"Tiana's Riverboat Party Ice Cream Social & Parade Viewing" might be a clunker of a name, but it gets the job done in describing what the event offers — an opportunity to eat ice cream and watch the Magic Kingdom's daily afternoon parade from the decks of the park's Liberty Belle Riverboat. The event starts Nov. 29 and includes ice cream and soft drinks on the Liberty Square riverboat dock and a meet and greet photo opportunities with Princess Tiana and Naveen from Disney's The Princess and the Frog. Then the riverboat casts off for its parade viewing, followed by the complete trip around Tom Sawyer Island on the park's Rivers of America. The cost is $49 for adults and $29 for children, ages 3-9 and can be booked by calling +1-407-939-3463.
The riverboat cruise is part of what Disney now is calling its "Enchanting Extras Collection," a catch-all brand for the various dessert parties, VIP tours, nature encounters, hard ticket parties, in-room celebrations, and other not-included-in-your-park-admission special experiences at the resort.
The common branding allows Disney the opportunity to market all of these experiences together rather than as a somewhat confusing collection of one-shot deals. Disney CEO Bob Iger has made clear that Disney is looking for every opportunity to increase spending by its Walt Disney World resort guests, and the common brand should make it easier for Disney to sell additional experiences to families interested in any one of the offerings. Heck, I follow this stuff for a living, yet I found it convenient to see all of Disney's upsells gathered by category on that one page on Disney World's website.
Getting back to the riverboat cruise, this one is different than many of Disney's other dessert parties in that it takes an entire attraction out of commission to support the event. However, having worked for years on the Magic Kingdom's Rivers of America, I can tell you that hourly guest counts on the river attractions tank during the park's parades, due to the parade route effectively cutting off access to the attractions.
If Disney sells out this party, it would be possible that there would be more people on the riverboat during the parade than there would be without the party. So this event might turn out to be a more efficient use of attraction resources in the park. The question will be how many trip cycles does the riverboat lose before the parade cruise due to the meet and greet and ice cream social? But for every potential trip the riverboat stays in dock, the Tom Sawyer Island rafts can complete an extra cycle, as they are held at their docks each time the riverboat passes. It's a trade-off.
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