by MIlitary Diva
Happy December, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to all our readers!
As we close out another year, we would like to thank all of you for your continued support. We love reading your comments, are honored to see so many of you following our pages, and are blessed to have you trust your vacations with our sponsored Travel Agent, All for Dreams Travel.
This year has certainly been full of ups and downs on the travel front. And December has offered some of the most exciting news to date…show reopenings, resort updates, and the introduction of Disney Genie in Disneyland have kept us very busy. Let’s take a look at all the news from December 2021!
Walt Disney World
- Covid-19 Updates-Be sure to check Disney’s KNOW BEFORE YOU GO site before traveling for the most up-to-date policies, procedures, and closures.
Masks are currently required at all indoor locations and while on all Disney World transportation. Masks are not currently required while in the queue or outdoor theaters and attractions. This information could change at any time so be sure to check Disney World’s “Know Before You Go” before you travel.
- Park Pass Reservations-be sure to check Park Pass Availability before purchasing any theme park tickets or packages. Reserve your Park as soon as your purchase is complete!
- Disney World’s Genie Service became available for purchase/use on October 19. Guests can mix and match the three options below, creating the best experience for their vacation needs. Take a look at our FAQ sheet for more tips and restrictions.
- Disney Genie-this complimentary service is available to all guests via the “My Disney Experience” app and offers personalized itineraries based on real-time wait times. Guests can select their favorite experiences, types of rides, and must-do experiences to create their best day. Disney Genie also offers mobile quick service ordering, restaurant wait times/restaurant check-in/reservation booking, real-time tips, up-to-date standby times, access to a virtual assistant, and the ability to try for virtual queues when necessary. Guests can also chat with Cast Members when needing assistance.
- Genie + is a paid service that offers access to Lightning Lanes (old Fast Pass) for over 50 Disney World attractions. With this $15/ticket/day purchase, guests can select one attraction at a time (available as the next available time slot) and skip the standard standby lines. Genie+ can be added as a length-of-ticket add-on in advance of travel. Guests choosing to add as a day-by-day option can purchase via the app after midnight on the day of use. Attraction scheduling begins at 7 am for all guests.
- Individual Attraction Selection offers Lightning Lane access to the top two attractions in each Disney World Park. The pricing for this access varies based on day, season, and crowd levels. On-site resort guests can purchase up to two Individual Attraction Selections beginning at 7 am on the day of use; off-site guests can purchase up to two IAS beginning at park opening on the day of use. These can be selected for different parks if using a Park Hopper, but the maximum Individual Attraction Selection still maxes out at 2 per day (not per park).
- December Holiday Adjustments, valid December 19, 2021-January 3, 2022
- Early Theme Park Entry for Disney World Resort Guests will be increased from 30 minutes to 60 minutes before park opening through January 3, 2022.
- Four Individual Lightning Lane attractions will be moved to Genie+ service-Space Mountain at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Frozen Ever After at Epcot, and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney Hollywood Studios will temporarily be available as a Genie+ Lightning Lane option.
- Entertainment Updates
- Holiday Photo enhancements can be found in all four theme parks and Disney Springs. Ask your Photopass photographer for Magic Shot Enhancement availability!
- Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts is scheduled to begin January 14-February 21, 2022.
- The Disney on Broadway concert series will return during Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts. Dining packages will also be available for the concert series.
- Epcot’s International Food & Garden Festival will also return in 2022! The festival is scheduled to run from March 2-July 4, 2022.
- Enchanting Extras Collection updates-Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour, Caring for Giants Tour, Wild Africa Trek, Up Close with Rhinos Tour, and Savor the Savanna Tour will all be returning soon!
- Park and Attraction Updates
- Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is scheduled to reopen on January 2, 2022. Guest favorites including water slides, Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool, Castaway Creek lazy river, and the Beachcomber Shacks (Cabanas) will all be available to visitors starting in 2022.
- Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park will temporarily close on January 2, 2022.
- Expedition Everest in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park will close for refurbishment on January 4 and will remain closed until mid-April.
- Resort Updates
- Disney’s All Star Sports Resort will reopen on March 31, 2022! Guests can begin booking their stays now! Disney’s All Star Resorts is the last resort to reopen since the pandemic began in 2020.
- Covid-19 Updates-Be sure to check Disneyland Resort’s KNOW BEFORE YOU GO site before traveling for the most up-to-date policies, procedures, and closures.
- Park Pass Reservations-all guests over the age of 3 are required to have a Park Pass Reservation for each day they wish to visit. Guests with valid tickets can begin making reservations 120 days in advance.
- Be sure to check Park Pass Availability before purchasing any theme park tickets or packages.
- If your preferred dates are available, purchase tickets and link to your Disneyland Resort account.
- Access the Theme Park Reservation System and create your party.
- Select date and park
- Review, confirm, and continue for additional park days!
- Disneyland Genie and Genie + service began on December 8, 2021.
- Disney Genie-this complimentary service is available to all guests via the Disneyland app and offers personalized itineraries based on real-time wait times. Guests can enter their favorite experiences, types of rides, and must-do experiences to create their best day. Disney Genie offers real-time tips, up-to-date standby times, access to a virtual assistant, and the ability to try for virtual queues when available.
- Genie + is a paid service that offers access to Lightning Lanes (old Fast Pass) for select Disneyland and Disney California Adventure attractions. With this $20/ticket/day purchase, guests can select one attraction at a time throughout the day and skip the standard standby lines. Genie+ can be added as a length-of-ticket add-on in advance of travel. Guests choosing to add as a day-by-day option can purchase via the app after they enter the park and link their tickets. Attraction scheduling begins after entering the park for all guests. Genie + also includes unlimited Photopass downloads.
- Individual Attraction Selection offers Lightning Lane access to the top attractions in each park. The pricing for this access varies based on day, season, and crowd levels. Guests can purchase up to two attractions per day. Guests can purchase one Individual Attraction Selection in each park if using the Park Hopper option (ILL is still limited to 2 max per day, not per park).
- Entertainment Updates
- Disneyland will welcome two festivals back to the park in 2022. Lunar New Year will run in Disney California Adventure Park from January 21-February 13 followed by Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival from March 4-April 26, 2022.
- Disneyland After Dark Nites will also return to Disneyland Park in 2022. Three separately ticketed, after-hours events will return.
- Disneyland After Dark: Sweethearts’ Nite will run on February 1, 3, 8, 10, and 14 at Disneyland Park. Tickets are available now.
- Disneyland After Dark: Villians Nite will occur on March 8 and 10 at Disney California Adventure Park. Tickets will be available for sale on January 11, 2022.
- Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nite will be hosted on May 3, 4, and 27 at Disneyland Park. Tickets will also go on sale on January 11, 2022.
- “Celebrate Gospel” will return to Disneyland’s Fantasyland Theater on select days in February.
- “Tale of the Lion King” will also return this Spring, reopening in Disneyland’s Fantasyland Theater.
- The Main Street Electrical Parade will once again delight guests as it travels through Disneyland Park (no specific date has been offered yet)
- “Fantasmic!”, “World of Color”, and the “Disneyland Forever” fireworks are also returning in 2022. Stay posted for updated dates and schedules.
- Ticket Discounts and Updates-Southern California Residents can purchase specially discounted tickets from January 3-May 26, 2022. These tickets are 3-day, 1-park per day weekend tickets that begin at $67 per day. Park Reservations are required-interested guests should check the Park Pass Availability calendar before purchase.
- Disney Visa Cardholders can enjoy savings at the Disneyland Resorts from January 3-April 7, 2022.
- Save up to 30% on premium rooms at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa; up to 25% on premium rooms at Disneyland Resort; up to 15% on premium rooms at Disneylands Paradise Pier Hotel
- Book now through March 17
- Travel must be completed by April 8, 2022
Disney Cruise Line
- Covid-19 Updates-Be sure to check the Disney Cruise Line Know Before You Go site before booking your Disney Cruise, at least 30 days before your cruise, and as you move close to the sailing date. Requirements and policies are changing quickly! Also, be sure to have the Disney Cruise Line noted as a safe address in your email. Guests that are affected by policy changes are being contacted directly.
- Complete all Steps Required before Sailing if sailing before January 13! These requirements have changed drastically this month. The Disney Cruise Line is constantly reminding guests that all steps are required or boarding will be denied. Check the Know Before You Go site, Disney Cruise Line Pre-Cruise Checklist, email correspondence, and your online account for specific requirements. The following steps are currently required on all Disney Cruise sailings…
- Safe Passage Website Account-all guests must have their own account; adults complete for children. Registration and test kit ordering opens 15 days before sailing.
- Schedule transfers from airport to cruise port (or determine parking location, if driving)
- Covid-19 Vaccine (currently required for all guests 12+, required for all guests 5 and up beginning with January 13 sailings)
- Pre-sail rapid PCR or lab-based PCR Covid-19 Testing for all guests under the age of 12, must be administered between 3-days and 24 hours of sailing. (Valid on cruises before January 13, 2022)
- purchase and schedule test from Safe Passage Website to be administered onsite in FL 1-3 days before sailing ($98.33). Florida testing locations are available at Orlando International Airport and Cape Canaveral Radisson Resort
- purchase an at-home test from the Safe Passage Website and return it via the included shipping instructions, exactly 3 days before sailing
- take a test at an independent PCR testing site of choice
- Online Check-In
- Upload proof of vaccine and children’s negative covid tests to the Safe Passage website. Bring proof with you to port.
- Embarkation Covid-19 Testing for all guests
- If Sailing after January 13, all children aged 5 and up must be vaccinated and follow the Safe Passage steps above. Testing alone will not permit your child to board the ship.
- Final Payment and Cancellation Extension Updates
- Guests sailing through September 30, 2022, have until 60 days before travel to make their final payment (unrestricted stateroom categories)
- Onboard and excursion booking window still opens with guest Castaway Club Level, but cruise must be paid in full to begin booking (Guests whose booking window opens at 75 days, but wait to make final payment at 60 days, must wait until the 60-day mark to book excursions. Guests that pay early can book early.)
- Please look for an official email from Disney Cruise Line or check the Disney Cruise Website for cancellation fees and schedules for your specific cruise.
- Half-Off Deposit sailings have been announced for select sailings from June 18, 2022-March 31, 2023. Guests that book one of these select sailings by March 11, 2022, will only be required to pay half the standard deposit to secure their cruise and stateroom. Restrictions apply to Wish sailings from June 9-September 30, 2022, and on restricted staterooms on other ships.
Well, there you have it! We have officially wrapped up 2021 and are ready to usher in the New Year! May you all have a safe, healthy New Year full of family, fun, and travel!
If you would like to plan a trip in 2022, consider contacting our sponsored travel agent. Patricia Payne with All for Dreams Travel would love to help book and guide you on your journey! Patricia Payne with All for Dreams Travel is partnered with Gateway Travel/Gateway to Magic Travel, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.