This week’s biggest news out of Walt Disney World involves the opening of Frozen Ever After, but that’s hardly the only thing happening at the resort. From a new FastPass+ offer for Magic Kingdom guests to the confirmation of this year’s Fourth of July holiday entertainment lineup, and even the addition of refillable popcorn buckets, there has actually been quite a lot happening at Walt Disney World this week!
It has also been a busy week outside Walt Disney World, especially at Universal Orlando Resort, which has officially unveiled Volcano Bay, quasi-confirmed a new attraction, and found itself at the center of an H2O-related controversy.
This week we’ve got a super-sized update, so let’s get started!
1. Frozen Ever After officially opens
Of course, the biggest story this week has been the opening of Frozen Ever After, which, despite having some technical difficulties this week, is a charming and technically impressive dark ride (that still doesn’t belong in the World Showcase). In response to the overwhelming early popularity of this ride, the Norway pavilion (as well as the Mexico Pavilion) are now opening at 9AM, and some new interesting characters have been added to help keep guests waiting in line amused.
2. Bonus FastPass offered for completing missions in A Pirates Adventure – Treasures of the Seven Seas
Disney has used bonus FastPass+ reservations as an incentive before for things like taking a DVC tour, but this week the resort announced a fun new alternative for those who don't want to wait in line for Pirates of the Caribbean. Guests who complete at least three of the five missions in the A Pirates Adventure – Treasures of the Seven Seas interactive game in Adventureland will get a bonus FastPass+ reservation for use any time during the same day at the Magic Kingdom. Missions typically take about 15 minutes each, so you might actually come out ahead if the line is longer than 45 minutes (plus you'll be having a lot more fun!)
3. Fourth of July special entertainment schedule revealed
Walt Disney World has confirmed the following special entertainment for the upcoming July 4th holiday:
Magic Kingdom: Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky will be performed at 9pm on both July 3 and July 4.
Epcot: Illuminations: Reflections of Earth with July 4th finale will be performed at 10pm on July 4.
In addition the Voices of Liberty will perform a Fourth of July concert at the America Gardens Theatre at 12:30pm, 1:45pm, and 3pm, and in the American Adventure pavilion at 4:15pm and 5pm.
Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps will also be returning to Epcot for special performances throughout the afternoon
Interestingly, no holiday activities have been announced for either Disney’s Animal Kingdom or Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
4. Pete’s Dragon preview coming to One Man’s Dream
One Man's Dream at Disney's Hollywood Studios will play host to another movie preview in the coming days, this time for the reimagined Pete's Dragon film. This latest preview will begin showing July 1st, and the movie opens on August 12th.
5. Refillable popcorn to be made available around Walt Disney World
Beginning next week, Walt Disney World guests will be able to purchase a special refillable souvenir popcorn bucket for $10 and enjoy $1.50 refills for the remainder of the day. It is unknown if this is a special summer promotion, or will be a regular offer going forward.