Another week has gone by and (as always) more Disney BIG news has been announced or revealed!
Within the past few days alone we got the opening of Space 220 in EPCOT, news about the new dining experience coming to California Grill, and much more. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive into this week’s big Disney news!
1 — Space 220 Has Opened
It’s FINALLY here!! The out-of-this-world, space-themed restaurant, Space 220, finally opened in EPCOT this week after years of being in development.
Let’s just say, we weren’t the only ones trying to dine there on opening day. There was a pretty substantial crowd of people all trying to hop in the Space elevator and get a look at that futuristic lettuce (we can’t say we blame them!).
Space 220 features a main dining area, a lounge, and a bar. If you eat in the main dining area, you’ll order from their prix fixe menu for both lunch and dinner.
Click the links above to see our full reviews, a look at the space elevator experience, peeks at some fun details, and more.
Reservations for Space 220 are now open for dates starting on or after September 27th. Until September 27th, this spot will be available on a walk-up basis only. We’ve seen this restaurant utilizing a virtual queue this week for those walk-up spots, so that’s an important thing to keep in mind. Click here to learn more about the virtual line process.
2 — Virtual Queues Have Been PAUSED for Rise of the Resistance
This past week, the virtual queue/boarding group system was paused for Rise of the Resistance in Disney World. In other words, to ride Rise of the Resistance right now, guests can hop into the regular standby line, no boarding group necessary.
Keep in mind though that Disney has said the boarding group system may return in the future, or it may pop up from time to time.
But, all in all, the line moved quickly and we were able to ride Rise of the Resistance in under 2 hours. See step-by-step through our experience here.
Click here to see more about what it’s like to ride Rise of the Resistance WITHOUT a Boarding Group.
3 — Fireworks Dessert Cruises Are Back!
Sure, you can watch the fireworks from inside Magic Kingdom or one of the nearby hotels. But, if you want a unique fireworks viewing experience, you can check out a fireworks dessert cruise! Earlier this week, fireworks dessert cruises returned to Disney World.
We hopped onboard one of the ferries to check out what this returned experience is like, munch on all kinds of treats (of course), and watch those beautiful fireworks fill the sky.
4 — New Prix Fixe Menu Announced for California Grill
We had already shared that California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort would be hosting a special event for Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, and now we know just what will be happening at this popular spot. Starting very soon, California Grill will transition to serving a special prix fixe menu in honor of the 50th Anniversary.
The menu is set to include items that are inspired by California Grill’s past and the history of this space, as well as some brand new items.
Some of the dishes that will be available include the California Grill Sushi Classics Trio, an Oak-Fired Filet of Beef, and an EARidescent Grand Marnier Souffle.
5 — Updates on Park Attendance and the Delta Variant, Disney+ Day, Ads on Disney+, and More
This week, Disney’s CEO, Bob Chapek, spoke on a variety of topics during a conference. In terms of park attendance and crowds, he shared how the Delta variant has impacted crowds in the park particularly in August.
This week, we also got to see a new report showing theme park attendance in 2020 as compared to 2019. Attendance at Magic Kingdom dropped by over 10 million guests in 2020 as compared to 2019 according to the new report.
When it comes to Disney+, we also got some BIG updates there. We now have the date when Shang-Chi will be available on Disney+ for free. We also got the FULL lineup for Disney+ Day.
If you’re not familiar with it, Disney+ Day will take place on November 12th, and on that date, new Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars content will become available!
Recently, Bob Chapek also shared that ads could come to Disney+ in the future. Click here to learn more.
Chapek also spoke a bit about how Disney will be changing talent contracts following the lawsuit surrounding the release of Black Widow.
We’ll be keeping an eye out for more news about Disney+ Day and other news related to Disney entertainment, so be sure to check back for more updates.
6 — A Hotel Reopening Has Been Delayed
Previously, Disney had announced reopening dates for all of its remaining hotels that are still closed in Disney World. But, it looks like some reopening plans have changed.
We’ll be sure to keep an eye out for more updates on this.
7 — 50th Anniversary Merchandise GALORE and More 50th News
We’d already seen quite a bit of 50th Anniversary merchandise released online and in the parks, but with the start of the celebrations just a few days away, a whole bunch of new items have now become available.
Earlier this week, Disney released 3 new 50th Anniversary ears…
We also got a peek at a 50th Anniversary popcorn bucket this week that is set to return to the parks on October 1st.
Looking for a fun 50th Anniversary-themed activity to do in Disney World? Did you know there’s a new 50th Anniversary scavenger hunt available?! Click here to get more information on how to participate.
This week we also learned that as part of the 50th Anniversary, the Electrical Water Pageant will be getting some new scenes! We can’t wait to see this classic show with some new touches.
If you’re a fan of Magic Kingdom’s welcome show, you’ll also be pleased to know that the show has hours listed for the 50th Anniversary. We’ll be sure to look for more updates on that.
And that’s it for the biggest Disney news from this week. But, of course, more stories were shared this week that you’ll want to know about. Click the links below to learn more:
- Reservations for 50th Anniversary dessert parties are live
- We got a first look at Spaceship Earth’s 50th Anniversary transformation
- Check out all of the ways to celebrate Hispanic Latinx Heritage Month in Disney World
- Carnation Cafe has reopened in Disneyland
- Get a sneak peek at the 50th Anniversary special coming to ABC
- We got a look at the showtimes for the new daytime show coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Boat rentals have returned to Disney World
- The U.S. plans to ease restrictions for vaccinated international travelers soon
- Do you qualify for the latest 50th Anniversary MagicBand?
- Storytellers are likely coming back for the 2021 EPCOT Festival of the Holidays
- Here’s when the new Coco scene will debut in Magic Kingdom’s version of Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Disney Visa cardholders: you can get a special 50th Anniversary card design right now!
- Get a FIRST LOOK at the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic
- See everything coming to Disney+ in October
- You might have issues booking the new EPCOT fireworks dining packages
- Main Street Confectionery has a reopening date!
- Muppets Haunted Mansion is taking over Muppet*Vision 3D
And that’s it for us in terms of big Disney news from this week. Be sure to check back with us for all the latest updates!