2021 has arrived and it’s going to be a BIG year for Disney!
With the 50th Anniversary of Magic Kingdom coming later this year, several new attractions opening, and multiple refurbishment projects around the resort, there is a lot to see at Walt Disney World this year!
We know that you’ve probably heard us talk about this a million times by now, but we’re just so excited! Park hopping has officially returned in a modified way to Disney World.
To use the modified Park Hopping system, a guest must have a Park Hopper ticket or annual pass with Park Hopping capabilities, they must make a Disney Park Pass reservation for the park they plan to visit first, and they MUST visit that park. On top of this, guests will only be able to hop during Park Hopper hours (listed on the Disney World website).
We got to try the new system out for ourselves the other day to answer all your questions, and we were able to visit all four parks in one day! Keep in mind that Park Hopping is subject to availability, and your individual experiences may vary.
We’ll continue to test out the system on various days to see how things change when the parks are busier, so stay tuned for more information and advice!
2. Park-to-Park Transportation Has Returned
Along with the return of Park Hopping, Disney’s park-to-park transportation came back! In our experience, we found that the buses between the theme parks began running about 15 minutes before the Park Hopping window. The EPCOT monorail line has not returned at this time, so besides the Skyliner and Friendship Boats between EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, your main Disney transportation option is the bus system.
We’ll make sure to keep you updated with all the information as far as park-to-park transportation is concerned, and we’ll be anxiously awaiting the return of the EPCOT monorail. (The ride through the park to the station is the BEST!)
3. EPCOT’s Festival of the Arts Starts TODAY
Today the International Festival of the Arts is kicking off at EPCOT! With special merchandise including some amazing artwork, tons of great entertainment, and food studios with incredibly artistic dishes, we’re definitely ready to check out this festival!
We’ll be here ALL day trying all the food, giving our reviews, and sharing all the most important news. We can’t wait to try out all the creative activities!
4. MagicBands Are No Longer Free for Resort Guests
Another big change that came with the new year is the loss of free MagicBands for resort guests. Guests staying at a Disney Resort will still be able to purchase select MagicBands at a discounted price ahead of their trip, but the solid colored bands are no longer free (they now cost $5 apiece).
In the future, Disney plans to make more planning tools available via guests’ mobile phones, but for now, not much has changed. If you don’t plan on getting a MagicBand, you’ll need to use a Key to the World card to get in the park.
5. There’s a New Free Ticket Deal
Guests can now book a special offer that includes 2 free park tickets on a 3-day, 4-night vacation package.
This deal is valid for arrivals from January 8th, 2021 through September 25th, 2021. This could save your family lots of money!
Stay tuned to DFB as we get more details on this offer, because there are likely to be special conditions involved.
6. Several Attractions Are Having Refurbishments
And the PeopleMover isn’t alone…several attractions have been and will be undergoing refurbishment in January. The Liberty Square Riverboat and Tom Sawyer Island are still closed, with the Rivers of America drained.
Kali River Rapids in Disney’s Animal Kingdom closed for refurbishment on January 4th, 2021. It’s currently listed as “temporarily closed” until April 1st.
Also, the Walt Disney World Railroad remains closed while construction continues on the new TRON coaster in Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland. And the PeopleMover refurbishment has been extended.
7. Two runDisney Virtual Races Are Happening
The Star Wars Virtual Half Marathon is taking place from January 1st-March 31st. Participants who registered for this race will be running from home.
And in the middle of that window, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend will be taking place from January 6th-10th. These races are a great way to bring the Disney magic home, so stay tuned for information on how to register for future virtual runDisney races!
8. So Many Ways to Save Money!
Besides the bonus tickets offer we already mentioned, there are several ways to save money on your 2021 vacation! For stays beginning January 3rd, guests can get up to 35% off of their hotel room at a Disney Resort. Florida residents and Annual Passholders can also take advantage of special room rates during this time.
Members of the US Military can score great deals on rooms as well, but they’ll need to contact Disney for more details.
9. Character Cavalcades Are Back to Normal
During Disney’s holiday season, we saw a plethora of themed character cavalcades and interactions. Now that Christmastime is over, the character interactions have gone back to what they were when the parks first reopened.
Guests can catch Mickey and friends in each park, and they’ll find Disney princesses, Pixar characters, and classic Disney pals among the cavalcades, promenades, motorcades, and flotillas in the four parks.
Well, there’s the main information that you’ll need to know for Disney World in January 2021! Stay tuned to DFB as we cover the latest in Disney news and bring you updates from the parks!
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What are you most looking forward to in January? Tell us in the comments!