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DISNEY NEWS ROUNDUP: Disney Makes Huge Change to Mask Policy, Physical Distancing; Temp Screenings; Capacity Increasing; More Details on Disney Wish & More

This week’s news from Disney centered largely on the easing of Covid related health protocols and a gradual return toward normal. There were many significant changes including a major rollback of their mask policy. We also continue to see many more details about Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship debuting in 2022, the Disney Wish. Details on all of this and more in this week’s news roundup.





 

1 – Disney Updates Face Covering Policy at Walt Disney World – Masks Outside are Optional

Late Friday evening, Disney updated the face-covering policy for Walt Disney World to reflect new guidance from the CDC. Face coverings are now optional for most outside areas but are still required upon entering and throughout all attractions, theaters, and transportation. Learn more at the link below.

Click here to learn more and to read the entire updated face-covering policy.

2 – Capacity Increases at Walt Disney World

On an investor call on Thursday, Disney CEO Bob Chapek reported that Walt Disney World had seen a recent increase of capacity with plans for adding more. However, he did not give specific percentages. The last time he commented on capacity was in November 2020, when he stated the parks were operating at 35% capacity. Read his statement below:

“In terms of the parks, and when we’re going to sort of be able to raise our capacity limits, we’ve actually already started that, given the guidance that just came today, from the CDC, and earlier guidance that we got from the governor of Florida, we’ve already started to increase our capacities, those obviously today’s guidance that we got from the CDC in terms of those that were vaccinated do not necessarily need to wear masks anymore, both outdoors and indoors. Is very big news for us, particularly if anybody’s been in Florida in the middle of the summer with a mask on. That could be quite daunting. So, we think that’s going to make for an even more pleasant experience and we believe that as we’re now bringing back a lot of people back to work, that it’s going to be an even bigger catalyst for growth in attendance, and we’ve been quite pleased to date.”

As we noted above, Disney revised its face-covering policy a day later. On Friday evening, Disney added a significant increase to park reservation availability for the rest of May and June for theme park ticket and resort guests. Previously most of that period was seeing park capacity reached with no reservation available at least half the parks. At the time of this writing, Disney had not added additional availability for annual passholders. With the additional capacity, we hope that more restaurants and resorts will reopen as well. Most of all, like everyone else, we are very eager for the return of FastPass+. With more crowds at the parks, it seems the time is right for its return.

3 – Walt Disney World to Reduce Physical Distancing Measures

On Wednesday, Disney announced the gradual reduction of physical distancing measures throughout Walt Disney World Resort throughout the parks and resorts. It’s another step towards getting back to normal, and guests have stated they welcome the change. Learn more at the link below.

Click here for details on the gradual reduction of physical distancing measures at Walt Disney World.


 

4 – Temperature Screenings End at Walt Disney World Theme Parks and Disney Springs

Originally planned to end on May 16, temperature screenings at Walt Disney World theme parks and Disney Springs ended on May 15. Temperature screenings ended for Cast Members on May 8.

5 – Updated Disneyland Reopening Dining Guide

Disneyland parks and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa have reopened, and dining has been limited. Thankfully, Disney has announced more dining location reopening dates. Learn more at the link below.

Click here for updates on Disneyland dining with reopening dates.

6 – Disney Cruise Line Extends Suspension of Sailing

Disney Cruise Line has once again extended their suspension of sailing. We really, really hope this is the last time they have to do this. Read the updated policy from the Disney Cruise Line below:

US Departures Through July 2021 Are Suspended

We continue to work closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to carefully review and implement their recently released guidance and refine our protocols for a responsible and gradual return to service in U.S. waters. Given the ongoing nature of these discussions and the time needed to staff and prepare our ships, we are cancelling all Disney Wonder sailings through July 12, 2021, as well as Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy sailings through July 31, 2021.

Disney Magic Sailings

The Disney Magic will set sail in the United Kingdom for a limited time this summer on short voyages limited to UK residents, pending the issuance of UK Government guidelines and authorizations. Learn More


 

7 – Disney Weddings on the Disney Wish

Looking for another amazing Disney venue for your upcoming wedding or vow renewal? Look no further than the Disney Wish! Here are all the details from Disney Cast Member Kori McFann:

Disney Cruise Line has been unveiling exciting announcements around the many magical experiences that will be available aboard the Disney Wish, the newest ship to join the Disney Cruise Line fleet in summer 2022.

This enchanting ship is absolutely stunning and we are so excited to announce that the Grand Hall, aboard the Disney Wish, will be offered as the newest Disney’s Fairy Tale Wedding venue.

Credit: Disney

GRAND HALL

Inspired by fairy tales, like Cinderella, the Grand Hall features a magnificent staircase that serves as a stunning backdrop for a wedding ceremony or vow renewal.

A shimmering chandelier illuminates the venue and sparkling columns, evoking the imagery of pixie dust, frame the Grand Hall.

The elegant royal blue and gold color palette can easily be paired with a variety of wedding looks which will bring a couple’s unique wedding vision to life.

Like every Disney’s Fairy Tale Wedding aboard Disney Cruise Line, each couple will enjoy their very own dedicated Disney Weddings team who will be there along the entire planning journey and on the wedding day to ensure a magical wedding experience.

SET SAIL SUMMER 2022

Weddings aboard the Disney Wish will begin June 20, 2022, with 3- and 4-night cruises to The Bahamas! Explore the ship and the all-new enchantment on board. The Disney Wish brings to life the spectacular worlds and beloved stories from Disney, Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar like never before, all with the service and care you’d expect from Disney.

For couples interested in booking their Disney Wish voyage, early booking for Castaway Club Members and select Disney guests begins May 17, 2021. Booking opens to the general public on May 27, 2021. When they book, they will simply need to select a voyage that departs on or after June 20, 2022 should they want to host a wedding on Disney Wish. Learn more about weddings and vow renewals with Disney Cruise Line.

MORE TO EXPLORE

Couples who sail on the Disney Wish will also have the opportunity to get married, or have a portrait session, on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas.

Continue following @DisneyWeddings on social media and check the Ever After Blog for more exciting news to come!

8 – Disney Wish Virtual Deck Party

Deck parties are so much fun on Disney Cruise Line. Disney is offering the first-ever virtual deck party with another look at the upcoming Disney Wish. Here are all the details from Disney Cast Member Jimmy Lynett:

The Disney Wish will offer a lot of “firsts” for Disney Cruise Line. From the first-ever Disney attraction at sea and the first “Frozen”-themed theatrical dining experience, to the first and only Star Wars-themed lounge for adults at sea, there are so many unique spaces waiting for families when the newest ship to the Disney Cruise Line fleet sets sail in the summer of 2022.

Today, we are bringing you another first! We know that deck parties are one of our favorite guest offerings, so while we wait for the Disney Wish’s arrival, we are bringing a special (virtual) version into your home!

Join Cruise Director Ashley as we take another look at what’s to come on the Disney Wish, including the Wish Tower Suite, Disney Cruise Line’s most unique accommodation yet. This elegantly themed space will sleep up to eight guests with two main bedrooms, a children’s room, four-and-a-half bathrooms, and today, you are the first to see an exclusive look at the suite’s library that coverts to a bedroom!

Credit: Disney

But that’s not all! Tune in now to get a glimpse into how some of our guests are celebrating at home (hint: bring your dancing shoes and appetite!).

I don’t know about you, but I am officially starting a countdown to the Disney Wish’s inaugural sailing on June 9, 2022. Bookings open to the general public on May 27, and as your official cruise directors for the Disney Wish, Ashley and I hope to see your family on board next summer! Until then, show us how YOU are celebrating the Disney Wish at home by using the hashtag #DisneyWish!

See ya real soon!

9 – First Look at the First Funnel Suite on the Disney Wish

The Disney Wish, Disney Cruise Line’s upcoming 5th ship, is shaping up to be a fantastic ship. This week Disney announced another first for the ship – a first-ever funnel suite! Check out the link below for all the details.

Click here for a first look at the first-ever Disney Cruise Line Funnel Suite.

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

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

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

Summer Resort Reopenings

  • May 30 – Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • June 6 – Wilderness Lodge
  • July 2 – BoardWalk Inn
  • Late July 2021 – Polynesian Village Resort

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

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

August 10 – October 31, 2021 – Disney After Hours Boo Bash

Click here to learn about the all-new Disney After Hours Boo Bash coming in fall 2021 at Magic Kingdom.

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 – 2022

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

Disneyland Resort – Now Open

Click here for more details on Disneyland Parks now open and welcoming guests.

Click here for details on the reimagined Snow White’s Enchanted Wish – now open!

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

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 10 Ways to Use the Disneyland App and Digital Technology When Visiting the Disneyland Resort.

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

Click here for new details and photos from inside Avenger Campus at Disney California Adventure.

Coming Soon to Disney Cruise Line

The Disney Wish

Click here for an overview of the next Disney Cruise Line Ship – The Disney Wish – Coming Summer 2022

Click here for information on bookings for the inaugural season in 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.



 

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!
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