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by Military Divas

As we come to the end of November, I would like to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!  Our family has so many things to be thankful for this year and hope your year has been full of similar blessings. And of course, I hope you are able to spend some time celebrating these moments at your favorite Disney location!

Check out the updates below to learn of all the new and exciting changes that were announced this month!


Walt Disney World
Park Opening at Magic Kingdom

Photo credit to Soarin’ Diva

  • 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 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 consult 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. Then reserve your Park as soon as your purchase is complete!
  • Disney Genie Service became available for purchase/use on October 19 and has been met with a lukewarm welcome.  Some guests are able to navigate the system effectively, making excellent use of the three options.  Other guests are running into IT issues, limited availability, and late attraction times. 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 enter 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/check-in/reservations, real-time tips, up-to-date standby times, access to a virtual assistant, and the ability to try for virtual queues when necessary.
    • 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 schedule one attraction at a time throughout the day and skip the standard standby lines. Genie+ can be added as a length-of-stay 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 is 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.
  • Entertainment and Attraction Updates
    • Drawn to Life, the brand new Cirque du Soleil show, reopened this month! Guests will be delighted with this new acrobatic beauty that has been designed to celebrate the most iconic moments in Disney Animation!  Add some entertainment to your Disney Springs night by purchasing tickets for this amazing new spectacular!  Tickets are available directly from the Disney World website or from your favorite Travel Agent.
    • Epcot’s Candlelight Processional narrators were announced for this year’s show!  Experience the story of Christmas in a beautifully touching way at the America Pavilion. The show runs most nights from November 26-December 31 and will be hosted by the guests listed below.  Guests can access the show via a walk-up line if they get early or book a Candlelight Processional Dinner Package that will include guaranteed seating for the event.
      • 11/26 – 11/28: Auli’i Cravalho
      • 11/29 – 12/1: Chita Rivera
      • 12/2 – 12/4: Jodi Benson
      • 12/5 – 12/7: Alton Fitzgerald White
      • 12/8 – 12/10: Bart Millard
      • 12/11 – 12/13: Lisa Ling
      • 12/14 – 12/16: Andy Garcia
      • 12/17 – 12/19: Ana Gasteyer
      • 12/20 – 12/22: Courtney B. Vance
      • 12/23 – 12/25: Steven Curtis Chapman
      • 12/26 – 12/28: Blair Underwood
      • 12/29 – 12/30: Pat Sajak
    • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, a new Epcot coaster, is set to open in the summer of 2022.
    • This year’s D23 convention left guests excited about the return of many experiences that have been closed during the past year. Dates have not been announced for a specific opening, but the following attractions will be back in 2022!
      • “Finding Nemo: The Musical”, now being called “Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond!” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
      • “Fantasmic” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
      • Disney on Broadway Concert Series at Epcot will return for the International Festival of the Arts from January 14-February 21, 2022.
      • “Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire”, the Castle Forecourt show. and “Disney’s Festival of Fantasy” parade at Magic Kingdom
  • Dining Updates
    • Story Book Dining, a beloved Snow White dining experience, will return to Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge on December 16, 2021. Snow, White, the Evil Queen, Dopey, and Grumpy will “stroll through the Enchanted Forest” as guest enjoy their meal. Dining reservations can be made beginning on December 2.
    • Boatwright’s Dining Hall at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort will reopen for dinner on December 14, 2021.  Reservations can also be made beginning on December 2.
  • Resort Discounts and Updates
    • Florida Resident discounts are available for guests visiting in the Spring of 2022.  Eligible guests can save up to 20% on their resort booking
    • Walt Disney World Swan Reserve, a new resort on Disney World property, opened this month. This interesting new resort is owned by Marriott but is located on Disney property within walking distance of both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Guests here can enjoy a standard room or a suite and enjoy Disney World guest benefits.
  • 2022 Disney World Military Rates have been announced!  Room discounts seem to be very sparse this year. But the Specially Discounted Military Tickets are still an excellent deal!  Full details can be found HERE.


Disneyland updates

Photo courtesy of Superhero Diva

  • 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!
  • Entertainment and Attraction Updates
    • Mickey’s Toontown will close in March 2022 as it undergoes an exciting update, expected to be finished by 2023. When it reopens, guests will be able to experience CenTOONial Park, an all-new interactive green space, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and more!
    • Mirabel, the beautiful new character from Disney’s “Encanto” will be greeting guests at Disney’s California Adventure, for a limited time.
  • Resort Discounts and Updates
    • Two new offers are available to guests of Disneyland Resorts
      • Guests can save up to 25% off of weekday stays, valid most Sunday through Thursday nights from January 3-April 7, 2022.
      • Save up to 25% on weekend stays with a minimum 4-night Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa or Disneyland’s Resort Hotel
Disney Cruise Line

Disney News Updates


  • 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 prior to 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…
    • Travel Insurance
    • 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+)
    • 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.
      • 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 on board the ship.
  • Disney Wish Updates
    • “Incredigames” an Incredibles Themed Game Show Family Competition is coming to the Disney WIsh in 2022! Families will be invited to compete in this action-packed experience that will include games such as “Incredible’s Power Punch”, “Jack-Jack’s Whack-a-Rac”, “Elastigirl’s Stretch-O-Rama”, “Dash’s Mad Dash Mayhem”, “Violet’s Force Field Swing”, and “Frozone’s Ice Slide”.

It is so nice to have a shorter and shorter list of updates each month!  Reading reports of returned experiences or reopened dining locations has been like opening the door to long missed family members.  So many of these attractions are engrained in the memories of the Disney Families.

As we close out this month I hope you all have time to enjoy your own families, treasure old memories, and make time for new experiences in your own lives.  Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to each of you!

If planning your own Disney Destination Vacation in 2022, consider contacting me with All for Dreams Travel. I specialize in concierge-style planning for families and groups. I also have a special investment in travel for military families. Send me a message to receive your complimentary, no-obligation quote.

Patricia Payne with All for Dreams Travel is an independent agent with Gateway Travel/Gateway to Magic Travel, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.