Ears the News
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Main Street Confectionery opens in temporary location at Main Street Cinema
The Main Street Confectionery at the Magic Kingdom closed at the end of March to begin a large scale refurbishment project. The Main Street Confectionery will now be located at the Main Street Cinema until the refurbishment is complete. One will find mostly pre-packaged items, candy apples, and rice crispy treats. Unfortunately, food items like cupcakes and fudge will not be sold. A reopening date is still to be determined but it is expected to run into at least June.
Florida Governor moves to prevent the use of vaccine passports in the state of Florida including at theme parks
Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, stated that he hinted to block the use of COVID-19 vaccine passports in Florida because of privacy concerns. He states, "It is completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society." Disney has yet to say whether or not it plants to use vaccine passports as part of it future policies at Walt Disney World.
Walt Disney World's MagicMobile rolls out to more guests and first impressions of using it in the parks
MagicMobile is now available for all visitors to Walt Disney World's theme parks. Those with an iPhone or Apple Watch now has the convenience of accessing MagicBand features. Guests can choose between the MagicBand and MagicMobile services and alternate between the both of them. Click here for more details.
Current functionality includes:
- Enter theme parks (with valid reservation and admission)
- Connect Disney PhotoPass images to your account
- Gain access to the virtual queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
- charge to your Disney Resort Hotel Folio during your stay
Magic Kingdom's PeopleMover remains on target for reopening this weekend
The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover is set to reopen on April 4, 2021. This Magic Kingdom ride has been closed since March 2020.
Virgin Atlantic to begin testing IATA Travel Pass as a means of proving testing and vaccination status
Virgin America has announced trials of the IATA Travel Pass app on some of its flights. Virgin Atlantic is one of the main air carriers from the Untied Kingdom to Orlando, The IATA Travel Pass is a digital health pass solution developed to ensure that passengers meet the necessary criteria for travel. In the app, users can create a digital ideas that includes their profile photo, passport information and upload their COVID-19 credentials.
2021 EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival begins in July
Disney has announced dates for the International Food and Wine Festival. This year's event begins July 15 and runs through November 20, 2021. More details to follow.
Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary license plate reaches its pre-sale requirement to begin production
Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary license plate has cleared the pre-order threshold of 3,000 to move into production. The design features the "EARidescent" 50th anniversary castle logo on a royal blue background. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit Make-A-Wish of Central and Northern Florida. Interested rivers can purchase a presale voucher now for $25 plus applicable state administration fees. Click here for more details.
First phase of the Cinderella Castle 50th anniversary overlay now complete
The first phase of the Cinderella Castle to celebrate the 50th anniversary is now complete. Guests are able to see all of the lower level decor as they set foot on Main Street USA. The official unveiling of the castle and all 113 new pieces of the new decor will be on October 1, 2021.
A look at the new indoor-outdoor lounge at Splitsville Disney Springs
Splitsville Disney Springs opens its new indoor/outdoor bar and lounge this week. You can choose to sit inside in the lounge or at the bar outdoors. The new lounge is located on the ground floor in the corner closest to the Orange Garage. The outdoor side of the bar is easily accessible from the walkway by the Orange Garage. Splitsville is located on the Westside of Disney Springs and offers bowling, a full restaurant, and a number of bar areas (including live music).
Photos courtesy of WDWMagic.com
Updated CDC guidelines indicate that vaccinated people are free to travel with precautions
New guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today stated that vaccinated Americans can travel both domestically and internationally "at low risk to themselves". There is still the need to wear masks, hand-washing and social distancing. For international travel, vaccinated Americans do not need a COVID-19 test before arriving overseas unless the country requires a test. A negative tests needs to be obtained before returning to the USA. Travelers do not need to quarantine after returning unless local rules require it. It is still recommended that non-essential domestic and international travel for those not vaccinated.
Walt Disney World theme park operating hours extended from April 18
Disney has extended the operating hours into the later weeks of April 21. Click here for an updated calendar. All four theme parks will have extended operating hours from April 18-24.
Disney's Hollywood Studios is increased by 2 hours, moving to a 9am opening and 8pm close
Magic Kingdom is increased by 4 hours, moving to an 8am opening and 9pm close.
EPCOT is increased by 4 hours, moving to an 11pm close
Disney's Animal Kingdom is increased by 4 hours, moving to an 8am opening and an 8pm close.
Work to begin very soon on the Jungle Cruise change at the Magic Kingdom
Disney announced that Imagineer, Zach Riddley, that work is about to begin very soon on the Jungle Cruise. On Riddley's instagram, he points out that guests may start to notice some "monkey business along the river" as the changes begin. The change will be incorporated in phases over the next couple of months. They do not anticipate any ride closures at this point. Disney hasn't offered a timeline when the changes will be completed. Click here for what will be expected of the ride in the next months.