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Home / News / DISNEY NEWS ROUNDUP: What’s New So Far in 2021; Guide to Celebrating Soulfully; Leave a Legacy Revealed; California Adventure Anniversary; New Gateway Collection Hotels; Lunar New Year & More

DISNEY NEWS ROUNDUP: What’s New So Far in 2021; Guide to Celebrating Soulfully; Leave a Legacy Revealed; California Adventure Anniversary; New Gateway Collection Hotels; Lunar New Year & More

In this week’s roundup, we take a look at a number of new things at Disney World already open this year, along with a look at Celebrate Soulfully at Disney Springs. Also, the new Leave a Legacy design and location has finally been revealed. New hotels have been added to Disney’s Gateway Collection, and California Adventure celebrates a huge anniversary. Lunar New Year hit’s the parks and more in this week’s news roundup.





 

1 – What’s New at Walt Disney World!

We’re only half-way through February, and there are new experiences and offerings at Walt Disney World that you don’t want to miss! From sweet additions at Disney Springs, to a Soulfully stirring event at Disney Springs, to the new Jazz exhibit at EPCOT, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Disney recently invited us out to experience the new offerings. Learn more at the link below.

Click here for what’s new at Walt Disney World and What You Don’t Want to Miss!

2 – Your Guide to Celebrate Soulfully at Disney Springs

“Celebrate Soulfully at Disney Springs” brings together several new offerings in February and beyond at the Walt Disney World shopping, dining and entertainment district. With jazz-inspired performances, new art displays, special food menus and more, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. We recently enjoyed an amazing time at Disney Springs enjoying the special offerings. Learn what you need to know at the link below.

Click here for your guide to Celebrate Soulfully at Disney Springs.

3 – Leave a Legacy Design and Location Revealed

When construction began on the new EPCOT entrance, the Leave a Legacy pillars were removed. Disney promised they would return to a new location. This week, Disney has revealed the new Leave a Legacy location and unveiled the new design that is just awesome! Learn more at the link below.

Click here to learn more about the new location and design of Leave a Legacy.





 

4 – Disney California Adventure Celebrates its 20th Anniversary

This week Disney’s California Adventure celebrated its 20th Anniversary! Disney Cast Member Michael Ramirez reflects on this amazing milestone:

Disney California Adventure park opened on Feb. 8, 2001 – more than 45 years after Walt Disney opened his original theme park – as part of the largest expansion in Disneyland history at the time. Since then, the Disneyland Resort has become a world-class family destination with two theme parks, three hotels and the Downtown Disney District.

For the past 20 years, guests at the Disneyland Resort have been captivated by the imagination, creativity and evolution of Disney California Adventure park.

In the winter issue of Disney twenty-three, which celebrates the park’s milestone anniversary, Jeanette Lomboy, site portfolio executive, Walt Disney Imagineering, captures the essence of this special place: “[Walt Disney] knew that we were going to continuously evolve over time and I think that’s what the spirit of California is, and that’s what the spirit of adventure is—and really, that’s what’s unique to Disney California Adventure.”

Today, while our beloved theme parks remain closed, we explore some of our favorite spots throughout the park, showing how “adventure is out there” – just waiting to be discovered.

Credit: Disney

We start by taking a step back in time, strolling down the idyllic Buena Vista Street. The boulevard depicts a typical Los Angeles neighborhood where a young Walt Disney lived and worked after arriving in Southern California in 1923.

Credit: Disney

Take a deep breath and soak in the great outdoors at Grizzly Peak. Once your moment of respite passes, think about braving Grizzly River Run, a one-stop destination for thrill-seeking rafters.

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Peruse the boardwalk-inspired Paradise Gardens Park filled with retro-style fun. It’s even groovier at night!

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Then, let’s enter the wonderful worlds of Pixar and discover four whimsical neighborhoods at Pixar Pier’s seaside waterfront—Incredibles Park, Toy Story Boardwalk, Pixar Promenade and Inside Out Headquarters.

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A favorite spot for foodies, eat your way through Pacific Wharf and enjoy the charming waterfront setting.

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Slow down as you cruise through the vibrant Radiator Springs, taking in the majestic Ornament Valley and living the stories of your favorite “Cars” characters in Cars Land. No trip is complete without revving your engine on the high-octane Radiator Springs Racers!

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It’s easy to feel like a star in Tinseltown when you step into the lights, cameras and action of Hollywood Land.

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Looking ahead, Avengers Campus – an entirely new land dedicated to discovering, recruiting and training the next generation of heroes – will open at a future top-secret date.

5 – New Hotels Added to Walt Disney World Gateway Hotel Collection

Four new hotels will be added to the Walt Disney World Gateway Hotel collection: Residence Inn by Marriott at Western Entrance, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott at Western Entrance, Homewood Suites by Hilton at Western Entrance, and Home2 Suites by Hilton at Western Entrance. Now, these properties are now bookable as part of a Walt Disney Travel Company package, both online and by calling the Disney Reservation Center.

The convenient location of these hotels makes it easy to visit the parks—and by booking a vacation package with the Walt Disney Travel Company, guests receive select benefits guaranteed to add a little more magic to their Walt Disney World Resort stay.

We highly recommend booking with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner to ensure you are well taken care of and get all the discounts available to you. For more details and help booking your vacation, call our travel partners Magical Vacation Planners at (407) 442-0227. You can also get a no-obligation, FREE vacation quote by clicking here.  Their services are free to you and they can answer any questions you may have.





 

6 – Ring in the Year of the Ox with Lunar New Year Global Gift Guide

It’s the Lunar New Year and Disney is celebrating! Disney Cast Member Anthony Armenia has all the details below:

For those who don’t know, Lunar New Year is an annual tradition celebrated around the world, celebrating the celestial journey of the sun and the moon toward another year. Each year is represented by a different animal that repeats every 12 years!

This year is the Year of the Ox and we are celebrating with a look at how you can join in on the festivities and enhance your Lunar New Year look with new products around the world:

No Lunar New Year would be complete without some festive outfits and accessories featuring favorite characters! Available at Walt Disney World Resort and the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort, the latest headband and spirit jersey featuring the vibrant color of Lunar New Year recently hit shelves along with other themed products. Select items from this collection are also available on shopDisney.com.

Credit: Disney

And for those of you visiting the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort, take the celebration to the skies with this adorable balloon straight from Shanghai Disney Resort!

Available at shopDisney.com, Disney stores around the world, Walt Disney World Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Shanghai Disney Resort and the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort, dress up your Disney nuiMOs plush with adorable new outfits inspired by Lunar New Year with this elegant ensemble!

Credit: Disney

You can find Disney nuiMOs, Tsum Tsum plush, red envelopes and Chinese-style jackets at Kingdom Gifts in the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel and online at HongKongDisneyland.com for a local self-pick-up. I don’t know about you, but I’m obsessed with just about anything featuring ‘Olu Mel!

For fans of Kate Spade, I bring good news! Kate Spade New York has collaborated with Disney to bring the iconic Clarabelle Cow and friends characters to life in an assortment of ready to wear handbags, small leather goods and accessories. The collection is now available in Kate Spade New York stores around the globe and online at katespade.com.

7 – Super Bowl Heroes Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski Appear in Iconic ‘I’m Going to Disney World!’ Commercial After Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl LV Championship

After their team’s extraordinary Super Bowl LV victory Sunday night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, the game’s most valuable player, Tom Brady, and longtime teammate Rob Gronkowski turned to the TV cameras and both announced to the world that they’re “going to Disney World!’’

That iconic phrase is part of Disney’s popular Super Bowl commercial, which annually features heroes of the big game in a nationally televised TV spot airing on social media sites and major TV networks across the country. For the first time, this year’s commercial features an additional honor with footage of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park illuminated in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ colors and then alternately in blue in recognition of the nation’s health care heroes who’ve been courageously battling the global pandemic.

The magic will continue Monday for Gronkowski during a thrilling afternoon at Walt Disney World Resort, where he will experience some of Disney’s most popular attractions.

Meanwhile, the celebratory planning is already underway for Brady’s highly anticipated visit to Walt Disney World Resort, likely in the coming months. It will be Brady’s fourth visit to The Most Magical Place on Earth following a Super Bowl victory, the most of any player in history.

Brady and Gronkowski delivered remarkable performances in the Buccaneers’ 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night in Tampa. They added another chapter to their storied history together by connecting for two touchdowns in the first half, propelling the Buccaneers to an early lead they would never relinquish. In winning the seventh Super Bowl of his illustrious career, Brady completed 21 of 29 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns on his way to being named Super Bowl LV MVP. Gronkowski, who came out of retirement this season to join Brady on the Buccaneers, led the team in receiving with six catches for 67 yards and the two crucial scores.

They join some of the biggest names in the NFL who have appeared in Disney’s popular Super Bowl commercial, which has become woven into the fabric of the game since 1987 when New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms first appeared in the spot following his team’s Super Bowl victory. This marks the ninth time Disney has featured two Super Bowl stars in the same commercial.





 

8 – He Went to Disney World! Rob Gronkowski Celebrates Championship Victory at The Most Magical Place on Earth

Rob Gronkowski headed to Walt Disney World after the Super Bowl. Disney Cast Member Emily Amato shares more below:

The day after his spectacular performance helped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win the Super Bowl, superstar Rob Gronkowski spent a magical afternoon celebrating his team’s victory at Walt Disney World Resort.

In the moments following the Buccaneers’ toppling of the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Gronkowski and longtime teammate Tom Brady looked into the camera and shouted with joy, “We’re going to Disney World!” While plans are underway for Brady, named the game’s most valuable player, to visit later this year, Gronkowski brought the glow of victory to Walt Disney World on Monday as he enjoyed the sights, sounds and thrills of The Most Magical Place on Earth.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski celebrates in a backstage area near Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Feb. 8, 2021, following his team’s victory the previous night over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Fla. (Kent Phillips, photographer)

The gregarious tight end had his own adventure in a galaxy far, far away in Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. He also braved “the wildest ride in the wilderness,” Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, at Magic Kingdom Park.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (left) experiences Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance with his nephew, Jayce Gronkowski (right), at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Feb. 8, 2021. Gronkowski visited Walt Disney World the day after scoring two touchdowns in the Buccaneers’ victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Fla. (Kent Phillips, photographer)

It was a fitting conclusion to Gronkowski’s magical season, as he and Brady added another chapter to their storied history together with an incredible performance in Super Bowl LV. The two connected on a pair of first-half touchdowns, sparking the Buccaneers to an early lead they would never relinquish. And with Gronkowski’s visit complete, now we will eagerly anticipate Brady’s next trip to Walt Disney World; the legendary quarterback has appeared in the famous “I’m Going to Disney World!” commercial more times than any player in history!

9 – Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons Celebrates 30 Years of Happily Ever After

Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons is celebrating its 30thanniversary with enchanting new ways to make dreams come true. The global brand brings fairy tales to life through weddings, honeymoons, vow renewals and anniversaries as only Disney can.

Offering everything from princess-inspired dresses and distinctly Disney wedding accessories to epic wedding venues and an original Disney+ television series, Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons is synonymous with making wedding and honeymoon dreams a reality. Across three magical decades, Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons has become an industry leader with superb products, services and iconic global venues.

“For the past 30 years, Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons has helped create once-in-a-lifetime memories for couples around the globe,” said Korri McFann, marketing director for Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons. “As we celebrate this milestone year, we are delighted to offer even more products and experiences to help turn fantasy into reality.”

2021 Bridal Gown Collection Debuts

In 2020, Disney and Allure Bridals launched a sophisticated bridal line offering modern brides stunning, on- trend gowns that capture the style and spirit of beloved Disney Princesses. To kick off this
yearlong anniversary celebration, Allure Bridals is releasing its all-new 2021 Disney Fairy Tale Weddings Collection. Three dresses from the new collection are elegant Belle-inspired gowns that pay homage to the 30 th anniversary of both the beloved animated classic “Beauty and The Beast” and Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons.

Each of the Belle looks was inspired by her iconic ball gown and includes custom embellishments that cater to a wide range of brides. The mainline Belle dress features a soft scoop neckline and is adorned with approximately 1,310 beads on 75 yards of fabric to expose rose appliques. The second Belle gown includes more than 10,000 beads throughout the soft pickup skirt that features shimmering roses and sparkle tulle. For the Platinum Belle design, more than 30,000 beads and crystals were carefully placed on 132 yards of fabric. The highlights of this gown are the richly embellished illusion sleeves and the lace-up corset back with

crystal beading trailing the cathedral train. The collection also features revolutionary Cool Touch fabrics with moisture-wicking, anti-microbial and cooling properties that also provide a shaping and contouring layer to the gowns.

The 2021 line will also include dresses inspired by Ariel, Cinderella, Jasmine, Snow White, Aurora, Rapunzel, Pocahontas and Tiana. All gowns are available in sizes 0 to 30 for both collections and will start at $1,200.

The new collection of dresses will be revealed during a virtual fashion show at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion on Feb. 12, 2021, and in retail stores shortly after. The Disney Fairy Tale Weddings Platinum Collection will be available exclusively at Kleinfeld in New York and Toronto.

The Disney Fairy Tale Weddings Collection will be available at select bridal boutiques across the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

Paying tribute to the 30th anniversary of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings, Disney and Allure Bridals created this Belle-inspired ballgown with a shimmering brocade featuring a rose pattern. This is one of three Belle-inspired gowns in the 2021 line that also includes dresses inspired by Ariel, Cinderella, Jasmine, Snow White, Aurora, Rapunzel, Pocahontas and Tiana. (Disney)

New Wedding Rings and Bands

Couples can now say “I do” with a magical symbol of love – Disney style. Elegant wedding rings and bands with distinctly Disney designs are available on shopDisney at https://www.shopdisney.com/disney-weddings- content/.

With a subtle touch of Disney magic, the exquisite ring collection features six engagement rings and three groom bands in a variety of designs. From Cinderella’s Coach and character inspirations to sparkling crowns and castles, the timeless collection is an ideal way for couples to enhance their happily ever after. A new design is also being introduced in honor of the 30-year milestone. All rings are customizable with the option to choose carat style and preferred metal – white gold, platinum, gold or silver. Engagement rings start at $3,000 and groom bands start at $900.

30th Anniversary Bridal Headwear

Brides-to-be can also celebrate in style with a redesigned 30th anniversary bridal headband. This glittery satin band with a tulle veil features pearl accents in tribute to the 30th anniversary of Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons. And couples can both join in the fun with specially themed bride and groom Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse bridal ears.

Since 1991, the team of experts at Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons has helped create and execute unforgettable engagements, weddings, honeymoons, vow renewals and anniversaries, delivering everything couples may dream up. Couples choose from a variety of epic settings and captivating destinations around the world, including enchanting theme park locales, scenic beaches, grand ballrooms and outdoor gazebos.

Walt Disney World Resort is one of the dream destinations where Disney wedding experts create magic. Other options around the globe, now taking calls about future bookings may include:

  • Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii
  • Disney Cruise Line ships, from Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay to scenic Alaskan landscapes.
  • Disneyland Paris & Hong Kong Disneyland Resort
  • Disneyland Resort in California

Guests can tune in to see how Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings come to life in the original television series

“Disney Fairy Tale Weddings” streaming now on Disney+. The multi-episode series follows couples behind- the-scenes as they celebrate some of life’s most romantic milestone moments.

Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings has worked closely with Disney safety professionals and followed guidance from government agencies and health authorities so couples and wedding guests can celebrate in a magical way. With health and safety in mind, Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings has implemented new measures that include face coverings, which are required for all guests and members of the wedding party, and physical distancing. Some event venues may be temporarily unavailable. For the latest updates visit: disneyweddings.com.



For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.






 

About Chad & Cindy Nykamp

After years of multiple Walt Disney World vacations, Cindy and Chad's dream of living in Orlando came true in 2010. After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched DisneyLists.com in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Chad and Cindy have been Disney World Annual Passholders for years, DVC members, together have raced more than 70 runDisney races, and particularly love cruising on the Disney Cruise Line. Chad and Cindy also regularly represent DisneyLists.com at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, they get an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World. These experiences have helped them gain knowledge and expertise they happily pass on to their followers. They still can't believe how lucky they are to have such an amazing opportunity and will continue to share Disney with anyone who will listen!