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Update for December 10 – 16, 2013

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

News and Views

ABC Christmas parade filmed at Magic Kingdom | Disney VoluntEARS support Toys for Tots | Outdoor seating additions in Fantasyland | Construction Update | Quick takes | Crowd update

ABC Christmas parade filmed at Magic Kingdom

Portions of the ABC Christmas Parade that is airing on Christmas Day were filmed this past weekend at the Magic Kingdom. Performances in front of the castle were recorded on Friday, and the Main Street parade portions were recorded on Saturday. Actor Neil Patrick Harris, who was also in town to narrate the Candlelight Processional at Epcot, hosted portions of the parade, and also recorded a musical number. 


Nick Cannon keeps the crowds entertained between takes during shooting for the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Lara Spencer tapes introductory segments for the parade. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


American Idol Season 12 winner Candice Glover performs "O Holy Night." Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Disney VoluntEARS support Toys for Tots

The Walt Disney Company continues its support of Toys for Tots this year through volunteer support, and monetary and toy donations. The company's support dates back to 1947 when Walt Disney designed the original Toys for Tots logo that is still used today. Walt Disney World Resort cast members collected more than 36,000 toys, and the VoluntEARS donated more than 6,000 hours to help the Marines sort the toys and register families to receive those donations. The company has also donated $200,000 to Toys for Tots, and $30,000 to Community Hope Center of Osceola County, the latter of which provides services to help homeless families.


Disney VoluntEARS help Marines sort items for Toys for Tots. Disney Photo.

Outdoor seating additions in Fantasyland

The "no man's land" area that was opened up in Fantasyland with the move of Dumbo to Storybook Circus has been mitigated by the addition of an outdoor seating area for Pinocchio's Village Haus. The new area is surrounded by a low fence and is centered around a new small fountain that resembles one you might find in a small European village. There is also a new planter that provides additional seating in the area.


The new outdoor seating area for Pinocchio's Village Haus is almost complete. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


New planters border the courtyard to Pinocchio's Village Haus. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Construction Update

Take a quick trip with us around the resort to check on construction progress:


The Disney Vacation Club kiosk near the Little Mermaid attraction is open for business. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


The inside of the new kiosk blends well with its New Fantasyland surroundings. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


A bridge for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train coaster is being completed and detailed. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Entry, queue, fencing and lighting elements are being added to the attraction. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Vegetation and trees are added, while the cottage of the Seven Dwarfs is visible in the background. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Rockwork along the New Fantasyland walkway is complete. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


The front area of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is still taking shape. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Quick takes…

…Les Glaces in France is selling gingerbread ice cream for the holidays.

…The #IncrediblesSuperDanceParty is replacing Club 626 in Tomorrowland with the same performance times as before: Mondays and Saturdays 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. and Wednesdays from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Question of the week

MousePlanet reader MommyTo3Boys1Girl is planning a trip to Walt Disney World in the spring next year and would like to know when would be the best time to visit. Have you vacationed at Walt Disney World in the spring? Share your thoughts and experiences on our MousePad discussion forum.

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Crowd Forecast

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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 10, 2013 1 / 10
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 2 / 10
Thursday, December 12, 2013 3 / 10
Friday, December 13, 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!

  • 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!

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Talk about these stories and more on our Walt Disney World discussion forum here.

Resort Events

2013

  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party – December 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20.
  • Candlelight Processional – through December 30. Dining packages on sale now.
  • Pop Warner Football – December 6–14. Participants are staying at Disney's All-Star Resorts, Caribbean Beach Resort, Coronado Springs Resort, and Pop Century Resort.
  • Holiday Time at Walt Disney World – through January 5, 2014
  • Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights – through January 5, 2014

2014

runDisney events and capacity updates

2014

  • Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – January 9–12.
    • 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) – Sold Out
    • January 9–11: runDisney Kids' Races – 75%
    • January 9–11: Pasta Party in the Park – 68%
    • 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 – 65%
    • February 21–22: runDisney Kids' Races – 72%
    • 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

  • "it's a small world" – closed through December 12 for refurbishment.
  • Casey's Corner – closed January 6 through February 15, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • Splash Mountain – closed January 6 through March 22, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • Magic Carpets of Aladdin – closed January 13–30, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • Liberty Belle Riverboat – closed January 21–30, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • The Barnstormer – closed February 3–5, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority – closed February 10 through March 27, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • The Plaza Restaurant – closed February 17 through March 15, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • Pinocchio Village Haus – closed February 17 through March 30, 2014 for refurbishment.

Epcot

  • No known refurbishments at this time.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • Studio Backlot Tour – closed January 5 through March 1, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • AFI Showcase – closed January 5 through March 1, 2014 for refurbishment.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • Kali River Rapids – closed through December 13 for refurbishment.
  • Festival of the Lion King scheduled to close on January 5, 2014 for move to a new theater—currently under construction. Estimated to be dark for six months.

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.

  • All-Star Sports
    • Arcade closed for conversion into a temporary grab-and-go food location. Expected to reopen in December.
    • Food court closed 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.
    • Grand Slam Pool – closed December 11–13 for refurbishment.
    • Surf's Up Pool – closed January 6–24, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • Pop Century – Hippy Dippy Pool closed through December 11 for refurbishment.
  • Polynesian
    • Never Land Club Children's Activity Center – closed for refurbishment January 1 through April 1, 2014.
    • Access to the east portion of the Polynesian Beach (closest to the Transportation and Ticket Center), as well as Sunset Point will be unavailable until December 2013 due to a scheduled refurbishment. Some rooms in certain room categories in impacted buildings have been taken off the market during the renovation period.
  • Port Orleans French Quarter – Doubloon Lagoon Pool closed January 13 through February 28, 2014 for refurbishment. Transportation will be provided for guests to use the Ol' Man Island pool at Port Orleans Riverside during this period.
  • Port Orleans Riverside – Magnolia Bend Building 80–85 pool deck closed January 20–21, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • Saratoga Springs – Congress Park Pool closed January 22–23, 2014 for refurbishment.

Water Parks

  • Typhoon Lagoon – closed through December 21 for refurbishment.
  • Blizzard Beach – closed January 6 through March 17, 2014 for refurbishment.

Elsewhere

  • Disney Palm Golf Course – closed through December 15 for refurbishment.
  • Disney Osprey Ridge Golf Course – permanently closed to play.
  • Downtown Disney Lots H, I, J, and K (in Westside area) closed until further notice for Disney Springs construction.
  • Cirque du Soleil La Nouba – performs Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Current Discounts & Promotions

Note: MousePlanet does not edit past Updates to reflect price increases; for up-to-date prices, check the most recent Walt Disney World Resort Update. For your convenience, we have grouped the discount offers based on the intended audience. Check out the category that best matches you, and pick the offer that works best for you. And keep those tips coming—let us know if you find a better or different offer, so we can share it with other readers!

Discounts for Everyone

Room Discounts from January 5 to March 5, 2014 and March 14 through April 12, 2014

A discount of up to 35 percent off regular room rates is available at select resorts for most nights from January 5 to April 12. Advance reservations required; book before December 31.

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.

You can make your reservation through the Walt Disney World 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).

  • Up to 20% off Value Resorts – Disney's All-Star Music, All-Star Sports, Pop Century.
  • Up to 25% off Moderate Resorts – Disney's Port Orleans Riverside, Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach, the Cabins at Fort Wilderness.
  • Up to 35% off Deluxe Resorts – Disney's Yacht Club, Beach Club, BoardWalk Inn, Animal Kingdom Lodge (standard or pool view), Contemporary, Polynesian Resort, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge (standard or woods view).
  • Up to 35% off Disney Vacation Club (Deluxe Villa) Resorts – Disney's Old Key West, BoardWalk Villas, Beach Club Villas, Saratoga Springs

Save up to 30% on Walt Disney World resort rooms March 6, 2014 through March 13, 2014

Special rates for resort hotels (excluding Art of Animation Little Mermaid rooms, Fort Wilderness campsites, the Villas at Grand Floridian, and 3-bedroom villas). Book through December 31. Advanced booking required. Full details on the offer website.

Discounts include:

  • Up to 15% off Value Resorts – Disney's All-Star Music, All-Star Sports, Pop Century.
  • Up to 20% off Moderate Resorts – Disney's Port Orleans Riverside, Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach, the Cabins at Fort Wilderness.
  • Up to 30% off Deluxe Resorts – Disney's Yacht Club, Beach Club, BoardWalk Inn, Animal Kingdom Lodge (standard or pool view), Contemporary, Polynesian Resort, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge (standard or woods view).
  • Up to 30% off Disney Vacation Club (Deluxe Villa) Resorts – Disney's Old Key West, BoardWalk Villas, Beach Club Villas, Saratoga Springs

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

Save up to 35% on Walt Disney World resort rooms from November 30 to December 24

Florida resident rates for resort hotels (excluding Art of Animation Little Mermaid rooms, Fort Wilderness campsites, the Villas at Grand Floridian, and 3-bedroom villas). Book through December 14.

Discounts include:

  • Up to 20% off – Art of Animation Family Suites (select dates only), All-Star Music, All-Star Movies, All-Star Sports, and Pop Century
  • Up to 25% off – Caribbean Beach Resort, Coronado Springs Resort (excluding suites), Port Orleans French Quarter, Fort Wilderness Cabins, Contemporary, Bay Lake Tower, Beach Club, and Beach Club Villas
  • Up to 35% off – Animal Kingdom Lodge (pool and standard views), BoardWalk Inn, Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Wilderness Lodge, and Yacht Club
  • Up to 35% off – BoardWalk Villas, Old Key West, Saratoga Springs, and Wilderness Lodge Villas

Read full details here (passholder login required).


Up to 35% off Tickets to Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba

Passholders can purchase $69 (plus tax) Category 2 tickets or $79 (plus tax) Category 1 tickets for Tuesday to Saturday performances on the following dates:

  • December 3 to December 20, 2013

Passholders may purchase tickets for themselves and up to 3 guests. Advanced purchase required. 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 Rewards VISA & Debit Card Holders

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

Save up to 35% on Walt Disney World resort rooms from November 30 to December 24

Florida resident rates for resort hotels (excluding Art of Animation Little Mermaid rooms, Fort Wilderness campsites, the Villas at Grand Floridian, and 3-bedroom villas). Book through December 14.

Discounts include:

  • Up to 20% off – Art of Animation Family Suites (select dates only), All-Star Music, All-Star Movies, All-Star Sports, and Pop Century
  • Up to 25% off – Caribbean Beach Resort, Coronado Springs Resort (excluding suites), Port Orleans French Quarter, Fort Wilderness Cabins, Contemporary, Bay Lake Tower, Beach Club, and Beach Club Villas
  • Up to 35% off – Animal Kingdom Lodge (pool and standard views), BoardWalk Inn, Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Wilderness Lodge, and Yacht Club
  • Up to 35% off – BoardWalk Villas, Old Key West, Saratoga Springs, and Wilderness Lodge Villas

Read full details here.


Discounts for U.K. Residents

2014 Free Dining offer for U.K. residents

2014 Free Dining offers for U.K. 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 U.K. residents only.




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


Comments

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


(Send an email to Stephanie Wien)

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.