Running a bit behind on the week in review. After the big news of Disneyland being able to reopen, this week is tame by those standards. But, there is still plenty to discuss in the world of theme parks.
Spring is in the air, which means the start of the EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival. And, if it’s Flower & Garden Festival, there’s plenty of good food. Our own Mike LaRosa sacrificed for the greater good to bring you some first-hand reviews.
Meanwhile, crowds have otherwise been pretty mild. That definitely won’t continue with reports that both Disney World and Universal will be packed for the rest of the month as the spring break crowds ramp up. Disney World is already at capacity for park pass reservations on many of the remaining days in March, and Universal is warning passholders that the park will fill up the last two weeks of the month. No surprise if you’ve been paying attention, but there will probably be some disappointed kiddos who were looking forward to seeing Mickey Mouse or Harry Potter later this month.
If you are planning a Disney World visit and are considering park hopping, there is a way to check if park hopping is maxed out for the day at specific parks. This could be very key during spring break.
What won’t you see this month? Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. We’ve been trying to guess for quite some time when this lovable new attraction would open its doors. Turns out it wont be until October 1st. Disney is planning to make Remy a part of the start of the 50th anniversary celebration. That’s sure to lead to some sad faces this spring, and contribute to the fever pitch of bookings in October. If you’re looking for one of the most unique (and expensive) ways to arrive for the 50th anniversary celebration, check this out.
Disney World continues to lead the way in front of Disneyland when it comes to rolling out new tech. While still billed as “coming soon”, the new MagicMobile service will allow you to use your phone like a Magic Band. Starting on iPhone, you’ll be able to use your phone to access the parks, purchase merchandise and food, and probably activate FastPass+ kiosks if/when they reopen. Disney is already thinking about ways to roll this out, including using your phone to automatically send you pictures taken on rides.
Meanwhile, with a late April opening planned for Disneyland, the parks there will open without FastPass, MaxPass, Extra Magic Hours and other popular perks. That’s not surprising, given the opening capacity could be as low as 15% (though recent reports make it possible Disneyland could open at 25%).
Some recent shifts at Disney World make it even harder for annual passholders to get a reservation. Disney has been all over the board on this and continue to frustrate some of their most loyal fans.
The new VelociCoaster at Universal Orlando is up and running, if not taking passengers just yet. It looks pretty awesome! From our last visit to Universal, the track weaves its way through numerous parts of the park, including behind the Three Broomsticks in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Should be a heck of a ride.
If you are heading to Universal Orlando soon, Disney Tourist Blog has a great 1-day itinerary for Islands of Adventure that takes into account all the current conditions.
Lastly, Disney Cruise Line appears to be hiring. That could be a signal that the ships will be returning to regular schedules soon.