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Update for August 27 – September 2, 2013

Go directly to: News & Views | Join our Networks | Resort Events | Refurbishments and Attraction Closures | Discounts and Promotions | Comments

News and Views

Another bus crashes at Walt Disney World | Epcot Starbucks holds soft opening | Housekeeper accused of stealing | Villains set to take over the Studios | California Grill opens reservations | Construction update | Quick takes | Crowd update

Another bus crashes at Walt Disney World

Another bus accident has occurred at Walt Disney World on the heels of an August 16 crash, in which a cast member died when her car was struck by a Disney's Magical Express bus. The most recent crash involved an SUV and a Disney World resort bus in the area of the Hess gas station near the Magic Kingdom entrance. There were no injuries reported from the incident. Channel 13 has some photos taken by a witness to the crash. That area is a confusing intersection, so it's not surprising that a fender bender would occur.

Starbucks at Epcot hosts cast member preview

The new Starbucks location in the Fountain View space has had its first soft opening for cast members and guests to give staff time to settle into their new space. The official opening date is still set for next Wednesday, September 4. The inside of the space reflects its Future World surroundings, while still having some familiar Starbucks touches. In addition to food and beverages, the store has space for bulk coffee and other retail sales. DisneyLifestylers.com has video and photos from this past weekend's soft opening event.


A peek into the new Epcot Starbucks location from outside as its receiving some finishing touches. Photo by Jeff Kober.

Disney housekeeper caught in sting operation

After receiving multiple complaints of money missing out of hotel rooms at the All-Star Resorts, Disney security set up a sting operation with Osceola detectives to catch the alleged perpetrator. Surveillance equipment was installed in a room, and recorded 29-year-old hotel worker Bruna Francois allegedly removing money that had been placed there by the police. Francois was arrested and charged with theft; she has been suspended without pay, as reported by WFTV Channel 9.

The Villains take over this September on Friday the 13th

The villains take center stage at Disney's Hollywood Studios this September 13 from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. (the 13th hour) for Unleash the Villains. A DJ, dancing, and villain meet-and-greet areas will all center around Hades' Hangout in front of the giant hat at the center of the park. Select attractions will be open for party-goers and the night will be capped off by the Villainy in the Sky fireworks show. It's likely that the party will be much like the post-race event after the Tower of Terror 10-miler, where attractions included Star Tours, Toy Story Mania, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, and the Tower of Terror.   

Reservations now open for California Grill, opening September 9

The long-anticipated moment is here, and the California Grill is once again accepting reservations. The restaurant at the top of the Contemporary Resort reopens on Friday, September 9 with a new menu, including additional entrees baked in the wood-fired oven and a 12-course omakase tasting menu from the sushi chefs (which in Japanese means "I'll leave it to you," in which diners do not choose from the menu but are instead presented with dishes by the chef). The new decor takes its inspiration from the artwork of Disney Legend Mary Blair, whose mural still serves as a centerpiece of the hotel's lobby. Fans of reservations for fireworks viewing will be pleased to hear that an additional viewing area has been incorporated to accommodate more people during the Magic Kingdom's pyrotechnic displays.

Construction update

Jeff Kober caught up on construction progress of the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian and other areas of the Walt Disney World Resort this week.


A view of the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Villas from a new path that connects Disney's Grand Floridian Resort to Disney's Polynesian Resort. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


These rooms are on the lagoon side of the Villas; interior work is currently being performed. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


The first elements of landscaping are being placed around the exterior. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


This building, on the wedding pavilion side of the complex, may be an additional entry area for the Villas. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


The Palm Golf Course is going through extensive re-landscaping. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Registration now open for MouseAdventure World Explorers

Join us on November 16 and 17 for an exploration of Walt Disney World like no other. Our fifth Florida MouseAdventure event takes players all around Walt Disney World in a two-day challenge that is sure to make you see WDW in a whole new light.

Registration for our two-day MouseAdventure World Explorers event in Walt Disney World is now open online at MouseAdventure.com.

Pricing for this two-day event is $175 for a team of at least two players up to a maximum of four players. Registration does not include park admission (park hopper admission is required; water park admission is not).

The Coast to Coast Challenge

Every team that participated in the Spring 2013 MouseAdventure event in Disneyland and plays in MouseAdventure World Explorers V in Florida, will receive a special recognition of their dedication.

And, for the true competitors, there will be a special prize awarded to the team with the highest combined score for the Spring 2013 MouseAdventure Musical event at Disneyland and MouseAdventure World Explorers V in Florida. This prize will be awarded at the resort results meet in Florida.

To participate in this challenge, teams must have a score from the Spring 2013 MouseAdventure Musical event at Disneyland (Basic or Advanced division) and complete the Fall 2013 event in Walt Disney World. The majority of players from the team must participate in both events.

Quick takes…

...Disney's Hollywood Studios closes at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, August 28 for a private party.

...Disney Vacation Club resort apparel and merchandise is available online for a limited time until September 19. The items are the same items that you would find at the Walt Disney World DVC resorts as well as other DVC properties, like the Hilton Head Island resort.

...Menu price increases are being rolled out resort-wide, including a 10-cent increase on the price of drinks. In addition, the Contempo Cafe (the Contemporary Resort's quick service location) has a new menu that includes a lobster roll available all day, and new grilled mahi-mahi and barbequed spare ribs entrees on the dinner menu.

...Prince Eric's Village Market, a healthy snack kiosk outside of the Little Mermaid attraction, is now open.

...The Epcot Food & Wine Festival Eat to the Beat Concert series line-up has been finalized. New additions to the list include The Go-Gos, Edwin McCain, The Manhattan Transfer, Wilson Phillips, Spin Doctors, and Christopher Cross. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will once again finish off the series on the final weekend of the festival from November 9 to 11. 

...Curl by Sammy Duvall has reopened in its new location next to Splitsville in Downtown Disney's Westside. The former store location in the Pleasure Island area is being demolished and integrated into the new Disney Springs complex.


The square footage of the new Curl store is much greater than the previous location in Pleasure Island. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

...A continuing reminder to those planning a stay at the All-Star Sports Resort in the coming months: The hotel's food court is now closed for refurbishment through mid-December. During this time, snacks and drinks will be available from a grab-and-go location in the former arcade, which was recently converted to this purpose. Hot food will be available from the All-Star Music Food Court, with Disney offering bus service between the resorts. Both the new food court and the restored arcade are expected to reopen in December.


This arcade area at Disney's All-Star Sports is being utilized as a temporary food and beverage location while End Zone food court is being remodeled. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

...Limited Time Magic continues this week with the Dog Days of Summer in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom. Pluto, Dug, and Bolt are among the characters you may see.

Are we looking for you?

Do you write or blog about Walt Disney World or Disney-related topics? Do you have a Disney-related YouTube channel or independent website? If so, we want to meet you. MousePlanet is looking for established writers to cover new areas of the Disney universe, including the international Parks and Resorts.

If you are interested in learning how your blog or site can work with MousePlanet, or you have an idea for a great new column, please contact us—we'd love to hear from you!

Crowd Forecast

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."

The summer crowds are starting to disappear but a good touring plan is still important! 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, August 27, 2013 3 / 10
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 3 / 10
Thursday, August 29, 2013 4 / 10
Friday, August 30, 2013 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!

  • Tuesday is the best day to visit the Magic Kingdom.
  • The resort crowd level on Saturday 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.

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

Resort Events

2013

  • Night of JoySeptember 6–7
  • Unleash the Villains – September 13, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party – September 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27, 29; October 3, 4, 6, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 20, 22, 24, 25, 27, 29, 31; and November 1.
  • Epcot International Food & Wine FestivalSeptember 27 to November 11
  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend October 4–5
  • EasyWDW.com reports that Disney Hollywood Studios will close at 6 p.m. on October 26 due to a private event for the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Holiday Time at Walt Disney World – begins November 8
  • Opening night for Osbourn Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights – November 8
  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party – November 8, 11, 14, 15, 17, 21, 22; and December 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20.
  • Wine & Dine Half Marathon WeekendNovember 8–9
  • MouseAdventure World Explorers VNovember 16–17. Registration is now open at the MouseAdventure page.
  • Candlelight Processional – November 29 through December 30. Dining packages go on sale July 9.

2014

runDisney events and capacity updates

2013

  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend – October 4–5.
    • October 5 (a.m.): Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run – Sold Out
    • October 5 (a.m.): runDisney Kids' Races – 63%
    • October 5 (p.m.): The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler – Sold Out
    • October 5 (p.m.) – 6 (a.m.): Disney Villains Hollywood Bash – 58%
       
  • Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend – November 8–9.
    • November 8 (p.m.): Wine & Dine Pre-race Taste – 87%
    • November 9 (a.m.): runDisney Kids' Races – 56%
    • November 9 (a.m.): Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5K – Sold Out
    • November 9 (p.m.): Wine & Dine Half Marathon – Sold Out
    • November 9 (p.m.): Finish Line Party – 72%

2014

  • Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – January 9–12. Final cost increase August 14, 2013
    • January 9: Family Fun Run 5K – Sold Out
    • January 10: 10K – Sold Out
    • January 11: Half Marathon – Sold Out
    • January 12: Marathon – Sold Out
    • January 11–12: Goofy Challenge (half and full) – 98%
    • January 9–11: runDisney Kids' Races – 51%
    • January 9–11: Pasta Party in the Park – 51%
    • January 9–12: Dopey Challenge (5K, 10K, half, and full) – Sold Out
       
  • Disney's Princess Half-Marathon Weekend – February 21–23.
    • February 21: Disney Royal Family 5k
    • February 21–22: runDisney Kids' Races
    • February 22: Enchanted 10k – Sold out
    • February 23: Disney's Princess Half Marathon – Sold out
    • February 22–23: Glass Slipper Challenge (Enchanted 10k and Disney's Princess Half Marathon) – Sold out

Do you participate in (or are considering signing up for) runDisney events? Visit our Team MousePlanet forum on the MousePad discussion board, where you can join our community of health-minded readers and staff.


Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

  • Enchanted Tiki Room – closed through August 28 for refurbishment.
  • Jungle Cruise – closed through September 30 for refurbishment.
  • Space Mountain – closed September 3–5, 10–12, and 23–26 for refurbishment.
  • Cinderella's Royal Table – closed September 10–13 for refurbishment. [No longer showing on the official refurbishment list; check to confirm before your visit]
  • Peter Pan – closed September 30 through November 13 for refurbishment.
  • Walt Disney World Railroad – closed September 30 through November 20 for refurbishment.
  • "it's a small world" – closed December 2–12 for refurbishment.
  • Princess Fairytale Hall – opens 2013.

Epcot

  • Fountain View – reopens September 4 after conversion to Starbucks location.
  • Spaceship Earth – closed August 18–28 for refurbishment.
  • New rest room between America and Japan pavilions – scheduled to open Fall 2013.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • Muppet*Vision 3D – closed through September 2 for refurbishment.
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Playground – closed September 3 through November 19 for refurbishment.
  • Both parades (Disney Channel Rocks and Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun Parade) have ended their run. No new parades have been announced.

Animal Kingdom

  • No known refurbishments.
  • Festival of the Lion King scheduled to move to a new theater—currently under construction—sometime in 2014. No dates have been announced.

Resorts

As reported in July, some refrigerators in non-Disney Vacation Club rooms at Walt Disney World are being replaced due to a product defect. All Walt Disney World Resort rooms with the exception of DVC Villas, the family suites at the Art of Animation and All-Star Movie resorts, and the cabins at Fort Wilderness are impacted. Disney says "the schedule for replacing the refrigerators at these Resorts is expected to last several months."

In the interim, if you have a reservation at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel and need a refrigerator for medical reasons, we recommend contacting your resort directly to inquire about availability during your trip. The hotel should be able to arrange for one if your room does not yet have a new refrigerator, but supplies may be limited while they work to replace all of the malfunctioning units. Remember, Value resorts do not include in-room refrigerators.

  • All-Star Movies – feature icons refurbishment through September 20.
  • All-Star Music – feature icons refurbishment through September 20.
  • All-Star Sports
    • Feature icons refurbishment through September 20.
    • Arcade closed for conversion into a temporary grab-and-go food location. Expected to reopen in December.
    • Food court closed August 5 through mid-December for refurbishment. During this time, snacks and drinks will be available from a grab-and-go location in the former arcade. Hot food will be available from the All-Star Music Food Court, and Disney will offer bus service between the resorts.
  • Contemporary Resort
    • California Grill – closed through September 8 for refurbishment.
    • Guest elevator renovations – through December 8
  • Grand Floridian – convention center parking lot refurbishment August 5–7
  • Polynesian
    • Soft goods replacement in guest rooms through October 4
    • Volcano pool closed September 9–20 for refurbishment.
  • Pop Century – feature icons refurbishment through October 2
  • Port Orleans French Quarter – lodge building window frame and shutter painting through August 20
  • Port Orleans Riverside – bridge and bus stop vine removal and painting through August 30
  • Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa – grandstand pool closed August 25 through September 14

Water Parks

  • Typhoon Lagoon – closed October 27, 2013 through January 4, 2014 for refurbishment.

Elsewhere

  • Disney Palm Golf Course – closed through mid-November for refurbishment.
  • Disney's Osprey Ridge Golf Course – permanently closed for play.
  • Cirque du Soleil La Nouba – performs Tuesdays through Saturdays. Will not be performed on the following 2013 dates: September 17–21 and November 5–6
  • Cap'n Jack's at Downtown Disney is permanently closed.

Current Discounts & Promotions

Discounts for everyone

Room discounts August 16 through December 23

A discount of up to 30% off regular room rates is available at select resorts for most nights from August 16 through September 26. Advance reservations required.

As with all discounts, rooms available at these rates are limited, and minimum length-of-stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals. No group rates or other discounts apply. Campsites, three-bedroom Grand Villas, and standard rooms at Disney's Art of Animation Resort are not included. Discounts vary by accommodation type and date, and availability varies by date. Moderate and Deluxe Resort suites may be available at a lower discount - check with your travel agent. Full details on the offer website.

Book by September 15 for reservations from September 29 through November 9; book by November 3 for reservations from November 10 through November 22 and November 30 through December 23.

You can make your reservation through the Walt Disney World Passholder website or by calling (407) 939-7926 or your favorite travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

Resort Category Resort Name Discount
Value Resorts Disney's All-Star Music, All-Star Sports, All-Star Movies, Pop Century, Art of Animation Family Suites* (*select nights only) Up to 15%
Moderate Resorts Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter, Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach, the Cabins at Fort Wilderness Up to 20%
Deluxe Resorts Disney's Yacht Club, BoardWalk Inn, Animal Kingdom Lodge (standard or pool view), Polynesian Resort, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge Up to 30%
Disney Vacation Club (Deluxe Villa) Resorts Disney's Old Key West, BoardWalk Villas, Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, Saratoga Springs Up to 30%

Free Fall Dining

First Disney announced a new Free Dining offer for U.K. residents, then an offer for Disney Visa cardholders visiting selected dates this September. Now the Fall Free Dining offer is available without using a Disney Visa card. Check in at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel from September 29 to October 2, October 18 to November 2, November 11 to 23, or December 12 to 22 and everyone in your party gets free dining. Stay at a:

  • Value Resort – receive the Quick Service Dining plan for free. You can upgrade to the Standard or Deluxe dining plan by paying the difference.
  • Moderate, Deluxe, or Deluxe Villa Resort – receive the Standard dining plan. You can upgrade to the Deluxe dining plan by paying the difference.

There are some restrictions:

  • You must purchase a 6-night/7-day Magic Your Way package (including room and theme park tickets) for very member of your party.
  • You must book your travel by September 15.
  • You must book the same tickets and dining plan for every member of your party.
  • Children ages 3–9 must order from the children's menu where offered; children under age 3 are not eligible for free dining.
  • This offer excludes the campsites at Fort Wilderness, the Art of Animation Resort, All-Star Movies, Port Orleans French Quarter, the Villas at Grand Floridian, and all 3-bedroom Villas.

For full details, visit the Disney special offer site.

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 more than 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 are 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 might 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.


Discounts for Annual Passholders

Passholder room discounts August 16 through September 26

A discount of up to 35% off regular room rates is available for annual passholders at select resorts for most nights from August 16 through September 26. Advance reservations required (book by September 26). More details can be found on the offer website (AP login required). Additional information on sample discount rates not listed on the Disney site (provided in the table below) may be found at MouseSavers.

As with all discounts, rooms available at these rates are limited, and minimum length-of-stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals. No group rates or other discounts apply. Campsites, three-bedroom Grand Villas, standard rooms at Disney's Art of Animation Resort, and the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian are not included. Discounts vary by accommodation type and date, and availability varies by date. Moderate and Deluxe Resort suites may be available at a lower discount - check with your travel agent.

You can make your reservation through the Walt Disney World Passholder website or by calling (407) 939-7926 or your favorite travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).

Resort Name Discount
Art of Animation Family Suites 20%
Disney's  All-Star Music, All-Star Sports, Grand Floridian, Contemporary (select rooms), Pop Century, Polynesian 25%
Disney's Port Orleans Riverside, Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach, the Cabins at Fort Wilderness 30%
Disney's Beach and Yacht Clubs, Beach Club Villas, BoardWalk Inn, BoardWalk Villas, Animal Kingdom Lodge (standard or pool view), Contemporary (select rooms), Saratoga Springs, Wilderness Lodge, Villas at Wilderness Lodge, Old Key West

35%

20% off Tickets to Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba

Passholders save 20% off Category 2 tickets for Tuesday to Saturday performances through September 14. Passholders may purchase tickets for themselves and up to 3 guests. A current, valid annual pass must be presented at the box office to receive the discount when picking up tickets. To purchase tickets, call (407) 939-7328.


Discounts for Disney Visa cardholders


 

20% off food at Paradiso-37 in Downtown Disney until October 31

Disney Visa cardholders receive 20% off food purchases when you pay with a Disney's Visa Card and/or Disney Rewards Redemption Card until October 31, 2013. Cardmembers must bring a printed coupon (available at the Disney Rewards site) to be eligible for the discount. Discount applies to food only.

20% off select guided tours

Disney Visa cardholders receive 20% off the non-discounted price of selected guided tours for up to 10 people. The cardholder must participate in the tour, and pay with a Disney's Visa Card and/or Disney Rewards Redemption Card. Tours included:

  • Magic Kingdom Park
    • Disney's Family Magic Tour
    • Disney's Keys to the Kingdom Tour
    • Disney's The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour
    • Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom Tour
  • Epcot
    • Gardens of the World (offered seasonally)
    • The UnDISCOVERed Future World
    • Disney's Dolphins in Depth
    • Epcot DiveQuest
    • Epcot Seas Aqua Tours
    • Epcot Behind the Seeds (15% discount)
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park
    • Wild by Design
    • Backstage Safari
  • Multiple Theme Parks and Backstage Areas
    • Backstage Magic
    • Disney's Holiday D-Lights (offered seasonally)
    • Disney's Yuletide Fantasy (offered seasonally)

10% off select restaurants

Disney Visa cardholders receive 10% off the check when you pay with a Disney's Visa Card and/or Disney Rewards Redemption Card (be sure to request the discount). Discount excludes alcohol.

  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge – Sanaa (Lunch)
  • Disney's Contemporary Resort – The Wave (Breakfast and Lunch)
  • Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground – Trail's End Restaurant (Breakfast and Lunch)
  • Disney's Old Key West Resort – Olivia's Café (Breakfast and Lunch)
  • Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa – Turf Club (Lunch)
  • Disney's Wilderness Lodge – Whispering Canyon Café (Lunch)
  • Disney's Yacht Club Resort – Captain's Grill (Breakfast and Lunch)
  • Downtown Disney Area – Cap'n Jack's (Lunch)

10% off merchandise

Disney Visa cardholders receive 10% off at participating Disney-owned retail location when you spend a minimum of $50 and pay with a Disney's Visa Card and/or Disney Rewards Redemption Card (be sure to request the discount). Read all of the restrictions on the Disney Visa website.

Free 5x7 character photo at a private meet and greet location at Epcot.

Present your Disney's Premier Visa Card or Disney Rewards Visa Card for access to a private character meet and greet at Epcot for the cardholder and up to 5 guests. The event is hosted daily from 1pm - 7pm inside Innoventions West at Epcot. You'll recieve one free 5 x 7 character photo per day.


Discounts for Florida residents

Florida resident hotel offers

The Waldorf Astoria Orlando has announced Florida resident rates valid through September 5. Residents receive 10 percent off of the best available rate, along with free transportation to the Walt Disney World Resort. Book using the Florida resident offer website.

The Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort has announced Florida resident rates valid through September 5. Residents receive 10 percent off of the best available rate, along with free transportation to the Walt Disney World Resort. Book using the Florida Resident offer website.

Save up to 35% on Walt Disney World resort rooms

Florida resident rates for resort hotels (excluding Art of Animation Little Mermaid rooms, Fort Wilderness campsites and 3-bedroom villas) end September 26.

Discounts include:

Resort Name Discount
Art of Animation Family Suites 20%
Disney's All-Star Sports, All-Star Music, Pop Century, Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Animal Kingdom Lodge (Savanna, Arusha and Club levels), Port Orleans French Quarter 25%
Disney's Coronado springs (most rooms), Caribbean Beach, Port Orleans Riverside, and Fort Wilderness cabins 30%
Disney's Beach Club, Yacht Club, Contemporary Resort (for garden and Bay Lake views), BoardWalk Inn, Wilderness Lodge,  Animal Kingdom Lodge (pool and standard views), Saratoga Springs, Old Key West, BorardWalk villas, Wilderness Lodge Villas, Beach Club Villas

35%

Information provided by Mary Kraemer of MouseEarVacations.com (link).


Discounts for US Military

2012-13 Military Salute offer

From now through September 28, 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. Blockout dates are March 24 through April 4 at all ticketed locations, and July 4 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 four-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.

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.

2013-14 Military Salute offer

From August 12, 2013, through September 24, 2014, 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 $169 per ticket, plus tax (up from $156 last year), or with both the Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun and More options for $198 per ticket, plus tax (up from $184). No Base ticket is available with this offer.

These tickets are valid September 29, 2013, through September 27, 2014. Blockout dates December 20–31, 2013 and April 13–20, 2014,at all ticketed locations; and July 4 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 four-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 27, 2014 with the exception of the following blockout periods:

  • November 28–30, 2013
  • December 23–31, 2013
  • April 14–19, 2014

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.


Discounts for UK residents

2014 Free Dining offer for UK residents

2014 Free Dining offers for UK residents have been released. From the information posted on the Virgin Holidays website, it appears the 2014 program offers free Quick Service Dining Plan plan when booking at a Moderate resort, and free Dining Plan when booking at Deluxe resorts, Old Key West or Saratoga Springs. There are also offers for a free $200 Disney Gift Card and/or a 14-day ticket for the price of a 7-day ticket depending on travel dates. These particular offers are valid for UK residents only.


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Growing up in Upstate New York, Stephanie (@MPStephanie) made frequent family trips to Walt Disney World in Orlando, which instilled an early love for Disney theme parks. When her work took her to Orange County in California, she naturally became a frequent visitor to Disneyland, and developed a love for the park that started it all. Stephanie now lives in San Francisco's East Bay area and works as an environmental engineer. She has also completed many runDisney races, including the Walt Disney World marathon in 2007 and 2008 as a part of Team in Training, and the Goofy Challenge in 2013. She makes as many trips as she can to experience the Disney magic, especially as part of the MouseAdventure staff team.