Things That Change in Disney World

Star Wars Weekends at Disney Hollywood Studios
Star Wars Weekends - Photo by Steps to Magic

A day at Walt Disney World is a snapshot in time, as you’ll never find the same experience on another date on the calendar.

From attractions to restaurants and everything in between, this list will show you all the things that could be different when you go on vacation that may not have been there from photos online.

Things That Change in Disney World

TECHNOLOGY

The biggest thing that changes is technology, and the utilization of it to enhance guest experiences. From the adding of screens to the newest apps and reservation systems, there are constant changes and enhancements to the technology that you’ll need to take into account when planning a trip.

MAGICBANDS

Did you know that the “current” version of the MagicBand isn’t the original? Think of this addition like an iphone – there are new features that can only be used in the latest version.

FASTPASS

When FastPass first came out at Walt Disney World, it was a paper reservation that required you to put your ticket into a machine. Things changed when the current system of “FastPass+” came into existence, where you’re able to reserve up to 3 attractions 30-60 days out from your first day, as you had to be AT the attraction in order to get a reservation time in the future.

PS – I’ve still got a collection of paper FastPass tickets…because I’m a nerd!

PARK AND RESORT NAMES

Fun one! Did you know that Disney has a tenancy to make my life miserable by changing a name of a resort or park? It may not be as difficult as changing letterhead or business cards, but when they changed the name of Disney’s Polynesian Resort to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort OR when Disney’s MGM Studios became Disney’s Hollywood Studios…I had to change so many articles on StepstoMagic.com!!

I still haven’t gone through to reflect the new EPCOT change, as it used to be Epcot.

Good times. Yup…good times.


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PRICES

Oh my goodness! Let’s just do a quick scan of everything that has increased in price in the last 10 years…yup…that’s EVERYTHING!

From sodas to tickets, event costs to hotel rooms – everything has increased in price. If you go to Disney with a budget from a past trip, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Expect the unexpected, because even the little things will change.

EVENTS

Halloween now starts in August. RunDisney now runs events year-round. There’s almost always an event at EPCOT. Basically, there will always be new events…but that means that older events may not be around anymore.

Pirate and Princess Party, ESPN Weekend, Star Wars Weekends and ABC Super Soap Weekend…all have been “future endeavoured” to make way for other offerings.

RIDE AVAILABILITY

There are attractions that are “seasonal”, which means that they are only opened during busy seasons (like 4th of July, Christmas, etc). Listing all the experiences would be impossible, especially since we don’t know what happens behind closed doors.

The other part of this topic are all the times where you may choose a vacation timeframe that coincides with a refurbishment or maintenance downtime.

You could also be subject to an unexpected closure due to a number of factors, including something that happened during a research trip in July 2018…both Kali River Rapids and Expedition Everest were down for my entire trip because a bolt of lightning struck a transformer that powered the attractions. Yup, two of the iconic attractions were down at the same time in the summer – good times!

MEAL PLANS

The Disney Dining Plan changes annually. Basically, the story that repeats every year is that Disney releases an increased offering with increased prices and lowers the number of restaurants that you can choose. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a commentary on whether or not it’s worth it (by the way, I’ve got a pro and con article available). It’s literally stating that the plans change year over year, so it’s something to expect.


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HOUSEKEEPING

Disney calls their resort room staff “mousekeeping”, and although things have become more streamlined…one of the parts of a stay at an official Disney World Resort that changes is the standards to which the rooms are cleaned before and during your stay.

Don’t want to have your room cleaned daily during your trip? Disney has offered in the past a financial incentive to decline this aspect of your stay. In addition, with your MagicBand, you can check in and check out of your room without even visiting the lobby. Things change for the better, and sometimes things change just because they can.

PRODUCT LINES

Remember Vinylmation? I do! It’s one of my favorite things that Disney ever did. Think pin trading, but with little figurines in the shape of Mickey but with different designs and series. Well, Disney doesn’t really do Vinylmation anymore!

We like to call them extinct souvenirs, as they were huge at the time before being replaced by something new. Disney Dollars, Pal Mickey, CD’s and DVD’s, Club Penguin…so many product lines that don’t exist anymore!


Remember that Disney World is always changing!

I’m Dustin Fuhs, a theme park fanatic that has created this platform to showcase my passion, tools and opinions to create a fun and interactive experience for everyone who visits. My goal is to help you and your family have the most magical experience at Walt Disney World. In reading my articles and ideas, I hope that you can find some fantastic ways to bring your dreams into reality!
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