Home / News / DISNEY NEWS ROUNDUP – Big News on the Holidays at WDW, New Fall & Halloween Offerings, Tons of Food News, Ticket Discounts, Extended Hours, Recipes, Magic of Animal Kingdom Trailer Drops & More

DISNEY NEWS ROUNDUP – Big News on the Holidays at WDW, New Fall & Halloween Offerings, Tons of Food News, Ticket Discounts, Extended Hours, Recipes, Magic of Animal Kingdom Trailer Drops & More

Fall is arriving at Disney World, and the week, we’ll start to see special decorations, treats, and new entertainment options celebrating this season and, of course, Halloween. We also got clarification on what the winter holiday season will look like with the announcement of new holiday magic on deck, and unfortunately, the cancellation of some of the traditional Disney World holiday offerings. We have various food-related news with the reopening of more Disney World restaurants, a run-down of some new seasonal treats, Taste of Epcot news, and even some of our favorite recipes from the parks. Disney release more discounted ticket offers, and Disney announced extended theme park hours starting in November for those of us who love Disney World after dark. Plus, we got a trailer for a new Disney+ series taking views behind the scenes in Animal Kingdom we can’t wait for! All this and more in this week’s roundup.


1 – 2020 Holiday Celebrations – What’s New and What’s Cancelled

A reimagined holiday celebration will begin November 6, 2020, at Walt Disney World Resort, with the four theme parks, Disney Springs, and Disney resort hotels decked out for the season. Through December 30, guests will discover seasonal food and drinks at The Most Magical Place on Earth, as well as special merchandise and enchanting new entertainment experiences. Unfortunately, some fan-favorites will not be returning. Click the article below for all of the details.

Click here to learn about the 2020 Holiday Celebrations – What’s New and What’s Cancelled.

2 – Fall Fun Begins September 15 at Magic Kingdom – New Details Revealed

This week, Magic Kingdom will be decorated for the Halloween season, and Halloween-themed cavalcades will travel down Main Street, U.S.A! More details have been released on what we can expect! Visit the link below for more information.

Click here for details on what you can expect.

Cindy will be at Magic Kingdom on Tuesday, September 15, to catch all the new entertainment and enjoy some of the specialty food and beverages. Be sure to follow us on Instagram for photos and video that she’ll be posting, especially to our Instagram Story! (Click here to follow us on Instagram). We’ll have a review up of the Halloween festivities later next week.

3 – New Dining Options at Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios

During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, not all restaurants have reopened. We recently learned that four restaurants would be reopening, two with modifications. Learn more at the link below.

Click here for information about new dining options at Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.


4- Fall Specialty Food & Beverage Now Available at Disney Parks

If you’re visiting Walt Disney World now through Halloween, you’ll want to be on the lookout for some delicious fall favorite specialty foods and beverages! Visit the link below for details on what is available and where you can find them!

Click here for the Foodie Guide for the Fall Treats at Walt Disney World.

Credit: Disney

5 – Taste of Food & Wine Festival Now at EPCOT

A new version of the popular EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival debuted July 15, 2020, with the phased reopening of EPCOT, and continues into the fall. Though it may be slightly different from festivals past, the Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival marks the park’s 25thconsecutive year hosting this popular event, which also will be the longest festival in Walt Disney World Resort history. The new event offers more than 20 signature global marketplaces, including Hawaii, Hops & Barley, and Brazil, while incorporating elements of the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, as well. We’ve been back several times to enjoy the festival. Learn more at the link below.

Click here for the ten reasons you don’t want to miss the Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival at EPCOT.

6 – Additional Hours Added to Magic Kingdom and EPCOT in November

Since reopening, the parks have been operating with reduced hours. The current hours have Magic Kingdom closing at 6:00 pm and EPCOT closing at 7:00 pm. To allow for more time in the evening hours for the holiday celebrations, Disney has adjusted these two park hours. Beginning November 6, Magic Kingdom’s hours will extend for one hour and be open from 9:00 am – 7:00 pm. Beginning November 27, EPCOT will shift its hours from 11:00 am – 7:00 pm to be open from 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Note that these hours are subject to change. Always check your My Disney Experience app for up to date hours for the parks.

7 – Florida Resident Savings

Disney has recently revealed special discounts for Florida residents. Disney Cast Member Thomas Smith has all the details below.

Florida Residents looking to visit Walt Disney World Resort can “fall” in love with some special offers and save on magical seasonal experiences at Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, and more.

First, with a Florida Resident Disney Magic Flex Ticket, guests can visit 2, 3, or 4 days – depending on the ticket purchased – at one Walt Disney World theme park per day. Florida Residents can enjoy a 2-day Florida Resident Disney Magic Flex Ticket for just $130 plus tax. 2-day Florida Resident Disney Magic Flex Tickets must be used by September 30, 2020. Reservations are limited and subject to availability.

We’re also thrilled to share that for a limited time, Florida Residents will be able to receive a 20% discount on select merchandise at Walt Disney World Resort owned and operated locations. This special new discount runs Mondays through Thursdays—September 15 through October 29, 2020 (proof of residency required). See offer details.

And Florida Residents can stay in the middle of the magic with a special Resort hotel offer. Residents can save up to 35% on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels for stays most nights through December 25, 2020. Visit our offer page for details.

As a reminder, we’re continuing to operate with new protocols in place to promote the health and well-being of guests and cast members. To manage attendance during this time, we are using the Disney Park Pass system. All guests with a ticket or annual pass are required to make a reservation in advance for each park entry.


8 – Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney+ released the official trailer for its new series, “Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.” Disney+‘s “Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom,” produced by National Geographic and narrated by the award-winning, fan-favorite Josh Gad, gives viewers a backstage pass to explore the magic of nature within Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and The Seas with Nemo & Friends at EPCOT. Each of the eight episodes dives into the details, unveiling the multifaceted aspects of animal care, conservation, and Disney Imagineering and showcases the parks’ magnificent array of more than 300 species and 5,000-plus animals and the herculean tasks their animal care experts undertake to keep things running day and night. Catch the trailer at the link below.

Click here to view the trailer for Disney+‘s “Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.”

9 – Savi’s Workshop in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Reopening Soon

If you’ve been waiting for Savi’s Workshop in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, you’re in luck! The very popular build your own lightsaber experience is reopening soon! Catch all the details below.

Click here to learn about when Savi’s Workshop in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is reopening.

10 – Make a Mickey Tie Dye Shirt at Home

Have you ever wanted to make a Mickey tie-dye shirt at home but never knew how to do it? Well, now you’re in luck. Disney recently shared instructions on how you can make this unique shirt at home. Catch all the details at the link below.

Click here to make your very own Mickey tie-dye shirt at home.


11 – Kitchen Tips from Disney Chef Kevin Downing

Many of us have been making various Disney Parks recipes at home for the past several months. (We’ve got more recipes to share at the end of this article). To help us with our cooking, Disney Chef Kevin Downing is giving us some tips! Disney Cast Member Thomas Smith shares more below.

For the last several months, many of us have honed our culinary skills while spending more time at home. Now is the chance to break out your inner chef and follow along with Disney Chef Kevin Downing, as he prepares the guest-favorite Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup, and the delicious Filet of Beef with Roasted Mushrooms and Beurre Blanc – both from Le Cellier Steakhouse at the Canada Pavilion in EPCOT, and part of the Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival.

Follow along on this previously recorded experience as Kevin shares tips for not only how to prepare the perfect dish, but some hacks for those with dietary preferences, and other tricks to make these dishes your own.


12 – Disney Magic at Home – More Disney Parks Recipes

Disney has been sharing some more Disney Parks and Resorts recipes for you to enjoy at home.

Disney Cast Member Alex Dunlap shares the recipes below:

Cliff Dweller Non-Alcoholic Beverage

Last year, we opened the highly-anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts, and this weekend marked the first anniversary of the grand opening of this incredible land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For the occasion, we’re sharing a special beverage recipe from Oga’s Cantina, one of the most popular spots at on both coasts!

Oga’s Cantina is the heartbeat of Black Spire Outpost. It’s a place where you can share your own tales from around the galaxy while you enjoy exotic beverages served in unique vessels. One of these beverages comes in perhaps the cutest vessel of all – the Cliff Dweller. This adorable drink features citrus juices, coconut, hibiscus-grenadine, and ginger ale – and it’s served in a SOUVENIR PORG MUG! While you have to visit Oga’s Cantina to get your hands on this special mug, today we’re sharing the recipe for this fan-favorite non-alcoholic drink.

From Oga’s Cantina in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts
Serves 1

Click here for a print-at-home version of this recipe!

  • 3 oz. orange juice
  • 3 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. hibiscus grenadine
  • 1 oz. cream of coconut
  • 1 oz. ginger ale
  1. Combine orange juice, pineapple juice, lime juice, grenadine, and cream of coconut in Boston cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Shake well and pour over fresh ice in a tall glass. Top with ginger ale.

Note: This recipe has been converted from a larger quantity in the restaurant kitchens. The flavor profile may vary from the restaurant’s version. As a reminder, while preparing this recipe, please supervise children who are helping or nearby.

Credit: Disney

Chocolate Waffles with Espresso Frozen Mousse – From Tamu Tamu Refreshments at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

I’m sharing a yummy waffle recipe from one of our past cookbooks: Delicious Disney Sweet Treats. This chocolate waffle recipe features espresso frozen mousse and is inspired by a previous offering from Tamu Tamu Refreshments at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This unique treat makes for the sweet treat to start your morning or even a delicious after-dinner dessert. You’ll definitely want to keep this recipe to use over and over again!

Click here for a print-at-home version of this recipe!


Espresso Mousse

  • 3 cups white chocolate chips
  • 4 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 3 tablespoons espresso or strongly brewed coffee
  • 6 egg yolks 

Chocolate Sauce

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips



  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/8 cup semisweet chocolate chips


For Espresso Mousse

  1. Place white chocolate chips into a medium heatproof bowl; set aside.
  2. Combine 1 cup heavy cream and espresso in a small saucepan over high heat; heat until very hot but not boiling. Pour hot cream over white chocolate chips, whisking until melted and smooth.
  3. Add egg yolks, whisking until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, whip remaining 3 cups cream to stiff peaks.
  5. Gently fold whipped cream into white chocolate mixture until smooth.
  6. Dollop mousse into a lightly greased muffin tin. Freeze until hard.

For Chocolate Sauce

  1. Whisk together heavy cream, sugar, water, corn syrup, and cocoa in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook, whisking often, until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Lower heat to low; whisk in chocolate chips until completely melted. Keep warm until ready to use. 

For Waffles

  1. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk together milk and egg in a separate bowl.
  3. Combine butter and chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 20 seconds; remove from microwave and stir for 10 seconds, then microwave 10 seconds more. Remove from microwave and stir; if chocolate isn’t melted, microwave 10 seconds more.
  4. Add melted chocolate and butter mixture to milk and egg mixture.
  5. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.
  6. Cook waffles in a waffle iron according to manufacturer’s instructions.

To Serve

  1. Remove espresso mousse from freezer and dip bottom of pan in warm water to remove mousse.
  2. Top warm waffles with frozen espresso mousse. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and serve immediately.

Credit: Disney

Disney Cast Member Karen McClintock shares two more recipes:

Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese with Boursin® Garlic & Fine Herbs Cheese topped with Herbed Panko

With the 2020 Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival in full swing, I thought I would share some of my favorite dishes from this year’s festival marketplaces! This festival celebrates the best of global food and drink across six continents with authentic ingredients, cooking techniques, and presentations so it was a challenge to narrow them down to just a handful of top tastes.

Our chefs have done a fabulous job of creating a diverse menu of offerings at each marketplace with mouthwatering savories, delectable sweets, plant-based options, gluten/wheat-friendly options, and more! This list is just a quick peek at a few of my personal favorites. I also have a special recipe the whole family can enjoy – Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese from the Mac & Cheese Marketplace Hosted by Boursin® Cheese located in World Showplace. This special dish is made with Boursin® Garlic & Fine Herbs Cheese and topped with herb panko, YUM!


Toasted Panko:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • Coarse salt, to taste

Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese:

  • 1 (16 ounce) box cavatappi pasta or elbow macaroni
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 8 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 pound white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 pound yellow cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 (5.2-ounce) Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs cheese wheels, divided
  • Coarse salt, to taste
  • White pepper, to taste


For Toasted Panko:

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add panko and stir until combined. Toast in pan for 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from heat; salt to taste. Set aside.

For Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese:

  1. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain well. Set aside keeping warm.
  2. Melt butter in 5-quart saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly, until a blonde roux, approximately 4 minutes.
  3. Add milk, garlic powder, onion powder, and mustard powder and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes, until thickened.
  4. Fold in both shredded cheddar cheeses and two Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs cheese wheels.  Blend with immersion blender until cheese has melted and smooth.
  5. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
  6. Add hot, cooked pasta with cheese sauce and mix until combined and divide evenly into 6-8 bowls.
  7. Cut remaining Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs cheese wheel into 6-8 pieces or crumble into a small dish.
  8. Top Gourmet Macaroni and Cheesewith toasted panko and Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs cheese pieces or crumbles.
  9. Serve immediately.

Click here for a print-at-home version of this recipe!

Roasted White Chocolate Budino from Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas

We are sharing one of my favorite desserts from the recipe vault at Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas – Roasted White Chocolate Budino. This rich creamy dessert served with amaretti cookies is surprisingly simple to make and sure to impress!

This recipe can be found in our newest cookbook – Delicious Disney: The Fresh Editionavailable on shopDisney this fall. Pam Brandon, author of more than 20 Disney cookbooks, once again collaborated with Disney chefs to create delicious new recipes from Disney parks and cruise ships, making it easy to create Disney magic in your own kitchens.

Click here for a print-at-home version of this recipe!



  • 1 3/4 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope powdered gelatin
  • 1 cup whole milk, divided
  • 1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup 

Amaretti Cookies (Makes 2 1/2 Dozen Cookies)

  • 1/2 cup, plus 3 tablespoons almond paste
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon almond flour


  • Whipped cream
  • Maraschino cherries 


For Budino:

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Place white chocolate chips in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes and stir. Cook for an additional 30 to 60 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Color should be medium caramel. Using a rubber spatula, scrape chocolate into a medium bowl.
  2. Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup of milk in a small bowl.
  3. Combine remaining 3/4 cup milk, heavy cream, and corn syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and mix in the gelatin/milk mixture, whisking until fully dissolved.
  4. Pour hot cream mixture over roasted chocolate, whisking to combine.
  5. Divide evenly among 6 serving bowls. Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.

For Amaretti Cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Beat almond paste with electric mixer until crumbly.
  3. Beat in egg whites until mixture is smooth. Sift in powdered sugar and all-purpose flour, beating just until combined, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in almond flour with a wooden spoon. (Dough will be sticky.)
  5. Use water to lightly wet scoop before working the dough. Scoop rounded teaspoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake until cookies rise, crack slightly, and are golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and cool completely before removing from baking sheet with a thin metal spatula. Store in an airtight container.

To Serve: Top each Budino serving with an Amaretti Cookie, whipped cream, and a cherry. 

NoteThis recipe has been converted from a larger quantity in the restaurant kitchens. The flavor profile may vary from the restaurant’s version. As a reminder, while preparing this recipe, please supervise children who are helping or nearby.

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About Chad & Cindy Nykamp

After years of multiple Walt Disney World vacations, Cindy and Chad's dream of living in Orlando came true in 2010. After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Chad and Cindy have been Disney World Annual Passholders for years, DVC members, together have raced more than 70 runDisney races, and particularly love cruising on the Disney Cruise Line. Chad and Cindy also regularly represent at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, they get an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World. These experiences have helped them gain knowledge and expertise they happily pass on to their followers. They still can't believe how lucky they are to have such an amazing opportunity and will continue to share Disney with anyone who will listen!