Just when you think Disney World can’t get any busier…it does!
We started the year with a FULL year’s worth of announcements in January alone, but there was still LOTS of Disney news in February and March. April was certainly no exception, with the long-awaited reopening of the PeopleMover, and many transformations happening around the parks! Without further ado, let’s take a look at 14 new things that happened in Disney World in April!
The PeopleMover is FINALLY Back!!!
It feels like we’ve waited a whole lifetime for the PeopleMover to reopen, but on April 25th, it officially reopened to guests for the first time in over a year!!
After Walt Disney World President, Jeff Vahle announced that the fan-favorite ride would be opening “later this weekend,” we lined up bright and early that Sunday morning to check out the reopening!
It’s been over a year, but finally…HELLO from the PeopleMover! 🎉 pic.twitter.com/D6g9UlwPNL
— AJ Wolfe (@DisneyFoodBlog) April 25, 2021
Festival of the Lion King Will Open Next Month
Live entertainment has been very different in Disney World since it reopened. Several live shows remain closed like Finding Nemo the Musical and Beauty and the Beast Live On Stage, but this month we got some very exciting news about the Festival of the Lion King!
The show will return with a new name: “A Celebration of The Festival of the Lion King.” Jeff Vahle shared details about this reopening too and said the cast is back in rehearsals and ready to perform for guests again. We’ll lookout for an actual return date for the show, but if you’re going to Disney World this summer, you’ve got another thing to look forward to!
Self-Serve Drink Stations Are BACK at Some Locations
Since Disney World reopened, self-serve drinks have been basically nonexistent. The stations were typically manned by Cast Members who would fill up the cup for you. Now, self-serve drinks are available at certain locations!
So far, we have seen this at Roaring Fork in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge…
…Satu’li Canteen in Disney’s Animal Kingdom…
and Regal Eagle Smokehouse in EPCOT. We’ve also noticed it at many other Disney World resorts.
The stations do note that only one party should use the machine at a time. We’ve also seen refillable stations at Blizzard Beach when it reopened in March, but this is the first time we’ve seen them not roped off and with a Cast Member for a long time! We’ll continue to see where this change is happening.
Disney Skyliner Crash
The Disney Skyliner is the newest form of Disney transportation, but it has its faults. The Skyliner can temporarily close or stop for things like lightning and technical difficulties, but in April the Skyliner had its 2nd gondola crash.
Luckily nobody was hurt, and Disney commented on the matter. We got to Disney’s Hollywood Studios Skyliner station after the accident occurred, and the line was down for just a couple of hours before it reopened to guests.
We also got a look at some guests who were stuck on the EPCOT Skyliner line during this time. Each Skyliner gondola has an emergency kit with a few packets of drinking water, cool packs, a pencil and notepad, a whistle, a glow stick, and a few blue cups.
Overall, the crash resulted in some broken glass, but luckily nobody was hurt and the Skyliner was up and running pretty quickly. The last Skyliner crash was in October of 2019, where guests were stuck in their gondolas for THREE hours.
Cirque du Soleil Could Open in Disney Springs Soon
Cirque du Soleil’s new Disney-inspired show was scheduled to premiere in spring of 2020, but had been pushed back again and again. Now, though, we could be seeing the show in Disney Springs pretty soon!
Drawn to Life, Cirque du Soleil’s newest show could open this fall according to the company’s CEO Daniel Lamarre. He mentioned that Cirque was working on a new opening date for the show and that they “should be able to open sometime in the fall.”
Tickets were available for Drawn to Life a while ago, but they have remained unavailable since January of this year. Hopefully, we’ll get to see this brand new and unique show come to life later this year!
It’ll Cost You More to Customize a Lightsaber
There are many iconic experiences in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios like drinking in Oga’s Cantina, interacting with characters, or building a droid. But one of the most popular experiences is building your own lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop, and this month it saw a HUGE price increase!
Previously, a customized lightsaber would cost you $199,99 plus tax, but now you’ll have to pay $219.99 plus tax. Nothing from the experience has changed, just the fact that it’s an extra $20.
The price increase applies to guests who booked their lightsaber experience after this change happened on April 19th.
Club Cool Will Return and New Creations Shop
As you’ve probably noticed, EPCOT is going through an ENORMOUS transformation. In April month, we got two major updates about what we can expect to see in the parks this summer!
First of all, you’ll be able to torture your friends with Beverly again because Club Cool is RETURNING! Yay! This experience originally closed as part of the EPCOT transformation, but Disney has announced that it will come back THIS. SUMMER.
Even though you can try lots of Coca-Cola products at the Coca-Cola store and rooftop beverage bar in Disney Springs, there’s nothing like trying soda from around the world at Club Cool!
We also got a sneak peek at what the new Creations Shop will look like! This shop will be replacing Mouse Gear as the park’s flagship merchandise location. The shop’s design is based on none other than Mickey Mouse, and you’ll see lots of unique artwork featuring him on the walls!
The Creations Shop is also set to open up this summer, and we are thrilled for these big steps in EPCOT’s transformation!
Rise of the Resistance Boarding Groups Just Got Easier
Rise of the Resistance is easily the most popular attraction in Disney World with two sets of boarding groups filling up every single day. The boarding group process has gone through several changes, but the latest change has made it way more convenient!
Before, you had to be physically inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios in order to get a boarding pass at 1PM. Now, guests can grab a boarding group from anywhere on Disney property if they scanned into the park earlier that day!
We put this new change to the test and it worked! If you wanted to tap into Hollywood Studios in the morning, go to lunch, and grab a 1PM boarding group, now you can!
A New Service is Replacing Magical Express
In case you missed it, Disney’s Magical Express will be discontinued in 2022. This is the free service that Disney provides to bring Disney World Resort guests from Orlando International Airport to their hotel. We’ve recently learned that a new transportation system will replace Magical Express!
While there are some other options to get from the airport to your resort, Mears released a statement indicating that they would continue to provide transportation services after Magical Express is gone. Recently, Mears introduced Mears Connect which will debut in January of 2022 and connect Orlando International Airport to the Disney Resort area!
This service will be very similar to Magical Express, and you can book a reservation starting in May 2021! Pricing has not been released for Mears Connect yet, nor have any additional details about reservations been released. Even though the Brightline train from the airport to Disney Springs is in the works, we might have to wait until 2026 to use it. We can’t wait to get more details on this new transportation!
The Jungle Cruise Transformation Has Begun
A few months ago, Disney announced that the Jungle Cruise in both Disney World and Disneyland would get a new storyline. Well, that transformation has already begun in Disney World!
This Adventureland attraction is staying open to guests while it undergoes these changes. It was announced that the changes would happen this year, but Disney did not share a specific timeline.
We’ve already said goodbye to Trader Sam…
…noticed some small details missing…
…and a huge scene from the ride is gone to make way for the new characters coming to the attraction!
So far we’ve seen a lot of things get taken away, but we have yet to see many additions. We’ll keep you updated when new scenes/characters get added to the attraction!
A Major Mask Requirement Has Changed
As you probably know, mask policies have been pretty strict in Disney World since its reopening. However, one of the mask rules in the parks loosened up a bit this month.
Now, guests are able to take pictures outdoors without their masks. Previously, all guests had to keep their masks on for any photos. You must still keep your mask on for indoor photos.
During the photos, guests must be stationary and socially distanced from others. This rule applies for PhotoPass and for pictures you take yourself. Guests must wait until they are in the spot they want to pose at, and then they are allowed to remove masks.
One Health & Safety Measure is Disappearing
We noticed this change in quite a few locations, and Cast Members said that they are not sure if the hand-washing stations will return. Disney still offers hand sanitizer all over property, but we were surprised to see these stations disappearing!
Resorts Are Getting Some BIG Makeovers
We’ve all heard a lot about the huge Moana-themed renovation at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, but some other Disney World resorts are getting some TLC too! Disney’s Wilderness Lodge will look pretty different on your next stay, because the rooms have gotten a makeover before it reopens on July 6th.
Compared to before, the headboard is a LOT different, the bedding is white, and the maroon details are gone. The carpet is also replaced with hardwood floors. The curtains are patterned, but have much lighter colors than before. The TV is now attached to the wall, with a chest of drawers underneath.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort is also undergoing some major construction! Just check out what the lobby looks like!
The construction scrim covers various hallways and room areas on one side of the Main Tower. Disney has not shared exactly what this refurbishment entails, but we’ll let you know when more details are released!
The Eye Sore in EPCOT is Complete
EPCOT is in the middle of a major transformation, and that includes a new nighttime spectacular called Harmonious! This show will come from 5 barges on World Showcase Lagoon, and now all of the barges are out!
We (and many other people) aren’t exactly fans of the view across the lagoon anymore because these barges are HUGE and can be an eyesore. But we hope that they will make the show so incredible that it’s worth it!
Well, there were a LOT of updates in Disney World this month as we inch closer to the 50th anniversary! We’ll be back to round up the biggest news from May at the end of the month, but in the meantime, we’ll continue to keep you in the loop on the latest Disney World news!
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What was your favorite update from this month? Let us know in the comments!