MickeyBlog News for August 16th, 2021
Disney just threw one After Hours party and is already planning another one!
We’ll talk about those events plus the opening of a restaurant, a show, and a spa in the latest MickeyBlog News.
Disney Throws a Boo Bash
On August 10th, Disney hosted the first Halloween event of the year. No, it wasn’t Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP).
Apparently, that show is either on hiatus or done forever, depending on whom you believe.
However, Disney replaced the Magic Kingdom ticketed event with something eerily similar, Disney After Hours Boo Bash.
MickeyBlog was on the scene to cover the historic first night of Boo Bash, and I’m happy to report that the experience was universally positive.
You may have read some critics online who dismissed it as an inferior version of MNSSHP. That’s because of the pandemic, not the event.
Disney cannot host interpersonal character greetings due to safety concerns. Similarly, some of the changes like the location of the Cadaver Dans stem from this issue.
Instead, Disney has crafted a deluxe version of its Disney Villains After Hours event, one that includes free candy, food, and drinks.
Plus, the parks are offering exclusive Halloween merchandise. Some of it is so much in demand that Disney had to limit purchases to two per item per guest!
Meanwhile, guests receive the run of Magic Kingdom for three hours, starting at either 9 p.m. or 9:30 p.m., depending on the event’s date.
Also, you can enter the park at 7 p.m., even when you don’t hold a standard admission ticket for the date.
So, we’re really talking about five or more hours at a time when Magic Kingdom is emptier than normal.
Overall, Boo Bash feels like the perfect bridge event until Disney can bring back MNSSHP or replace it with something better.
Speaking of which…
Mickey’s Very Merriest After Hours Announced
The dust hadn’t even settled after the first Boo Bash event, yet Disney was already announcing the next thing.
This November and December, Magic Kingdom will host another substitute after-hours event.
Instead of the beloved Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, the park will host Mickey’s Very Merriest After Hours.
Yes, this decision mirrors Boo Bash. The Very Merriest event is technically a Disney After Hours presentation rather than a full-fledged party.
Still, Mickey’s Very Merriest After Hours (MVMAF) will feel eerily similar. The primary difference stems from the need for socially distanced character greetings.
Otherwise, we’re still talking about a Christmas party featuring holiday-appropriate snacks and beverages and lots of sweet gear.
Disney confirmed the following dates for MVMAF:
- November: 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 28, 30
- December: 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 19, 21
The prices start at a higher level than MVMCP, which is probably Disney’s short-term tactic. With fewer potential guests, it must charge more per ticket.
One adult will pay at least $169 plus tax for a ticket and potentially as much as $249. Disney has tiered the pricing based on the dates.
Still, the most significant aspect here is that we’ll have holiday events this year, unlike in 2020!
The Magic Kingdom Christmas party dates back to 1983 (!). So, its absence last year felt like one final cruel trick by 2020.
Restaurants, Shows, and Spas
Disney has finally shed some light on various remaining mysteries at the parks and resorts.
For instance, we finally know the month that Space 220 will open at EPCOT…and it’s the next one!
Yes, after almost two years of waiting, the restaurant near Mission: SPACE will finally open in September!
In videogame terms, it’s the equivalent of Duke Nukem Forever finally receiving a release. In album terms, Guns N’ Roses finally released Chinese Democracy.
Suffice to say that we’ve waited a looong time for this, and it’s nice to know that the date has almost arrived.
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You can check out Imagineer Zach Riddley’s Instagram to look at actual footage from inside the restaurant! Yes, Space 220 is no longer vaporware!
While Disney didn’t confirm an exact opening date, it’ll occur sometime in mid-September. That means we’re less than a month away from its debut!
Speaking of which, something else we’ve seemingly tracked forever is Drawn to Life, the oft-delayed Cirque du Soleil show coming to Disney Springs.
Thankfully, we finally have an opening date for the new performance. Cirque du Soleil will debut its latest presentation on November 18th.
From a business perspective, that date makes sense given that it’s right before Thanksgiving week and the busy December period.
Generally, the last six weeks of the year represent some of the busiest times on the annual calendar. So, it’s a great time to launch a show.
Switching coasts, Disney will introduce something else that’s new at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
The Tenaya Spa arrives on September 16th. This debut solves the current awkward problem of the hotel with “Spa” in its name not operating a spa.
Disney Park Updates
Still, we have some more park stuff to mention. For example, Disney MAY have solved the mystery of Splash Mountain.
The ride has experienced an unusual amount of downtime recently. However, the Vice-President of Magic Kingdom recently participated in a podcast.
During the discussion, she indicated that re-themes like the much-needed one at Splash Mountain don’t happen overnight.
Apparently, the switch to The Princess and the Frog won’t happen anytime soon and may take years. So, there’s clearly no rush.
Meanwhile, the Liberty Square Riverboat needs a refurbishment. It’ll go down next Monday, August 23rd, and then return on September 1st.
Also, Disney has changed Ride Switch to address the abuse by a small percentage of guests.
Disney previously allowed up to three guests to ride after the child swap. The program’s language has updated to reflect that this is no longer the case.
Guests who ride the first time may not get to ride the attraction again after Ride Switch. It depends on factors like crowds and suspicion of policy abuse.
You can read additional details here.
Outside the parks, Walt Disney World has suffered a minor crisis. The Reedy Creek Fire Department has experienced a COVID-19 outbreak.
Frustratingly, that tracks with the overall status of Central Florida. For a time, 90 firefighters went through contract tracing exposure. Ten of them got sick.
In reporting the story, the Orlando Sentinel suggested that workers lack sick leave for such incidents. So, this isn’t great.
Hopefully, the Reedy Creek Firefighters Association works out a deal to fix the fair compensation issue quickly.