Vaccines, Disney Cruise Line and Magic Key: this week in Disney review

It’s been a busy week for Cast Members, Guests and Disney fans of all ages.

Just in case you missed anything, here’s your DisneyDining Week in Review!

Union, Cast Members and Vaccines, oh my!

In a deal reached early this week between Disney and the Service Trades Union Council, unionized Cast Members will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Each of the 43,000 Disney Cast Members represented by the union must be fully vaccinated by October 22, 2021.

“We appreciate the communication and collaboration with the union representatives as we put the safety of our Cast Members at the forefront of our health and safety protocols,” Disney said in a statement. “Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect each other.”

To this point, vaccinations had only been required for salaried and non-union hourly Disney employees in the United States, but had not been required for unionized Cast Members.

Credit: Becky Burkett

Disney Cruise Line says “See ya real soon” to anyone 12 and up who’s not vaccinated

The Disney Cruise Line announced this week that it will require all passengers ages 12 and up to be vaccinated before boarding one of the Disney fleet for sailings.

The announcement was met with relief and smiles from some and anger and frustration from others. It requires passengers ages 12 and over and crew members to be fully vaccinated before boarding. It also requires children under the age of 12 to submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test between 5 days and 24 hours prior to sailing.

cruise ship

Credit: Disney

The news comes after the Bahamas announced a vaccine mandate for all passengers and crew on ships that dock in its ports. Disney Cruise Line went on to make modifications to sailing itineraries that included the Bahamas as a port of call, thus bypassing the country altogether on some sailings.

You can now purchase keys to the kingdom at Disneyland Resort

At the Disneyland Resort in California this week, Guests were finally able to begin making purchases of the parks’ new answer to annual passes–the Magic Key.

Credit: Disney

Online queues opened on Thursday morning to Guests eager to be one of the first to own a piece of the magic in the form of a Magic Key. But trouble followed as Guests continually received messages from the system that they were still in for waits of over one to three hours, followed by “system unavailable” messages as well.

magic key disneyland

Some Guests waited hours to finally make their Magic Key purchases, only to be met with more messages and glitches when they attempted to enter their payment information.

There are four levels of Magic Keys at Disneyland Resort, starting at $399 per person for the Imagine Key and going up to $1399 per person for the Dream Key.

Primeval Whirl Permit leaves Guests wondering what’s going on at Animal Kingdom

A permit was filed this week for work to be completed at the site of the now-defunct Primeval Whirl attraction at Dinoland, U.S.A. inside Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

At first glance, many fans wondered if the permit were for demolition, but the permit names MLC Theming, which is a construction company based in Lake Buena Vista. Disney had previously confirmed that the attraction is permanently closed, so now Guests are left to wonder what exactly is going on back in time at Dinoland.

primeval whirl

Credit: Becky Burkett

Disney Store will triple its Target Store locations by year’s end

While more and more North American Disney Stores are closing, Disney is keeping the magic alive by adding more of its mini-stores to Target retail locations.

By the end of 2021, Disney will have tripled the number of its stores that can be found inside Target locations across the country. The Target version of the Disney Store is much smaller, and selections are limited, but the locations do offer photo opportunities, familiar Disney tunes playing in the background, vibrant decor from new and classic Disney films, and merchandise sure to bring a smile to kids and kids at heart alike.


About Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!