MickeyBlog News for June 14, 2020
As The Walt Disney Company continues to prep for the reopening of its parks, lots of updates are coming at a dizzying pace.
This time, we’ve even learned about the reopening of the Happiest Place on Earth. You’re going to love the latest edition of MickeyBlog News.
Disneyland Is Back
With Walt Disney World returning in July, we all knew that Disneyland would follow soon afterward.
Indeed, Disneyland will reopen on July 17th, a date that is significant for more than just the park’s return.
July 17th is also the 65th anniversary of the place that Uncle Walt dreamed into reality. So, Disneyland comes back just in time to celebrate its anniversary.
I can’t help but wonder whether Disney had circled this date all along. Also, all those rumors that both parks would remain closed until 2021 seem ludicrous now.
As things stand, both parks will operate for eight out of twelve months in 2020, which feels like a best-case scenario result.
About Disneyland’s Return
You should understand a few aspects of the return. For starters, Disney’s employing a phased reopening.
Downtown Disney will kick off the proceedings on July 9th. Eight days later, Disney California Adventure and Disneyland will return, too.
Oddly, two Disney resorts won’t reopen until July 23rd. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel come back then.
That’s not even the strangest part. Disneyland Hotel won’t reopen with the rest of the Disneyland Resort.
Thus far, park officials haven’t indicated a return date for the oldest Disneyland hotel. This statement could change at any moment – probably five minutes after I publish this.
However, Disney’s currently stating that the other resorts receive priority treatment.
As with Walt Disney World, Disneyland will require park reservations for admission. Again, the company hasn’t announced specifics about this process.
Currently, all we know is that even annual passholders will need to book reservations.
Also, parades and nighttime presentations aren’t part of the reopening phase. Disney will bring these events back at a later date.
To allow for all these changes, Disneyland has made another change. The parks have temporarily stopped selling tickets and annual passes.
In fact, current passholders can’t even renew right now. Disney’s bracing for significant systemic changes. So, these temporary moves make sense.
Disneyland will also employ an entirely new reservation system when it reopens.
Park officials indicate that it’s the same one already in place at Shanghai Disneyland. Walt Disney World will use it, too.
So, the three parks will align in how they accept guest bookings for a while. That’s a first in Disney history.
Finally, Josh D’Amaro penned a letter about the upcoming park reopening process, which you can read here.
Walt Disney World Updates
Even though the parks will reopen only a week apart, Walt Disney World is currently well ahead of its counterpart in terms of organization.
Disney has released another batch of updates and requests about the reopening process.
For starters, if you’re staying at a Disney resort over the next month, the company has a polite request.
Disney wants you to confirm or cancel your reservations by June 25th for any stay through July 11th. You have the option to modify, as well.
As a reminder, Disney’s not charging any modification or cancellation fees during the pandemic. So, there’s no downside for you to do as Disney asks.
Speaking of which, we can tell that Disney’s serious about reopening because Magic Bands orders and shipments are underway again.
The company had temporarily disabled the Magic Band selection process while the parks weren’t in use. It’s joyous to watch Disney ramping production up again.
Disney Safety Updates
Of course, park officials understand that some guests share concerns regarding health and safety during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Disney released the above video to clarify what guests should expect during their next hotel stay.
As part of these changes, Disney implores guests to utilize online check-in. This way, you can enter your hotel room without ever entering the hotel lobby.
For that matter, you can even unlock your hotel door using MyDisneyExperience!
This technology seemed like a pointless flex when Disney introduced it. Now, contactless door unlock is a seminal feature.
Yes, you’ll still need to use your hands to open the door, but you’ve got hand sanitizer for that reason, right? Even if you don’t, Disney will have plenty available.
In fact, the YouTube video shows sanitizer stations by elevators, which I’m hopeful is a standard practice.
Similarly, Disney indicates that it’ll bag remotes to keep them sanitary. You may not know this, but hotel room remote controls are about the nastiest germ carriers anywhere.
Another request is that guests employ contactless payment whenever possible. By doing so, cast members don’t have to touch cash or even credit cards.
Disney’s also testing a potential game-changer. Some images have surfaced of contactless security gates.
If Disney implements this system, you will walk through the gates without even slowing down.
The security system can identify whether you’re armed and dangerous. If Disney switches to contactless security gates, park entry will go faster than ever!
Finally, Katie Kelly, the Vice-President of Worldwide Safety Services at Disney Parks, released an update. You can read the full message on the Parks Blog.
There’s so much Disney news right now that I often worry that I’m overwhelming you with information.
So, I’ll close this week with a few quick hitters.
For Disney+ fans, the most exciting news involves The One and Only Ivan.
Based on the popular children’s book, this movie appeared poised to become a sleeper hit for Disney. Alas, the pandemic has shut down those plans.
Disney has decided to skip the theatrical release for the film. Instead, The One and Only Ivan will debut on Disney+ on August 21st.
This summer, Artemis Fowl, Hamilton, and The One and Only Ivan will debut on Disney+ in June, July, and August.
That’s three potentially lucrative theatrical releases that Disney will instead use to pump up the Disney+ service.
At the parks, the big news is that professional sports are coming to Walt Disney World.
Major League Soccer has confirmed its intentions and thereby solved a mystery. The Swan and Dolphin Hotels weren’t accepting bookings for July, even though Disney was.
Apparently, soccer is the reason. The players will stay at these two resorts.
Given their proximity to EPCOT, I can’t help but wonder if a player will accidentally take a boat that leads straight to the park.
Speaking of that area, Disney has confirmed that Stormalong Bay won’t reopen with Disney’s Beach Club Resort.
As an act of contrition, Disney will allow guests at this resort to use the pool at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn.
Finally, Disney released this powerful video, which you should watch:
Feature Image Rights: Disney