DLW 153: Our Dream Disney Park

October 14, 2020

This week, two popular shows have come to an end, Disney Park’s Doctor disagrees with the state, health secret shoppers, a yummy treat has returned, the resort improved health preparedness, we talk about our perfect Dream Disney Park, and more!

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Two shows at the Disneyland Resort have ended their run. Frozen: Live at the Hyperion, and Mickey and the Magical Map will not be returning when the parks eventually reopen. As of the recording of the podcast, none of the members of the American Guild of Variety Artists have been laid off, but just notified that the shows have ended thri run. Two hundred and fourteen AGVA members are affected by this news. Mickey and the Magical map debuted in 2013 and Frozen debuted in 2016. – https://www.micechat.com/272572-disneyland-update-dont-count-on-christmas/ and https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/10/12/two-popular-disneyland-resort-shows-will-reportedly-not-reopen-with-the-parks/ and https://www.ocregister.com/2020/10/12/disneyland-to-layoff-200-actors-as-frozen-live-and-mickey-and-the-magical-map-close-amid-pandemic/

Last week, just after we posted the podcast, Dr. Pamela Hymel posted a response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s comments about following the science in regards to keeping the parks closed for now. Her message stated “We absolutely reject the suggestion that reopening the Disneyland Resort is incompatible with a “health-first” approach. The fact is, that since March we have taken a robust science-based approach to responsibly reopening our parks and resorts across the globe. Our health and safety protocols were developed in consultation with epidemiologists and data scientists, and after considering guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and experts in local government and health agencies. All of our other theme parks both in the United States and around the world have been allowed to open on the strength of our proven ability to operate with responsible health and safety protocols.” – https://twitter.com/DisneyParksNews/status/1314023556720648192

Disney CEO Bob Chapek was recently on CNBC and commented on the continued closure of Disneyland. When asked about the negotiations with the state, Chapek replied “It’s not much of a negotiation, it’s pretty much a mandate that we stay closed. You know, I look across our Disney properties whether it be Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris, Walt Disney World, the Disney bubble for the NBA, and all that I see is that we’ve been able to open up responsibly using the guidelines that healthcare experts have given us. As a result, we’ve been very, very successful at reopening without having issues that would preclude us from staying open. It would seem to me that the guidelines that are set up by the state of California are more stringent than any states across the country. If you look at the history of Disney, and what we’ve been able to do during the reopening rather than arbitrary standards that are set up without regard to what actual fact is, and what we’ve been able to do as a company, I think you might come to a different decision about reopening Disneyland.” – https://blogmickey.com/2020/10/disney-ceo-theres-no-negotiations-with-state-of-california-its-a-mandate-that-we-stay-closed/

Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom sent a team to Walt Disney World to see first hand how the parks were handling being open to the public during the pandemic. They visited like “secret shoppers” and did not inform the parks that they were coming or who they were. Newsom hopes that this will help the state come up with guidelines to open the theme parks in the state. – https://www.ocregister.com/2020/10/12/newsoms-team-heading-to-disney-world-to-inspect-reopening-protocols/ and https://www.ocregister.com/2020/10/12/state-agencies-plan-visits-of-california-theme-parks-this-week-to-develop-reopening-plans/

Over in Walt Disney World, the My Disney Experience App, which is much like the Disneyland mobile app, has added some push notifications to inform guests about properly wearing masks. The notice links to the specific guidelines that Disney has setup on how to wear the masks properly. – https://blogmickey.com/2020/10/my-disney-experience-push-notification-mirrors-resort-wide-messaging-about-proper-face-covering-usage/

In addition to the push notifications, signs have appeared arounf the resort to inform guests that if they do not wear the masks properly, they can, and will, be asked to leave. This is a much more direct approach to enforcing the guest policy than has been utilized up to this point. – https://blogmickey.com/2020/10/new-disney-world-signage-reminds-guests-that-they-will-be-asked-to-leave-for-not-following-face-mask-policy/

Tortilla Jo’s has been open in Downtown Disney for a while now, but the quick service window hasn’t been. That seems to be changing soon. Signage has been posted at the location stating that it is “opening soon”. – https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/10/07/news-taqueria-at-tortilla-jos-is-reopening-soon-at-disneyland-resort/

For those of you missing the corn dogs from the parks, a venue has reopened in Downtown Disney that can help you with your craving. Blue Ribbon Corn Dogs has opened their outdoor vending cart. There are a few options to choose from like Panko coated, classic, or kid sized. There is even a “Golden Dragon” which comes with a Sriracha Aioli and sweet Thai chili. – https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/10/12/news-blue-ribbon-corn-dogs-has-officially-reopened-in-disneylands-downtown-disney/

Some spooky flavors have arrived at Downtown Disney for the Halloween season. Salt and Straw has brought back it’s “Ice Scream Series” of flavors. Options include the Great Candycopia, which has salted butterscotch ice cream with candy bars, crisp shortbread, nutty nougat, caramel, chocolate, peanut butter, pecans, and a bourbon vanilla toffee. For the more adventurous, the Creepy Crawly Critters⁠ has matcha ice cream, toffee-brittle mealworms, and chocolate crickets. – https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/10/11/salt-and-straws-spine-chilling-halloween-flavors-have-returned-to-disneylands-downtown-disney-with-insect-ice-cream/

Face masks have become almost as much of a fashion statement as Mickey and Minnie Ears! Some new designs have shown up at the resort and include Coco, Buzz Lightyear, Jack Skellington and more! – https://dlnewstoday.com/2020/10/photos-new-up-coco-buzz-lightyear-its-a-small-world-nightmare-before-christmas-marvel-and-mickey-face-masks-debut-at-disney-parks/

Cast Members at Disneyland now have three options for COVID-19 testing available to them. Working cast members who believe they are symptomatic or may have been in close contact at work with someone infected with COVID-19 can visit their local CVS drug store drive-thru starting on Friday, October 9 to get tested. Another option is an at-home, mail-in COVID-19 test, available starting on October 26 for all working and returning Disneyland resort employees who believe they are symptomatic or have been exposed to the virus at work. Working employees can request a mail-in test as often as once a week. These new options add to the existing option of being tested at an Anaheim clinic. – https://www.ocregister.com/2020/10/09/disneyland-offers-free-drive-thru-covid-19-testing-for-employees-working-during-theme-park-closure/ and https://dlnewstoday.com/2020/10/disneyland-now-offering-free-covid-19-testing-for-local-cast-members/

Orange County Health Care Agency officials visited the Disneyland Resort last week and made some recommendations to the resort on how they could improve their preparedness for reopening. Some of the newly adopted recommendations include adding Spanish language signage with health and safety information, placing ground markings outside restrooms to help reduce cross traffic of guests, and adding more hand sanitizing stations at attractions. The resort has been working closely with the Orange County Health Care Agency since the pandemic began. – https://www.ocregister.com/2020/10/09/disneyland-adopts-recommendations-from-county-health-agency-after-tour-of-theme-parks/

Disney Paper Parks Happy Haunts Edition has released a second part of the series. This time, crafters can cut out and assemble cup sleeves, napkin rings, placemats and small snack or candy boxes inspired by some of the great interior details of the Haunted Mansion. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2020/10/disney-parks-blog-presents-disney-paper-parks-happy-haunts-edition-designed-by-walt-disney-imagineering-part-2/

The Disney Parks Blog has posted some fun crafts and activities to do when Home Bound during the pandemic for the Halloween Season. From the Sanderson Sisters potion, to a Jack Skellington homemade garland, there is something for everyone. Head on over to the link in our show notes to have some stay-at-home Halloween fun! – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2020/10/disneyhallomoments-enjoy-some-haunting-disney-magic-moments-with-our-very-first-and-very-spooky-homebound-days/

Another movie from Disney is skipping the theaters and heading straight to Disney+ this holiday season. Soul, the latest Disney/Pixar film, was originally delayed, and now has been pushed to Disney+, much like Mulan earlier this year. Unlike Mulan, there will not be a Premiere Access purchase required to watch it when it debuts on Christmas Day. – https://dlnewstoday.com/2020/10/breaking-disney-and-pixars-soul-streaming-exclusively-on-disney-december-25/

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