Dining Reservations Now Available to All Walt Disney World Guests with a 60 day Window

All Walt Disney World Guests are now able to make dining reservations up to 60 days in advance.

Below I’ve listed some important details that you’ll need to know:

In-Park Dining
Guests will need valid park admission and a reservation for park entry through the new Disney Park Pass system, as well as a dining reservation, to dine at in-park table-service restaurants. Dining reservations do not guarantee admission to the park.

Disney Resort Hotel Dining
A confirmed dining reservation is required for day Guests (those not staying overnight) and is highly recommended for Guests staying overnight at a Disney Resort hotel.

Disney Springs Dining
Select dining locations at Disney Springs are currently accepting reservations. Check availability and make reservations online now.

Oga’s Cantina Removed from Opening List at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

When Walt Disney World released the list of dining locations that would be open when Disney’s Hollywood Studios opens on July 15th, one location caught us by surprise….Oga’s Cantina.

I for one could not understand this location being open.  Oga’s Cantina has very low capacity and has a rather tight and confined interior space with no outdoor capability.

What might have been the death knell would be the new guidelines that are restricting the sale of alcohol at bars.

Garden Grill Restaurant to Offer Modified Character Experience

The dining location list for EPCOT’s re-opening on July 15th has been updated to include a modified character experience at the Garden Grill.

The restaurant usually features table side appearances by Mickey, Pluto, Chip & Dale. While we are sure that table side appearances will not happen, it isn’t clear what the modified experience will be.  It seems that a walk-through would seem the most likely scenario.

Disney Vacation Club Cancels Moonlight Magic Events

One of the perks of being a Disney Vacation Club member are the exclusive Moonlight Magic events that are hosted at Disney theme parks throughout the year.

These after-hours events are only for Disney Vacation Club members and their guests, giving the DVC community a chance to experience various Disney Parks, including Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, and the Typhoon Lagoon water park, without the usual crowds.

DVC has announced that they have canceled events scheduled for this summer.

From the Disney Vacation Club website –

“Update: Events Cancelled in June, July and August

With the safety and well-being of our Members, Guests and Cast always top of mind, Disney Vacation Club continues to evaluate our upcoming slate of Membership Magic events and make necessary adjustments. Moonlight Magic events previously scheduled for June (during the park closure period), July and August will be cancelled.

Thank you for your patience and kindness as we all navigate the challenges surrounding COVID-19.”

The full list of cancelled Moonlight Magic events are below –

 

Fantasia Gardens Mini Golf Course Opens at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World has reopened the Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf today for Guests staying at the Walt Disney World Resort.

One of Walt Disney World’s two miniature golf courses, Fantasia Gardens, reopened Saturday without a previous announcement.  Guests will need to reserve a tee time before going by calling (407) WDW-PLAY or (407) 939-7529.Fantasia Gardens will be open from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM.

  • Click here to visit Walt Disney World’s Fantasia Gardens page for more information.

 

‘Mulan’ Gets Release Date Postponed….Again

The Walt Disney Studios has delayed the theatrical release of “Mulan” for a third time, in effect putting an end to Hollywood’s hopes of salvaging a summer movie season.

The live-action remake was slated to be released into theaters on July 24. Instead, “Mulan” will hit the big screen on August 21.

From Walt Disney Studios Disney’s co-chairman and chief creative officer Alan Horn and co-chairman Alan Bergman –

“While the pandemic has changed our release plans for ‘Mulan’ and we will continue to be flexible as conditions require, it has not changed our belief in the power of this film and its message of hope and perseverance.  Director Niki Caro and our cast and crew have created a beautiful, epic, and moving film that is everything the cinematic experience should be, and that’s where we believe it belongs — on the world stage and the big screen for audiences around the globe to enjoy together.”

“Mulan,” which cost $200 million to make, was expected to be popular in China. But Chinese movie theaters are all currently closed, without a known reopening date. Since the release of “Mulan” in China is very important, it would have been risky to release the movie and leave Chinese audiences behind.

This is the third time Disney has delayed the release of “Mulan.”  It was originally set to open on March 27, but was pulled two weeks before as coronavirus began to spread in North America and had already closed down parts of China. The studio moved the film to the end of July, which many found to be an optimistic delay since there was no guarantee that cinemas would be able to reopen to a significant degree by then.

Like the 1998 animated version, “Mulan” follows a warrior who disguises herself as a man to spare her elderly father from having to serve in the military. “Mulan” is the first of Disney’s live-action remakes to be rated PG-13, due to sequences of violence.

D23 Postpones Destination D 2020 Event at Walt Disney World

D23, the official Disney fan club has just announced that it will postpone its”Destination D: Fantastic Worlds” event until 2021.

This event was due to take place in November at Walt Disney World. D23 said that it will now move the event to new year at a date still to be announced. D23 said that it will continue to host exclusive virtual events throughout 2020.

“Destination D: Fantastic Worlds” was supposed to honor Disney’s many magical places, from the extraordinary to the fantastical. In addition, the Walt Disney Archives planned an all-new exhibit to include 50 iconic treasures, representing the 50 years of the Archives.

What this means for the yet announced D23 Expo that is supposed to occur in 2021 is not known at this time.

Splash Mountain at Disneyland and Walt Disney World to be Re-Themed to “Princess and the Frog”

Earlier today Disney announced that Splash Mountain at both the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland will be re-themed to “Princess and the Frog.” The version of the attraction located at Tokyo Disneyland will retain the “Song of the South” theme…for now.

From the Disney Parks Blog where the announcement was made –

The theme is inspired by an all-time favorite animated Disney film, “The Princess and the Frog.” We pick up this story after the final kiss, and join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure – featuring some of the powerful music from the film – as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance.

Tiana is a modern, courageous, and empowered woman, who pursues her dreams and never loses sight of what’s really important. It’s a great story with a strong lead character, set against the backdrop of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou. In 1966, Walt himself opened New Orleans Square when it became the first new “land” added to Disneyland park, so it feels natural to link the story and the incredible music of “The Princess and the Frog” to our parks

The voice of Princess Tiana and Tony Award-winning actress, Anika Noni Rose, shared, “It is really exciting to know that Princess Tiana’s presence in both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom will finally be fully realized! As passionate as I am about what we created, I know the fans are going to be over the moon. The Imagineers are giving us ‘The Princess and the Frog’ Mardi Gras celebration we’ve been waiting for, and I’m here for it!”

Charita Carter, the senior creative producer leading the project at Walt Disney Imagineering shared, “Like Princess Tiana, I believe that courage and love are the key ingredients for wonderful adventures. I am delighted to be a part of bringing this fun-filled experience to our guests.”

As part of the creative development process, conceptual design work is well underway and Imagineers will soon be able to conduct preliminary reviews and develop a timeline for when the transformation can start to take shape.

According to reports, Disney Legend and former Imagineer Tony Baxter, who designed the original Splash Mountain, will be brought out of retirement in order to serve as a creative designer on the new “Princess and the Frog” attraction. “Following conversations with Imagineering’s leaders about the new attraction’s scope and resources, I had a great sense of reassurance, the attraction will be one to be proud of, bringing to life places, characters and music from the animated classic The Princess and the Frog…I look forward to being a part of a new adventure in Disney magic and fun!” said Baxter about the overhaul.

Imagineer Scott Trowbridge, lead on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, stated on Twitter that he’s “been stealth working on this for quite a while and happy to finally share!”

While the current attraction has been controversial at times, mainly because the attraction is themed to a movie that many, if not most younger guests have never seen and Disney has refuses to re-release in any form in the United States, the re-theming will also likely be controversial.  While it is comforting to see that key imagineers like Carter, Trowbridge and Baxter associated with the re-theming, there is probably going to be a certain portion of the Disney fan base that will say that Disney is buckling to protests.  As stated above, Disney says that this is not the case, but I’m not sure that will placate some people, especially with the timing. There is also a certain portion of the Disney fanbase that are as we shall say, “reluctant to change.” These fans aren’t likely to be happy.

Though on the other hand, a lot of people will be very excited about this news.  The movie is very popular.

The one problem that I see is that Disney appears to be solving one theming problem with a new theming problem.  They’re replacing a controversial theming of the attraction with a theming of the attraction that isn’t controversial, in fact very popular, but will the theme fit into the respective lands that it will reside in.  Does this theme fit into Frontierland…maybe, but what about Disneyland’s Bear Country?

Because Disney is still working on a timeline for the re-theming, we’re don’t know if the current attraction will open when the US parks re-open.  Will fans of the current theme be able to get a “final ride” before it goes away to be re-themed.

How do you feel about this announcement?

Me…I’m cautiously optimistic.  I think “Princess and the Frog” is a wonderfully fun movie.  I’m sure Imagineering will do a wonderful job. I’m sure it will be beautiful.  I’m just a little confused as to the why.

 

Disneyland Re-Opening Delayed

BREAKING – The Planned Re-Opening of the Disneyland Resort Has Been Delayed.

Below is the full announcement from Disney…

We previously announced a proposed phased reopening of our theme parks for July 17, pending government approvals. We developed enhanced health and safety protocols for both cast and guests at Shanghai Disney Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort that have been approved, allowing us to reopen in a responsible manner and bring our cast members back to work.

The State of California has now indicated that it will not issue theme park reopening guidelines until sometime after July 4. Given the time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials. Once we have a clearer understanding of when guidelines will be released, we expect to be able to communicate a reopening date.

Our Downtown Disney District will reopen on July 9 as previously announced with health and safety protocols in place for our cast members and guests. The opening of our Downtown Disney District has been previously approved in line with restaurant and retail openings throughout California. The Master Services Union, which represents our retail cast at this location, previously signed an agreement for members to return to work.

In order to reopen our theme parks we need to negotiate agreements with our unions to return employees to work. We have had positive discussions and are very pleased to have signed agreements from 20 union affiliates, including the Master Services Council, which represents more than 11,000 of our cast members. The signed agreement details plans that include enhanced safety protocols that will allow us to responsibly reopen, and get thousands of our cast members back to work.

We thank our cast and guests for their patience during this unprecedented time while we await approval from government officials.

Disneyland Paris Announces Phased Re-Opening on July 15th

Disneyland Paris has announced that they will reopen on July 15 with a strict set of safety rules for guests.

The resort said it will begin a “phased reopening” on Wednesday, July 15 with its two parks as well as Newport Bay Club Hotel and Disney Village.

The resort has been closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the strict safety rules which will be implemented once it reopens include the mandatory wearing of face coverings for visitors aged 11 and older “at all times except when eating”.

There will be no meet and greets with characters, some seats will be kept empty on roller coasters to enable social distancing, and more than 2,000 hand sanitiser and hand-washing stations will be available.