Home » The 8 BIG Updates From Walt Disney World (and Beyond) This Week (October 17-24, 2021)

The 8 BIG Updates From Walt Disney World (and Beyond) This Week (October 17-24, 2021)

​This week at Walt Disney World, Disney blocks out short hotel reservations, Disney Genie+ launches (and gets a price hike!) plus Disney’s next special event starts selling out. 

Outside Walt Disney World, Universal announces the Fear Factor Live stage will be closing for good plus SeaWorld Orlando announces some new park-exclusive Squishmellow toys! 

1. Disney Very Merriest After Hours sells out on two nights next month 

Disney Very Merriest After Hours events on November 9 and 11 are now sold out. These are two of the least expensive nights available, priced at $169, with other nights priced between $189 – $249. You can check availability for other event nights here

2. Single night hotel stays currently unavailable at Walt Disney World through early December 

Right now single-night bookings at Walt Disney World hotels are currently unavailable between now and December 5th. There is no specific reason given for the current unavailability but we would suspect that high guest levels are probably behind this current hotel room inventory shortage.

3. Disney Genie+ launches

Disney Genie and Genie+ launched this week and though some guests ran into technical issues, on the whole, the launch went fairly smoothly, with no widespread glitches or outages affecting these new offerings’ first day of availability at Walt Disney World. In fact, it looks like a lot of guests are taking advantage of this service, as Disney Genie+ individual lightning lane attraction saw its first price hike this past weekend. You can check out our list of tips and tricks for this service here

4. Disney on Broadway series confirmed to be returning to EPCOT Festival of the Arts in 2022

Though the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays is all set to kick off next month, early next year Disney will be bringing back its EPCOT international Festival of the Arts from January 14 through February 21, 2022. And in even more exciting news it looks like the Disney on Broadway concert series is coming back for this year’s event as well. No performers have been announced yet, but we should know more in the coming weeks. 

5. Passholder Buzz now a part of My Disney Experience

As part of the My Disney Experience app update, a new Passholders Buzz section has been added which include passholder news, news merchandise and discounts, recipes, behind-the-scenes articles, and details on renewing passes and making Park pass Reservations.

6. Blizzard Beach to close for refurbishment 

Blizzard Beach, the only water park currently operating at Walt Disney World will be closing for refurbishment this December, potentially paving the way for a Typhoon Lagoon reopening either later this year or earlier next year. 

7.  Fear Factor Live stage to close permanently after Halloween Horror Nights 

After years of rumors, Universal has confirmed that the Fear Factor Live stage, which is currently being used for the Nightmare Fuel stage show during this year’s Halloween Horror Nights will close forever this November at the conclusion of the event. Prior to this, the Fear Factor Live show was only performed seasonally, and was never brought back after the March 2020 theme park closure. 

8. SeaWorld Orlando selling park exclusive Squishmellow toys 

SeaWorld Orlando now has two new parks-exclusive Squishmellow toys that are perfect for the Halloween season! The first is a penguin all dressed up in a candy corn costume, and the other is a toothy vampire shark complete with cape. Check it out here