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 August 16-23, 2020.
Walt Disney World
- TRON Lightcycle / Run has just reached another major milestone at the Magic Kingdom today, as the installation has begun on the massive illuminated canopy that guests will travel through before entering “The Grid”
- New physical distancing dividers have been added to the “it’s a small world” queue
- An audio clip is now playing reminding guests to NOT remove your mask for Cinderella Castle photos
- Check out this week’s park report where we document new social distancing markers, all of the Halloween merchandise, and more!
- The problematic hopping Br’er Rabbit animatronic has been fixed in Splash Mountain
- The highly popular Cheshire Cat Tail has returned to the Magic Kingdom at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe
- The barges that will be used in the new nightime spectacular, “HarmonioUS,” are still under construction backstage at EPCOT
- The frame structure around the Lucite pylons found at the front of the new EPCOT entrance fountain has been removed
- A mysterious manhole cover from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has appeared in the new EPCOT entrance area
- New Remy’s Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt water bottle prizes debut at the Taste of EPCOT Food & Wine Festival
- The “Ratatouille” sign was removed from the France Pavilion expansion archway and was later replaced with a new metro-style sign
- “Turtle Talk with Crush” is expected to reopen by the end of August
- Progress is beginning to be made on the roof panel replacement for the upcoming Play! Pavilion
- New signage was installed at Camera Center and Pin Traders stores underneath Spaceship Earth
- Check out our photo report where we discover limited release merchandise, construction updates, and more
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Disney simplifies Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Virtual Queue booking system to help larger groups
- The Coca-Cola Droid Carts are now serving beer on tap at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance has been dealing with some major technical issues lately including invisible Stormtroopers, busted audio, and no Kylo Ren animatronic
- A sneak peek for “Mulan” has come to the Walt Disney Presents theater
- Strono “Cookie” Tuggs from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge now makes an appearance inside the queue at Star Tours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Tour the Halloween 2020 Decor and Merchandise at World of Disney
- The first performance of Cirque du Soleil’s “Drawn to Life” has once again been delayed, with performances not scheduled until February 2021
- Jaleo by José Andrés reopened on August 20th, and we went in to take a look
- Lululemon opened on August 21st, and we went to check it out.
- We spotted new metal framework being added to the M&Ms Store.
Walt Disney World Resort Hotels
- With the upcoming reopening of Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, the resort’s various stores and restaurants are also prepping for their imminent reopening, including the guest-favorite Ale & Compass Lounge and Restaurant, which is set to open a few days earlier, on August 20
- It seems there’s trouble in paradise, as Sebastian’s Bistro Restaurant at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort remains shuttered long after the resort’s reopening, and sources indicate that there are no current plans to reopen the table-service restaurant, which specializes in Caribbean fare
- It was announced this week that select Walt Disney World resort hotel restaurants and shops would feature extended hours during the Labor Day weekend
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Tambu Lounge reopened with a brand new food menu and classic, fan-favorite drinks!
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort reopened to guests on July 29th with new social distancing measures in place throughout for the health and safety of guests and Cast Members
Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- We were at Disney’s Beach Club Villas for a few days and wanted to bring you along; join us on a tour of our Deluxe Studio
- Beach Club Marketplace at Disney’s Beach Club Resort will be closing for refurbishment starting August 23
Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Join us for a tour of a deluxe studio room at Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Other Walt Disney World News
- Despite theme park hours being reduced starting September 8th, several dining locations will remain open past park close
- Walt Disney World is testing social distancing markers for the special character cavalcades that take place throughout the parks
- Walt Disney World has extended its Flexible Cancellation Policy through December 31
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa has been undergoing an extensive remodeling project, and while work continues at the resort, a new lawsuit has surfaced shedding light on internal issues between Disney Vacation Club and Validus Construction Services, the contractor initially hired for the project
- A 30% discount is now available on select merchandise collections at Walt Disney World, and the discount is stackable with other discounts
- Disney Park Pass availability has been replenished for Annual Passholders through August
- Cast Member block-outs have been lifted through September 3rd, however, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is excluded
- A new research report from VISIT FLORIDA outlines how COVID-19 has heavily impacted travel to Florida during the second quarter of 2020
- Guests are receiving cancellation notices for their upcoming dining reservations due to theme park hours being reduced starting September 8th
- The My Disney Experience app is now equipped with a new feature that will allow guests to check wait times at restaurants throughout Walt Disney World and add parties of 7 guests or less to the walk-up waitlist, if available
- Tropical Depression 13 formed over the Atlantic, potentially impacting Florida over the weekend. It was then expected to become a Tropical Storm and may approach Florida as a Category 1 hurricane
- A new bus wrap featuring Donald Duck made its debut on the roads of Walt Disney World
- Check out this week’s photo report of Downtown Disney where we document the new sound system installed along the parking structure tram route, new merchandise, and more!
- Guests are able to make hotel reservations at select Disneyland Resort hotels beginning September 16th
- The latest restaurant to reopen at Downtown Disney District is La Brea Bakery
- We got our first look at the Avengers Campus Quinjet in Disney California Adventure
- While Walt Disney World’s phased reopening is well underway, the Disneyland Resort’s reopening remains stalled, with hotel cancellations now extending through September 12
- The W.E.B. Insignia was installed on the upcoming “WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure” attraction in Disney California Adventure.
- Both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure recently installed plexiglass safety shields at the turnstiles
- Orange County has been removed from the COVID-19 watch list, meaning the theme parks could reopen shortly if this trend continues
- Despite ongoing Cast Member discussions on the possibility of a temporary Walt Disney Studios Park closure at Disneyland Paris, Disney has specifically stated that there are no talks to close the park
- The debate of the Jungle Book Jive show is delayed after 2 cast members tested positive for COVID-19.
Tokyo Disney Resort
- Check out this week’s photo report from Tokyo Disneyland where we document the construction projects around the park and share our feelings concerning the state of social distancing
- After speaking to Public Relations at the Oriental Land Company, we confirmed “The Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast” is not set to open October 1st at Tokyo Disneyland
Shanghai Disney Resort
- Shanghai Disneyland will be increasing park capacity and transitioning to a new reservation system starting August 24th
- ‘Olu Mel, one of Duffy the Disney Bear’s newest friends, will debut as a walk-around character at Shanghai Disneyland.
Disney Cruise Line
- Disney Cruise Line is extending its “Cruise Date Flexibility” offer through October 31, 2020
- A new MagicBand themed around Chuuby, the breakout star of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, has arrived at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- A new Norway Pavilion t-shirt has arrived at EPCOT
- Stay stylish this new line of Minne Mouse-themed apparel at Walt Disney World
- This spooky collection of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” merchandise has come to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort
- A new pressed penny collection themed to the Garden of Twelve Friends has come to the China Pavillion at EPCOT
- Say “Yub Nub” with this new Ewok Loungefly Wristlet found at Walt Disney World
- Ewoks, not your thing? We also found an R2-D2 Loungefly Wristlet!
- Celebrate your love of Marvel or Star Wars with these new collared shirts from Walt Disney World
- A new Twilight Zone Tower of Terror baseball tee has dropped into Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- An adorable Mike Wazowski Melon Bread Case has popped into Tokyo Disneyland
- A new collection for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster has sped into Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Celebrate your love of “Pirates of the Caribbean” with this new collection from Tokyo Disneyland
- Duffy & Friends “Carry Me Pochette” are coming to Tokyo DisneySea August 24th
- New Halloween Candy-themed Minnie Mouse ears have arrived at the Magic Kingdom
- The adorable Figment Magnetic Shoulder Plush is now available on shopDisney
- Store all of your treats in this new Halloween Treat Mini Loungefly Backpack found at the Magic Kingdom
- A new “Hocus Pocus” Spirit Jersey and mug have come to Walt Disney World
- Check out every piece of new Halloween merchandise for 2020 available at Walt Disney World!
- A Sleeping Beauty” Maleficent Horned headband has arrived at the Disney Parks
- Enjoy that morning pick-me-up with this new Haunted Mansion wallpaper mug now available at Walt Disney World
- New “The Nightmare Before Christmas” Minnie Ears slink into the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World
- The wheel of fortune has landed on a brand new dress Oogie Boogie dress at the Disneyland Resort!
- Whether you’re a lover of Halloween or the holiday season, the spirited spooks of The Haunted Mansion are here to help with new ornaments at the Disney Parks! And there are even new ornaments for fans of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and Fantasmic!
- Check out every piece of new Halloween merchandise for 2020 available at Disneyland Resort!
- A new Pumpkin Mickey Jack-o’-Lantern Ear Headband has come to shopDisney
- Three new pairs of sequin-covered Minnie Mouse ears were released. Whether you prefer the emerald Minnie Ears or the new spin on the classic black Ears and red bow from Walt Disney World or the neon yellow-green Minnie Ears from the Tokyo Disney Resort, you can shine in style.
- Get ready for your trip with this new Mickey Mouse “Happy Halloween” MagicBand from shopDisney, or add a new Minnie Mouse Rainbow Slap Bracelet MagicBand to your collection in Walt Disney World.
- A new “Sleeping Beauty” Maleficent mug makes an entrance at Walt Disney World
- The Haunted Mansion Ghost Organist Funko Pop was released exclusively to Annual Passholders at the Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs on August 19th
- Guests can “Drop In” to a new bellhop-inspired dress from “The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror”
- New “Zootopia” and “Monsters, Inc.” headbands are coming to Tokyo Disney Resort on August 19
- Represent your Gracey Manor flair in comfort and style with these new Haunted Mansion sweatpants at Walt Disney World and shopDisney
- Nearly every item from the much sought-after Minnie Mouse: The Main Attraction collection was restocked on shopDisney
- A new MagicBand featuring everyone’s favorite Force-sensitive alien youngster, Baby Yoda “The Child,” is now available as a pre-order upgrade on My Disney Experience
- Seasons may turn while ghosts lie in the grave, but you’ll season your meals with just a quick turn OF the grave with these new The Haunted Mansion tombstone salt and pepper shakers from Walt Disney World
- Countdown the days to Halloween and get ready to use your new candy bowl with these new spirited housewares from Walt Disney World
- Tokyo DisneySea unveiled their 19th-anniversary merchandise collection which will be available throughout the Tokyo Disney Resort app and in-park beginning September 3
- Change those ‘boos’ to ‘oohs’ with this ultra-cute collection of ghostly merchandise coming to Tokyo Disney Resort for Halloween, available September 3
- Gear up for Halloween or any other day when you go out to socialize with this new The Haunted Mansion merchandise
- A new Jungle Cruise hat made its way out of the bush at the Magic Kingdom and it might be the best Disney Parks item of the year
- A new Disney Skyliner Dooney & Bourke Crossbody bag soared into Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Limited edition pins featuring characters from Aladdin and Peter Pan. There are also pins themed to Pluto
- Loungefly released a new Baby Yoda backpack
- Tokyo Disneyland unveiled shirts featuring Tomorrowland, Fantasyland and Mermaid Lagoon
- Explore the collection of new Disney Villains merchandise
- Create a model of the Hollywood Tower Hotel from the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror with the new Metal Earth Kit
- A new limited release Adventureland MagicBand made its way to Walt Disney World
- A leopard print Loungefly backpack roams into Walt Disney World
- There are now denim Mickey and Minnie Mouse plushes at Walt Disney World
- The new Mousewares collection released a series of drinking glasses featuring Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Minnie Mouse.
- Disneyland released three vintage-looking Jungle Cruise shirts.
- After first being released at Walt Disney World, the Up-Themed Minnie Ears made their way to the Disneyland Resort.
- A new 2021 calendar arrived at Disneyland Resort, featuring sights from the Disneyland Resort parks
- The limited release “Park Life” MagicBands for Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios were released
- Stickers featuring classic Disney Villains like Ursula and Maleficent arrived at Disneyland Resort
- Bing Bong got featured on a button-down shirt at Walt Disney World
- Two new MARVEL-themed MagicBands featuring Spider-Man and Iron Man arrived at Walt Disney World.
- For the first time since March, physical Disney gift cards are now available at shopDisney. They also feature new designs.
- There’s a new baseball cap in the Norway Pavilion at EPCOT
- New Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster merchandise has made its way to Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- We spotted some frightfully fun new Haunted Mansion luggage tags and card holders.
Entertainment and Media
- ‘The Owl House’ will feature Disney’s first bisexual lead character
- Disney+ is reportedly developing an adult-oriented section that would feature content from 20th Century Studios and Touchstone. New parental controls would also be added.
- “Mulan” will be accessible to users of Roku, Google & Apple
The Walt Disney Company
- Disney Vacation Club is reportedly raising direct-purchase point minimum for membership extras
- According to StreetInsider.com, Deutsche Bank reported that worldwide Disney Park attendance remains down 80% year-over-year from 2019 per their proprietary geolocation data
- Salaries for senior executives restored to pre-COVID levels.
WDW News Today Editorials
- POLL: Favorite Snacks from Disney’s Animal Kingdom
WDW News Today
Disney Bringing Mark X Monorails to EPCOT – NewsToday 8/17
Rise of the Resistance Is More Broken Than Ever – NewsToday 8/19
Park Attendance Down 80%, Avengers Quinjet Lands at Disneyland Resort – NewsToday 8/22
That’s all the Disney news for this past week folks! Make sure you check back at the end of each week for our weekly recaps!