Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind to Open in 2022 at EPCOT

Disney confirmed yesterday that Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind will open in 2022 at EPCOT. Disney did not offer a specific opening date.

In the announcement, Imagineer Zach Riddley said –

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, will debut in 2022. That’s right, our friends from Xandar will open the first ‘other-world’ showcase pavilion at EPCOT next year, inviting us on an intergalactic chase through space and time!

Here you see Imagineers Tom Fitzgerald and Scott Drake in the Galaxarium, which when completed will feature a planetarium-type presentation where the Xandarians show us their world, their people and their advanced technologies.

The new attraction will feature an innovation that we have not seen from Walt Disney Imagineering – a storytelling coaster that rotates 360 degrees to focus guests on the action, including the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster. 

First Voyages of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser to Begin March 1, 2022

Yesterday Disney announced that the inaugural voyage of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser at Walt Disney World Resort will depart March, 1, 2022!

Guests will be able to reserve bookings for this immersive adventure in a galaxy far, far away on October 28th.

Disney also mentioned that some Disney and Star Wars fans, including Disney Vacation Club members, Disney Passholders and Disney Visa Cardmembers, should be on the lookout in the coming weeks for a special booking opportunity just for them. 

Sassagoula River Cruise Serving Disney Springs Returns

The Sassagoula River Cruise is scheduled to resume  boat service to Disney Springs today from the resort area hotels.

The Sassagoula River Cruise will operate from 10 AM to 11:30 PM from Old Key West and Saratoga Springs, dropping off at Marketplace boat dock.

Service for Port Orleans will resume in late October 2021.

We have stayed at Old Key West and the Treehouse Villas since Walt Disney World re-opened last year and have been waiting for this.  This comes as great news to anyone staying at Saratoga Springs and Old Key West and soon guests staying at Port Orleans.

Electrical Water Pageant Getting New 50th Anniversary Scene

Walt Disney World just announced that the Electrical Water Pageant will be updated with a new scene to celebrate Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary.

The new scene joining the pageant will feature Cinderella Castle in blue, with the 50th anniversary icon in the center. Accompanying the pageant will be a special version of the celebration anthem – “The Magic is Calling.”

In the announcement, Disney said –

The beloved Electrical Water Pageant joins in the fun of “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” with new celebratory scenes featuring a towering castle, swirling pixie dust and a version of the celebration anthem song, “The Magic is Calling,” bookending the full traditional show as it sails nightly across Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for more on the EARidescent updates to the Walt Disney World Resort classic.

Personally, I’m glad to see that the Electrical Water Pageant is getting some love and especially for 50th Anniversary love.  I can’t wait to see this.

Holiday Storytellers Appear to be Returning for the 2021 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays

The 2021 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays is looking to be a lot like what we’re used to seeing, with more entertainment expected to be returning.

It was recently noticed that a casting call went out from Disney Live Entertainment looking for Equity performers to play the roles of the Holiday Storytellers in each of the World Showcase countries.

Walt Disney World recently confirmed that the Candlelight Processional will return this year.

Walt Disney World Delays Re-Opening of Disney’s All Star Sports Indefinitely

Walt Disney World announced today that the re-opening of Disney’s All Star Sports Resort has been delayed indefinitely.

According to Walt Disney World’s resort re-opening timeline, the All Star Sports Resort was scheduled to re-open on December 9, 2021.

In the announcement, Walt Disney World issued this statement –

At this time, Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort will remain closed while we take the opportunity to refresh the Sports theme area, and we look forward to sharing a new reopening date for rooms in the Sports theme at a later time.

Guests with upcoming reservations will receive communication via email and will be instructed to reach out to their Travel Professional to modify their stay, at no additional charge. This modification will have no impact to other vacation experiences that may be booked, such as Theme Park reservations or dining.

As a reminder, we’re excited to reopen Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts next month for our Guests, with bookings available beginning Oct. 14 for Riverside and Oct. 28 for French Quarter, subject to availability.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance to Go to Standby Queue

Walt Disney World announced today that Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will pause its virtual queue and use a traditional standby line for the first time in its history.

The switch from virtual queue to standby will go into effect on September 23rd.

In the Disney Parks Blog Disney commented –

We know our guests love choice and flexibility when planning their time in a theme park—which is why, starting Sept. 23, we will pause the use of virtual queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, and guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios may experience this incredible attraction using a traditional standby queue for the first time since it opened in 2019.

Virtual queues continue to be helpful with attraction access, merchandise launches, grand openings and more, and guests should continue to check the My Disney Experience app for the latest on how we’re using virtual queues across Walt Disney World Resort including its potential use at Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at a later date, or from time to time.

There is speculation that this pause of the virtual queue has to do with the launch of Disney Genie.  Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will be one of the attractions that makes use of Lighting Lane, with paid access to enter the line. It may be happening to prepare for the new system, or to give guests a chance to experience the attraction prior to the upcoming changes.

Tickets for 2022 D23 Expo to Go On Sale in January

D23 announced today that tickets will go on sale on January 20, 2022 for the 2022 D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center in California.

In September 2020 D23 announced that the delayed 2021 D23 Expo will be held September 9 – 11, 2022 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

According to the announcement, D23 Expo 2022 will be a celebration unlike any other, and will give fans a first look at plans for the 100th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company.

Terri Schultz, Disney Vacation Club VP Promoted. Bill Diercksen Promoted as Replacement

In an email sent out to Disney Vacation Club members it was announced that Bill Diercksen, a longtime leader with Disney, has been promoted to head up Disney Vacation Club as its new senior vice president and general manager.

Terri Schultz has been promoted to senior vice president of Commercial Strategy for all of our Disney Signature Experiences businesses, including Disney Vacation Club.

Diercksen is a 20-year Cast Member, he most recently served as vice president of finance for our Disney Signature Experiences portfolio of vacation experiences after working for several years as a director at Disney Vacation Club.

Thomas Mazloum, President, Disney Signature Experiences added –

Bill is very passionate about DVC and is absolutely dedicated to delivering the most magical Member and Guest experiences while bringing new perspectives and creativity to our organization. I know that he will continue to chart a course for success at DVC and build on the many strides that Terri and the team accomplished over the past few years.

Walt Disney World to Resume Annual Pass Sales September 8th

Walt Disney World has announced today that it will resume sales of Annual Passes on September 8th.

With this announcement Walt Disney World will be introducing four new Annual Passes, which Disney says will be “offering the flexibility and choice to meet guest needs, each designed based on Passholder feedback.”

Here are some highlights of the new Walt Disney World Annual Passes:

  • Hold More Park Reservations: Depending on their pass type, Passholders may now hold up to five Disney Park Pass reservations at a time. “bonus reservations” will also be added to the calendar from time to time, so Passholders can make an additional park reservation without it counting against their applicable reservation hold limit. Plus, when Passholders stay at Disney Resort hotels or other select hotels, they will also be eligible to make theme park reservations for each day of their stay – in addition to the reservations you can hold based on your pass type.
  • Customize Your Pass: Choose different add-on options based on your preferences – from the Water Park and Sports option to Disney PhotoPass downloads. These add-on options will be available for purchase with any of our four new passes.
  • Access a New Integrated Calendar: Planning will be easier with enhancements to the reservation system, including a new integrated calendar that lets Passholders quickly see blockout dates for each pass type, view available days and make, modify or cancel a reservation all in one place.
  • Enjoy Passholder Perks: Passes will continue to offer benefits including the Park Hopper option, standard theme park parking and discounts on merchandise and dining. And, there will be a few special surprises throughout the 50th anniversary celebration.

It is important to note as Walt Disney World continues to manage attendance, at any time, Annual Passes may be unavailable for purchase. Annual Passholders will also still be required to make park reservations for each day of their visit.

Here’s a visual comparison of the Annual Pass options:

Below are the respective blackout dates –


In an effort to make the reservation program more seamless, on September 8th, Walt Disney World Resort will introduce an enhanced theme park reservation calendar that shows booked reservations, park availability and blockout dates. All current reservations will be maintained with the ability to make and modify additional new reservations as part of the update.

All passes will include theme park parking, but none include any PhotoPass services.

“Water Park and Sports” and Disney PhotoPass Downloads add-ons will cost $99 each.

If you currently are a WDW Annual Passholder, you may continue to use your Annual Pass as you do currently, when it is time for you to renew, you will be able to renew into one of the new passes (at a discounted renewal rate). The amount of the renewal discount or any DVC discount has not been specifically addressed.

Disney also mentioned that beginning September 8th, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum Plus Annual Passholders will also be able to hold more reservations at a time.

Disney also added –

With the Annual Passholder program’s new look and feel, we wanted to honor our past while looking forward to the future. Using a piece of the original Walt Disney World Resort logo as a foundation for bright colors and energetic design, the program’s new look puts Passholders right in the middle of the magic.

Coming soon, current, active Annual Passholders will be among the first to receive the brand-new Passholder magnet featuring our new look. It’s our way of saying “thank you” for being a Walt Disney World Annual Passholder. (Two magnets per household. Not responsible for any lost, stolen or damaged magnets).

 

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