We’ve got a Walt Disney World Update that’s packed full of info from around the resort, plus we’ll make a stop at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios to catch up on the latest news. Minnie Vans returning, Pride celebrations, Nemo gets musical again, and a long-awaited new attraction gets a little bit closer to getting you soaked… there’s a lot to cover…
The Return of Minnie Vans
Disney’s adorable Minnie Van Ride Share Service, connected by Lyft, returns this summer to make getting around WDW a little easier. The popular WDW resort ride service was shuttered back in 2020 alongside the park closures and did not return with the opening of the parks. We’ve heard that many Cast Members that were working with Minnie Vans before the closure will be returning to work with them again!
While rideshare services like Lyft and Uber are always available, the Minnie Vans are a good option for families staying at WDW (they seat 6 and have plenty of room for strollers, bags, etc). If you need car seats for young kids or are traveling between resorts (i.e. split stays at different resorts or resort dining), Minnie Vans may be a good option for you. Plus, Minnie Van drivers are knowledgable Disney Cast Members, so you can generally count on good service and helpful conversation!
To book a Minnie Van, open the Lyft app while on WDW property and select a Minnie Van. All Minnie Vans include two complimentary car seats. Accessible Minnie Vans are also available. Minnie Vans will only offer rides around the Walt Disney World resort; charges are based on distance traveled. Just keep in mind that at this time, there will be no service to the Orlando International Airport.
Happy Pride Month!
June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and to celebrate, Walt Disney World has added themed-photo backdrops across the parks and Disney Springs, limited-time treats, and a merchandise collection with meaning (not just “rainbow Mickey”!).
Here’s where you can find each Pride-themed photo opportunity at Walt Disney World:
- Magic Kingdom: A Mickey Mouse ear shape featuring Pride colors has been added to the purple wall in Tomorrowland, near the Tomorrowland Terrace restaurant.
- EPCOT: located on the blue wall along the side of the Imagination Pavilion.
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Pride-themed balloons can be found near MuppetVision 3D
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom: A Mickey Mouse silhouette of rainbow colors can be found on the brown gates near Tiffin’s Restaurant.
- Additional photo ops can be found around Disney Springs.
And… 100% of profits from this month’s Pride Merchandise Collection will be donated to LGBTQIA+ organizations. (Explore this year’s Pride Collection in our recent Merchandise Update HERE)
In other Pride celebrations, new designs are now available for Disney MagicMobile service to personalize your pass in honor of Pride Month. In your Disney World app, select “MagicMobile” and then click “change pass style.”
In Wild News… Disney’s Animal Kingdom Updates
Over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the parking lot trams have finally returned! Parking lot trams returned late last year to the Magic Kingdom/Ticket & Transportation Center. Now we’re just waiting for their return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT’s parking lots.
It’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights! While DinoLand U.S.A.’s Theater in the Wild has sat empty since March 2020, the Entertainment cast and crews have been rehearsing for the freshly reimagined Finding Nemo show… which opens in just a few days!
Finding Nemo – The Big Blue… And Beyond premieres Monday, June 13th. That same day, the 25-minute show will be available as a Genie+ selection for Animal Kingdom attractions.
Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro recently shared a first look at the show’s cast and LED screen stage (which will play a major role in the show, along with physical set pieces):
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Hooray for Hollywood!
Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we have a [small] galaxy full of Star Wars news…
In very happy news, the popular Black Caf Cold Brew from Disneyland has finally made its way to Batuu East!
The scrumptious beverage made with cold brew coffee, sweet cream cheese topping, and Cocoa Puffs is now available at Kat Saka’s Kettle for $5.49, along with an alcoholic version made with Godiva liqueur for $14. For best tasting results, be sure to stir the sweet topping into the bitter cold brew!
In case you missed it, new destinations are coming to Star Tours in the not-so-distant future. Imagineer Scott Trowbridge casually mentioned the news at last month’s Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim. No word on where we’ll be traveling to, or when exactly, but this is one attraction we love to see continually receive updates!
What destinations would you like to see added to Star Tours?
While Disneyland’s Batuu has welcomed Boba Fett and Fennec Shand to their character lineup – along with *gasp* the Mandalorian and Grogu soon – Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s Batuu counterpart will be receiving bounties from the virtual side.
With the rollout of MagicBand+ coming soon, Galaxy’s Edge visitors will be able to join the Batuu Bounty Hunters guild. Completing missions throughout Black Spire Outpost by following light patterns and haptics from the new MagicBand will lead to virtual bounties. A thermal viewer via the Play Disney Parks app will also offer secret glimpses through doors, walls, and facades in the land.
Additionally, new Star Wars themed-AR lenses are available now in the My Disney Experience app, with more to come in the near future.
With the recent opening of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, it’s easy to overlook what else is opening soon at the park!
From the EPCOT monorail loop, we can see some recent development on Journey of Water – a water attraction inspired by Disney’s Moana:
(click any image in the gallery below for larger size)
Once finished, the attraction will be a lush exploration trail, featuring interactive elements for guests to play with water.
Zooming into the above concept art, we can get a better look at the rockwork, and water spouts that will arch over pathways:
Speaking of EPCOT monorail views – here’s a video of what you’ll currently see going on behind the construction walls:
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Let’s Hear From You
That’s all that we’ve got for today! Are you excited to see the reimagined Nemo stage show at Animal Kingdom? Do you find it disappointing that the WDW version of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge isn’t getting the characters that Disneyland has (and will be getting)? Are you a fan of Minnie Vans? And how about that EPCOT construction? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!