Home » The 8 BIG Updates From Walt Disney World (and Beyond) This Week (December 28, 2020 – January 3, 2021)

The 8 BIG Updates From Walt Disney World (and Beyond) This Week (December 28, 2020 – January 3, 2021)

 This week at Walt Disney World, a curious map change comes to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a just-opened Disney Springs treat shop closes back down, plus hotel guests are now being charged $5 per MagicBand as the era of free MagicBands officially ends. 

Outside Walt Disney World, Universal announces a reopening date for the Volcano Bay Water Park, plus new concept art is revealed for the VelociCoaster! 

1. Park Hopping officially returns to Walt Disney World

Of course the biggest news this weeks is the return of park hopping at Walt Disney World. For the first time since March, guests can visit more than one park per day, and on January 1, 2020, several guests reported they were able to “hop” between all four parks using this newly reinstated policy. Guests must still make a Disney Park Pass reservation for the first park they plan to visit AND enter that first park prior to visiting another. In addition, park Hopping will only be available during specific Park Hopper hours, which will start at 2:00 PM. each day and end at the park’s scheduled close time. For more on how this policy will work, click here

2. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster temporarily closed due to technical difficulties  

January 1, the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios did not open due to technical difficulties, and it looks like this attraction has stayed closed through January 2. No reason was given for the closure, but hopefully this attraction opens up again soon! 

3. Gideon’s Bakehouse temporarily closed at Disney Springs

Just over a week after its massive grand opening (which saw guests queueing for hours and forming massive lines around Disney Springs) Gideon’s Bakehouse has announced a temporary closure of their Disney Springs location, effective immediately. No immediate reason was given for the shutdown or how long it will last but hopefully there will be an update soon. 

4. Resort guests can now purchase MagicBands for $5

Though guests who make reservations to stay at Disney Resort hotels used to receive complimentary MagicBands, as of this week this feature has been removed, and guests who are staying at a Disney resort and what to use a new single-color MagicBand will need to pay $5 per band under the new policy. 

5. Shows removed from Disney’s Animal Kingdom map

Though Disney has said that they will be bringing back live entertainment at the park at some point it looks like we may be in for a long wait as this week new park maps were released for Disney’s Animal Kingdom that no longer feature Festival of the Lion King or Finding Nemo: The Musical, a change that seems to imply that it will be a long time before these shows return. 

6. Discover Disney tickets return on Monday 

Disney has announced that their popular discounted Florida Resident Discover Disney ticket is will once again be available for purchase on January 4, 2021 and are valid for admission to one theme park per day, and can be used on consecutive or non-consecutive days. Here are the price points and when the tickets are valid: 

  • 2-Day Ticket – $149 Valid: January 4 – March 11, 2021 ( Blockout dates: January 16 – January 18 and February 13 – February 15)
  • 3-Day Ticket – $179 Valid: January 4 – June 18, 2021 (Blockout dates: January 16 – January 18. February 13 – February 15, March 26 – April 11 and May 28 – 31, 2021)
  • 4-Day Ticket – $199 Valid: January 4 – June 18, 2021 (Blockout dates: January 16 – January 18. February 13 – February 15, March 26 – April 11 and May 28 – 31, 2021)

7. Volcano Bay to reopen in March

Only a few weeks after announcing that it was opening Blizzard Beach in March, Universal Orlando Resort has said that they are reopening their Volcano Bay water park “on or before March 1, 2021” as well, according to an update on their website. The water park has been closed since November 2, 2020 due to cool weather and safety concerns. 

8. New Velocicoaster concept art released

The wait is on for the summer’s most anticipated new attraction at Universal Orlando Resort’s Islands of Adventure: the Velocicoaster! And while we’re still several months away from the opening of this new attraction, brand new concept art, which features masked guests aboard the attraction’s ride vehicles, surrounded by raptors.