Okay, let’s be honest, 2020 wasn’t the best year ever for Walt Disney World.
The parks shut down for several months and the Walt Disney Company suffered financially due to the pandemic. Thousands of Cast Members lost their jobs, and when the parks did reopen, they reopened without a lot of the amenities we’ve grown to love. Even though things like fireworks, parades, and FastPasses still haven’t returned, some exciting things are already happening in 2021.
Park Hopping is Back!
One of the biggest things that has already happened this year is the return of Park Hopping! On January 1st, a modified version of the Park Hopping system began, where guests are required to make a Disney Park Pass reservation to visit their first park and will only be allowed to “hop” during certain hours of the day.
There are a few technicalities to the system that you’ll need to know before you pay the extra price for the Park Hopper ticket, but we found that it’s once again possible to visit all four Disney World parks in one day! Having the chance to visit Magic Kingdom in the morning and then swing by EPCOT for dinner really offers more guest flexibility!
Two NEW Restaurants Have Opened
So far, 2021 has brought us several AMAZING food options — some of our favorites are returning and some new offerings are arriving! We attended the official grand opening of Gideon’s Bakehouse AND the opening of Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew in Disney Springs.
On top of that, some of our favorite snacks have come back. Our beloved Kakamora Float is once again serving up coconut goodness at Aloha Isle, and one of our favorite ice cream sammies came back to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
In addition to snacks and restaurant openings, we had a wonderful (and delicious) time at the opening of EPCOT’s Festival of the Arts. If 2021 keeps it up, this year may take the throne as the king of Disney food!
New Attractions Are Coming
D23 confirmed right after the new year that several attractions are still slated to open in 2021. We can expect to ride Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure sometime soon, and we’ve already seen some of the France pavilion expansion opened!
We’ll also get to watch EPCOT’s new nighttime spectacular, Harmonious, later this year. We’ve seen the barges getting put into place for this show, and the anticipation is building!
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is also expected to open sometime this year.
Early Theme Park Entry for Disney Resort Guests
When the parks reopened, Disney’s resort guests lost the privilege of Extra Magic Hours — scheduled time in the day where they could arrive at the parks early or stay later than other guests. In 2021, Disney will be introducing a modified version of this offering, called Early Theme Park Entry!
With the new system, guests staying at a Disney World Resort will be allowed 3o-minute early entry into any Disney World park EVERY DAY.
We don’t know yet when this new system will be available to resort guests, but as soon as we get more details, we’ll let you know!
We can’t wait to share more magical experiences from the parks this year, so stay tuned to DFB for the latest!
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Are you visiting Disney World this year? Let us know in the comments!