It’s never a dull week in Disney World!
Goodness, what DIDN’T happen this week? Between the Disney World Annual Passholder announcement and the appearance of new decor, it’s been a week. We’re here to go over the six most unexpected things that happened this week, so be prepared for some big news.
Disney World Annual Passholder News
This week, Disney World announced their new Annual Passholder program, which has a lot of changes from the previous annual pass program. Starting September 8th, Florida residents get the choice of four different pass tiers, while non-Florida residents only get one annual pass option, which is also the most expensive pass at $1,299 plus tax.
Previous options included in a Disney World Annual Pass, like PhotoPass, will now be considered add-ons. PhotoPass will cost an additional $99 per pass. We also reviewed the blockout dates for each pass, with the highest tier pass having NO blockout dates.
New 50th Anniversary Decor
Several new Disney World 50th anniversary decor has popped up around Disney World this week, with one big item coming and going.
Partners Statue Stage
Earlier this week we discovered a 50th anniversary stage had been added right in front of Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom, surrounding the Partners Statue. The stage was arranged in a star shape with a blue center and EARidescent details.
A few days later, the stage was removed from Disney World. We were told by a Cast Member that it was for filming the 50th Anniversary ABC Special, so time will tell whether this stage returns to Magic Kingdom.
Main Street Train Station
Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Train Station also received a new 50th anniversary decoration in the form of a big 50th anniversary sign.
The new sign reads “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” with a rainbow EARidescent background and a huge 50.
Main Street Clock
Lightning Lane Signs
Lightning Lane will be the paid replacement for the FastPass+ via the new Disney Genie+ program, and although the Disney Genie has not yet launched, Lightning Lane signs are popping up around Disney World this week.
In EPCOT, we found new Lightning Lane signs for Soarin’, Living With the Land, and at the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival.
The free Disney Genie program will reportedly launch sometime this fall.
Lightning Lane signs also popped up around Magic Kingdom, at rides such as “it’s a small world,” Tomorrowland Speedway, and the Jungle Cruise.
We have to wonder whether the Disney Genie program will be launching sooner rather than later if signs keep appearing around Disney World.
And in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, more Lightning Lane signs were visible at Toy Story Mania, Alien’s Swirling Saucers, Disney Junior Dance Party, and Tower of Terror.
We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for more Lightning Lane signs around Disney World.
Space 220 Opening Date
A day that we never thought we’d see was Disney finally giving Space 220 an opening date in EPCOT! Space 220 will officially open on September 20. This immersive space restaurant will be located next to Mission: SPACE and it will give diners the chance to feel like they’re eating in space.
Disney has not yet announced when reservations will open for this highly anticipated restaurant, so we’ll be keeping an eye out for more news. In the meantime, you can read everything you need to know about Space 220 and decide whether this is a must-do Disney World activity for you!
Avatar Flight of Passage Wait Time
A MAJORLY unexpected moment in Disney World this week was finding Avatar Flight of Passage in Disney’s Animal Kingdom with only a 15-minute wait. Flight of Passage frequently has one of the longest ride waits in Disney World.
But we were even more surprised to find that there was actually NO wait, and Cast Members even invited us to ride it a second time once we finished our first ride. Is this a sign of decreasing crowds in Disney World?
NBA Experience Sign
And in Disney Springs, we noticed that the NBA Experience sign was completely removed from the building. We already knew NBA Experience was permanently closed, but this was the first time we saw Disney taking steps to change the building.
The sign is now a plain grey, and we continue to wait for Disney to announce their plans for this large building space. This building used to be DisneyQuest, so we’re eager to see what else could take over this spot.
So that’s the six most unexpected things to happen in Disney World this week! What do you think next week will have in store for us? Keep reading DFB for all your Disney World news and updates!
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Were you surprised by any of the news this week? Tell us in the comments!