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.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

What Park Should You Hop To?


One of the most popular ticket add-ons for Disney is Park Hopper ticket, which gives guests the ability to visit more than one park per day (for a charge, of course).  Every since the reopening after the pandemic, park hopping has been limited to 2:00 p.m. and later.  There are rumors that this might change, but for now, that is the world in which we live.

This isn't a post to bash Disney about park hopping rules - I'm just pointing out the circumstances.  People used to use park hopping differently in the past, when they could come and go at their leisure. But these new rules, combined with the park reservation system, makes hopping a more inconvenient process than it had previously been.  

Is Pent Up Demand Running Out At Disney World?


 In recent days, Disney has released a bunch of discounts for resort stays through spring 2023.  These include Disney+ subscribers, Annual Passholders and most recently, Disney Visa Cardholders (this one doesn't appear on the official WDW page for some reason, but it is being reported everywhere so I assume they're just slow in updating).   

I bring this up here not to highlight anything in particular for these specific discounts but rather to put in context what it might mean for the future of discounts going forward.  And to look into the future, we have to first talk about the past, as is often the case here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Akershus Reopening Date and More Restaurant News


As announced by Disney today, we finally have a reopening date for one of the most popular restaurants on property - Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot.  This headlines some other restaurant news, which we'll also talk about below. But Akershus is the big one here.  To understand why this is a big deal, as well as why this is one of the last major restaurants to reopen, we have to talk about what Akershus is.

Akershus is modeled after a real castle (named Akershus) in Norway.  It originally opened with the pavilion in 1988 but wasn't a character dining location at the beginning.  That changed, as more intellectual property was brought into World Showcase and Storybook Dining with the Disney princesses was born.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Fantasmic! Returns to Hollywood Studios in November!


After what seems like forever, Fantasmic! (exclamation point included in the name of the show, though I'll refrain from using it going forward in this post, despite my excitement) FINALLY gets an officially announced return to Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios - November 2022.  That's right, there's still no actual start date, but if it's being announced now, they must finally be confident in that time frame. [October 19 edit - official start date is November 3!  See below for more]

There isn't much more to this announcement but given my love of this show, I'm going to post about what Fantasmic is, the changes being made to it, what it means for the crowds at Hollywood Studios and some final lamentation about what possibly took so long.  Join me on this quest, if you will.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Genie+ Moving to Date Based Pricing


Disney announced today that their Genie+ service will now be subject to date based pricing as opposed to a flat rate year round.  This post will discuss the specifics and talk about why this is happening and what it means for the guest experience.

To review, when Genie+ was introduced at Walt Disney World, the price was $15 per person per day (plus tax).  This was true on any day you visited.  Since Genie+ is still a relatively new service, Disney continues to tweak certain aspects of the system.  Some are good - moving rides from Individual Lightning Lanes (ILL) to Genie+ added capacity and (at least theoretically) created more inventory from which guests could choose their attractions.  Some of the changes have been neutral or negative (not allowing you to see ride availability on the first screen, not allowing pre-trip purchases of Genie+ as an add-on, etc).  This change appears to fail into the latter category.

Space 220 Review