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A Disney Legend Dies at 111

October 14, 2021
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A Magic Kingdom attraction closes for a month, another one is free for now, and others join Disneyland’s Lightning Lane program.

Also, a Disney Legend dies after a long and glorious life while two others leave Disney.

Park News             

Disney provided some clarity about Disney Genie+, which debuts on October 19th. The service will not sell out on any date.

So, you won’t feel pressure in deciding whether to book it for your trip. You can always add the service on your arrival date.

Disneyland also added its list of Lightning Lane attractions for the new pay-to-ride service.

Those rides are Radiator Springs Racers, WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

Inside the parks, Mickey’s PhilharMagic has closed for renovations. It’s adding Coco sequences that will debut on November 12th. You’re out of luck until then.

Elsewhere at Magic Kingdom, Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade is now free to play! During its year-long absence, park officials decided not to charge anymore.

If you’ve never visited this arcade, it’s a shocking amount of fun. Here’s some video:

Guests who utilize the Disability Access Service (DAS) also just got some good news. This feature will reside as a permanent part of Disney Genie.

So, you can load My Disney Experience and schedule your DAS return times in Disney Genie. This service will launch on October 19th alongside the other Disney Genie features.

Park officials will schedule pre-visit video live chat for qualifying guests. In addition, a cast member will work with you to schedule two return times.

You should take this step 30 days before arrival, but Disney will provide the video chat until 48 hours before the visit.

The other story involves Disneyland Resort. The Orange County Register published this article recently.

Also, Peter Sciretta of Slash Film tweeted this:

So, Magic Key holders at Disneyland have cause for complaints right now. This is something Disney must fix quickly.

Speaking of Disneyland, all the currently announced Disney Merriest Nites events have sold out.

Disney Resort and Cruise Updates

I’ve got two significant resort updates for you. First, those of you with the Disney Rewards Visa are currently within an exclusive booking window.

You can make reservations for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser from now through October 16th.

Obviously, you can only do this for cash rooms, but that’s probably better value anyway. In fact, if you have extra DVC Points, you should rent them and then use the cash for your trip.

The other resort news of the moment is more general and doesn’t apply to DVC stays. However, those of you booking cash rooms should be aware of a restriction.

Starting on October 14th, Disney will not book a one-night hotel stay through December 5th.

This rule applies to room-only bookings. You can still add a complete package for one night, but that won’t help anyone with an annual pass.

Thank You for Everything

We’re in the business of Disney theme park and Disney Vacation Club news here. Still, some recent losses at The Walt Disney Company merit a mention.

The most remarkable of them is Ruthie Thompson, the Disney Legend who just died at the age of 111.

A neighbor of Walt and Roy Disney’s uncle, she joined the company at the age of 18 (in 1928!) and worked there until 1975, when she was 65. Here’s a tribute from Bob Iger:

Ms. Thompson led a rich, full life and got to choose when she left Disney. The same can’t be said for longtime Imagineer Kevin Lively, who tweeted the following:

Yes, Lively represents the most recognizable of the displaced Imagineers during the move to Lake Nona, Florida. He has chosen to explore other opportunities in California.

You’ll know him from Jungle Cruise, where he was a famous Skipper:

Later, he got to work on the Jungle Cruise reboot earlier this year, a fitting capper for his career:

Also, Alan Horn will leave Disney at the end of 2021, ending a decade-long career of triumph. He helmed the film division during a time of tremendous success.

Those Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars movies that dominated the box office all came under Horn’s Midas touch.

We should all express our gratitude to those fantastic creators of Disney magic.


To plan your next selfie moment with your favorite Disney Character, visit our DVC availability tool to see if the dates for your vacation are available in DVC’s inventory. From there, you can start the booking process and one of our team members will reach out to assist! You can also browse our hundreds of DVC Confirmed Reservations!

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