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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
What’s New and Happening Now at Walt Disney World Resort
2021 Taste of EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival – Now Through July 5, 2021
Blizzard Beach – Now Open
Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew – Now Open
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
August 10 – October 31, 2021 – Disney After Hours Boo Bash
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 – 2022
EPCOT Reimagined – Now Through 2022 and Beyond
New and Coming Soon to Disneyland Resort
Disneyland Resort – Now Open
Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure – Opening June 4, 2021
Coming Soon to Disney Cruise Line
The Disney Wish
Itineraries in 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.