It's the news that so many of us have been waiting for! For the first time in forever (or since March 2020) you'll be able to hug or get an autograph from your favorite characters again!
Beginning Monday, April 18, traditional character interactions will begin to return to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and Aulani!
This post may include affiliate links, which means that I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.
While not all character locations will be available immediately, more will become available throughout the spring and early summer!
Who are you the most excited to hug first?
To book your 2022 stay, start here!
Beginning March 11, 2022, Disney Cruise Line will begin to relax its face covering policy!
Following recently updated guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Disney Cruise Line has updated their face covering requirements for sailings originating from a U.S. port of departure. Beginning March 11, face coverings on Disney Cruise Line will become optional in most indoor locations throughout Disney ships.
Guests ages 2+, including those who are fully vaccinated, will still be required to wear face coverings in the Walt Disney Theatre. Guests under 5 years of age who are currently ineligible to be vaccinated will be required to wear face coverings in Youth Activities spaces and in the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
While not required, Disney Cruise Line continues to strongly recommend guests wear a face covering in all other indoor locations.
Face coverings may be required in ports of call based on local government requirements, including in some areas at Disney Castaway Cay. Masks should also be worn in the cruise terminal during the boarding and screening process, as well as during disembarkation.
For further questions, or for more information about taking a Disney cruise, contact me.
Disney Travel News
It's been a big week for Disney travel news! We've heard multiple announcements from Walt Disney World and have even heard a big announcement from Disney Cruise Line. Check it all out below!
Changes Coming to Toy Story Land in 2022
Attention all honorary toys! After enjoying Toy Story Mania!, guests will soon be treated to a new experience. Jessie’s Trading Post will be full of the coolest toys and finest souvenirs.
That's not all! Also coming in 2022 is the previously announced Roundup Rodeo BBQ restaurant! This family-friendly dining experience will offer barbecue fare. It will also offer some fan-favorite Pixar characters! Stay tuned for more details!
New Character Sightings Available on Genie+
The latest update to theDisney Genie+ service has extra...character! Starting Jan. 26, guests who have purchased Genie+ will find select Character Sightings have been added as an option for Lightning Lane entry. Character Sightings will include:
*Attractions with Lightning Lane entrances that are Disney Genie+ and individual purchases are limited in availability, subject to change or closure, may vary by date, are not guaranteed and may not be available at all on the date of visit or at the time you make a selection.
Pixar Day at Sea - Coming in 2023
Disney Cruise Line Guests will be immersed in the stories of their favorite toys, monsters and heroes during the all-new Pixar Day at Sea aboard special sailings on the Disney Fantasy in early 2023.
This day-long celebration on select seven-night voyages will bring beloved Pixar tales exclusively for Disney Cruise Line Guests. These experiences will include themed dining, character encounters, dance parties and a theatrical musical experience.
Contact me for more information about Pixar Day at Sea sailings.
It’s time to experience the magic of Disney at sea once again!! The Disney Dream will begin cruising from Florida on August 9th!
Tropical voyages to the Bahamas will depart from Port Canaveral, Florida. All sailings will be 3 and 4 night cruises and all will stop at Castaway Cay, Disney's private island. These sailings will be overflowing with magic, including beloved character encounters, enchanting Broadway-style musicals, a fireworks display at sea, and more!
Procedures that are being implemented for the well-being of Guests and Crew Members include:
For pricing or more information about Disney Cruise Line, contact me!
Weekly Travel News Roundup!
Nothing like kicking off a holiday weekend with some major news from Universal Orlando and Disneyland, plus more details about the Disney Wish!
Speaking of the holiday weekend, I'm running a 15% off special on everything in my Etsy shop, Dani's Travel Templates through Monday. My email subscribers always get 40% and that deal is combinable with the holiday special! (YES, that means you can save up to 55% off right now!) To join my email list, scroll down and enter your email!
Universal Orlando Resort
Updated Safety Guidelines
Beginning May 29, 2021, face coverings are no longer required for fully vaccinated guests, indoors or outdoors. Please note that while they do not require proof of vaccination, those who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear face coverings while indoors. As always, please follow directions from team members.
Surfside Inn & Suites Now Reopened!
As I had previously reported, Universal's Endless Summer Resort - Surfside Inn & Suites has resumed operations!
Disneyland Reopening Announcement
It's official! Beginning June 15, 2021, Disneyland Resort will welcome guests from outside the state of California! The State of California strongly recommends that all guests be fully vaccinated or obtain a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering the theme parks. In addition, all Guests will be required to wear an approved face covering throughout their visit. Additionally, the booking window for theme park reservations has expanded out to 120 days, allowing guests even more time to plan their return to the resort!
Opening June 4th is the all-new land, Avenger's Campus! It will allow guests to join the action with the Avengers like Iron Man, Black Panther, Black Widow and more; sling webs on the first Disney ride-through attraction to feature Spider-Man; taste-test food and drinks and become part of a bigger universe. The virtual queue system will be used for WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure. Similar to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, virtual queue enrollment times will be twice daily, at 7 a.m. and 12 p.m. To learn how the system will work, Guests can visit the WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure page.
New Jungle Cruise Experience
Jungle Cruise will reopen July 16, 2021 at Disneyland park, with an updated experience that welcomes new characters from around the world plus even more of the humor, wildlife and skipper heart that makes this classic attraction a favorite.
Disney Cruise Line
Worlds of Marvel
Aboard the Disney Wish, guests will be able to dine at Worlds of Marvel. This is the first-ever Marvel cinematic dining adventure, where guests will play an interactive role in an Avengers mission that unfolds all around. This upscale-restaurant-meets-technology-showcase will up the ante on the traditional “dinner and a show” concept. Worlds of Marvel will take families on a flavorful tour of the real and fictional settings of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with dishes inspired by legendary locales like African Wakanda, Eastern European Sokovia and the Avengers’ home base of New York City.
Weekly Travel News Roundup
My, oh my....what a week it's been! Promotions, Halloween events, restaurant reopenings, those E P I C details announced about the Disney Wish, and more! Plus, we've learned more about Universal's jaw-dropping VelociCoaster. Remember, to book a vacation to these destinations and more, be sure to contact me!
Walt Disney World
Disney After Hours "Boo-Bash" Announced!
Disney has announced a new Halloween-themed Disney After Hours event coming this fall to Magic Kingdom: Disney After Hours BOO BASH!
This specially ticketed event will take place on select nights, Aug. 10-Oct. 31, from 9 p.m. to midnight. Festivities will include Halloween-themed cavalcades, character sightings, performances by the Cadaver Dans, décor, lighting, music, treat stops (with plenty of candy) and so much more! Plus tickets will grant admission to Magic Kingdom as early as 7 p.m. without the need for a day park ticket or Disney Park Pass theme park reservation!
This event is open to a limited number of guests after normal park operating hours. The experience offers low wait times at more than 20 attractions! Tickets will go on sale next month, with an early purchase window available to guests at select on-site Disney Resort hotels!
Disney Room Offer
As I mentioned earlier this week, there is a new room-only offer available! Save up to 25% for stays most nights July 11-September 29th. More details about that promotion can be read on my Disney World promotions page or in this post.
Galactic Starcruiser Coming 2022
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida will take Guests to a galaxy far, far away for an all-immersive, two-night vacation experience that goes beyond anything Disney has ever created before...including a brand new (and mind-blowing!!) lightsaber. Guests who experience Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will be the first to see it in action. Check out the video of the new lightsaber and get more details here!
Honoring Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and Disney is celebrating the cultures, experiences, and contributions of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) cast and communities. A World of Voices, Honoring Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at Walt Disney World will share the creativity and contributions of some incredible cast members through experiences, entertainment, and food and beverage offerings. Special experiences will be featured at all 4 parks, at Disney Springs, and at Disney Resort hotels.
More Dining Options Returning
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Wish Details
Disney Cruise Line unveiled a ton of details about the Disney Wish, which will set sail on her maiden voyage June 9, 2022. In case you missed it, read all about what the Disney Wish will offer!
Paradise Pier Reopening
As Disneyland continues the phased reopening of its hotels, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel will reopen and welcome back guests starting June 15, 2021! As a reminder, only California residents are able to make reservations at this time.
More Dining Options Available
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is reopening popular dining locations Napa Rose and Storytellers Cafe AND will be open to non-hotel guests as well! These restaurants will begin allowing guests May 28.
Universal Orlando Resort
Previews have started for VelociCoaster, the new jaw-dropping coaster at Islands of Adventure. Annual Passholders, team members, and some select media guests have been able to ride the coaster and from what I hear, it's a nonstop thrill from start to finish! I've been hearing amazing things about the queue line, too. VelociCoaster opens to the public on June 10th.
Grand Debut of the Disney Wish!
When the Disney Wish sets sail in Summer 2022, guests will be immersed in Disney’s rich legacy of enchanting storytelling. The Wish will bring life to the stories and characters of Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars. Check out what the Wish has in store for us! Bookings for this ship will sell out Q U I C K L Y, so if you'd like to receive a quote when bookings become available in May 2021, please contact me!
Children ages 3 to 12 will enter the reimagined Disney’s Oceaneer Club. Including:
Every stateroom on board the Disney Wish will be a luxurious, peaceful retreat designed with ample room for families, plenty of storage and upscale amenities. Most will feature Disney Cruise Line’s signature split-bathroom concept.
Setting Sail Summer 2022
The Disney Wish will sail its maiden voyage — a five-night cruise to Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay — on June 9, 2022, followed by an inaugural season of three- and four-night cruises to the same destinations from Port Canaveral, Florida. Due to the anticipated demand for the Maiden Voyage of Disney Wish, there will be some unique Terms and Conditions for this sailing only. Bookings open to the general public on May 27, 2021. More details about the Disney Wish are on the horizon. Stay tuned!
Weekly News Roundup
Very exciting news from Disney this week, including some hotel reopenings at Walt Disney World and exciting news about the newest addition to the Disney Cruise Line fleet! Remember, to stay up-to-date about all Disney and Universal news, be sure to sign up for my newsletter! (Link below the post!) If you're interested in booking a Disney vacation to experience the magic for yourself, contact me!
Walt Disney World
Resort Hotel Reopenings
While we did know about Disney's Beach Club Resort reopening May 30th and Disney's Wilderness Lodge (I've missed you!!!!) reopening June 6th, but we have an official reopening for Disney's BoardWalk Inn! The BoardWalk will begin accepting reservations for arrivals beginning July 2nd! I love the BoardWalk Resort, and couldn't be more excited to begin booking this one for clients again.
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort does not yet have an official reopening date, but plans to allow guests are still on track for late July 2021. Of course, future reopening dates of Disney Resort hotels are subject to change and Guests’ reservations could still be modified to other Disney Resort hotels if needed.
Disney Cruise Line
New Ship Revealed!
The wish you’ve been waiting for will soon come true! Disney is getting ready to unveil never-before-released details of their newest ship – the Disney Wish – coming to the high seas in summer 2022.
Their grand unveiling, Once Upon a Disney Wish, takes place on Thursday, April 29 at 11 a.m. ET, and you can tune in on the Disney Parks Blog. This special 30-minute virtual presentation will give you a sneak peek at all of the magic that awaits, including a look behind-the-scenes with Walt Disney Imagineers and the creative team bringing the Disney Wish to life. It will also include special character appearances and surprise performances!
New Concept Art Released
The design of the Disney Wish centers around a motif that I’m sure we’re all familiar with… Enchantment!
Weekly News Roundup!
Okay, okay...I know! I always do a "Mid-Week Roundup", but on Wednesday, I just could not stop watching the inauguration! (I could go on and on about this...but I think I cried 1,000 HAPPY tears!) Anyway, since the world had its eyes on President Biden and Vice President Harris' inaugurations, I'm delivering this news a few days late. Remember, the best way to stay updated with all Disney and Universal news is still to follow my Facebook and Instagram pages. (Both are linked below!)
Walt Disney World
Festival of the Lion King Returning!
More singers, dancers, technicians and other Cast Members are returning back to work...because the incomparable Festival of the Lion King is coming back THIS SUMMER! Festival of the Lion King is one of the most popular shows at Walt Disney World Resort. The Harambe Theatre at Animal Kingdom will present the show in a modified format to be mindful of the current environment. There will be some adjustments to audience seating, the show onstage, and backstage areas to allow for appropriate physical distancing for Cast Members and Guests. It’s going to be an amazing celebration! Are you as excited as I am?
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Wonder 2-Night Seattle Sailing Available for Booking!
I feel like its been forever I've been able to share some positive cruising news! A new Disney Wonder 2-Night Seattle sailing on July 5, 2021 is now available to book! The 2-Night sailing will leave from and return to Vancouver, British Columbia and will stop in Seattle Washington. This sailing is in addition to the June 28, 2021 7-Night Alaska sailing. (The June 28th sailing replaced a June 28th 9-Night Alaska sailing. Guests who were previously booked on that 9-Night Alaska sailing are eligible for a 10% discount* if they rebook this 2-Night sailing.)
*Guests must have been booked on the applicable sailing at time of cancellation (Dec. 11, 2020) by Disney Cruise Line to qualify for the 10% discount. Guests who were booked on Disney Wonder June 28, 2021 9-Night sailing will be eligible to apply 10% of the June 28, 2021 7-Night Alaska sailing and/or July 5, 2021 2-Night Seattle sailing.
Flexibility Options Extended
Beginning January 22, 2021, a temporary final payment extension, relaxation of the cruise cancellation fee, and a Cruise Date Flexibility option were added to all Disney Cruise Line sailings through Aug. 31, 2021.
With the Cruise Date Flexibility option, Guests have the option to change the sail day up to 15 days prior to the cruise. This means that for any new or existing cruises booked prior to March 31, 2021, for sailings through Aug. 31, 2021.
Sunset of the Disneyland Resort Annual Passport Program
More sad news out of Disneyland. Due the continued uncertainty of the pandemic and limitations around the reopening of California theme parks, Disney will be "sunsetting" the current Annual Passport program. They will be issuing refunds for eligible Disneyland Resort Annual Passports. (No word yet on what "sunsetting" means in the long term. I personally think we might be seeing something similar take its place once California parks can open, but that's purely speculation on my part!)
First Look at WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure!
When Avengers Campus opens at California Adventure, you'll notice a very familiar face inside the Worldwide Engineering Brigade (or WEB as the kids call it.) Tom Holland will reprise his role as Peter Parker for WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure!
In the WEB workshop, you'll get to see Spider-Bots, which are designed to be robotic sidekicks capable of building anything a Super Hero might need. When Peter’s demonstration goes awry, the Spider-Bots are stuck in a replication loop, creating even more Spider-Bots! Your mission will be to test-drive a new invention, the WEB Slinger vehicle, and discover your own web-slinging super powers! Through specially designed, innovative technology that recognizes body movements and gestures, you will actually be able to reach out your hands and sling webs from your own wrists! As the WEB Slinger vehicles progress, you will virtually pass through Pym Test Kitchen, Avengers Headquarters and the Collector’s Fortress (also home to Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!)
Mid-Week News Roundup
Universal Orlando Resort, Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Disney Cruise Line! It's been a busy news week, so let's dive in!
Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando has relaunched its unprecedented Black Friday offer for a limited time! Due to popular demand, Universal Orlando Resort is giving you another opportunity to take advantage of its best package offer ever – SAVE 40% on a 4-Day, 4-Night vacation package. This deal was originally offered for Black Friday and sold out in record time. Limited quantities are now available until Friday, December 11, so act fast! Remember, this package includes: