Today was a HUGE day for Disney.
We got news about the opening date for TRON Lightcycle Run in Magic Kingdom, the return date for Happily Ever After, Park Hopping news for Disneyland, and MORE. 2023 is already shaping up to be quite the busy and transformative year, and now one Disney executive is chiming in on the recent announcements.
Josh D’Amaro, the Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, recently shared a new year’s message with Travel Agents. In the message, D’Amaro said that “last year was incredible,” and extended his thanks to Travel Agents for their work in helping guests plan their Disney trips.
D’Amaro then commented on some of the changes being made in Disney World in 2023. He shared that Disney is “constantly adapting” its business to create a “better experience for guests, and to build a foundation so we can introduce new stories and experiences in the future.”
According to D’Amaro, there are “lots of new reasons to celebrate together” in 2023. He then went on to note how the TRON Coaster (in Disney World), Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (in Disneyland), World of Color — ONE (Disneyland), and Wondrous Journeys (Disneyland) are ALL opening this year. Plus Disney will be celebrating its 100th Anniversary, and they will be bringing back the Happily Ever After fireworks show (Disney World) and Magic Happens parade (Disneyland).
He went on to say that it is “important” that Disney continues to “evolve to help deliver the best guest experience possible.” So, more changes are on the way, including some that guests have specifically asked for. D’Amaro noted that these changes may not “address everyone’s feedback” (in other words, there are many changes fans have asked for that are NOT being implemented at this time), but they will hopefully “increase flexibility and add value” for those visiting the Disney parks and hotels.
He then went on to outline some of the HUGE changes we’ve already shared with you, and comment on them.
- D’Amaro shared that they’re “significantly increasing the number of days – nearly two months’ worth over the coming year” on which the one-day, one-park $104 ticket will be offered.
- They will also offer “more flexibility” with the Park Hopper option by allowing guests to hop between parks starting at 11AM (instead of 1PM) starting February 4th.
- Disney PhotoPass digital downloads of ride photos will be FREE for all ticketed park guests starting February 4th, 2023 and throughout the Disney100 celebration.
- And Magic Key Passes will be available for sale “more times during the year as inventory becomes available.”
- Starting within the “next few months,” Disney World Annual Passholders will be able to visit the Disney World theme parks after 2PM WITHOUT needing a Park Pass reservation (except Saturdays and Sundays at Magic Kingdom) (note that regular blockout dates will continue to apply).
- FREE overnight self-parking at the Disney World hotels is coming back for those staying at Disney World resort hotels starting January 10th, 2023.
- Starting within “the next few months,” those who buy Genie+ in Disney World will also get FREE digital downloads of their PhotoPass attraction photos and videos at select rides (these will apply for the photos taken on the day of their purchase and park visit).
- And he highlighted the discounts and deals that have been announced over the past few weeks, including the Florida Resident Disney Weekday Magic tickets, Disney Dining Promo Card, and more.
D’Amaro shared that he is “excited about all of these changes and offers.” He also emphasized that Disney is “committed to listening, adapting, and staying relentlessly focused on making the guest experience at [the] Disney parks even better.”
Disney undoubtedly receives a tremendous amount of feedback from its guests, and it seems some of that feedback could be prompting real changes (along with, likely, many other motivating factors the Company is considering). It will be interesting to see what the remainder of this year and the next few years bring to the parks. Stay tuned for the latest updates.
Click here to read about 10 changes that recently went into effect in the Disney parks
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What do you think about these changes? Tell us in the comments.
GL Josh says
With all the updates and seeing Josh being moved more to the forefront, it feels like a “test run”. If he can keep the positivity and forward thinking he could be a decent heir apparent.