The end of an era, another character experience returns, festival news, cruise news and more in this week’s news roundup below.
1 – Splash Mountain’s Last Day of Operation
Sunday, January 22, 2023, is Splash Mountain’s last day of operation. By 8:00 am on that morning, Disney Genie+ selection times for the attraction were already sold out. We expect long waits on Sunday for the attraction. Splash Mountain will close on January 23, 2023, and Imagineers will begin the process of transforming it into Tiana’ Bayou Adventure, which is set to open in late 2024.
2 – Disney Releases Information About New Topiaries and More for the 2023 EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival
This week Disney released details on some of the new offerings coming to the 2023 EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival, which runs from March 1-July 5, 2023. Learn all about what’s coming in the link below.
3 – New Character Parking Lot Names Now at EPCOT
When visiting EPCOT, you’ll no longer have parking lot names such as Discover, Imagine, or Explore. This week Disney installed new signage and gave new parking lot names based on characters. Learn more at the link below.
4 – Ariel is Now Greeting Guests at Ariel’s Grotto in Magic Kingdom
Ariel is once again greeting guests at Ariel’s Grotto in Fantasyland. The meet and greet has been absent for nearly three years. It closed in March 2020 and has now just returned. The meet and greet experience has been added to the Disney Genie+ attraction lineup, giving guests the option to use that for shorter wait times.
5 – New Fireworks Show, New Castaway Club Gift Announced for Disney Cruise Line’s ‘Silver Anniversary at Sea’
In 2023, Disney Cruise Line celebrates its 25th anniversary, bringing special entertainment, merchandise and celebratory experiences to select summer sailings. Guests are invited to take part in limited-time “Silver Anniversary at Sea” offerings across all five Disney Cruise Line ships from May through September of 2023. This week Disney announced more details about the cruises, including a brand-new fireworks show and Castaway Club gift. Learn more below.
6 – The EPCOT 2023 Festival of the Arts
Last week we enjoyed our visit to the EPCOT Festival of the Arts. We can’t wait to go back. Learn why you don’t want to miss the festival at the link below.
7 – Pixar Day at Sea Cruise on the Disney Fantasy
If you love Pixar and Disney Cruise Line, Pixar Day at Sea cruises might be a match made in heaven. Cindy and her two sisters enjoyed the inaugural sailing the second week of January. Cindy is bringing you a Travel Log where you’ll learn so much about the cruise and what you can do. These articles also include lots of tips and tricks so you can have the best cruise (even if it’s not a Pixar-themed cruise). She’ll continue to bring more coverage of the cruise this week. Learn about more about Pixar Day at Sea, the Disney Fantasy, and Disney Cruise Line at the links below.
Articles with Cruising Tips and Tricks
Days 5-8 are coming soon!
8 – New Glass Recycling Program at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
Disney isn’t horsing around when it comes to a new pilot program that turns recycled glass into a beautiful soft-sand mix that can be used on trails! Dr. Mark Penning, VP of Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks has all the details below!
The last time you dropped a glass bottle or jar into a recycle bin, did you imagine it could be used for roads, golf courses or walking trails for animals?
Picturing what’s possible is what we do every day at Disney, and the real magic begins when we put that possibility into practice. With the help of a machine that pulverizes glass into gravel and sand-like pieces, we’re not just imagining the possibilities for a world in balance, we’re working to make it a reality!
As part of a pilot program, we’re collecting glass placed in recycle bins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. This glass is then transferred into a bin connected to a glass pulverizer. With the flip of a switch, glass travels up a conveyor belt where it is then crushed by multiple small hammers before being sorted through a large mesh screen for bigger, gravel-sized pieces or a smaller mesh screen for finer, sand-like material. Within 30 seconds, a sauce jar or beverage bottle can turn into a beautiful, soft-sand mix!
This pulverizer can process up to 2,000 pounds of glass per hour. So, a full ton can go through this machine every hour and be converted into sand and gravel instead of being routed to a landfill.
This work is just one example of the ways The Walt Disney Company is aiming to lead the way in protecting the planet with our environmental goals by 2030 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve water, achieve zero waste to landfills, further reduce single-use plastics and emissions, and expand renewable energy efforts.
Here at Fort Wilderness, we use this material to fill in holes on gravel roads and our horseback riding trails. The pulverizer processes the glass in a way that removes any sharp edges, which makes it safe for animals to walk on. And, it actually creates less dust on the trails, which makes a better experience for everyone!
In the near future, this material could have many other uses across Walt Disney World, including roadbeds, golf course bunkers, filtration systems, sandbags and drainage improvements, to name a few. It may even be used in recreation areas and in non-structural concrete like sidewalks and tennis courts.
And one day, this glass mixture might even be used for coastal restoration work. It’s a lot of fun to see a simple item recycled into something so usable!
We’re always dreaming of the possibilities of tomorrow at Disney, and we apply that same approach when we think about the environment. While this is an early step, it’s exciting to picture what’s possible when we take action to change our planet’s story.
And we invite you to join us in building a brighter, more sustainable future. Whether you’re turning glass into sand or simply sorting your glass containers into a recycle bin, every simple action can help create a world in balance and make a happier, healthier planet possible for all. To learn more, visit DisneyPlanetPossible.com.
What’s New and Happening Now at Walt Disney World Resort
January 13 – February 20, 2023 – EPCOT Festival of the Arts
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
April 3, 2023 – Happily Ever After Returns to Magic Kingdom
April 4, 2023 – Tron Lightcycle Run Coming to Magic Kingdom
New & Coming Soon to Disney Cruise Line
Pixar Day at Sea on the Disney Fantasy – Spring 2023
Articles with Cruising Tips and Tricks
Days 5-8 are coming soon!
Instagram Story with Photos and Video of our Cruise
Day 5 – Instagram Story Highlight – San Juan, Puerto Rico
The Disney Wish
Itineraries in 2023 and 2023
Coming to Disney Cruise Line
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.