WOW. It has been quite the week for Disney news!
We’ve celebrated being Halfway to the Holidays with some HUGE holiday announcements for Disney World and Disneyland, the 2021 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival has started, tons of spots have reopened or will reopen soon, and MORE news has been shared. Ready to get all caught up with the latest and greatest Disney news? Let’s dive right in!
1 — Holiday News
First up, we’ve got a WHOLE BUNCH of holiday news! First up, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party has been canceled for 2021 and is being replaced by the NEW Disney Very Merriest After Hours event.
During the event, fans will be able to enjoy holiday projections on Cinderella Castle, holiday treats, festive ride overlays, and more. Tickets for the new After Hours event are set to become available in August, and you can click here to see the dates and times released for Very Merriest.
Click here to see the differences between Disney World’s very merriest After Hours event and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!
What other festivities can we expect for the holidays this year in Disney World? Well, Disney has confirmed that the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays will be coming back and has shared the dates for its return. They’ve also confirmed that the cookie stroll will be coming back to the Festival of the Holidays this year so get ready to eat some sweets!
Disney has also shared that holiday projections will be coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, gingerbread displays will be available at select Disney World Resort hotels, the Christmas Tree Stroll will be returning to Disney Springs, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar will once again transform into Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar, and there will be a variety of holiday entertainment throughout Disney World that fans will get to enjoy!
But wait, there’s SO much more. This week Disney shared a bit about where you’ll be able to find Santa at Disney World during the holidays, gave us a peek at the NEW holiday merchandise you’ll be able to purchase, and made an announcement about Jack Skellington celebrating Christmas in July?
But, Disney noticeably did NOT mention a few things in their holiday announcements including EPCOT’s Candlelight Processional, the Holiday Dream Lights, and Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We’re looking for updates on those and more details about whether they may return.
Aside from that holiday news, we also shared some details about how to celebrate the holidays on a Disney Cruise, and shared a peek at the gingerbread house coming to Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion Holiday.
2 — Reopenings and Things that Have Come Back
It seems every week we get more and more restaurants and other spots that either reopen, announce reopening dates, or otherwise become available once again for guests to enjoy. This week was no exception.
Also in Disney World, Belle Vue Lounge at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn has reopened, Citricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort has reopened, and Dinosaur Gertie at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is serving ice cream treats once again. Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk isn’t open just yet, but a reopening date for this spot has been announced.
Additionally, we saw that the Casey Jr. Splash ‘n’ Soak Station in Disney World has reopened, and fireworks cruises for Magic Kingdom and EPCOT are available once again!
Thinking of heading to Disneyland? Lots of things have reopened or will reopen there soon. Lamplight Lounge’s brunch service is now available, Kat Saka’s Kettle is serving up some unique popcorn again in Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage ride will reopen later this year, Carthay Circle and The Golden Horseshoe have reopening dates, and character dining will be coming back to Disneyland at 2 locations.
WHEW. That’s a lot of re-openings, and more could soon be on the way!
3 — EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival
This week, on July 15th, the 2021 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival officially began and we were there to cover it ALL! Want to see full menus for all of the booths? Click here! We’ve got reviews of every single booth at the Festival — you can click here to see those.
Want to know what we think are some of the tastiest items at this year’s festival and what you should buy?
We’ve got ALL kinds of coverage related to the Festival. Here’s a bunch of the things you could check out so you can plan ahead for your visit:
- Click here to see a look at ALL of the Food & Wine Festival merchandise
- Click here to see the 2 exclusive Food & Wine Festival spirit jerseys
- Want to see the new Minnie ears that have arrived at the Food & Wine Festival? Click here!
- Check out details about the Food & Wine Festival activity you won’t to overlook
- Take a peek at all of the entertainment available at the Festival and a look at the lineup for the live concert series
- Check out the crowds and lines from the Festival’s opening day
Keep in mind that the Food & Wine Festival will be around until November 20th, s0 you’ve got plenty of time to visit and experience it all!
4 — Florida Resident Ticket Offer
Thinking of visiting Disney World soon and hoping to get a discount on some park tickets? Well, if you’re a Florida resident then you’re in luck! This week Disney announced a special summer ticket deal just for Florida residents.
Florida Resident Summer Fun Ticket lets Florida residents get several days of park tickets at discounted prices that can be used consecutively OR nonconsecutively through September 2021. If you buy a 4-day ticket, the tickets are priced as low as $54 per day!
5 — EPCOT Monorail Reopening
While some of Disney World’s monorails have been operating, the EPCOT Monorail closed with the parks last year due to the pandemic and has yet to reopen. BUT, that’ll all be changing soon!
The EPCOT monorail is currently scheduled to reopen on July 18th and it recently got a new sign! You better believe we’ll be checking things out and bringing you all the updates so stay tuned for that.
6 — Early Theme Park Entry Hotels Confirmed
On October 1st, 2021, Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebrations will begin and a whole bunch of things will open or become available at the resort. One of the new things that will become available starting October 1st is Early Theme Park Entry, a special perk for select hotel guests that allows them to enter any Disney World theme park 30 minutes early every day.
Disney had previously announced that this benefit would be available for guests staying at any Disney World Resort hotel and guests at select other hotels. Now, we’ve got the FULL list of all of the hotels that will be eligible for this special perk (and one additional hotel that has been confirmed as being included on this list).
Click here to see the full list of all of the hotels that will be eligible for the Early Theme Park Entry perk.
And that’s our wrap-up of the big news from this week. But, of course, more news was shared this week that you should know about. Here’s a peek at more of those stories:
- From late last week: Get a FIRST LOOK at the reopened Jungle Cruise in Disneyland
- Hours for Disney’s Hollywood Studios have been extended for August
- In case you missed it: ‘Ohana reopened last week
- Tokyo Disneyland Resort is extending its limited hours and other restrictions
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin will close for a short refurbishment
- “it’s a small world” will close for a short refurbishment in Disney World
- Here’s when Halloween character dining will return to Hollywood & Vine
- The Orange County, Florida Mayor has recommended masks be worn in select indoor locations again
- Registration has opened for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend
- Disneyland Paris guests may soon be required to show a COVID-19 health pass
- Tickets are on sale for Disney California Adventure Park’s Oogie Boogie Bash
- Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches have returned to a fan-favorite Magic Kingdom spot
- A masquerade event is coming back to Disney Springs
- The first gold statue for Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebrations has been revealed
- A NEW DOLE Whip creation will be available for a limited time
- We’ve got an update on when Disney Cruises to Alaska could begin
- Check out what’s coming to Disney+ in August
And that’s our big roundup of Disney news for this week. As always, be sure to check back with us for more updates!
Disney will be relocating thousands of employees from California to Florida — click here to learn more.
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What Disney news surprised you the most this week? Tell us in the comments!