The past seven days came with plenty of palace intrigue behind the scenes at The Walt Disney Company.
However, you’ll find plenty happening at the parks as well. A new store is coming soon, a popular transportation option has returned, and more.
We’ve had an exciting week at MickeyBlog News.
Minnie Vans Return
DisneyParks is a must-follow on TikTok, as it captures the kinetic energy of Disney visits.
As usual, the whole thing is just a darn popularity contest on social media, though.
DisneyParks posted three essential clips last week. This one dominates in terms of views:
Still, we’re here to talk about this one instead:
Yes, you apparently just add water, and a Minnie Van appears. I don’t claim to understand the science of it, but we are talking about the Most Magical Place on Earth.
I’m rambling. Look, the point is that Minnie Vans have returned from the dead.
Disney stopped offering this form of ridesharing transportation during the pandemic.
During this timeframe, MickeyBlog chronicled several rumors that suggested Minnie Vans wouldn’t return.
All the while, I kept hearing that Disney hadn’t given up on the premise, nor should they. Minnie Vans are incredibly profitable as well as tons of fun.
Now, we’ve learned that Minnie Vans will return this summer, although that’s about all we know. Disney hasn’t announced an official date or a price.
Ridesharing has been a gigantic mess in Orlando over the past 18 months. So I wrote this article discussing options.
One of the things I mentioned is that services like Uber and Lyft have temporarily increased prices due to the surging cost of fuel in North America.
When we last used Minnie Vans, the price was a flat fee of $15 plus $2.75 per mile. Will Disney raise the cost this summer? My money’s on yes.
You should keep reading MickeyBlog to find out for sure, though.
Fixing the EPCOT Mess
A few years ago, park officials revealed a grand plan to overhaul and modernize at EPCOT.
Disney planned multiple E-ticket attractions, a new storyline for Spaceship Earth, a Moana living water feature, and two new pavilions.
Then, the pandemic set back those plans, some of which still haven’t gotten off the ground…and may never become a reality.
Park officials found themselves stuck in the middle due to the unfortunate circumstances.
The end result is that temporary walls have blocked some of the primary walkways throughout EPCOT. It’s a huge mess.
Well, we finally got some good news this past week. The former Future World East pathway has finally reopened!
Here’s a video of what the place looks like right now:
So, that’s…better? I’m actually joking, as that’s a massive improvement.
You can walk straight to Connections Café and Creations Shop without feeling like a rat in a maze.
Part of the reason why Disney brought down these walls is that it’s not having to hide as much at the upcoming Xandar pavilion.
EPCOT’s first intergalactic pavilion will open in a matter of months, and some of the visual blocks just vanished. We can examine the building now!
The big reveal is a new store called Treasures of Xandar.
Whenever Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind tells you to exit through the gift shop, this is the place!
Expect all the Guardians of the Galaxy gear that you can fit in a single building.
I’m extremely excited for our first peek inside the store, which will probably come within the next 30 days.
So, you can imagine how crazy this place will be when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 opens next year!
H20 Glow After Hours
Not that long ago, we were wondering when Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon would finally return.
This water park remained closed for two years, falling victim to the pandemic’s timing.
Now that Typhoon Lagoon has come back, some guests have asked about a favorite after-hours event.
I’m happy to report that H20 Glow After Hours will return this summer. In fact, we just learned the dates!
Disney will host this event every Saturday night from May 28th through August 27th.
H20 Glow After Hours will sell out for each night. So, if you plan to go, you should book immediately.
The reservation windows on March 29th for guests with Disney resort reservations. Everyone else can book starting on April 1St.
Here’s an old Tim Tracker video if you’re unfamiliar with the event.
As you can see, it’s absolutely gorgeous. Plus, you can ride everything at the park during the event. Lines are nearly non-existent.
Theme park updates
This week, the theme park updates run the gamut, with various highs and lows.
At Shanghai Disneyland, the unmistakable low is that the park has closed indefinitely.
I mentioned last week that park officials had already reduced most of the amenities to offset the fear of an outbreak.
After the situation escalated in this part of China, Disney had no choice but to close Shanghai Disneyland again.
In May of 2020, this park provided hope to the rest of the world by being the first Disney place to reopen during the pandemic.
Now, 22 months later, we’re back where we started. It’s frustrating.
On the bright side, The Walt Disney World Railroad has started testing for its upcoming return! This is the other TikTok I mentioned earlier:
I genuinely love that the engineer references that he’s maintaining Uncle Walt’s legacy when he fires up the train each morning.
We haven’t had the Walt Disney World Railroad operational at Magic Kingdom since the start of 2019. So, it’s a relief to know we’ll get it back soon.
At Disney California Adventure, park officials just revealed an unexpected bit of good news.
WEBSLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure, the newest attraction at Disneyland Resort, has added Single Rider as an option!
MickeyBlog regularly recommends Single Rider as a means of reducing wait time at popular attractions.
The last time I tracked the numbers, WEBSLINGERS averaged a wait of 75 minutes. Single Rider should cut that wait in half, possibly even more.
As such, you should utilize Single Rider whenever you want to shoot webs like Spider-Man.