MickeyBlog News for April 12, 2021
Trader Sam has died so that Disneyland may live again. Or something like that.
Look, there’s so much going on at Disney right now that it’s hard to reduce to quick quips. Let’s catch up with it all in MickeyBlog News!
So Much Disneyland News
Disneyland reopens in less than three weeks. With the date fast approaching, park officials have revealed several exciting tidbits.
First of all, Jungle Cruise won’t reopen with the rest of the park, a story that actually ties back to something else at Walt Disney World.
Magic Kingdom guests couldn’t help but notice that Trader Sam vanished the other day.
The famous character from Jungle Cruise has left…whatever island that was for good. He’s officially retired from the attraction.
Presumably, the same changes are underway at Disneyland’s version of Jungle Cruise.
Rather than reopen the attraction, only to close it later or work on it openly in front of guests, Disney chose to keep Jungle Cruise shut down. It’s the right call.
The other vital piece of Disneyland information involves Park Passes. Yes, you’ll need one to visit for the foreseeable future.
Disneyland will introduce the new system on April 12th, which is either tomorrow or today, depending on when you read this.
So, if you plan to visit soon, you should be visiting the site immediately!
You will need valid park admission to visit, which may prove tricky. After all, annual passes have expired, and new tickets don’t go on sale until April 15th.
In other words, if you have valid park admission, you’re in terrific shape for those first three days of booking Park Passes.
The Park Pass registration system will work similarly to the one that Walt Disney World has used for the past nine months.
MickeyBlog will offer several updates about the process in the coming days, I’m sure.
The Other Huge Disneyland Resort News
We also learned an essential piece of information the other day. We now know when Avengers Campus will have its grand opening.
On June 4th, this new themed land will open to the public for the first time.
Park officials understandably wanted to wait a few weeks between reopening the park and debuting a highly anticipated themed land.
In case you’re wondering, you will receive the full Avengers Campus experience on its opening date.
WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure will debut on that day as well. The 3-D Spidey ride is nearly ready, as is Pym Kitchen.
As a reminder, at Pym Kitchen, Disney chefs will play with scale, creating a strange combination of tiny and oversized dishes. It’ll be an Insta favorite.
You may wonder about Park Hopping at Disneyland Resort. I’m happy to report that it’ll be available from April 30th on.
So, if you get a Park Pass for Disneyland, you can see Avengers Campus on opening day as well, presuming there aren’t sellouts…which isn’t guaranteed.
Park Hopping will begin at 1 p.m. each day, giving you a solid opportunity to split your time between both gates.
Speaking of which, we also know park hours for both Disneyland gates during the first month of operation.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will open at 9 a.m. and then close at 7 p.m. from now until May 13th. After that, the parks will close at 9 p.m.
Meanwhile in Florida…
Several huge stories unfolded in Orlando this week. For starters, Mayor Jerry Demings indicated that the current mask rules will stay.
Specifically, Orange County won’t lift its mask covering requirement until 50 percent of residents have received the vaccination.
Demings believes this will occur in July, but that may prove pessimistic.
Starting on April 12th (tomorrow), everyone in Florida aged 16 and above may register for vaccination.
I suspect that everyone who wants the dose(s) can get fully immunized by mid-June, possibly even sooner. At that point, the mask rule goes away.
Disney officials are already feeling better about the situation. To wit, guests this week received a pleasant surprise.
The parks modified their face covering rules to allow people to take mask-free photographs.
At PhotoPass stations, cast members encouraged park visitors to remove their masks and smile broadly for their first uncovered pictures in a year.
The official website has been updated to reflect this change. Here’s the pertinent information:
“You may temporarily remove your face covering while actively eating, drinking or taking an outdoor photo, but you must be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing during this time.”
While we’re on the subject of PhotoPass, Disney has brought back a popular feature from pre-pandemic.
Capture Your Moment allows guests to book a 20-minute photo session inside Cinderella Castle!
The sessions cost a reasonable $50 in exchange for unparalleled photographs.
If you’re celebrating a special event, it’s the perfect way to ensure unforgettable photographs.
I’m throwing a lot at you this week, and I think you can tell why. It’s one of the busiest news weeks since the parks reopened.
To wit, Disney just casually tossed out the news that they’ve created a fully functional Lightsaber, and that’s not even a top ten story this week!
Something you need to know is that MouseGear won’t return in its most recent form.
Instead, Disney has chosen to break my heart by introducing a new store, Creations Shop. It’s a forward-thinking merchandise retailer.
Still, sometimes the classics are better, and I’ll miss MouseGear dearly.
Not all is lost, though. Disney has confirmed the return of Club Cool! Well, it’s a new version of the concept.
Of course, part of the reason for the change is that the parks are doing exceedingly well lately.
For this reason, My Disney Experience users received a surprise when they loaded the app the other day.
A message indicated that hotel restaurants had changed their policies. To place a Mobile Order, a guest had to be staying at the resort in question.
Obviously, Disney’s having trouble keeping up with the extreme demand for resort restaurant meals right now.
In emerging news, Disney is surveying guests about the implementation of facial recognition testing as a means of park entry.
During March, some guests tried out the process, which involved staring at the camera on a digital display.
Disney has since asked these park visitors for feedback about the experience.
Given the recent implementation of MagicMobile, this strikes me as overkill. So, we’ll see whether anything comes of it.
More Disney Updates
The other possibility stems from an outside source. With Disney ending Magical Express starting next year, we have needs as customers.
We must find a way to travel from Orlando International Airport to our Disney hotel, preferably for little money.
Well, Mears Connect has gone live as a website. Details remain sparse, but Mears obviously intends to operate bus service with or without Disney.
Obviously, you’ll have to pay for it now, and I suspect Mears must remove all references to Disney. So, it won’t be Magical Express, just a bus ride to Disney.
In other Disney news, ESPN Wide World of Sports is prepping for its post-pandemic future.
Some cheerleading competitions will return this week. Then, the complex will hold a few dance and golf championships later in April.
The big surprise is that ESPN Wide World of Sports will host the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals in July.
This event is massive for Disney! The national spelling bee has taken place in either Washington, D.C. or nearby Washington Harbor, Maryland since 1965!
Walt Disney World didn’t even exist the last time the spelling bee was held somewhere outside the greater D.C. area!
In cruise news, Florida’s governor sued the CDC for…I dunno, existing or something. He wants cruises back for the Florida economy.
Disney seems noncommittal on the subject for the time being. It canceled all sailings through June.
Yes, we’ll be cruise-free for at least three more months. However, when the Disney Wish finally debuts next year, Minnie Mouse will reside on the bow!
Disney has already prepped some Captain Minnie merchandise that looks divine. So, this idea already looks like a hit.
Okay, those are the highlights for this week. Keep reading MickeyBlog to learn more about everything!