Saturday, September 16, 2023

New Things Coming to Disney World: Expectations, and the Art of the Spin


Last weekend saw a whirlwind of news announced for Disney World (as well as the other parks throughout the world) at Destination D23.  I wrote a post that day that noted everything that had been announced, as well as my immediate reactions to them.  I've had a chance to digest all of these things over the past week, and I wanted to write another post with some more thoughts on what's coming, when and why things were done in this particular way.

If you haven't already read it, please look at the D23 post linked above, as that talks about all the announcements in list form.  I'm going to refer to all of these things in this post with the expectation that you know what I'm talking about (a leap of faith many times, I'm sure).  

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Destination D23 Announcements


Destination D23 is taking place this weekend at the Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World.  This is a convention with numerous panels discussing everything coming up for Disney as a company. We're going to focus only on news related to Disney World, as that is this blog's focus, and there are plenty of new items to discuss.  So let's get to it!

We'll start with some updates on previously announced information, now with more solid dates.


Figment Meet and Greet starting September 10 at Epcot

Back in March, the Figment meet and greet was announced as coming "later this summer" along with a few others, most of which have already opened.  I'm not sure why it took so long to get a costumed character to meet in his home park, but here we are.  I do kind of like that this one was announced, along with Figment actually appearing on stage with the presenters, and it will be open right away.  The wait for Figment is over!


Friday, September 8, 2023

Top Five "Moments" At Walt Disney World

How do you measure the success (or lack thereof) on a vacation?  Everyone will likely have different measures, though in the case of a Disney vacation, "saved money and avoided crowds" are not likely to be on that list.  I like to think back on our vacations as a series of moments, frozen in time in my brain (and sometimes even in a photo).

Some moments, you simply can't get back.  For me, a lot of those moments revolve around our first trip with the kids.  You can't ever recreate the magic of them seeing the parks for the first time, and I have plenty of "unrepeatable" moments that come from that trip (first time for them on an airplane, first ride at Epcot, first time seeing Illuminations, among many others).

Friday, August 18, 2023

The DO's and DON'Ts For Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party


With temperatures reaching record highs in Florida, prompting heat advisories during the last week or two, that can mean only one thing in Disney terms - Halloween is back!  Each year, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party stretches out longer and longer, and what was once a brief add-on at the end of October now begins in mid-August.  This is also the official start of "party season" at Disney, as right after the Halloween party ends, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party returns to fill your nights during November and December.

If you find yourself in a spooky state of mind (or simply if you're visiting Walt Disney World during this time), having to plan around party season can be challenging.  I actually wrote about this last year and that advice remains solid, so no need to rehash that if you are already in the not (and if not, please pause and read that post first - it's a foundation for what follows here).  

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

New Longest Wait King at Hollywood Studios?


When it comes to Disney knowledge, sometimes you take things for granted.  If we're specifically talking about wait times, the common wisdom is that the newest ride in any park is going to have the highest wait times until a newer ride appears.  This isn't always the case - sometimes the new attraction is a lower tier ride (not an "E Ticket", for those who like the lingo) and once the new ride smell wears off, the previous busiest ride will take over again.

In recent years, a lot of big attractions have debuted at Disney World, and largely the pattern has remained true.  When Star Wars Galaxy's Edge opened in 2019, the two rides in that new land shot to the top of the wait time lists at Hollywood Studios.  Millenium Falcon Smuggler's Run has largely receded into the pack with a lot of the existing rides, which makes sense - Smuggler's Run was the "b" attraction in Galaxy's Edge.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Best Resort For Each Park

I try to do a few things with this blog - make some posts with current, relevant Disney news, as well as giving my commentary on that news, break down some hard data and write some fun, opinion pieces.  Those first two aren't necessarily "fun" posts but I think they're important in the context of planning a Disney World trip.  

I noticed I've done a lot of those first two posts lately and not a lot of that third, more fun type.  I'm not even sure this one qualifies!  But sometimes I just like to give my opinion about various things Disney - if I didn't want to write things like this, why do I have a blog at all (you might be asking yourself that anyway)?  So today I wanted to talk about various resorts throughout Walt Disney World property and come up with the "best" resort to stay at for each park.

Monday, July 10, 2023

July 4th Crowd Report


As promised (threatened?) last week, I wanted to take a look at the crowds at Walt Disney World on and around July 4th.  Some interesting data emerged from last week, and I thought we would talk about it in the context of overall crowd levels, touch a bit more on the weekday/weekend dynamic and see if we can figure out why these numbers were the way they were.

If you've ever watched the fireworks from Disney's 4th of July celebration (usually taking place on both 7/3 and 7/4 at Magic Kingdom), the crowds in the hub look daunting.  It might lead you to believe that crowds were out of control around this time. But the actual numbers here would lead you to the opposite conclusion.  As a side note, looking at crowds just in the hub around fireworks time (for ANY show) give a skewed view of what that day's crowds were like.  Most people who remain in Magic Kingdom at that time are watching the fireworks, meaning a large number of people are condensed into a relatively small space.  That also means wait times during the fireworks will generally be substantially lower.  But I digress ...