WOW. This has been quite the week for Disney news!
One form of transportation from the airport that some Disney fans LOVE will be going away next year, Disney World guests are getting early park entry again soon, and MORE. Some of the news this week will impact your future Disney World or Disneyland plans. We know you’ve got a lot going on in your lives too, so today we’re breaking down the 4 BIGGEST pieces of Disney news that you might have missed this week.
Let’s dive right in!
1. Disney’s Magical Express Is Going Away in 2022
If the first “Disney” ride you’re used to going on is the Magical Express bus that takes you from Orlando International Airport to Walt Disney World, things will be changing for your trips starting in 2022. This week, Disney announced that they will be discontinuing their Magical Express bus service starting in 2022.
Mears, the company that operates the Magical Express, has issued a statement about this discontinuation, which you can read here. You’ve still got quite a while to plan for this change, but we’ve already broken down the best ways to get to Disney World once the Magical Express is gone so you can be prepared.
We’ll definitely keep an eye out for more updates on this and let you know what we find.
2. Early Entry Announced for Disney World Hotel Guests
Although the Magical Express will be going away, some other benefits will be coming soon to Disney World resort guests. When Disney World reopened, it suspended Extra Magic Hours. Soon, however, hotel guests will be able to get early access to the parks in a new way. This week Disney shared that, as part of their 50th Anniversary celebrations, guests staying at Disney-owned resorts and other select resorts will be allowed 30-minute early entry to ANY theme park every day.
The new Early Entry system will bring this early access benefit back to resort guests, while also potentially dispersing crowds a bit more throughout all four theme parks. Keep in mind, you’ll still need a valid ticket and a Park Pass reservation for the park you want to visit in order to get early access.
We don’t have an official date when this early entry system will start, but we’re on the lookout for more information.
3. Disneyland Is Suspending Its Annual Passholder Program
Over on the west coast, Disneyland Resort is still temporarily closed. In fact, the Disneyland theme parks have been closed since March of 2020. Downtown Disney and part of Buena Vista Street have reopened for limited shopping and dining. But, there are many restrictions in place at the moment due to the stay-at-home order that is in place in Southern California.
Throughout this time, Disneyland’s Annual Passholders have received extensions on their passes and monthly payments have been put on pause. But, this week, Disneyland Resort announced that they are discontinuing their current Annual Passholder program, including the Disney Premier Passport.
Disney shared that, in the next few days, they’ll “begin the process of issuing appropriate refunds for eligible Disneyland Resort Annual Passports and sunsetting the current Annual Passport program due to the continued uncertainty of the pandemic and limitations and expected restrictions around the reopening of our theme parks.”
If you have a Premier Passport, you’ll continue to have access to Disney World and V.I.PASSHOLDER Perks through March 31, 2021. Premier Passholders will also have the ability to renew to Walt Disney World Annual Passes. Disneyland Annual Passholders with active tickets as of a certain date will also continue to get discounts and Passholders can even get a 30% discount on select items for a period of time.
Click here to get more information about the discontinuation of the Disneyland Annual Passholder program.
4. Room Refurbishment Coming to Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Over at the Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Walt Disney World, things are changing too. Not too long ago, characters returned to Chef Mickey’s and recently we also spotted some adorable merch inspired by Mary Blair. But, this week, we noticed that there was some more limited room availability at the hotel. So, we reached out to a Cast Member who informed us that “Disney’s Contemporary Resort will undergo refurbishments in the Main Tower Guest Rooms from April to September, 2021.”
We’re not entirely sure what this refurbishment will consist of, but we are definitely interested to find out. We’re on the lookout for more details about this and will let you know what we find. In the meantime, be aware that this scheduled refurbishment may limit the availability of some rooms at the hotel.
Those are the 4 BIG news items from this week, but a bunch of other things happened too. Some of the Disney World monorails got a bit of a makeover on the inside of the cars with the addition of distancing barriers.
We also learned that Disney World is selling Annual Passes again, but only in very limited circumstances.
Over at EPCOT, some construction walls came down by Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and we got to hear about a NEW Soul exhibit coming to The American Adventure.
If you are planning to visit Disney World on its 50th Anniversary (October 1st, 2021), you’ll want to make your Park Pass reservations as soon as you can. This week we saw Park Passes at Magic Kingdom fill up entirely for that date!
What news will next week bring? We’re not sure, but we’ll definitely be looking for all the latest updates and we’ll bring them straight to you!
Disney World is being considered as a COVID-19 vaccination distribution center. Check out more details here!
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Are you planning to visit Disney World for the 50th Anniversary? Let us know in the comments!