We pretty much say this every month but we can’t BELIEVE how much happened in Disney World in July!
Several character meet-and-greets returned to the parks, the new MagicBand+ debuted, the 2022 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival opened, and we got BIG character dining news! In case you missed it, let’s go over the biggest July news from Disney World.
Journey of Water — Inspired by Moana
The immersive water trail known as Journey of Water — Inspired by Moana is an upcoming EPCOT attraction that will reportedly allow guests to play with “living water.” In July, more details were revealed, including a preview of the graphic style guests will see throughout the attraction.
We’ve been watching the construction in progress in EPCOT but Disney has not yet announced an opening timeline for this attraction. Keep checking back with us for more news!
Walt Disney World Railroad Update
The Walt Disney World Railroad has been closed for years now in Magic Kingdom due to the construction of TRON Lightcycle Run, but we got a bit of an update in July. Disney shared a photo of Cast Members training for the reopening of the Disney World Railroad, which means we’re another step closer to riding the train again.
The next generation of MagicBands has finally been released! The MagicBand+ does all the same things as a regular MagicBand — but it comes with a few extras. On July 27th, the MagicBand+ officially launched in Disney World and online.
MagicBand+ includes features like lights, haptics, and more, and it can also interact with the environment around it, including the gold 50th Anniversary statues and even fireworks shows! It also unlocks an exclusive scavenger hunt in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
The price for the MagicBand+ ranges from $34.99 to $44.99 depending on the design you choose, and you can find designs both in the parks and online. Discounted MagicBand+ options are available for hotel guests and annual passholders. Keep in mind that this band is rechargeable, meaning you’ll need to charge it (daily, for the most part) to keep using it.
And note, you don’t have to buy a MagicBand+. You can continue using your classic MagicBand in the parks, but if you want those added features, you can get one now!
In August 2021, Disney World instituted a 2-per-item limit on all merchandise purchases, which meant guests could not buy more than two of any single item. But now, this has changed. We were told by a Cast Member that the old merchandise limit of 10-per-item per guest has returned to Disney World, except in certain instances.
Keep in mind that a 2-per-item per person limit is still in place for certain specialty items. For example, MagicBand+ was still limited to 2-per-style per guest. So just be sure to see what rule applies during your trip for the merchandise you’re hoping to get.
Jessie’s Trading Post
Over in Hollywood Studios, Jessie’s Trading Post opened in Toy Story Land! This store is located at the exit of Toy Story Mania, where the previous store had been.
Jessie’s Trading Post is full of Toy Story and Pixar-related merchandise and you can access it either while exiting Toy Story Mania or you can walk up through the exit to check it out.
In addition to releasing the future hours for BoardWalk Deli (7AM to 10PM), we also learned about the menu and the opening timeframe, currently set for “late summer 2022.” The deli will offer breakfast items, hot and cold deli sandwiches, desserts, and more! Click here to see the FULL menu with prices.
The deli is currently showing hours starting in mid-August but that is subject to change.
We also got an update about another upcoming BoardWalk location, the Cake Bake Shop by Gwendolyn Rogers. It appears this restaurant will likely take the place of the old ESPN Club, as the Cake Bake Shop posted a photo of a “coming soon” sign in front of its prospective future location.
This restaurant will serve sweet and savory eats along with afternoon tea, and it’s expected to open sometime in 2023.
Tower of Terror Sign
You may have seen the iconic Tower of Terror billboard on your way to Disney World in the past — you know, the one with the 3D effect of a Tower of Terror elevator falling. Sadly, this sign was completely demolished in July.
Disney has not shared whether there might be a replacement for this billboard but we’ll be watching for any changes every time we drive into Disney World. Truly, it was the end of an era.
Several character meet-and-greets returned to Disney World in July, including the Merida meet-and-greet in Magic Kingdom! Merida is located by the Fairytale Garden in Fantasyland.
You can check the My Disney Experience app for more character meet-and-greets currently available in the parks!
Star Wars Launch Bay reopened early with Darth Vader and Chewbacca, and it later opened officially with BB-8 joining the lineup. You can meet all three characters in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
These meet-and-greets are not yet available on Genie+ but it’s possible that we may see them added in the future.
Peter Pan is BACK in Magic Kingdom with a spontaneous edge. One day we saw in the My Disney Experience app that he was scheduled to meet guests in Adventureland, but we later saw him in Fantasyland running around.
You can check for his meet-and-greet times in the app but they could be subject to change, so keep that in mind if you’re really hoping to catch Peter Pan in person!
Aladdin and Jasmine are also back in Magic Kingdom! We found them greeting guests in Adventureland in Magic Kingdom together.
Only Aladdin showed as a meet-and-greet in the My Disney Experience app but it was nice to see Jasmine in tow! This might not be a daily occurrence, however, as we have seen Jasmine make an appearance in Princess Fairytale Hall while Aladdin meets guests solo in Adventureland, so keep in mind that things can change.
This experience includes Minnie and her pals dressed up for a day at the beach!
What better way to eat breakfast than with Lilo and Stitch walking around?
And over in Magic Kingdom, the Buffet with Characters Featuring Winnie the Pooh and Friends is returning to the Crystal Palace on September 20th.
This spot usually lets you visit with Pooh, Tigger, and Piglet (this might change in the future) while you eat your way through the buffet.
EPCOT Food & Wine Festival
The 2022 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival debuted on July 14th, including over 20 different food booths to visit (with a few booths set to open at a later date), as well as entertainment, Emile’s Fromage Montage (a CHEESE scavenger hunt), and lots more.
You can visit the festival all the way through November 19th, 2022, so you’ve got time to get to EPCOT!
Car Locator Feature
And finally, Disney debuted the new Car Locator feature in the My Disney Experience app. This feature lets you mark where you park (we rhymed!) in a Disney parking lot so that you never have to lose your car ever again.
You can allow location services to automatically mark it, or you can input your spot manually. No more moments of horror when you’re heading home after a long day and you realize you forgot where you parked!
July was a BUSY month in Disney World but we can’t wait to see what’s in store for August. Keep following AllEars for more Disney news and updates!
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Did you visit Disney World in July? Tell us in the comments!