Another week has gone by and we’ve gotten some MASSIVE updates that could impact your next Disney trip.
Have you been wondering when/if Club Cool would be coming back to EPCOT? Curious when face mask rules in Central Florida might change? Heard about the BIG Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Boarding Group update yet? We’ve got ALL the Disney news you need to know right here!
1. The NEW Mouse Gear + Club Cool is Coming BACK!
We start our tour of Disney news with some epic EPCOT announcements. A while ago, the old Mouse Gear store in EPCOT closed and we got a new, temporary Mouse Gear location for all of our shopping needs. But soon things will be changing.
Late last week, Disney announced that a NEW store will be replacing Mouse Gear! The store is called the “Creations Shop” and it is set to be the park’s flagship merchandise spot.
Its design is inspired by Mickey Mouse and it’ll have all kinds of cool details honoring the Mouse that started it all. Creations Shop is set to open THIS SUMMER, so soon we’ll all get to see it in person and we cannot wait!
Next to the Creations Shop, a fan-favorite EPCOT spot will be returning in an all new way. That’s right folks, CLUB COOL IS COMING BACK!
The “revitalized” Club Cool will reopen this summer and is set to “celebrate Coca-Cola in a fresh, new way” while still keeping our favorite part of the experience — the ability to explore Coca-Cola products from around the world. Will Beverly be back?!?! We’ll just have to wait and see!
2. Cast Members May Look Different the Next Time You Visit
This week, Disney also shared that they have made some BIG changes when it comes to a part of their company culture and the “Disney look.” First, as part of these changes and because of their focus on creating a place where everyone is welcome, Disney has officially unveiled another “key” or guiding principle for the work it does — the key of Inclusion.
Disney has also updated its policies about the “Disney Look” — basically the way Cast Members show up and must look during work. Disney’s policies will now allow for greater flexibility in terms of expression including gender-inclusive hairstyles, jewelry, and costume choices. Cast Members will also be allowed to have “appropriate” visible tattoos.
According to the Chairman of the Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products division, Josh D’Amaro, these changes are meant to enable the Cast Members to “better express their cultures and individuality at work.”
3. Mask and Distancing Rules in Central Florida May Be Changing
This week we also got some important updates about the future of mask and distancing requirements in Central Florida. Right now, Orange County, Florida, where part of Disney World is located, has a mask mandate in place. However, the Orange County Mayor, Mayor Jerry Demings, has recently commented on how this mandate could be changing.
Earlier this week, Mayor Demings said that they are “working with the Department of Health on a plan to phase reducing requirements of wearing facial coverings and social distancing.” Mayor Demings has noted that he still thinks we are a few months away from a time where masks may not be required or requested at all. But, he said there is expected to be a phased approach toward reducing some requirements as we move toward the summer.
Keep in mind that masks continue to be required in Orange County, Florida and they are still required in Disney World.
4. Getting a Boarding Group for Rise of the Resistance Just Got WAY Easier!
Hoping to ride one of Disney World’s most popular rides — Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance? Well, you’re going to need to sign up for a Boarding Group for that! Boarding Groups are distributed every day at 7AM (from outside the park) and again at 1PM for those who couldn’t get a group in the morning.
Previously, to get a boarding group at 1PM, you had to PHYSICALLY be inside of Disney’s Hollywood Studios at 1PM, when the groups were released. BUT, that has now changed!! Now, guests are able to join that 1PM group from anywhere on Disney property, as long as they tapped into Hollywood Studios earlier that day.
So, you can tap into Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the morning, ride a few rides, and then decide to go back to your Disney hotel room to rest. Then, when 1PM hits, you can try to grab a Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance boarding group from the comfort of your Disney hotel room since you had already tapped into the park earlier!
This is a BIG change that’ll hopefully make your next trip just a tiny bit easier when it comes to Boarding Groups! Just remember that to get a Boarding Group for Rise of the Resistance, you do need a Park Pass for Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
5. So Many Disneyland Updates!
We are just a few weeks away from the Disneyland Resort theme parks reopening and we are counting down the days!! This week, a bunch of important Disneyland updates were shared or otherwise took place. First, Disneyland tickets are now available to purchase. Just keep in mind that at the moment the parks are only set to reopen to California residents.
Second, Disneyland park reservations also became available. Remember that you’ll need a ticket AND valid park reservation for each day to enter the parks.
Also, reservations for Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, which is set to reopen on April 29th, became available, so you can start booking those hotel reservations too!
This week, we also got a FIRST LOOK at some of the changes that have been made over at a classic Disneyland attraction — The Haunted Mansion! There are some landscaping changes, a new (but also old) portrait has materialized, and more frightening details have been shared.
Basically, we got a whole lot of Disneyland news! And with the reopening quickly approaching, we expect we’ll get even more Disneyland news in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned!
And that’s our list of some of the BIGGEST Disney news items that came out this week. But wait, there’s MORE! What other big things happened this week? Check out our list below:
- Disney World CHANGED how the boats at Pirates of the Caribbean are being loaded
- NEW menu items arrived at the 2021 EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival
- You could win a FREE trip to Disney World by eating candy!
- Disney World is set to reinstate cancellation fees soon
- You could save BIG at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
- A whole bunch of new items popped up in Disney World that you’ll totally want to stash in your park bag
- Jumbo turkey legs are set to come to another Magic Kingdom spot
- We got all kinds of updates about how Disneyland Paris might be different when it reopens
- And a major EPCOT store is closing for 3 weeks
And that’s our list of some of this week’s biggest Disney news! What will next week bring? Only time will tell, but we’ll be on the lookout for all the latest updates and we’ll be sure to share them all with you.
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Are you planning to visit Disney World or Disneyland soon? Tell us in the comments!