MickeyBlog News for April 26, 2021
We experienced the yin and yang of Disney transportation this week, as a beloved ride returned…just after another one suffered another incident.
Also, Disney debuted its next-generation cruise ship, and cast members received a mixed message about park visits.
Take a look at the dazzling new design concept of the Grand Hall of the Disney Wish, the newest @DisneyCruise Line ship, just shared on the Disney Parks Blog: https://t.co/RRUA67NtJ0 pic.twitter.com/jjpuAH0wun
— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) April 23, 2021
Let’s talk our way through another hectic park week at MickeyBlog News.
The Gondola Collision Take Two
History repeated itself the other day when the Disney Skyliner suffered another accident.
On April 22nd, an Instagram user named nextstopmainstreet posted a video of two gondolas that had crashed into one another.
Yes, that should give you a sense of déjà vu, as the same thing happened during the first week that the Disney Skyliner was open.
This time, Disney offloaded all the passengers within the hour. Also, no injuries were reported, which is always the most important part of these stories.
Park officials later informed Click Orlando that the two gondolas were empty at the time of the crash.
While nobody commented officially, observers pieced together the incident as a wheelchair-accessible tram entering the primary line too early.
If you’ve watched the system operate, you know that these gondolas have their own loading process to keep the system running smoothly.
Disney understandably wants to take its time with loading guests in wheelchairs.
So, one of these trams must have re-entered the main throughway at the wrong moment, causing the collision and some shattered glass.
The Instagram user pointed out that it was a hot day, making it a less than ideal time to get trapped in the air.
However, the main takeaway here is that Disney has gotten better at resolving Skyliner incidents.
The Triumphant Return of the Week!
No, I’m not talking about Disneyland, as that won’t happen for another few days.
Something else has reopened at the parks, and it’s the best Disney news I’ve had in a while.
On April 25th, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover reopened at Magic Kingdom!
Yes, after more than a year of downtime and 15 months after its serious incident, the PeopleMover returned!
You may recall that this ride suffered a strange accident in January of 2020. Guests reported smoke coming from the escalator that leads to the ride.
Possible fire on the PeopleMover as smoke fills the entrance/exit ramp. We hope everyone is OK! We LOVE the PeopleMover!https://t.co/sfNNXuwvHN
— MickeyBlog (@MickeyBlog_) January 2, 2020
The PeopleMover closed for a bit but then returned, only to suffer another, more mysterious incident on March 9th.
Two days later, Coronavirus shut down society and made the PeopleMover incident irrelevant.
However, when the parks reopened in July, it was nowhere to be found. We’ve waited ever since then for the triumphant return.
Well, that day has finally arrived! The PeopleMover reopened yesterday and MickeyBlog was there!
Okay, I’ve got three updates regarding Disneyland’s return. One of them is confusing, another isn’t set in stone, and the third is just plain funny.
The confusion stems from a recent California health update that seemingly negated a previous edict.
Government officials had stated that only California residents could visit Disneyland when it reopened.
Then, a new proclamation seemed to state otherwise. It suggested that fully vaccinated guests can travel to California. Don’t get too excited, though.
While California officials confirmed that this update applies to theme parks as well, Disneyland quickly shut down the idea.
Park officials directed inquiries to the official site, which states:
- “Until further notice, only California residents may visit the parks, and in groups no larger than 3 households, per state guidelines.”
Obviously, that will change in the future, but Disney has committed to keeping its parks exclusive to locals for now.
Keep checking MickeyBlog to learn when the Happiest Place on Earth opens access for non-Californians.
In park news, the Disney California Adventure staple, Grizzly River Run, won’t reopen with the park.
However, Disney has confirmed that it’ll come back soon afterward. The current target date is May 7th.
Park officials have also stated the new Boarding Group windows for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
You’ll have opportunities to book at 7 a.m. and noon each day. Good luck!
Finally, in a “laugh to keep from crying” announcement, Disneyland has introduced a new rule.
Any guest who swears at cast members or other visitors will get kicked out of the park.
If Walt Disney World had strictly enforced this measure, hundreds of guests would have gotten thrown out of the parks over the past nine months.
Be kind, people! It’s not hard! Cast members are your friends!
Disney Travel News
Let’s start with the most exciting news. The Disney Wish remains on pace to open during the summer of 2022.
Disney ordered this cruise ship, a “Castle on the Sea,” before the pandemic and felt pot-committed to continue with the project.
You’ll be grateful that they did when you watch this video:
The Disney Wish is going to redefine cruise ship tourism for the next generation!
In cast member news, Disney offered a lovely bonus for all its employees, even the ones currently on furlough.
As Scott Gustin points out, workers may choose a one-night stay at their preferred Disney resort:
NEW: Walt Disney World is offering all Florida-based currently working and furloughed Cast Members a complimentary one-night resort stay. Eligible cast will be able to choose a preferred date and resort.
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) April 19, 2021
That’s the positive. The negative involves park visits. Cast members cannot use their perks to enter Walt Disney World theme parks in May.
Due to overwhelming demand from regular tourists, Disney has rescinded this amenity for its cast members.
So, the free hotel stay offer feels like a bit of a mixed message.
In international park news, Universal Studios Japan closed due to another local pandemic outbreak. Tokyo Disneyland hasn’t followed suit yet, though.
The Universal Studios park resides in Osaka, while Tokyo Disneyland is in, well, you can guess.
Tokyo hasn’t declared a state of emergency like other nearby prefectures. So, the park remains open…but it has ceased alcohol sales through May 11th.
Realistically, international travelers aren’t getting to Tokyo anytime soon anyway. As such, don’t be surprised if Tokyo Disneyland closes again.
Currently, the only closed Disney theme park is Disneyland Paris. We’re probably about three months away from all Disney parks operating simultaneously again.
Disney Park News
Okay, let’s tear through some other recent park updates. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you may notice three exciting changes.
The Brother Bear animals sometimes appear on the boat Cavalcades now! The park has added a vertigo-inducing Tiny World Magic Shot, too.
Meanwhile, Na’Vi River Journey had added plexiglass dividers. And Russell performs a socially distant character interaction as well. He’s looking for Kevin, of course!
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the cost of a lightsaber has gone up at Savi’s Workshop. They’re $219 now, as opposed to $199 at the start of the year.
Shopaholics should know that a Disney Cruise Line (DCL) pop-up shop has appeared at Disney Springs.
This place will provide non-cruise tourists with a rare opportunity to buy exclusive DCL merchandise. You’ll find it at the Marketplace Co-Op.
The parks have also modified some Mobile Ordering options to maximize efficiency.
Three Magic Kingdom snack shops – The Friar’s Nook, Sleepy Hollow Refreshments, and Sunshine Tree Terrace – have added Mobile Ordering.
This tactic should reduce some of the overcrowding issues in the lines.
More Disney Park News
Similarly, Trattoria al Forno has joined the Table Service To Go program.
Also, Beverly Sunset Boutique, the Pixar merchandise store, will reopen at Hollywood Studios on May 5th.
In unexpected news, Walt Disney World just changed one of its protective policies back to the old method.
Guests may now refill their own beverages at self-service stations. Until this week, cast members did the pouring, but Disney has decided that it’s no longer necessary.
Finally, this tweet suggests that we won’t get Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind for a while now.
Yes Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at Disneyworld is also on the agenda. https://t.co/KLWL7cYjXL
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) April 20, 2021
Since the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie won’t film until late in 2021, it’s safe to say that Cosmic Rewind is at least a year away, possibly more.
As a reminder, director James Gunn will shoot scenes for the storytelling roller coaster at the same time as the threequel. So, it’s gonna be a while.
Have a great week, everyone!