Welcome to our WDWNT Weekly Recap! Last week marked the reopening of Shanghai Disneyland, the first of all the parks to do so following COVID-19 closures. Keep reading on to see a full summary of the latest breaking news this week: May 18-24, 2020.
Walt Disney World
- The Mayor of Orange County has said that Walt Disney World will submit their plans for reopening next week. However, park hours for the resort have far been removed through June 13th.
- The resort is considering reopening the parks with capacity limited to 20 to 30%, and surveys have been sent out to guests regarding their opinions on face masks and other health and safety requirements.
- This is the most recent statement from Guest Relations regarding the ongoing closures, reservation modifications, and other pertinent information.
- An adorable newborn babirusa piglet named Kirana is the newest baby to be welcomed into the Disney’s Animal Kingdom family.
- Aerial photos have shown that the character topiaries and butterfly house from the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival have been removed.
- Construction has reportedly resumed on the TRON Lightcycle Run attraction at the Magic Kingdom.
- Disney Springs reopened to the public on May 20th, however, only a limited number of shops and restaurants are currently open at this time. For a full list of all the stores and dining, locations click here.
- There are quite a few safety precautions in place, including guest temperature screenings, signs reminding guests about face mask requirements, floor markings encouraging social distancing and a new team of cast members to monitor the area.
Tented temperature screening areas are in place at all of the Disney Springs entrances
- Reusable face masks can be purchased at American Threads, Vera Bradley, and The Polite Pig.
- Construction continues for the upcoming lululemon location, M&M’s retail store, the “Shine Bar + Social” patio at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’, and the exterior of CityWorks Eatery & Pour House.
- We published several photo reports covering the reopened dining locations: Pizza Ponte, The Polite Pig, Erin McKenna’s Bakery, Blaze Pizza, The Boathouse, Chicken Guy! and Starbucks West Side.
- Ahead of their reopening, many restaurants have made significant menu and pricing changes.
- Take a look inside the newly-reopened retail shops UNIQLO, Basin, Kiehl’s, Francesca’s, Tumi, and Tommy Bahama.
- See what we thought of the new Loaded French Fries from The Basket at Wine Bar George and the “Welcome Back” specialty drink from Starbucks.
- We even reported on the restrooms and what you need to know before you go.
- We spotted the Aerophile attraction back in flight.
- The newly-appointed Chairman of the Disney Parks, Josh D’Amaro, was greeting guests on reopening day.
Hotels & Resorts
- Aerial photos have given us our first look at the completed Tri-Circle-D Ranch over at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.
- The NBA League reported that they are having exploratory conversations with Walt Disney World about the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex hosting the remaining 2019-2020 season.
Other Walt Disney World News
- A new alert on My Disney Experience warns guests of the risk of exposure to COVID-19 “in any public place” including Walt Disney World.
- Performers from Mariachi Cobre at EPCOT performed a spirited rendition of “Remember Me” from Coco from their homes.
- Disney has filed a patent for a highly-calibrated AR “lightsaber” experience, which is possibly connected to the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser resort.
- The monorails have begun to run again.
- Governor Gavin Newsom has approved Stage 2 of the reopening plan for California, including Orange County.
- Disneyland Resort released an official update this week regarding possible reopening and resort operations, butg no date has been set at this time.
- We got an aerial look at the construction on Avengers Campus from this HD helicopter footage.
- The Disneyland Dapper Dans have released another harmonic video, this time with an at-home performance of “Happy Birthday”.
- Take a look at these detailed concept renderings which have been released for the new, twelve-story Disney Vacation Club Tower at the Disneyland Hotel.
- Rebecca Campbell, the former President of the Disneyland Resort, shared a post on social media reflecting on her time overseeing The Happiest Place on Earth.
- Disneyland Paris shared a professional recording of the spellbinding “Mickey and the Magician” musical show as part of their “Watch Parties” this week.
Hong Kong Disneyland
- It has been reported that Hong Kong Disneyland was testing a soft reopening with Cast Members this week.
Shanghai Disney Resort
- After a successful post-COVID reopening, Shanghai Disneyland has resumed performances of its stage shows across the park.
Tokyo Disney Resort/Universal Studios Japan
- Take a late-night visit to Tokyo Disney Resort in this photo report.
- As the State of Emergency ends in Osaka, Universal Studios Japan has been granted permission to reopen as they desire.
- The Oriental Land Company has secured a ¥200 billion line of credit, to support the extended closure of Tokyo Disney Resort.
- The official app for Tokyo Disney Resort is now available in English, albeit with limited functionality. The updated app now shows updated maps, added the new entrance, and restored the Cinderella Castle forecourt.
Disney Cruise Line & Adventures by Disney
- Disney Cruise Line has extended its offer of an additional 25% cruise credit for guests booking modified cruises through July 26th.
- All Adventures by Disney trips through July have been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.
- With another limited edition merchandise release taking place this week, shopDisney failed again, allowing bots to place hundreds of orders, leaving shoppers missing out on products they had been hoping for.
- A new Los Angeles Spirit Jersey has been released, featuring classic movie Mickey.
- A “Castle of Magic Dreams” PatchD launched at Hong Kong Disneyland.
- Shop this adorable Chewbacca backpack and wallet from Loungefly.
- This “Monsters University” tote by Harveys is perfect for your favorite coed.
- Get a sneak peek of the new, limited-edition “Lady and the Tramp” 65th anniversary pins, which will soon be released on shopDisney.
- Other pin releases this week include Hercules, Alice in Wonderland, Oliver and Company, and more, and a set of Mickey Mouse & Friends “Four Lands”.
- In MagicBand news, a new, limited-edition Marvel “Black Widow” MagicBand is now available on shopDisney.Memorial Day Weekend with
- In honor of Memorial Day, this new Americana Collection launched on shopDisney.
- Rainbow Minnie Mouse sequined mini-backpacks and wristlets by Loungefly were released.
- Dooney & Bourke launched a Mickey & Minnie Mouse Americana collection.
Entertainment and Media
- A live tweet-along with Lin Manuel Miranda and Auli’i Cravalho took place this week during the network premiere of “Moana” on ABC.
- The creator of Disney’s “Gargoyles” has claimed in a recent interview that the trial of O.J Simpson was a contributing factor in killing the show.
- Read our review of “Out”, Pixar’s charming and funny queer short.
- “Avengers: Infinity War”, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and “Solo: A Star Wars Story” have all had delayed release dates.
- “Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe” is scheduled to premiere on Disney+ this summer.
- “Muppets Now” will be released this July.
The Walt Disney Company
- Josh D’Amaro has been named Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products.
- Disney DTC Chairman Kevin Mayer has resigned and Rebecca Campbell has taken his position.
- Because of the above shakeups, new presidents have been named for Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort
- The advertising and media distribution teams have been moved to the media networks division within The Walt Disney Company.
Other Disney News
- We were saddened to hear of the passing of the legendary French actor Michel Piccoli, who portrayed Jules Verne in Le Visionarium/ The Timekeeper at the Disney Parks.
- In a recent interview, Walt Disney’s grandson Bradford Lund called out executives at The Walt Disney Company for their unfair furloughing of employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- This week, Universal Orlando officially announced that it would reopen its theme parks beginning June 5th, with plans for a soft reopening on June 1st.
- Reservations will not be required for the June 5th reopening, and you can read the details published by the resort on face masks, attraction procedures, and information about Volcano Bay reopening here.
- Universal Orlando pass holders have been invited to special reopening previews ahead of the public reopening.
- Photos have shown social distancing lines set up at the resort.
Fun Stuff from WDWNT
- Why Disney’s Bag Check Process Needs an Overhaul, and Needs it Now
- Reader’s Favorite Walt Disney World Resort Hot Tubs
- Ranking the Best EPCOT Festivals
Park History & Throwbacks
- Find “adventure in Disneyland” in this Richfield Oil promotional comic book from 1955.
- Celebrate Disney merchandise and park history with the fall 1985 edition of “The Disneyana Collector” newsletter.
- Come home for the holidays and celebrate Walt Disney World’s 20th Anniversary with this Magic Key Newsletter from 1991.
Our Disney Parks Copycat Recipes
- Guinness Baileys Shake from EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival
WDW News Today
Make sure you catch up on the News Today episodes from this week!
Disney World To Submit Opening Plan, Flower & Garden Removed, TRON Work Resumes – NewsToday 5/22
Disney Springs Reopens, Florida Parks Presenting Opening Plans Starting May 21 – NewsToday 5/20
Safety Procedures Revealed for Disney Springs, Disney World to Submit Reopening Plan -NewsToday 5/18
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!