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New Year’s Eve Activities and Early 2022 Refurbs Revealed

December 27, 2021
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I have terrific news for those of you who like to book cash rooms sometimes. Walt Disney World once again allows single-night bookings.

You may recall that Disney recently started requiring guests to stay at least two nights. That policy has ended for now. 

At Magic Kingdom, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover just switched sponsors. 

Alamo Rent A Car is out, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car is in. It’s really a lateral sponsorship move, though. After all, Enterprise Holdings, Inc. owns both. 

Blame them the next time you can’t get a car rental at the airport.

Also, at Magic Kingdom, Disney just revealed its New Year’s Eve plans, and they’ll make you happy.

Fantasy in the Sky will return on December 30th and December 31st. The park will operate this show at 11:50 p.m. on each night.

That’s not the only fireworks presentation, either. Disney Enchantment, the 50th-anniversary show, will still run, just much earlier. You can watch it at 6:30 p.m. on those two nights.

EPCOT will also host a fireworks presentation on New Year’s Eve…but not December 30th

The New Year’s Countdown Fireworks will provide entertainment just before midnight. Harmonious will play at 6:30 p.m. on this night.

So, you don’t need to make an either/or choice on fireworks. You can watch both if you are so inclined. 

In fact, if you spend December 30th at Magic Kingdom and New Year’s Eve at EPCOT, you can catch all four fireworks shows!

More Disney News and Notes

Let’s quickly talk about park refurbishments. Disney just announced its early 2022 schedule. 

As usual, Splash Mountain will undergo winter renovations. As a result, Disney will take it offline on January 10th and bring it back on February 11th.

Almost immediately afterward, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad will receive a quick refresh. 

The ride will shut down on February 14th, but if everything goes right, it’ll return on February 18th.

Something else you should know involves Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. Disney released a promotional video about the hotel. Unfortunately, it…didn’t go well.

Critics lambasted the clip so much that Disney deleted it. By that point, the damage had been done, though.

Many guests canceled reservations that they’d made for the hotel. Before the video, the first four months were effectively sold out.

After the video, well, that’s the point I’m making here. You have a second chance if you want to be among the first guests to visit Star Wars Hotel.

Reservations have opened up for March, April, and May. Now, I cannot say how long they’ll last, but if you act quickly, you could snag a reservation!

Of course, you may choose not to do so. Disney has bragged that Galactic Starcruiser will set a new standard in immersion.

Viewers felt strongly that the since-deleted promotional video didn’t show that at all. Instead, they believed the hotel looked unfinished and kinda cheap.

We won’t know for sure until March 1st when the first guests arrive. It is cause for concern, though. 

Here’s a welcome video you can watch and use to draw your own conclusions:

About the Pandemic

Last month, I discussed how Orange County, Florida, had switched to a lower tier on its COVID-19 scale.

At the time, I was optimistic that Disney might relax its current facemask policies. That did happen, although most of it occurred backstage.

Cast members no longer need to wear face-coverings while they’re working backstage. That was the primary change, but many of us hoped for more.

Alas, the pandemic had tilted in the wrong direction again. I don’t need to tell you about the Omicron variant, as the news covers that plenty enough.

However, you should know about three aspects that impact Disney and potentially any upcoming trips you may take.

Last week, Florida confirmed its first case of the Omicron variant. Then, this past Thursday, Altamonte Springs workers detected it in the water at a wastewater plant.

That’s a place roughly 30 miles away from Walt Disney World. So, let’s be realistic about Omicron’s presence in Central Florida. It’s here.

Still, you should know that Pfizer-BioNTech has stated that triple-boosted people remain safe against Omicron. And that matters more than anything else I say today. 

Of course, the news in other parts of the world isn’t as positive. France hasn’t done well in vaccinating its citizens thus far.

For this reason, Disneyland Paris just reintroduced stringent face-covering policies. Those parks are back to requiring facemasks both indoors and outdoors.

Walt Disney World won’t take that route, and Disneyland only would if the state required such changes. 

Still, Orange County, Florida, has returned to the second-highest tier for COVID-19. 

So, Walt Disney World is unlikely to loosen park guest mask requirements until some point in 2022. 

Finally, if you or anyone you care about was impacted by this weekend’s storms, please know that you’re in all our thoughts.

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