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Update for December 31, 2013 – January 6, 2014

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News and Views

Ring in the New Year at Walt Disney World | Show Your Disney Side Contest - win a Disney vacation | New cabanas coming to Castaway Cay | Team MousePlanet 2014 "Castle-to-Castle Challenge" | Construction update | Quick takes | Crowd update

Ring in the New Year at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World offers visitors quite a few options for ringing in the New Year, with nighttime celebrations and fireworks at three of the four theme parks, an all-night party at Disney Quest (in Downtown Disney), a party and buffet in Epcot, dancing on the Boardwalk, and special holiday menus at restaurants around the resort.

Of course, the reason that Disney offers so many options is because there are just so many people visiting Walt Disney World this week. The hotels are packed, the parks are packed—even the parking lots are packed. If you're preparing to spend your first New Year's Eve at Walt Disney World, here are our top seven tips for having a happy start to 2014:

Tip #1 – Pick a park—just one park. Crowds should be a little less crazy than during peak years simply because this is a midweek holiday, but it's almost guaranteed that both Magic Kingdom and Epcot will reach capacity at some point during the day, with gates being closed to new arrivals. You may find yourself locked out if you wait too long to arrive or spend the morning at Animal Kingdom and try to park-hop to the Magic Kingdom.

Tip #2 – Arrive as early as possible and if eligible, use Extra Magic Hour. We know it's a daunting prospect to arrive at the Magic Kingdom at 7:00 a.m. when you're planning to stay until midnight, but you'll get more done in the first two hours the parks are open than you will during the next 10.

Tip #3 – You may want to skip the nap. If you want to leave the park for a midday nap, check with the main entrance cast members before you leave to see what the current projections and recommendations are. The main entrance Cast Members—and certainly their leads and managers—should have some idea of what the attendance pattern are looking like, and how it compares to the projections. They may be able to recommend that you return by a certain time to minimize your chance of being locked out, or may tell you that it's not worth the risk to leave. If it's too crowded to leave, consider a nap-alternative, like a relaxing ride around the Walt Disney World Railroad, or a showing of The American Adventure.

Tip #4 – Grab a locker as soon as you arrive. If you're spending the whole day at the parks, you'll want a place to store your warmer clothes to avoid carrying them all day. Lockers sell out fairly early on the busiest days, so rent one as soon as you're inside the gates. Remember, if you decide to change parks, you can take your locker receipt with you.

Tip #5 – Use Fastpass. If you are eligible for Fastpass+, make your final selections; once the park opens, your options for changing times become increasingly limited. If you are using traditional Fastpass, get them as early as possible after you arrive, or risk standing in hours-long standby lines.

Tip #6 – Make dining reservations; it's still not too late. As of Monday night, table service restaurants in all four theme parks had availability for New Year's Eve lunch or dinner, including Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom; Hollywood & Vine in Disney's Hollywood Studios; Yak & Yeti in Animal Kingdom and Nine Dragons in Epcot. If you can't find the meal or restaurant you want, dine during off-peak hours to take advantage of (relatively) shorter waits at the counter-service locations.

Tip #7 – Use Disney transportation. As a transit-adverse Californian who almost always rents a car when visiting Walt Disney World it pains me to say this, but New Year's Eve is one of those times where you should leave your rental car at the hotel and use Disney's transportation. Depending on how crowded the parks and parking lots are, guests arriving in their own cars may be directed to park far away (think Hollywood Studios guests being sent to park at Epcot), or turned away entirely (without valid multi-day tickets in hand). Guests arriving on Disney's buses or by monorail skip right by the whole hassle.

New Year's Eve highlights by location

Magic Kingdom – By far the most popular location on New Year's Eve, the Fantasy in the Sky fireworks are simply magical. This park also has the longest operating hours of the four, so that should give you an idea of what the crowds will be like.
  • Park Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.
  • Extra Magic Hour: 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

Major entertainment offerings include:

  • Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas Parade – 12:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.
  • Main Street Electrical Parade – 7:00 p.m.
  • Holiday Wishes fireworks – 8:30 p.m.
  • Fantasy in the Sky fireworks – 11:50 p.m.
  • Celebrate the Magic projection show on Cinderella Castle – 8:15 p.m. and 11:35 p.m.
  • Dance party – in front of Cinderella Castle (check Times Guide for details)

Check the Times Guide for final confirmation and other entertainment options.


This is your last week to see the Once Upon a Christmas Parade at Magic Kingdom before the holiday season ends on January 5. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Epcot – Very popular with adults due to the number of fine dining options and bars around World Showcase, not to mention the holiday and New Year's versions of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth.
  • Future World: 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
  • World Showcase: 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.

Entertainment  offerings include:

  • Illuminations: Reflections of Earth (with holiday finale) – 6:30 p.m.
  • Illuminations: Reflections of Earth (with New Year's Eve finale) – 11:40 p.m.
  • Dance parties – throughout the park (check Times Guide for details)

Check the Times Guide for final confirmation and other entertainment options.

Epcot also hosts Fantasia 2013, a separate-ticket New Year's Eve party and buffet, from 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. in the World ShowPlace convention facility (located between and behind the UK and Canada pavilions). Tickets are $70 for adults ($45 for children). Call (407) WDW-DINE (407-939-3463) to ask about same-day availability; online reservations are not offered for this event.


Picket fences have been added along the grass areas between Future World and World Showcase in anticipation of crowds for New Year's Eve. High-end restroom trailers have also been added nearby. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Disney's Hollywood Studios – A good alternative for fireworks if Magic Kingdom is packed, and Epcot's Illuminations isn't your cup of tea. Hollywood Studios only offers fireworks a few nights a year, and they are spectacular. With Extra Magic Hours offered from Midnight to 2 a.m., you can start 2014 with lighter crowds than you might find in Magic Kingdom.

  • Park Hours: 8:00 a.m. to midnight
  • Extra Magic Hours: Midnight to 2:00 a.m.

Entertainment  offerings include:

  • Fantasmic – 6:30 p.m.; 8:00 p.m.; 10:00 p.m. (Get reserved seating when you purchase a "Taste of Hollywood to Go" boxed meal at Min & Bill's Dockside Diner from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
  • Countdown to New Year Dance Party featuring Mulch, Sweat and Shears – from 6:00 p.m. at the Sorcerer's Hat stage
  • Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special –  3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9 p.m.
  • Lights! Camera, Happy New Year! fireworks – 11:50 p.m.

Check the Times Guide for final confirmation and other entertainment options.

Animal Kingdom – Families with younger children who aren't going to last until midnight anyway might consider Animal Kingdom as a relaxing alternative to the crowds in the other parks. Extra Magic Hour for resort guests starts at 7 a.m., and you can spend the day and have a nice dinner before heading back to your hotel to tuck the kids into bed. Be sure to catch the Festival of the Lion King one last time before the show goes on hiatus and moves into its new theater.

  • Park Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Extra Magic Hour: 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

Entertainment  offerings include:

  • Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade – 3:45 p.m.
  • Festival of the Lion King – 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.; 12:30, 1:30, 2:30. 3:30. 4:30, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.
  • Finding Nemo - The Musical – 11 a.m.; Noon; 1:30, 3:00, 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.

On your way back to your hotel, use Resort Transportation to go to Magic Kingdom and watch the Electrical Water Pageant along Bay Lake (show times at 9; 9:15; 9:30; 9:45; 10:10 and 10:35 p.m.) for a low-key but charming evening event without needing to park-hop.

Check the Times Guide for final confirmation and other entertainment options.

DisneyQuest – Disney's 5-story indoor arcade hosts an extra-cost New Year's Eve party from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Tickets are $65, and include "unlimited access to DisneyQuest games and attractions, family fun, food and a DJ dance party in the atrium—complete with party hats, noisemakers and confetti blast at midnight." Call (407) WDW-DINE (407-939-3463) to make reservations.

Atlantic Dance – Adults 21 and over can dance their way into 2014 with this dance party at Disney's BoardWalk. Tickets are $37 per person, and include party favors and a champagne midnight toast, plus dancing with a video DJ. Call Call (407) WDW-DINE (407-939-3463) to make reservations.

Show Your Disney Side Contest - win a Disney vacation

We love contests, and here's another one—the Show Your Disney Side contest hosted by American Tourister.

Everybody has a Disney Side. That’s the side that laughs bigger, screams louder and lives life to the fullest. And American Tourister wants to share it with you and your family on the Disney Parks vacation of your dreams. Take our simple quiz to discover your Disney Side and the luggage best suited for you. Then enter for your chance to win a Walt Disney World or Disneyland vacation and luggage from American Tourister!

The grand prize is a four-night vacation to Walt Disney World or the Disneyland Resort, with the winner's choice of "themes." The various themes determine the components of each prize—check out the official rules to see all of the descriptions. My personal favorite is the WDW Pampered Royalty package, which includes one night in the Cinderella Castle Suite.

This contest ends January 20. Good luck!

New cabanas coming to Castaway Cay

Disney Cruise Line is about to add four new private cabanas on Castaway Cay, Disney's private Bahamian island. The 21 existing cabanas rent for as much as $500 per day, but demand is so strong that they are usually snapped up as soon as advance booking opens. [To see why I think they're worth the splurge for some travelers, read more about my Cabana Days on Castaway Cay.

The four new cabanas are under construction near the existing cabanas on the family beach, and are expected to be ready sometime this summer. Once they are completed, the new cabanas can be reserved online via the Disney Cruise Line website.

Team MousePlanet 2014 "Castle-to-Castle Challenge"

runDisney has the Coast-to-Coast Challenge and now Team MousePlanet has the "Castle-to-Castle Challenge"! We're challenging you to a virtual run/walk of 2,337 miles from Cinderella's Castle in Walt Disney World to Sleeping Beauty's Castle in Disneyland, straight across the U.S. You'll start in Orlando, Florida and travel through the states of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona on your way to the Happiest Place on Earth in Anaheim, California.

Participants will begin the journey following the WDW Marathon weekend with the goal to reach Disneyland in time for the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend. The miles start counting Monday January 13, 2014 with the challenge ending on Friday August 29, 2014.

While completing 2,337 miles in 33 weeks would be almost impossible alone, we know you can do it as a member of a team. Each team will consist of no more than five team members. Teams will be randomly assigned with the exception of families that would like to take on the challenge together.

Of course, Team MousePlanet will have surprises for you all along the way. A finisher's certificate will be awarded to all participants who complete the challenge by August 29, 2014. The first team to "reach" Disneyland also wins bragging rights on their accomplishment, as well as a little "something special" from Team MousePlanet.

Here's the scoop:

  • Register for the challenge by posting to our Team MousePlanet discussion forum. (free MousePad membership required):
    • All adult Challenge participants should be registered on MousePlanet (and if they aren't, sign them up!).
    • Families are welcome. Kids are welcome to team with a parent.
  • Each participant will be randomly assigned to a team (of up to five members), with the exception of family members. We'll send team assignment notifications by January 10, 2014.
  • The miles start counting on January 13, 2014. You are welcome to join at any time after this date.
  • Miles accumulate each month
  • To be fair, we can only credit back one month if participants join later in the year.
  • Miles can be run or walked out on the roads and trails, or in the gym on a treadmill:
    • Miles earned during actual race events will count, so don't forget to include them
    • Conversions of other sports such as biking and swimming to running miles do not count towards either challenge.
  • By the 15th of each month, send Lorree Tachell (RunningFool) a private message in MousePad with your total miles for the previous month. For example, report your January totals by February 15.
  • Reporting is on the honor system. We won't be checking Nike+ or any other tracking mechanism to verify participant miles but we know Team MousePlanet members are totally honest.
  • Results will be posted monthly by Lorree Tachell (RunningFool) on the Team MousePlanet discussion forum. Miles will be reported by team only; individuals will not be called out unless requested by their team.
  • And lastly, have fun! This challenge is just to keep us engaged and to keep us moving between runDisney events.

See you at the finish in Disneyland!

Construction Update

J. Jeff Kober ventured into a rainy Magic Kingdom to share some construction photos this week.


This view of the Seven Dwarf roller coaster rail shows one of the braking systems. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


The green areas await faux grasses to be planted along the cliffs. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Work continues on the load/unload cottage in front of the mountain. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


All of the boats at Pirates of the Caribbean have recently been completely overhauled. Not only is there a wood faux finish in the seats, but there is a gap allowing passengers to better grip the seat in front of them as they sit and stand up in the boat. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Pinocchio's Village Haus exterior has been completed, with new bench/planter style seating on both sides, and more space within its courtyard to host diners. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Heritage House, located next to the Hall of Presidents, is closing this week. It is believed that the product line at Yankee Trader will be brought to this store, leaving that space near the Haunted Mansion to offer more ghoulish delights. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Quick takes…

...2014 statements have been mailed to Disney Vacation Club members, reflecting the updated dues for the new year.

...Downtown Disney parking entrance 1 is now closed as construction continues on the Disney Springs project.


Vertical construction of the new Downtown Disney parking structure continues. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The MousePlanet Newsletter is here!

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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

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"Do more. Wait less."

Prepare for one of Walt Disney World's busiest weeks of the year. Enjoy one last week of mid level crowds before the peak Christmas season hits. 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, December 31, 2013 10 / 10
Wednesday, January 1, 2014 10 / 10
Thursday, January 2, 2014 8 / 10
Friday, January 3, 2014 9 / 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!

  • Sunday is the best day to visit the Magic Kingdom.
  • The resort crowd level on Saturday 10 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.
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Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. Email Stephanie here.
Talk about these stories and more on our Walt Disney World discussion forum here.

Resort Events

2013

  • 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 – 80%
    • January 9–11: Pasta Party in the Park – 75%
    • 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

  • Tomorrowland Speedway – closed January 6–12, 2014 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

  • 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
    • Surf's Up Pool – closed January 6–24, 2014 for refurbishment.
  • Polynesian
    • Never Land Club Children's Activity Center – closed for refurbishment January 28, 2014 through January 1, 2015.
    • Access to the east portion of the Polynesian Beach (closest to the Transportation and Ticket Center), as well as Sunset Point will be unavailable 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

  • Blizzard Beach – closed January 6 through March 17, 2014 for annual refurbishment.

Elsewhere

  • The Resort and Express monorail beam closes between 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily starting on January 21, 2014 for maintenance.
  • 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

Room Discounts from January 4 to April 12, 2014

Annual passholders enjoy a discount of up to 37 percent off regular room rates at select Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts from January 4 to 18 and March 14 to 29, 2014. Advance reservations required; other discounts available during this time period. Must book before April 12.

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 (annual passholder login required).

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).

From January 4 to 18 and March 14 to 29, 2014:

  • Up to 25% off Value Resorts – Disney's All-Star Music, All-Star Sports, Pop Century.
  • Up to 30% off Moderate Resorts – Disney's Port Orleans Riverside, Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach, the Cabins at Fort Wilderness.
  • Up to 37% 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 37% off Disney Vacation Club (Deluxe Villa) Resorts – Disney's Old Key West, BoardWalk Villas, Beach Club Villas, Saratoga Springs

From March 6 to 13, 2014 (Spring Break Travel):

  • 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

Check with a travel agent or Walt Disney World for other rate discounts during this time period.


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)

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 receive one free 5 x 7 character photo per day.


Discounts for Florida Residents

Room Discounts from January 4 to April 8, 2014

Florida residents enjoy a discount of up to 37 percent off regular room rates at select Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts from January 4 to 18 and March 14 to 29, 2014. Advance reservations required; other discounts available during this time period. Must book before April 8.

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).

From January 4 to 18 and March 14 to 29, 2014:

  • Up to 25% off Value Resorts – Disney's All-Star Music, All-Star Sports, Pop Century.
  • Up to 30% off Moderate Resorts – Disney's Port Orleans Riverside, Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach, the Cabins at Fort Wilderness.
  • Up to 37% 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 37% off Disney Vacation Club (Deluxe Villa) Resorts – Disney's Old Key West, BoardWalk Villas, Beach Club Villas, Saratoga Springs

From March 6 to 13, 2014 (Spring Break Travel):

  • 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

Check with a travel agent or Walt Disney World for other rate discounts during this time period.


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.




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Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix (@MousePlanetAVP) is an original MousePlanet staffer and manages to find time for all of this while running two retail stores, MouseShoppe and CharmingShoppe.