Much of planning a Disney vacation right now is knowing what’s back to normal, what offerings have returned and what’s still missing and working around that. We’ve focused our updates over the last few months around re-openings so you can know just what to expect on your next trip. July brings even more magic back to Walt Disney World Resort, providing the opportunity to see favorites again. Remember there’s still a celebratory overlay happening that you can read about in our guide to the Walt Disney World 50th anniversary celebration. Enjoy these Walt Disney World July 2022 updates and getting caught up on all of the latest. And, if you’re planning one, enjoy your trip!
Walt Disney World July 2022 Updates
Continued Reopenings at Walt Disney World Resort
Top of the World Lounge Scheduled to Reopen July 11th with Changes
Disney Vacation Club Members have waited patiently for the Top of the World Lounge to reopen for the last two years. Even as offerings have slowly returned, Top of the World only opened a handful of times for special events like New Year’s Eve. Well the time has finally come for the return of this DVC exclusive lounge on the top of Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort! However, there are some changes potential guests should know about. Unfortunately Disney Vacation Club has changed the eligibility requirements for this venue. Before it closed in 2020, Members who owned resale DVC contracts were able to visit this space. Upon reopening, DVC has changed the Top of the World Lounge offering to be available for Disney Vacation Club Members with the blue Membership cards and access to all Membership Extras only. That means you must already have that eligibility to enter or, as a new Member, purchase 150 points from Disney Vacation Club directly in order to be eligible for these kinds of perks. If you are already eligible and receive all DVC perks and Membership Extras, adding on resale points will not change your status. Guests must also have a Disney resort reservation at the time of their visit. That resort reservation does not need to be booked on points though, it could be a stay booked with cash.
Upon the official reopening on July 11th, this favorite venue will debut with a new name: Top of the World Lounge – A Villains Lair. Guests can expect subtle touches of Disney Villain decor and menu items like the “Cherna-Board” which is a charcuterie board named after Fantasia’s evil Chernabog. This is not a seasonal overlay but a permanent change. For more information on the theming that’s set to debut, or eligibility, see our coverage of the new Top of the World Lounge reopening.
The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is Back!
The classic dinner show Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue has reopened at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Disney invites guests to “Join the Pioneer Hall Players for 2 hours of rousing dancing, singing and zany comedy.” This fan favorite has been delighting audiences for many decades with slightly different versions of this musical comedy show. Seatings are 4:00 p.m., 6:15 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. with doors opening at that time and the show beginning twenty minutes later. Hoop-Dee-Doo is not currently running on Mondays and Tuesdays so plan accordingly. Prices start at $66 for adults and include taxes and gratuity.
Note that if you are a Disney Vacation Club Member that calls Disney’s Wilderness Lodge home by way of Copper Creek or Boulder Ridge, not all transportation to Fort Wilderness is available at this time. In the past, guests could walk between these resorts or use boat transport or bus transport. At this time, the walkway is no longer open for guests and the boats don’t connect the resorts. However, it appears the bus line still connects the two resorts. Check transportation options before your visit. And for another option..
Minnie Vans are Back!
As of late June, Minnie Van transportation is back at Walt Disney World Resort. If you haven’t used it, you’ve at least surely seen red vehicles with white polkadots making their way around Disney property. This fleet is part of a special partnership with Lyft that allows Disney guests to use official Disney transportation in a different way to get where they need to go. The drivers are Cast Members and rides are not shared. It’s just you and your party in the vehicle with the driver. Before they disappeared in 2020, each Minnie Van vehicle had a selection of Disney themed radio stations to choose from. Drivers would often match the music to the destination you were coming from or going to, enhancing the experience. It was pretty neat. I imagine they will still have this fun audio detail. Minnie Vans seat up to six guests. Daily operating hours are 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
If you plan to use this service, I recommend downloading the Lyft app before your trip and creating an account so you’re set up and ready to go. These are the official instructions from Disney for how to book a Minnie Van from Lyft:
“To request a ride:
- Open the Lyft app within Walt Disney World Resort, and enter your destination.
- Confirm your pickup location. Lyft will provide a fare estimate, and your payment will be processed directly through the app.
- Tap “Select Minnie Van”; if Minnie Van service is not the default vehicle type displayed, you will need to scroll through your vehicle options until Minnie Van service is displayed.
- The app will display a map tracking the vehicle en route—along with an identifying vehicle number to help you spot your car.”
See the Disney World website for more information on the Minnie Van Service.
Here’s a neat little hack that ties these last two topics together. If you’re staying at another resort and plan to enjoy Hoop-Dee-Doo, note that in the past Minnie Vans have dropped guests off right at the Pioneer Hall area of the resort. Fort Wilderness has it’s own bus transportation system and does not offer parking near Hoop-Dee-Doo. Instead, guests not staying at the resort but visiting with their own car, park at the front of Fort Wilderness and take a resort bus to the back near Bay Lake. Taking a Minnie Van to see Hoop-Dee-Doo takes an extra step out of the travel equation and can save you quite a bit of time. It’s certainly worth the splurge!
The Return of Additional Character Dining Locations Announced!
Disney announced back in March of this year that socially distanced character meets would be phased out and regular meet and greets would return starting April 18th. From the Disney Parks Blogs announcement: “While not all locations will be available immediately, we anticipate reopening in phases throughout the spring and early summer.” It seems early summer has stretched into fall but we now have dates for some classic character meals! Character hugs returning has been a big deal for many guests as children can now greet characters up close and also get autographs where they are offered. Imagine all the little visitors getting their first hug from Mickey. Priceless.
The Crystal Palace restaurant is set to have characters again on September 20th. This Victorian era greenhouse inspired venue sits at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. It’s a buffet and has Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore greeting guests. Crystal Palace is still not open for breakfast and that doesn’t appear to be changing with the characters coming back.
The ‘Ohana Best Friends Breakfast featuring Lilo and Stitch will be back at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort on September 27th! Your Mickey waffles will once again come with an Experiment 626 sighting.
If you call Disney’s Beach Club Villas home you’ll love this next one. Finally, on October 4th Cape May Café Minnie’s Beach Bash Breakfast will return. Remember this restaurant traditionally only has characters at breakfast. At night there’s a New England style seafood buffet. Here you can meet Minnie and her pals in their nautical attire.
All of these restaurants will be available for booking online or on the My Disney Experience about two months out. That’s the current opening for booking windows for advance dining reservations at Disney World. With these announcements there’s still no word on 1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa or Akershus Royal Banquet Hall princess dining at Epcot.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Will Reopen August 25th!
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Walt Disney World and Disneyland will reopen August 25th.
From the Disney Parks Blog “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Magic Kingdom park will reopen August 25, 2022. You can book online beginning in early August; check back later for more details. The locations at Disney Springs and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa remain closed at this time.”
At the time the opening date was announced the Walt Disney World Resort website showed a few different packages including The Carriage Package which starts at $99.95 plus tax. This one includes hairstyling, make up application, a princess sash, cinch sack, nail polish and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique t-shirt. There are two other packages that include a Disney Princess dress as well. Don’t you just love seeing little princesses all done up around the kingdom? The Castle Package is $199.95 plus tax and includes a Disney Princess gown of your choice and some extra accessories. Note that shoes are not included so your Cinderella will need to bring her own glass slippers.
Fourth of July Fireworks Returned to Walt Disney World in 2022
Magic Kingdom Park once again put on the fan favorite Fourth of July fireworks show Disney’s Celebrate America! – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky. Per usual Celebrate America was shown on July 3rd and July 4th and at 9:20 p.m. both nights. Over at Epcot, after Harmonious the Heartbeat of Freedom fireworks tag made a return, this time with visuals on the new barge screens and corresponding fountains. I think it’s safe to say we can expect patriotic fireworks again next year for those who are considering booking summer of 2023.
Disney Enchantment Will Show Twice Nightly Some Nights in July
Through July 13th, Disney Enchantment is showing once per night at 9:20 p.m. Starting July 14th Disney Enchantment will have two nightly showings, one at 9:20 p.m. and one at 11:00 p.m. There will be two shows each night July 14th through July 24th. After that, show times will return to 9:20 p.m through the end of July. Speculation here but this may be an effort to curtail the amount of people leaving after the first show. Two firework shows each night opens up a lot of possibilities for guests! If you’ve ever wanted to watch the fireworks from a ride like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or from a unique perspective in the parks like Fantasyland, here’s your chance to watch from prime viewing and also from somewhere different. The first showing would also be an excellent time to enjoy attractions with lower wait times. In theory this should also allow more people to watch comfortably from Main Street and the hub area. It’s always a plus when Disney gives guests additional opportunities to experience popular offerings.
TRON Lightcycle / Run Updates
Still no opening date announced for Tron but the attraction has been testing at full speed for a while now. The canopy at Tron seems to be complete and has been lighting up the night skyline at Magic Kingdom in different colors. You may see it testing on your next visit! The entrance area at Tron has been developing recently with path paving underway.
Brightline Disney Springs Station Canceled
Brightline had previously announced a train station at Disney Springs. This would have allowed guests to take a train from Orlando International Airport to Walt Disney World Resort. Of course, guests would have had to then board a bus to their resort while carrying all of their luggage.
The latest update on the project via a Disney spokesperson is that the “new route configuration does not support a Disney Springs station and, as a result, we don’t anticipate being part of this project.” This came as a surprise for many considering the timing with Disney’s Magical Express cancellation. In addition to being another airport and Port Canaveral transportation option, being able to take the Brightline from Walt Disney World to Miami would have conveniently opened more Disney Cruise Line sailing options for guests.
More Magic to Remember in July of 2022
We’ve previously shared the Harmony Barber Shop Reopens July 31st but just had to include a reminder. It’s a big moment as Main Street U.S.A. continues to get back to normal.
Guests can enjoy the full Festival of the Lion King show beginning July 16! An altered version of the show has been running since the park reopened.
Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond! show opened Monday June 13th. This replaced the version of the show that closed in 2020.
The Harambe Village Acrobats have returned to Disney’s Animal Kingdom as well. You can catch this incredible street show near the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction.
Resort Studio rooms are now available at The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. You can compare the two studio room types at the Grand Floridian in our post Grand Floridian DVC Deluxe Studio vs. Resort Studio.
DVC Resale Experts Make Magic
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