A few big announcements out of Disney this week. For starters, the first sale offer for rooms in 2021 just dropped, and discounts are deep. We also got new details on the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays as well as dates and details on the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. The long-awaited reopening dates for Disney All-Star Movie Resort have been confirmed. For the fans of Disney shopping, a cool new color collection was unveiled with a fantastic connection to one of our favorite charities, along with an exclusive opportunity for passholders. Out west, fans of shopping and dining at the Downtown Disney District have something to celebrate. This and more in this week’s news round up.
1 – 2021 Early Spring Room Sales Announced for Walt Disney World
Thank goodness the year 2020 is almost behind us. If you’re looking to come to Walt Disney World in early 2021, then now is the time to book! Disney has released many new promotions that are valid through early April 2021. Get all the details at the link below.
2 – New Details Revealed on the 2020 Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays
With the fall and Halloween season at Walt Disney World winding down, Disney is getting ready for the holiday season. This week Disney released details on what we can expect at the modified 2020 Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays. We’ve got details on the Holiday Kitchens, the return of the Holiday Cookie Stroll, and a brand-new scavenger hunt! Learn more at the link below.
3 – Dates and Details Announced for the 2021 Taste of EPCOT International Festival of Arts
Disney has confirmed the return of the 2021 EPCOT International Festival of Arts. The festival will be modified but will have many of the familiar offerings we love.
4 – Disney’s All-Star Movie Resort Gets Reopening Date
Following a four-month closure due to the coronavirus, not all resorts and restaurants have been reopened. Currently, only one Value Resort, Pop Century, is available. While Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is scheduled to reopen on November 1, 2020, questions remained about when Disney’s All-Stars Resort would reopen. We now have that answer.
Disney has updated its website to state that Disney’s All-Star Movie Resort is scheduled to reopen on February 9, 2021. Note that only All-Star Movies will be taking reservations. All-Star Sports and Music Resorts will remain closed.
Below is Disney’s statement on reopening:
- Future reopening dates are subject to change, and Guests’ reservations could still be modified to other Disney Resort hotels if needed.
- Given the current situation, there are some Disney Resort hotels and other areas that are not, as of this time, being scheduled for reopening yet. We will continue to evaluate the situation and reopen more locations when the environment is right to do so.
- We will continue to monitor the constantly changing environment and its impact on the state of Florida as we find the right time to welcome back even more of our Guests and Cast Members.
5 – Disney Extends Flexible Cancellation Policy for Arrivals in Early 2020
Disney has extended the flexible cancellation policy for arrivals in early 2020. Here is the full update from the Walt Disney World website:
Enjoy peace of mind when you book your next stay—with a flexible cancellation policy for arrivals through April 30, 2021.
We understand how much excitement, thought and time goes into planning your visits to Walt Disney World Resort. Please know we will be here to help you, as our Cast remains focused on delivering magical experiences and incredible storytelling for everyone who visits.
During this unprecedented period, some of our policies and offerings have been modified:
Guests in the United States and Canada Who Booked with Disney Destinations, LLC or The Walt Disney Travel Company, Inc.
Rooms and Packages
To provide additional flexibility, we are waiving Disney-imposed change and cancellation fees up to the date of check-in for reservations with arrivals through April 30, 2021. If Guests need further assistance, they can reach us at the Disney Reservation Center through our online chat feature or by calling our reservation line.
Please note that cancellation fees imposed by third-party suppliers, including airlines and rental cars, as well as non-refundable products like travel protection plans, are deducted from refundable amounts for Walt Disney Travel Company packages.
If you did not book through Disney directly, please contact your travel professional.
Disney Vacation Club Reservations
If you booked through Disney Vacation Club, please visit disneyvacationclub.com or call Member Services at (800) 800-9800 for information and assistance with your reservation.
If you’re coming to Walt Disney World Resort as part of a meeting, convention, youth program, wedding or other group or celebration, and you have questions about your plans during the closure period, please consult with the organizer of your group or event.
6 – New Disney Color Collection Benefits Make-a-Wish
To honor the 40-year relationship between Disney and Make-A-Wish, Disney announced the latest color collection, Wishes Come True Blue. The Wishes Come True Blue color collection is now out at Disney Parks around the world, the Disney store, and online at shopDisney. With the purchase of any item in the Wishes Come True Blue Color Collection now through World Wish Day 2021 (April 29, 2021) in the US, Canada and across Europe, Disney will donate 25% of the purchase price (up to US $500,000) to Make-A-Wish.
7 – More Shopping and Dining Coming to Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort
More shopping and dining will be available to guests at the Downtown Disney District. Disney is opening access to Buena Vista Street in California Adventure for guests. Note that only the shopping and dining experiences along Buena Vista Street will be accessible from the Downtown Disney District at this time, as Disney California Adventure park is currently closed. Learn more at the link below.
8 – More Restaurants Added to “Table-Service to Go” at Disney Resorts
At select Table Service restaurants at Disney Resorts, guests can now place a to-go order from a selection of items on the table-service menu inside the restaurant and pick up their food to enjoy at their resort hotel. The service is now available at Sanna, The Wave…of American Flavors, Kona Café, and Olivia’s Café. Simple open the My Disney Experience app and click “order food.” You’ll be given a choice of restaurants. Choose the restaurant and then your food items. Being able to order table service restaurant items, is a great option for families looking to eat a great meal from the comfort of their hotel room.
9 – Passholder Exclusive Shopping Opportunity
Annual Passholders have an exclusive shopping opportunity this week. Here are all the details from the Walt Disney World website:
Passholders can shop the new limited-release Minnie Mouse: The Main Attraction Haunted Mansion collection at Sir Mickey’s in Magic Kingdom park early on October 28 from 9 am to 10 am before it’s released to all Guests (while supplies last). This limited-edition collection includes a Minnie Mouse Ear Headband, Plush, Mug, Pin Set and Hip Pack by Loungefly—and all items are eligible for the Passholder merchandise discount, which is currently 30% off through October 29, 2020.
While visiting Magic Kingdom park, Passholders can also enjoy Fall fun with special character cavalcades, boo-tiful merchandise and delicious treats, including the Pumpkin Spice Milkshake from Aunty Gravity’s Galactic Goodies, Constance’s For Better or For Worse Cake, and more!
This early purchase opportunity is available for those Passholders who have valid park admission and have made a park reservation via the Disney Park Pass system for October 28. A valid Annual Pass card and government-issued ID will need to be presented to enter the event and at time of purchase to receive any available discounts.
Shop capacity is limited, and entry is not guaranteed. Valid park admission and park reservation for the same park on the same day are required for theme park entry. Limit 1 transaction per Passholder and 3 units of a single item per transaction. A valid Annual Pass card and government-issued ID will need to be presented to enter the event and at time of purchase to receive applicable discounts. Discounts are for personal use only and may not be used to purchase merchandise with the intent to resell the merchandise. Operating hours, location and product availability are subject to change without notice and while supplies last. Remaining products from the collection (if any) will be made available to all Guests once the Passholder shopping event concludes.
10 – Disney Working with Historically Black Colleges and Universities to Inspire the Next Gen to Dream Big
Disney is working with Historically Black Colleges and Universities! Disney Cast Member Courtnee Collier shares her more below.
Recently, Disney announced an employee-led commitment to deepen its relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). We believe that inclusion is a critical part of fostering ideas and decisions from all people to help us grow, innovate and create the best stories. Today, I’m pleased to share a behind-the-scenes look at one of the many ways that we’re activating on that commitment.
This month, we hosted virtual career exploration sessions for HBCU students where I joined my fellow cast members as part of an internal, HBCU strategy task force led by Kristi Breen, Vice President, Disney International and Campus Programs and Disney Cruise Line Recruitment, and Avis Lewis, Vice President, Human Resources, Walt Disney Imagineering and Consumer Products, Games and Publishing to connect with students and share with them all the opportunities possible at Disney. From Walt Disney World to Walt Disney Imagineering and from Consumer Products, Games and Publishing to beyond – cast members united from all over The Walt Disney Company for this important effort.
My own educational journey began at an HBCU, and I’ve carried the lessons I learned at my alma mater, Hampton University, throughout my nearly six-year Disney career. I know firsthand how important it is to support efforts that encourage HBCU students and provide opportunities for students to participate in engaging and accessible events.
As part of our new efforts, Disney is helping create purposeful career paths for HBCU students from colleges including: Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Howard University in Washington, D.C., North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro and Hampton University in Virginia.
By working more closely with HBCUs, Disney will continue to build a robust, long-term pipeline of Black talent through the development of student internships, mentorship opportunities and inclusive hiring practices.
I was in these students’ shoes not long ago, and I feel like I would have benefitted from a conversation like this to understand the power of networking while interning, and how it is such a huge part of our career journeys. I am truly proud and grateful that Disney is taking this step to strengthen its relationships with HBCUs.
Disney employees from all over the company will have the opportunity to support HBCU engagement in multiple ways, from volunteering, to participating in mentorship opportunities and recruitment efforts, and more. This activation is just one of many ongoing sessions scheduled throughout the year. Stay tuned as we continue to bring you more stories about our Diversity & Inclusion efforts!
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