Magic Kingdom Park Hours Extended in July

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 Adds Dates for ‘Disney After Hours Boo Bash’

Walt Disney World announced today that due to popular demand during the early-purchase period for guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, Disney will be adding five new dates for the event: 
 
Sunday, September 5
Sunday, September 12
Sunday, September 19
Sunday, October 10
Sunday, October 17
 
These dates will be available when tickets go on sale June 15th.

Walt Disney World to Eliminate Mask Policy in Theme Parks June 15th

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

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.

PHYSICAL DISTANCING

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.

 

Walt Disney World Reveals More Details for “Disney After Hours Boo Bash”

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.

Entertainment –

  • 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.

Magic Kingdom Baby Care Center Moving to Temporary Location During Refurbishment

Some very important news for guests with little ones…

The Baby Care Center at the Magic Kingdom which is located near the Crystal Palace restaurant will be closing in May while it undergoes a refurbishment.  The center will be moving to a temporary location while the work occurs.

The location is scheduled to close on May 2nd.  The temporary location will be located in the Tomorrowland AAA Lounge next to the Carousel of Progress.

The Baby Care Center is expected to re-open in the fall at the original location on Main Street U.S.A. with an updated interior with more capacity and new theming.

Mobile Order at Walt Disney World Expands to Magic Kingdom Snack Kiosks

Starting today some snack locations are joining Mobile Order at the Magic Kingdom.   This will allow guests to order some of their favorite snack directly from their phone.

The new locations are Sunshine Tree Terrace, The Friar’s Nook and Sleepy Hollow.

As a reminder, Mobile Order allows guests to pay for meals on-the-go within the My Disney Experience app, thereby bypassing the queue to order at the restaurant.

When using the app, guests can select menu items, customize an order and pre-pay for a meal.

After arriving at the restaurant, all guests have to do is tap an “I’m here” button in the app.  This will notify the kitchen to prepare the meal. When ready, guests will be alerted via the app to pick up the meal at a designated window.

I personally love Mobile Order and use it whenever I can.

Walt Disney World Updates Mask Policy

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.

Disney MagicMobile Launches on Apple Devices for All Guests

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.

Walt Disney World Begins Test of Facial Recognition for Park Entrance

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.

Courtesy of WDWMAGIC

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.

Courtesy of WDWMAGIC

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.

Walt Disney World to Replace Extra Magic Hours with Early Theme Park Entry

Walt Disney World announced today that they will be discontinuing Extra Magic Hours.  Disney will replace EMH with Early Theme Park Entry.

Early Theme Park Entry will debut later in 2021. The new early entry program will give Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests 30 minutes early access to any theme park, every day. Disney has stated that the change will allow a better spread of visitation across all four theme parks and will give guests better flexibility.

When it was running prior to its suspension following the COVID-19 shutdown, Extra Magic Hours offered 3 hours of extended operating hours in the evening, and an hour in the morning. However, the option was restricted to a specific theme park on a specific day.