Disney News on Parade for 7/10/20 Plus Washington Post Aims at Disney

Disney News on Parade for 7/10/20 Plus Washington Post Aims at Disney

So much to cover in this issue of Disney News on Parade. You can find our podcast here on PodbeaniTunesSpotifyMyTuner, and ListenNotes

Walt Disney World Continues to Reopen

This week Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom reopens. We’ll be giving a glimpse of that at the end, and covering all of it in great detail in the days to follow. Meanwhile, smaller pieces of the resort puzzle came together, and we visited them.

Fantasia Gardens

Our review is on the podcast, but we were long overdue to returning to this quaint recreational experience.

Entrance to Fantasia Gardens. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Grey elephants on parade. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Love the Tower of Terror in the background. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Perhaps more astonishing was this completely revamped McDonalds near Disney’s All Star Resorts. It was an impressive remodel. Now if we could do something about the food.

Outdoor seating is appealing in this COVID-19 world. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Sterile, but orderly. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Seating also inside. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Exercise bikes help power the building. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Walt Disney World Reservations Opened Up For 2020

Most Disney Resort hotels are now accepting reservations for 2020. Almost all the resorts are available. But on the podcast we talk about what is NOT quite on the list:

  • Disney All Star Resorts–To include All Star Sports, Music, and Film
  • Disney Port Orleans–Both Riverside & French Quarter
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Jambo House–Kidani Village is open
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge–Though Boulder Ridge & Copper Creek is open, standard resort rooms are not there
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Photo by J. Jeff Kober

Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort–What’s Opening & What’s Not

Today, Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort begins its phased reopening with a variety of specialty shopping and dining experiences.

  • The flagship World of Disney store
  • Asian Street Eats
  • The Disney Dress shop
  • Sugarboo & Co
  • Disney Home
  • Disney’s Pin Traders
  • Earl of Sandwich
  • Kayla’s Cakes
  • PANDORA Jewelry
  • Marceline’s confectionary
  • Jamba
  • Rinse Bath & Body Co.
  • Starbucks
  • Curl Surf
  • Sephora
  • The LEGO Store
  • Wetzel’s Pretzels
  • Sunglass Icon
  • Rinse Bath & Body
  • WonderGround Gallery
  • Naples Ristorante e Bar or UVA Bar & Cafe
  • Salt & Straw scoop shop
  • Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes
Downtown Disney. Photo by J. Jeff Kober

What’s not yet open:

  • Catal Restaurant
  • Ballast Point
  • La Brea Bakery Cafe & Express
  • Napolini
  • Ralph Brennans
  • Splitsville
  • Sprinkles
  • Tortilla Joe’s and Taqueria

Also, what is not reopening is the VOID, located at both Downtown Disney and Disney Springs. A Notice of Event Default and Lease Termination from the Walt Disney World Operating Participants Department. What was surprising, and kind of ugly is that Disney’s legal department had left notice of this on the doors of the Downtown Disney location, in site for all to see. Still, the official site still notes locations in both Disney resorts, plus many other locations.

College Program Put on Further Hold

Disney has announced that the program will “remain closed until further notice” at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. This suspension means that any offer of employment to future arriving interns has been terminated. They assure that they are committed to the program and plan to resume in the future when the time is right. They are also amending eligibility requirements so that even those who may have recently graduated will be able to re-apply. This comes as work is completed on a massive housing facility at Flamingo Crossing.

Interns on their last night at Magic Kingdom. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Disney’s Ambassadors Greet Tokyo Disney

When Tokyo Disney reopened, Ambassadors around the world sent their greetings and salutations. I love it, and I’ve posted it here:

Washington Post Kicks Disney When It’s Down

This last week the Washington Post wrote an article, entitled, “How Disney Could be Facing More Than a Lost Summer.” The podcast goes into my review and comments. Here are a few quotes that I totally question:

“With every passing day of coronavirus uncertainty and social upheaval, Disney finds itself scrambling not only for revenue but also for relevance.”

“And then ask yourself: ‘What happens if it stays empty?’ ”

“But some experts ask whether issues like reopening dates and immediate financial impact miss a larger point, saying the world has changed so dramatically that Disney’s all-in bet on in-person gatherings is fundamentally flawed. With cases probably coming in waves around the country for the foreseeable future, they say the answer is not as simple as waiting out the bad news. A more bedrock shift needs to happen.”

“This is about Disney needing to find a new way to do business that doesn’t require a lot of people to be in one place,” said Grief & Co.’s Lloyd Greif, a Los Angeles-based investment banker who closely tracks Disney. “They need to be making those contingency plans right now.”

Again, I address this article in the podcast. Be sure to listen.

More to Come as Walt Disney World Reopens

We finish off with a few photos from the Magic Kingdom as it reopens. In the podcast I share an experience with my daughter attending the Cast Member previews. I think it will offer hope to most anyone thinking about visiting Walt Disney World sometime soon, so be sure to listen.

Here are some photos of how the characters are greeting guests in the park:

The gang at the train station. Photo by Madison Kober.
Princess Merida on horseback. Photo by Madison Kober.
The world’s greatest fairy godmother. Photo by Madison Kober.
Princess Tiana–more relevant than ever. Photo by Madison Kober.

We end with a peek at the newly refurbished Cinderella Castle, being prepared for its 50th anniversary.

Cinderella Castle. Photo by Madison Kober.

More from the Magic Kingdom and all the Disney parks. Be sure to catch all the latest and greatest in the days to come.

Is it time to book your next trip to Disney? The best person to answer that question is David Zanolla, owner and agent of of Out The Door Travel, LLC. There’s no cost–but it could save you a lot of time–and even money–especially when you put it in the hands of someone who really knows Disney and travel. Call today at 309-863-5469 or reach out to him via zanolla@otdtravel.com

J. Jeff Kober

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