After an operational meltdown on the inaugural night time of the Jollywood Nights arduous ticket occasion, Walt Disney World made a ton of enhancements and additions for the second Christmas celebration. This covers all the modifications, how they enhanced the visitor expertise, and our commentary about the place the arduous ticket providing goes from right here.
For starters, we need to acknowledge that our Disney Jollywood Nights Christmas Get together Overview: Good, Dangerous & Ugly is already turning into considerably out of date. Whereas we’d encourage any potential party-goer to learn that earlier than buying tickets to Disney Jollywood Nights (DJN), we’d additionally encourage you to ignore to sections about logistics, traces and operations. Principally, the substantive sections (stage reveals, lounges, and so forth.) are nonetheless correct, however different parts are distinctive to nighttime one.
To that time, we’ve obtained a number of questions from those that have tickets to Disney Jollywood Nights questioning whether or not they need to attempt to cancel or change to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Get together. Truthfully, it’s not possible for us to reply that for you. If the occasion seems underwhelming to you even assuming operational enhancements, you won’t need to attend. Everybody else on the fence about DJN, particularly in December 2023, we’d encourage a ‘wait and see’ method. As unfavourable as our overview was, the celebration is clearly already getting significantly higher. Sufficient to justify dropping all that cash? Properly, it’s going to rely…
The primary huge change was to the reservation course of for Jazzy Holidays on the Hollywood Brown Derby. In keeping with Walt Disney World, tables will now be obtainable on a first-come, first-served foundation till Jazzy Holidays at The Hollywood Brown Derby reaches capability for the primary seating of the night time, at which level Disney will open up extra capability by way of walk-up waitlist within the My Disney Expertise app all through the night.
The queue for the first-come, first-served seating will open near the start of Disney Jollywood Nights. Seating is proscribed and Walt Disney World anticipates filling that seating rapidly. As soon as seating has reached capability, verify availability to hitch the cell walk-up record for this expertise all through Disney Jollywood Nights.
That alone is an enchancment. If Jazzy Holidays is de facto vital to you, our tentative recommendation can be to get within the standby line earlier than the celebration even begins. For everybody else, we’d suggest merely rolling the cube and hoping the walk-up waitlist pays off. Jazzy Holidays will not be that good, and it’ll eat up a number of time throughout DJN.
One other huge improve comes earlier than the celebration even begins. On the first DJN, there was a single in-park wristband distribution level on the Mickey Shorts Theater, resulting in very lengthy traces for friends to check-in to the occasion–beginning the celebration off on the unsuitable foot.
On the second Disney Jollywood Nights, there have been extra wristband distribution factors all through Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Going ahead, friends can decide up their DJN wristbands and credentials in Grand Avenue close to MuppetVision 3D or the Star Wars Launch Bay. Utilizing two areas on reverse sides of the park ought to result in a smoother check-in course of going ahead.
Lastly, a bunch of uncommon characters have been added to the second Disney Jollywood Nights. Right here’s a listing of recent characters and their areas:
- Mary Poppins & Penguin Waiter (Grand Avenue)
- Snow White & Dopey (Grand Avenue)
- Jiminy Cricket (Entrance of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway)
- Pinocchio (Entrance of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway)
- Santa Sew (Echo Lake)
- Santa Duffy (Mickey Shorts Theater)
The very first thing to notice right here is that these have been unpublished appearances, which means each that they’re topic to vary and in addition that demand for a minimum of a few of these characters was artificially low at night time two.
Clearly, the objective with extra uncommon characters is to dilute demand amongst character hunters. As a substitute of 1-2 hour traces for Phineas and Ferb and 30-45 minutes for Powerline Max and different characters, these numbers would possibly go down a bit.
With that mentioned, celebration attendees who went particularly to fulfill Phineas and Ferb aren’t going to instantly need to meet Santa Sew as a substitute. He’s not an alternative to diehard followers of a selected (totally different) character. Furthermore, extra characters may improve curiosity within the occasion amongst character hunters, inducing extra demand over the course of the DJN season.
In different phrases, it’s too early to say what the exact affect of much more characters shall be at Disney Jollywood Nights. Once more, we glance again to Villains Unleashed, which had far more characters and nonetheless melted down. Meet & greets are so low capability that it doesn’t take many friends to overwhelm them. The actual ‘win’ can be extra occasion attendees doing points of interest, which have hourly capacities that dwarf meet & greets.
When it comes to commentary, now we have quite a bit of ideas about all of this. Let’s begin with the large image, which is that it’s nice to see Walt Disney World hearken to visitor suggestions and add extra choices to Disney Jollywood Nights. It is a firm that’s nearly incapable of doing something rapidly, so it’s stunning and heartening to see so many modifications within the span of a single week.
My guess can be that this was motivated not simply by visitor suggestions and complaints, however from every week of unfavourable ticket gross sales for Disney Jollywood Nights. That means that the variety of folks trying to cancel or have their tickets modified to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Get together (which offered out a ton extra dates this week–most likely no coincidence!) exceeded the variety of new tickets offered for Jollywood Nights. One thing like that will surely mild a hearth beneath Disney to behave quick!
Regardless, kudos to Walt Disney World for being aware of visitor suggestions and complaints, and making main modifications in comparatively quick order. Whereas we’re envious of night time two attendees (particularly a pair characters they received to fulfill) and want this is able to’ve occurred from the outset, we’re additionally comfortable to see modifications. It’s positively higher late than by no means!
As for the way a lot it will transfer the needle, it’s actually tough–and doubtless nonetheless too early–to say. We’ve already heard a number of reviews from attendees at night time two of Disney Jollywood Nights, and so they have been all rather more favorable than the inaugural celebration. Some have been downright effusively optimistic, saying they most popular it to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Get together.
Whereas we weren’t at night time two of Disney Jollywood Nights and won’t be attending once more till Christmas 2024, I’m inclined to imagine a few of the optimistic sentiment. Operations and logistics are little doubt higher because of all the modifications, which means there’s far much less friction–a pattern that’ll proceed going ahead.
The demographics have additionally modified, which means that friends are most likely higher distributed all through the occasion. That coupled with smoother operations ought to end in a really optimistic change to the movement of the occasion. Add extra uncommon characters to the occasion, and it’s seemingly that Disney Jollywood Nights feels prefer it has extra to supply friends. So all of these are wins.
With that mentioned, there’s a ceiling on all of this. There are methods that the substance and environment of the occasion are unlikely to vary, as main choices aren’t going to be added to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land, or different areas of the park that really feel ignored.
It’s additionally unlikely that Walt Disney World has the time or sources to retool the Tip High Membership at Tower of Terror or Jazzy Holidays at Brown Derby. However possibly these will grow to be “higher” by advantage of fewer friends being , making them much less aggressive and decrease stakes.
On the plus facet, no retooling of the 2 most important stage reveals is critical. These have been good to nice from the bounce, and may proceed to be in order the season goes on. If something, they’ll get higher because the performers discover their groove. (They have been already top-notch night time one.)
The potential flip facet to that is that Walt Disney World friends will begin to see extra optimistic reviews. Once more, our guess is that the final week noticed extra cancellations than new ticket gross sales. Our guess can be that the approaching week sees a serious reversal of this, with folks buying tickets as a substitute of cancelling.
In different phrases, the approaching events could possibly be busier than the second celebration–which means that traces and wait occasions begin creeping up. With that mentioned, Walt Disney World will undoubtedly proceed to tweak the occasion as the vacation season continues.
As we famous in our overview, it seems that a ton of cash was invested in creating and advertising and marketing this occasion, to the purpose that it seemingly received’t break-even from the primary 12 months. Disney has a vested curiosity in seeing this succeed and are available again for 2024. They’re going to do all the things doable to make sure that occurs.
The subsequent Disney Jollywood Nights is barely in a pair days–it’ll be attention-grabbing to see whether or not that’s sufficient time to make another modifications. However the celebration following that could be a full week later–our guess is that there shall be much more changes earlier than that.
Lastly, we need to take (an excessive amount of) time to fixate on that final character: Santa Duffy. For a lot of (most?) of you, this would possibly appear to be an insignificant addition. For mainstream Walt Disney World friends, Duffy might be the least-recognizable character on that record.
For a small faction of diehard Disney followers, Duffy is just like the white whale. In the event you’re unfamiliar with the character, the historical past of Duffy the Disney Bear in the USA is a bizarre one. He was initially developed as an ancillary toy, Mickey’s teddy bear, moderately than as a standalone character.
To make a protracted story quick, Duffy was then reimagined barely and thrust into the limelight. Shopper merchandise tried to make him a merchandising powerhouse, with tons of Duffy bears and changeable outfits on retailer cabinets, in addition to a Duffy meet & greet and different appearances.
At one level, he met on this Santa Duffy costume at EPCOT (the place Asha from Want meets at present) and was on the lead Minnie & Mickey float in As soon as Upon a Christmastime Parade throughout Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Get together (see above). All of this failed spectacularly. In the event you requested a number of Walt Disney World followers (us included), Duffy felt pressured.
The character led with merchandise, making it really feel much less just like the natural introduction of a brand new unique theme park character (the primary since Figment?) and extra like a crass money seize. Duffy had his loyal followers, to make certain, however the overwhelming majority of friends rejected him. I bear in mind seeing the Duffy character meet & greet with no line by any means…and we nonetheless didn’t bounce into it.
They are saying time heals all wounds, however that’s probably not what that is about. Slightly, it’s an outgrowth of The Duffy Phenomenon at Tokyo DisneySea. (That article is properly value a learn should you’re curious to know extra.) There, Duffy and mates have been immensely in style, and it’s largely natural. Positive, Duffy is an absolute beast in relation to transferring merchandise, however his crew additionally exist within the park in significant methods.
The underside line is that we hated Duffy at Walt Disney World, and love him at Tokyo DisneySea. Perhaps that’s a matter of bias, however we predict there’s a significant distinction. And we aren’t alone.
As social media has damaged down boundaries and worldwide journey has grow to be extra accessible, there are a ton of different Disney followers similar to us who’ve “rediscovered” Duffy and now love the character. Suffice to say, if I noticed Santa Duffy on the first Jollywood Nights with an hour-long wait…I might’ve jumped into it.
What’s most stunning about Santa Duffy being added to the character lineup at Disney Jollywood Nights is that the choice so as to add him was made within the span of every week. Though they seemingly had the costume nonetheless sitting in storage, that is mainly Walt Disney World breaking the ‘in case of emergency‘ glass and bringing out a heavy hitter.
Disney has been flirting with the thought of bringing Duffy and mates again to Walt Disney World and Disneyland for some time now, and it has felt like an inevitability. Nevertheless, I additionally anticipated that it could be very deliberate and methodical, with cautious advertising and marketing to construct as much as the momentous event to maximise hype and curiosity. As a substitute…they only randomly put Santa Duffy on the market.
After all, this might imply completely nothing and Santa Duffy may disappear after the Disney Jollywood Nights season is over and the character may have a ‘correct’ rollout in 2024 or at any time when it’s going to occur down the street. I’m however stunned that they went this route.
In the case of Duffy, one factor I might add is that you just shouldn’t put any inventory in his debut night time wait occasions. Santa Duffy was in an out-of-the-way location, and celebration attendees aren’t spending their nights glued to social media. That’ll change to a point by the following celebration, and much more so by those after that.
Not solely will phrase get out, however some Duffy diehards will really buy tickets simply to fulfill the character. (I’m not even kidding.) By the top of the Disney Jollywood Nights season, I might count on his line to die down a bit, but it surely’s going to worsen earlier than it will get higher.
That’s type of our expectation for Disney Jollywood Nights as a complete–the rising pains will proceed, however the occasion will hopefully hit its stride by mid-December 2023. It’s good to see Walt Disney World making main modifications after the primary celebration meltdown, however there’s solely a lot that may be addressed in-season. Right here’s hoping that they’re in a position to make it ‘adequate’ this 12 months and improve visitor satisfaction to a ample diploma that the occasion is introduced again for Christmas 2024. Between every now and then is when the main changes and enhancements can actually occur.
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Did you attend the second night time of Disney Jollywood Nights? If that’s the case, what was your expertise? Higher or about the identical as night time one reviews? For many who have already got tickets to the occasion, are you taking a ‘wait and see’ method to enhancements? After studying reviews from night time two, will you buy celebration tickets for Disney Jollywood Nights? Do you agree or disagree with our overview? Any questions we may also help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even while you disagree with us–is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas beneath within the feedback!