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DISNEY NEWS ROUNDUP: End of Hated Extra Fee; Big Park Reservation Change for Passholders; Opening Date for TRON & Happily Every After; Genie+ Upgrade & More

Last week was an unexpectedly huge week for Disney World news that surprised many in the Disney community. The week was full of news on the opening dates of new major attractions, the reversal of some policies that were very unfriendly to guests, and more. Overall, the biggest news was a sense that, as an organization, Disney is serious about addressing growing concerns among Disney fans about many of the most unpopular changes over the last couple of years. It is encouraging indeed. Full details on this and more are below in this week’s news roundup.





 

1 – Disney World Ending Very Unpopular Extra Fee for Resort Guests

In a sign that returned CEO Bob Iger is serious about returning some of the Disney World magic that has been lost in the last few years, Disney announced today that a very unpopular extra fee for guests staying on Disney World property that many viewed as raw money grab is going away immediately. 

Click here for full details.

2 – Disney Announces TRON Lightcycle / Run Opening Date, Teases Passholder/DVC Previews

After what seems an eternity of waiting, Disney World has finally announced an opening date for the newest major attraction at the Magic Kingdom, TRON Lightcycle / Run. Disney World also teased upcoming previews for Disney World Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members.

Click here for full details.

 

3 – Disney Announces Enhanced Happily Every After Fireworks Return Date

Disney Enchantment, the nighttime fireworks spectacular at Magic Kingdom, was poorly received when it debuted and has never really caught on with Disney fans. In a surprising reversal, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro, at the D23 Expo, announced that Happily Ever After, the predecessor of Enchantment and fan-favorite nighttime spectacular would return to the Magic Kingdom. Disney has now announced the date for the return of Happily Every After, which will be an enhanced version of the original.

Click here for full details.


 

4 – Disney World Changing Park Reservation Requirements for Annual Passholders

It’s fair to say that very few people would describe themselves as fans of the Disney World park reservation system. The pandemic-era system was introduced to control park crowd levels and requires guests to make advanced reservations to visit a specific park on a specific day, with reservations selling out months in advance for moderate and high-demand periods. The need to plan and make park reservations so far in advance has dramatically altered the annual passholder experience making it impossible to enjoy one of the best benefits of being a passholder, spontaneous visits to the parks any time the mood hits. Fortunately, Disney World has announced a change coming soon to park reservation requirements for annual passholders that we are thrilled to hear.

Click here for full details.

5 – Disney Making BIG Addition to Genie+

Like many of you, we have mixed emotions regarding Disney Genie+. Love it or hate it, Disney is continuing to make improvements and enhancements that make it easier to use and add value for guests. In a time where we have more stories about what Disney is taking away than giving to guests, we’re happy with this announcement and expect guests who purchase Disney Genie+ will be too.

Click here for full details.

6 – Disney Announces Reopening Date for Pete’s Silly Sideshow

While many of the pandemic-era closures have since reopened, some offerings still have yet to come back. This is especially true when it comes to character meet and greets. Fortunately, Disney confirmed the return of one of our favorite character spots in Magic Kingdom, Pete’s Silly Sideshow this morning.

Click here for full details.


 

7 – Disney Cruise Line Launches Pixar Day at Sea

Disney Cruise Line launched its latest themed cruise, Pixar Day at Sea, and we were there to enjoy it. Not surprisingly, Disney Cruise Line did a fantastic job incorporating our favorite Pixar characters and Pixar-themed experiences into the cruise. Read all about our voyage to hear more about the experience and our review of all the unique offerings.

Articles with Cruising Tips and Tricks 

Learn more about the Disney Cruise line and our Pixar Day at Sea Cruise on the Disney Fantasy!

TRAVEL LOG: Our Pixar Day at Sea Cruise on the Disney Fantasy – Getting Ready to Sail!

TRAVEL LOG: Our Pixar Day at Sea Cruise on the Disney Fantasy – Day 1

Days 2-8 are coming soon!

Instagram Story with Photos and Video of our Cruise

Day 1 – Instagram Story Highlight – Arrival Day

Day 2 – Instagram Story Highlight – Sea Day

Day 3 – Instagram Story Highlight – Pixar Day at Sea

Day 4 – Instagram Story Highlight – Tortola, British Virgin Islands, and Pirate Night

Day 5 – Instagram Story Highlight – San Juan, Puerto Rico

Day 6 – Instagram Story Highlight – Sea Day

Day 7 – Instagram Story Highlight – Castaway Cay

 

8 – New Ticket Offer for Florida Residents Released

To kick off the New Year, Florida residents can get a great value on their next visit to Walt Disney World Resort theme parks with the return of the Disney Weekday Magic Ticket. Floridians can purchase a 2-day ticket for $175 (plus tax) to visit Walt Disney World Resort theme parks Monday through Friday now through April 27, 2023. Certain blockout dates apply.

9 – New Passholder Magnet Available this Week

Walt Disney World Annual Passholders can pick up a new complimentary Dumbo magnet at EPCOT beginning January 18, 2023. The Dumbo passholder Magnet will be available at Creations Shop in EPCOT from January 18 through February 20, 2023. Passholders must have their physical pass or MagicBand associated with their pass and a government-issued photo ID.

10 – 2023 EPCOT Festival of the Arts Opens This Week

EPCOT’s most underappreciated festival, the Festival of the Arts, opens this week. We’ll be visiting and will have a full review and some tips to make the most of this festival. In the meantime, here’s a link to the full menus of the festival kitchens to begin making your list of things to try.

Click here for “Full Menus Revealed for the 2023 EPCOT Festival of the Arts plus Figment Popcorn Bucket News”

11 – Tiana’s Palace Coming to Disneyland Later This Year

Tiana fans will be pleased to learn that an all-new restaurant, Tina’s Palace, is coming to Disneyland later this year. 

Learn more about this exciting new restaurant by clicking here.


 

What’s New and Happening Now at Walt Disney World Resort

January 13 – February 20, 2023 – EPCOT Festival of the Arts

Click here to learn more about the 2023 EPCOT Festival of the Arts.

Click here for “Full Menus Revealed for the 2023 EPCOT Festival of the Arts plus Figment Popcorn Bucket News”

Now Open – Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Click here for our review and what you need to know about Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, now open at EPCOT

Now Through March 31,  2023 – The Most Magical Celebration – 50 Years of Walt Disney World

Click here for The Celebration Continues…What’s New & Everything You Need to Know About the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Disney World


 

Coming Soon to Walt Disney World

January 23, 2023 – Splash Mountain Closes

Splash Mountain Closes for Rethemeing into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

April 3, 2023 – Happily Ever After Returns to Magic Kingdom

Click here about Happily Ever After and its return to Magic Kingdom in 2023.

April 4, 2023 – Tron Lightcycle Run Coming to Magic Kingdom

Click here to learn more about TRON / Lightcycle Run coming to Magic Kingdom in spring 2023.

Late 2024 – Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Coming to Magic Kingdom (Splash Mountain Replacement)

New & Coming Soon to Disney Cruise Line

Pixar Day at Sea on the Disney Fantasy – Spring 2023

Articles with Cruising Tips and Tricks 

Learn more about the Disney Cruise line and our Pixar Day at Sea Cruise on the Disney Fantasy!

TRAVEL LOG: Our Pixar Day at Sea Cruise on the Disney Fantasy – Getting Ready to Sail!

TRAVEL LOG: Our Pixar Day at Sea Cruise on the Disney Fantasy – Day 1

Days 2-8 are coming soon!

Instagram Story with Photos and Video of our Cruise

Day 1 – Instagram Story Highlight – Arrival Day

Day 2 – Instagram Story Highlight – Sea Day

Day 3 – Instagram Story Highlight – Pixar Day at Sea

Day 4 – Instagram Story Highlight – Tortola, British Virgin Islands, and Pirate Night

Day 5 – Instagram Story Highlight – San Juan, Puerto Rico

Day 6 – Instagram Story Highlight – Sea Day

Day 7 – Instagram Story Highlight – Castaway Cay

The Disney Wish

Click here for an overview of the Disney Wish, including our thoughts and a review of our recent experience.

Click here to learn more (and watch) the Christening Ceremony Celebration of the Disney Wish!

Click here to learn about staterooms and our room review on the Disney Wish.

Click here to learn about upper deck fun and the AquaMouse – the first Disney attraction at sea!

Click here for an overview of family dining on the Disney Wish!

Click here to learn more about stage show entertainment on the Disney Wish!

Itineraries in 2023 and 2023

Click here for information on Marvel Day at Sea on Disney Cruise Line in 2023.

Click here for information about Disney Cruise Line’s Summer 2023 Itineraries.

Click here for details on Disney Cruise Line Fall 2023 Itineraries.

Click here for details on Disney Cruise Line Early 2024 Itineraries.

Coming to Disney Cruise Line

Click here for details on the name and theme of the upcoming Disney Cruise Line Ship, the Disney Treasure.

Click here to learn about new port options and an update, including concept art, of Lighthouse Point.

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.



 

Chad & Cindy Nykamp

After years of multiple Walt Disney World vacations, Cindy and Chad's dream of living in Orlando came true in 2010. After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched DisneyLists.com in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Chad and Cindy have been Disney World Annual Passholders for years, DVC members, together have raced more than 70 runDisney races, and particularly love cruising on the Disney Cruise Line. Chad and Cindy also regularly represent DisneyLists.com at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, they get an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World. These experiences have helped them gain knowledge and expertise they happily pass on to their followers. They still can't believe how lucky they are to have such an amazing opportunity and will continue to share Disney with anyone who will listen!
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