8 Changes We Saw at Walt Disney World This Week, May 23, 2021

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Our in-parks team is in Walt Disney World theme parks recording wait times, trying food, soaking in the atmosphere, and looking for any changes that might impact your vacation. Here’s the changes that stood out to us this week.

Three Caballeros Return

After an extended maintenance absence, the audio-animatronics at the end of the Gran Fiesta Tour boat ride in Mexico have returned. At one time, Jose, Panchito, and Donald were replaced with temporary cutouts. We’re happy to report that they’re now all back and in fine working order.

Rise Has Major Issues

Rise of the Resistance hasn’t had quite as much luck this week. On Thursday, Rise did not board any groups a all. Recently, this headliner attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has experienced delayed openings and pauses in calling boarding groups for an hour or more. We keep track of Rise’s performance in our daily wait time posts.

Construction Around the World

Construction continues all around Walt Disney World. There’s still a lot of construction projects at Walt Disney World, including in Morocco . . .

The TRON coaster at Magic Kingdom. . .

and at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort’s monorail station.

We know it will be worth the wait, but there’s so much construction going on right now!

Chef Mickey’s Reopens

Oh boy! Chef Mickey’s has now reopened for dinner. You can read our full review here.

Not All Monorail Cars Have Partitions

Whether this is the one that Disney missed or Disney has started removing them we’re not sure, but one of our in-parks team ended up on a monorail without the dividers that are used to separate parties of guests. Truthfully, we can’t wait until the partitions are down — they make the monorail cars seem very claustrophobic, and with them being open at the top and bottom, we’re not really sure they do anything other than get in the way.

Casey Jr. Train Gets New Paint

Summer weather is rolling in, and the Casey Jr. Splash and Soak station has gotten a new paint job. Between the relentless Florida sun and the treated water, the paint on this water playground at Magic Kingdom can fade pretty quickly. But for right now, it looks glorious!

BoardWalk Ice Cream Opens

Opening in the location formerly occupied by Ample Hills, BoardWalk Ice Cream has opened, featuring a menu that is a smaller version of the same classic flavors from Beaches and Cream.

Relaxation Stations Are Closed at Disney Parks

With the lifting of the mask requirement for outdoors public locations at Walt Disney World (although masks are still required indoors, in queues, and in a few other locations), there is no need for Relaxation Stations where guests can remove their masks for a breather outdoors. The locations are now simply outdoor seating for all. For those who are curious, we did a quick mask count yesterday, and around 15% of guests (adults and kids) are still wearing masks while walking around outdoors.

And not news, but something worth noting. The animals at Affection Section at Disney’s Animal Kingdom continue to be cute.

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Julia Mascardo

Freelance writer and editor, living the dream in Central Florida with my husband, cats, and totally awesome homeschooled ten-year-old daughter.

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