by Military Diva
Fans of the Disney Travel Company have experienced quite a few highs and lows this month! Many Disney World guests are celebrating the return of Fantasmic! and Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. But the new pricing structure for Genie+ and the difficulty when booking dining reservations has brought many grumblings. Disneyland guests celebrated the introduction of Magic Band+ for the first time and Disney Cruise Guests are experiencing relaxed Covid-19 protocols. The Disney Travel properties are constantly evolving in an attempt to promote safety, guest experience, and technology integration. And this month has certainly witnessed many changes. Take a look below for a complete list of updates, refurbishments, and announcements.
Walt Disney World
- Disney World Park Passes-Disney World is still requiring Park Pass Reservations as well as valid park admission to enter the parks. Guests can now select the specific ticket they would like to use for each Park Pass (if multiple tickets are linked), modify existing reservations without canceling, and receive a confirmation number for the reservation once booked.
- Disney World Discounts were announced this month.
- Guests can save up to $400 on packages booked for travel December 11-December 25, 2022, January 2-February 28, and March 1-March 30. Rooms are limited and certain policies apply.
- Disney Visa Cardmember Discount is available for cardholders staying January 2-April 30, 2022. Guests must use their Disney Visa to book. Rooms are limited and exclusions do apply.
- Florida Residents can also save up to 20% when visiting between January 2-February 28 or March 1-April 30. Again, rooms are limited and exclusions apply.
- Fantasmic! returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on November 3! This long-awaited return brings back favorite scenes from past productions but also includes several new inclusions. The show will likely draw huge crowds to the park when it opens. Guests wanting to attend the evening show without waiting in a long stand-by line may want to consider booking a Fantasmic! Dining Package.
- Fantasmic! Dining Packages include either an appetizer, entree, dessert, and non-alcoholic drink or a buffet and non-alcoholic drink (depending on the restaurant). The packages also include guaranteed seating for the evening show. Bookings became available on October 26 for Fantasmic! showings November 30 and later.
- 50’s Prime Time Cafe-Classic American fare in a 50’s setting. $51/adult and $22/child for lunch and dinner.
- Hollywood & Vine-Character Buffet offering Disney Junior characters for breakfast and Minnie and friends for lunch and dinner. $54/adult and $36/child for breakfast; $71/adult and $47/child for lunch and dinner.
- Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano-enjoy a traditional Italian meal in the backlot. $54/adult and $22/child for lunch and dinner.
- Sci-Fi Dine In Theater Restaurant-enjoy a meal “drive-in movie theater” style! Guests are seated in renovated classic cars for their meals while clips from old movies play on the screen. $49/adult and $22/child for lunch and dinner.
- The Hollywood Brown Derby-Take a jump back in time and enjoy a meal during the “Golden Age of Hollywood”! $73/adult and $29/child for lunch and dinner.
- Resort and Park Refurbishments
- Disney’s Caribean Beach Resort began renovating the rooms in Trinidad this month. According to Walt Disney World, the new rooms will have subtle character touches and be able to accommodate more guests. Rooms are scheduled to be completed in 2023.
- Blizzard Beach is reopening on November 13 with a few new surprises!
- Tike’s Peak, a play area for young visitors, has been enhanced with nods to Frozen!
- Festive treats, Holiday touches, and Santa are available until December 31, 2022.
- Extended Evening Hours have been announced for 2023
- Guests staying at an official Disney World Deluxe Resort or Deluxe Villa Resort, Shades of Green on Walt Dinsey World, Walt Disney World Swan, Walt Disney World Dolphin, or Walt Disney World Swan Reserve can visit Disney’s Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios on select nights after the park closes to all other guests.
- The Extended Evening Hours are available on select, scheduled nights.
- Check the schedule for specific dates and parks.
- Special Note: Guests that have valid tickets and park passes (for any park) and are eligible for Extended Evening Hours at EPCOT can try to book a Virtual Queue for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Remind at 6 pm during the evening of the Extended Evening Hours.
- Dining Updates-several Disney World restaurants are reopening soon!
- Tusker House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park will return to a traditional buffet on November 1.
- Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Resort will be reopening on November 1.
- Akershus Royal Banquet Hall at EPCOT will be reopening for dinner service beginning on November 4.
- Resort Menu Additions-Disney World is more than a theme park full of attractions. It is a gathering of delicious treats, savory foods, and fine meals. The following locations have recently upgraded their menus.
- Enchanted Rose at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa-new offerings include a charcuterie board, Smoked Trout and Crab Dip, Siberian caviar, and Seasonal Flatbread
- Boatwright’s Dining Hall at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort-Riverside-new additions include a Lowcountry Seafood Broil, Blackened Prime Rib, Taste of the Bayou sampler platter, Harvest Red Beans & Rice, Southern Cheesecake, and Peach-Blackberry Cobbler, Mississippi Mud Creme Brulee, and a Big Easy Whiskey Sour (over 21). New child offerings include a Ror Row Oar Your Boat Sundae and Cookies and Milk.
- River Roost Lounge at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort-Riverside-new updates include a Spinach and Artichoke Dip and the French 75 cocktail (over 21).
- Scat Cat’s Club at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter-the menu now includes Sassy Sassagoula Sliders (plant-based).
- Bar Riva at Disney’s Riviera-new Mediterranean and Italian menu updates include a cheesy Burrata Salad, Salmon with Orzo, Mushroom Arancini, and a Molten Chocolate Cake.
- Primo Piatto at Disney’s Riviera-sweet treats now include a Riviera Signature Cookie
- Belle Vue Lounge at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn-new drinks have been added and include an Orange Blossom Manhattan, Sparkling Hibiscus, and a zero-proof Agave Garden cocktail.
- Genie+ updates-Genie+ allows guests to purchase access to Lightning Lanes (skip the stand-by line) in the Disney World Parks. When the service began, the cost was $15/day/guest. As of this month, the pricing is now dynamic-based on the season and crowd levels. Guests will be able to see that day’s price when they open the app after midnight on the day of park entry. As of right now, the daily per-person cost ranges from $15-22.
- Park Pass Reservations as well as valid tickets are still required for Disneyland theme park entry. Be sure to check the availability calendar prior to purchasing your tickets or packages!
- Disneyland App Updates-the Disneyland app is designed to help enhance the guest experience with location services, Genie+ services, mobile ordering and more. The following features are now available as well.
- Car locator feature
- new Disney PhotoPass Lenses
- Mobile Checkout at select merchandise locations
- Chat with a Cast Member
- Offer Mobile Cast Compliments
- Disney 100 Celebration Updates
- The celebration will begin on January 27, 2023.
- The park and characters will receive new, platinum updates in celebration of 100 years!”
- “World of Color-One”, an evening spectacular, will honor the history of the Disney Company at Disney’s California Adventure Park.
- “Wondrous Journeys”, a new evening show at Disneyland Park, will celebrate the work of the Walt Disney Animation Studio.
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is scheduled to open by January 27.
- Magic Band+ became available for Disneyland Guests on October 26. The new bands offer convenient access to tickets, allow guests to tap in for Lightning Lane attractions, and capture guest photos while onsite. Once charged the bands offer interactive functions as well. They can be purchased at the following shops: World of Disney, Disney’s Pin Traders, Emporium, Pioneer Mercantile, TomorrowLanding, Elias & Co, Trolley Treats, Oswald’s, Sea Side Souvenirs, Disney’s Fantasia Shop, MIckey in Paradise, and Acorns Gifts and Goods.
- Genie+ Updates
- Guests adding Genie+ to their tickets in advance can now expect to pay $25/guest/day.
- Guests adding Genie+ on the day of their visit can expect prices to begin at $25/guest/day. However, these prices may fluctuate with the season and crowd levels.
- WEB Slingers: A Spiderman Adventure is now included as a LIghtning Lane option with the Genie+ purchase.
Disney Cruise Line
- Covid-19 testing and vaccine requirements
- Guests on back-to-back sailings of the Disney Magic, Disney Fantasy, Disney Wish, and Disney Wonder no longer need to test for Covid-19 between sailings; Guests on back-to-back sailings of the Disney Magic through November 7 will continue to test between sailings. This mandate will end on November 7, 2022.
- Beginning October 14, Covid Vaccines will no longer be required aboard Disney Cruise Line ships. According to the Disney site, “All Guests ages 5 years and older who are not fully vaccinated (Unvaccinated Guests) will need to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken 1-2 days before the sail date. Guests ages 4 years of age and younger do not require testing.” Vaccinated guests will not be required to test!
- A Disney+ Subscribers Discount was announced for guests traveling on select sailings aboard the Disney Magic, Disney Dream, and Disney Fantasy from January-April, 2023. If the discount applies guests three and four sail free with two fully fared guests in the same stateroom.
- Blackout dates now include Jan. 2, Feb. 18 & 23, March 13 & 27, April 1 & 6, 2023 on the Disney Magic; Jan. 2 & April 10, 2023 on the Disney Dream, and March 11 & 25, 2023 on the Disney Fantasy.
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
- Disney Visa Cardmember Discount
- Valid for travel January 5-March 30, 2023
- Save up to 25% on 4 nights or 30% on 5 nights booked in a standard, Island Garden, or Poolside Garden View Room
- Save up to 30% on 4 nights or 35% on 5 nights booked in an Ocean or Partial Ocean View Room
- Each card member can book up to (2) rooms. The card member must stay in (1) of the booked rooms.
- Dining Updates
- ‘AMA’AMA reopened on October 14. The new menu consists of a four-course, prix fixe meal. Guests can make reservations 30 days in advance.
Disney properties have become more difficult to navigate in recent years. Between Genie+, Virtual Queues, Vaccine Requirements, Mobile Ordering, and more vacations can quickly become overwhelming. We at Tips from the Disney Diva in partnership with Patricia with All for Dreams Travel strive to keep guests updated and educated on all of these changes. But if you feel more assistance is needed, She will simplify the process by helping you to book the best package for your family, providing weekly emails prior to your trip, and offering customized, daily tip sheets to help you stay on track during your vacation.
Patricia is an independent agent with Gateway to Magic, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.