Quantcast
MousePlanet.com


Update for January 7 – 13, 2013

Go directly to: News & Views | Join our Networks | Coming Soon | Refurbishment/Attraction Closures | Discounts/Promotions | Comments

News and Views

Festival of the Lion King to get a reprieve, move to Africa? | "Limited Time Magic" kicks off with "Bling in the New Year" dance party | Room-only and Magic Your Way package discounts for February through mid-June | Passholder room discounts through mid-March | DVC villas to get new bedding, Top of the World access extended | Construction update | Quick takes | Crowd Update
[Ed. Note: With the holidays in the rearview mirror, things should be back to normal, with no more missed Updates. While I said that I'd post short Updates the last couple of weeks, my family vacation schedule and illnesses upon our return prevented even that from happening. There are some great things in store here in the next couple of months, and I can't wait to share them with you! Happy 2013! – Mark]

Festival of the Lion King to get a reprieve, move to Africa?

Following last year's move of Dumbo the Flying Elephant from behind Cinderella Castle out to Storybook Circus to make room for New Fantasyland's Enchanted Forest, it appears that another popular attraction may be on the move to allow for some major construction in its place. It appears that site work on Pandora: The World of Avatar may be on hold until a new theater can be built for the Festival of the Lion King.


advertisement

The Festival of the Lion King was conceived as a low-cost, short-term show to fill out the offerings at Disney's Animal Kingdom until funding could be freed up to build Beastlie Kingdomme on that same area of land. However, the show proved so popular that it has survived for almost 15 years so far. In 2003, when it became apparent that the show was going to remain and the temporary theater needed some work, the venue was shored up, enclosed, and air conditioned. In recent months, however, it was rumored that the show would be closed to make room for construction of the new Avatar-based land.

For many years, there has been discussion of how the show fit with the Adirondacks theming of Camp Minnie-Mickey, and how it would be a better fit within Harambe, the town in the park's Africa area. It seems that the show will finally get its better fit.

An application submitted last month to the South Florida Water Management District (application #121217-6, permit #48-00714-P), however, shows that Disney has requested permission to construct a new theater behind the Tusker House Restaurant in an area that would span from the old parade gate behind Harambe to the roadway feeding the new parade gate on Discovery Island. The site, which would add 1.59 acres of developed land to the park, would fit the new theater, support buildings, and walkways to support the show. The documentation supporting the application includes diagrams that show a building that matches the size and shape of the existing Lion King theater building.

With the discussion at December's "Around Our World" media presentation that Pandora was not yet ready to begin construction, but that plans were continuing to evolve, it seems that there is time to keep the show alive until it can be properly moved without delaying the Avatar project.


Imagineer Joe Rohde, director James Cameron, Imagineer Bruce Vaughn, and Disney Parks Chairman Tom Staggs (l. to r.) discuss a possible design for Pandora: The World of Avatar in an image shown to the media during a December "Around Our World" presentation. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

"Limited Time Magic" kicks off with "Bling in the New Year" dance party

"Limited Time Magic," the big Disney Parks promotion for 2013, kicked off on December 30 with the announcement of the "Bling in the New Year" dance party in the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland. The one-week-only party was based at the Rockettower Plaza Stage, where guests could dance with their favorite characters in their New Year's party outfits, with a New Year's countdown every hour up through midnight. The party ran from December 30 through January 5.

The event was the first in a series of short-run events that will fill 2013 at the resort. Some events will run just one day, while others may last a whole season. Most will run a full week. The "Experience of the Week" will be announced in a variety of ways, from the official Disneyland and Walt Disney World sites to social media sites Facebook and Twitter to the Disney Parks Blog, and even in the parks themselves.

As part of the promotion, Disney Parks has declared that 2013 will be the "Year of the Ear," with new sets of collectible ear hats being issues each month of the year. January's five Disney Couture hats are now in the parks, and have been labeled "Steampunk," "Peacock," "Pink Bow," "Felt," and "Floral Dot." The hats are priced at $24.95 each and can be seen on the Disney Parks Blog.

Upcoming experiences include Valentine's Week, Independence Week, Dapper Dans Boy Band week, a Friday the 13th dance party with Disney villains that runs until the 13th hour (1 a.m.) in September, and more.

Updates will be posted each Friday on the Disney Parks Blog, and there will be updates on Twitter using the hashtag #LimitedTimeMagic. There's also a dedicated Limited Time Magic website. We'll also be posting updates here in the Walt Disney World Resort Update.


Crowds queue up to receive festive New Year's hats and horns at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


A dance party featuring Mulch, Sweat, and Shears takes place in front of the Sorcerer's hat prior to the fireworks. Crowds were actually moderate at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Conversely, the Magic Kingdom was slammed on New Year's eve and many of the other days between then and Christmas. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Traffic coming toward the Magic Kingdom came to a standstill on World Drive not far from the exit to the Walt Disney World Swan on Dolphin at around 9:45 in the morning. Shortly afterwards, the parking lot was filled to capacity. 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.


Remodeling is now completed on a new trail leading off of and then parallel to the existing trail to Fantasmic. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


The new walkway allows a number of options such as serving those who are taking advantage of the Fantasmic dinner packages. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Room-only and Magic Your Way package discounts for February through mid-June

You can now can book room-only and Magic Your Way package reservations at select Walt Disney World resorts for 15-30 percent off of standard rates most nights from February 18 through June 14, except March 24 through April 1. Reservations must be booked by March 7 for nights through March 23 and March 31 for nights through June 14.

Guests can receive 30 percent off at all Deluxe and Deluxe Villas Resorts, except for all Magic Kingdom resorts (Disney's Polynesian Resort, Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney's Wilderness Lodge and the Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge), which offer 20 percent off, and Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas, which is not available at a discount. Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge only offers the discount for Standard-view rooms.

Discounts of 25 percent are available at all 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 20 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.

If you add minimum 4-day Magic Your Way tickets to your room to make it a package, you will receive discounts on both your room and tickets.

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) 939-1283 or your favorite travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).


At DisneyQuest, a new Wreck-It Ralph area has been set up adjacent to the VenturePort. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


The area simply consists of half a dozen Fix-It Felix games. This location originally housed the entrance to a Cave of Wonders slide that took you downstairs, which closed only a few weeks after opening. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


The game is very true to the movie, and is a perfect fit for DisneyQuest. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Passholder room discounts through mid-March

A Passholder discount is available for most dates through March 22, except January 18-20. Passholders can book this discount through the day of arrival if rooms are still available.

Guests will receive 35 percent off at select Deluxe and Deluxe Villas Resorts, 30 percent off at select Moderate Resorts, and 25 percent off at select Value resorts. Moderate and Value Resorts have additional blackout dates.

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. Suites, 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) 939-1895 or your favorite travel agent and mentioning discount code S6Z. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).


Next door to DisneyQuest, Splitsville is open daily for business. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Splitsville takes much of its cue from a 1950s-style bowling alley. But here it also take its theme from more of a 1970s era when Walt Disney World first opened. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Upstairs is more adult-oriented, with bars and pool tables. It is exclusively open to adults in the weekend evening hours. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

DVC villas to get new bedding, Top of the World access extended

At the Disney Vacation Club Condominium Association Meeting last month, it was announced that the bedding at the resorts will be changed. Instead of the heavy bedspreads, all beds will now feature "triple-sheeted" bedding, which will consist of a flat sheet, a blanket, and a designer top sheet. These will set on top of the flat sheet wrapping the mattress. This style is becoming an industry standard because it allows for more frequent laundering of the bedding (the bedspreads required dry cleaning, which only occurred occasionally).

In other news from the DVC meeting, the benefit of access to Bay Lake Tower's Top of the World Lounge for members staying on points at any resort has been extended through 2013, except for July 3-4 and December 30-31. The target date for the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa remains fall 2013.

Thanks to Tim Krasniewski of DVCNews.com for the report.


Outside Splitsville, a new taco truck has taken up residency. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Further down Downtown Disney West Side is a new merchandise truck. 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:
    • Bus loop – electrical equipment installations.
    • Skyway Restroom – unspecified work.
    • Main Street Bakery – renovation.
    • Voyage of the Little Mermaid – construction.
    • Hall of Presidents – construction.
    • Pirates Adventure – graphics.
  • Epcot:
    • Main entrance plaza – electrical equipment installations.
    • International Gateway plaza – electrical equipment installations.
    • Innoventions East outdoor foods – general construction.
    • Garden Grill Restaurant – installation of rails.
    • Norway pavilion – roof work.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios bus loop – electrical equipment installations.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom:
    • Bus loop and guest parking – electrical equipment installations.
    • Kali River Rapids – irrigation.
    • Upcountry Landing – carpentry.
    • Asia – construction.
    • Character Landing – Fastpass sign.
  • Transportation & Ticket Center:
    • Ferryboat landing – roof replacement.
    • West Gate – roofing.
    • Monorail station – roof replacement.
    • Area – electrical equipment installations.
  • Typhoon Lagoon greeter pavilion – construction of shade structure.
  • Blizzard Beach:
    • Warming Hut – construction.
    • Ski Patrol Training Camp – construction.
    • Summit Plummet – construction.
    • Tike's Peak – construction.
    • Downhill Double Dipper load/unload area – general.
    • First Aid – roofing.
  • ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Field House – game day marquee.
  • Disney's Grand Floridian Resort:
    • Building 5, rooms 5103 and 5104 – room rehab.
    • General – construction.
    • Beach Pool – construction.
  • Disney's Polynesian Resort all guest lodge buildings – room rehab.
  • Disney's Wilderness Lodge – construction.
  • Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge – room rehab.
  • Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground – Loop 900 electrical rejuvenation.
  • Disney's Boardwalk Resort:
    • Kouzzina – mechanical.
    • Flying Fish Cafe – mechanical.
    • Luna Park Pool – construction.
    • Boardwalk Bakery – graphics.
  • Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resort kiddie pool – construction.
  • Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort lodge building 4400, rooms 4429 and 4430 – room rehab.
  • Disney's Coronado Springs Resort Dig Site pool – mechanical HVAC work.


The former Bistro de Paris re-opened as the Monsieur Paul Restaurant. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


A circular stairway takes you from the intimate foyer downstairs up to the restaurant above Chefs de France. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


The restaurant has been completely redecorated from the very formal, traditional white table cloth decor of Bistro. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Crushed velvets of purple and mint provide a very contemporary, yet distinctly French style. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


From upstairs, views look down on World Showcase lagoon and promenade. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Outside Monsieur Paul, crowds still gather for Boulangerie Patisserie, soon to be remodeled into a new ice cream parlor. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Behind the wall you can see finishing touches being made to part of the new 90 seat eating area for the expanded Boulangerie. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Quick takes …

…The new Disney Time Sweepstakes is giving away a Disney vacation each day during the month of January. Entrants can choose one of five different add-on packages for their trip. For more information and to enter, go to the Disney Time Sweepstakes website.

…Merchandise discounts for Premium Annual Passholders dropped effective January 1. Premium passes no longer get a deeper discount and join standard Annual Passes at the 10 percent discount level.

…After a relatively trouble-free fall, the complimentary Wi-Fi offered at Walt Disney World suffered major issues during the holiday week, as making and retaining connectivity was extremely difficult throughout the parks. In addition, once guests were connected, response time from the My Disney Experience iPhone app was terribly slow. This was the first major stress test for the Disney system, and demand apparently outstripped the infrastructure. As crowds recede, connectivity should improve. It's likely that Disney will beef up the infrastructure before the Presidents' Week rush, so it will be interesting to hear from guests how the system performs at that time. If you're going during that time, let us know how it's working!

Disney Junior Live on Stage at Disney's Hollywood Studios is in for some changes, as the show will be undergoing another of its periodic refurbishments to keep the show's lineup current with the TV network's current fare. This time, the show will close from January 14 through February 14 for the replacement of characters from Handy Manny and Little Einsteins with those from Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins. The new characters will join continuing characters from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Jake and the Never Land Pirates. The version at Disney California Adventure park is in for the same changes, which will take place from January 28 through early March.

…Walt Disney World has filed a permit application with the South Florida Water Management District (application # 121221-32, permit # 48-00714-P), currently in initial review status, that would allow them to build a third bus loop at the Magic Kingdom. The loop would be located just beyond the two existing bus loops, and would encompass some of the existing beachfront of Seven Seas Lagoon. The bus stops appear to be configured to accept oversized buses, which would allow Disney to run multi-segmented buses to the park from larger resorts. This would alleviate instances where a single bus is insufficient to pick up all guests waiting in line to go to the park.


Rafiki's Planet Watch now features a new four-segment film that highlights some of the conservation efforts being undertaken by Disney's Animal Programs. Disney has shared one of the four segments, and you can watch it above.

…According to AJ Wolfe over at the Disney Food Blog, a new restaurant may be coming to Epcot's Morocco pavilion. Tapaz would be a tapas, or "small plates," restaurant located between the Mo'Rockin' stage and the Friendship dock, and would feature 60 indoor and 120 outdoor seats. For more information, check out AJ's blog post.

…The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special played to huge crowds this year, with the show expanding to twice as many shows in a much larger theater. The show played at Disney's Hollywood Studios for the second year, moving from the ABC Sound Studio stage into the Premiere Theater and swapping spaces with the rotating Disney holiday shorts, which moved to the smaller venue. Last year, the Holiday Special packed the theater for six shows a day during its seven-day run. This year, during its 14-day tenure, the show played six heavily attended shows per day. While the shows didn't fill every seat in the larger theater, the crowds would have still overflowed the Sound Studio seating. The cast appeared to really enjoy doing the improvisational show again, and the audiences loved it as well. Perhaps this will eventually lead to the Who, What, and Wherehouse Players finding a new permanent home. We can only hope.


The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special was a highlight of the Christmas season at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

…Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort opened last month, offering a variety of treatments such as water therapy, rejuvenating citrus facial, sugar exfoliation body treatment, restorative hand and foot ritual with Chinese Jasmine oils, and a Princess Pedicure or Magical Manicure for children ages 4-12. A signature 80-minute Grand Floridian treatment features a special aromatherapy massage. The salon features 15 treatment rooms, as well as Jacuzzi rooms and lounges. Reservations can be made by calling 407-WDW-SPAS (407-939- 7727). On January 16, the spa at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort will close, at which point all spas, salons, and fitness centers at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels will be owned and operated by Disney. The Saratoga Springs location will reopen over the summer as Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. More information is available at the Walt Disney World Spas website.

…Star Wars Weekends takes place Friday through Sunday from May 17 through June 9 this year. Returning once again as celebrity hosts are the popular James Arnold Taylor and Ashley Eckstein. Taylor will be the host of the weekends themselves, while Eckstein will continue as host of the "Behind the Force" series of shows. We'll have the list of celebrity guests when they are released.

…Citricos is the latest Walt Disney World restaurant to offer a private dining experience. The restaurant at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa offers The Chef's Domain experience for up to 10 guests at $155 per person plus tax (but including gratuity). The six-course meal is available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. You can make reservations via the Walt Disney World Dining Line, 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463).

…In the new park guidemaps for January, Kodak and Verizon Mobile Magic ads have been removed and replaced with Disney's PhotoPass and My Disney Experience, respectively. In addition, Kodak Photo Spot icons have been removed and a notation regarding complimentary Wi-Fi has been added. All other mentions of Kodak sponsorship on attractions and the guidemaps themselves (including the "Official Sponsor Kodak" logo and "Guidemap Compliments of Eastman Kodak Company" on the front cover of the guidemaps) have been removed. Thanks to Paul Chadkin for his usual thorough park guidemap analysis.

…Registration for a races during this coming weekend's 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, the Stroller Walk Division of the 5K, and the runDisney Kids' Races are sold out. The Pasta in the Park Parties are 94 percent full (Thursday 80 percent full, Friday and Saturday full). ChEAR Squad is 88 percent full (Platinum sold out for all days) and the Race Retreat is 88 percent full (Half Marathon 90 percent full, Marathon and Goofy sold out).

…Registration for the featured events of the February 22–24, 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 64 percent full, the post-5K breakfast is 84 percent full, the runDisney Kids Races are 74 percent full (dashes sold out, Mickey Mile 51 percent full), and the Pasta in the Park Party is 82 percent full. ChEAR Squad is 76 percent full overall, with ChEAR Squad Gold 75 percent full and Silver less than 50 percent full.

…Registration is now open for the 2013 Expedition Everest Challenge. 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.

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."

This should be a relatively quiet week as we head in to marathon weekend. TouringPlans.com can 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, January 8, 2013 3 / 10
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 3 / 10
Thursday, January 10, 2013 3 / 10
Friday, January 11, 2013 3 / 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!

  • Wednesday and Sunday are the best days to visit the Magic Kingdom.
  • The Walt Disney World Marathon is this weekend.
  • The resort crowd level on Saturday and Sunday is 6 out of 10.
  • 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.

Join our networks

Facebook

MousePlanet

MouseAdventure
The MouseStation Podcast
 

Twitter


Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. Email Mark here.
Talk about these stories and more on our Walt Disney World discussion forum here.

Coming up


Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

  • Snow White's Scary Adventures – closed permanently for conversion to Princess Fairytale Hall.
  • Splash Mountain – closed January 2 through March 19 for refurbishment.
  • Mad Tea Party – closed January 7 through February 18 for refurbishment.
  • Main Street Bakery – closed January through early summer for conversion to Starbucks location.
  • Liberty Square Riverboat – closed for refurbishment February 1–7.
  • Princess Fairytale Hall – opens 2013.
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – opens 2014.

Epcot

  • 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

  • Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage – closed January 7-12 for refurbishment.
  • Disney Junior - Live on Stage – closed January 14 - February 14 for replacement of Handy Manny and Little Einsteins with Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins.

Animal Kingdom

  • Kali River Rapids – closed January 6 through February 15 for refurbishment.

Resorts

  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas – Uzima Springs Pool slide closed January 14-February 8 for refurbishment.
  • Disney's Contemporary Resort – California Grill closed February 1 through late summer for refurbishment.
  • Disney's Bay Lake Tower Resort – Bay Cove Pool slide closed February 4-15 for refurbishment.
  • Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resort – Stormalong Bay Pool slide closed January 16-25 for refurbishment.
  • Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resort – Stormalong Bay kiddie pool slide closed February 1-12 for refurbishment.
  • Disney's Boardwalk Resort – Boardwalk Bakery closed January 2 through April 1 for refurbishment.
  • Disney's Boardwalk Resort – Luna Park feature pool closed January 28 through March 1 for refurbishment. The two quiet pools will remain open, and guests wishing a feature pool experience during their stay will be able to use the Stormalong Bay complex at Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts during the refurbishment.
  • Disney's Old Key West Resort – sand castle pool slide closed January 24 through February 15 for refurbishment.
  • Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa – High Rock Springs Pool slide closed January 15-February 8 for refurbishment.

Water Parks

  • Blizzard Beach – January 6 through March 16 closed for annual refurbishment.

Elsewhere

  • Cirque du Soleil La Nouba – performs Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Current Discounts & Promotions

Passholder room discounts through mid-March

A Passholder discount is available for most dates through March 22, except January 18-20. Passholders can book this discount through the day of arrival if rooms are still available.

Guests will receive 35 percent off at select Deluxe and Deluxe Villas Resorts, 30 percent off at select Moderate Resorts, and 25 percent off at select Value resorts. Moderate and Value Resorts have additional blackout dates.

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. Suites, 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) 939-1895 or your favorite travel agent and mentioning discount code S6Z. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

Room-only and Magic Your Way package discounts for February through mid-June

You can now can book room-only and Magic Your Way package reservations at select Walt Disney World resorts for 15-30 percent off of standard rates most nights from February 18 through June 14, except March 24 through April 1. Reservations must be booked by March 7 for nights through March 23 and March 31 for nights through June 14.

Guests can receive 30 percent off at all Deluxe and Deluxe Villas Resorts, except for all Magic Kingdom resorts (Disney's Polynesian Resort, Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney's Wilderness Lodge and the Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge), which offer 20 percent off, and Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas, which is not available at a discount. Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge only offers the discount for Standard-view rooms.

25 percent discounts are available at all 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 20 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.

If you add minimum 4-day Magic Your Way tickets to your room to make it a package, you will receive discounts on both your room and tickets.

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) 939-1283 or your favorite travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

PhotoPass+ pre-arrival discount

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.


Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. Email Mark here.


Comments

Discuss this article on MousePad. (Direct link to the article's thread)


(Send an email to Mark Goldhaber)

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.