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Disney announces re-opening dates for more resort hotels, but not Port Orleans

Posted Sunday 21st June 2020, 1:00pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Walt Disney World has announced their forthcoming re-opening plans for more Resort Hotels, but sadly it's not good news for Port Orleans fans. It was already known that the Fort Wilderness campground and the majority of the DVC Villas were due to open on 22 June, and now Pop Century and the Contemporary have been added for 10 July which coincides with the first theme park openings.

A number of other resorts now have staggered dates from then through to 14 October, presumably based on how levels of demand are expected to gradually increase. However the two Port Orleans resorts, the All Star resorts, Animal Kingdom Lodge and Wilderness Lodge do not have any reopening dates listed as yet, indicating that at this stage Disney do not expect to reopen them before Halloween at the earliest, and potentially into next year.

Guests with existing bookings for Port Orleans and the other currently-closed locations who still wish to continue with their planned visit to Walt Disney World will be relocated to other hotels, either at the same price level or as a free upgrade depending on availability.

Opening on 22 June:
Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
Disney’s Beach Club Villas
Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
Disney’s Riviera Resort
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

July 10: Disney's Pop Century Resort and Disney's Contemporary Resort
July 29: Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
August 12: Disney's Polynesian Village Resort and Disney's Art of Animation Resort
August 24: Disney's Yacht Club Resort and Disney’s Beach Club Resort
September 21: Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
October 1: Disney's BoardWalk Inn
October 14: Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

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Disney submits proposals for gradual re-opening of Walt Disney World

Posted Thursday 28th May 2020, 9:06am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

On 27 May 2020, Disney submitted its proposals to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force for a gradual re-opening of the Walt Disney World theme parks. The intention is to reopen the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on 11 July, and Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios on 15 July.

There will be a lot of initial restrictions though, such as requirement for pre-booked entry slots for guests with existing bookings and for annual passholders, and a temporary block on any new bookings or ticket sales. The My Disney Experience app/website is not accepting any new reservations for FastPasses, ADRs, or imminent hotel bookings. There will also be many social distancing policies introduced, including no close-crowd generating activities such as fireworks, parades and character greetings. Face coverings will be required for cast members and all guests over 3 years old.

There is less detail on the hotels, but it looks as though they will be reopening in phases. starting with Fort Wilderness on 22 June.

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For more information, see the Disney Parks Blog update.

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Coronavirus pandemic pauses any remaining room refurbishment work until 2021

Posted Monday 20th April 2020, 6:17am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, there are currently no plans to resume any of the remaining room refurbishments during 2020. Disney is expecting that once the resorts do finally reopen there will be unprecedented demand as people try to re-book cancelled vacations, and they are intending to focus on making every possible room available to support guests making up for lost time.

Currently, all of the rooms at Port Orleans French Quarter have been recently refurbished, and the Alligator Bayou and regular Magnolia Bend mansion buildings were also completed in 2019. This just leaves Riverside's Royal Rooms - located in buildings 90 and 95 - which will retain their original decor for the time being until construction work re-commences sometime in 2021. We'll post further updates as information emerges.

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Port Orleans musicians to entertain virtual Guests online

Posted Sunday 22nd March 2020, 11:43am (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

During this unprecedented period of closure at Walt Disney World and the Resort Hotels, some of your favourite resort musicians have let us know that they plan to stream online video gigs for their fans direct from their homes. We may all be having to isolate ourselves from unnecessary physical contact, but that needn't mean missing out on the fun!

[Update] Several of these artists have also set up virtual 'Tip Jars' via PayPal, allowing viewers to contribute in much the same way as you might in person at their live gigs. If you enjoy their shows, please consider supporting the time and effort that they are putting in to help keep us all entertained during this difficult time for everybody.

"Ye Haa" Bob Jackson (popular nighttime piano entertainer at the River Roost Lounge for the past 23 years) will be streaming his first live gig from home tonight, Sunday 22nd March starting at 6pm EST. [Update: and the following Sundays at 6pm too]

Jason and Billy (members of the popular band Off Kilter, and Scat Cat's Club entertainers from 2016 until the recent 2019 location refurb) will be live-streaming a show via the internet on Friday 27 March from 7:30pm - 9:30pm EST. Please join in and support them, see you 'there'. [Update: Further shows on Sunday afternoons, 3pm - 5pm EST]

Greg Hayworth (ex Mulch, Sweat and Shears, and also a regular guest at Scat Cat's Club over the past few years) and his wife played an online request session from beside their swimming pool last night, and they plan more 'Sunset Sessions' each Wednesday at 7pm.


For more information, and to watch the live shows, please follow their Facebook Pages and join in with the live chats to request your favourite songs:

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CoronaVirus 2020

Posted Friday 20th March 2020, 5:00pm (EDT) by The Sassagoula Sentinel

I'm sure that everyone who reads our Facebook page, or indeed any Facebook page, is already aware that as a precaution to help limit the spread of Coronavirus, all Walt Disney World theme parks were CLOSED as from Monday 16th March. Additionally, all Disney World Resort Hotels closed by 5pm on Friday 20th March, allowing current guests enough time to make arrangements to get home. Disney-owned retail locations (such as those at Disney Springs) closed from 17 March. All transportation options apart from bus services between the Resorts & Disney Springs and the Resorts Monorail loop were also shut down when the parks closed, and now all transportation is shut down.

Disney is stating that these full closures will remain in place until the end of the month, but in my opinion guests should expect this situation to last for significantly longer than that, possibly several months. Please keep an eye on our Facebook page and the Walt Disney World website for ongoing updates.

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