Avenger’s Campus to Open at Disney California Adventure on June 4th

Recently Disneyland Resort made an announcement that we’ve all been anticipating, that Avengers Campus… an entirely new land dedicated to discovering, recruiting and training the next generation of Super Heroes – will open June 4, 2021 at the Disney California Adventure!

Inside this fully immersive land, guests will be invited to team up with the Avengers and their allies and live out your Super Hero dreams. Avengers Campus is comprised of several super hero locations, each hosted by a different Avenger to share their unique powers, technology and knowledge with recruits.

The first key area is the Worldwide Engineering Brigade, also known as WEB. This area will bring together bright innovators like Peter Parker who have been assembled by Tony Stark to invent new technologies and equip everyday people to become Super Heroes like the Avengers. WEB will house the new WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure, the first Disney ride-through attraction to feature the iconic friendly neighborhood Spider-Man!

The second anchor attraction will be a fan-favorite that opened in 2017, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!

When it is time to take a break from all of the heroics, several new dining spots at Avengers Campus will offer dishes that are rich in both flavor and storytelling. One of these is Pym Test Kitchen,  a food innovation science lab where the food and drinks tell a story. Just as Ant-Man and The Wasp use “Pym Particles” to grow and shrink just about anything, Pym Technologies applies this science to the creation of shareable bites, inventive entrees and sweet treats. You will be able to savor such items as the Impossible™ plant-based large and micro meatballs with pasta, or the “Pym-ini,” a panini served by the slice or as a long, multi-portion sandwich.

Adjacent to the Pym Test Kitchen, an oversized beer can overhead signals that grown-up beverage tastings are available at Pym Tasting Lab. You can order a craft beer, ranging from a blood orange hefeweizen to an amber lager, or try one of the Pym Research Staff’s Pym Particle-infused cocktail experiments.

Both of these locations will be offering mobile ordering via the Disneyland app.

Guests can visit one of The Avengers favorite food joints, Shawarma Palace. There they can enjoy a shawarma wrap at this food cart, which is decked out with memorabilia for Avenger fans. Lastly, Taneleer Tivan did not limit his collection to lovable misfits; he is also curating a weird and wonderful menu of intergalactic eats at the Terran Treats food cart near Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!

Super Heroes will come to life in more exciting ways than ever throughout Avengers Campus. You may have heroic encounters with Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, the Dora Milaje, Black Widow, Ant-Man and The Wasp, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor and even villains like Loki, some of whom are making their first appearances at the park.

Guests may even have the chance to witness Spider-Man swinging into action high above Avengers Campus with gravity-defying, acrobatic feats never seen before in a Disney theme park.

At a nearby ancient sanctum, Doctor Strange will be training recruits in the mystic arts by bringing this ancient sanctum to life with powerful spells. At night, the area will glow even more vividly with majestic colors and lights, pulsating with mystic energy.

There also will be plenty of shopping locations.

The WEB Suppliers store will offer the latest inventions, including interactive Spider-Bots much like the ones you will see in the new attraction, WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure. Each Spider-Bot has a remote control, and all eight articulated legs move forward and backward. You may customize your Spider-Bot with tactical upgrades to harness the powers and style of favorite Super Heroes, including Black Panther, Iron Man and Black Widow, as well as Ant-Man and The Wasp.

Other must-have items at WEB Suppliers include a specially-designed backpack to carry Spider-Bots when they are not in action, Spider-Man light goggles, a take-home spider web kit and Funko Pop! vinyl figurines of Spider-Man and Iron Man.

The Campus Supply Pod is the place to power up with official Avengers Campus gear, including performance fleece hoodies and tees, headwear, drinkware and other Super Hero supplies.

Disneyland Resort Announces Which Attractions Will be Running When Parks Re-Open

The Disneyland Resort has announced which attractions, restaurants and shops that will be operating and which ones that won’t be when Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure re-open to guests on April 30th.

Disneyland Attractions That Will Be Open –

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Astro Orbitor
  • Autopia
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Casey Jr. Circus Train
  • Disneyland Railroad
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Gadget’s Go Coaster
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • It’s a Small World
  • King Arthur Carrousel
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Main Street Vehicles
  • Mark Twain Riverboat
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  • Snow White’s Enchanted Wish
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Star Tours — The Adventures Continue
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  • Tarzan’s Treehouse
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
  • Surprise character sightings

Disneyland Dining That Will Be Open –

  • Bengal Barbecue
  • Cafe Orleans
  • French Market Restaurant
  • Galactic Grill
  • Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor
  • Jolly Holiday Bakery Café
  • Little Red Wagon
  • Market House
  • Milk Stand
  • Mint Julep Bar
  • Plaza Inn — with modified service and menu
  • Red Rose Taverne
  • River Belle Terrace
  • Ronto Roasters
  • Ship to Shore Marketplace
  • Stage Door Cafe
  • The Tropical Hideaway
  • Churros, popcorn and ice cream carts

Disneyland Shops That Will Be Open –

  • Adventureland Bazaar
  • Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique — For merchandise only, no makeovers
  • Black Spire Outfitters
  • Candy Palace and Candy Kitchen
  • Creature Stall
  • Cristal d’Orleans
  • Crystal Arts
  • Disney Clothiers
  • Disney Showcase
  • Disneyana
  • Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities
  • Droid Depot
  • Emporium
  • First Order Cargo
  • It’s a Small World Toy Shop
  • Kaman’s Art Shoppe
  • Le Mascarade d’Orleans
  • Little Green Men Store Command
  • The Mad Hatter in Fantasyland
  • Main Street Magic Shop
  • Pieces of Eight
  • Pioneer Mercantile
  • Savi’s Workshop — Handbuilt Lightsabers
  • The Star Trader
  • Toydarian Toymaker
  • Balloons and glow carts

Disney California Adventure Attractions That Will Be Open –

  • Games of Pixar Pier
  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: Breakout
  • Incredicoaster
  • Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind
  • Jessie’s Critter Carousel
  • Jumpin’ Jellyfish
  • Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters
  • Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
  • Pixar Pal-A-Round
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Silly Symphony Swings
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • The Little Mermaid — Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
  • Toy Story Midway ManiaTurtle Talk with Crush
  • Games of Pixar Pier
  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: Breakout
  • Incredicoaster
  • Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind
  • Jessie’s Critter Carousel
  • Jumpin’ Jellyfish
  • Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters
  • Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
  • Pixar Pal-A-Round
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Silly Symphony Swings
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • The Little Mermaid — Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
  • Toy Story Midway ManiaTurtle Talk with Crush

Disney California Adventure Dining That Will Be Open –

  • Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats
  • Angry Dogs
  • Award Wieners
  • Carthay Circle Lounge — Alfresco Dining
  • Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill
  • Cozy Cone Motel – Cones 1-3
  • Cappuccino Cart
  • Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café
  • Flo’s V8 Café
  • Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop
  • Hollywood Lounge
  • Lamplight Lounge
  • Pacific Wharf Distribution Co.
  • Poultry Palace
  • Rita’s Bajas Blenders
  • Senor Buzz Churros
  • Smokejumpers Grill
  • Sonoma Terrace
  • Studio Catering Co.
  • Churros, popcorn and ice cream carts

Disney California Adventure Shops That Will Be Open –

  • Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff
  • Collector’s Warehouse
  • Disneyland Backlot Premiere Shop
  • Elias & Co.
  • Kaman’s Art Shoppe
  • Kingswell Camera Shop
  • Knick’s Knacks
  • Off the Page
  • Paradise Pier Sunglass Cart
  • Ramone’s House of Body Art
  • Rushin’ River Outfitters
  • Seaside Souvenirs
  • Studio Store
  • Trolley Treats
  • Balloons and glow carts

Disney also included a full list of attractions that will be closed across the Resort on opening day, many due to refurbishments.

Disneyland Closed Attractions –

  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • Chip ‘n Dale Treehouse
  • Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes
  • Disneyland Monorail
  • Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
  • Donald’s Boat
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
  • Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition
  • Goofy’s Playhouse
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Main Street Cinema
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Mickey’s House
  • Minnie’s House
  • Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
  • Sailing Ship Columbia
  • Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough
  • Star Wars Launch Bay
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats

Disney California Adventure Closed Attractions –

  • Animation Academy
  • Bakery Tour
  • Blue Sky Cellar
  • Disney Junior Live on Stage
  • Golden Zephyr
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Red Car Trolley
  • Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
  • Sorcerers Workshop

Based on rumors as to what types of attractions the State of California was going to allow to be open, the list of open attractions is much larger than I had expected.

Is there any one particular attraction that you missed the most and are really looking forward to experiencing?

Walt Disney World Updates Resort Hotel Opening Timeline

Since Walt Disney World re-opened to guests last July following the closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney has gradually been re-opening its resort hotels.

The following resort hotels are now open and accepting new reservations:

  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

With the opening of these hotels, Disney has taken a measured and deliberate approach to implement a number of health and safety measures based on guidance from various governmental authorities and health agencies.

Disney Resort Hotels Scheduled to Reopen—and Currently Accepting Reservations

Walt Disney World is planning to open the following resort hotels to booked Guests on the following dates. These Disney Resort hotels are currently accepting reservations.

May 30, 2021 Disney’s Beach Club Resort
June 6, 2021 Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Late July 2021 Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

While a re-opening date was previously shared for Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, it will remain closed until further notice, as the re-opening timeline continues to be re-evaluated.

Everyone needs to remember that future re-opening dates are subject to change and Guests’ reservations could still be modified to other Disney Resort hotels if needed.

Disney has stated that given the current situation, there are some Disney Resort hotels and other areas that are not, as of this time, being scheduled for re-opening yet.

Disney also has stated that they will continue to monitor the constantly changing environment and its impact on the state of Florida as they find the right time to welcome back even more Guests and Cast Members.

Disney Legend Jim Cora Dies at Age 83

Disney Legend, who began his Disney career at Disneyland in 1957 as a part-time attractions host polishing 3D glasses at the Mickey Mouse Club Theater and retired 43 years later as chairman of Disney International, passed away on March 21st at the age of 83.

Cora’s influence at the company was vast,  stretching around the globe from Disneyland to Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris, so much so that it took multiple windows dedicated in his honor on Main Street U.S.A. to capture all of his contributions.

According to the Orange County Register, Cora credited his rapid rise to company founder Walt Disney who set his career path in motion with a promotion into a training and development role. The boss sent the teenager over to the Disneyland administration building to find Disney University founder Van Arsdale France with the admonition: “Tell him Walt sent you. I think he may have something for you.”

Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products and former Disneyland resort president Josh D’Amaro called Cora one of the company’s last connections to Walt Disney.

Very few people have a Disney legacy that reaches as far and wide as Jim Cora,” D’Amaro said in a statement. “His dedication to bringing Disney magic to people around the world was only matched by the passion he exuded throughout his career and for the many years that followed. I always loved hearing Jim’s thoughts about our business. He was one of our last connections to Walt Disney and he will be missed dearly.

In 1971, Cora instituted the “Disney Way of Leadership” program at the Magic Kingdom with the opening of Walt Disney World.

Prior to the 1983 opening of Tokyo Disneyland, Cora was named managing director of operations for the that theme park.  He was then promoted to vice president of Walt Disney Productions Japan, overseeing Disney’s operational and design standards.

After Tokyo Disneyland, Cora was put in charge of master planning and site research for Euro Disneyland, which would later became known as Disneyland Paris.

In the 1990’s, Cora was responsible for the creative direction of Tokyo DisneySea. He retired as chairman of Disney International in 2001. Cora was named a Disney Legend in 2005.

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.

Imagineer Kevin Rafferty to Retire After 42 Years With Disney

Walt Disney Imagineering will be losing another legendary talent later this year when Kevin Rafferty retires after 42 years with the company.Rafferty, is the Imagineer who conceived, designed, wrote, and oversaw the creations of some of Disney Parks’ most memorable attractions and lands, announced in a memo to staff that he will retire from Walt Disney Imagineering, effective April 1, 2021

Following both the publication of his book, Magic Journey: My Fantastical Walt Disney Imagineering Career, and the opening of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway—the first-ever ride-through attraction to feature Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse—at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Rafferty says his nearly 43-year journey with Disney has reached its peak. “I wanted to go out at the top of my game, if you will,” he explains. “It just felt right.”

From D23 –

Rafferty will leave behind a legacy that few can rival—one that began with the incredibly talented Imagineers who mentored him who, in turn, led to the long list of those whom he inspired. “When I started, there were only two Disney parks in the world. It’s really been my honor, my pleasure, and my joy to be around and watch the expansion of the magic that Walt Disney Imagineering has made,” he says. “I’ve been there for all that. It’s been an amazing ride.”

 

Disney Legend Ron Dominguez Passes Away at Age 85

Disney Legend  and former executive vice president of Walt Disney Attractions, Ron Dominguez,  passed away early today, January 1, 2021. He was 85.

Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Josh D’Amaro released a statement –

We are saddened to have lost a very dear member of our family, Ron Dominguez.  Ron’s contributions to Disneyland are nearly incalculable. He was well-known among the cast and community throughout his tenure at the park and continued to show his support long after his retirement, guiding and mentoring leaders, including me, for decades. I am personally grateful for all that he has done for Disney, and want to express my deepest condolences to his family on behalf of every Disney Parks cast member around the world.

Known as a “native Disneylander,” Dominguez’s family originally owned and lived on 10 acres of the orange grove-covered property that was purchased by Walt Disney for his theme park in 1954.

Ron Dominguez retired in August 1994 after 39 years of service to The Walt Disney Company.

He was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2000 and has a window on Main Street, U.S.A at Disneyland park.

Imagineer Joe Rohde Retiring

Earlier today Imagineer Joe Rohde announced that he will be retiring from the Walt Disney Company.  Joe is most well known as the creator of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  Joe will retire from the company after a 40 year career and creator of some of Imagineering’s finest work, most recently as the lead on Pandora – The World of AVATAR. According to a post from fellow Imagineer Zach Riddley and current WDI lead for Walt Disney World, Joe will leave his position on January 4 2021.

On Instagram Joe posted –

I’m sure by now many of you have come across the news that I am retiring from Walt Disney Imagineering. It has been 40 years since I stepped foot in the door at age 25, not knowing anything about theme parks, Disney, or what it meant to work for a big company. Every day of my life since then has been a learning experience. I’m very glad to have had that opportunity, and proud of the work that has been done, not just by me, but by all my fellow Imagineers, and especially those who worked by my side over the decades. But 40 years is a long time, and this strange quiet time seems like a great opportunity to slip away without too much disruption. If I wait, I will once again be in the middle of another huge project and by the time that is done, I would be truly old. I’m not that old yet and there are things I want to do that cannot be done here. We encourage a culture of storytellers, not just amongst ourselves but among our guests and our fans, and because of this, there is a strong temptation to take this moment and turn it into a story. But what story? I think it’s a coming of age story. I started at Disney as a child, and I learned almost all my life lessons there, developed my confidence, recognized my skills and weaknesses, and went on to work with both… and do what could be done. I could stay forever, but that is like remaining in another kind of womb. I want to see what a grown man might be able to do on his own. This site here is not really for Disney. It’s for us. I imagine that there are many of you who I will be sad that I will no longer be a daily part of the Disney company, and there will be some of you who will drift away and no longer follow my ruminations because they feel they aren’t relevant. But I will still be here. And I will still be thinking about things, and doing things, and talking about things… Because that’s kind of what I do. I mentioned in my departure note and I will mention here again the tremendous debt that I owe to our guests and our fans who have been so generous. Working as an Imagineer has made me a good designer, but it is all of you who have made me a better person.

Winter Summerland Mini Golf to Re-Open at Walt Disney 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.