Weekly Disney Roundup For November 15 – November 21, 2020

In this edition of the Weekly Disney Round-Up: Park hours get extended, more signs Christmas is just around the corner, plus we take a deep dive into what we learned at the 2020 IAAPA Expo.

This is your Disney news round-up for the week of November 15, 2020.

COVID-19 Updates

Park Hopping Returns: Guests will once again be able to visit more than one park per day at Disney World when park hopping returns on January 1, 2021.  Guests will still need a park pass reservation for their first park and will need to check the time when hopping begin.  Disney currently anticipates that park hopping will happen at 2 pm or later, but plans could change and hopping is subject to availability.

Disney Extend Park Hours For the Holiday Season: All of the Disney Parks have been operating with limited capacity and hours of operations since their reopening. It now appears that Disney will extend park hours, in addition to having increased capacity from 25% to 35%, to help with the larger crowds.

What It’s like to Visit Disney World During The Pandemic: Now that Disney World parks have been open for about four months, what is it like to visit?  Based on my own experience plus some input from World of Walt reader and recent Disney World vacationer John D, let’s take a look at what visiting Disney World is like during the pandemic.

Hotels and Resorts

Christmas Arrives at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels: The Polynesian Village Resort and Grand Floridian Resort and Spa are ready for the holidays. The Poly hotel is closed as the resort remodels, but DVC guests are still on the property and the shops and restaurants in the Great Ceremonial House are open for business.  The Christmas tree is up, and nicely themed.  Let’s take a look at the Disney Christmastime fun.

Interior Designs Released for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort: Disney World continues its work on the new Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser resort near Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Guests with enough good fortune to snag a reservation will enjoy a 2-day, 2-night experience where they will live out their own Star Wars story aboard the Halcyon ship. Disney released detailed concept art showing the cabin interiors.


“Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure” Opening Confirmed for 2021: Over the last several weeks, we have seen a number of rumors that have pushed the opening date of the new Ratatouille attraction back, forward, and every-other-way. D’Amaro confirmed that the attraction, titled “Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure“, will open in 2021.

Our First Look at Guardians of the Galaxy Coaster: D’Amaro shared an update on the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind coaster that is currently under construction in EPCOT.  Disney is billing the attraction as a “storytelling coaster” because it uses a new, programmable ride system that allows the cars to rotate 360 degrees. Disney is calling the ride system an “Omnicoaster.”

One Step Closer to the Opening of EPCOT’s Space 220 Restaurant: One of the delayed (and most anticipated) EPCOT projects is the opening of a new restaurant named “Space 220”. Although details are still pretty scarce about “Space 220,” the Disney Parks Blog posted a video with several images and updates on current projects. One of these images is a better look at what we can expect the interior of “Space 220” to look like.

Christmas Decor Arrives at EPCOT: It’s Christmastime at Disney World.  Decorations have been up at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom for a while, and now Christmas decorations have arrived at EPCOT as well.

Other News

Inclusion to be a Focus in the Disney Parks: A few months ago, Disney announced it would retheme Splash Mountain (Disneyland/WDW) to a Princess and the Frog overlay. The decision to retheme the iconic attraction was based on Disney’s push to create a more inclusive experience for all guests. D’Amaro doubled down on his push for inclusion stating that there would be more changes to come.

Disney Parks Begin Firework Testing: Guests in the area of the Magic Kingdom were able to see, what has become a rare sighting as of late…fireworks! Disney tested fireworks in a number of areas around the Park, but details as to why the testing was conducted is still not fully known. Fans are hopeful this is a sign that fireworks and nighttime shows will soon return to Walt Disney World.

Fireworks testing resumes.

Disney Brings Home Awards For 2 Attractions: Two new attractions at Disney World won Thea Awards from the Themed Entertainment Association.  The Thea Award recognizes achievement, talent, and personal excellence in the themed entertainment industry.

Bigger Disney news this week: Park Hopping returns or Guardians coaster testing?