WDWNT Weekly Recap: Shanghai Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland Closed for Coronavirus, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run Gets FastPass+, Disneyland Attractions Close for Refurbishment, and WDWNT The Cruise!

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Every week is a busy week when it comes to Disney news. To help you keep up with all of the updates coming out of Walt Disney World and other Disney resorts, here’s WDWNT’s weekly recap of the Disney news from January 20–26!

Walt Disney World

Magic Kingdom

  • In a photo report, we look at refurbishments at the Cheshire Cat Cafe, digital signboards in Adventureland and Tigger doing what he does best: bouncing
  • Valentine’s Day decor and merchandise has started to arrive at the park! Isn’t it lovely?
  • Panels are going up to enclose the show building for TRON Lightcycle Run. The Game Grid approaches!
  • Splash Mountain is undergoing its annual refurbishment, with crews working on the drop section. We’ll be zipping to the Briar Patch in no time!
  • While the Walt Disney World Railroad remains closed to accommodate the construction of TRON Lightcycle Run, the stationary train exhibit is moving from the Main Street U.S.A. station to the Fantasyland Station on Monday

  • Well, that escalated quickly: the entire facade of City Hall on Main Street U.S.A. is covered by scaffolding and plain beige scrim
  • Bad news for any budding buccaneers: the Pirates League sails into the sunset July 27

EPCOT

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • We take a stroll around the park and focus on some of the cool signage (neat!) and a 210-minute wait for Flight of Passage (less neat!)
  • Construction of the new security area outside the park has gone vertical

Disney Springs

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

  • Citricos is scheduled to undergo a refurbishment starting next month, though the restaurant is expected to remain open (with a modified menu) during the changes

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort

Reflections — A Disney Lakeside Lodge

  • Heavy construction equipment has arrived at the site of the future resort hotel, while green walls completely cover the beach around the resort site

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

  • Little buckaroos can play to their heart’s content at the new Settlement playground, now open between Crockett’s Tavern and the Settlement Trading Post

Disneyland Resort

Downtown-Disney-District-Sign-Toy-Story-Parking-Lot-3.jpg

  • It’s alive! The former Downtown Disney District sign that was removed in April 2019 has resurfaced as a Disneyland Resort sign at the Toy Story Parking Area
  • While not nearly as severe as the situation in China, the coronavirus outbreak has prompted some guests at the Disneyland Resort to take precautions, with a rise in guests wearing protective masks

Disneyland Park

  • We got a new look at concept art for the “Magic Happens” parade before it kicks off next month, including floats inspired by “Cinderella,” “The Sword in the Stone” and “The Princess and the Frog”!
  • If you’ve been hoping that Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run would be added to MaxPass, don’t get your hopes up. As of right now, the attraction is expected to remain standby only for the foreseeable future. Sorry to “tell you the odds”
  • Guests can now use Apple Pay to purchase MaxPass using the Disneyland App

Disney California Adventure

Downtown Disney District

  • We took a stroll around the Downtown Disney District and noticed new merchandise, grabbed a bite at Marceline’s Confectionary, checked in on the construction at Jamba Juice and saw the neon trees were losing their neon

Disneyland Resort Hotels

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

  • There’s a new Sorcerer Mickey Cupcake at GCH Craftsman Grill, which is basic but looks really pretty. It was so pretty that we took it to Disney California Adventure for a photoshoot

Disneyland Hotel

  • The first piece of concept art has been released for the new 12-story Disney Vacation Club Tower being built at the Disneyland Hotel. Here’s hoping it goes better than the cancelled hotel project

Tokyo Disney Resort

Tokyo Disneyland

Shanghai Disney Resort

  • With the coronavirus outbreak sweeping China, the Shanghai Disney Resort closed this week over guest safety concerns and is issuing refunds to guests whose trips were cancelled

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort

  • Not long after Shanghai Disney Resort closed over the coronavirus outbreak, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort followed suit and closed on Saturday. Previously, the park had reportedly suspended face character meet-and-greets for cast member safety
  • Before closing, an adorable Baby Simba popcorn bucket debuted at Hong Kong Disneyland and is likely to come to all Disney Parks, including Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort, in the near future

New Merchandise

  • Guests at Tokyo Disneyland Hotel, Disney Ambassador Hotel or Tokyo DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta can purchase a plush badge and tote bag set that’s uniquely themed to each hotel
  • Head back to the future with new Tomorrowland merchandise at Walt Disney World, including a D-Tech On Demand MagicBand and phone cases, along with apparel themed to the Astro Orbiter, the PeopleMover and Space Mountain. We later found the PeopleMover phone case available at Disneyland Park (still themed to the Walt Disney World version)
  • A new designer Minnie Mouse ear headband by John Coulter debuted at EPCOT as part of the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, and we have photos from launch day
  • Hop on your Tauntaun and check out this new Star Wars Hoth Spirit Jersey available at Disneyland
  • Ring in the Year of the Rat with new Lunar New Year 2020 merchandise at EPCOT and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, including T-shirts, a Spirit Jersey, decorations and more
  • Pay tribute to the Fab Five with new apparel including a sweatshirt and socks at Disneyland Park

Entertainment and Media

  • “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” crossed the $1 billion mark at the box office as the film slipped into fifth place domestically
  • Get ready to enjoy “The Mandalorian” in Munich and “The Imagineering Story” in Innsbruck as Disney+ launches in Western Europe on March 24!
  • The new and final season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” debuts on Disney+ February 21, and we have a new trailer and poster for it
  • In less happy Star Wars Disney+ news, production has been suspended (but not cancelled) on the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, with the crew filming in London being sent home
  • Want to know what Bo Peep was up to between “Toy Story 2” and “Toy Story 4”? Find out in “Lamp Life,” a new animated short premiering January 31st on Disney+
  • Remakes are a song that never ends at Disney, as the studio is developing a live-action remake for “Bambi.” Let’s hope it’s more “live-action” than “The Lion King”!

Other Disney News

  • Disney has put the cats out, as Si and Am of “Lady and the Tramp” have been removed from the Disney Cats pin trading set due to outdated cultural depictions. On the bright side, if you’ve ever wanted a pin of Rufus of “The Rescuers,” now is your time!
  • “Onward” is getting ready to work its magic, with a special sneak peek coming February 7 to the Tomorrowland Theater at Disneyland Park, Walt Disney Presents at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney Cruise Line

WDWNT News

  • Set sail with WDW News Today personalities and fans aboard the Disney Dream this August with WDWNT The Cruise!
  • From mittens to Minnie ears, we’ve got plenty of neat items on the WDWNT Prize Wall!
  • Our own Jason Diffendal feels that the virtual boarding pass system for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance has some serious flaws, and he’s got some solutions on how to fix them

WDW News Today

Make sure you catch up on the News Today episodes from this week!

News Today 1/24/20 – Coronavirus Closes Shanghai Disney, Galaxy’s Edge Adds FastPass, Tiers Change

News Today 1/22/20 – Tokyo Fantasyland Update, Rise of the Resistance Downtime, Simba Popcorn Bucket

News Today 1/20/20 – Three New Films Debut at Epcot, Festival of the Arts, Lunar New Year

That’s all the Disney news for this past week! Make sure you check back at the end of each week for our weekly recaps!

About the author

Matthew Soberman

Matthew has been a writer for WDWNT since June 2018. He probably should have realized he was a Disney Parks fan when he tried to make a model of the Horizons building in middle school shop class. (It didn't go well.) He is also a huge Muppet fan, and can also be found on ToughPigs.com. You can email Matthew at [email protected]

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