Home » The 8 BIG Updates From Walt Disney World (and Beyond) This Week (March 15-21, 2021)

The 8 BIG Updates From Walt Disney World (and Beyond) This Week (March 15-21, 2021)

This week at Walt Disney World, giant crowds continue to flood the park for spring break, a new discount is announced for annual passholders, and new information is released about the upcoming Jungle Cruise reimagining!

Outside Walt Disney World, Universal opens a new ice cream shop and SeaWorld debuts a new restaurant! 

1. Disney separates large parties in queues

With Walt Disney World seeing capacity crowds from now through mid-April, it looks like the parks are getting tougher about social distancing, installing new signage at the parks that advises guests to limit their large parties to a maximum of four guests per physical distancing marker. 

2. Hours extended for first week in April 

Due to the massive crowds that have been showing up at the theme parks, Walt Disney World has extended hours at all four theme parks for the first week of April, with the new schedule as following for April 4 – 10th 

  • Magic Kingdom: 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM (previously 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM)
  • EPCOT: 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM (previously 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM)
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios: 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM (previously 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM)
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom: 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM (previously 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

3. New details revealed about reimagined Jungle Cruise storyline

Additional details have been shared about the reimagined Jungle Cruise attraction’s new backstory, which will be centered around Alberta Falls, granddaughter of world-renowned Dr. Albert Falls (Who S.E.A. fans will undoubtedly recognize), as the proprietor of the Jungle Navigation Company Ltd. You can learn more about the plans for this updated attraction here

4.  Blizzard Beach annual passholder discount now available

Now that Blizzard Beach has reopened Disney is offering a discounted price for annual passholders of $49 plus tax, which is a $20 saving for adults, and a $10 saving per child. Ticket must be used on or before December 31, 2021, and is good for the passholder as well as three guests. As a reminder, Blizzard Beach is the only theme park at Walt Disney World that does not require advance reservations, which means these discounted tickets can be used anytime! 

5. The Chapeau closing later this month for lengthy refurbishment

Main Street’s The Chapeau will be closing at the Magic Kingdom on March 27 for an extended refurbishment alongside the Main Street Confectionery which will also be closing at the end of the month for a long refurbishment. Both establishments are expected to reopen this summer. 

6. Orange Bird Magnets being sent to annual passholders

Disney has announced that they will be sending free annual passholder magnets featuring the Orange Bird  to active Walt Disney World annual passholders in early summer. The magnets are subject to two per household. Annual passholders are to login to their My Disney Experience account to make sure addresses and account information is up to date by March 31 to ensure they get their magnet this summer. 

7. Häagen-Dazs ice cream shop opens at Universal Studios Florida

Universal Orlando Resort’s contract with Ben & Jerry’s had ended last year and as a result the theme park has switched to serving Häagen-Dazs ice cream around the resort. And in the months since the switch, remodeling work has been happening at the old Ben & Jerry’s location to turn it in to a Häagen-Dazs ice cream shop. And now work has finally completed on this refreshed area and guests can now enjoy ice cream at this location once again.

8. Lakeside Grill opens at SeaWorld Orlando 

Just a week after opening Altitude Burgers, SeaWorld has opened another new dining option for guests visiting the park: The Lakeside Grill! Formerly known as the Spice Mill, this reimagined restaurant features a Mediterranean-inspired menu and contemporary coastal-inspired décor, a 600-gallon aquarium, and panoramic views.