MickeyBlog News for September 20th, 2021
The most popular ride at Walt Disney World just made a significant change.
Meanwhile, a Disneyland ride will change in a different way. Also, EPCOT saw plenty of action this week.
Let’s talk about all of it in MickeyBlog News.
The New Resistance
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in December of 2019.
One thing has remained the same throughout its entire existence. Nobody could ride Rise of the Resistance unless they snagged a Boarding Group.
Each day, Hollywood Studios guests had either one or two opportunities to book a Boarding Group on MyDisneyExperience.
When they couldn’t, they got shut out of the ride. It’s a heartbreaking turn of events, and I speak from personal experience here.
Demand for the attraction remained so high that Disney kept Boarding Groups during the pandemic, even after Walt Disney World reopened.
For more than a year, Rise of the Resistance has maintained its status as the only ride with a virtual queue.
Well, that process is about to change. Disney just announced that it’ll “pause” Boarding Groups for Rise of the Resistance.
You can speculate about why management is doing this – and I have! – but the rationale doesn’t matter.
All you should care about is that Boarding Groups will go away on September 23rd.
Starting on that date, you will do the same thing for Rise of the Resistance that you would for any other attraction.
When the park opens, you’ll enter the standby line queue and wait your turn! Obviously, you should expect to wait a while, though.
The most popular attractions at Walt Disney World require waits of 60+ minutes.
I think it’s safe to expect Rise of the Resistance to head straight to the top of that list.
Still, for the foreseeable future, when you visit Hollywood Studios, you WILL get to ride Rise of the Resistance if you want. It just might take a while.
New and Improved EPCOT
For the past two years, EPCOT has stayed in a transitional phase. We knew that some stuff was leaving while new amenities would arrive someday.
The problem was that nobody could nail down a date when the new stuff would debut. Last month, we finally started getting some clarity.
Now, we’re reaping the rewards, as three places just opened at EPCOT. Technically, one of them is a reopening, but that’s semantics.
I’m referencing the former Club Cool, which just came back in a new place.
Disney tore down the old spot, leading to speculation that it was gone forever.
Then, park officials surprisingly announced that Club Cool would return in a different location.
Specifically, that place is Creations Shop, the new anchor store at EPCOT. Club Cool, the Coca-Cola store, connects to Creations Shop.
As was the case at the old location, Club Cool provides free samples of some of the nastiest beverages in the world, including the Beverly.
The place also sells pretty much every kind of Coca-Cola merchandise you can imagine.
Somehow, Club Cool isn’t the big news at EPCOT, though. The debut of Creations Shop means that we have something akin to Mouse Gear again.
Disney closed the actual Mouse Gear store and then opened a temporary one elsewhere in early 2020.
During this time, Imagineers built something entirely new. Now, the modern replacement for Mouse Gear is operational. Here are some pics of Creations Shop.
The Spaceship Earth merchandise on sale here is so good that it’s probably the entirety of my Christmas list this year.
By the way, Disney even threw in a surprise. In the same area as Club Cool and Creations Ship, EPCOT opened Popcorn Stand. You can guess what it sells.
The New and Improved Car Toon Spin
Disney decided a while ago that it would modernize all its attractions that hadn’t aged well.
I’ve written about this several times, but there’s one ride I never mentioned. I’m referencing Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin.
Why didn’t I discuss it? Have you seen Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Unfortunately, the Jessica Rabbit character hasn’t aged well.
The character’s 100 percent Male Gaze. In the film, that’s the joke, but it’s gotten less funny over time.
The theme park attraction is faithful enough to the movie that it’s problematic today, which probably explains why it’s one of the least popular Disneyland rides.
So, park officials had two options here. They could have closed the ride or updated it. They’ve chosen the latter.
Jessica Rabbit has switched careers and is now a private investigator. She will search every corner of Mickey’s Toontown until she uncovers a mystery.
Basically, Jessica Rabbit just became the protagonist of Car Toon Spin.
Disneyland has already removed the scene where she is hogtied in a car trunk. Also, many more changes are in the offing.
As with Jungle Cruise at Magic Kingdom, the work will occur while the park has closed to guests. Car Toon Spin will remain open during the day, though.
Disney Park Updates
I’ve saved one significant story until now. And it’s going to make you VERY happy. EPCOT will host the Candlelight Processional this year!
Since we’re already in late September, that means we’re only two months away from its return!
Park officials did make some concessions due to the pandemic. Only cast members will participate in this year’s Candlelight Processionals.
Usually, local choirs and musicians take the stage alongside Disney’s gifted performers. That’s still a bit unsafe at the moment, though.
So, Disney musicians will go it alone in 2021. That’s a small sacrifice in exchange for the return of the Candlelight Processional! We all REALLY missed it last year.
Disney also revealed that the Finding Nemo musical will return at Disney’s Animal Kingdom…but not until 2022.
Park officials need more time, as this show won’t be the one that you remember. Instead, Disney will update the show to make it more appealing today.
I’m hopeful that some elements of Finding Dory will make their way into the new show as well. That’s a highly underrated movie.
More Park and Resort Updates
Next, if you’re visiting Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa anytime soon, I have great news! The Tenaya Stone Spa is officially open! Take a look:
If you’re traveling to Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, please be aware of a policy change.
To dine at the restaurants here, you must have proof of vaccination. In lieu of that, you must present a confirmed negative COVID test within the last 48 hours.
So, if you’re spending several days at the resort, you might need to take multiple tests while you’re there. Your choices are that or getting vaccinated.
Finally, Disney’s All-Star Music Resort opened after an 18-month absence. Disney has updated it some during the downtime, which is nice.
Guests staying there soon are in for a treat!