Thursday, June 13, 2024

The Future of Attractions is Intellectual Property



Disney CEO Bob Iger said last month during a media conference that the future of the Disney parks is in intellectual property (IP) and not original stories built for the parks.  He spoke specifically about how the new Zootopia land in Shanghai Disneyland was a great success because the movie is so popular there. He then talked about how as far back as Cars Land at Disneyland and Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World that he knew that investment in IP for the parks was the way to go, and "it's very, very clear what that delivered."


I have to admit, I didn't think much of his comments at the time, mostly because both Iger and Parks Chairman Josh D'Amaro, as well as former CEO Bob Chapek, have said similar things over the years. The reason this came up now is because Disney is preparing to "turbocharge" their investment in the parks in the coming years, spending $60 billion in the parks over the next decade.


Thursday, June 6, 2024

Tiana's Bayou Adventure Ride Through Released

 


As Walt Disney World prepares for the official opening of Tiana's Bayou Adventure on June 28, they released a ride through of the full attraction the other day.  This comes right as media previews are happening.  I don't remember Disney ever releasing a ride through for an entire ride before it opened; plenty of media members will do so, but this is an official Disney release.



Perhaps because Disney was aware that others would be putting out their own videos, they wanted to "get ahead of the narrative" in a way.  Or perhaps they recognized that the ride is only partially "new", given that the track remains the same from when it was Splash Mountain.  We'll talk about all of that in this post, take a look at the backlash and criticism Disney is receiving and then attempt to answer the question of whether this is an upgrade from the attraction that had been there.


Monday, June 3, 2024

Tron vs. Guardians - Which is the Best New Coaster?



Since we don't get to go to Walt Disney World all the time (regrettably), in between trips, it stands to reason that a bunch of new attractions will open (and/or be renovated).  Then by the time we come back and visit again, there are some "new to us" attractions, even if they've been open for a little while.  When we took our recent trip, those new attractions included two major thrill rides - Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind at Epcot and Tron Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom.


I've already reviewed both of these rides individually - you can find Guardians here and Tron here - so I'm not going to rehash most of what I wrote there (though do please read these first if you want some more specifics about each one).  Instead, I thought it would be fun to have a good old "fight" between the two to determine which is "better."  I'm using heavy air quotes here because you probably know my general feeling - there is no right or wrong answer.  Without spoiling too much of my earlier reviews, I really enjoyed both rides and they are both worthy tentpole attractions at their respective parks.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Space 220 Review

 


Space 220 is one of the newest and hottest restaurants in Walt Disney World.  It's located in Epcot, right next to the entrance for Mission: Space in the World Discovery neighborhood of the park.  Space 220 is still one of the most difficult advanced dining reservations (ADR) to score; in fact, we attempted to eat here a couple of years ago only to be shut out.  This was our first opportunity to visit.



This post will talk about what makes this restaurant unique, including the "pre-show" (for lack of a better term) process and the dining area.  We'll also talk about what foods we ordered, and whether it adds up to an experience that is worth the hefty price tag.


Friday, May 24, 2024

Motion Sickness At Walt Disney World

 


According to Google, one out of three Americans get motion sickness at some point.  This seems pretty low to me, as “at some point” can mean almost anything.  I know I could never read in a car without feeling motion sick.  But in my younger days, I could tolerate just about any amusement park ride with no difficulty.  Of course, being able to do something and having the desire to ride something that picks you up and spins you around are two different things.  I tended to avoid incredibly intense rides, so maybe I always would have been motion sick.

 

But as I’ve gotten older, I see that my tolerance for being thrown around like a rag doll on a roller coaster has certainly lessened.  Thankfully, my kids don’t seem to suffer from the same fate (yet …).  So I got thinking about Walt Disney World, and what rides to watch out for if you suffer from any kind of motion sickness.  I also have some thoughts about how to avoid or lessen the effects and how to work your day around these issues.  Nauseous people of the world, this one is for you!

 

Thursday, May 23, 2024

What I Want From An Animal Kingdom Renovation


 

I like Animal Kingdom, I really do.  But it is currently the park that needs the most work.  I am always an advocate for visiting all four parks on your Disney World vacation, but if you really had to skip one, my easy recommendation would be Animal Kingdom.  And that pains me! But it's the truth.



Walt Disney World usually does their renovations in cycles, so there's almost always one park that is in need of some love while the others are operating at peak efficiency (or close to it).  In the pre-Toy Story Land days, that park was Hollywood Studios.  In recent years, it has been Epcot, though that park at least managed to remain a fun, full day park, even if you had to walk all the way around the construction walls to get there.


Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Extended Evening Hours - Still Worth It?

 


On our recent trip to Disney World, we once again had the opportunity to take advantage of Extended Evening Hours (EEH) at both Epcot and Magic Kingdom.  After our last trip, I wrote this post, basically talking about how great this experience was.  This post will talk about whether that remains true a couple of years later.  



That post also breaks down who is eligible and why, so I won't rehash that too much here.  But as a quick refresher, EEH is only available to those guests staying in deluxe resorts, meaning that the pool of people who are eligible to take advantage of them is lower than the general pool of guests throughout the day.  That, coupled with the later end times, often means that the crowds are low, and get lower throughout the evening.