‘Everything Is Ruined’ — Has Disney Done Anything Right These Past Few Years?!

Disney has been catching some heat for recent changes they’ve made, so is there ANYTHING they’ve done right lately?!

Magic Kingdom

Lofty, “blue sky” plans have been replaced with cheaper, more generic ones, and don’t even get us started on the free FastPass and FastPass+ being replaced with Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes — a new, paid, skip-the-line service. With so much discontent sowing among Disney fans, we have to wonder: Has Disney done anything right these past few years?!

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We asked our readers over on Facebook if they thought Disney World had done anything right over the past few years, and here’s what they said!

Ditching Park Pass Reservations

When Disney World reopened after the pandemic, they implemented a Park Pass Reservation system to help control crowds. Essentially, everyone had to make a reservation for a specific park in order to be able to visit that day — in addition to having valid admission.

Cinderella Castle

But, as of January 9th, 2024, Disney World no longer requires a Park Pass Reservation for most guests. Anyone who buys a regular date-based ticket from Disney (either on its own or as part of a vacation package) no longer has to reserve their park visit in advance.

Animal Kingdom

However, select guests including Disney World Annual Passholders and Cast Members STILL REQUIRE Park Pass Reservations (with some exceptions). Group tickets, Florida Resident tickets, Military tickets, and more still need park pass reservations in order to visit Disney World. We’ll let you know if this changes!

Click Here for More Info on Who Still Needs Park Pass Reservations

Disney Dining Plan Return

The Disney Dining Plan failed to return after the post-pandemic reopening of the parks as well — much to the chagrin of hardcore fans everywhere. Folks were begging Disney to bring it back and constantly asking us for updates on it.

Full spread

Essentially, Disney Dining Plans are an optional add-on to a Disney World vacation package (which includes hotel and tickets). This means that the Disney Dining Plan is exclusive to guests staying in a Disney World Resort hotel. Disney Dining Plans are pre-purchased, so all you have to do when you get to Disney World is head to a restaurant that accepts the Disney Dining Plan and you’re good to use it!

Spread from B.B. Wolfe’s

It was a big hit with people, as it took the stress out of having to pay out of pocket for meals, snacks, and drinks on vacation — and instead paying for everything in advance so that you didn’t have to worry about how much things would cost while on vacation. Eventually, Disney brought the Dining Plan back on January 9th, 2024. 

Learn More About the Disney Dining Plan!

Disney Springs Drone Show

Disney World is known for incredible nighttime fireworks shows, but recently the first drone show premiered at Disney Springs! Disney Dreams That Soar is a new nighttime drone show that celebrates “the joy of flight with state-of-the-art drones choreographed to create designs in the sky” all paired with a “soaring” musical score interspersed with movie quotes.”

New Drone show

And, it’s a pretty big hit! It’s so popular, in fact, that Disney is having to do some serious crowd control to put up with demand. It’s an incredible feat of technology, so it’s no wonder that the show has become pretty popular and garnering some chaotic crowds.

SO cool

The stories are shared with state-of-the-art drones (800 of them!) choreographed to form 400-foot tall designs in the sky, featuring some of your favorite Disney characters and icons. (Look for friends from Toy Story, Coco, Dumbo, Peter Pan, Up, Star Wars, and more!)

See More of Disney Dreams That Soar Here

Park Hopping Changes

Another relic from the post-COVID Disney World era — park hopping restrictions. When the parks first reopened, you weren’t allowed to hop from park to park at all so Disney could try and control the crowds. Eventually, park hopping returned but with a caveat that you had to wait until after 2PM to do it — and had to scan into the park you had a reservation for first.

Hollywood Studios

It made it difficult for folks to freely move about the parks, and caused some disgruntled fans to make it known they wanted it back. But, as of January 9th, 2024, anyone who has a park ticket with Park Hopper capabilities or an Annual Pass can visit another theme park at any time of day during park hours. Happy hopping!

Free Parking at Hotels

Disney giveth, and Disney taketh away. Except in this case, former CEO Bob Chapek took it away and current (but also former) CEO Bob Iger brought it back. We’re talking about free parking at Disney World-owned and operated hotels, of course!

Art of Animation

Years ago, overnight self-parking at Disney World’s hotels was FREE for hotel guests. But Disney later changed things and introduced overnight parking fees for those staying at Disney World’s hotels, which varied in cost depending on what level of hotel you’ll be staying at. We’re happy to say that overnight self-parking is FREE once again for guests staying at Disney World’s Resort Hotels as of January 10th, 2024.

Riviera Resort

No matter what you think of Disney’s latest changes, one thing is for sure — you can count on Disney Food Blog to bring you the latest updates! Stay tuned for all your Disney news needs.

ALERT: 3 MAJOR Genie+ Changes Are Coming to Disney World This Year

Planning a Trip to Disney World? We’ve Got Everything You Need to Know

When are you heading to Disney World next? Tell us in the comments.

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