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25% of Disney’s layoffs are coming from Disney World

Last week Disney announced they would be laying off 28,000 employees. At least a quarter of the layoffs planned will come from Florida according to a letter the company filed with state and local officials last week.

At least 6,390 nonunion Disney employees in Florida will be laid off starting in early December. The number of Florida layoffs, though, could grow as the company negotiates terms with a coalition of unions that represents 43,000 employees at Walt Disney World.

“Due to the continuing business impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the very difficult decision to reduce our workforce,” Jim Bowden, a Disney vice president of employee relations said in the letter.

Two-thirds of the planned layoffs involve part-time workers and they range from salaried employees to hourly workers.

Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experience and Products, sent a letter to employees last week as well regarding the layoffs. He cited California’s “unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen” as exacerbating the company’s situation that led to the layoffs.

Source

The post 25% of Disney’s layoffs are coming from Disney World appeared first on Chip and Company.

From our friends at chipandco.com
Filed Under: News, Parks & Resorts, Walt Disney World, COVID-19, Disney layoffs, Florida, Jim Bowden, Josh D’Amaro

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News: Disney Is Suing Orange County in Florida Over Property Tax Appraisal

Walt Disney World takes up thousands upon thousands of acres in Florida.

News: Disney Is Suing Orange County in Florida Over Property Tax Appraisal

Cinderella Castle

And it should come as no surprise that Disney has to pay a LOT of taxes on said acreage.

But, according to The Orlando Sentinel, the amount of money Disney should pay in property tax, is well, to be debated.

News: Disney Is Suing Orange County in Florida Over Property Tax Appraisal

Spaceship Earth

Disney is suing Property Appraiser Rick Singh over its property taxes, saying that its 2019 property tax appraisals were too high. The company has filed a dozen lawsuits in the Orange Circuit Court.

News: Disney Is Suing Orange County in Florida Over Property Tax Appraisal

Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom

According to Singh spokeswoman Beth Watson, “[Walt Disney World] had been undervalued for decades by previous property appraisers.” Meanwhile, Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Wahler said, “As we have shared before and as a matter of public record, we have challenged the property appraiser’s assessments and we will continue to dispute the errors by the property appraiser as any property owner in Orange County would do.”

News: Disney Is Suing Orange County in Florida Over Property Tax Appraisal

Cinderella Castle Makeover Was Stopped Due to the Halt in Construction

According to Disney’s lawsuit, Singh listed the value for EPCOT at $539 million, Magic Kingdom at $504, Animal Kingdom at $435 million, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at $394 million. Disney didn’t say what it thought its resort’s value was, but called Singh’s numbers “excessive.”

News: Disney Is Suing Orange County in Florida Over Property Tax Appraisal

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Lawsuits between Disney and the Orange County Property Appraiser’s Office are a regular occurrence. According to the Sentinel, this has been happening every single spring since 2016, and Disney has “dozens of court cases”  pending.

News: Disney Is Suing Orange County in Florida Over Property Tax Appraisal

Epcot Monorail

When this latest lawsuit gets resolved, you KNOW we’ll keep you updated.

What do you think of Disney’s latest lawsuit? Let us know in the comments!

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
Filed Under: Animal Kingdom, Disney News, disney parks, disney’s hollywood studios, Epcot, Featured, magic kingdom, Walt Disney World, Disney, disney lawsuit, Disney World, Lawsuit, Orange County Property Appraiser’s Office, Orlando Sentinel, property taxes, Rick Singh, taxes

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How Many Guests Do The Disney Parks Need to Turn a Profit?

Disney World and Disneyland will be implementing many costly new procedures to help ensure the safety of guests and Cast Members upon the reopening of their theme parks.

How Many Guests Do The Disney Parks Need to Turn a Profit?

Disney World

All of these potential health measures and capacity cuts mean that Disney could be in a tough position — losing money to be able to make it again. Prior to the reopening announcement, we explored the financial impacts of opening the theme parks versus keeping them closed. With the parks officially reopening, some analysts are noting what Disney will need to do to make money again.

Disney hasn’t and won’t be generating anywhere close to the pre-closure levels of revenue in the Parks, Experience, and Products sector for a while. In an earnings call that took place last month, Disney CEO Bob Chapek noted that the company would not reopen any park unless it would ultimately generate profit.

How Many Guests Do The Disney Parks Need to Turn a Profit?

It’s Chewbacca!

So, with the Disney World parks reopening and Disneyland set to follow soon after, Disney may have determined what levels of capacity the parks need to maintain to keep a profit going. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Bernstein analyst Todd Juengar has estimated that Disney will need to maintain 25 percent of normal [pre-global health crisis] run-rate attendance to turn a profit.

How Many Guests Do The Disney Parks Need to Turn a Profit?

Magic Kingdom Sign

The 25% attendance assertion is interesting. Disney has not made any indication as to how steeply park capacity will be reduced. If Juengar is correct, we may see it cut down to that 25% figure. Disneyland Shanghai saw a similar capacity decrease with a figure somewhere below 30% pre-closure attendance.

When we looked into this topic a month ago, we noted that at current operating cost, Disney would be operating at a loss if they lowered capacity by any more than 28%. Still, we also explored the fact that operating costs will greatly decrease as well with the continued closure of many attractions, resort hotels, dining experiences, and more. Take into account the cuts to operational costs and a less than 30% capacity opening starts to seem likely.

How Many Guests Do The Disney Parks Need to Turn a Profit?

Cinderella Castle

Again, Disney executives have explained that they do not intend to publicly release reopening capacity figures at this time. It seems that we’ll have to determine if Juengar (and our) predictions are right once the parks reopen and we can see how crowded (or not-crowded) they are. Chapek said that guests would have to be “lucky enough” to access the new theme park reservation system, so we can assume that capacity will be significantly limited — maybe even all the way down to 25%.

Do you think Disney will make or lose money when they open their theme parks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
Filed Under: Animal Kingdom, disney california adventure, Disney News, disney parks, disney’s hollywood studios, Disneyland, Epcot, Featured, magic kingdom, News, analyst, crowds, Disney World, how many guests, how many people, limited capacity, losing money, profitability, reduced capacity, ticket sales, turn a profit

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Chairman of Disney Parks Experiences and Products Josh D’Amaro issues a statement on reopening of Disneyland

Chairman of Disney Parks Experiences and Products Josh D’Amaro issues a statement on reopening of Disneyland josh d'amaro

We are getting closer to the Disneyland Resort reopening as Disney proposed a phased reopening beginning July 9th. Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks Experiences and Products, issued a statement today. Check it out below:

“With the announcement of the proposed reopening dates for the Disneyland Resort, we are one more exciting step closer to reopening all of our Disney parks and experiences around the world. Throughout the past few weeks, we have reopened Shanghai Disneyland, Disney Springs and several Disney stores, and set dates for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts, with more announcements coming soon.

We are purposefully taking baby steps during this very intentional phased approach. As one of the first major theme parks to close our operations and the last to reopen, we have been deliberate about keeping the health and safety of our cast, guests and local communities top of mind. And as we look forward to bringing our cast members back to work, and welcoming you back as cherished guests – we know it will take all of us working together responsibly to recapture the magic.

We’re fortunate to be guided by a talented team of professionals who’ve helped us implement a variety of new health and safety measures reflecting the guidance of local health and government authorities. These are designed with both the cast and guests in mind for the unique environments of each of our parks, resorts and stores.

While certain aspects of your visit may change, I assure you the quality of our storytelling, magic of our experiences and the caliber of our cast members has not. We recognize the trust that you have in the Disney brand, and we will continue to earn your trust every day.

My confidence comes in part from all of the hard work our teams have been doing behind the scenes in the past few months… as well as by the early successes we have seen at Shanghai Disneyland, the first of our theme parks to reopen. Guest satisfaction has been extremely high, and we will continue to make sure that as we bring back experiences, our attention to promoting your safety, maintaining your trust and providing unique ways for you to come together with family and friends to create new memories remains high as well.

Walt Disney once said that it takes people to make the dream a reality, and as we prepare ourselves to reopen his original park, I want you to know how eternally grateful I am for all of you who have made Disney parks, stores, hotels, cruise lines, guided tours and vacation properties part of your lives, as well as for the cast members, crew members, Imagineers, and employees who have brought them to life for the past 65 years.

I know this has been a difficult year due to the impacts of COVID-19, but I can’t help but feel a great sense of hope and optimism. And like many of you, I look forward to hearing the laughter and seeing the joy of families making memories together… and I can’t wait to see you when the magic returns to all of our parks and resorts.

Be well,
Josh”

Who else is super excited for Disneyland Resort to reopen?!

From our friends at chipandco.com
Filed Under: News, Disneyland, Parks & Resorts, COVID-19, Disney Parks Experiences and Products, Disneyland Reopening, Disneyland Resort, Josh D’Amaro

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Creepy or Very Cool? Disney Just Filed a Patent for More Realistic and Advanced Skin for Robots and Animatronics!

Disney is always working on some crazy new tech, and WE’RE always looking out for their newest innovations!

Hondo Ohnaka

Imagineers have been doing a lot of work on tech for the parks and a LOT of that has to do with robotics. Disney is at the forefront of animatronic and entertainment robotics engineering, so they come up with crazy new inventions ALL THE TIME. Recently, we’ve spotted a realistic robot handshake and a patent for an autonomous park-roaming robot. Today, we spotted a NEW patent and this one focuses on a robot’s…skin? You read that right! Take a look!

Disney cranks out patents like nobodies business, but they don’t all apply to the parks. Sometimes they’re coming up with a neat consumer product or a new way to innovate in the film industry. Today though, we spotted a patent for a “Robotics Skin System with Integral Elastomeric Links to Complete Mechanical Linkages.”

©Disney

Now we know what you’re thinking: “What the HECK does that mean???” Essentially, Disney has developed a new skin (yes, like people skin) for their animatronics and robots. The “new” aspect is that this skin system can be used to connect moving parts of the robot instead of with a frame and joints underneath. The best way to visualize this is to think of a robotic octopus tentacle that has no mechanical bones.

©Disney

We apologize for the following illustration because it IS horrifying, but it’s a pretty good explanation of how this tech could be used. In a humanoid robot, the skin system could be used as a face made of latex (or similar material) with stiffened areas to connect to the motorized and robotic aspects, rather than the more traditional “robot skeleton” with a rubber skin stretched over it.

©Disney

We’re not sure if that’s cool or creepy, but we are leaning towards the cool side. This is definitely the kind of tech that Disney could apply with new animatronics in their theme parks so it will be interesting to see what sort of bots are developed in the coming years!

We’ll be keeping a close eye on new Disney tech, so follow along with us to make sure you know all about the new innovations!

What do you think of this amazing new tech? Tell us in the comments! 

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
Filed Under: Disney News, disney parks, Featured, News, Animatronics, Audio-Animatronics, Disney innovation, Disney Patent, Disney Tech, Imagineering, Robot skin

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Rumored: Marvel Studios and Sony Have Reached a New ‘Spider-Man’ Deal

Rumored: Marvel Studios and Sony Have Reached a New ‘Spider-Man’ Deal. Marvel Fans have been waiting to hear about the fate of one of the most iconic Marvel Superheroes, Spider-Man. For a time, it appeared negotiations had gone sour between Disney and Sony regarding the use of Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and it was feared that we had seen the last of the web slinging hero after the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home.

It seems we will hear about an update soon that is bound to make Marvel fans very happy, at least according to Marvel insider, Roger Wardell, who shared the news via Twitter stating, “Disney understands the money-making powers of Spider-Man while Sony is aware of being completely unable to compete with the Mouse at the moment. New agreement should please many Marvel fans.”

Disney understands the money-making powers of Spider-Man while Sony is aware of being completely unable to compete with the Mouse at the moment. New agreement should please many Marvel fans.

— Roger Wardell (@WardellRoger) May 30, 2020

After public outcry from fans, and some intervention from Tom Holland aka Spider-Man himself, Disney and Sony agreed to renegotiate their terms and it seems the studios may have finally reached a new agreement regarding Spidey’s future that benefit the fans and the partnering studios.

Photo Credit: Sony/Marvel Studios

“I am thrilled that Spidey’s journey in the MCU will continue, and I and all of us at Marvel Studios are very excited that we get to keep working on it,” shared Marvel Studios CCO Kevin Feige. “Spider-Man is a powerful icon and hero whose story crosses all ages and audiences around the globe. He also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse you never know what surprises the future might hold.”

The final installment in the Spider-Man Trilogy is currently set to swing into theaters July 16, 2021, but the films release may be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Be sure to check back here at Chip and Company for all things Marvel!

Featured Photo Credit: Marvel Studios/Sony

Source: Roger Wardell/Twitter

From our friends at chipandco.com
Filed Under: Marvel, Movies, News, Marvel Studios, Sony, Spider-man, tom holland

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It’s a VERY Different Shopping Experience Now in the Lego Store in Disney World

There was another wave of stores that have reopened this week at Disney Springs. We were live yesterday at World of Disney, which drew in huge crowds resulting in wait times of up to six hours to shop!

Ears Section of World of Disney

Today we checked out The LEGO Store, which also opened on May 27. Being a store that was centered around hands-on playing with the Legos, shopping here is pretty different now with the new health and safety measurements in place!

Currently, there is only one working entrance to access The LEGO Store.

The only entrance to the LEGO Store

If outdoor queues are necessary, floor markers are present to indicate where guests should stand to maintain a six-foot distance from other parties.

Outside the LEGO Store

Once inside, guests will see additional floor markings to maintain social distancing from other shoppers.

Physical distancing floor markers in the LEGO Store

The store has taken several measures to reduce the number of touchpoints where germs could spread. Their interactive touch screen computers have been turned off. The bins with build-your-own parts for minifigs and Legos for guests to play were also unavailable at this time to reduce touching.

Computers are shut down in the LEGO Store

In addition, guests are NOT allowed to approach the shelves or touch ANY products inside the LEGO Store. This is indicated by taped-off sections of the store.

Taped off floor markings in the LEGO Store

Additional floor markings are present to remind guests to stay on the “yellow” area, in this instance meaning where the yellow floor markings are located. The floor marking reads, “Kindly stay within the yellow area of the floor.”

Guests must stay behind the blue line and not approach merchandise

If a guest wishes to see a product, LEGO Store employees are available to grab the item for them as well as talk about the product and answer any questions the guest may have.

LEGO Store employee shows a product to guests

When a guest is ready to check out, the registers are set up in a way so guests are off to the side of the employee instead of standing right in front of them.

Guests are off to the side of the employee in the LEGO Store

Hand sanitizer is readily available for guests and employees to use at the register.

Payment system in the LEGO Store, off to the side from the employee

Overall, the health and safety protocol at The LEGO Store are highly visible! With no guests permitted to touch or interact with the products, The LEGO Store may feel a little different than what we’re used to. Having employees on hand to interact with the guests though is a nice touch, and still offers guests the opportunity to learn about the products available for purchase.

Take a look at some of the other health and safety protocol we’ve seen at retail shops in Disney Springs here!

Are you planning on visiting Disney Springs in the coming weeks? Will you stop by The LEGO Store, even with these new distancing and no-touch policies in place? Let us know in the comments!

Related posts:

  1. What’s New in Disney Springs — Halloween Cakes, Construction Updates, and Galaxy’s Edge Merch!
  2. NEWS: Anthropologie Will Be Reopening at Disney Springs in Disney World on May 20th
  3. NEWS: STK Orlando Joins the List of Disney Springs Locations Reopening on May 20th

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
Filed Under: Disney News, Disney Springs, Featured, Walt Disney World, disney springs, disney springs reopening, Disney World, lego store, lego store reopening

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News! Legoland Is The First California Theme Park to Propose a Reopening Date

Now that California Governor Gavin Newsom says theme parks may reopen in Phase Three, Legoland has just proposed its reopening date.

Legoland

The theme park located in Carlsbad, California is hoping to reopen on July 1st.

Legoland Florida is set to reopen on June 1st, along with several other Orlando-based theme parks, have announced June reopenings including Universal Studios and potentially SeaWorld. But in California, theme parks aren’t allowed to reopen until at least Stage Three, a phase the state’s health officials are anticipating will happen until June at the earliest.

©SeaWorld

As reported by The Orange County Register, California’s Legoland and SeaWorld were scheduled to meet yesterday, May 27th with San Diego County health officials to discuss what health and safety measures they would be implementing upon reopening (social distancing for guests and staff, increased sanitization, contactless payments, limited capacity, and employee training, etc.), but so far only Legoland has submitted a reopening date.

To see how other theme parks across the world are handling their phased reopening, click here!

©Legoland

Now that Disney World in Florida has submitted its reopening plan and tentative dates, and Legoland in California has proposed a tentative reopening date, we interested to see when Disneyland will make their proposal. As always, we’ll keep you updated as soon as we find out anything!

Read more about the California Governor’s four-phase plan here!

What do you think of Legoland being the first California theme park to propose a reopening date? Let us know in the comments below.

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
Filed Under: Featured, News, california governor, california theme parks, carlsbad, Disneyland, first theme park to reopen, Governor Gavin Newsom, health and safety measures, july 1st, legoland, phase three, proposed reopening, reopening date, seaworld, theme parks

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News! New Walt Disney Company Treasurer Announced

Earlier this month, The Walt Disney Company announced a wave of leadership shifts.

Disney Springs

These changes included appointing new park presidents for both Disney World and Disneyland, naming Josh D’Amaro the Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, and shifting Rebecca Campbell into the role of Chairman for the Direct-To Consumer sector. And now, Disney announced a change to its financial leadership.

Shortly after news broke that the Disney World parks were proposed to reopen in July after being closed since March, Deadline reported that The Walt Disney Company has appointed a new treasurer.

Cinderella Castle

Previous senior vice president, Treasurer, Jonathan Headley, is retiring and finance executive, Carlos Gómez, has been promoted to take his place. Gómez will report to the Chief Financial Officer, Christine McCarthy, and will oversee Disney’s “corporate finance, liquidity management, capital markets, and banking activities,” among other roles.

Disney Springs

Gómez has been a member of the Walt Disney Co. team for 22 years and has served as the vice president of Investor Relations since 2011. He commented on his new position stating, “I look forward to leveraging my experience in this new role…to ensure the company has the access to capital necessary to execute on its strategic priorities, and to help guide the team through this unprecedented time.”

Walt Disney World

McCarthy referred to Gómez as “an exceptionally talented and versatile finance executive,” and noted Headley “leaves behind an impressive legacy which includes an outstanding treasury organization and strong roster of talent…of which Carlos is a tremendous example.”

You can read more about how The Walt Disney Company’s new leadership affected stock ratings here!

What do you think of Disney’s new leadership changes? Let us know in the comments below.

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
Filed Under: Disney News, disney parks, Featured, News, Disney, Disney Company, disney executives, Disney Leadership, Disney World, Disneyland, disny co, the walt disney co, the walt disney company, walt disney co, walt disney company, walt disney leadership team

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News! Paradiso 37 in Disney Springs Has New Operating Hours

There have been a ton of announcements about the Disney World theme parks today, but there’s news coming out of Disney Springs as well!

Paradiso 37 Outside View

Disney Springs began a phased reopening on May 20th, with select third-party shopping and dining locations welcoming back guests.

Paradiso 37 is one of the Disney Springs dining locations that reopened on May 20th. But while they’ve previously opened their doors at 4 PM each day, they announced that they will open at noon starting tomorrow, May 28th!

Wall of Tequila in the Paradiso 37 Downstairs Bar

We saw much more activity at Disney Springs today with the reopening of World of Disney, Marketplace Co-Op, and D-Luxe BurgerWe’ll keep an eye out for other changes and updates about Disney Springs, so stay tuned!

Here are the 8 biggest Disney Springs menu changes that happened this week!

Have you dined at Paradiso 37? Share your experience in the comments!

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
Filed Under: Disney Springs, Featured, Table-Service, Walt Disney World, dining, Disney, disney dining, disney reservations, disney restaurant, disney springs, disney springs dining, disney springs reopen, disney springs reopening, disney springs restaurant, Disney World, Disney World reopening, disney world resort, Paradiso 37, reopening, walt disney world resort

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Disney CEO Bob Chapek talks to CNBC on Disney World Reopening

disney world

Today Disney submitted their plans for reopening the Walt Disney World theme parks. Disney CEO Bob Chapek spoke to CNBC to talk about those plans.

Chapek said he would like the reopening experience to be as “quintessentially Disney” as possible. He also stated that Disney wanted to proceed with the reopening in the most responsible way possible.

Chapek did not discuss any specific number or percentage in terms of what “limited capacity” constituted, but this is because there is no government guidance as to theme park density. The number of people Disney allows into the park will be a function of the CDC’s 6-foot social distancing rule.

Observations and guidance in the first phase of reopenings will help determine increasing the number of guests allowed in the parks in later phases. Overall Disney doesn’t expect demand to be impacted.

Walt Disney World hotels are scheduled to reopen July 11 but Chapek did say not all hotels will reopen then. Disney is temporarily pausing new ticket sales and hotel reservations in order to focus on guests with existing tickets and reservations.

You can watch the whole interview below:

From our friends at chipandco.com
Filed Under: News, Parks & Resorts, Walt Disney World, bob chapek, CNBC, Disney World Reopening

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Disney Stores Near YOU Will Be Reopening “VERY SOON!” See the Details HERE!

What a day! We were LIVE at the reopening of World of Disney in Disney Springs AND Disney World shared their reopening plan!

World of Disney

While we got a firsthand look at what it’s like to experience the reopened World of Disney, it didn’t take long for Disney to share a reopening plan for Disney Store locations around the world!

Disney shared that select Disney Store locations will begin reopening in the coming weeks. 

Disney Store Reopening Announcement ©Disney

Disney stated guests can check their Store Locator to see when their local stores will be open.

Stores will follow many of the same protocols we’ve seen in World of Disney when they reopen. Most notably, guests three and up will be required to wear a mask at all times (and Disney specified guests must provide their own masks) as well as maintain physical distancing while in the stores.

World of Disney Distancing Sticker

Capacity will be limited in the stores and hours may be limited. Also of note — Limited Release merchandise will NOT be released in-store and special in-store events will be halted for the time being.

Limited Releases like the Minnie Mouse Main Attraction Collection Won’t Be Released in Disney Stores Initially

The stores will also be cleaned more frequently and hand sanitizer will be readily available to guests. Contactless payment will also be available.

We’ll keep you posted as we learn more about Disney Stores reopening near you!

Click here to see our full coverage of the reopening of World of Disney (and more!)

Are you excited to see Disney Stores reopening? Let us know in the comments! 

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
Filed Under: disney merchandise, Disney News, Featured, News, Special Stuff, contactless payment, Disney reopening, disney store, masks, reopening disney stores, sanitizer, World of Disney

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Orange County Mayor Endorses Walt Disney World’s Reopening Plan – Submitted to Governor DeSantis for Final Approval

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings has just endorsed Walt Disney World’s Reopening Plan. This means that the reopening plan is on it’s way to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for Final Approval.

Walt Disney World Resort proposal plans for Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom to begin a phased reopening to the general public on July 11th, followed by EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15th.

Because theme park capacity will be significantly limited as Disney welcomes guests back to the magic, they will manage attendance through a new theme park reservation system that will require all guests to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance. At this time, Disney is temporarily pausing new ticket sales and Disney Resort hotel reservations so they can focus on guests with existing tickets and reservations (Disney Vacation Club members can still make new reservations).

Existing ticket holders and Annual Passholders will be able to make reservation requests in phases before new tickets are sold; they will be reaching out to these guests soon to provide additional details. They will resume new ticket sales and hotel reservations after that period of time. Theme park reservations will be limited due to attendance limitations and will be subject to availability. More details about this new reservation system will be available soon.

Additionally, Disney Vacation Club resorts at Walt Disney World will reopen to members and guests and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will begin to reopen on June 22nd.  Plans to support required physical distancing as well as enhanced cleaning measures, along with a number of other safety and cleanliness protocols, will be implemented as part of this planned phased reopening.

In case you missed the reopening plan you can check it out below.

Walt Disney World Proposed Plan






From our friends at chipandco.com
Filed Under: News, Florida Governor, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Governor DeSantis, Orange County Mayor, Walt Disney World’s Reopening Plan

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Disney World’s Proposed Reopening Plan Is APPROVED By Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings

Earlier this morning, we learned about Disney World’s proposed reopening dates and guidelines that will be in place when the parks reopen.

Disney World Monorail

Disney proposed a soft opening of July 11 for Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and July 15 for Epcot and Hollywood Studios. The plans required the approval of the Orange County Task Force as well as the Orange County Mayor, followed by the Governor.

These proposed plans have approved by Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings. These plans will now go on to Governor Ron DeSantis’ office for his approval.

Photo Credit: Orange County Mayor’s Office

If given the green light, Disney World will reopen their four theme parks and some hotels in mid-July. In addition, Disney World will reopen their Disney Vacation Club Resorts as well as the Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground on June 22.

Disney World Screenshot

This is a developing story and we will continue to provide updates as we hear them. We may know soon whether Governor Ron DeSantis has approved of Disney World’s reopening proposal.

Read the full details of Disney World’s proposal here!

Will you be at Disney World in July? Let us know in the comments!

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
Filed Under: Featured, Walt Disney World, Disney World, Disney World reopening, governor ron desantis, jerry demings, mayor jerry demings, orange county, ron desantis

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Disney World Reopening Plans from the Orange County Recovery Task Force meeting

Walt Disney World Proposed Plan

Now that we have a reopening date for Walt Disney World there will be new safety measures in place for Cast Members and Guests.

We have a full look at Walt Disney World’s proposal to the Orange County Recovery Task Force.

From our friends at chipandco.com
Filed Under: Parks & Resorts, Walt Disney World, Disney World, Disney World Proposal, Disney World Reopening, Health and Safety Protocols

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Walt Disney World Presents Reopening Plan to the Orange County Economic Task Force

Today, the Walt Disney Company submitted its plan to the Orange County Economic Task Force in an effort to re-open the Walt Disney World Resort following the coronavirus closure. During this meeting, it was announced that the Walt Disney World Resort would be reopening on a phased reopening schedule beginning in July.

The first parks to reopening will be the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom beginning on July 11. Then, on July 15, EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be reopening to Guests.

According to the report given to the Orange County Economic Task Force Meeting, there will be a number of things that both Guests and Cast Members will need to adhere to in order to enter the parks. Here is what we know so far:

  • First, there will be significant limits on attendance. To make sure that this occurs, in order to enter the theme parks, you will need to sign up via an advance reservation system. Disney did not share how that reservation system would work initially, however they did share that they would release that information at a later date.
  • There will be enhanced protective measures put in place. For example, the parks will be requiring face coverings for Cast Members and Guests, and putting an emphasis on hand washing. In addition, there will be sanitation stations available for Guests and there will be and physical barriers where appropriate. For example, Guests will find plexiglass at retail and restaurant locations where social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • There will be physical distancing and capacity limits enabled at the theme parks, restaurants, retail, attractions, buses, monorails, and other transportation modes. In addition, parades, fireworks, and other events that create crowds will be suspended for the time being.
  • Of course, there will be an emphasis on enhanced cleaning both onstage and backstage across high touch locations and surfaces.
  • Guests and Cast Members will need to have their temperatures taken via contactless handheld devices.
  • There will also be a reduction of Guest and Cast Member contact points. These will include things like putting an emphasis on increasing mobile food ordering, pausing meet and greets with characters, not allowing Guests to enjoy play areas that can be found throughout the park, and contactless payments (like ApplePay, MagicBands, etc).

As Guests get ready to head to the parks, they will see “Know Before You Go” messages provided so they are aware of the new safety protocols. Cast Members will also be on hand to regularly communicate new protocols via the Social Distancing Squad who are there to inspire Guests to follow guidelines. Finally, there will also be signage found throughout the resort reinforcing these messages.

This plan, while approved by the task force, has not yet been approved by the Mayor or the Governor of Florida.

You can watch the meeting here for full details.

Currently, no information was provided about Disney Resort hotels or water parks.

The post Walt Disney World Presents Reopening Plan to the Orange County Economic Task Force appeared first on TouringPlans.com Blog.

From our friends at touringplans.com
Filed Under: News, Walt Disney World (FL), coronavirus, Orange County Economic Task Force Meeting, walt disney world

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Disney World submits reopening plan for July

Disney World

Just moments ago Disney World submitted their reopening plan to the Orange County Task Force.

These plans included an opening date of the Magic Kingdom & Animal Kingdom on July 11th & Hollywood Studios and Epcot for July 15th.

Soft openings will occur before those opening dates with cast members and invited guests.

Jim McPhee, Senior Vice President of Operations says that theme park reservations will be required in advance of visiting the Disney World theme parks.

You can read the full reopening plans from the Orange County Task Force meeting below.

Here is the video from the meeting:

On May 26th, 2020 Walt Disney World was reviewed by Field Inspectors to gain approval for reopening.

The Orange County Task Force is expected to vote on whether to submit the plans for approval to Mayor Demings.

Once May Demings approves of their plans, they will then be sent to Governor Ron DeSantis for final approval.

Stay tuned to more details…

From our friends at chipandco.com
Filed Under: Parks & Resorts, Walt Disney World, Disney World, Disney World Reopening, Governor Ron DeSantis, Mayor Demings, Orange County Task Force

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BREAKING NEWS: SeaWorld Orlando Announces a Proposed Reopening Date of June 11th

Just now, SeaWorld Orlando has proposed a reopening date.

©SeaWorld

Some smaller Orlando attractions like Fun Spot and Gatorland have already reopened, and Universal Orlando Resort has announced its parks will welcome back the general public on June 5th. Last week, SeaWorld Orlando ran tests of their Mako Coaster with masked riders, and now they have submitted a proposed date for reopening as well!

At this morning’s Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force meeting, SeaWorld announced it plans to reopen to on June 10th for an employee appreciation night and June 11th for the general public.

Mako Coaster in SeaWorld Florida ©MidwayMayhem

Here are all the details from our visit to the recently reopened Disney Springs!

SeaWorld’s tentative reopening date still needs approval by Florida’s Governor Ron Desantis before it’s official.

©SeaWorld

SeaWorld also presented it’s new health and safety protocols upon the theme park’s reopening. These will include mandatory face masks for all employees and guests over the age of two as well as temperature screenings for everyone entering the park.

©SeaWorld

Additionally, social distancing markers will also be placed on the ground throughout the park (especially in areas where crowds are likely to form) while cleaning and sanitation practices will be ramped up. Employees will be receiving specific training on the park’s new safety procedures and are being instructed to stay home if they exhibit any flu-like symptoms.

©SeaWorld

SeaWorld will provide contactless entry to guests while the park’s restaurants will be rearranging seating to promote physical distancing between parties as they dine, and sanitizing tables and chairs after each group leaves. Condiment and topping stations will be closed while refillable items guests may have purchased previously will be substituted with single-use products. Shops will have defined entry and exit points while and certain animal viewing areas and exhibits will operate with social distancing markers and limited capacity.

©SeaWorld

Several Orlando-area theme parks have already reopened, as have many stores and restaurants at Disney Springs and CityWalk at Universal Orlando. Now it looks like SeaWorld will soon be joining the list of reopened Central Florida attractions pending the Governor’s final approval!

More details are being released at this time. We will update this post with all of those details.

Have you visited SeaWorld Orlando? Share your story in the comments!

Related posts:

  1. News! SeaWorld Parks Extend Closures Until Further Notice
  2. Find Out How to Score FREE BEER at SeaWorld Orlando this Summer!
  3. News! SeaWorld Orlando Will Offer FREE Tier Upgrades to Annual Passholders!

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
Filed Under: Featured, News, june 10th, june 11th, orlando theme park, seaworld, SeaWorld closure, seaworld news, SeaWorld Orlando, seaworld reopening

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Disney World to present reopening plans to Orange County Wednesday

Walt Disney World officials will be presenting reopening plans to Orange County’s economic recovery task force tomorrow, Wednesday, May 27th.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said Tuesday that Disney is slated to make their presentation about reopening during the 10 a.m. meeting Wednesday. Demings also said two health officials with the county were at the theme parks on Tuesday conducting inspections.

“Walt Disney World will submit a proposal tomorrow, May 27, to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force in Florida for a phased reopening of the resort’s theme parks,” Disney said in a statement Tuesday.

If the task force approves Disney’s reopening plans tomorrow, it will go to the mayor. Once the mayor signs off, it will be sent to Governor Ron DeSantis for approval.

We can’t wait to find out what Disney’s plans are for reopening Disney World!

Source

From our friends at chipandco.com
Filed Under: News, Parks & Resorts, Walt Disney World, Disney World, Disney World Reopening, Orange County, Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force

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Disney World Presents Reopening Plan TOMORROW

Now that Univeral Orlando has successfully had its plan approved to reopen its theme parks to the public on June 5th, Disney World is about to undergo the same process.

Cinderella Castle

Disney World will be presenting its plan to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings at 10AM Eastern tomorrow morning. If accepted by the Mayor and his committee, it will be passed to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for final approval along with a possible reopening date for Disney World’s theme parks.

Mayor Demings said the highly-anticipated presentation will be happening tomorrow morning and that he’s already previewed Disney World’s plan this morning. “We’re looking forward to sharing good news about their plans,” Demings stated.

Disney World Monorail

Florida’s Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force will vote first on the plan before submitting it to the Governor’s office. SeaWorld is also expected to present its reopening plan tomorrow as well.

Magic Kingdom

In preparation for tomorrow’s big meeting, an Orange County Inspection team visited Disney World and SeaWorld today to determine if they were in compliance with recommended guidelines. We’ll continue to follow this story as it develops.

See what our experience at Disney Springs has been like since some of the shops and restaurants have recently started to reopen here!

When do you think Disney World will announce its reopening? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
Filed Under: Animal Kingdom, Disney News, disney’s hollywood studios, Epcot, Featured, magic kingdom, Walt Disney World, florida governor, florida reopening, florida theme parks, jerry demings, Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force, orange county mayor, Orange County Task Force, reopening theme parks, ron desantis, seaworld, task force, temporary closure, theme parks

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LEGO Store in Disney Springs Reopens on May 27th

LEGO Store

More good news for Walt Disney World Resort! The LEGO Store at Disney Springs will officially reopen to the public on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.

The LEGO Store is quite popular among both kids and adults. They have fantastic photo opportunities with their impressive LEGO displays, such as their unofficial store mascot, Brickley the Sea Serpent. The other LEGO character displays are quite impressive and worth seeing while visiting Disney Springs. Shoppers can find brick toys of fan-favorite franchises for Star Wars, Marvel Comics, Disney, and other franchises.

The LEGO Store is reopening on Wednesday along with a handful of other Disney Springs stores, such as the World of Disney and Marketplace Co-op. To protect the health and safety of guests, the store will have capacity limits and require social distancing from other shoppers. Due to the current pandemic concerns, we expect to see some other minor changes. It’s unlikely that the play area will be open. Many kids enjoyed playing with the open LEGO bricks and figures, but it’s understandable if this isn’t available upon reopening.

Have you ever stopped for photos at the LEGO Store in Disney Springs? What are your family’s favorite LEGO toys? Let us know in the comments!

From our friends at chipandco.com
Filed Under: Other Disney Stuff, Disney Springs, Parks & Resorts, Disney Springs Reopening, Lego, Lego Store, Walt Disney World Resort

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Disney Is Only A Small Piece Of A MUCH Bigger Problem

We’ve been super focused on all the ways that the global health crisis is affecting The Walt Disney Company. It’s hard not to be!

Walt Disney World

But Disney really is only a piece of a much bigger problem. We’ve talked a little bit about the way that air travel has been affected, but the global tourism industry as a whole is taking a massive hit. We’re taking a look at all the ways international travel is being affected as well as what the industry is doing to fix things. Let’s dive in!

Revenue is crashing down.

Possibly the most obvious consequence of a shutdown to global travel is that revenue has dropped dramatically. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the global health crisis will result in a projected loss of $2.1 trillion in revenue for major global travel companies. The U.S. industry alone is facing a projected loss of 4.6 million jobs through May.

When’s Epcot Reopening?

These numbers aren’t too surprising when you consider that Disney could see losses of up to $21 billion through the end of 2022. Such a drastic interruption to regular business processes is leaving its mark on not just the Disney Parks, but the tourism industry as a whole.

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland

The director of the Commerce Department’s National Tourism Office, Isabel Hill, noted, “This is the worst time of the year for this to happen. This is the season—spring and summer—when the travel and tourism [industry] makes a significant amount of [its] revenue.”

Furloughs and job cuts are the reality for now.

Beyond revenue losses, the industry is also seeing a very real effect on its workers. Furloughs and job cuts are the norms right now for a multitude of companies and unfortunately, some of these may end up being permanent if companies can’t rebound.

According to National Geographic, approximately 75 million jobs will be lost with major travel companies internationally if the crisis continues for a few more months.

Get ready to head down Main Street U.S.A.!

Disney itself furloughed the majority of its employees from the theme parks. Now, some of those employees are expected to be able to return to work, but some third-party businesses on Disney property may not be so lucky. We’ve seen some of these businesses lay off employees without the promise of return. These companies have to rebound financially to be ABLE to bring back their employees, which may be impossible.

Tourism industries falter, and so do the economies they drive.

Now, there are unfortunate ramifications to the tourism industry beyond those that just affect the companies and their employees. Tourism is a MAJOR component of the economy for many cities, states, and countries. If tourism suffers, it may be harder for these larger organizations to recover.

Florida Fresh Booth

On a small scale, this is illustrated by the Orlando theme parks, which stand as a major driver of the Orange County and Florida economies. On a larger scale, the U.S. Travel Association represents the industry that generates $2.6 trillion in output and provides 15.8 million jobs for the country.

Companies are seeking government aid to stay afloat.

Now, just like the Walt Disney Company, the global travel industry is not helpless in the face of these complications. Many companies have turned to their governments for help, and some are receiving it. In the U.S., Congress passed a $25 billion airline rescue package to help to stabilize the airlines that are a vital piece of the economy.

Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante ©Patina Restaurant Group

The travel industry typically does not have to prepare for dips in the market as much as other sectors do. According to National Geographic, many international airlines like Delta and United Airlines had less than two months of extra capital. In a crisis climate, that money could have been used up quickly.

Orlando International Airport

Roger Dow, CEO of the US Travel Association explained, “This [aid package] is important and we want [the recovery] to speed up. Most of the travel industry [consists of] small, mom-and-pop businesses. With small business loans we can help keep their doors open.” It isn’t only the travel giants that need help. Hotels and restaurants can benefit from small business loans too.

Travel is suffering everywhere, but there’s hope.

Travel is dealing with some seriously tough times, but there is hope. Even as travel professionals predict that the ramifications of the crisis could be six or seven times worse than they were after 9/11, things are looking up in some parts of the world.

©WaltDisneyImagineering on Instagram — Shanghai Disneyland reopening

As we’ve seen with the reopening of Shanghai Disneyland, China is beginning to recover as the crisis begins its decline in that region of the world. Perhaps a similar pattern will follow in the rest of the world over time. Even in the U.S., one of the most affected countries in the world, travel saw some expansion for the first time in nine weeks at the beginning of May, according to US Travel.

Individual companies and the industry as a whole are looking towards the future.

Just like Disney is cushioning the blow within the company, the industry is attempting to do the same. Ultimately, these companies are looking to the data to determine a return to business, but in the meantime, they’re taking action.

Disney-themed Cloth Face Masks ©Disney

Luckily, that government aid we talked about should help. The companies on the receiving end of federal grants and loans have taken a big step towards stabilizing and weathering the crisis until demand returns. Plus, the industry has a plan for itself as well. They’ve launched the #traveltomorrow campaign to encourage people to come back to travel — when it is safe to do so — per the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Cast Members Cleaning in Galaxy’s Edge

The UNWTO has even proposed a 23-step plan to help solve some of the current problems in the industry. The steps are broken up into three solid goals: managing the crisis and mitigating the impact, providing stimulus and accelerating recovery, and preparing for tomorrow. You can see the full report here. 

So, it’s a tricky situation. A crisis of this kind is unprecedented. This global situation will have long-lasting impacts not just on tourism, but the world as a whole. Disney and the tourism industry are doing what they can to weather the storm and will attempt to recover as the world shows signs of improvement.

Here at DFB we’re covering the ins and outs of how Disney Parks and the Walt Disney Company as a whole are responding to this situation. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest information in your inbox ASAP.

What do you think about the global tourism industry? Tell us in the comments! 

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
Filed Under: Featured, News, #traveltomorrow, Airline Rescue Package, Airports, Disney Parks closures, furloughs, Global health crisis, Tourism Industry, travel, Travel indstry, UNWTO

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Nevermind, J/K! 14 Times Disney Promised Us Stuff That Didn’t Happen!

Welcome in, friends! Gather around and listen to a tale of the cool things Disney had planned for us but for one reason or another just weren’t meant to be!

We know what you might be thinking, “Disney? Overly ambitious? Noooo way!” Ahh, but it’s true — although it’s often “fun to do the impossible,” sometimes the impossible isn’t very easy to do!

Let’s explore a few failed projects from Disney’s past. Keep in mind, ALL of these things were officially announced by Disney and many were being worked on at various stages before their plans fell through!

Disney’s America

A third U.S. Disney park???

That’s right — in 1993 Disney announced plans to build a 3,000-acre history-themed park — but only the American parts — right outside of Washington, D.C. in Prince William County, Virginia. The response was generally positive…until a press conference in Disney World less than 2 weeks after the park was announced.

©Disney

Creative Director of the America project and then Senior Vice President of the Walt Disney Company, Bob Weis said, “How can you do a park on America and not talk about slavery? This park will deal with the highs and lows…We want to make you feel what it was like to be a slave, and what it was like to escape through the Underground Railroad.”

Disney America Concept Art ©Disney

That statement started the downfall of the park. It led then-CEO, Michael Eisner, to dismiss the critical public response to the slavery comment by Weis. He said people couldn’t possibly expect they were going to whip guests like slaves. He stated further, “We’re not going to put people in chains.”

Michael Eisner (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Nickelodeon)

Not surprisingly, the idea of “Disneyfying” some of America’s historical lows didn’t sit well with many. This led to growing concerns that Disney could do more damage to American history than good.

The head organizer for the Black History Action Organization called for a boycott of the proposed park. She felt that slavery was not suitable content for a theme park setting and she feared it would result in, “little souvenir slave ships” sold in the gift shops, among other things.

Disney America Concept Art ©Disney

There was fear that the lure of a flashy theme park would take visitors away from the tourist sites in D.C. Even the land they selected was brought into question — it was steps away from some of the largest battles of the Civil War. Many thought it was in bad taste to have the next Disneyland adjacent to where hundreds of thousands had died. There was fear the historical land in the area could be destroyed over time by increased visitors.

Disney America Concept Art ©Disney

In response, a large group of American historians publicly opposed the project. As public approval of the project grew, protests began to take place in the nation’s capitol demanding Disney be stopped. With growing public disapproval, Eisner informed the public they were backing out of the project one year after it was announced.

But Disney didn’t scrap this project entirely. Bob Weis’ next project was Disney California Adventure. A few rides proposed for the America project were worked into this new park. Soarin’ Over California and the Condor Flats section of the park were pulled from ideas for the America park. Grizzly River Run came from an idea for a Lewis and Clark expedition-themed white water rafting ride.

Lewis and Clark Expedition Ride Concept Art ©Disney

Next time you’re walking around Disney Califonia Adventure in Disneyland, keep an eye out for carryovers from this failed America park!

Hyperion Wharf

Remember when Downtown Disney (now Disney Springs) had a whole section called “Pleasure Island?” Back in 1989 the section that sits between the Marketplace and the West Side was opened as Pleasure Island, a diverse warehouse district loaded with unique clubs open each evening. It was branded as an escape for adults and for a number of years it was quite popular.

Pleasure Island Logo

After the turn of the century, though, interest started to wane and Disney began looking for ways to inject life into the space. In 2005, Disney leased a large portion of the land to what would later become Raglan Road Irish Pub but was having trouble finding other tenants in such an “adult-oriented” space.

The clubs that inhabited Pleasure Island began to close their doors due to lowered interest and the ongoing recession, and in 2008 the last clubs there closed their doors.

Raglan Road Was the First Resident Post-Pleasure Island

Desperate for a way to fill the gap between the marketplace and the West Side, in 2010 Disney announced construction on a new project to fill the space called Hyperion Wharf.

©Disney

Disney called Hyperion Wharf, “a nostalgic yet modern take on an early 20th-century port city and amusement pier…by day, the bustling port district will draw guests in with its stylish boutiques and innovative restaurants and by night, thousands of lights will transform the area into an electric wonderland.”

©Disney

Demolition even began on the site, but stopped almost as abruptly as it began in February of 2011. The Pleasure Island signs remained up, but construction walls surrounded the now-demolished site. And it sat that way for 2 years. 

Disney Springs

In March of 2013, plans for Disney Springs were announced. They promised to completely rebrand the entirety of Downtown Disney into one coherent themed shopping district.

The Marketplace and West Side sections remained but the area that Pleasure Island resided in was rebranded as The Landing, better blending in with its surrounding areas. By 2015 the majority of work was completed on Disney Springs and the area was officially rebranded to what we know today.

Main Street Theater

If you’ve been to Disneyland’s Disney Califonia Adventure, you may be familiar with the Hyperion Theater. This is California Adventure’s large, dedicated theater that shows broadway-quality versions of some of Disney’s biggest stage shows to guests daily. But did you know Disney World was supposed to receive its own live-stage venue at one time!

©Disney

The massive indoor theater (which was to be called Main Street Theater) was announced in 2017 and would have been built at Magic Kingdom behind Main Street U.S.A. Guests would have accessed the theater near Tony’s Town Square. Permits were filed and artists’ concepts of the building were even released. But the project never broke ground. In 2018 Disney removed it from their page of projects coming soon.

Muppet Studios

Ever wonder why Muppets Courtyard at Hollywood Studios even EXISTS? Don’t get us wrong — we totally LOVE this part of the park, but did you ever wonder how it came to be?

Muppet Vision 3-D

Muppets Courtyard was originally a small piece of a much bigger idea! Disney had conceived of a Muppets Studio land concept which would have included The Great Muppet Movie Ride that Muppets creator Jim Henson described as, “a backstage ride explaining how movies were shot…and all the information is wrong.” There was also a Swedish Chef cooking school, and a pizza joint run by Gonzo!

Muppet Studios Concept Art ©Disney

Then-Disney CEO, Michael Eisner, wanted to outright own the Muppets brand and was in deep talks with Jim Henson to make that happen when Disney’s Hollywood Studios (then Disney MGM Studios) opened. Henson was even on hand at the dedication of the park.

Things took a turn though in 1990 when Jim Henson passed away. The first portion of the new Muppet Studios had already been completed at this time but had not opened — Muppet*Vision 3D. Henson’s children decided that they needed to hold on to their father’s legacy and decided to stop all work with Disney on the proposed land or selling of the Muppets brand.

The Muppets

Frank Oz, who voiced a number of the Muppet characters alongside Henson (you might know him better as the voice of Yoda in Star Wars!), spoke to the Henson family pleading with them to let their father’s work on Muppet*Vison 3D be shared with the world. The family agreed and only allowed Disney to open the Muppets Courtyard area with the attraction. The rest of the plans were put to rest.

PizzeRizzo

We may not get the Muppet themed land that Jim Henson had envisioned in Hollywood Studios, but the legacy of the characters still lives on in the park. We’ve even seen a slight expansion of the Muppets in the area a few years back when the Pizza Planet restaurant located in the Muppets Courtyard was re-themed as PizzeRizzo, a fast-food pizza joint run by none other than Rizzo the Rat from The Muppets!

Discovery Bay

In the 1970s when Disney was working on adapting Jules Verne’s novel Island at the Top of the World into a movie, Disney Imagineer Tony Baxter developed a steampunk paradise called Discovery Bay.

With Victorian-era architecture fused with technological marvels, the land was going to be inserted into Disneyland where Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge currently resides. In 1976, a scale model of the land was put on display in Disneyland’s preview center on Main Street, U.S.A. to excite guests about the new land. 

Discovery Bay Concept Art ©Disney

Numerous attractions including a Nautilus simulator and restaurant (both based on Jules Verne’s book 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea), along with a magnetic roller coaster, a river rapids ride, and hot air balloon attraction were in the works for Discovery Bay.

Discovery Bay 20,000 Leagues Restaurant Concept Art ©Disney

Island at the Top of the World, the movie that the land would be framed around, was a box office flop. As Tony Baxter put it, “People are so skittish that instead of saying ‘We did a bad Jules Verne movie,’ they go ‘Well, people don’t want to see Jules Verne movies.’” Executives were scared that if the film had flopped, the idea of a steampunk fantasy world built around the same ideas wouldn’t catch guests’ favor either.

Shortly after, funds and efforts were channeled towards the construction of Epcot and Tokyo Disneyland, and the project was shelved. Some elements of the rides were later applied at other parks such as Tokyo DisneySea’s Mysterious Island and its attractions (also Jules Verne-inspired), and the Dreamfinder’s ship from the original Journey into Imagination attraction at Epcot.

Beastly Kingdom 

Have you ever looked at a lamp post or a bench as you enter Animal Kingdom and noticed that a dragon is displayed at the center of the designs?? There’s a reason for it — original designs for the theme park called for a fantasy land that was never built. It was called Beastly Kingdom and it’s where guests could’ve met some very unusual creatures! We’re talkin’ mythological beasts such as dragons and unicorns!

©Disney

The land would have been divided into “Nice, Beautiful, and Dangerous” territories while an attraction called “Quest of the Unicorn” would have taken guests on a maze-like adventure! Beastly Kingdom would have also featured a Fantasia-inspired boat ride with music and characters from the classic film.

Quest of the Unicorn Concept Art ©Disney

Budget cuts are the reason why Beastly Kingdom never came to be. As Animal Kingdom developed, they realized that caring for so many animals was going to be much more costly than originally anticipated. This led CEO Michael Eisner to have to choose which section of the new park would be cut: Beastly Kingdom or the Dinoland, U.S.A. section of the park. He chose to save Dinoland.

Dinoland, U.S.A. Won Out Over Beastly Kingdom

Pandora: The World of AVATAR currently sits right where Beastly Kingdom was supposed to be. Hey, we didn’t get dragons and forest sprites, but we DID get banshees and the Shaman of Songs!

Disney World’s Phase 2 Resorts

When Magic Kingdom first opened its gates in 1971, two resorts opened with it: Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Disney World’s Phase 2 plans included Asian, Venetian, and Persian-themed hotels built along Seven Seas Lagoon.

Asian Resort Concept Art ©Disney

The main reason these resorts never saw the light of day was the 1973 oil embargo. Tourism dropped off significantly causing Disney to divert funds to the construction of a new park to lure in guests — Epcot.

Venetian Resort Concept Art ©Disney

The other reason that construction never took off was that the shores that the resorts were planned to reside on were too unstable to build on. When workers initially hammered pylons into the swampy earth to test out the sites, the pylons were swallowed up by the soft ground beneath them. Construction costs would have had to rise significantly to offset the issues with the terrain.

Persian Resort Artwork ©Disney

Eventually, work on resorts resumed, but CEO Michael Eisner decided that guests would rather not visit heavily culturally themed resorts and instead focused on a seaside hotel inspired by the lavish resorts on the Floridian beaches — Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. 

Epcot’s Unbuilt Pavilions

When Epcot opened in 1982, there were a total of nine pavilions in the World Showcase; there are now 11. But did you know there’s actually space for a LOT more pavilions to come to World Showcase? Disney announced plans for Phase 2 pavilions which include the countries of Equatorial Africa, Israel, Spain, and Venezuela back in the early 80s.

Canda Far and Wide

Plans for most of these never-built pavilions were halted over financial troubles. In some cases like Spain, deals were negotiated to begin construction, but changes in the leadership of the country caused plans to fall through. And over the years, it seemed like Italy and Germany might be getting a new neighbor when Puerto Rico, Iran, Soviet Union, and Switzerland were in talks to fill in the empty space. As you can see, none of these plans were successful either.

The Legendary Years

Ever wonder why Disney’s Pop Century and Disney’s Art of Animation Resorts almost have an identical layout? It’s because they were originally part of the same project! While one-half of Disney’s Pop Century Resort called “The Classic Years” opened in 2003, Disney’s Art of Animation was supposed to be the other half of the SAME resort! It was going to be called “The Legendary Years” and its buildings were going to be themed after the 1900s-1940s!

©Google

In 2001, before Pop Century even opened, The Legendary Years section was abandoned to cut costs during a recession. For years, guests could see the clearly abandoned hotel just across the bridge from Pop Century.

Disney World Legendary Years Hotel

Construction did eventually resume and the build-out was completed in 2012 as Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Instead of getting a Roaring 20’s theme (maybe not as…um…kid-friendly as once believed?), the resort now features themed rooms and family suites based on The Lion King, Cars, The Little Mermaid, and Finding Nemo. 

Disney’s River Country

While you might know all about Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach, Disney World’s very first water park is long gone! Disney’s River Country was originally located on the shores of Bay Lake near Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and had a similar rustic vibe. The water used in the park was even sourced directly from Bay Lake and a number of slides allowed visitors to slide into the open waters of the lake!

©Disney

Although the water park had been there since 1976 and was only supposed to close down temporarily for a scheduled winter refurb in 2001, it never reopened. This was around the same time that the Legendary Years hotel was abandoned for a similar reason — the 9/11 recession. To cut costs, Disney just never reopened the park. It sat abandoned for years until very recently when it was demolished to make way for Reflections — A Disney Lakeside Lodge

Disneyland’s Luxury Hotel

In March of 2018, Disneyland announced plans for a new luxury hotel near Downtown Disney. Disney planned to build a 4-Diamond resort after the City of Anaheim introduced a tax break geared specifically at this level of luxury resort being built in city limits.

Disney shifted the location of the resort slightly after the initial specifics were agreed upon between Disney and the city, which resulted in a number of Downtown Disney businesses closing to make way for the project including Rainforest Cafe and Earl of Sandwich.

©Disney

The city of Anaheim decided that moving the site of the hotel and the resulting closure of other businesses because of it changed the terms of the project too much, so they put the project on hold. This led Disney to outright cancel plans for the resort. Shortly after the project was canceled it was revealed construction would begin instead on a new Disney Vacation Club 12-story tower adjacent to the Disneyland Hotel.

Port Disney

A planned resort area in Long Beach, CA called Port Disney was announced in 1990. It would have featured a marine-themed amusement park called DisneySea along with a marina, and a cruise ship port! In fact, the RMS Queen Mary would have served as a focal point of the resort! The idea for the park revolved around a heavy focus on conservation and marine life.

©Disney

Additions to Disneyland in Anaheim required just the city’s approval, but to build in Long Beach required approval of state and local governments, making it much harder for Disney to do as they liked. The project never had a coordinated effort from everyone involved at Disney, so much so that some believed Disney never had a true interest in constructing the park, though millions were spent in the early stages of planning.

Although plans were scrapped for this project in favor of a new project called westCOT (which we’ll get to next),  the name DisneySea and some of the ideas for this theme park were taken over to Japan and used for Tokyo DisneySea which opened in 2001.

westCOT

Oh, but things get ever WEIRDER from there for Californians! Similar to Florida’s Epcot, Disney conceived westCOT! It’s basically exactly what you’re thinking! The blueprint even called for replicas of classic Epcot attractions such as Journey into Imagination and an even BIGGER Spaceship Earth! Budget restraints kept westCOT from becoming a beautiful reality.

©Disney

Instead of ending up with a bizarro-version of Epcot (and its famous World Showcase BUT with different countries!), we got Disney California Adventure Park instead.

S.S. Disney

Last but not least, let’s discuss one of Disney’s most ambitious ideas — the S.S. Disney. The S.S. Disney wasn’t going to be a cruise ship like you’d find with Disney Cruise Line — it was a full-fledged floating theme park.

©Disney Magic

16 to 18 classic Disney attractions such as it’s a small world, Space Mountain, Star Tours, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups, and Roger Rabbit’s Toontown Spin were all planned to be aboard! There were also plans for 6 restaurants, gift shops, and more. Guests would board the ship in the morning and have 8 hours at sea to ride rides and explore.

S.S. Disney Model ©Disney

Eisner was on board with the idea (get it?) until his partner and President of the company, Frank Wells, passed away in 1994. The planning group at corporate didn’t want to do a floating theme park any more with Wells out — they wanted to do a cruise ship instead. This began Disney’s foray into cruise lines and in 1998, the Disney Cruise Line set sail.

For all of the incredible lands, theme parks, and more that the Disney Company has created over the years, it’s interesting to take a look back at the projects that didn’t get off the ground.

What do you think of these plans that Disney told us about but never finished? Which ideas would you like to see them revisit someday? Let us know in the comments below!

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
Filed Under: Animal Kingdom, disney california adventure, disney merchandise, Disney Springs, disney’s hollywood studios, Disneyland, Downtown Disney Anaheim, Epcot, Featured, magic kingdom, News, Tokyo Disney Sea, Tokyo Disneyland, beastly kingdom, broken promises, didn’t deliver, disney california adventure park, disney cruise line, disney world phase 2, disney world’s asian resort, disney’s america, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, disney’s luxury hotel, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, disney’s river country, disney’s venetian resort, disneysea, epcot phase 2, Epcot World Showcase, hyperion wharf, main street theater, muppets studio, Pandora, phase 2, port disney, ss disney, the legendary years, unbuilt pavilions, westcot

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BREAKING NEWS: Universal Orlando Is Officially Opening June 5th

Just yesterday, we found out that Universal Orlando had submitted a reopening plan that included an early June opening date.

Islands of Adventure Main Entrance

From there, the plan had to go through several rounds of approval. Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings approved the plan last night. From there, the plan went on for approval from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and apparently it was approved.

Universal Orlando just released a statement that Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Universal’s Volcano Bay will open to the public on June 5th.

A statement on the Universal Orlando website begins with the phrase “Welcome Back” and goes on to announce the reopening of Universal Orlando theme and water park properties. Health, safety, and hygiene procedures are acknowledged.

Universal Orlando Screenshot

The company also reminds guests that on top of the new protocols in the theme parks, guests will need to abide by CDC guidelines and the guidance of health officials. They remind that they cannot guarantee that a guest will not be exposed to health risks.

Just like at CityWalk, guests and team members must wear face coverings and undergo temperature checks. Those with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater will not be able to enter.

Universal

There will also be staggered parking in the parking garage. Universal also shared that they WILL be limiting and reducing daily park attendance and the number of people on each attraction. At this time, “a reservation is not needed in order to visit the theme parks. Please note that since we’re limiting attendance, there may be times when the parks reach capacity and additional guests will not be admitted.” A virtual line will be available for select attractions.

Universal

Social distancing will be enforced throughout the parks including within attraction queues and at restaurants. There will be increased cleaning and disinfection of food locations, ride vehicles, and other “touch points.” They will also offer cashless payments and “no touch” policies where possible.

Many of these policies were implemented when Universal CityWalk opened a few days ago.

We will be sharing all of the details on the reopening on Universal soon. Stay tuned! 

Are you planning to visit Universal when they reopen in June? Let us know in the comments below. 

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
Filed Under: Featured, News, Islands of Adventure, Universal, Universal Islands of Adventure, Universal Orlando, universal orlando reopening, Universal Orlando Resort, Universal reopening, Universal Studios, Universal Volcano Bay, Volcano Bay

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NEWS! Reopening Date Announced for Terralina Crafted Italian and Paddlefish in Disney Springs

Disney Springs began a phased reopening on May 20th. A number of third-party stores and restaurants are currently open in Walt Disney World’s shopping and dining district, and select Disney-owned and operated locations will open on May 27th.

Paddlefish

And now, we have reopening information for two more eateries in Disney Springs, as both Paddlefish and Terralina Crafted Italian have announced their shared reopening date.

Paddlefish and Terralina Crafted Italian will welcome back guests starting Friday, May 29th according to their Instagram accounts (which you can follow @terralinacrafteditalian and @paddlefishorl).

Terralina Crafted Italian

Both will begin with operating hours of 12 PM – 8 PM daily, and encourage guests to make reservations on OpenTable.com.

Southern Sangria with a view over the water at Paddlefish

Additionally, the locations have shared new safety measures with the reopening announcements.

Dining Table at Terralina Crafted Italian

Guests will be required to wear a face covering at all times except “when enjoying their meal or sipping on a refreshing cocktail.” Both Paddlefish and Terralina Crafted Italian will also seat guests with regards to physical distancing in compliance with local and state regulations.

And you may click any of the links below to learn more about the current status of Disney Parks and destinations around the world.

Have you dined at Terralina Crafted Italian or Paddlefish in Disney Springs? Please let us know with a comment!

From our friends at www.disneyfoodblog.com
Filed Under: Disney Springs, Featured, Table-Service, Walt Disney World, disney springs, disney springs reopening, Paddlefish, Terralina Crafted Italian