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TouringPlans Travel Beat 12-30-2023

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At Travel Beat we have all the “other” news from the last week or so—the stuff that wasn’t big enough to stop the presses for. What did the newsroom bring us this week? (Sneak peek: not much.) Bullets are just ahead if you’re in a hurry, and more details follow below. Don’t forget to check out the Headline News Recap, in case there was something you missed!

  • Genie+ Sets New Highwater Mark
  • Universal to Discontinue Paper Maps in Parks
  • Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland Will Temporarily Be Added to Genie+
  • Headline News Recap

Genie+ Sets New Highwater Mark

After we went to press last week, Genie+ set a new price record on Saturday at $39 for the Magic Kingdom / All Parks option, with the low price for other parks at $29. That pricing has continued throughout the week. Think that’s a big bite out of your wallet? Over at Universal Orlando, a 2-park Unlimited Express Pass was running for $389.99 … before tax.

Despite the prices, multiple options for both Genie+ and Universal Express Pass sold out many days this week. Because there were big, big holiday crowds. How big? Have a look at the picture taken below by one of our parks reporters.

Universal to Discontinue Paper Maps in Parks

Beginning January 1, 2024, Universal will stop offering paper guide maps in the parks. Guest Relations will be able to provide printed copies if needed, or you can print one at home yourself before heading out. However, Universal is obviously expecting that most guests won’t miss the printed maps, and will instead use the map found in the Universal Orlando app.

Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland Will Temporarily Be Added to Genie+

Beginning January 22, 2024, Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean will be added to the Genie+ lineup in Disneyland Park. The switch is temporary to accommodate refurbishments at nearby attractions, but an end date has not yet been announced.

Headline News Recap

Festival of the Arts begins on January 12, and we were really hoping for some menu love this week. But no dice. And nothing else that made the headlines either!

That’s it for this week’s Travel Beat. What news are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments!

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Jennifer Heymont

Jennifer has a background in math and biology, so she ended up in Data Science where she gets to do both. She lives just north of Boston with her husband, kids, and assorted animal members of the family. Although it took three visits for the Disney bug to "take", she now really wishes she lived a lot closer to the Parks.

2 thoughts on “TouringPlans Travel Beat 12-30-2023

  • The Universal Orlando maps on the app are horrible. All you see are a bunch of symbols, saying if something is an attraction (or dining, etc.) You then have to tap on each one to figure out which attraction or such it is. That’s not an efficient way to find out where the attraction you heard about that now has a low wait time is. I know Universal Orlando well enough to find my way around. But when I went to Universal Studios Hollywood last winter, I hated having to rely on the map in the app. (USH had a no paper maps policy then and no one told me I could get one printed at Guest relations. The employees told me I had to use the map in the app.)

    • The other problem – whether or not the map in the app is good – is that I remember how much my kids loved to be in charge of the map when they were little. Even in this day and age, not everyone has a phone.


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