Things have been quiet here at Disney Park Magic the last few weeks while life got in the way of talking about theme parks. Sad as that is, it does happen some times. 🙂
This week, there’s plenty to talk about, with some of the most significant news coming from Disneyland in California.
Disneyland is now poised to allow out-of-state visitors on June 15th. Disneyland expert Leslie Harvey, who writes at Trips with Tykes, predicted this would happen fairly quickly. Leslie has already returned to Disneyland and has the game plan you need if you’re planning a Disneyland trip.
Staying in California for just a minute, it appears the new Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure attraction will utilize a virtual queue when it debuts in June. This is the same system used for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
Virtual queues do seem like something of a blessing until you don’t get the opportunity to ride. It’s essentially a massive lottery twice a day for Rise of the Resistance. I imagine it will be the same for Web Slingers. Theme Park Insiders has a really interesting take on virtual queues and mobile ordering. There’s no doubt that the increase in mobile ordering for food has really caused a huge issue in the parks. We experienced this in October when we visited. It was a normal occurrence not to be able to find any restaurant with available food for over an hour. Without the ability to stand in line to order in most instances it becomes a real timing issue. Disney will need to figure this out long-term.
Meanwhile, as we get into the thick of summer, wait times seem to be dropping. That’s not terribly surprising. Weather is heating up in Orlando and school’s not out yet for most people. I do expect things to ramp up come summertime, though maybe not to the full summer crowds we’re used to seeing. While the price of Disney World Resort hotels is sky-high right now, that’s more a result of the fact that a number of hotels are still closed. Based on the information I see, I’m pretty sure that some hotels are also offering far less than their total room inventory. Disney World is suffering from the same staffing issues as many businesses nationwide. That should change in the next few months, but demand will continue to increase with the 50th anniversary upon us.
If you’re looking to pinch pennies, hunting for discounts on Disney gift cards is a great strategy. It’s something you can work on over a period of months leading up to a Disney World vacation. Trips with Tykes has a great guide on how to maximize Disney gift card savings.
In what was the most stunning (to me, at least) news of the week was Universal Orlando dropping the mask requirement indoors. That means masks are no longer required anywhere at Universal Orlando. Technically, the new relaxation of rules is only for fully vaccinated people. But, since there is literally no monitoring of vaccine status, it’s somewhat of a hollow requirement. That person sitting next to you on Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts at Universal without a mask may or may not be safe. Consider it a bit of a lottery ticket, with crappier prizes.
If that makes you as uneasy as it does me, maybe stick to outdoors rides like the new Velocicoaster. Still not sure if this old man can handle that coaster. I’ll definitely try it at least once, but may be only once.