Episode 405: Welcome back to another exciting episode of the Traveling with the Mouse podcast. Today, we have an exhilarating lineup as we delve into our summer trip previews. Our first adventure takes us to the enchanting wilderness of Fort Wilderness, where our co-host, Jason, previews his memorial day weekend trip. We will hear more about that next week. Next, Jon is eagerly counting down the days until his visit to Orlando. With Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort on his itinerary, he will be staying at an Air bnb in the Windsor Hills area. I will also be returning in a few weeks with Jason back to Disney but this time we will be staying in a treehouse villa. Of course, we can’t forget the latest news from the ever-evolving world of Disney. In this episode, we’ll be discussing some exciting updates, including the upcoming VIPassholder days in June. This exclusive event is a fantastic opportunity for Annual Passholders to enjoy extra perks, unique experiences, and unforgettable moments within the parks. Star Cruiser is now sold out and the Pixar Place hotel concept art is interesting. So, fellow travel enthusiasts, join us on this episode of Traveling with the Mouse podcast as we embark on incredible journeys, discuss the latest news, and fuel our wanderlust. Whether you’re camping at Fort Wilderness, exploring the magical parks of Orlando, or eagerly awaiting your next adventure, this episode is sure to ignite your passion for travel and all things Disney.
404: Episode not Found
Welcome back, fellow travelers, to another exciting episode of Traveling with the Mouse podcast! Today, we have an episode packed with intriguing news from the magical world of Disney. In this edition, we explore the recent series of unexpected announcements that have sent shockwaves through the Disney community. Join us as we delve into the closure of the Star Cruiser, the cancellation of the Lake Nona project, and the mixed reviews for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. Disney has decided to permanently close the Star Cruiser experience. While the closure itself may not be entirely surprising, what has caught everyone off guard is the decision to pull the plug by the end of September. The Star Cruiser, an ambitious and immersive Star Wars-themed hotel experience, was initially met with great enthusiasm and anticipation. Unfortunately, various factors have led to its demise, leaving fans disappointed. As we bid farewell to this unique venture, we reflect on the impact it has had on the Disney landscape and give our thoughts on what Disney should do with it in the future.
One of the notable decisions made during the Chapek era was the Lake Nona project which was going to move Imagineering to Florida. This week Bob Iger announced this project is now officially cancelled. The timing match up politically with what is going on in Florida but this project was most likely doomed the moment Chapek was fired.
With much anticipation, the last installment in the Indiana Jones franchise, “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” has arrived. The Film debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. The early reviews, however, present a mixed bag of opinions. Harrison Ford did receive a standing ovation at the premiere and it is also John Williams final film score. Do we think that these early critics are wrong and the film will deliver to the fans? We all know that critics are often not in line with audiences…we’re looking at you Last Jedi….
5 Updates to Make Your Visit Easier in 2024
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.
Jason’s Every Ride Challenge recap
Episode 386. Jason recaps his Every Ride Challenge run with his son Andrew. He talks about using Genie+ with the new modify feature. He used it with great results during his challenge. We do also cover some of the news. Te Fiti is now visible over the constructions walls at Epcot. The Journey of water is scheduled to open in 2023. Speaking of 2023, We discuss more about what we think the timing will be of the new things coming to Disney World in 2023. Woody’s Roundup Rodeo BBQ, Tron and the WDW Railroad to name a few. We also took a detour by coming up with our own challenge to visit 10 lounges in a day. We just have to figure out what those 10 will be and then we will get right on that. Jason then goes into the details of his challenge run where he and his son finished 30 rides and 545 points.
Fun with AI
Episode:385 On the show this week we have a little fun with some artificial intelligence. We let the ChatGPT AI write some intros to the show for us and then we used some bots to read them for us. The scripts weren’t bad but it did lack a little of that human touch. So I guess our jobs as podcast hosts are safe for now. Jason then talks about his Every Ride Challenge run with his son. At the time of this recording he hadn’t done it yet. Be on the lookout for a full report next week. In the news we talk about Tiana’s Bayou Adventure and the upcoming closing date for Splash Mountain. We talk about Disney CFO Christine McCarthy and how she is the current front runner for taking over when Iger retires for the 100th time. Genie Plus added a much needed feature this week. We wrap up with a little comparison of Toy Story land and Galaxy’s Edge.
Bob is Back! (Iger)
Episode 383: It finally happened. Somebody wished upon a star and now Bob Iger is back as Disney’s CEO. We had already recorded an episode for this week but we recorded a new segment just to cover this major story. At first is was hard to believe it was actually true. We try to be realistic about this news and not get too excited even though we agree that this is good news for Disney fans. Also, in other news we did previously record a discussion on Festival of the holidays starting soon. Fantasmic is getting 2 shows per night through early 2023. Mando has interrupted the timeline at Batuu in Disneyland but we don’t care. Disney is acquiring a new partially built cruise ship to add to its fleet. Walt’s dreamers statue has arrived in Florida. We also do a mini review of Andor; the Star Wars series on Disney Plus.
Episode 382: This week’s episode got cut short by some technical issues. We did manage to discuss some news and two of us have trips coming up soon. Jason is in Walt Disney world this weekend to see Fantasmic and I will be there soon as well. We discuss some of the latest holiday happenings around Walt Disney World. Bob is at it again and we discuss the Q4 earnings call. We got some new details on the Disneyland treehouse redesign. It is going to be kind of back to the original Swiss Family Robinson but not quite. We have a date for when Guardians will add the holiday track to cosmic rewind. A rare hurricane in November impacted the Disney World resort this week. We also experienced some technical difficulties that cut this episode short.
Jason’s Trip Report
Episode 375: Jason just returned from a solo trip to Walt Disney World. He utilized some last minute DVC availability and stayed at the boardwalk. On this trip he experience a re-ranking of his favorite coasters at Disney as well as his favorite lounges on property. He was able to fit a lot into his 48 hour trip. He let’s us know his thoughts on the boardwalk and getting the most out of Genie plus during his trip. He visited all 4 parks and was able to get quite a lot done. We do also spend a few minutes talking about the news but there wasn’t much new to discuss at the time.
Disney news and a trip preview
Episode 374: This week Jason joins us as he is about to go on a solo Walt Disney World trip. We get his take on the some of the news from D23 as well as some of the News stories of the week. There was a very intoxicated woman who was slowly escorted out of Epcot this week. Kite Tails is officially ending at Animal Kingdom. Mysteriously there was roof work going on at the Play pavilion sight even though there was no update on this project at D23. For the first time there will be cocktails served at the Magic Kingdom over at Skipper Canteen. In Jason’s trip preview we try to guess which song he will get at Guardians of the galaxy. He also discusses his initial plans to see both nighttime shows and see which lounges he can hit up along the way. We will see what all happens next week for his trip report. He will be staying that the Boardwalk in a DVC studio facing the boardwalk/Epcot.
Best and worst Queues at Disney
Episode 371: Today we are coving what we think are the best and worst queues at Walt Disney World. We come up with our top five best queues and we give some honorable mentions. We also go through some of the worst queues at Disney World. If you are stuck with having to wait in the standby line, there are some that are much better than others. We consider things like theming, shade, interactivity, hidden details and more. There is a certain imagineer that was responsible for the top spot on both of our lists. I’m sure that some of you can already guess who that imagineer is. We also cover some news, we both like the new Walt and Roy additions to the enchantment fireworks. There is also more maintenance issues to talk about. Tron is also showing more and more signs of it opening this year. I guess we will know for sure at D23!
Doing Disney with a big group
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!
Disney News Roundup
Episode 363: Jon and I catch up on the Disney news of the past month. With all of our recent trips it we haven’t talked much about the latest news. I was impressed by the Indiana Jones merch that came out this month. If only these movie props could’ve been around when I was 10 years old! The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue has now officially reopened, We discuss what is new, what is the same and is it still a good value? There’s a lot of meet and greets returning over the summer. Things are slowly returning back. Christmas time this year is going to be a lot more like 2019! Except for the price tag 🙁 The Disney Wish made it into port but will it be ready for it’s first sailing? All this and more!
James’ June Trip Report
Episode: 362 James recently returned from Walt Disney World and he also stopped by Sea World for a day. He talks about his experience with Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind and now it looks like it is James/Adam vs. Jon/Jason when it comes to which coaster is our favorite at Walt Disney World. He also talks about the new dining experiences they had this time and which ones were there favorites. The used Genie+ on all of their park days and were able to snag some really good lightning lanes. There were a few bumps at the end of their trip as some in their party started feeling sick towards the end of their trip.
Jon’s June Trip report
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.
We Generate new IP based attractions for Disney
Episode 356: We have a full house in this episode as we have Jason and James join us this week! We discuss the latest news. Which includes Tron testing at full speed and Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic rewind is in passholder previews. Meanwhile the Disney CEO is touting the Q2 earnings for the company. He points to things like Genie Plus, Disney Plus and Galactic Starcruiser as the reasons for the increase in revenue. In order to help Bob out more, we pulled a list of every Disney movie made and we randomly selected some to come up with attraction ideas from the existing Disney IP database. We found some hidden gems that I think Bob would be proud to have made into new attractions or an overlay to existing attractions. It was a fun game for us to play.
Disney news round up
Episode 354: We catch up on all of the latest news this week. It’s been a while since we covered the news and there’s plenty going on. We give our take on the Reedy Creek Improvement district situation and what we think will actually happen to it. The Halloween Party is back in its full form this year but it kept the prices from last year, sadly. There’s some new details on the Haunted Mansion film that is currently in production. This got us talking about sequels and how Walt was quoted as being against making sequels to his movies. We also mention the upcoming Rescue Rangers movie and it definitely looks unique. Tokyo is making some interesting changes to their Space mountain. All of these stories and more!
Disney March Madness 2022
Episode 350: It’s time for our annual Disney March Madness competition! This year we can’t help but continue our love of Disney food but we also expanded it to include drinks this time! We start with a new category for this year…walk-up locations like festival kitchen’s and food carts. Then we move on to another new category, Bars/Lounges! Then we move over to Quick service and Table service restaurants. As usual we ended up with some surprising results. Let us know what you think of our choices and if you agree or disagree with the winner. Also, we chose locations that we frequently visit so if your favorite wasn’t on our bracket let us know and we will check it out as we are always open to new locations to try!
News plus Galactic Starcruiser
Episode 347: Today we discuss our initial thoughts about the Galactic Starcruiser. There’s a lot to cover but the early reviews are generally positive. We discuss what we liked and disliked. Also, we try to answer the question, what would it take for us to book a star cruise. Jason is going to be in Walt Disney World next week so he also gives us a little preview of his trip. We also honor my Mom with a Give Kids The World fundraiser. Thanks to those that have already given. We have almost reached our goal already but why not go for more? If you would like to contribute, the link can be found here: https://give.gktw.org/fundraiser/3737394
A Trip Report with a Special Guest
Episode 343: Today we welcome James back to the show! James is Jon’s brother and although he has technically been on the show before, this is the first time we have properly had him on the show as a guest. James just returned from Walt Disney World after a week long trip! He and his family did a split stay and Caribbean Beach and the Polynesian. They rented DVC points for their stay at Polynesian and he talks about that process and why it works well for them. This was their first trip since the pandemic started so they experienced several firsts for them. They did try out Disney Genie on multiple days of their trip and he gives and honest opinion on it. They also experienced several different dinning experiences including a character meal. We also find out that James is the first one of us to actually go see the Hall of Presidents in this century and that his dream job would be to do maintenance work on the monorails.
Disney+ reviews and Park Strategy in 2022!
Episode 341: This week we talk about some news and we give some reviews of some of the recent things we’ve watched on Disney+…We also go through some park strategy from a listener’s email. We get started with some news…We don’t talk about Chapek, no, no, no. (but we kinda do, a lot) The CEO recently talked about the 3 pillars for success in the Walt Disney Company and we go through each one. We cover some of the other recent news and then move into our Disney Plus reviews of Encanto and Book of Boba Fett. We wrap the show by going through a listener’s email about park strategy in 2022. We weigh in with our thoughts on a 2 day strategy for fitting in all 4 parks.