Walt Disney World announced today that the new flagship merchandise location at EPCOT will be called “Creations Shop” and will replace the former Mouse Gear. The new shop is scheduled to open this summer.
Creations Shop will feature a bold, sleek design that creates a perfect showcase for large variety of items you’ll find as part of the guest experience at EPCOT.
The new store will include a Mickey Mouse mural along the side wall and homages to him throughout the shop. These large dynamic murals will showcase the global, contemporary icon that Mickey has become for generations around the world.
According to Imagineer Zach Riddley –
Creations Shop features a bold, sleek design that creates a perfect showcase for the rich variety of items you’ll find as part of your EPCOT experience. It will be an open, bright, welcoming environment with huge glass walls that allow sunlight to pour in and make you feel like you’re in touch with nature even while indoors. We are using color, materials and light in new ways with some unique EPCOT touches that connect back to this park’s storied past while looking to the future.
Adjacent to the shop will be a revitalized Club Cool Hosted by Coca-Cola, which will also open this summer.
According to Disney –
This will celebrate Coca-Cola in a fresh new way, while keeping the fan-favorite experience that invites you to explore tasty drinks from around the world. This space will also have some new magic to bring the global experience of Coca-Cola to life for you.
Walt Disney World has just announced that it will be modifying its mask policy to slightly loosen the requirements for when masks must be worn at the theme parks.
The latest update will begin on April 8th. The update will allow guests to remove masks when they are taking photos outdoors while physically distanced.
Specifically the new policy states –
Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) and Cast Members, including those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming. You may temporarily remove your face covering while actively eating, drinking or taking an outdoor photo, but you must be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing during this time.
It is important to note that masks must be worn at all other times, in accordance with the original guidelines for the park’s reopening back in July of 2020.
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.
Today Walt Disney World announced on the Disney Parks Blog that beginning today, all guests with Apple devices will be able to enjoy the new convenient and contactless option for entering the theme parks and more, as part of the rollout of Disney MagicMobile service!
The new service is now available on the iPhone and Apple Watch and coming soon to other smart devices. Disney MagicMobile service will be an easy-to-use new way for guests to experience Walt Disney World.
It is important to note that the new service will not be replacing the MagicBand, but will offered in addition to other options such as the MagicBand.
Disney put out a few helpful tips to get started with Disney MagicMobile service:
Create A Customized Digital Pass: Guests can create a Disney MagicMobile pass through the My Disney Experience app and add it to the Wallet app on iPhone or the digital wallet on other smart devices. You can customize your pass by choosing from several Disney-themed designs that animate upon use (including special designs just for Annual Passholders and DVC Members)! For added ease, you may also store multiple passes on a single device, a great option for families.
Easily Enter the Parks and More: Simply hold your iPhone, Apple Watch, or other smart device near an access point when entering the parks or using other available features, just like you do with a MagicBand. With Express Mode on iPhone and Apple Watch, guests do not even need to wake or unlock their Apple device, or open up the app, to use their Disney MagicMobile pass. As a reminder, valid park admission and a park reservation are required for park entry and must be linked to your account.
Discover Other App Enhancements: We’ve also added a new feature in the My Disney Experience app that allows you to automatically link your Disney PhotoPass attraction photos and videos to your profile through your smartphone. Just confirm your settings in advance of riding at participating attractions. The My Disney Experience app also enables Disney Resort hotel guests to unlock their room door using our current digital room key feature.
Guests may use Disney MagicMobile service, a MagicBand or a card interchangeably.
MagicMobile is not currently available at the parking lot entry booths, but it is anticipated that it is going to happen in the near future.
Today Walt Disney began testing at the Magic Kingdom a new way for guests to enter the theme park through facial recognition.
The test is optional and will be conducted from today until April 23rd.
The new system employs a touchless system that is designed to eliminate the need for the fingerprint scanners that have been used for many years at the Walt Disney World.
The technology captures an image of a guest’s face and converts it into a unique number, which is then associated with the form of admission being used for park entry.
Children under 18 will need to be in the presence of their parents or guardian and have consent before participating in the test.
When visitors enter the park, they can enter through the lane designated for the test program. They must remove accessories, including hats, visors or sunglasses, and have their face mask on.
Here is Disney’s statement on how the data will be collected and how the information will be used –
At Walt Disney World Resort, we’re always looking for innovative and convenient ways to improve our Guests’ experience—especially as we navigate the impact of COVID-19.
With the future in mind and the shift in focus to more touchless experiences, we’re conducting a limited 30-day test using facial recognition technology (length of test subject to change). The technology we’re testing captures an image of a Guest’s face and converts it into a unique number, which is then associated with the form of admission being used for park entry. Participation in this test is optional. For those interested in volunteering to participate in this effort, please make sure you arrive with valid theme park admission and a Disney Park Pass reservation.
Earlier today Walt Disney World announced the next evolution of Disney MyMagic+ and the successor to the MagicBand, Disney MagicMobile.
Disney Magic Mobile will be launching in phases starting later this year. The service will be a convenient and contactless way to access MagicBand features like theme park entry through the power of your iPhone, Apple Watch or other smart device.
Guests will be able to create a Disney MagicMobile pass through the My Disney Experience app and add it to their smart device’s digital wallet. Most features will be available by just holding up the smart device near an access point, just like you do with a MagicBand.
Disney said that the service and its features will roll out first on Apple devices.
Guests may choose to use Disney MagicMobile service or a MagicBand, and can alternate between the two for added flexibility.
During today’s virtual Shareholders Annual meeting, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced the grand opening of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at EPCOT will be October 1st.
Chef Remy will help kick off “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” in Parisian style.
In this new attraction, guests will feel like they’ve shrunk to the size of Chef Remy as you scurry through Gusteau’s famous restaurant on a wild adventure for the whole family. I’m sure all parents will appreciate, this attraction will have no height requirement! Based on Disney and Pixar’s Academy Award-winning “Ratatouille,” the experience will be part of a newly expanded France pavilion inside EPCOT that will also open Oct. 1.
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.