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TouringPlans Travel Beat 6-15-2024

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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!

  • No More Walls at EPCOT
  • Country Bear Jamboree Re-Opening Date Announced
  • Ticket Modification Now Available on Disneyland Site
  • CFTOD Board Approves 15-Year Development Plan
  • DreamWorks Land Opens at Universal Orlando
  • CineSational Debuts at Universal Orlando
  • Headline News Recap

Can you guess which story inspired this week’s cover image? Leave your guesses in the comments!

No More Walls at EPCOT

June 10 was a banner day at Disney World. The central spine redesign, which began in 2019 and blocked the middle of the park for most of 4 years with construction walls, finally wrapped. When the last walls were removed on Monday they revealed

  • Communicore Hall, a multi-purpose building that will be used as a Festival space
  • The Mickey & Friends Meet & Greet
  • Communicore Plaza Stage, an outdoor entertainment space currently hosting ¡Celebración Encanto!
  • Festival Favorites, a new Quick Service window that will rotate through menus based on favorites from EPCOT Festival kitchens.

We’ll have more detail on all the new stuff in the coming week here on the blog. And elsewhere at Disney World, and also on Monday, the Lion King 30th Anniversary Celebration kicked off at Animal Kingdom, and Joy began meeting at Hollywood Studios.

Country Bear Jamboree Re-Opening Date Announced

If you are ready for a rootin’ tootin’ stompin’ good time, then you will be happy to know that Disney World will be welcoming back the Country Bear Jamboree on July 17, 2024. The revamped show will feature new performances and new costumes. Are you ready? ‘Cause we are!

© Disney

Ticket Modification Now Available on Disneyland Site

Heading to Disneyland and want to change your ticket? You can now upgrade and modify eligible tickets. Options include changing to a higher tier, adding days, adding Genie+, or stepping up to a Park Hopper, directly in the Disneyland app or on the Disneyland website. Previously only date changes could be done in the app. Don’t feel left out, Disney World visitors — you can make these types of ticket changes in the Disney World app too, it’s just not a new thing there.

CFTOD Board Approves 15-Year Development Plan

For the record, I would like to say that it is much easier to pronounce Reedy Creek than CFTOD. But what you need to know is that however hard it is to say it, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District approved a 15-year development plan for Disney World this week. It includes $17 billion to be spent over the next 10-20 years, with plans to spend $8 billion of that over the next decade.

A Dinoland retheme is already charging ahead.

As a reminder, when Disney committed to spending $60 billion in the Parks, Experiences and Products segment [worldwide] over the next 10 years, we took a look at some development costs to see how far that money might go. Every project is different, but some examples of recent cost indicate:

  • $50-500 million for a new attraction
  • $500-750 million for a new land such as Galaxy’s Edge or Pandora
  • $1-3 billion for a cruise ship
  • $3-6 billion for a theme park

With $8 billion on the table and some vague mentions in the development agreement, there’s been speculation about a 5th gate at Disney World. But we don’t think so. Either way, we should hear some exciting news at D23 in August.

DreamWorks Land Opens at Universal Orlando

It’s been in soft openings and previews, but as of Friday, June 14, any visitor to Universal Orlando can walk right in at DreamWorks Land. It’s officially open!

CineSational Debuts at Universal Orlando

We opened the week with lots of new stuff at Disney World and closed it out with lots of new stuff at Universal Orlando. We already mentioned the official opening of DreamWorks Land, but Universal Orlando also debuted two new nighttime spectaculars on Friday. CineSational: A Symphonic Spectacular, featuring fireworks, lights, fountains, projections, and glowing drones, will be shown on select nights over the Universal Studios Florida lagoon.

King Kong created through drones. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

Islands of Adventure didn’t get left out of the party; its new nighttime spectacular opened on Friday as well. On select nights, Hogwarts Always brings fireworks and projection mapping to Hogwarts Castle in Hogsmeade Village.

Headline News Recap

A new DVC Lounge is coming to the Magic Kingdom, and an OG attraction is closing to make way for it: Say Goodbye to a Frontierland Classic.

Are you ready for the opening of Epic Universe in 2025? Well, Universal would like to help you get excited; a preview center for the park opened this week. The SATURDAY SIX Checks Out the EPIC UNIVERSE Preview Center (Model Details, Changes and More!)

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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