This month it’s full on summer fun at the place where dreams come true. This time around we’re talking about some pro tips to help you have the best trip. The little things can make a difference in planning your park days. Gone are the days of just showing up and hoping for the best. You’ll certainly want to at least be aware of how certain things generally work, like Genie+ and virtual queues and we’re bringing that to you here.
As we’ve previously covered, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind officially opened May 27th and Narcoossee’s restaurant at the Grand Floridian closes June 18th for a refurbishment. Remember there’s still a celebratory overlay at Walt Disney World. You can read all about it in our guide to the Walt Disney World 50th anniversary celebration. Enjoy these Walt Disney World June 2022 updates and happy trip planning!
Walt Disney World June 2022 Updates
Continued Reopenings at Walt Disney World Resort
Harmony Barber Shop Reopens July 31st!
More magic is returning to the kingdom this summer. The Disney Parks Blog has announced Harmony Barber Shop will reopen on July 31st! This is an exciting step forward for bringing the park fully back to life after the past few years of limited operations. Many families enjoy taking a child to this special spot for their first haircut. In case you’ve passed the location by in your excitement to get to your favorite attraction, the Harmony Barber Shop is on Main Street, U.S.A. Upon entering, this small salon is on the left around the corner from the Emporium shop. Aside from providing haircuts, if you’ve ever seen a colorful, Mickey confetti hair style at Magic Kingdom, that guest may have just paid a visit to Harmony Barber Shop as well.
Exciting news about booking has also been shared for this offering via the Parks Blog: ‘To ensure service is a cut above the rest, a limited number of reservations for this timeless experience will be bookable in the My Disney Experience app beginning June 28. For those who wish to look sharp at the park, walk-in appointments will be accepted based on availability.’
Though the My Disney Experience app plays a huge role in your day in the park, in app booking capabilities have been limited in the past. For example, spa appointments previously had to be made via calling a phone number. Since reopening at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, appointments are made online but still not available in the app. My Disney Experience has been very helpful with making dining reservations on the go for years. Being able to book Harmony Barber Shop in the app and also potentially walk up provides a convenient range of options for guests.
There are some things to know before you go per the Harmony Barber Shop page. All stylists are state-licensed cosmetologists. However, this is not a full service salon. Guests are advised to arrive with clean dry hair. Hair may be sprayed with water for styling as there are no hair washing stations at this location. Note that gratuity is cash only so come prepared. It appears haircuts are available for little ones and adults too!
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Will Reopen in 2022!
In the same post, the Disney Parks Blog shared, ‘Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique will also begin reopening its doors for royal transformations later this year at both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.’ It’s hard to believe it’s now been years since these magical transformations for boys and girls have happened in Cinderella Castle. It’s not clear at this time if all locations will open at the same time this year. Disney World has three Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique locations. One is on the ground floor of Cinderella Castle. Another is at Disney Springs. The newest Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique opened shortly before Walt Disney World closed and is in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. What a nice perk for Disney Vacation Club Members who call this resort home!
Full Festival of the Lion King Show Returns Next Month!
The full Festival of The Lion King show will return to Disney’s Animal Kingdom on July 16th! An altered version, called A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King, has been showing since the theater reopened. Disney has shared plans to fully restore the show and include the fan favorite tumble monkeys act once again. The beloved birds duet will also return adding the aerial and dance number back into the show. Note there will be a time period this summer where neither show will be available. From Disney: ‘As we prepare to officially welcome back Festival of the Lion King beginning July 16, A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King will be unavailable July 5 to July 15.’
Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond! Debuts June 13th!
Speaking of shows at Animal Kingdom, we now have an official opening date for the new Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond! Fans of the big blue can enjoy seeing totally sweet characters again at Disney’s Animal Kingdom starting June 13th. This is a reimagined show and will replace the version that closed in 2020. Disney has shared ‘The adventure begins by catching up with the fish from Dr. P. Sherman’s office in Finding Nemo who made their way across the ocean to the Marine Life Institute.’ Disney also shared beloved songs like ‘In the Big Blue World’ and ‘Go with the Flow’ will return.
Studio Rooms Debut at The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
The new Disney Vacation Club room type at the Grand Floridian is set to debut this month. The Resort Studios rooms are unique to the Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. The Big Pine Key building across from the original DVC building at the resort was refurbished to expand DVC capacity. Resort Studios are themed to Mary Poppins Returns and slightly different than Deluxe Studios in size, sleeping accommodations, views and features. Compare the two rooms in our post Grand Floridian DVC Deluxe Studio vs. Resort Studio.
Disney Genie+ Purchase Changes
As of June 8th, guests will no longer be able to purchase Disney Genie+ as a ticket add-on prior to their arrival. Instead, all guests interested in using the paid FastPass+ replacement will now use the My Disney Experience app to purchase Disney Genie+ the day of their visit. Starting at this time Disney Genie+ will also be subject to availability meaning it will be possible for it to sell out for the day. This is sure to be a welcome change. It seems Disney is working to improve the new paid experience. Disney Genie+ has mixed reviews at Walt Disney World, especially during busy periods. It’s always important to share honest and constructive feedback! Disney listens when enough people share something needs to be improved.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Virtual Queue and Lightning Lane
Walt Disney World Resort has a brand new blockbuster attraction open this summer. Though previews had been going on for over a month, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind officially opened to guests on May 27th. There are some things you’ll need to know in advance if you want to ride on your next trip to Epcot. Cosmic Rewind has a virtual queue upon the opening of the ride. It’s not possible to head to the park and just get in a physical line and wait to ride. Note that a virtual queue is something different than Disney Genie and Disney Genie+. It’s complementary and available to all guests with a ticket and through the My Disney Experience.
If you experienced Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance or Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure shortly after they opened then you’re familiar with this kind of experience. It’s similar for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in that the first virtual queue sign up via the My Disney Experience app is at 7:00 a.m. You don’t need to be in the park to join the virtual queue at this time as the park won’t be open yet. Remember these virtual queue signups happen lightning fast! All spots for the queue are often distributed within less than a minute for the most popular attractions. You must be in the app, signed into your Disney account, have good reception or be on reliable wi-fi and know your way around the app to even have a chance at scoring a spot. Yes, you can sign up for the other guests linked to your reservation but they must also be in the park when necessary. Another virtual queue sign up will happen at 1:00 p.m. and you must be in the park for this one. This next part is new. There is a third virtual queue sign up for eligible resort guests at 6:00 p.m. on select days. This sign up exists for those able to attend Extended Evening Hours when offered. Guests do not need to be in the park to sign up for this one. Disney says this third offering includes registered guests staying at a Disney Deluxe Resort or Disney Deluxe Villa Resort so that’s exciting news for Disney Vacation Club Members! For your best chance at getting a spot in the virtual queue, look over the exact steps you need to take in the app to get familiar before your park day.
There is another option as Lightning Lane will be available for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind when it opens too. This is a paid option booked through the My Disney Experience app as well. It is also subject to availability and expected to sell out for the day. We’ll have to see if this attraction’s capacity can keep up with the demand it’s sure to have this summer!
TRON Lightcycle / Run Testing
Disney recently shared the new Tomorrowland attraction TRON Lightcycle / Run is now testing at full speed. This is a welcome update given we have no opening date for this attraction as of yet. When Tron opens it will surely be one of the biggest draws at Magic Kingdom Park.
Underneath Tron, the track for the Walt Disney World Railroad continues to develop. It feels like a two for one deal with these attractions literally intertwined. I’m optimistically hoping we can enjoy both later this year.
MagicBand+ Coming in 2022
Disney has confirmed that the new MagicBand+ will debut at some point this year. Disney advertises you can:
Immerse yourself in Disney stories using the exciting new features of MagicBand+, including:
- Customizable color-changing lights
- Haptic vibrations let you feel the magic with light vibrations that bring experiences to life
- Gesture recognition—your movement enables magical surprises!
Disney also shared MagicBand+ can be used for the following features guests already know and love:
- Enter theme and water parks (with valid admission).
- Check in at Lightning Lane and virtual queue entrances.
- Connect Disney PhotoPass images to your account.
- Unlock the door of your Disney Resort hotel room.
- Charge food and merchandise purchases to your Disney Resort hotel room (only available during your hotel stay).
So what does that really mean? It seems MagicBand+ is a an upgraded version of the original tap to play bracelet. Also note the added features have raised the prices of these significantly compared to the original MagicBands. The first unique experience you can use your MagicBand+ for is hunting for virtual bounties around Black Spire Outpost in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. See Disney’s site for more information on MagicBand+.
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