Walt Disney World Resort Update for October 25-31, 2022

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for October 25-31, 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

Since our last Walt Disney World Resort Update, Disney announced that Fantasmic! will return to Disney's Hollywood Studios starting Thursday, November 3. Previously, Disney more vaguely announced that the show would resume in November, having closed with the temporary closure of the Resort back in March 2020 and not having reopened previously during the Resort's phased reopening.

When the show reopens, it will include a new "heroes sequence" that Disney says, "features a high-energy Aladdin chase with stunts never before seen on the 'Fantasmic!' stage, a powerful scene with Elsa set to the song 'Show Yourself' that is sure to thaw the most frozen of hearts, and stirring moments with Pocahontas, Moana and Mulan." Reports are that the new version of the show will clock in around 29 minutes long, which is about three minutes longer than the prior version of the show.

There will be a cast preview of the show on the night of November 2, and MousePlanet has been invited to a media event as part of that. Beginning October 26, dining packages for select restaurants at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be available that will provide guaranteed seating for performances November 30 and beyond.

The other news of note this week are restaurant updates. Disney Parks Blog reports that starting November 1, Tusker House Restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom transitions to "all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet" style dining, with Donald Duck and some of his pals making appearances. Kona Cafe at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort reopens on November 1 with a refreshed experience featuring American cuisine with an "Asian flare" and the chefs once again work in the onstage sushi kitchen. Finally, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall reopens at EPCOT's Norway pavilion on November 4 with its "unique Storybook Dining featuring the Disney Princesses." Reservations are now open for all of these locations.

To those that celebrate, I hope you had a happy Diwali.

Have a happy and safe Halloween. As a neighbor of Walt Disney World Resort I can tell you that the Holiday Services team has already started staging the winter holiday decor backstage so that it is ready to be installed in Magic Kingdom which will be ready to celebrate Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party on select nights starting November 8. 

Views Around Disney's Animal Kingdom

This past Sunday was a beautiful day for a stroll around Disney's Animal Kingdom. Apparently, lots of other folks agreed, and the park was quite busy, with long posted standby times at attractions all afternoon--including a 75 minute wait posted at Kilimanjaro Safaris (which kept me from joining the queue).

Blue skies and lower humidity make strolling around the parks much easier at this time of year (but a well-chosen photo location can hide the crowd).

Red flowering trees on Discovery Island are one of the only few visible natural signs that it is fall at Disney's Animal Kingdom until the earlier sunsets.

Scrooge McDuck made appearances on a flotilla on Discovery River on Sunday. The character has not returned for meet and greets in DinoLand U.S.A., but Donald and Daisy Duck were both in their spots on Sunday.

Animal "enrichment" often features pumpkins at this time of year, as I spotted at Maharajah Jungle Trek.

Speaking of treks, if you head over to Conservation Station, be aware that its main entrance is now only for accessing the restrooms because most of the building is now used for the Animation Experience. To enter the building for that or for the exhibits and animal care rooms that are still visible through the windows, guests enter around the side of the building near the petting zoo area.

The lily pads and their flowers provided nice color to Discovery River along the walkway between Africa and Pandora-The World of Avatar.

With "Avatar: The Way of Water" expected to be released this December, it seemed like a good time to stroll through Pandora-The World of Avatar on Sunday. Expect additional merchandise offerings coming to the parks soon (especially since Disney now owns the film's studio distributor 20th Century Studios); if additional in-park offerings are coming, there are no obvious indications right now.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

This & That & Reminders…

ClickOrlando.com (the website for News 6-WKMG) reports that the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are performing two flyover displays above Magic Kingdom at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 27, 2022, (weather permitting) to kickoff National Veterans and Military Families Month. The Thunderbirds are also scheduled to perform this weekend at the Orlando Air & Space Show, October 29 and 30, at the Orlando Sanford International Airport.

…For those planning to attend one of this year's hard ticketed after hours Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party events at Magic Kingdom, you can now also book dinner packages and fireworks dessert parties held on the night you have tickets.

…The V.I.Passholder Perk providing 45-minute early entry into Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and complimentary towel rental to Annual Passholders with valid water park tickets on Thursdays and Sundays has been extended through and including October 30.

…The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin has released the menu for its annual fall Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic, taking place Friday, November 11 and Saturday, November 12, on the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin causeway and surrounding areas. The 2022 menu lineup includes new dishes, returning festival favorites from the resort’s award-winning food and beverage team and a first taste of the resort’s new upscale restaurant Rosa Mexicano, opening in 2023. You can download the menu as a PDF here. For the latest information about the event or to book event tickets, guests visit SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com or call 1-800-227-1500.

…Walt Disney World Resort is now accepting applications for the Disney College Program. Plenty of longtime Disney cast members got their starts amongst the ranks of the College Program, and which future favorite cast members might be considering applying as you read this? Maybe someone you know…

…While the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground is long-gone, Disney's got big cheese for you to pose with at Disney's Hollywood Studios courtesy of Bel Brands, a park sponsor. Sure, it's been around for awhile, but Disney Parks Blog paid tribute to "The Official Snack Cheese of Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort" this week as "news."

…REMINDER: 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.

Raglan Thanksgiving
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/. MousePlanet has been invited to a preview before the event opens to the public and we'll bring you more coverage ahead of the event's debut.

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.

…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).

…REMINDER: 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.

Princess Concert Tour
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.

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.