Thursday, January 11, 2024

Requiem for Country Bear Jamboree


Disney recently announced an official closing date for the Country Bear Jamboree at Magic Kingdom.   There really isn't anything groundbreaking in this announcement, as we knew this was coming back at Destination D23 in September.  But we can talk about what other little substance there was to this announcement, though most of all, I wanted to expand a bit on what I said in that longer D23 post, now that the end is actually (almost) here.


Disney often likes to say things like "coming in 2024", and this was just one of the many things that were talked about with a vague time frame.  I had foolishly hoped that I would have one more opportunity to see this show in all of its kitschy, animatronic glory when we visited in April.  But alas, Disney is going to get to work on the new show starting on January 27, and it won't reopen in its new (improved?) form until "summer" (another vague timeline that surely comes after our April trip).

Saturday, January 6, 2024

End of 2023 Wait Times - Busiest Week of the Year


We haven't done a crowd report on the blog lately, and this one is sadly overdue.  But I thought it would be a good idea to look back at the crowds during typically what is the busiest week of the year on the Disney World calendar - the week between Christmas and New Year.  This post will take a look at exactly those wait times and see whether it follows the recent trends of busiest days of the week, as well as trying to put into context just how busy it actually was (spoiler: busy!)

As always, our wait time data comes from Thrill Data.  Wait times don't always tell the full story of how crowded the parks are, but they are at least hard numbers, which carry more weight than anecdotes from guests who were there.  No one can be in all places, all the time, so wait times represent the best way of measuring just how busy things are/were.  

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Free Dining is BACK!


Disney recently announced that Free Dining (capitalized!) is returning to Walt Disney World in 2024.  In this post, we'll talk about the specifics, and discuss the timing and what it might mean for crowds late into next year.  Free Dining is a BIG promotion - consumers like the word "free" and it has typically been one of Disney's go-to discounts.

First, let's talk about the actual meat and potatoes (pun intended!) of the offer.  It is available to Disney+ subscribers and is valid for most arrivals between July 1 and September 30, 2024.  First thing first here - this is as close as you're going to get for a general public offer.  Disney offers plenty of things to just Florida residents, or Disney Vacation Club members, etc.  The only "condition" in this case is being a Disney+ subscriber, which technically means that it's not for EVERYONE.  But Disney is (wisely) pushing their streaming service, and this is a good way to hook people who might not otherwise have a subscription.