Mid-Year Review: Changes at Walt Disney World in the First Half of 2024

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As the calendar turns to July 2024, it’s time to look back and reflect on the significant changes and updates that have taken place at Walt Disney World over the past six months. From policy adjustments and the return of beloved programs to the introduction of new attractions, Disney has been busy enhancing the magic. Here’s a summary of the most noteworthy changes that have shaped the first half of 2024 at the Most Magical Place on Earth.

Related: Must-See Fireworks at Walt Disney World

figment bus 1 1 Walt Disney World

The Glory Days of Park Hopping Return

In early January 2024, Disney restored the old version of Park Hopping, allowing guests with multi-park admission to switch parks at any time during the day. The only caveat is that annual passholders on dates requiring Park Passes must still book a Park Pass for their first park and enter it before Park Hopping. Despite this, Park Hopping has mostly returned to its pre-pandemic flexibility, much to the delight of visitors.

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Park Passes Have Been Retired (Mostly)

Perhaps no theme park requirement has been as contentious as the need for Park Passes. Introduced during the pandemic to manage daily headcounts and ensure social distancing, this policy required guests to book a Park Pass in addition to having a valid admission ticket. Even annual passholders couldn’t enter the park without a Park Pass.

However, as of January 2024, Disney introduced alternative solutions that effectively eliminate the need for Park Passes for most guests. Now, if you own a date-based admission ticket, you don’t need a Park Pass. Since these tickets are standard, the majority of guests won’t need Park Passes anymore. For annual passholders, Disney has introduced Good-to-Go days, allowing park access without a Park Pass on designated dates. While blockout dates still apply and Good-to-Go dates aren’t as plentiful as some might like, this change has significantly reduced the number of days when passholders must book Park Passes.

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The Disney Dining Plan Returns

After a four-year absence, Disney reintroduced two versions of the Disney Dining Plan earlier this year: the Quick-Service Dining Plan and the Disney Dining Plan.

The Quick-Service Dining Plan includes:

  • 2 Quick-Service meals per person per night
  • 1 Snack per person per night
  • 1 Resort Refillable Mug per person per stay

The Disney Dining Plan, which includes a mix of Quick-Service and Table Service meals, features:

  • 1 Quick-Service meal per person per night
  • 1 Table Service meal per person per night
  • 1 Snack per person per night
  • 1 Resort Refillable Mug per person per stay

The dining plans must be purchased for each person listed on your hotel reservation for each night of your stay. The Quick-Service Dining Plan costs $57.01 plus tax per adult per day and $23.83 plus tax per child aged three to nine. The Disney Dining Plan costs $94.28 plus tax per adult per day and $29.69 plus tax per child aged three to nine.

Seatos: New Destination on Star Tours – The Adventures Continue at Disneyland Park
Starting April 5, 2024, at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California, and Disneyland Paris, the attraction Star Tours – The Adventures Continue will introduce a new destination and characters from recent Disney+ series – “Ahsoka,” “Andor” and “The Mandalorian.” During their flight, guests may encounter urgent transmissions from Ahsoka Tano, Cassian Andor or Din Djarin and Grogu. Guests may also visit the planet, Seatos, from the “Ahsoka” series. (Disneyland Resort)

New Journeys on Star Tours – The Adventures Continue

On April 5, 2024, Disney’s Hollywood Studios introduced new adventures on Star Tours – The Adventures Continue. This popular attraction now features new storylines and characters from the Star Wars saga, offering guests thrilling 3D space flights to legendary destinations from the beloved franchise.

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Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opened last month at Magic Kingdom, taking guests on a musical journey down the bayou inspired by “The Princess and the Frog.” This new attraction replaces Splash Mountain and immerses guests in the vibrant world of Princess Tiana and the jazz-loving alligator Louis during Mardi Gras season as they prepare to host a celebration for the people of New Orleans.

Related: Good To Go Days Return in July for Disney World Annual Passholders

Communicore Hall Plaza

CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza

Capping off a multiyear transformation of EPCOT, CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza also opened last month. Located in the new World Celebration neighborhood, these locations will host festivals, exhibits, and entertainment, ushering in a new era of cultural and educational experiences. Additionally, Mickey & Friends, a new meet-and-greet location adjacent to CommuniCore Hall, allows guests to interact with some of their favorite Disney characters. While the Mickey and Friends Meet and Greet and the Encancto themed shows have been greeted with a great deal of enthusiasm by guests, the same cannot be said for CommuniCore Hall which features a design and esthetic that is greatly scaled back from the concept art.

The first half of 2024 has brought numerous exciting changes to Walt Disney World, enhancing the guest experience and bringing new magic to the parks. As we look forward to the rest of the year, there’s no doubt that Disney will continue to innovate and enchant, ensuring unforgettable moments for all who visit. Whether you’re planning a trip soon or reminiscing about recent visits, these updates have set the stage for an extraordinary year at the Most Magical Place on Earth.

Mid-Year Review: Changes at Walt Disney World in the First Half of 2024 1

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