MickeyBlog News for March 27th, 2023
This past week, a water park reopened, a restaurant debuted, and many cast members learned they would earn more money.
This is a good week for MickeyBlog News and Disney fans.
Rodeo Roundup BBQ Debuts
Longtime Disney fans know that the earliest plans for Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios called for a larger footprint.
Alas, construction stretched Imagineers too thin to complete Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land as envisioned.
Obviously, Disney was never going to cut corners on the Star Wars themed land. Instead, Disney saved part of the Toy Story Land development for later.
Now, several years down the line, later has finally arrived with the grand opening of Rodeo Roundup BBQ.
Disney initially announced this project in April 2019!
So, we have waited a while for a restaurant originally announced to debut in summer of 2020.
Remarkably, Disney has delivered on virtually all the promised features for Rodeo Roundup BBQ…and then some!
As you might imagine, crowds swarmed Disney’s Hollywood Studios on opening day.
MickeyBlog was fortunate enough to visit a few days before then. In fact, we already posted a discussion about why you’ll want to eat there.
We also posted a video review on our growing YouTube channel:
You can catch a glimpse of what the meal looks like. Suffice to say that you’ll love it. It seems like Disney has taken the best ideas from Whispering Canyon Café’s skillets and expanded them.
Also, Disney sometimes does this:
Uh oh…. Andy’s Coming!!!! 🤫 #disneyparks #disneyeats #rounduprodeobbq pic.twitter.com/rcrsB3rH14
— MickeyBlog.com (@MickeyBlog_) March 23, 2023
That’s reason enough to want to eat at Rodeo Roundup BBQ!
Typhoon Lagoon Reopens
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon has reopened after a delay that took a couple of days longer than anybody expected.
Park officials had previously proclaimed the water park’s return date as March 19th. Alas, cold weather prevented that from happening.
Disney wasn’t the only tourist locale in the region to face this problem. Universal’s Volcano Bay also closed twice recently due to the unusual cold.
While Central Florida cold weather isn’t like what northern parts of the country face, it’s still chilly enough that few people want to swim.
So, closures like this are often rare. In fact, Typhoon Lagoon returned two days later on March 21st.
MickeyBlog attended the reopening event, posting our typical variety of images and videos like this one:
Good Morning from Typhoon Lagoon 💦 #disneyparks #typhoonlagoon pic.twitter.com/9vfs7DOXD3
— MickeyBlog.com (@MickeyBlog_) March 21, 2023
While we were there, we discovered some new Dole Whip-style themed treats.
We also discovered two new menu items at Leaning Palms and some mini-donuts from Joffrey’s that might be the best overall snack at Typhoon Lagoon.
Since Disney’s Blizzard Beach just closed last week, Typhoon Lagoon will remain the only Walt Disney World water park for the time being.
Disney will probably reevaluate the situation as summer approaches. Still, we haven’t had dual water parks since before the pandemic.
If you visit Disney this spring, your only water park option is Typhoon Lagoon. Management has spruced up the place to account for this fact.
Disney World Unions Get the Deal They Need
On March 23rd, the Service Trades Council Union announced a previously unplanned media event at 5 p.m.
Since they announced this event only a few hours ahead of time, everyone figured that Walt Disney World had finally come to terms with its unions.
Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. Cast members stressed the urgency of a pay increase.
I’ll discuss the details more extensively in Disney Headlines on Wednesday, but the gist is that this happened.
Disney had previously offered a scheduled annual salary increase that would have amounted to a $5 raise in hour wages over a five-year period.
The unions held firm that they needed at least $3 an hour much sooner.
Disney ultimately relented by providing an immediate salary floor of $17 an hour.
That’s a $2 hourly increase that will improve to $3 more/$18 hourly by the end of 2023.
At that point, Disney will offer the best starting pay of any tourist locale in Central Florida, a sticking point after Universal Orlando Resort recently announced a floor of $17 hourly.
In short, everybody wins in this deal. As Disney fans, that should make us all happy and relieved.
In fact, Jeff Vahle, the President of Walt Disney World Resort, summarized the resolution perfectly:
“Our cast members are central to Walt Disney World’s enduring magic, which is why we are pleased to have reached this tentative agreement.”
The Tron Update
Okay, Tron Lightcycle / Run at Magic Kingdom technically doesn’t open until April 4th.
However, Disney has already opened the virtual queue some mornings. Also, the Lightning Lane is up and running.
If you don’t want to pay for access, you’ll need to act FAST, though! I mean comically fast.
On the first day that Disney offered the virtual queue for the Tron coaster, it sold out within a minute.
In fact, anecdotally, some users reported that they faced sellouts after ten seconds! They reloaded, and all inventory vanished!
MickeyBlog has posted some tips to maximize your chances of booking a Boarding Group.
You should take these pro tips seriously. If you so much as sneeze at the wrong time, you could be out of luck.
So, have a plan and bring friends to multiple your odds of someone snagging a spot in the virtual queue.
Something else you should know involves Tron’s impact on Tomorrowland.
This phenomenon has just started. For this reason, it’s still early to say how much of a halo effect the ride will have on the rest of Tomorrowland.
Based on recent Disney park history, Tomorrowland probably experiences at least a short-term surge, though. That should last through April and possibly even the summer.
Disney has also extended the soft opening hours for Tron to satisfy more of the guests visiting now who won’t still here on April 4th. And we all appreciate that!
Theme Park Miscellany
We’ve got a few other stories to cover this week. First, Disneyland Park has announced that the Hyperspace Mountain ride overlay will return on May 1st.
Yes, that’s just in time for the May 4th celebration. Hyperspace Mountain will remain through June 4th, 2023.
Space Mountain at Disneyland is also testing Single Rider. I doubt park officials would do this unless they planned to use it for Hyperspace Mountain, too, but that’s just my speculation.
In other park news, Akershus at EPCOT will resume breakfast and lunch service on May 14th. So, it’ll finally be back to full strength in about six weeks!
Finally, Walt Disney Imagineering has shared something that won’t help you anytime soon unless you’re a world traveler…but it’s awesome!
The official Instagram account showed off the new Toybox Suites at Toy Story Hotel at Shanghai Disneyland Resort. Buzz Lightyear fans are in for a treat!
View this post on Instagram
Okay, that’s everything for this week. Have fun, everyone!
PS: Congratulations to our cast member readers positively impacted by the new labor deal! You deserve it!
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