Best Disney World Stories You Didn’t Read in 2023

It’s the end of the year, and that means every blog goes into autopilot mode, putting together ‘best of’ lists. It’s a brilliant move, really. Not only does it spare the author from having to write new content, but it allows them to remind readers of some good posts they might have missed.

This new holiday blogging practice is scratching me right where I itch! Of course, I don’t want to follow blindly along doing what everyone else is doing, so I’m adding my own twist to the Top 10. I’m going to share my 10 best “under-appreciated” blog posts, which despite being important or interesting (in my opinion), they didn’t get much attention.

The ‘metric’ here for underperformance is relative to posts about showtimes for Impressions de France, BeaverTails returning (but not really!), Cronuts coming back (for real!), and the Smellephants on Parade at Magic Kingdom. All topics in which you showed a surprising amount of interest, far surpassing my expectations. (Just goes to show that even after doing this for a decade, I still have very little idea what will and won’t resonate with readers.)

Disney Plans to Double Investment to $60 Billion in Disney World, Disneyland & Beyond – I already discussed this in the 2023’s Biggest Walt Disney World News, but it’s been remarkable to see the degree to which fans are tuning out the non-announcement announcements about the future of the parks. I personally think these are a big deal and there’s truth to them, it’s just a matter of the timeline and what needs to be addressed elsewhere in the meantime.

But you all have really checked out when it comes to all of this. (This really goes for all of the business news that relates to the parks or has a major indirect impact. No one cares about Disney buying the full stake in Hulu, even though it’s huge.) In any normal year pre-2020, this would’ve been far and away the biggest story of the year. Now, pretty much everyone says, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” In any case, the commentary to the above is worthwhile in offering context to why you should believe it…while tempering expectations about the timeline.

Early Entry & Rope Drop at Magic Kingdom on the Busiest Day of the Week – There’s been a major decrease for step-by-step strategy reports, including all things Early Entry, rope drop, Extended Evening Hours, and Genie+ days. On the one hand, I should be happy–I don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn or buy Genie+ when I don’t really have any actual “need” to use it.

On the other hand, I enjoy getting up early, staying out late, testing strategy, and reporting results. I think field testing is immensely important, especially when it comes to approaches that work well and go against the grain. Sure beats ‘academic’ arguments about prices or changes. Honestly, one of the reasons I’m looking forward to the Lightning Lane changes (and hopeful about the loss of at least one virtual queue), is it’ll give me an excuse to do more of this.

Does the Dining Plan “Ruin” Restaurants at Disney World? – A lot of longtime fans love to hate the Disney Dining Plan, using it as a punching bag or scapegoat for a variety of negative changes at Walt Disney World. The biggest of those is that it ruined restaurants and/or menus.

This breaks down why we think that’s a myth, and are looking forward to the DDP’s return even if we won’t use it. I can sort of understand why it wasn’t popular–no one wants to read about why the thing they hate with a passion is actually good, and those who already thought it’s good probably don’t care.

Original Characters & Dozens of NEW Audio Animatronics Coming to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure – I hate to include this, because it’s going to make certain people who don’t do nuance feel vindicated. To be sure, there was a lot of initial excitement in ~2022 when the first details started coming out about Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

Over the course of this year, that’s all but evaporated. Fans have seemingly checked out as almost nothing of substance has been shared. There’s been too much backstory and too many attempts to justify the why of the attraction, including why it’s important or authentic. That may be a good niche topic, but as marketing for a new addition, it falls flat at generating excitement.

Here’s hoping the NYE tease actually shows something substantive from inside the ride. Regardless, this was a major development in confirming that Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will have a ton of AAs and won’t be screen-based.

When You Should Buy & Skip the 2024 Disney Dining Plan! – I should know better when it comes to DDP posts for the reasons identified above. But with major changes to the pricing–not to mention the passage of 4 years!–I thought it was a good idea to break down the scenarios in which the Disney Dining Plan is worth getting and the circumstances where it isn’t.

But again, I think a lot of people view the Disney Dining Plan in black and white terms. It’s either always awesome or always awful–there’s no middle ground. Both of those extremes are wrong. In reality, there is only middle ground.  

“Top” 10 Worst Guests at Disneyland – This came out right around Thanksgiving, which is always a hit or miss time for new posts as people are with family and friends for the holidays and so forth. I also think it didn’t help that it has a similar title to another post, but about Walt Disney World.

This isn’t really Disneyland specific, though, with the exception of a couple entries. It’s basically just 10 more types of guests that are problematic at Disneyland or Walt Disney World. It’s a fun one, I think. (And one that felt necessary after the small world streaking incident!)

Wondrous Journeys is Greater Than Happily Ever After Fireworks – With the benefit of hindsight, you probably were justified in not reading this. If you’ve already seen Wondrous Journeys, you know even without reading. If you haven’t, well…Disney is only going you a few weeks to catch it in 2024.

This has gotta be the “Disney Vault” strategy being utilized in the parks, which I guess I get. Still wild to me that Mickey’s Mix Magic is the show coming back after the holidays instead of…literally anything else.

Is the 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Less Crowded?! – This was probably a timing matter, coming out right around the third MVMCP of the year, after most people probably either purchased tickets or made the decision to skip the event.

Regardless, I think it’s interesting and potentially useful for both the Halloween and Christmas Party in 2024. We’ve had suspicions this was the case for the last couple of years, but this year’s MVMCP is what sealed the deal for me. While I still wish we could go back in time and have 2019 prices, at least we don’t get 2019 crowds!

Our “Top” 10 Most Embarrassing Experiences at Disney World – Very few of you wanted to read about our misfortunes–thank you very much! One of us predicted that this might be the case–that some of these were too much information and that people don’t like feeling secondhand embarrassment.

That turned out to be correct, but it’s fine. I had a lot of fun writing this and taking the trips down memory lane. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately, as we think back to our first visits back and how we want to ‘redo’ some of those things in 2024 and beyond. In a way, we are Walt Disney World newbies all over again!

What Disney World Can Learn From Taylor Swift – Putting those last two words in the title–and then the first few paragraphs–were my fatal flaw. I guess I overestimated how much her fans read blogs and massively underestimated just how many people don’t like her?

In any case, the heart of this article is not about Taylor Swift. If you hate her, scroll down to the photo of Sarah in Cinderella Castle with the text that reads: “The real story here isn’t Taylor Swift or Beyoncé or Barbenheimer.” It’s an interesting article after that, I swear.

While not all of those posts are going to be for everyone, I promise you that they are all better than the above posts or the Top 10 Toilets at Walt Disney World post, which a shockingly large number of you read. And on that note, we’ll close the book on 2023 at

All in all, it was a satisfying year of writing new blog posts and updating old ones. I’m also really looking forward to 2024. I have dozens of post ideas, and more keep getting added to my “list” almost everyday. Your feedback and comments have been helpful, as a lot of topics are generated via reader comments, so thanks again. Until we see you again in 2024, have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve!

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!


What do you think of these topics from 2023 at Walt Disney World? Are there good reasons why most of these were overlooked?  Think it’s been a mostly good or bad year? Do you agree or disagree with our assessments? Think there’s any stories we snubbed? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

9 Responses to “Best Disney World Stories You Didn’t Read in 2023”
  1. Susan January 1, 2024
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  7. RA December 31, 2023
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    • Tom Bricker December 31, 2023

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