This week we discuss new policies at US parks, a scary incident in Paris causes the resort to go on lock-down, Mickey and Minnie sport new faces in Tokyo, the Star Festival is returning, and more!

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News:

Beginning May 1st at all US parks, new guidelines will be in place for strollers. The new guideline limits stroller sizes to 31 inches wide, by 52 inches long. A lot of strollers sold currently fit into those dimensions, even double jogging strollers. Wagons have never been allowed, but there were some wagon/stroller hybrids that were allowed, but will not be starting May 1st. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2019/03/moms-panel-update-know-before-you-go-tips-for-your-next-park-visit/

Another wide-ranging policy change at the US parks include the removal of all smoking areas from the parks. Starting on May 1st, smoking, including vaping, will not be allowed in the parks. Designated smoking areas will be available outside of the parks for guest use. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2019/03/moms-panel-update-know-before-you-go-tips-for-your-next-park-visit/

A policy change that didn’t wait until May 1st was the removal of loose ice being allowed in the US parks. This includes inside of coolers that you are still allowed to bring. If you want to keep your items cool, you will need to bring reusable ice packs. You are also able to visit any quick service dining location for a free cup of ice. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2019/03/moms-panel-update-know-before-you-go-tips-for-your-next-park-visit/

The Walt Disney World resort has announced more dates for Disney After Hours events for Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. If you want to experience these parks with minimal crowds and some great food and souvenir perks, we highly recommend that you get tickets. Tickets are $125, plus tax in advance and $129, plus tax on the day of. Annual passholders get a discounted price of $95, plus tax. The events run for 3 hours after regular park hours, typically letting you into the park at 7pm, and running to midnight or 1am. – http://www.wdwmagic.com/events/disney-after-hours/news/28mar2019-disney-after-hours-extended-to-the-summer.htm

Up until 2011, you could purchase a commemorative brick that would be placed in front of the Magic Kingdom or the Ticket and Transportation Center. You could customize the brick with a graphic at the top, a saying or name in the middle, and a date at the bottom. The bricks were called the “Disney’s Walk Around the World.” Disney will begin removing the bricks in an effort to enhance the guest arrival process. If you have one of these bricks, you can order a commemorative version of it between now and August 31, 2019. Unfortunately, you will not be able to get your actual brick once it is removed. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2019/03/disneys-walk-around-the-world-bricks-to-be-retired-as-transformation-of-arrival-experience-continues-at-magic-kingdom-park/

It isn’t elaborate like Cars Land at California Adventure at Disneyland in Anaheim, but Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World has some Cars representation! The area is just off the Rock n RollerCoaster Courtyard, in the Sunset Showcase space. The new area has a meet and greet with Cruz Ramirez, which was previously located elsewhere in Hollywood Studios last year, and a pretty neat 10 minute show with an animatronic Lightning McQueen and some interaction with a large, 200 foot wide screen that wraps to either side of the audience. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2019/03/new-briar-rose-gold-collection-set-to-debut-april-1-at-the-walt-disney-world-resort/

Over on DLWeekly, we have talked a lot about the different colors of ears, spirit jerseys, and even the food. Well, a new rose gold variation called Briar Rose Gold has debuted. For those of you that aren’t aware, Briar Rose is Princess Aurora. There are Minnie Mouse ear headbands, a tumbler, and, of course, a spirit jersey. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2019/03/new-briar-rose-gold-collection-set-to-debut-april-1-at-the-walt-disney-world-resort/

There was a scary incident for guests at Disneyland Paris after an electrical malfunction caused panic at the parks. Disneyland Paris evacuated some guests and put the resort on lock-down after the false alarm led to rumors of a terrorist attack and gunshots over social media, causing panic among the guests. – https://wdwnt.com/2019/03/conflicting-reports-lead-to-guest-evacuations-lockdowns-at-disneyland-paris/

After more than 10 years, the Disneyland Paris resort has posted a profit! The European park has struggled since its opening back in 1992, even after the Walt Disney Company stepped in in 2012 and provided funding to repay loan debts, leading to the company taking full ownership in 2017. Disney invested 225 million in 2018 to renovate the attractions and hotels for its 25th anniversary. Another 2.4 billion will be invested at the resort to bring Star Wars, Frozen, and Marvel lands, and add 1,000 jobs. – https://wdwnt.com/2019/03/disneyland-paris-posts-a-profit-for-the-first-time-in-more-than-a-decade/

Of course, all of that investment means higher prices. Annual pass prices are increasing in prices on April 2nd anywhere from 20 euros for the Discovery pass, to 50 euros for the Infinity pass. – https://wdwnt.com/2019/03/disneyland-paris-annual-pass-prices-to-increase-starting-april-2nd/

There isn’t too much going on with Shanghai Disney Resort, but this might be of interest to some of you: back in January, the resort announced the offering of Annual Pass tickets. There are three options to choose from. The Sunday annual pass, which includes a minimum of 45 days and includes most Sundays, will be $192 for adults and $144 for children. The Weekday and Sunday pass which includes offers a minimum of 250 days of park access and includes most weekdays, Sundays and part of the summer and winter holidays runs $237 for adults and $178 for children. Finally, the Any day annual pass includes access 365 days a year for $489 for adults and $367 for children. – https://wdwnt.com/2019/01/shanghai-disneyland-introduces-annual-passes/

Mickey and Minnie have put on different faces at Tokyo Disneyland. The new look has caused record lines at the resort as guests flood in to meet the characters. If you have been to any of the other Disney parks anywhere in the world, the new look won’t surprise you as Tokyo is the last resort to make the change. If you want to see it in Tokyo, you could find yourself waiting up to 6-10 hours! – https://wdwnt.com/2019/03/upcoming-new-look-faces-for-mickey-and-minnie-resulting-in-long-lines-at-tokyo-disney-resort/

For Easter, the Tokyo Disney Resort Hotels are offering specialty food and beverages. The new food includes a Minnie Easter Bread that looks really fun, a strawberry and Mousse dessert that is inside of a plastic egg, and more. For drinks, there are a Mango and Kiwi drink, a yogurt and orange drink with tapioca, and more. These all look so refreshing and colorful! – https://tdrexplorer.com/tokyo-disney-resort-hotels-easter-menu-2019/

The Japanese Tanabata, or Star Festival is returning to the Tokyo Resort in June. From June 2nd to July 7th, you can meet Disney characters in traditional costumes, taking part on the Japanese event. There will be character greetings, decorations, and more. Every night the World Bazaar will transform into “Starlight Wishing Place” with lighting effects and Tanabata themed music. – https://tdrexplorer.com/tanabata-days-2019/

The Tokyo Disneyland Resort has asked for an been approved for an increase on their catastrophic line of credit that would be used in case of the park being out of commission for any reason. With the new line of credit, the Oriental Land Company, which owns the resort, could shut the parks down for up to 6 months. It is not unheard of for the resort to have to shut down for long periods of time. Back in 2011, when a tsunami hit and there were planned power outages, the resort closed for over a month, losing an estimated $400 million in profits. – http://blogmickey.com/2019/03/tokyo-disneyland-prepares-for-catastrophic-earthquake-with-1-3b-line-of-credit/