Walt Disney World Resort Update for July 11, 2023

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for July 11, 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

I hope you had a safe and enjoyable Independence Day celebration last week. Since the Fourth of July fell on our usual Tuesday publication slot, and since there was no significant news from Walt Disney World Resort while Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix and Todd Pickering were busy sharing information on our channels about Disneyland Resort and the debut of the limited run of Rogers: The Musical at Disney California Adventure, I decided to skip publishing the Update last week.

My MousePlanet colleague and friend Gregg Jacobs made a brief return to the U.S.A. just before the Independence Day holiday, and it gave me the rare good excuse to ignore the excessive heat, humidity, and thunderstorm threats that have set in here in Central Florida to head over to Disney's Hollywood Studios the day after I got back from my visit to Chicagoland to catch up with him. While we had planned to stick around the park until park closing to give Gregg the opportunity to catch his first viewing of the recently refreshed Fantasmic!, an oncoming thunderstorm convinced us to abandon the park not long before the lightning and downpours arrived and canceled the evening's show.

By the way, if you want to see the sights of Prague and a bunch of other places in the Czech Republic and Europe, be sure to check out Gregg's Instagram feed. He is certainly trying to make the most of his time living overseas.

Back here, though, thanks to catching up with Gregg, I finally have some new views from around Disney's Hollywood Studios to share. My goal in the coming days and weeks is to try to ignore the heat and humidity a few more times (and to dodge the daily thunderstorms) and get over to the parks a bit more than I have lately. Reports from friends that have been in the parks is that the post-pandemic attendance surge seems finally to be fading, and I hope to experience that firsthand. Have I mentioned it's been really hot already this summer? This is my ninth summer as a resident, and I don't remember it feeling this oppressive this consistently to this point in July (rather than feeling this way around Labor Day).

2023 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival Starts July 27

With just over two weeks left until the start of the 2023 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, Disney has shared a few more details about what to expect in this year's edition of the one festival devoted to food and beverage right in the title. Starting July 27 and running through November 18, 2023, and presented, this year, by beverage holder maker CORKCICLE (which, probably not coincidentally, now has its first ever kiosk over at Disney Springs near Paddlefish), Food & Wine Festival will feature "nearly 30" Global Marketplaces this year (a/k/a food and beverage kiosks) featuring "flavors, ingredients and signature delights from various countries around the world."

Corcksicle kiosk
CORKCICLE now has its own retail kiosk at Disney Springs. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The returning Brew-Wing Lab at the Odyssey building will have some sort of tie-in with Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant, Beaker, from Muppet Labs. Disney teased it with a video, and folks are speculating on whether this means the return of the Muppets Mobile Lab or just theming in the building along with the menu that Disney Parks Blog says will allow guests, "a chance to sample some of their kooky concoctions like the Unnecessarily Spicy, Yet Extremely Tasty Scotch Bonnet Pepper-Curry Wings, or the Pickle Milkshake."

In the Fall, as part of EPCOT's Disney100 celebration, four new Global Marketplaces will join the Festival lineup this year: Char & Chop, Wine & Wedge, Bubbles & Brine and Swirled Showcase. Disney Parks Blog has already posted the full menus for this year's Festival (not surprisingly, the post does not include this year's pricing).

Emile's Fromage Montage also returns for this year's Festival. Purchase five of the "cheesy goodies" from specified Global Marketplaces, collect stamps for your purchases in a Festival Passport during the run of the Festival, and then head over to Simmering sips for the redemption prize.

As for merchandise options, the first look Disney Parks Blog posted this past Friday highlights a stylized Chef Mickey Mouse and Chef Minnie Mouse "picnic" on many pieces from apparel to bags and CORKCICLE beverage holders, and a stylized Spaceship Earth design on others. Disney previously shared details of the return of the traditional scavenger hunt (purchase the map and find Remy around the park), plus a brief Halloween-themed scavenger hunt later this fall.

Of course, the Eat to the Beat Concert Series returns three times nightly to the America Gardens Theatre. Visit TasteEPCOT.com for the full updated list of scheduled performers (and, yes, they sometimes change even at the last minute). The more famous/national touring acts tend to perform on weekends (or extended weekends, Fridays through Mondays), and local performers take the stage on the other weeknights. Dining packages including guaranteed concert seating are available for performances on Fridays through Mondays—check this page of the TasteEPCOT section of DisneyWorld.com for all the relevant details and links to reservations.

Views Around the World

As I mentioned in the Writer's Note, I finally have some new views to share from Disney's Hollywood Studios from just before Independence Day. But before I get to that, let's start with the unique military flyover at Magic Kingdom done in celebration of Independence Day. Disney only announced the flyover would happen in a post to the community the day before, so I decided to watch from my neighborhood, as it is very well-positioned to see the military flyovers when they happen.

U.S. Airforce
As has been true of past military flyovers, planes made two passes over the Castle and Main Street U.S.A. The U.S. Air Force's first flyover this time included the refueling tanker, and the second one did not. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Two things caught my camera's attention at Disney's Hollywood Studios: the seemingly increased number of character photo opportunities, and the pop-up Indiana Jones: Den of Destiny bar that I first learned about at an invited media event last month and reported on in the Walt Disney World Resort Update for June 13, 2023.

Pixar Plaza was once again open and bustling with characters from "The Incredibles," including Frozone who moved around the area, rather than having a fixed meeting location.

Sully, from "Monster's, Inc," had an outdoor (unshaded) area for meeting and greeting guests that waited in a queue for photo opportunities in Pixar Plaza.

With the recent opening of the live-action version of "The Little Mermaid," Walt Disney Presents has an opportunity to meet the "Live-Action" Ariel for a limited time.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

After the invited media event last month (noted above) celebrating the release of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, I shared the details of the pop up bar at Disney's Hollywood Studios named the "Indiana Jones: Den of Destiny" which is scheduled to be open until August 15. The venue, located adjacent to the exit to the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular closest to the 50's Prime Time Cafe in the Echo Lake neighborhood features beverages inspired by the film franchise along with some props, artifacts, and other decor from and/or inspired by the movies.


The invited media event last month introduced some of the beverages offered at the Indiana Jones: Den of Destiny pop up bar. File Composite Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

This building located near the exit to the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular has previously been a merchandise location and check-in for the Jedi Training Academy (program that has not resumed post-pandemic). The Den of Destiny is scheduled to operate until August 15.

The pop-up bar's menu is displayed above the bar, with Indiana Jones-inspired decor throughout the building.

The building also includes photo opportunities and props inspired by the new film.

Additional Indiana Jones mementos, props, and costume pieces are on display in the building as well.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

In the past couple of weeks, I have been over to Disney Springs a few times as well. There are a number of "new to me" sights that I thought worthy of sharing.

The recently released Disney-Pixar film "Elemental" has a three-dimensional promotional display in one of the planter boxes near T-Rex restaurant in the Marketplace neighborhood.

The Trend-D shop closed for a few days of interior remodeling. It reopened with a less-cluttered floor plan and a new lighter paint scheme.

Next door in the Marketplace Co-Op, above the cash register at The Vault shop, there is a fairly new tribute to Pleasure Island and its clubs.

One of the shops inside the Co-Op (that recently featured National Geographic merchandise) now features merchandise from Tommy Hilfiger's Disney collection.

Stitch (a/k/a Experiment 626) was celebrated on 6/26 around Disney Parks, and, as June was also Pride Month, it was not surprising that there was a Pride Collection Stitch available at several stores around Disney Springs (plus, apart from Pride's use of the rainbow motif, Stitch's adopted home of Hawaii also celebrates rainbows as part of the island's culture and marketing).

In the Food Truck Park, a display promotes the Typhoon Lagoon H20 Glow After Hours Events, and, later in the day, a DJ was set up here for a dance party.

Having bought a balcony ticket to a screening of "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" in the AMC Dolby Theater, I had an opportunity to look out the upper floor windows of the AMC Dine In Theaters at the on-going construction at Summer House on the Lake restaurant which is expected to open later this year..

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

This & That & Reminders…

…My Disney Experience shows The Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom closed for "routine refurbishment" from August 7–9. With the new Disney Haunted Mansion film opening in U.S. theaters on July 28, and the first Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party running the night of August 11, rampant speculation is that the previously announced addition of the "Hatbox Ghost" could finally be happening. If there are already 999 happy haunts, will this addition mean there's no longer room for a volunteer or will an existing ghost get evicted? Hmmmm? And consider this dismaying observation, this sentence has no windows or doors, and I can't find a way out of writing that. Ha ha ha!

…The V.I.Passholder days of June concluded, but July brings Passholders distribution of a trio of past Passholder Magnets, a discount on the Spike the Bee sipper at Disney's Animal Kingdom, and discounts at D-Luxe Burger at Disney Springs. From July 17–30, Passholders can get one set of three previously distributed magnets at Chester & Hester’s Dinosaur Treasures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom from park open until close (Pass and photo I.D. required, and it does not seem to be relevant whether the Passholder had previously received any of the three previously distributed magnets in their prior distributions).

The Spike the Bee sipper that previously was available at the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival is now available at Disney's Animal Kingdom with beverages at Harambe Market (Watermelon Lemonade); Terra Treats (The Loggerhead); The Feeding Ground (Coca-Cola Fountain Beverages); Restaurantosaurus (Wildberry Lemonade); and Trilo-Bites (Coca-Cola Fountain Beverages). Passholders showing proof of a valid pass in their My Disney Experience app and a photo I.D.) can get a discount off the sipper (but not the beverages) through July 30.

Through August 13, 2023, Passholders can get 20% off regularly priced food and non-alcoholic beverages at D-Luxe Burger at Disney Springs for themselves and up to 3 guests with proof of a valid pass in their My Disney Experience app and a photo I.D.

…The Culinary Series that is part of the Flavors of Florida event underway at Disney Springs next features a demonstration by The Polite Pig on July 14. The event is free, but registration is required at disneysprings.com/cullinaryseries. We shared more details about the Flavors of Florida event which runs through August 13 in our Walt Disney World Resort Update for June 27, 2023 following its kickoff invited media event.

…In addition to Flavors of Florida, The Edison at Disney Springs continues its July Mixology Sunset Dinner Series with an elevated three-course menu and craft cocktail pairings on July 20 & 27, 5:30 p.m. & 8 p.m. Information and tickets are available at TheEdisonFLA.com.

…REMINDER: Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic details and registration for the 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 Animal Kingdom – August 2. General registration is July 19 (early registration has closed).
  • Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park – August 23. General registration is August 9 (early registration has closed).
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios – September 13. General registration is August 31 (early registration has closed).

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: The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic has announced the line-up of interactive food and beverage seminars taking place during this year’s event, Friday, November 10 and Saturday, November 11, 2023. During the educational seminars, guests can expand their knowledge of wine, beer, spirits, or pasta-making through hands-on learning experiences led by the resort’s award-winning food and beverage team. Updates for this year’s seminars include Craft Cocktails offered both Friday and Saturday and Wine Blending adding a bottling component in which guests will leave with their own bottled custom Meritage blend to take home. The 2023 seminar line-up includes:

  • Craft Cocktails – Friday and Saturday
  • Wine Blending – Friday and Saturday
  • Pasta Making – Friday
  • It’s Better to Wine in Italian (Italian Wines) – Friday
  • Base to Bubbles (Champagne) – Friday
  • Beer, Please! – Saturday

The seminars will take place prior to the outdoor festival. It’s Better to Wine in Italian and Beer, Please! seminar tickets are $75 per person, excluding tax. Base to Bubbles, Wine Blending, and Craft Cocktails seminars are $85 per person, excluding tax. Pasta Making seminar tickets are $110 per person, excluding tax. All seminars require separate tickets and space is limited. Specific dates and times of each seminar are available at foodandwineclassic.com. The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic offers guests unlimited tastings at creatively spaced, outdoor stations featuring culinary and beverage selections from the hotel’s award-winning restaurants amidst a festive backdrop of live entertainment on the hotel’s scenic causeway. The event runs from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on November 10–11, 2023. For more information, visit swandolphinfoodandwineclassic.com.

NEW DISCOUNT OPPORTUNITY The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels are now offering Walt Disney World Annual Passholders and Florida residents the opportunity to save up to 30 percent off regular rates on hotel stays this summer. Visit swandolphin.com/offers/ for more information or to book.

…REMINDER: Give Kids the World Village, the non-profit resort that provides week long, no cost Central Florida vacations to critically ill children and their families, will host "An Evening with Pat Sajak," the television personality (and regular Candlelight Processional narrator) who just announced his retirement at the conclusion of his 41st season as host of TV's "Wheel of Fortune." The event will be Saturday, August 12, 5:30 to 9 p.m., at Give Kids The World Village 210 South Bass Road Kissimmee, FL 34746. Parking is free. Tickets start at $34.99 (with a VIP experience also available) at this EventBrite page. Ticket proceeds benefit Give Kids The World Village.

The Village's speaker series continues on August 26 with an evening with Linda Larkin and Jonathan Freeman, the voices of Princess Jasmine and Jafar from the classic Disney animated film Aladdin. Tickets start at $59.99 (with a VIP experience also available) and are available at this EventBrite page.

The Usual Writer's Note (Updated)

Face coverings remain optional across all of Walt Disney World Resort. Remember to check this page of DisneyWorld.com for the latest requirements. It remains unlikely that the State of Florida will impose new requirements. As always, 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 when purchasing undated tickets or usual an annual pass (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. Passholders are no longer required to make reservations to visit parks after 2 p.m. except for Magic Kingdom on Saturday and Sunday .

Speaking of Annual Passes, sales of new ones resumed back in April. All Passholders may continue to purchase renewals in all tiers, and, now may upgrade pass type before renewal by paying the difference in price. As Disney reserves the right to limit quantities of passes available, sales may pause at any time, so be sure to check https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/passes/ for the latest availability. Logging in to the site with existing MyDisneyExperience credentials can direct you to purchasing opportunities for Florida Residents and Disney Vacation Club Members if those details are already tied to your account.

Note Disney now has a "Courtesy" section included in 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.

Remember that it is Tropical Storm season for those of us near the Atlantic Ocean. Keep an eye on the weather alerts for the region you plan to visit, especially if that involves flying into Central Florida. Disney typically only closes the parks when a significant storm is tracking toward Walt Disney World Resort itself, but your airline may have other thoughts about the forecast. The usual Florida daily summer thunderstorms are now quite common, usually in the mid-afternoon, but they do not adhere to any fixed schedule. Severe weather can occur in Central Florida at anytime, even when the forecast says 0% chance of rain (and there are occasional times when there is a forecast 100% chance of rain and it does not rain in some places). When visiting, have a regular look at the weather forecasts, and be prepared for heat, humidity, and rain; have a plan if something severe pops up. If you are driving, be extra alert. And, did I mention it's very hot and muggy around here?

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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.

Summer ticket offers are available — Disney has a four day/park offer for all guests, and new 3- and 4-day offers for Florida Residents.

For All Guests — 4-Park Magic Ticket for $396 (plus tax)
The $99/day per park (plus tax) tickets are on sale. The 4-Park Magic Ticket includes one admission to each of the 4 Walt Disney World theme parks—Magic Kingdom park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios—for a total of 4 admissions, on 4 separate days. Limit one admission per theme park, and one theme park per day, theme park reservations are not required. Ticket is valid for theme park admission until September 29, 2023, except blockout dates from September 1 to September 4, 2023, but the ticket expires within 7 days of first use or on September 29, 2023, whichever occurs first. For full details, visit this page of DisneyWorld.com.

For Florida Residents — 4-Day Disney Summer Magic Ticket for $229/3-Day for $209 (plus tax)
The $58/day per park (plus tax) four day or $69.67/day per park (plus tax) three day tickets are on sale. Tickets are valid through September 29, 2023, subject to blockout dates:  September 1 to September 4, 2023. These tickets require theme park reservations for one theme park per day, but they do not need to be used on consecutive days, so long as they are used by September 29, 2023. For full details, including add-on options, visit this page of DisneyWorld.com.

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)

We are so looking forward to summer travel at Walt Disney World Resort this year. Summer brings longer park hours, nightly fireworks, exciting entertainment and a NEW special offer!

Walt Disney World Resort has released a 4-Day/4-Park ticket that allows guests to visit each theme park once this summer at an amazing price - roughly $150+ LESS than a regular 4-Day Base Ticket! We’re thrilled to let you know that we are selling that special ticket offer at an even lower price than Disney. No theme park reservations are required for these tickets, but there are two sets of blackout dates around the 4th of July and Labor Day.

Get a day at each Walt Disney World Resort Park for even less with huge savings on a 4-Park Magic Ticket from Get Away Today! Through September 29, you can spend a day at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and save big! No theme park reservations required; blackout dates September 1-4, 2023 apply. Save even more when you book your 4-Park Magic Ticket with Get Away Today. Buy your tickets now or call the travel experts at Get Away Today at 855-GET-AWAY (and tell them that MousePlanet sent you).

For those guests who want a more leisurely vacation, you will have more time to experience the Walt Disney World Resort with our 2 Days FREE Walt Disney World tickets! Get a full week of theme park admission for the price of a five day ticket. You can find those tickets here.

There are SO many reasons to visit Walt Disney World Resort this summer, including the return of Happily Ever After, a fan-favorite firework show and nighttime spectacular and the new TRON/Lightcycle at Magic Kingdom. The EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival runs now until July 5th. You can check out Get Away Today's favorite tips for enjoying the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, and, remember that the Food and Wine Festival kicks off July 27. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is celebrating welcoming guests for 25 years, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios is home to Fantasmic!, making it the perfect place for summer nights.

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  1. By wdwchuck

    Good to have you back Alan. I had to comment on your Florida weather comments. It is so true. Yesterday we didn't think it was going to rain at all and we got the best rain we have had in months. I wish I had gotten a job as a weather forecaster. You don't have to be accurate at all, just throw something out there and hope it sticks.
    Thanks again for your report.

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