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.
D23 and shopDisney have announced that D23 members will receive an exclusive 20% discount at shopDisney until October 31.
At the D23 member website D23 announced –
We have some exciting news to announce to ALL of our D23 Members!
Disney store and shopDisney.com have given us an exclusive discount on all of the Disney items we love. For a limited-time only take 20 percent off of your purchase of $65.00 or more. Start your Holiday shopping early! But don’t wait… this offer is only good through Halloween.
For the discount code and other particulars, please go to D23’s website.
It’s nearly two years away but Disney Cruise Line announced earlier today that the maiden voyage of its newest ship will have its maiden voyage is set for the Summer of 2022.
The Wish will weigh in at about 144,000 gross tons and include 1,250 staterooms, according to Disney. That makes it slightly larger than Disney’s current ships, the Dream and the Fantasy. It will be powered by clean-burning liquefied natural gas.
Disney has otherwise been mostly quiet about the ship’s amenities. The company showed off a rendering of a three-story, fairytale-inspired atrium. The stern will feature a picture of Rapunzel, who Disney said embodies the desire to see the world.
With the fall season beginning and the winter season on the horizon in Florida, Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf will be re-opening to guests beginning on November 6th at Walt Disney World Resort.
Winter Summerland Miniature Golf offers two uniquely themed 18-hole courses, each with their own distinct musical soundtrack. As the name implies, one course draws inspiration from the winter season, including snow castles and ice hockey rinks. The second course represents all things related to summer. Guests navigate surf boards, sand sculptures and even a melted snowman.
When Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf re-opens, Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf will close for the season on November 5th and re-open on January 31st next year.
Walt Disney World has indicated that Mickey Mouse and friends will return to Chef Mickey’s starting on December 16th at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Disney has also indicated that along with the return of characters, there will be new menu items that will debut. When the breakfast returns it will now be an all-you-care-to-eat family style breakfast instead of the previous buffet offering.
As we have seen at other Walt Disney World character meals, the characters will parade though the restaurant instead of visiting tables as they have previously done.
While Disney has not specifically mentioned it, I would expect that they will be returning the price to what it was previously when it had characters.
Reservations for Chef Mickey’s character breakfast will become available on October 17th.
It’s been years since we’ve been to Chef Mickey’s. We considered the character interaction subpar and the buffet food barely average….and it’s the noisiest meal I’ve ever experience…ever. We ate at Garden Grill and Topolino’s last month when we were visiting Walt Disney World and I actually think the way they’re doing the characters is an improvement. With this and the menu changes…if they stay….might actually get us to return.
The other thing that’s important to note….
This significantly increases the number of character breakfasts and character meals available to guests on property. So, if you are looking for a character meal, this is really good news.
Today Disney has announced that it will make a drastic reduction in its workforce at its domestic parks. Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro announced that Disney will be laying off 28,000 cast members. He also stated that 67% of these layoffs will be part-time cast members.
In a statement, D’Amaro publicly mentions the state of California’s reluctance to allow for the re-opening of Disneyland as one of the driving factors. In a note sent to cast members. D’Amaro states that, “We will be scheduling appointments with our affected salaried and non-union hourly employees over the next few days.” It appears the action will happen soon.
Walt Disney World currently employs approximately 70,000, with Disneyland Resort employing around 30,000. It isn’t at this time clear how the layoffs will be distributed across the two coasts.
Both Disneyland and Walt Disney World closed in mid-March due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Walt Disney World re-opened in mid-July. Disneyland Resort still remaining closed.
In an announcement made on Twitter earlier this evening, D23 stated that the next D23 Expo will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center September 9-11, 2022.
“We are to announce the next D23 Expo will be held September 9-11, 2022 at the Anaheim Convention Center. D23 Expo 2022 will be a celebration unlike any other, as we give fans a first look at the incredible plans for the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company.”
With all that’s going on with the COVID-19 pandemic, this announcement shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. I personally suspected that this might happen when D23 announced back in June that Destination D was moving from this fall to 2021. When D23 hadn’t announced a sale date for Expo tickets, it seemed apparent to me that it was getting postponed.
No date has been announced when tickets for D23 Expo will be available. Typically D23 begins sale of tickets about a year in advance, so I wouldn’t expect an announcement until at least sometime in early 2021 with a sale date of September 2021.
In a Facebook post, The Grand Floridian Society Orchestra announced that their run at Walt Disney World and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort will end on October 3rd.
In the announcement the group stated –
It’s hard to find the words but, sadly, our days at the Grand Floridian are over. In fact, as of Oct 3, 2020, our days at WDW will come to an end as well.
The company brought us out of furlough, changed our name to “The Disney Society Orchestra,” closed us out of the GF to play a show of Disney themed show tunes at the Theater of the Stars in Hollywood Studios. We’ve been playing 9 shows a day, 7 days a week since Aug 2nd. The music is a far cry from the closely knit harmonies & sounds we became known for at the GF but. the guys are real pros and they sound great!
Well… Two weeks ago we got notice that the theater is going dark and our last day of work will be Saturday, Oct 3, 2020. As we all know, these are very uncertain times and can’t say what will happen from one day to the next.
So after 32 years of playing together and playing music we love… we’re done. We are so thankful for the opportunity to play in a beautiful setting for the hotel guests and friends we have met & made over the years. We’ll never forget you and how wonderful you’ve made us feel. We will miss you!
Thank you-thank you- thank you!
Whenever we’ve ever been to the Grand Floridian listening to the orchestra has always been a great experience. They will be missed.
There haven’t been any details released as to why this is happening.