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Update for December 3 – December 9, 2012

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News and Views

New Fantasyland, Test Track, Jack Sparrow to open during media event this week | New Fantasyland opening-day merchandise to be sold in multiple locations including online; pins to be released outside the park | MousePlanet Meet-up this Saturday! | Flower Power line-up, more information revealed about 2013 Flower & Garden Festival | Tables in Wonderland price increases | Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special returns! | Construction update | Quick takes | Crowd Update

New Fantasyland, Test Track, Jack Sparrow to open during media event this week

As the grand opening of New Fantasyland approaches this week, so much of the new expansion has received exposure through open and exclusive previews (for Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club members, D23 fan club members) and media releases that it feels almost anti-climactic. After all, we've seen walk-through videos of the entire area and photos of the attractions, dining locations, and merchandise location, and read dining reviews of the food. What could be left for Disney to reveal at the actual grand opening?


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Of course, in typical Disney fashion, there are certain to be surprises, including something to do with an ultralight aircraft disguised as a dragon. The aircraft was recently seen being tested over Walt Disney World in the wee hours of the morning, though there have been no daytime sightings in Florida as of yet. There's also no word on how the "dragon" will be integrated into the show, or whether it will be a one-time stunt or become part of the regular entertainment for the area. The "return" of dragons to the Magic Kingdom area has been teased for a couple of weeks now on the Disney Parks Blog and on a Tumblr site.

Here's a lineup so far of what we know will be on the docket for the events:

Wednesday evening:

  • Media preview of New Fantasyland
  • Dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Thursday:

  • Grand opening of New Fantasyland, including Enchanted Tales with Belle, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Gaston's Tavern, Bonjour! Village Gifts, Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, and Ariel's Grotto
  • Grand opening of Test Track
  • Grand opening of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow

Friday morning:

  • What's New, What's Next presentation
  • Media preview of Splitsville Luxury Lanes


If you're a fan of HGTV's House Hunters International show, you'll find this spoof featuring Belle and Beast even funnier.

It's quite possible that there will be more, but a final schedule is still proving elusive. We've been told that things are still changing but that we'll get a final schedule when we arrive on Wednesday. I'll be providing updates as often as possible via Twitter (@MPMark) and Facebook, plus I'll be writing up stories to run on the main MousePlanet site and possibly a couple of entries on my blog over the weekend to fill the gap.

What do you think Disney will do to surprise us? What do you think they'll reveal at the What's New, What's Next presentation? Tell us what you think in the comments below!


If you're looking to drop in on Be Our Guest Restaurant for lunch, you should plan to come early and be prepared to wait. The wait from this points was about 35 minutes to ordering food, 20 minutes just to enter the castle, and another 15 minutes waiting to order food. The problem is not table availability, but the number of kiosks available for ordering food. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Work on the construction of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction is focused on the side facing Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid. In the foreground are facilities that will complete the Little Mermaid setting. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Other than the main lift, very little track appears to have been installed on the Mine Train attraction; however, support structure for the rest of the track is still going in. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Much of the preview signage on the construction walls has been updated to focus on the Seven Dwarfs. This painting near The Mad Tea Party provides a crossover between the Seven Dwarfs and Alice in Wonderland. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Retired knight Sir Sterling, and royal etiquiette expert Lady Llewellyn are two of the Royal Majesty Makers streetmosphere performers in the Castle Courtyard, instructing boys and girls in how to be royal so that they are prepared to become princes and princesses. The Majesty Makers also include Sir Sterling's squire Tobias and Lady Llewellyn's lady-in-waiting Bridget. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

New Fantasyland opening-day merchandise to be sold in multiple locations including online; pins to be released outside the park

There will be several pieces of merchandise to be released Thursday for the grand opening of New Fantasyland. There will be three T-shirt designs (men, women, youth), six new D-Tech On Demand iPhone cases for both iPhone 4/4S and 5, two deluxe prints, and "Cover Your Ears" ear hat covers. The ear hat covers will be a limited edition of 1,000, three of the iPhone cases will have an edition size of 300 each, and the prints have an edition size of 500 each.

T-shirts will be sold at the Emporium, Big Top Souvenirs, Mickey's Star Traders, and Pirates Bazaar. The phone cases and Cover Your ears will only be sold at the Emporium, and the deluxe prints will only be sold at the Main Street Cinema. Event T-shirts and the three phone cases that are not limited editions will also be sold via the Disney Parks online store from Thursday through Sunday, December 6-9. When ordering becomes available, you can find them here. Delivery will take eight to 10 weeks as they will be printed in a custom order.

Meanwhile, a series of special limited edition pins will be available at a pin release party Thursday evening from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Coronado Springs Resort Convention Center in Room J. Security cast members will be stationed at the convention center to prevent guests from forming a line inside or outside before 4 p.m. that day. A handout has been created to inform guests who arrive early that there will be no lineup permitted before 4:00.

There will be individual pins, pin sets, and Passholder exclusive items, in edition sizes ranging from 250 to 2,000. Standard pin release rules will be in effect, with a limit of two pins per item number per guest per day.


Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow officially opens this Thursday. Take a look at how the Imagineers worked with Johnny Depp to create the attraction.

MousePlanet Meet-up this Saturday!

Want to meet MousePlanet's Mark Goldhaber and other MousePlanet readers? Join us on Saturday evening at 5:30 p.m. at Disney's Hollywood Studios for a MousePlanet Meet-up! We'll meet by the faux subway station on the Streets of America near the central intersection and chat while we wait for the Osborne Lights to turn on. We'll enjoy the snow, the music, and the dancing lights together. Hope to see you there!


This week saw the addition of Rapunzel's tower from Tangled to the construction for the new restrooms on the west side of Fantasyland. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Rapunzel's tower is an impressive sight, even if guests can't go in it. It's much more detailed than the Beast's castle, and is visible from Fantasyland, Liberty Square, and Frontierland. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Rockwork is coming along for a fountain, well, or planter in front of the buildings. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Rockwork continues along the pathway from the restrooms to the Haunted Mansion. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


The pathway to Liberty Square (which exits at the current location of Madame Leota's Cart) is visible in the rear left. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Send us your menu photos

Click on the "Dining" section from our Walt Disney World Guide to see our complete list of of the park restaurant menus from Walt Disney World. Please help us keep the menus up to date! Send photos or scans of park menus to menus@mouseplanet.com to help us keep our listings updated.


Filming for the Disney Parks Christmas Parade show took place at the Magic Kingdom over the weekend. The hosts had their usual platform at the top of Town Square. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


This beautiful array of holiday presents is not a permanent Christmas display. It's simply used for filming of the television show. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


For the parade filming, wreaths are placed to cover clock faces, since the ostensibly "live" broadcast will not likely match up with the parade recording times during the day. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Colbie Caillat's band goes through a technical rehearsal before the singer takes the stage. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Flower Power line-up, more information revealed about 2013 Flower & Garden Festival

The 75-day, 20th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will feature plenty of new displays, new themes, and new performers (some of which we reported a couple of weeks ago), according to information released last week by Walt Disney World.

As previously mentioned, the event, which runs from March 6 through May 19, 2013, will feature a main entrance "cookout" topiary display featuring Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto, Donald Duck, and Daisy Duck, and the main causeway between Future World and World Showcase will feature Mike and Sully to promote the June release of Monsters University. Also as previously reported, areas themed to Cars, Oz, the Great and Powerful, and Pixie Hollow (this year, fairy Fawn will take ownership of the butterfly house) will decorate the Future World walkways.

The Phineas and Ferb topiaries will return again, this time located directly behind Spaceship Earth. There will be a total of more than 100 topiaries, 240 floating mini-gardens, dozens of flower towers, and other popular displays. For the first time, many of the topiaries and gardens will be lit with twinkle lights.

For the first time, there will be special festival food and beverage. Apparently the success of the food kiosks at the fall Epcot International Food & Wine Festival has made it hard to resist plunking some down around World Showcase for the Flower & Garden Festival as well. The kiosks will be themed to backyard barbecue and other garden-inspired and global tastes.

Once again, cable TV station HGTV (Home & Garden Television) will be sponsoring the festival, and as such will be providing HGTV celebrities to host presentations at the Festival Center, including Brandon Johnson, Meg Caswell, and Chris Lambton (who appears opening weekend). Of course, there will also be daily hands-on seminars and other sessions at the Festival Center in the former Wonders of Life pavilion.

The Flower Power concert series again will be restricted to weekends this year, with three performances daily at the America Gardens Theatre. New this year are The Village People and Tommy Roe. Micky Dolenz will again fill in for his former Monkee cohort Davy Jones, who had been a perennial Flower Power mainstay until his untimely death last year. Here's the current schedule:

  • March 6 to 10 – Micky Dolenz
  • March 15 to 17 – Chubby Checker & The Wildcats
  • March 22 to 24 – The Guess Who
  • March 29 to 31 – Nelson
  • April 5 to 7 – The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie
  • April 12 to 14 – Paul Revere & the Raiders
  • April 19 to 21 – The Village People
  • April 26 to 28 – The Orchestra, featuring former members of ELO and ELO II
  • May 3 to 5 – Tommy Roe
  • May 10 to 12 – Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
  • May 17 to 19 – Starship starring Mickey Thomas

The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.


The new Test Track is in Cast Member preview until its official opening on Thursday. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


While the ride vehicles are up and running for the preview, the pre- and post-show areas are still being completed. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


A new covered area is being created for the outdoor vending location in Innoventions Plaza. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Tables in Wonderland price increases

The price for Tables in Wonderland membership increased this week from $100 to $125 (from $75 to $100 for Annual/Seasonal Passholders and DVC members). Additional cards for spouses cost $50. The discount dining card program available to Florida residents, Passholders, and DVC Members still provides 20 percent off food and beverages (including alcohol) at all participating dining locations. A gratuity of 18 percent will continue to be added at all tables service locations (20 percent at Victoria & Albert's).

At the new price, the break-even point would be $625 in pre-discount meal costs for Florida residents or $500 for Passholders and DVC Members (previously $500 and $375). Each Tables in Wonderland card provides a discount for up to 10 people including the member. With a second card for a spouse (break-even $250 in pre-discount costs), 20 people can be covered. Members get free valet parking at resorts for the purpose of dining. Receipts from a participating resort restaurant must be presented when picking up your vehicle. The card is not valid for dining discounts or valet parking on Mothers Day, Easter Sunday, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, or New Year's Day.

The card is valid at the 8:30 p.m. shows of the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue from now through March 7, 2013, and September 1–27, 2013, as well as at the 4:00 p.m. show from March 8 through August 31, 2013. For pre-paid dining restaurants, cardholders must pre-pay full price and present the card at the restaurant to receive a 20 percent refund.

You can purchase Tables in Wonderland cards at all theme park and Downtown Disney Guest Relations locations. Florida residents and Passholders can also be purchased by mail or phone. The card is not transferable and the Tables in Wonderland member must be present and pay for the meal for the discount to apply.


The Epcot Character Spot meet-and-greet location has been temporarily moved to the location that previously held Epcot's 25th anniversary exhibit and, long before that, the Imagineering Labs demonstration of Aladdin's Virtual Carpet Ride. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


This background is also being used for a new character meet-and-greet space in the front of the park. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special returns!

The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special is returning this year, bigger than before. Last year, alumni of the Who, What, and Wherehouse Players reunited to bring the Pleasure Island improvisational favorite to the ABC Sound Studio at Disney's Hollywood Studios for seven days from Christmas Day through New Year's Eve. Following packed crowds and rave reviews last year, the show is returning to the park—but to a larger venue and a longer run.

This year's performances runs for two weeks at the Premiere Theater in the parks Streets of America area. The improv show will be performed from December 23 through January 5. As always, the show will be created "on the spot," with cast members using suggestions from the audience to create scenarios to be acted out on stage. Since these performances take place inside the theme park, the material will be family-friendly, similar to the early-evening shows at Pleasure Island.

Last year, while the Comedy Warehouse show was performed at the ABC Sound Studio, the Premiere Theater showed rotating Disney holiday shorts, featuring Mickey's Christmas Carol, Prep and Landing: Naughty vs. Nice, and Phineas and Ferb: A Very Perry Christmas. There's no word yet whether those shorts will move to the ABC Sound Studio this year, or if they won't be shown at all.


New signage promotes the Splitsville bowling facility going up in the former Virgin Megastore at Downtown Disney West Side. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


While the lanes will host a media preview on Friday, it's uncertain whether it will be ready for the public by then. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Construction update

The following is a listing of interesting items from paperwork filed with Orange County in the last week:

  • Magic Kingdom Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – experience development showset package 2.
  • Magic Kingdom The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – construction.
  • Magic Kingdom Jungle Cruise – construction.
  • Magic Kingdom Main Street Operations building MO-8 – construction.
  • Epcot Coral Reef Restaurant – installation of new piece of kitchen equipment.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular – construction.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios Brown Derby Restaurant – construction.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – partition in control room.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios shed – construction.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Dinosaur – electrical & plumbing.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Kali River Rapids – general construction.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Dug & Russell meet & greet – construction.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Oasis wallaby & deer building – roof coating.v
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Kilimanjaro Safaris warthob building – roof coating.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Siamang Gibbon habitat – concrete work for filtration project.
  • Downtown Disney Marketplace Once Upon a Toy – awning installation.
  • Downtown Disney Resort Area AAU building – roofing.
  • Disney's Polynesian Resort Luau Cove – roofing.
  • Disney's Beach Club Resort – room renovation.
  • Disney's Beach Club Villas – room renovation.
  • Disney's Art of Animation Resort Big Blue Pool area – pool umbrellas installation.


Holiday decorations now grace the lobby of the new Disney's Art of Animation Resort. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Character sketches from movies depicted in the resort's guest wings help to decorate the tree. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


This tree in the Ink & Paint Shop appropriately has little artist's palettes among its ornaments. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Wreaths with lights and ornaments in bold colors adorn the wall behind the check-in desks. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Quick takes …

…The Disney Phineas and Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure at Epcot has proven popular enough for it to get its first set of enhancements. The quests in the Mexico, Japan, and United Kingdom pavilions are getting new elements in the next few weeks. The game is similar to its predecessor, the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure.

…Bistro de Paris at Epcot reopens soon as Monsieur Paul with a completely refurbished dining room and new, more casual menu. Elsewhere at the France pavilion, Boulangerie Patisserie bakery is moving in January to its new location at the back of the pavilion.

…Citricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has added a private dining experience for up to 10 guests in The Chef’s Domain. The six-course experience is available for $155 per person plus tax (but including gratuity) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Reservations are available through the Walt Disney World Dining Line, 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463).

…Wolfgang Puck Cafe is offering special $48 Prixe Fixe Christmas menu of lobster bisque, crab-stuffed Florida black grouper, and chocolate cherry bread pudding.

…Disney Cruise Line was honored with the the Environmental Initiative Award from the Seatrade Insider Cruise Awards 2012. The cruise line was cited for its notable contributions to advance the environmental aspects of cruising.

…Registration for the featured events of the January 10–13, 2013, Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend are full, including the Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge, the full Marathon, and the Half Marathon. The Runner's World Challenge is also sold out. The Disney Family Fun Run 5K and the Stroller Walk Division of the 5K are sold out. The runDisney Kids' Races are 59 percent full (with more space available in the Mickey Mile than the dashes) and the Pasta in the Park Party is 54 percent full. Space for the featured races may still be available through Team in Training and other groups with reserved spots.

…Registration for the featured events of the February 22–24, 2013, fifth annual Princess Half Marathon Weekend are full, including the individual and team Half Marathons, the Race Retreat and the ChEAR Squad Platinum Package. The Royal Family 5K is 54 percent full, the post-5K breakfast is 54 percent full, the runDisney Kids Races are 62 percent full, and the Pasta in the Park Party is 51 percent full. ChEAR Squad is 62 percent full, and ChEAR Squad Gold and Silver packages are still available.

…Registration opens for the 2013 Expedition Everest Challenge on Tuesday, December 11, 2012. Individual registration starts at $105 per person and team registration start at $210 per two-person team. On January 30, those prices go up to $115 and $225 respectively, and they go up again on March 21 to $125 and $240, respectively. The related runDisney Kids Races for kids ages 4 to 10 has a $20 registration cost. Post-race party tickets start at $49 for adults (ages 10 and up) and $25 for kids (ages 3-9). Those prices go up to $59 and $30 on March 21.

…The MousePlanet Newsletter is here! The newsletter contains a recap of the week's articles (in case you miss a day), news that may have developed since the weekly Updates were published, and tips about what's happening at the Disney theme parks for the coming weekend. We'll also include a fun MouseAdventure bonus, such as an Eye Spy or a trivia question. To subscribe to our free newsletter, go to the MousePlanet main page and enter your email address in the top right box labeled "Join the MousePlanet Newsletter." Click Join, then fill out the fields in the registration page, including your first and last name. The Newsletter is free, but you must complete this registration to receive it, even if you may have signed up for one with us in the past.


Work continues on the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Crowd update

Advertisement

Crowd information and forecasts are provided by TouringPlans.com, the website of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, to help you better plan your trip to the Walt Disney World Resort. TouringPlans.com gathers wait time data from a team of in-park researchers and users of their Lines mobile phone application, and then predicts crowd levels for the next 365 days. Using a scale from 1 to 10, TouringPlans.com has a 90 percent accuracy of predicting the crowds to within 1 point, helping visitors prepare for their trips so they can "Do more. Wait less."

It should be an interesting week at Walt Disney World, with New Fantasyland officially launching! If you need tips for visiting during the holidays, check out our Disney Holiday eBooks! TouringPlans.com can also help you avoid falling into the typical tourist pitfalls, and will help you avoid the dreaded tour groups, with our per-park Crowd Calendar, Lines - Mobile Wait Times App that gives access to current and estimated wait times for attractions, and Touring Plans detailing the best plan of attack for hitting the attractions. Now more than ever, it's a good time to subscribe to TouringPlans.com to plan your strategy to avoid the crowds!

Below are the predicted resort-wide crowd numbers for select days generated by the TouringPlans professional statisticians as measured for the upcoming week. For the access to the full year and per-park crowd level predictions, visit our Crowd Calendar.

Date Overall
Tuesday, December 4, 2012 2 / 10
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 2 / 10
Thursday, December 6, 2012 3 / 10
Friday, December 7, 2012 4 / 10

Check out the Disney World Park Crowd Levels page on TouringPlans.com for park-specific predictions and recommendations on which days to visit and avoid particular parks!

  • New Fantasyland officially opens this week.
  • The newly refurbished Test Track officially opens this week.
  • Animal Kingdom is our Best Park on Friday.
  • Following a Touring Plan is important when crowd levels spike at the park you're visiting!

See Disney World crowds for the next 365 days.
Get Disney World wait times on your iPhone, Android or Smartphone.
Do more. Wait less.

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Coming up


Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

  • Snow White's Scary Adventures – closed permanently for conversion to Princess Fairytale Hall.
  • Be Our Guest Restaurant – now in soft-open status, official opening December 6.
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle – now in soft-open status, official opening December 6.
  • Gaston's Tavern – now in soft-open status, official opening December 6.
  • Bonjour Village Gifts – now in soft-open status, official opening December 6.
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid – now in soft-open status, official opening December 6.
  • Ariel's Grotto – now in soft-open status, official opening December 6.
  • Splash Mountain – closed January 2 through March 19 for refurbishment.
  • Main Street Bakery – closed January through early summer for conversion to Starbucks location.
  • Liberty Square Riverboat – closed for refurbishment February 1–7, 2013.
  • Princess Fairytale Hall – opens 2013.
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – opens 2014.

Epcot

  • Test Track – closed through December 5 for "reimagining."
  • Bistro de Paris – reopens in December as Monsieur Paul.
  • Boulangerie Patisserie – reopens in January in its new location.
  • Fountain View Cafe – closed March through mid-summer for conversion to Starbucks location.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow – now in dress rehearsals, official opening December 6.

Animal Kingdom

  • No known refurbishments.

Resorts

  • Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa:
    • Grand Floridian Spa closed through December 17 for refurbishment.
    • Sandy Cove shop closed through December.
    • Courtyard Pool closed through early December for addition of zero-entry area.
    • Gasparilla Grill & Games closed through December 17.
  • Disney's Contemporary Resort – California Grill closed February 2, 2013, through late summer 2013 for refurbishment.

Water Parks

  • Typhoon Lagoon – closed October 28 through January 5, 2013 for annual refurbishment.
  • Blizzard Beach – January 6, 2013 through March 16, 2013 closed for annual refurbishment.

Elsewhere

  • Palm Golf Course – closed for refurbishment December 3–9.
  • Oak Trail Golf Course – closed for refurbishment December 10–14.
  • Cirque du Soleil La Nouba – performs Tuesdays through Saturdays.
  • Splitsville Lanes & Lounge – opens December 8.

Current Discounts & Promotions

Passholder room discounts through end of year

A Passholder discount is available for most dates through December 24. Passholders can book this discount through the day of arrival if rooms are still available. As with all discounts, rooms available at these rates is limited, and minimum length-of-stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals. No group rates or other discounts apply. Campsites, 3-bedroom Grand Villas, and standard rooms at Disney's Art of Animation Resort are not included. Discounts range from 20 to 35 percent and availability varies by date.

You can make your reservation through the Walt Disney World Passholder website or by calling (407) 939-7859 or your favorite travel agent and mentioning discount code Q5M. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

Room-only discount for January through early March

You can now can book a room-only reservation at select Walt Disney World resorts for 15-35 percent off of standard rates most nights from January 2 through March 7, except January 18-20. Reservations must be booked by December 31.

Guests can receive 35 percent off at all Deluxe and Deluxe Villas Resorts, except for Disney's Wilderness Lodge and the Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, which both offer 25 percent off..

30 percent discounts are available at most Moderate Resorts, including Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort, and Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort Cabins.

Guests can also get a 25 percent discount at Disney's All-Star Sports Resort, Disney's All-Star Movies Resort, and Disney's Pop Century Resort

Fifteen percent discounts can be had at Disney's Art of Animation Resort, family suites only. Standard rooms in the Little Mermaid-themed section are excluded. Also excluded are Port Orleans French Quarter Resort, All-Star Music Resort, 3-bedroom Grand Villas, and Fort Wilderness campsites.

The number of rooms available at these rates is limited. Minimum length-of-stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals.

You can make your reservation through the Walt Disney World website or by calling (407) 939-7661 or your favorite travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

Magic Your Way package discount for January through early March

You can now book a room-only reservation at select Walt Disney World resorts for discounts on room, ticket, and dining packages most nights from January 2 through March 7. Value Resort package discounts apply to Quick-Service Dining Plans, while Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villas Resorts all offer discounts on the standard Disney Dining Plan. Reservations must be booked by December 31.

Packages are available at all resorts except for the standard rooms in the Little Mermaid-themed section of Disney's Art of Animation Resort, 3-bedroom Grand Villas, and Fort Wilderness campsites.

The discount codes offer are Q8J (for Disney Visa cardmembers) and T64 (for Disney Visa cardmembers) for Value resorts and Q83 (for all guests) Q85 (for Disney Visa cardmembers) for all other resorts. We do not have word on the general-availability codes yet.

The number of rooms available at these rates is limited. Minimum length-of-stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals.

You can make your reservation through the Walt Disney World website or by calling (407) 939-7661 or your favorite travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

Special PhotoPass+ deal

Disney's PhotoPass service provides a discount on Disney PhotoPass+ pre-arrival packages. For $149.95 plus tax, Walt Disney World guests receive a voucher to exchange for a PhotoPass+ card upon arrival at the resort, a Photo Gallery CD with over 400 stock photos ($39.95 value), a unique code to create and order a photo CD upon return from their trip ($169.95 value), print packages at select dining locations ($29.95 value each), and digital photos from select attractions ($14.95 value each). Applicable taxes will be charged to all orders.

This special offer is only available from this link or by calling the Guest Support line at (407) 560-4300 before you arrive at Walt Disney World Resort. All sales are final, and not eligible for an exchange or refund.

The package may take as long as 14 days to arrive, and you must bring your voucher from the package to redeem it, so make sure that you order far enough in advance to allow your materials to arrive.

Attractions currently participating in the program are Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, Expedition Everest, and Dinosaur. Current participating restaurants are 1900 Park Fare, 'Ohana, Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, Chef Mickey's, Cinderella's Royal Table, Tusker House Restaurant, Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue, and Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall.

2013 Military Salute offers

From now through September 28, 2013, active and retired U.S. military personnel can purchase 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with either the Park Hopper or Water Parks Fun and More option for $156 per ticket, plus tax (up from $138 last year), or with both the Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun and More options for $184 per ticket, plus tax (up from $165). No Base ticket is available with this offer.

These tickets expire after September 28, 2013. Blockout dates are December 24 to 31, 2012 and March 24 through April 4, 2013 at all ticketed locations, and July 4, 2013 at Magic Kingdom park only.

Eligible service members include active or retired members of the U.S. military including the U.S. Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reservists. Disney Military Promotional Tickets can be purchased at Shades of Green or at a participating military base (MWR/ITT) office. There is no tax charged for these tickets but they must be activated at a theme park ticket window. Tickets may also be purchased at Walt Disney World Park Ticket Offices and Guest Relations Offices where tax will be charged. Tickets may be purchased by active and retired military personnel for themselves and up to five additional family members or friends. One of the Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets purchased on each occasion must be for use by the Eligible Service Member or spouse. This offer is for active or retired members of the U.S. military, including the National Guard, Reservists and the U.S. Coast Guard. Valid military identification is required. The tickets are non-transferable and may not be resold.

You may upgrade the tickets to Seasonal Passes or Florida Resident Weekday Select Passes (for Florida Residents), or Annual Passes, Premium Annual Passes, or Disney Premier Pass with credit toward the upgrade based on the actual price paid. The no-expiration option and other upgrades, such as additional days, are not available.

In addition, specially priced rooms are available to active and retired U.S. military personnel at select Walt Disney World resorts for stays most nights through September 28, 2013, except for November 24, 2012, December 23–31, 2012, and March 25 through April 4, 2013.

For complete information regarding Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets and discounted resort rates, military personnel may call (407) 939-7830, visit the Walt Disney World website, or participating U.S. military base ticket offices.


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Mark (@MPMark) is a veteran of dozens of trips to Walt Disney World starting in 1972, with a few Disneyland trips thrown in for good measure. As a Disney stockholder and a Disney Vacation Club member, Mark is always in touch with what's going on with The Mouse. Mark serves as MousePlanet's Walt Disney World content coordinator. Mark is a senior information technology manager working for the State of New York. He lives in the suburbs outside Albany, New York, with his wife and son.