We are back sooner than expected with another exciting Disney park news and rumor roundup! The past 2 days has brought an onslaught of announcements, all with the potential to significantly affect your vacation (mostly in a negative way).
We’ll start with the big one… Disney Annual Pass prices have increased across the board, by as much as $225 a person depending on the tier. This is in no way surprising unfortunately. Disneyland saw a big jump late last year with Galaxy’s Edge approaching, it was only a matter of time until WDW followed suit. Will this finally be the tipping point for many guests?
Our buddy Tom over at Disney Tourist Blog offers his thoughts on the AP price increase. He points out that this is likely Disney trying to encourage many of its Premier and Premier Plus AP holders to downgrade to passes with blackout dates. Disney’s pricing the past few years definitely has been influenced by their attempts to control crowds. Unfortunately, the parks are more crowded than ever, even with the increased and peak/value pricing.
It’s not surprising that the AP price increase was announced just one day after Disney released a bunch of AP perks for this summer. The biggest of these was the announcement that Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios WILL have AP holder previews! Note: Registration info will be released at a later date and only Premier or Premier Plus holders will eligible to register. Even then, there is no guarantees. When Pandora had AP previews back in 2017, only about 33% of eligible passholders received e-mails to register.
Parking fees at the WDW Resorts also went up over night. Value resorts saw a $2 per night increase while moderate and deluxe each went up $1 per night. The initial introduction of these fees left a real bad taste in a lot of fans mouths, ours included. It was at least somewhat of a tipping point for us as we have stayed several times off site since because we were tired of the nickel and diming. Most off site hotels charge for parking as well, but they are not already charging the premium rack rates Disney does.
Cruella’s Halloween Hide-A-Way has been officially announced for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! This looks to be the exact same thing as Tony’s Very Merriest Town Square Party which debuted at last years Christmas party. It’s rather annoying that you now have to pay $99 a person in order to get the best viewing location for the Boo To You parade. It’s only for the 2nd showing but we would not be shocked to see an upcharge introduced which blocks out the area for the 1st parade as well.
In positive park news, the construction walls came down around the recently demolished west side of the Leave a Legacy site and it looks fantastic,! We can’t wait until the Epcot entrance redesign is complete! It’s already a huge improvement, even in its unfinished state!
Photo by blogmickey.com
Finally, the new Hagrid coaster’s tremoltuous start continued past opening day. The ride featured regular down time due to both mechanical and weather issues, as well as crippling capacity issues. This lead Universal to announce a delayed opening (up to half the day) for the ride over the next few weeks at least! Clearly Universal opened a ride that was not ready to be opened.
On the plus side, it did give us this tweet from Josh over at Easy WDW which is the greatest thing I have read on twitter in a long long time!