Is it just us, or has Disney news been absolutely MIND-BOGGLING lately? It seems as though every day, there are tons of new headlines and stories to catch up on!
That’s why we’ve got you covered! Here’s a roundup of some of the major news stories to break in the last couple of weeks.
Disney Park Pass Reservation System Goes Live
Recently, the highly anticipated Disney Park Pass Reservation System debuted, allowing guests to make those coveted advance reservations to visit Disney World’s theme parks. Guests need both valid admission AND a reservation in order to enter the theme parks during their phased reopening.
The system rolled out with generally mixed reactions. The first day it went live, folks waited HOURS in an online waiting room to make their reservations. And while Annual Passholders had an overall smoother experience making their reservations a few days later, there seemed to be some discrepancies over exactly what the restrictions are when it comes to how many reservations one can make.
Splash Mountain Will Be Re-Imagined
In MAJOR attractions news, we learned that Splash Mountain will be re-imagined into a The Princess and the Frog-themed ride at both Disney World AND Disneyland!
The original Splash Mountain will reopen with both Magic Kingdom and Disneyland this year, and exact timelines for when Splash Mountain will close have yet to be announced. Disney has reportedly been working on this transformation for the past year.
Many DVC Resorts Have Reopened!
On June 22, many Disney Vacation Club Resorts officially reopened and welcomed guests back for overnight stays. Many of their restaurants also reopened. Overall, the resorts have been VERY quiet this week, which has made for a very interesting shopping and dining experience for us!
Keep in mind that at this time, the only guests allowed at these resorts are those with overnight stays or those with confirmed dining reservations.
2021 Resort Package & Room Only Bookings Have Opened
Guests may now book 2021 packages as well as room-only bookings for Disney World! Currently, you can book between January 1, 2021 through September 26, 2021.
That means that at this time, bookings are still unavailable for the highly anticipated 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World, which will be on October 1, 2021.
Disneyland Has Delayed Their Reopening
Disneyland announced a couple of weeks ago that they would reopen their theme parks on July 17, which is the 65th Anniversary of Disneyland. Since then, we have learned that Disneyland’s opening has actually been DELAYED until further notice.
Downtown Disney is still set to reopen on July 9 with new health and safety guidelines in place. We will continue to monitor the status of Disneyland’s reopening and will update you all when we know more!
Disney World’s New Mobile Dine Check-In Has Launched
Dining in Disney World is changing in many ways this summer! One of those ways is with the new Mobile Dine Check-In feature. Through My Disney Experience, guests are able to check-in for their dining reservations without needing to visit the host stand.
You simply scan a QR code located in the lobby of the restaurant, or you may check-in directly on My Disney Experience when your reservation window opens up. Either way, you will receive a text confirmation that lets you know when your table is ready!
We saw and used Mobile Dine Check-In at many of the resort hotel restaurants and we have found the experience to be very smooth and easy!
2020 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival Begins On July 15
The world was shocked to hear that the 2020 EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival will start this year on July 15! That’s right, not only will EPCOT reopen on July 15, but their biggest festival of the year will start that day, too! This year it will be known as the Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival and it will blend Food & Wine and Flower & Garden.
There will be twenty food booths around the park in this modified experience that will run through the fall. No menus have been announced as of this writing.
While some aspects of the festival will look very familiar to years past, this year there will be no Eat to the Beat Concert Series.
We Know Which Restaurants Will Open With The Parks!
Speaking of food, we recently learned which of the in-park restaurants and dining locations will reopen in July! Disney released full lists for Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom!
Select guests can begin making dining reservations on June 30th. We’ve spotted some pretty big menu changes ahead of these restaurants re-opening, including the news that Be Our Guest Restaurant will be serving their Signature Prix-Fixe Table Service menu for both dinner AND lunch!
We Also Know Which Attractions, Shops, and More Will Open With The Parks!
In addition to all of the in-park dining, we also learned which attractions, retail shops, and entertainment offerings will be available when the parks reopen. In general, most attractions will be open when Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom reopen on July 11, and when EPCOT and Hollywood Studios reopen on July 15, including Spaceship Earth, whose massive renovation has been temporarily delayed!
There will be plenty of places to shop til you drop in the parks, too! We also learned about the musical groups that will return to the parks in July.
Read more about what the modified character encounters will be like in the reopened theme parks here!
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Has Been Canceled For 2020
In some more disappointing news, this year’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party has been officially canceled. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party features many components that are currently being suspended during Disney’s phased reopening. With fireworks, character meet and greets, and parades unavailable until further notice, the cancellation seemed all but likely.
We have no word yet on the fate of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, but we will certainly keep you up to date as we learn more!
More International Parks Announce Reopening Dates
There was a time when every Disney park worldwide was either opened or had set reopening dates, but with Disneyland Resort currently delayed, we are back to living in uncertainty for at least one park!
Read more about the health and safety regulations that will be in place at Tokyo Disney Resort here!
These days, it’s hard to keep up with all of Disney’s breaking headlines! That’s why we hope this news roundup was helpful in catching you up on all the Disney Parks happenings around the world. Many of these stories are still developing, so as we learn more we will continue to keep you up-to-date!
Do you have upcoming travel plans to Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments!