MickeyBlog News for April 4th, 2022

Hoop Dee Doo, I’ve got great news! Yup, the happy, fun times are back in the latest edition of MickeyBlog News!

Custom Mickey wreaths

Hoop Dee Doo Returns Soon

Sometimes, life gives you the win you need even when you’re not asking for it.

I thought about this after a TikTok post suggested the unlikely. Here’s the clip:

MickeyBlog excitedly posted it immediately, even though we weren’t quite sure what to expect.

Lately, Disney has used Instagram and TikTok to reveal significant park announcements.

tiktok

In this instance, park officials did more than that. Disney posted the return date for the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review.

Friends, that’s one of the most storied dining experiences at Walt Disney World…or anywhere else.

Hoop Dee Doo Disney

Photo: MickeyTravels.com

Yes, on June 23approxthe beloved dinner show will return at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.

Guests may book Advanced Dining Reservations on May 26th. So, you don’t need to act immediately. Still, that booking window opens in roughly six weeks.

Hoop Dee Doo

The TikTok video hints at some modest changes to the dinner show, something many analysts had expected.

Presumably, Disney wants to modernize the show, which has remained relatively static since its opening in 1974.

Hoop de Doo Disney

Image Credit: Disney

For the body of 45 years, Disney has presented Hoop-Dee-Doo three times per night, seven nights per week.

I’ll save you the math here. That’s nearly 50,000 performances! In fact, some argue that it’s the most performed dinner show ever.

Hoop de Doo Disney

Despite its lauded history, questions had persisted about whether it would return. In fact, some had gone so far recently as to confirm its ending.

Thankfully, those rumors proved unfounded. Instead, we are less than three months away from countless hoedowns at Pioneer Hall!

Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review

That’s Not Even the Best News This Week!

Okay, I admittedly buried the lede a bit there because I’m a Hoop-Dee-Doo enthusiast. My family possesses inimitable memories of this place.

Still, for most Disney fans, the more significant news of the week involves character interactions.

Since Walt Disney World reopened in July of 2020, the parks haven’t hosted what we once called character greetings.

Instead, Disney introduced character sightings as a temporary half-measure. Costumed cast members and Disney Princesses appear across the parks.

Disney Character meet greets

Credit: Disney

Alas, you cannot walk up to them and hug them, though. So the modified versions were more about keeping up appearances, almost literally.

In the earliest days of Disney’s reopening, characters like Winnie the Pooh would chase butterflies in socially distant settings.

Later, Disney brought back its standard hosting locations such as Town Square Theater, Princess Fairytale Hall, and Red Carpet Dreams.

These enhancements vastly improved interactions. However, until quite recently, guests wore face masks indoors, limiting communication.

Also, the various character cast members maintained social distancing to prevent either themselves or park guests from catching COVID-19.

Well, friends, I’m ecstatic to tell you that we’ve officially gone past that era at Disney theme parks!

Here’s a video Disney posted on YouTube:

Yes, on April 18th, two weeks from now, hugs are back in fashion at Disney theme parks! In fact, this rule applies to Disney cruises as well!

From that date forward, character interactions will work as you’d always known them before the pandemic.

Disney characters meet and greets

You can hug, shake hands, fist-bump, or maybe even do a little dance with character cast members.

So, for all the people saying that they wouldn’t go back to Disney until it was the full experience, that date is April 18th! We’ve made it, everyone!!!

Anna and Elsa Character meet and greet

Other Disney News Items

I’ve got several to discuss, including one that proves how quickly time passes.

At the end of 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared that people should avoid cruises altogether.

Disney Cruise COVID protocols

Credit: Disney

The late-year outbreak involving the Omicron variant forced this decision.

Well, the combination of vaccinations and enforcement rules caused the highly transmissible Omicron variant to crest quickly in North America.

United States Negative COVID Test

Now, almost exactly three months later, the CDC has announced that tourists may safely travel on cruises once again.

That is a MASSIVE policy change in a relatively short time frame. Still, it’s the best possible news for those of you aching to try the Disney Wish.

Disney Wish 1923

Image Credit: Disney

Speaking of which, the Disney Wish has officially left its dock. After a prolonged stay at the MEYER WERFT shipyard, the vessel has headed to sea.

Nautical officials will verify the seaworthiness of the Disney Wish. Once those tests end, the ship will cross the ocean to its new home at Port Canaveral.

Photo credit: Meyer Werft

In other words, we have every reason to believe that the Disney Wish will set sail on its maiden voyage on July 14thas previously announced.

The Lightning Lane Update

Finally, I need to pass along some vital information about Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane at Walt Disney World.

The official site recently updated its verbiage. Unfortunately, it has introduced some new legalese that might alarm some. Here’s the new text:

β€œOn average, guests can enter 2 to 3 attractions or experiences per day using the Lightning Lane entrance if the first selection is made early in the day.”

Previously, Disney had indicated that guests would experience up to eight attractions during a single day.

This sudden drop to β€œ2 to 3” shouldn’t scare anybody, though. I suspect it’s more that Disney must allow for first-time guests who aren’t as informed as you or me.

Lightning Lane

These visitors might not know to start booking Lightning Lane experiences as soon as possible.

Instead, they could feasibly show up a few hours before the park closes and still expect eight attractions.

Under the old language, if Disney didn’t meet those unreasonable expectations, the guest could have reasonably expected a refund.

With the new verbiage, Disney lets guests know that they should be proactive with their bookings. It’s part of the 7 AM Struggle we’ve discussed.

You really don’t need to awaken at the crack of dawn on your vacation to book eight attractions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, or Magic Kingdom.

Disney theme park reservations

However, you should adjust your expectations when you arrive after lunchtime at these parks.

The only place where I believe this new language could cause any issues is at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where several attractions require hour-long waits.

Disney early entry attractions

Credit: Disney

You’ll want to start early at this park to maximize your Disney Genie+ purchase.

PS: Stay tuned to MickeyBlog this week! Some exciting announcements should drop soon regarding Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind!

Feature Image: Disney

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