There’s no denying that Disney is the king of theme park vacations and that you’ve likely got your roster of clients who are going to book their return trip every year.
So, what makes this year a great year to sell? It looks like this will be the final year of Disney’s full return to pre-pandemic operations, signaled by the return of a few main Disney World touchpoints that your clients have probably been asking about since the parks re-opened. Namely, park-hopping and Disney dining plans.
However, the slow return of those features has not seemed to impact the overwhelming popularity of the parks. Regardless of what the third-party crowd calendars predict, in these times, it seems as though nearly every day at the park is going to be busy. Encourage your clients to consider Genie+ as access to those Lightning Lanes can help maximize the day. But also remember, regardless of the crowds, a lot of the joy of a trip to Disney World is enjoying the atmosphere.
Top tips for selling Disney World 2024 from Disney Destinations
In terms of guidance from Disney on selling for 2024, Jodi Bainter, Director of Travel Agency Sales with Disney Destinations, suggests highlighting “travel packages that maximize savings and bundle offerings for a more inclusive vacation experience. A great example of how Walt Disney World enables guests to enjoy a hassle-free vacation is this year’s return of the fan-favorite Disney dining plans. Dining plans allow guests to preplan for a variety of unique dining options during a visit to The Most Magical Place on Earth.”
As for the best way for travel advisors to keep up, Bainter suggests joining the “ongoing training resources and updates on DisneyTravelAgents.com and social media by following @DisneyTravelProfessionals on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.” Bainter adds, “The best resource is our Cast Members. Our dedicated sales team has decades of experience and is eager to guide every travel advisor to be successful with their clients. They love to share Disney magic!”
Here’s our list of new additions, changes, and improvements to come at Walt Disney World in 2024.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure
The official word is in! Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will open earlier than expected this coming summer, replacing what was Splash Mountain. New details of the Mardis Gras-themed boat ride have emerged, confirming the first-ever Princess Tiana, Louis, and Mama Odie audio-animatronics throughout the ride. They will be joined by Eudora, Charlotte, Prince Ralphie, and Prince Naveen. The ride will also feature Tiana’s new friends, including an otter, a rabbit, a raccoon, a beaver, and a turtle. Expect new original music along with some favorite tunes from the film. Topping it off, there's mention that guests will experience the sweet smell of beignets frying during the experience. Look for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure to debut at Florida's Magic Kingdom in the summer of 2024 and later in 2024 at Disneyland.
1900 Park Fare: Back in action with some new friends
Hot off the presses, 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort will be reopening on April 10, 2024. The popular character dining experience will return with its classic characters from Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, and Cinderella, along with a few new friends, including Aladdin (sporting his Prince Ali look) and Tiana (donning a new look inspired by the upcoming Tiana’s Bayou Adventure). Reservations for dining open on March 5.
While there’s no official confirmation, DINOSAUR over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is likely on its way out in 2024. This speculation follows on the heels of the announcement from D23 that Dinoland USA will soon transform into a new land themed to the "tropical Americas" - Central and northern South America, featuring attractions based on Encanto and Indiana Jones. No word on when this refresh will happen, but it is likely that this could be the last year for a thrilling encounter with an Iguanodon and Carnotaurus.
Star Tours Attraction: Expanding the ‘Brand’alorian?
The Star Tours attractions at all three Disney parks (Hollywood Studios, Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris) are getting a few new storylines and characters added this year. Few details have been released about specifics, but the new additions are likely to be characters and locations from shows and movies made after 2019.
CommuniCore Plaza, CommuniCore Hall at EPCOT: Beyond World Showcase
CommuniCore Plaza and CommuniCore Hall are two new spaces that will open in EPCOT sometime in 2024, extending the fun of the festivals beyond the World Showcase. These spaces will operate as an extension of EPCOT’s festivals with additional exhibits, theming, and entertainment. They will also host EPCOT’s new “Mickey and Friends” meet-and-greet. This will be the return of a permanent character meet and greet location in EPCOT, giving guests the perfect chance to meet Mickey and his friends. These are two exciting new additions that will help add more programming and entertainment to the popular EPCOT festival seasons.
EPCOT’s festivals this year are slated for:
- Festival of the Arts: Now til February 19, 2024
- Flower and Garden Festival: February 28 - May 27, 2024
- Food and Wine Festival: late July - mid-November 2024
- Festival of the Holidays: Late November until late December 2024
Reimagined “The Little Mermaid” Show: Finally back under the sea
A newly-revamped “Little Mermaid” show will debut at Hollywood Studios, likely in Fall 2024, and from the little we know, it’s going to be a winner. There are not too many details that have been released beyond that this will replace “Voyage of the Little Mermaid” in the same theater and likely follow a similar format with live singing. The show will feature new set pieces, special effects, and a new design aesthetic that will give a fresh verve to the timeless movie.
All-Day Park Hopping with date-based tickets: Go the distance
All-day park hopping with date-based tickets began this past January, freeing up guests with Park Hopper tickets and Annual Pass holders to visit another theme park at any time of the day during the park hours, subject to the capacity of the park. This is a very welcome return to the pre-pandemic glory days of park hopping freely. Back are the days of bopping from Spaceship Earth to Peter Pan's Flight and then to lunch at Hollywood Brown Derby all before noon.
Disney Dining Plans are back in 2024: Be their guest
Though just about everything at Disney now feels as it did pre-pandemic, there are still a few things that were a bit slower to return. Disney Dining Plans was one of those longer holdouts that has now returned. The two dining options include a quick-service dining plan and a Disney Dining plan. These two plans help to bundle the costs of meals and are a great add-on for completing the full Disney trip experience.