Will the DVC Tower at Disneyland Hotel be Worth the Wait?
For this, the 100th Episode of The Disney Travel Podcast at 1923 Main Street we've switched to a brand-new 15-minute news format. Join us for the very latest Disney travel news and exactly what it means for you.
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Mickey's ToonTown is Closing
Mickey's Toontown at Disneyland Parks is going to be reimagined with new experiences and more play areas for young families, including grassy lawns. It closes in March 2022 and will reopen in early 2023 alongside Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway.
One of the new areas coming to Mickey’s Toontown will be CenTOONial Park, the first space Guests will see when they enter. This natural space will be anchored by two interactive play experiences. At the center of CenTOONial Park will be a fountain, designed for play, which will also become a center icon for Mickey’s Toontown. As its base, water tables will invite Guests to play with the water and have a sensory experience. At night, the fountain will be brought to life in a unique spectacle.
A nearby dreaming tree will be inspired by the tree a young Walt Disney would daydream under in his hometown. Sculpted tree roots will provide an opportunity for children to play, crawl and explore, and undulating topography will offer rolling hills and a place to sit and dream.
Here's an update on the new DVC tower at Disneyland Hotel themed after stories of being a Disney artist, from sketching styles of Walt Disney himself to rooms based on original drawings from classic Disney films like Sleeping Beauty. Plus a very kid-friendly pool area.
News From Destination D23
At Destination D23, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro revealed Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will open summer 2022 at EPCOT as part of the Walt Disney World Resort 50th Anniversary celebration. This new family-friendly coaster matches the “grandosity” and fun of the blockbuster “Guardians of the Galaxy” films in what will be one of the longest fully enclosed coasters in the world. an intergalactic chase through time and space. And it features a reverse launch!
At Disneyland Resort, the next evolution of Downtown Disney District is being planned with work starting in January 2022. The multi-year project to reimagine Downtown Disney District will include an even broader collection of shopping, dining and entertainment experiences. More details are coming in 2022!
Galactic Starcruiser March 2022, but there are soft launches earlier in February.
Live entertainment is coming back almost everywhere, including shows and Festival of Fantasy Parade in early 2022.
Also, “World of Color” and “Fantasmic!” are returning to the Disneyland Resort next year, along with the “Main Street Electrical Parade”.
MagicBands are Coming to Disneyland (finally)
This will mark the first time MagicBand+ will be available at Disneyland Resort. Some of the features of MagicBand+ will vary between Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort but they haven't shared details yet. The “Hey, Disney!” voice assistant will work alongside Alexa on Amazon Echo devices and also will begin rolling out to Guest rooms across the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort.
Disney Imagineers are working on bringing characters – of all sizes – to life in authentic ways at Disney Parks and right now they’re developing a full-body exoskeleton system they’ve nicknamed “Project EXO.” It’s still in early concept development and Josh and team shared a glimpse at what the future of Disney Parks may look like!
EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays
The 2021 festival will run from November 26 through Dec. 30, 2021. It celebrates holiday traditions from around the globe, with a variety of yuletide decorations, family-friendly activities, and the return of the beloved long-standing tradition of “Candlelight Processional.”
What are holidays without delicious food and drink? The 14 Holiday Kitchens are scattered throughout all 11 World Showcase pavilions and beyond offering returning fan-favorites and delicious classic holiday dishes and festive beverages.
The fun Holiday Cookie Stroll is back this year with a sweet cookie scavenger hunt. The Festival Passport lists the five official Holiday Cookie Stroll locations, and each stop will offer a delicious cookie for purchase and a stamp for your Festival Passport. Once Guests have collected all five stamps, they can bring their Festival Passport to the Holiday Sweets & Treats Holiday Kitchen to receive a 50th anniversary celebration cookie! Guests can complete their Holiday Cookie Stroll at their leisure – they can even bring back their stamped Festival Passport to EPCOT at any time during the festival to complete their stroll.
In The American Adventure rotunda, EPCOT pastry chefs have recreated the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and The American Adventure building in miniature gingerbread versions.
Also at Epcot, a new Walt Disney statue in the World Celebration area is likely to become a hot spot for photos. Dreamer's Point near Spaceship Earth will basically be the Partners of this park.
More Fun PhotoPass Lenses!
WDW has launched even more Disney PhotoPass Lenses! These new Lenses, along with our current collection, are available through the My Disney Experience app with a purchase of Disney Genie+ service.
The Disney Wish will have two new stage shows: Sieze the Adventure will feature Captain Minnie and a new live action adaptation of The Little Mermaid with a new take on the story.
In related news, Disney Cruise Line has announced that guests 5 and older must be fully vaccinated to sail as of January 13, 2022 and Adventures by Disney January 12, 2022. We will see how this all plays out given Florida legislation.
Mirabel from ‘Encanto’ Joins Disney ¡Viva Navidad! During Disney Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure Park.
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Mike Belobradic and Amelia Belobradic
About the Editor
Mike Belobradic is the founder of the 1923 Main Street® Disney Travel Podcast and the Luxury Disney Travel Blog.