Disney News For December 2023

Written By: David Mumpower

This month, we’ve got some holiday updates, three odd mishaps, and a slew of miscellaneous news items to discuss.

So, without further ado, here’s your holiday season edition of DVC News!

The Holiday Updates

Last month, we discussed the various DVC Holiday offerings were under construction.

Well, I’m happy to report that everything has been completed. So, you’ll find all your favorites as you traverse the various parks and resorts.

Of special note this year is Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. The twin to Disney’s Beach Club Resort has created a gingerbread copy of something memorable.

When you enter Yacht Club, you’ll find a Gingerbread Lighthouse that mirrors the one outside the hotels! It’s pretty great.

Other favorites like the Gingerbread Giraffe at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas, the Gingerbread Store at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and the Gingerbread Carousel at Beach Club are up and running.

At the parks, all the attraction overlays are underway, including the ones that only operate during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

This statement applies to Disney California Adventure’s Car Land holiday overlays as well.

While we’re on the subject of after-hours parties, I’m happy to report that Disney has modified the guest experience at Disney Jollywood Nights.

After a disastrous opening night that more than one headline described as a “debacle,” Disney took the criticisms well and addressed most of them.

So, those of you with party tickets this month shouldn’t fret! It’s better today than it was a month ago!

Another vaguely holiday update involves the annual change in water parks.

Disney’s Blizzard Beach has reopened, which always means that Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon has closed for the season.

PS: The streak remains intact that the two water parks haven’t operated simultaneously since 2019. It’s been five years, Disney! Come on!

Disney Strangeness on Both Coasts

Okay, I cover a lot of strange stories, but this past month definitely stood out for its strangeness.

At Disneyland Resort, an earthquake that registered 3.5 on the Richter scale closed down virtually all attractions at both parks.

For a time, only four rides at Disney California Adventure and two at Disneyland Park remained open.

Cast members needed to eyeball every section of all the other rides at the parks to ensure that they hadn’t suffered earthquake damage.

Remarkably, that’s NOT the strangest Disneyland story this past month.

One morning, a sudden gust of wind wreaked havoc across Southern California.

The wind grew so intense that a single commuter plane flipped over!

Thankfully, the pilot had exited the vehicle by that point, but it reinforces the ferocity of the weather.

At Disneyland Park, Main Street, U.S.A. suffered one of the weirdest freak mishaps I can ever recall.

A lamppost fell over due to the wind pressure. As it did, it struck three different guests.

Two of them suffered injuries so minor that they stayed at the park. Unfortunately, the third required a hospital trip, though.

Walt Disney World wasn’t safe from misfortune, either.

A monorail ride required evacuation when – I swear to you – a flat tire caused the vehicle to malfunction.

Yes, we never really think about monorails as having functional tires, but they do! And this one suffered a flat. It was that kind of month at Disney.

DVC Miscellany

Disney also direct-dialed DVC members with several updates this past month.

Let’s start with the biggies, the ones that directly impact your ownership interest.

Disney has revealed 2024 annual dues for the various DVC resorts. The yearly rate increases range from two to 7.88 percent.

My quick calculation suggested an average increase of about 4.63 percent, although I’ll add there’s some variance depending on what you include.

Some of the resorts have annualized dues and other factors. But you get the point. As usual, the annual dues increased by slightly less than five percent.

That’s about the range we should expect nowadays. By the way, The Villas at Disneyland Resort also witnessed a Disneyland Hotel Tax increase of 3.2 percent…in 2025.

I mention this because it ties into the other significant DVC update: the release of 2025 DVC Points Charts.

Disney didn’t change much from the 2024 DVC Points Chart and has generally left it static since the big overhaul in 2021.

So, the main alterations for 2025 come down to the changing calendar configuration. Everything else is eerily similar.

Speaking of next year – well, next month – Disney CEO Bob Iger provided some clarity regarding two upcoming projects.

According to an infographic Disney posted during its quarterly earnings report, the DVC addition at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground is coming in 2024.

Meanwhile, Disney is now saying “late 2024” for the expansion tower at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

That project could feasibly slide into early 2025, depending on how well construction goes over the next six months.

Disney Miscellany

We’ve had a pair of openings over the past month. At Disneyland Park, Adventureland Treehouse opened to the public. And it’s a delight!

The new attraction pairs nicely with Disney’s vision of a more communal, neighborly park experience.

Speaking of which, within the past few days, World Celebration Gardens has opened at EPCOT.

You’ll want to experience this one quickly, as it’s absolutely mesmerizing.

Fans have lined up for hours to take their picture with the new Walt the Dreamer statue.

Disney has upped the ante by syncing the lights at World Celebration Gardens with those of Spaceship Earth. It’s absolutely mesmerizing!

Imagineers are flexing their creative muscle with new Spaceship Earth displays like the one of Star from Disney’s latest animated film, Wish.

Meanwhile, at the back of the park, audiences watched Luminous The Symphony of Us for the first time.

After a single night, fans already liked it more than the former Harmonious offering.

At Magic Kingdom, a Grim Grinning Ghost has finally materialized after an extended delay.

In September 2022, Disney officials promised the introduction of the Hatbox Ghost at Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion.

Haunted Mansion newest fight the Hatbox Ghost at WDW

For whatever reason, the process took much longer than expected. Still, I’m happy to report that you’ll find this new enhancement delightful.

The Hatbox Ghost resides by the blast of cold air on the attraction. So, he’s impossible to miss.

Disney Miscellany II

Golfers will be thrilled to know that Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course has reopened! Oh, and it’s added four new holes, bringing it to 18!

Circling back to Disneyland Park, Tale of the Lion King will close permanently on January 7th, 2024.

Some park reporter friends also noticed a change that created quite the mystery. Disney California Adventure was moving some furniture.

The explanation proved to be DVC-related, as the former Blue Sky Cellar will switch into a DVC Preview Center. This should happen at some point in 2024.

The Blue Sky Cellar will take over the former Beast’s Library, which is closing permanently.

In international news, two new themed lands have opened. Here is World of Frozen at Hong Kong Disneyland:

And here is Zootopia: Hot Pursuit from the Zootopia themed land at Shanghai Disneyland:

Disney has hinted that elements from both themed lands could one day make their way to its American parks.

That’s music to my ears because Hot Pursuit is the breathing definition of a next-generation E-ticket attraction!

Have a lovely holiday season, my friends!

Please let us know if you have any questions or if you’d like any additional information. If you’d like to rent a DVC Villa for your next Vacation or purchase a Disney Vacation Club property at a reduced price, our agents will be happy to assist you with any questions or information.

 You can reach our office at 800-550-6493 or email sales@dvcstore.com. 

About David Mumpower is the author of Behind the Ride and the Disney Demystified series. He’s written more than 25 million words and been quoted as a subject matter expert by CNN, the Washington Post, USA Today, CNBC, and countless others. A DVC member for more than a decade now, his favorite resort is the Polynesian, his favorite park is EPCOT, and his favorite ride is Spaceship Earth.