Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Attractions to Move From Genie+ to Individual Lightning Lanes?



Back in February, Disney announced that through August 7, certain rides that were formerly under the Individual Lightning Lane (ILL) umbrella would instead be included in the regular Genie+ service.  I wrote about this at the time, but the basic story is that demand was high, and that Genie+ was frustrating to guests given its relative limited selection of rides at all non-Magic Kingdom parks.  This change helped greatly during the busy Spring Break/early summer season, and helped spread out crowds over more attractions.


Disney's announcement at the time said that these rides would be moved until "at least" August 7.  But that date is rapidly approaching, and so far, there doesn't appear to be any change to their plans.  I put the question mark in this post title because things certainly could change (and in this case, there wouldn't be some grand announcement, but rather a quiet change to the wording on their website) but I'm writing this under the assumption that they stick to this plan.


August 3 edit: Disney seems to have quietly removed the asterisk on their website stating that these rides would revert to ILL on August 7.  This would indicate that these changes are indeed permanent (or as permanent as it gets until they decide to change something again).  What follows here in this post is now obsolete, but I'm leaving it for historical purposes and because I spent a lot of time waxing poetic here and don't want to blow it up. Enjoy!


Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Magic Kingdom Strategy During Party Season

 


It's almost August and you know what that means - Halloween!  Is that not the first thing you thought of?  Well, I don't blame you.  But in Disney terms, August begins "fall" (even with temperatures in the mid-90's) and Halloween season.  Once that ends, Disney transitions immediately into Christmas season in early November.  That time frame probably falls more in line with your expectations (even though I'm a "don't put up the Christmas lights until after Thanksgiving guy").


The point here is that we are about to enter "holiday season" at Walt Disney World, and for Magic Kingdom, that means party season.  For the first time since 2019, both of Magic Kingdom's real holiday parties are back - Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.  The decorations may change, but the general idea is the same - they are hard ticket events (meaning not included with your regular admission) that run from 7:00 p.m. to midnight for each party.


Is a Shorter Trip Worth The Effort?

 


Everyone tours Walt Disney World differently.  My perspective in writing this blog is as people who can't go as often as we would like, but when we do go, we go big.  Usually it's a week long, mostly park-centric trip that runs us all to the brink of exhaustion.  By the time we get back, we've wrung every drop of fun out of a vacation and are happy to be home.


At least, for a little while.  And that got me thinking today - if I could go more often, but the trips would have to be shorter, would that be worth it?  Would it be a better plan than the one we currently use?  I know some people who go every year, but it's as part of a larger road trip, where they stop into Disney for a day or two.  That's not exactly what I was thinking of in this case, but it did spur me on to think about this topic.


Friday, July 15, 2022

Is Epcot Becoming Too Top Heavy?

 


When most people think about Walt Disney World, they think of attractions.  And while Disney is so much more than just attractions, it is the reason that the vast majority of people fork over their hard earned money and spend their precious vacation time there.  With four parks, there is certainly a lot to do.


But when you look at each park's attraction selection, there is quite a disparity.  Magic Kingdom leads the way - it's chock full of attractions for all ages.  It's the park that most people spend more than one vacation day visiting (and matches our recommendation of spending two days here if you can spare it - this makes for a more leisurely touring schedule as opposed to trying to cram everything in during one day).  They also have a lot of classic rides and not as many new, showstopper attractions (Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was really the most recent one, though Tron Lightcycle Run will certainly be one whenever it opens).


Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Ranking the Current Nighttime Spectaculars



Disney is known for its nighttime spectaculars - shows that take place after the harsh sun has gone down, as a way to say goodnight and thank you to the guests for the day.  They usually involve  fireworks and projections (though not always) and are such a part of the Disney brand that fireworks are featured in ads and commercials.


I usually limit this blog to Walt Disney World specifically because, well, there's plenty of news just about those four parks and it is the most visited resort under the Disney umbrella.  But I was thinking about how the nighttime shows have changed over the years, and I decided to look at all of the current nighttime spectaculars at Disney parks around the world and put together a completely subjective ranking system (one of my favorite hobbies).


Friday, July 8, 2022

Embrace the Virtual Queue

 


I recently wrote about how difficult it is to plan (and actually go on) a Walt Disney World vacation.   This is still true, and probably always will be.  Many guests don't want to put in the leg work to plan everything and learn all the ins and outs of what you should do, and when (this is why the Disney-specific travel agency is big business).  


That being said, Disney does reward planning and understanding the rules.  One of the things I wrote about in that earlier post is all the different ways to experience attractions - at any one time, you have the standby line, Genie+, Individual Lightning Lanes and virtual queue.  It might take an advanced degree to figure out or remember which attractions are in which category (or categories).  

Friday, July 1, 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.

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