Disney has had quite the week.
As a proxy battle regarding a seat on the Company’s Board of Directors heats up, Disney has shared news about BIG upcoming changes, including menu changes at an iconic restaurant, returning attractions, and more. So, join us now for a look at the latest and greatest Disney news!
Flower and Garden Festival UPDATES!
The Festival of the Arts might be going on right now in EPCOT, but Disney is already getting ready for the next celebration. This week, Disney announced the
The Festival will feature many of the things you know and love, including eats and drinks at over 15 festival booths, the Garden Rocks Concert Series, and more.
NEW this year willWe can’t wait to get a look at those! We’ll be watching for more updates on this Festival, so stay tuned. And remember you can enjoy the Festival of the Arts until February 20th, 2023.
Several Attractions Are RETURNING
Next, it’s time to talk about some reopening attractions in Disney World! Earlier this week, Pete’s Silly Sideshow reopened in Magic Kingdom. So, you can once again step into this space to meet Minnie Magnifique, Daisy Fortuna, The Astounding Donaldo, and The Great Goofini.
But wait, there’s MORE on the way. Disney has announced that Ariel’s Grotto — the Little Mermaid meet-and-greet in Magic Kingdom — will be reopening soon! You’ll be able to meet Ariel in this location once again starting January 22nd!
And finally, also in Magic Kingdom, Enchanted Tales with Belle will be reopening in just a few short weeks! This storybook experience (where you get to be transported through an enchanted mirror into a library to learn how Belle met the Beast) will be back on February 19th, 2023.
Though much of Disney World has already returned to “normal,” these reopenings signal an even greater return of many things fans may have been missing from the parks.
Click here to see everything that will be CLOSED in Disney World in 2023
Potential Park Pass Changes?
Next up, we got the chance this week to speak with Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, about the future of the theme parks. When discussing Park Passes (a topic that has been controversial among Disney fans) and Park Hopping, D’Amaro seemed to reference the restrictions on these as something that wouldn’t exactly be going away soon. But he did fully acknowledge one thing fans seem to dislike about Park Passes — the fact that they cause you to “lose some of the serendipity.” So, he said, Disney is working to “create ease” with the system while also making sure the guest experience is good.
According to D’Amaro, the changes recently announced to the Disney World Passholder requirements (which will eventually let Passholders enter the parks after 2PM without a Park Pass, with some exceptions) are “just the start of changes to Park Passes.” He said individuals are working even now on ways to improve the process and make the reservation process “as easy and flexible” as possible.
D’Amaro shared, “Are you going to see more initiatives like you saw last week? I think you will.”
Click here to see more about what D’Amaro had to say about Park Passes
D’Amaro also commented on Disney+ losses and whether those influence pricing in the parks. He shared, losses elsewhere in the company have nothing to do with what decisions are made at the parks level…We’re not going to raise the price of a bottle of Dasani because of budgetary concerns in another part of the company.”
In terms of future projects, he also said Disney+ losses have no impact. Instead, D’Amaro was adamant that Disney is on the brink of some of their biggest projects. He shared, “We have no shortage of money. We wanna make sure we do the biggest things, the coolest things, the things that represent the future.”
D’Amaro shared, ““Our capital spending is higher than it’s ever been before. People are looking for reasons why we shouldn’t be investing, but we’re investing more.” Just how will that spending play out in terms of new experiences for guests remains to be seen, but we are eager to learn about what the future may hold.
Click here to see D’Amaro’s statements on spending on future parks projects
California Grill Changes and Other Food News
Next up we have some BIG food news from the parks! Over at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, California Grill has been serving a (pricey!) prix fixe menu for the 50th Anniversary. But the 50th Anniversary will end at the end of March, so what will the menu look like after that — will it go back to its regular ordering style (where you could just order individual items off of a standard menu)? It seems that won’t be the case for now.
So it looks like the prix fixe style is here to stay, though some menu selections will likely change. In fact, Disney has already highlighted some of the items you’ll find on this updated menu, including a Lemon Chiffon Cake, Fire-Roasted Venison, and Goat Cheese Raviolo. We’ll be on the lookout for more details about what this updated experience will be like.
In terms of other food news, there’s awhich includes a Pistachio DOLE Whip and cherry soft serve ice cream twist!
The DOLE Whip nachos have also changed and now feature cherry pistachio ice cream!
Also in Disney Springs, you’ll find a NEWThis burger seriously impressed us, but just note that it comes with some consequences — particularly when it comes to your breath. (You may want to pack a toothbrush!)
Over at Disneyland (in California), the parks are gearing up for the 100th Anniversary! TONS of new treats will be arriving very soon — generally around January 27th. These include a Platinum Trifle, Potato & Cheddar Cheeseburger, Violet Pretzel, and MORE!
Plus, there will be
Click here to see ALL of the new treats you’ll be able to pick up in honor of this BIG celebration!
Don’t Forget — Splash Mountain is CLOSING Next Week!
And now it’s time to wrap up our weekly news post with some important reminders. First, do not forget that Splash Mountain in Walt Disney World will have its last day of operation on January 22nd, 2023.
That means the 22nd will be your LAST CHANCE to ride the current iteration of this attraction before it is CLOSED on January 23rd, 2023, to be transformed into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is not set to open until 2024.
Click here to read more about the Splash Mountain CLOSURE and transformation
Another Reminder — The Skyliner is Temporarily CLOSING
Our second reminder is about the Disney Skyliner. The Skyliner is set to be CLOSED for refurbishment from January 22nd to January 29th, 2023. Hotels like Disney’s Pop Century, Art of Animation, Riviera, or Caribbean Beach Resort will be impacted by the closure and will offer alternative transportation to Hollywood Studios and EPCOT during this time.
Of course, remember that refurbishment dates and closures are subject to change, so just be sure to check with Cast Members for any other updates.
See our full post on this closure here
And that’s our wrap-up of Disney’s biggest news. Check out more important news stories from this week by clicking the links below:
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What news from this week surprised you the most? Tell us in the comments.
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