MickeyBlog News for June 20th, 2022
What happened in the wide world of Disney this week?
Well, let’s see. Disneyland announced a Halloween bash, Walt Disney World soured on Lake Nona, and the final remaining Disney park reopened after its COVID closure.
We’ve got some fascinating stories in the latest MickeyBlog News.
Oogie Boogie Bash Returns
Save the date, Disneyland fans! Halloween decorations will return to the Happiest Place on Earth on September 2nd.
Starting on that date, you’ll find all your favorite Disneyland Resort Halloween offerings.
Disneyland will also bring back Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party this year. And it’ll be the full-fledged version, not a pandemic-impacted one.
Disneyland will throw the first Oogie Boogie Bash on September 9th and then 22 more events through Halloween night.
One of the events bears special mention because it’s a first. D23 Gold Members can book an exclusive Oogie Boogie Bash on September 10th.
Disneyland hosts this party night as part of D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event.
So, D23 members can reserve tickets for this night and face less competition. You likely know that all Oogie Boogie Bash nights will sell out.
For this reason, you should be ready to book the D23 Gold Member night when the reservation window opens on June 28th.
Similarly, Magic Key passholders can book any of the other nights when their reservation window opens on June 28th.
Don’t worry if you don’t have an annual pass! Disneyland won’t sell a full allotment of tickets on that date.
Instead, park officials are simply reserving some for loyal customers. Everyone else can book starting on June 30th…and you shouldn’t procrastinate.
Oogie Boogie Bash is arguably the most popular event on Disneyland’s annual calendar. As a result, tickets will go FAST for many dates, especially Halloween.
By the way, Disney also confirmed the return of the Haunted Mansion Holiday, the Cars Land Halloween ride overlays, and many other favorites!
In short, we’re getting a REAL Oogie Boogie Bash this year, not the heavily modified one from 2021.
A Lot Can Happen in Four Years
Okay, the other massive headline this week involves the Lake Nona, Florida, move that Disney has previously announced.
C-suite executives decided to move Disney’s base of operations from Glendale, California, to Lake Nona.
This move impacted many Imagineers, some of whom have already quit or retired. Kevin Lively, a 14-year cast member, famously posted his explanation.
The gist is that Lively had no interest in moving to Florida, and he said that before Disney’s recent spat with the state government.
West Coast Imagineers prefer Disneyland and California in general to Walt Disney World. As a result, they had little desire to switch coasts, even to keep their dream jobs as Imagineers.
Disney’s overlords took away that choice by dictating that people must move. Otherwise, they’d lose their jobs.
Then, Florida passed the Don’t Say Gill bill, legislation that directly impacted members of Walt Disney’s family as well as many Imagineers and other cast members.
That legislation further reduced the desire of many California Disney workers to switch coasts. In fact, many flat-out refused and asked Disney to reconsider.
I’m happy to report that this has happened. Disney has delayed its move to Lake Nona until 2026, when the world will hopefully have calmed down a bit.
Disney’s California employees have understandably applauded this announcement.
They’re no longer under any obligation to move to a state whose latest law denounces their sexuality.
Frankly, Disney’s announcement lowers the odds that the Imagineering team calls only one place home ever again.
Then again, in the Zoom era of business, that’s just modern life. Disney may need to construct multiple iterations of The Dish, though.
Disney News Part I
We still have a ton of stories to cover this week. So, I’ll go faster than usual on them.
The big one involves an international park. I’m happy to report that Shanghai Disneyland has reopened after its recent COVID outbreak.
You can read full details here, but the best part of the story involves the timing. Shanghai Disneyland reopened in time for its sixth birthday!
With this park’s return, all Disney theme parks are operational once again. Hopefully, that statement will remain true for the next 50 straight years.
We’ve all had enough of the pandemic-caused stop-and-start park operations.
Meanwhile, MickeyBlog confirmed the other unexpected park news. Minnie Vans are participating in a soft opening right now!
The ride-sharing service officially returns on June 29th, but some lucky guests like Greg from MickeyBlog have already gotten a ride!
Those of you who use Lyft can check the service. If it lists Minnie Vans as an option – there’s about a 50/50 chance – you can book now!
Yes, friends, the most stylish rides in Florida are back in business!
By the way, Disney’s governmental feuds remain. These incidents have recently garnered headlines, but they’ve been ongoing for decades.
The most problematic and combative issue before this year involved property taxes. A former Orange County Property Appraiser overbilled Disney.
The Mouse fought him in court and won because that’s what Disney does. It sues and almost always wins.
Now, history is repeating itself as Disney just sued the NEW Property Appraiser, the one who promised to foster a friendlier atmosphere with the company.
Disney filed at least 10 lawsuits to dispute previously paid property taxes. It could win millions if it wins this lawsuit, just as it did with the previous Property Appraiser.
Disney News Part 2
Do you love Harmonious? If so, you’ll want to watch Disney+ on June 21st. Yes, I said Disney+.
The service will livestream the nighttime presentation from EPCOT at 9 p.m. EST. Elsa herself, Idina Menzel, will host the event.
Auli’i Cravalho, the voice of Moana, will perform during the show as well. And it’ll be a fancy version of Harmonious with 240 other live musicians!
Also at EPCOT, the Fourth of July festivities will once again include a patriotic tribute to America after Harmonious. So, that’s a good night to spend at EPCOT!
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Hollywood & Vine will finally bring back its buffet on August 28th.
One of my worst hot takes during the pandemic was that Disney may abandon buffets for everyone. So, I apologize for getting that one LOUD wrong.
I think we’ll all be happy to have Hollywood & Vine back the way that we all remember it.
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Mickey and Minnie Mouse have returned to their previous character greeting spot at Adventurers Outpost.
Disney had maintained some mystery about who would appear here, but it was the obvious choice after all.
Finally, Disney’s Parks Blog posted this yesterday. It’s the first look at Cotino, a Storyliving by Disney community. Yes, it’s gorgeous.