Walt Disney World Resort Update for April 11, 2023

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for April 11, 2023

 Writer's Note, News & Views

Since last week's Resort Update, Walt Disney World Resort actually announced some news that you may want to act upon sooner rather than later if you're interested in getting an annual pass. New sales resume on April 20, 2023 for the Disney Incredi-Pass (all guests), Disney Sorcerer Pass (Florida residents and DVC members), and Disney Pirate Pass (Florida residents). In fact, if you're a Disney Vacation Club member eligible for DVC Membership Magic, you can purchase the DVC Disney Sorcerer Pass starting April 13, 2023. Pass sales will be online at https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/passes/. Disney notes, of course, that "The quantity of passes will be limited and passes, or a pass type, may become unavailable for purchase at any time." So as I said, you may want to act sooner rather than later if you want an annual pass.

Disney is also permitting existing passholders (including the Florida Resident Disney Pixie Dust Pass, which continues to be available) to renew into any available pass type during their renewal window (60 days before and 30 days after expiration). Beginning April 20, 2023, existing passholders will have the option to upgrade their annual pass into any available pass type outside of their renewal window online or in the My Disney Experience app. For those selecting an upgrade outside their renewal window, the difference in price must be paid in full at the time of the upgrade and the new pass will have the same expiration date as the original pass.

2023 Annual Pass types
All but the Incredi-Pass have block out dates; the less expensive the pass, the more blocked dates. Passholders still must make a park reservation for any day they wish to visit the parks, and how many reservations may be held simultaneously depends on which pass they hold. For Passholders staying in Walt Disney World Resort hotels, park reservations during the hotel stay do not count toward the maximum number of park reservations, and certain days Disney designates as "bonus" reservations do not count against the total. Screenshot from DisneyWorld.com.

Passholders still must make Disney Park Pass reservations for each day they wish to visit a Disney theme park. Starting April 18, however, passholders will not be required to make a reservation when visiting theme parks after 2 p.m. except on Saturdays and Sundays at Magic Kingdom, but the pass-applicable block out dates still apply. The usual fine print goes along with annual passes, all of which can be reviewed on DisneyWorld.com, starting with this page, but the bigger details are, as they have been:

An annual pass does not guarantee admission or entry into any park, experience, attraction or offering. Park reservations may not be available on select holidays in certain parks. Some pass benefits and features may not be available during periods of limited capacity. Also, park experiences and offerings may be modified and are subject to limited availability or even closure.

All passes exclude activities/events separately priced. Pass types, entitlements and prices subject to change without notice. Passes are nontransferable and nonrefundable.

All pass types include theme park parking, but things may change if new road tolls or hotel taxes are introduced due to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' response to the ongoing legal and political battles over the administration of the former Reedy Creek Improvement District. For now, there are no new government-imposed costs associated with a Disney park visit… but stay tuned.

I-Drive sign
Florida's governor has announced that he is exploring adding tolls to some of the internal roads of the former Reedy Creek Improvement District. At this early date, it is unclear where such tolls are being considered or where they would be collected. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Other than that, it has been another quiet week for news that may impact most guest visits to Walt Disney World Resort. As Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix covered in yesterday's Disneyland Resort Update, new destinations are coming to Star Tours in 2024, but little additional detail has been announced beyond that the content will be based upon new Star Wars shows and films that have not yet been released.

Spring Break Season continues, with Genie+ service again hitting $35/person just yesterday. Regards to those celebrating holidays this week and, to all, thanks for reading!

This & That & Reminders…

…Disney Parks will be celebrating Halfway to Halloween once again, starting on April 14 and going all the way through April 23. MousePlanet has been invited to a "shriek peek" on April 13, so keep an eye on our social media channels for details, and we'll share additional details in the next Update.

…While Central Florida is pretty much in its drought season, the old line goes "April showers bring May flowers," so Disney PhotoPass Service chose this week to highlight its offerings on rainy days, including Magic Shots available only when it is raining. And, just FYI, just because Central Florida is experiencing drought right now does not mean it doesn't rain from time to time, as it did most of the day yesterday! The real rainy season with daily thunderstorms is still a couple of months in the future.

…UPDATED REMINDER: April is Earth Month, and April 22 will be Disney's Animal Kingdom's 25th anniversary. DisneyWorld.com has a webpage devoted to Earth Day and the park's 25th Anniversary, but there are scant details of how the park will celebrate the milestone beyond some specialty merchandise. Disney Parks Blog has shared a Foodie Guide for the month.

…REMINDER: As noted above, beginning April 18, Walt Disney World Annual Passholders will be able to visit the theme parks after 2 p.m. without needing a park reservation, except on Saturdays and Sundays at Magic Kingdom Park. Pass blockout dates will continue to apply like they do today.

…REMINDER: Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic registration details for the six remaining events at Walt Disney World Resort have been posted on this page of the DVC website. Early Registration occurs once for each park hosting a Moonlight Magic Event, where DVC Members with Disney Resort hotel reservations falling on the day of an event may register for the event; General Registration takes place on specified dates for each event. The remaining complimentary but registration required after-hours events in the parks for members and their guests are:

  • Disney's Hollywood Studios – May 11, September 13
    Early Registration was April 4, 2023.
    – General Registration (pending availability) opens May 3 for the May 11 event, and August 31 for the September 13 event.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom – July 11, August 2
    – Early Registration will be on June 14, 2023. Resort reservations with party size finalized prior to 11:59 p.m. (Eastern) on June 11, 2023.
    – General Registration (pending availability) opens June 21 for the July 11 event, and July 19 for the August 2 event.
  • Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park – May 23, August 23
    – Early Registration will be on April 26, 2023. Resort reservations with party size finalized prior to 11:59 p.m. (Eastern) on April 23, 2023.
    – General Registration (pending availability) opens May 11 for the May 23 event, and August 9th for the August 23 event.

For "early registration," an eligible DVC member must have resort reservations at a Disney-owned-and-operated hotel at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida or at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort—with party size modifications finalized prior to the respective deadlines. Eligible DVC members are those who are eligible for member extras. Any eligible DVC member (regardless of hotel reservation status) may attempt to register for an event during "general registration" pending availability. Members can register up to a party size of five (including the member) or, when registering during the early registration period, up to the number of guests on the resort reservation finalized by the applicable deadline. Modifications to a hotel reservation's party size after the deadline will not change the party size for the event. Children under age 3 do not need to be registered for the event.

…FINAL REMINDER: On April 15 at noon, The Edison at Disney Springs will host its “Whiskey & Wonder” event, inviting guests to discover the smooth, bold and mysterious character of whiskey. The event will feature beverage demonstrations by The Edison’s team of expert mixologists and various whiskey tastings, accompanied by savory and sweet bites. Guests will enjoy pairings like Woodford Reserve julep with Woodford BBQ-glazed ribs, and Johnnie Walker scotch with smoked whiskey chocolate truffle. Tickets are available starting at $85. VIP tickets are $125 and include guaranteed seating, early admission at 11:30 a.m. and an exclusive bourbon tasting. Space is limited, so be sure to reserve now. Ages 21 and older only. To purchase tickets, visit this page of The Edison's website.

NEW Walt Disney World Golf offers Junior Golf Camps this summer for junior golfers, ages 7–17, that want to start learning to play golf, or to develop and improve their current golf skills. More information on its website here.

…REMINDER: The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic, returns Friday, November 10 and Saturday, November 11 in 2023. Tickets are now available at FoodandWineClassic.com, and include the street party festival with unlimited tastings of culinary selections from the hotel’s award-winning restaurants, including its newest restaurant, Rosa Mexicano, set to open this spring. The food-filled event also includes bottomless wine, beer, and beverage samplings from around the world, and also features live entertainment on the hotel’s causeway. The VIP Champagne & Dessert Party returns as well, offering fireworks views from the Walt Disney World Swan Reserve top floor event space, The Vue, paired with desserts and sparkling wine pairings. More details about the 2023 event will be released soon.

…FOLLOW-UP: As mentioned in our recent Updates, Give Kids the World Village, the non-profit resort that provides week-long Central Florida vacations to critically ill children and their families, has begun a new speaker series with ticket sales proceeds benefiting the Village. This past Friday and Saturday, Jason Surrell, Executive Creative Director for Universal Creative, hosted a discussion with retired Disney Imagineer Tony Baxter. When I learn about future speaker events, I will include them here, and you can learn more about the Village and its events which are open to the public at GKTW.org.

Journey Into Imagination
Jason Surrell, Executive Creative Director for Universal Creative, hosted a discussion with retired Disney Imagineer Tony Baxter this past Friday and Saturday at Give Kids the World Village. Saturday's topic was the creation of EPCOT's original Journey into Imagination. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

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.

Based on experience over the past three years, it is unlikely that the State of Florida will impose new requirements. Disney may impose more stringent requirements than the state, so, again, be sure to pay attention to updates to the policies around Walt Disney World Resort.

As has been true throughout the past several years, 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 most requirements have been relaxed or removed, 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).

Disney Park Pass reservations continue to be required for admission to Walt Disney World theme parks 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, as Disney reserves the right to do so at all the parks. After April 18, Passholders will not be required to make reservations to visit parks after 2 p.m. except for Magic Kingdom on Saturday and Sunday (and, it remains unclear how the rule change will impact park hopping).

Speaking of Annual Passes, sales of new ones are paused in all categories except the Florida Resident Pixie Dust Pass until April 20, 2023 (and April 13 for the DVC Member Sorcerer Pass). Current Passholders may continue to purchase renewals in all tiers, and, starting April 20, may upgrade pass type before renewal by paying the difference in price.

Disney added a "Courtesy" section to its "know before you go" webpage on DisneyWorld.com which states:

Be the magic you want to see in the world. You must always remember to treat others with respect, kindness and compassion. Those who can't live up to this simple wish may be asked to leave Walt Disney World Resort.

The usual Tropical Storm season is just ahead in May (and storms do not know how to read a calendar anyway). Daily summer thunderstorms probably will start popping by June or July, but, even before then, we have several in the forecast this week. When visiting Central Florida, have a regular look at the weather forecasts, and be prepared. If you are driving, be extra alert, and expect lots of traffic during Spring Break.

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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.

The Walt Disney World Resort website lists current offers, deals, and discounts on this page.

The 2023 Florida Resident Weekday Magic Ticket offer remains available through April 27, but is blocked out now through April 14 -- which means, in essence, it is available only April 17-21, and April 24-27. With this offer, Florida Residents can get Disney Weekday magic Tickets for 2 days of theme park admissions during any combination of those dates. There are 3 and 4 day discounted tickets available as well with those same date of use restrictions, but none of the tickets have to be used on consecutive days, but all days have to be used by April 27. Park reservations are required for all tickets. Park Hopper and/or Water Parks and Sports options available for additional fees.

Proof of residency is required for all Florida Resident ticket offers. Disney now allows that to be done online when purchasing tickets from DisneyWorld.com. More information about all the tickets and verification requirements is available on this page of DisneyWorld.com.

Florida Residents can still also save up to 20% on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels for stays most Sunday through Thursday nights most nights through April 30. The amount of discount varies by hotel and does not correspond to the usual Deluxe-Moderate-Value breakdown. For more information, details, and availability, visit this page of DisneyWorld.com.

Discounted stays are available on most nights from April 10 to July 10, 2023, of 10% to 25% depending on Disney Resort hotel selected for stays between 1 and 14 nights. Details and availability are available on this page of DisneyWorld.com. There are additional offers for Passholders (up to 35%), Florida Residents (up to 30%), and everyone else (up to 25%) now posted through September 28, 2023. Scroll through the full list on this page of DisneyWorld.com.

For those Passholders interested in the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser "Voyages," select dates from April 15 to June 28, 2023 are now available for up to 30% off too.

The official Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels have a bunch of special offers available with weekday rates starting at $120/night (plus tax). These "on-property" resorts enjoy many of the same perks (though not all of them) as the Disney owned-and-operated resort hotels, and offer complimentary transportation to and from the parks. For more information and rates, visit: disneyspringshotels.com. The family owned-and-operated Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando is now officially open in this category, and, as it reaches its targeted completion this Spring, it will feature 604 rooms including 78 two-room suites, in-room amenities including 55” smart flat screen televisions, mini refrigerators, microwaves, alarm clocks with Bluetooth and charging stations, executive work spaces, and in-room safes. The Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando is within walking distance to Disney Springs and will also offer 17,000+ square feet of meeting and event space for up to 250 people.

MousePlanet’s 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.

A Further Word From Our Sponsor (For full offer details and disclaimers, visit GetAwayToday.com)

Now you can get two days FREE at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort when you book with Get Away Today!

In addition to the Walt Disney World Resort offers below, if you are booking with Get Away Today at Universal Orlando Resort, buy 3 days and get 2 days free: Park-to-Park and Base tickets are included with this offer, and there are no blockout dates. Visit Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, or upgrade to a 3-Park ticket to experience Universal’s waterpark, Volcano Bay. You can find this offer and its details here at Get Away Today's website.


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