Walt Disney World Updates Mask Policy for Table Service Dining

As of today, Walt Disney World has implemented a stricter new rule for table service restaurants. The language of the old rule on the webpage was that face masks “must be worn in all public areas of the restaurant—including while entering and exiting—and can be removed while eating or drinking.”

The new rule states:

“Face coverings for each Guest age 2 and up, which must be worn in all public areas and can only be removed while actively eating or drinking. Face coverings must be worn while standing, waiting or sitting in dining locations.”

The previous rule was enforced so that guests could remove their face masks upon being seated, and leave them off for the duration of the meal, so long as they were at their table.

Even with this rule, some guests chose to leave their masks on while waiting or when interacting with Cast Members.

In my opinion the change is pretty minor. The new rule, would appear that with this clarification Disney will now require guests to stay masked except while actively eating their food or drinking, which is consistent with the regular in-park signs and announcement. I don’t think that the change will necessarily mean putting the mask back on in between bites, but it probably does mean being masked while ordering and waiting for drinks and appetizers or entrees to be delivered, and when waiting for the bill.

The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa to Re-Open

In a email sent out to Disney Vacation Club Members, Disney Vacation Club has announced that The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa  will re-open to members on May 2nd.

In the email DVC said –

Our Cast Members on the West Coast are excited to make their magic once again and “welcome home” Members with enhanced health and safety measures based on guidance from health authorities and appropriate government agencies.

It is important for guests to note that while the Disney Vacation Club Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa will open for Members and their guests, the rest of the hotel, as well as the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, remain closed for normal operations and will re-open at a later date.

The Downtown Disney District is currently open with select shopping and dining experiences.

DVC pointed out that it has successfully re-opened Disney Vacation Club resorts and other Disney hotels at destinations around the world since last June, with each of them prioritizing the health and well-being of our Cast Members and those who visit us.

Guests will need to remember that during the initial re-opening period of The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, most dining, amenities, activities and services will be modified, limited in capacity or unavailable based on physical distancing and health guidelines. In addition, some areas and offerings will remain temporarily closed or unavailable.

Play ‘n’ Dine Character Breakfast to Return to Hollywood and Vine

Hollywood and Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be resuming its Play ‘n’ Dine Character Breakfast on March 22nd.

The breakfast will feature favorite Disney Junior characters in what is becoming the norm with the return of character dining, the characters will be available for distanced waves and photographs.

The breakfast will feature a new á la cart menu –

  • All-you-care-to-enjoy pancakes made with our signature house-made batter.
  • French toast stuffed with chocolate-hazelnut spread.
  • Toasted open-faced salmon bagel.
  • Four-egg scramble.
  • Four-egg cheese omelet.
  • Plant-based egg frittata.

Reservations will be available beginning on February 26th.

George Kalogridis Named Global Ambassador for Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Celebration

Yesterday Jeff Valle, Walt Disney World President announced on Instagram that former Disneyland and Walt Disney World President, George Kalogridis will serve as the Global Ambassador for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.

In the Instagram post Valle stated –

So happy for my hometown friend and longtime colleague, George A. Kalogridis as he’s going to celebrate a major milestone this year. He started his 50-year Disney career as an opening day Cast Member here at WDW in 1971. In addition to currently serving as president of Disney Park’s Segment Development and Enrichment team, he is also Global Ambassador for our upcoming Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Celebration that kicks off Oct. 1st. He is about to become an even busier man!

Kalogridis previously served for six years as president of Walt Disney World, leading a cast of more than 75,000. He is also a past president of Disneyland Resort.  He began his Disney Parks career in 1971, at the age of 17, as a busboy at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, helping to open Walt Disney World.

Currently, Kalogridis is President of Segment Development and Enrichment for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.

 

Marvel and Star Wars Days at Sea Return in 2022 for Disney Cruise Line

If you’re either a Marvel fan or a Star Wars fan (or both!) and like to cruise, then Disney Cruise Line gave you some very good news a few days ago.  Recently DCL announced that two fan-favorites are returning to the Disney Cruise Line ships in 2022!

Disney Cruise Line announced that both Marvel Day at Sea and Star Wars Day at Sea will be returning in 2022 for select cruise itineraries. These special itineraries include a day during the sailing that features everything Marvel or Star Wars, depending on the itinerary.

The Marvel Day at Sea intineraries will take place on the Disney Magic, and will embark from Miami.

The Star WarsDay at Sea cruises will sail from Port Canaveral, and will take place on the Disney Fantasy.

Marvel Day at Sea – Disney Magic

Sail Date Itinerary
January 8, 2022 5-Night Western Caribbean Cruise
January 17, 2022 5-Night Bahamian Cruise
January 22, 2022 5-Night Western Caribbean Cruise
January 31, 2022 5-Night Bahamian Cruise
February 5, 2022 5-Night Western Caribbean Cruise
February 14, 2022 5-Night Western Caribbean Cruise
February 19, 2022 5-Night Bahamian Cruise
February 28, 2022 5-Night Bahamian Cruise
March 5, 2022 5-Night Western Caribbean Cruise

Star Wars’ Day at Sea: Disney Fantasy

Sail Date Itinerary
January 8, 2022 7-Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise
January 15, 2022 7-Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise
January 22, 2022 7-Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise
January 29, 2022 7-Night Western Caribbean Cruise
February 5, 2022 7-Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise
February 12, 2022 7-Night Western Caribbean Cruise
February 19, 2022 7-Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise
February 26, 2022 7-Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise
March 5, 2022 7-Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise

Walt Disney World Announces Initial Details for 50th Anniversary Celebration

Earlier today on Good Morning America Disney announced the first details of Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration that will begin on October 1, 2021 and run for 18 months.

In honor of the 50th anniversary, Disney will be bringing new experiences to the four theme parks and beyond.  Disney has even coined a new word – “EARidescence” to describe what guests will see when they visit.

As part of the celebration, Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom will add to its royal makeover from last year.  As seen in this new artist rendering, the castle will feature golden bunting and a 50th anniversary crest as part of its festive new look.

At EPCOT, new lights will shine across the reflective panels of Spaceship Earth, connecting to one another and resembling stars in a nighttime sky. This new lighting will become permanent and will continue beyond “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” as a defining feature of the park.

The Hollywood Tower Hotel at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will receive new touches that will give it a brilliance evoking the golden age of imagination and adventure.

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the Tree of Life will see magical fireflies gathering to usher in the magic of nature.

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse haven’t been left out.  They will have sparkling new looks for the celebration. As hosts of the event, they’ll be dressed for the occasion in custom-made fashions of EARidescent fabric with gold highlights.

 

Disney California Adventure to Hold Food Festival in Mid-March

In a memo sent to Cast Members on Monday, Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock announced the park will host a food festival.

The food festival will allow guests to enjoy “unique, carefully crafted entertainment experiences, ” as well as some of Disneyland’s popular food, beverages and merchandise offerings.

Unfortunately, popular attractions such as Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout, Toy Story Mania, and the Incredicoaster, will not be open during the event.

In the memo Potrock told Cast Members –

“This past year has presented extraordinary challenges, but that has not curtailed in any way our ability to move forward with a spirit of optimism,” 

Disneyland also plans to rehire 1,000 Cast Members for the event who were previously laid off due to the continuing closure of the park amid the pandemic.

Leave a Legacy Begins its Return to EPCOT

As Disney began the transformation of the EPCOT main entrance area, the original Legacy sculpture were removed.  Leave A Legacy now lives on in a beautiful new setting just outside of the park.   As we can see in these images, they are in a bright new color.

The newly designed panels are the first of many that will be installed outside of the EPCOT entrance touch points.  The panels feature vibrant hues from the park’s new color palette. The new look of the panels goes along with the beautiful fountain and gleaming pylons and further illustrate the park’s transformation and the magic of possibility.

For guests who wants to search for a tile at the new location, they can use their smart device to scan the QR code at the Leave a Legacy display. This opens up the tile finder search feature, which can provide the coordinates for a tile’s location. Guests can also visit the EPCOT guest Relations team for assistance.

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