Home » The 10 BIG Updates From Walt Disney World (and Beyond) This Week (June 28 – July 4, 2021)

The 10 BIG Updates From Walt Disney World (and Beyond) This Week (June 28 – July 4, 2021)

This week at Walt Disney World, a new scene is announced for PhillharMagic, deluxe resort guests are set to get an extra hour in the parks this fall, plus Disney sets July reopenings for several restaurants!

Outside Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort discontinues its dining plan, a new character joins the lineup at DreamWorks Destination, plus SeaWorld opens an in-park Build-a-Bear!

1. New PhillharMagic scene coming this fall

For the first time since it opened in 2003, Disney’s PhillharMagic is getting a brand new scene inspired by a recent movie. Disney has announced that Pixar favorite Coco will be added to this attraction, with guests able to see Donald and the cast of the film during a scene featuring an all new score from film composer Germaine Franco as well as characters singing along to “Un Poco Loco” from the movie. This new scene will debut at the Magic Kingdom this fall as part of the Walt Disney World Resort 50th anniversary celebration.

2. Disney sets reopening dates for several restaurants this month

In an effort to provide guests visiting Walt Disney World this summer more dining options the resort has announced several reopenings for popular dining spots in July, including the following:

  • The Plaza Ice Cream Parlor  at the Magic Kingdom will reopen July 7 
  • Belle Vue Lounge at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn will be reopening on July 11
  • Cítricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will reopen on July 15 (with a new Mary Poppins Returns theme)
  • Trail’s End Restaurant at The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort will reopen July 17 for breakfast and dinner.

3. Early Entry program detailed 

Disney has announced new details about its early entry program which was announced several months ago as the replacement for the now-cancelled Extra Magic Hours program. Walt Disney World Early Entry will officially kick off October 1, 2021, and give resort guests the first chance to enjoy select attractions at every theme park, every day, 30 minutes before park opening each day.

4. Deluxe resort guests will be able to stay late at the theme parks this fall

In addition to the Early Entry program, it has been announced that guests staying at a Disney Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort hotel will also be able to enjoy extended evening hours on select nights in select theme parks. Extended evening hours will begin in early October with specific dates and parks to be shared at a later time.

5.  Winter Summerland Miniature Golf reopens

Image: Disney

Winter Summerland Miniature Golf at Walt Disney World has reopened both its Summer Course and Winter Course this week, marking the first time since last year that all of Walt Disney World’s miniature golf options are all open at the same time. 

6. Disney Dining Plan confirmed to be returning soon

Though there are plenty of Pandemic-related cuts that we’re expecting to stick around long-term, Disney has confirmed that the fan favorite Disney Dining Plan, which has been unavailable for over a year, will be coming back at some point. In a short statement, Disney confirmed the return, saying in part: “We know many of you are also wondering when Disney dining plan packages will return. While we’re not quite ready to share an update on timing, we are planning to bring this guest-favorite option back at a later date. “

7. runDisney returns later this year 

runDisney race medals

Image: Angry Julie Monday, Flickr (license)

It has been announced that runDisney races will return to Walt Disney World Resort this fall, kicking off the runDisney 2021-2022 race season with these four events:

  • Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend  November 4-7, 2021
  • Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: January 5-9, 2022
  • Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend: February 24-27, 2022
  • runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend: March 31-April 3, 2022

It was also announced that beginning this year all runDisney races will have a virtual race option, allowing runDisney fans across the country to participate in their favorite races, even if they can’t make it to Walt Disney World to run in person. Runners will be encouraged to run on the same morning of the on-site events, and will receive the same finisher medals.

8. Universal Orlando Resort discontinues dining plan

This week Universal Orlando Resort discontinued both their full service and quick service dining plans, which previously allowed guests to pre-pay for meals for a discounted rate. The quick service plan was available for all guests, while the full service plan was exclusively available for resort guests. No information was released about why this change was made or if it is a permanent or short-term change

9. Boss Baby now meeting guests at DreamWorks Destination

The new Dreamworks Destination attraction has added a new Boss Baby meet and greet in its outside courtyard area. Guests can now meet this character, who will greet guests from behind a rope before they go into the inside of the attraction. 

10. Build-a-Bear Workshop now open at SeaWorld 

SeaWorld guests can now customize furry friends to take home as a lasting reminder of their fun day at the park with the launch of the new Build-A-Bear Workshop.  The new experience for guests, located within the park near the flamingo exhibit, will feature exclusive SeaWorld clothing and accessories, including t-shirts and special bear carriers, for sale along with the full experience of choosing, stuffing and naming their new furry friend.