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DISNEY NEWS ROUNDUP: No More Free MagicBands for Passholders; DVC Expanding; New Ice Cream Location; PhotoPass/Snapchat Mashup; Skyliner Closing for Refurbishment; Another Disneyland Hotel Reopening & More

Annual passholders got the news this week that Disney was ending complimentary Magic Bands, and Disney Vacation Club announced that an existing DVC property was expanding. There is also a cool new Photopass/Snapchat mashup for some extra Disney magic, and a couple of big refurbishment announcements. In food news, there’s a new spot for ice cream, and we got a sneak peek at the dining options coming to Avengers Campus. Over at Disneyland, another hotel is reopening, and there is a brand-new way to purchase tickets and make park reservations at the same time. All this and more in this week’s news roundup.



1 – Complimentary MagicBand Ending for Walt Disney World Annual Passholders

This week Walt Disney World annual passholders received news that the complimentary MagicBand perk would end in August. Learn more at the link below.

Click here for details on the ending of the complimentary MagicBand perk for annual passholders.

2 – Disney Vacation Club Announces Expansion at The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Disney Vacation Club has shared plans to reimagine one building of existing hotel rooms at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa into Disney Vacation Club Villas. Learn more at the link below.

Click here for details on the Disney Vacation Club expansion at The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

3 – Disney PhotoPass and Snapchat Team Up for New Photo Magic at Walt Disney World

Disney PhotoPass and Snapchat have teamed for some pretty impressive magic that can be added to your photos. Also, later this fall, during the 50th Anniversary celebration, special lenses will offer even more magic. Learn more at the link below.

Click here for details on the new offerings from Disney PhotoPass and Snapchat.



4 – New BoardWalk Ice Cream Opens at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

To our dismay, our favorite ice cream place at Walt Disney World, Ample Hills Creamery, permanently closed last year. Disney has opened a new ice cream parlor in its place, BoardWalk Ice Cream. The restaurant serves Edy’s ice cream and has a variety of sundaes and flavors to choose from. Alas, they are nothing like the flavors and variety that Ample Hills offered. We tried the Strawberry Shortcake Splash. While it was fine, there was nothing that special about it. It’s the same choices you can expect at other Walt Disney World locations that offer Edy’s. We feel that it is nice to have another ice cream parlor on the BoardWalk; however, you don’t need to go out of your way to visit. Check out our Instagram post below for photos and video.

 

5 – Disney Skyliner Closing for Refurbishment in January 2022

From Sunday, January 23 through Thursday, January 28, 2022, the Disney Skyliner line between EPCOT International Gateway, Disney’s Riviera Resort, and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will be closed. During this time, Disney bus transportation will be provided for Guests to EPCOT. FriendShip boat service is also available for EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s BoardWalk Resort, and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts.

6 – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Magic Kingdom to Close for Brief Refurbishment

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Magic Kingdom is scheduled to close for a brief refurbishment from June 7-June 12, 2021. It is scheduled to reopen to guests on June 13, 2021.



7 – Epic Eats and Treats in All-New Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure

Inside Avengers Campus, guests of all ages will be invited to team up with the Avengers and their allies to train to become the next generation of Super Heroes. Guests will immerse themselves in many ways, from the epic attractions and heroic encounters to the food and beverage – one more way to power up in this new land at the Disneyland Resort. Learn more at the link below.

Click here for detail on food and beverage offerings available in the new Avengers Campus coming to Disney California Adventure.

8 – Disneyland Resort Launches New Way to Purchase Theme Park Tickets and Make Reservations at the Same Time

This week Disneyland Resort launched a new way to purchase theme park tickets to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure and make park reservations at the same time. Learn more at the link below.

Click here for details on the new way to purchase Disneyland and Disney California Adventure tickets and make park reservations at the same time.

9 – Disneyland Hotel Reopening in July; Reservations Now Open

The Disneyland Hotel is reopening in July, and reservations are now open. Learn more at the link below.

Click here for details on the reopening of Disneyland Hotel.



10 – First Look at Avengers Campus Merchandise

Avengers Campus is opening June 2, 2021, and Disney has released a look at some of the merchandise that will be available for guests. Learn more at the link below.

Click here for photos and details on upcoming Avengers Campus merchandise.

11 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcomes Baby Zebra

Another Hartmann’s Mountain zebra foal was born on Kilimanjaro Safari’s at Disney’s Animal Kingdom this week! Learn more at the links below.

Click here for photos and more details on the baby zebra born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

12 – Walt Disney World Cast Members Will Receive New 50th Anniversary Nametags

For nearly 50 years, cast members have been at the heart of making magic at the Walt Disney World Resort, bringing countless memories to life for guests and one another. Whether in costume or professionally dressed, cast member nametags provide a sense of pride and personal connection as an iconic part of Disney heritage and culture, both with cast members and guests from around the globe.

As Walt Disney World embarks on celebrating 50 years of magic and memories, a new cast nametag is set to debut, featuring unique elements inspired by “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” that starts October 1, 2021.

 

A team of graphic artists and costume designers spent more than a year developing the new nametag, testing a number of colors and printing techniques before completing the final design. The new nametags feature several special details:

  • An exclusive color wash, inspired by the sparkling new 50th anniversary looks for Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, was developed and applied with an innovative printing technique and glaze to give each nametag a pearlescent shimmer.
  • Holographic gold foil with sparkling color-shift elements is individually applied to each nametag, bringing additional shine to the Walt Disney World Resort 50th anniversary logo.
  • Royal blue lettering matching the turrets of Cinderella Castle brings a regal pop of color to the nametag, ensuring each cast member name and hometown is a focal point against the glistening background.

All of these elements will combine to produce a distinct shine across each nametag, reflecting the EARidescent décor that will be on display across Walt Disney World Resort for the duration of the celebration.

The new nametags will debut later this year, in time for the October 1 start of “The World’s Most Magical Celebration.” The 18-month event will feature new experiences at the resort’s four theme parks and beyond, where shimmering EARidescent décor will appear as if by magic. More details about the celebration will be announced in the future.

13 – Buy a Book, Give a Book: Disney to Donate a Book for Every Book Purchased through the End of the Year

We love the many ways Disney gives back. Here’s another way you can get involved as well with a great new book giveaway.

Disney Cast Member Allison Citino shares more below:

Calling all book lovers! For every book purchased on shopDisney.com now through December 31, 2021, Disney will donate a book to First Book (firstbook.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing new books and educational resources to educators who serve children in need.

Similar to readers who are inspired to recommend books to their friends and family by word-of-mouth, shopDisney’s Buy a Book, Give a Book program encourages a gesture of sharing and extends it into communities for life-changing impact, celebrating the endless possibilities of storytelling.

As one of the world’s largest children’s publishing brands, Disney Publishing Worldwide has a unique opportunity to inspire the next generation of storytellers and equip them with books and resources to build their skills. In addition to igniting a love of storytelling in children, educators report that First Book resources help students develop confidence in their own abilities and promote cross-cultural awareness.

Fan favorites such as Star Wars: The High Republic: A Test of Courage, the action-packed Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, and the family-friendly, wildly entertaining Weird But True series are all included in the Buy a Book, Give a Book program. Visit shopDisney.com to explore books from across Disney Publishing Worldwide, including titles from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic.

EPCOT 

Missing EPCOT? Here’s a short video of a recent sunset at EPCOT near Spaceship Earth? Follow us on Instagram for more posts like this!



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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