Disney offers a peek at Splash Mountain’s makeover: The latest on global Disney parks

Splash Mountain’s Princess and the Frog-inspired makeover is in progress.


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Disney on Monday shared particulars in regards to the big changes coming to Splash Mountain at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The firm mentioned final yr it will be transforming the popular ride after activists criticized it for being based mostly on the racially problematic 1946 movie Song of the South. Now Disney is popping the attraction into one impressed by the 2009 movie The Princess and the Frog.

“The story will take place after the final kiss as Naveen and Louis join Tiana on her latest adventure, hosting a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras celebration where everyone is welcome — during which some original music inspired by songs from the film will bring guests into the story,” Disney shared in a Parks weblog put up. “Tiana is leading the way and fans will be able to encounter old friends and make new ones along the way as well!”

To information the journey’s design, Disney mentioned its Imagineers dug “deep into the culture of New Orleans to tell a story that’s as authentic to the region as it is to the characters’ stories.”

This comes amid different adjustments for the global theme park, which has reopened lots of its points of interest that had closed as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. On Aug. 18, Disney launched its Genie service, which is designed to assist with planning a go to to the parks. It contains a personalised itinerary function to assist map out the day. Genie is constructed into the My Disney Experience and Disneyland apps and rolls out this fall. 

“We’ve made significant investments in this cool new technology, which guides you through our theme parks with tips that can help you reduce time in lines, discover magic around every corner and take the guesswork out of ‘what’s next,'” the corporate mentioned in a launch. “From specific attractions, foodie experiences and entertainment, to general interests like Disney princesses, villains, Pixar, Star Wars, thrill rides and more — just tell Disney Genie what you want to do and it will do the planning for you.”

Guests may select to pay $15 per ticket per day at Disney World and $20 per ticket per day at Disneyland for entry to Disney Genie Plus, which grants them the flexibility to decide on the subsequent out there time to go to points of interest and experiences utilizing the Lightning Lane entrance. Customers could make one in every of these alternatives at a time all through the day, and also will have have limitless Disney PhotoPass downloads at Disneyland Resort. 

The Genie system replaces Disney’s FastPass, FastPass Plus and MaxPass providers, which had been suspended for the reason that parks reopened following COVID-19 shutdowns. Guests may pay to schedule a time to reach at as much as two extremely in-demand points of interest in a day utilizing the Lightning Lane entrance. Prices will differ by date, attraction and park, and can be shared nearer to launch, Disney says.

Other park updates

On July 3, Disney unveiled its Magic Key program for Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Magic Key replaces the park’s annual pass that was canceled in January as a result of “continued uncertainty of the pandemic.” It contains 4 choices, starting from a $1,399 per yr Dream Key that features reservation-based admission to at least one or each theme parks day by day of the yr, to a $399 a yr Imagine Key, which offers reservation-based admission to at least one or each parks choose days of the yr for Southern California residents. The program kicks off Aug. 25. 

Disney says new annual cross gross sales for Walt Disney World may also grew to become out there in time for the beginning of the park’s fiftieth anniversary celebration this fall. More particulars can be shared later this month.

Both Walt Disney World and Disneyland are once again requiring face coverings in indoor areas for all visitors age 2 and up, no matter vaccination standing. The mandate, which took impact in July, extends to passengers on Disney buses, monorail and Disney Skyliner. Face coverings are additionally required when coming into the parks and all through points of interest. They’re nonetheless optionally available in frequent outside areas. Starting Thursday, masks may also be optionally available at Disney World on outside points of interest, in outside queues and at outside theaters.

The masking guidelines are a revision on a June 11 announcement through which Disney World mentioned masks were optional for visitors who’re absolutely vaccinated, besides whereas on the monorail, Disney buses and the Skyliner. The change comes because the extremely contagious delta variant of the coronavirus spreads all through the globe. It’s now the dominant strain within the US and plenty of different elements of the world. In late July, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention beneficial that fully vaccinated Americans should return to wearing masks indoors in the event that they stay in an space with “substantial or high” transmission of COVID-19. California and Florida both have areas with high transmission rates.

The Walt Disney Company additionally mentioned final month: “We are requiring that all salaried and non-union hourly employees in the US working at any of our sites be fully vaccinated. Employees who aren’t already vaccinated and are working on-site will have 60 days from today to complete their protocols and any employees still working from home will need to provide verification of vaccination prior to their return, with certain limited exceptions.”

There are different adjustments occurring at Disney World. On Aug. 16, reporter Scott Gustin tweeted that Disney Springs is permanently closing its NBA Experience venue. He added: “Disney says this will not impact their other partnerships with the NBA or their business relationship with the Orlando Magic. Disney will share an update about the future of the NBA Experience location at a later date.”

The NBA Experience opened in August 2019, and Disney is now “moving in another direction,” Gustin tweeted. The resolution to shut the venue was made with the NBA. 

Disney describes the NBA Experience as having “13 unique games and activities” that allow individuals “embark on a full player journey, from training drills to competitions to championships and beyond.” The Disney Springs web site nonetheless lists the expertise as being “Temporarily Unavailable.”

All six Disney parks across the globe have reopened after their shutdown final yr as a result of unfold of COVID-19, and the resorts are slowly bringing again a few of their pre-pandemic leisure choices, together with the nightly fireworks present at Disney World. In its earnings report on Aug. 12, Disney mentioned its parks, experiences and merchandise phase returned to profitability for the primary time for the reason that begin of the pandemic, however the parks aren’t but worthwhile on their very own. The firm’s income within the parks, experiences and merchandise phase rose 307.6% to $4.3 billion, CNBC reported.

Here’s the latest on COVID-19 guidelines at Disneyland, Disney World, Disneyland ParisTokyo DisneyShanghai Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland, and what you possibly can anticipate when visiting.

Disney World: Fireworks are again

Disney world: Reopened July 11, 2020

Walt Disney World brought back its fireworks show as of July 1. The night-time spectaculars, known as “Happily Ever After” within the Magic Kingdom and “Epcot Forever” in Epcot, will entertain visitors nightly with fireworks, projections, lights and music.

It follows Disney World slowly stress-free its COVID measures by means of 2021. Disney introduced on May 12 that it is regularly removing the social distancing requirements from Disney World in outside areas. It will keep the 6-foot necessities solely in areas like shops and indoor eating areas. As of May 15, it grew to become optional to wear masks in outdoor areas and pool decks.

Disney reopened Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom about a yr in the past, on July 11, 2021, with Epcot and Hollywood Studios following on July 15. The Orlando Disney parks have a new reservation system to limit capacityDisney World resorts and lodges started reopening in late June 2020, whereas the Disney Springs shopping and dining area reopened May 20.

Disney World introduced it would begin using iPhones and Apple Watches as tickets to the parks this yr, with the Florida resort set to celebrate its 50th anniversary in October

Read extra: Disney World reveals new Boo Bash Halloween party

Disneyland Paris: Marvel resort suites open

Disneyland Paris: Reopened July 15-Oct. 29, 2020; June 17, 2021

Disney’s Hotel New York: The Art of Marvel opened June 21, taking on an NYC-themed resort and including greater than 350 items of Marvel paintings to its halls and rooms. There’s additionally a selfie spot with Spider-Man, different photograph stations, the Marvel Design Studio for teenagers to learn to draw superhero comedian books, a Hero coaching Zone, Marvel-themed cocktails and meals, and 25 suites themed for the Avengers.

The resort opening adopted Disneyland Paris reopening on June 17, together with the brand new Cars Road Trip attraction at Walt Disney Studios Park, Disney’s Newport Bay Club Hotel and the Disney Village purchasing and eating space. 

The new Cars attraction will transport visitors “into a Cars-themed version of a road trip on Route 66,” the place they will encounter “natural wonders like The World’s Largest Lugnut and the Cars-tastrophe Canyon, while encountering popular characters such as Lightning McQueen and Mater,” Disneyland Paris mentioned.

Both theme parks at Disneyland Paris had originally reopened July 15, 2020, however the French parks closed again on Oct. 29 in line with new guidance following one other wave of COVID-19 circumstances throughout the continent. Disneyland Paris had hoped to reopen from Dec. 19 till Jan. 3 in time to have fun the vacations, however was pressured to remain closed. The subsequent plan was to reopen on Feb. 13, however this was pushed to April 2 — after which once more to June 17.

Disneyland Paris Marvel hotel

Disney’s Hotel New York: The Art of Marvel is now open.


Disneyland: Open to all visitors

Disneyland: Reopened April 30, 2021, for California residents; absolutely reopened June 15

Under new California theme park guidance issued March 5, Disneyland reopened on April 30, however solely residents of California had been permitted to enter the parks till California removed the tier system June 15.

Avengers Campus opened June 4.

You can learn everything on Disneyland’s reopening here.

Avengers Campus


Hong Kong Disneyland is open

Hong Kong Disneyland: Reopened June 18-July 15 and Sept. 25-Dec. 2; reopened once more Feb. 19

Hong Kong Disneyland reopened on June 18, 2020, with decreased capability, enhanced well being measures and a new reservation system — however then closed down again on July 15 after a spike in coronavirus cases within the area. The theme park reopened Sept. 25, however remained closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays and required advance online reservations.

Hong Kong Disneyland was forced to close down for a third time on Dec. 2 attributable to a resurgence in circumstances. “As required by the government and in line with preventive efforts taking place across Hong Kong, Hong Kong Disneyland park is temporarily closed,” the park mentioned. “We are in close contact with health authorities and the government about the situation and will announce a reopening date once they determine it is advisable.”

Disney Parks then reopened Hong Kong Disneyland on Feb. 19 to proceed celebrations for the park’s fifteenth anniversary. Hong Kong Disneyland is open five days a week, remaining closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. To attend, you can also make a reservation seven days earlier than arriving — or 9 days when you’re a Magic Access Platinum member of the theme park. You’ll additionally must endure a temperature screening, put on a face masks and scan the “LeaveHomeSafe” QR code.

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Tokyo Disney Resort is open

Tokyo Disney: Reopened July 1, 2020

Disney Parks announced on June 23 that it would be opening Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea on July 1.

The Tokyo Disney Resort said June 4 that the opening date for the Tokyo Disneyland major expansion area will be determined once the situation can be gauged after reopening both parks.” The extensive expansion — which includes a Beauty and the Beast-themed area and a Baymax ride — was originally slated to begin opening on April 15, 2020.

Disneyland Shanghai is open

Disneyland Shanghai: Reopened May 11, 2020

Disney CEO Bob Iger announced May 5 that the Shanghai park would reopen Monday, May 11. It has limits on attendance, a reservation system to gain entry to the park, an entry control system, social distancing requirements, tape markings keeping guests distanced while in lines for rides, masks, temperature screenings, contact tracing and government-required health procedures. It increased capacity from 30% to 50% of the park on Aug. 24, and also restarted its fireworks show.

Shanghai began opening restaurants and stores on March 9 in Disneytown, Wishing Star Park and at the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel, requiring all guests to undergo temperature screening, present a green Shanghai QR health code at dining venues, constantly wear a mask and “maintain respectful social distances at all times.”

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