MickeyBlog News for November 1st, 2021
Walt Disney World is no longer in a state of emergency, Disney Princesses roam freely again, and holiday Gingerbread Houses are just around the corner!
Today is an excellent day for MickeyBlog News!
On March 13th, 2020, Orange County, Florida, Mayor Jerry Demings declared a State of Emergency.
The rapid surge of COVID-19 cases shut down society, which I know we all would like to forget.
Thankfully, the prevalence of vaccines drastically reduced Coronavirus cases this past spring. As a result, on June 4th, Demings ended the State of Emergency.
With the declaration rescinded, Walt Disney World prompted loosened face-covering restrictions at the parks.
Alas, the sudden summer outbreak driven by the Delta variant led to another surge in cases.
By July 28th, Demings had reinstated the policy as Central Florida experienced its largest number of daily new cases yet.
At that point, Disney reinforced some of its previous requirements for face-coverings.
As I type this, guests must wear masks on all indoor attractions, even the ones that are partially outdoors.
Similarly, you must use face-coverings on most forms of Disney transportation.
I mention this because Mayor Demings just revoked the State of Emergency declaration once more.
Current COVID-19 cases in Florida are among the lowest they’ve been since last March.
As such, Disney could feasibly alter its face mask rules any day now. That hasn’t happened yet. So, keep checking MickeyBlog for the breaking news!
Disney Characters Have Returned!
Seriously, we’re overflowing with happy updates this week!
On top of a possible reduction in face-covering requirements, the past few weeks witnessed a return of character meetings!
Let’s start with this encouraging quote from Disney:
“Walt Disney World Resort is proud to have returned more than 50,000 cast members to work. Now, more than 65,000 are working across the resort, and we are hiring hundreds more each week as we continue to open more resorts and guest locations.”
That’s significant because some of those recently rehired cast members perform as Disney characters at the parks.
Sure enough, many of the character meetings you have asked about for 18 months have finally returned!
For instance, the Disney Princesses once again hold court at Princess Fairytale Hall. And Mickey is back at Town Square Theater.
Here’s a video of both:
You can fast-forward to the four-minute mark to watch the Disney Princesses.
The influencer, JoJo’s World, points out that you must wear face masks during these encounters.
Also, you can tell from the clip that Disney has roped off the characters to reduce the risk of accidental infection.
These moves should prove temporary as COVID-19 numbers continue to decline.
The important thing is that you can play with many of your Disney favorites the next time you’re at the park!
The Holidays at Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World officials continue to reveal plans for the upcoming holiday season.
MickeyBlog readers have already seen some of the decorations for this year. Those will start going up in earnest tomorrow.
The holidays will officially begin on November 12th, less than two weeks from now. However, some of the new stuff Disney just confirmed will arrive even sooner.
Take Disney’s Beach Club Resort. If you visit tomorrow, November 1st, the Gingerbread Carousel should already be up and spinning!
Disney didn’t offer the life-size carousel last year due to social distancing concerns. But it may be back by the time you read this!
One other resort will host a Gingerbread House this year, and it’s the one you’d expect.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the most revered of all Gingerbread Houses, will return this year after skipping 2020.
You can buy the usual assortment of holiday sweets here as well.
The Parks Blog didn’t clarify whether you’ll buy them at the Gingerbread House or not, though. This structure will debut on November 10th.
We’ll get one more Gingerbread House at Walt Disney World in 2021. You’ll find it at The American Adventure at EPCOT’s World Showcase starting on November 26th.
This year, EPCOT’s gingerbread wizards have recreated the Lincoln Memorial and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.
You’ll find a miniaturized of The American Adventure itself, too. That’s a clever conceit.
Perhaps the best news has nothing to do with gingerbread, though.
Sleigh rides are coming back to Walt Disney World! On December 1st, guests may visit Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.
For a fee of $75, one of the horses at Tri-Circle-D Ranch Barn will take you on an unforgettable 25-minute sleigh ride. It’s pure Disney magic!
Disney Miscellaneous News Updates
While we’re talking about the holidays, please be aware that Candlelight Processional dining packages are now available.
The launch of these packages didn’t go smoothly. So, you may struggle to find availability.
You should contact an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner at MickeyTravels.
As always, their services are free to you, and they’re better at Disney than the rest of us could ever hope to be.
In other upcoming events, Disney Springs will host a Disney Princess Concert on November 8th.
The Pandora store will host this event, which features actresses and singers from several of your favorite Disney animated movies!
The event will run from 11 a.m. through 1 p.m., and you should anticipate a crowd.
I mean, Syndee Winters will be there! She was Nala in The Lion King’s Broadway show! She was also in something called Hamilton. Maybe you heard of it.
Disney Resort News and More
Also, we’re happy to report that Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter has reopened after 18 torturous months away.
I missed this place more than the character greetings. Not even joking.
In upcoming resort news, Disney has started hiring cast members for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.
Yes, some folks in Orlando are learning how to wield The Force as we speak. Use your powers for good, my friends.
Speaking of which, you can reserve a room for Galactic Starcruiser now. The booking window has opened for everyone.
Remember that the hotel will open in four months. So it’s almost real, y’all!
We’ve got one other holiday update this week. Hollywood & Vine will transition from Halloween to Christmas on November 4th.
Starting on that date, you can enjoy Minnie’s Holiday Dine, which will remain until January 3rd.
Finally, we don’t have an exact date yet, but Disneyland’s social media just indicated something extraordinary.
The Main Street Electrical Parade will return soon! As soon as we learn when, we’ll pass along word!
You won’t want to miss the triumphant comeback of your favorite parade!