MickeyBlog News for December 17, 2019
A new parade and a new show receive official opening dates, Disney’s Hollywood Studios juggles its hours, the voice of a beloved Disney character passes away, and a fire breaks out under the Big Top. Disney’s having an exciting December. Let’s talk about it in the latest edition of MickeyBlog News.
Magic Happens Is Only Two Months Away!!!
Disneyland fans, this is not a drill! Imagineers rarely create an entirely new parade, but that’s what they’ve done at the Happiest Place on Earth. Park officials detailed the remarkable parade floats during the 2019 D-23 Expo, and now they’re almost ready to debut!
Disney has confirmed the official opening date of Magic Happens as February 28th, 2020. Starting then, you’ll get to watch the state-of-the-art Moana, Coco, and Frozen floats among many others.
You’ll definitely want to stay until the end of this parade. The final float tells a Happily Ever After story about Cinderella, Prince Charming, and the Fairy Godmother!
I’m not exaggerating when I say that Magic Happens might be the most prominent new Disneyland parade since the Main Street Electrical Parade debuted! You certainly need to plan a trip to Anaheim to watch it.
Cirque du Soleil Returns to Disney Springs
Since the 2017 D-23 Expo, we’ve known that a new Cirque du Soleil show will arrive at Disney Springs. The current facility closed its previous show, La Nouba, on the last day of 2017. Since then, Disney and Cirque du Soleil fans alike have anxiously anticipated the new presentation.
This week, we learned the name of the latest Cirque du Soleil offering. It’s called Drawn to Life, and the world’s most famous circus states that it will honor the distinguished heritage of Disney animation. It’s not far away from opening, either.
Previews will begin on March 20th, with an official debut on April 17th. Anyone planning to visit Walt Disney World this year should strongly consider tickets. La Nouba dazzled guests for years, and the buzz about Drawn to Life indicates that it’s possibly the best Cirque du Soleil show ever.
Fire at Big Top Souvenirs
Every once in a while, Disney suffers a snafu. Each incident reminds us of how much Disney does right daily. Even though the company operates hundreds of attractions, parks run without incident almost every day.
During 2019, all of the glitches had involved transportation. However, that changed this week. Big Top Souvenirs and Pete’s Silly Sideshow closed for a time due to “technical difficulties.” Apparently, that’s an industry term for “had a fire.”
Yes, Big Top Souvenirs, a gift shop, somehow suffered an overnight fire. Thankfully, Disney contained it quickly, but cast members have described the damage as significant. Park officials have improvised.
Some of the characters from Pete’s Silly Sideshow have temporarily relocated outside of the building. They’re holding sporadic character interactions in this area. You may check My Disney Experience for times, but it’s safest to stroll through New Fantasyland. If no characters are there, ask a helpful cast member when they will hold court.
René Auberjonois Dies
Remember in The Little Mermaid when that jerk of a French chef tries to cook Sebastian? Okay, you probably hated that dude, but you still found him entertaining. His song, Les Poissons, is one of the great Disney villain tunes in the modern era.
The gifted actor who voiced that character was René Auberjonois. This man first came to fame as part of the cast of Benson but then later appeared as a regular on Boston Legal and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, among others.
Sadly, Auberjonois died of lung cancer this week. I recommend that you play The Little Mermaid on Disney+ in his memory.
Beaches & Cream Finally Returns
I’ve got fantastic news for guests spending Christmas week at Disney’s Beach Club Resort! The most beloved restaurant at the hotel will finally return in a matter of days.
Yes, Disney just announced that Beaches & Cream will open on December 26th. Even better, the remodeled restaurant will feature more seating and new menu items.
Importantly, the restaurant will have better tables for large parties, a problem before the recent expansion. So, anyone staying at this hotel during Christmas week will get a present the day after Christmas, too. Kitchen Sinks for everyone!
Changes to the DVC Points Chart
Are you a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) member? The program’s not for everyone, but many diehard Disney fans have purchased DVC points since the program started in 1991. I’m one of them!
Those of us who are members just received an unexpected bit of news last week. At the annual DVC meeting, Disney released the 2021 DVC Points Chart. It shows some surprising changes.
The most significant difference in 2021 involves the seasons. Historically, DVC has divided the Points Chart into a maximum of five seasons. However, during the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World, the Points Chart includes seven different “Travel Periods,” the new description for seasons.
Disney wants DVC members to spend more time at the parks during less-trafficked days. So, the company has rewritten the Points Chart to entice guests to visit on these dates. It’s a significant change, but it could help to control traffic in 2021, which should be a record-breaking year for Walt Disney World attendance.
Hollywood Studios Extra Magic Hours Changes
Let’s finish this week’s news with a few items involving Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge recently opened Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance to the public. And the popularity of this attraction has forced park officials to adjust operating hours almost daily.
Guests have shown up several hours before the park’s opening. Disney has admitted people into the park as early as 6:30 am to siphon off some of the crowds. Rise of the Resistance has become such a massive draw that Disney only allows anyone to ride it once daily.
You must access a digital boarding pass on the My Disney Experience app to get in line for this attraction. Since Disney knows whether you’ve gotten a pass yet, it can prevent people from riding it repeatedly throughout the day. The benefit is that more guests get to enjoy Rise of the Resistance daily.
To address the situation even more, Hollywood Studios will open at 7 am throughout the next week and possibly longer. While unofficial, the park may keep these hours through the end of 2019 to address holiday demand. The rest of the year represents the most crowded park period on the annual calendar. So, the move makes sense.
Hollywood Studios will also add Extra Magic Hours during the evenings on some nights. You can read Disney’s official calendar to check whether these hours will be available on your date.
The one main point here is simple. Rise of the Resistance doesn’t work like other attractions at Walt Disney World. You can’t just show up and wait in line as long as it takes. You must do a bit of planning for this one, and you’ll need to show up at the park long before it opens to book a boarding pass.
The ride is totally worth this extra bit of aggravation, though. It’s unquestionably the best attraction in the world today.