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TouringPlans Travel Beat 3-9-2024

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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? 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 DVC Gateway to Discovery at Disney Springs
  • Changes to Disney World App – Including Dining Reservations!
  • New Scenes from Ahsoka, Mandalorian, Andor to be Added to Star Tours
  • 1900 Park Fare Menus Released
  • Barbie Bahamas Beach Vacation Coming to Atlantis
  • Avatar Land at Disneyland Resort?
  • Virgin Voyages Launches Cruise Package for Remote Workers
  • Headline News Recap

When you’re done reading the news, can you guess which news item inspired this week’s cover image? Put your guesses in the comments.

New DVC Gateway to Discovery at Disney Springs

Last weekend, Disney Vacation Club opened a new “interactive portal to discover new vacation destinations with Disney Vacation Club”. In case you don’t speak Disney Vacation Club, that means “sales meet & greet center”. There’s a benny for members though: later this spring a newly opened space on the second floor will serve as a gathering place for members and their guests. Disney has clarified that this new space is not the previously announced new DVC Member Lounge for Disney World.

Changes to Disney World App – Including Dining Reservations!

Disney made some changes to the My Disney Experience app this week, including some adjustments to the Tile Screen (the Hamburger menu). Most of the tiles were reimagined as menu items, so if you’re used to just quickly selecting “Virtual Queues” or “Magic Mobile” then you’ll need to do tiny bit of scrolling to find them in the listing below. But, they also announced more changes to come, including one that has us pretty excited – and it’s also coming to the Disneyland app!

© Disney

You may remember that earlier this year Disney updated the dining reservation workflow to let you see all available time slots at one time when searching. Coming soon, you’ll be able to search across 10 days of reservations in a single go. Does that number 10 sound familiar? That’s because if you’re staying at a Disney resort, it’s the number of days you can make reservations for when your dining window opens 60 days out. No more needing to check multiple dates for your hard-to-get reservation!

New Scenes from Ahsoka, Mandalorian, Andor to be Added to Star Tours

Beginning on April 5, Star Tours will add even more tour locations to its lineup, with scenes from Ahsoka, Andor, and the Mandalorian added to the ride. You can visit these galaxies far, far, away and their continuing adventures in all three parks where Star Tours is available: Disney World, Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris.

© Disney

1900 Park Fare Menus Released

1900 Park Fare reopens on April 10 at Disney World, and Disney has announced the new menus. The fan-favorite Strawberry Soup will be back, but there are a number of changes. Some of the new dishes include

  • Breakfast:
    • Guava and Cream Cheese Danish
    • Croissant Breakfast Pizza
    • Bread Pudding with vanilla crème anglaise
© Disney
  • Dinner:
    • Tiana’s Gumbo​ with spicy andouille sausage
    • Porchetta with Hunter’s Sauce
    • Couscous Salad with dried fruits, almonds, mint, and parsley

Reservations are already available; look for a review shortly after reopening!

Barbie Bahamas Beach Vacation Coming to Atlantis

The Royal Hotel © Atlantis Paradise Island

Look Ma, it’s already pink! If the classic Caribbean coral of Atlantis’ flagship Royal Hotel makes you think of Barbie Land, you’re not alone. Atlantis Paradise Island is partnering with Mattel to bring ‘Barbie Bahamas Beach Vacation: Where Atlantis Dreams Come True’ to the resort beginning on Memorial Day weekend and continuing through the summer. The themed celebration includes Barbie-themed guest rooms and suites, a Barbie-experience exhibit featuring life-size walkthrough playsets, Barbie-themed activities in the kid’s clubs, and more.

Avatar Land at Disneyland Resort?

It feels like forever since Disney announced that some sort of Avatar presence would be coming to Disneyland Resort. Details have been scant. Just a mention, here or there, to reassure us that they hadn’t forgotten. Well, this week at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference, Bob Iger said:

We have one Avatar-based land, Pandora, in Florida. We’re going to put a second one in California.

Our thoughts:

  • This could easily be part of the almost $2B that Disney has committed as part of the Disneyland Forward project. If that doesn’t go forward, these plans could be rolled back. The Anaheim City Council Vote on Disneyland Forward is in May.
  • ICYMI, Disney is currently in the middle of a proxy battle (on two fronts, actually, from both Trian and Blackwells) and has an incentive to reassure investors with strong news before the shareholder meeting on April 3. Time will tell.

Virgin Voyages Launches Cruise Package for Remote Workers

If you’re lucky enough to be able to work from anywhere, now you can work from the middle of the ocean – and Virgin Voyages wants you to work from their ships. Virgin will sell a limited number of Scarlet Summer Season Passes for each of four monthlong sailings in June, July, August, and September.

Sea Terrace cabin © Virgin Voyages

The pass includes premium WiFi (that supports streaming), a $10 daily coffee credit per cabin, wash-and-fold laundry service, early access to booking restaurants and shore excursions, concierge service, access to Richard’s Rooftop (a members-only sundeck), and a welcome bottle of sparkling wine. Accommodations are Central Terrace cabins with prices starting at $9,990 for two.

Headline News Recap

Many of you already saw this since it went out super-early in the week on Sunday night! It’s the last of this round of Crowd Calendar updates, for Disneyland. Disneyland Crowd Calendar Update for March 2024.

It’s becoming standard for Disney to announce new sales of Disneyland’s Magic Keys on one day’s notice. Go-Go-Go! Magic Key Pass Sales Return March 5, 2024. But as of Friday night three of the four Keys are still available –the Virtual Queue has shut down and they can be purchased directly from the Magic Key page of Disneyland’s website. Only the SoCal-only Imagine pass is sold out except for renewals.

Do you want to see a superhero at sea? (Say that five times fast.) Marvel Day at Sea will return to the Disney Dream in 2025. Disney Cruise Line Announces Marvel Sailings

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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