MickeyBlog News for June 21, 2021
Disney’s out here dropping news bombs all day long.
I’ll tell you what you may have missed in this week’s MickeyBlog News.
Fireworks Are Back Soon!
Since Walt Disney World reopened last July, fans have shared one refrain. When will fireworks return to the parks?
Over the past year, we’ve witnessed several hopeful signs, including tests on multiple occasions.
Now, we know that additional tests are in the offing for late June. These come with a purpose, though.
Disney is preparing to bring back fireworks at two of its Walt Disney World parks.
Specifically, Happily Ever After… will make its triumphant return on July 1st. On that same date, EPCOT Forever comes back at EPCOT.
Now, you may wonder why Harmonious isn’t debuting at EPCOT. The short answer is that it’s not ready yet.
Well, that may not be entirely accurate. Disney has positioned the barges for the show and could probably get it ready soon.
However, the 50th anniversary celebration starts on October 1st. I presume that park officials have targeted a date then or a few weeks before then for the debut.
Until then, you can go back to watching EPCOT Forever at the park at 10 p.m. nightly starting on July 1st.
Meanwhile, Happily Ever After… will operate at 9:15 p.m. at Magic Kingdom.
You may have one question. Aren’t the parks closed by then? Here’s the second piece of joyous information.
Disney has extended park hours in July. Disney’s Animal Kingdom will stay open until 7 p.m., with Magic Kingdom closing at 10/11 p.m. throughout the month.
The weird one is EPCOT, which still shows its operating hours ending at 10 p.m.
I guess Disney will stop running attractions then but allow everyone to watch EPCOT Forever before leaving.
Interestingly, these aren’t the only American Disney parks to bring back fireworks…
The Disneyland Updates
Starting on July 4th, fireworks will return to the Happiest Place on Earth! Mickey’s Mix Magic will highlight everyone’s Independence at the park.
That’s one of many changes happening at the parks. When the calendar hit June 15th, California fully reopened after months of being heavily restricted.
Disneyland had feuded with the state government, disagreeing with the decision to keep theme parks closed as Walt Disney World operated without incident.
So, when the June 15th date approached, Disneyland went full throttle on a pandemic policy reset.
Guests no longer must wear masks at the parks, as Disney presumes vaccinated people don’t need them.
Park officials request that the unvaccinated wear masks, but that rule won’t be enforced in all but the most extreme instances.
For this reason, you won’t notice any pandemic measures during your next visit. Disney has rolled back virtually everything.
Over the past few days, plexiglass barriers have vanished from attractions and line queues.
Cast members now seat guests in every row of rides, but it’s more than that. Multiple parties sit together now rather than only allowing embedded parties.
In other words, Disneyland is back to business as if the whole nasty affair never happened.
Disneyland has removed social distancing markers and other signs that enforced those rules.
At attractions like Space Mountain, indoor line queues are back, too. Since Disneyland only reopened six weeks ago, these changes don’t seem dramatic.
The new rules (or lack thereof) demonstrate that everything is back to normal at the Happiest Place on Earth.
Disney did confirm that Disneyland Park Passes are here to stay, which we already knew.
More importantly, annual passes won’t return. Instead, Disney plans to introduce a membership program for superfans.
Keep reading MickeyBlog to learn the details about that new initiative!
The Florida Cruise Industry Lawsuit Resolved (For Now)
We had some unexpected news this week. The state of Florida had sued the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over a recent decision.
The CDC had enforced the equivalent of an emergency lockdown on all American cruises during the pandemic.
Notably, the CDC hadn’t lessened its restrictions as the pandemic waned. Here’s the data regarding why this is significant.
On June 19th, only 7,782 Americans tested positive for COVID-19. Contrast that to three months ago.
On March 19th, the country reported 60,623 new cases. On January 19th, there were 186,939 daily cases.
In other words, new daily infections are down 96 percent (!) in five months. And that’s why everyone should get vaccinated. It works.
However, the CDC hasn’t changed its policies despite the dramatic downturn in infection rates.
So, Florida’s Attorney General sued to get an injunction against the CDC. A judge has ruled in Florida’s favor, at least somewhat.
Starting on July 18th, the CDC’s declaration switches to non-binding, which means it’s unenforceable. Effectively, on that date, the cruise industry is back.
Even that statement comes with an asterisk, though. The CDC has until July 2nd to create narrower parameters for post-pandemic cruise guidelines.
If the CDC takes this approach, cruise ships can sail as long as they meet the CDC’s new guidelines.
Disney Cruises Are Back!
There’s a lot more subtext to this, but let’s be honest. You probably don’t care. All you want to know is when Disney Cruise Line will return.
I’ve got welcome news here. The Disney Dream will perform a two-night test run on June 29th. Afterward, executives will plot the short-term future.
Disney Cruise Line is already looking forward, though. The company announced holiday sailings for the Fall and Winter of 2022.
You can join the festivities for Halloween on the High Seas and Very Merrytime Cruises.
To do so, speak with a MickeyTravels agent to learn what your best options are for your dream 2022 vacation!
Disney Park News
You may have heard that all six Disney theme parks are finally open again. That was absolutely true for a day. Now, it comes with an asterisk.
Disneyland Paris is apparently suffering from some sort of witch’s curse, as that place simply cannot catch a break.
Two days after the park reopened to the public, it suffered flooding that closed several attractions. It was bad, y’all.
Here’s a picture from the parking lot:
The pedestrian access roads to @DisneylandParis parking lot are also completely flooded 😱🐠 pic.twitter.com/r2vo13ZjTM
— ED92 (@ED92Magic) June 19, 2021
And here’s Earl of Sandwich leaking from the skylights!
Yikes @earlofsandwich Paris now with a water feature 😅 ☔️ pic.twitter.com/3AxQ8MkOpz
— ED92 (@ED92Magic) June 19, 2021
Thankfully, Disneyland Paris had mostly recovered the next day, but it’s had such a rough 2021.
In other park news, vaccinated cast members no longer need to wear masks. Similarly, Disney no longer requires park guests to wear masks on rides.
Single Rider lines have also started coming back at the various attractions, starting with Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.
This tactic should help with wait times, which have started to creep up recently.
We’re noticing other changes that reset attractions to pre-pandemic standards, too.
You can design a car at Test Track again, and the Stretching Room has thankfully returned to Haunted Mansion!
The exit area interactive amenities at Spaceship Earth are back in business, too. The ride never felt the same without Project Tomorrow at the end.
Disney has also removed the barriers on the monorails, which makes the whole space feel more open.
In short, Disney feels like Disney again.