Walt Disney World Resort Update for May 10-16, 2022 by Alan S. Dalinka

Walt Disney World Resort Update for May 10-16, 2022

You can view a larger version of each of the photos included in the Update by clicking on the photo. Each photo will open in a separate tab without a caption.

 Writer’s Note, News & Views

Back on October 1, Walt Disney World Resort kicked off its 18-month “World’s Most Magical Celebration” of the Resort’s 50th Anniversary. With six months of that celebration completed, Disney held an invited media event last week focused on the upcoming May 27 opening of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind attraction at EPCOT and the ongoing 50th Anniversary celebration.

Josh D'Amaro
Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, took the stage set up in front of the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind attraction to thank the media and invited guests for attending the special event at the Resort. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

As promised last week, I gave my first spoiler-free impressions of the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind attraction on our MousePlanet Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter channels on May 5, during the media event. As I did on social media, I will keep my comments about the new attraction largely spoiler-free in this Update. In total, I rode the new coaster five times during the media preview—spread out across nearly 12 hours. My experience was much like the earlier preview buzz I had heard: it’s a very smooth ride that can cause some dizziness for spinning-sensitive riders.


I posted my spoiler-free first impression of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind on MousePlanet Social Media Channels within minutes of exiting the attraction on Thursday morning, May 5, 2022. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

In the past, I haven’t been prone to dizziness or motion sickness on any theme park attraction I’ve ever been on (although I’ve never liked the physical sensations of Mission: Space, and have skipped the more aggressive Six Flags parks’ spinning attractions that also repeatedly go upside down). Honestly, I felt I might have become ill on my first ride on Cosmic Rewind if it was a minute longer than it is. I was, however, operating on less than five hours of sleep, and had just an energy bar and glass of orange juice before that ride.

The more times I rode, the more comfortable I felt—but no ride for me was completely without moments of motion-related dizziness. I do have a theory about my experience that I plan to explore on my upcoming Passholder preview ride opportunity: I wear multifocal contact lenses that can cause vision-related issues when my pupils dilate in the dark, so I’m going to wear my single-vision glasses next time to see if that makes a difference. My lenses don’t cause issues on other roller coasters, but I have long suspected them of compounding how little comfort I have riding Mission: Space due to the spinning and video (even the video on the Green side of the attraction). Stay tuned.

My fifth and final ride (so far) was with and at the invitation of Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro, along with some other members of the media.

The music featured on the attraction (and the Guardians movies) is very much of my generation, so I really enjoyed that. Even more music from that era is featured in the attraction’s exit area. The attention to detail in the queue and pre-show are top notch (and I did not even get to see all of the details in the queue, because parts were used for media interviews while I was in there, so the audio was turned down or off and I could not access every exhibit). The video quality on the ride itself was quite clear and detailed too. In candor, I have not been an ardent follower of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I’ve enjoyed watching the two Guardians films on multiple occasions, I enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout over in Disney California Adventure, and, despite the bits of rider discomfort, on the whole, I really enjoyed this state-of-the-art new attraction at EPCOT and look forward to riding again.

 Star-Lord and Gamora
Star-Lord (Peter Quill) and Gamora, two of the Guardians of the Galaxy, sort of took over the stage to entertain the invited guests. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Officially Opens May 27

As covered in our Walt Disney World Resort Updates for the past few weeks, EPCOT’s latest attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind debuts May 27, and previews are underway. This past Thursday was Media Preview Day for the new attraction, and I got my first rides aboard what Disney is describing as a “family-thrill coaster” located in what is now called the World Discovery neighborhood of the park.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Guests enter the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind attraction in the reimagined Universe of Energy pavilion which is now the Wonders of Xandar pavilion. Photo courtesy Disney Parks.

The new attraction includes EPCOT’s first roller coaster. It is Disney’s longest indoor roller coaster, and one of the longest indoor roller coasters in the world. It is Disney’s first coaster to feature a reverse-launch, and the first to be what Disney calls an “Omnicoaster,” which means that the cars are rotated 360 degrees while riding down the track to follow the story. As mentioned in the Writer’s Note, it’s this last new feature that may cause some riders more dizziness than a typical coaster.

The attraction is themed around the Disney-owned Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy films, featuring “legendary cosmic outlaws”—Rocket, Groot, Drax, Gamora and Star-Lord a.k.a. Peter Quill. When Disney first revealed back in 2016 that an EPCOT attraction would be themed around the Guardians of the Galaxy characters, the initial story details revealed included the fact that a young Peter Quill, having been raised on Earth, visited EPCOT at some point in the early years of the park’s operation. While that storyline does not factor into the main action of the attraction, there are elements of that story woven throughout the queue, on-ride dialogue, and, in particular, the retro-EPCOT-style merchandise available in the attached Treasures of Xandar shop.

queue Rocket and Groot
Guardians of the Galaxy characters, like Rocket and Groot shown here, make appearances throughout the attraction’s queue, pre-show, and on the attraction. Disney Imagineers were on the set of the yet-to-be-released “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” to capture performances by the Guardians for the attraction. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Guests enter the new attraction through what Disney is calling the first “other-world“ showcase pavilion at EPCOT: The Wonders of Xandar pavilion. Xandarians traveled from their homeworld in the Andromeda Galaxy to Earth—or Terra, as they call it—and are inviting EPCOT guests to learn more about their people and their advanced technologies. Tying the story back to the originally revealed details, Disney says that Peter Quill loved his childhood visit to EPCOT so much that “he suggested the Disney park as the perfect place for Xandarians to connect with Terrans.”

The Wonders of Xandar pavilion features three main sections:

  • The Galaxarium, a planetarium-style space showcasing planets, stars and other intergalactic wonders that connect Terra and Xandar – “reinforcing the notion that we’re all born of the same space dust.” The Xandarian supercomputer, Worldmind, provides narration in the Galaxarium and gives context to the stunning visuals.
  • The Xandar Gallery, where guests learn more about the Xandarian people, culture and history – including the heroes of Xandar – through specially crafted displays including models of starships and a Xandarian city. The gallery also features excerpts from “Good Morning Xandar,“ where a host interviews the Guardians of the Galaxy about their heroic deeds.
  • The Phase Chamber, the final stop on the tour, where guests are “teleported” from EPCOT to a Nova Corps Starcharter cruiser orbiting Earth to learn about the Cosmic Generator, a piece of Xandarian technology that creates jump points – artificial tunnels in space allowing for rapid travel across vast distances.

queue
There are many details to explore in the attraction’s queue. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Practically speaking, the main queue enters the building that formerly was home to the Universe of Energy, and winds through the Galaxarium and the Xandar Gallery. In traditional modern Disney attraction fashion, there are two pathways through: one that could be a Lightning Lane and one that could be a standby line. Disney representatives did not talk about it during the Media Day, but the My Disney Experience app says that when the attraction opens on May 27, a virtual queue will be in place that will require guests to use the app to enter the attraction and that there will not be a standby queue: “Boarding groups for a virtual queue are limited, subject to availability, and are not guaranteed. Not all boarding groups may be called to return, based on availability of the experience.” Guests will also have the opportunity to purchase individual Lightning Lane entry for the attraction (also limited in availability and subject to change). As of publication, then, it does not appear that the new attraction will be included in the price of the Genie+ ride reservation service and that purchasing Genie+ will not be necessary to attempt to get in the virtual queue or purchase individual Lightning Lane access.

The two paths through the queue converge at the Phase Chamber where guests are “teleported” to space and, without spoiling anything, something goes wrong like it usually does in the storyline of a Disney attraction. Guests are called upon to help. If you have purposely been avoiding any of the story details, this would be the point to skip ahead to the Rider Access section below. I am not going to share any true spoilers gained by experiencing the attraction, only the story as Disney revealed it in advance of my preview last week.

What goes wrong is that Eson, a Celestial, who has been watching Earth for eons, now intends to use the Cosmic Generator to jump back in time and change the course of humanity. Nova Prime Irani Rael (portrayed, as in the films, by actress Glenn Close), commands her top officer, Centurion Tal Marik (portrayed by actor Terry Crews), to contact the Guardians of the Galaxy right away and ask for their assistance. We Terrans (folks visiting EPCOT) must evacuate the ship via Starjumper shuttles, the small escape pods that launch from the Starcharter cruiser and look a whole lot like a ten row by two seat roller coaster train split into four-person cars.

The Guardians of the Galaxy reprogram the Starjumpers so guests help them track down Eson, while being accompanied by one of six (randomly selected) “Awesome Mix” tunes performed by the original artists: “September,” “Disco Inferno,” “Conga,” “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” “I Ran”, or “One Way or Another.” Guests then follow the Celestial “through a jump point on an intergalactic chase to save the galaxy” and, of course, eventually return to EPCOT to be hailed as heroes. Lots of Guardians of the Galaxy banter occurs along the way, with a little variation in some of the remarks along the way, including some EPCOT jokes.

Rider Access

Though billed as a “family coaster,” the attraction does have a 42 inch (107 cm) minimum height requirement. My Disney Experience says it is age appropriate for adults, teens, and tweens. It also mentions that certain body shapes and sizes may not be able to ride because of the restraints. The seats, however, are quite roomy both in width and leg room; the lap-bar style restraints felt comparable to Expedition Everest in comfort (in other words, far more comfortable than Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and a tad more comfortable than even Space Mountain’s lap restraint).

Height restriction and warnings
Guests must be at least 42 inches (107 cm) tall to ride. The attraction has the usual posted warnings about being a roller coaster-style ride in the dark. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Loading
The ride restraint is an individual-seat lap-bar style. There is no seat belt or over the shoulder restraints. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Service animals are not permitted aboard the ride. Guests must be able to transfer from a wheelchair to board the coaster. The coaster may be boarded from either a platform on the right or a platform on the left. To assist guests with boarding, row 10 of each coaster train can be opened further on both sides by cast member ride-operators. If a guest needs to exit on a certain side, the cast member operator can electronically “tag” that train so that it returns to an unload station on the same side as it boards (otherwise that is not guaranteed).


Row 10 of each coaster train can be opened further by cast members to assist with loading and unloading guests with some special needs. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

For the Media Event, Disney installed special equipment to capture some of the on-ride experience mixed in with other video of the attraction. There is an on-ride PhotoPass image capture of guests on the ride – though, as has happened at other media events, it does not seem to have been fully functional during the preview (some members of the media received photos in their My Disney Experience, some, like me, did not, but I will go visit a PhotoPass desk in the coming days to see if it can be located). Guests need to either be wearing an active MagicBand (with a good battery) or have their Bluetooth enabled smartphone enabled in the My Disney Experience app.


The Disney-produced ride cam video for the media event provides a fairly spoiler-free look at one of my rides on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Video courtesy Disney Parks.

Treasures of Xandar

Guardians of the Galaxy-themed merchandise is available in the Treasures of Xandar shop, conveniently located near the exit of the attraction. Unlike some rides, guests do not actually exit through the gift shop.


Treasurers of Xandar is the merchandise location for the new attraction. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

As the story of the merchandise location goes, The Broker has been hired by the Mandarins to operate this store on Terra. He appears on a video screen in the store and has quite a few comments to share.

Treasurers
The Broker operates Treasures of Xandar. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

For the shop’s opening, there are four product lines. Disney describes them as follows:

  • What if the Guardians were rock stars? Inspired by vintage concert merchandise of the 1980s, the Heroes of Xandar Collection imagines all of the gear and memorabilia fans would collect during the Guardians’ fictional intergalactic tour.
  • The 1980s nostalgia continues with a bold and colorful line celebrating Peter Quill’s childhood visit to EPCOT. The Guardians of the Galaxy: Through the Eyes of Quill Collection features retro silhouettes and graphic designs evoking decades past.
  • After helping save the galaxy, guests of all ages are invited to show off their new hero status in style with the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind – Honorary Guardians Collection. Honorary Guardians will be distinguished in their rank through the official Honorary Guardian colors of navy and gold paired with the Honorary Guardian emblem, which is proudly displayed on each item in the collection.
  • The Groot Through the Years Collection celebrates the sentient tree-like creature and his journey to becoming a defender of the galaxy. The collection, which includes toys, home décor and children’s apparel, illustrates Groot’s evolution from baby to adolescent to adult.

 

Walt Disney World Resort Continues to Celebrate Its 50th Anniversary

The Walt Disney World Resort celebration of its 50th Anniversary continues for nearly another year. Last week’s Media event provided an update on the on-going transformation of EPCOT, and some of the other highlights of what’s to come at the other parks.

Mickey and Minnie
Mickey and Minnie continue to serve as the hosts of the World’s Most Magical Celebration, of course. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

As you may recall, rather than having two “lands,” EPCOT now has four “neighborhoods” that Disney says each speak “to important aspects of the world and its people: World Showcase, World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery.” World Discovery now includes the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind attraction, Mission: Space (including the Space 220 restaurant), and Test Track. World Celebration is the entry area of the park, through Spaceship Earth, the new Connections Café & Eatery (including both a Starbucks and a quick service restaurant), Creations Shop, Club Cool hosted by Coca-Cola, the Odyssey building, and Imagination! pavilion.

EPCOT Neighborhoods
EPCOT now has four neighborhoods, each with “World” in its title. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The World Celebration neighborhood will eventually also include the new Dreamers Point area. It will be located “behind” Spaceship Earth when approaching from the park’s main gate. It was announced some time ago, but this week, Disney provided additional details about how it will fit in with a new Festival Center and garden area. The new Dreamers Point will be elevated and has been described as providing “a breathtaking new view of World Showcase.” The area will also include a previously announced new statue of “the original dreamer,” Walt Disney.

The latest plans Disney revealed last week have Dreamers Point leading to a new hub area divided into several different gardens, with a central planter based on the five-ring EPCOT logo. Disney promises ample seating and shade here among gardens with their own identities that change along with the festivals throughout the year. Lighting in the area at night will interact with the new lighting on Spaceship Earth and will also change with the seasons. Imagineer Zach Riddley also confirmed that this area will also feature lighted pavement features like EPCOT had before the transformation project began.

Beyond the garden, EPCOT will construct a new “CommuniCore Hall” and “CommuniCore Plaza,” a multi-use facility and outdoor event space that will serve as the new festival center for EPCOT. The outdoor space will include a performance space that can accommodate both “intimate musical performances” and large-scale concerts. The indoor space will include a flexible exhibition and gallery space, including a demonstration kitchen, plus a new “Mickey & Friends” meet and greet location for characters. (Notwithstanding this new space, Zach Riddley also confirmed that development continues at the Play! pavilion, the former Wonders of Life pavilion that, for many years, served as a festival center; he did not provide an estimated time for its completion.)

Concept Art Courtesy Disney Parks.

In the World Nature neighborhood, Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana will be the first Disney Parks experience evoking the hit Walt Disney Animation Studios film. Disney describes the attraction as a “lush exploration trail” that “will invite guests to meet and play with magical, living water. Just like Moana’s friend the ocean, water will have a personality of its own, helping guests learn how to protect the natural water cycle in a fun and engaging way.”

Journey of Water Concept Art
Last week, Disney released updated concept art for the Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana. Courtesy Disney Parks.

Upcoming New Technology

As the Resort’s 50th Anniversary approached last summer, Disney announced new MagicBand+ and “Hey Disney!” technology was coming during the celebration. (Both also are coming to Disneyland Resort later too.) Here at the six months into the celebration mark, Disney Parks Blog posted more of the details of the upcoming launch, with MagicBand+ coming this summer and the new “Hey Disney” service coming later this year at Walt Disney World Resort. At the media event, we also got a look at some of these new details.

MagicBand+
The newest version of MagicBands, the MagicBand+ is going to be available this summer. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

As we previously detailed last fall, the MagicBand+ product will include the features of the prior versions of MagicBand—touch point entry for parks, Lightning Lane, guest rooms, purchases, and Disney PhotoPass (including both the wireless on-ride photos and ones where cast members touch them or guests tap touch points). Guests may continue to use their existing MagicBand and Disney MagicMobile, available on eligible devices, to enter the park and so forth; the original MagicBand product will continue to be available for purchase as well.

The new MagicBand+ will have various digital “activations” around the parks: the bands will light up in different colors, vibrate, and trigger sounds. Those that purchase MagicBand+ and complete various digital achievements around the parks, like interacting with the “Disney Fab 50 Quest” by visiting the golden statues installed around the parks for the 50th anniversary celebration, they can unlock other features in the My Disney Experience app; other augmented features can be unlocked in the Play Disney Parks app, like discovering what is behind locked doors in Black Spire Outpost in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. It seems that some of the “awards” of different activities that can be completed with MagicBand+ require an account that has access to the sorts of AR lenses available to those that purchase Genie+.


Visiting the golden Mickey Statue at Magic Kingdom with a MagicBand+ will unlock new features. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

MagicBand+ Activation in Galaxy's Edge
In Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, using the Play Disney Parks app, guests can join the Batuu Bounty Hunters’ Guild, revealing virtual bounty via augmented reality, and earn additional galactic credits. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Last year, Disney also announced that it was developing its own custom voice assistant using Alexa technology for supported Amazon Echo devices called “Hey Disney!” It will begin rolling out in select Disney Resort hotel guest rooms at Walt Disney World later this year. Access will be optional and complimentary. It will take many Alexa features, like weather forecasts, timers, alarms, and so forth, and combine them with more than 25 Disney characters. It will also feature its own new character, the Disney Magical Companion, that will offer up special greetings and jokes from Disney characters, trivia, and Resort-related tips and information (like when the next bus to a particular destination is expected). “Hey Disney!” will also be available for purchase in the U.S. for supported Amazon Echo devices in the Alexa Skills Store. In the future, MagicBand+ will work with “Hey Disney!” too. More details are yet to come.

Hey Disney!
The Amazon Echo Show device with the Hey Disney! service will be available in guest hotel rooms.. Access will be optional and complimentary. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Additional Returning Entertainment

In recent weeks, Disney released additional details about returning entertainment offerings at the Resort. At the media event, the Live Entertainment team confirmed that the reimagined “Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond!” will open later this year at Disney’s Animal Kingdom featuring many of the songs from the previous “Finding Nemo: The Musical.” The show will be 25 minutes long, will feature live performers with puppets (like the prior show), with the action now based at the Marine Institute from Finding Dory rather than the dentist’s office. An LED video wall will be used to extend scenery which the designers describe as having a paper cut-out motif.

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Fantastic! will return later this year to daily performances as well. The show will have enhanced lighting effects and an entirely new scene involving numerous characters replacing the scene that focused on characters from Disney’s Pocahontas.

Views of Connections Café & Eatery

Since the media event was my first visit to EPCOT following the recent opening of the new Connections Café & Eatery, I was finally able to get my first look and taste. The photos I had seen (and even those I took and am sharing here) do not fully convey how big the space feels. The Café portion is the park’s new Starbucks location and the Eatery is the new quick serve restaurant. Together, they take up the building the previously was the Electric Umbrella restaurant and Innoventions East (which, for a brief time, was also the temporary home of Mouse Gear, the retail shop).

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

This & That & Reminders…

…Launched as part of the May the 4th celebrations, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios now has four new Disney PhotoPass photo opportunities available in the land.

…And new Star Wars merchandise was launched on May 4th on shopDisney.com and elsewhere too.

 


At the media event, the merchandise team showed off some of the new Star Wars pins designed based on the original Star Wars trading cards of the late 1970s and 1980s.

There is also a new Star Wars line of Wishables.

Some of the new items available for Batuu are recreations of objects from the more-recent Disney-produced Star Wars films.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

…Also for May the 4th, Disney’s DCappella music group released their new “Cantina Band” music video on YouTube which was recorded in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.


As part of the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Continues Media Event, DCappella performed “Cantina Band” live for the invited audience at the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular stage. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

…The third installment of “Disney Magic Quest” returns to the Disney Channel on June 26. Host Yvette Nicole Brown and “ZOMBIES” stars Meg Donnelly, Pearce Joss, Kylee Russell, and Matt Cornett compete in a quest by completing challenges inside EPCOT.

…REMINDER: At Disney Springs this month, The Edison is offering a few special-ticketed events featuring specialty adult beverages and light bites. The announcement from this Patina Restaurant Group operation is as follows:

Join The Edison at Disney Springs for a curated mixology and culinary experience, where attendees will take a walk through time, tasting four one-ounce pours of differently aged bottles of Old Forester, featuring the Kentucky straight bourbon whisky from 1870, 1897, 1910 and 1920. As guests try each whisky, they will also enjoy an accompanying four-course meal, featuring a delectable dish that has been skillfully paired to highlight the different tasting notes of every aged bottle. For example, Old Forester 1870 — a whisky with notes of baked clove, cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as citrus-fruit mix — will be served with the tart and salty mixture of bacon and blue cheese. The Old Forester dinner will take place on May 12, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at The Edison’s Tesla Lounge. Tickets are $150++ per person and extremely limited. Ages 21 and older only. [Information and booking are here.]


This May, The Edison at Disney Springs will offer Espolòn cocktails and accompanying bites for its monthly mixology program. Each week, guests will indulge in two deliciously curated cocktails, highlighting the notes of sweet agave, lemon zest and tropical fruit of three types of tequila: Espolòn Blanco, Espolòn Reposado and Espolòn Anejo. The specialty beverages will be coupled with savory Mexican-inspired dishes to highlight the smooth tequila, like deep fried churros served with Mexican chocolate sauce and seared corvina tacos. These expertly paired samplings will take place on May 10, May 17 and May 25, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Edison’s Lake Side Patio. Tickets are $65++ per person per week and extremely limited. Choose to come one week or for the entire series! Ages 21 and older only. [Information and booking are here.]

…Though Mother’s Day 2022 was this past Sunday, Walt Disney World’s official healthcare partner, AdventHealth, is celebrating mom all month at Disney Springs. Disney Parks Blog has the details of a special Disney PhotoPass Service photo opportunity (noting that photographers are only on-hand on Fridays to Sundays but selfies can be taken at any time) and an opportunity to mail mom a seed paper postcard that, when planted, will grow wildflowers.

…REMINDER: The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic, scheduled for Friday, November 11 and Saturday, November 12, will see the return of its interactive food and beverage seminars for the first time since 2019. 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. The 2022 seminar line-up includes:

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

The seminars will take place prior to the nightly outdoor festival. Beverage seminar tickets are $75 per person, excluding tax. Pasta Making tickets are $95 per person, excluding tax. Seminars require separate tickets and space is limited. Specific dates and times of each seminar are available at FoodAndWineClassic.com.

FINAL REMINDER: General eligible Disney Vacation Club members may attempt to register for one of the upcoming Moonlight Magic Events scheduled for May 24, June 16, and July 14 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios TODAY, May 10, starting at 11 a.m. Eastern Time (pending availability).

The Usual Writer’s Note

Face coverings are now optional across all of Walt Disney World Resort. Remember to check this page of DisneyWorld.com for the latest requirements, as they can change at any time. Disney asks unvaccinated guests to wear masks at indoor locations and on enclosed transportation, but guests are on their honor. The health and safety protocols in the State of Florida remain unchanged. There is no statewide vaccine mandate, COVID-19 testing, face covering requirements or business capacity restrictions. The State blocked enforcement of municipal and county-imposed restrictions. Private property owners, like Walt Disney World Resort, set requirements for visiting their property that you must be aware of if you decide to visit, but they are not permitted to require proof of negative COVID-19 test or vaccine status. Walt Disney World Resort encourages eligible guests to get vaccinated. Local news reports that the latest regional COVID-19 positivity rate continues to rise.

If you’re traveling to or from overseas, be sure to check with the places you’re visiting and traveling from or through for the latest rules. Though the United States government loosened international travel restrictions for entering the U.S.A. at the end of 2021, it remains important to check on and abide by the most up-to-date COVID-19 testing and vaccine requirements for entering the United States whether as a citizen, permanent resident, or visitor (and be aware of who needs a visa).

As for visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks, Disney Park Pass reservations are required for admission in addition to a valid ticket. If your tickets have the Park Hopper option, Park Hopping only becomes available after 2 p.m. daily, and only after you have first visited the park for which you have made a reservation that day. There have been instances where Magic Kingdom has reached capacity and paused admission of Park Hoppers, and Disney reserves the right to do so at all the parks.

Sales of new Walt Disney World Annual Passes continue to be paused in all categories except the Florida Resident Pixie Dust Pass. Disney reserved the right to pause those sales when it reintroduced its new Annual Passes. Current Passholders may continue to purchase renewals in all tiers regardless of the pause in new sales. We have not heard any suggestion, as yet, that new pass sales will resume.

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Resort Reservations, Ticket Advice & Special Offers

Note: MousePlanet does not edit past Updates to reflect price increases; for up-to-date prices, check the most recent Walt Disney World Resort Update.

This page of DisneyWorld.com features all the offers the Resort has publicly announced.

Everyone can save up to $500 on a 5-night stay at select Disney Resort Hotels in Spring and through July 7, 2022.

Florida Residents can save 40% on a 4-Day Ticket and 30% on 3-Day Tickets compared to the non-Florida Resident price of a 3-Day or 4-Day Ticket. One-day, one-park tickets start at $109, depending on the date and the theme park. Florida Residents can save on 1-Day Tickets with Park Hopper Option, which offers 1-Day admission to multiple theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort. Visit this page of DisneyWorld.com for details and purchase options (plus an opportunity to provide digital proof of Florida residency). Remember, park admission requires both a ticket and a reservation; tickets expire, so be sure to do your homework before purchasing.

Annual Passholders can save up to 25% and Florida Residents can save up to 20% on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels for stays most nights through July 7, 2022.

Disney+ subscribers that link their Disney+ account to their My Disney Experience account can also save up to 25% on select Disney Resort hotels for select night stays July 8 to September 30, 2022.

Our travel partner Get Away Today is available to help you book rooms and packages. When you book a Walt Disney World Resort Package with Get Away Today with a minimum 3-night stay at a Disney Resort Hotel plus tickets, you receive its complimentary concierge service which includes:

  • Free Price Monitoring – if a special comes out after you book, we’ll automatically apply it!
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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.

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By Harriet