From face scanning technology being tested in Disney World to more details about turning your phone into your MagicBand — this week has been FULL of exciting Disney news.
We’ve gotten an update on some of those BIG movie releases we’ve all been waiting a while for, and quite a few things reopened or became available again in Disney World. So, now let’s jump into the 8 biggest Disney news stories from this week that you NEED to know about!
1. Face Scanning Technology is Being Tested in Disney World
This past week, Disney World announced that it would be testing a new facial recognition software in Magic Kingdom. With this technology, Disney will capture an image of your face, convert it into your own personal number, and associate that number with your park admission So, of course, we made our way to Magic Kingdom to test it out.
The system is currently only being tested and it is entirely optional. If you don’t want to use the face scanning tech, you can simply get into another line where the facial recognition software is not being tested. If you DO participate in the test, you’ll basically just scan your ticket, and then look up at a screen. Once it does it’s thing, you’ll be on your way!
2. Turn Your Phone Into Your MagicBand
Recently, Disney announced the NEW MagicMobile feature would be coming which would allow you to essentially use your phone to do many of the same things that your MagicBand can do. This week, we got more information about the new feature and how it’ll function. We got more details about how the new system will let you use your phone to enter the theme parks and even connect PhotoPass photos your account.
And then we actually got a look at how to set up your MagicMobile Pass through the My Disney Experience app and we shared a step-by-step guide for you to use! It is currently rolling out in phases on select Apple devices. We also reached out to you — our readers — and asked which you’d rather use: MagicBands or MagicMobile, and let’s just say the winner was VERY clear.
3. Some of Your Favorites Are Back and Others Are Temporarily Closing
So, if you’re looking for some British fare in EPCOT, this spot is available again!
In Magic Kingdom, we got QUITE a few re-openings and closings. The Main Street Confectionery is set to close soon for a lengthy refurbishment. We already knew that, but this week we got more details about the new look coming to this spot.
While the store is closed, you’ll still be able to find some sweet treats over at the Emporium and Main Street Cinema (which is currently closed to make way for this new merch).
Looking for the artsy items you used to find at Main Street Cinema? You’ll find that over at Bonjour Gifts for now while all of this refurbishment is taking place. Bonjour Gifts reopened this week with those new artsy items.
The Chapeau on Main Street, U.S.A. is also closing for a bit of refurbishment. But, the hats and ears that used to be sold there have moved over to Box Office Gifts (at the Town Square Theater) in the meantime.
That’s quite the bit of shuffling around! But, we’re looking forward to seeing everything once all of the refurbishment is complete!
4. Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort Has Reopened
Over on the Disney World hotel side, Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort has reopened!
We stayed at the resort and shared a FULL standard room tour to show you just what it’s like. We also got a peek at the way that the Resort was handling transportation to and from the parks when we were there. If you’ve been looking for another value resort location to stay at, All-Star Movies is now available!
5. Character Breakfast is BACK in Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Speaking of things reopening or coming back, this week character breakfast returned to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Specifically, the Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine is now available once again at Hollywood & Vine Restaurant.
During this breakfast, you’ll generally see Fancy Nancy, Goofy, Doc McStuffins, and Vampirina.
We’ll be sharing a FULL review on the food and experience overall, but for now you can get a peek at the items we ordered and a general sense for what the experience was like. If a character breakfast is a MUST-DO for your family or you’ve got kiddos who love these specific characters, this spot is now available for you to check out!
6. ALL the Movie News
But wait, there’s more! This week we also got some GIANT movie news about some upcoming Disney, Pixar, and Marvel films. First, Black Widow will premiere on Disney+ through Premier Access (meaning you’ll have to pay an additional fee to see it) and theaters on the same day in July of 2021 (pushed back a bit from its previously scheduled release date).
Pixar’s upcoming film, Luca, will actually premiere directly on Disney+ for FREE later this year.
Other movie release dates have also been pushed around and adjusted, so things are changing up in the movie world. We’re looking for more updates from Disney and will let you know as we find out more information.
7. Disney Cruise Line 2022 Summer Cruises
And finally, in terms of our biggest news for the week, this week 2022 summer itineraries for Disney Cruise Line became available for booking! So, if you’ve been thinking about setting sail with Disney in the summer of 2022, you can go ahead and check out what’s available.
Also, keep in mind that our friends over at Small World Vacations are running a special where you could get FREE onboard credit to spend during your next cruise for booking with them. The credit is actually valid for qualifying Disney Cruises with a sail date through December 31st, 2022.
8. Disneyland Expansion Announced
This week, we also got some BIG news out of Disneyland. Recently, they shared their newest endeavor — DisneylandForward — which is basically a multi-year planning effort between Disney and the City of Anaheim focusing on updating existing development rules to allow Disney to invest in Disneyland Resort and potentially expand its parks.
Disney has clarified that they’re not seeking to get additional land, but instead looking to make some changes to the current way that specific areas are zoned/districted to give them more flexibility for future plans. There are still a LOT of details that Disney hasn’t shared about their future plans, but we’ve worked to break down their concept art showing the potential changes that could be coming down the line for Disneyland.
And that’s all of our biggest news this week! Aside from those giant updates, we also got:
- a peek at when cruising could start up again,
- a look at the NEW Disney World 50th Anniversary license plate,
- info about NEW activities coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in April,
- a look at the Easter egg hunt activity that has started up in EPCOT,
- and even information about how you could win a FREE TRIP to Disney World!!!
We also shared some super special park maps we created right here at DFB for EPCOT and Magic Kingdom. These maps show the current exits and entrances to spots around the parks, as well as the way that some attraction lines tend to stretch outside. These can be really helpful right now as some exits and entrances are blocked for social distancing.
We’ll keep an eye out for more updates and let you know what we find! Stay tuned for all the latest Disney news.
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Will you be visiting Disney World soon? Tell us in the comments.