Every week is a busy week when it comes to Disney news. To help you keep up with all the updates coming out of Walt Disney World and other Disney resorts, here’s WDWNT’s weekly recap of the Disney news from April 6-12!
If you have been following our news coverage over the past few weeks, you will be aware that currently all six Disney resorts across the world are closed due to concerns over the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Here’s our WDWNT Weekly Recap of all the news we’ve brought you this week, along with some extra fun things to keep Disney spirits high through these difficult times. Stay safe, readers!
Walt Disney World
- Despite the closure, prices on food and beverages across the resort have been increased.
- A serigraph poster for the EPCOT “Journey of Water Inspired by Moana” featured a 2021 opening date for the attraction, however the listing was very quickly redacted shortly after.
Hotels & Resorts
- The Four Seasons Resort Orlando has furloughed 835 employees due to the Coronavirus pandemic
Around Walt Disney World
- The Speedway gas stations at Disney Springs and Disney’s Boardwalk are now closed, however the Magic Kingdom location remains open.
- Take a look at the latest progress on the remodeled McDonald’s restaurant, located near Disney’s All-Star resorts.
- Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC at Disney Springs is now offering delivery via Postmates
Other Walt Disney World News
- The Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic events have been cancelled through May.
- Cast members at Walt Disney World surprised local seniors with gorgeous bunches of Easter lilies, while healthcare workers in two Florida hospitals were gifted with sweets and treats.
- The Walt Disney World Dapper Dans sang about a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow from home in this video, released in celebration of National Barbershop Quartet Day.
- Over 40,000 union cast members have been furloughed in the most recent agreement with Walt Disney World, effective April 19, whilst essential cast members are now allowed to wear face masks at work.
- EPCOT’s Norway and Germany Cultural Representative Programs are now accepting applications for positions starting in August.
- Registration for the 2021 runDisney Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend has been delayed.
- Dates and pricing have been revealed for the 2020 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom.
- The passenger traffic at Orlando International Airport is down by 97% due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- At the beginning of the week, Annual Passholders received an email from Walt Disney World detailing pass extensions and partial refunds amidst the extended park closures.
- Disneyland has filed a permit for the $200,000 renovation of the entrance gates to Frontierland, during the extended park closure.
- The “Magic Happens” Disneyland parade soundtrack by Todrick Hall is now available for streaming on Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music and others.
- The opening of MARVEL Avengers Campus, originally scheduled for July 18th, 2020, has been delayed at Disney California Adventure.
- The sold-out Disneyland After Dark: Villains Nite event due to take place at Disney California Adventure has been postponed due to the ongoing park closure.
- A temporary furlough has been agreed upon for Disneyland union cast members
- At the beginning of the week, Annual Passholders received an email from Disneyland detailing pass extensions and partial refunds amidst the extended park closures
- In celebration of World Health Day, cast members from the Disneyland Paris Fire & Rescue departments gathered outside of Sleeping Beauty castle to applaud medical workers.
- It has been reported that Disneyland Paris will be hosting three Halloween party nights this year, up from the previous two.
- Celebrate the 28th Anniversary of Disneyland Paris with a full walking tour of the parks, narrated by Tom Corless in WDWNT’s “A Walk in the Park” series.
- Disneyland Paris will stream their biggest shows and parades for guests to watch at home, and started things off this week with a stunning video of Disney Illuminations.
Shanghai Disney Resort
- Shanghai Disney Resort celebrated World Health Day this week by showing gratitude to medical professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tokyo Disney Resort
- The closure of Tokyo Disney Resort has been extended through mid-May, meaning the new opening date for New Fantasyland remains unknown.
- Re-watch the seasonal Usatama on the Run! 2019 Easter Parade in Tokyo Disneyland
- Check out this week’s photo report for Tokyo DisneySea & Resort Gateway Monorail Station, featuring new pressed coins, a Fantasmic! mirror, an empty park and more.
Disney Cruise Line
- Disney Cruise Line has extended their departure cancellations through May 17.
- The first-ever virtual viewing of the Disney Dream’s onboard “Beauty and the Beast” Broadway-style performance has been released.
- 38 Crew members have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.
- In pin news, these limited-edition “A Goofy Movie” 25th Anniversary, Ludwig Von Drake Doctor’s Day 2020, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge pins, and these limited-edition Disney Parks April pin releases are now available on shopDisney, along with these stunning limited-edition Easter 2020 pins depicting Cinderella Castle and Sleeping Beauty Castle
- These new “The Mandalorian” Baby Yoda , and Disney Parks Hallmark ornaments will be available soon.
- The fun Disney Parks “ABCDisney Letters” collection is now available on shopDisney.
- Treat your furry friends with items from the adorable Disney Tails collection, featuring pet tees, toys and accessories.
- A bright new collection from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa has surfed onto shopDisney, featuring a “Stitch & Angel” Mickey Ear headband, a Loungefly backpack, and more.
- New, limited-edition EPCOT The Living Seas, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Journey of Water and Turtle Talk serigraph posters are now available on shopDisney.
- Adorable new Mad Tea Party-inspired dresses for girls are now available for pre-order.
Entertainment and Media
- The My Disney Experience and Disneyland mobile apps have been updated with new interactive features, such as at-home recipes, games and more, to keep guests entertained during park closures.
- Watch the new “Leaves” and “Sleep” shorts, released as part of the At Home with Olaf series on YouTube.
- Follow that bouncing Mickey with “The Disney Family Singalong”, which will be premiering on ABC this week.
- The Princess Read-Along Bedtime Stories series featuring famous faces will bring Disney Magic into your home each evening.
- Chip ‘n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers made their first ever appearance on “Duck Tales”, in an episode which premiered on Disney XD and DisneyNow this weekend.
- An adaptation of “Young Avengers” is reportedly in development at Marvel Studios.
- The Obi-Wan Star Wars series has been moved to a 2022 release, however the Cassian Andor series is still on track to be released next year.
- The soundtracks to Disneynature’s “Dolphin Reef” and “Elephant” are now available for digital purchase and streaming.
- New Kylo Ren, Princess Leia and other Star Wars character outfits are now available on Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
- Just five months after its launch, Disney+ has surpassed 50 million subscribers.
- Read our review of Disney’s “Tall Tale” on Deep in the Plus
- Coming to Disney+ on May 1st, the new “Prop Culture” series will venture into Disney Archives, attractions and more.
- A new, live-action “Robin Hood” remake is in development for Disney+
- Filmmaker Kevin Smith has revealed that he worked on an abandoned series for Disney+, based on the “Kingdom Keepers” novels
- A trailer has been released for “It’s a Dog’s Life with Bill Farmer”, in anticipation of the new series premiering on May 15.
- New themed collections have been added to “The Simpsons” episode library on Disney+
Other Disney News
- Disney Parks around the globe united to offer messages of thanks and appreciation for medical workers on the front-lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, in honor and celebration of World Health Day.
- Bob Iger has suggested that precautions such as guest temperature screenings could be instituted once the parks reopen following the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Analysts are claiming that the Disney Parks could take up to two years to return to their previous attendance levels following the Coronavirus pandemic.
- Disney Internships and Cultural Representative Programs have been suspended starting from April 18th due to COVID-19, and Disney College Program arrivals scheduled for June have been cancelled.
- Adventures by Disney has suspended all river cruises through June due to Coronavirus concerns.
- It was announced that the “Celebrating 25 Years of Disney on Broadway” benefit concert would be airing on April 13th to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, however had to be cancelled due to union disagreements.
- Imagineer Joe Rohde has taken to Instagram to give a detailed, digital tour through Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
- Disney have released these virtual Disney Parks backgrounds, perfect for adding magic to your online video chats.
- You can take a virtual run through Disney Parks with this treadmill series from Run the Impossible.
- Pixar’s Ed Catmull and Pat Hanrahan are to receive the Turing Award for Revolutionary Work in Computer Animation.
- Disney is offering a virtual tour of Walt Disney Imagineering’s Blaine Gibson Sculpture Studio in a new Disney Parks Video series.
- Disney Movie Insiders are temporarily suspending points expiration rules for account inactivity during the pandemic.
- Disney released a new video delving into the science and engineering behind Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Walt Disney World.
Other Fun Stuff from WDWNT
- Cook up your favorite Disney snacks from home with our copycat recipes! We can show you a dairy-free Dole Whip, Woody’s Lunchbox Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Canadian-approved Bacon Cheddar Cheese Soup from EPCOT, classic Cinnamon Churro Bites, and our Satu’li Canteen copycat Grilled Beef Bowl and Sweet Potato Hash
- This week we have been showing you a whole range of fascinating Disney materials from years gone by. Fly away to EPCOT Center and check out this vintage Eastern Airlines advertising supplement from the ’80s, unearth Disneyland history with this Indiana Jones Adventure Cast Premiere Packet from 1995, find adventure in Disneyland’s past with this 1957 Tom Sawyer Island map, and explore the patriotic theme park that never was with this “Disney’s America” brochure from 1993.
- Take a look at the uncovered concept art for the Toy Story “Little Green Men Flying Saucers” ride, set to replace the Magic Kingdom Carousel of Progress, which never was.
- Watch these incredible homemade Disney Attraction pre-show videos made by fans, including Guardians of the Galaxy, Tower of Terror, MuppetVision 3-D, Soarin’ and more.
WDW News Today
Make sure you catch up on the News Today episodes from this week!
Cast Member Unions Agree to April 19th Furlough, Marvel Avengers Campus Delayed – NewsToday 4/11
Moana Journey of Water Opening, Internships Canceled, Jungle Cruise Movie Delayed – NewsToday 4/6
That’s all the Disney news for this past week! Make sure you check back at the end of each week for our weekly recaps!