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by Military Diva

Let me begin this month’s updates by apologizing for my lateness.  December was full of Covid, almost three weeks of quarantine, a week of hurried Christmas preparations, and (after being cleared by physicians and public health) a vacation to Disney World!  We were certainly in need of the Florida sun and joyful entertainment.

I hope you are all still safe and were able to enjoy your 2020 Holiday season. Let’s brighten your 2021 by jumping into the Disney Travel Company updates from December!

Walt Disney World
Castle Projection show

Holiday Projection show at Cinderella’s Castle

  • Military discounts for 2021 were announced! Discounted room only/basic packages and ticket discounts are available for active, guard, reserve, and retired members of the military traveling in 2021.  Rooms can be booked now for use through December 17, 2021.  Eligible guests can book this offer by calling 407-939-7830, through All for Dreams Travel, or through your favorite travel agent.  Eligible guests can also purchase steeply discounted military tickets through their local base, Shades of Green, or at a Disney World ticket gate (taxes will be applied here). These tickets, and unused 2020 tickets, will expire on September 26, 2021. Those that purchased and activated their (6) ticket maximum prior to December 19, 2020, can purchase another (6) tickets for use in 2021. At this time, tickets must be purchased by February 14, 2021.  Those that take advantage of the second set will not be able to purchase Military tickets for use from October through December 2021, if announced.  (per Disney World…”Eligible Service Members or spouses who purchase six (6) Disney Military Promotional Tickets during the period of December 19, 2020 through February 14, 2021 will not be eligible for any subsequent offers of the Disney Military Promotional Tickets in 2021″)
    • 4-Day Military Promotion Ticket-$265
    • 5-Day Military Promotion Ticket-$283
    • 6-Day Military Promotion Ticket-$301
  • Updates to Date-Based, Multi-Day tickets-the Walt Disney World booking system has been updated to accommodate multi-day ticket purchases in coordination with the Park Reservation system. When Park Reservations were first announced, guests purchasing multi-day tickets saw glitches when a day in their range was unavailable.  The system will now allow the purchase if there are enough days of reservations available. (to clarify…guest would like 4-day tickets. These will be valid for 6 days, including the first day of use. If two of the six days’ park reservations are full, guests can still purchase these tickets but must use them on days with Park Reservation availability.)
  • Work and Renovation at Epcot still moving forward!
    • New entrance fountain debuts at Epcot’s entrance.
    • Guests visiting Epcot can now see the platforms for “Harmonious”, the new nighttime show, being placed in World Showcase Lagoon.  These platforms will function as fountains during the day and part of the show at night.
  • The 2021 Star Wars Rival Run has been canceled and transitioned to a virtual race. Fees paid by participants outside the U.S.and funds paid for all Commemorative Merchandise will be fully refunded.  Registered U.S. participants should have an email explaining their two options…
    • Request a full refund of registration fees.
    • Convert to a Virtual Run, opting to run the race at their own location.  Guests choosing this option will receive the medal, shirt, digital bib, and finisher certificate for their registered event(s). Also included is a digital toolkit, digital goody bag, virtual playlist, and a Disney Digital Gift card (Half, 10K, 5K, and Challenge participants).
  • New details for Epcot International Festival of the Arts were announced!  The festival will run from January 8 through February 22, 2021.
    • Voices of Liberty will debut a brand new mix of songs at the America Gardens Theater.
    • Live performances from various artists throughout Epcot’s World Showcase.
    • Food stations located throughout the park.
    • Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine-guests that purchase five food items from the Festival Passport can receive a complimentary treat!
    • Our very own Pixie Dusted Diva had the pleasure of visiting during the Festival Opening.  Photos, tips, and food offerings can be found on our Facebook Page.
  • Disney World Resort Updates-three previously closed resorts have planned opening dates and are accepting bookings!
    • Disney’s All Star Movies-March 22, 2021
    • Disney’s Beach Club Resort-May 30,2021
    • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge-June 6, 2021
  • Changes announced for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance virtual queue-guests no longer need to be in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at park opening (or earlier!) to reserve their Rise of the Resistance Boarding Group. Now, using the “myDisneyexperience” app, guests can attempt to join the virtual queue at 7 am from anywhere!  In addition, guests with Hollywood Studios Park reservations that are in the park and did not receive a boarding group at 7 am can attempt to join the later groups.  Since November, I have booked three boarding groups (two at 7:00 am and one at 1:00 pm) and I have missed one 7 am boarding group. Keep an eye open for an update on my experience!
  • Two new Walt Disney World discounts are now available!
    • Package offer with FREE tickets-purchase a minimum of four-night/three-day room and ticket package and receive an additional two days of tickets FREE!  Guests must travel between January 8 and September 25, 2021.
    • Room discount-guests can save up to 35% off the room portion of their Disney World vacation when visiting from January 3-April 17, 2021.
  • Disney Parks Foodie News highlights exciting options in Disney’s Magic Kingdom.  
    • Sleepy Hollow sees the addition of Hand-Dipped Corn Dogs (a personal favorite during our latest trip!!)
    • Tomorrowland Terrace is now offering Columbia Harbour House favorites such as the Lobster Roll and Platter options.
    • Cinderella’s Royal Table is now offering a braised lamb shank during its lunch and dinner table service.
    • Crystal Palace has converted to a family-style three-course dinner.  While characters aren’t currently available, the meal offers an amazing, distracting feast-you might be too full to notice the lack of characters! Guests will dine on buttermilk bacon biscuits, salads, and one choice of entree per guest (fire-roasted prime rib, fried chicken, blackened catfish and shrimp, brown sugar glazed pork chop, or southern fried cauliflower). And of course, there are desserts!  Remember, dining reservations can be made 60 days in advance of check-in if staying onsite and 60 days prior to dining if staying offsite.
  • Taste of Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is set to begin on March 3, 2021.  Stay tuned for more details!
  • Magic Band changes-guests arriving on or after January 1, 2021, will no longer receive complimentary Magic Bands. Magical extras (luggage tags, golf vouchers, and discount cards) can be picked up at the front desk of your resort.   So what are guest options for room key, park tickets, and room charging?
    • Reuse old Magic Bands from previous trips.  Be sure that bands are linked and active in your “myDisneyexperience” account. When onsite,  be sure to “tap to add” all ride photos and videos at the end of each attraction with photos. Bands lose battery power around the two-year mark.  They will still function properly for door opening, park tickets, and room charging the ability to automatically capture photos may be limited.
    • Purchase a new band through your “myDisneyexperience” account. They are $5 each for standard colored bands purchased in connection with a room or package.  Prices vary for specialty bands.
    • Purchase new Magic Bands through the Disney Store. Prices tend to start around $14 for solid colored bands. The store offers many colors and options not available in the “myDisneyexperience” app.
    • If choosing to forego bands, guests can use their phones to open their resort door.  TICKETS SHOWN ON THE APP WILL NOT ALLOW YOU ENTRY INTO THE PARKS.  Guests must request a “Key to the World” card at their resort or at guest service (with your purchase receipt) to use in place of Magic Bands for park entry.
  • 2021 DoD Warrior Games are set to take place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex later this year. Resilience and strength are the highlights of these games as wounded warriors compete!  Stay tuned for more information on this event, scheduled for September 2021.
  • The Paddock Pool Slide at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa is set to undergo renovations soon. The bridge connecting this area will be closed to resort guests, but the Paddock Pool will remain open. Guests can navigate the area by utilizing the resort shuttle or alternate walking routes.
  • Disney’s Blizzard Beach is on schedule to open on March 7, 2021!

 

Disneyland
Disneyland updates

Photo courtesy of Superhero Diva

  • At this time Disneyland is still closed.  
  • Expiration dates extended for unused Disneyland tickets.
    • Single-day tickets that are unused and originally had an expiration date of December 30, 2020 or March 31, 2021 are now valid until December 16, 2021.
    • Fully unused multi-day tickets with original expiration dates of January 12 or April 13, 2021 are now valid until December 16, 2021.  These tickets expire 13 days after first use. Full use must be completed by December 16, 2021.
    • Unused days from multi-day tickets that were originally used between February 28 and March 13, 2020 can use their remaining days until December 16, 2021.  These tickets will also expire 13 days after first use in 2021 or on December 16, 2021 (whichever comes first).
  • Snow White’s Scary Adventure transitioning to Snow White’s Enchanted Wish!  State of the art updates that include new sounds, lighting, scents, and animation have been added to enhance this fan-favorite attraction.  Set to be open when the doors of Disneyland reopen, excited guests can catch a glimpse of the new attraction in this video clip!

 

Disney Cruise Line
Disney News Updates

Disney Cruise Line

 

  • Updates to the Disney Cruise Line Final Payment and Cancelation Policy have been announced.  Final payment for unrestricted staterooms on cruises scheduled through July 31, 2021 is now due 60 days prior to sailing.  Cancellation and change fees for these cruises have been relaxed as well.  Guests can find full details on Disney’s “Book Your Disney Cruise with Confidence” page.  Impacted guests should also receive an email with full details.
  • New Disney Cruise Line Suspended sailings have also been announced. Following CDC guidelines, Disney Cruise Line has had to cancel sailings longer than 7-nights.  The cruises currently affected are the Disney Magic 13-Night Transatlantic sailing (May 9, 2021), Disney Wonder 9-Night Alaska sailing (June 28, 2021), and the Disney Fantasy 9-Night Southern Caribbean sailing (July 22, 2021).  Affected guests that have not paid in full will receive a full refund.  Affected guests that have paid in full are being offered the following options a full refund or a 125% FCC to be used on a sailing prior to May 31, 2022.  Additional discounts on specific future cruises are also available for these guests and can be found in their Seamail from Disney Cruise Line.
  • Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy late-April and May 2022 sailings are available to book now!
  • Disney’s newest ship, the Disney Wish, highlighted in this new video!! Larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, running on liquefied natural gas and featuring a beautiful tribute to a favorite Princess this new ship will be joined by two sister ships by 2025!!

 

Adventures by Disney
Disney News & Updates

Disney themed and specialty River Cruises offered by Adventures by Disney

  • Adventures by Disney vacations through April 2021 have been suspended.  Affected guests will have a 100% credit to be used towards a future adventure.

Things are changing very quickly in the travel industry.  Make sure to check our site or our social media pages for the most up to date information concerning all Disney Destinations.  And as always, consider booking your next trip with All for Dreams Travel!

All for Dreams Travel in an independent agency with Gateway Travel/Gateway to Magic Travel, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.  Their agents have made several trips to Disney World, Universal, and several other locations in the past few months and can offer expert, personal advice on how to travel safely!

My name is Patricia, aka Military Diva, and I have a soft spot for Disney Destinations! After a two year post-9/11 deployment, our family was able to reconnect during a Disney World vacation. While counting on time together, we did not expect the touching service we received from Cast Members. We were treated like royalty! It is my mission as a writer for "Tips from the Disney Diva" and as owner of "All for Dreams Travel" to help other families experience their own special connections through travel.