My Take on What's Happening in Disney News and the Disney Community
I am a lifelong fan of everything Disney. My first trip to a a Disney park was to Disneyland as a child in 1970, but didn't make to Walt Disney World until I went with my wife and first child in 1990. A year doesn't go by with out at least one trip to either Disneyland or Walt Disney World. My wife and I are Disney Vacation Club members and also Charter Members of D23.
Walt Disney World has updated Disney MagicMobile to include two new Annual Passholder cards.
The new cards feature Orange Bird and Figment in addition to the existing Mickey Mouse passholder design.
Disney MagicMobile is a convenient and contactless way to access your MagicBand features such as theme park entry through the power of your own devices. Most features are available by just holding up your smart device near an access point, just like you do with a MagicBand. Guests can choose to use Disney MagicMobile service or a MagicBand, and can alternate between the two for added flexibility.
I’ve already changed mine to Orange Bird. How about you?
Disney is re-opening more restaurants at Walt Disney World.
Disney has indicated that the Maya Grill at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort will re-open to guests next week at 5 PMon June 24th.
The table service restaurant did not re-open when the resort re-opened last year.
Currently the operating restaurants at Coronado Springs include Barcelona Lounge, Cafe Rio, Dahlia Lounge, El Mercado de Coronado, Laguna Bar, Rix Sports Bar, Siesta Cantina, and Three Bridges Bar & Grill.
at the Gran Destino Tower, the new Toledo rooftop restaurant has not ree-opened and does not yet have a re-opening date.
According to Walt Disney World’s website the operating hours of the Magic Kingdom have just been extended for the month of July.
According to the website, beginning July 1st and lasting until July 10th, Magic Kingdom will now be open from 9 AM until 11 PM. This an increase from the originally scheduled 9 PM closing time. At this point for the remainder of the month, the park will remain open until 10 PM.
These updated hours are comparable to two years ago, when the Magic Kingdom was open from 9 AM until 10 PM.
This extension to the park hours come alongside today’s news that Walt Disney World will resume its nightly firework shows on July 1st.
In an unrelated note, it has been confirmed that Animal Kingdom Lodge will re-open on August 26.
Walt Disney World has just announced that rireworks will be returning on July 1st with both “Happily Ever After” at Magic Kingdom and “EPCOT Forever” at EPCOT.
Out in California at the Disneyland Resort the fun will start on July 4th with “Mickey’s Mix Magic” presented nightly throughout the summer.
Nighttime spectaculars have been missing at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort since the parks re-opened in 2020. The return of the fireworks will be a welcome addition to the light entertainment offerings at the parks.
Disney has released schedules for both shows now…
Happily Ever After will start at 9:15 PM and EPCOT Forever will start at 10 PM for the month of July. I expect that schedule to change in August to accommodate Disney After Hours Boo Bash and a slightly earlier sunset.
Disney has yet to announce a return of Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or the Star Wars Galactic Spectacular show.
Even though no details have be released, “Happily Ever After” is expected to be the same show that guests saw before the park closed in Mark of 2020. “EPCOT Forever” is expected to be an updated show with a new pyrotechnic sequence to replace the kites, because the addition of the Harmonious hardware to the World Showcase Lagoon use of the jet ski based kites is not practical.
Because “EPCOT Forever” returning in July, the brand-new Harmonious show likely will not debut until later in the year, likely in October as part of Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
It also needs to be noted that Disney has said that with the return of fireworks to EPCOT and Magic Kingdom three will not be special fireworks shows for the Fourth of July or for the After Hours Boo Bash.
Beginning today, all fully vaccinated Disneyland Resort guests will no longer have to wear their masks. As with Walt Disney World, DLR guests will also not be required to show proof of vaccination. Guests ages two and up who are not fully vaccinated will be asked to continue wearing face coverings indoors, except when dining.
The ressort will also be eradicating physical distancing requirements for guests. Disney will be incrementally allowing more guests to attend the resort at a future time, according to a report from the Happiest Place on Earth.
While temperature checks for visitors and employees will drop, the online-only reservation system will remain in place, with no foreseeable end date. Cast Members will be asked to keep wearing masks, regardless of vaccination status, and maintain their 6 feet of physical distance.
Paradise Pier hotel will re-open today, while the Disneyland Resort Hotel will re-open on July 2.
In a letter from Chief Medical Officer Pamela Hymel sent to Cast Members –
As we have realized the benefits of reservations in helping to manage guest visitation and provide an even better experience, our reservation system will continue,and we will gradually increase attendance as our operations allow.
Beginning June 15th, Walt Disney World will no longer require masks to be worn at the its hotels and theme parks for guests who are fully vaccinated.
Face masks will still be required for all guests on Disney transportation, including Disney buses, monorails and Disney Skyliner.
Also, Walt Disney World has stated that it will continue to reduce physical distancing in queues, shops, restaurants, attraction boarding areas, transportation and theaters.
It is important to note that the new policy does specify that guests who are fully vaccinated may go mask-free. This does mean that Disney will be relying on the honor system as there is no way for Disney to verify the vaccination status of its guests or employees.
Here is the Walt Disney World policy in full –
Face coverings will be optional for fully vaccinated Guests in most areas. Face coverings will still be required of all Guests on Disney transportation, including Disney buses, monorails and Disney Skyliner. While we will not require proof of vaccination, we expect Guests who are not fully vaccinated to continue wearing face coverings in all indoor locations, and upon entering and throughout all attractions and transportation. Guests must observe current policies on face coverings until June 15.
We will be relaxing physical distancing guidelines for Guests. This will be visible in places like queues, shops, restaurants, attraction boarding, transportation and our theaters. It’s important to remember that some experiences and entertainment may still be operating with limited capacity or may remain temporarily unavailable. We’re not quite ready to bring back everything yet, but we are optimistic and look forward to the day when Disney pals and princesses are able to hug once again.
Today Walt Disney World announced pricing, booking dates and more details about entertainment offerings for the upcoming ‘Disney After Hours Boo Bash’ ticketed event at the Magic Kingdom.
Tickets for this fun-filled three-hour event will go on sale June 15th and can be purchased online or by calling 407-939-4240. Guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels will be able to book their tickets as early as June 8th.
Tickets start at $129 – $139, plus tax for August/September nights and $159 – $169, plus tax for October nights, and $199, plus tax for Halloween. Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members can take advantage of a $10 discount for event nights in August and September. A limited number of tickets will be available, so if you’re interested in attending any of the dates, you might want to book soon. I imagine dates near Halloween will be going fast.
Special cavalcades will pop up throughout the night including “Mickey’s Happy Halloween Cavalcade,” with Mickey Mouse and friends dressed up for the occasion. In the “Disney Villains Halloween Cavalcade,” villains will take to the street and celebrate their favorite time of the year. “Jack’s Nightmare Cavalcade” will feature Jack Skellington, Sally and Oogie Boogie riding down the parade path to “This is Halloween,” and last, but definitely not least (we would never say that about her!), Maleficent will also make an appearance in the form of a fire-breathing dragon.
Some of your favorite friends will be lurking about – from the lovely Miss Carlotta at the Haunted Mansion to Goofy and Chip ‘n’ Dale in their Halloween best, with other surprise characters popping up across the park, too. You can even stop and listen to the Cadaver Dans during their special comeback (from the dead) performance.
Disney PhotoPass will also be available for magical and spooky shots throughout the night.
There will be complimentary snacks like ice cream novelties and popcorn, along with select beverages, are included in the cost of the event.
A variety of specialty food and drinks will be available for purchase including an Apple Ginger Dale frozen drink (frozen apple cider mixed with ginger ale and topped with whipped cream) and a Foolish Mortal Funnel Cake.). Note that this item will be on sale outside event hours October 1 to November 1.
The event will take place from 9:30 PM to 12:30 AM on the following dates:
Tuesday, August 10 Tuesday, August 17 Friday, August 20 Tuesday, August 24 Friday, August 27 Tuesday, August 31 Friday, September 3
The event will take place from 9:00 PM to midnight on the following dates:
Tuesday, September 7 Friday, September 10 Tuesday, September 14 Friday, September 17 Tuesday, September 21 Friday, September 24 Tuesday, October 5 Friday, October 8 Tuesday, October 12 Friday, October 15 Tuesday, October 19 Friday, October 22 Sunday, October 24 Tuesday, October 26 Friday, October 29 Sunday, October 31
20 attractions will be available including Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Haunted Mansion attraction, Jungle Cruise, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain and more.
Disney After Hours Boo Bash is a limited-capacity and separately ticketed event that does not require an additional day’s theme park ticket or Disney Park Pass reservation. Tickets will grant admission to Magic Kingdom as early as 7 PM before the event actually begins.
Walt Disney World announced today that Tusker House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will re-open to guests on June 20th.
Guest will be able to make Advanced Dining Reservations on June 4th for the opening date and beyond.
As with the other character meals, during the modified character experience, guests will be served family-style entrees inspired by the flavors of Africa and can snap photos of Donald Duck and friends, dressed in their safari best as they promenade through the restaurant.
Disney did not elaborate on menu details and operating hours at this time.
According to sources, Disney Cruise Line has received approval to start test cruises at the end of June.
In the article, Thomas Mazloum who is President of Disney Signature Experiences shared an update with the news that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has given the line permission to do test cruises.
The announcement of test cruises means that Disney Cruise Line does not want to attempt to comply with the mandate of having at least 95% vaccinated passengers and 98% vaccinated crew members in order to bypass test cruises.
With the amount of children onboard this means too many guests would be unvaccinated, and as a result, test cruises are required.
Disney said that the test cruises will begin on June 29th from Port Canaveral and include only volunteers acting as passengers. The cruise will run through July 1st.
Here is what was shared by Thomas Mazloum:
I have some great news to share, team.
We received word that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has approved our application to conduct a simulation cruise in advance of resuming normal operations.
This is a critically important milestone for Disney Cruise Line – and I want to thank everyone who has been supporting our return-to-service plans with such dedication and hard work.
We now have the green light to conduct our two-night simulation cruise aboard the Disney Dream from June 29 to July 1, sailing from Port Canaveral. The ship will sail with volunteer passengers and test our newly developed health and safety protocols, which have been meticulously tailored to the current public health environment. All of these protocols are essential to cruising responsibly, and Disney Cruise Line couldn’t be more committed to making vacation dreams come true as it prioritizes the wellbeing of all who step aboard our ships.
Today, as we move closer to restarting our U.S. cruises, I want to spotlight the tremendous resilience and positivity of the team. Your collaboration and continued enthusiasm throughout the pandemic have been nothing short of amazing, as we’ve researched, drafted, revised and refined our comprehensive roadmap for cruising again. It has been no small feat – and I’m extremely proud of everyone.
We will continue to evaluate our health and safety protocols, working closely with the CDC, and make adjustments as we work toward a full resumption of cruising. In the meantime, we can all take pride in the approval of our application with the CDC – a milestone that reflects the incredible talents of our entire team.
The ship that will be conducting the test cruise will be the Disney Dream.
At this time, Disney is the second known cruise line to get approval to start test cruises, following Royal Caribbean’s announcement last week.
It is important to note that volunteers must be at least 18 years old. If they are not vaccinated, the CDC says they must have written documentation from a health care provider or must self certify that they aren’t at a heightened risk for COVID-19.