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DISNEY NEWS ROUNDUP: New EPCOT Project Details; New 50th Anniversary Offerings; New Roller Coaster Preview & Review; Entertainment Updates & More

A busy week of media events meant new details about upcoming projects at EPCOT, new offerings and updates for the 50thAnniversary Celebration, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind previews and more. Full details are below in this week’s news roundup.





 

1 – Disney Reveals New Details on Upcoming Projects at EPCOT

The transformation of EPCOT has been underway for years, and many projects are now open. Yet, more things are still to come, particularly in the center of the park, where construction is now solely focused. We’ve got new details and more information on what is still to come. Learn more at the link below.

Click here for details on upcoming projects still to come to EPCOT.

 

2 – Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind – Our Review and What You Need to Know

Speaking of EPCOT, we had a chance to experience Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind! The new family-friendly coaster will officially debut on May 27, 2022. The innovative attraction is another major milestone in the ongoing transformation of EPCOT and debuts as part of the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration. We’ve got what you need to know about the attraction, including the story, a short video preview of the ride, Virtual Queue and Lightning Lane details, and a warning for some guests who probably shouldn’t ride. Catch all you need to know at the link below.

Click here for our review and what you need to know about Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind coming to EPCOT.

Click here for photos and video of the queue to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.


 

3 – New Offerings and Updates on the 50th Anniversary Celebration at Walt Disney World!

We’re already seven months into the 50th Anniversary Celebration at Walt Disney World, and it’s been a great time to experience the resort. Thankfully, there are still eleven months left for guests to come and enjoy the celebration. This week we got updates on some of the 50th offerings, and we’ve got a guide with everything you need to know. Learn more about the celebration at the links below.

Click here for The Celebration Continues…What’s New & Everything You Need to Know About the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Disney World.

Click here for Disney World 50th Anniversary Merchandise – What’s New & What You Need to Know.

4 – Entertainment Update at Disney World – Shows, Characters, Cavalcades, Parades, and More Coming!

There have been a lot of changes at Walt Disney World recently! Many fan-favorite live entertainment offerings have returned, such as the Festival of Fantasy parade and Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire. Two more shows, Fantasmic! and Finding Nemo: The Big Blue and Beyond, are coming later this year. Also, physical distancing measures have been dropped at character meet and greets. Learn more about these offerings and more at the link below.

Click here for an entertainment update at Walt Disney World. Learn about shows, characters, cavalcades, parades, and more!

5 – New Details & Demos on Magic Band+ and Hey Disney! Coming to Disney World

The next-generation MagicBand+ will debut at Walt Disney World this summer, adding new functionality to unlock experiential moments of magic. This week we got a demonstration of some of the new features the band offers. We also got to see a demonstration of Hey Disney!, a custom voice assistant using Alexa technology for supported Amazon Echo devices. Hey Disney! will work alongside Alexa to respond to vocal prompts, bringing Disney characters and stories to life in magical new ways to make guest stays at Walt Disney World Resort more convenient, engaging, and enjoyable. Learn more about both MagicBand+ and Hey Disney! at the link below.

Click here for more details, including demos of both MagicBand+ and Hey Disney!


 

6 – Meta Quest Virtual Reality Experience featuring ILMxLAB’s Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge Now Open Disney Springs

There’s a new virtual reality experience at Disney Springs! Disney Cast Member Emma Martin has all the details below.

Bright suns travelers! I have some out-of-this-galaxy news to share about a limited-time offering coming to Disney Springs. Meta Quest, ILMxLAB – Lucasfilm’s award-winning immersive entertainment studio – and Disney Parks are excited to continue their collaboration by bringing the Meta Quest 2 preview of Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge to Disney Springs West Side from [now] through July 21.

The hands-on preview will showcase a short version of ILMxLAB’s virtual reality experience Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge, which expands the world of Batuu like never before! Once inside the Quest 2 headset, you’ll be immersed within sweeping 360 views of the Star Wars galaxy. The adventure takes place on the outskirts of Black Spire Outpost on the planet of Batuu, which you may be familiar with from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the immersive epic lands at Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

The story features both new and iconic characters from the Star Wars galaxy. Gameplay was designed for a variety of players – from Star Wars fans to VR gamers – at home on Quest 2. In Part 1 of this action-adventure experience, you take on the role of a droid repair technician operating near the Outer Rim. When a group of pirates attack and you crash on Batuu, you’ll discover that anyone in the galaxy can become a hero. Then, continue your epic journey with Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge-Last Call, the recently-released expansion. This new add-on gives you the opportunity to expand your virtual reality adventures on the Outer Rim and experience more eras in the Star Wars galaxy.

Fans who complete the experience will also receive giveaways and have the ability to purchase a Meta Quest 2 onsite. Those who attend on May 4 can receive an exclusive poster featuring the Guavian Death Gang cell operating on Batuu and their merciless leader, Tara Rashin.

For a limited time, this complimentary preview experience will be offered daily, noon – 10 p.m., at Disney Springs West Side. Reservations may be available. A Meta Quest staff member will assist you on-site with reserving a time to come back to participate or direct you to queue inside the building, based on availability. Visit DisneySprings.com/metaquest for more information.

7 – Adventures by Disney Introduces Itineraries to Sicily and the British Isles in 2023

Beginning May 2023, families will explore even more of the world when they travel with Adventures by Disney on two, brand-new itineraries to Sicily and the British Isles. Also in 2023, 11 Private Adventure vacations return, providing families and friends with the convenience of traveling with their preferred party of up to 12 guests to some of the world’s must-see destinations. Bookings for the full lineup of 2023 Land Adventures and Private Adventures open to the public on May 13. More details can be found on adventuresbydisney.com.

Discovering the Old-World Charm of Sicily and Enchantment of the British Isles

The two distinct Land Adventures celebrate the storied legacy, diverse culture and world-renowned traditions of their respective regions with curated experiences sure to appeal to the history buff, foodie and adventure-seeker alike. Led by a team of specially trained Adventure Guides, these itineraries will be brought to life with immersive, authentic experiences marked by signature Disney service.

An Unforgettable Tour of Sicily – Ancient Sites, Local Charm and Natural Wonders

Offering a diverse lineup of activities with something for every member of the family, the Adventures by Disney Sicily Land Adventureinvites families to explore the ancient wonder, breathtaking landscapes and culinary delights characteristic of this captivating Mediterranean island.

With tailor-made experiences designed to connect families with the people and culture of the region — and stops at five out of the seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites found in Sicily — the eight-day, seven-night itinerary takes guests on a grand tour through Palermo, Monreale, Agrigento, Piazza Armerina, Caltagirone, Siracusa, Mount Etna and Taormina.

Families traveling on the Sicily Land Adventure will discover:

  • The vibrant culture and history of the 2,000-year-old province of Palermo with a privately guided tour of the 12th-century Monreale Cathedral; a behind-the-scenes visit to the largest theater in Italy — the Teatro Massimo — and sampling of mouth-watering delicacies.
  • The old-world charm of a small Sicilian village, visiting artisan shops and sharing a traditional village-style lunch alongside locals.
  • Ancient Greek and Roman wonders, including visits to the famed Valley of Temples, Villa Romana del Casale, Neapolis Archaeological Park and Teatro Greco.
  • A hands-on ceramic painting activity in Caltagirone, learning about this time-honored Sicilian tradition and getting a chance to channel their inner artisan.
  • The art of puppetry at Teatro dei Pupi, with a private show, a backstage look at the master puppeteers at work and a rare workshop visit where guests will be able to customize their own puppet.
  • The grandeur of Mount Etna, taking in the impressive terrain surrounding Europe’s highest active volcano by off-road vehicle.
  • The beauty of Isola Bella, embarking on a privately charted boat ride through the Ionian Sea to swim and snorkel in the sparkling crystal waters and discover the blue cave of Taormina.

Adventures by Disney will offer 10 Sicily departures in 2023, three of which are reserved for adult guests. Adult-Exclusive departures feature a scenic sunset cruise around the Island of Ortigia.

The Best of the British Isles – Celebrating History, Folklore and Tradition

Combining all-time guest favorites from England, Ireland and Scotland adventures with brand-new experiences thoughtfully curated by the travel experts at Disney, the 10-day, nine-night British Isles Land Adventure offers a one-of-a-kind tour through Dublin, Belfast, Antrim Coast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and London — and marks the first time Adventures by Disney takes guests to Northern Ireland.

Surrounded by history and tradition at every turn, guests will be immersed in the rich storytelling of the isles.

  • Ireland: During their two-day adventure in Dublin, guests explore the story of the Irish people through an interactive museum experience, observe the art of crafting Irish whiskey at a local distillery and enjoy traditional fare at one of the oldest family-owned pubs in Dublin.
  • Northern Ireland: Families try their hand at making traditional Irish soda bread, take a panoramic tour of the famed sites of Belfast, and enjoy a scenic drive along the Antrim Coast where they find mythical legends, picturesque seaside villages and the geological wonders known as the basalt columns at the Giant’s Causeway.
  • Scotland: After crossing the North Channel via ferry, guests discover the important heritage of the bagpipes and try their chanter-playing skills in Glasgow. A royal welcome awaits in Edinburgh as families enjoy private access to the Royal Yacht Britannia; explore the historic Royal Mile; and visit the resplendent Edinburgh and Floors Castles.
  • England: After a scenic train ride through the English countryside, families arrive in London where they take part in one of Britain’s famous pastimes, afternoon tea. Later, they embark on a high-speed boat ride along the River Thames. On the final full day of the adventure, guests visit some of city’s must-see attractions, including a private viewing of the Royal Crown Jewels in the Tower of London and a tour of Westminster Abbey.

Adventures by Disney will offer nine British Isles departures in 2023, four of which are reserved for adult guests. Adult-Exclusive departures include a privately guided tour through the underground vaults of Old Town Edinburgh, exploring the underground labyrinth filled with spine-tingling tales and mystery.

Private Adventures Return – Even More Ways to Adventure Together

Offering yet another way to visit popular destinations with Adventures by Disney, Private Adventures return with 11 itineraries in 2023: Australia; Costa Rica; Egypt; England and France; Greece; Ireland; Italy; New Zealand; Peru; South Africa and Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Led by a Private Adventure Guide, these trips are designed for a smaller group of guests and offer flexible booking dates.

When traveling on a Private Adventure, guests experience:

  • A private group vacation alongside their select family and friends (up to 12 guests).
  • More time to discover destinations at their own pace.
  • Flexible booking dates giving them the choice of when they want to travel, pending seasonality and availability.
  • A dedicated Private Adventure Guide connecting them with the culture and bringing each destination to life through engaging storytelling.
  • Unique experiences designed for small groups, such as a guided tour of Te Puia geothermal park in New Zealand, a full-day sailing excursion along the outer reef in Australia or a privately guided tour of Robben Island in South Africa.

More details can be found on the Private Adventures page on adventuresbydisney.com.

The Disney Difference – A Different Kind of Magic

 With specially trained Adventure Guides, engaging activities, VIP experiences and personal touches and magical moments throughout, Adventures by Disney vacations are crafted to excite and delight everyone in the family. Guests create cherished memories and meet new friends as they experience the wonder of the real world in an authentic, immersive and hassle-free adventure made possible by Disney.

To learn more about Adventures by Disney or to book a vacation, guests can visit adventuresbydisney.com, call 1-800-543-0865 or contact a travel agent.


 

What’s New and Happening Now at Walt Disney World Resort

The New Normal – Visiting Walt Disney World During the Current Covid Restrictions

Click here for what you need to know about visiting Walt Disney World during the current Covid restrictions.

Disney Genie, Genie+, and Lightning Lane – New Planning Tools & Paid Access to Lighting Lane

Disney Genie, Genie+, and Lightning Lane What You Need to Know About These New Services at Disney World.

Now Through Spring 2023 – The Most Magical Celebration – 50 Years of Walt Disney World

Click here for The Celebration Continues…What’s New & Everything You Need to Know About the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Disney World

Click here for Disney World 50th Anniversary Merchandise – What’s New & What You Need to Know

Now Through July 4, 2022 – EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival

Click here for what you don’t want to miss during the 2022 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival.

Click here for details on the Garden Rocks Concert Series at the 2022 EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival.

Click here for the menus to the Outdoor Kitchens at the 2022 EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival.

Click here for photos of the menu boards with pricing for easy planning!

Click here for photos of all of the topiaries at the 2022 EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival!

Click here for photos of the 2022 EPCOT Flower and Garden merchandise!

New Openings at EPCOT – As Part of the Historic Transformation of EPCOT

Click here for what’s new and coming to EPCOT as the Historic Transformation Continues.

Click here for our review and what you need to know about Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.

Click here for what you need to know about the new La Creperie de Paris restaurant and expanded France pavilion.

Click here for our review of Space 220 at EPCOT and what you need to know about this amazing new restaurant!

Now Open – Drawn to Life

Click here for our review of Drawn to Life the new Cirque du Soleil show now open at Disney Springs.

Coming Soon to Walt Disney World

May 27, 2022 – Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Click here for our review and what you need to know about Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind coming to EPCOT.

July 14-November 19, 2022 – 2022 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival

Click here for dates and details of the 2022 EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival.

August 12-October 31, Select Nights – Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom

Click here for details on Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party returning in 2022.


 

Coming Soon to Disney Cruise Line

The Disney Wish

Click here for an overview of the next Disney Cruise Line Ship – The Disney Wish – Coming Summer 2022

Click here for more information on new dining experiences on the Disney Wish.

Click here for — Original Stage Adaptation of ‘The Little Mermaid’ Headlines All-New Live Entertainment Exclusively Aboard the Disney Wish

Click here for — Disney Cruise Line Unveils New Experiences for Kids, Tweens and Teens Aboard Disney Wish.

Click here for — Disney Wish to Debut First-of-its-Kind Interactive Experience, Disney Uncharted Adventure.

Click here for — Disney Cruise Line Reveals New Indulgences for Adults Aboard the Disney Wish

Click here for — Disney Cruise Line Premiering ‘Avengers: Quantum Encounter’ Dining Experience Aboard Disney Wish

Itineraries in 2022 and 2023

Click here to learn about Summer 2022 Itineraries on the Disney Cruise Line.

Click here to learn about Halloween and Holiday Themed Cruises in fall 2022.

Click here to learn about early 2023 itineraries on Disney Cruise Line

Click here for information on Pixar Day at Sea coming in early 2023!

Click here for information on Marvel Day at Sea on Disney Cruise Line in 2023.

Click here for information about Disney Cruise Line’s Summer 2023 Itineraries.

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.



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 DisneyLists.com 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 DisneyLists.com 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!
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