MickeyBlog News for July 27, 2020
The Walt Disney Company has just suffered through a crazy week. We’ve got armed diaper bags, malfunctioning Audio-Animatronics, and a group marathon that has gone digital.
I’ll explain everything in the latest edition of MickeyBlog News.
What’s Worse Than Diapers?
EPCOT is currently testing a new security system, and the early results are quite positive.
Park guests enjoy the convenience of the new process. However, some have worried about the accuracy of the new setup.
Well, everyone can rest easier, as EPCOT security worked perfectly the other day.
A Georgia couple visited the park. For some reason, they thought that bringing a loaded gun to the security area was a good idea.
Disney officials noticed the weapon and proceeded to do a thorough bag check, during which they found a small amount of cannabis.
While pot is legal in some states, it’s not in either Florida or Georgia.
A humorous moment occurred during the search, at least if you can find the funny in someone trying to bring guns to Walt Disney World.
The male asked to change his child’s diaper. Before the security guards allowed this, they wisely checked the diaper bag.
Sure enough, Junior didn’t need a diaper change. Instead, papa was trying to get rid of a second gun that the couple had stored in the diaper bag.
Don’t let movies and television fool you, my friends. Most criminals are hapless idiots.
Thankfully, Disney’s competent staff deescalated the situation and prevented the firearms from entering the park.
Everything in the security system worked as it should. And that couple went to jail rather than Spaceship Earth.
Project Tomorrow Closed
Speaking of Disney’s signature attraction, the experience is a bit different right now.
Last week, EPCOT reopened with some modified amenities due to the pandemic.
Park officials disabled almost all high-touch elements to reduce the risk of infection.
Oddly, the exit area for Spaceship Earth reopened, though.
Fans of the attraction – and it’s my favorite at Walt Disney World – have spent plenty of time at Project Tomorrow.
When guests depart their Spaceship Earth time-traveling ride carts, they walk down to the Project Tomorrow area.
There, they experience plenty of interactive activities. Alas, these amenities are high touch.
Park officials tried to operate parts of Project Tomorrow last week. Unfortunately, they quickly realized this plan wasn’t working.
So, the activities of Project Tomorrow are totally unavailable right now.
This situation could change at a moment’s notice, though. Keep checking MickeyBlog for updates.
Strange Times at the Mexico Pavilion
Have you visited the Mexico pavilion since it reopened at EPCOT?
If so, you know that some of the shops haven’t returned yet. Park officials have chosen this strategy for two reasons.
The first involves capacity limits at the parks, reducing the number of potential customers.
The other involves the centralized nature of the Mexico pavilion. Many of the shops share the same design as a bazaar, which makes the space tight.
To maintain social distancing, Disney has chosen not to bring back all its shops.
Unfortunately, this decision comes with layoffs. Specifically, the Palmas Restaurant Group has let many of its employees go.
Palmas owns and operates La Hacienda Restaurant, San Angel Inn Restaurant, and La Cava del Tequila.
Even though EPCOT is back, the guest throughput isn’t enough for Palmas to maintain its full staffing totals from pre-2020.
Also at the Mexico Pavilion, Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros suffered an embarrassing but hysterical incident this week.
Our friend Nick at Magical News Live went viral with this tweet:
— MagicalNewsLIVE (@MagicalNewsLIVE) July 21, 2020
No, you’re not imagining things. We have a Caballero down. Repeat. WE HAVE A CABALLERO DOWN!!!
Cast members removed the malfunctioning Jose, but two Caballeros is still pretty good, right?
runDisney at Home
Many 2020 exhibitions have had to cancel or modify their proceedings due to Coronavirus.
We just finished Comic-Con@Home, the first ever digital version of the longstanding event.
Now, Disney has had to change the 2020 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. It won’t take place at Walt Disney World this year.
Instead, guests can run the marathon wherever they wish. Disney suggests that you can run at a local track, a racing trail, or even in your own home.
Whatever way you choose, you’ll still receive the same package as if you attended the event in person.
You’ll get a t-shirt and medal for any events that you complete. Of course, you also have the option to request a refund.
If you choose to go that way, you won’t get the achievement swag, but you will get your money back.
Disney asks that you decide by August 5th.
Other Theme Park Changes
I’m going to jam together several different theme parks here for the sake of brevity.
Disneyland Resort has followed the lead of Walt Disney World by updating the face mask policy.
Disneyland has clarified that gaiter-style masks aren’t acceptable.
Also, guests can no longer walk around with their face masks down, even if they’re eating or drinking.
Some visitors had abused this policy, thereby jeopardizing the health of others. So, Disneyland adapted just as Walt Disney World had last week.
Another park change occurred at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, home to the most popular attraction of 2020.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance claims such high demand that park officials have offered Boarding Groups, virtual queues intended to satisfy demand.
When Hollywood Studios reopened, park officials switched the policy such that guests could book Boarding Groups three times daily.
Well, that caused capacity issues at the attraction. So, Disney has altered the distribution system.
You can now try to schedule a Boarding Group at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily.
So, your chances have gone down by 50 percent. They’re still twice as good as they were before the pandemic, though.
The other Disney news involves Disney Cruise Line.
As expected, cruise officials have accepted the reality of the industry and canceled all voyages through the end of December.
The CDC unveiled a No Sail Order earlier this year and has extended it multiple times. Disney will continue to honor this request.
Also, I rarely talk about Universal Orlando Resort in this forum, but I know many of you are passionate about its scariest offering.
Sadly, the 2020 version of Halloween Horror Nights won’t happen due to the pandemic. It’s the right call, of course. Still, I sympathize with those of you who are HHN fanatics.
Okay, that’s the news for this week. However, I want to leave you with a lovely distraction.
Disney’s YouTube channel posted this bit of magic on July 24th.
This performance should add a bit of magic in your life.
Stay healthy and smart, my friends.