MickeyBlog News for September 27th, 2021
This week, EPCOT added an elevator to outer space.
Also, international travel to Disney will get easier, a resort gets delayed, and a sweet shop announces its reopening date.
We have PLENTY of stories to cover in this week’s MickeyBlog News.
Space 220: The Final Frontier
The most anticipated restaurant at EPCOT finally debuted this past week after a multi-year delay.
Did Space 220 live up to the hype? Team MickeyBlog was among the first parties to take the Stellarvator up to Centauri Space Station.
Suffice to say that our crew loved the experience, especially the drinks!
The opening of Space 220 proved wildly successful, perhaps even exceeding the expectations of park officials.
Disney didn’t offer Advanced Dining Reservations for the first week. Those are starting on September 27th.
So, guests flocked to Space 220 in hopes of being among the first to ride the space elevator, aka the Stellarvator.
By day two, Disney accepted that demand vastly exceeded supply. So, the restaurant temporarily switched to a virtual queue.
This problem will solve itself when reservations start tomorrow. Still, there’s a cautionary note here.
Guests are lining up in droves to experience Space 220. If you want to join them, you’ll need a dining reservation or a LOT of luck with the virtual queue.
Plan ahead, my friends!
International Travel to America Gets Easier in November
For decades now, Disney has relied on travelers from Brazil and Europe as some of its most loyal customers.
During the pandemic, European tourists couldn’t visit America for the most part. As such, many frustrated onlookers have lamented pandemic rules in place.
Well, starting on November 1st, you may travel to America much more easily, as quarantine requirements will go away.
President Joe Biden just announced that tourists will only need to do two things to visit the United States after that date.
You must have proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test from the past three days to enter the U.S.
Obviously, unvaccinated guests will have steeper hurdles to entering America.
Those travelers must pass a test on the arrival date, a 24-hour window, and on the return date for departing the U.S. Also, they must be American citizens.
Vaccinated guests won’t need to do any quarantining. So, people have yet another reason to get vaccinated.
In fact, international travelers who miss Disney don’t have any other choice unless they’re already American citizens.
The Rise of the Resistance Update
Okay, this past week came with one of the most unexpected twists in recent Disney memory.
Disney officials dropped the Boarding Groups requirement at Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance with minimal warning.
The most popular attraction at Walt Disney World only involves a standby line now. In other words, it works the same as all other attractions.
Disney used the term “pause” for Boarding Groups, indicating that they may come back.
However, for the time being, guests are using the normal process. Results have been unexpectedly good thus far, too.
While we only have a couple of days of data, wait times have averaged 100 minutes or so. As I type this, which is a non-peak hour, the wait is only 60 minutes.
So, the early results are quite positive! But will this average hold when park attendance spikes for Walt Disney World’s 50th-anniversary celebration?
Nobody knows for sure. Keep reading MickeyBlog as we track this.
The Other Surprise…
Disney did drop an additional bombshell, though, and you should pay close attention to this one.
Walt Disney World’s official website sneakily updated the attraction list for Early Theme Park Entry.
As a reminder, this amenity allows guests to enter Disney theme parks 30 minutes early. It’s only available to people staying at official Disney resorts.
Well, those folks just hit the lottery, as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is participating! That’s a new and shocking development.
When you stay at an official Walt Disney World hotel, you gain the benefit of avoiding most of the line at Rise of the Resistance! That’s a HUGE benefit!
You should speak to a MickeyTravels agent to set up your next trip.
Their services are free to you, and they can help you beat the rush to Rise of the Resistance!
Speaking of Early Theme Park Entry, Disney also quietly updated the starting date to September 26th! So yes, it’s available right now!!!
Theme Park Miscellany
I’ve got several other park tidbits you’ll want to do. For starters, Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort has delayed its opening indefinitely.
You may recall that Disney’s All-Star Music Resort just reopened. Apparently, Disney decided it didn’t need both, at least for the time being.
What everyone needs right now is something sweet from Main Street Confectionary. Starting on September 29th, you can get your wish.
You may recall that Disney started refurbishment of this Main Street, U.S.A. staple in March.
The dessert shop faced a tight deadline, as Disney had previously indicated an October 2nd reopening.
Alas, that date would have fallen after the 50th-anniversary celebration on October 1st. Nobody wanted that.
So, cast members prioritized it, and now Main Street Confectionary will be back in time for the big party on Friday!
Speaking of refurbishment, Mickey’s PhilharMagic will close on October 11th. However, it will only go down for a month.
Management will update the ride to integrate the new scene from Coco. Then, Mickey’s PhilharMagic will reopen on November 12th in its new form.
Speaking of new scenes (it’s all connected this week!), the Electrical Water Pageant will receive a 50th-anniversary update.
The new sequences will play off The Magic Is Calling, Disney’s 50th birthday theme song.
We’ll get the new stuff before and after the regular version of the Electrical Water Pageant.
Even More Theme Park Updates
Circling back to Main Street, U.S.A., Disney is doing something right. The pianist will return to Casey’s Corner on that date.
Since the restaurant returned a while ago, it has remained without live music, which never sat well with longstanding Disney fans.
Main Street, U.S.A. just isn’t the same without a pianist playing as we walk toward Cinderella Castle. I’m glad that Disney recognized this fact.
Speaking of that area of the park, Crystal Palace has brought back its buffet.
So, everything is back to normal on Main Street, U.S.A. or at least will be when Main Street Confectionary returns.
On the right side of Cinderella Castle, guests at Disney Enchantment can guarantee their seating. Disney will offer dessert packages for $99 per adult.
These packages begin on October 3rd…and yes, the chocolate-dipped strawberries return to the menu!
Not to be outdone, EPCOT will also guarantee seating for Harmonious. All you need to do is book a dining package at one of two restaurants.
Your options are Rose & Crown Dining Room and Spice Road Table. Please pick Spice Road Table and leave Rose & Crown to me!
Finally, the strangest update of the week could stir some excitement. Disney is currently demolishing the former Primeval Whirl space at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Yes, cast members are tearing down the roller coaster tracks as we speak.
So why does Disney need that space? That’s a good question…