March was a BIG month of news for Disney World and lots of news can sometimes make for surprises!
From dining changes to health measure updates and more, let’s take a look at the four most unexpected things that happened in Disney World in March!
1. LOTS of Returning Offerings Announced
First up, there were a LOT of big announcements about returning offerings in Disney World.
Traditional Character Meet and Greets
At the very end of the month, we were shocked to FINALLY get the news that traditional character meet and greets will be returning on April 18th!
Disney notes that this will be a phased return that begins on that date with some meet and greet locations. More returns will continue through spring and early summer.
Click here to learn more about the return of traditional character meet and greets!
Cultural Representative Program
Just a few days prior, Disney announced that the Cultural Representative Program will return to EPCOT in phases, with those whose programs were canceled in 2020 being given the opportunity to reapply.
The Cultural Representative Program hires people from around the world to work in the EPCOT World Showcase pavilions, with Cast Members working in the pavilion that represents their home country.
Want to learn more about the return of Cultural Reps? Click here!
Hoop Dee Doo Revue
Late March also brought us the announcement of the return of Hoop Dee Doo Revue, a popular dinner show located at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.
Guests will be welcomed back to the show at Pioneer Hall with updated scenery and script on June 23rd, with reservations opening on May 26th.
To see more about the return of Hoop Dee Doo Revue, click here!
Aaaaaaand Minnie Vans are coming back! The Lyft-partnered rideshare service will return to Disney World this summer! The news came in late March.
Minnie Vans are driven by Disney Cast Members and ordered through the Lyft app as a paid option for getting around Disney World.
Click here to learn more about Minnie Vans!
Some much-loved restaurant antics returned in March! We were surprised and delighted to see the return of the celebration when guests order a Kitchen Sink Sundae at Beaches & Cream!
Yep, the pomp and circumstance are BACK when you order this iconic treat over at Disney’s Beach Club Resort.
Want to see the Kitchen Sink Celebration? Click here!
Antics are also back over at Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort. The main attractions at this spot are the not-so-whispered shenanigans.
Well, the servers were back to their fun and games and we were so happy to see it.
To learn more about Whispering Canyon antics, click here!
Tumble Monkeys at Festival of The Lion King
Mid-March, we got the announcement that the Tumble Monkeys will be returning to Festival of the Lion King at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
Expect to see these incredibly gymnastic performers back in action this summer!
Click here to learn more about the return of the Tumble Monkeys!
Victoria & Albert’s
Victoria & Albert’s is one of Disney World’s most expensive and highest-rated restaurants! You can find the AAA Five Diamond Award-winning spot at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
Victoria & Albert’s has been closed since the 2020 closures, but now Disney has announced it’s reopening sometime this year!
Want the latest news on Victoria & Albert’s? Click here!
2. More Mask Updates
But returning offerings weren’t the ONLY surprising news items in March! We also got an unexpected update to the mask rules in Disney World.
Midway through the month, Disney World removed the mask mandate for those on the Skyliner. Now, masks are required on the monorail and Disney buses, and optional elsewhere.
To see the current Skyliner face mask policy, click here!
3. New Dining
We also got some exciting dining updates!
Swirls on the Water
WHAT? A surprise new dining location? Yep, March brought us a serious surprise when Aristocrepes suddenly closed and the new DOLE WHIP spot, Swirls on the Water, opened in Disney Springs.
Now you can find some interesting Dole Whip at Swirls on the Water and your favorite bubble waffle eats are found over at Marketplace Snacks.
Click here for our FULL REVIEW of Swirls on the Water!
There have been several menu revamps and new menu items in the past month as well. EPCOT’s Space 220 got some SERIOUSLY tasty new updates.
Wanna try the Orion Old Fashioned or the Stratosphere Strawberry Lemonade? What about the Shrimp Cocktail or the Quinoa Burger?
Want to see what we thought of the new Space 220 eats? Click here!
Backlot Express at Disney’s Hollywood Studios got new menu items too!
New offerings include a Teriyaki Chicken Bowl, an updated Southwest Salad, and a Smoked BBQ Pulled Pork Burger.
To see more about the new items at Backlot Express, click here!
Aaaaaaand over at Hollywood Brown Derby in the same park, there are a few NEW items as well! Spoiler alert: We were pretty happy with these eats.
We tried out the Roasted Tomato Cream Soup, the Escargot Casino, the Free-Range Chicken Coq au Vin, the Sustainable Salmon Coulibiac, the Tomato Risotto, and more!
Click here to see our REVIEW at Hollywood Brown Derby!
4. Upcoming Resort Change Announcements
Finally, we got some announcements about some changes coming to the resorts that surprised us. For instance, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort has some pretty big updates coming.
Disney announced that new villas will be coming to the resort slated for early 2024!
Want to learn more about the Polynesian Village Resort refurbishment? Click here!
We’re pretty excited about those new villas, but we also have to say goodbye to a longtime Polynesian offering. Disney also announced that the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show is closed for good.
The luau experience was much loved. It’s hard to say goodbye!
To see more about Spirit of Aloha closing, click here.
Last but certainly not least, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn Resort had a big announcement in March too! The hotel is getting a makeover!
Disney announced that the lobby, lounge, and guest rooms will be refurbished to add light and airy touches. There will also be a new sandwich shop, coffee shop, AND table service restaurant!!
We can’t wait to see the finished product!
Click here to learn more about the BoardWalk changes!
Whew! March was a pretty surprising month! As always, keep an eye on DFB so you don’t miss any of the unexpected news to come!
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What news surprised you? Tell us in the comments!
Hi. Do you know if IN ROOM Celebrations is returning to Disney World? Thanks
With all the expensive villas being built in the deluxe hotels, will Disney be reducing the number of less expensive regular rooms in these Deluxe Hotels? Gigi, please let me know.
DFB Gigi says
Hi Ron. Disney has not released any information stating they are reducing the number of standard rooms and we have no way of knowing what their future plans are unless they make an announcement, but we are keeping an eye on the situation.