Lots of news out of Disney this week with the release of the dates for the 2021 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and news that Disneyland is proposing a multiyear expansion project that will bring many new experiences including a new park. A brand new alternative to MagicBands launched for users of Apple devices, and new technology is being tested at Magic Kingdom that could replace finger scanners. There’s lots of refurbishment news including details on how the updates to the Jungle Cruise will take place. Don’t miss the special April food offerings. All this and more below in this week’s news roundup.
1 – Dates Announced for the 2021 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival
Looking forward to the 2021 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival? This year you’ll have even more time to fit in a visit. The festival will run from July 15-November 20, 2021. Learn more about what you can expect at this year’s festival at the link below.
2 – Disney MagicMobile Option Launches on Apple Devices
In March, Disney announced a new alternative to MagicBands called Disney MagicMobile. The service is now available for guests with Apple devices. Learn more about the service and how to set it up at the link below.
3 – Jungle Cruise Begins Phased Reimagining – Will Not Close to Guests
Disney Imagineer Zach Riddley announced that beginning April 3, work would begin on the Jungle Cruise. The Jungle Cruise will remain open to guests while Disney updates certain scenes in the Jungle Cruise using a phased approach over several months. Learn more about what’s changing at the attraction at the link below.
4 – Disneyland Resort Announces Multiyear Expansion Planning Effort
Disneyland Resort has “filed an application with the city of Anaheim to begin the process of updating our existing development approvals to start to lay the groundwork for future development and expansion in the decades to follow.” Learn more at the link below.
5 – April Best Bites at Disney Parks
A new month is here, and so are some amazing limited-time food and beverage items at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort. Learn more about what is available, where you can find them, and for how long, at the link below.
6 – Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover Reopening Pushed Back Again
The refurbishment of the very popular PeopleMover has been extended again through May 1, 2021. The attraction has been closed since the first week of March 2020 and has not reopened since. The reopening date has been pushed back many times since the refurbishment began. Most recently, the ride was expected to reopen on April 4.
7 – Main Street Confectionery Now Under Refurbishment
Main Street Confectionery is now closed for refurbishment. Learn about the new look and where you can find treats while it is closed at the link below.
8 – Facial Recognition Testing Now at Magic Kingdom Entrance
At Walt Disney World Resort, Disney is always looking for innovative and convenient ways to improve our Guests’ experience—especially as we navigate the impact of COVID-19.
With the future in mind and the shift in focus to more touchless experiences, Disney is conducting a limited 30-day test using facial recognition technology (length of test subject to change) for park admission. Participation in this test is optional.
To learn more about this limited facial recognition test, please visit Disneyworld.com/ParkEntryTest.
9 – Celebrate Earth Week at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
While Disney theme parks celebrate all living things every day, during the upcoming Earth Week Celebration there’s an added opportunity for Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park guests to connect with the magic of nature through engaging activities designed to educate and inspire the whole family. From April 18 to 24, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will host limited-time experiences including unique Disney character appearances, fun learning opportunities, specialty merchandise, themed food and beverage, a new Wilderness Explorer activity and more. Learn more at the link below.
10 – Celebrating Earth Month with Disney: Taking Better Care of the World We Share
April is Earth Month, and Disney is highlighting their work with conservation efforts. Disney Cast Member Dr. Mark Penning has the details below.
As we celebrate Earth Month, we’re reflecting on the actions we can all take to protect the world we share. Disney’s culture of conservation and environmental stewardship dates back to Walt Disney, who once said, “conservation isn’t just the business of a few people – it’s a matter that concerns all of us.” From our earliest nature movies in the 1950s and setting aside nearly one-third of Walt Disney World Resort property as a dedicated wildlife conservation area in the 1970s, to the recent development of a 270-acre solar facility, we continue this legacy of preserving nature around the world for generations to come.
This month, we hope to take you on a journey across our global parks and games and publishing business to learn fascinating facts and to experience uniquely Disney environmental initiatives.
You’ll hear from Cast Members who are working to make a difference within our parks through a special video series titled Field Notes. You’ll also be able to hear from me (@DrMarkAtDisney on Instagram) and Cast from around the world as we share ways you can be more environmentally friendly. Join us weekly for Earth Month episodes of #AskDrMark. We’ll also be sharing delicious, environmentally friendly recipes, a sustainable gift guide and much more.
Across our parks and resorts, we have worked to not only create environmentally friendly practices, but also sustainable offerings for our guests and fans around the world. Disney-owned and operated sites are working to reduce single-use plastics and to harness the power of the sun, reducing tens of thousands of tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year. We’re also providing guests with hundreds of plant-based dining options and sustainable seafood choices as well as more sustainable products and packaging, looking for ways to improve the guest experience and make significant progress on our long-term goals.
Speaking of goals, I am pleased to share that this past year, we met The Walt Disney Company’s 2020 environmental goals and have now announced a new set of ambitious goals for 2030. From achieving net zero emissions for our direct operations to zero waste going to landfills from our wholly owned and operated parks and resorts, these goals signify our commitment to ongoing environmental stewardship.
Stay tuned to our social channels, including Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment on Facebook, @DrMarkAtDisney on Instagram, and Disney Conservation Fund on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, to join in on all the fun and find out how you too can not only learn more about sustainability and conservation but also make a meaningful difference in your communities.
11 – Design Revealed for First-Ever Walt Disney World Resort License Plate with 100% of Proceeds Benefiting Make-A-Wish
Disney Cast Member Tajiana Ancora-Brown shares the details below:
“The World’s Most Magical Celebration” begins on Oct. 1, 2021 – and Florida car owners can get ready to celebrate with us by purchasing the first-ever Walt Disney World Resort specialty license plate!
I’m excited to reveal the design of this unique plate, featuring our “EARidescent” 50th anniversary castle logo on a majestic royal blue background. Inspired by the color scheme of Cinderella Castle, this magical plate is currently available for presale and will also help make even more dreams true, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting Make-A-Wish of Central and Northern Florida and their work granting wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Interested drivers can purchase a presale voucher* now for $25 plus applicable state administration fees exclusively through their local County Tax Collector’s Office, license plate agencies (DMVs) across the State of Florida, or online through the Orange County Tax Collector’s Office at https://www.octaxcol.com/specialty-license-plate-vouchers/.
Disney has a longstanding relationship with Make-A-Wish, dating back to 1980, and since then, more than 140,000 Disney-inspired wishes have been granted, including thousands taking place at Walt Disney World Resort. This license plate is a unique opportunity to commemorate 50 years of Central Florida magic.
What’s New and Happening Now at Walt Disney World Resort
Earth Month Celebrations at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in April 2021
April 2021 – Best Bites – Limited-Time Food and Beverage Items in April
2021 Taste of EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival – Now Through July 5, 2021
Blizzard Beach – Now Open
The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure at EPCOT – Now Open
Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew – Now Open
Coming Soon to Walt Disney World
July 15 – November 2021 – The 2021 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival
October 1, 2021 – The Most Magical Celebration – 50 Years of Walt Disney World
October 1, 2021 – Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure & France Pavilion Expansion Opens
Jungle Cruise – Updated in Phases, while remaining open to guests in 2021
Star Wars Hotel – 2021
EPCOT Reimagined – Now Through 2022 and Beyond
New and Coming Soon to Disneyland Resort
A Touch of Disney at Disney California Adventure – Now through mid-April
Disneyland Resort – Opening April 30, 2021
Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure – Opening 2021
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.