MickeyBlog News for September 6th, 2021
This week, a monorail station reopened after an extended delay, and annual passes returned at the Most Magical Place on Earth.
Meanwhile, signs of Lightning Lane have appeared at Walt Disney World. Also, an attraction returned after a two-week absence.
I’ll explain it all in this week’s MickeyBlog News.
The New Annual Pass Program
We recently discussed the new Magic Key program at Disneyland, the replacement to the previous annual pass system.
The other day, Walt Disney World officials released details on the new annual pass program here.
Suffice to say that the new passes represent something of a mixed bag. As such, the reception to this announcement proved somewhat icy.
Here’s why. If you live outside of Florida and aren’t a member of the Disney Vacation Club program, you only have one option. And it’s NOT cheap.
The lowest tier of Walt Disney World annual passes will go on sale on Wednesday, September 8th.
Called the Disney Pixie Dust Pass, it’ll provide guests access to the parks “on most weekdays” for a cost of $399 plus tax.
This option is only available to Floridians. Get used to that statement, as it applies to three out of four new annual passes in the program.
Owners of the Disney Pixie Dust Pass may hold up to three Park Passes at a time.
However, Disney emphasized that whenever you hold a reservation at an official Disney resort, you can book a Park Pass for each date of your visit.
So, Disney has incentivized guests to stay on the property more than ever before. It’s the only way to ensure you can enter the parks on each date of your vacation.
The second-lowest tier, the Disney Pirate Pass, comes with a price tag of $699 plus tax.
For that amount, Floridians get to visit Walt Disney World “on most days” throughout the year, including Saturdays and Sundays.
So, Disney has brought back the old weekday and all-week passes by different names.
Holders of the Disney Pirate Pass may schedule up to four Park Passes at once.
The Other Annual Pass Options
The next step up is the Disney Sorcerer Pass, which costs $899. It’s only an option for Floridians and DVC members.
The primary difference with this pass appears to be fewer blocked-out dates on the annual calendar, times when you cannot visit the park.
Also, you can schedule up to five Park Passes, although the benefit of one extra Park Pass strikes me as negligible.
The best pass now is also the only one that’s an option to non-Floridians who aren’t in DVC. It’s called the Disney Incredi-Pass.
For $1,299, guests may enter the parks every day of the year, holding up to five Park passes at once. Ergo, the only extra benefit for $400 is no blockout dates.
Disney will include Park Hopping for all annual passholders, which is nice. However, PhotoPass is now an upsell of $99 rather than included with the pass.
Similarly, Water Park and Sports is another option for $99 more. So, if you want a full access pass, it’ll cost $1,497 plus tax.
All annual passes maintain the previous benefits of up to 20 percent discounts on food and merchandise. Also, you get free standard parking at the parks.
Overall, the new system looks a lot like the old system, only with Park Pass factored in and some hefty price increases.
PS: If you’re a current annual passholder, Disney just bumped up the number of Park Passes you can hold at once.
Silver passholders may schedule up to four, while Gold members and above can take five.
Changing Times at Walt Disney World
We know that some things will be different at Walt Disney World this Fall. In fact, I’ve got an article on the topic coming out soon.
Some of the new stuff has debuted a bit earlier than expected. For instance, the monorail station has reopened at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!
Disney had indicated that this place would return in time for the 50th-anniversary party on October 1st.
Still, we’d started to wonder about the deadline. Other stuff at the Polynesian had come back, but the monorail station remained offline.
Thankfully, the situation changed over Labor Day weekend, when the new version of the station debuted.
A construction team literally tore down the old monorail station and started from scratch. So, even using the term “reopened” is a bit misleading. It’s brand new!
At the parks, the age of Lightning Lane is upon us. Several attractions have replaced their old FastPass signs with the new Lightning Lane ones.
Each attraction’s Lightning Lane sign varies a bit to matching the overall theming. Also, you cannot use them yet except in special circumstances.
Cast members will redirect you to the regular line if you try to enter the Lightning Lane.
However, some guests will have passes in instances where another ride tore down, a cast member offered one, or the like. It’s only in rare instances, though.
For the overwhelming majority of guests, you won’t get to enter the Lightning Lane until October.
Finally, some lucky folks have entered Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and reported from inside the attraction.
MickeyBlog was among the fortunate few! Take a look at our livestream of the big event, including the ride video!
Last week, I mentioned that Living with the Land remained out of service. Well, we never solved the mystery of why, but it has reopened.
I’d also previously discussed that Space 220 will (finally) open in September. We now know an exact date.
The outer space-themed restaurant debuts on September 20th. We’re only two weeks away from its grand opening!
Alas, Disney isn’t accepting Advanced Dining Reservations for Space 220 yet. We’ll let you know if that changes.
At Magic Kingdom, a strange incident unfolded at Tom Sawyer Island over the weekend.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office received notification of a suspicious person in the area. So, Disney evacuated the island.
WDW Stats tweeted about the incident at 5:52 p.m. on Saturday:
— WDW Stats (@WdwStats) September 4, 2021
I guess it was a full moon on Saturday or something, as something else weird took place.
Two parties on a Disney ferryboat started exchanging punches! Here’s some video:
Fight breaks out on Disney World Magic Kingdom ferry boat pic.twitter.com/5tOReukOwu
— anthraxxx781 (@anthraxxx781) September 5, 2021
Several sources reached out to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office to determine whether they arrested anyone.
At the time of publication, the sheriff’s department hadn’t commented on the matter. Videos of the altercation have gone viral, though…and many of them have been taken down.
Okay, that’s everything for now! I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday, everyone!