A lot to cover in this week’s news roundup. We start with the latest announcement from Disney that has fans up in arms, details on the return, pricing, and changes to annual passes at Disney World. We also have a review from the expanded France pavilion including Epcot’s long-awaited new attraction and food location. The opening date for Space 220, a new restaurant in Epcot was also announced. In preparation for the 50th anniversary of Disney World, we’re doing a retrospective series exploring the biggest developments of each of the first five decades of the most magical place on earth, and Disney releases a preview of the music for the new Magic Kingdom fireworks show. Disney released a preview of the 2022 runDisney Marathon Weekend medals (which are awesome), and released details on a new daytime show at Animal Kingdom. There is a lot of information on fall and winter holidays at Disneyland, and Disney Cruise Line news as well. All this and a whole lot more are below in this week’s news roundup.
1 – Disney World Announces New Annual Pass Program with Major Price Increase
The big announcement that had everyone talking was new passes and pricing for a revamped Walt Disney World annual pass program. There’s a new logo, fewer benefits, few pass options, and they are more expensive. We’ve got two articles to share on this subject. First, see the first link below for the announcement, including benefit and pricing details. Second, we share our thoughts on the new passes, break down the new options, and details what you need to know about which pass may be right for you. Tickets went on sale on September 8. Even with the uproar, reports of downed phone lines, 7+ hour wait at the Ticket Center at Disney Springs, and long waits at the theme parks indicate many people couldn’t resist and purchased an annual pass anyway. Learn more about the passes at the links below.
2 – Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Le Creperie de Paris, & the Expanded France Pavilion at EPCOT
Previews have begun for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. We enjoyed a media preview as well as our passholder preview. We were able to enjoy Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, taste some items from the new La Creperie de Paris restaurant, and explore the expanded France pavilion. Learn all about this fantastic new area at the links below.
3 – EPCOT’S Space 220 Restaurant Opening Date Announced
This week Disney announced that Space 220, the new restaurant coming to EPCOT, will open on September 20. No menu has been released, and no details on reservations or when they might open have been announced. We’ll update you as soon as we hear more. We will be there on opening day, so be sure to follow us on Instagram for live coverage of the opening!
4 – A Walt Disney World Retrospective – We’re Looking Back at the Top Milestones in Each Decade Ahead of the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World!
Walt Disney World will celebrate its 50th Anniversary on October 1, 2021. So we’re looking back at each decade ahead of the celebration! Learn about the ten most magical milestones of the 1970s and 1980s at the links below.
5 – Mobile Order Service Expanding to Candy Kitchen Locations
Mobile Order service is an easy and fast way to get your meals at Disney Parks. Now available at Disneyland Resort and coming soon to Walt Disney World, mobile order service can be used at candy kitchen locations. Learn more at the link below.
6 – Disney Shares New Original Song ‘You Are the Magic’ Featured in ‘Disney Enchantment’
A new nighttime spectacular is coming to Magic Kingdom and with it a new original song. This week Disney shared new information about the song. Learn more at the link below.
7 – Disney Shares New Details on “Disney KiteTails” – New Show Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom
New daytime entertainment is stirring at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, as “Disney KiteTails” will come alive several times daily beginning October 1 inside the Discovery River Amphitheater. This week, Disney released new details on the upcoming show. Learn more at the link below.
8 – Disney Fab 50 Statues Installed at Magic Kingdom Park
As part of “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” fifty statues will be installed through the theme parks at Walt Disney World. This week the first round of statues popped up at Magic Kingdom. We visited the park to check out the statues. They are adorable and a lot of fun to find. Learn more at the links below.
9 – runDisney Reveals Medals for the 2022 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
The 2022 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend will bring runners back to Walt Disney World for a fantastic race experience. This week, Disney revealed the medals for the race, and they are amazing! Disney Cast Member Sarah Harris has all the details below:
The countdown to the 50th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort continues with 26(.2) days until “The World’s Most Magical Celebration”! As we sprint to the start of the celebration, we are delighted to share with you a first look at the runDisney 2022 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend medals! The magic is calling everyone to the Walt Disney World Resort and this year’s race weekend will put runners in the middle of the celebration.
Featuring amazing entertainment and commemorative finisher medals, Marathon Weekend participants will run through the magic and stories Walt Disney World Resort had created over the last 50 years. Gear up for some truly magical miles with this year’s event themes highlighting Mickey Mouse and friends, all donning their shimmering EARidescent best. Get a first look at what will be awaiting runners at the finish line:
Starting off the race weekend off on the right paw, Pluto joins runners for a ‘paws’itvely exciting event for the Walt Disney World 5K. This year’s medal features a Pluto-sized medal that spins within it.
As luck would have it, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit will be joining runners for the second event of the weekend, the Walt Disney World 10K. Watch Oswald hop along as he slides from left to right on the medal.
Why you oughtta… celebrate 25 years of the Walt Disney World Half Marathon with this year’s race highlighting our fine feathered friends, Donald and Daisy Duck. Show off both Donald and Daisy with this medal that spins from the middle.
Rounding out the magical miles-filled weekend, give a chEAR for our hosts Mickey and Minnie Mouse, joining runners for the Walt Disney World Marathon. Spin your medal from the middle to feature either of our Marathon Weekend hosts.
Up for a challenge? Runners taking on both the Walt Disney World Half and full Marathon in a 39.3-mile adventure can do so along with our pal, Goofy during the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge. In true Goofy form, things get a little wild with this medal as he spins around on the front side.
Challenge accepted. Runners who make their way through all four races, and 48.6 miles, can join Dopey and earn some serious bling during the Dopey Challenge.
Bringing to life an event like the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend takes months to get all the details right. Hear from Matthew Hamel, runDisney Show Director, about how the team is working hard to bring the magic of the 50th Anniversary celebration to the race weekend. From entering the Expo, running through the theme parks, to collecting your medal after crossing the finish line, runners will be a part of “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” in a truly unique way.
Not able to join us at Walt Disney World Resort this January? Bring the magic home when you join us virtually and run on a course of your choosing! From 3.1 to 48.6 miles, add a little character to your at-home race adventure during the 2022 Virtual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.
10 – Updated CDC Requirements for Disney Cruise Line and Disney Wonder to Return to California
Disney Cruise Line is back and has updated its sailing requirements for guests sailing on cruises this fall. Also, the Disney Wonder is returning to California this October. Learn more at the link below.
11 – Fall Season Kicks Off at Disneyland Resort
The fall season kicked off at Disneyland Resort on September 3. Halloween adventures throughout Disneyland Resort create treasured memories with family-friendly fun, including the 20th presentation of Haunted Mansion Holiday, Mickey Mouse jack-o-lantern, and the all-new Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit at Downtown Disney District. There’s so much to see and do during this time! Learn more at the link below!
12 – Holiday Season Coming to Disneyland Resort
The holiday season is coming to Disneyland Resort from November 12, 2021-January 9, 2022. Guests will enjoy a distinctly Disney holiday experience with beloved traditions, including the breathtaking Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle, “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade,and magical snow falling on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park. In addition, at Disney California Adventure Park, guests will enjoy a heartwarming celebration that brings the holiday season to life with Disney Festival of Holidays, “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” Street Party and the merry motor-themed holiday décor on Route 66 in Cars Land. Learn more at the link below.
13 – Disneyland Announces Disney Merriest Nites, an All-New, After-Hours Separate Ticketed Event at Disneyland Park
Magic is here with Holidays at the Disneyland Resort, and this year Mickey Mouse and his friends are hosting Disney Merriest Nites, the first after-hours holiday party at Disneyland Park. For family fun with limited capacity, the all-new Disney Merriest Nites holiday party will be offered as a separate-ticket event at Disneyland on five select nights in November and December. Learn more at the link below.
14 – Disney Cruise Line Voted World’s Best Cruise Line by Travel + Leisure Readers
Disney Cruise Line has won another award! Disney Cast Member Mari Mendez shares more below.
The readers of Travel + Leisure have spoken! For the third consecutive year, they’ve ranked Disney Cruise Line as the Top Mega-Ship Ocean Cruise Line in the publication’s World’s Best Awards 2021 readers’ survey.
Travel + Leisure recognizes the top hotels, islands, cities, cruise lines, airlines, spas, and more around the globe, based on the results of the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2021 readers’ survey. Readers rated cruise ships by the quality of their service, staterooms, food, entertainment, itineraries and shore excursions.
It’s an honor to be considered among the best of the best. We celebrate this award with you, our guests and all of our cast and crew members who create magical vacations at sea! As our president, Thomas Mazloum shared, “I know just how much hard work goes into earning these accolades, and I couldn’t be prouder of our cast and crew members.”
Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2021 is featured in the October issue of Travel + Leisure, on newsstands September 17 and is available online now at www.travelandleisure.com.
15 – Apply to Become a 2022 planDisney Panelist
Disney Parks, Experiences and Products is looking for experienced Disney Parks guests to apply for a chance to become a 2022 planDisney Panelist. planDisney is an online question-and-answer forum for planning Disney vacations. For more than 13 years, thousands of hopeful candidates apply annually to become part of this diverse panel to help future guests plan their most magical Disney getaways. This year, the application window opens Thursday, Sept. 9, at noon EDT and runs through Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at noon EDT. Apply online at planDisneySearch.com.
Formerly known as Disney Parks Moms Panel, planDisney launched in 2008. Since its inception, guests turn to the panel for proven experience and knowledge when it comes to planning a Disney vacation. planDisney Panelists are actual guests, not Cast Members or Disney representatives, and they provide tips and recommendations based on their experiences at Disney destinations.
Panelists respond to guest-submitted questions and share answers about Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line and Disney Vacation Club, accessible to everyone at planDisney.com. Not only can guests ask their own questions on the site, but they may also search and save more than 220,000 previously asked questions and answers on this official Disney platform.
planDisney is available in four languages – English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. The panelists are comprised of diverse individuals in different life stages; they come from large families, small families, and families with no children. The 2022 panelists will be selected based on their personal experiences with Disney destinations, their communications skills in sharing their Disney knowledge and their ability to connect with guests looking for practical, helpful advice from their peers.
“There is so much Disney to see and do that it’s tough to experience everything in a single visit. But what if you had a trusted friend who has experienced everything already? Wouldn’t it be great to get their advice,” said Jerry M., one of the dads on the 2020 planDisney panel. “The magic of the planDisney Panel is our collective experience and our diverse backgrounds. Taken together, we’ve just about done it all – and like your best friend, we want to see you enjoy yourself.”
How to Apply
Applications for a chance to become a 2022 planDisney Panelist will be accepted from noon EDT on Thursday, Sept. 9, through noon EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 14. To apply, visit planDisneySearch.com. The application is a three-stage process: a series of short-answer questions, a brief video submission and a phone interview. The 2022 planDisney Panelists will be selected in November and announced in January 2022. Applicants selected must be available to attend a training session at Walt Disney World Resort in December 2021. Additional eligibility requirements can be found on the application site.
planDisney, formerly Disney Parks Moms Panel, is a diverse group of panelists offering authentic advice to guests planning a Disney vacation. Guests can pose questions to the panelists in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese, and gain access to other vacation-planning tools. Featuring just 12 members during its inaugural year in 2008, the panel now boasts approximately 45 park-savvy, active panelists as a result of the popularity of the site and the ever-growing number of questions submitted by curious guests. Serving as independent contractors, the panelists receive a reward trip to one Disney Destination for themselves and up to three family members and/or theme park tickets for their participation on the planDisney Panel. For more information and to meet all the panelists, visit planDisney.com.
What’s New and Happening Now at Walt Disney World Resort
Now Through November 20, 2021 – 2021 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival
August 10 – October 31, 2021 – Disney After Hours Boo Bash at Magic Kingdom
Coming Soon to Walt Disney World
Upcoming Resort Reopenings
- September 16 – All-Star Sports Music Resort
- October 14 – Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – River Side
- October 28 – Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
- December 9 – All-Star Sports Resort
September 20, 2021 – Space 220 New Restaurant Opening in EPCOT
October 1, 2021 – The Most Magical Celebration – 50 Years of Walt Disney World
October 1, 2021 – Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure & France Pavilion Expansion Opens
Fall 2021 – Disney Genie – New Planning Tools, Paid Access to New Lighting Lane
November 8 – December 30, 2021 – Holiday Season at Walt Disney World
Spring 2022 – Star Wars Hotel
Now Through 2022 and Beyond – EPCOT Reimagined
New and Coming Soon to Disneyland Resort
Disneyland Resort – Now Open
Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure – Now Open
Fall Season at Disneyland Resort – Now Through October 31
Holiday Season at Disneyland Resort – November 12, 2021 – January 9, 2022
Coming Soon to Disney Cruise Line
Return to Cruising
The Disney Wish
Itineraries in 2022
For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.