Walt Disney World Resort Update for April 25, 2023

by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for April 25, 2023

You can view a larger version of the individual photos included in the Update by clicking on the photo; the photo will open in a separate tab without a caption. For the Instagram, Facebook or Twitter posts embedded in the Update, you can click them and view images or videos on the respective sites too.

 Writer's Note, News & Views

While Alan Dalinka has some fun commitments that keep him away from the keyboard for a couple of weekly Walt Disney World Resort Updates, I'm here to keep you up to date from my desk on the other coast. I'm deliberately leaving out discussion of the ongoing Disney vs. DeSantis drama because I haven't been following it as closely as has Alan, and I don't want to further muddy the already convoluted situation. I'm personally looking forward to reading Alan's take on the latest developments when he returns to the keyboard.

Dates and Details for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Wrapping up Disney Parks' celebration of Halfway to Halloween last week, Walt Disney World announced that Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park returns on select nights August 11 to November 1, 2023.

The fan-favorite, after-hours, hard-ticket event returns complete with its usual array of "spellbinding entertainment," including Mickey's Boo-To-You Halloween Parade, Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular fireworks show, and the fan-favorite Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular on the Cinderalla Castle stage. The party officially runs from 7:00 p.m. to midnight each night, but event guests can enter the Magic Kingdom as early as 4:00 p.m. to get a head start on the party.

Disney has also confirmed that TRON Lightcycle / Run will be open during the after-hours event, and will use a virtual queue. Details will be released at a later date about how exactly that queue will work during the events.

The event dates are:

  • August: 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29
  • September: 1, 4, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29
  • October: 1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 29, 31
  • November: 1

Ticket prices range from $109 for most of August, to $199 on Halloween night, with tickets for children age 3–9 priced at $10 less. Disney Vacation Club members and Walt Disney World annual passholders also receive a $10 per ticket discount on select event nights.

We've detailed the dates and prices in the calendar below for your reference and planning.

Guests of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels, as well as those staying at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels and Shades of Green can purchase tickets starting April 27. Tickets go on sale to the general public starting starting May 2.

The following table shows the event dates, as well as ticket prices for both adults and children ages 3 to 9:

Su M Tu W Th F Sa
          August 11 12

$149 (ages 3–9 

13 14 15 16 17 18 19

$109 ($99)


$109 ($99)

20 21 22 23 24 25 26

$109 ($99)


$109 ($99)

27 28 29 30 31 September 1 2

$109 ($99)


$119 ($109)

3 4 5 6 7 8 9

$119 ($109)


$119 ($109)

10 11 12 13 14 15 16

$119 ($109)


$119 ($109)


$119 ($109)

17 18 19 20 21 22 23

$119 ($109)


$149 ($139)


$149 ($139)

24 25 26 27 28 29 30

$149 ($139)


$149 ($139)


$149 ($139)

$149 ($139)

October 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

$149 ($139)


$169 ($159)


$169 ($159)

$189 ($179)

8 9 10 11 12 13 14

$169 ($159)

$169 ($159)


$169 ($159)

$189 ($179)

15 16 17 18 19 20 21

$169 ($159)


$169 ($159)


$169 ($159)

$189 ($179)

22 23 24 25 26 27 28

$169 ($159)


$169 ($159)


$169 ($159)

$189 ($179)

29 30 31 November 1      

$199 ($189)


$199 ($189)

$199 ($189)



Animal Kingdom celebrates Earth Day Anniversary

Disney's Animal Kingdom celebrated its 25th anniversary on Earth Day 2023. As part of the anniversary festivities, cast members unearthed a time capsule that had been buried on opening day. Inside were floppy discs with photos of the park, training videos for new cast members, and a selection of opening-day souvenirs and merchandise.

Also tied to the anniversary was the debut of a new character meet-and-greet with Moana on Discovery Island. The new location, near Dinoland U.S.A., is potentially significant as that area was mentioned by Josh D'Amaro during the 2022 D23 Expo as a possible site for development of new adventures and experiences based on Moana and/or Zootopia. Disney announced earlier this month that a live-action remake of Moana is in the works, with Dwayne Johnson already committed to reprise his role as Maui.

Finally, a new Pumbaa popcorn bucket was released at Animal Kingdom this week. The $22 bucket is supposed to be available at Trek Snacks and popcorn carts throughout the park, but it seems to be selling quite quickly.

@disneyparks Soooo who’s gonna help us access those floppy things? 💾 #Disney #DisneyParks #DisneyWorld #AnimalKingdom #EarthDay #TimeCapsule ♬ original sound - Disney Parks

A post shared by Disney Eats (@disneyeats)

The Cabins at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort to become newest Disney Vacation Club resort

The Disney Vacation Club announced plans to update the aging cabins at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort with more than 350 new cabins, creating the 17th DVC resort in the company's portfolio. This project is part of a large refurbishment of Fort Wilderness, which may include "proposed pool and walking trail enhancements as well as new expanded dining experiences at Trail’s End Restaurant and Crockett’s Tavern."

Disney plans to convert The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort into a Disney Vacation Club Resort. Photo courtesy Disney.

Disney says The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – A Disney Vacation Club Resort will "elevate the cabin experience for our Members and all guests to enjoy for years to come." The new cabins will be built on the footprint of the existing cabins, and offer accommodations for up to six adults. The current cabins have one bedroom with a queen bed and bunk beds, a living room with pull-out sleeper sofa, one bathroom, a kitchen, dining area and private patio. A few cabins will even be dog-friendly, a feature hard to find in vacation travel.

The new cabins are slated to be open in 2024. As with all Disney Vacation Club properties, specifics about point requirements, on-sale dates and reservations will all come at a later date.

Disney's Fort Wilderness is a world of its own, that many Walt Disney World visitors may only glimpse by bus on their way to dinner at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. The 750-acre property offers both cabins and campsites, and is a popular destination for RVers. Many visitors decorate their cabins and campsites during their stay. Guests can rent golf carts or bring their own, and the annual holiday golf cart parade on Christmas Eve is a popular tradition.

Disney puts a temporary halt on fire effects following Disneyland blaze

The fiery finale of Disneyland's Fantasmic show was more realistic than expected on Saturday, as the show's 45-foot-tall Maleficent dragon went up in flames. Disney says nobody was injured during the incident, which took place during the second performance of the night:

Maleficent still features in the Festival of Fantasy parade, but her fire is out for now. MousePlanet file photo.

"During the final showing of Fantasmic at Disneyland park on Saturday evening, the dragon prop caught fire. Anaheim Fire & Rescue quickly responded, and the fire was extinguished. All cast members were safely evacuated from Tom Sawyer Island. Due to smoke and wind, attractions near the island were safely evacuated of any guests, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation at this time. We are temporarily suspending fire effects similar to those used at Disneyland park's Fantasmic at select shows and entertainment experiences globally out of an abundance of caution following the Fantasmic prop fire at Disneyland park. The continued safety of our cast and guests is of the utmost importance."

While both Fantasmic and the Festival of Fantasy parade remain on Walt Disney World's entertainment schedule, the shows are being performed without fire effects until further notice.

Disney extends Galactic Starcruiser discount for annual passholders

Perhaps in an effort to market to the recently expanded pool of Walt Disney World annual passholders, Disney has extended the dates for a Galactic Starcruiser discount. The 30% discount was originally offered on select "voyages" departing through June 28, 2023, but last week Disney added a July 2, 2023 voyage. While the addition of one night doesn't seem noteworthy, it seems likely that Disney may add further dates as it looks to increase occupancy rates at the destination resort.

Kids ride free on the Sunshine Flyer

With Disney's free Magical Express service just a memory, Walt Disney World-bound travelers who arrive via Orlando International Airport must find a way to get themselves and their luggage to their hotel. Enter the Sunshine Flyer, which offers bus service on railway-themed motor coaches between MCO and the Walt Disney World resort.

The Sunshine Flyer last week launched a Kids Ride Free offer for trips made June 1 through August 31, 2023. Adult tickets are $15 each way. Use code KIDSFREE when you book your reservation through the Sunshine Flyer website.

Views Around EPCOT

Now that Annual Passholders no longer require reservations for park visits after 2 p.m. (except on Saturdays and Sundays at Magic Kingdom), our "Views Around" section in coming months ought to start to look more like it did back before the global pandemic. Before Alan's commitments kicked in, he took advantage of the relaxed reservation policy on its first day and made a last-minute decision to visit EPCOT from just before sunset until after the nightly presentation of EPCOT Forever fireworks.

EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival continues to bloom through July 5.

The monorail has no worries gliding over the Festival topiary on its grand circle tour.

The flower beds are blooming with plants that ought to endure the Central Florida weather transition toward summer.

Topiary Goofy stands tall in World Showcase Plaza and no longer has the giant ring behind it that was used as part of the nightly performances of Harmonious on the lagoon.

With Harmonious performances concluded on April 2, the ring used to present that show is now absent from this view from Japan pavilion looking back toward World Showcase Plaza. 

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

The golden statues celebrating Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary are still displayed throughout the parks.

Construction of CommuniCore Hall continues in the World Celebration section of the park (formerly the center of Future World).

CommuniCore Hall is expected to be completed later this year and will become the new Festival Center and home to Mickey & Friends meet and greets.

Some of the construction walls in the World Celebration neighborhood have been removed, allowing guests to walk along the west side of Spaceship Earth up to this new directional sign.

Though the center "ring" of Harmonious has been removed, the taco-shaped video barges were still in place as of last week. Some of the other barges on the lagoon are the fireworks launchers for EPCOT Forever presentations.

EPCOT Forever fireworks are shown nightly as they appeared immediately before the Fall 2021 introduction of Harmonious (that is to say without the kites). EPCOT Forever fireworks will be replaced by a new "permanent" show at an unspecified time later this year.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

The spot just to the left of the (currently unused) Friendship boat dock at Germany pavilion provides a complete view of EPCOT Forever fireworks and, when the schedules align, Magic Kingdom's Happily Ever After fireworks in the distance. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

This & That & Reminders …

…REMINDER: Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic registration details for the six remaining complimentary events at Walt Disney World Resort are 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.

For all of these DVC events, "eligible" member generally means that the member bought their points directly from Disney rather than a third party resale.

…REMINDER: EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival still has quite a long run ahead, all the way to July 5, but it's time to start planning for further into the Summer and Fall: EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival returns July 27 to November 18. This edition of the Festival will include 25 Global Marketplaces throughout EPCOT, with several returning such as The Fry Basket, Flavors from Fire, Canada, India and Spain, and new Global Marketplaces opening later during the festival. The Eat to the Beat Concert Series will return with a lineup that has not yet been announced. Also returning: Emile’s Fromage Montage (buy five cheese dishes, get stamps, get a treat at Shimmering Sips); and Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak (buy a map, find Remy, return completed map for prize). During the "Halloween season," there will also be a second scavenger hunt, Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit, September 29 through October 31.

…REMINDER: The folks at Maria and Enzo’s and Enzo’s Hideaway at Disney Springs want you to know about their floral and fruity new cocktail flavors for spring, available now through the end of June.

Maria & Enzo’s

  • Lotus – Casamigos Blanco Tequila, Prickly Pear, Lime, Orange Bitters ($19)
  • Tulip – Malfy Gin, Aperol, Guava, Prosecco, Orange Bitters, Thyme ($19)
  • Lavender – Titos Vodka, Combier d’Orange Liqueur, Lavender, Lemon Juice ($19)
  • Floral Flight – A 2 oz portion of the Lotus, Tulip, and Lavender cocktails ($25)
  • Mocktail: Lavender Mint Lemonade – House made mint lemonade with a hint of lavender ($13)

Enzo’s Hideaway

  • The Bee’s Knees – Bombay Gin, Honey, Lemon Juice, Fee Foam, Bee Pollen ($20)
  • Smoked Pistachio Tequila Sour – Casamigos Blanco Tequila, Pistachio Syrup, Lime Juice, Orange Bitters, Salt ($20)
  • Passionfruit Smash – Absolut Vodka, Aperol, Pineapple Juice, Lime Juice, Simple Syrup, Passionfruit Syrup ($20)
  • Primavera Flight – A 2 oz portion of The Bee’s Knees, Smoked Pistachio Tequila Sour, and Passionfruit Smash ($30)

…REMINDER: Beyond Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Concerts announced “Encanto: The Sing-Along Film Concert,” a 45-city tour where Encanto lovers of all ages have the opportunity to sing along with their favorite Grammy Award-winning songs performed by a live band while watching the full film. The events include all the music of the film, including iconic hits like “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” and “Surface Pressure” performed live, but live characters do not appear. The tour kicks off September 19 in Joliet, Illinois, and travels throughout the U.S.A. and Canada, concluding November 12 in Orlando. Tickets for most dates go on sale on Friday, April 21 at 10 a.m. local time. Fans are encouraged to dress up as Mirabel, Luisa, Isabela, or any of their favorite characters from the film and to use their voices to transform each venue into one big celebration of the Madrigal family.

Alan's 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. Starting today, April 18, Passholders are not required to make reservations to visit parks after 2 p.m. except for Magic Kingdom on Saturday and Sunday (it remains unclear how the rule change will impact park-hopping).

Speaking of annual passes, sales of all categories resumed last Thursday, April 20, 2023 (and April 13 for the DVC Member Sorcerer Pass). Current passholders may continue to purchase renewals in all tiers, and, since April 20, may upgrade pass type before renewal by paying the difference in price. Remember, of course, Disney may again pause sales at any time.

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 don't know how to read a calendar, anyway). Daily summer thunderstorms probably will start popping by June or July, but, even before then, we have had several in recent days, with more in the forecast. 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.

Join Our Networks

Follow MousePlanet on Facebook:

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: it is available for park visits April 18–21, and April 24–27 only. With this offer, Florida residents can get weekday 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. Although none of the tickets have to be used on consecutive days, all days have to be used by April 27. Park reservations are required for all tickets. Park Hopper, Park Hopper Plus, and Water Parks and Sports options are 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 through 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-plus 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.

Get Away Today Logo

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.


Get Away Today Logo

floating icons

Get 2 Extra Days FREE
at the Walt Disney World® Resort

There is SO much to do at the Walt Disney World® Resort, you’ll want as much time to experience as much as you can! With four theme parks, two water parks, over 20 themed resort hotels, the Disney Springs® shopping, dining and entertainment district, and so much more – there are endless opportunities for magic.

For a limited time, when you buy a 5-Day Walt Disney World® Resort ticket, you’ll get two extra days FREE for a full seven days of fun – exclusively from Get Away Today!

Why travel with Get Away Today?

  • One-stop shop - Exclusive pricing, amenities and more!

  • Verified Theme Park Partner

  • Travel Expert Support - 100% free to use our services

  • 365-Day Refundable Unused or Unmodified Tickets

  • Over 33 years of experience

floating icons
floating icons
Universal Orlando Ticket Offer



  1. By wdwchuck

    Thanks Adrienne!!

  2. Discuss this article on MousePad.