December Brings Changes to Walt Disney World

The last month of the year is bringing some exciting and even drastic changes to the Walt Disney World Resort.

It has been a long and constantly changing 2021 for Walt Disney World.  We saw mask requirements change and adjust, temperature checks leave, Resorts and dining open back up, as well as the amazing 50th Anniversary Celebration.

As we wrap up the last month of the year, we will look at some of the big changes coming to Walt Disney World this month that might make a difference on your Walt Disney World vacation plans moving forward.

Last Run For Disney’s Magical Express

December will be the last month that Guests will be able to use Disney’s Magical Express.

Disney’s Magical Express has been taking Guests to and from Orlando International Airport and Walt Disney World Resorts since 2005.

This mode of transportation was a huge bonus for those traveling to Walt Disney World as it provided a reliable and free way to get to and from the airport.

Disney’s Magical Express was especially nice for those with little ones, as it removed the stress of car seats from the travel planning as well.

On December 31st, 2021, Disney’s Magical Express will run for the last time. Guests traveling to Walt Disney World will need to find an alternative way to get to their Walt Disney World Resort hotel.

Mears Connect is one option that you might want to consider. This is a paid service that will be very similar to Magical Express, since Mears is the company that has operated the service for Disney. Guests can sign up online for this service.

Other options for getting to your Walt Disney World Resort hotel are private transfers, rideshares, and car rental.

We will miss the free option provided by Disney’s Magical Express and will be sad to see it go this month.

Trams Are Coming Back

Since opening back up to Guests in July 2021, an important service has been missing from the Parks.  The Parking Lot Trams have not been running, but that is about to change this month.

Guests who drove to Magic Kingdom have had to take the long walk from their parking spot to the monorail or ferry boat.

This will be coming to an end this month as Disney announced that the trams will be back in the Magic Kingdom parking lot sometime in December.

We are thrilled that this service will be back as the Magic Kingdom parking lot is enormous and can be a long walk back to the car after a magical day in Magic Kingdom.

Regarding when trams will return to the other Theme Parks, Disney said that we can expect them throughout 2022.

Credit: Disney

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular to Return

We are so happy that Disney is slowly bringing back more and more entertainment to the Theme Parks.

December 19th, 2021, will see the return of Indiana Jones: Epic Stunt Spectacular to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

We love hearing the sounds of this show going on as we walk through Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and can’t wait to see it once again.

Get ready for some blasts, explosions, clapping, and cheering as audience members will once again watch Indiana Jones and friends show off their epic stunt skills.

We love this show and are thrilled that it is coming back this month to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  It is a true look at what this Park is all about; the movies.

Dining Continues to Open Back Up

December will see two more dining locations open back up in Disney Resorts, providing Guests even more options for their meals.

At Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, Guests will be able to once again enjoy a meal at Boatwright’s Dining Hall.  Scheduled to open on December 14th, we look forward to having this sit-down location back.

Boatwright’s Dining Hall provides southern hospitality in a casual location overlooking the beautiful Sassagoula River.

New menu items are expected, and we look forward to trying items like Hot Chicken, Smoked Sausage, Mashed Potatoes, and more on the All-You-Care-To-Enjoy Chef’s Platter.

Reservations are already available through the My Disney Experience app, so get those made today.

Another favorite dining option will return to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge on December 16th.  The highly popular Story Book Dining will be opening once again at Artist Point.

Guests will be able to see characters from Disney’s ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ as they make an appearance during the meal.  In the past, we have seen Snow White, Grumpy, Dopey, as well as The Queen.

This dining location is beautiful as Disney has transformed the space into the Enchanted Forest with music and decorations that bring the fantasy to life.

A prix fixe menu will provide entrees such as the Royal Prime Rib Roast, Brother’s Grimm Herbed Chicken, Magic Mirror’s Slow-braised Pork Shank, and more.

Even though the character interaction will be modified from previous experiences, we are thrilled to have Story Book Dining back at Wilderness Lodge.

Reservations are open and will go quickly, so if this is a meal you would like to experience during your Walt Disney World vacation, make your reservation as soon as your 60-day window opens.

Credit: Disney

Club Level Services are Available Once Again

Many Guests might not know this, but Disney offers club-level services in some of their Resorts.  Guests who book a Club Level room have access to the Club Lounge, where food and drinks are provided throughout the day.

On December 16th, 2021, the Club Level lounges will open once again at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

We have already seen some of these lounges open back up, and Disney has announced that they will continue to open them up throughout 2022.

Club Level rooms can be a fun upgrade for Guests during their Walt Disney World vacation, and we are thrilled to see them offered once again.

As 2021 wraps up, Walt Disney World isn’t slowing down. December will see changes and openings, as Disney continues to bring back more and more of the magic to the Theme Parks and Resorts.

We are thankful for all that they have done throughout 2021, and can’t wait to see what 2022 has to offer.

About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.