Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s newest holiday event opened to guests last weekend. The event was called a disaster by many who attended the event. With one week to adjust the event, Disney looked toward a few unique characters to help save the event.
What is Jollywood Nights?
Jollywood Nights is a special ticketed event for Disney’s Hollywood Students. The event occurs on select evenings throughout November and December 20, 2024.
Guests wishing to attend need to purchase an additional ticket that ranges in price from $159-$179 per person.
With the ticket purchase, guests can enter Disney’s Hollywood Studios at 7:00, with the party events kicking off from 8:30 through 12:30.
Rides are open during the event, but the exceptional experiences drew people to this new holiday event.
Special, Party Exclusive Experiences
Not only can guests attending the party enjoy lower waits from popular attractions such as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Slinky Dog Dash, and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, but they can also enjoy party-exclusive experiences.
Live entertainment is a massive part of the party experience. One show that was a significant hit on opening night was Disney Holidays in Hollywood. This show, which takes place at Theater of the Stars, features Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Tiana, Belle, and Mickey and Minnie.
A new sing-along experience was brought to the Hyperion Theater with What’s This? Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Sing-Along. Guests can sing along with Jack Skellington, who makes an appearance impressively.
This year, the nighttime show that has been shown in the past during the holiday season is now a party exclusive—Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM returns but only for party guests. During the show, Disney films are projected into the Chinese Theater.
The show uses fireworks, lasers, projections, and holiday music to create a beautiful ending to the party.
The party also includes specialty snacks, drinks, and lounges for guests to enjoy throughout the evening.
When looking at the event and all it offers, it is hard to imagine that it could fail. The first night of the party, that is precisely what Jollywood Nights did.
Jollywood Nights Fails
Considering how much is offered at the event, it must be clarified that it failed on opening night. According to those who attended, and quickly too to social media, that is precisely what Jollywood NIghts did- failed big time.
Fans who attended the event quickly took to social media to express their concerns and frustration with the event. Words like “chaos” and “disaster” were often used to describe the event.
Long lines for all the experiences, from food to meet and greets, made guests question if the event cost was worth the experience.
Guests pushed Disney to make changes during the week between events. Disney seemed to listen, but their response was interesting.
Duffy has been added to the Jollywood Nights lineup at Hollywood Studios. 🧸 pic.twitter.com/374wPfrXHZ
— Alex Farnworth (@AlexFarnworth) November 19, 2023
Disney Tries to Save Jollywood Nights
Disney’s response to the complaints was to bring out exclusive holiday characters at the party. During the second Jollywood Nights on November 18, guests were surprised with two exclusive holiday characters.
Santa Duffy took the park by storm. Duffy is Mickey Mouse’s very own teddy bear. Given the title of “The Bear of Happiness and Luck,” Duffy quickly became popular with Disney fans worldwide.
Duffy isn’t typically out at Walt Disney World except on runDisney race weekends. Bringing Santa Duffy out at Jollywood Nights was a huge plus to this event and will pull Duffy fans to attend future events.
Jiminy Cricket, dressed for Christmas, was the other unique character that showed up at Jollywood Nights. Although maybe less exciting than Duffy, this is a scarce appearance and a big surprise to those attending.
Also making an appearance at Jollywood Nights was Santa Stitch. He typically hangs out at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party but must have wanted to check out Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the evening.
Bringing out more unique characters at Jollywood Nights is a great way to spread out the crowds and bring more unique experiences to the event.
We are glad that Disney listened to guests during that first party and worked throughout the week to make adjustments.
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 Disney Dining’s personal views on Disney Park operations.