Let’s Remember Everything That Reopened at Disney in 2021
If 2020 counts as Disney’s year of doom, we should describe 2021 as its triumphant comeback.
Yes, Disney reopened many of the attractions and amenities that the pandemic had shut down the previous year.
The loyal leaders of MickeyBlog went above and beyond to bring you pictures and videos from 35 (!) of these events.
On several occasions, MickeyBlog was among the first in line for places like Space 220.
Let’s take a look back at a year’s worth of Disney reopenings and admire everything the company accomplished.
In late August, one of EPCOT’s best restaurants switched services.
Due to the pandemic, Biergarten couldn’t host its beloved buffet for a long time. Then, it finally restored buffet service, and we were there!
Boatwright’s Dining Hall
While Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside remained closed, MickeyBlog couldn’t visit one of our favorite restaurants.
Thankfully, Boatwright’s just came back, and we were there on its first day!
BoardWalk Ice Cream
There’s no joy like being first in line for everything. At BoardWalk Ice Cream, MickeyBlog led the stampede of guests when the place opened!
Only part of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge returned with Walt Disney World in 2020.
The rest remained closed into 2021, which meant we couldn’t eat Zebra Domes at their home restaurant!
Then, in mid-August, Boma finally reopened, and we were there!
Cape May Café
I stay at Disney’s Beach Club Resort a lot. So, I’m thrilled that Cape May Café is back in business. Their breakfast is divine!
Have you ever watched Disney cast members sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame? It’s magical!
Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King
Last year, Disney canceled virtually all its live entertainment. Now, we can all go to Celebration of Festival of the Lion King!
This restaurant reopened for breakfast in 2020, but we couldn’t eat dinner with Mickey Mouse until May!
Columbia Harbour House
I will never forget the weirdness of Tomorrowland Terrace selling Columbia Harbour House’s menu. In 2021, order was restored.
In a strange way, I’ll miss standing in line for Peter Pan’s Flight in the middle of this restaurant, though.
The Contemporary’s New Lobby
Disney wanted to zhuzh up its original monorail resorts in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary.
So, Disney’s Contemporary Resort got a much-needed makeover, including its lobby!
Finally got to the Contemporary this morning to check out the lobby and pictures don’t do it justice. I completely agree with everyone who already said why didn’t Disney just carry this theming into the new rooms. pic.twitter.com/HwzLZsUpUv
— Craig Williams (@Teleclashter) September 28, 2021
Main Street, U.S.A. was missing more than hot dogs during the first year of the pandemic. Finally, Crystal Palace came back and all was right with the world.
Disney After Hours Boo Bash
We don’t just have reopenings listed here. Some of this stuff is technically new.
Other situations fall into a somewhat nebulous area.
For example, Disney After Hours Boo Bash is just Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party with a new name and modified experiences.
We were there to spot all the differences for you!
On October 1st, Disney finally offered fireworks presentations again. Crowds lined up waaaaaay early on Main Street, U.S.A. to enjoy the show.
We took lots of pics of the proceedings!
Disneyland Reopens for Out-of-State Guests
Here’s one of the most significant moments from calendar 2021.
Disneyland reopened to Californians on April 30th. Unfortunately, nobody from outside the state could go, though.
Local laws prevented Disney from selling tickets to non-Californians.
On June 15th, the rest of the world could return to the Happiest Place on Earth. Some MickeyBloggers were fortunate enough to be among the first!
At @Disneyland and it’s like it’s March 1, 2020. No masks, no physical distancing and jam packed for rope drop at Adventureland!#lifeisgood #disney #Disneyland #weareback @mickeytravels @disney pic.twitter.com/qynWi14qvT
— MickeyBlog.com (@MickeyBlog_) June 15, 2021
Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter
This one hurt me. After the Polynesian and the Contemporary, the hotel where my family is most likely to stay is Port Orleans – French Quarter.
For more than 18 months, this place remained closed. Then, it reopened in October, and everything was right with the world!
Presuming the pandemic doesn’t get any crazier, I’m staying here again in four weeks!
Drawn to Life Presented by Cirque du Soleil
The new Cirque du Soleil show at Disney Springs took longer than expected to open. When it finally did, the audience gave it a standing ovation!
The first grand opening at Walt Disney World in 2021 satisfied everyone’s sweet tooth.
We were there to taste the goodies on opening day!
Since then, Gideon’s Bakehouse has emerged as one of the best sweets shops on the East Coast.
We had to pick between Harmonious and Disney Enchantment on opening night, but we didn’t wait long to watch both shows.
Here are some pictures from the second night of EPCOT’s latest nighttime presentation. Spoilers: it was still VERY crowded.
Incredibles Rooms at the Contemporary
Disney did more than just reopen attractions and restaurants. It also re-themed some hotel rooms to beloved Disney concerns.
We were on hand for the first glimpse at the Incredibles rooms at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. They’re phenomenal!
Who doesn’t love M&Ms? My sworn enemies, that’s who! All sane people love these delicious chocolate treats.
Better yet, during a trip to Disney Springs, you can visit an entire store based on the M&M brand! It’s glorious!
Moana Rooms at the Polynesian
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is the one true Walt Disney World hotel. I will die on this hill.
This past summer, the resort unveiled its new Moana rooms, and they’re delightful!
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
The best improv comedy show in Orlando takes place several times a day at Magic Kingdom.
Alas, the show went on hiatus during the pandemic.
Then, the charming attraction finally snuck back in early August, and MickeyBlog was fortunate enough to catch the first show!
‘Ohana means family…but to Disney fans, it also means noodles!
When the Polynesian’s most popular restaurant reopened in July, we were there to stuff our faces with those noodles! See how happy Greg looks?!
If loving Pizzafari is wrong, MickeyBlog doesn’t wanna be right. Just look at this pizza!
Plaza Ice Cream Parlor
The Plaza Restaurant didn’t stay down for long, but its next-door neighbor, Plaza Ice Cream Parlor wouldn’t return until July.
We happily scarfed down a Mickey Ears bowl of ice cream on opening day!
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
EPCOT’s newest ride was only three months away from opening in March of 2020. Then, the pandemic delayed its arrival until October 1st, 2021.
Humorously, by that point, members of our staff had already ridden it several times! Here’s a video Nick from Magical News Live took in August!
Some experiences are cooler than others. To wit, MickeyBlog was literally first in line for the opening of the hottest restaurant at Walt Disney World.
As of now, you’ll struggle to book a reservation here, even at the lounge. I should know as I’ve been trying for the past month.
Space 220 has totally lived up to its hype, and that lucky MickeyBlog group will never forget being the first ones on the stellarvator!
Like you, we loooooved The Wave… of American Flavors. So, we were skeptical about its replacement, Steakhouse 71.
Storybook Dining at Artist Point
One of the most recent reopenings just occurred the other day. Here’s a recap of our visit to the hottest restaurant at Walt Disney World.
Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
One of the open secrets at Magic Kingdom in early 2020 was that the PeopleMover needed an overhaul.
This attraction had already closed before the pandemic struck. Weirdly, the downtime proved fortuitous to Disney.
Imagineers could take some time to fix the foundation of the PeopleMover. When it came back, we marveled at how much smoother the ride felt!
A Touch of Disney
Nobody remembers it now, but Disneyland hosted a food festival before the park reopened.
We were there to snap some pictures of Disneyland reopening its gates for the first time in over a year!
That’s a moment to tell the grandchildren about right there.
Turkey legs are back, baby! Tortuga Tavern, one of the most unique Magic Kingdom restaurants, is serving these monstrosities once again!
We were there on the first day to try them again! Actually, that’s a lie. We went with the new Nutella and Peanut Butter Sandwich instead!
Those turkey legs are kinda scary.
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto
This one was fun for me to track as someone not in Orlando at the time. I have several influencers I track for park intel.
When Trader Sam’s at the Polynesian finally reopened, our MickeyBlog team wound up seated around almost all of them.
Virtually everybody in that first group had a souped-up camera out to record/livestream the triumphant return! It was hysterical.
Here’s another place where MickeyBlog was first in line for its reopening!
This character meal finally has Mickey Mouse back in his adventurer outfit. We’d missed it so!
Very Merriest After Hours
When you think about Christmas, you can’t help but think about Santa Claus, too.
We took pictures of Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick asking guests what they want for Christmas!
We already established that Steakhouse 71 might serve the best slab of meat at Walt Disney World…and it’s great for vegans, too!
However, the old favorite for a steak remains Yachtsman Steakhouse.
MickeyBlog was there for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. As the video shows, it was a joyous day for many cast members.