The 9 BIG Updates From Walt Disney World (and Beyond) This Week (October 4-10, 2021) – Theme Park Tourist

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​This week at Walt Disney World, Disney confirms the return of character experiences, several fan favorite shows are confirmed to be returning, plus there’s a new freebie in Frontierland
Outside Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort announced the return of concerts and parades for Mardi Gras, Shrek 4-D is confirmed to close permanently next year and 
Walt Disney World will be debuting its new paid-for skip-the-line service later this month on October 19th. Prices for individual Lightning Lane service has also been announced as varying between $8 and $15 per attraction. You can get a full rundown of what to expect from this new service here
General bookings for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser won’t begin until October 28, but this week Disney Vacation Club members and annual passholders have been able to book early for voyages beginning March 1, 2022. And now it looks like this grand opening  has already been fully booked, with no availability at all for guests wanting to experience this maiden voyage. 
Disney has announced that after more than a year of distanced character sightings as part of daily cavalcades, guests will once again be able to have one on one time with their favorite characters beginning this fall.
Though Disney has said that there will be modifications to the experience as “the environment is not right just yet for hugs and autographs” several fan-favorite characters will be once again seeing guests and posing for pictures again in the near future at the Town Square Theater, Princess Fairytale Hall and more. You can read more about the characters that will be returning here

Managing editor of Theme Park Tourist and dark ride enthusiast. Amanda is a lifelong theme parks fan who lives just outside Orlando. When she’s not booking FastPass+ reservations, standing in a queue or eating the latest specialty cupcake, you can find her watching a Marvel movie, reading a book (probably by Neil Gaiman) or singing along to showtunes in her car.  Contact: [email protected]
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