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Tuesday, Sep 21, 2021
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The Dish on Disney

Some New Reopening Updates and More!

Hi everyone! Today I have some big reopening updates for Disneyland Resort and of course some big news at Walt Disney World as well. So, let’s get started, shall we?! At Walt Disney World, their theme parks are fully booked out for Spring break as Disney World has been sold out. As of Tuesday afternoon, admission to the Orlando theme parks is sold out from Saturday, March 13 through Friday, March 19, according to the company‘s website.

On these dates, Park Pass reservations are unavailable for Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios for both theme park guests and Disney resort guests.

Disney’s Florida parks have been operating at a significantly reduced capacity since reopening amid the Covid-19 pandemic in July.

In Florida, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber is worried that spring breakers could lead to new COVID-19 outbreaks, nearly a year after the onset of the pandemic cut 2020’s spring break season short.

Last week, Gelber appeared on CNN’s New Day and said the city is “very concerned” about vacationers, especially as Miami-Dade county averages more than 1,000 new COVID cases a day and different variants of virus continue to crop up

“A lot of things are happening simultaneously,” Gelber said. “You have the variant down here, and we still are having sometimes dozens of deaths a day in our county.” 

“And at the same time, we’ve got incredibly cheap round-trip tickets for 40 bucks from anywhere in the Northeast down here, discounted rooms and people who have been really pent up and wanting to get out with no other place to go than here,” he continued. “So we are very worried that there’s going to be a convergence of people here and a real problem in the aftermath of that.”

Despite some colleges canceling spring break, Miami Beach Police told CBS News that students from more than 200 schools are expected to head to the city this season, with the largest crowds taking place right now.

Gelber said on CNN that he is most concerned that gatherings at bars “might become the kinds of super-spreaders that I think we saw a year ago” and noted that police officers are handing out face masks in the absence of a mask mandate from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

Disney World continues to operate at 35% capacity with safety measures in place. According to the Walt Disney World reservation system online, reservations to visit the parks can be made through January 14th, 2023. This indicates that the theme park company will still be using its reservation system at least until that date.

Disney’s Blizzard Beach reopened on Sunday after being closed during the pandemic. The resort also recently announced plans to celebrate its upcoming 50th anniversary. 

Starting October 1, Walt Disney World will throw “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” that will last 18 months. 

Over at Disney World’s Epcot, they have announced that Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure a new attraction at EPCOT will be opening on Oct. 1. The opening will happen on the same day as Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration. The new attraction, located in the France pavilion, will make guests feel like they have shrunk to the size of Chef Remy as they scurry through Gusteau’s famous restaurant on a wild adventure for the whole family. Along with the new attraction, Disney said on its blog that it will open the La Crêperie de Paris, a new restaurant offering both table and quick-service options. Officials said the menu will feature sweet crepes, savory buckwheat galettes and authentic French hard cider. Back in January, construction walls that lead to the new attraction were taken down revealing beautiful murals and new bathrooms.

Disney said they hope to share more information about the attraction and the 18-month 50th anniversary celebration in the coming weeks and months.

Over at the Disneyland Resort, a Disney Chief Executive of the Walt Disney Company has announced that Disneyland will be reopening in late April! So, they just might be reopening it on April 1st for California residents. There is no specific date however, but this is really good news for Disneyland fans who are desperately wanting to go back after all these months from last year! Disneyland could still have some difficult time reopening since they want to make sure that it is safe for guests to come back, but when it does reopen, it will not be the same Disneyland we have seen before. Following the reopening of Disneyland, 10,000 of furloughed employees will be heading back to work. In April, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products furloughed non-essential executives, salaried and non-union hourly employees at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts due to continuing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Disney laid off 28,000 employees in September at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. An exact count of the layoffs at the Disneyland resort was not available, but estimates put the number at approximately 10,000 employees.

About 37,000 Disney employees were on furlough as of Oct. 3, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing by the company. “I’m pleased to say the response has been great thus far,” Chapek said. “Our cast members are excited to get back to work.”

Anaheim officials said in September that the coronavirus closures of Disneyland and the Anaheim Convention Center had led to a $100 million shortfall in city coffers.

“This is also good news for the Anaheim community, which depends on Disneyland for jobs and business generated by visitors,” Chapek said.

Chapek did not narrow the opening dates for Disneyland and DCA beyond “late April.” The delayed reopening for Disney’s Anaheim theme parks is not surprising. Disney moved cautiously last summer and reopened its four Florida parks after its rivals.

The Walt Disney World resort deployed a phased reopening plan when the four Florida theme parks returned last summer. Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom theme parks reopened on July 11 while the Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios parks reopened on July 15. Disney has announced a DCA food festival that hasn’t begun yet. A Touch of Disney runs on select dates from March 18 to April 19 at Disney California Adventure. Disneyland remained shuttered throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Disney California Adventure could return to full operation on April 20 after A Touch of Disney concludes. Disneyland could reopen sooner than DCA. Disney could decide to use a phased reopening plan in Anaheim and open Disneyland and DCA on staggered dates. Here in California, we’re encouraged by the positive trends we’re seeing and we’re hopeful they’ll continue to improve and we’ll be able to reopen our parks to guests with limited capacity by late April,” Chapek said at a shareholders meeting. They will be reopening with the limited capacity of 15%. I think that 15% will work out well so that it won’t be so crowded and other guests can have social distancing with masks required and other safety measures to prevent the spread from the virus.

However, for those who are have been waiting for Avengers Campus to open up at Disney’s California Adventure park, it will not open when Disneyland reopens. Prior to the closing of the theme parks in mid-March, Disneyland announced that MARVEL Avengers Campus would be opening July 18th. Of course, this was pushed back due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Though there is no specific date for the opening of the new Marvel-themed land, guests can expect to experience it later this year.

All of this information just came from the Disney news today.

So, what do you guys think about these big updates at Disney World and at Disneyland?!

I would love to hear lots of comments, thoughts, concerns, opinions, and questions down below!

Stay tuned for Disney updates.

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