Since the last Disney news roundup, we finally got a date for the launch of the next generation of MagicBands, and our favorite Epcot festival has opened for the season. We have some new details on the TRON rollercoaster coming to Magic Kingdom, and we got a peek at the medals for the 2022 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend races. One of our favorite bakeries is being replaced (sad face) with a new offering over at Boardwalk, and there’s a ton of Disney Cruise news. All this and more are below in this week’s news roundup.
1 – Disney Announces Launch Date of MagicBand+ at Walt Disney World
Starting July 27, Walt Disney World Resort guests will interact with Disney stories in whole new ways through the magic of technology with the launch of Disney’s newest wearable, MagicBand+. The new product will enhance guest visits to Walt Disney World Resort throughout the vacation destination’s 50th-anniversary celebration and beyond. The next-generation MagicBand+ will include the popular features of the MagicBand 2 and add new functionality to unlock experiential moments of magic throughout the Walt Disney World theme parks and resorts. Learn more at the link below.
2 – 2022 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival Now Open at EPCOT
The 2022 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival is now open at EPCOT. The festival continues through November 19, offering new experiences for foodies and families as part of the “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” honoring the Walt Disney World Resort 50th Anniversary. Learn more about the festival and what you don’t want to miss at the link below.
3 – BoardWalk Bakery to Undergo Transformation into BoardWalk Deli
Disney has shared that they are bringing new enhancements and dining options to Disney’s BoardWalk over the coming years. As part of this, exciting changes are underway to transform the BoardWalk Bakery into BoardWalk Deli, a Northeastern-style deli with a brand-new menu that will include fresh deli sandwiches, fresh baked breads, and a selection of bakery items.
In preparation for BoardWalk Deli’s opening later this summer, the bakery will be unavailable beginning in late July. Still, during this time, guests can find similar offerings at the nearby Pizza Window, AbracadaBar, and Bellevue Lounge.
4 – Car Locator – New App Feature Now Available for Walt Disney World
Have you ever forgotten where you parked at a Walt Disney World theme park parking lot? Well, you’re not alone, and now it may be a thing of the past. Disney has rolled out a new feature in the My Disney Experience app that allows you to save your park location (either with location services or you can enter the information manually). See the link below for the announcement and details on the new feature.
5 – Disney Releases New Details on TRON Lightcycle / Run Coming to Magic Kingdom
The next big attraction coming to Walt Disney World is the highly anticipated TRON Lightcycle / Run coming to Magic Kingdom. Unfortunately, the pandemic delayed the attraction’s opening, and details on the new ride have been scarce, but we’ve got a small update to share. Visit the link below for new story details regarding the attraction.
6 – For the First Time, Princess Tiana is the Featured Character for an EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival Merchandise Collection
Princess Tiana has her own merchandise collection! Walt Disney World Resort has unveiled a new merchandise line during the 2022 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival presented by CORKCICLE at Walt Disney World Resort. The collection, which includes an array of kitchenware and apparel, marks the first time Princess Tiana will have her own festival merchandise line.
Fans can bring Tiana’s New Orleans-inspired culinary flair to their kitchens with a whimsical assortment of Tiana-themed merchandise. The collection features illustrations that showcase Tiana’s passion for cooking and the memorable shade of lily pad green used in Princess Tiana’s iconic dress in the Walt Disney Animation Studios film, “The Princess and the Frog.” Items in the collection include an apron, measuring cups, cake stand, spatula, flour sifter, rolling pin, oven mitts, and more.
The full list of 2022 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival merchandise can be found on the official event page, along with the other commemorative festival collections honoring Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, Figment, Remy, and more.
Guests can find select items from this year’s EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival Princess Tiana Collection at shopping destinations throughout EPCOT, July 14 – November 19, with additional pieces expected to debut later this fall. Select items will also be available on shopDisney.com.
The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival is a delicious celebration that runs through November 19, 2022. The festival invites guests to embark on a tasty tour across six continents with a menu of new flavors and sips, along with live entertainment, family activities, and more. To experience the festival, guests must have both valid admission and a park reservation for EPCOT on the same date.
7 – Medals Revealed for 2022 runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend
Medals have been revealed for the upcoming runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend! Once again, they are unique, and we’re really looking forward to participating this November. Learn more at the link below.
8 – Disney Cruise Line Announces Fall 2023 Itineraries – Including Holiday Themed Cruises
Disney Cruise Line will offer enchanting fall vacations that take families coast-to-coast in 2023, including special sailings with spook-tacular surprises, holiday cheer, and the fleet’s first-ever departures from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. With cruises from Florida, California, and New York, adults and children alike will discover the wonder of the holidays aboard Halloween on the High Seas and Very Merrytime Cruises. Catch all the details at the link below.
9- Balcony Refurbishments at Disney’s Grand Floridian
The third-floor balconies in the main building of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa are now closed for refurbishment.
Refurbishment work will take place during daytime hours – typically from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily – and is expected to be complete in mid-August.
10 – Update Made to Disney Cruise Line Navigator App
An update was made to the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App for Apple iOS users booked on sailings aboard the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. Guests will now be able to explore ship locations and activities, in more detail, from home on the app. Note: This feature will be added for the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Wish, and Android devices in the near future.
The ‘Explore’ tab is tailored to be specific to the ship that the Guest is sailing on, based on the reservation that is linked to their account. Guests will be able to learn more about locations and activities on the ship for their sailing.
Additionally, Guests will be able to view and book activities, such as Palo Brunch, a beverage tasting or a spa treatment, through the ‘Explore’ tab if they are within their booking window and, if not, there will be a countdown that lets them know how many days they have until their booking window opens.
11 – Disney Cruise Line Named World’s Best by Travel + Leisure Readers
It’s no surprise that we love Disney Cruise Line, and we’re not alone. Recently the cruise line was voted the best cruise line by Travel + Leisure readers. Disney Cast Member Mike Piacentino has all the details below.
I have some exciting news to share: Disney Cruise Line was again named the Best Large-Ship Ocean Cruise Line by Travel + Leisure readers!
This marks the fourth consecutive year that Disney Cruise Line ranks number one on the list. To generate its annual rankings, Travel + Leisure asks readers to rate cruise ships on the quality of their service, staterooms, food, entertainment, itineraries and shore excursions.
Both on land and at sea, our Disney Cruise Line cast and crew work hard every day to deliver our legendary Disney service and create magical experiences. We are proud to know that our guests cherish their Disney cruise vacations year after year – regardless of which ship, itinerary, dining experience, entertainment option or Port Adventure they chose to enjoy.
And this celebratory news comes just two days before the maiden voyage of the new Disney Wish! Infused with more Disney storytelling than ever before, the enchanting Disney Wish continues Disney Cruise Line’s long-standing commitment to creativity, innovation and excellence at sea. We invite guests to join the ship’s inaugural season on three- and four-night cruises to Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, sailing from Port Canaveral, Florida.
You can find the complete list of Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2022 at travelandleisure.com.
12 – Apply Now for the Popular Disney Dreamers Academy Mentorship Program
Teens from around the country are trying to put their best foot forward in hopes of being among the 100 students selected for the 2023 Disney Dreamers Academy. Applications are now underway for the inspiring and transformational mentorship program at Walt Disney World Resort for Black teens and students from underrepresented communities.
The application process for the 16th annual program, set for March 23-26, 2023, runs through October at www.DisneyDreamersAcademy.com. The 100 teen participants receive an all-expense-paid trip along with one parent or guardian to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida to experience a combination of inspiration, education and fun at The Most Magical Place on Earth.
The program is an important part of Disney’s commitment to supporting diverse communities by encouraging the next generation of Black students to think big, so they can relentlessly pursue their dreams and make a difference in the lives of others.
“We’re excited to find the next group of Disney Dreamers and welcome them to Walt Disney World Resort for an experience they won’t soon forget,” said Tracey D. Powell, Disney Signature Experiences vice president and Disney Dreamers Academy executive champion. “If there is a teen in your life who has a dream, I would highly encourage them to apply. Taking a first step towards your dream is a hugely powerful moment. And, for those who are selected, the experience can be life changing.”
Since 2008, Disney Dreamers Academy has inspired more than 1,400 students from across the country who were selected from thousands of applicants who submitted written essays about their personal stories and dreams for the future.
During the four-day event, the students interact with community and business leaders, Disney cast members, celebrities and other special guests while participating in sessions teaching valuable life tools such as leadership skills, effective communication techniques and networking strategies. Past celebrity participants have included stars from the big screen and television, noted sports figures, popular musicians as well as personalities and cast members from across the Disney family, including “Good Morning America,’’ ESPN, Disney Channel and the TV series “black-ish” and “grown-ish.”
The students also take part in career workshops covering a variety of disciplines aligned with the students’ dreams. These workshops introduce the Disney Dreamers to diverse career paths within business, entertainment and sciences, including career opportunities within The Walt Disney Company.
After taking part in the academy, graduates have gone on to become doctors, nurses, engineers, pilots, journalists and more, and some have transitioned into mentors to the Disney Dreamers who followed them.
What’s New and Happening Now at Walt Disney World Resort
The New Normal – Visiting Walt Disney World During the Current Covid Restrictions
Disney Genie, Genie+, and Lightning Lane – New Planning Tools & Paid Access to Lighting Lane
Now through November 19, 2022 – 2022 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival
Now Open – Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Now Through Spring 2023 – The Most Magical Celebration – 50 Years of Walt Disney World
Now Through August 28, 2022, on Select Nights – Disney H2O Glow After Hours
New Openings at EPCOT – As Part of the Historic Transformation of EPCOT
Now Open – Drawn to Life
Coming Soon to Walt Disney World
August 12-October 31, Select Nights – Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom
November 8-December 22, Select Nights – Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom
New & Coming Soon to Disney Cruise Line
The Disney Wish
Itineraries in 2022 and 2023
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