Tuesday, December 27, 2022

The Walt Disney World Railroad Returns

Photo from Disney Parks Blog


After a long (and we do mean LONG) wait, the Walt Disney World Railroad is finally back up and operational at Magic Kingdom.  This post will take a quick look back at why it's been down, why it's finally back up and whether this is a "big deal" in Disney terms.

The Railroad went down on December 3, 2018, which is more than FOUR YEARS AGO.  That's a stunningly long time to do any kind of work or maintenance on such a seemingly simple attraction.  If you've recently just started going to the parks, you might not even know that the Railroad was a working attraction; instead, you might think that the track was there for decoration and the station was there only for characters to come out and wave to guests below.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Top 8 Songs in Disney Attractions

Music is such a huge part of a trip to Walt Disney World, from the ambient vibes as you walk from land to land to the resort-specific music piped into the bathrooms.  But nowhere is music a bigger factor than in the attractions themselves.  While you can probably picture a ride that you love, when you close your eyes, the thing you remember most is likely the music.

I wanted to make a list today of some of the best songs from Disney attractions.  These are all current attractions - without spoiling it too much, I wanted to write this now because the number one spot on here belongs to an attraction that is soon to be closed and turned into something else.  So while it's still here, let's talk about how great it is, along with all these others.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Top Five "Under The Radar" Attractions

If you're planning a Walt Disney World trip, you're probably thinking about all of the major "headliner" attractions that you want to do.  Think about the Individual Lightning Lanes (ILL) for starters - who doesn't want to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Avatar Flight of Passage?  That's why they charge you more for those! 

And not just those rides - even besides Guardians, when you think about Epcot, you probably think of the next trio of rides - Remy's Ratatouille Adventure, Test Track and Frozen Ever After. The same holds true in all of the parks.  These are the rides that cost you time, money (or both), and involve planning your day around.  What do we have to rope drop?  How long is a good wait for Na'vi River Journey?

Friday, December 16, 2022

Re-Examining Genie+ - Should You Still Buy It?

A while back, I wrote a long post about whether you should purchase Genie+.  I'll save you the trip, if you don't want to read all those words - our general recommendation was YES.  This is in spite of the many flaws the system had.  In our view, it was better to have the service and not take full advantage rather than not have it and regret it (while standing in long standby lines).

Since that time, a bunch of modifications have been made to Genie+.  Some of these have been for the worse, but at least one was unequivocally for the better - the ability to modify your reservation time.  As we approach the busiest week of the year at Disney, I thought it would be worth re-examining Genie+ in the same way I examined it in that original post - how it works compared to its predecessor, FastPass+, and whether the changes made make Genie+ more or less valuable than before.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Genie+ Finally Adds The Ability To Modify Reservations

In exciting (?) news today, Disney announced that starting within the next week, guests will now be able to use Genie+ to modify their existing reservations.  This change will take place when the app next updates for both iOS and Android.  

Is this a big deal?  Why make a whole separate post about it?  I mentioned this as one of the big differences between Genie+ and the old FastPass+ system in my long rundown of whether to purchase Genie+.  That post was already long enough, so I thought it was worthwhile to pull this out separately, as it is fresh information.

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.

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