MickeyBlog News for October 12, 2020
Heading into this past week, I thought the most acrimonious divorce of the year would involve Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.
Nope, the actual answer is Disneyland and the state of California.
I’ll recount as much of the rage as I can in the latest MickeyBlog News update.
Hey You, Let’s Fight
Simpsons fans know that the above quote’s correct response is, “Dem’s fightin’ words!” However, that cartoonish bit may not fit here.
So, let’s use The Untouchables instead. “They send one of ours to the hospital, we send one of theirs to the morgue.”
I…hadn’t expected ever to use this quote in MickeyBlog News, but here we are.
When last we spoke, I’d mentioned that Disney had unleashed tons of political pressure on the governor of California.
Bob Iger had also quit a bipartisan reopening group to express his displeasure with the governor.
Most people, myself included, had hoped that the elected official would re-evaluate his position and take a more reconciliatory approach.
Instead, the governor stabbed a guy with a trident. Yes, that escalated quickly.
Folks, California’s governor just effectively came out and said that Disneyland wouldn’t reopen anytime soon.
I’m trying to use humor here to reduce the negativity, but here’s the quote:
“We don’t anticipate in the immediate term any of these larger parks opening until we see more stability in terms of the data.”
Disney just applied all the political pressure at its disposal. The governor returned fire by saying he didn’t care what anybody else thought.
Disneyland will remain closed for now. This isn’t the resolution I’d expected, and I’m frankly taken aback.
Making Sense of the Unexplainable
We’ve got a lot to unpack here. So, let’s discuss the knowns.
California is currently in a photo finish with Texas for total COVID-19 infections. The Golden State has reported more than 850,000 cases.
So, two percent of the population has suffered from COVID-19. Nearly 17,000 citizens have died from an infection. And those numbers surge during an outbreak.
Hospitals grow overwhelmed, reducing the number of available medical devices necessary for a full recovery.
We’d all like to believe that the worst is over. However, the entire West Wing of the White House just experienced an outbreak. If that place has it, nowhere is safe.
Meanwhile, California’s recent Coronavirus numbers have increased. The governor fears the possibility of another significant outbreak.
However, the man indicates that he will follow the science. Not all scientists agree with him.
The Orange County Health Care Agency countered the governor’s announcement with its own recommendation.
The healthcare team believes that Disneyland can operate safely, and it has an argument.
At Walt Disney World, health officials haven’t tracked a single outbreak.
In fact, the NBA season has nearly finished, yet no one in the Disney Bubble has tested positive for COVID-19.
Contrast that to the National Football League and Major League Baseball, both of which had to delay games due to team outbreaks.
To be fair, the other side of the argument has support as well.
Here’s a recent newspaper comment about the situation:
“The next few weeks will be crucial in seeing whether California can keep case numbers and hospitalizations down even as officials continue to reopen the economy.”
Last Disneyland Fight Club Section, I Swear
I could legitimately write an article a day this week, litigating both sides of the argument. However, I want to highlight one of the most significant replies to the governor.
Disney’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Pamela Hymel, tweeted the following:
— Disney Parks News (@DisneyParksNews) October 8, 2020
The entire reply provides insight into Disney’s pandemic-related processes.
The crucial takeaway is:
“The fact is, that since March we have taken a robust science-based approach to responsibly reopening our parks and resorts across the globe.”
Disney officials appear actively offended by the inference that they wouldn’t take care of guests’ safety.
Coincidentally or not, the company introduced free COVID-19 testing for Disneyland cast members. Here’s Hymel’s quote:
“We have finalized a plan for all working Cast Members of the Disneyland Resort to have access to free, easily accessible testing options.”
Park officials are doing everything possible to protect cast members while keeping California’s governor on the defensive.
The unfortunate side effect of this protracted standoff involves Disneyland cast members.
California unions have confirmed the loss of thousands of jobs. Now, it’s naïve to think that Disney wouldn’t have performed layoffs anyway.
Business has dropped too much for the company to maintain its entire staff. However, a reopened Disneyland would have saved at least some of these jobs.
Okay, that’s enough discussion about the negatives. Let’s emphasize the positive for the rest of this!
Disney has confirmed that Dapper Day will happen in 2020!
The event will occur at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on November 21st and Magic Kingdom on November 22nd.
Then, Disneyland will receive its own Dapper Day on April 11th, with the Dapper Day Expo starting on April 10th.
(Yes, cynical folks, the park should reopen by then.)
Walt Disney World will hold another Dapper Day duo on April 24th and 25th. However, nobody has confirmed the participating parks yet.
Since you’ll still need a Park Pass on these dates, that’s an important announcement yet to occur.
Disney has also added some park hours at Walt Disney World. Select dates from now through the end of the year include an extra hour.
You’ll need to check your travel dates and compare them to the official park calendar to tell whether you’ll get more park time.
For those of you visit EPCOT in early November, I have some potentially impactful news.
Frozen Ever After will undergo a five-day refurb starting on November 2nd.
So, if you’re like me and will be in the middle of your trip, you may need to juggle Park Passes.
We’ve also got three quick restaurant updates. ABC Commissary has returned, and MickeyBlog was the first one there!
First guests back at ABC Commissary. Got a standing Ovation from CMs. They are so happy to be back! We LOVE this place! #WaltDisneyWorld #hollywoodstudios @WaltDisneyWorld @ pic.twitter.com/cpk0Sykczd
— MickeyBlog (@MickeyBlog_) October 8, 2020
The Lunching Pad has also reopened. When you get a Mickey Pretzel, tell them I said hi.
Finally, Chef Mickey’s will bring back its character meal on December 16th. It’ll feature new menu items, too! Yes, everyone’s happy place is almost back to normal.
Disney’s movie team wasn’t messing around last week. They got stuff DONE.
Friends, I can tell you what I’m doing on Christmas Day this year.
Since I can’t go outside, I’ll spend the morning watching the Disney Christmas Parade on ABC.
Then, I’ll load My Disney Experience and watch a Pixar movie. Specifically, I’m gonna watch Pixar’s Soul, and I won’t pay extra for it.
As a Christmas gift to all Disney+ subscribers, Soul will debut on the service on December 25th.
Unlike Mulan, Soul won’t be part of the Premier Access service. Disney’s just gonna give the film away to standard subscribers.
So, as long as you have Disney+ on Christmas, you can watch Soul! That’s an incredibly thoughtful decision by the company.
In what is technically Sony, not Disney, news, Doctor Stephen Strange will appear in the sequel to Spider-Man: Far from Home.
Benedict Cumberbatch will re-join his space buddy, Tom Holland, in the third Spider-Man MCU movie. Hopefully, they don’t get turned to dust this time.
Finally, in a move I’ve awaited for decades now, Disney has realized that it should make a Space Mountain film.
Yes, the next Disney film franchise taking inspiration from a Disney attraction will transport us all to Starport 75.
Space Mountain the movie immediately becomes one of the most exciting projects on Disney’s release schedule.
Presumably, the company’s satisfaction with the upcoming Jungle Cruise release played heavily into this (long overdue) decision.
Okay, that’s everything for now. Have a great week, everyone!