As announced earlier, we know that the 2021 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays will see the return of the fan-favorite Candlelight Processional. We now know some of the celebrity narrators that will be appearing.
The list of celebrity narrators for this year’s Candlelight Processional will include Chita Rivera, Jodi Benson, Alton Fitzgerald White, Lisa Ling, Steven Curtis Chapman, Blair Underwood and Pat Sajak with more names being added over the coming weeks.
The dates that the narrators will appear are as follows –
Chita Rivera – November 29 through December 1
Jodi Benson – December 2 through December 4
Alton Fitzgerald White – December 5 through December 7
Lisa Ling – December 11 through December 13
Steven Curtis Chapman – December 23 through December 25
Blair Underwood – December 26 through December 28
Pat Sajak – December 29 through December 30
Disney also announced earlier today that dining packages for the 2021 Candlelight Processional at EPCOT will go on sale October 26th.
This year there will only be four restaurants participating.
Each package includes:
An appetizer, entrée and dessert or one (1) full buffet (where applicable), along with a non-alcoholic beverage
One (1) guaranteed seat per person to the Candlelight Processional held on the same day
Below is the list of participating restaurants along with prices –
Disney confirmed yesterday that Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind will open in 2022 at EPCOT. Disney did not offer a specific opening date.
In the announcement, Imagineer Zach Riddley said –
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, will debut in 2022. That’s right, our friends from Xandar will open the first ‘other-world’ showcase pavilion at EPCOT next year, inviting us on an intergalactic chase through space and time!
Here you see Imagineers Tom Fitzgerald and Scott Drake in the Galaxarium, which when completed will feature a planetarium-type presentation where the Xandarians show us their world, their people and their advanced technologies.
The new attraction will feature an innovation that we have not seen from Walt Disney Imagineering – a storytelling coaster that rotates 360 degrees to focus guests on the action, including the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster.
Be prepared for liftoff, because the Space 220 restaurant at EPCOT is scheduled to begin service in mid-September.
The Space 220 restaurant is located next to Mission: SPACE, and it will take fine dining to a whole new level. The immersive experience begins as guests check into the Space 220 Departure Lounge in Future World. From here, guests will board one of two “Space Elevators” that will transport guests in what will seem like 220 miles above Earth to Centauri Space Station. Guests will be able to look down through a viewport to see EPCOT shrink away; looking up they will see the Space Station come into view.
Once docked, guests will head through the themed dining area. Inside the dining area, everyone will eperience a panoramic view of Earth below, and a variety of work and leisure activities taking place beyond the windows of the Space Station-themed restaurant.
The Space 220 restaurant menu will feature stellar dishes and gourmet recipes, with a two-course prix fixe menu for lunch, and a three-course prix fixe menu for dinner.
There was no mention by Disney as to when reservations will be opening.
Space 220 was originally planned to open in 2019 but has seen numerous construction delays prior to COVID, and then was further delayed due to construction restrictions during COVID-19 as mitigation measures were in place.
Walt Disney World has announced that Cast Member previews for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure on August 19th. The previews will continue for more than two weeks.
Cast Member only previews begin on August 19th and run through to September 2nd. There will be an additional round of previews for Cast Member sweepstake winners, which will allow guests to accompany the Cast Member winners.
In addition to the cast member preview days, there will also bee Club 33 previews that will take place on September 3rd.
Disney Vacation Club previews are planned for September 5, 17, and 20. Dates for the now sold-out Annual Passholder preview include September 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 13, 15, 16, 23, 24, 27, 28.
Walt Disney World has opened registration for Annual Passholder previews of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure that will take place throughout September at EPCOT.
The dates listed for the Annual Passholder preview include September 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 13, 15, 16, 23, 24, 27, 28. It is important to note that Disney Park Pass reservations are not required for the previews.
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.
Panchito, José Carioca, and Donald Duck have returned to their rightful place at the finale of the Gran Fiesta Tour in the Mexico Pavilion after being fully restored.
The three audio-animatronic figures have been missing since the early part of the year because of a refurbishment. According to reports, the historic trio have been rebuilt from the ground up using the latest technology to replace components that were originally made by hand nearly 50 years ago.
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.