Important 2021 Disney News You Should Know
We’re barely ten weeks into 2021, yet Disney has already tossed out a staggering amount of information.
You probably haven’t kept up with all of it, which is why you should read MickeyBlog News each week!
I understand that you may have missed some stuff, though.
So, here are seven significant Disney updates that have already happened in 2021!
Park Passes Here to Stay
When Walt Disney World plotted its reopening, park officials surprised everyone with an unexpected announcement.
Disney needed to limit park attendance to ensure social distancing measures.
As part of that strategy, the company introduced Park Passes. At the time, everyone expected them to be temporary.
Well, we’re eight months past reopening, and nothing has changed.
Recently, Disney extended the window for Park Passes into early 2023!
The Park Pass window’s length suggests that it’s semi-permanent and makes these items a necessary part of a Disney visit.
Now, the company might have done that to eliminate short-term questions. Let’s presume that they’re here for a while, though.
Face Masks Will Remain This Year
Here’s the other pandemic topic that isn’t going away anytime soon.
While Disney has seen the uptick in vaccinations around the country, CEO Bob Chapek doesn’t expect any pandemic policies to change in 2021.
The face-covering rules in place should last throughout the year. Chapek did indicate that he expects them to go away in 2022.
Also, this decision isn’t as finite as you might expect. Disney would love to normalize park visits as soon as possible.
Once the country achieves herd immunity, the parks could eliminate face mask rules.
The most optimistic projections indicate this could happen by the summer, while even cautious ones suggest the fall.
President Biden recently indicated that the country could have enough vaccinations for every adult in America by the end of May, which would help.
So, Disney has sidestepped the conversation a bit by firmly stating the face coverings are here to stay, even as it eyes a better tomorrow.
Then, the company can look heroic with a surprise announcement later that it’s suspending the rule.
As such, you should plan on face masks throughout 2021 and then feel pleasantly surprised if something changes.
Really, that statement applies to society, not just Disney visits.
Face Mask Changes
While we’re on the subject of face mask policies, Disney changed a rule the other day.
Some guests were misbehaving at restaurants. They would sit down for a meal, remove their face coverings and then behave boisterously.
Drunken guests had grown especially problematic, at least in some isolated instances.
They’d sit at a table for an hour or more, spraying droplets while they ate, drank, and shouted.
These actions jeopardized cast members and guests alike.
Even though Disney requires temperature checks at every park and restaurant, someone could feasibly spread Coronavirus.
So, Disney has tightened its rules to enhance the safety of all involved.
As of now, you must wear your facemask at Walt Disney World, even when you’re readying to eat or drink.
According to the updated policy, you may only remove your mask when you’re ready to put something in your mouth.
In other words, you should remain conscientious of others while you dine.
You take your mask down when you want to eat or drink. Once you’re done, you replace your mask.
The rules update is the right thing to do, and I know cast members wanted this change.
At least two vented to me about the problem during my most recent visit.
As always, the troublemakers force rule changes that apply to everyone.
2022 Bookings Available
As you’ll see in a moment, the next two years matter significantly at Walt Disney World.
The Orlando campus will celebrate its 50th anniversary starting on October 1st.
Disney plans to throw a party that will last for 18 months! Obviously, all diehard fans will want to go, too.
So, the company has already released 2022 bookings to guests.
You can already contact MickeyTravels and plan your Disney vacation next year!
Obviously, you should do that right now to beat the rush. Once the pandemic slows, Disney surveys suggest unprecedented demand.
Combined with the daily birthday parties, guests will possess plenty of reasons to visit Walt Disney World.
If you wait on your plans, you might get shut out.
Magic Kingdom Openings and Closings
Your favorite theme park is undergoing plenty of changes as it prepares for the big party.
For instance, Imagineers delivered a new paint job to Cinderella Castle, emphasizing gold and royal blue in the design.
Park visitors will care just as much about the attractions and a lot’s going on there.
The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover recently marked a calendar year since it closed for renovations.
Disney has indicated that it’ll return at the start of April, but the comeback keeps getting delayed.
Meanwhile, several other attractions have already closed for renovations and reopened. Splash Mountain and Mad Tea Party fall into this category.
Others, like It’s a Small World and Peter Pan’s Flight, have received cosmetic refurbishments without closing.
Finally, Disney emptied the Rivers of America at Magic Kingdom last year. I’m happy to report that the water flows once again.
Yes, Tom Sawyer Island has reopened, and the Liberty Square Riverboat has started sailing once more, too.
The Walt Disney World Railroad has caused the biggest stir since it’s been closed since 2018.
Imagineers needed to lay the tracks for Tron Lightcycle Power Run, which has since suffered delays.
Park officials indicated that the roller coaster won’t open until 2022 or later, leaving the railroad service’s return in limbo for the time being.
Attractions Coming Soon
Speaking of attractions coming soon, we have at least one that could open anytime now.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at EPCOT’s France pavilion is ready to go. Disney’s just waiting on the all-clear for pandemic numbers.
Literally any day that you pull up MickeyBlog over the next three months, you could read that this ride has opened!
Similarly, the Harmonious construction at the World Showcase is kinda hard to miss. The giant barges have taken their place in the lagoon.
This show should debut in 2021, hopefully over the next six months. Also, Space 220, the outer space restaurant, should open soon, too.
Meanwhile, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind suffered a delay into 2022. So, it won’t join Ratatouille this year.
Similarly, the Moana water feature and PLAY! pavilion won’t debut in 2021, either.
Still, we will get the long-anticipated Ratatouille ride and an accompanying French crêperie soon!
Okay, here’s the news I hope you haven’t missed. Disney has confirmed some of its plans for the 50th anniversary party.
The buzz word for this year is EARidescent, as Magic Kingdom will emphasize these bold colors throughout the year.
Mickey and Minnie Mouse will celebrate their 50th birthday in style by wearing EARidescent outfits that match Cinderella Castle.
Also, that landmark will look different starting in October.
Imagineers have invented a new trick that will make Cinderella Castle appear brimming with Pixie Dust! The artist’s renderings are dazzling.
The other theme parks at Walt Disney World will similarly display some EARidescent illuminations on their iconic landmarks.
The Hollywood Tower Hotel will once again feature digital projections commemorating this special occasion.
Fireflies will sparkle around the trunk and branches at the Tree of Life, adding a dose of magic to an already-spectacular visual.
Finally, Spaceship Earth will introduce a permanent change to its appearance.
Imagineers developed a luminous custom lighting display that turns the entire globe into a radiant…disco ball. It’ll be incredible, I swear.
So, you’ve got plenty of reason to visit for the 50th anniversary. However, if you can’t make it on October 1st, that’s okay!
Disney announced that the celebration will last for 18 months! You’ll have through March of 2023 to enjoy these festivities!
Feature Image Rights: Disney