Lots of character news being shared this week, including info on 2 brand-new meet and greet opportunities with Moana and Mirabel.
Let’s dive in and see what we can expect and when:
Moana meet and greet coming April 22
We were so excited to see that one of our most favorite adventurers of all time will soon be greeting guests inside of Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.
Beginning April 22, you’ll be able to find Moana on Discovery Island (which, Disney notes, is just in time for the park’s 25th Anniversary).
Previously, opportunities to meet Moana were limited to parties like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party where she often garnered long lines.
Since the release of her namesake film in 2016, Moana has been one of the most popular character requests we hear about, so we know there will be a lot of fans excited to finally get to meet her.
Mirabel meet and greet coming Fall 2023
When Encanto was released in 2021, the world fell in love with the free-spirited Mirabel.
Previously, about the only place you could catch her at Walt Disney World was in the Adventure Friends Cavalcade, but that all changes this Fall when she moves into her very own meet and greet in the Fairytale Gardens at Magic Kingdom.
The Fairytale Garden is located next to Cinderella Castle and is enclosed by walls and lots of trees.
Disney plans to re-theme the area and has said Mirabel will be “surrounded by whimsical décor inspired by La Familia Madrigal”. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?
One important note is that the Fairytale Garden is currently the home of Merida. Fingers crossed they find her a new home.
Figment meet and greet coming late summer
Over in Epcot, we have a bit more information on when we can expect the previously announced Figment meet and greet to arrive.
Although we don’t have an exact date, Disney has confirmed that it will arrive to the Imagination! pavilion by “late summer”, so get your Figment DisneyBound outfits ready!
Construction on Mickey and Minnie’s new meet and greet progressing
Also over in Epcot, construction on Mickey and Minnie’s new meet and greet location in Communicore Hall is progressing. Look for them to move in later this year as part of the Epcot transformation that has been going on
forever for several years.
Disney100 comes to Epcot
And finally, we get a tiny little bit of an update regarding the big Disney100 Celebration.
Look for Walt Disney World to join in on the Disney100 Celebration later this year. We don’t have many details, but Disney has confirmed that EPCOT will be the host.
There will be all-new experiences, including meeting Mickey and Minnie in their platinum attire, to snapping a selfie with a platinum sculpture of the one who started it all, and watching Spaceship Earth illuminate the evenings with a special lighting design.
As Disney previously announced, a new nighttime spectacular will debut at Epcot later this year.
The show is said to “unite us through commonalities of the heart in a dazzling display of fireworks, lasers, music, and light.” Disney also states the spectacular “will remind us that we’re more alike than different, connecting our hearts together as one.”
The new nighttime spectacular will also feature an original composition, along with select songs from the Disney songbook.
New restaurant opening in Disney Springs
Summer House on the Lake will open at Disney Springs in late 2023. The restaurant “embodies a breezy, beach house vibe that will pair perfectly with the sweeping views of Lake Buena Vista.”
There will even bee three outdoor patios — all with a lake view.
The new dining location will have a California-inspired menu featuring simple, sustainable ingredients from pizza and pasta to fresh salads and sandwiches.
If that isn’t enough, The Cookie Jar, a dessert-focused market will be featured in the space serving up freshly baked cookies and house-made pastries.
Corkcicle finds a home
Corkcicle is coming to Disney Springs! This kiosk will be Corkcicle’s first-ever retail location and will open later this spring.
A Tiana’s Bayou Adventure update
Later this summer, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will see the addition of a tiara-topped water tower emblazoned with the Tiana’s Foods logo! The new Magic Kingdom attraction is set to open in 2024.
In case you have lost track, here’s a rundown of all the new stuff expected to open up this year. Whenever possible, we’ve noted the exact date.
- March 23 – Roundup Rodeo BBQ opens at Hollywood Studios
- March 31 – Walt Disney World 50th Celebration ends (decor is already coming down)
- April 1 – Narcoosssee’s restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridian reopens after a refurbishment that includes new decor and a new menu
- April 3 – Happily Ever After returns to Magic Kingdom and EPCOT Forever returns to EPCOT
- April 4 – TRON Lightcycle / Run opens at Magic Kingdom
- April 22 – Animal Kingdom 25th Anniversary and Moana begins meeting guests
- Fall 2023 – Mirabel coming to Fairytale Gardens in Magic Kingdom
- Late 2023 – In EPCOT, Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana opens, World Celebration (including Dreamers Point) construction completed, new nighttime spectacular debuts
- Late 2023 – Disney100 Celebration makes its way to EPCOT
- Later this year – Summer House on the Lake opens in Disney Springs and Cake Bake Shop opens at Disney’s Boardwalk
- Happily Ever After Returns to Magic Kingdom In April 2023
- Traditional Character Meet & Greets Are Returning To Disney World & Disneyland
- Where You Can Hug Characters Again at Disney World
- Ariel Meet and Greet, Enchanted Tales With Belle Returning to Magic Kingdom
- Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Returning In August 2022
- Mirabel and Moana meet & greets coming soon (plus lots more updates) - March 15, 2023
- Disney World height requirements (& what to do if kids can’t ride) - February 22, 2023
- Complete Guide to Disney PhotoPass (Is It Worth It?) - February 9, 2023