The Long Awaited News from Disney World: Who Wins and Who Loses

Disney just announced major changes for Park Pass, Genie+, Lightning Lane, Disney Dining Plan and more for Walt Disney World 2024. We discuss who wins and who loses among Disney travelers at Walt Disney World in 2024 (and even some good news for right now). Plus, this week we cover what it all means for you, including Guardians of the Galaxy movie tie-ins, new Adventures by Disney options and more from Star Wars, Encanto, Soul and beyond.

2024 is Going to Be a Good Year at Walt Disney World (for most travelers, but not all)

You can start booking 2023 Disney World vacations on May 31, 2023 and there's a lot to look forward to next year. Here's a sneak peek at what to expect:

No More Theme Park Reservations!
As of January 9, 2024, if you have a date-based ticket, you won't need to make theme park reservations.

Annual Passholders will Still Need Park Reservations...but not always.
It gets more complicated for Disney World Annual Passholders. Disney plans to offer what they're calling "good-to-go" days with means AP holders won't need park reservations for select days. This will be in addition to the recent update that offers Passholders the opportunity to visit the theme parks after 2:00 p.m. without needing a park reservation, except on Saturdays and Sundays at Magic Kingdom Park. “Good-to-go” days may vary by park, and pass block out dates and capacity limitations continue to apply like they do today. Please stay tuned for more details on “good-to-go” days. This is a step in the right direction for local AP holders, but doesn't help you much at all if you are an out-of-state WDW AP holder who books weekly vacations multiple times a year. It looks like those of us in this boat will be stuck with Park Pass for the foreseeable future.
The Disney Dining Plan is Back
Disney dining plans will be coming back as an option for guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort hotels who purchase a vacation package with Disney for stays starting January 9, 2024.

Genie+ Bookings Will Be Bookable in Advance
No details yet, but Disney has announced they're working on allowing us to make Genie+ and Lightning Lane bookings in advance of the day of. It might now be 60 days out like FastPass, but any advance booking potential is a good thing in our view.

Deluxe Resort Room Categories will Be Simplified
To make it easier to book Walt Disney World Deluxe Resort Rooms, there will be a consistent three categories across all hotels: Resort View, Water View, Theme Park View. Not sure what will be the water view at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge...maybe only two categories there.


‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Coming to Disney Parks

With the release of GOTG Volume 3, there are a few limited-time experiences coming toa Disney parks

Disney California Adventure Park 
For a limited time, Mantis is joining Star-Lord at Avengers Campus for “Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off!” The celestial siblings will get their groove on in front of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, as they recruit those of you with the right skills to join their band of heroes.

Connections Café is offering Perfect Sovereign Waffle Bites topped with a red berry dipping sauce. You can also try a Guardians of the Galaxy Cookie at the Mission: SPACE Popcorn Cart, next to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.


Adventures by Disney is heading to Colombia for a little Encanto inspiration

A New Adventure to Bogota, the Coffee Region, Cocora Valley and Cartagena 
Highlights of this eight-day, seven-night itinerary in 2024 include: 
  • Visiting the capital city of Bogota, with private guided tours of the Paloquemao Market and Historic City Center. 
  • Enjoying Colombian coffee and visiting a coffee farm in the Coffee Region to see the process for growing and harvesting coffee beans. The nearby town of Salento is part of the inspiration for the setting of “Encanto,” and the Cocora Valley features the tall, towering wax palms and butterflies depicted in the film.  
  • Experiencing a hands-on arepa-making class, a traditional Latin American dish showcased in “Encanto” by Mirabel's mother Julieta. 
  • Playing the country’s national sport of tejo, as seen in the movie. 
  • Exploring the city of Cartagena, which inspired the film’s colorful architecture and fabrics. Central to “Encanto” is the Afro-Caribbean influence, prominent in this city.  
  • Trekking the dry forest near Proyecto Titi, an organization dedicated to the preservation of the cotton-top tamarins, a project supported by the Disney Conservation Fund. It was Colombia’s rich biodiversity that inspired the magical ability of the “Encanto” character Antonio, who has the power to communicate with animals. 
  • Snorkeling among the Rosario Islands, a collection of 27 islands home to more than 1,300 species of marine animals, vibrantly colored fish and plants.  
Each travel party booked on the inaugural 2024 Adventures will receive a signed lithograph of never-before-released artwork from Walt Disney Animation Studios. 

For a complete itinerary and list of activities, visit Colombia Land Adventure

A New Adventure to Canada’s Maritimes of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island  
Also in 2024 you can enjoy Canada’s Atlantic coast in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. The eight-day, seven-night adventure includes:  
  • Visiting an authentic maple syrup farm in Nova Scotia, learning about tree tapping and the process that brings syrup from tree to table, including samples of course. 
  • Discovering the Wood Island Lighthouse and being at the heart of the Island’s maritime heritage. The Lighthouse has served the community for more than 150 years, and here Junior Adventurers will enjoy their own special kite-making and flying activity as the breeze comes off the sea.  
  • Exploring Avonlea Village, the fictitious community central to the Anne of Green Gables stories, and enjoying tea with a descendent of author Lucy Maud Montgomery’s family. 
  • Learning about the indigenous Mi’kmaq Peoples during a visit to the Millbrook Cultural Heritage Centre and gaining first-hand understanding of their Talking Stick sacred practice. 
  • Enjoying outdoor activities such as walking on the low-tide ocean floor at the Bay of Fundy, an onboard fisherman’s feast, horseback riding, a starlight bonfire, biking, canoeing and kayaking.  

New Star Wars Photo Ops at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

New Holopuck Magic Shots
Located deep in the Outer Rim near Wild Space, the remote planet of Batuu has become a thriving destination for scoundrels and smugglers, luring bounty hunters from across the galaxy. Select Image Scanners (known on our planet as Disney PhotoPass photographers) can offer a holopuck that will reveal the details of your next target.

BB-8 Magic Shot
You may just find BB8 showing up in your PhotoPass image.

Created more than a thousand years ago by Tarre Vizsla (the first Mandalorian to become a Jedi Knight), the Darksaber is an ancient weapon with a long and legendary history. It has been wielded by many beings over the years. This blade can be found across from Oga’s Cantina after dark. 

BD-1 Magic Shot 
Never underestimate droids, especially those that beep in the face of danger. You can capture a scan with this droid before setting out on your next adventure.

Off the Hook Poolside Dining at Disney Aulani will Offer Breakfast Starting May 17

In a very welcome move for the resort, Off the Hook poolside dining at Disney Aulani will offer a casual, grab-and-go breakfast and coffee bar from 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. daily. The menu includes Mickey waffles, buttermilk pancakes, French toast, eggs and more. Note that as part of this change, Wailana Bar will no longer offer coffee as of May 17 and updated hours will be 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for normal full bar service and takeaway menu options.

Disney Cruise Line Debuts New Experiences Bringing the Imaginative Worlds of “Encanto” and “Soul” to the Disney Magic

“An Encanto Celebration” Brings the Family Madrigal to the High Seas for the First Time
“An Encanto Celebration” is a new interactive experience giving you the opportunity to meet and take photos with Mirabel and the family member we don’t talk about during their Disney Cruise Line debut. Join a sing-along of “Encanto” songs and create butterfly and flower crafts inspired by the film. During the show, you can experience a true taste of South America thanks to a selection of local Colombian beers, cocktails and sodas, along with film-inspired mocktails.

New Soul Cat Lounge Hits the Right Note for Evening Entertainment
The story of “Soul” was the inspiration for the brand-new Soul Cat Lounge designed to look like Joe Gardner’s favorite music spot in the movie: the Half Note Lounge. The space is located on deck three near Rapunzel’s Royal Table restaurant. It will transport you to a classic New York jazz club, including details like brick walls, wood accents and plenty of rich leather seating around a stage set for live music, so you can dance the evening away.

Redesigned Concierge Retreats Provide an Elevated Experience
For the ultimate comfort and service at sea, the concierge spaces aboard the Disney Magic have been elevated and enhanced. The concierge lounge was reimagined and expanded to feature a sophisticated new theme and tropical color palate inspired by Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Moana” and an additional outdoor covered seating area on deck 10 where guests can relax with a refreshing beverage while enjoying the ocean breeze. All concierge suites, including one- and two-bedroom accommodations and the two signature royal suites, have been completely refurbished with fresh fixtures, furniture and elegant artwork, further elevating the premium experience for concierge guests.


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Mike Belobradic and Amelia Belobradic

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Creators and Guests

Amelia Belobradic
Amelia Belobradic
Amelia Belobradic is co-host of 1923 Main Street: The Disney Travel News Podcast.
Mike Belobradic
Mike Belobradic
Mike Belobradic is the creator and co-host of the Disney Travel News Podcast at and a longtime expert on Disney travel.
The Long Awaited News from Disney World: Who Wins and Who Loses
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