Walt Disney World News May 2024

Asha topiary from Wish at Epcot

The month of May can feel like the bridge between spring and summer. Disney World is right in the middle of these two seasons with the flower and garden festival still going at Epcot and the summer drone show starting at Disney Springs later this month. With a new Encanto show debuting and the opening of CommuniCore Hall next month, Epcot will have a lot going on this summer. We’ve got all the details here for you each month, including the tips in this Disney World News May 2024 update. Whether you’re planning your next vacation or hoping to be inspired to book one, we hope this Walt Disney World news and updates roundup helps to keep you in the know.

A reminder for Members with an October Use Year to bank points by May 31st!

Disney World News May 2024 Dates to Remember

Here we have some dates related to Disney World news May 2024 and beyond.

February 28 – May 27 | 2024 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival

May 1 – June 18 | V.I.Passholder Days at Walt Disney World Resort

May 24 – September 2 | Dreams That Soar drone show at to Disney Springs

June 10 – September 6 | ¡Celebración Encanto! show at Epcot

June 10 – September 6 | Animal Kingdom celebrates 30 years of The Lion King

June 14 | Inside Out 2 in theaters

June 17 | Test Track closes for refurbishment

August 29 – November 3 | EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival

Continued Reopenings at Walt Disney World Resort

We’ve been covering Disney World’s post reopening come back for years. Disney World reopened in 2020 running a very lean operation. So many things have returned to the parks and resorts but many have not. There are still many temporarily unavailable closures. Some of which may greatly impact your trips. We want to help you set expectations and plan your trip based on what is available.

What’s not back at Disney World?

  • The tea room at the Grand Floridian is still closed but resort construction has reached the lobby.
  • The Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage has not returned to Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
  • The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutiques at the Grand Floridian and Disney Springs are still not open.
  • It’s A Wonderful Shop, Stage 1 Company Store, In Character and Disney Studio Store are still closed at Hollywood Studios.
  • Disney says DVC pool hopping is still suspended.
  • Saratoga Springs Senses Spa and Beach Club’s Ship Shape Massage Salon Fitness are still closed.
  • Services like having your purchases delivered to the front of the park or to your room are paused.
  • Disney Annual Passholders still need park reservations to visit parks for a full day.
  • Many shows have not reopened yet like: Citizens of Hollywood, Jedi Training, Citizens of Main Street, Main Street Trolley Show, Move It! Shake It! Street Party, Once Upon a Time, The Jeweled Dragon Acrobats, Serveur Amusant, Swotu Waya Pandora Drummers, Pandora Utility Suit Pilot and more.

We do our best to continue to share things as they come back. Disney World news May 2024 updates bring some fun returns.

Recently Returned or Reopened at Disney World

A few reminders of some things that recently returned to Disney for the first time post pandemic.

Cast Member pin trading fully returned on April 7th. This means Cast Members may be wearing pin trading lanyards again instead of just trading from bulletin boards.

1900 Park Fare reopened on April 10th after a four plus year closure. There are now new characters to meet: Aladdin, Cinderella, Mirabel and Princess Tiana.  

Over the last month or so, we’ve seen Disney add new entertainment for the first time since before the pandemic. We talk about some of that below.

Restaurantosaurus restaurant sign
The Restaurantosaurus quick service location has a new roaming guitar player. There is a lounge in this area and you may see an intern playing a guitar here.

What’s New at Disney World May 2024

New Entertainment at Restaurantosaurus

It really seems like Disney is turning a corner and entering a new era. For the first time since the pandemic, new entertainment is showing up at the parks. Over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you might see a solo guitar act roaming in DinoLand U.S.A.! You can look for this “intern” in the Restaurantosaurus Lounge. It’s very refreshing to see additional entertainment finding its way into the park. It will take a lot more to get back to where Disney used to be in terms of entertainment but this is progress.

This isn’t the first time Disney’s Animal Kingdom has had a roaming guitar player. You may remember the personalized tunes of Gi-Tar Dan. With songs improvised on the spot, Dan made magic for many guests until March of 2016.

New Entertainment in Epcot’s World Celebration

The front of Epcot has been completely refreshed and brings new life to the park. This summer, the final venue in the area opens. While we wait for CommuniCore Hall on June 10th, new entertainment is blooming just outside. An acrobatic show now takes place Wednesdays through Saturdays in World Celebration. This multi acrobat show has performers in colorful outfits showing great displays of athleticism and artistry. Sample showtimes are 10:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 1:10 p.m., 2:10 p.m. and 3:10 p.m. Check the My Disney Experience app for times on your day of visit. World Celebration is just beyond Spaceship Earth, when you enter the park from the front, and near Starbucks and The Creations Shop.

The Walt Disney Company 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders

At the 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, the most forward moving item was probably the end of proxy battles. This meeting put an end to the struggle for board seats with shareholder votes following Disney’s advice.

During the Q and A session someone asked, “Why hasn’t Disney planned anything in response to Epic Universe?” Bob Iger offered past additions like Pandora, Tron and Cosmic Rewind as Disney’s response to Universal’s brand new theme park. Iger also said the recent agreement reached with the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District enables them to make additions moving forward.

Another question referred to the much talked about budget for additions at the parks but how nothing solid has been announced. Bob Iger said there are many projects in development and that information is shared in a “cadence” and when they have something to show.

Test Track sign
Test Track is closing for a refurbishment on June 17th.

Test Track Closing for Updates

On June 17th, 2024, Test Track will close for refurbishment. It’s hard to believe that Test Track had its big update in 2012! Before then, you may remember it had a very factory style feel with lots of black and yellow and part testing happening around the queue. In 2012, the attraction was made over into a more futuristic and sleek version using the same track. Well Test Track is getting another new look and feel. No reopening date has been shared. It looks like the last day to ride the current version will be June 16th.

V.I.Passholder Days are Back at Disney World

A passholder appreciation month, season really, is now underway at Walt Disney World Resort! Similar to last year, a lounge is available to celebrate those with a Disney annual pass. From May 1st to June 18th, passholders can visit the lounge at Restaurant Marrakesh in Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily. This is a new spot, moving from the Land Pavilion. A place to charge devices, enjoy snacks and water and even surprise visits from Disney friends are part of the offerings this year!

Buying DVC Resale: DVC ROFR Still Rare in Early 2024

A little update on DVC ROFR for those interested in buying DVC or keeping up with resale market trends. ROFR, or Right of First Refusal, buybacks happen when Disney decides to purchase a contract back instead of letting the sale go through on the resale market. There is no way to opt out of this process. It’s part of all DVC contracts. Most contracts go through but Disney does always have the opportunity to purchase first. Disney Vacation Club took a pause from buying contracts back, mostly for the year of 2023. 

Learn more about this topic in our post: What is DVC ROFR? Is it back in 2024?

Things have been very quiet still with more than 99% of contracts going through. The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa had just one buyback in February of 2024 at a rate of $140.00 per point. DVC Resale Experts has not had any buyback activity since. It’s still a great time to buy because you don’t have this additional risk to consider with your transaction. Given the data, it seems very unlikely your sale would be bought back by Disney. 

When Disney buys a contract back, the Experts are there to help you locate the next right contract. It can also be really helpful to price strategically when placing an offer to try to land a price that will work out. If an offer is very low, even if the seller accepts, Disney is more likely to buy back. The ROFR per point high number varies at each resort. Talk to an Expert for direction or answers to questions about your specific interests in buying.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Details Released

We’re really almost there! Additional details for the Tiana’s Bayou Adventure attraction opening this summer continue to be released. 

You may remember the two stores that were themed along with Splash Mountain. One store is at the exit and the other is on the left after you cross either bridge entering this area of the land. We now know that the store at the attraction’s exit is called Tiana’s Bayou General. This is where items like towels, t-shirts and ride photos were sold in the past. The Critter Co-Op is the name of the store out front. This had a wider merchandise selection before. We’ll have to see what kind of merch is offered at both of these locations when this ride opens summer 2024!

Disney has also shared images of the audio animatronic characters we’ll meet on this ride. There are new friends to make in the bayou. Tiana’s movie story is expanded upon in this Frontierland attraction.

 Fort Wilderness DVC Cabins Arriving, Opening July 1st

This summer the The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort opens as a Disney Vacation Club home resort. We’ve seen the new cabins popping up at the property. While staying in a Fort Wilderness cabin is a longstanding, favorite tradition for many guests, the DVC resort brings brand new modern accommodations with all new cabins.

This property is for sale now with direct Disney prices of $225 per point. The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort also has a very high annual dues rate at $12.16.

The first stays start as cabins open July 1st. Additional cabins are on the way for different loops around the property, gradually adding more capacity through this year.

Booking for Fort Wilderness DVC cabins opened to all Members on April 23rd, 2024.

Remember Fort Wilderness cabins, along with other newer resorts, are not eligible to book with DVC resale points. We don’t typically see many new DVC resorts on the resale market. It takes a while for people to change their mind right? If you’re aiming to get the best rate on DVC stays, and for flexibility in booking, see what’s available with resale at the original fourteen DVC resorts.

Epcot Food and Wine 2024 Dates Announced

Disney has announced the dates for this year’s food and wine festival. In 2024, the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival runs August 29th through November 23rd. This popular Epcot festival will be about a month shorter than last year. We saw this event get longer and longer the last few years. 

The flower and garden festival is ending May 27th this year. That leaves just about three open summer months. The Encanto show at Disney announced for the summer will be at Epcot. We will have to see what else the summer has in store for us at this park.

Victoria and Albert's sign
Victoria and Albert’s has been awarded a MICHELIN star.

Disney’s First MICHELIN Star is at Victoria & Albert’s 

Guests of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa know they have options when it comes to great food. Citricos is a shining star among Walt Disney World Resort dining and 1900 Park Fare provides a buffet of fun and characters for all ages. Now, Disney is celebrating a MICHELIN Star recently awarded to Victoria & Albert’s. 

This is a big deal for a family vacation destination. Disney World’s casual fare is more often the center of attention like what you’ll see at one of Epcot’s festivals. In addition to this MICHELIN Star, Victoria & Albert’s also has the following accolades: 

AAA Five Diamond

Forbes Travel Guide Five Star award

Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence

Florida Trend Golden Spoon Hall of Fame – American Regional

It can be tough to get a reservation for Victoria & Albert’s so plan ahead for this ultimate fine dining experience at Disney World.

Disney World News May 2024: Bay Lake Tower DVC Room Refurbishment Announced

Disney has updated the Bay Lake Tower website with specific information about the upcoming room refurbishment. This is expected to be a hard goods refurb, completely refreshing these villas. Bay Lake Tower opened in 2009. Disney says:

“From September 2024 to September 2025, room refurbishment work will take place in Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. During this time, Guests will see and hear construction work throughout Bay Lake Tower. Please allow extra time for travel as alternate paths may be utilized.”

Recent Disney World News to Remember

New Star Tours sequences debuted in April with the Mandalorian, Ahsoka and more.

DVC Resale Experts Can Help, Disney World News May 2024 and Beyond

Does this Disney World news May 2024 edition leave you needing more Disney trips? DVC Resale Experts is a licensed real estate broker with a team that specializes in resale DVC. Whether you’re adding on points, buying or selling Disney Vacation Club, the Experts can help you find the right price to place a bid with or list your contract for. Our independent, licensed real estate agents are former Disney Vacation Club Guides. They have decades of pixie dusted experience selling DVC and delight in providing excellent service to their clients. The Experts have seen it all and are happy to answer your questions throughout the process.

DVC resale prices can pleasantly surprise Members interested in selling DVC. See our resale DVC listings for a look at real time availability and pricing. Ready to sell DVC? Get in touch for a complimentary valuation of your specific contract today. There may be someone waiting on our Buyer Wish List for a contract just like yours.

Disney Blogger Nicole and Disney CEO Bob Iger

Sparkly Nicole

Nicole is a native Floridian who attended the University of Central Florida and decided to call the land of theme parks home. She’s been sharing magical tips, tricks and Orlando travel and tourism favorites online for over a decade.

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