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Home / News / DISNEY NEWS ROUNDUP: Magical Express Replacement Announced; Mask Policy Relaxed; Club Cool Returning; Mouse Gear Replacement Announced; Avengers Campus Opening Date Announced; Cruise Line News & More

DISNEY NEWS ROUNDUP: Magical Express Replacement Announced; Mask Policy Relaxed; Club Cool Returning; Mouse Gear Replacement Announced; Avengers Campus Opening Date Announced; Cruise Line News & More

Very big news out of Disney this week. A replacement for Disney’s Magical Express has been announced giving guests an option for getting back and forth from the airport an option with many of the same services offered by Magical Express. Disney also unveiled the replacement for Mouse Gear and announced the return of Club Cool over at Epcot. Disney has begun to relax its face mask policy, but cancellations continue over at Disney Cruise Line. We have a bunch of information on reopening at Disneyland and the return of character dining at Aulani. All this and a bunch more in this week’s news roundup.





 

1 – Disney’s Magical Express Replacement Announced – Launching 2022

We’ve known for some time that Disney’s Magical Express will be ending at the end of 2021. Many guests have wondered what the best way to get from Orlando International Airport to Walt Disney World. Mears, the current service provider for Disney’s Magical Express, has announced that they will continue to offer the service to guests with Mears Connect. Learn more at the link below.

Click here to learn about Mears Connect, the replacement of Disney’s Magical Express.

2 – Disney Announces Mouse Gear Replacement at EPCOT

This week Disney announced a new flagship merchandise location coming to EPCOT. The store will replace Mouse Gear. Learn more at the link below.

Click here to learn more about Creations Shop, the new flagship store coming to EPCOT.

3 – Walt Disney World Relaxes Face Covering Policy – Now in Effect

This week, Walt Disney World relaxed the face-covering policy for the first time since the parks have reopened last July. Now, guests can remove their masks for photos as long as they are stationary and socially distanced. Disney PhotoPass photographers will let guests know they can remove masks for photos. Read the full policy below.

Here is the whole policy from the Walt Disney World website:

Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) and Cast Members, including those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming. You may temporarily remove your face covering while actively eating, drinking or taking an outdoor photo, but you must be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing during this time.

All face coverings (whether disposable or reusable) must:

  • Be made with at least 2 layers of breathable material
  • Fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin
  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops and allow the Guest to remain hands-free

At this time, based on guidance from health authorities, neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas and face coverings containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind are not acceptable face coverings.

Costume masks are also not considered appropriate and are prohibited from being worn, in alignment with our existing rules.

Face coverings may have an integrated transparent plastic panel to aid in viewing the wearer’s mouth. These face coverings must:

  • Be a fabric face covering featuring a solid plastic panel containing no openings that is attached to the fabric on all sides using tight knit stitching
  • Meet all face covering requirements listed above

The use of face coverings is not a substitute for physical distancing.





 

4 – Opening Date for Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure Announced

Heroes assemble! Avengers Campus, the highly anticipated new land coming to Disney California Adventure, has an opening date! The land will open on June 4, 2021. Learn more at the links below!

Click here for the announcement of the opening date of the Avenger Campus coming to Disney California Adventure

Click here for information on the Avenger Campus – What We Know So Far

5 – Club Cool Hosted by Coca-Cola Confirmed to be Returning to EPCOT

Disney has confirmed that Fan-favorite Club Cool Hosted by Coca-Cola will be returning to EPCOT. Learn more at the link below.

Click here to learn more about the return of Club Cool Hosted by Coca-Cola.

 

6 – Disney Cruise Line Reaches Key Construction Milestone with Newest Ship – Disney Wish

This week Disney Cruise Line reached a significant construction milestone marked by the traditional keel laying ceremony of the Disney Wish, the first of three new ships in the line’s fleet expansion. Also announced today, the magic of Captain Minnie Mouse will come to life for the first time through whimsical artwork on the bow of the Disney Wish, a hallmark of Disney Cruise Line vessels. Learn more at the link below.

Click here for the latest about the next Disney Cruise Line Ship – The Disney Wish – Coming Summer 2022





 

7 – More Details and Information on Disneyland and Disney’s Grand California Hotel & Spa’s Reopening

Disney’s Grand California Hotel and Spa and Disneyland Parks are gearing up for their respective reopenings at the end of April. This week, Disney released information for guests to know what to expect when visiting because of the modified operations in the phased reopening. Learn more at the links below.

Click here for what you need to know about Disneyland Resort’s phased reopening.

Click here for details on purchases tickets and the new park reservation system during the phased reopening of Disneyland Resort

Click here for details on Disneyland Attraction & Entertainment Reopenings

Click here for details on new ways to experience Disney Characters at Disneyland Resort during the phased reopening.

Click here for what you need to know about Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa Reopening

8 – Disney Cruise Line Extends Suspension of Sailing

Disney Cruise Line has again extended their suspension of sailing. All Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, and Disney Wonder departures through June 2021, and Disney Magic European sailings through September 18 are suspended.

9 – Dine with Disney Friends at Aulani Resort’s Character Breakfast Returning to Makahiki Restaurant on May 7

Aulani’s Resort’s Character Breakfast is returning in May. Disney Cast Member Nikki Moreno has the details below:

Aloha Kakahiaka means good morning to you! This is not just a Hawaiian language lesson, but also a line sung by Aunty during the character breakfast at Makahiki Restaurant, which I’m happy to announce will return on May 7 to Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa.

Just like we have done with other resort experiences, we have made some adjustments to the experience with the health and safety of our cast and guests in mind. Please see the resort’s website for additional safety measures.

Credit: Disney

At the character breakfast, Mickey Mouse and his friends will join Aunty or Uncle for fun songs and entertainment while guests enjoy a delightful three-course breakfast. Upon arrival at Makahiki, and throughout the breakfast experience, guests will have an opportunity to take photos with Disney friends to mark the occasion!

A bountiful breakfast will be available seven days a week at Makahiki Restaurant, with characters appearing on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. During the month of May, character dining will be exclusive to resort guests.

And let’s not forget about all the delicious food you’ll enjoy during the breakfast! There, you will choose from entrees including fluffy macadamia nut pancakes with a Tahitian vanilla sauce or Hawaiian-style Loco Moco with hamburger steak, all accompanied by pastries and seasonal fresh fruit. Keiki – or kids – may choose the Mickey and Minnie waffle, which includes a Belgian mickey waffle and red velvet Minnie waffle. Is your mouth watering yet?

Credit: Disney

A morning at Makahiki is the perfect way for guests to start the day at Aulani Resort before exploring vacation paradise. Aulani Resort combines the wonder of Disney with the beauty of Hawai‘i in one legendary vacation destination, offering something for everyone. Whether you want to sit back, relax and admire the view from a quiet romantic infinity-edge pool, float along a lazy river or splash down water slides, there are plenty of opportunities for family fun.

Breakfast reservations will open on April 26 and can be made by calling Aulani Resort at (808) 674-6200.

Reservations for Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa are now available through 2022. To plan your stay please visit DisneyAulani.com.





 

10 – New Sand Sculpture Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

In the photo below, artisans transform 40 tons of sand into a detailed sculpture at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, celebrating National Geographic’s “Secrets of the Whales,” an original series streaming on Disney+ on Earth Day (April 22). The intricate masterpiece is located on the theme park’s Discovery Island Stage until April 30. (Todd Anderson, photographer)

Credit: Disney/Todd Anderson

11 – Man Runs from Disneyland to Walt Disney World!

A man has run from Disneyland to Walt Disney World! Learn more about his amazing story below.

Ran 15 more miles yesterday after finishing the #Mouse2Mouse portion of my T1Determined Type 1 Diabetes Run Across…

Posted by Don Muchow on Tuesday, April 6, 2021

 

12 – 2021 Scripps Spelling Bee at Walt Disney World Resort

The Scripps Spelling Bee is returning this year and will be at Walt Disney World. Here are the details from the Scripps website:

The Scripps National Spelling Bee returns this year with top spellers from across the U.S. and the globe gathering near Orlando, Florida, on July 8 to compete in the nationally televised event.

The final rounds of this year’s Bee will be hosted in person at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. The finals, featuring 10-12 accomplished spellers, will be broadcast live in primetime on ESPN2.

The 10 to 12 finalists who will travel to the Orlando area will have earned the right to compete in the finals by advancing through three levels of competition: the preliminary, quarterfinal and semifinal segments. In past years, those three rounds were held over one week – Bee Week. This year, due to the global pandemic, the preliminaries, quarterfinals and semifinals will be held virtually in the weeks leading up to the July 8 finals and will be broadcast live on ESPN platforms. The semifinals are slated for June 27, and dates for the earlier virtual rounds of the competition will be announced this spring.

13 – Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady Visits Walt Disney World Resort

For Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, the celebratory fun following the team’s Super Bowl victory hasn’t stopped, and Monday it rocketed into an entirely new orbit when the superstar player spent the day experiencing Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

It was a much-anticipated visit by Brady, who starred along with teammate Rob Gronkowski in Disney’s iconic “I’m Going to Disney World!” commercial after the Super Bowl in February. Brady was named the game’s MVP after leading the Bucs to victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Immediately after the game, Brady pronounced he was going to Walt Disney World.

He made it Easter weekend, spending a sun-splashed day on Monday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for the first time. Brady built his own lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop, drank Blue and Green Milk, interacted with beloved Star Wars characters and experienced the popular attractions Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

Brady and Gronkowski (who visited Walt Disney World in February following the Super Bowl) were the latest NFL megastars to celebrate their team’s Super Bowl victory at Disney theme parks. The tradition, which has become an enduring part of the Super Bowl’s history, began in 1987 when New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms first appeared in the Disney commercial and visited Walt Disney World Resort following his team’s Super Bowl victory.





 

What’s New and Happening Now at Walt Disney World Resort

Earth Month Celebrations at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in April 2021

Click here for details on Earth Month Celebrations at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

April 2021 – Best Bites – Limited-Time Food and Beverage Items in April

Click here for details on limited-time food and beverage items available in April at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland

2021 Taste of EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival – Now Through July 5, 2021

Click here for what you need to know about the 2021 Taste of EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival!

Click here to see photos and video of the Menu Boards with pricing for easy trip planning!

Click here to see photos and video of the different topiaries around EPCOT!

Click here for photos and video of our visit to the Flower and Garden Festival!

Click here to see photos of some of the food we have enjoyed at the 2021 Flower and Garden Festival.

Blizzard Beach – Now Open

Click here to learn more about visiting Blizzard Beach During the Phased Reopening

The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure at EPCOT – Now Open

Click here to learn more about The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure at EPCOT

Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew – Now Open

Click here to learn more about Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew at Disney Springs

Coming Soon to Walt Disney World

July 15 – November 2021 – The 2021 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival

Click here for details on the 2021 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival

October 1, 2021 – The Most Magical Celebration – 50 Years of Walt Disney World

Click here for details on “The Most Magical Celebration,” which begins on October 1, 2021, on the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World and runs for 18 months.

October 1, 2021 – Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure & France Pavilion Expansion Opens

Click here for more on Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure & France Pavilion Expansion – What We Know So Far

Jungle Cruise – Updated in Phases, while remaining open to guests in 2021

Click here to learn about the updates coming to The Jungle Cruise at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Park.

Star Wars Hotel – 2021

Click here for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser-What We Know So Far About the Upcoming Star Wars Themed Hotel Coming to Disney World

EPCOT Reimagined – Now Through 2022 and Beyond

Click here for what we know about the New EPCOT and what’s coming!

New and Coming Soon to Disneyland Resort

A Touch of Disney at Disney California Adventure – Now through mid-April

A Touch of Disney – Now at Disney California Adventure

Foodie Guide to A Touch of Disney at Disney California Adventure

Disneyland Resort – Opening April 30, 2021

Click here for what you need to know about Disneyland Resort’s phased reopening.

Click here for details on purchases tickets and the new park reservation system during the phased reopening of Disneyland Resort

Click here for details on Disneyland Attraction & Entertainment Reopenings

Click here for details on new ways to experience Disney Characters at Disneyland Resort during the phased reopening.

Click here for what you need to know about Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa Reopening

Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure – Opening June 4, 2021

Click here for the announcement of the opening date of the Avenger Campus coming to Disney California Adventure

Click here for information on the Avenger Campus – What We Know So Far

Coming Soon to Disney Cruise Line

The Disney Wish

Click here for the latest about the next Disney Cruise Line Ship – The Disney Wish – Coming Summer 2022

Itineraries in 2022

Click here to learn about Summer 2022 Itineraries on the Disney Cruise Line

Click here to learn about Early 2022 Itineraries on the Disney Cruise Line

Click here to learn about Marvel Day at Sea and Star Wars Day at Sea in Early 2022



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!