There were some surprising happenings in Disney World this week!
California Grill Closed
On January 11th, a reader reached out to let us know that their reservation for California Grill, located in Disney’s Contemporary Resort, was unexpectedly canceled and that the restaurant was unavailable for dining. We received the same message when we took a look at the restaurant page in the My Disney Experience app.
According to a DFB reader, a Cast Member informed them that the restaurant was closed due to a “maintenance issue,” and that Disney reportedly indicated that guests with canceled reservations would be emailed a Disney gift card for the inconvenience. The restaurant resumed regular operations the following day.
TONS of Price Increases
This week HUNDREDS of price increases hit Disney World, from fan-favorite snacks like Dole Whip to popcorn buckets and refills, and even Mickey ice cream bars, along with many other items impacted. These price increases *could* possibly indicate the return of the Disney Dining Plan, but Disney has yet to announce anything.
These price increases have impacted all four Disney Parks, Disney Springs, and Disney World hotels. Most of these were small but they could have an impact on your overall food budget.
EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival Booths
This week Disney announced the 2022 EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival booths — and we were pretty surprised by the lineup. In fact, it’s pretty much identical to the list of booths from the 2021 Flower and Garden Festival! While Disney typically brings back many of the past booths to a new festival, there are often more new booths to check out.
There were a few tiny changes, but mostly it looks like Disney just copied and pasted 2021 onto 2022! The Garden Rocks concert series will return to the festival in 2022, and you can still expect to find lots of colorful topiaries around EPCOT.
Closed Disney World Locations
Lately, we’ve noticed that a number of places around Disney World have been unexpectedly closed or opening late, and we’ve been told by Cast Members that this has been caused by staffing issues due to COVID-19. In Magic Kingdom, Cheshire Cafe recently closed, and it’s noteworthy because this spot was supposed to get a new 50th anniversary slush on January 10th.
Cheshire Cafe has historically opened and closed seasonally, but it’s a bit odd that the spot closed when it was due to get a new 50th anniversary treat. We’ll be watching closely for it to reopen!
Surprise New Treats
This week also brought us a surprise new treat in the form of Seven Dwarfs Specialty Cones from Storybook Treats in Magic Kingdom! There are seven cones total, but not every cone will be available at one time. As far as we know, there will be a featured Dwarf cone each day, with their own special flavors and cone colors.
When we stopped by, the Grumpy Cone was available. And we have checked each day since and still have not seen a new cone! But at some point, we should see cones featuring Dopey, Doc, Happy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Sleepy. They cost $5.99 per cone!
Early Entry for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
And finally, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure opened with Early Entry in EPCOT, allowing Disney World hotel guests access to the standby line 30 minutes before official opening time. Up until now, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure was only available to ride via a virtual queue system or by purchasing an Individual Lightning Lane. This has changed since Disney discontinued the virtual queue system for Remy and is now offering a standby line.
Without a virtual queue, the standby line might reach high wait times, and Early Entry can be a great way to get ahead of the crowds and take advantage of shorter wait times. If you’re staying in a qualifying Disney hotel, you might want to try out Early Entry!
And that’s all the unexpected news from this week in Disney World! Stay tuned to DFB for more Disney World news and updates.
Are you surprised by any of the news this week? Tell us in the comments!