If you’re a Disney passholder here in Polk County, or, you’re itching to get back on property safely in 2021, it’s important to know that the parks are far from “normal” for those looking to hit Main Street this year.
From an updated park-hopping policy, to resort availability, here’s what you can expect in 2021 at Walt Disney World.
• Late last year, capacity was upped to 35% – which is still considerably low in comparison to the parks’ usual 100%. • Cast members will continue to crack down on guests not abiding by mask rules with occasional intercom reminders to “wear proper face coverings at all times except while eating or drinking while stationary. Guests who do not comply, will be asked to leave.” • Expect continued temperature screeningsand a valid park pass reservation. Guests must still book their days via the Park Pass Reservation system, which, due to an increased capacity, has more availability.
• Park hopping is back. Now, with a valid ticket and park pass reservation, guests may hop from park to park beginning at 2 p.m. as long as there is a valid park-hopping ticket or pass and availability at the next park(s). You can read more about 2021’s park-hopping rules here. • Over half of the park’s hotel accommodations were temporarily suspended in 2020, but this year, popular resorts such as Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort all have re-opening dates. Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park is also set to re-open this spring on March 7.
Community ○ City commissioners have been receiving complaints from concerned residents regarding an increase in air traffic noise. Since late July when Amazon’s operations opened at Lakeland Linder International Airport, residents have been complaining about low-flying cargo planes and the noise they emit. At this time, the airport is looking to introduce new procedures with the guidance of the FAA. ✈️ (The Ledger)
WaterCooler ○Bubbles up, NBA. In just a few weeks, the NBA G League(Lakeland Magic included) will head to the Happiest Place on Earth to play their games in a “bubble” at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex. The NBA participated in a similar “bubble-style” season last year after COVID-19 interrupted the schedule. All players, coaches, and staff will be staying on Disney property to remain isolated. (Click Orlando) ○ In just a few weeks, the 2021 Florida High School Athletic Association Competitive Cheerleading State Championships will take place in Lakeland at the RP Funding Center (701 W. Lime St.). The event will enforce social distancing protocols with further COVID-19 precautions enacted (masks, temperature checks, etc.). Tickets are $10 and will be available through the RP Funding Center’s box office. 📣 (The Ledger)
Biz ○ Beginning this week, Legoland Florida will add shade structures over Miniland USA. The development will last through the spring with a scheduled completion before the summer. The shaded addition will cover the entirety of the land and will provide added comfort for guests and employees during hot Florida days. (Bay News 9) ○ Yes, there is more Disney news to spill today. Yesterday, Disney World announced the end of the Magical Express – a complimentary busing option for guests traveling to and from the Orlando International Airport to their Disney resorts. The end of the Magical Express will occur next Jan. 2022 and will only operate for current reservations through the end of 2021. (Orlando Sentinel)
Dish ○DYKJanuary is National Egg Month? Whether you poach them, boil them, or use them to bake a batch of cookies, they’re currently on sale at GreenWise Market. 🍳 Ⓟ
DYK ○ The “World’s Largest Indoor Obstacle Park” is just a little over an hour away from Lakeland? Planet Obstacle Orlando (1150 Emma Oaks Trail #100) is 50,000 sq.ft. of obstacles, pits of foam, rock climbing, bumper cars, and more. The indoor park is open for all ages and is located just north of Orlando in Lake Mary. All participants must sign a liability waiver and follow current COVID-19 safety guidelines. (Only in Your State)
Coronavirus ○On Monday, the Florida Department of Health announced 11,576 new cases of COVID-19 and159 additional deaths in Florida. That brings the total number of cases in FL of COVID-19 to 1,488,586 + the total deaths to 23,071. ○You can find more updates concerning COVID-19 case numbers on the Florida Department of Health dashboard. See Lakeland + Polk numbers here. ○ Monitor the Florida Department of Health in Polk’s website for the latest information regarding vaccines.
The graduation rate in 2019 was 81.2%, bringing the recent rate up by 5.3%. Not to mention, “Polk’s graduation rate for Black students rose to 86.7 percent and 85.7 percent for Hispanic/Latino students, compared to each group’s rate of 78.7 percent the year prior.”
Congrats, grads. 🎉
#DYK that your photo could be featured in our newsletter? Just use #LALtoday on social media.
TryThis ○ Tuesday Trivia Night | Tues., Jan. 12 | 7-9 p.m. | Mellow Mushroom, 3555 Lakeland Highlands Rd. | Free | Prizes are given to the top three teams and $8 PBR pitchers are available during trivia. 🍺
Show ○ The Divebombers| Tues., Jan. 12 | 8-11 p.m. | Union Hall, 1023 S. Florida Ave. | $5 | Performing covers of Johnny Cash, Chet Atkins + George Jones. 🎤
Cause ○ The Bag Ladies Work Day| Tues., Jan. 12 | 10 a.m.-12 p.m. | First Presbyterian Church of Lakeland, 175 Lake Hollingsworth Dr. | Free | Project includes decorating suitcases for children in foster care. 🧳
ForKids ○ LakelandPAL Mobile Outreach| Tues., Jan. 12 | 3:30-5:30 p.m. | LakelandPD, 1661 Crystal Grove Dr. | Free | All ages welcome. 🎉
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.