MickeyBlog News for July 26, 2021
Shows are back, shows are leaving, and the state of Florida just cut Disney a check. No, I’m not talking about Lake Nona, either.
I’ll explain in this week’s MickeyBlog News.
In 2017, Magic Kingdom retired Wishes in favor of its long-term replacement, Happily Ever After.
Okay, that’s what we thought at the time. We were wrong, though.
Disney just confirmed that when its new Magic Kingdom nighttime presentation begins, Happily Ever After ends.
Yes, the show will never run again after September 29th, at least as far as we know. Historically, some fireworks presentations have come back later.
However, the short duration of Happily Ever After suggests that park officials may not have loved it the way that Magic Kingdom fans do.
In fact, several complaints and petitions have already shown up online, suggesting that fans want their Happily Ever After to last longer.
Of course, that’s not the show with the comically inaccurate name. Disney also revealed that EPCOT Forever will stop running on September 28th.
So, Prince was wrong when he said that forever was a mighty long time. Instead, it’s just under two years, at least for EPCOT Forever.
The running joke among some park fans right now is that nothing at Disney will open until October 1st, which isn’t that far from the truth.
We do have some reopening information, though…
Some of Your Favorite Shows Are Back!
For a while now, we’ve (loudly) wondered when several beloved Walt Disney World show-based attractions would reopen.
Thankfully, Disney has decided that it’s time to bring many of its performers back to act in these shows.
Perhaps the most significant return date is Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
You may recall that Disney used the former Grand Floridian Society Orchestra in this space for a time after relocating the band from its namesake hotel.
Unfortunately, that plan didn’t last for long, causing the eventual termination of the band. Yes, we still hate that.
However, Disney will once again utilize the space for live-action shows on August 15th. So, we’re about three weeks away from Beauty & the Beast’s return.
Notably, that’s not even the first comeback at Hollywood Studios in August. Do you remember The Wonderful World of Animation, the show that debuted in 2019?
Like all other Disney nighttime presentations, it went on hiatus during the pandemic. However, on August 1st, Disney will bring it back for nightly performances once again.
Here’s what The Wonderful World of Animation looks like:
Yes, this show was the Star Wars replacement at the Chinese Theatre!
By the way, other parks are bringing back shows, too. Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor at Magic Kingdom brings back the funny on August 8th.
Two weeks later, Turtle Talk with Crush comes back to EPCOT on August 22nd.
So, if you’re a vlogger, you’ll spend every Thursday in August capturing a newly reopened show at Walt Disney World!
By the way, Disney also confirmed that the Hall of Presidents has completed its Joe Biden Audio-Animatronic.
Magic Kingdom didn’t specify a date, but this show should return in August or September.
Some of Your Favorite Restaurants Are Back!
MickeyBlog recently compiled a list of everything that remains closed at Walt Disney World.
To our delight, most attractions are open, and the only significant absence is Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon or, arguably, Fantasmic!.
Otherwise, we’re mostly talking about restaurants, which makes sense since Disney still isn’t at full capacity. So, it doesn’t need as many eateries.
However, Disney has gradually brought back restaurants and recently announced a few current/upcoming additions.
For example, Cheshire Café at Magic Kingdom opens tomorrow! Elsewhere in Fantasyland, Prince Eric’s Village Market does the same! So tomorrow’s a good day to visit Magic Kingdom!
Meanwhile, MickeyBlog was on hand for the reopening of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Tiki Bar.
You can watch our Facebook video to see glimpses of many popular Disney influencers. It was almost comical how many were there.
By the way, in case you’re wondering, the answer is yes! The Tiki Terrace has reopened as well.
Ordering here and sipping a drink by the Lava pool is a smart strategy on a crowded day at Trader Sam’s…which is most of them.
At a different park, Star Wars fans got some good news today. Kata Saka’s Kettle finally reopened.
I presume that the other places selling the kettle corn will keep doing so for now, but that’s just speculation.
Elsewhere in the park, Dinosaur Gertie’s Ice Cream has reopened. The “ice cream of extinction” is better than the kettle corn, I swear!
Disney Cruise Line Is Back!
After a successful test run, the Disney Dream will return to the high seas on August 9th! This time, it won’t be a simulated cruise, though.
Yes, Disney Cruise Line will make its triumphant comeback in two weeks! Disney has scheduled three- and four-day cruises to the Bahamas, including stops at Castaway Cay.
Obviously, there will be some trial and error during the first few months, as the Delta variant has increased new infections in the Southeast.
So, Disney Cruise Line has implemented some new policies that may prove temporary but could turn permanent.
Buffets no longer work as you’ve grown to expect. Cast members will serve you as much of a dish as you want, but self-service isn’t available, at least for now.
Disney also created a new position to address the ongoing safety concerns. The company added Dr. Lauana Herbert as the first-ever Public Health Officer.
A former Disney cruise physician, Dr. Lauana will maintain company policies across all Disney vessels.
Realistically, the changes at Disney Cruise Line may seem a bit overwhelming. Therefore, I’d strongly suggest that you speak with a MickeyTravels agent to set up your next trip.
These Authorized Disney Vacation Planners know everything happening at DCL and can help you prepare for your next cruise. Best of all, their services are free to you!
Cruises aren’t the only type of transportation undergoing some changes.
The Orlando International Airport suddenly shut down its COVID-19 vaccination site the other day. So, if you were planning to use it, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
However, the airport did announce that it’ll celebrate Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary.
A Disney-themed art installation and photo op will appear soon at the airport!
In other Disney news, Orange County finally settled part of its ongoing fight over property taxes.
This ongoing legal battle started in 2015, and Disney will receive $1.3 million for that year.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that the Orange County Property Appraiser’s Office will pay similar amounts for 2016 through 2020.
Disney could get back nearly $8 million if this expectation proves correct. Yes, that’s a rounding error to Disney’s bottom line, but it’s still significant.
Orange County may hesitate to push back the next time Disney claims its taxes are too high.
In amusing news, the EPCOT monorail line lasted all of two days before it experienced downtime. Unfortunately, this service stayed down for the rest of the day last Wednesday but has run without incident since then.
Finally, in news that pleases me especially, Cavalcades will remain at Disney for the foreseeable future.
In fact, Disney has posted digital displays that indicate Cavalcade showtimes. They’re available in the MyDisneyExperience app, too.
Yes, this change means that Cavalcades are no longer random. You can plan for them and grab a spot to watch if so inclined.