Plus Hoop Dee Doo Revue and more at Walt Disney World
Hoop Dee Doo Revue is set for a triumphant return to Walt Disney World this summer, including a few new surprises. This story, plus the 2022 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival, Disney hugs and all the latest Disney travel news you need to know.
Listen to the Latest Disney Travel News
Olaf Will be Pleased, as Hugs are Back across the Disney travel universe
As early as April 18, Disney will start reintroducing traditional character greetings at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, as well as aboard Disney Cruise Line and at Disney Aulani Resort in Hawaii. What does this mean? You will once again be able to hug Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and more friends, and get an autograph from your favorite Disney Princess (or villain).
To manage expectations, Disney notes that not all locations will be available immediately for character interaction, but they are planning to reopen in phases throughout the spring and early summer of 2022.
Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue Returns Summer 2022
Get ready to welcome back another old favorite as the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue returns this summer to Walt Disney World. Reservations will be available starting May 26 for showtimes beginning June 23.
The Pioneer Hall Players lead the way on this frontier-style family fun dining experience in Pioneer Hall at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. First debuting in 1974, Hoop-Dee-Doo is a rousing Wild West performance, featuring singing, old style comedy with lots of fun (including audience participation). The food is also great, featuring fried chicken, smoked BBQ ribs, a variety of savory sides and even strawberry shortcake for dessert.
This show is the longest running performance at Walt Disney World. When it returns, Hoop-Dee-Doo will have a few updates to its script and scenery, while staying true to the treasured experience that it’s been known for all these years.
EPCOT will Officially Have a Roller Coaster Before Summer 2022 Begins!
Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind Roller Coaster Debuts on May 27
Disney has officially announced that the Cosmic Rewind coaster at EPCOT will officially debut on May 27, 2022.
While the coaster itself promises to have elements of Crush's Coaster from Disneyland Paris, there is also a pre-show. As the story goes, Xandarians are coming to Earth and building the first “other-world” showcase pavilion at EPCOT, called the Wonders of Xandar pavilion. Guests will learn more about their technology and culture as they move through the pavilion, and discover how our two cultures are similar in so many ways.
We will report more details in future episodes as the news comes in.
2022 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival Begins July 14
The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival is returning to Walt Disney World Resort this summer, from July 14 through November 19, 2022.
It will be back with everything that you know and love about the festival and we will share full details on the event as it draws nearer. But if you plan to attend, you now know the dates!
Connections Café and Eatery Opening Soon
Connections Café and Eatery will soon open its doors at EPCOT. This new dining experience embraces cultures from around the world and will bring them to life in true EPCOT fashion.
Here is a preview of the menu for this highly anticipated restaurant. It's a casual quick-service restaurant with a global culinary feel.
If you love burgers, there's the French Bistro Burger with caramelized onions, bacon and brie, or the Southwestern Burger featuring a roasted chipotle-corn salsa and guacamole spread. That's not all, you can also enjoy the Vietnamese-inspired Banh Mi Burger or the Greek-inspired Mediterranean Burger.
For a lighter option, there are salads inspired by French and Chinese cuisines. The Niçoise-style Salad is packed with potatoes, white and green beans and olives drizzled with a delicious Dijon vinaigrette. For an Asian flare, the General Tso Chicken Salad features ingredients like broccoli slaw, red bell pepper, mandarin oranges and crispy wontons.
There are four types of pizza as well, including a classic Meatball Pizza and a plant-based Curry Spice Pizza topped with carrots, potato, peas and lime “yogurt.”
And for the little ones there's a Grilled Chicken Bao or classics like the Chicken Nuggets Basket or Cheeseburger.
Connections Eatery will also have a dessert-style dish: the Liege Waffle. This treat is made with brioche yeast dough stuffed with pearl sugar and finished with tasty toppings.
For the milkshake lover, there are two options: A Mango-Coconut Milk Shake topped off with a pomegranate molasses drizzle, and the delectable Apple Pie Gelato Shake.
Both adults and kids can enjoy specialty beverages at Connections Eatery. The Watermelon-Mint Agua Fresca is alcohol-free. For adults there are multiple wines and draft beers available, along with the Cucumber and Thai Basil Cooler, a specialty cocktail filled with freshness and flavor.
As a reminder, Connections Café is the future home of Starbucks at EPCOT.
Exclusive Merchandise and Enchanting Memories Await Aboard the Disney Wish
The Disney Wish will feature an elegant retail district that runs between the Grand Hall and the Walt Disney Theatre on deck 3. On either side of this shop-lined promenade, five distinct outlets will offer exclusive Disney merchandise and luxury gifts like jewelry, watches and accessories.
One of these shops, Treasures Untold, will be the go-to destination for signature Disney Cruise Line collectibles, including the largest selection of Pandora Jewelry ever, plus limited-time Artist Spotlight collections and guest-favorite Dooney & Bourke handbags.
In a new location on deck 5, returning Disney cruisers will find a familiar sight: Mickey’s Mainsail, a fleet mainstay filled with Disney Cruise Line themed souvenirs and gifts, plus even more Disney Wish exclusives — like the special-edition Loungefly mini-backpack and headband above. And on the upper decks, Dory’s Forget-Me-Knots will feature swimwear, water-play gear and fun graphic tees inspired by favorite Disney stories.
Thank You for Listening to The Disney Travel News 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.