Walt Disney World Resort Update for July 25, 2023

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for July 25, 2023

 Writer's Note, News & Views

We're deep in to Central Florida's summer, and it's been so hot we've actually had a few heat advisories issued by the National Weather Service in recent days. As a Central Florida resident experiencing my tenth summer, I know that 90°-plus days are common at this time of year around here, but the heat advisories are not. In other words, it's been hotter around the Walt Disney World Resort area this summer than the recent past as far as I can tell.

I've seen all sorts of discussion online and in the mass media these past weeks about the downturn in attendance at the parks. I can't personally verify that emptier feeling some folks have been reporting from the parks because, honestly, it's been too hot and muggy for me to go to the parks as a recreational activity with as much regularity as I did in past summers. Whether or not that's a wider trend, or whether post-pandemic "revenge travel" to Florida has finally ended, or whether any other theories are responsible are all just conjecture. Then again, I've seen plenty of social media posts of large numbers of guests awaiting Magic Kingdom's gates opening on some mornings, so on any given day, attendance will vary.

Having said all that, the 2023 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival gets underway this Thursday, July 27. Disney has invited me to a preview on Wednesday and to return to the Festival on Thursday, so I'll be sharing the latest details on our social media channels later this week (limited, at least in part, by trying to keep myself and my phone from overheating when outdoors) with a recap in next week's update. At least one possible park-related impact of the ongoing actors strike is that the Bacon Brothers no longer appear on the Eat to the Beat Concert Series schedule this fall—Kevin Bacon, obviously an actor (as well as a singer), and EPCOT, obviously a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, which owns one of the major motion picture studios being struck by SAG-AFTRA.

And, though it's the height of summer, we're just over two weeks from the start of Walt Disney World's celebration of Halloween. Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party hard-ticket events getting underway on select nights starting August 11 and running through November 1. Tickets run $109 to $199 for adults (before tax), varying by night, with $10/ticket discounts available for children 3–9, and $10 per-ticket discounts available on some nights for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members. Tickets can be purchased in the My Disney Experience app which, when logged in with credentials as a Passholder and/or DVC member will reflect available discounts. As of publication, Halloween itself, October 31, is the only date sold out. And as of right now, I have not chosen to purchase a ticket for any of the scheduled event nights and haven't been invited to attend.

Ahead of the start of Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Disney Parks Blog has published its Foodie Guide for the event, which includes both treats available to purchase exclusively during event nights and those available to purchase during regular park operating hours as well. Commenters have noted both on Disney Parks Blog and elsewhere on social media that the Halloween treats do not appear to include any specifically identified plant-based options this year.

This & That & Reminders…

…Disney H2O Glow After Hours events are now underway on select nights through September 2 at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon.

…REMINDER: Jaleo Disney Springs has extended Flamenco Fridays throughout July, featuring live performances from talented flamenco dancers during dinner service. Beginning at 7:30 p.m. every Friday, guests can enjoy Spanish tapas and shareable pans of paella, while watching the art form unique to the Southern regions of Spain. Reservations are recommended.

…Did you know that August is National Sandwich Month? Several of the eateries at Disney Springs have provided us their lists of ways you can celebrate, including the most obvious: The Earl of Sandwich (which I do enjoy visiting no matter the month). Want more than breadcrumbs? Let me know in the comments on this Update or on Social Media and I'll provide those lists!

…REMINDER: My Disney Experience shows The Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom closed for "routine refurbishment" from August 7–9. While the new Disney Haunted Mansion film opens in U.S. theaters on July 28, and the first Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party runs the night of August 11, the rumored near-term installation of the "Hatbox Ghost" in the Mansion turned out to be premature. While back at Expo 2022 Disney announced it is coming to the attraction at Magic Kingdom (and Disneyland has had a version for quite some years), Orlando Sentinel's Dewayne Bevil reported this week that Disney says not yet.

…REMINDER: 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.

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

…The Edison's neighboring fellow Patina Restaurant Group venues Maria and Enzo’s and Enzo’s Hideaway at Disney Springs are offering up a selection of new, signature cocktails through the end of September that "feature notes of citrus and summertime bliss and perfectly accompany the restaurants’ traditional Italian cuisine."

…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 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.

If you missed MousePlanet's Twitter feed this week, the queue system for Moonlight Magic Registration clearly was not functioning properly for the most recent General Member Registration for Disney's Animal Kingdom Moonlight Magic Event. The system showed the Event Reached Capacity message and then later allowed Members to register; at first I was unsuccessful at registering for the August 2 event, and then I was successful. The lesson: be persistent!


…Speaking of DVC, yesterday, Disney Parks Blog posted a Cast Life profile on DVC Guide Andrea Malone who is based at Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii, and happens to be the DVC Guide assigned to me as a Member (notwithstanding that I do not own any DVC points at Aulani, and had never been to Aulani before Andrea was assigned to me). In the profile, Andrea said: "It’s my goal to treat our guests like ‘ohana. And, it doesn’t hurt that I get to make magic in paradise." I have met and chatted with Andrea on several of my Aulani vacations and can confirm that she meets that goal and that, indeed, the Hawaiian islands (and, Aulani especially) are paradise.

…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.

Ahead of the Food and Wine Classic, 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.

…REMINDER: Applications and nominations for the 2024 Disney Dreamers Academy are open through October. Students looking to achieve their dreams can apply and, for the first time this year, be nominated for the program at DisneyDreamersAcademy.com. A panel of judges will select 100 students from the thousands of nationwide applicants to participate in the once-in-a-lifetime mentoring program designed to assist young people in identifying and pursuing their dreams. The selected students, along with a parent or guardian, will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World to participate in the program, including career-oriented workshops, leadership seminars and presentations by celebrity guests, community leaders, educators and Disney executives. Over the years, Disney Dreamers Academy has inspired more than 1,500 students from across the country. Each year, graduates have gone on to become doctors, engineers, performing artists, entrepreneurs, Disney Cast Members and more, and some have transitioned into mentors to the Disney Dreamers who followed them.

…Disney Cruise Line has revealed that Captain Hook and Peter Pan will decorate the stern of Disney Treasure when it sets sail next year.

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 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.

It is Tropical Storm season for those of us near the Atlantic Ocean. The National Hurricane Center, as of yesterday, gives one of the systems it is tracking a 20% chance to form into a tropical system in the next seven days; if it gains enough strength to become a named storm, it could become Tropical Storm Emily and it could impact Florida. Of course, in seven days, lots can change in the forecast over seven days, as tropical storm forecasting is far from an exact science, especially that many days out. As always, 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, they often occur in mid-afternoon, but this summer is already illustrating the axiom that 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). Have yourself a regular look at the weather forecasts, and be prepared for heat, humidity, and rain; and have a plan for taking cover for when something severe pops up. If you are driving, be extra alert. I've said it before, I'll say it again: it's very hot and muggy around here this summer!

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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

    Thanks again Alan.
    That sandwich on the front page of the website looks AWESOME! Might even be worth the drive to get one of those. Mmmmmm.
    Anyways, what struck me on this update is how much Halloween has grown in our cultural mindset over the decades. It seems it used to be just an October thing certainly not a June or July early warning thing.
    It has never been my favorite holiday and I consider it the anti Christmas now.
    Looking forward to the Christmas stuff starting in August now?

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