Episode 408: Welcome back, fellow Disney enthusiasts, to another exciting episode of the Traveling with the Mouse podcast! This episode Jon and I catch up on the latest news and rumors and we can’t help but chat about our latest Disney World trips. We will go more in depth in next week’s episode but we had to cover some of the details of our recent vacations. In the news, we have a new pricing structure for Disney Genie Plus that goes into effect June 27th. The Reflections resort may not be dead in the water after all. The Dinosaur attraction at Animal Kingdom has seen better days. It’s almost like they are ready to pull the plug on it. And in some ways they already have. Indiana Jones meet and greet is coming to Disneyland and Walt Disney World is gearing up for 4th of July. In our next episode, we’ll be diving deep into our respective experiences with our trip reports so stay tuned.
Episode 403: As the world recovers from the pandemic, Disney is making some updates to enhance your visit to the most magical place on earth. Here are the top five updates announced by Disney that will make your visit easier starting in January 2024. We discuss these and give our opinion on them. A few of these are pretty vague but we talk about what we hope these updates will mean.
Park Reservations Will Slowly Be Going Away in 2024
One of the biggest changes announced by Disney is the gradual phasing out of park reservations in 2024. Starting with dates based tickets on January 9th.
Annual Passholders and Cast members Will Have “Good to Go” Days
Annual passholders and cast members will have special days to visit the parks without making a reservation. This is a great perk for those who like to make spontaneous visits to the parks or for those who want to avoid the hassle of making reservations. However, no details are given as to how many “good to go” days will be available. It is a step in the right direction at least.
The Dining Plan Is Coming Back
After being suspended during the pandemic, the dining plan is finally making a comeback. This popular feature allows guests to prepay for meals and snacks at select restaurants throughout the parks and resorts. To start with there will only be 2 plans available to book.
Genie Plus Will Be Available for Advance Purchase
Genie Plus is a new feature that allows guests to skip the regular standby lines for select attractions by paying an additional fee. Disney has announced that Genie Plus will be available for advance purchase. No further details have been given about how far in advance and how many lightning lanes could be reserved in advance. Sounds a lot like they are going back to the way Fast Pass plus was but just with a price tag now.
Resort Guests Will Continue to Have Early Entry and evening hours for Deluxe resorts
If you’re staying at a Disney resort, you’ll continue to have the perk of early entry times. This means that you can enter the parks before the general public and enjoy shorter wait times for popular attractions. Deluxe resort guests will continue to have extra evening hours for select days. This isn’t anything new but at least they are extending this perk through 2024.
Episode 378: Prices are on the rise once again at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. We discuss our disgust with the particularly egregious price hikes. Like genie plus and some of the food and drink increases. We sadly predicted the increases at places like Baseline Taphouse. We know that prices will enviably go up over time but this increases are substantial at a time when Disney is well above inflation on most prices. undenounced to him, Jason got to visit on the last weekend before these prices were increased. He did a split DVC stay starting at Rivera and ending at Animal Kingdom Lodge. He tested out Magic Band Plus and met up with some friends who are non regular guests. We get to hear what they thought of all of the new things to experience at Walt Disney World.
Episode: 364 This week we have another trip report from Walt Disney World. This time I recently returned from a trip with a group of 14 people. I found out that there are some challenges with a group of that size of course, but also that an enjoyable time with minimal wait times can still be had. With a few tricks up my sleeve we did the majority of our rides with Lightning Lanes. We did all 4 parks each day with a group of 10-14 people and I go through the strategies that I used for each park. It turned out surprisingly well! If I can get a large group through Disney and everyone had a great time then so can you! There will be a part 2 to this trip coming soon. We also cover some news that broke this week. Mainly that Bob’s contract got extended and We now know that Tiana’s bayou adventure will be opening in 2024!
Episode:360 Jon discusses his most recent trip to Walt Disney World with a stop at Peppa Pig Park. This trip certainly had it’s ups and down which included highlights such as riding Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind but there were also some lows like having a visit to the local urgent care and having the trip cut short. He praised the cast members at Coronado Springs resort but also the room location was a little questionable. He also discusses how he stacked some lightning lanes to get the most out of it but overall is still frustrated with the Genie Plus experience. We give our first reviews of Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind now that we have all done it. Look for more discussion on this new ride in next few episodes.
Episode 348: We are joined again this week by James as Jason is currently in Walt Disney World. We discuss the latest Disney news. The CEO has made a lot of headlines this week. We have updates on Tron and Guardians. Disney is adding more lightning lane capacity with meet & greets and the Festival of Fantasy parade. The first trailer for the Obi-wan series was released along with the first visual of Darth Vader. There is also a new record for the Every Ride Challenge that happened this week.
Episode 345: Jason is back this week and we talk about maximizing Genie Plus! With the Q1 earnings call happening this past week, we know for sure that Genie is here to stay. We give our thoughts on how to improve it and how to best use it for your next trip. We also discuss more about the Q1 earnings call and what more we can expect Disney and CEO to do as a result. We also talk about some Genie Plus news. Jon and I have finished watching Book of Boba Fett and we try to talk about our feelings on season 1 without spoiling the ending for Jason. Another big Star Wars story in the news was the release date for the Obiwan Kenobi series on Disney Plus. I talk about how excited I am about it until I see who all is involved with the production and then I start getting nervous. How do you feel about the Obiwan Series?
Episode 335: We are back this week with another stellar episode! We discuss what we like about the being Annual Passholders at Walt Disney World. Jason is excited after booking his second Disney cruise so we talk about Disney Cruise line and what we can expect while sailing during the times that we are in. We also cover some news like the petition to fire a certain CEO, parking lot trams wont be coming back until at least 2022, and club level is starting to come back to the resorts at Walt Disney World. Oh yeah, we also give some updated thoughts on the Disney Genie and what we think of it two weeks since it went live. Jason doesn’t hold back.
Episode: 334 Well, it happened. Disney Genie is now officially a thing. We got a chance to play around with it and listened to a lot of first hand experience with the new service. We give our honest opinions of the service. We also go through each park and give a thumbs up or down on whether or not we think it is worth the extra money to add to your day. We also have other news to discuss. There’s a new road project around the Grand Floridian that got out attention. Could something new be planned for that area around the Magic Kingdom? Also, there’s some concerning news out of Imagineering. It seems that not everyone is willing to make the move to Florida. Could we be entering a new dark age for Imagineering?
Episode: 326 We catch up on the news this week and talk more about the Disney Genie. After a week to mull over the Disney Genie news we discuss how we feel about it today. In other news The monorail continues to have issues. Fingerprint scanning is back. Club cool is nearing completion. Rumors are circulating that the budget has been slashed for the Splash mountain retheme to Princess and the Frog. We really hope that these rumors turn out to be false. This leads us into a discussion about how the Chapek era so far has been a season of price hikes and decreased value. Perhaps some competition from Universal can help? Let us know your thoughts!
Episode 325: Disney finally let the Genie out of the lamp this week but is he working for Aladdin or Jafar? We break down what we think of the new paid fastpass service. Can we find a silver lining? We have known that this was coming for quite a while and now that it is here, we break down what we know about it. We are quick to say that it could certainly have been far worse in terms of the type of money grab that most people think that it is. That being said, we aren’t that happy with fastpass being a paid service now. We go through what attractions will be included in the lightning lane only upcharge for each park. Rumors are that there will be 2 attractions at each park that will require the per ride fee. We also, look at each park and decide would we pay the $15 per person fee for the Disney Genie+ service. Our answers might surprise you. In other news, I go through the list of construction projects and what we think will be the current opening time for each. We wrap up the show with a rapid fire of other news stories from the week.