Hakuna Matata, and welcome to Episode 23 of the DVC Newscast! After nearly a year of the Harambe Theater being closed, the Festival of The Lion King officially has a reopening date. Join Shannon, Peter, & Jake as they discuss this beloved Animal Kingdom show making its return, a new Disney Cruise Line itinerary, information regarding the Jungle Cruise update in both Walt Disney World & Disneyland, updates for Blizzard Beach's reopening, and a new character experience added to Aulani Resort.
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Festival of The Lion King Returning This Summer
“Festival of the Lion King” in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park will be returning to the Harambe Theater this summer! This fan-favorite show celebrates the spirit of both the Animal Kingdom and the Disney classic, The Lion King, with vibrant singing, dancing, and even a visit from beloved characters, such as Simba, Timon, & Pumbaa. According to an article from the Disney Parks Blog, it will be presented in a modified format to be mindful of the current environment when the show returns. There will be adjustments to the show on stage and backstage, including updates to the choreography to allow for appropriate physical distancing. The theater-style seating will also be adjusted to accommodate distancing recommendations. At the time of recording, there has been no exact date released for when this entertainment option will be returning, but with a summer timeframe, it shouldn't be too long until we’re singing along to “Hakuna Matata” with our Disney pals again!
Disney Cruise Line Adds New Seattle Itinerary
Disney Cruise Line has modified its Alaska summer season with a new itinerary due to the restriction of not being able to hold voyages past 7 nights. The Disney Wonder will now offer a roundtrip 2-night sailing from Vancouver with a Port of Call stop in Seattle, which will take place on July 5th. Currently, there is a 7-night Alaska sailing beginning on June 28th, so it looks like DCL added this short sailing to fill the gap between cruises, as June 28th was originally a 9-night voyage. Guests who were previously booked on the June 28th sailing will be eligible for a 10% discount if they rebook on the Seattle sailing.
Jungle Cruise Update Coming Soon for Magic Kingdom & Disneyland Park
The Disney Parks Blog has announced that The Jungle Cruise attraction in Magic Kingdom & Disneyland Park will be receiving an update later this year. According to the article, this will include “new adventures that stay true to the experience we know and love – more humor, wildlife, and skipper heart – and also reflect and value the diversity of the world around us.” Current Jungle Cruise skippers on both coasts will be invited to a Jungle Navigation Roll Call, where they will be the first to hear about the new adventures and wonders coming to this river attraction.
Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park Update
As of Tuesday, January 26th, tickets for Blizzard Beach are now available on the Walt Disney World website. Admission will run at $69.00 (plus tax) for adults and $63.00 (plus tax) for children ages 3 through 9. According to the website, “face coverings will be required in designated areas for each Guest age 2 and up, including but not limited to the park entrance and exit, retail areas, and food and beverage ordering areas. Face coverings will not be permitted while experiencing water slides or in the water. You may also remove your face covering while actively eating or drinking, but you should be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing”.
As for Walt Disney World Annual Passes associated with Blizzard Beach, “Water Parks and Water Parks After 2 Annual Passes active at the time the Water Parks were closed will be automatically extended for the period both Water Parks were closed. Not all Water Park Annual Passes have been extended yet, but such extensions should be completed by March 7, 2021. As an alternative, water park Passholders may instead choose to cancel their pass. To choose this option, please call (407) 939-2732” (Source: Walt Disney World Website).
‘Olu Mel, A Disney Friend of Duffy, Now in Aulani Resort
‘Olu Mel, a Disney friend of Duffy, is now at Aulani Resort. He can be found playing “endearing and uplifting music” on his ‘ukulele. You can also find resort-exclusive merchandise in the gift shop, and some products are even available on shopDisney. In addition, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, & Stitch can be seen when staying at Aulani.
Disneyland Announces Legacy Passholder Program
Disneyland has announced that Passholders who held active passes through March 14th, 2020, are now considered Legacy Passholders. “For a limited time, Annual Passholders save 30% on select merchandise at select Downtown Disney District and Buena Vista Street locations! This offer is valid Monday through Thursday, beginning January 18 through February 25, 2021. As a reminder, on days when the 30% savings offer is not available and after this special offer has ended, Annual Passholders who held active Passports as of March 14, 2020, will continue to receive applicable discounts, based on their Passport type, on merchandise and food and beverages at select Downtown Disney District and Buena Vista Street locations until new membership offerings are announced” – Disneyland.
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