Big Changes Happening at Walt Disney World Resort this Summer

Walt Disney World Resort in Florida has had a very busy and news-filled summer so far!

In addition to the opening of a reimagined ride at Magic Kingdom, a new skip-the-line system has also been announced. Here’s what you need to know about the changes happening at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

Big Changes Happening at Walt Disney World Resort this Summer
Courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Opens in Magic Kingdom

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure — the reimagined ride taking the place of Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom Park — opened to the public on June 28.

Although Tiana’s uses the same track system as the original Splash Mountain, everything else is different — including the theming, storyline, animatronics, and more.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure follows Princess Tiana from The Princess and the Frog, along with her musical alligator friend Louis, through the waterways of New Orleans, collecting fun animal friends along the way! Early reviews have been positive — especially about the cute critters and animatronics. The new song is amazing, and the fun, celebratory nature of the ride makes it fun for all ages. The ride still ends with a huge 50-foot drop at the end, pretty much guaranteeing you’ll get soaked!

Currently, a virtual queue is in place for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Guests will need to use the My Disney Experience app to enter this attraction. Guests can also use a paid Lightning Lane through Genie+…but that’s changing too. (More on Genie+ changes below.)

Genie+ Is Out, Lightning Lane Multi Pass is Coming In

This month, Walt Disney World Resort announced changes to their ride reservation system. Soon, the current Genie+ system will be a thing of the past.

Lightning Lane Multi Pass will be replacing Genie+ beginning July 24, 2024. Additionally, Lightning Lane Single Pass will be replacing Individual Lightning Lanes on that same date.

For OG Disney-goers, the new Lighting Lane Multi Pass will be similar to the Fastpass system that was offered before Genie+ became a thing. The new system will allow Disney World guests to book 3 rides IN ADVANCE, which is a huge plus, as the current Genie+ system requires you to book rides one-at-a-time on the day of your visit.

Basically, guests of Disney Resort hotels and other select hotels can purchase passes up to 7 days in advance of their stay—and other Guests staying off property can purchase passes up to 3 days in advance of their park visit. You can also go ahead and choose and reserve times for 3 rides for each day you have valid theme park admission.

Another big plus is that once you use one of your Lighting Lane Multi Pass reservations at the park, you can go ahead and book another available one via their app. (This is better than Fastpass, which required you to use all 3 passes before booking more.)

This new ride reservation system is great for people who loved the pre-Genie+ Fastpass system, and allows guests to really plan ahead and not stress the morning of their park visits. Of course, the downside is that the Fastpass system was free, and the Lightning Lane Multi Pass will be an extra cost — just like Genie+ has been.

Tiers from the Fastpass days will be back with the Lightning Lane Multi Pass system as well. In most cases that means you’ll get to pick 1 ride from Tier 1 and 2 rides from Tier 2 (or all 3 rides from Tier 2). When it comes to booking additional rides, you can pick from any tier that still has availability. Animal Kingdom is the only park that won’t have tiers. You can find the listing of tiers here.

Lighting Lane Single Pass will replace Individual Lightning Lanes — and the same booking dates apply. The Lightning Lane Single Pass will allow you to purchase a ride reservation for some of the most popular rides at Walt Disney World Resort. The rides available for Lightning Lane Single Pass are not options with Lightning Lane Multi Pass, but you are allowed to purchase both. You’ll find rides like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, TRON, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Rise of the Resistance offered.

The Country Bears are Back!

And finally, if you’re a Country Bears fan…I’ve got great news!

Country Bears Musical Jamboree will debut July 17, 2024, at Magic Kingdom Park.

Known as a staple of Frontierland in Magic Kingdom Park, the Country Bears and their nostalgic way of growling out country-western tunes has kept audiences entertained for over 50 years. Now, the bears are back with new songs and new outfits and a whole lot hootin’ and hollerin’. I’m sure it’s going to be a “bear-y” good time!

Other Disney World Changes

  • CommuniCore Hall and Plaza opened at EPCOT in June 2024, after years of transformation work. You’ll find a Mickey and Friends Meet and Greet here and an indoor area with tables and chairs to take a break from the heat. On the Plaza Stage this summer, you’ll find a new stage show, ¡Celebración Encanto! The area is meant to be a flexible space to use for festivals and special events.
  • The new Disney Dreams That Soar drone show at Disney Springs has been a huge hit this summer! It takes place every night from now until September 2. The best part about this one is that a visit to Disney Springs to see the show is FREE.

Looking for all things Walt Disney World related? We’ve got a lots more for you. Check out…

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Big Changes Happening at Walt Disney World Resort this Summer