It’s been quite the month in Disney World!
We’ve been keeping you updated on the biggest updates from Disney World over the past few months, but June was full of HUGE updates that will likely affect your next trip. Not only did health and safety change in the parks, but we got some exciting news on fireworks, new nighttime shows, and MORE!
Fireworks Are BACK in Disney World!
Disney World reopened its parks in July of 2020 with no character meet and greets, no live shows like Festival of the Lion King, and no fireworks. We saw a few sporadic fireworks for holidays and some random testing here and there, but Disney recently announced when fireworks would return to the parks!
On July 1st, fireworks officially returned to Disney World! Guests at the Magic Kingdom were able to see Happily Ever After and guests at EPCOT watched EPCOT Forever for the first time in OVER a year!
Even though hours are often extended, Disney World has had more limited hours since reopening. Now, show times have been released and hours have been extended so that guests can still enjoy the parks even after the shows. Happily Ever After will take place at 9:15PM each day in July, and the park will be open until 11PM which is an extension of 2 hours!
EPCOT will continue to keep its closing at 10PM, and EPCOT Forever will take place at 10PM each night. Fireworks have not been announced for Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Disney’s Animal Kingdom at this time.
Harmonious Dates, New Shows, and More 50th Anniversary Details!
So…we know that some fan-favorite shows are coming back on July 1st, but we also got TONS of details on some BRAND NEW shows coming to Disney World! First of all, we got some information we’ve been waiting for (for what feels like forever) — a Harmonious debut date in EPCOT!
Along with the opening of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, La Creperie de Paris, 9 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival Booths, AND the kickoff for Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, Harmonious will have its first official show on October 1st! The new show will feature fireworks, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving lasers, fountains, and more.
We also found out that EPCOT isn’t the only park getting a brand new fireworks show! Magic Kingdom will also debut a new show called Disney Enchantment on October 1st! During the show, guests will enjoy “music, enhanced lighting, stunning fireworks and, for the first time, immersive projection effects that extend from Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A.” Pretty exciting right?
But wait, there’s ANOTHER new show coming to Disney World on October 1st! A new daytime show called Disney KiteTails is coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom to celebrate the big anniversary! The show will feature performers flying windcatchers and kites with some elaborate three-dimensional kites of Simba, Zazu, Baloo, and King Louie over the water. This is a unique kind of show we haven’t really seen in Disney World before!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the only park currently without a big show announcement at the time, however there are a bunch of other things coming to the 50th Anniversary celebrations. Disney announced a brand new character cavalcade featuring some of your favorite Disney characters in new outfits, and 50 character statues across all 4 parks!
Health and Safety Measures Are Very Different
Face masks are still required for ALL guests regardless of their vaccination status when on Disney transportation including the Monorail, buses, and the Disney Skyliner. Disney does not require proof of vaccination, but expects that non-vaccinated guests will wear a mask in indoor locations. Disney World Cast Members who are fully vaccinated are also able to go maskless both indoors and outdoors.
This month, social distancing language has also been removed from Disney World’s website. In the parks, we’ve seen markers and plexiglass being removed in ride queues, shops, transportation, and more.
On top of these changes, many things that we haven’t seen in a long time have started to return to Disney World. In the last month alone, we’ve seen arcades open up at resorts, dressing rooms reopen in shops, grab-&-go return to resorts, pool chairs are no longer distanced, and self-serve water stations and self-serve condiments are coming back.
Disney World is changing constantly very quickly, but we’re here to keep those updates straight for ya! The parks are looking more and more “normal”, and we’ll continue to keep you updated on the latest health and safety changes.
Booths and other details for the 2021 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival
Even though the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival is still going on, the park is gearing up for its most anticipated festival — the 2021 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival! Disney released a ton of information about the festival this month, and it’s got us pretty excited for it to start on July 15th!
Although menus have not been announced yet, Disney did release the FULL list of booths coming to this year’s festival! This year is a bit different, though, because 9 of the booths are opening on October 1st when the 50th Anniversary celebrations begin.
The festival is being sponsored by Corkcicle this year, and to celebrate there will be an exclusive EPCOT Food and Wine Festival Corkcicle! It will be available at Shimmering Sips Global Marketplace and 4 other Festival locations — what a fun souvenir to take home from the festival!
Live concerts have also been announced for the festival! Similarly to what we saw for the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival, local bands will be playing at the America Gardens Theatre as well as EPCOT favorites like the JAMMitors, the Voices of Liberty, and Mariachi Cobre.
We’ve already seen booths for the next festival pop-up in the parks, and we can’t wait for the festival to begin very soon!
‘Ohana, Casey’s Corner, and Other Restaurants Are Reopening!
Disney has released the the menu for its all-you-care-to-eat breakfast, drinks, and dinner, and originally the iconic ‘Ohana noodles were missing! But don’t worry — Disney has since confirmed that the noodles ARE in fact returning. Character dining is not currently available at ‘Ohana, but a musician will be there to entertain you!
‘Ohana isn’t the only restaurant with reopening news recently! Tusker House Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom officially reopened this month with character dining!
During this all-you-care-to-eat family-style meal, you can meet Mickey, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy in their safari outfits!
The dining room at La Cava del Tequila in EPCOT’s Mexico pavilion also reopened to guests this month with a celebratory margarita, exclusive mezcal, and new glassware.
Casey’s Corner in Magic Kingdom finally reopened after some BIG hints that it would be reopening! We recently saw some changes to the menu online (which has resulted in restaurants reopening shortly after), we saw tables and chairs inside the restaurant, AND we saw some Cast Members in the restaurant’s costume!!!
After the first wave of reopening announcements, Disney released reopening dates for 5 more restaurants! Disney announced that Casey’s Corner would officially open on June 30th, and we were there to give you a first look! We were so excited to be reunited with our beloved Casey’s plastic cheese and corn dog nuggies, and we were still really impressed with the food.
Citricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort will reopen on July 15th, and reservations are now available. The restaurant will reopen with a new Mary Poppins Returns theme, a new wine experience, and a brand new menu!
Back in Magic Kingdom, the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor will reopen on July 7th! The popular ice cream spot already released its menu before reopening.
Over in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Dino Diner is set to reopen on July 4th. This is a great spot to grab a quick snack or meal while walking around the park!
A reopening date was also announced for Trail’s End Restaurant at The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Guests will be able to dine here again starting on July 17th! Reservations are currently open, but the fan-favorite fried chicken is missing from the menu! You can take a look at the family-style menu here.
We’ll be on the lookout for more and more restaurants to reopen, and stay tuned for a first look at a reopened ‘Ohana soon!
New Ice Cream Shop Coming to Disney Springs
If you go to Disneyland Resort often, you may have stopped by the Salt & Straw Ice Cream shop in Downtown Disney. Well, Salt & Straw recently announced that they are bringing a new location to Disney Springs next year!
At Salt & Straw’s Disney Springs location, guests will get to enjoy “small batch, hand-churned ice cream.” Salt & Straw actually creates unique menus in each city that change every four to six weeks — we can’t wait to see what flavors they will offer in Disney World!
So far, Salt & Straw has said that the flavors that will be available at the Disney Springs location will include favorites like Honey Lavender and Chocolate Gooey Brownie, along with unique flavors specific to Florida including The Salty Donut Guava & Cheese and Panther Coffee Chocolate Tres Leches. We look forward to more updates from this ice cream shop as it gets closer to their opening!
Pre-Shows Are Coming Back Everywhere!
Pre-shows were basically non-existent when Disney World reopened last July because of health and safety restrictions. This month, however, LOTS of pre-shows have returned for guests to enjoy! In Animal Kingdom, you can now see the famous Dr. Seeker again before your board Dinosaur.
One of the newest pre-shows at Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Hollywood Studios is back, too!
Some of the fan-favorite and classic pre-shows are back including the Haunted Mansion (it’s still as spooky as ever)…
…and the Tower of Terror!
…and you can meet Hondo Ohnaka before you fly the Millennium Falcon.
Pre-shows add a lot of context and story to Disney World rides, and we didn’t realize how much we missed them until they returned! So whether you want to hang out with Dr. Seeker, or see the stretching portraits at Haunted Mansion, pre-shows are BACK, baby!
More Info From the New BOO Bash After Hours Event
Last month, we learned that a brand new Halloween event called Boo Bash would be replacing Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Now, we have a plenty of details on what to expect from the event including pricing (which is WAY different from previous Halloween events), decor, characters, and food!
Let’s start with pricing, which is significantly higher than Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. The after hours event will cost you anywhere between $129 and $199, depending on the date you attend.
See More on How Disney World’s BOO Bash Ticket Prices Compare to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
With Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween being a much longer event and capping out at $135 for adults and $130 for children, 74% of our readers don’t think the new BOO Bash is worth the price.
When fall hits, Disney World gets ready for the season by putting out Halloween decor. But this year, there will be all NEW Halloween decor around Magic Kingdom! Disney will blend Halloweentime decor with the story of Cinderella, and feature special pumpkin coach decorations that will add to the park’s “EARidescence” decor for the 50th Anniversary.
When BOO Bash was first announced, Disney said that there would be cavalcades at the event — now we know which characters we can expect to see! Mickey’s Happy Halloween Cavalcade, Jack’s Nightmare Cavalcade, and the Disney Villain Halloween Cavalcade will be returning from last year, but this year the iconic fire-breathing Maleficent will make an appearance!
On top of that, you’ll see Miss Carlota from the Haunted Mansion, Goofy, Chip ‘n’ Dale, and the Cadaver Dans will be performing!
Last but not least, we learned a little more about the FOOD coming to BOO Bash! Disney confirmed there will be two new specialty treats — the Apple Ginger Dale Frozen Drink and the Foolish Mortal Funnel Cake! The drink is a Frozen Apple Cider mixed with Ginger Ale and topped with Whipped Cream, while the funnel cake is topped with icing, candy, and cookie crumbles. We can’t wait to try them!
If you want to head to Disney World and attend the BOO Bash After Hours event, be sure to buy your tickets soon because some dates have sold out already! Halloween may be a while away, but it’s better to be prepared.
What’s the Difference Between Disney World’s After Hours BOO Bash and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party?
Two Hotels Are Getting a Refurbishment
There are countless construction projects going on in Disney World right now, from new attractions and restaurants, to hotel room makeovers. But, two hotels announced a refurbishment that started this month!
On June 28th, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Disney’s Old Key West Resort began to make updates to the main areas of the resorts. The refurb at Saratoga Springs is expected to last through October 2021, and the Old Key West refurb is set to last through September 2021.
After the refurbishments are complete, both resorts will feature an open, free-flowing layout with several smaller counters to help guests have a better check-in experience. These two resorts are now in a long line-up of resort refurbishments including Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.
More Disney World Resorts Get Reopening Dates
Although most Disney World resorts have reopened since the closures last year, there are a few fan-favorite hotels that have yet to reopen. Now, we know the reopening dates for two more Disney World hotels!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has been available for DVC guests for a while, but now the entire resort is opening up on August 26th! This includes the Villas at Jambo House.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort has had major construction going on for what feels like forever, but the resort is officially reopening on July 19th!
We already knew that the popular resort would reopen on this date when room reservations became available starting on July 19th, but now Disney made an official announcement. Click here to see what will and won’t be open when the Polynesian officially reopens!
Disney’s Contemporary Resort Gets an Incredibles-themed Upgrade!
The Moana-themed room makeovers at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort have been the most talked about room makeover recently. But now there is another awesome room makeover coming to Disney’s Contemporary Resort!
The resort rooms have been under refurbishment for a while now, but Disney recently announced that the rooms are getting an Incredibles-themed upgrade! Here’s a first look at what the rooms will look like!
Can we talk about that Edna Mode pillow?! We can’t wait to see the new rooms in person, and the theming in this room is incredible (pun intended)!
Well, that’s the biggest news from the month of June wrapped up for ya! There were some very exciting announcements from Disney this month that will make an impact on your next visit to the parks. If you’ve got a trip to Disney World planned soon, keep an eye out for even more updates on fireworks, refurbishments, 50th anniversary celebration updates, and more!
What is your favorite thing that happened this month in Disney World? Let us know in the comments!