Walt Disney World Resort Update for October 18-24, 2022by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer
Walt Disney World Resort Update for October 18-24, 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
Following last week's change to Genie+ pricing (which is now set dynamically by date rather than a fixed amount), it has been another quiet week for news around Walt Disney World Resort. Disney did share the less-than-specific news that the revised version of Fantasmic! will open at Disney's Hollywood Studios in November (following the announcement earlier this year that the show would return before the end of 2022).
The good news for those cast members (and us locals) that approach the Resort from the northeast via Reams Road this week is that the flooding between Bay Court and Magic Kingdom cast parking subsided sufficiently for Orange County to finally reopen the road this week for the first time since September 28 and the approach of Hurricane Ian. On the whole now, the Resort has fully returned to pre-Hurricane Ian operations. Of course, the tropical storm season continues through the end of November, and storms don't know how to read calendars, so it remains important to keep tuned in for weather events as we head into Florida's typically dry winter season.
Views Around the World
With the summer heat and humidity further fading now that fall is underway, I again made it over to three of the parks this past weekend and even took the long walk from Magic Kingdom to main parking via Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Disney's Polynesian Village Resort (and the new detour around the DVC construction that's underway). All the parks were busy during my visits, so whatever lull in attendance that fall brought in the past was not evident when I was there.
Magic Kingdom and Vicinity
With Halloween about two weeks away, I noticed that the entrance to Magic Kingdom has already begun a slight transformation to Christmas: the Mickey head floral bed seems to consist of the winter holidays' traditional red poinsettias. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
With the TRON Lightcycle Run attraction expected to open in the Spring, pavement installation is now evident in this new expansion of Tomorrowland beyond the Speedway.
Railroad tracks have been reinstalled around Tomorrowland and through a new tunnel under the TRON Lightcycle Run canopy.
Tomorrowland Light & Power Co. is closed for refurbishment and its exterior look continues to evolve. This "exit through the gift shop" for Space Mountain likely will also serve as a merchandise location for TRON Lightcycle Run when it opens.
The Walt Disney World Railroad remains closed because of the on-going construction of TRON Lightcycle Run.
Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.
At Disney's Grand Floridian Resort, the culinary team has created a Halloween display that pays tribute to the Haunted Mansion. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
The walkway from Disney's Grand Floridian to Disney's Polynesian Village Resort now detours away from Seven Seas Lagoon due to the construction of the new Disney Vacation Club tower on the former site of the Spirit of Aloha luau dinner theater.
Detour signs lead guests walking between the two resorts through Disney's Wedding Pavilion's parking lot.
To walk between Disney's Grand Floridian and Polynesian Resorts, guest must now cross Floridian Way twice. A new crosswalk has been painted across Floridian Way at the exit to the Wedding Pavilion's parking lot.
Guests walking between the two resorts now share the path with the golf cart path along the Floridian Way side of the Disney's Magnolia Golf Course.
Guests cross Floridian Way near Disney's Polynesian Resort where the golf cart path crosses the road.
Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.
Further south along Floridian Way where it approaches the Speedway Auto Center and World Drive, construction has finally resumed on the flyover ramps that began long before the pandemic and its temporary shutdown of the resort. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
The flyover on the west side of Magic Kingdom's main parking lot will change the flow of traffic around the parking lot. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival continues for another month, through November 19. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
The Disney Vacation Club Member lounge (on the upper level of Imagination! pavilion), has some new graphics on the walls surrounding the space. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
The graphics on the DVC Member Lounge now also include a "permanent" photo spot. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
Back downstairs in the Imagination! pavilion, I noticed Bing Bong appearing on the walls from time to time for the first time. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
Steel framing for the future CommuniCore Hall (festival center) is visible from all over the west side of the park.
From the monorail around the former Future World section of the park, guests can see quite a bit of ongoing construction now.
The future CommuniCore Hall (festival center) construction can be seen from the monorail as it heads to the station.
The future Journey of Water inspired by Moana walk-through attraction continues to take shape ahead of its expected debut sometime next year.
Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Since our last Update, Disney got slightly more specific as to when the updated version of Fantasmic! will open: November.
💫 🐭 Cue the music because we’ve been waiting for this one. Fantasmic! returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios soon – November 2022! pic.twitter.com/txeAOGHSeo— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) October 12, 2022
Although about a third of the Cairo set was not on stage during a performance of Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular on Sunday (along with about a third of the usual show), Indy and Marion stunt doubles still took a major leap off one of the towers.
Exterior construction at the Roundup Rodeo BBQ table service restaurant continues. I hope that the "backyard" theme of Toy Story Land is restored to this area and the administration building beyond the restaurant is once again hidden when construction is complete. Disney has not shared an opening date for this restaurant that was originally announced for a 2020 debut.
Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.
This & That & Reminders…
…An okapi calf was born at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, the 12th okapi born at Walt Disney World Resort and the fifth at the lodge. Named Beni, the baby okapi is the first calf to be born at Walt Disney World Resort since 2018, and at a little over three feet tall from hoof to shoulder, weighs just under 100 pounds. He could eventually grow to between five and six feet tall and up to 650 pounds!
BOO! Isn’t this the cutest “ghost of the forest” you’ve ever seen? 👻 Meet Beni, an okapi calf born this summer at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. He’s currently backstage where he’s perfecting his wobbly walk & following in mom Olivia’s “hoof”steps: https://t.co/wrazEjYyW9 pic.twitter.com/KenADpz0AE— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) October 15, 2022
…Disney Parks Blog saluted Miguel Arribas this week as part of honoring of all the talented Hispanic cast members and beyond. Arribas has devoted more than 50 years of his life to creating Disney-themed collectibles as a glass artist at Arribas Brothers stores across Walt Disney World Resort since opening year. Originally from Montevideo, Uruguay, Arribas is one of the longest-serving team members at the Walt Disney World Arribas Brothers locations. Walt Disney World Resort, and especially Disney Springs, is now celebrating Hispanic and Latin American Heritage Month.
Miguel Arribas has devoted more than 50 years of his life to glassblowing at Arribas Brothers stores across @WaltDisneyWorld! 💎✨ We’re happy to showcase Arribas’ unique talent and career during Hispanic and Latin American Heritage Month: https://t.co/IDpZRIJ8yY pic.twitter.com/otEKblb3it— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) October 15, 2022
…Looking ahead to Thanksgiving, Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Disney Springs will be serving up its special Thanksgiving dinner all day—11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Guests who prefer to order lunch or dinner from the restaurant's all-day menu are also welcome to do so; Raglan's plant-based Shepherd’s Pie (This Shepherd Went Vegan) is a popular vegan option too. Live Irish music and dance begins at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and continues through pub close.
Considering Thanksgiving dining at Raglan Road? Reservations recommended: RaglanRoad.com.
…REMINDER: Give Kids The World'S popular "Night of a Million Lights," 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. Tickets are on sale now at gktw.org/lights/.
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.
…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: 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).
…Beyond the parks, Disney Princess – The Concert begins touring the U.S.A. next week. An all-star quartet of Broadway and animated film icons celebrate all the Disney Princesses and Frozen Queens in an unforgettable evening of songs, animation, and stories, alongside their magical Music Director and enchanting Prince. The tour visits Hattiesburg, MS, Little Rock, AR, Baton Rouge, LA, Macon, GA, Sarasota, FL, Jacksonville, FL, Huntsville, AL, Pensacola, FL, Miami, FL, Melbourne, FL, Evans, GA, Savannah, GA, Richmond, VA, Wallingford, CT, Reading, PA, Brookville, NY, Baltimore, MD, Red Bank, NJ, Pittsburgh, PA, Athens, OH, Branson, MO, Sioux City, IA, Kansas City, MO, Columbus, OH, Louisville, KY, Oshkosh, WI, Milwaukee, WI, and St. Louis, MO. More information and tickets are available at DisneyPrincessConcert.com.
Disney Princess-The Concert tours the U.S.A. during the rest of 2022. Image courtesy Disney.
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.
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