DLW 136: Disneyland is Reopening!

June 17, 2020

This week, Disneyland is coming back and on a very special day, messages from parks leadership on reopening, reopening updates, some folks are trying to delay the reopening, more event cancellations, we disuss re-theming Splash Mountain, and more!

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Last week, right after we posted the podcast episode, Disneyland announced their plans to reopen the resort. The plan calls for a phased reopening with Downtown Disney opening on July 9th, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure opening on July 17th, Disneyland’s 65th anniversary, and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel opening on July 23rd. Capacity will be extremely limited, so new ticket sales and annual pass sales and upgrades have been suspended for the time being. Reservations will be required to attend the parks on a given day during the phased reopening. Disney has not released details on the reservation system as of the recording of this episode. Parades and Nighttime spectaculars will return at a later date due to social distancing measures. Check Disneyland.com for the latest news and information. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2020/06/disneyland-resort-proposes-plans-to-begin-phased-reopening-july-9-with-proposed-reopening-of-theme-parks-july-17/ and https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/06/10/news-disneyland-resort-will-require-guests-to-make-theme-park-reservations-upon-reopening/ and https://www.micechat.com/260997-breaking-news-disneyland-announces-reopening-date/ and https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/06/10/news-disneyland-announces-that-certain-entertainment-will-be-suspended-upon-reopening/ and https://www.micechat.com/260997-breaking-news-disneyland-announces-reopening-date/ and https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/06/10/news-disneyland-pauses-ticket-sales-and-annual-pass-renewals-ahead-of-proposed-reopening-date/

Josh D’Amaro, Chairman for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products posted a letter on the Disney Parks Blog this week discussing the reopening of the parks. He states that the company is taking “baby steps” during their “intentional phased approach” to opening the parks and resorts. D’Amaro calls for the public to work with the company and cast members to “responsibly recapture the magic.” He concludes with “a great sense of hope and optimism.” – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2020/06/the-magic-is-returning/

With the updated information on the resort opening, Disneyland has updated their cancellation fee policy for the resort hotels. Disneyland will waive all hotel cancellation fees for arrivals through July 22nd. Guests are also able to make changes to existing reservations for July 23rd and beyond. If you need to make any changes to your reservation, please call 714-520-5050. – https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/06/10/news-disneyland-has-updated-its-hotel-cancellation-policy-ahead-of-proposed-reopening/

Reservations to enter the parks may be required when they reopen, but there will be no reservations accepted for any advanced dining. This is in line with what is going to be the process at Walt Disney World when they reopen on July 11th. – https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/06/12/restaurants-have-been-temporarily-removed-from-disneylands-reservation-website/ and https://www.micechat.com/260997-breaking-news-disneyland-announces-reopening-date/

The new Disneyland Resort President, Ken Potrock created social media accounts this week and posted a message to cast members. In the message he expresses his excitement to be working with the cast members at Walt’s original park, and outlines some of the changes coming to the resort, like temperature screenings, social distancing measures, face coverings for cast and guests, and hand washing and sanitization stations. – https://www.micechat.com/261626-disneyland-update-reopening-questions-reader-photos-splash-concerns/

The Mayor of Anaheim, Harry Sidhu (sid-who), released a statement on the proposed reopening of the Disneyland Resort. “Today is a great day for Anaheim. We could see the reopening of Disneyland 65 years to the day from when Walt Disney opened his first theme park in our city. This is a major milestone in the recovery of Anaheim, California and our nation. We know Disney will be able to meet the challenge of reopening safely, and Anaheim stands ready to see that happen.” – https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/06/10/news-anaheim-mayor-releases-a-statement-about-the-reopening-of-disneyland-resort/

Not everyone is happy about the reopening of Disneyland. A change.org petition has already gathered more then 35,000 signatures to push back the opening because of rising cases in California and the fear of a worst, second wave of infections. – https://www.micechat.com/261626-disneyland-update-reopening-questions-reader-photos-splash-concerns/

A new proposed “Explore America” tax credit could be giving families up to $4,000 per household for travel to hotels, theme parks, and more. With the stay-at-home orders that have been in place around the country for months, the travel industry is feeling the financial pressure to get tourists out and about. This possible tax credit would encourage families to travel, and would possibly help the industry as a whole. Travel industry lobbyists are working with Congress and the President on details of the plan. – https://wdwnt.com/2020/06/proposed-new-explore-america-tax-credit-would-grant-up-to-4000-per-household-for-travel-to-hotels-theme-parks-and-more/

It was as if millions of voices suddenly called out and then were silenced! Star Wars Celebration 2020, which was to be held at the Anaheim Convention center has been cancelled due to COVID-19. Star Wars Celebration will return to Anaheim on August 18th-21st, 2022. Fans who had tickets for the event may transfer their tickets to new event dates, or receive a full refund. For tickets that are transferred to the 2022 event, fans will receive a Star Wars Celebration stormtrooper character pin. For more information, visit starwarscelebration.com. – https://www.starwars.com/news/an-update-on-star-wars-celebration-2020 and https://wdwnt.com/2020/06/star-wars-celebration-2020-cancelled-2022-dates-revealed-with-exclusive-pin-offer-for-all-transferred-tickets/

I tell you, we should not buy tickets to anything in advance! Star Wars Nite has been postponed after the cancellation of Star Wars Celebration. The Disneyland Resort is working to reschedule the nite for a later date. Ticket will automatically be moved to the new date when it has been rescheduled. If guests need a refund, they can call 714-781-4636 for assistance. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2020/01/living-your-star-wars-adventures-at-disneyland-resort/ and https://wdwnt.com/2020/06/disneyland-after-dark-star-wars-nite-postponed-following-star-was-celebration-cancellation/

Many of you listening to this episode will be listening after the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort opens on June 18th! This marks the second resort, after Shanghai Disneyland, to officially open to the public. While it was the latest to be announced, it will be open weeks before any of the US parks. Preperations have been going on for about a month to be ready for the opening. Once Disneyland opens in California, there are just two remaining resorts to open in the world: Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland. – https://www.micechat.com/261626-disneyland-update-reopening-questions-reader-photos-splash-concerns/

Orange County has dropped the requirement for face masks to be worn when outside of your home. The new order is a “strong recommendation” to wear a mask. Essential emplyees are still required to wear a mask. Although the county no longer requires it, Disneyland will require masks when the parks reopen, and we highly recommend wearing a mask when possible. – https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/06/11/news-orange-county-california-is-no-longer-requiring-face-coverings/

The Indiana Jones Adventure just passed its 25th anniversary on March 3rd, and a new puzzle celebrates the milestone. This Disney Parks signature 1,000 piece puzzle is currently available at Disney Springs in Florida. No word on if this puzzle will make it to World of Disney in Downtown Disney when it reopens on July 9th. – https://wdwnt.com/2020/06/photos-new-indiana-jones-adventure-25th-anniversary-disney-parks-signature-puzzle-swings-in-to-disney-springs/

June 22nd will mark the 50th anniversary of the Walt Disney Archives. For D23 members, this means that you can sign up to virtually attend the premiere of a new documentary Adventure Thru the Walt Disney Archives. The film is hosted by oriducer Don Hahn and premieres exclusevly to D23 Gold Members on June 27th. The movie browses through the collection from the theme parks to the studio lot. – https://d23.com/just-announced-new-documentary-adventure-thru-the-walt-disney-archives-to-premiere-exclusively-for-d23-members/

Disney had released the preview for the next set of Minnie the Main Attraction merchandise, which was set to debut next month. For now, Disney has announced that Minnie is taking the summer off and so new releases of this line are postponed to a later date. The collection has had the months replaced with the new “Series 6 through 12” naming. The previewed collection included designs based on King Arthur’s Carousel. – https://wdwnt.com/2020/06/photo-sneak-peek-at-new-king-arthur-carousel-collection-for-the-minnie-mouse-the-main-attraction-series-7-release/ and https://www.shopdisney.com/minnie-the-main-attraction-content/

With the protests the last few weeks for the Black Lives Matter movement, there has been a call for Disney to re-theme one of the parks most iconic attractions. Splash Mountain is based off of Song of the South, a movie from 1946 which contains a lot of out of date references to black people. The Disney Company has not released the movie in the US since before the attraction even opened in the late 1980s. The proposal from the public is to re-theme the attractiion to Princess and the Frog. – https://www.micechat.com/261626-disneyland-update-reopening-questions-reader-photos-splash-concerns/ and https://wdwnt.com/2020/06/disney-parks-fans-petition-for-splash-mountain-to-be-re-themed-into-princess-and-the-frog-attraction-due-to-racial-stereotypes/

Discussion Topic:

Splash Mountain Retheme

YouTube Video with music overlay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khCBrj4SpD0

Twitter Post with details: https://twitter.com/FreddyFromBatuu/status/1270456546665697280

Song of the South Podcast Episodes: http://www.youmustrememberthispodcast.com/episodes/2019/10/21/six-degrees-of-song-of-the-south-episode-1-disneys-most-controversial-film

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