Updated: Dec 30, 2021
September brings about a lot more magic and some news that may or may not have been accepted well by Disney fans. It depends on your perspective. Only time will tell…
On September 8th, Disney World began selling annual passes again; however, it isn’t the passes that we were used to seeing. Florida residents saw significant price increases to the pass experience they have been used to in the past. Disney has created four new passes. I am going to try to explain these passes to the best of my ability.
The Disney Pixie Dust Pass is the most inexpensive at $399.00 plus tax or $19.00 a month for 12 months after the $205.00 down payment. This pass allows for three park reservations at a time and has the most blackout dates. It is only available to Florida residents, and current pass holders can renew their pass for $339.00 plus tax.
The Disney Pirate Pass is the second least expensive at $699.00 plus tax or $45.00 a month for 12 months after the $205.00 down payment. This includes four park reservations at a time and is only available to Florida residents. Current pass holders can renew their pass for $339.00 plus tax.
The Disney Sorcerer Pass is $899.00 or $63.00 a month for 12 months after the $205.00 down payment. This is for both Florida residents DVC members, but only Florida residents can make payments. It includes five park reservations at a time, and current pass holders can renew their pass for $764.00.
The Disney Incredi-Pass is $1299.00 plus tax, and it is available to anyone. Florida residents may make payments of $99.00 a month for 12 months after the $205.00 down payment. The Incredi-Pass has no blackout dates; guests can have five park reservations at a time. Current pass holders can renew their pass for $1,104.00.
Disney’s Very Merriest After Hour Party dates and pricing has been announced. With it being the 50th, Disney has increased the prices that guests are accustomed to with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The party will run on select nights in November through December 21st from 9 pm to 1 am. The prices range from $169.00 to $249.00 per night (plus tax). December 19th & 21st will be $249.00 a night per guest (plus tax). Guests that have purchased these tickets will be allowed to enter the park at 7 pm. Disney promises Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks and the Merry Christmas Parade with a smaller crowd, shorter wait times, and socially distanced meet and greets. This has caused quite a controversy with guests because these tickets started at $67.00 plus tax in 2013. There has been an increase each year, but 2019 was the last Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and those tickets started at $139.00 (plus tax). At this time, Disney has not sold out any of the select nights, and guests have been filling social media with their thoughts.
Disney announced that they were about ready to start using Disney Genie, although no date has been given yet. Disney Genie is free to Disney guests and makes the park easier to navigate, allowing guests to know which rides have the lowest wait times, which restaurants have open seating, and much more. Guests can also purchase Disney Genie Plus for $15.00 per guest per day at Disney World and $20.00 per guest per day at Disneyland, allowing access to the “Lightning Lane” (formerly known as the fast pass lane) on select rides in each park. The Lightning Lane doesn’t apply to the most popular rides that are sought after like Radiator Springs Racers in California Adventure, or Rise of the Resistance, Flight of Passage, Slinky Dog Dash, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and 7 Dwarfs Mine Train in Disney World. Those rides and a few more will fall under a category called “Individual Attraction Selection” (IAS). IAS will allow guests to pay to ride up to 2 of these highly sought-after rides per day for a price. The IAS rides will utilize surge pricing, which means the price can fluctuate depending on demand. No prices have been released in the United States, but we know this mirrors what they are doing in Disney Paris. This means a guest could probably pay anywhere from $8.00 to $50.00 (or higher) to ride the most popular rides at Disney. Disney has not provided exact minimum/maximum price points because it will depend on demand for the ride on any given day. Obviously, the busiest times of the year like Spring Break, Summer, and Christmas will more than likely have the highest pricing for the IAS rides.
LIKE DISNEY FOOD? Many of the fantastic restaurants have reopened at Disney World.
At the Magic Kingdom, Cinderella’s Royal Table reopened for breakfast on August 27th. The Crystal Palace will be going back to a buffet offering at lunch & dinner beginning September 12th. Tortuga Tavern, Westward Ho Treats, and Big Top Treats have also reopened to guests for delicious snacks and treats.
At Hollywood Studios, the Dockside Diner reopened with some new menu items. The Tune-In Lounge (the bar inside the Prime Time Cafe) has reopened for drinks only at this time.
Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Boma reopened with its delicious buffet. This was the first buffet to reopen in Disney World. Adults are $49.00, and kids ten or under are $27.00 (plus tax and gratuity). A couple of us will have the opportunity to dine at this restaurant in October, and we can give you an update when we are back.
At Epcot, Biergarten restaurant in Epcot’s World Showcase will be returning to its buffet for lunch and dinner starting on August 29th. It is already open and serving meals family-style but will be returning to buffet style. In the France pavilion, Le Creperie de Paris had a soft opening for Castmembers and their families and DVC members. Just a reminder, it officially opens on October 1st.
Over at the Contemporary Resort, Steakhouse 71 is replacing The Wave Restaurant. Initially, the rumor was that the name would be called “The Incredibles Steakhouse” and that the Incredibles would be making appearances at breakfast. None of this has been confirmed, but it fits perfectly since Disney decorated the rooms with a new Incredibles theme. This restaurant will be casually themed, and it is named for the resort’s opening year. Disney says Steakhouse 71 will be open in time for the 50th Anniversary. The special 50th Anniversary Dining Experience at California Grill will be open later this year, and it will have a limited-time menu inspired by the restaurant’s rich history. No word yet on the estimated opening for this experience.
As you can see, BIG THINGS are happening at Disney! We hope you are just as excited about some of the new things coming to Disney and ready to revisit some of these fantastic dining experiences. Have a magical month, my friends!
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