Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Celebration Fatigue? Why There Is No Disney100 Presence at Disney World

Who doesn't love a good party?  I mean, I usually don't, if I'm being honest.  But I do love a party or celebration when it comes to Disney. And more importantly, DISNEY loves a good celebration too.  This is the reason Epcot is basically festival central, with one flowing into the other with almost no "normal" weeks in between.  It gives them an excuse to decorate, put out some new food and get bloggers to come and report on the opening day of each.

In fact, Walt Disney World just had a celebration (of sorts) for WDW's 50th Anniversary, dubbed "The Most Magical Celebration on Earth." Whether it lived up to that lofty name is debatable, but the debate largely falls on the side of "no" with most people.  While there were some nice colorful accents added to the parks and the characters dressed up in EARidescent outfits, there wasn't a whole lot that actually celebrated fifty years of the parks, which is what it was supposed to do.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Guest Column: My Son's Favorite Attractions


Up until now, I have been the only person to actually write and publish on this blog.  But that's going to change today!  My son wanted a crack at writing something and I said sure.  Getting my kids to put their brains to good use is a plus and he came up with this rather quickly.  I always talk about how I write from the perspective of a family of four because that's my own experience.  Here my son is going to give his own perspective on what his favorite attractions are from each park.  Everything below this paragraph was written by him.  Please read on to see what the kids like these days.



Hello! This is Lucas and I am 13 years old and I am so excited that my dad let me do a section of his blog! Today I am here to talk about my top 3 attractions from all 4 parks. However, some rides I have not ridden yet like Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and Tron of course (because it isn’t even open at the time I am making this) and others but this is all my opinion specifically based off of the types of rides I like.


Monday, January 23, 2023

Have The Disney Parks Lost Their Unique Theming?


One of the many unique things about Walt Disney World Resort is that it has four separate theme parks ("gates", as they're called in the industry).  No other Disney resort in the world has more than two.  This is one reason why Orlando is often considered the mecca of the Disney experience, even though the original Disneyland is in Anaheim.

Does Disney World really "need" four parks to draw tourists?   That is an interesting question and one that has changed over time as the theme park industry has expanded.  Universal Orlando, for example, is in the process of opening their own third gate as a way to draw guests away from Disney and towards their own product; Universal doesn't want to be the "add on" park(s) to the Disney experience - they want people to come to Florida for their parks alone.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Big Nighttime Spectacular Changes! Happily Ever After Returns, Harmonious Replaced

In a big announcement today, Disney confirmed something that had been discussed at D23 back in September - major changes are coming to two of Disney's Nighttime Spectaculars.  One is an absolute positive while the other is very likely a positive as well, making this a pretty positive announcement!  This post will talk about the substance of what's happening, which fills in some more details than the rapid fire D23 talks.

Starting with Magic Kingdom, this is official confirmation that Happily Ever After is indeed returning! It will replace Enchantment on April 3.  That date is significant (or at least close enough) because Disney World's 50th Anniversary celebration officially ends on March 31.  We'll come back to this later.  But the D23 announcement was kind of vague, saying that the "anthem" of Happily Ever After would return as part of a "new nighttime spectacular."

Small, Positive Changes Made To Guest Experience At WDW

As part of a big news day, Disney announced multiple changes to the park experience, one taking effect right away and the others within "the next few months."  This post will take a look at what was announced and speculate as to why and what this might mean for your park experience going forward.

I don't think it's any big secret that Disney's reputation has taken a hit in recent years.  This largely encompasses the time when Bob Chapek was CEO, but is not exclusive to his tenure.  Regardless, the recent return of Bob Iger was a signal to many longtime fans that changes were coming, and for the better.  Fair or not, the guest perception of Chapek and Iger couldn't be more different.

Tron Lightcycle Run to Open April 4


Photo from Disney Parks Blog

It seems like we've been waiting for Tron Lightcycle Run to open at Magic Kingdom since the original movie was released, or at least since Tron: Legacy came out in 2010.  And while it hasn't been THAT long, it has still been a long time coming.  But wait no longer (or at least not that much longer) as Disney announced that Tron will open on April 4.  

I haven't written too much about Tron so far, mostly because it always seemed like more of a concept rather than an actual ride.  But since we have a real concrete date now, I wanted to talk about what the ride is, why it took so long to open and what it means for the rest of Magic Kingdom.  

Thursday, January 5, 2023

New Disney World Discounts For Spring/Summer 2023


Disney just dropped a bunch of new discounts for resort stays in spring and summer 2023.  This post will take a look at them and talk about whether these are good deals, how they compared to last year's deals, and what this might mean for future discounts.

Let's start with the simplest offer here, available to the general public.  Guests can save up to 25% on select Disney resort hotels this spring and summer.  The dates in this offer are from April 10 through July 10, which piggybacks onto the existing discount of up to 20% on stays from March 1-31.  As is often the case with these discounts, the highest discounts are often the deluxe resorts, tapering down to the values.  There are a couple of exceptions here, as the Contemporary (and Bay Lake Tower) and the Animal Kingdom Villas (Kidani) and Villas at Grand Floridian top out at 15%.

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