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Update for April 8 – 14, 2014

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News and Views

Disney Parks facing lawsuit over Disability Access Service | Disney hints at Fastpass+ changes | Disney's Polynesian Resort construction changes | New Disney Springs restaurant announced | Disney worker attacked at Art of Animation Resort | Construction Update | This week at the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival | Quick takes | Crowd update

Disney Parks facing lawsuit over Disability Access Service

by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix and first published in yesterday's Disneyland Park Update

Parents of 16 children with developmental disorders and cognitive impairments filed a lawsuit last Thursday (April 3, 2014) against the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Inc. regarding the Disability Access Service. The lawsuit was filed in California, and alleges that the policy, implemented in October 2013 at both the California and Florida resorts, violates the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act and California's Unruh Civil Rights Act. The individual plaintiffs have filed additional counts, including breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts today issued the following statement:

"Disney Parks have an unwavering commitment to providing an inclusive and accessible environment for all our guests. We fully comply with all ADA requirements and believe that the legal claims are without merit."

The company also denies claims that the theme parks refuse to vary their policy to meet individual guest needs:

"Our Disability Access Service is designed for guests who, due to certain disabilities, cannot tolerate extended wait times at attractions. In circumstances where the service might not meet guests needs, we work individually with guests to ensure we are able to accommodate them."

The lawsuit acknowledges that people with developmental disorders and cognitive impairments can have a wide range of abilities and impairments, but note that the disabled plaintiffs, "like other persons with cognitive impairments are mentally and physically incapable" of:

  • Waiting for significant periods of time in a line or queue.
  • Traveling across a park to the site of an attraction only to be told to come back later. The lawsuit likens requiring disabled visitors to obtain a return time via the DAS program to be akin to placing food in front of someone who doesn't understand the concept of time, and telling them they cannot eat until later.

According to the lawsuit, both of these factors "will induce meltdowns in the large majority of persons with cognitive impairments, including the disabled Plaintiffs."

Along with these general issues, the lawsuit details the specific needs of some of the plaintiffs in an effort to show how DAS fails to meet their needs. For example:

  • One plaintiff must visit a specific list of attractions in a specific order.
  • One plaintiff must ride the same attraction over and over again.
  • One plaintiff has meltdowns that include a wild flailing of the arms.
  • One plaintiff simply shuts down, falls to the ground, and refuses to move.

The 176-page lawsuit details the differences between Disney's former Guest Assistance Card (GAC) policy and the new Disability Access Service (DAS), and contends the new policy fails to meet the needs of visitors with developmental disorders and cognitive impairments.

The lawsuit praised the previous GAC program:

"Prior to October of 2013, Disney's system for accommodating disabled persons special needs was universally enjoyed and appreciated by the community of persons touched by cognitive impairments… With the Guest Assistance Card, though guests were not always expressly promised immediate access to the attractions, immediate access was precisely what Disney, through its employees, routinely delivered. The disabled Plaintiffs caretakers knew they could rely upon immediate access when they visited the Disney Parks. Disney would not make them travel all the way to an attraction only to be told to leave and come back later; Disney did not make them wait in a line for more than a few minutes. Very little risk of over-stimulation or meltdown ever arose."

The lawsuit also praised Disney employees for their treatment of guests with disabilities with the previous GAC policy:

"[E]mployees always appeared to have been trained to care about Plaintiffs special needs. Actually, the employees were so talented in this role that it did not appear they had to be trained to care; it appeared they simply did care, naturally. They never did anything which was designed or prone to inflict embarrassment or shame or humiliation upon the disabled guest and his or her companions."

According to the complaint, all this changed on October 9, 2013 with the implementation of the DAS. Citing the company's years of experience with the GAC program, and the research that went into creating the DAS offering, the lawsuit states:

"Disney's knowledge is so extensive, and Disney's new Disability Access Service is so obviously discriminatory and so outrageously contrary to Disney's own knowledge of such guests special needs, that it is inconceivable that the Disability Access Services discriminatory impact upon Plaintiffs is an accident."

The complaint goes on to allege that Disney either deliberately designed the program to reduce the number of guests with autism or cognitive impairments who visit the parks, or saw that the number of these guests visiting dropped after the new policy was implemented and recognized this change as a "benefit" to the company.

The lawsuit also claims that Disney employees "turned overnight into a terrible new version of themselves" following the implementation of this new policy:

"[C]ourtesy was replaced with rudeness, acceptance with suspicion, understanding with impatience, consideration with discourtesy. The switch from respect for Plaintiffs needs to disdain for Plaintiffs presence was so broad, and so consistent, and so immediate, that Disney clearly trained its personnel to engage in behavior that is calculated to deter Plaintiffs from ever returning to the Parks in the future."

The lawsuit also points out the contradiction inherent in requiring guests to wait in line to demonstrate their need to avoid waiting in other lines:

"The entire DAS is predicated upon the concept that Disney will accommodate Plaintiffs, not by relieving them of the burden of waiting, but by relieving them of the burden of waiting in lines. However, without exception, when each Plaintiff who has visited the Parks since October 9, 2013 arrived at the Parks, he or she reported as required by Disney to Guest Relations, and was immediately met with an extended wait, in line, just to obtain the DAS card."

Additional claims and concerns in the lawsuit include:

  • Guests using the DAS program are required to "complete the stigmatizing procedure of having a photograph taken" in order to obtain a DAS card, where the same is not required of typical guests.
  • Guests using the DAS program usually wait longer than typical guests because of the need to return to a Guest Relations kiosk and get a new return time for each additional attraction.
  • Disney and/or Disney employees have anonymously posted messages and videos to social media sites "well-scripted, positive messages" about the DAS program designed to counteract complaints.
  • The company helped publicize news reports about "rented invalids" and other abuses of the GAC program to provide an excuse for implementing the new program.
  • Disney is inconsistent in providing individualized accommodation for guests with developmental disorders and cognitive impairments, giving some added benefits to those who complain loudest, while denying the same to other guests with identical needs.

The lawsuit also notes that Disney has a secret "Magic List" of guests who receive additional benefits not afforded to the disabled community at large:

"Disney began inconsistently, arbitrarily and capriciously doling out still another occasional accommodation, internally known as the Magic List. The Magic List is a secret list of persons to whom Disney will automatically extend, without the stigma of a Disability card, and without a mandatory photograph, and without the newly ingrained disrespect of Disney employees, five immediate-entry, no-appointment ride passes"

The lawsuit seeks an injunction against the current DAS program as it is applied to visitors with developmental disorders and cognitive impairments, and asks for a court-approved program to replace it, along with monitoring by the court to ensure Disney's compliance. The plaintiffs also seek damages, litigation costs, and "such other relief as this Court may find just and equitable."

Disney hints at Fastpass+ changes

Last week, the Disney Parks Blog reported possible changes to the new Fastpass+ program, which allows resort guests to make three ride and attraction reservations at one Walt Disney World park per day.

In addition to the official announcement that MagicBands are now available to Walt Disney World day guests, the post described the possibility of adding additional Fastpass+ reservations:

"We've heard from a number of guests that they would like to add additional Fastpass+ entitlements... so we are working on providing them with the ability to add and enjoy additional entitlements on the day of their visit."

According to the post, once visitors use all three Fastpass+ reservations they've already made, they can add another at any of the kiosks located around the park. Once visitors ha've used their fourth Fastpass+ entitlement, they can pick yet another attraction at a Fastpass+ kiosk.

Disney also responded to visitor feedback regarding the absence of using Fastpass+ reservations when park hopping, saying, "We're working on a service enhancement to add that feature to Fastpass+ as well."

Officials did not provide an official roll-out date for these enhancements, but said future announcements would be made via its Disney Parks Blog.

Disney's Polynesian Resort construction changes

Disney's Polynesian Resort officials are sending guests with upcoming room reservations information about changes they will see during the massive construction project. According to Tikiman's April update, there are a number of closures that have already happened and more on the way in upcoming weeks and months.

Last week, Polynesian Resort guests received a letter in their rooms that as of April 1, the resort's arcade would be closed. The letter did not say when, or if, the arcade would reopen.

Captain Cooks is now scheduled to close tomorrow, April 9, a change from the original March 31 date that the resort announced. The resort hopes to have Captain Cook's reopen sometime in July, but has not yet announced an official date.

The Polynesian Resort plans to begin lobby construction,, including the waterfalls and kids area, sometime in April.

Other scheduled construction areas at the Polynesian Resort include:

  • The Neverland Kids Club – scheduled to reopen in late May, which is pushed back from the originally projected April 28 date.
  • The Great Ceremonial House – scheduled to be completed by December 2014, but a delayed start may push that date back a bit.
  • The Nanea Volcano Pool – scheduled to close July 28 and reopen sometime in March 2015
  • The new Disney Vacation Club bungalows
  • Rooms in the Tahiti and Rapa Nui resort areas
  • Trader Jack's and Samoa Snacks – scheduled for repairs between May and late August.

New Disney Springs restaurant announced

The Orlando Business Journal reports that a new restaurant is opening in Disney Springs in the area at Pleasure Island in Downtown Disney, where the former 8-Traxx and Mannequins clubs used to call home. The report describes the latest Disney Springs eatery as consisting of two floors, with a new dining area, kitchen, and cast and guest restrooms.

The permit states Whiting-Turner Construction is the project's contractor.

According to the report, The Patina Restaurant Group, based in Los Angeles, is the driving force behind the new restaurant. Current Walt Disney World visitors can experience Patina's cuisine if they dine at Via Napoli Ristorante E Pizzeria, Tutto Italia, and Tutto Gusto in Epcot's Italy pavilion .

Disney Springs is scheduled to be completed sometime in 2016 and will include new shops, restaurants, and entertainment options.

Disney worker alleges attack at Art of Animation Resort

NBC 6 South Florida News reports that a Disney's Art of Animation Resort worker says she was attacked while on the job. A housekeeper told the Orange County Sheriff's office that on March 28, a man entered the room she was cleaning and attacked her. The housekeeper said she fought off the attacker, who fled the scene. The worker suffered numerous scratches and was taken to the hospital for treatment, according to deputies. In a statement, Walt Disney World said it was working closely with law enforcement to find the suspect. Anyone with information relating to the case can call Crimeline at (407) 423-8477.

Construction Update

Crews continue to work around Walt Disney World to improve the grounds, build new attractions and buildings, and improve the overall guest experience. We snapped just a few of the projects around the parks and resorts:

Disney's Animal Kingdom


Crews add a new queue to the Theater of the Wild to help separate crowds entering Finding Nemo from those only passing through the area. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


The new Festival of the Lion King show building emerges like a fortress castle along coastal locations like Mombasa. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Crews work to build more coastal buildings near the new Festival of the Lion King show building. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Looking through the former Camp Minnie-Mickey, one can see that the old Pocahontas theater has not yet been removed. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Across the lake from the old Pocahontas theater, construction crews demolished the remaining areas of the former Camp Minnie-Mickey. Photo by J. Jeff Kober

Magic Kingdom


The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train boarding station is close to completion as opening day nears. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Construction crews add new props along one of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train's flat track areas. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Crews redrape areas of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as they continue work on emergency egress paths. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


One major change around the hub can be seen between the Tomorrowland Terrace and Plaza restaurants, where crews removed a large planter for easier crowd movement. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Disney's Hollywood Studios


Crews work to level trees and foliage behind and just east of the Goofy Film parking lot at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Updated parking lot signs at Disney's Hollywood Studios stand ready to help visitors locate their cars after a long day at the park. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Disney Hollywood Studios visitors will notice new speed limit signs that indicate a driver's current speed. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Disney's Polynesian Resort


Wyland Galleries, the Polynesian's art store, closed its doors recently as part of the resort's construction project. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Crews redesign a major section of the Polynesian's parking lot to have cars park in a different direction and to add handicap parking areas. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


Construction continues on the Polynesian's new water suites with the roofs showcasing a more Polynesian style. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

This week at the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

The flowers continue to bloom, delicious aromas fill the air and retro music can be heard throughout Epcot at this year's Flower &Garden Festival. If you're heading down to the festival to experience the fun and beauty, take along our guide to the scheduled presentations and entertainment offerings.

Tour information:

  • The Gardens of the World Tour – is a three-hour tour led by a Disney Horticulturist. Theme park admission required and not included. Tickets are $64 per person, plus tax, and guests must be age 16 and up. Call 407-WDW-TOUR to make reservations, or check at Epcot Guest Relations for availability.
  • The English Tea Garden Tour – is a no-cost 20-minute tour presented by Twinings of London. Sign up at the Tea Caddy. Space is limited.
Activity Time Location

Tuesday, April 8

   

Gardens of the World Tour

9:00 a.m. to noon

Epcot

"Straw Bale Gardens–Breaking New Ground presented by Joel Karsten"

Noon., 3:00 p.m.

Design&39;s Stage

"Planting Pointers"

1:00, 4:00 p.m.

Festival Center

English Tea Garden Tour

3:45, 6:15 p.m.

Tea Caddy

Wednesday, April 9    

"Straw Bale Gardens–Breaking New Ground!"

Noon. 3:00 p.m.

Designer's Stage

"Planting Pointers"

1:00, 4:00 p.m.

Festival Center

English Tea Garden Tour

3:45, 6:15 p.m.

Tea Caddy

Thursday, April 10    

Gardens of the World Tour

9:00 a.m. to noon

Epcot

"Straw Bale Gardens–Breaking New Ground!"

Noon, 3:00 p.m.

Designer's Stage

"Planting Pointers"

1:00, 4:00 p.m.

Festival Center

English Tea Garden Tour

3:45, 6:15 p.m.

Tea Caddy

Friday, April 11    

Gardens of the World Tour

9:00 a.m. to noon

Epcot

"Florida Foliage presented by Tom MacCubbin"

11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m.

Greenhouse Stage

Amy Matthews from Renovation Raiders

Noon, 3:00 p.m..

Designer's Stage

"Planting Pointers"

1:00, 4:00 p.m.

Festival Center

English Tea Garden Tour

1:00, 3:45, 6:15 p.m.

Tea Caddy

Flower Power Concert Series: The Village People

5:30, 6:45, 8:00 p.m.

American Gardens Theater

Saturday, April 12    

"Florida Foliage presented by Tom MacCubbin"

11:00 a.m.; 2:00 p.m.

Greenhouse Stage

Amy Matthews from Renovation Raiders

Noon, 3:00 p.m..

Designer's Stage

"Planting Pointers"

1:00, 4:00 p.m.

Festival Center

English Tea Garden Tour

1:00, 3:45, 6:15 p.m.

Tea Caddy

Flower Power Concert Series: The Village People

5:30, 6:45, 8:00 p.m.

American Gardens Theater

Sunday, April 13    

"Florida Foliage presented by Tom MacCubbin"

11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m.

Greenhouse Stage

Amy Matthews from Renovation Raiders

Noon, 3:00 p.m..

Designer's Stage

"Planting Pointers"

1:00, 4:00 p.m.

Festival Center

English Tea Garden Tour

1:00, 3:45, 6:15 p.m.

Tea Caddy

Flower Power Concert Series: The Village People

5:30, 6:45, 8:00 p.m.

American Gardens Theater

Monday, April 14    

Gardens of the World Tour

9:00 a.m. to noon

Epcot

"Gardening with Nature presented by Don Kendzior"

Noon, 3:00 p.m..

Designer's Stage

"Planting Pointers"

1:00, 4:00 p.m.

Festival Center

English Tea Garden Tour

3:45, 6:15 p.m.

Tea Caddy

Quick takes…

...The Disney Centerpiece store located in Downtown Disney is introducing a variety chalkboard-inspired home decor merchandise, including picture frames, plates, pillows, figurines, bowls, cups, wine glasses, and more. The pieces feature favorite Walt Disney World characters (such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Lumiere), attractions (Enchanted Tiki Room, Haunted Mansion and Jungle Cruise, to name a few), along with park icons and Disney-inspired quotes. Visit the Disney Parks Blog for a sneak peek at this new merchandise.

...You can enter to win a trip to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin resorts by entering the Express Your Peepsonality Sweepstakes. The grand prize is a trip for four to the Swan and Dolphin including airfare, accommodations, round-trip transportation to and from Orlando International Airport, four 4-day park hopper tickets, and a $200 gift certificate to cover food and other expenses. Visit the Express Your Peepsonality Sweepstakes website for full details on the entry process. Entry deadline is April 30, 2014.

The MousePlanet Newsletter is here!

The newsletter contains a recap of the week's articles (in case you miss a day), news that may have developed since the weekly Updates were published, and tips about what's happening at the Disney theme parks for the coming weekend. We'll also include a fun MouseAdventure bonus, such as an Eye Spy or a trivia question. To subscribe to our free newsletter, just enter your e-mail in the box below.

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We are 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

"Do more. Wait less."

Crowds should be manageable this week but will be high next week. 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, April 8, 2014 4 / 10
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 5 / 10
Thursday, April 10, 2014 4 / 10
Friday, April 11, 2014 5 / 10
 

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

  • Wednesday is the best day to visit the Magic Kingdom.
  • The resort crowd level on Friday 5 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

2014

  • Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival – March 5 through May 18
  • Artist Showcase – April 7 through May 18
    • April 7-May 18: Rinse Bath and Body Co, World Showcase, Epcot
    • April 7-April 20: David Doss, Epcot World Showcase
    • April 9-13: Greg McCullough, Art of Disney, Downtown Disney Marketplace
    • April 10-13: Larry Dotson, Art of Disney, Downtown Disney Marketplace
    • April 21-May 4: Kumquat Growers and Tropical Blossom Honey Co., World Showcase, Epcot
    • April 23-27: Greg McCullough, Art of Disney, Epcot
  • Epcot EGG-stravaganza – April 10–20
  • Easter services at Walt Disney World – Sunday, April 20. Fantasia Ballroom of Disney's Contemporary Resort.Parking at the Contemporary Resort will be restricted to guests with hotel reservations only, and all others must take Disney transportation to reach the Contemporary Resort. Guests staying at a hotel on the Monorail line (Grand Floridian or Polynesian Resorts), or who will park at the Transportation and Ticketing center can take the Resort Monorail to the Contemporary Resort. All other resort guests can take a bus from their Walt Disney World hotel to the Magic Kingdom, and from there transfer to a shuttle bus to the Contemporary Resort.
    • Catholic Mass: 8:00 a.m.
    • Protestant Service: 9:00 a.m.
    • Catholic Mass: 10:15 a.m.
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train media event – April 30 through May 2. This may indicate the ride will open to the public May 1 or 2.
  • Expedition Everest Challenge – May 3
  • Perfect Petals Brunch featuring the Disney Collection by Vera Bradley– May 4
  • Star Wars Weekends Rebel Rendezvous – May 15, 2014
  • Star Wars Weekends
    • Weekend I: May 16–18, 2014
    • Weekend II: May 23–25, 2014
    • Weekend III: May 30 to June 1, 2014
    • Weekend IV: June 6–8, 2014
    • Weekend V: June 13–15, 2014
  • Car Masters Weekend – June 14–15 in Downtown Disney.
  • Disney Trade Celebration Imagination Gala September 5–7 at Epcot
  • Epcot International Food and Wine Festival – September 19 through November 10
  • Disney's Night of Joy 2014 – Friday, September 5 and Saturday, September 6.
  • Disney Fit Challenge – September 26-28. Registration opens Tuesday, March 18. More information on the Disney Sports website.
  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend – October 3–4
  • Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic – October 31 and November 1. Tickets and packages now on sale.
  • Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend – November 7–8
  • Destination D: Attraction Rewind – November 22-23. Additional details expected to be released this spring. The event was originally announced for July 26-27, but was rescheduled.
  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party – 2014 event dates not yet announced.
  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party – 2014 event dates not yet announced.

2015

  • Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – January 7–11, 2015.
  • Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend – February 19–22, 2015.

runDisney events

If 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.

2014

2015

  • Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – January 7–11, 2015. Registration opens April 22, 2014. No additional details available at this time.
  • Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend – February 19–22, 2015. Registration opens July 15, 2014. No additional details available at this time.

For current information on registration dates and capacity, see Lorree Tachell's runDisney Race Capacity Updates in the Team MousePlanet forum.


Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

  • Pinocchio Village Haus – closed through March 30 for refurbishment.
  • Swiss Family Treehouse – closed March 17 through 28 for refurbishment.
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – closed April 7–9 for refurbishment.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean – closed April 28 through May 1 for refurbishment.
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover – closed May 3 through June 30 for refurbishment.
  • Astro Orbiter – closed May 3 through August 20 for refurbishment.

Epcot

  • No known refurbishments at this time.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • No known refurbishments at this time.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • Festival of the Lion King – closed for move to its new theater, currently under construction. Estimated to be closed until July/August 2014.

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.

  • Polynesian – Never Land Club Children's Activity Center closed for refurbishment through January 1, 2015.
  • Polynesian – Refurbishment of the lobby is slated to begin March 14.
  • Polynesian – Captain Cook's closed for refurbishment March 14 through June 14.

Water Parks

  • No known refurbishments at this time.

Elsewhere

  • The Resort and Express monorail beam closes between 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday – Friday starting on January 21 due to construction work at the Polynesian Hotel. The construction site is near the Monorail beam.
  • 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.
  • Downtown Disney Bridge 4 and restrooms on Pleasure Island are temporarily closed for ongoing construction work.
  • 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

Save up to 35%* on rooms at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels

Disney released a number of summer travel discounts covering arrivals between June 15 and August 28, 2014. They are tiered by resort and length of stay, with a 5% bonus for stays of 6 nights or longer

Offer Details:
  • Save from 30 percent (for 1–5 nights) to 35 percent (for 6+ nights) at Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, Disney's BoardWalk Inn & Villas, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge (standard/pool view rooms), Disney's Polynesian Resort, Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, Disney's Old Key West Resort, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Disney's Wilderness Lodge (standard/woods view)
  • Save from to 20 percent (for 1&ndah;5 nights) to 25 percent (for 6+ nights) at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney's Port Orleans - Riverside,Disney's Fort Wilderness Cabins, Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's Beach Club Resort Villas, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge (savanna/club rooms) & Villas, and Disney's Wilderness Lodge (courtyard/club rooms) & Villas
  • Save up from 15 percent (for 1–5 nights) to 20 percent (for 6+ nights) at Disney's All-Star Sports Resort, Disney's All-Star Music and Disney's Pop Century Resort
  • Save from 10 percent (for 1–5 nights) to 15 percent (for 6+ nights) at Disney's Art of Animation Family Suites

 


Memory Maker pre-arrival discount

Disney's PhotoPass service provides a discount on Disney Memory Maker pre-arrival packages. For $149 plus tax, Walt Disney World guests will be able to digitally download any photos associated with their Memory Maker account, including photos taken on attractions. The advanced purchase price is a $50 savings. Applicable taxes are charged to all orders.

This special offer is only available from this link, and must be made more than three days prior to arrival at the Walt Disney World Resort. All sales are final, and not eligible for an exchange or refund.


Discounts for Annual Passholders

Room discounts for April 12-June 15, 2014

Walt Disney World released new discounts for annual passholders. The discounts vary by resort and days of the week of a resort stay.

Offer examples:

  • Value resorts: For stays most Sunday-Thursday nights April 27 to May 29, 2014: $82 per night, plus tax. For stays most Friday-Saturday nights May 2 to May 24, 2014: $101 per night, plus tax
  • Moderate resorts:For stays most Sunday-Thursday nights April 27 to May 29, 2014: $136 per night, plus tax. For stays most Friday-Saturday nights May 2 to May 24, 2014: $153 per night, plus tax.
  • Deluxe resorts: For stays most Sunday-Thursday nights April 27 to May 29, 2014: $225-$240 per night, plus tax; For stays most Friday-Saturday nights May 2 to May 24, 2014: $240-$248 per night, plus tax.

The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Offer excludes 3-bedroom villas, Disney's Art of Animation Resort - The Little Mermaid standard rooms and The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Length of stay requirements may apply. Additional per adult charges may apply if more than 2 adults per room. Check-in date must fall within valid travel dates. Passholders must present a valid Walt Disney World annual pass at check-in. Get more information at the official Annual Passholders special rates web page.

Discounts for Disney Rewards VISA & Debit Card Holders

Room and ticket discount for travel dates from February 24 through June 15

No discounts available March 6–14 and April 13–19. Buy a minimum four day ticket and get a day free.

Room discounts include:

  • 5% off All Star Movies, Port Orleans French Quarter, Bay Lake Tower, suites at Coronado Springs
  • 15% off Art of Animation family suites
  • 20% off select rooms at Wilderness Lodge & Villas, Contemporary, Grand Floridian and Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas, Beach Club Villas
  • 25% off Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, Port Orleans Riverside, Cabins at Ft Wilderness
  • 30% off Saratoga Springs, Old Key West, Boardwalk Villas, Wilderness Lodge, Beach Club, Yacht Club, Polynesian Resort, Animal Kingdom Lodge

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 through June 2, 2014

Florida residents have a new room discount valid for travel dates from April 27 through June 2.

Every hotel is included and the specific discounts are not listed--each guest has to call or go online to see availability and pricing. There is no set percentage discount.

An example of savings available:

  • Value resorts are $82/night plus tax for Sunday-Thursday stays and $101 per night plus tax for Friday and Saturday stays
  • Deluxe resorts range from $225-$240 per night plus tax on Sunday-Thursday, and $240-$248 per night, plus tax for Friday and Saturday stays

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. Offer excludes campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms and The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

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).

 


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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