Happy September, AllEars Readers!
The last month of August was a busy one for Disney — so much has happened leading up to Labor Day Weekend. But we’ve been tracking all the news as we can, and we’re back with the top stories you might have missed this week.
Disney World Announces New Annual Pass Program
The sale of Annual Passes has been on hold for over a year at Disney World, but they’re officially coming back as of October 1st (and go on sale on September 8th). But Disney has made some changes to the program — there are four new options for passholders: Disney Incredi-Pass, the Disney Sorcerer Pass, the Disney Pirate Pass, and the Disney Pixie Dust Pass.
We’ve broken down all the details, so be sure to check out the blockout dates for each pass, as well as options available to those who don’t live in Florida. Also, note that certain perks are NOT included with the new annual pass.
Disney Cruise Line Updates
Disney Cruise Line started sailing again this summer, and since then, the health and safety guidelines for passengers have continued to evolve and change. Most recently, guests who are sailing with Disney Cruise Line are required to sign up for an account on the Safe Passage website within 15 days of their trip, which is associated with Disney’s COVID-19 test provider, Inspire Diagnostics.
Guests will need to use the website to submit their negative COVID tests before going to the terminal. The site will also allow guests to request test kits. Guests aged 11 and under will also now need to provide a negative rapid PCR or lab-based PCR COVID-19 test that was taken between 3 days and 24 hours of sailing.
Guests 12 years old and up, though, must be vaccinated to sail to any destination on Disney Cruise Line. However, all sailings to the Panama Canal will require ALL passengers to be vaccinated.
Disney also announced that the Disney Wonder will resume cruises from San Diego on October 1st and to the Panama Canal on November 5th. Itineraries for five and seven nights will be modified to just four nights with the same departure dates. Guests will be refunded any price differences.
Those guests who keep their changed reservations will get a $400 onboard credit and a 25% future discount.
Space 220 Opening Date
We’ve recently learned a lot more about the upcoming space-themed Space 220 Restaurant at EPCOT, but most importantly, we now have an opening date: September 20th. The out-of-this-world dining experience will feature a “space elevator” that will take guests from EPCOT to the Centauri Space Station.
There, guests will dine on a gourmet meal with panoramic views of space from a menu designed by Executive Chef Mark Kusche — there will be a two-course prix fixe menu for lunch and a three-course prix fixe menu for dinner.
Holiday Celebrations Return To Disneyland
Disneyland wasn’t open for the holidays last year due to the ongoing global pandemic, but this year, the holiday celebrations will return to Disneyland Resort starting on November 12th. Holiday decorations will transform the park into a Winter Wonderland and Sleeping Beauty Castle will transform into Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle.
Characters will be dressed in their holiday best, and the Believe In Magic holiday fireworks show will light up the night, complete with projections on Main Street, U.S.A. And the “A Christmas Fantasy” parade will make its way through the park multiple times a day. Both Haunted Mansion and it’s a small world will have their holiday overlays on, too!
The Festival of Holidays will return to Disney California Adventure with booths and marketplaces that celebrate holiday foods from around the world. There will be a lot of holiday-inspired entertainment, and guests will get to see Santa on the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.
Ed Asner Passes Away
Perhaps the saddest news we’ve received this week is about the passing of actor Ed Asner, who was known for his role as Carl in the Pixar film Up. His family posted the news from his Twitter account: “We are sorry to say that our beloved patriarch passed away this morning peacefully. Words cannot express the sadness we feel. With a kiss on your head- Goodnight dad. We love you.”
Ed Asner was best known for his role as Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, but he is also known for his portrayal of Santa in Elf. He currently holds the record as the male performer with the most Emmy Award wins in history, with a total of seven. In 2001, he received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.
Our thoughts are with Ed’s family and friends during this time, and we would like to thank him for taking us on the adventure of a lifetime to Paradise Falls.
That’s all the big news you might have missed this week, but stay tuned because we’ll continue to cover Disney news as it comes in.
What’s the biggest Disney news you’ve heard about this week? Let us know in the comments.
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