This week at Walt Disney World, a handful of new attractions open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, several new price hikes are confirmed, plus an expensive new option is announced for those that dream of getting married at the Magic Kingdom.
Outside Walt Disney World, water park discounts are announced by both Universal and SeaWorld, plus Busch Gardens announces a limited time event happening this month aimed at young guests.
1. New character meet and greets open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Though Disney’s Hollywood Studios has already introduced some new entertainment offerings around the park, if you aren’t a huge Star Wars fan, the park has opened additional character meet and greet opportunities this week, including Olaf from Frozen at the new Character Spotlight, as well as the new Mickey and Minnie in Red Carpet Dreams character experience. You can read about these new options here.
2. Finding Dory characters appear at Turtle Talk With Crush
Another character-related change hit Epcot this week as new characters from the new Pixar film Finding Dory have hit the Turtle Talk with Crush attraction. These new additions include Dory, Destiny the whale shark, Bailey the beluga whale and Hank the "septopus" as well as Squirt, Nemo and Marlin. Though this change was made to promote the new film (releasing this summer) we'd expect this improvement to be a permanent one.
3. Bibbidi Boppidy Boutique gets a price hike
The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique locations at both the Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs will see minor price increases this week, with the popular Castle Package increasing from $195 to $199, and the more budget-friendly Courtyard Package rising from $95 to $99. The Crown and Knight packages will remain the same price.
In addition to the price increases, it was announced that photo prints will no longer be included in the Castle Package. Instead, guests will get a keepsake Disney Princess necklace to bring home.
4. Tickets now on sale for Mickey’s-Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
This week tickets went on sale for Disney’s annual holiday celebrations. And while Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will essentially be the same as it was last year, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will be getting a new show: Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration, which you can read more about here. However, that’s not the only change, as guests who want to attend this year's special events will be paying a lot more for tickets as well…
5. Disney announces new in-park wedding option
Though there are plenty of spots for guests to get married around Walt Disney World, for the first time ever, fans of Walt Disney World can have the wedding of their dreams INSIDE the Magic Kingdom in front of Cinderella Castle. The park is now offering weddings in the East Plaza Garden offering up to 100 guests a picture-perfect view of Cinderella Castle with a grand entrance down Main Street, U.S.A for the bride aboard Cinderella’s glass coach or horse-drawn carriage. However, this once-in-a-lifetime experience doesn’t come cheap, and packages with the Magic Kingdom option start at $75,000.
6. The Carrot Cake Cookie returns to the Writer’s Stop
Back when the Writer’s Stop was spared during the mass Disney’s Hollywood Studios closure of 2016, this dining location essentially became a lounge for the nearby Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, and lost most of its menu items in the process. However, it looks like Disney has reinstated a fan-favorite treat for this location: the much-loved Carrot Cake Cookie! Though we don't know how much longer this dining location will stay open, at least for the time being, guests can order this Disney's Hollywood Studios classic.
7. Disney tests extra FastPass+ incentive for DVC Open House
Guests currently staying at a Walt Disney World moderate or deluxe hotel may see a pop up offer on the FastPass+ selection screen in My Disney Experience in the coming weeks that allows them to schedule a Disney Vacation Club Open House tour to unlock additional same-day FastPass+ allocations on completion of the tour, which will be linked to the guests My Disney Experience account. This is currently being run as a test, but may become a permanent incentive for guests to check out Disney Vacation Club.