Walt Disney World Resort Update for July 12-18, 2022 by Alan

Walt Disney World Resort Update for July 12-18, 2022

 Writer’s Note, News & Views

I hope you had a happy and safe Independence Day. I hope you also ahd a chance to follow along the coverage I provided of the christening of the Disney Wish and its christening cruise over on our social media channels (one of the overview videos is embeded below). I have a bit more to post still, and then will share a recap in a new article here on MousePlanet.com. As Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix shared in the Disneyland Resort Update yesterday, she plans to sail on the Wish‘s maiden voyage coming up later this week. She and I will, no doubt, exchange stories and then try to make sure we’ve answered as many of your questions as we can.

Since we were last together for a Walt Disney World Resort Update a couple of weeks ago, the biggest news item announced for Walt Disney World Resort was the same as one announced for Disneyland Resort and shared by Adrienne in the Disneyland Resort Update for July 4-10, 2022:

The Princess and the Frog retheme of the Splash Mountain attractions at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom officially has a name and an opening season. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is slated to open in the California and Florida resorts in late 2024, following what is expected to be a lengthy renovation of the two attractions. Disney made the announcements and released concept art of the new attraction during a panel discussion at ESSENCE Fest in New Orleans.


Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is expected to open in late 2024 at Magic Kingdom and Disneyland. Concept art courtesy Disney.

As described by Disney:

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will take guests on a musical adventure inspired by the beloved story and characters from the fan-favorite film. Picking up where the film left off, guests will join Princess Tiana, Naveen and jazz-loving alligator Louis on an adventure through the bayou as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras celebration where everyone is welcome. Along the way, guests will encounter familiar faces, make new friends and travel through the bayou to original music inspired by songs from the film as they are brought into the next chapter of Tiana’s story.

Princess and the Frog attraction rendering
Disneyland’s Splash Mountain will receive a Princess and the Frog makeover. Concept art courtesy Disney.

Disney did not release any additional details about the overlay, or when Splash Mountain will close so that work can begin.

Tiana's new look
Tiana will have a new look for her Bayou Adventure. Concept art courtesy Disney.

Getting a jump on more Tiana-themed merchandise, the 2022 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, which gets underway on July 14 as the Disney Wish sets sail with its first paying guests from Port Canaveral over on the Atlantic coast, will feature a new collection as part of its offerings.


Disney Parks Blog has published its complete Foodie Guide for the Festival which will feature more than 25 “Global Marketplaces,” (a/k/a kiosks). This year’s line-up includes a brand-new marketplace, “The Fry Basket,” featuring French fries. There will be new items like the Chesapeake Crab Slider at Hops & Barley. And of course, there are returning favorites, including Pão de Queijo Brazilian cheese bread. As has been true of the last few editions of the Food & Wine Festival, not all of the Marketplaces will open with the Festival and some of the menu items will change before the Festival concludes November 19.

For spork-fans, a new Remy-themed spork will be available for purchase at several of the marketplaces. Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak scavenger hunt returns throughout the park: purchase the map at designated retail locations, turn in the completed map at the designated location for the “prize.” Emile’s Fromage Montage also returns its “food stroll” where you purchase specific cheese dishes around the park, collect stamps in your passport for five purchases, and redeem the stamps for a special prize from Shimmering Sips. Beginning on September 29, and running through October 31, a new second scavenger hunt joins the Festival’s line-up: Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuits, a Halloween-themed search around EPCOT to locate secret character-inspired pumpkins.

And, finally, the Eat to the Beat Concert Series returns during the entire run of the Festival. Disney Parks Blog has published the entire schedule and, of course, as always, be on the lookout for last minute changes which are often only posted on signage at the park entrances and outside the theater. Like other recent Festivals, the America Gardens Theatre stage will feature local bands Tuesday-Thursday, and the often better-known artists on Fridays-Mondays. Music genres include rock, latin, rap, pop, country and more. Concert times are 5:30, 6:45, and 8 p.m. Dining Packages with reserved seating are available at this page of TasteEPCOT.com for only Fridays-Mondays with advance reservations available for Biergarten Restaurant, Coral Reef Restaurant, Garden Grill Restaurant, and Le Cellier Steakhouse, and same-day dining packages at Regal Eagle Smokehouse and Spice Road Table. Remember, you also need a Disney Park Pass reservation and valid admission to enter EPCOT, even when you have dining reservations.


Oh, and correction from the last Update: My Disney Experience lists twice nightly showings of “Disney Enchantment” at Magic Kingdom, at 9:20 p.m. and 11 p.m. each night from July 14 through 24. Inadvertently, I wrote May last time…

More Character Dining Experiences Around Walt Disney World Resort

In the last Update, we reported on the additional Walt Disney World Resort live character experiences coming in the weeks ahead. This past week, Disney Parks Blog shared details about more returning character dining experiences. The list includes Stitch for breakfast at ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Minnie Mouse and friends for breakfast at Cape May Café at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, and Winnie the Pooh and friends at The Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom for lunch and dinner.

On September 20, The Crystal Palace: A Buffet with Characters featuring Winnie the Pooh and Friends returns. Food options include carved prime rib, seasonal ravioli, and peel and eat shrimp.

On September 27, ‘Ohana Best aFriends Breakfast featuring Lil and Stitch returns. Menu items there include pineapple coconut breakfast bread, Mickey waffles, lilikoi juice, and the Moana smoothie.

On October 4, the Cape May Café Minnie’s Beach Bash Breakfast returns with its all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet. Items there include salted caramel “beach buns” and Mickey and Minnie waffles.

As always, dining reservations are available in the My Disney Experience app or on the Walt Disney World Resort website.

Top of the World Lounge Officially Reopened

As regular readers may recall, I am a 22-year member of Disney Vacation Club, having purchased points in Disney’s version of timeshare vacation ownership. Before the pandemic, one of the perks of being a member that purchased points directly from Disney (rather than on the secondary market) was access to the Top of the World Lounge at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort on most nights when staying at Disney resort hotel. The lounge and its outdoor patio provide an excellent view of Magic Kingdom and its fireworks shows.

As of July 11, the lounge has officially reopened for eligible members and guests on their hotel reservations (subject to capacity). Now slightly renamed, “Top of the World Lounge – A Villains Lair,” the venue has reopened with a backstory of having become “a devils’ playground” during the time it was closed. There are some new art pieces (though the iconic monorail rendering of the Bob Gurr-designed monorails remains behind the bar), and a villains-themed menu of food and beverages.

 


The lounge has various seating options and a bar.

Art featuring Disney villains decorate the lounge walls.

Seven-Lair Cake is the new name for the lounge’s signature seven-layer cake.

The lounge provides a great view of Magic Kingdom fireworks displays.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

 

Top of the World Menu
The lounge’s menu is villain-themed. A larger view of the menu will open in another window by clicking the photo. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Allergy friendly menu
Allergy friendly alternatives are available by consulting your server and the chefs. A larger view of this menu will open in another window by clicking the photo. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The venue is also offering a “Wicked Wind Down” to eligible Members (again, who not only bought points directly from Disney but have a hotel reservation) which includes a reserved table, a cocktail and and appetizer from the new menu for $55 plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are available by calling Member Services at 1.800.800.9800 through August 11, 2022, with additional dates to be added. Those making reservations must check in at least 30 minutes before that evening’s Magic Kingdom fireworks show to be admitted. DVC has not said how much of the lounge’s limited capacity has been set aside for the Wicked Wind Down. The menu also has individually priced food and beverage items available to all that gain entrance to the lounge.

MousePlanet was invited to attend a preview of the lounge’s reopening. Food was served at the preview event buffet-style rather than from the menu. DVC also provided some villains-themed live entertainment during our invited-media event (and at a few other invited events) which, unfortunately, is not expected to be a regular part of the offerings of the lounge.

Villains Entertainment
“Disney Villain Convention” attendees mingled with invited guests in the lounge during its preview. Unfortunately, live entertainment is not expected to be a regular part of the lounge experience. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

This & That…

…If you are not already using your smartphone’s built-in remember where you parked feature, or your favorite GPS app’s feature, or following my long-ago shared advice of taking a photo of your row number when you get out of your car, the My Disney Experience app will include a new car locator feature “presented by State Farm,” starting this summer. The feature works best with Location Services, Bluetooth, and Notifications all enabled on your device. It will be available in the parking lots for all four theme parks, Disney Springs, Disney Water Parks, and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Later this year, it will also be available in the Disneyland app for that Resort’s parking lots. This feature would be even more useful in some of the resort hotel parking lots, as most of the ones I have parked in have, at best, minimal row markings.


…Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique will again offer royal makeovers to young guests (ages 3-12) at Magic Kingdom starting on August 25 (and, on the West Coast, at Disneyland too). The reopened Boutique will include more options, including a new hair accessory designed for textured hair and new costumes for some of Disney’s newest heroes and heroines coming later this year. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutiques are operating on Disney Cruise Line, including Disney Wish. The locations at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Disney Springs will be reopened at a later date which has not yet been announced. Harmony Barber Shop reopens at Magic Kingdom on July 31 (and reservations are now available).

…Disney Springs celebrates “Flavors of Florida Presented by CORKCICLE!” through August 14, with over 30 restaurants and shops “serving up a slice of summer with refreshing beverages and delicious dishes, all inspired by Florida.” Disney Parks Blog has published a Foodie Guide. Meanwhile, Passholders visiting Disney Springs can get a new complimentary Orange Bird magnet by entering a virtual queue in the My Disney Experience app and then heading to Disney’s Wonderful World of Memories when the push notification says it is your turn.

Florida Flavors
Disney Springs celebrates “Flavors of Florida” through August 14. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Magnet Pickup Screenshots
Passholders enter a virtual queue in My Disney Experience to get a complimentary Orange Bird magnet. A push notification will indicate when it’s time to pick up the magnet and the app will provide a QR code that a cast member will scan before entering Disney’s Wonderful World of Memories. Screenshots by Alan S. Dalinka.

Orange Bird Magnet
After a cast member scans the QR code, inside Disney’s Wonderful World of Memories, Passholders must present their pass (via card or MagicBand or such) and photo ID to receive the magnet. An augmented reality lens is available to view the magnet by visiting PassholderMagnets.com. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

…The folks at Patina Restaurant Group that operate a number of venues around Walt Disney World Resort remind us that July 24 is celebrated all over the country as National Tequila Day, a tribute to the distilled spirit popular in mixed drinks such as margaritas and palomas. Its Disney Springs restaurants and bars offer the chance to sip tequila on its own or in a mixed cocktail on this day and year-round.

  • Enzo’s Hideaway at Disney Springs

    Paloma Italiana: Herradura Tequila, Grapefruit, Lime Juice, Agave and Orange Bitters ($18)

    Tequila menu also offered, including Casamigos Reposado, Don Julio 1942, Don Julio Añejo, Patron Silver and Casamigos Mezcal.
  • Maria and Enzo’s at Disney Springs

    Ligurian Sunrise (Photo): Caravella Limoncello, Espolon Tequila, Lemon Juice, Fresh Basil and Lemon ($16)

    Italian Margarita: Lazzaroni Amaretto, Cointreau, Espolon Tequila, Sweet and Sour and Smoked Salt ($15)
  • Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs

    Suika Margarita: Espolon Tequila Blanco, Triple Sec, Watermelon Monin, Lime, Wasabi and Hellfire Bitters ($18)
  • The Edison at Disney Springs

    Vaquero Old-Fashioned: Herradura Blanco Tequila, Simple Syrup, Vanilla Paste and Orange Bitters ($20)

…Speaking of Disney Springs, signs on the construction walls surrounding the former site of Bongo’s now advertise the new Lettuce Entertain You Restaurant Group’s new venue, Summer House on the Lake, being added to the West Side in 2023.

Summer House on the Lake
Summer House on the Lake by Chicago’s Lettuce Entertain You Restaurant Group is being built on the West Side of Disney Springs on the former site of Bongo’s. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

…Working together as a team, more than 400 balloon artists from around the world will construct a life-sized replica of Give Kids The World Village’s most iconic venues created from more than 500,000 balloons. Guests can walk through the display, participate in fun interactive activities, take one-of-a-kind photos, enjoy delicious treats, and enjoy performances by strolling magicians, balloon artists and other entertainers. Open to guests of all ages, the Qualatex Balloon Wonderland will take place at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando (just off Disney property next to Disney Springs on FL-535) on July 16, from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. Tickets are available at various price points, including for a party on the evening of July 15: https://give.gktw.org/event/balloon-wonderland/e404826. Give Kids the World Village is a not-for-profit resort that serves critically ill children and their families by providing cost-free weeklong Central Florida vacations. MousePlanet has been invited to a preview and will share photos on social media.

The Usual Writer’s Note

Face coverings remain optional across all of Walt Disney World Resort. Remember to check this page of DisneyWorld.com for the latest requirements.

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). The United States dropped the requirement for COVID-19 testing for entering the country.

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. There was a brief rumor since our last Update that pass sales would resume, and we have seen social media reports that they may have for Florida residents and DVC members for less than an hour; just before publication, the DisneyWorld.com webpage for pass sales read “We’ll Be Back Later” and provided no further information.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to monitor the cases of the rare monkeypox virus in Florida and elsewhere. Reports say that experts remain optimistic that the outbreak can be contained. We will include more information here in future Updates should it relate to visiting Walt Disney World Resort.

Finally, don’t forget it’s tropical storm season. It also rains a lot at this time of year at Walt Disney World Resort, often with dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning strikes. It gets hot and humid. Please be prepared!

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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.

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.

Walt Disney World Annual Passholders and Florida residents can save up to 30% off regular rates on their stays at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. Guests can visit swandolphin.com/offers/ for more information or to book.

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!
  • 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.

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