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TouringPlans Travel Beat 12-9-2023

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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: soap news and more from the DVC Annual Meeting.) 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!

  • New Storyliving Community Announced
  • Disney Vacation Club Annual Condo Association Meeting – News About Fort Wilderness Cabins, the New Polynesian Tower, and the Future of H2O
  • Cruise Critic Votes Disney as Best for Families in Two Categories
  • Celebrity Cruise Line Increases Cancellation Window for Shore Excursions
  • Headline News Recap

New Storyliving Community Announced

A second Storyliving Community, Asteria, was announced this week; it will be located nearby to North Carolina’s Research Triangle of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. As with the previously announced Storyliving site in Cotino, CA, Asteria will “bring a touch of Disney magic into residents’ everyday lives in a way that only Storyliving by Disney communities can.” Sales are expected to begin in 2027, with over 4,000 residential units in a variety of sizes and floor plans.

© Disney

Disney Vacation Club Annual Condo Association Meeting – News About Fort Wilderness Cabins, the New Polynesian Tower, and the Future of H2O

The Disney Vacation Club Annual Condo Association Meeting was this week. Among other business (such as setting dues for the coming year), there were three announcements of particular interest. The first is that the new Fort Wilderness Cabins are expected to arrive in 2024. Concept art shown at the meeting indicates there will be a new-style convertible murphy bed sofa in the new cabins, and it was also confirmed that the bunkbeds will be available. (For bunkbed aficionados, you can also find them in the Saratoga Springs Treehouses.)

It was also announced that the new Tower being built at the Polynesian will be part of the existing condo association. That means that current Poly owners will have home resort privileges for booking at the Tower; functionally the existing units and the Tower will behave like a single resort for reservation purposes. It also means that those purchasing resale points for the Tower will not be subject to the restrictions that are in place for purchasers of Riviera resale.

Disney Cruise Line H2O items.

And perhaps the most important news of all – especially if you are not a DVC owner – is that Disney has acquired the rights to the formulas of the H2O brand and will continue to produce them under the Disney Resorts brand for use in its hotels and cruise ships. If you’ve been hoarding your last couple of bars (I would never do anything like that, nope, not me), you can relax.

Cruise Critic Votes Disney as Best for Families in Two Categories

Cruise Critic, an online cruise guide that hosts one of the largest online cruise communities, has named Disney as editor’s picks Best for Families in both Ocean and River Cruising. Adventures by Disney received the editor’s pick for River Cruising, with Disney Cruise Line topping the list in the Ocean Cruise category. If you’ve ever been on a Disney Cruise, neither of these will be a surprise.

© Disney

Celebrity Cruise Line Increases Cancellation Window for Shore Excursions

Celebrity has announced that the majority of shore excursions booked through the cruise line must be canceled within 48 hours of arriving in port, instead of 24 hours prior to tour departure. The change is expected to make it easier for guests to take advantage of newly available spots that open during the sailing, as they will become available with enough time to make or adjust plans.

Headline News Recap

Lots of headline news this week, including three bits from Disneyland.

For starters, Disneyland released a full schedule of all events happening at the resort in 2024. Event Calendar: What’s Going On at Disneyland in 2024

On the other coast, the big news this week was at EPCOT. Many walls came down around the “Giant EPCOT Dirt Pit” and we got a new fireworks show! Our parks reporters were there; see what they thought: Luminous and World Celebration Gardens Debut at EPCOT

Just a few days after the event calendar said that specifics about Disneyland After Dark would be released at a later date, it became “the later date”! Four themes were announced, with dates and details for the first two here and the later ones coming … later. Disneyland After Dark Themed Nights Announced for Spring 2024

A couple of weeks ago news about the Epic Universe hotels was leaked, but now it’s official: Universal Announces New Stella Nova and Terra Luna Resorts

If you’re heading to Disneyland after the holidays, you might save some cash. New discounts for stays January 15 to March 7, 2024. Early 2024 Room Discounts at Disneyland Resort

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.

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