Disney World Ending Complimentary MagicBands for Resort Guests

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It was fun to get these at home before our trips and link them to our Fast Passes. They used to be just gray, but they added more colors throughout the years.

In January 2021, Disney will unveil an innovative new offering as part of the My Disney Experience app that will bring features of a MagicBand to your smart phone devices. With this new offering, complimentary MagicBands will no longer be offered to Disney Resort guests for new reservations with arrivals beginning January 1, 2021.

If you would like to use a MagicBand on your vacation and you are a Disney Resort hotel guest, you will have the option to purchase them at a discount. Guests preferring not to purchase a discounted MagicBand will be able to use the My Disney Experience app or a Key to the World card during their visit starting in January.

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We prefer the decorated ones and probably have over 30+ MagicBands each!

MagicBands will still be offered for sale at many Disney retail locations and on shopDisney.com, and guests will be able to continue using them throughout Walt Disney World Resort.  MagicBands retail for $24.99 – $29.99 each.

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Official Disney resort opening schedule notice.

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January 1, 2021: No more free MagicBands mailed to your home 2 weeks before your arrival. 😦

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If you use any of the holiday ones, the turnstile turns a special color and plays a special tune!!!

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The Halloween limited edition MagicBands are only for sale during the MNSSHP party nights from 7pm-Midnight.  No MNSSHP parties in 2020.  All canceled.  😦

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International Flower and Garden MagicBand

Different MagicBands play different sounds:  MagicBand sounds

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castle two girls

We miss the Magic Kingdom.

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

Reopening disney world1

Reopening July 2020  (MAYBE!)

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I was so lucky to get the LAVA MagicBand last year.
I think it’s my favorite one!!!  🙂

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The new LE “I Lava You” MagicBand for Valentine’s Day!

Inspired by the Pixar short “LAVA” , one side of this adorable MagicBand features Uku, the lonely volcano and “I Lava You” text.

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Uku.  He fills the ocean with his tears of loneliness.

The other side features Lele, Uku’s love interest, with “Happy Valentine’s Day 2019”.

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Lele

You can use your MagicBand to enter your Disney resort hotel room, the theme parks, redeem FastPass+ reservations, purchase souvenirs, and much more.

We “lava” this MagicBand!!!  ❤

$34.99

Lava

Lava

❤ Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤

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Beta Testing a New Disney MagicBand Feature

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away (November 2013), we got a chance to Beta test a new feature they were adding to the MagicBand. This is our behind-the-scene story:

Beta Testing New MagicBand Feature

Caroline filling out the card on how many times we rode the rides before turning it back in for credit. 12:30am. (Our comp pass was on our guest card the next morning.)

Disney has been adding more and more features to the MagicBands since their roll-out earlier this year in 2013. They are currently beta testing a feature where if you are wearing the MagicBand on rides that take your photo, like Splash Mountain, the band will link your photo to your account as you pass by a RIF sensor in the wall while on the ride. It makes viewing and buying ride photos much easier.

Caroline and I thought this would be interesting and signed up to participate. And, we each earned a free guest park pass!

After the Magic Kingdom closed, we got to ride both the Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain rides three times each. What was really fun was that the lights were on inside both rides. The Haunted Mansion looks nothing like it does in the dark during a normal ride…so boring and ordinary!  (What looks like grass in the dark is plain, pale straw with the lights on!)

Another example, there is a huge plexiglass partition in the dining room scene to keep guests from throwing stuff down into the mansion’s dining room and help with the ghost’s projections. It’s angled so you don’t see it during a normal ride with the lights off in the gallery.  But, with the lights on, it’s right there.

Another place that guests throw things is at the end of the HM ride when a “ghost” hitches a ride in your Doom Buggy. I guess a lot of people throw stuff (mainly Magic Kingdom brochures!) at the ghostly image. There’s about a four-foot space between the Doom Buggies and the projection wall, and the brochures have to be swept out several times a day on busy days.

Dining room scene at Haunted Mansion.

Dining room scene at Haunted Mansion as seen from above.  The plexiglass is invisible to guests.

Haunted mansion

The Glass Conservatory with man in coffin.  “Let me out!”

We had a great time and didn’t get home until almost 1am!

Splash Mountain at night.  Yes, they had the water cannons turned on!

Splash Mountain at night, our first test ride of the evening. Yes, they had the water cannons turned on!  We rode it 3x.

Inside Splash Mountain

Inside Splash Mountain

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Briar Rabbit

Brier Rabbit

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We were warned!

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Boring gray MagicBand.

 

‘A Taste of 2020 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival’ Opens July 15th

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Welcome to the 2020 ‘A Taste of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival’!

Epcot will be offering a modified version of its Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival starting on July 15th – the very first day of its grand reopening!

“A Taste of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival” will feature 20 signature global marketplaces spaced throughout the park.

fw1The festival is scheduled to be Epcot’s longest-held festival ever, running from July 15th through November 22nd.

2019-Epcot-Food-and-Wine-Festival-

Popular food booths from Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival will be returning including Hawaii, Hops & Barley, and Islands of the Caribbean!

FWThere will be elements from the 2020 International Flower and Garden Festival – which was cut short in March just 2 weeks after opening when Disney World closed for the pandemic – “sprinkled in” with the International Food and Wine Festival.

Some of the 70 wonderful toparies from the International Flower and Garden Festival will be brought back to the park and 2020 Flower & Garden merchandise will be for sale alongside the 2020 Food and Wine Festival merchandise. This year’s festival will be a hybrid of the two best festivals at Epcot.

remy

Remy is coming back for the Food and Wine Festival!

Unfortunately, the Eat to the Beat Concert Series will not be part of the modified festival, Disney said.

The previously announced “Sugar Ray, Boyz II Men, Billy Ocean, Smash Mouth and Plain White T’s musical lineup will not happen in 2020”, said Disney. “There will be plenty of live music to enjoy at America Gardens Theatre with local Epcot entertainment such as Mariachi Cobre, the JAMMitors and more.”

But, Remy’s Ratatouille Hide and Squeak scavenger hunt is returning for 2020.

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There’s a Remy hidden outside at each country.  Remy + Garlic

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Hi Remy! Found you!!! Remy + Zucchini

You follow the map and find Remy in each country.  He’ll be with one of the sticker items like a zucchini, so you’ll peel off that sticker and place it in the circle on the map.

Remy

We think he’s cute!  Remy + Eggplant

When you’re finished, take it back to the shop and you get your choice of a 2020 limited edition pin.

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Don’t forget to pick up your LE pin! (You get to keep your treasure map.)

2019 Remy Hide and seek

The treasure maps for the hunt cost $6.99, and for that you’ll receive a map and a sheet of stickers. The stickers are pictures of Remy with various food items.

remy Epcot

That’s what I call chalk art!

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Our mini gift card!

Load up a festival mini gift card!

Even with only 20 food booths, plan on spending $30 – $50 per person trying all the different food and drinks while walking around Epcot’s World Showcase.

Note:  The food and drink portions are very small, more like snack size, with full size prices.

Lobster Roll and Carrot Cake

Lobster Roll and Carrot Cake! See how small the portions are???!!! That Lobster Roll was A+ good.

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Walking around eating a tiny Shrimp Taco. Very good!

 

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It’s always good to start with dessert!

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Best hamburger slider! The portions are very small, so you can try a lot of different foods.

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Eat, drink, eat, drink…….Orange dreamsickle drink with a cherry on top. Can get it with or without alcohol.

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Cronuts.  So tender and flaky…yum! We always get a cronut – or two! – when we spend the afternoon at Epcot.

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International Food & Wine Festival

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Epcot is reopening July 15th

Disney’s theme parks, which have been closed since mid-March because of the coronavirus, are set to reopen next month. Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom are scheduled to reopen on July 11th, followed by Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15th.

To visit a park, guests will have to first register with the Disney Park Pass System, which is not yet available, at www.disneyworld.com. Those that have a park ticket or annual pass will also need a My Disney Experience account to secure reservations. Once registered, visitors will find a calendar with available dates for each Disney World theme park. Tickets between family members and friends can be tied together. Those with multi-day tickets must make reservations for each day of the visit.

New health and safety measures will be in place when the theme parks reopen, including mandatory face masks, reduced capacity and social distancing protocols. Character meet-and-greets, as well as parades and firework shows will be temporarily suspended.

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epcot wishable

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

food and wine Epcot

Disney World Resorts Reopening in July 2020

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Reopening September 21, 2020

Disney has confirmed opening dates for the following Disney World Resorts:

July 10:
Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo
Pop Century Resort
Contemporary Resort

July 29:
Caribbean Beach Resort

Aug. 12:
Polynesian Village Resort
Art of Animation

Aug. 24:
Yacht and Beach Club Resorts

Sept. 21:
Grand Floridian Resort

Oct. 1:
Boardwalk Resort

Oct. 14:
Coronado Springs Resort

No reopening dates announced yet:
All Star Resorts
French Quarter and Riverside
Animal Kingdom Lodge (non DVC)
Wilderness Lodge

Disney statement: “We currently plan to open the following resort hotels to booked Guests on the following dates.”

Guests with current reservations at impacted Disney Resort hotels can request help with modifying their reservation starting Monday, June 22, 2020.”

resorts

Official notice at a glance.

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The DVC properties at Disney World are reopening on Monday, June 22, 2020.

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Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows will be reopening June 22nd.

The following Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts will reopen on Monday, June 22nd:

Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village

Disney’s Beach Club Villas

Disney’s BoardWalk Villas

Disney’s Old Key West Resort

Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

Disney’s Riviera Resort

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort

The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will be the only non-Disney Vacation Club location on Disney property to reopen on June 22nd.

Kona CafeThe Disney World restaurants that will be reopening June 22nd are:

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: Sanaa and lounge, Maji, The Mara

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas: Trattoria Al Forno, Pizza Window, BoardWalk Bakery

Disney’s Contemporary Resort: The Wave, Contempo Cafe

Disney’s Ft. Wilderness Resort & Campground: P&J’s Takeout, Meadows Snack Bar

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa: Grand Floridian Cafe, Gasparilla Island Grill

Disney’s Old Key West Resort: Olivia’s, Goods to Go

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort: Kona Cafe, Captain Cook’s, Pineapple Lanai

Disney’s Riviera Resort: Topolino’s Terrace & bar, Primo Piatto, Le Petit Cafe

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa: Artist Palette, Paddock Grill

Disney’s Winderness Lodge: Whispering Canyon Cafe, Roaring Fork

Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort: Beaches & Cream, Beach Club Marketplace

ice cream kitchen sink

Yum!  June 22nd

kitchen sink

Chocolate Lovers Kitchen Sink!

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castle two girls

We miss the Magic Kingdom.

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

Reopening disney world1

Reopening July 2020

Florida Extends Mandatory Quarantine for Visitors Entering from the New York Tri-State Area

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new yorkAs the Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort continue their phased reopenings, guests visiting from the Tri-State area will still be required to self-isolate for two weeks before visiting any theme park.

According to the Florida Department of Health, Governor Ron DeSantis has officially extended the travel restrictions indefinitely on all travelers flying or driving from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The original quarantine order was due to expire July 7th, a week before Disney World’s reopening on July 11th.

florida4The department tweeted the news on June 11th, saying:

Extended in Executive Order 20-139, travelers entering the state of Florida from Connecticut, New Jersey, or New York must self-isolate for 14 days from their entry into Florida or the duration of their stay, whichever is shorter.

Executive Order 20-82 first required Tri-State travelers to self-isolate and was expected to stand only through early July. Some Disney fans saw this as hope that they would not have to self-isolate once Disney World began reopening on July 11th. But this is no longer the case.

Florida’s extension on its travel restriction reads as follows:

Additional Requirements for Certain Individuals Traveling to Florida Executive Orders 20-80 and 20-82 are extended with exceptions for persons involved in commercial activity and students traveling for the purpose of academic work, internships, sports training and any other activity or program approved by the educational institution.

isolation orderThis suggests that all personnel from the Tri-State area traveling to Walt Disney World Resort for Major League Soccer’s “MLS is Back” Tournament and the continuation of the NBA’s 2019-20 season in July will not be required to undergo the 14 days of self-isolation.

florida1

Check points set up on I-95 South for drivers from Tri-State Area.

Governor DeSantis directed all individuals entering the state of Florida from the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York) to isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into Florida or the duration of the individual’s presence in Florida, whichever is shorter. This includes persons entering Florida by roadways.  Governor’s Actions Regarding Travel

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June 16, 2020: Police checkpoint for health screening.

Roadside checkpoints are set up on Florida interstates to check for potential COVID-19 cases coming into Florida from areas with substantial community spread of the virus. The checkpoints do not apply to commercial drivers or health workers.

This Executive Order does not apply to individuals involved in commercial activity and students traveling for the purpose of academic work, internships, sports training and any other activity or program approved by the educational institution.

All persons isolating or quarantining will be responsible for all costs associated with their isolation or quarantine. This includes transportation, lodging, food, medical care and any other expenses to sustain the individual during their period of isolation or quarantine.

florida quarantine

Read more:  https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/

This is the paperwork that people flying into Florida from the Tri-State area are given:

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Page 1

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Page 2

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Page 3

Southwest MCO

We think more people are driving to Florida than flying in nowadays.

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castle two girlsWe’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!

******

disney reopening

Phased reopening of Disney World begins July 11, 2020.

Update on Walkway from Disney’s Grand Floridian to the Magic Kingdom

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walkway bridge2

Aerial view with the full extent of the walkway in progress between Magic Kingdom and Grand Floridian.    Image credit: @bioreconstruct 06/12/2020

June 12, 2020 Walkway Construction Update: They are moving right along with the new walkway connecting Disney’s Grand Floridian to the Magic Kingdom.

walkway bridge Grand Floridian

You can see the movable bridge under the lines for the monorail. Image credit: @bioreconstruct

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August 2019: This is the crossover point over the canal joining MK side on the bottom to Grand Floridian side on the top.

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This sidewalk was finished last fall.

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The sidewalk is now in, but the nighttime lighting hasn’t been extended yet and still ends at the trees. We’ve walked this far before and its VERY DARK at the canal.

@bioreconstruct posted some photo construction updates this week on the new walkway going in between the Grand Floridian and the Magic Kingdom.

It’s coming right along!

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grand-floridian map2

You can see where the monorail (gray line) crosses over the canal and also where the sidewalk to the west to the Magic Kingdom ends (wiggly gray line) on this Google Maps.

When it reopens, guests wishing to travel on foot between Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and the Magic Kingdom will be able to walk between the two locations in about 10 minutes.

In a recent statement, a Disney official said, “This walking path from Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will give our Walt Disney World Resort hotel Guests another convenient way to reach Magic Kingdom Park.”

It’s a little under a mile (0.7 miles) walking distance between the two locations.

grand-floridian-walkway-permit-overview

The new walking bridge under construction…it’s the purple rectangle in the upper part of this photo.

Right now, you can almost walk between the two locations, except for the canal – with no bridge – that ends about 500 yards to the west of the Magic Kingdom.

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The monorail crossing over the canal.

There are already lights along the sidewalk and many a guest leaving the Magic Kingdom late at night has been tempted to skip the packed monorail and long boat wait lines and just try walking back to the resort. (You can easily walk from the Magic Kingdom to the Contemporary Resort on the east right now.)

They are always surprised when they reach the canal and the sidewalk just ends!

We think they should have made this walking path 40 years ago!

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King Triton and his team of Sea Horses floating on by.

The canal is where the floats for the Electrical Water Pageant enter the Seven Seas Lagoon at night.  That’s why it needs to be a moveable bridge.

electrical-water-pageant2

The pageant floating by the Magic Kingdom.

Right now, when the Magic Kingdom reopens July 11, 2020, the Electrical Water Pageant will not be running nightly.  Along with all the other parades at Disney World, it’s operation has been suspended indefinitely.

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The Magic Kingdom is reopening with limited capacity (25%) on July 11th!!!

disney reopening

Phased reopening of Disney World begins July 11 – 15, 2020.

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How to currently get from Disney’s Grand Floridian to the Magic Kingdom when it reopens:

grand_floridian001

Our #1 favorite place to stay.

The Grand Floridian Resort

You can catch a monorail directly from the Magic Kingdom or from Epcot by way of the Ticket and Transportation Center to the Grand Floridian. There is also an open-air water launch (a small boat) which is fun as long as it’s not cold outside. From the other parks, you’ll have to take a Disney transportation bus.

When you get there, check out the orchestra that plays most afternoons upstairs in the main Grand Atrium. Make reservations for proper afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian Cafe or for dinner at the fancy Victoria & Albert’s.  Look for hidden Mickeys in the elaborate marble floors. This is also a very peaceful place to sit in the Grand Lobby and just enjoy the atmosphere!

There are several nice shops to browse in.

MK walkway

This is the walkway between the Contemporary Resort and the Magic Kingdom. It’s a very easy 5 minute walk.

electrical-water-pageant4

It’s very pretty with the float lights reflecting off the Seven Seas Lagoon in front of the Contemporary Resort.

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castle two girls

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

cinderella castle1

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

Disney World will Require Guests Visiting from the Tri-State area to Quarantine for 14 Days First

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new york

14 day quarantine period!

Disney World is requiring that guests who arrive from the states of Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York to self-isolate or quarantine for at least 14 days prior to checking in at any of their resorts reopening June 22nd. This requirement upholds Florida coronavirus (COVID-19) rules issued by the governor.

new york1

new york3

Through July 7, 2020.

With states starting to re-open businesses and ease Stay-at-Home orders, people may be  thinking that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic has passed.  Although there are signs that cases are leveling off in the U.S., New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey still account for about 50% of all U.S. cases, which is nearing 2 million cases since March 1st.

New York City was the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the US and appears to be reaching a plateau, with around 1,000 new cases reported each day.

disney reopening

Phased reopening of Disney World begins July 11, 2020.

Disney World, which has set its phased re-opening date for July 11th, is making sure to abide by Florida rules, which according to the Florida COVID-19 Response website, the Governor’s Actions Regarding Travel requires “all individuals entering the state of Florida from the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York) to isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into Florida or the duration of the individual’s presence in Florida, whichever is shorter. This includes persons entering Florida by roadways.”

Disney World’s official website is also urging traveling guests to verify the latest information regarding travel and isolation from Florida’s official websites:

https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/travelers/

Guests who are the under isolation or quarantine periods must not enter Walt Disney World Resort.

Disney World’s phased reopening starts July 11th, beginning with the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, followed shortly thereafter by Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15th.

castle reopening

Phased reopening begins July 11th!!!

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poly2

Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows will be reopening June 22nd.

The following Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts will reopen on June 22nd:

Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village

Disney’s Beach Club Villas

Disney’s BoardWalk Villas

Disney’s Old Key West Resort

Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

Disney’s Riviera Resort

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort

The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will be the only non-Disney Vacation Club location on Disney property to reopen on June 22nd.

Kona CafeThe restaurants that will be reopening June 22nd are:

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: Sanaa and lounge, Maji, The Mara

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas: Trattoria Al Forno, Pizza Window, BoardWalk Bakery

Disney’s Contemporary Resort: The Wave, Contempo Cafe

Disney’s Ft. Wilderness Resort & Campground: P&J’s Takeout, Meadows Snack Bar

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa: Grand Floridian Cafe, Gasparilla Island Grill

Disney’s Old Key West Resort: Olivia’s, Goods to Go

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort: Kona Cafe, Captain Cook’s, Pineapple Lanai

Disney’s Riviera Resort: Topolino’s Terrace & bar, Primo Piatto, Le Petit Cafe

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa: Artist Palette, Paddock Grill

Disney’s Winderness Lodge: Whispering Canyon Cafe, Roaring Fork

Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort: Beaches & Cream, Beach Club Marketplace

ice cream kitchen sink

Yum!

******************* 

castle two

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

Disney World Recalling Thousands of Cast Members Back to Work

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Chris Name Tag

Disney World resorts and restaurants have started notifying cast members about returning to their jobs.

disney reopening

Phased reopening of Disney World begins July 11, 2020.

With some Disney World resorts reopening June 22nd, and the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom reopening on July 11th, there’s a lot to do around the parks and there are lots of new health and safety and cleaning procedures that cast members need to learn.

cast member door

As reported by The Orlando Sentinel, Local 362’s leader Eric Clinton says furloughed cast members are being called back to work starting mid-month.

According to Clinton, “Beginning in June, all Disney full-time attractions and custodian workers, as well as a significant number of part-timers, will get called back to work.”

disney Springs1

New cast member role:  Guest Experience Ambassador

There is a new need for cast members who will maintain social distancing in wait lines while guests wait for their temperatures to be taken prior to entering the parks.  Also new is the need to clean ride vehicles between guest loading and also the areas around ride queues.  This cleaning will be done by attraction cast members, not custodial.

“There’s going to be a massive need for attractions workers across property. There’s going to be a lot of work that needs to be done.” Clinton said.

Disney World’s cultural ambassadors program at Epcot and the Disney College Programs were canceled this spring and reportedly aren’t likely to resume anytime soon according to Clinton. With travel restrictions in place around the world, it may be hard for these cast members to return to Orlando this year.

He also mentioned that the cultural ambassadors will be replaced by local cast members at theme park reopening.

As many as 8,000 cast members could be called back ahead of reopening to help clean the theme parks and get them ready to receive guests again. All the merchandise needs to be updated and all the attraction rides need to be tested and re-certified.

thermometer

Daily temperature checks for cast members and guests.

Returning cast members will need to undergo daily temperature checks before they’re allowed to work. Cast members who have a temperature over 100.4 degrees will be sent home but will be paid while in quarantine.

epcot

Some refurbishments scheduled for 2020 have been postponed.  Spaceship Earth’s refurbishment scheduled for May 2020 has been postponed indefinitely and the attraction will be open for guests when Epcot reopens on July 15th.

Disney has postponed all parades and firework shows for the foreseeable future. Clinton also stated that Hollywood Studios’ Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage might not resume initially.

We’ve also heard that as part of the new social distancing protocols, cast members will no longer take photos of guests using guests’ phones and will no longer pin trade with guests.

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boardwalk-villas

The BoardWalk Villas will be reopening June 22nd.

The following Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts will reopen on June 22nd.  Cast members who work at the following locations are being recalled:

Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village

Disney's Yacht Club Resort

Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club DVC Resort

Disney’s Beach Club Villas

Disney’s BoardWalk Villas

Disney’s Old Key West Resort

Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

Disney’s Riviera Resort

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort

The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will be the only non-Disney Vacation Club location on Disney property to reopen on June 22nd.

boardwalk

Disney’s BoardWalk Bakery is reopening.

Restaurants: Local 737 Unite Here union has shared a list of food and beverage locations for which cast members have been recalled to work.

The restaurants that will be reopening June 22nd are:

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: Sanaa and lounge, Maji, The Mara

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas: Trattoria Al Forno, Pizza Window, BoardWalk Bakery

Disney’s Contemporary Resort: The Wave, Contempo Cafe

Disney’s Ft. Wilderness Resort & Campground: P&J’s Takeout, Meadows Snack Bar

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa: Grand Floridian Cafe, Gasparilla Island Grill

Disney’s Old Key West Resort: Olivia’s, Goods to Go

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort: Kona Cafe, Captain Cook’s, Pineapple Lanai

Disney’s Riviera Resort: Topolino’s Terrace & bar, Primo Piatto, Le Petit Cafe

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa: Artist Palette, Paddock Grill

Disney’s Winderness Lodge: Whispering Canyon Cafe, Roaring Fork

Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort: Beaches & Cream, Beach Club Marketplace
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castle two

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

A Look Inside the New Disney College Program Housing at Flamingo Crossings Village

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dcp poolThe new Flamingo Crossings Village for Disney cast members will have a 24-hour community center, 24-hour fitness center, several pools, 24-hour packaging room, computers, gaming area, jumbo screen TV, and several multi-purpose rooms.

Each apartment will have air conditioning, a full-size washer and dryer, a spacious kitchen area stocked with kitchen supplies (plates, cups, pots, pans), a smart TV in the living room, ceiling fans in the bedrooms, and an electronic key entry system.

The cost of the apartments will be anywhere from $165 to $205 per week per cast member, and can accommodate 2 – 8 cast members in either 2-bedroom or 4-bedroom apartments.  Rent is automatically deducted from weekly paychecks.

dcp housing2

Single bedroom

dcp housing1

Double bedroom.  Note privacy screen.

Address:  Flamingo Crossings East   13325 Flamingo Crossings Blvd, Winter Garden, FL 34787

Flamingo-Crossings

The DCP entrance into Flamingo Crossings Village

dcp community center2

Community Center

dcp community center

Atrium inside Community Center

dcp pool

Pool with lazy river

FlamingoCrossings_Pool

Lazy River

flamingo crossing

Opening August 2020.

flamingo

Onsite Security details.

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Pools with Lazy Rivers!

flamingo crossing

Phase 1:  2,600 apartment units. This does NOT look like enough parking spaces for 10,000 DCP participants!

The first participants are currently scheduled to move in later on this summer, with a phased occupancy rollout lasting for the next three years.

In addition to housing, the development will include the Disney Education Center (replacing Disney University), providing unprecedented integration for program participants to engage in ‘uniquely Disney’ learning experiences and the ability to earn up to nine credit hours in college coursework. Program residents will also have access to resources needed for academic success, including group and private study rooms, computers with free printing, and free high speed wifi.

“The college students who have been part of our college and internship programs have helped make magic for millions of our guests for more than three decades,” said Kristi Breen, vice president of Disney International Campus Programs.

CP Moment Housing (2)

These will all be shut down – starting with Vista Way – and be replaced by Flamingo Crossings Village apartments over the next 3 years.

chatham (2)

Our first week at the DCP in front of our apartment at Chatham Square.  We later moved over to The Commons, which was much nicer.

chatham4

Compare the new apartment furniture to Christian’s apartment at Chatham last year. He had the lower bunk, 3 to a room!

flamingo crossings******************* 

Cinderella Castle1We’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

tiana

When the Cinderella Castle Looked Different

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Cinderella Castle1

August 2020:  It will be all trimmed in gold with a new paint job.

With the Cinderella Castle getting an updated golden look this summer ahead of the 50th anniversary celebration next year, we thought we would take a look back at the different looks the Castle has had throughout the years, not all of them popular with guests.

castle

February 2020: Current look.

The Pink Castle

Cinderella Castle

The most famous – and most unpopular – change to the Cinderella Castle:  Pink!

The most dramatic change was for the 15 month-long celebration of WDW’s 25th Anniversary (October 1996 – January 1998).

At the Castle, October 1996

At the pink Cinderella Castle with my mom, October 1996

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of WDW on October 1, 1996, Disney transformed the front of Cinderella Castle into an 18-story “birthday cake.” Complete with red and pink “icing,” giant candy canes and 26 glowing candles, the castle served as the centerpiece for the celebration. This was no small undertaking.

Aladdin7 GenieIt took more than 400 US gallons of pink paint to cover the castle, which was then decorated with multicolored “sprinkles,” 26 candles, ranging in height from 20–40 feet tall, 16 two-foot long candy stars, 16 five-foot candy bears, 12 five-foot gumdrops, four six-foot stacks of Life Savers, 30 three-foot lollipops, and 50 two-foot gumballs. Additionally, more than 1000 feet of pink and blue inflatable “icing” was needed to finish it off.

pink1

pink castle

25th-anniversary-pink-castle

It was the most beautiful shade of pink.

pink castle

January 2020:  You can even buy a t-shirt of the pink castle!

pink castle

So pretty in the morning sunlight!

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But, it’s been changed other times too:

Happiest Celebration on Earth

Happiest Celebration look in 2005

Happiest Celebration on Earth look in 2005

We were there in 2005 for the castle’s redecoration commemorating the Happiest Celebration on Earth in honor of Disneyland’s 50th anniversary.

The castle’s exterior was adorned with polished gold trim and accents, swags, banners and tapestries. Golden statues of Disney characters were also added to the exterior, including Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, and Wendy circling the tallest spire.

Stitch is King

Stitich is King!

Stitch is King!  Awful!

The least appreciated Castle transformation – which only lasted 1 day (November 16, 2004) – was when the Cinderella Castle was modified to appear as though it was strewn with toilet paper and marred by graffiti.  😦

stitch2

Stitch hiding out in the Castle’s turret.

“Stitch is King” was posted on a turret as faux graffiti to mark the grand opening of ‘Stitch’s Great Escape!’ ride in Tomorrowland that day. The material was removed after the park closed that evening.

Disney got a lot of complaints over that decor!  Wildly unappreciated and unpopular!!!

The Castle Cranes

Castel repairs, January 2014

Castle repair happen every January.

Every January, the gorgeous Cinderella Castle Dream Lights come down and Disney maintenance starts an in-depth sprucing up of the Castle’s exterior.

castle_dream_lights_cr

All the Dream Lights are removed by the end of January.

They repair any roof leaks, re-seal the exterior, clean all the Castle windows (a big job!), and touch up any Castle paint which got scratched from the Dream Lights.

On Main Street USA, February 2014.  Note the crane moving things in the background.

On Main Street USA in January.  Note the big Disney crane removing the Dream Lights in the background.

For most of January when you walk down Main Street USA, you’ll see the large cranes moving maintenance people and supplies back and forth.

It photobombs everyone’s Main Street photos!  😦

Spring/Summer 2020 Update

This year, Disney decided not to tarp the Cinderella Castle as it undergoes it golden transformation.

Cinderella-Castle-Construction

March 5, 2020:  The repainting of the Castle begins.

cinderella castle2

You can see the difference between the older lighter blue on the turrets and the new bold Royal Blue color.

castle4

May 2020: All construction work has stopped with the closing of the Magic Kingdom, but the cranes are still there waiting.

castle reopening

The Magic Kingdom is reopening on July 11th!!!

Cinderella Castle1

New look coming late summer 2020: We can’t wait to see it!

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castle

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

***** 

Throwback Thursday, Then & Now

May 1994

cinderella

cinderella2

cinderella3

 

Disney World Begins Reopening June 11th!

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disney reopening

Phased reopening of Disney World begins July 11, 2020.

May 27, 2020:  Walt Disney World Resort outlined proposal plans today for Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom to begin a phased reopening to the general public on July 11th, followed by EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15th.

This phased reopening will demonstrate a deliberate approach, with limits on attendance and controlled guest density that aligns with guidance on physical distancing. That means certain experiences we know draw large group gatherings – such as parades and nighttime spectaculars – will return at a later date.

In addition, “high-touch” experiences such as makeover opportunities, playgrounds, and character meet and greets will remain temporarily unavailable, but characters will still be in the parks to entertain and delight our guests.

Because theme park capacity will be significantly limited as we welcome guests back to the magic, we will manage attendance through a new theme park reservation system that will require all guests to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance.

At this time, we are temporarily pausing new ticket sales and Disney Resort hotel reservations so we can focus on guests with existing tickets and reservations (Disney Vacation Club members can still make new reservations). Existing ticket holders and Annual Passholders will be able to make reservation requests in phases before new tickets are sold; we’ll be reaching out to these guests soon to provide additional details.

We will resume new ticket sales and hotel reservations after that period of time. Theme park reservations will be limited due to attendance limitations and will be subject to availability. More details about this new reservation system will be available soon.

Additionally, Disney Vacation Club resorts at Walt Disney World will reopen to members and guests and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will begin to reopen on June 22. Disney Vacation Club resorts in Vero Beach, Florida, and Hilton Head, South Carolina, will also open to members and guests starting on June 15. Plans to support required physical distancing as well as enhanced cleaning measures, along with a number of other safety and cleanliness protocols, will be implemented as part of this planned phased reopening.

Today, our World of Disney retail shop reopened at our Disney Springs shopping and dining complex at Walt Disney World. And in the coming weeks, Disney Stores will begin a phased reopening of operations globally, beginning with a select number of stores in the United States, in addition to stores in Europe and Japan.

We’re looking forward to reopening our theme parks, Disney Resort hotels and stores and doing so in a responsible way. In this spirit, our destinations will continue to follow enhanced safety protocols based upon applicable guidance from health authorities and government agencies.

As we all must work together to promote the health and safety of everyone, cast members as well as guests 3 years of age and older will be required to wear appropriate face coverings in theme parks and common areas of resort hotels.

All guests will also undergo temperature screenings prior to entering a theme park; cast members will also have temperature checks. Cashless transactions are recommended, and cleaning and disinfection procedures will be increased in high-traffic areas.

tickets

 

fast pass

josh

We like him!

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castle reopening

The Magic Kingdom will reopen July 11th!!!

July 11th/July 15th: The reopening of Disney World will be a ‘soft’ reopening with very limited crowd capacities (30%), temperature checks at gate entrances (<100.4), and other major changes.

These changes include:

Reservations are now required!

No Park Hopping

Limited park hours

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

cape may buffet

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

No buffet experiences

Greatly reduced park capacity during the first 3 re-opening months

Reduced tram loads back and forth from parking lots to gates.  No more full trams, 50% capacity.

gondola

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

Reduced Skyliner gondola loading, 50% capacity

shanghai1

Social distancing in use at Shanghai Disneyland.

Crowd direction control in parks using signage and markings on the ground, especially in merchandise shops

shanghai disneyland2

Expect to see squares taped on the pavement everywhere for crowd control.

shanghai2

Expect extensive ground signage.  I pity the cast members doing crowd control!  Guests do NOT listen!

Virtual queues for rides with expanded Fast Pass system, minimal 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 will be 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 all parades, shows taking place on the Cinderella Castle stage, and nighttime fireworks shows for at least 3 months after reopening

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.

rainy day characters

You’ll see be able to see your favorite characters at all the parks, but waving from a social distance.

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 required except when eating and will be sold at all the merchandise locations along with travel size bottles of hand sanitizer.

Temperature checks at every park entrance and for all cast members before beginning work

Scheduled hand washing breaks for cast members

If the capacity were set to 30%, maximum guest admission would be:

Park Normal Capacity* Capacity at 30%
Magic Kingdom 57,000 people 17,100 people
Epcot 34,093 people 10,227 people
Hollywood Studios 30,843 people 9,252 people
Animal Kingdom 37,671 people 11,301 people

*Normal capacity on a summer day.  Peak capacity experienced on the 5 heaviest days of the year (Christmas Day, New Years Day, Thanksgiving Day, etc.) is actually higher, nearing 80,000 guests at the Magic Kingdom.  Disney World already has a Crowd Phase Playbook for handling busy holiday operating days that they could use as a starting point for reopening.  The logistics for crowd control and limiting parking are actually pretty complex.

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Halloween6

Welcome to the party!

More limited ticket events:  Ticket sales for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party have been suspended.

The Extra Magic Hours before park opening have been suspended.

We don’t expect the two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, to reopen until the fall, if at all in 2020.  Blizzard Beach typically closes September – January of each year for its annual refurbishment, so there’s a good possibility that it might not reopen until January 2021.

blizzard

Blizzard Beach might not reopen until January 2021.

******************* 

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

*****

Disney Hobbies

#Truth

Mickey face mask

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