Disney made a handful of big announcements in the last week, including changes in how ticketing for the theme parks will work, more big price increases, and in a surprising move, a dining policy change that is guest friendly for a change. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a policy change that actually benefits guests, so we really want to take a moment to acknowledge that we appreciate it. With the holiday season underway, we got a full reveal of the Festival of the Holiday kitchen menus and details on two-holiday specials coming up. In addition, a bunch of stuff is opening up in Disneyland, and Disney Cruise Line is expanding their fleet with the purchase of an existing ship from another cruise line. All this and more are below in this week’s news roundup.
1 – Park Tickets Get More Complicated & More Price Increases Coming to Walt Disney World
Beginning December 8, theme park tickets at Walt Disney World will see a price increase. The most notable change will be with one-day park tickets, with pricing costing guests up to $30 more on a particular day. For example, previously, guests visiting on Christmas Day would be charged $159, and that price has increased to $189. Additionally, theme parks will now have different pricing, with Magic Kingdom being the most expensive park to visit. Finally, while new annual pass sales have still not resumed, renewals have been available, and those prices will also increase on December 8, though specific pricing has not been released at this time. Learn more at the link below.
2 – Disney World Makes Changes to Dining Cancellation Policy
In a rare move that actually truly helps guests, Disney has updated its table service dining cancellation policy to allow guests to cancel with no penalty up to two hours before the scheduled reservation time, although some exclusions apply. Learn more at the link below.
3 – Menus Released for the 2022 EPCOT Festival of the Holidays
Get out those planners because the menus have been released for the Holiday Kitchens that will be part of the EPCOT Festival of the Holidays. There are a lot of new items this year, and we’re very excited. Learn more at the link below.
4 – ABC and Disney Parks Holiday Specials Coming Soon
Two Disney Parks holiday specials are coming soon. Disney Cast Member Gabriel Gibaldi shares more below.
Get ready for the most wonderful time of the year!
Derek Hough and Julianne Hough return as hosts for ABC’s festive annual special “The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration,” Sunday, Nov. 27 (8-10 p.m. ET), and will be joined by co-hosts, Freeform’s Sherry Cola (“Good Trouble”) and Marcus Scribner (“grown-ish”) as they host “Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade,” Sunday, Dec. 25(10 a.m.-12 p.m. ET/7-9 a.m. PT). “The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration” will air on ABC and stream next day on Hulu and Disney+. “Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade” will air on ABC, stream live on Hulu to all subscribers.
The specials, filmed from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California, will feature showstopping musical performances of holiday classics and cheerful new hits, showcase heartwarming family stories, and offer sneak peeks at what’s new around The Walt Disney Company. Plus, Freeform’s Trevor Jackson (“grown-ish”) will join us for a magical musical performance aboard the newest Disney Cruise Line ship, the Disney Wish and a sneak peek at the highly anticipated upcoming major motion picture “Avatar: The Way of Water,” only in theaters on Dec. 16, 2022.
Musical performances for “The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration” include the following:
- Derek Hough and Julianne Hough – “Such a Night,” “My Favorite Things,” “I Gotta Feeling” medley
- Becky G – “Frosty The Snowman” and “What Christmas Means to Me” with Chloe Flower and Ne-Yo
- Black Eyed Peas – “A Cold Christmas” and “I Gotta Feeling”
- Chloe Flower – “Carol of the Bells” and “What Christmas Means to Me” with Ne-Yo and Becky G
- David Foster and Katharine McPhee – “Jingle Bell Rock”
- Il Volo – “Adeste Fideles (O Come, All Ye Faithful)”
- Jordin Sparks – “Trapmas Medley”
- Maren Morris – “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”
- Meghan Trainor – “Here Comes Santa Claus” and “Made You Look” medley
- Ne-Yo – “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” and “What Christmas Means to Me” with Chloe Flower and Becky G
- Run DMC – “Christmas in Hollis”
In addition to the parade, musical performances for “Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade” include the following:
- Derek Hough and Julianne Hough – “Officially Christmas”
- Black Eyed Peas – “Carol of the Bells”
- Chloe Flower – “A Liberace Christmas”
- David Foster and Katharine McPhee – “Blue Christmas” and “Grown Up Christmas List”
- Maren Morris – “When You Wish Upon a Star”
- Meghan Trainor – “My Kind of Present”
- Ne-Yo – “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
- Il Volo – “Happy Christmas (War is Over)”
5 – Amorette’s Patisserie Cake Decorating Experience Returns to Disney Springs
Have you ever wanted to decorate a cake at Disney Springs? You can do just that at Amorette’s Patisserie. Disney Cast Member Emma Martin has all the details below.
If you’ve ever found yourself wishing you could decorate one of the gorgeous cakes inside Amorette’s Patisserie at Disney Springs, then you’re in luck! Get ready to don your aprons, the fan-favorite Amorette’s Patisserie Cake Decorating Experience is returning next month.
During this 90-minute hands-on experience, you will create your very own edible work of art in a small group setting. Learn from the talented Amorette’s Patisserie cast members as you decorate a classic Mickey Mouse Dome Cake. They’ll guide you through the decorating process from pouring glaçage to placing Mickey’s iconic ears, all while sharing tips and some behind-the-scenes stories about Amorette’s Patisserie.
At the end of class, you and your fellow artists will have a beautiful character cake to take home, along with a special send-off from the team. You’ll also have a chance to purchase your favorite sweet treats from Amorette’s Patisserie before it opens for the day (because you can never have too many desserts)!
The experience is $199 plus tax, for up to two guests decorating one cake and includes all-you-care-to-enjoy beverages like specialty coffees, teas, water and select alcoholic beverages (available with valid ID). Reservations will be required. Online bookings [are available now]. Stay tuned to @DisneySprings on social media for additional details coming soon.
6 – Jaleo at Disney Springs Chefs to Host Two Intimate Dining Experiences at Jaleo Academy in December
On Dec. 1 and 15, Jaleo at Disney Springs will host a Chef’s Dinner at Jaleo Academy, where guests are invited to immerse themselves in the authentic flavors of Spain with an intimate four-course dinner led by Jaleo’s team of expert chefs and mixologists. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., guests will be greeted with drinks and an assortment of Jaleo’s award-winning tapas before enjoying an hour of chef demonstrations with savory recipes easily replicated at home, including Gazpacho Remolacha, Butifarra Casera and Tarta de Queso Vasca. As guests indulge in the spirit and rich flavors of Spanish cuisine, Jaleo’s team of mixologists will act as the group’s personal bartenders for the evening, while performing a variety of cocktail and spirit demos for guests. These personalized experiences will take place in a private dining room located on the second floor of Jaleo. Tickets are limited and can be purchased here, starting at $250 per guest and include all beverages, food and gratuity.
7 – Disney Cruise Line Announces Acquisition of Ship with Plans to Visit New Markets
Today, Disney announced the acquisition of a partially completed ship that will bring the magic of a Disney Cruise Line vacation to new global destinations. Disney will work with the esteemed Meyer Werft shipbuilding company to complete the cruise ship previously known as the Global Dream in Wismar, Germany. The ship will be renamed with certain features reimagined under the world-renowned expertise of Walt Disney Imagineers and is expected to set sail in 2025.
“Our cruise ships give us the unique opportunity to bring Disney magic to fans no matter where they are, and the addition of this ship will make a Disney Cruise Line vacation accessible to more families than ever before,” said Josh D’Amaro, chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.
The new ship, to be based outside the United States, will feature innovative Disney experiences along with the dazzling entertainment, world-class dining and legendary guest service that set Disney Cruise Line apart. The exterior will be adorned in the iconic, Mickey Mouse-inspired colors of the fleet, complete with signature red funnels.
The 208,000-gross-ton ship is expected to be among the first in the cruise industry to be fueled by green methanol, one of the lowest emission fuels available. Disney Cruise Line expects the passenger capacity to be approximately 6,000 with around 2,300 crew members.
Construction will be completed at the former MV Werften shipyard in Wismar, Germany, under the management of Meyer Werft, the Papenburg-based company that built the Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy and Disney Wish. The ship’s previous owner filed for bankruptcy before completing the vessel, enabling Disney Cruise Line to secure it at a favorable price and within the capital expenditure guidance The Walt Disney Company provided on its recent earnings call. The project also secures employment for hundreds of former MV Werften employees and will provide opportunities for numerous maritime industry suppliers in the region.
More details about the maiden voyage, itineraries and onboard experiences will be announced at a later date.
The Disney Cruise Line fleet sails to world-class destinations in the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, Mexico, Canada, Hawaii and the South Pacific, and recently announced first-ever vacations for guests in Australia and New Zealand beginning in late 2023.
For more information about Disney Cruise Line, guests can visit disneycruise.com.
8 – Adventureland Treehouse at Disneyland Returns in Fresh, New Way in 2023
Adventureland Treehouse at Disneyland will soon have some exciting new enhanements. Disney Cast Member Kelsey Lynch has all the details below.
We know Disneyland Resort fans have been eager to learn more about the enhancements coming to the beloved treehouse in Adventureland at Disneyland park. Today, we are excited to share new details with you!
Paying tribute to the original treehouse that Walt Disney and his Imagineers built in 1962 for the hit movie, “Swiss Family Robinson,” the Adventureland Treehouse inspired by Walt Disney’s Swiss Family Robinson will return in a fresh, new way at Disneyland park in 2023.
The Adventureland Treehouse will showcase wonderous new environments created amongst the branches of a giant tree on the shores of the Jungle River, where guests will once again enter by the giant waterwheel and follow the wood rope stairways up, up, up into the boughs.
Here, you will find fascinating rooms that the family in this new story created for one another. From the mother’s music den (as depicted in the concept art above) and the young sons’ nature room to the teenage daughter’s astronomer’s loft, all things are fashioned from found objects, natural resources, and pure ingenuity.
For those who would rather stay on terra firma, the bottom floor will showcase an ingenious kitchen and dining room, along with the father’s art studio, displaying hand-drawn sketches and paintings of each of the rooms.
Walt Disney Imagineers are hard at work and delighted to bring this classic back in a fresh way, full of magic, enchantment, and wonder. After all, who wouldn’t want to live in a tree in Disneyland?!
We look forward to sharing an opening date and more details about the new Adventureland Treehouse coming to Disneyland park in the future.
9 – Disneyland Resort Celebrates “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
Disneyland Resort is celebrating the new film “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” with limited-time offerings and experiences, available now through January 8, 2023. Guests will be able to encounter, learn from and celebrate the arrival of two new warriors, feast on fare inspired by African cuisine, discover props from the film and more.
Limited-time experiences celebrating ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’
- At Avengers Campus in Disney California Adventure Park, guests may encounter the next warrior taking on the legendary mantle of the Black Panther.
- M’Baku, chieftain of the Jabari Tribe, invites Avengers Campus recruits to join in “The Way of the Jabari,” an all-new experience that shares some of the culture of the Jabari Tribe through chants and percussion.
- Steps away from the site of the Collector’s Fortress in Disney California Adventure, The Black Panther Celebration Garden honors the legacy of the Black Panther in Wakandan lore. This celebratory space invites guests to relax and reflect on the legendary protectors of the Kingdom of Wakanda.
- Super Hero recruits can enjoy dishes inspired by African cuisine and experience the vibrant culture of Wakanda through its food. Flavors of Wakanda in the Hollywood Backlot features peri-peri chicken, Maafe (a peanut stew) and the Dawa beverage, a butterfly pea tea lemonade. Shawarma Palace and Shawarma Palace Too serve the Wakandan roasted pork wrap, featuring spiced pork with black garlic sauce and chermoula.
- In the Super Store Featuring Avengers Campus located in Hollywood Land, guests can view props and costumes from the film and purchase Black Panther-themed gear such as MagicBand+, WEB Tech and more.
- Shuri’s gauntlet is one of several drinking vessels guests may find at the Flavors of Wakanda marketplace, Shawarma Palace, Shawarma Palace Too and select vending carts near Avengers Campus.
- Outside the building adjacent to Star WarsTrading Post in Downtown Disney District, guests can pose by a special mural honoring the new film. The illustration was created by artist Nikkolas Smith, who previously created the art installation “King Chad.”
10 – Disney and Avatar Launch “Keep Our Oceans Amazing” Ahead of 20th Century Studios’ ‘Avatar: The Way of Water.’
20th Century Studios’ Avatar: The Way of Water is releasing December 16, 2022, and to mark the occasion, Disney and Avatar will launch a new “Keep Our Oceans Amazing” campaign. As part of the campaign, fans are invited to transport to the wonders of an all-new biome – the reef – through the Virtual Pandoran Ocean. With this unique digital activation, fans can help Disney and Avatar to Keep Our Oceans Amazing now through December 31, 2022, by going to Avatar.com/KeepOurOceansAmazing to create their very own Avatar-inspired ocean creature. For every creature created in the Virtual Pandoran Ocean, Disney will donate $5 to The Nature Conservancy, up to $1 million, to help them achieve their goal of protecting 10% of the ocean by 2030 and 10 of our oceans’ amazing animals and their habitats, connected to the beauty of Pandora.
11 – Walt Disney World Selects Developer for 80-Acre Affordable and Attainable Housing Initiative in Central Florida
Walt Disney World has selected The Michaels Organization, a prominent and visionary developer known for creating high-quality homes in communities across the country and here in Central Florida, to build, own and operate a new attainable housing development, offering affordable options for qualifying applicants within certain income levels. Walt Disney World will contribute approximately 80 acres of land in southwest Orange County, Florida, for the development, located west of State Road 429 and just a couple of miles from Flamingo Crossings Town Center.
This initiative will help offer a viable solution to one of the nation’s greatest challenges. The development is expected to include more than 1,300 units.
After a thorough search, Walt Disney World chose The Michaels Organization for its long-standing track record in building and managing attainable housing communities. Negotiations between Walt Disney World and The Michael’s Organization on a definitive agreement for the project are underway. With over 425 communities in more than 35 states, The Michaels Organization has provided comprehensive solutions to affordable housing for many years and is the largest privately held owner of affordable housing in the country. The development will be open for qualifying applicants, including Disney cast members.
“For more than 50 years, Walt Disney World has cared for and invested in our community, and we’re committed to being a part of this solution which will bring more attainable housing to Central Florida,” said Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “We will continue to find ways to use our resources to make a difference in the community we call home, and we’re excited to take this step with a nationally recognized developer.”
The initiative will create new jobs in the Central Florida community through The Michael’s Organization’s construction and ongoing operation of the property. Disney will collaborate with The Michaels Organization throughout its design and construction.
“We are excited to work with an iconic brand like Disney to deliver attainable housing for the Central Florida community,” said Michaels CEO John J. O’Donnell. “Our goal is to create a repeatable model that we hope will inspire other companies and municipalities to create high quality, attainable housing in their own communities.”
The development – which is planned to be privately financed – will be limited to applicants within a certain income range. This initiative will support and build upon Orange County’s Housing for All action plan to address housing affordability for local residents, an action plan brought about by the passion and leadership of Mayor Jerry Demings.
The initiative is one of many ways Disney engages with local leaders to help the community find lasting solutions to this issue, from making monetary donations, to contributing supplies to local organizations in need, to providing assistance through the Disney VoluntEARS program and more. Earlier this year, Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort donated $300K to local food banks to support people in the community facing food insecurity. That donation was just part of the $5.5M Walt Disney World has contributed to important community causes during the ongoing 50th Anniversary celebration, including organizations on the frontline of addressing the need for affordable housing, like Hope Partnership.
Additional details, including a construction timeline, will be shared in the future.
What’s New and Happening Now at Walt Disney World Resort
November 8 – December 30 – Holiday Season at Walt Disney World
November 8-December 22, Select Nights – Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom
November 13, 2022 – Blizzard Beach Reopens
November and Thanksgiving Weekend
Now Open – Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Now Through March 31, 2023 – The Most Magical Celebration – 50 Years of Walt Disney World
Coming Soon to Walt Disney World
November 25 – December 30 – EPCOT Festival of the Holidays
January 13 – February 20, 2023 – EPCOT Festival of the Arts
Spring 2023 – Tron Lightcycle Run Coming to Magic Kingdom
2023 – Happily Ever After Returns to Magic Kingdom
New & Coming Soon to Disney Cruise Line
The Disney Wish
Itineraries in 2022 and 2023
Coming to Disney Cruise Line
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