Disney World was FULL of surprises this week!
Not that it surprises us that Disney was surprising…er…something like that. Anyway, this week was full of holiday announcements, character meet-and-greet news, and lots more! Check out all the news here!
EPCOT Festival of the Holidays
It may only be June, but Disney announced tons of holiday news this week! We’ll start out with the announcement of the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays, which will kick off on November 25th. This festival is full of holiday goodies and entertainment, including holiday booths, the Candlelight Processional, Santa Claus, and the Cookie Stroll!
No end date has been announced for the festival yet, though in the past it typically concludes on December 30th, so it’s likely that this year could be similar.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
In other big holiday news, Disney announced that Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will be BACK this year! In case you forgot, this event was replaced by the Very Merriest After Hours event in 2021, which was a shorter event with somewhat less perks.
Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind recently opened in EPCOT and it’s already getting some changes. This indoor roller coaster features six different songs that riders can experience, and it’s random — so you never know what song you could get.
But for the holidays, Cosmic Rewind will instead feature a “mash-up of seasonal jams,” which means we could be hearing holiday songs while zipping around on the coaster! And if you’re looking for other holiday ways to experience the Guardians, you can check out the Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special that should be released in 2022.
Return of the Holiday Popcorn Bucket
The Gold Holiday Popcorn Bucket is for sale in Disney Springs for a limited time! We previously saw this popcorn bucket for sale in Disney World during the holiday season in 2021, and now it’s back for halfway to the holidays.
We were told that you could find this popcorn bucket at all the popcorn carts in Disney Springs, but we found this one at the cart across from Paddlefish for $25. Might as well celebrate the holidays early!
Magnolia Golf Course Reimagining
In case you didn’t know, there are opportunities to golf at Disney World! Among the three different golf courses, Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course will be receiving some big changes. This golf course closed for refurbishment back in April, and this week we learned what we can expect once it reopens.
The course will be reimagined by Ken Barker, with all 18 holes of the course to be reconstructed. We’ll keep you updated as construction progress continues!
Disney announced this week that character meet-and-greets are returning to Pete’s Silly Sideshow in Magic Kingdom! At this location, you’ll be able to meet with Minnie, Daisy, Donald, and Goofy as the Great Goofini. There’s no official opening date for this character spot yet, but Disney said it should open in the coming months.
And that’s not all! Peter Pan and Snow White are returning to Magic Kingdom on July 10th, and Aladdin, Jasmine, Merida, Pooh, and Tigger will also be back! In Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Toy Story “toys” will be back for meet-and-greets, and in Animal Kingdom Donald’s Dino-Bash will be back!
While Mickey Mouse has been available for meet-and-greets at Mickey’s Town Square Theater in Magic Kingdom for some time now, this week Disney announced that Minnie Mouse will be joining him! Just like Mickey, Minnie will be dressed in her 50th anniversary best.
You can catch both Mickey and Minnie beginning on July 6th, 2022! Are you excited??
Beginning on July 17th, the Star Wars Launch Bay will reopen with meet-and-greets with Chewbacca, BB-8, and Darth Vader!!
Get a warm hug from Chewie and join the Dark Side with Darth Vader!
The Adventure Friends Cavalcade makes its way down Main Street, U.S.A. several times a day, and you can also catch characters like Miguel from Coco, Nick and Judy from Zootopia, Moana, and more!
During this event, guests can sing along with Chip and Dale and roast marshmallows, and after the show, it’s time for a Disney movie under the stars!
Flooding in Hollywood Studios
During most Florida afternoons in the summer, rainstorms are a common thing, but one day this week got a little rainier than expected. Not only did some of the walkways of Hollywood Studios get flooded, but some stores did too! In The Darkroom, Cast Members had to block off areas of flooding.
Hollywood Studios is one of the worst Disney Parks when it comes to flooding, so keep that in mind if you see rain in the forecast, and make sure you’re ready for rain!
Unexpectedly HUGE Crowds
It’s not totally unexpected to find large crowds in Disney World, but this week was a doozy! On a random Monday, which typically tends to be slightly less crowded than weekends, we saw HUGE crowds all the way from the Transportation & Ticket Center to the entrance of Magic Kingdom.
And in EPCOT it was so busy that the queue for Living With the Land backed up into the hallway! This is a good reminder that it’s generally a good idea to expect the unexpected in Disney World, even if you’re visiting during a historically less crowded time!
Wookiee Cookie Looks Different
We noticed that the Wookiee Cookie from Backlot Express in Disney’s Hollywood Studios got some changes this week! This sandwich cookie is typically made with two oatmeal cookies, sandwiched with a vanilla cream filling, and garnished with a piece of chocolate that looks like Chewie’s bandolier.
But recently we noticed that the oatmeal cookies were WAY thicker than they used to be! We found them to be a bit too thick, but we did enjoy their soft, chewy (haha get it?) texture. Overall, this is still a GIANT snack that would be great to be shared!
Park Pass Booking Change
The reservation system for park passes was changed a bit. We noticed that within the My Disney Experience app, the process looked a little more streamlined, with all four parks listed with park icons.
You can still make your park reservation on Disney’s website (and we’ve outlined the entire process here), but this new process in the app is a little easier. Remember that you can’t enter a Disney Park without a ticket and a park reservation, so make sure you don’t forget to get yours scheduled!
Top of the World
And finally, Disney announced that the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) spot, the Top of the World Lounge at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, will be reopening on July 11th with a Disney Villains theme!
The Top of the World Lounge is located in Bay Lake Tower and it’s known for its incredible views of Magic Kingdom. The new theme will be known as the Top of the World Lounge — A Villains Lair, and guests can expect “curious couture,” artwork, and “rebellious recipes” dedicated to the villains. The lair will be open from 6PM to midnight for DVC Members!
Phew! It was a busy week in Disney World! Stay tuned to DFB for more surprising and unexpected Disney news!
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Have you visited Disney World recently? Tell us in the comments!