Disneyland Reopening? Gronk Going To Disney World? Disney Week In Review

by Ed Pizza
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Wondering what’s happening in the theme park world this past week?  We’ve got all the stories you need to know about.

The biggest news of the past week was probably Disneyland’s (kind of) reopening announcement.  California is slowly creeping towards lower COVID-19 counts.  However, the numbers haven’t gotten low enough for a full Disneyland reopening.  The new event will take place in Disney California Adventure, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary.  Disney fans will get a little taste, as a special, limited-capacity ticket event will allow folks to start enjoying parts of Disneyland in March. We’re crossing our fingers this is just the start of a return to normalcy at Disneyland in 2021.

Meanwhile, in Florida, the crowds continue to increase.  We weren’t surprised to see wait times kick up on a holiday weekend at Disney World.  Heck, Universal Orlando even hit capacity this weekend, twice.  But, the weekday crowd increase definitely caught us a bit off-guard.  Make no mistake.  If you think a trip to Disney World will result in small crowds right now, think again.

A big part of the current crowd problem are capacity restrictions centered around COVID-19.  Touring Plans does a nice job laying out the current efforts to keep guests safe.  We love seeing Disney making the effort to keep guests safe.  But, it comes at the expense of long lines on rides where it’s hard to socially distance without losing significant capacity.

Even the time-honored tradition of Super Bowl MVPs visiting Disney World took a hit this year.  Tom Brady was supposed to take Rob Gronkowski with him.  Instead, Gronk went alone, but it still looks like he had a good time.  Disney doesn’t believe the mask requirement and social distancing precautions are around for too much longer, noting that they should go away by 2022.

If you are planning a trip to Disney World right now, transportation options have significantly changed.  We’ve got the full lowdown.  There are plenty of details you might not have considered, such as no trams in the parking lots.  Make sure to plan before you go.  And, you probably need to have a plan for when you return home.  Disney Tourist Blog has the current quarantine requirements for all 50 states if you’re planning a trip to Florida.

One area that continues to lag behind previous years is hotel occupancy.  Some Disney World resorts haven’t even reopened yet.  Disney is taking advantage of the opportunity with major renovations at Polynesian Village Resort.  And, they confirmed recently that the rooms at Contemporary Resort will also be getting a makeover this spring.  Disney’s Art of Animation continues to get refreshed, with the pools closed for work and a nifty new paint job.

Unfortunately, the love being show to the guest rooms isn’t being extended to many projects in the parks we were expecting to see.  Work at the new Tron-themed coaster has really dropped off. Projects like the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser and the new Guardians of the Galaxy attraction are still moving forward at a rapid pace, though. Just like with Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, still no firm opening dates.

Across town, if you’re wondering what one of the most exciting coasters, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure has a first-person video out of what it’s like to ride.  This is a pretty unique coaster with multiple launches.  There are also two very different ways to experience the ride.  I have some first-hand video myself that I plan to get up on the site soon.

Lastly, if you’re a member of the military, Disney has reconfirmed a bunch of great discounts and benefits for military members!

Can’t wait to see you all out in the parks!

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