MickeyBlog News for July 5, 2021
Staying at a Walt Disney World resort comes with new benefits, fireworks are back at the parks, and Disney says goodbye to Stacey.
I hope you’re having a lovely July 4th, but the news NEVER stops at Disney! So, let’s catch up on another massive week of updates!
Fireworks Are Back!
Okay, you’ve probably found out the hard way that America is experiencing a fireworks supply shortage. As a result, many people will be waving sparklers this year instead.
Well, Disney plays by a different set of rules, as the parks represent the world’s foremost fireworks buyer. So, they can overcome shortages.
We know this because fireworks returned to Walt Disney World on July 1st! MickeyBlog was on the scene for Harmonious testing last month:
By now, you know that both shows will operate temporarily. The last day for Happily Ever After and EPCOT Forever is September 30th.
On October 1st, EPCOT will switch the debut of Harmonious, while Disney will unveil Disney Enchantment.
So, the current shows count as limited-time engagements. Meanwhile, October 1st has turned into an inflection point at Walt Disney World. To wit…
Extra Park Admission Opportunities
Look, you should always stay at an official Walt Disney World resort. I’ve harped on this for years now, but Disney has just demonstrated it again.
Starting on October 1st, Disney resort guests will receive a new amenity, Early Park Entry. It’ll provide you with park access 30 minutes before other guests.
Obviously, you will need admission tickets and a Park Pass before you can enter.
As long as you have that, you can ride one or two popular attractions before the crowds form at Rope Drop.
I’ve used a previous iteration of this many times. At Magic Kingdom, you can easily knock out Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight in 30 minutes!
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, crowds will swell quickly at Pandora – The World of Avatar.
Still, you should be able to reach Avatar Flight of Passage and ride it before the park officially opens!
Obviously, this amenity matters a great deal. Therefore, you should speak with a MickeyTravels agent to book your next trip and ensure that you qualify for Early Park Entry!
Of course, Disney didn’t stop there. It also announced some details about another amenity that will cater to guests staying at Deluxe Tier resorts.
On certain nights, qualifying vacationers will receive extended evening hours access at a specific park.
In other words, when you’re staying somewhere like, say, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, you will get to stay in a park after it closes to other guests.
Think of this amenity like Disney After Hours, only you don’t need to pay extra for it. Disney provides it because you’re staying at a Deluxe Tier resort.
More Park and Resort News
On July 4th, fireworks returned at Disneyland, too! Yes, Mickey’s Mix Magic is back! Here’s a brief video of the first show:
Meanwhile, Disney isn’t done rewarding guests for staying at official resorts. Characters will return for greetings at various Disney hotels.
Disney will host these character meetings as part of the 50th anniversary festivities. So, the characters will wear their EARidescent outfits, too!
This means you’ll want to keep your camera close whenever you’re roaming your hotel grounds, as you never know who you might see!
Disney also provided some clarity about dining plans. They WILL return at some point, but park officials chose not to list an exact date yet.
If you’re worried about the future of the dining plan, this update should reassure you, though! Disney’s not foolishly discarding one of its best amenities!
Disney also confirmed that runDisney will host in-person marathons in 2022!
— runDisney (@runDisney) July 1, 2021
In other great news, Casey’s Café and Plaza Ice Cream have reopened on Main Street, U.S.A. In fact, MickeyBlog was the first customer at Casey’s!
We even got a video of the cast singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame!
Alas, not all Disney news this week will make you happy, as an era has ended. Must Do Disney, the beloved resort TV program, is no more.
Disney now airs a vacation planning promo clip instead, thereby retiring our old friend, Stacey. We’ll always have Stacey’s old videos on YouTube, though:
The other story we’re tracking involves the awkwardly named Hurricane Elsa, whose trajectory has changed several times.
As I type this, its path points toward Central Florida, but that may change.
Disneyland and Cruise News
We’ve got several Disneyland stories this week. For starters, Single Rider has returned at popular attractions like Radiator Springs Racers and Indiana Jones Adventure.
Disneyland removed most of its COVID-19 social distancing measures once the CDC indicated they were no longer necessary.
So, you have the option of skipping the pre-show to get on these rides faster.
Even if you don’t, the wait times will be shorter since Disneyland is maximizing ride throughput again.
Park officials also unintentionally confirmed that Haunted Mansion Holiday will return in 2021!
We know this because Disneyland announced a Haunted Mansion refurbishment from August 16th through September 2nd.
Fans of the Happiest Place on Earth know what it means when Haunted Mansion closes in August!
This year’s version will feel like a victory lap, as Disney couldn’t re-theme Haunted Mansion in 2020 due to the pandemic.
We haven’t had Haunted Mansion Holiday in two years, which is way too long!
Alas, not every Disney update is good. Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel have confirmed the closures of two beloved restaurants.
Steakhouse 55 and PCH Grill won’t reopen. They’re done. Yes, that means that Donald Duck’s Seaside Breakfast Buffet is gone, too.
Disney has indicated that it’ll utilize both spaces in new ways. So, don’t be surprised if other restaurants debut, ones with specific theming.
Finally, the Disney Cruise Line two-night test cruise didn’t happen. Disney received what it described as a “small number of inconsistent COVID-19 test results.”
If you’ve kept up with other attempts in the cruise industry, you know that this isn’t surprising. However, it’s still challenging to get several hundred guests to pass COVID-19 tests.
Okay, that’s the heavily condensed version of a crazy news week. I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday break, my friends!
Feature Image: Disney