Another big week for Disney news. We’re starting with a phased reopening update on dining and resorts at Disney World, and coverage of the reopening of the Disneyland parks following a nearly fourteen-month closure. A newly reimagined Snow White ride has opened while more details and concept art have been released for the reimagining of the Jungle Cruise. A bunch of new food and beverage offerings are now available, and we have a rundown of the specialty items available for Star Wars Day, May the 4th. One fan-favorite attraction finally reopens while a character experience at Epcot comes to an end. Disney Cruise Line unveiled their 5th ship, the Disney Wish, and out at Disneyland more details emerged on the new Avengers Campus. All this and more below in this week’s news roundup.
1 – Phased Reopening Spring Update – Dining & Resorts at Walt Disney World
Now that we’re ten months into the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, we’re taking a look at the status of the parks and covering some of the challenges of visiting during this time. This week, we tackle dining and resort challenges. Learn more at the link below.
2 – Disneyland Resort Reopens to Guests
Disneyland Park reopened to the public, along with Disney California Adventure Park, on Friday, April 30, 2021. Guests entered the theme parks filled with joy and excitement as they discovered the magic is here once again, as enchanting and timeless as ever. On this historic day, cast members welcomed guests back to the parks. It was amazing to see photos and video from guests enjoyed a very long overdue trip into the parks. We’re so happy for our California friends and Cast Members who are back where they belong! Learn more about the historic reopening at the links below.
3 – Jungle Cruise Update – New Scene Concept Art Revealed
The Jungle Cruise has been slowly changing as Imagineers update the attraction in phases while the ride remains open to guests. One early change was the removal of Trader Sam. Many have been wondering about his future. Disney released information this week on Sam’s future on the attraction. Learn more at the link below.
4 – New Food and Beverage Offerings Now Available at Walt Disney World
There’s never a shortage of amazing food and beverage items to try while visiting Walt Disney World. Check out the link below for new items available now.
5 – Mickey and Friends World Tour Cavalcade to End at EPCOT
Since reopening the parks in July 2020, guests have been treated to new ways to interact and see their favorite Disney characters. At EPCOT, many of the character sightings have been limited to cavalcades in World Showcase. Slowly Disney has been making changes to the lineup. Originally, Anna and Elsa could be seen in their procession through World Showcase. Early this year, the two moved to the Norway pavilion and greeted guests from a distance. In the last month, Disney has been testing having the classic characters such as Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto greet guests at the front from a distance. This appears to have been a success because the Mickey and Friends World Tour Cavalcade will come to an end on May 4, 2021. Beginning May 5, you’ll be able to see different characters near the front entrance. That leaves only one cavalcade left, the Disney Princess cavalcade. There is no word on any change to that procession.
6 – PeopleMover Now Open at Magic Kingdom
Last week we reported that the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover reopened at Magic Kingdom. This week we enjoyed a ride on the popular attraction and we invite you to ride along! Check out our Instagram post below.
7 – Reimagined Snow White’s Enchanted Wish – Now Open at Disneyland Park
Guests can celebrate the timeless fairytale of Snow White in a whole new way at the Disneyland Resort. Snow White’s Enchanted Wish, an original Disneyland attraction, has been reimagined with new magic in storytelling to bring together the beloved Disney Princess, the Seven Dwarfs, the woodland creatures, the Prince – and yes, even the Evil Queen – for the ultimate storybook ending of “happily ever after.” Learn more at the link below.
8 – Star Wars: May the 4th Be With You – Food and Beverage Offerings at Walt Disney World
It’s almost May 4 – Star Wars: May the 4th Be With You Day, and Disney World is celebrating with some limited-time food and beverage items. Learn more at the link below.
9 – New Look Inside Avengers Campus – Coming to Disney California Adventure
Now that Disney California Adventure is open to guests, Disney is gearing up for the opening of the highly anticipated new land – Avenger Campus. This week, Disney released more images and details of what guests can expect when visiting. Learn more at the link below.
10 – Grand Reveal of Disney Wish – Disney Cruise Line’s 5th Ship – Setting Sail Summer 2022
This week Disney Cruise Line revealed the Disney Wish, the 5th ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet. The Disney Wish joins the Disney Magic (maiden voyage in 1998), the Disney Wonder (maiden voyage in 1999), the Disney Dream (maiden voyage in 2011), and the Disney Fantasy (maiden voyage in 2012).
The Disney Wish will feature a brand-new, distinctly Disney design concept inspired by timeless tales of wishes come true. The ship is so impressive, and we simply can’t wait to step onboard and enjoy all she has to offer. The Disney Wish will sail its maiden voyage — a five-night cruise to Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay — on June 9, 2022, followed by an inaugural season of three- and four-night cruises to the same destinations from Port Canaveral, Florida. Bookings open to the general public on May 27, 2021. There is plenty to be excited about, and we will continue to share more details on the Disney Wish in the next few weeks. You can learn more about what’s new and coming to the ship, as well as information on bookings, at the links below.
11 – The Walt Disney Company Donates $1 million dollars to Make-A-Wish
On World Wish Day, The Walt Disney Company announced a $1 million donation to Make-A-Wish as part of a grand unveiling event for the highly anticipated Disney Cruise Line ship, the Disney Wish, scheduled to set sail in summer 2022. The name Disney Wish carries a powerful meaning, evoking all the wonder and optimism of a wish come true, presenting an opportunity to connect this timeless theme to the invaluable work Make-A-Wish does every day to support children with critical illnesses. This donation is earmarked to reach even more Make-A-Wish kids from all backgrounds, supporting Disney’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion. Learn more at the link below.
12 – Disneyland Paris Announces Next Step in its Resort Hotel Transformation Plan
As final touches are made to the highly anticipated Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel, due to open soon, Disneyland Paris announces a regal transformation of the iconic Disneyland Hotel, which will be the first Disney Hotel to celebrate a royal theme. This complete refurbishment is the next step in an ambitious renovation plan for all Disneyland Paris hotels spanning years and more than 5,700 rooms. The impressive transformation demonstrates Disneyland Paris’s ongoing commitment to continually invest in the guest experience and its successful strategy to infuse more beloved Disney franchises and stories into its hotels.
Disneyland Paris hotels are much more than a place to sleep – they are the best way to enjoy the resort! Beyond the many advantages such as early park access, free transportation to the parks, dedicated shopping services and even Disney character encounters, hotel guests are immersed in themed environments and compelling stories like nowhere else beyond the parks.
Following the infusion of Cars storytelling in the completely refurbished Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe and a similar approach to add Toy Story in the new guest rooms and public spaces at Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne, the best example of this transformation plan is the soon-to-open four-star Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel. It will be the first Disney hotel in the world celebrating the Art of Marvel, where guests can discover more than 350 Marvel art pieces from 110 artists around the world, meet with one of their favorite Super Heroes and even dine in an atmosphere inspired by Marvel comics and movies.
Disneyland Paris is now accelerating its refurbishment plan by embarking on a transformation of the Disneyland Hotel, which will strengthen its flagship status at the resort and offer guests an even better five-star experience. This hotel is known not only for its privileged position at the entrance of Disneyland Park, but also for its impeccable service that has propelled it to be a guest favorite and the iconic resort hotel of Disneyland Paris.
The elegant Victorian architecture that guests have come to know when approaching Disneyland Park will remain, while the Disney magic that guests love will be enhanced. The Disneyland Hotel will be infused with a royal theme and become the true kingdom of many favorite Disney Princesses and Princes, from classics like Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, but also recent hits Frozen and Tangled. Guest public areas will be reimagined to pay homage to these beloved films and their characters, while all hotel rooms and suites will be entirely rethemed to offer the most immersive experience. Expect refined, creative décor and magical touches that will surprise the whole family, as only Disney can do.
“At Disneyland Paris, we create enchanting experiences for all ages,” says Sylvie Massara, Walt Disney Imagineering Paris – Design and Show Quality. “The completely refurbished Disneyland Hotel will do just that, immersing guests in a timeless royal atmosphere. Guests will be welcomed with unique refinement as soon as they enter the lobby and will stay in rooms and suites with elegant décor celebrating Disney Princesses and Princes.
To meet and exceed the ever-evolving expectations of our guests, the layout of the hotel’s public spaces and equipment in the rooms will also be enhanced to provide improved, personalized services while leveraging the latest technologies for even more comfort. Guests will benefit from a larger pool area, indulge in an expanded spa and dine in updated restaurants and bars – all adding up to the most magical experience at this stunning five-star hotel.
“When it reopens, Disneyland Hotel will offer to our guests an enhanced experience even more worthy of the prestigious French five-star hotel rating,” adds Tomás Feier, General Manager of the Disneyland Hotel. “We are proud to welcome a lot of repeat visitors at our iconic hotel, and we want them to be immersed in a 360-degree experience using the power of beloved Disney fairytales, with an array of brave and kind heroines as a central theme. Our loyal guests expect to be enchanted and surprised by their stay each time they visit us, and we take pride in delivering impeccable service to create memorable moments. A full Disneyland Paris experience can truly be achieved only when staying in one of our themed hotels, and we cannot wait to welcome guests to the Disneyland Hotel after its transformation.
Stay tuned for more details on this exciting project as it develops!
13 – King Chad Artwork Finds Permanent Home at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles
Disney Cast Member Thomas Smith shares a heartwarming story below.
“King Chad,” the heartwarming and beautiful piece of art that was previously displayed in Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort, found its permanent home at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) thanks to its generous donation by concept artist and former Disney Imagineer, Nikkolas Smith. Honoring the life and legacy of Black Panther hero, Chadwick Boseman, this tribute will now bring joy and inspiration to the patients at CHLA.
“It’s just a huge honor for me personally to be able to donate this piece of art to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where I know it will inspire patients going through treatments and serve as a reminder of not only Chadwick’s heart, but also his relatable struggle with cancer,” said Smith. “To see my art getting to live on at such a special place where it can bring hope to others – it is truly one of the greatest gifts I could receive.”
During his 11 years as an Imagineer, Smith worked not only on Disney’s children’s hospital initiatives, but also Avengers Campus, opening at Disneyland Resort on June 4 – making this art and donation even more meaningful to him.
“One of the very first things I did when I joined Disney was taking a tour of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, which was incredibly moving for me, especially now as a father,” said Smith. “I was also humbled to visit the set of Black Panther, where I met Chadwick in-person and witnessed his kindness firsthand. Looking at this artwork now, it really married together so many meaningful moments during my time at Disney.”
The Walt Disney Company has enjoyed a decades-long relationship with CHLA. As part of our commitment to deliver comfort and inspiration to children facing serious illness, our children’s hospitals initiative has brought immersive experiences and personal moments to hospitals around the world, including CHLA, giving a little Disney magic during challenging times and enhancing the hospital experience for patients and their families.
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
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 – 2021
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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