Phased Reopening After Hurricane Ian, Festival of the Holidays Food Booths, and More HUGE Disney News

It’s been quite the week for Disney World.

Rain from Hurricane Ian near Disney World

Hurricane Ian complicated things for a few daysshutting down the Disney World theme parks and causing a phased reopening, plus we’ve gotten huge news about returning offerings and EPCOT’s International Festival of the Holidays. After a stressful few days, you could probably use a little mental escape (we know the feeling). So why not take a second, find a quiet spot, and join us on a virtual trip through the parks and resorts for all the latest Disney news. ❤  It might just be the 5-minute break you desperately need this week.

First, we just want to say that our heart goes out to all those in Florida who have been impacted by Hurricane Ian. We are keeping you all in our thoughts and are sending you all the pixie dust in the world to help you along during this difficult time.

1 — Hurricane Ian & Disney’s Reopening

Well, Hurricane Ian really threw a wrench into some plans this week all across the state of Florida, including for all those who were in Disney World. The storm barreled through the state of Florida, greatly impacting parts of the west coast, but also bringing some damage and flooding to parts of Central Florida and other areas within the state.

For a while, Disney World’s counties were under a hurricane warning, and we’ve also seen flash food warnings put in effect, as flooding continues to be a big concern from this storm.

Hurricane near Disney Springs

The storm also caused theme parks to close. Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld, and others closed for at least September 28th and 29th.

Disney World conducted a “phased reopening” on September 30th.

Hurricane skies in Disney World

This phased reopening approach includes extended early entry time for resort guests at the start of the day, adjusted hours for the parks (with many of them opening later than normal), and other modifications.

Click here to see FULL details about Disney World’s reopening

We went to Disney World during the phased reopening to see what had been impacted by the hurricane. Click here for our FULL post of details about what Disney World was like following Hurricane Ian.


Keep in mind that for the time being, Disney is not enforcing dining cancelation fees or cancelation fees for certain special experiences.

Also, note that Disney appears to be LIMITING new hotel reservations for the next few days (likely to adjust to the changing situation post-storm). When it comes to existing hotel reservations, cancelation fees will be WAIVED into next week.

Hurricane Ian

Universal Orlando is set to reopen on September 30th, but will limit its initial reopening on that date to resort guests. SeaWorld has extended its closure for the time being.

Orlando Interantional Airport also closed due to the storm, but will resume passenger flights after 12PM on Friday, September 30th. You can click here for more details on that.

For more of our Hurricane Ian coverage, check out the links below:

Remember that hurricane season continues through November 30th, so it’s important to be prepared if you’ll be visiting Disney World during that time. Click here to see what Orlando and Disney World looked like ahead of and during the storm, and click here to see our list of 6 items you NEED for a hurricane in Disney World.

Click here for our step-by-step guide to hurricane cancelation policies and refunds in Disney World

2 — EPCOT Festival of the Holidays News

Over at EPCOT, the Food & Wine Festival is going on right now, but we’re already getting ready for our next festival — the Festival of the Holidays! This week, Disney revealed the FULL list of food booths that will be available at the Festival.

Festival of the Holidays

There will be a number of returning favorites, but there will also be 1 NEW booth to check out — click here for all the details on that!

Click here to see a FULL list of the menu items that have been confirmed for the Festival so far!

Love cookies? Well, you’re in luck! The Holiday Cookie Stroll is coming back to the Festival and we’ve got the FULL list of cookies that will qualify here.


But the Festival is about so much more than food. There’s also some stellar entertainment available. This week we got the FULL list of Candlelight Processional narrators (which include a Marvel star and someone from Shark Tank!), plus we got pricing and details on the restaurants that’ll be available for Candlelight Processional dining packages.

And if you want to say “hey” to Santa or check out the amazing storytellers throughout World Showcase, you can click here to see the list of performers that will be available and their showtimes.

Candlelight Processional

The Festival of the Holidays begins on November 25th (the day after Thanksgiving) and we cannot wait to see everything it has to offer. Stay tuned for full reviews of ALL of the booths and all kinds of other details.

Click here to see everything we know about the Festival of the Holidays this year

3 — Reopenings & Returning Experiences

If you loved Disney’s After Hours events (which allow guests to buy a separate ticket to spend time in the parks after they’ve closed to the public, enjoy shorter wait times, and grab complimentary snacks), then you’ll be thrilled to know that After Hours events are returning to Disney World in 2023!

Specifically, After Hours will be returning to Magic Kingdom on select nights starting January 9th, 2023. Prices range from $129 to $159 per person. At Hollywood Studios, After Hours will return on select nights starting January 4th, 2023, and the prices similarly range from $129 to $159 per person.

Toy Story Land during After Hours

If you’re ready to buy your tickets, mark down these dates! Guests of select Disney World hotels (which include Disney Resort hotels, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels, and Shades of Green) can buy their After Hours tickets on October 4th, 2022. Tickets will open to everyone else on October 7th, 2022.

Click here for full details about the return of After Hours!

Aside from the return of After Hours, the Disney World website has also hinted at the possible reopening date for Kona Cafe in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Click here for more details.

4 — Amazon Prime Day News

Start making those Christmas lists because you’re about to knock out all that shopping AND get discounts too. Amazon Prime Day is essentially coming back this fall through a new savings event called Amazon Prime Early Access Sale. On October 11th and 12th, you’ll get to grab deals on all kinds of products!


Ahead of Prime Day, you’ll get to enjoy another sale over at Target with the return of Target Deal Days!


This sale will be held from October 6th through the 8th and will feature deals on hundreds of thousands of items.

Click here to learn more about the return of Prime Day 

And click here for more details on Target Deal Days

5 — BIG COVID-19 Changes for Disney Cruise Line

As things change with the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen a number of modifications made to cruise lines’ COVID-19 requirements, and now Disney is changing its rules in a BIG way.

Soon, COVID-19 vaccines will NOT be required for guests looking to sail on Disney Cruise Line.

Disney Wish

Starting October 14th, 2022, guests going on the Disney Wonder, Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, and Disney Wish will NOT be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This change goes into effect starting November 7th, 2022, for those sailing on the Disney Magic.

COVID-19 testing will still be required, however, for those 5 and older who are not fully vaccinated. These are important changes to know about ahead of your trip or if you were waiting to book a trip.

Click here for full details about this COVID-19 change

Of course, other news was also shared this week. Check out those stories below:

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What news from this week are you most excited about? Tell us in the comments.

The post Phased Reopening After Hurricane Ian, Festival of the Holidays Food Booths, and More HUGE Disney News first appeared on the disney food blog.