It seems as though we have tons of exciting Disney news to bring you on a daily basis now! With tons of announcements coming out of the parks, studios, and streaming, we want to make sure you’re all caught up!
There’s A LOT to catch up on today, so let’s get started!
Disney Springs Will REOPEN on May 20, With Limited Availability
It was announced on Thursday that Disney Springs, the shopping and dining district in Disney World, will reopen on May 20. In an announcement made by Disney, “a limited number of shopping and dining experiences that are owned by third-party operating participants will begin to open during this initial phase.” So, we should not expect any of Disney’s stores, including World of Disney, to be a part of this initial reopening phase.
Guests can also expect to experience “limitations on capacity, parking and operating hours.” We should expect to see “increased cleaning procedures” as well as “the use of appropriate face coverings by both Cast Members and Guests.” This is a significant development in Disney’s gradual reopening around the world.
Shanghai Disneyland Prepares to Open SOON!
After previously reporting on fireworks testings being spotted at Shanghai Disneyland, Disney announced Shanghai Disneyland will be reopening its doors May 11th!
Guests will have to submit to temperature checks, contact tracing, and wear masks during their visit. Likewise, Cast Members will wear masks at all times. Face characters will be allowed to refrain from wearing masks, but will keep their distance at all times.
Disney Exec’s Host Their Quarterly Earnings Call
The news of Shanghai’s reopening came about during a Quarterly Earnings Call that took place on May 5. Executive Chairman and former CEO Bob Iger, CEO Bob Chapek, and CFO Christine McCarthy led the call to discuss the impact the Company has been experiencing due to current events.
In addition to the Shanghai news, Chapek and the others shared the overall financial picture of Disney, including the significant losses that had been assumed prior to today’s call. Discussions were had surrounding all four business segments: Media Networks, Parks, Experiences and Products, Studio Entertainment, and Direct-to-Consumer and International. Despite the bleak financial picture, including a withholding of dividends for the time being, all three leaders shared their gratitude to the health care workers across the globe in addition to their employees.
Disney World Does Not Have A Reopening Date
While we await one Disney park to reopen soon, another park has spoken up regarding the status of their closure. As we’ve been following the meetings taking place with the Reopening Business Group and Bringing Back Tourism Group in Florida, we are starting to gain more insight into their outlook on when the parks could possibly reopen.
On the reopening of business, Thomas Mazloum, Disney World’s Senior Vice President of Resort & Transportation Operations mentioned, “We do not have an opening date yet…I want to make it clear.”
He went on to point out that even though Disney World is accepting reservations for the month of June, it does not mean that they’ll reopen at that time. These sentiments were echoed by representatives from Universal Orlando Resort and from SeaWorld, who have also not made any decisions yet on when their parks may reopen.
California to Move into Stage Two of Reopening the State This Week
As states across the nation look to reopen their businesses, California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced the beginning of Stage Two Reopening to begin on Friday, May 8.
In the early phases of Stage Two, only limited retail will open with curbside pickup and delivery available. This will also extend to the manufacturers and supply chains associated with those retail industries. Later phases of Stage Two may include seated dining and shopping malls. There is no word yet on whether those later phases would include Downtown Disney.
Universal Orlando CityWalk May Reopen Next Week
As the state of Florida and Orange County began reopening retail and dining locations on Monday, May 4, speculation is building as to when we may see news regarding a reopening of Disney Springs and CityWalk, two prominent shopping and dining districts in the Orlando area.
News emerged this week that employees of some dining locations in CityWalk received word that their restaurants would reopen on Monday, May 11. We have yet to hear any official announcement from or Universal or from these dining locations.
SeaWorld Announces Tier Upgrade for Annual Passholders
While all Orlando theme parks remain closed at this time, there have been many conversations about how the parks can make the guest experience better once the parks do reopen. This week, SeaWorld announced a FREE annual pass upgrade.
Those who have not deferred their monthly payments will be upgraded by one tier level for the remainder of the term of their annual pass, at no additional cost.
Carnival announces a plan to resume partial departures in August
While we have reported on the news of Disney Cruise Line continuing to cancel upcoming departures into the summer season, other cruise companies are announcing their plans to resume travel.
Carnival Cruises announced a plan that will resume cruising of some select sailings beginning August 1, 2020. Ports included in this announcement are Port Canaveral and the Port of Miami.
New Star Wars Film Announced
We got word of a HUGE announcement when it comes to upcoming film projects from Disney! We learned on May the 4th that a new Star Wars film is in the works!
The film will be directed and co-written by Academy Award-winning writer and director Taika Waititi! He previously directed the finale of Disney+’s The Mandalorian, so he’s no stranger to Star Wars! Not much else is known about this film at this time, but we can’t wait to keep an eye on this project as it develops!
Directors Announced for Season 2 of The Mandalorian
In even MORE Star Wars news, we’re starting to hear more and more details emerge about season 2 of the smash-hit Disney+ series The Mandalorian. Any news that has to do with Baby Yoda is headliner news to us!
We’re starting to learn about the directors attached to the upcoming season, including Robert Rodriguez.
We’ll still have to wait until the fall to see season 2 unfold, but until then we can check out Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian for a behind the scenes look at the first season!
Tons of May the 4th News, Merch, and Internet Woes!
With May the 4th being adopted as “Star Wars Day”, there was a bunch of exciting news stories and merchandise to appear this week. We saw heartwarming messages from the leaders of Disneyland and Disney World.
We also saw the latest Star Wars merchandise hit the internet. To no one’s surprise, demand for these items was extremely high, with shopDisney experiencing technical difficulties and Build-A-Bear posting wait times of over an hour to shop the restock of the Baby Yoda plush!
We also saw the latest Her Universe Minnie Ears disappear in a flash!
It seems the love of Star Wars isn’t dying down any time soon!
We hope we helped get you up to speed on all the Disney news you might have missed. Even though the parks are closed, we’re still getting LOADS of Disney news to share each week, so check back with us for all the latest in and out of the parks!
How did you celebrate May the 4th this year? Let us know in the comments!