Plus the latest news from Disney Cruise Line, Aulani, EPCOT Flower and Gardens Festival and more!
There's more character meetings, entertainment, parades, shows and more coming back to Walt Disney World, Plus, Disney Cruise Line is serving up Pixar and Marvel days at sea. Catch up on all the latest Disney travel news.
Listen to the Disney Travel News Podcast
More entertainment is coming to Magic Kingdom Park for the 50th Anniversary Celebration
As Disney works to bring even more characters and entertainment back to its parks and resorts, there's news of more of everything coming our way.
It all kicks off on February 11 with the new “Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade!” starring 30 Disney and Pixar characters, including Nick and Judy from “Zootopia,” Baloo and King Louie from “The Jungle Book,” José Carioca and Panchito from “The Three Caballeros,” plus Merida, Moana, The Incredibles, and more. It will also include the Magic Kingdom debut of Miguel from “Coco.”
The “Festival of Fantasy” Parade (a fan favorite) makes a triumphant return to Magic Kingdom Park starting March 9 – the anniversary of the debut of the parade in 2014. It will have two daily shows.
“Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire” will make its debut on the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage February 25. The show has been updated for the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary and will incorporate favorite scenes from “Frozen,” “Tangled,” and “The Princess and the Frog” – plus a new opening and a new finale with Mickey Mouse and all his friends in their sparkling, EARidescent fashions. It will happen multiple times a day and will include a new original song entitled “Where the Magic Feels Like Home.”
“Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!” and “Fantasmic!” will return later this year.
Character Sightings added to Disney Genie+
You will now find select Character Sightings (note the word sightings, not greetings) as the following character interactions have been announced as new selections for Lightning Lane entry with the purchase of Disney Genie+:
Disney Cruise Line Introduces Pixar Day at Sea on Select Disney Fantasy Sailings in 2023
Disney Cruise Line has an all-new Pixar Day at Sea on special sailings of the Disney Fantasy in early 2023.
The day-long celebration will feature one-of-a-kind experiences on select seven-night voyages. It will bring to life Pixar tales from “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “The Incredibles,” “Finding Nemo” and more. Themed dining, character encounters, dance parties and a stage show await guests on what promises to be a fun-filled day at sea that caps off with a deck party.
A Pixar film festival, exclusive merchandise and photo opportunities will also be available as part of the new celebration. Other details and highlights include:
Pixar Day at Sea will happen on nine select Disney Fantasy cruises from January through March 2023.
EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival Will Showcase Blooms, Tunes, Scents and Flavors Beginning March 2
Are you ready for spring? The horticulture and festival teams at Walt Disney World Resort are hard at work preparing for the 2022 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival.
This year’s festival runs March 2 to July 4 – a total of 125 days.
Disney Character topiaries offer a perfect backdrop for springtime photos with family and friends. A new main entrance display will feature Goofy with a birthday cake celebrating the Walt Disney World Resort 50th anniversary.
Horticulture teams are creating new topiaries of the Seven Dwarfs to accompany Snow White near the Germany pavilion in World Showcase. And returning this year are Lumiere and Cogsworth topiaries in the France pavilion as well as Pumbaa and Timon topiaries near Imagination!
On the bridge to World Showcase, you can enjoy the sights and scents of spring at a new fragrant garden presented by Scentsy. Surrounded by butterfly topiaries, you can follow your noses to six scent stations—floral, fruity, citrus, spice, woods and fresh—to form lasting memories of unforgettable aromas.
The Health Full Trail presented by AdventHealth offers a fun way for families to play and learn how to stay healthy, and Outdoor Escapes Presented by OFF!® Repellents lets Guests enjoy a moment of relaxation, while learning how easy it is to create an outdoor escape of their own. Bambi’s Butterfly House enchants you with a kaleidoscope of butterflies showing off their extraordinary beauty and colors.
Plus there's the Garden Rocks Concert Series, 18 Outdoor Kitchens and much more.
Aulani Resort Guests Urged to Stay Updated on Hawaii’s Travel Requirements
The following is important information for anyone planning a vacation to Disney Aulani (or anywhere on the Hawaiian islands).
The Government of Hawaii is considering changes to Hawaii’s Safe Travels Program. Specifically, travelers planning to use their vaccine status to receive an exemption to the State of Hawaii’s mandatory quarantine may be required to be up to date on their COVID-19 booster shots. Please continue to stay updated on the latest travel requirements by visiting the State of Hawaii’s Safe Travels website.
As a reminder, the City & County of Honolulu also requires that all Guests ages 12 and older dining on property provide proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours. Please stay up to date on any changes to our offerings on the Know Before You Go page at DisneyTravelAgents.com.
New Post-Cruise COVID-19 Testing Service for Guests Returning Home and New Testing Site in New Orleans
Many Disney Cruise Line Guests are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen or PCR test result before returning home by air. Disney Cruise Line has announced that Inspire Diagnostics, Disney Cruise Line’s third-party testing provider offers a testing service for $98.33 USD per person for PCR testing, and $41.40 USD per person for antigen testing.
You are responsible for knowing which type of test you need and the window of time in which it must be conducted. Testing is conducted at the terminal after you disembark the ship. Results take approximately 45 minutes to two hours, depending on the type of test.
For more information or to book an appointment, visit the Safe Passage website. Information about this optional service will also be added on the Disney Cruise Line Know Before You Go website page.
If you are sailing out of New Orleans you can visit the InterContinental New Orleans at 444 St. Charles Avenue, to receive a PCR test.
Marvel Day at Sea Returns to Disney Cruise Line in 2023
Marvel Day at Sea cruises will again be back in 2023 and for the first time ever the biggest group of Marvel Super Heroes and Villains will be on one ship for epic voyages from Miami on the Disney Dream.
The day-long celebration is on select five-night Caribbean cruises, It features encounters with favorite Marvel Super Heroes, action-packed entertainment and Marvel-themed activities for the whole family.
2023 Itineraries: Marvel Day at Sea
Beginning January 7, 2023, Marvel Day at Sea will take place on nine five-night Caribbean cruises sailing from Miami.
Departing January 16, January 30, February 13 and February 27, 2023, the Western Caribbean itinerary includes a stop at Cozumel, Mexico and Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.
Departing January 7, January 21, February 4, February 18 and March 4, 2023, the Western Caribbean itinerary includes Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Castaway Cay.
Thank You for Listening to The Disney Travel Podcast
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Mike Belobradic and Amelia Belobradic
About the Editor
Mike Belobradic is the founder of the 1923 Main Street® Disney Travel Podcast and the Luxury Disney Travel Blog.