MickeyBlog News for July 18, 2021
Disney will celebrate the holidays this November and December! Meanwhile, the modernized, tasteful version of Jungle Cruise is up and running.
Plus, the EPCOT monorail line has returned, and a dumb criminal just got busted at Magic Kingdom.
We’ve had an exciting week for MickeyBlog News updates!
Eat, Drink, and Be Very Merriest!
Let’s be honest. Last year’s Walt Disney World holiday celebration represented Disney’s best effort in the face of impossible constraints.
Well, we just learned that 2021 will be better, as Disney just unveiled a slew of yuletide festivities.
For starters, Magic Kingdom will take the same approach for Christmas as it did for Halloween.
Instead of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, the park will debut Disney Very Merriest After Hours event in November.
This after-hours party will last through December 21st and presumably mirror the pricing for Disney After Hours Boo Bash.
Disney hasn’t confirmed dates or pricing yet. So, that’s speculation on my part.
Similarly, Disney failed to mention anything about the annual Candlelight Processional at EPCOT that everyone loves.
The park didn’t host it last year and may not again in 2021. So we’re in wait-and-see mode on that.
Past this one concern, the news is otherwise glowing across the parks. Disney will bring back many favorites that weren’t a part of the 2020 events.
Most importantly, at least for my family, the gingerbread houses will return at many resorts!
At the parks, Disney has promised that decorations will go live by November 12th, thereby all but circling the calendar for the best days to visit.
Please remember that the 50th-anniversary party will continue during the holidays. So, some decorations from that will remain in place as well.
As such, the look and feel of Walt Disney World parks this year will be unlike any other.
Also, the Christmas Tree Trail will return at Disney Springs. And Disney stated that the Very Merriest After Hours event will start on November 8th.
So, you should have enough information to book your holiday travel plans!
Disneyland News of Note
Plenty is happening at Disneyland right now!
Jungle Cruise has reopened after more than a year away from Disneyland!
I don’t want to spoil any surprises for you here. So, please watch this video to see what’s different:
Here’s another video with slightly different views:
As you probably noticed, the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (S.E.A.) plays a much more significant role now, which is perhaps a sign of things to come at Disney parks.
Interestingly, several Easter eggs tie back to the upcoming Jungle Cruise movie that will debut in less than two weeks.
I presume that’s a strong hint that the film will get a sequel…or several.
In other Disneyland news, the Parks Blog revealed the theme for Haunted Mansion Holiday this year. It’s Gingerbread Franken-House!
The Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party will also return from September 9th through October 31st.
Meanwhile, Imagineers have officially integrated the Coco scene at Disney California Adventure. Here’s an explanatory video:
Also, Disney resorts have revealed that they’ll host two character meals!
Starting on July 22nd, Storytellers Café at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa will offer Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast.
Then, next month, the Plaza Inn will open the Minnie & Friends Breakfast on August 12th.
A Word of Warning
That’s all stuff that you love to hear. However, I should warn you that Disneyland Resort could feasibly require masks again soon.
I don’t want to get ahead of myself here, but it’s a possibility.
L.A. County just reactivated its mask law. Universal Studios Hollywood immediately instituted indoor mask requirements again.
Thankfully, Disneyland resides in Orange County, which has made no such declaration. Still, the Delta variant has triggered outbreaks in California and Florida.
So, anything’s possible here, although mask rules are more likely at Disneyland than Walt Disney World.
Orlando’s Mayor just indicated that people should go back to wearing masks indoors for a while.
However, Florida’s Governor staunchly opposes such measures, which means…well, nothing.
Disney has determined park mask rules based on C.D.C. suggestions. So if the C.D.C. declares masks necessary again, that’s what Disney will do. It seems unlikely at the moment, though.
Disney Park News
I really hoped that I wouldn’t have to talk about COVID-19 rules ever again, but it’s come up at Disneyland Paris, too.
That country has struggled mightily in 2021. Recently, France’s President declared that guests need a “Health Pass” to participate in public events.
Yes, a Disneyland Paris visit qualifies as a public event. So, park officials have updated the rules to require Health Passes as of July 21st.
COVID-19 is like that ex that you broke up with that keeps texting, “U up?”
Speaking of international parks, Tokyo Disneyland desperately wants to stay open during the Olympics, even though that event won’t allow guests.
The latest State of Emergency ruling in the region has forced another reduction in park hours and elimination of alcohol sales. The Olympics are gonna be a mess, y’all.
On the plus side, Walt Disney World news is almost entirely great.
The much-anticipated return of the EPCOT monorail line will have happened by the time you read this!
Once again, you can take the short ride from Magic Kingdom to EPCOT without having to worry about buses.
During recent park visits, the EPCOT monorail was legitimately the thing I missed the most out of everything closed.
Speaking of EPCOT, the 2021 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival has started. MickeyBlog was on the scene to show you some of the dining options!
WARNING: You should not watch this video on an empty stomach. This year’s food looks goooooood.
Disney has also brought back the fireworks cruises for its nighttime presentations. Simultaneously, Happily Ever After EPCOT Forever has new showtimes.
Starting on August 10th, Happily Ever After will move up from 9:15 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Meanwhile, EPCOT Forever will change to 9 p.m. on weekdays (Monday-Thursday) and stay at 10 p.m. on weekends.
Other Disney News
I’ve got two other news items of note this week. First, the Disney test cruise is back on schedule after the recent COVID-19 test hiccup.
The Disney Dream set sail on Saturday for a short trial run before Port Canaveral opens for good on July 31st.
Cruise lines remain at war with Florida over some of the Governor’s policies that will apparently get settled in court.
Finally, we have a new entrant for the dumbest criminal of the pandemic era. This one’s so stupid that it borders on gutsy.
According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the police arrested a man on May 23rd. What was his crime?
Well, this guy avoided paid parking at Walt Disney World, which already drew attention to him. Then, he walked over to a spot near a bus drivers’ breakroom.
Here, he looked around to make sure nobody was watching – MANY cops were watching – and then climbed an embankment to sneak into Magic Kingdom.
Yes, this brainiac skipped paying for parking AND park admission. He entered Magic Kingdom from a cast members’ door and planned his next move.
The criminal headed to Tony’s Town Square, where he changed clothes to avoid detection. Spoiler: they detected him.
Presumably, through cascading laughter, park officials took him into custody at this point.
I almost admire the person’s gumption, but he’s never going back to a Disney theme park. They don’t take kindly to thieves.