Friday, December 2, 2022

Tiana's Bayou Adventure to Replace Splash Mountain Late 2024


Art from Disney Parks Blog

Today during the Essence Fest, fittingly in New Orleans, Disney announced that the long awaited overhaul to Splash Mountain would be coming in late 2024 to both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.  The Princess and the Frog themed attraction will be called Tiana's Bayou Adventure, and will pick up where the movie left off, where "guests will join Tiana, Prince Naveen and jazz-loving alligator Louis on an adventure through the bayou as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras celebration."

I never posted about this before, because the original announcement was made over two whole years ago, way back in June 2020 when the parks were still closed.  Seems like a lifetime ago, doesn't it?  There basically had been no update since that time, leaving many of us wondering if the project was still happening and what the time frame was supposed to be.  Recently, Anika Noni Rose, the voice of Tiana in the movie, let it slip on Live With Kelly and Ryan that the ride would open in 2024, so that appears to be accurate, even if she let the cat out of the bag a little early.

December 2, 2022 update: Disney today confirmed that Splash Mountain would be taken down on January 23, and would not reopen until late 2024 as Tiana's Bayou Adventure. That confirms our speculation below.  The last chance to ride Splash Mountain will be January 22, 2023.  If you have a trip planned before then, take full advantage.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Will Iger's "Alarm" At Price Increases Mean Anything?


 Last week, we wrote about the surprise ousting of Bob Chapek as Disney CEO, and the return of the prodigal son himself, Bob Iger, to his old position.  I made a note at the time saying that this isn't normally the type of content I talk about on this blog, but since it affected the company as a whole (which includes theme parks) and because it was such a major event, I felt that I had to talk about it.

Since that time, a lot more has been said about Iger's return, with details slowing leaking to various media outlets.  I didn't feel compelled to update the original story or write further, since the details were largely the same as the big picture - Iger and Chapek didn't get along, Disney's last investment call was a mess, the board of directors lost faith in Chapek and asked Iger to return.  Of course, these news tidbits all appear to have come from Iger's side, with Chapek being noticeably (and perhaps incentivized by an NDA) quiet.  Again, I hope this book is written in full one day but for now, this is the long and short of it.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Bob Chapek Out, Bob Iger Returns To Disney As CEO

In a shocking announcement late last night, Bob Iger is returning to The Walt Disney Company as CEO, effective immediately.  He replaces Bob Chapek, who had been in the position since Iger's resignation in February of 2020.  This post will talk about the timeline of what happened, and what it may mean for the future of the company.

This blog normally focuses exclusively on Walt Disney World, namely the parks and resorts that are encompassed within.  There is a ton of other Disney news beyond that scope, and I try to stay away from these things, as I like the focus to just be on the parks, specifically in Florida, where I have the most expertise.  But this story is so indelibly tied up into the parks, and creates such a ripple effect on the company in general, that I felt it was worth doing a dive to talk about how we ended up here.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Top Five Disney World Rides That Are Better At Night

I often go back and forth on what is my favorite time of day at the Disney parks.  We've discussed some of this in various posts here, and for many reasons, midday is the worst time to be at the parks (usually related to crowds and weather).  The best times of day are almost invariably early in the morning or late at night.

This got me thinking about different rides and whether there are some that are better at different times of day.  As much as I love early mornings at the parks, I don't know that I could say there are any rides in particular that are BETTER due to riding at that time of day.  Early mornings are the best for beating crowds, the general hum of anticipation in the air and some great photos as the sun crests the horizon.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

How To Schedule Your Park Days


Planning a trip to Walt Disney World can be a large undertaking.  As much as I love to plan, I can understand why so many people don't want to worry about this kind of thing leading up to their vacation.  I often say something like this when asked about planning a trip - you can just show up and still have a good time, but Disney favors the planner.

And in the current environment, you can't just "show up" without doing at least a few things first.  We won't really talk about hotels or park tickets here (I've done that in plenty of other places) but with the continued use of the park reservation system, you have to at least know ahead of time which park you want to visit on which day.  There's always a chance that you can switch parks at the last minute, but I certainly wouldn't count on it - just make sure you have SOMETHING.

Monday, November 7, 2022

Disney FOMO - What To Do When You're Waiting For Your Next Trip


It probably shouldn't come as a surprise, but I spend a lot of time talking, thinking and writing about Disney.  That's why I started this blog, after all.  As I've always said, this blog represents my current life situation, which is someone who is not a local and can't visit the parks all the time, plus someone with a family of young (but getting older by the day) children.

As such, there is often a lag between Disney visits.  If it were up to me (as in, I was independently wealthy), I would be there ALL THE TIME.  At the very least, I would go regularly, even if I didn't spend most of my days there each week.  Things change and evolve at Disney all the time, and I'd like to be there to see these things play out in real time.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Happy One Year Anniversary To Us!

Time flies!  I began this blog a year ago today, mostly as a whim and because I wanted to write again, especially about one of my favorite subjects.  I know there are a million Disney blogs out there, but I felt like I had something to say and so I said it.  I've tried to keep it updated as regularly as time allows.  I don't get to visit nearly as often as I want to, so it's hard to stay current in a "boots on the ground" kind of way but I try my best.

I think I've become a better writer over this past year, which was part of the goal in starting this up.  In some ways, I've written more than I thought I ever could about Disney, and in some ways, it feels like I didn't say enough.  If you've read one, some or all of these posts, thank you!  I hope that I have been able to give you some fun and interesting information about the Most Magical Place on Earth. I will continue to write as long as I have things to say.  Feel free to drop me a line anytime.