Well, what a week it has been!!
In the early evening last Friday Disney announced a MAJOR change to their mask rules. Over the past few days, we’ve also seen changes made to social distancing, the early phasing out of temperature checks, the reopening of several restaurants, and more big news. Today we’re breaking down ALL the Disney news from this past week that you need to know!
1. Masks, Distancing, and Temperature Checks
We’ll start with some big updates to Disney World’s health and safety policies. First, last week on Friday Disney World announced that masks would no longer be required outdoors, except in certain situations.
Masks continue to be required, however, upon entering and in all attractions, in all theaters (including theater entrances), and in certain other locations.
In addition to the mask changes, we also saw temperature checks end a little bit earlier than originally announced.
And finally, we saw some big changes this week when it comes to social distancing. Disney World had already announced that they would be gradually reducing social distancing, and this week we started to really see those changes taking place.
Several social distancing signs have been updated to remove the 6 feet requirement. And social distancing changes have been made on various rides and shows including Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, One Man’s Dream, Festival of the Lion King, and more. It’s important to keep in mind that things may (and likely will) continue to change, so be sure to listen to the Cast Members for instructions throughout the parks and look for any applicable signs.
2. Openings and Reopenings
This week several restaurants around Disney World reopened and a BRAND NEW one started welcoming guests!
Over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Terra Treats reopened for those who might be looking for a pizza slice!
Staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort? Then you’ll be happy to know that Oasis Bar & Grill has reopened.
And finally, if you’re looking to try something brand NEW you can head over to Disney’s BoardWalk to grab a sweet treat from the new BoardWalk Ice Cream shop which has taken over the location formerly home to Ample Hills Creamery.
The sundaes we got and some of the offerings aren’t nearly as extravagant as you’d get over at a place like Beaches & Cream Soda Shop, but it is nice to have an ice cream offering right on the BoardWalk again!
3. MagicBands Updates
We’ve already seen free MagicBands discontinued for Disney World resort hotel guests. But, this week Disney announced another big update when it comes to MagicBands. Disney specifically mentioned that in light of the introduction of the MagicMobile service (where you can use your phone to do some of the same functions as a MagicBand) and more guests discovering this service, free MagicBands will be discontinued later this summer for Annual Passholders.
Annual Passholder renewals and new purchases (only available in select cases at the moment) will no longer come with a free MagicBand starting later this year.
This week we also saw MagicBands get a BIG price increase!
One of your cheapest MagicBand options used to be a solid band for around $14.99. Now, that has jumped up $5(!!) to $19.99! Other MagicBand styles are also now more expensive.
4. Avengers Campus, Pizza Bloody Marys, and More Disneyland News
This was also QUITE the week for Disneyland news. First, we got a look at ALL of the food (some of which is CRAZY expensive) that will be coming to Avengers Campus when it opens in Disney California Adventure Park later this summer.
We also got a look at the full menu and prices for Shawarma Palace, which will also be opening as part of Avengers Campus.
Sticking with the Avengers Campus theme for a minute, this week we also got a look at some of the merchandise coming to this special land, including some items that will actually CHANGE your park experience!
We can’t wait to check out all of these new items when the land opens in just a few weeks.
But Avengers Campus wasn’t the only thing Disneyland shared some big news about this week. Recently, it was announced that the Disneyland Hotel will be reopening later this summer (reservations available now). Disney has even announced that parts of the hotel will look DIFFERENT when it reopens.
And we shared a look at the restaurants that will reopen with the Disneyland Hotel.
Over at Disney California Adventure, this week Alfresco Tasting Terrace reopened (this is an area exclusive to Legacy Passholders). While we were there, we got to try their PIZZA Bloody Mary! And yes, it comes with a tiny slice of pizza on it!!
We also got to try a secret drink there inspired by…a cat? Yes, you read that correctly. It’s a wild time people!
Moving on to California things in general that may eventually impact Disneyland — this past week, Orange County, California (where Disneyland is located) entered the Yellow Tier under California’s reopening system. In this tier, theme parks (like Disneyland) can increase their capacity from 25% to 35%. And Disneyland will no longer require temperature checks on June 15.
We also got an update this week about when California will be implementing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated mask guidelines for those who are fully vaccinated. Once California changes its outdoor mask mandate restrictions Disneyland could change some of their rules, or things may not change until later. We’ll definitely be watching for more updates.
5. BIG Changes Coming to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
If you’re a Disney Vacation Club member or a fan of those DVC rooms then you may be thrilled to know that MORE DVC villas are coming to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort!
Specifically, Disney has shared that starting in the spring of 2022, one of the existing buildings at the Grand Floridian will be transformed into 200 Resort Studios. These studios will accommodate up to 5 guests.
And that’s our round-up of some of the biggest Disney news shared this week. But wait (say it with us) there’s MORE! Of course, a ton of other cool things were announced or shared this week. Take a look at some of them below:
- Disney College Program applications are now open
- There is a special Disney World dining and ticket deal being offered right now for UK residents (How does the dining part of this deal compare to the Disney Dining Plan? Check out our post to find out)
- We’ve got an official release date for Hocus Pocus 2
- The Skyliner is scheduled to CLOSE for refurbishment in early 2022
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad will be closing for a short refurbishment soon
- The animatronic versions of the Three Caballeros are BACK in Gran Fiesta Tour in EPCOT
- The high-speed train that is set to ultimately connect to Disney World has hit a huge milestone
- Disney Cruise Line has canceled more sailings into the summer
- Disneyland Paris has an official reopening date for its parks and its NEW Hotel New York — The Art of Marvel
- Kali River Rapids is now opening a bit later each day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- A favorite EPCOT snack has returned. We tried it and mentioned how we felt like it needed MORE bacon, and some Cast Members from the France pavilion RESPONDED to our request!
- 3 NEW donuts have arrived at Everglazed (if you love Boston Cream Pie, you’ll want to check this out!)
- The trailer for the Dear Evan Hansen movie has been released
- Early booking has begun for the NEW Disney Wish cruise ship
- We encountered a virtual queue for the market shopping area in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney World
- New food items have been announced for Splitsville
- We shared a look at what is in one of our DFB reporters’ bags!
And that’s the news for this week. We’ll continue to look for more updates and share those all with you. So stay tuned for all the latest from us here at DFB!
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What news from this week was the most surprising to you? Tell us in the comments!