biggest news of the week for Disney Parks-goers here on the East Coast is that the Disney Genie+ service at Walt Disney World Resort is now priced dynamically by date. The price per guest will be between $15 and $22 plus tax, and the price will be published and may only be purchased on the day of use, starting at midnight (Eastern Time). The Florida version of Genie+ includes the ability to make Lightning Lane selections for participating attractions, get access to Disney PhotoPass Lenses, and listen to Audio Tales; unlike the California version of the service, Florida's Genie+ does not include photo downloads and there are no discounts offered.

All guests still need to have valid park admission and a park reservation to visit a park, and, if they want to park hop, they need to have a ticket with that benefit and can only hop after 2 p.m. (subject to park availability). Guests that want to make attraction reservations together should make sure that they are linked in the My Disney Experience app and each one needs to purchase the Genie+ service to be included in the reservation.

For those unfamiliar with Disney Genie+ service as implemented in Florida, it is, in essence, a digital version of the Resort's original version of FastPass attraction reservation service now based in the My Disney Experience app and only available for an extra fee. After purchasing the Genie+ service on a specific day that you have a valid ticket and reservation to visit a park, you can attempt to book a return time to visit one of the participating park attractions and, when that time window arrives, enter that attraction's "Lightning Lane" with a shorter wait than the traditional standby queue. You can book one attraction reservation at a time, though if the booked attraction reservation's return time is more than two hours in the future, you can make a second attraction reservation two hours after making the first reservation. The Genie+ version of the Lightning Lane is available for most of the popular attractions in each park, but one attraction in each park has "Lightning Lane" access that isn't available through Genie+ but may be purchased separately: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Magic Kingdom); Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Disney's Hollywood Studios); Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (EPCOT); Avatar – Flight of Passage (Disney's Animal Kingdom).

Walt Disney World Resort has no Hurricane Ian-related closings still posted on its DisneyWorld.com/weather webpage. If you have partially used park tickets or other refund questions related to stays impacted by the closings at the Resort at the end of September, be sure to check that page for how they are being addressed.

Just outside of Walt Disney World Resort to the north, Reams Road remains closed because of flooding between Bay Court and Magic Kingdom cast parking. As of yesterday, Orange County reported that approximately 4 inches of water remain on the westbound lane and that pumping continues, with road repairs to follow when the water is low enough to do so. Access to the Resort from the north is still possible from Reams Road to the west.

Reams Road behind Magic Kingdom Cast Parking
Reams Road—which runs directly behind Magic Kingdom cast member parking, the backstage shops, and Disney University—has been partially closed since before Hurricane Ian made landfall. Over the weekend, water on the roadway was visible to the east from just behind Magic Kingdom. This closure most directly impacts access to Walt Disney World Resort from County Road 535 which is a very popular way for cast members and locals traveling to the Resort from the north and east while avoiding I-4. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

"Drawn to Life" 2023 Schedule Released

Drawn to Life, the new live theatrical production presented by Cirque du Soleil and Disney on the West Side of Disney Springs that debuted last November, has released its schedule for 2023. The new performance schedule includes matinee show times on Sundays. Tickets for next year’s performances are available for sale now at cirquedusoleil.com/drawn-to-life.

Cirque du Soleil
"Drawn to Life" is performed in the theater on the West Side of Disney Springs. File photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Beginning January 4, 2023, Drawn to Life will be performed twice daily, Wednesdays through Sundays. Wednesday through Saturday showtimes will be 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday performances will begin at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. “Based on feedback from guests, we determined this new schedule will offer great daytime opportunities for travelers and locals to see the show, especially those with children,” said Heather Reilly, Drawn to Life Company Manager.

The family-friendly show tells the story of the love between a father and a daughter, drawing inspiration from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 100-year heritage of storytelling. The show celebrates iconic Disney stories and characters through innovative design, acrobatic performances, dazzling choreography, musical scores and brand-new animation lovingly created by Disney Animation artists.

Give Kids The World’s Night of a Million Lights Returns for Year Three (but at a new venue)

In a surprising but welcome announcement, Give Kids The World announced that its very popular "Night of a Million Lights," which debuted in 2020 and returned in 2021, will be back for its third year—but at the Island H2O Water Park in Kissimmee, Florida, rather than at the not-for-profit Village's resort as it had been since its debut. From November 11, 2022, through January 1, 2023, the Island H2O Water Park, 3230 Inspiration Drive, Kissimmee, FL 34747, will be "transformed into a dazzling winter wonderland featuring millions of lights, luminous displays, festive family activities and live entertainment for a one-of-a-kind, fully immersive holiday experience." Nightly entertainment will include performances by Dueling Pianos Jingle and Jangle and the strolling a cappella group Santa’s Dancing Reindeer, with DJ Jack Frost Ice Block Party leading an interactive holiday hits dance party.

Night of a Million Lights 2021
Night of a Million Lights was hosted at Give Kids the World Village in late 2020 and 2021. Its third installment will be at Island H2O Water Park in Kissimmee. File photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Give Kids The World announced earlier this year that Night of a Million Lights could not return to the Village because of the influx of wish families visiting the Village, as it returned to pre-COVID occupancy levels. "It has been a privilege to welcome in the public for a glimpse into our storybook Village during the holidays the past two years. However, in order to preserve the life-changing experience we provide to wish families as increased numbers of guests are able to visit, we have made the decision to move Night of a Million Lights off-site – and truly appreciate Island H2O Water Park’s generosity, hospitality and support," said Give Kids The World President & CEO Pamela Landwirth. "We look forward to joining with Island H2O, sponsors, volunteers and community members to celebrate the season of joy and giving while making an immeasurable impact on the families we serve."

Tickets are on sale now at gktw.org/lights/ enabling guests to view the lights; watch an all-new dancing lights show on a five-story waterslide; visit an interactive children’s holiday activities space; interact with strolling performers; explore themed lightscapes; and create priceless holiday memories during visits with Santa. Proceeds from Night of a Million Lights at Island H2O will once again benefit Give Kids The World Village, an 89-acre, whimsical nonprofit resort that provides critically ill children and their families from around the world with magical week-long wish vacations at no cost. Ticket discounts are available for groups of 25 or more, as well as Island H2O Water Park season pass holders. VIP experiences, sponsorships and volunteer opportunities are also available.

Views Around the World

With slightly more moderate temperatures and lower humidity in Central Florida following Hurricane Ian, I visited three parks this week for the first time in awhile. They were all rather busy with many schools across the U.S.A. having their "Fall Break" long weekends set to line up with the Federal Holiday yesterday, Columbus Day-Indigenous Peoples Day.


Blue skies, with lower humidity and moderate temperatures, graced Central Florida for the week following Hurricane Ian.

Construction equipment is still a dominant feature of the central part of EPCOT's former Future World area.

Though the park's celebration of its 40th anniversary really lasted only on October 1, its merchandise offerings continue to celebrate the occasion at Creations Shop.

Figment continues to play a large role in EPCOT merchandise, as he has for the park's 40 year history.

MagicBand+ options now available include a special edition for EPCOT's 40th anniversary.

Though it's 51st anniversary has now passed, Walt Disney World Resort continues to celebrate its 50th anniversary, and will do so into the spring of 2023.

Live music has returned to the Rose and Crown at United Kingdom pavilion. The piano is now located in the restaurant section of the building, which is an open seating extension of the pub until dinner seatings begin in the late afternoon. Check the My Disney Experience app for live entertainment times.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


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With beautiful weather, I took the opportunity to park hop from EPCOT's International Gateway and walk past Disney's BoardWalk Resort, and all the way over to Disney's Hollywood Studios. Since my last visit to BoardWalk, the ESPN Club closed and the BoardWalk Deli opened. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Though traditional character greetings have returned, some socially distanced character appearances remain.

Donald Duck greets guests inside Disney's Hollywood Studios from time to time.

Disney's Hollywood Studios has yet to announce a date for the return of Fantasmic!

Disney's Hollywood Studios also has not announced a date for the opening of the Roundup Rodeo BBQ restaurant in Toy Story Land. Some exterior construction at the site is visible from the main walkway through the land.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Disney's Animal Kingdom seemed especially busy during my visit on Sunday, so I stayed less than an hour and snapped some photos that do not make the park look busy.

A tiger at Maharajah Jungle Trek paced about its enclosure as I passed on Sunday morning.

Kite Tales had its final performances on Discovery River ahead of Hurricane Ian at the end of September. Disney's Animal Kingdom has not shared what will appear next in this amphitheater originally built for "Rivers of Light" which did not reopen and was officially retired after the park's pandemic closure in 2020.

The truck in DinoLand U.S.A. has temporarily been transformed into "The World’s Largest Pin Truck," a limited-time experience where guests can learn about "pins of extinction" in a museum-style display of Disney pins from past and present.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

This & That & Reminders…

…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.)

…FINAL 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.

…Disney Transport unveiled a new "Encanto" themed bus wrap this week as part of the Resort's celebration of Hispanic and Latin American Heritage Month.

…Territory Lounge and Roaring Fork at Disney's Wilderness Lodge have some menu updates. Read more about it on Disney Parks Blog.

Menu updates at Wilderness Lodge
New menu items now available at Territory Lounge and Roaring Fork at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. Images courtesy Disney Parks Blog.

…And beyond the Wilderness Lodge, Disney Parks Blog shared details of additional new menu items around Walt Disney World Resorts too.

…At New York ComicCon last week, the Marvel panel shared a bunch of announcements for Disney Parks around the world, including the previously announced news that EPCOT's Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will feature a holiday song. Imagineer Zach Riddley posted a tiny bit of additional detail on his Instagram page.

…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: Give Kids the World Village is 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.

…The 2023 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend celebrates its 15 year anniversary at Walt Disney World Resort February 23-26, 2023. runDisney revealed the finisher medals and previewed some of the Pandora Jewelry charms that will be available at the Health & Fitness Expo on Disney Parks Blog.

… During October, The Edison at Disney Springs is debuting a signature set of Halloween-inspired cocktails for guests to enjoy all spooky season long. As October is also Breast Cancer Awareness month, Patina Restaurant Group has teamed up with Florida Breast Cancer Foundation to offer guests a special cocktail, with a portion of the proceeds from each drink to be donated to the charitable organization. Available from October 1-31, “The Pink Ribbon'' (made with Herradura Reposado, watermelon juice, lime juice, fresh muddled raspberries, and mint leaves) was inspired by The Edison’s Mixologist, Alana Sullivan, in honor of her mother’s triumph in her battle against breast cancer. A nonalcoholic version including watermelon juice, lime juice, muddled fresh raspberries, and mint leaves) will also be available. Participating restaurants include The Edison, Maria & Enzo’s and Enzo’s Hideaway.

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.

Finally, just a reminder that the active tropical storm season runs all the way until the end of November and, indeed, the storms themselves do not have to observe any particular dates on the calendar: they can occur at anytime. Please stay informed if you live or plan to visit Florida.

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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.

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.

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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.