The Latest MickeyBlog Disney News Update for Week of February 19th
Welcome to a huge week for Disney news! We’ve got a true bombshell, so let’s get right to it.
Toy Story Land Details Confirmed
For more than a year now, Disney rumormongers have speculated about the opening date of Toy Story Land. Many of them, myself included, believed that Memorial Day weekend was the likely target. After all, Disney loves this date, opening Pandora – The World of Avatar and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train during this holiday.
When you think about the situation, however, the four-day weekend isn’t the optimal time for a new themed land. Traffic is already near capacity, increasing the odds that guests feel unhappy with long lines and opening day snafus. While Pandora’s debut went off with nary a hitch, we’re less than two years removed from the difficulties of Frozen Ever After during its tumultuous first day in operation.
Disney’s weighed these factors and rightly chosen to save Toy Story Land for the following month. Yes, the new themed land will open to the public on June 30th, 2018. That’s a Saturday four days prior to July 4th, which falls on a Wednesday this year. By targeting this date, Disney can spend the next few months perfecting the themed land while hosting previews and trial runs. Since Toy Story Land lacks the technical innovations of Pandora or the repurposed space of Frozen Ever After, it should have a smooth debut.
We also learned new details about the rides of Toy Story Land. Slinky Dog Dash, the family-friendly roller coaster, will have a minimum height requirement of 38 inches. According to BabyCenter, most children reach this height by the time that they’re four years old. Alien Swirling Saucers is even better for families with small children. Its height requirement is only 32 inches. The average child reaches this size by the time that they’re 21 months old. In other words, it’s a wonderful themed land for families with toddlers.
You can watch the official reveal about Toy Story Land on Good Morning America’s Twitter feed.
What’s in a Name?
When The Walt Disney Company confirmed the construction of Star Wars Land: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land, a natural question arose. Mickey Travelers wondered if a name change was in the offing for Disney’s Hollywood Studios. After all, Disney removed the Sorcerer’s Hat and shut down The Great Movie Ride, two of the park elements most closely associated with its name, Hollywood Studios.
Well, Disney finally answered that question this past week. The Parks Blog posted this unexpected announcement:
“In response to questions we have been receiving, we also want to let fans know that the Disney’s Hollywood Studios name will remain the same for the foreseeable future since we are immersing our guests in a place where imagined worlds of Hollywood unfold around them from movies and music, to television and theater.”
In other words, the park that you’ve known as Hollywood Studios for the past ten years will remain that way for years to come. Yes, it’s something of a surprise given the existence of a name change survey last year, but the move makes sense. Star Wars and Toy Story are movie franchises, after all.
The Annual Rate Increase
With so many exciting prospects on the horizon at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, the next news item isn’t a shock. Disney’s once again raised admission prices at their various theme parks. They’ve raised costs for single-day admission, multi-day admission, and annual passes. This practice has become an annual process in recent years.
Here are the applicable changes. A one-day ticket to Magic Kingdom goes up $2 from $107 to $109 on Value Days. During a Regular Day, the price increases $4 from $115 to $119, and Peak Days change from $124 to $129. At the other three parks at Walt Disney World, Value Days are now $102, Regular Days are $114, and Peak Days are $122.
All Park Hopper and multi-day admission tickets have also increased, generally in the 2-5% range. Similarly, annual passes are now $439 for Silver, $589 for Gold, and $849 for Platinum. Platinum Plus is $949 ($829 for Florida residents).
At Disneyland, their Value Day pricing remains the same. Regular Days increased from $110 to $117, and Peak Days went from $124 to $135. Interestingly, a one-day Park Hopper during Value Days went down in price from $157 to $147. Disney is trying to train its lifelong customers to visit more during “off-days”, thereby smoothing out the overall traffic flow each calendar year.
Annual Passes increased a lot at Disneyland, at least on the lower end. The cheapest one is now $729, up from $619 in 2017. The Signature Pass, the one with free parking, is now $999, a $150 increase from 2017 pricing. And the Signature Plus Pass, the one with MaxPass included, costs $1,149, a $100 raise in pricing. The Premier Annual Pass, the proverbial golden ticket that grants lucky Mickey Travelers access to Disneyland AND Walt Disney World, is now $1,579, an increase of $140.
Some associated prices also increased. Regular parking at Walt Disney World is now $22, up $2 from the previous cost of $20. Preferred Parking went up $5 to its current cost of $45. At Disneyland, the parking add-on for locals increased from $219 to $239. We’ll also discuss another one in the next section.
Look, a lot of the admission pricing information is confusing. Your best bet here is to contact an expert at Mickey Travels to ask for advice. Their service is free, and the money you will save in finding the best deal makes it a no-brainer. Mickey Travels is making magic one vacation at a time, and part of that magic is unearthing the best possible deal for your next trip!
Maybe I’m Obsessed with Minnie Vans
No, you’re not imagining things. Every other edition of MickeyBlog News seems to have a news item about Minnie Vans, the ride-sharing service that uses the coolest vehicles on the planet. This week, the price of a ride on one of these beauties went up from $20 to $25. It’s an understandable change since the demand for a Minnie Van is tremendous. And that demand will only increase in future days.
Disney significantly expanded the Minnie Van program over the past two weeks. The Disney resorts at Caribbean Beach, Saratoga Springs, Pop Century, and Fort Wilderness all have access to the service. You’ll use the Lyft app to book a ride in a Minnie Van. For that flat fee of $25, the cast member will drive you one-way anywhere on the Disney campus.
Also, the airport trial run has also added new locations. The monorail resorts near Magic Kingdom (Contemporary, Grand Floridian, and Polynesian Village) plus the Beach & Yacht Clubs all have the ability to catch a ride to the airport thanks to their friend, Minnie. The catch is that you have to stay on the concierge level of these properties to use the airport service. The other catch is that it has a fee of $150.
Okay, that’s the news for today, but there’s so much going on right now that we’ll be back with a second edition by the end of the week! Until then, what excites you the most about Toy Story Land? Feel free to chime in with your thoughts in the comments section!
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