Home » The 9 BIG Updates From Walt Disney World (and Beyond) This Week (January 31 – February 6, 2022)

The 9 BIG Updates From Walt Disney World (and Beyond) This Week (January 31 – February 6, 2022)

This week at Walt Disney World, Disney’s Hollywood Studios discontinues a popular character experience, we have an update on the Splash Mountain refurbishment, plus new high-end clothes are now available for guests visiting Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. 

Outside Walt Disney World, Universal kicks off its annual Mardi Gras event and SeaWorld Orlando’s Seven Seas Food Festival begins! 

1. Mickey and Friends motorcade ends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

It looks like character meet and greets are getting back to normal at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, with Mickey heading back to the Red Carpet Dreams attraction to meet guests next week. Unfortunately, that means the Mickey and Friends Motorcade will come to an end next week, with its final day now set for February 12, 2022.

2. Splash Mountain set to reopen to guests after month-long refurbishment 

Splash Mountain closed for a short refurbishment last month, and though there is still some scaffolding up around this attraction while Disney performs regular maintenance, it looks like guests won’t have to wait much longer to experience this attraction as its reopening is currently set for later this week on February 11, 2022.

3. My Disney Experience now has new Family and Friends linking feature 

Guests who have been frustrated by the difficulty of making plans with family and friends through the My Disney Experience app will be excited to know that a new update has been released that makes connecting with your loved ones a LOT easier thanks to scannable QR codes. With the updated app, guests can now ask the person they want to link to for their QR code, which can be accessed on their device from “My Profile” and then selecting “Show My Linking Code.” Once the code pops up, the guests will instantly be connected, making this process a lot faster. 

4. Attire for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser guests now available through ShopDisney

Guests who are visiting the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser can now purchase special in-universe attire through the ShopDisney website. Options include formal tunics, jackets, dresses and more, and cost between $69.99 and $149.99 for adults. You can check out the full collection here. These special clothes are available only to guests with an upcoming stay aboard the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.

5. Disney officially announces blue signs will be replcing purple signs

After eagle-eyed fans noticed a new blue directional sign on Osceola Parkway last week, Walt Disney World confirmed via its social channels that its iconic purple and yellow signs will be turning blue. This process is expected to take a few years, but don’t be surprised if the next time you are at Walt Disney World you see more blue signs on the roadways! 

6. Hours extended at Walt Disney World theme parks to manage high crowds

Though February is usually the “slow” season at Disney parks, it looks like traffic has been high at the theme parks this winter, with Disney changing the official park calendar earlier this week to extend hours at all the theme parks. You can check out the new park hours here

7. Mardi Gras kicks off at Universal Studios Florida

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras event
Image: Universal

Universal has officially kicked off its 2022 Mardi Gras celebration, which will be the first in two years to feature the return of live concerts. Guests visiting the park can also enjoy fun Mardi Gras-inspired food at several booths set up around the park and  join a virtual line in the Universal Orlando Resort app for their chance to ride a Mardi Gras float! 

8. SeaWorld offers to buy Cedar Fair 

In a surprise move SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. has made an offer to buy Cedar Fair for $3.4 billion via an unsolicited bid. Though it seems unlikely that Cedar Fair will accept this deal, it would be a very interesting deal and make SeaWorld a real force to be reckoned with in the themed amusement industry, giving it 11 more theme parks across the US and Canada. 

9. Seven Seas food festival kicks off at SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld’s Seven Seas Food Festival kicked off this week and will run Thursdays-Sundays through May 8. This year’s festival features 24 marketplaces and concerts on the weekends from artists like Flo Rida, Vanilla Ice, Everclear and more. You can check out the full schedule here