Welcome to July! We have some Disney news this month – a lot of smaller things that are slowly returning and getting back to normal, including additional character meet and greets and restaurant re-openings. We’ve also received some more information about the upcoming holiday seasons this year!
- If you’ve been waiting to see Mirabel from Encanto at Disney World, you can now at least catch a glimpse of her! Mirabel is now appearing in the Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade at Magic Kingdom.
- A new quick service restaurant, Connections Cafe and Eatery, has now opened in Epcot.
- Minnie Vans have returned as another (paid) transportation option at Disney World – this is basically Disney’s version of Uber or Lyft.
- Starting on July 6th, Minnie Mouse will be joining Mickey for meet and greets at Magic Kingdom in Town Square Theater!
- The Chip and Dale Campfire Sing-Along at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge also returns tomorrow (July 6th).
- More characters continue to return to the parks, with Snow White and Peter Pan both doing meet and greets again in Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom starting on July 10th.
- For Star Wars fans there’s yet another reopening and more character opportunities – Star Wars Launch Bay in Hollywood Studios will reopen on July 17th, and Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and BB-8 will again have meet and greet opportunities.
- Other characters or experiences have been announced by Disney as “returning in the coming months,” although they don’t have specific return dates yet: Aladdin, Jasmine, Merida, Pooh, Tigger, Storybook Circus pals in Fantasyland will be coming back to the Magic Kingdom, Toy Story characters will do meet and greets in Hollywood Studios, and Donald Duck & Friends will be back to Animal Kingdom’s Dinoland USA area.
- On the other coast AND a different theme park, Universal Studios Hollywood has announced that their Super Nintendo Land will be opening in “early 2023.” Hopefully it won’t be too much longer after that until we see it open on the east coast!
- Top of the World lounge, exclusive to DVC Members is reopening this month – but now it has a villains theme!
- It’s that time of year again – the Epcot Food and Wine Festival begins on July 14th!
- If you’re a fan of citrus flavors, consider heading to Disney Springs this summer. They’ve introduced a foodie guide to their summer “Flavors of Florida” specials.
- We have an official opening timeline for the Princess and the Frog rethemeing of Splash Mountain! Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will debut in late 2024 in both Disney World and Disneyland.
- Tis the season to think about Christmas! Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will be returning this year, along with other holiday festivities.
- The expansion to the DVC section of the Grand Floridian has officially opened. Over 200 new resort studio rooms are now available for booking.
- The previously announced train station coming to Disney Springs (part of the Brightline Train Station, supposed to open in 2023 or 2024) has officially been cancelled.
Magic Kingdom // With the timeline now given for the rethemeing of Splash Mountain, the question still remains of when it will close for the refurb. One current rumor is that it will close in January 2023 – normally Splash is shut down for refurb this time of year for a few weeks, so it makes sense to take it down then spend the next 1.5 years doing the updates.
Hollywood Studios // One item that was not announced as part of the holiday festivities was the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM show at Hollywood Studios. Some are wondering if this might be because Fantasmic could also reopen around this time, and/or have its own holiday version.
Park Hopping // One rumor has been floating around that Disney may start requiring park reservations for the afternoon for those planning to park hop. I find this very unlikely myself – the park pass reservation system is already confusing and unpopular, and I think this would create more bad blood than its worth.
Other Disney blogs
Curious about why Tron: Lightcycle Run is taking so long to open? Well, Jenn from Fairest Run of All has a theory actually based in architecture and engineering!
Jessica at the Happiest Blog on Earth shares some information on how Disneyland resort early entry works now that it has returned!
Ever thought about being part of the Disney College Program? Over on Castle Party Blog they share their top 7 tips for applying to the Disney College Program.
If you’re a book lover like me, you might want to check out Tom’s list of most anticipated Disney books this year over on the Disney Tourist Blog.
At What’s Up with the Mouse, Dawn shares some information on her upcoming trips on the new Disney Wish cruise ship – be sure to follow along for more details!
Like staying organized? Consider vacation planning printables – 41 pages of trip planning, including a budget worksheet, guide to visiting during COVID-19, trip comparison worksheet, info about the new Disney Genie system, daily itineraries, packing checklist, and much more.