Welcome, readers. The tradition of Festivus begins with the airing of grievances. We got a lot of problems with these parks! And now you’re gonna hear about it! This Airing of Grievances is a tribute to all Disney Parks (but mostly Walt Disney World).
While a lot of things have returned to the parks, two of our favorites are still missing from Walt Disney World: the wonderful streetmosphere characters (we miss you, Betty Shambles!) and Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue. You’ve all made your voices heard, too — a stay at Fort Wilderness just isn’t the same without the Revue.
Our Favorite Restaurants Are Still Closed
Phased restaurant reopenings have been a regular occurrence since the parks reopened but two of our top choices remain shuttered. Jiko — A Cooking Place is the only main venue at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge that hasn’t reopened and it’s left a dinner-sized hole in our hearts.
Flying Fish at Disney’s BoardWalk remains closed as well, leaving us to flounder for scrumptious seafood.
Ferry Boat Brawls and Other Skirmishes
While Disney Parks fans may not always get along, we can all agree we love the parks because they bring us joy. This past year has seen a rise in aggressive behavior and violence. Is it too much to ask for peace on (the most magical place on) Earth?
Under the guise of attempting to prevent resellers, Disney has been discontinuing discounts (including those for Annual Passholders) on select merchandise. This includes the new Anniversary Vault Collection line which features logos from past Walt Disney World celebrations.
Disney’s Real Most Magical Celebration: Disney+ Day
Walt Disney World is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and one day, guests were treated to many special surprises. No, it wasn’t October 1, but rather November 12: the inaugural Disney+ Day. While the 50th celebrations have been a little lackluster (though there’s plenty of merchandise and exclusive food for you to buy), Disney+ Day brought rare meet and greets, free souvenirs, and more. Since when does a 2-year anniversary get more pomp and circumstance than a 50th?
Return of the Tram
For the first time since the parks reopened last summer, parking trams are back! Wait, sorry. Parking tram is back. Sorry to guests at EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, or Hollywood Studios — you’ll have to walk.
We never knew how much we took park hopping for granted — especially at Disneyland Resort where you just walk across the Esplanade — until it was gone. Now, you can’t switch parks until 2 p.m. at Walt Disney World or 1 p.m. at Disneyland. Gone are the days of catching the Omnibus on Main Street before hopping over to EPCOT before World Showcase opened. Or even worse — you might be stuck at Hollywood Studios. Even we can only watch Muppet*Vision 3D so many times.
The Year(s) Without a Railroad
The Walt Disney World Railroad closed on December 3, 2018 to allow for TRON Lightcycle / Run construction. That means we’ve been without the railroad for more than three years. Disney keeps the wound fresh by releasing special merchandise, too. Excuse us, we’ll be ringing in the new year in Storybook Circus, trying to hear the train whistle again.
From all of us here at WDWNT, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!