Extended Evening Hours Added at Hollywood Studios

Okay, I don’t want to get your hopes up, but Disney’s at least tinkering with an update to Extended Evening Hours.

We’ll talk about that, the latest Star Wars Hotel criticism, and Disney Genie+ additions in today’s update.

A Third Park? A Third Park!!!

Disney Vacation Club points users adore Extended Evening Hours. This amenity only debuted a few months ago, but we’re already addicted to it.

Thanks to this feature, guests at Deluxe Disney resorts gain private access to two of the parks.

Most of the time, EPCOT has opened for two extra hours on Mondays, while Magic Kingdom hosts the amenity on Wednesdays.

Courtesy of Disney Tourist Blog

Disney has taken a ton of criticism over the past 18 months. Nobody is complaining about Extended Evening Hours, though.

These after-hours park visits play out like ticketed events. However, you don’t pay extra for them. Instead, it’s an ancillary benefit of a hotel stay using DVC Points.

If Extended Evening Hours has any flaw, it’s that only those two theme parks participate.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios hadn’t previously offered Extended Evening Hours.

I sincerely doubt that Animal Kingdom ever does, as it could mess up the nocturnal activities of the park’s actual residents, the animals.

As for Hollywood Studios, well, I’ve got terrific news. The official Extended Evening Hours site was recently updated through Wednesday, April 13th.

That last date came with a surprise. Attentive readers noticed that Magic Kingdom isn’t offering the evening hours on that night.

Instead, guests will gain their first crack at Hollywood Studios! Theoretically, this opportunity should include everything at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Courtesy of Disney Tourist Blog

The site hasn’t added any details about the participating attractions, though. So, you should consider that speculation for now.

The update also comes with a sticking point. It’s an either/or thing with Magic Kingdom, at least for this particular week.

The current schedule doesn’t show another night for Magic Kingdom. Also, I cannot say for sure that it’s a permanent addition. This could be a one-time thing. Keep checking back to learn more!

Disney Genie+ Adds Character Greetings

Okay, this one’s fairly self-explanatory. Back in the good ol’ days of FastPass+, park guests could book FastPasses for character greetings.

That practice was already diminishing before the pandemic, though. Disney had eliminated some of the options by the start of 2020.

Once social distancing became a thing, Disney temporarily shut down character greetings and killed the FastPass program.

Courtesy of Disney Tourist Blog

So, the whole thing turned irrelevant for the body of two years. However, we’re mostly past that frustration now.

Similarly, Disney Genie arrived late last Fall and introduced a FastPass replacement.

Disney Genie+ is nothing more than a glorified paid FastPass system under a different name.

The one thing this system lacked initially was the opportunity to schedule character interactions as Disney Genie+ selections.

Well, I’m happy to report that this policy changed earlier in the week.

As of now, Magic Kingdom enables Disney Genie+ bookings at three character spots. You’ll find another at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Here are the new Disney Genie+ options at Magic Kingdom:

  • Cinderella and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater
  • Princess Tiana and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Olaf has returned to his spot, and you can book a Disney Genie+ reservation for him as well!

The Latest Star Wars Hotel Update

We still don’t know what’s inside Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. This is because Disney has carefully controlled the images displayed on social media.

However, the public-facing part of the Star Wars Hotel is impossible to hide. Anybody with a helicopter and a good camera can snap photos of the area.

For this reason, images have leaked of one of the incidental parts of the Star Wars experience.

As you know, guests will live out their Star Wars adventure at the hotel but also at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

A visit to Batuu is on the itinerary for every hotel stay. Disney doesn’t want to break the illusion by having guests take standard buses to the park.

So, we already knew that Disney would provide some sort of themed transportation for Galactic Starcruiser.

Well, those leaked photos show…a white box truck. Its exterior is so bland that it would be perfect for pulling off an Ocean’s 11 style heist.

The images show the seating that would build the illusion that you’re an intergalactic traveler sojourning down to Batuu for a quick visit.

I presume that Disney will paint these trucks over the next four weeks to make them look more spacey or, well, more anything.

Critics of the hotel, who are either plentiful or just vocal, have had a field day with the images of a plain box truck as part of a $1,000 a night hotel package.

We’re a month away from finding out whether Galactic Starcruiser lives up to the hype or proves the critics correct.

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