When Will Disneyland Reopen? (Hint: Early 2021)

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Sleeping Beauty Castle

We blogged this week about the progress being made by the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force to reopen Disney World in Florida with major crowd control and sanitation restrictions in place sometime this summer.  People have been asking us when we think Disneyland in California will reopen.

The unfortunate answer is:  Probably not this year.   😦

Disneyland and other California theme parks currently closed by the COVID-19 pandemic can’t reopen for months, possibly until an as-yet-undeveloped coronavirus treatment becomes available, according to state government officials.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom and California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sonia Angell laid out a four-stage road map for reopening California’s economy during a livestream presentation on Tuesday, April 28th.

“Politics will not drive our decision making. Protests will not drive our decision making. Political pressure will not drive our decision making,” Newsom said. “Science, data and public health will drive our decision making.”

California is currently in Stage 1 with Stay-At-Home Orders still in place and now extended until at least May 15th.  Stage 2 is “weeks” away, Stage 3 is likely “months” away, and Stage 4 would require coronavirus treatments, i.e., a vaccine, that have not yet been developed, Newsom said.

“Lower risk” workplaces such as retail, manufacturing, offices, schools and childcare facilities would reopen with adaptations such as social distance signage in Stage 2, possibly by June 1st.

“Higher risk” businesses and gatherings that include close contact – like salons, gyms, theaters, religious services, weddings and sporting events without live audiences – would reopen in Stage 3 with adaptations and limits on the size of gatherings. We would expect this stage to be reached in July if the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and death rate stabilizes and starts to fall.

Concerts, live-audience sports and other large events, venues and mass gatherings deemed the “highest risk” would reopen in Stage 4.

The governor added that the state needs to meet a Six-Point Criteria before California’s stay-at-home order can be lifted in May-June, which includes:

  1. Widespread testing that would allow the state to isolate people exposed to the virus and trace people with whom they have come in contact.
  2. The ability for the state to care for older and medically vulnerable Californians, who are most at risk of suffering severe effects from the virus, as they continue to isolate at home.
  3. The capacity for hospitals to handle a potential surge in patients, plus resume normal preventive and other medical care.
  4. The identification of promising treatments.
  5. The development of guidelines for businesses and schools to allow physical distancing even as they reopen.
  6. The creation of a data-tracking system that provides an early warning if the state needs to reinstate a stay-at-home order.

The California Governor was also quoted recently stating: “The prospect of mass gatherings is negligible at best until we get to herd immunity and a vaccine.” Additionally, he said large gatherings in June, July, and August are “unlikely.”

disneyland dlr matterhorn

Spring is the most beautiful time of the year at Disneyland.

Director Angell said moving to Stage 4 would require coronavirus therapeutics to be in place: “This is going to be a while, but there are ways we can modify the way we move around in our environment that will make it more possible (to reopen).”

Gov. Newsom did not explicitly mention theme parks in his four-stage plan. Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, SeaWorld San Diego, Legoland California and other theme parks in the state would fall into Stage 4 – the last phase of the plan.

Currently, no drugs or other therapeutics are presently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

For comparison, as of April 29th, California has 48,828 confirmed cases with 2,104 deaths, while Florida has 33,193 cases with 1,898 deaths.  Florida’s COVID-19 hot spot right now are the three counties around Miami in lower Florida, while in California the hot spot is Los Angeles county near where Disneyland is located.

And, of course, the wild card in all of this is the possibility of a resurgence of COVID-19 in the fall.  Without a widely administered effective vaccine, even with crowd limitations and aggressive sanitation procedures in place, you can’t have 50,000 people from all over the world gathering in one small location.

Read more about when we think Disney World will reopen: When Will Disney World Reopen?

dlr4 Partners Sleeping Beauty Castle

Expect a major reduction in daily crowds allowed when Disneyland reopens.

******************* 

dlr Disneyland

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

Two Disney Sisters

two disney sisters Mickey Mouse

Meeting the Boss at Disneyland!

*****

We’re so glad that we got to go for a visit in January 2020!

star wars5

January 2020:  We got to see the new Star Wars Land and ride on both new Star Wars attractions. Rise of the Resistance is AMAZING!!!

DLR Walt and Mickey

Welcome to Disneyland!

dlr spring

So pretty!

dlr

OMG pretty!

Disneyland

Aurora

Princess Aurora is so beautiful!

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Meeting the Frozen 2 queens, who were greeting guests in their winter outfits.

 

Phase 1 Reopening of Disney World This Summer

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ocgov-885x1024The Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force  met again today to explore a plan to reopen Orlando’s economy.  This was their 2nd meeting.  Their next meeting is scheduled for May 1st.

They began to devise guidelines and mandates for various industries which will continue to be revised throughout the coming weeks.

The first preliminary draft version included hotels, restaurants, and large theme parks.

Orlando Mayor Demmings shared that he thinks an opening day in June is more realistic than May in order to give time to resolve supply chain issues.

Guidelines and Mandates Discussed by Orange County Florida Economic Recovery Task Force (as of 4/28/20)

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Large Theme Parks (Disney, Universal) Mandates:

All employees required to wear facemasks

Touchless hand sanitizer at each ticketing entry and turnstiles

Touchless hand sanitizer at each ride/attraction entry and exit

Temperature checks for staff prior to shift (temp above 100.4 can not enter premises)

Wipe down of all railing and surfaces regularly

Phase 1: 50% capacity of normal operating capacity, not maximum capacity

Phase 2: 75% capacity

Theme Park Guidelines:

Tape marking of 6 feet apart in ride/attraction queues

Staff to regularly wipe down surfaces at random

Phase 1 & 2: Staff who are 65+ are encouraged to stay home

Casey´s-Corner-Magic-Kingdom

Restaurant Mandates:

Hand sanitizer at every table

Hand sanitizer at entry to be in plain visible sight

All employees required to wear facemasks

Temperature checks for staff prior to shift (temp above 100.4 can not enter premises)

All employees with flu-like symptoms advised to stay home

Doors to be wiped regularly

All staff behind counters must wear gloves (except for bartenders)

Bartenders to sanitize hands after making each drink order

Seated tables to be six feet apart

Phase 1: Limit restaurant and bar capacity to 50%

Phase 2: Limit restaurant and bar capacity to 75%

Restaurant Guidelines:

Paper/disposable menus

Encourage takeout/online orders

Touchless sanitizer at entry

Phase 1 & 2: Staff who are 65+ are encouraged to stay home

grand_floridian001

Hotel Mandates:

All employees required to wear facemasks

Hand sanitizer at entry to be in plain visible sight

Temperature checks for staff prior to shift (temp above 100.4 can not enter premises)

All employees with flu-like symptoms advised to stay home

Front desk to sanitize themselves on a regular basis

Consistent cleaning of all guest areas

Front desk to utilize sneeze-guards

Remove all service items in guest rooms to include glassware, coffee cups etc.

Mini bars not to be stocked

Do not offer self-service food services

Space pool furniture according to distancing guidelines

Pool gates and pool chairs to be sanitized regularly

Door handles, elevator button and railing to be sanitized regularly

Remove all coffee makers from guest rooms

Remove all guest collateral items, except for those that are single use

Sanitize guest keys before and after each use

Sanitize bell carts after each use

Phase 1 & 2: No conferences

Hotel Guidelines:

Phase 1: Housekeeping services to be limited and allow for minimal guest and employee exposure

Phase 1: Promote, if available, mobile check-in

Phase 1: Housekeeping services only clean upon request, or when guests depart

Phase 1: Allow employees to work from home if not playing a critical role in serving guests

Phase 1: Only deliver room service to guest’s door

Phase 1: Provide self-parking

Promote social distancing for all guests and staff

Recommended touchless sanitizer at entry

Increase cleaning services/additional sanitation services through cleaning companies

Phase 1 & 2: Staff who are 65+ are encouraged to stay home

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Cinderella Castle1

We’re currently expecting a phased reopening starting July 1st with Phase 1 mandates in place.

We have written a blog about what Disney Parks is considering when Disney World reopens this summer.

Read more here: When will Disney World Reopen?

Mickey face mask

Expect to see a lot more Disney signage reminding guests to wash their hands frequently.

*************** 

two Disney Sisters

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

Two Disney Sisters

two disney sisters1

Two Disney Sisters

*****

Making Mickey Mouse-shaped Beignets

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OK all you stay-at-home bakers, it’s time to try to make some beignets!

beignets4

Cooking Up the Magic at Home recipe.

This recipe makes 10 large Mickey Mouse-shaped beignets or 2 dozen smaller beignets

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105°)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Combine sugar, shortening, salt, heavy cream, egg, flour and boiling water in a large bowl; stir in yeast mixture. With the dough hook attachment of an electric mixer on medium speed, mix the dough just until combined and smooth. Let dough rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Roll to 1/4-inch thickness and cut individual beignets with a Mickey Mouse-shaped cutter or cut into 2 1/2 to 3-inch squares. Cover with a towel and let dough rise until doubled in size in a warm, draft-free area, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Using caution, heat 3 inches of vegetable oil to 350°F in a deep, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Fry beignets until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes, turning as soon as they brown on one side. Remove with tongs and place on paper towels to drain.  Dust warm beignets with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Click here for a print-at-home version of this recipe!

beignets

Yum!

beignets

So yummy!  6 is a good number….

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two disney sisters1

Cheers!

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

Two Disney Sisters

frozen Two Disney Sisters

Two Disney Sisters

*****

Two girls wall

Once upon a time…

Two Disney Sisters

Yes, we did!!! 🙂

churros

Question of the day:  Churro or Beignet????

beignets

Freshly made beignets!

 

Purple Martins Nesting at EPCOT

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Purple Martins Acclimate to New World Discovery Nesting Location at Epcot

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New location for the Purple Martin nests.

Every year, Purple Martins travel more than 3,000 miles from their native Brazil to Walt Disney World to raise their young in the springtime.

Unfortunately, this year there’s a ton of construction going on at Epcot and their nesting townhomes had to be moved from their old location near Mouse Gear to a new location by World Discovery.

Purple Martins are very averse to change and the movement of the bird houses was a huge risk. To the delight of Epcot conservation cast members, they already have nested in the towers!

Purple-Martins-EPCOT3

Conservation cast members lowering the nesting gourds to see if any Purple Martins have moved in.

Purple Martin eggs take just 15 days to hatch and they are expecting hatchlings any day now.  Purple Martins lay their eggs between now and early June, which typically coincides with the dates for the International Flower and Garden Festival.

disney world closed

April 27, 2020 WDW information:  Walt Disney World remains closed for now.

Sadly, the International Flower and Garden Festival was only open for two weeks this year before Walt Disney World closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It’s currently closed indefinitely.  We’re hoping it will reopen by August 1st.

Purple-Martins-EPCOT1

Success! Purple Martins have taken up residence in their new location! (The cast member is raising the gourds back up to their 15′ height on the pole.)

With Epcot now closed, it’s actually less stressful on the birds and, of course, there’s no noise from nightly fireworks shows at 9pm anymore!   But, the flowers (and bugs!) are still there.

The original Disney Conservation team started with small hollowed out gourds for nesting houses over 20 years ago, and now have various house styles across 15 locations around Walt Disney World.

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We got to check out the Purple Martins nesting last year:

Purple Martin

The Purple Martin “apartments” near Mouse Gears.

When we were at Epcot last month, the Purple Martins had just returned two weeks earlier, around January 25, 2019.  It was fun to see their nesting boxes all set up for them.

purple martin

Look right behind Buzz Lightyear and you can see the Purple Martin birdhouses.

Purple Martin

Look for the sign.

Right before Epcot’s annual International Flower and Garden Festival each year, Purple Martins, the largest of the North American swallows, fly 3,000 miles to return to comfy white homes behind Epcot’s Mouse Gear to start their new families, typically arriving in late January.  (With global warming, some “early birds” have been spotted arriving at Epcot in December, right after Christmas!)

Purple Martin

One female Purple Martin’s 6 month migration route from June 1st – January 30th. 6,000 miles roundtrip from Disney World to Brazil and then back again!!  How does such a small bird do it???!!!!!

To Purple Martin enthusiasts, these feathered travelers, who spend their summer into late fall in warm Brazil, are captivating not only because of their beauty, but also because they are so social. They are actually not purple in color but a deep blackish-blue that in a certain light can look a deep purple.

Purple Martin

All the gourds are labeled to monitor their nesting success.

As crowds gather to enjoy Epcot’s annual flower and garden festival, the Purple Martins go about their daily routine of raising their next generation, paying no attention to the hustle and bustle of nearby guests.

Some guests imagine that those white PVC gourds with an alphabet letter on them are cameras or special lighting fixtures on tall white poles, but they are actually safe havens for birds who sometimes have to battle other sparrows and starlings for the treasured nesting space. The letters help identify each gourd for documentation by the Animal Programs team.

Purple Martin

These birds are super busy all day long!

Purple Martins are dependent on man-made housing to nest, a situation that has existed for hundreds of years when local Native Americans first hollowed out actual gourds and hung them on trees.

Purple Martin

The 60 Purple Martin houses at Epcot.

The Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians put up poles with hollow gourds around their villages for the Purple Martins to nest in. This was an early form of mosquito control in Florida!  Spanish and later European settlers continued the practice and also started making Purple Martin bird houses shaped like human houses.

With increased urbanization, the number of people putting up Purple Martin houses declined from the 1950s through the 1980s, but there has been a resurgence of interest in these birds and they are making a comeback from being a ‘threatened’ species.

As part of Disney’s commitment to conservation efforts, there are more than 240 man-made white gourds and birdhouses on property.  At Epcot, the 60 temporary residences are located on stage between Mouse Gear and Test Track, while at Disney’s Animal Kingdom an area over twice that size exists backstage.

purple martin

Each birdhouse has multiple rooms for a total of 460 nest compartments.

There are approximately 60 houses at Epcot, and between 160 to 180 houses backstage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

In 2005, Disney’s Animal Kingdom set up their first six houses for Purple Martins and used speakers playing a recording of a special song that the male Purple Martins sing to attract other martins. It worked, and two pairs set up house, one pair in each of two martin houses.

DAK Purple Martin

Cast members discussing the Purple Martin conservation program at DAK.

The Purple Martin conservation program began more than fifteen years ago as part of a backyard bird garden exhibit for Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Show, and continues today.

Read more from Disney Parks Blog:  Purple Martins Return to Epcot

flower11

If the International Flower and Garden Festival is going on, be sure to check out the Purple Martins!

Elly’s video of the Purple Martins nesting at our vacation cabin in Minnesota: 

*******************  

epcot two sisters

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

flower and garden festival epcot

Two Disney Sisters

Making a Wish at the Cinderella Castle

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Cinderella Wishing Well

There are rarely guests at the Cinderella Wishing Well.  Make as many wishes as you like.  🙂

On our last visit, we stopped to make a wish – actually 3 wishes! – at the Cinderella Wishing Well at the Magic Kingdom.

It’s tucked away on the side path around the Cinderella Castle that leads into Fantasyland.

penny

Three shiny new pennies for my 3 wishes.

wishing well

Elly and Ian making their lucky wishes.

wishing well2

My mom making her lucky wishes too.

When you walk the trail, you get to see the castle’s side details and then the back of the Cinderella Castle. It’s very pretty.

Cinderella Castle

So pretty! This is the perfect spot to take sunset photos.

Castle Sunset (2)

Same spot:  The Cinderella Castle at sunset.

cinderella castle1

8pm.

Cinderella Castle

This is a good view of the room where Tinkerbell jumps off the Castle every night during the fireworks show.

tinkerbell

This is Tinkerbell’s view of Tomorrowland from the turret where she jumps off the Castle. It’s a longggg way down!

Fun Disney Fact:

How many bricks make up the Cinderella Castle?

Answer:  None!  They are all painted on the Castle in various shades of gray, blue and pale pink!  And, it’s going to be repainted in 2020!

Cinderella Castle1

Coming Summer 2020:  The Castle’s new paint colors with lots of golden accents.

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We think that every Cast Member should stop by the Cinderella Wishing Well at least once and make a wish.  Or three wishes!

Two DIsney SIsiters

During our Spring DCP program:  Making wishes and tossing brand new pennies into the wishing well! 🙂

Disney Parks US has two wishing wells: the Cinderella Wishing Well near the Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom and the Snow White Wishing Well in Disneyland near the Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Sleeping Beauty Wishing Well

Snow White’s Wishing Well at Disneyland.  (“Your wishes will help children everywhere”)

Sleeping Beauty Wishing Well

Elly and Ian got engaged at Snow White’s Wishing Well.  ❤

Getting Engaged at Disneyland

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Look carefully and you’ll notice a sign at the Cinderella Wishing Well that says “Your wishes will help the Dreams of Children come true”. They actually do.

coins (2)

Your wishes will help the Dreams of Children come true.

For almost 50 years, Disney World has been collecting the tossed coins from all the wells, fountains, and water rides, and donating the money annually to local Orlando nonprofit organizations that help children in need.

Recently, Disney donated $18,000 to Community Based Care (CBC) of Central Florida to help provide services to children in foster care. Cast members chose CBC’s Over-18 Support program to receive the funds. This program helps youngsters in foster care obtain their driver’s licenses, find jobs, secure housing and apply for other health and human services.

So, the next time you visit Disney World, remember that when you toss a coin into a fountain and make a wish, you are helping make somebody else’s wish come true too! 🙂

♪♫♪ I’m wishing, I’m wishing, for the one I love.…….♪♫♪

******

Cinderella Shoes Jimmy Choo

Cinderella crystal shoes by Jimmy Choo, $4,600

Want to dress like Cinderella?

Check out these Cinderella crystal shoes by Jimmy Choo!

$4,600 custom made to order.  WOW!

Cinderella Crystal Shoes

These shoes sparkle in the sun!

Lily-James Cinderella Shoes

Lily James (‘Cinderella’) wore them at an awards show.

Cinderella shoes

Wearing our Cinderella shoes.

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Two Disney Sisters Cinderella

Our Cinderella moment.

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

*******

Two girls wall

Once upon a time…

Two Disney Sisters

Yes, we did!

Making a Wish at Cinderella's Castle

CP Moment #20:  Making a wish at the Cinderella Wishing Well.

cinderella

♪♫♪ A dream is a wish your heart makes, when you’re fast asleep…..♪♫♪

 

Happy Earth Day 2020

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earth day

Happy Earth Day!

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day today on April 22th, we wanted to acknowledge all that Disney World does to promote conservation every day across all their business practices.

DAK Rock

The Dedication Rock at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

From taking care of thousands of animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to conserving water resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and waste across their business, Disney Parks constantly works to protect the magic of nature.

Epcot-Solar-Panel

Ariel view of the new Solar Farm powering two theme parks.

Walt Disney World Resort Celebrates Earth Day with New Solar Facility Capable of Powering Two Theme Parks

Here at Walt Disney World Resort, we’re celebrating Earth Day by sharing a behind-the-scenes look at the brand new 270-acre, 50-megawatt solar facility that’s helping to power the magic!

Watch the video here:  Disney World Solar Farm

mickey solar farm

April 22, 2020: It’s huge!

Built in collaboration with the Reedy Creek Improvement District and solar developer Origis Energy USA, this facility is generating enough renewable clean energy to operate two of Disney’s four theme parks annually, all while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50,000 tons per year. That’s equivalent to removing about 10,000 automobiles from the roads annually.

butterflyAt the same time, the solar facility is providing an important habitat for native wildlife in Central Florida. A team of Disney environmental and horticulture experts collaborated to help make more than two-thirds of the facility pollinator friendly, with the goal of creating a nurturing and welcoming habitat for butterflies, bees, and other important insects, including endangered and at-risk species. This team is also managing and monitoring an experimental test garden at the facility. This research will help determine the ideal combination of native plants and soil for pollinators.

The effort to safeguard endangered pollinators aligns with the Disney Conservation Fund’s ongoing focus on saving wildlife, including butterflies.

conservation earth day

Celebrating 25 years of Disney’s Wildlife Conservation Fund

conservation goals

Disney Parks Conservation Goals:  The Magic of Nature

earth month

April 2020: Disney celebrating Earth Month on Disney+.

Jiminy Cricket (2)

Disney Tip: Jiminy Cricket only comes out on Earth Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

earth day

We did some chalk art to celebrate Earth Day 2020!  🙂

*****

caroline DAK costume

Roar!

A Look Back –  Caroline working to support Disney’s conservation efforts while she was a Disney cast member at Disney’s Animal Kingdom:
Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund

This week, I collected over $100 in donations for the wildlife conservation fund while working at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. As a reward, I got to go to a special conservation warrior party this afternoon where I got an award and a cupcake too!

cupcakeDAK (2) earth day

My Tree of Life dark chocolate cupcake. It was delicious!

Only about 15 people in all of Discovery Island met their conservation donation goals and got to go to party!  Guests were so nice when I explained Disney’s conservation program to them and asked if they wanted to donate to it.  One guest even gave me $5 towards it!

So far this month, I’ve collected over $135 in wildlife conservation donations!  Whoo-hoo!

Certificate DAK DWCF

My certificate as a Top DWCF Fundraiser.

The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF), founded in 1995, is a key pillar in Disney’s efforts to protect the planet for future generations and help kids develop lifelong conservation values. The DWCF grants program provides financial support for the study of wildlife, the protection of habitats and the development of community conservation and education programs in critical ecosystems around the world. In addition, the DWCF has expanded its focus to provide special grants that help connect kids and nature through exploration and discovery.

Recognizing that ecosystems are the basis of the planet’s health, the DWCF provides financial support for the study of wildlife, the protection of habitats and community conservation and education. The goal is to support conservation organizations focused on long-term positive impacts for wildlife and habitats. To date, the DWCF has awarded more than $20 million to projects in 112 countries. www.disney.com/conservation

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Some fun photos from working at Disney’s Animal Kingdom:  ❤

Dak costume

Ready for another day at work!

DAK costume  ad cos

My work location

Animal Kingdom1

Working with my sister at Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Island Merchantile.

starbucks

Having a delicious Starbucks after work. Yum!

dak tree costume

Adventure is out there!

Caroline costume DAK

See you later Animal Kingdom!!!

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Caroline back at Disney World doing the DCP Summer Alumni Program.

DAK pin trading (2)

Showing off the pin board.

******************* 

dak

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

Two Disney Sisters

Mickey ears DAK  Two

Two Disney Sisters

*****

DAK Mickey Ears

My favorite ride!

DAK 2020 Pin

Happy New Year 2020 DAK pin.

When Will Disney World Reopen? (Hint: Summer 2020!)

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cinderella castle

The Magic Kingdom is currently closed.

Many fans of our blog have been asking us when we think Disney World will reopen this year.  Yes, we said this YEAR, not this month, or next month.  That’s not going to happen.

While Bob Iger hasn’t contacted us, we do have some thoughts on when and how Disney will reopen Disney World.

Disneyland closed

March 27, 2020: US Disney Parks will stayed closed now “until further notice”.

Note that all of Disney’s theme parks worldwide are currently closed.  None of them are open.

disney parks closed

😦

The US probably has the most business friendly approach to a possible reopening, while the ones in Asia (Shanghai Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Tokyo DisneySea) have the most health conscious approach.

Here’s our best guess about a possible reopening timeline.  BUT, this all depends on the current COVID-19 infection rate in Florida declining, something that is NOT happening right now.  Should Orlando become a hot spot for new infections, expect this timeline to shift by 3 months into the fall.

magic kingdom gatesApril 22, 2020: 

Governor Ron DeSantis is holding a meeting today with the task force to reopen Florida’s economy to discuss, among other things, how to reopen the tourism industry. Walt Disney World President Josh D’Amaro is on the task force to provide Disney’s point of view to the task force.

Within the task force, there is a special committee that will come up with a timetable on when attraction locations like Disney and Universal should reopen.

Some of the steps considered would include a gradual reopening of the attractions industry starting with Florida residents before letting national and international guests visit.

Gov. DeSantis wants to have recommendations presented by the end of the week on how to reopen the tourism industry. Issues discussed:

The Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force meeting with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis; representing Walt Disney World, President Josh D’Amaro.

Discussing:

• Timetable for theme parks reopening.

• The reopening of theme parks will have to be gradual and how to keep everyone safe.

• Should Florida residents be first, then national, last international visitors?

Theme parks to get back to the governor with ideas and suggestions by the end of the week as to how and when Florida theme parks should reopen.

Disney Springs

Welcome back to Disney Springs!

June 1st:  We are expecting that some shops and restaurants at Disney Springs will start to reopen by June 1st.  Many of them are corporate chains and might not reopen until their parent company gives them the OK to reopen this summer.

disney-springs-reopening

Phased reopening of Disney Springs begins May 20th!

Shops will be limiting the number of guests allowed into their stores at any one time.  Foot traffic in shops might also be directional, one way with designated entrances and exits. Expect floor markings by registers reminding guests to stay 6 feet apart.  Restaurants at Disney Springs will have reduced seating and limited hours.

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The Grand Floridian

July 1st:  Disney resorts will start to reopen this summer, but not all the 25 on property resorts will fully reopen all at once.  Expect the deluxe resorts and DVC properties to reopen first.  Expect reduced staffing, reduced housekeeping and services, reduced onsite restaurant hours and seating capacity.

Note that Disney World is currently accepting resort reservations for June 1st and on.

MK train station

August 1st:  The reopening of Disney World will be a ‘soft’ reopening with limited crowd capacities, temperature checks at gate entrances, and other major changes.

These changes could include:

Limited park hours for regular guests, for example 8am – 8pm for the Magic Kingdom and 9am – 6pm for Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  Basically, their winter hours operating schedule.

A reduction in quick service menu item selections (limited menu)

cape may buffet

No buffets will be open until the fall.  (This is the one at Cape May.  Delicious!)

No buffet experiences

Greatly reduced park capacity, maybe as much as a 50 – 75% reduction during the first 3 re-opening months

Reduced tram loads back and forth from parking lots to gates

gondola

The Skyliner gondolas are designed to hold up to 10 guests. Expect more single riders.

Reduced Skyliner gondola loading

Crowd direction control in parks, especially in merchandise shops

Virtual queues for rides (expanded Fast Pass system), no outside queuing allowed, social distancing guidelines in effect

walt doom buggy Haunted Mansion

No one wants their doom buggy to become a doom buggy!!!

Not all rides open, lots of disinfecting of ride cars in between guest loading

Little Mermaid

Maybe only 100 guests per show, not a full house.

Limited seating for show experiences with social distancing recommendations in effect (i.e., such as at The Little Mermaid Theater)

fireworks-2

No firework shows until next year.

Elimination of parades, shows taking place on the Cinderella Castle stage, and nighttime fireworks shows

fof festival of fantasy parade dragon

No 3pm Festival of Fantasy parade!

Elimination of character dining experiences and personal meet and greets.

Frozen 2

Interacting with characters from a distance, with plexiglass barriers.

Characters will instead be placed at designated locations where they will interact with guests from behind plexiglass barriers set up with at least 6 feet distance between characters and guests.  Lots of waving, no hugs.

hand washing

Free standing hand washing stations. We expect these to remain after the Parks re-open for the rest of the year.

Hand sanitizing and hand washing stations will still be deployed at all the parks with a lot of cute Disney signage reminding guests to wash their hand frequently.

face maskFace masks will be strongly recommended and will be sold at all the merchandise locations along with travel size bottles of hand sanitizer.

Halloween6

Welcome to the party!

More limited ticket events:  Tickets are still on sale for the 2020 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party with the first party night being held on August 13th.  If  there’s one thing Disney specializes in are these limited ticket after hours or early events:  Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Disney After Dark Party, etc.

This is on top of the expanded ‘Extra’ Extra Magic Hours that were already in place for resort and DVC guests whereby they could get into the parks 1 – 3 hours earlier than regular guests or stay an extra hour later.  We expect Disney to utilize these extra ticketed events as a way to spread out guests even more and to attract guests to stay at their on property resorts.

Imagine this scenario at the Magic Kingdom to spread out the daily attendance crowds:

6am – 9am:  Mickey Pass, $79 ticket for resort guests only, with entrance tied to resort Magic Band, limit: 5,000 guests

9am – 6pm:  Regular guest tickets, $99 special, limit:  7,000 guests + 5,000 annual passholders

7pm-12am:  Disney After Dark ticket, $79 ticket, limit:  5,000 guests

12am – 3am:  Midnight Madness ticket, $59, limit: 3,000 guests

The Magic Kingdom would still be getting 25,000+ visitors a day (considered a “light” crowd day), but greatly spread out to relieve crowds with more Fast Passes available.

All attractions will need a Fast Pass, no outside ride queuing allowed.

Spreading guests out like this relieves crowding in merchandise stores and at restaurants. No fireworks shows, no castle stage shows, all character appearances will consist of waving from a distance or from a moving vehicle.  No character hugs.  No pin trading with cast members.

rainy day characters

You’ll still be able to see your favorite characters, but waving at you from a social distance.

disney world closed

April 27, 2020 WDW information

September 1st:  We don’t expect the two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, to reopen until the fall.  Blizzard Beach typically closes September – January of each year for its annual refurbishment, so there’s a good possibility that it might not reopen at all in 2020.

blizzard

Blizzard Beach might not reopen until January 2021.

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florida beaches

04/17/20: Some beaches in Florida reopened for “exercising” only on Friday.  No sunbathing, no gathering of large groups allowed.

April 20, 2020:  Update on Florida’s Status during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued a Stay-at-Home Order for Floridians until April 30th.

DeSantis plans to announce his reopening plan for the state of Florida this week.

During a news conference on Thursday, he suggested it could start with allowing elective surgeries.

DeSantis said he will meet April 17th with a task force that includes experts across various industries throughout the state.

Southeast Florida, which is the epicenter of the outbreak in the state, could be treated differently than other parts, the governor said.

Florida residents returned to the beaches Friday after Gov. Ron DeSantis gave the green light to reopen parts of the coast, on the same day the state reported its highest number of new coronavirus cases.

The state’s Department of Health announced 1,413 additional infections on Friday, topping previous highs. An additional 516 coronavirus cases were reported Saturday, bringing the state total to 25,269, and 14 additional deaths brought the number of fatalities to 740 in the past month.  COVID-19 Stat Update

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two Disney Sisters

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

Two Disney Sisters

Two Disney Sisters

Two Disney Sisters

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Disney Hobbies

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Mickey face mask

Expect to see more cute Disney signage reminding guests to wash their hands frequently.