Our in-parks team is in Disney theme parks every week recording wait times, trying food, soaking in the atmosphere, and looking for any changes that might impact your vacation. Here’s ten changes that stood out to us this week.
Splash Pads Reopened at EPCOT
Parents, time to pack a towel (or get ready to buy a Disney one!) — the splash pads have reopened at EPCOT. These are great places for little ones to burn off some steam and help keep their cool during the hot summer months. With temperatures soaring, this reopening is very welcome news.
Staffing Shortages Continue to Impact Disney Bus Service
Like many businesses, Disney continues to struggle with staffing shortages in key positions, including bus transportation. On our recent visit to Magic Kingdom, instead of a Disney bus, we had a charter bus to take us from the TTC to Magic Kingdom as Disney has offered temporary positions for bus drivers to come on down.
Attractions Moving to Load Every Row
The era of social distancing has ended, especially on attractions. In the past, rows were left vacant on certain rides to allow for space between parties. With the recent changes announced at Walt Disney World, plexiglass has started to come down and every row is being filled. This also includes that for some attractions, multiple parties may be seated together in a single row.
New Trees Planted Along Castle Path
Thumbs up to the horticulture department for all the work they do to keep the parks beautiful. We noticed some new trees have been added along one of the side paths near Cinderella Castle. The greenery looks so wonderful!
Food and Wine Booths Going Up
Although the Flower and Garden Festival is still going on at EPCOT, Food and Wine booths have started to make an appearance. As a reminder, Food and Wine begins this year on a painfully early July 15.
Journey into Imagination Post-Ride Play Area Reopens
Over in the Imagination pavilion, the post-attraction area has been closed for some time, but has now reopened. (Secretly, it just makes me miss the old ImageWorks upstairs that much more!)
Boneyard Playground Still Closed (for now)
As of this week, the Boneyard, Animal Kingdom’s ultimate playground area, remained closed. We’ll keep an eye open to see if we can “dig up” any news about a reopening date.
Mobile Checkout Comes to World of Disney
After being tested out at MouseGear in EPCOT, mobile checkout has now come to World of Disney at Disney Springs. Simply use the My Disney Experience app to scan items and check out. Then just show your receipt on your phone and you’re on your way. No more waiting in long checkout lines!
Basin Has Testers Out Again
In the category of “We’re getting back to normal, but I’m not sure I’m ready”, Basin at Disney Springs now has testers of their products out again for customers to use. (Some of the new products looked so good that we just had to take them home anyhow even without testing them out!)
Face Painting is Available at Disney Springs
Once again, face painting is now being offered at Disney Springs, in a way that would be accommodating for masks (as most children under 12 are not vaccinated and are still required to wear a mask in many situations).
What do you think of this week’s changes at Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments!