A Detailed Sneak Peek Video of Disney’s New Moana Attraction

Construction for EPCOT’s Journey of Water attraction featuring Moana is well underway. Now we have a detailed sneak peek that you are going to love. Journey of Water Anyone who has been to EPCOT recently has probably noticed there is a significant amount of construction going on to update EPCOT. Part of EPCOT’s reimagining includes […]

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Trees Planted In EPCOT Construction Site Across From Creations Shop

Crews have planted trees behind the EPCOT construction walls directly in front of Creations Shop and Connections Café in World Celebration.

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Right now, in the winter, the trees are relatively bare.

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Plants are usually one of the last things installed during a construction project, so the trees are a good sign that walls may move soon.

epcot construction trees 2368

They won’t be taken down entirely yet — there’s still a massive construction zone in the center of EPCOT.

epcot construction trees 2369

The area will eventually house gardens, Dreamer’s Point, CommuniCore Hall, and Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana.”

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These trees will be part of the gardens.

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For reference, above is a photo taken earlier this month. The trees have been planted along the right side of the construction site, where concrete barriers are visible in the photo. CommuniCore Hall is under construction on the left side of the photo.

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January 2023 at Disney World: Crowd Calendar & Info

Our guide to January 2023 at Walt Disney World offers a free crowd calendar, days to visit & avoid, weather, seasonal events, planning tips, and when Christmas decorations are taken down. We cover everything at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. (Updated December 31, 2022.) Typically, January is the month of the holiday […]

The post January 2023 at Disney World: Crowd Calendar & Info appeared first on Disney Tourist Blog.

Guide to New Year’s Eve 2023 at Disneyland & California Adventure

New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest days of the year at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, as guests crowd the parks to ring in 2023. This guide shares our tips & tricks for enjoying the NYE parties in the parks, watching the fireworks, and avoiding the pitfalls. (Updated December 31, 2022.) Let’s start […]

The post Guide to New Year’s Eve 2023 at Disneyland & California Adventure appeared first on Disney Tourist Blog.

A Year of Disney World News — See the Biggest 2022 Changes

It’s almost 2023, and at the end of year many of us take the time to reflect on the past year.

There was lots of big news at Disney in 2022!

2022 was a huge year in Disney news, from surge pricing to new park land teasersWe’re breaking down 2022 for you, so take a look!

Ok, let’s dive into all of the big changes that took place in the Disney World parks, and the Disney company during 2022. The changes, events, and announcements that happened this year will continue to impact the way we navigate the parks next year. So sit tight, grab yourself a celebratory glass of champagne or sparkling cider, and enjoy this walk down memory lane.

Cheers to a new year!

The Bob CEO Uno-Reverse Card 

Yeah. To say the Bob CEO boomerang event of 2022 was a shock for all of us is putting it lightly. On the evening of November 20th, the Walt Disney Company announced the sudden departure of Disney’s now-former CEO, Bob Chapek. In his place, the once-retired Bob Iger stepped back into his role as CEO. 

Bob Chapek and Bob Iger©CNBC

Iger has signed a 2-year contract with Disney where, during this time, he’ll be helping the Disney+ streaming service get back on its feet, after its continual devastating losses for the company. He’ll also be helping the Disney company find a more suitable long-term successor that’ll follow in his footsteps after those two years are up. 

We’ve summed up the whole Bob switcheroo in a video, if you want to learn more. 

Surge Pricing Escapades

Surge pricing became Disney’s weapon-of-choice this year. And that’s not to say Disney hadn’t already been using a surge pricing system for many, many years now — especially with park ticket prices and resort stays. We just saw it happening a lot more often in 2022.

Walt Disney World Theme Park Tickets

When it came to Disney’s premium travel planning tools — Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes — which give guests Lighting Lane access to bypass the main queues of rides and attractions in exchange for much shorter lines, we’ve always seen the Individual Lightning Lanes for Disney’s most popular rides work on a fluctuating price system, where daily prices depend on the time of year and demand. 

New signs!

But when Lightning Lanes were originally released back in 2021, Genie+ — which gives you access to the Lightning Lanes of over 40 other Disney World attractions — was set at $15 per person, per day. However, on October 11th this year, Genie+ switched over to a surge pricing system too. Around Thanksgiving weekend, we saw those Genie+ prices skyrocket to $29 per person, per day — meaning a family of four would’ve had to pay $116 for one day’s worth of Lightning Lanes. 

Since then, Lightning Lane prices have mellowed slightly, but we still haven’t seen them quite drop back to $15 again. As of late, they’ve been ranging more around the $17-$18 range, but tend to drop slightly on the weekdays versus the weekends. 

Frozen Ever After Lightning Lane sign in EPCOT

But Genie+ isn’t the only Disney planning feature being impacted by new fluctuating price systems. Park hopper ticket add ons, which allow you to visit more than one Disney park per day, after 2pm rolls around, have switched from being a set price of $65 on top of your regular ticket price to being a different price depending on when you visit. These prices start at $65 per ticket, but are capable of getting as high as $93 per ticket.

On Christmas Day, one of the busiest days of the year, a Park Hopper add-on is $252 per ticket. That’s $73 more than the single day ticket for EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, and $93 more than the single day ticket for Animal Kingdom. 

Christmas Day crowds

When you move to multi-day tickets, you can really start seeing the price increases take hold. For a 2-day Park Hopper starting on January 24th, 2023, it’s $360.19, and a Park Hopper Plus is $380.19. That’s $80 more than a single day ticket for a Park Hopper and $100 more for a Park Hopper Plus, which gives you access to additional Disney experiences — like the water parks and golf courses.

EPCOT entrance

And that’s not all!

On December 8th, Disney also switched their one-day, one-park tickets to a new surge-based tier system, too. Now, Disney World tickets won’t just surge in price depending on when you visit, but they’ll also surge depending on what park you want to visit on any given day. For example, a ticket for Magic Kingdom could be more expensive than a ticket to EPCOT for the very same date.

Cinderella Castle

This is what the new 1-day, 1-park ticket price breakdown looks like now:

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom — $109-$159 (prices are staying the same as current costs)
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios — $124-$179
  • EPCOT — $114-$179
  • Magic Kingdom — $124-$189

Keep in mind that if you’re planning on visiting more than one park during your trip, this new ticket price system by park won’t impact your visit. But if you do plan on only visiting one park, remember to not just look at what dates are normally cheapest, but at what parks are cheapest during the dates you want to visit, too.

Animal Kingdom

Let’s say you book a trip in September and stick to a weekday to try to keep prices lower. If you’re buying a 1-day, 1-park ticket during that time you’ll, then, also need to look at what the prices look like for each individual park on the specific day you’ll be visiting.

Lots of surge pricing going around — but keeping in mind that some of these surge prices don’t necessarily need to be purchased for you to have a successful trip. Genie+, Individual Lightning Lanes, and Park Hoppers are all add-ons that can be useful, but aren’t necessary. And we’d even argue that, with park hoppers being priced at what they are now, that additional cost really isn’t as necessary.

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Make sure to study up on all the pros and cons for these services before making a decision on whether you’re gonna absolutely need them or not for your 2023 vacation. 

Brand New Releases!

Now for some of the fun stuff! Disney World gave us a whole lotta new things in 2022 that we got to see, ride, and experience for the first time ever!

On February 11, the Disney Adventures Friends Cavalcade premiered in Magic Kingdom, showcasing popular Disney characters including Miguel from Coco, Marie from Aristocats, and several Disney princesses, that we don’t see hanging around the parks as often — which was a nice surprise!

Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade

On March 1st, Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser launched to give guests a completely immersive intergalactic experience. During your 2-day, 2night stay, you’ll get to participate in a wide range of activities and dining experiences in an interactive environment “on a galaxy far, far away” — where YOU, alone, will be responsible for how your story unfolds.

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser

Connections Cafe and Eatery, the fast-casual Quick Service restaurant and home to Starbucks coffee in EPCOT’s World Celebration, opened on April 24. Here, you’ll be able to find dishes inspired by global flavors — such as a Banh mi burger, a curry spice pizza, and liege waffles, made with brioche yeast dough, pearl sugar, and topped off with additional sweets.

Fall Liege

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opened on May 27th as part of the historic transformation happening in EPCOT! This new roller coaster is not only EPCOT’s first-ever coaster for the park, but also Disney World’s first-ever Marvel ride to open on property. To ride Cosmic Rewind currently, you will need to grab a boarding pass on your My Disney Experience App to enter into its virtual queue. Boarding Passes go live daily at 7AM and 1PM sharp. But we’ll let you know if the virtual queue system switches over to a standard physical queue system sometime in 2023, which seems likely.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Though the OG version of Finding Nemo: The Musical ended in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a new version, called Finding Nemo: The Big Blue and Beyond, took its place, premiering on June 11. The show now features a fresh script and new set pieces. During the story, the fish from Dr. P. Sherman’s office have finally made their way to the Marine Life Institute as seen in Finding Dory. From the institute, the fish tell us about Nemo and Marlin’s big adventure, which means you can still expect to see a show filled with puppetry and some classic songs — alongside updated musical numbers, too!

Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond!

A new type of interactive MagicBand launched at Walt Disney World on July 27, 2022, and at Disneyland Resort on October 26, 2022 — and its name is MagicBand+! Because the “+” symbol is basically a Disney trademark by now. A MagicBand+ has all the features of the OG MagicBand technology, as well as offering new  features to enhance your Disney park experience — including things like:

  • Interacting with the 50th Anniversary Character Statues
  • Joining the Star Wars: Batuu Bounty Hunters game in Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • And syncing up with the nighttime spectaculars/select rides, which will set off the band’s corresponding lights and vibrations
  • MagicBand+ range in price between,depending on the style
  • Just don’t forget to charge them nightly!

Halloween music!

On August 15th, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is undergoing a transformation that started in 2022, as well. This led to BoardWalk Bakery closing up shop, and BoardWalk Deli taking its place on August 15th. The BoardWalk Deli is a quick service location that now serves hot and cold deli sandwiches, and bakery items for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

BoardWalk Deli has pastries and sandwiches

Now here’s a wildcard addition we received in Magic Kingdom this year! When Disney Enchantment started in Magic Kingdom in 2021, in honor of the Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration, guests were rather disappointed to find that there was no mention of Walt or Roy Disney anywhere in the show. And that just felt wrong. But, around the end of August this year, Enchantment received a new preshow — a preshow that took guests’ concerns to heart and made sure to honor the individuals who made the parks possible, the Disney brothers themselves.

Can you see them?

The Disney resorts’ new “Hey Disney” technology — which offers “custom voice assistance” to guests staying at Resort hotels in Walt Disney World and Disneyland — is now in the testing stages in select rooms over at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The tech will continue to be rolled out in phases throughout the course of 2023, and will eventually be available in all Disney hotel rooms, including values, moderates, and deluxe resorts alike.

Hey, Disney!

Disney Springs really focused in on their sweet treat offerings this year:

Salt and Straw now scoops up unique signature ice cream flavors on the West Side of the shopping district, with wacky seasonal flavors that’ve included options like Salted Caramel Thanksgiving Turkey for November and Dwanta’s Teremana Spiked Eggnog Ice Cream for December.

Cinnamon and Honey Fried Chicken Ice Cream and Deviled Egg with Smoked Black Tea ice cream

And, over in the Marketplace section, Swirls on the Water opened to give guests more DOLE Whip options that you won’t find anywhere else on property, including a DOLE Whip Lemon and Cookie Dough Soft-serve Swirl AND Dole Whip pineapple vanilla nachos — made with Waffle Cone Chips and topped with DOLE Whip, Mango Boba Pearls, Raspberry Sauce, Whipped Cream, and Sprinkles.

Dole Whip Flight at Swirls on the Water

Okay, this new feature turned out being pretty controversial, but when the complimentary Disney’s Magical Express buses were retired at the very beginning of the year, the Mears Connect and the Sunshine Flyer took over to help transport guests from the Orlando International Airport and over to their Disney World resort and back again… all for a price.

Mears Connect Bus

WHEW. LOTS of stuff there, friends. But just you wait. I’m about to hit you with even more changes that the Disney company announced this year that’ll impact your trips in the near (and distant) future…

The MAJOR D23 Announcements

On September 11th, during the D23 Disney Parks Panel — led by Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro — we got to learn about the future of Disney World for 2023 and beyond.

EPCOT Transformation

A dedicated Festival area is coming to EPCOT in late 2023 to serve as the new “home base” for the park’s seasonal Festivals and live events. CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza will be housed in EPCOT’s World Celebration and will serve two separate functions.

CommuniCore Plaza ©Disney

The Plaza will provide an outdoor space where guests can come to relax and experience all that the Festivals have to offer. And the Hall will host a wide variety of experiences with food, art, live music, and more with a demonstration kitchen, a mixology bar, and exhibition and gallery space, giving presenting chefs new ways to connect and experiment.

Journey of Water

Journey of Water is a new Moana-inspired attraction coming to EPCOT’s World Nature in late 2023, as well! Guests will be able to explore what Disney has described as a “lush exploration trail” that allows explorers to “play with magical, living water” through an immersive walk-through attraction.

Construction on Journey of Water

And on a hot day in the parks, you best believe you’re gonna find us here, chillin’ with Moana’s very good friend, Water.

Figment Meet & Greet

By the end of 2023, you’ll also be able to meet Figment at EPCOT in his very own meet-and-greet location.

Figment is a SUPER STAR

You’ll be able to proudly show off your Figment popcorn bucket to make him proud.

New Nighttime Fireworks Shows

And the EPCOT offerings just don’t stop comin’! A brand new nighttime spectacular will make its debut in late 2023 in honor of 100 Years of Wonder: the 100th Anniversary celebration of the Walt Disney Company!

Disney Enchantment

Singing the same tune over in Magic Kingdom, Happily Ever After will return in 2023 as part of an updated fireworks spectacular. We expect to see lots of tears. Bring tissues and check on your fellow Happily Ever After friends, because they will be a MESS on the day of this song’s return.

TRON Lightcycle Run

TRON Lightcycle Run is FINALLY opening at the Magic Kingdom in Spring 2023!

The View of TRON from the Walt Disney World Railroad Train!!

During this high-speed ride, guests will board a two-wheeled Lightcycle of their very own and “launch into the Grid for a race through a dark, computerized world” reaching speeds up to 59 miles per hour!

Haunted Mansion Addition

Foolish mortals will be happy to know that the Hatbox Ghost will be materializing in Magic Kingdom’s version of Haunted Mansion sometime in 2023.

Haunted Mansion

This happy haunt has already made his home within Disneyland, buuuuut we’re guessing he decided to go ahead and volunteer as the 1000th haunt of Disney World too. Because why not?

New Restaurants

And in 2023, we’re also expecting to welcome THREE new table services restaurants to join the Disney dining lineup, including:

Beyond 2023

We still have SEVERAL things to anticipate… .

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will open in both Disneyland park and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in late 2024. Originally, we heard about this ride back in June 2020 when Disney announced that the water-based ride Splash Mountain would close to be rethemed into an attraction inspired by the Disney animated film, The Princess and the Frog. 

Model of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at the 2022 D23 Expo

And although we didn’t hear much about this project for a while, we DID learn this year that this updated long flume now has a projected 2024 release. We also heard about a potential restaurant revamp in Disneyland to match the re-theme on Splash Mountain.

Eudora’s Chic Boutique Signage

During the same D23 panel, we also got to hear about some of Disney World’s “blue sky” projects being thrown about the Disney Imagineering office. “Blue Sky” is part of the Imagineers creative development process. At this stage, their focus is to look at something and say, “what could it be?” But not necessarily WHEN will it be.

100 Years of Wonder

 So, basically, blue sky projects are more of a big ol brainstorming sesh than anything. But that didn’t stop D’Amaro from letting us in on what they’ve been stewing over! The blue sky projects shared during the panel included brand new Lands for Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.


In Magic Kingdom, D’Amaro talked about the potential of having lands themed around Pixar’s Coco, Encanto, and the Disney Villains. And for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, he threw out ideas for Zootopia and Moana.

Again, D’Amaro reminded everyone that these concepts were “way early in the creative process.” Meaning that it could be years before they start to take shape, or they may not take shape at all.

The Reedy Creek Dissolution 

Despite all the exciting announcements and openings, the Disney company struggled behind-the-scenes this year with an ongoing feud against the Florida Government. In April, Florida lawmakers voted to revoke Disney’s special tax district, The Reedy Creek Improvement District. This district, established back in 1967, allows Disney to (in many ways) function as its own county government.


Through the RCID, Disney has imposed and collected taxes on its land, issued bonds, and made all kinds of other decisions without some of the typical oversight that hinders other developers. But after former CEO Bob Chapek spoke out against Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill (known by critics as the Don’t Say Gay Bill) before it was signed into law, Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, and his administration voted to dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District in a seeming “retaliation” toward the Disney company for speaking out about their disapproval of Florida’s new bill/law.

Reedy Creek Trash Cans

If the dissolution law follows through, it will take effect in June 2023. Now, there’s still a lot of time between now and then, so anything could still happen! But, as of now, DeSantis still remains firm in his decision. If you’re worried about how this dissolution is gonna impact YOUR future Disney World trip, don’t be. A lot of the issues surrounding this law will be more of Disney’s burden to carry rather than their guests’. So no need to stress about Cinderella Castle getting torn down or the underground sewage systems being ripped from the ground of the parks. You’ll still be able to enjoy your trip, no matter what the final decision ends up being.

Happy Reunions! 

Although the Disney parks had their historic closures in 2020 — due to the nature and concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic — the effects of those closures continue to impact Disney World (and the entire company) to this day. However, as pandemic restrictions started to lift and return to a “sense” of normality, we got to welcome back several Disney World offerings that we’d been missing out on for the past couple of years. Prepare yourself — this list is long.

Festival of Fantasy

The Festival of Fantasy parade made its official return to Magic Kingdom on March 9th, 2022 — which was super fitting, considering March 9th marked the 8-year anniversary of the parade’s initial debut.

Festival of Fantasy

The Parade features all kinds of floats and characters from movies like The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Peter Pan, and the show-stopping steampunk version of the Maleficent dragon (that blows REAL fire and only spontaneously bursts into flames every once in a while) Just kidding. It was a one-time ordeal. Moving on.

Disney Resorts

The LAST Disney World Resort we were waiting to welcome back from the pandemic closures finally reopened on March 31. The value resort, Disney’s All-Star Sports, was the last Disney hotel to reopen after the COVID-19 shutdowns.

All-Star Sports Resort

Now, all resorts are back and ready for business. 

Character Interactions

On April 18th, character meet and greets started to phase back into the parks, meaning we could finally give Mickey hugs again and ask Minnie for her autograph! During 2020, after the parks reopened and on throughout 2021, character interactions were modified to keep both guests and characters safe. 

Hugs are back!

But as stricter health and safety regulations started to lift, we received more and more opportunities to hang with our favorite characters again, instead of just taking selfies with them from afar.

Restaurant Updates & Reopenings

This also meant several character dining experiences both reopened and reintroduced characters into their dining rooms again, including:


And even MORE restaurants reopened their doors (and dining rooms) to guests this year, such as:


Minnie Vans

Minnie Vans back onto the Disney World scene on June 29th, which was great news for all the rideshare users out there! Minnie Vans are Lyft-operated vehicles designed to look like Minnie Mouse with their cutesy red and white polka-dotted design.

Cruisin’ in style

They provide direct, private transportation around Disney World property, at a premium cost.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique & Harmony Barber Shop

On August 24th, the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, which is a special salon that gives kids between the ages of 3-12 princess/prince makeovers, returned to the Magic Kingdom. The locations at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa and Disney Springs are still waiting for a reopening date.

It’s open!

And speaking of getting all spiffed up in Magic Kingdom, The Harmony Barber Shop also reopened on July 31st for those in need of a shave and a haircut in the midst of their park day. 

Disney Cultural Representative Program

In the summer, Disney’s Cultural Representative Program and Cultural Exchange Program were reintroduced for select countries — giving overseas cast members the chance to apply once again and become part of their home country’s pavilion inside EPCOT’s World Showcase. 

EPCOT Cast Members Line Up to Welcome Guests Home

Holiday Parties

Magic Kingdom’s fully fleshed out After Hours Holiday Parties — Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party — returned to replace the half-hearted Boo Bash and Disney Very Merriest Events.

Tickets ARE available

The parties brought back exclusive opportunities, at a separate ticket price, including holiday fireworks shows, rare character meet and greets, lots of limited edition snacks, and festive ride overlays.

EPCOT Festival Concerts

EPCOT’s Eat to the Beat Concert Series, that takes place during the Food and Wine Festival, went on hiatus for a couple years.

Eat to the Beat concerts came back in 2022!

But came back with gusto this time around, featuring musical performances from artists such as Baha Men, Joey Fatone and Friends, Journey’s former Lead Vocalist Steve Augeri, Hanson, and Kenny G.


2022 brought back the dearly missed Hollywood Studios’ nighttime spectacular, Fantasmic! It returned to the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater on November 3rd.


The show was updated upon its return to include brand new sequences with new characters, stunt performers, and animations that made everyone so emotional even the sky cried. No, seriously. The first cast member preview of the show rained out the whole second half of the performance. So…. It definitely left our reporters a bit soggy that night.

Blizzard Beach

After being closed for a rather extensive refurbishment, Disney’s Blizzard Beach reopened on November 13th. And with its reopening came a brand new Frozen-themed section of the park over at Tike’s Peak. So now you can find Olaf, a young Anna and Elsa, and little snowgies just *chilling* out around the shallow waters.

NEW Frozen-themed Tike’s Peak!

Once Blizzard Beach reopened, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon took on the title of being “temporarily unavailable” ‘til the foreseeable future. Guess it’s this water park’s turn for some updates and renovations, too!

Special Tours

And several of Disney’s Behind The Scenes Tours came back to add a little “spice” to the average theme park visit.

Behind the Seeds Tour

A few of those tours include the Keys to the Kingdom Tour — giving guests a backstage glimpse into what puts the “magic” in Magic Kingdom, the Behind the Seeds Tour — taking you through the greenhouses of EPCOT’s Living with the Land, and the Caring for Giants Tour — bringing you up close to the elephants who are living on the plains of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  

The End Of A High-Flying Era

Gone, but not forgotten… We didn’t just say “hi” again to several returning Disney World experiences. We also had to say our fair share of “goodbyes,” too. In honor of Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, several new shows were brought to the parks — one of those being our dearly beloved KiteTails over in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. KiteTails had two different 10-minute long performances that took place on the waters of the Discovery River Amphitheater. One show was Lion King themed, the other Jungle Book themed. And both of them had flying/crashing character kites. And it was a glorious spectacle to behold. But by the end of September, KiteTails held its last performance and retired its kites for good.

Don’t skip on KiteTails!


Though we haven’t had to say goodbye to Splash Mountain yet, we did learn this year that its last operating day will be on January 23rd, 2023 — giving guests just a few more weeks to experience the OG ride before it’ll be closed and completely rethemed to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.


And — since two new nighttime spectaculars were announced this year for both Magic Kingdom and EPCOT — that means the current fireworks shows, Disney Enchantment and Harmonious, will be taking their final bow later in 2023.

Disney Enchantment

So if you wanna catch them before they’re gone for good, try planning that Disney World trip for earlier next year rather than later on.

Mask Policy Fully Lifted

Yes. This happened this year. It’s hard for us to wrap our minds around, too. On February 17th, 2022, face masks became optional in most places for fully vaccinated guests. (Not including Disney transportation services.) On March 16th, the policy was updated to where guests could choose whether or not they wanted to wear a mask on the Disney Skyliner, but kept mask requirements for the buses and monorails.

Mask Signage

And finally, on April 19th, 2022, the policy was further updated to reflect that face masks were no longer required on any transportation in Disney World (but were still recommended for guests who hadn’t yet been fully vaccinated) And that’s where we’ve been ever since! If you wanna check out the FULL timeline for Disney’s face mask policies, we’ve got a post covering just that.

Severe Weather Shutdowns

Florida’s fall weather was pretty relentless in 2022.  At the end of September, Disney experienced a multi-day shutdown as Hurricane Ian continued to threaten much of Florida — including the Orlando area. The parks — and Disney Springs shopping district — stayed closed on September 28th and 29th, but reopened for guests on September 30th.

The crowd in Hollywood Studios before Tropical Storm Nicole

Mostly, the parks didn’t suffer too much from storm damage, but a lot of Disney’s Animal Kingdom was closed on September 30th, which means we saw a lot of taped-off clapboxes on the ground the day — a tactic Disney likes to use when rides or shows are closed to serve as a temporary “distraction.” But the storms didn’t stop there!

Crowds ahead of hurricane Nicole

Tropical Storm Nicole brought its severe weather into the Disney bubble, which meant early park closures on November 9th. Tropical storms and hurricanes are not exactly rare happenstances for Orlando, but if you wanna learn more about how Disney **weathers** through these situations, check out our “What I Wish I’d Known Before Going To Disney World During Hurricane Season” video !

Resort Construction 


And let’s not forget all the GIANT changes currently going on at several of the Disney World resorts! New DVC villas are currently being added to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort — which are projected to open sometime in late 2024.

©Disney | Polynesian Village Resort concept art

These new villas will sit on the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon. And, in addition to more rooms, there will also be new recreational offerings and dining options. This is good to hear since we were pretty devastated to learn that the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show wasn’t coming back, since the new villas are being built directly on top of the dining experience’s old stomping grounds.

Caribbean Beach

Just recently, we learned that Disney’s Caribbean Beach is in the process of switching out its Pirate-themed rooms and transforming them into Little Mermaid themed rooms — which will give the space not only a brighter, refreshed look, but also provide a 5th sleeper bed to accommodate more guests per room.


These new rooms should be ready for guests to book by 2023. 

Grand Floridian

And, very soon, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa will be undergoing even more renovations.

DVC Grand Floridian Resort Studio

Although the resort already has 200 new DVC rooms themed around Mary Poppins, ALL the remaining rooms are going to be receiving the same kinda *supercalifragalisticexpealidocious* treatment. 

BoardWalk Inn

But the resort that’ll be experiencing the most changes is over at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn — which will be undergoing an Extreme Makeover: Hotel Edition. 

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

We already mentioned how we got to check out the new BoardWalk Deli this year and, even more recently, the new Carousel Coffee, but next year, construction will continue and add another new restaurant to the area called The Cake Bake Shop by Gwendolyn Rogers.

BoardWalk Deli

The Cake Bake Shop will be a table service with both sweet and savory items to choose from. As well as an afternoon tea service! When we got the opportunity to interview Gwendolyn Rogers about her new restaurant in Disney World, she said: “I’m just excited to share any and all of my recipes that we make here with the Disney guests. From the crab cakes to our club sandwich — it sounds simple, but everything’s made from scratch.”

Spaceship Earth at NIGHT

2022 was PACKED OUT. We experienced the good, the bad, and the SHOCKING — but the ONE thing you can trust to stay consistent into 2023 is your good ol’ group of friends over on the DFB team. We’ll be here to help you with your Disney travel planning into the new year — so keep an eye out for our 2023 ultimate guides and recommendations as you continue planning for that dream trip next year. Or even the year after! Happy New Year, everyone! See ya back here REAL soon! 

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Don’t Miss Out on Any Disney Fun!

Pre-Order Your Copy of the 2023 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Today!

With more than 750 pages, the 2023 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining is full of tips and planning tools developed by Disney World experts over 30+ years of visits. We’ve done the research for you, so you’ll know just which spots will uniquely suit your family’s needs!

With mini-reviews of every single restaurant, bar, lounge, kiosk and more; an entire chapter on the best snacks in Disney World; full Disney Dining Plan analysis (and how to get FREE dining); and a full chapter on discounts and deals; you’ll have everything you need to plan your best vacation yet.

Click here to pre-order your copy of the 2023 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining E-book with code WDW2023 to save 25% off the cover price today!

Use code WDW2023 at check-out for 25% off the cover price today!

Our guides are backed by a 100% money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose. 🙂

Which Disney World change are you most excited or concerned about? Let us know in the comments!

The post A Year of Disney World News — See the Biggest 2022 Changes first appeared on the disney food blog.

5 Disney Cocktail Recipes You Might Need For New Year’s

DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.

Celebrating New Year’s Eve at Disney can be FUN, y’all. But we know snagging those park reservations can be tricky over the holidays (or maybe you prefer to stay away from the crowds — we get it!)

France is so pretty at night!

If you’ll be ringing in the new year at home, why not bring a taste of Disney to your party this year? We’ve got the scoop on how to make some of Disney’s popular cocktails right in your own home! Follow along for the recipes!

1. Winter Wonderland Spiked Mocha

First up is a drink fit for the season — and all of this cold weather we’ve been getting! This Winter Wonderland Spiked Mocha shared by Joffrey’s Coffee might just be the drink for you!

© Joffrey’s Coffee

For this drink, you’ll need a 16oz glass with ice and 2oz of Joffrey’s Winter Wonderland Blend.  Mix in 1 1/2 oz Coconut Rum3/4 oz white chocolate sauce1/2 Monin Almond Syrup, and 1 1/2 oz milk — and then top it off with whipped cream! Sounds delicious!

2. Krakatoa Punch From Disney World’s Trader Sams!

Couldn’t snag a seat at the bar at Trader Sam’s this year? Not to worry! Disney shared the recipe for one of their signature drinks, the Krakatoa Punch, so you can try this one at home!

First, grab all of these ingredients

  • o.5 oz Almond Syrup
  • 3 oz Gorilla Grog (a Trader Sam’s specialty made of passion fruit, guava, pineapple, orange, lemon juices, and falernum, a syrup with tons of spices in it!)
  • 0.25 oz Hibiscus Grenadine
  • 1 oz Aged Rum
  • 1 oz Spiced Rum
  • Ice

Krakatoa Punch at Trader Sam’s


Then, mix it all in a shaker and strain it over ice! If you have a glow cube, you can really emulate the lava look like they do at Trader Sam’s!

3. Konk Kooler from Disney Cruise Line’s Castaway Cay

Maybe you’d rather pretend you were on a Disney cruise instead? This cocktail might make you feel like you’re sitting on Castaway Cay with Mickey himself!

Mickey on Castaway Cay

The Konk Kooler is a signature drink they make on Disney’s private island –and we found it in the Cooking with Mickey and the Disney Chefs cookbook, so now you can make it too!

Konk Kooler!

First, gather these ingredients…

  • 1/2 ounce dark rum
  • 3/4 ounce light rum
  • 1-ounce passion fruit juice
  • 1-ounce piña colada mix
  • 1-ounce orange juice
  • ice


Start by pouring all of the ingredients except for the ice into the blender. Turn the blender to full speed for a few seconds and let all of the liquids mix together. Then, pour over crushed ice! If you have them, you can add an orange wedge and a maraschino cherry to really get in the island spirit! Sit back and enjoy!

4. Elderflower Cocktail

This next recipe will have you dreaming you were clinking glasses with Remy in the France Pavilion in EPCOT!

Elderberry cocktail

Here’s what you’ll need…

  • 1 ounce St. Germain liqueur
  • well-chilled dry sparkling white wine
  • mint to garnish


This one is super easy… just add the first 2 ingredients to a champagne flute, then garnish with mint! Ring in the new year with class!

5. Tiger Lily Sangria from Jardin de Fiestas

If you’re dreaming of warmer weather, maybe give this springtime cocktail from the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival a shot!

Tiger Lily Sangria

Here’s what you’ll need…

  • 2 ounces Chardonnay
  • 1/2 ounce Elderflower Liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce Orange Liqueur
  • 1 1/2 ounces Guava Puree
  • 1/2 ounce Mango Puree
  • 1 ounce Water


All you need to do for this one is mix everything together with 6 ounces of ice and serve!

We’re super excited to try these Disney cocktails at our New Year’s get-togethers this year! Let us know if you’ll be trying your hand at making any of these yourself!

Looking for more Disney recipes to try at home? Find them here!

Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!

Don’t Miss Out on Any Disney Fun!

Pre-Order Your Copy of the 2023 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Today!

With more than 750 pages, the 2023 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining is full of tips and planning tools developed by Disney World experts over 30+ years of visits. We’ve done the research for you, so you’ll know just which spots will uniquely suit your family’s needs!

With mini-reviews of every single restaurant, bar, lounge, kiosk and more; an entire chapter on the best snacks in Disney World; full Disney Dining Plan analysis (and how to get FREE dining); and a full chapter on discounts and deals; you’ll have everything you need to plan your best vacation yet.

Click here to pre-order your copy of the 2023 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining E-book with code WDW2023 to save 25% off the cover price today!

Use code WDW2023 at check-out for 25% off the cover price today!

Our guides are backed by a 100% money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose. 🙂

Which one of these cocktails will you be trying this year? Let us know below!

The post 5 Disney Cocktail Recipes You Might Need For New Year’s first appeared on the disney food blog.

VIDEO: Look INSIDE the Upcoming ‘Moana’ Attraction at EPCOT

2023 is the year of exciting new additions at Disney World!

Let’s go to EPCOT!

One of the biggest additions will be the completion of the EPCOT transformation toward the end of the year, and as part of that, we’ll be getting a new walkthrough attraction. We’ve seen concept art and photos from the upcoming Journey of Water — Inspired by Moana, but now we’ve got our first VIDEO from inside the attraction!

Good Morning America got a sneak peek inside the new attraction and captured some video of its features, which are still under construction. They interviewed Reid Ekman, who is the Lead Concept Designer, asking questions about what we can expect from the new experience — check out the video below!

Wow, how exciting! According to Imagineer Reid, music will be a big part of Journey Into Water — could they use the Moana soundtrack? It was also revealed that there are about a dozen hidden characters throughout the attraction, both on land and in the water. Did anyone else see the peek of the Kakamora?

©Good Morning America

The video also shows a close-up of the stunning Te Fiti sculpture that was installed earlier this month. There’s so much detail that you can only see from standing right underneath the statue.

©Good Morning America

How will guests interact with water in this attraction, exactly? “One way you greet your friend is by waving, so I’d imagine that one way to greet water is by doing a similar thing,” said Ekman. “Our goal is to make a connection between water and the guest.”

©Good Morning America

We can’t wait to check out this attraction in the coming months, and hopefully learn more details before then — it looks like it’s going to be very unique! We’ll continue to update you as we find out more, and stay tuned to DFB for the official opening date announcement.

Click Here to Get a Closer Look at What’s Included in the Attraction!

Want MORE Details About EPCOT’s MASSIVE Transformation?

Click HERE for All the News and Details about EPCOT’s Transformation!

Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the latest EPCOT transformation news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!

What do you think of this new footage? Tell us in the comments!

The post VIDEO: Look INSIDE the Upcoming ‘Moana’ Attraction at EPCOT first appeared on the disney food blog.

NEW Mickey Mouse in a Haunted Mansion Doom Buggy Funko POP! Creeps Into Walt Disney World

The Funko POP! of Mickey Mouse in a Haunted Mansion Doom Buggy has arrived at Walt Disney World after releasing early (and immediately selling out) at Disneyland Resort. We found the 50th anniversary Funko POP! in Bayview Gifts at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, where they had very limited stock.

50th Anniversary Mickey Mouse Haunted Mansion Doom Buggy Funko POP! – 29.99

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This adorable vinyl figure has Mickey Mouse dressed as The Groundskeeper, better known as “Caretaker,” and also semi-officially named Silas Crump.

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Sitting in a Doom Buggy, Groundskeeper Mickey is dressed in a black jacket, matching pants, and a gray peaked cap, with a moss green scarf draped around his neck.

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He holds a glowing lantern and a shovel.

mickey doom buggy 50th funko pop 3805

The figure is the latest in a series celebrating the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort, mostly featuring Mickey on classic attractions.

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mickey doom buggy 50th funko pop 3810

Check out some of the other Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Funko POP! figures:

For the latest Disney Parks news and info, follow WDW News Today on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

The post NEW Mickey Mouse in a Haunted Mansion Doom Buggy Funko POP! Creeps Into Walt Disney World appeared first on WDW News Today.

How to avoid the MOST Expensive Days at Walt Disney World in 2023

Want to visit Walt Disney World and save some money? We have a full breakdown of the least and most expensive dates for 2023. Variable Ticket Pricing Beginning December 8, 2022, Disney World implemented park-specific pricing for 1-day 1-park tickets. Prices will vary based on the park and date. Animal Kingdom prices for 1-day 1-park tickets […]

The post How to avoid the MOST Expensive Days at Walt Disney World in 2023 appeared first on KennythePirate.com.