It’s no secret that Disney World is constantly changing.
Between decor, new attractions, and construction, Disney continually adds magic to its parks. Since 2020 was a year full of closures and a worldwide pandemic, Disney has had to adapt and make changes. But, what are the biggest changes as we head into the year 2021? Let’s find out!
Starting January 1st, 2021, park hopping will be returning to Disney World! Soon, guests will have much more freedom in their Disney park days. Although guests could still purchase park hoppers, that function has not been available since the reopening in July.
When this option is brought back to parks, guests must have a park hopper ticket or pass. You’ll also still need to book a park pass reservation for your first park AND enter that park before you can hop to a different one.
Starting at 2PM, Disney guests can hop to another park as long as that park is not at capacity. While you do not need a reservation currently to get into that second park, Disney made it clear that this could change in the future. Disney also updated their policy for Annual Passholders so that the ability to visit another park will be subject to applicable block out dates.
Bringing back this option for guests is a great way to celebrate the new year! This new process is a bit confusing so if you have any questions, feel free to ask or check out our answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Discontinuing Free MagicBands
One of the BIGGEST changes coming to Disney World in 2021 is the discontinuation of free MagicBands. Currently, Disney World resort guests receive a complimentary MagicBand for their trip. Each guest gets a solid-colored MagicBand, but can pay to upgrade one with a design.
That’s not where Disney’s new plan stops. Instead of offering MagicBands, Disney plans to launch a new system where the classic MagicBand features are available through the My Disney Experience app. This is an extension on the current Digital Key Feature that allows guests to unlock their resort rooms on their phones.
The retiring of complimentary MagicBands goes into effect on January 1st, 2021. If you are a huge MagicBand fan, don’t worry! MagicBands aren’t being fully replaced. Disney resort guests will still be able to purchase MagicBands, and at a discounted price! Disney mentioned that they will continue to release new MagicBand colors and designs online and in shops at Disney World.
This is a huge change for Disney park-goers since MagicBands have been an essential when they were introduced in 2013. Guests who prefer not to purchase a MagicBand will be able to use the My Disney Experience app, and guests who LOVE MagicBands can still use them! It’s the best of both worlds, but it will be a pretty strange adjustment not having to wear those colorful bands around our wrists all day every day!
EPCOT’s France Pavilion
We recently learned A LOT about the upcoming projects coming to EPCOT in Disney World. While we got exciting news and sneak peeks, Disney announced that Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will open in 2021!
We’ve been watching the construction progress for the extension on the France Pavilion, but now we have a timeline for when this highly anticipated attraction will open. Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro said, “Coming in 2021, we’re still on track to open Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure” at the virtual International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo.
The attraction was originally supposed to open in the summer of 2020 but was delayed because of the park closures. And not only is this attraction scheduled to open next year, but the La Crêperie de Paris is also set to open!
This is a new table and quick service restaurant coming to EPCOT that will specialize in…crepes! The news was revealed at the D23 Event, EPCOT – The Magic of Possibility, which discussed the future of the park as a whole. We are SO looking forward to these additions in the France Pavilion! If you have a trip planned in 2021, these may be open while you visit.
Airline Transportation Packages Cancelled
Currently, Disney guests planning a trip can book packages with their tickets, resort, and flights. In June, Disney announced that they would no longer offer air transportation as part of their vacation packages.
The airline packages were available for Disney World, Disneyland, and Aulani to make guests’ booking experience easier. This included consumer-direct and third-party bookings, but starting in 2021, guests will have to book their flights separately.
Disney will honor all existing airline reservations through the rest of the year and even allow new airline bookings until December 31st, 2020. If you are traveling to Disney World in 2021 and would like some help booking your air, reach out to your travel agent to get more information.
Disney Waterpark Reopening
While all four theme parks are open in Disney World, both of the waterparks have remained closed. However, in September, Disney announced that one of the two waterparks would be reopening in 2021.
Disney has not released which waterpark it plans to reopen, but the plan is to open ONE of them on March 7 of 2021. This date could change pending government approval, but as of now, the date has remained the same. Even though waterparks are not new to Disney World in 2021, they have been shut down since the closures in March of this year. It feels like ages since we’ve stepped into one of those parks!
Although we are awaiting the announcement of which waterpark it is, Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach, we are hopeful the waterparks will be able to safely reopen on this date. We will update you as soon as we get more details on the waterpark reopening.
And that wraps up the BIGGEST changes coming to Disney World in 2021! While it has been a pretty crazy year, we are looking forward to what this new year has in store for Disney- changes and all! We will continue to update you on the latest changes all over Disney World.
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Which change are you most looking forward to in 2021? Let us know in the comments!