A LOT of news out of Disney this week. Things are really starting to ramp up. Disney announced a new Halloween event coming to Magic Kingdom this fall, and the return of our favorite live show, the Festival of the Lion King. Disney also announced a late summer room sale, and the return of the Disney College Program. More restaurants are opening up along with a new food location in Epcot featuring gelato! Health screening measures are beginning to be rolled back, and new details and opening timeline have been released. All this and more in this week’s news roundup.
1 – Disney Announces Disney After Hours Boo Bash for Fall 2021 at Magic Kingdom
This week Disney announced an all-new Halloween After Hours event that will run on select nights, August 10-October 31, at Magic Kingdom. After Hours events have been around since 2016 and have been on hiatus during the phased reopening. The most significant selling points to the Disney After Hours events are the low crowds and wait times. Disney caps the attendance for these events, so you get the benefit of riding multiple attractions throughout the evening with way shorter than average waits or even no wait at all. This After Hours event will be Halloween-themed and will take the place of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in 2021. (We hope and expect that this is a temporary replacement and the very popular Halloween Party will return in future years). Disney After Hours BOO BASH will have party music, decorations, and character cavalcades galore. Guests can dress in costume for the occasion and get their fill of Halloween candy, exclusive culinary offerings, spooktacular entertainment, favorite attractions, and more. Details are a bit scarce, but tickets are expected to go on sale in June and will likely run around the same cost as Disney Villains After Hours event, which was $129 for tickets in advance and $139 for same-day tickets. We’ll update you with details when they are announced. Learn what we know so far by clicking the link below.
2 – ‘A Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King’ Soft-Opening at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
On Saturday, May 8, Disney surprised everyone with a soft opening of ‘A Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King.” The show is a slightly shorter and modified version of The Festival of the Lion King. Disney has confirmed that the show will officially open on Saturday, May 15. Even though the show has not officially opened, daily showtimes are listed in the My Disney Experience app this upcoming week. On Sunday, the app listed three showtimes of 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, and 2:30 pm. Beginning Tuesday, May 11, evening shows of 5:00 pm, 6:00 pm, and 7:00 pm are also listed. If you are visiting soon, your best bet is to check the app for available showtimes. Guests are reporting that the Tumble Monkeys are missing, and the birds don’t fly—but they dance. The performers are also distanced for safety reasons. The theater itself also has physical distancing measures in place, with every other row being used and markers blocking off sections in the open rows. Because of the limited seating, we suggest you arrive early to line up for shows if you want to watch the show. We hope to catch a show this week and can’t wait to see it again!
3 – Late Summer Room Sale Announced for Walt Disney World Resort
Thinking of visiting Walt Disney World in late summer? Then you’ll definitely want to check out the recently announced late summer room sale for most nights July 10-September 29, 2021. Learn more at the link below.
4 – More Table-Service Resort Restaurants Reopening Soon at Walt Disney World
Last week we mused on the limited dining options at Walt Disney World. Thankfully this week, Disney announced the return of two resort restaurants reopening (Cape May Café and Tusker House) and dinner coming to Chef Mickey’s. Check out the link below for all the details.
5 – Walt Disney World Announces End of Temperature Screenings
As guidance from health officials continues to be revised with more and more people getting vaccinated, Walt Disney World has announced the end of temperature screenings at the resort. Read below for the new policy and to learn when you can expect the screenings to end.
Here is the statement from the Walt Disney World website:
Since reopening, we have considered guidance from public health authorities, government agencies, and our own team of health and safety experts as we assess and update health and safety measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
As this guidance continues to evolve, and with the support of local health and government officials, we are making some additional adjustments. Following the advice of the CDC and our local health officials, we will phase out onsite temperature screenings at Walt Disney World Resort for Cast Members beginning May 8 and Guests on May 16.
We will continue to follow the guidance of health and safety leaders going forward and, most importantly, encourage people to get vaccinated.
6 – Gelateria Toscana Opens in the Italy Pavilion at EPCOT
Gelateria Toscana is a new walk-up window for Tuscan-inspired sweet treats. It is located adjacent to Tutto Italia Ristorante and Via Napoli at the Italy Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase at Walt Disney World Resort. The menu features gelato in cups or waffle cones, floats, and an assortment of gelato “creations,” and some pastries. We can’t wait to check it out! Click here for the full menu!
7 – Disney Releases New Star Wars Hotel Details and Opening Timeline
On May 4, the world celebrated “May the 4th Be With You,” – a day celebrating all things Star Wars. Disney celebrated by sharing new details on some pretty amazing lightsaber technology and gave an update on when we can expect Star Wars.
8 – Halfway to Halloween Celebration with Disney Parks
It’s hard to believe, but we’re already halfway to Halloween! This week Disney Parks celebrated with some wickedly fun Halloween tricks and treats. Check out some Halloween-themed recipes, merchandise, and a new Muppet treat at the links below.
9 – Disneyland Resort Hotels Update with Opening Dates
Now that Disneyland Parks have reopened, Disneyland has announced the opening of another Disneyland Resort. Learn more at the link below.
10 – Disney College Program Coming Back to Walt Disney World this Summer
The Disney College Program is a very popular program that gives college students a fantastic opportunity to work at Walt Disney World, take classes and gain experience. Unfortunately, the program has been closed down for over a year due to the pandemic. However, this week Disney announced the program would be returning. This is excellent news, not just for interested college students, but also is a sign that Disney plans to ramp things up this summer and will need the students to work in the parks. Learn more at the link below.
11 – The Wave… of American Flavors to Close for Refurbishment this Summer
The Wave… of American Flavors & The Wave Lounge at Disney’s Contemporary Resort will be unavailable this summer as Disney will refurbish this space in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort. Reservations will be available through July 15, 2021.
12 – First Look at Avengers Campus Cast Member Costumes
The all-new Avenger Campus opens on June 4! This week, Disney has released a look at the amazing Cast Member costumes for the new land. Disney Cast Member Kyleigh Johnson has all the details below.
Avengers Campus cast members have assembled at Disney California Adventure park. Their mission: Gear up in their brand-new costumes as they prepare Avengers Campus to begin recruiting guests on June 4.
“Our cast members play a unique part in the guest experience,” said Joe Kucharski, senior costume designer. “These costumes are designed to help them embody their role in this epic story.”
Taking on unique roles, cast members in Avengers Campus are known as Campus Representatives, and the costumes they wear are inspired by each individual address within the campus. These looks were created to be cool and comfortable, while helping to ground guests in the immersive storytelling of the land.
Campus Representatives at WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure and WEB Suppliers will wear pieces that feature modern, techy emblems and materials made of lightweight, breathable fabrics with stretch for movement and flexibility.
Over at Pym Test Kitchen featuring IMPOSSIBLE, they will take on unique pieces like a Pym pocket protector, lab coat, hat and tie. Giving a nod to the growing and shrinking science used to create shareable bites and sweets at this location, these costumes feature a large “Pym Particle” on the hat and much smaller pattern on the tie.
The campus uniform includes cargo bottoms, a training shirt and a tactical-inspired vest that are comfortable, lightweight and breathable, so cast can be ready to take on any mission that comes their way.
At the Ancient Sanctum, costumes layer unique pieces that cast a dramatic silhouette with rich textures and sewing techniques inspired by the Mystic Arts.
Campus Representatives at both food carts in Avengers Campus will gear up in colorful aprons—one inspired by classic New York City food carts for Shawarma Palace and the other inspired by the second anchor attraction in the land, Guardians on the Galaxy—Mission: BREAKOUT!, for Terran Treats.
Check out this video for a closer look!
13 – New Pride Month Products Now Available
June is Pride Month, and Disney is celebrating with a new lineup of Disney pride products. Disney Cast Member Anthony Armenia shares more below. (Photos – Credit: Disney)
Just in time for Pride Month 2021, I’m delighted to announce that fans around the world can showcase their LGBTQ+ pride with all-new bespoke products featuring Disney — and for the first time ever – our other iconic brands as well!
From apparel to accessories to pins and plush and so much more, there are more items in this collection than there are colors in the rainbow! Better yet, in celebration of Pride Month 2021 and the company’s Pride collection, The Walt Disney Company is donating funds as part of our ongoing commitment to organizations around the world that support LGBTQ+ communities. To learn more, visit RainbowDisneyCollection.com.
Here’s a first look at this vibrant new collection with select products available now at shopDisney.com and Disney stores in North America and Japan, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. This collection is coming later this month to Disney stores in Europe and shopDisney.co.uk as well so keep an eye out across the pond!
Stand proud with this adorable Mickey Mouse “Love” Tee for both adults and kids alike and complete the look with an all-over print face mask! And if you’re a Mickey Mouse fan, you simply must have a Mickey Mouse fan, perfect for a little shade or breath of fresh air!
Show your true colors in style with this cozy zip-up hoodie and jogger pants, perfect for a walk in the park or just lounging around the house! Take it on the go with an adorable matching wristlet by Loungefly and accessorize with a Transgender flag pin, or one of our other Pride pins, available now at shopDisney and Disney stores, and coming soon to Parks!
Share the Mickey Mouse love and celebrate togetherness with an iconic tee for adults featuring Mickey Mouse hands with a vibrant rainbow. Add a little color to your selfies with this lively phone case featuring classic parks icons available only at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.
Fans of Pixar Animation Studios and Stitch will be over the rainbow and stand proud wearing these vivacious new tees and donning these delightful pins. I mean … just look at Stitch and the classic “Ohana Means Family” quote. It fills my heart with joy!
Fans across galaxies will be bursting with pride while repping a variety of tees for adults featuring the Millennium Falcon as well as the classic Star Wars logo, Darth Vader, and Rebel Alliance logo available only at Walt Disney World Resort. These come just in time for the iconic May the 4thcelebration tomorrow. I know I’ll be strutting in that acid wash tee for sure!
Starting this month, the incredible diversity of our fans will also be celebrated around the world with products rolling out from licensees and retailers including Amazon, BoxLunch, Funko, Kohl’s, and Torrid, with more to come in Europe and Latin America. Check out some of my personal faves below and keep an eye out on their websites and stores for these products and more!
In June, our friends over at Funko will have a plethora of new Pop! vinyl figures in screaming color including Stitch and Wall-E (a Funko.com exclusive). Plus, poor unfortunate souls will be delighted at an Ursula Pop! Vinyl figure, a Hot Topic exclusive, coming in June!
Speaking of Hot Topic, they have even more colorful products available online now to help you celebrate, such as some cute Disney Lilo & Stitch Rainbow Stitch Crew Socks, an adjustable Loungefly Disney Mickey Mouse Rainbow Passport Crossbody Bag, and Disney Mickey Mouse Rainbow Love Slide Sandals. With these accessories, you’ll bring color wherever you go!
Torrid also has some rainbow-filled items to help you get in the spirit of Pride! Check out their Ursula Rainbow Hi Neck Tank, Mickey & Friends Rainbow Crop Leggings, and Stitch Rainbow Slash Top—all available May 25!
We also have some awesome tees and sweatshirts from Amazon that will take you to a galaxy far, far, away with BB-8, to a tropical oasis with Stitch, and even on your most heroic feats with the Avengers!
Our pals at Kohl’s are getting in on the rainbow fun, too! Check out the Star Wars Pride Rainbow Lightsabers Tee and Mickey Mouse Multicolor Cubic Zirconia Necklace, available now along with a variety of other tees coming over the next month!
We will continue to provide authentic products and experiences and create storytelling moments that celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community throughout the year. Stay tuned; more Pride products will roll out globally at various locations and retailers in June and all year long as we continue to celebrate the community. Whether it’s at home on your own or out and about with your friends and family, I hope you have a safe and joyous Pride Month 2021!
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
The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure at EPCOT – 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
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