MickeyBlog News for November 8th, 2021
Last Monday, cast members flipped the switch, changing holidays from Halloween to Christmas.
We’ve got all the details plus updates on cast member mask changes and the return of club level at several resorts.
Also, a Disney ride has just dropped its virtual queue, and Disney has won in court.
We’ve got plenty to cover in the latest MickeyBlog News update.
Have You Put Up Your Christmas Tree Yet?
Disney never seems more impressive than during the witching hour of Halloween.
While spooky souls embrace the darkness, cast members work tirelessly to convert the parks from Halloween to Christmas.
The process looks like this:
Disney World has released time-lapse video of the Christmas decorations being installed at Magic Kingdom as the resort prepares for the holiday season. pic.twitter.com/HWOA7ZMczt
— Ashley Carter (@AshleyLCarter1) November 2, 2021
Remarkably, Disney fans left Disney After Hours – Boo Bash after midnight on Sunday, only to discover a Christmas tree on Main Street U.S.A. Monday morning.
The process is genuinely mind-blowing, but it’s also impossible to finish entirely in a few hours.
So, Walt Disney World and Disneyland have gradually added December holiday decorations this past week.
However, some changes were almost immediate. For example, Jingle Cruise was up and running on November 1st. Here’s a clip of the 2021 version:
Meanwhile, Living with the Land hasn’t finished its holiday overlay yet. A Disney Springs favorite has, though.
Yes, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar has converted to Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar for the next two months! As usual, Christmas fare populates the menu.
Speaking of which, the parks have added plenty of yuletide concoctions for the holiday season.
You’ll also find the beloved Gingerbread Carousel at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. Unfortunately, Disney didn’t operate it last year due to the pandemic.
Thankfully, the carousel has returned for 2021 with a Little Mermaid theme.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will open its Gingerbread House to the public next week.
Guests who visit the lobby right now can watch its construction, though. In a way, that’s a more fascinating part of the experience.
Finally, several of the Beacons of Magic will feature holiday elements as well. None of them is active yet, but they should be soon.
Disney has indicated that November 12th represents the official start of the holiday season. Virtually everything should be live by then.
Good News for Cast Members
We’re still awaiting word on face mask policy updates at Disney theme parks.
Orange County, Florida, recently ended its State of Emergency, allowing Disney to change its overall policies whenever it wants.
Disney has loosened one of its restrictions, though. And it’s music to the ears of vaccinated cast members!
Starting on November 8th, as long as Disney workers have received complete vaccination, they don’t need to wear masks backstage.
As I’ve mentioned in an article that may or may not have gone live by the time you read this, the term backstage references theme park areas that are off-limits to regular guests.
In other words, anything backstage is a place exclusive to cast members. Starting tomorrow, cast members don’t have to wear masks here.
However, the workers must replace their masks when they’re onstage, the places where you’ll see them.
As such, this rule benefits workers who spend most of their park hours backstage than the ones who work at restaurants, shops, and attractions.
Still, this loosening of restrictions represents the latest baby step toward a post-pandemic Disney. We’re all grateful for that, right?
el and runDisney News
When Disney resorts added concierge club level services back in the day, no one could have anticipated a pandemic.
Once Coronavirus shut down the parks, Disney officials recognized that Club Level services violated safe social distancing practices.
So, most resorts with Club Levels have gone more than 18 months without using this space.
Well, that will change soon. Disney has just published the reopening dates for several Club Level and concierge services.
Here are the applicable return dates:
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort – December 16th, 2021
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – December 16th, 2021
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort – January 20th, 2022
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort – January 27th, 2022
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – February 3rd, 2022
Disney has confirmed that when the various Club Levels return, they will operate as usual, albeit with some pandemic safeguards in place.
You must wear a face mask indoors, at least until Disney updates that policy.
Also, the lounges will employ social distancing. As such, I expect that capacity will remain limited for the time being.
You’ll still get your free food and beverages and concierge services, though!
Meanwhile, on the runDisney front, save the dates for March 31st through April 3rd.
On those dates, runDisney will host the Springtime Surprise Weekend. Based on past history, you can safely expect these events to sell out, too.
runDisney events have evolved into one of the most popular times on the annual Disney calendars.
So, you’ll want to contact a MickeyTravels agent immediately to schedule your trip.
The Springtime Surprise Weekend will feature the Expedition Everest 5k, the Race for the Taste 10k, and The Tower of Terror 10-Miler.
The Race for the Taste run will tie into Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. Ergo, park officials have themed all three legs to Disney attractions.
Disney News and Notes
WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure at Disney California Adventure has made the change.
Like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, this attraction started with Boarding Group requirements.
Guests couldn’t experience the attraction without a Boarding Group reservation.
Well, Disney has ended this practice, at least temporarily. So, for the time being, WEB SLINGERS will utilize a standby queue just like all the other rides.
Disney noted that it reserves the right to switch to virtual queuing during busy periods.
For this reason, I expect Boarding Groups to return for Thanksgiving and Christmas week.
In court news, an Orange County Superior Court judge in California just ruled in Disney’s favor.
The company faced a class-action lawsuit that would have required it to comply with Measure L, a voting measure in Anaheim.
Measure L is a living way ordinance requiring businesses to pay workers $18 an hour by 2022 and then increase living wages annually.
At issue was a Disneyland Resort parking garage that some argued would fit under Measure L’s umbrella. The judge disagreed and dismissed the case.
Legal experts almost unanimously agree with the ruling, a rarity in law these days.
Still, I think we all wince at headlines where Disney avoids “living wage” laws. It’s a bad look.
In resort news, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser reservations have nearly sold out for the first three months.
Disney has offered some transparency by showing available dates for 2022. Suffice to say that this place is popular.
Finally, Disney has announced the Ultimate Toy Drive. Here’s the word straight from GMA:
“Now through December 14th, people can participate and help bring more joy to children in need by donating a toy online at shopDisney.com for the toy drive or a new, unwrapped toy at one of Disney’s drop-off locations.”