Disney World Rushes To Save Reputation Following Disaster

in Walt Disney World

A Gertie dinosaur cookie and snow on Hollywood Blvd at Disney Jollywood Nights night two.

Credit: @thekingdomtwinz / @kelley_society1955 via TikTok

It’s no secret that the first date of Disney Jollywood Nights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios was a disaster. The festive after-hours event promised never-before-seen entertainment, rare Disney Character greetings, exclusive food, and a throwback holiday atmosphere. Instead, guests were met with long lines… for just about everything.

Guests who attended the first Christmas party on November 11 compared it to a watered-down version of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park. They struggled to check in, waited in hours-long food, character, and show lines, and suffered through packed crowds as the event was concentrated in just one small area of the Disney park.

A glitch on the My Disney Experience app gave everyone who registered for the limited Jazzy Holidays at the Hollywood Brown Derby a return time of ten minutes, causing overwhelming crowding. Over at the Tip Top Club by the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, guests couldn’t even purchase drinks within their allotted time slot because lines were so long.

Line for Tip Top Club at Jollywood Nights
Credit: Random Recess Travels (@randomrecess)

Many Disney Jollywood Nights were sold out when the bad reviews hit, and many guests demanded refunds or exchanges. Behind the scenes, Walt Disney World Resort scrambled to salvage the experience before the next after-hours event on November 18. And they might have succeeded.

Special event ticketholders can arrive at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as early as 6:30 p.m. and check in at the front of the Disney park. Those with single-day tickets, Park Hoppers, or Annual Passes can now get wristbands near MuppetVision 3.D. and Star Wars Launch Bay as early as 4:30 p.m.

Jazzy Holidays at the Hollywood Brown Derby is now first-come, first served. Guests cannot make reservations via the My Disney Experience app or Walt Disney World Resort website.

Concept artwork for the new Disney World holiday event "Jollywood Nights" taking place at Disney's Hollywood Studios on select nights.
Credit: Disney

To alleviate long lines, more food and beverage cast members are scheduled for special event nights. A Santa Gertie cookie might be in your future!

Additionally, more rare Disney Character meet & greets are available to entertain guests! They include Santa Stitch, Duffy the Bear, Mary Poppins & a Penguin, Pinocchio & Jiminy Cricket, and Snow White & Dopey. Check out this video from @360degreesofdisney:

@360degreesofdisney

Jollywood Nights has become a lot more jolly on night two with some extra holiday characters out for meet and greets! Pinocchio is switching with Jiminy Cricket, both dressed with special holiday flourishes! #Pinocchio #JiminyCricket #JollywoodNights #DHS #DisneysHollywoodStudios #DisneyChristmas #DisneyChristmas2023 #RareCharacters #RareCharacter #MerryChristmas #WDW #WaltDisneyWorld #Disney100 #DisneyClassics #ピノキオ #ジミニークリケット

♬ Main Theme (From Walt Disney’s “A Christmas Carol”) – Dominik Hauser

Some characters alternate throughout the night, so check back if your favorite is missing.

Most of the news of these changes came from guests on social media. After attending the November 18 Disney Jollywood Nights, many felt it was a completely different event than the one reviewed on November 11.

Santa Stitch kisses a little girl on the nose.
Credit: Disney

“I had the best time at Jollywood,” said Reddit user u/chunkycatt. “The lines were no where near as bad as vloggers made it seem. I was able to enjoy all of the entertainment, ride some rides, and there were sooooo many characters out! …The entertainment is some of the best that Disney has put out.”

TikToker @thekingdomtwinz also shared their “honest review” of Disney Jollywood Nights:

@thekingdomtwinz

Here’s my honest review of night two of Disney World’s Jollywood Nights! #disney #waltdisneyworld #wdwholidays #jollywoodnights #disneyshollywoodstudios #hollywoodstudios #duffy #duffyandfriends #santaduffy #disneyparks #disneychristmas #disneyholidays #themuppets

♬ original sound – Jenna + Casey 💖 Disney Vlogs

The guest reported much shorter lines, waiting no more than ten to fifteen minutes for food and Disney Characters. She had plenty of time to take photos and enjoy the entertainment. However, she thought the base ticket price should be lower because of the length of the event and the need to spend more money upon arrival.

“If you’re someone who’s experienced Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party before and are looking to try something new, I would say Jollywood Nights is for you,” the TikToker said. “…I had a better time than I was expecting.”

Another guest, Kelley (@kelley_society1955), mostly agreed:

@kelley_society1955

My Jollywood Nights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Event Review! 🎄✨🎅🏻 #waltdisneyworld #jollywoodnights #christmasindisney #disneychristmas #hollywoodstudios #jollywood #hollywood

♬ Last Christmas – Ally Brooke

“This is a must-do event for the holiday season,” Kelley began. “A lot of the people that attended the event on the first night were complaining about a lot of the things in the system, including long lines. We did not experience this. In fact, the longest line was for the bathroom!”

Besides character meet & greets, food, and attractions, other Disney Jollywood Nights offerings include What’s This? Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Sing-A-Long at the Hyperion Theater and Disney Holidays in Hollywood at the Theater of the Stars. Join Jack Skellington and Oogie Boogie for frightful, festive fun, or celebrate the season with The Muppets and friends!

Disney Jollywood Nights costs between $159 and $179 per guest. It runs from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. when the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! fireworks show kicks off over the Chinese Theatre. Get your tickets here.

Did you attend Disney Jollywood Nights? Share your thoughts with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on personal Disney Parks guest experiences. No two guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Park operations.

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