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Update for August 3 – August 9, 2009

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

News and Views

Ticket price hike | 2010 Dining Plans | Passholder discounts | General public room-only discounts | Candlelight narrators announced | Quick Takes …

Despite lagging economy, Walt Disney World ticket prices on the rise again

While attendance at Disney Parks & Resorts is off this year despite propping their numbers up with big room discounts and free dining promotions, Walt Disney World has continued its yearly pattern first-Sunday-in-August price increases. As has become tradition, Disney waited until late Friday afternoon after the close of the weekly news cycle to announce price hikes for Walt Disney World theme park ticket price effective yesterday.


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One-day, one-park tickets are up $4 for adults, to $79, and up $5 for children, to $68 (plus tax). The Park Hopper and Water Park Fun & More options have both risen $2 to $52. Adult 10-day base tickets are up $6 to $243, with unexpiring 10-day tickets with both Park Hopper and Water Park Fun & More options jumping $19 to $556. 10-day base tickets for children are up $8 to $210, with their tricked-out price with all options jumping $21 to $523.

Disney has been increasing its park ticket prices the first Sunday in August since 2006 for two reasons: It provides a nice last-minute boost to the fiscal fourth-quarter earnings (Disney's fiscal year ends on September 30), and it puts the new prices out there in time for the publication cycle for guide books and for the start of booking for the following year's packages. With the new prices in effect, Disney Dining Plan prices locked in and resort prices set, booking is now available for all 2010 travel packages (see next story).

If you'd like to compare the prices below to last year's prices, you can do that here.

Schedule of Magic Your Way Ticket Prices
(prices shown do not include 6.5 percent sales tax)
Base Ticket Price (Adult/Child)
1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day
79/68
156/133
219/187
225/192
228/195
6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day
231/198
234/201
237/204
240/207
243/210
 
Base Ticket with Park Hopper Option
1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day
131/120
208/185
271/239
277/244
280/247
6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day
283/250
286/253
289/256
292/259
292/262
 
Base Ticket with Water Park Fun & More Option
1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day
131/120
208/185
271/239
277/244
280/247
(+2) (+2) (+3) (+4) (+5)
6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day
283/250
286/253
289/256
292/259
292/262
(+6) (+7) (+8) (+9) (+10)
 
Base Ticket with Park Hopper and Water Park Options
1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day
183/172
260/237
323/291
329/296
332/299
6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day
335/302
338/305
341/308
344/311
347/314
 
Base Ticket with Both Options and No Expiration
1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day
N/A
278/255
347/315
381/348
405/372
6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day
419/386
453/440
493/460
522/489
556/523

Theme park annual pass prices are also increasing. The Adult Annual Pass is up $20 to $489 and a child AP is up $18 to $432. Adult Premium Annual Pass increased $20 to $619, while the child PAP rose $18 to $546. Florida resident Annual, Premium and Seasonal Passes are also rising. A new twist is that theme park annual pass renewals now will be valid for 15 months when renewed within 30 days of expiration.

Other ticket prices are mostly remaining steady. After quietly raising prices by $5 earlier this year, one-day, one-park water park passes are unchanged at $45 for adults and $39 for children. DisneyQuest has had a $1 jump, to $41 for adults and $35 for children. Wide World of Sports admission is up 93 cents, to $11.91 for adults and $9.34 for children. Tickets to Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba have gone up $2-$3. Annual passes for water parks and DisneyQuest are unchanged.

Annual Pass type Purchase type Adult cost Child cost
Annual Pass New $489 $432
Annual Pass Renewal $449 $397
Premium AP New $619 $546
Premium AP Renewal $569 $502
Florida AP New $369 $325
Florida AP Renewal $344 $304
Florida Premium Pass New $489 $431
Florida Premium Pass Renewal $454 $401
Florida Seasonal Pass New $249 $220
Florida Seasonal Pass Renewal $221 $195

The price increase helps Disney to cover contractually-obligated raises to employees and other rising costs of operating the theme parks and resorts. To help combat the affordability issue, Disney will likely continue to discount room rates and offer special pricing such as the Buy-4-Get-3-Free deal or the extended Free Dining promotions. This way, while Disney continues to make the vacations affordable, the relative value of the park passes continues to keep pace with costs. When the economy rebounds, instead of having to put a huge price increase in place to bring prices back to market value, all Disney needs to do is to stop offering discounts and the profits shoot back up. It's a great way of preserving the relative market value of the park passes against the price increases in other entertainment venues (have you seen the price of a ticket to a major league sports game lately?).

2010 dining plans released; basic Dining Plan goes seasonal

Disney has released the details of next year's dining plans. You can book your package trip for 2010 now on the Walt Disney World Web site (link) or via phone. For next year, Disney has added a new twist: the basic Dining Plan carries a variable price depending on season. The price varies from $41.99 to $46.99 for adults and $11.99 to $12.99 for children, up $2-$7 for adults and $1-$2 for kids. Those prices will be in effect for higher-demand seasons such as Presidents' Week, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year's.

The Quick Service Dining Plan is up $2 for adults to $31.99 and $1 for kids to $9.99. The price for the Deluxe Dining Plan has remained the same, at $71.99 and $20.99, respectively. The Premium Plan is up $5 for both adults and kids to $164 and $114, while the Platinum Plan is up $11 for both adults and kids to $220 and $155.

Here's a run-down on the pricing for all dining plans:

Dining Plan Daily cost per adult Daily cost per child
Quick Service Dining Plan $31.99 $9.99
Dining Plan $41.99 - $46.99 $11.99 - $12.99
Deluxe Dining Plan $71.99 $20.99
Premium Dining Plan $164 $114
Platinum Dining Plan $220 $155

The Wine and Dine add-on package is again available this year for an additional $39.99 per night, unchanged from the last two years. The Wine and Dine package entitles you to one bottle of wine per night, redeemable at any point during your stay at table service restaurants. Wine ordered at signature restaurants or with private dining (room service) will cost you two Wine and Dine credits.

For more information, check out the 2010 Quick Service Dining Plan (link), Dining Plan (link), Deluxe Dining Plan (link), Premium Plan (link), Platinum Plan (link) and Wine and Dine Add-On Plan (link) brochures.

MouseAdventure's Summer Warm Up

Congratulations to MousePlanet reader Gary for being the first to post the correct answer to our Week 4 quest. If you'd like to check your own answers, download the Quest 4 answer key (link).

Quest #5 is our second park-based quest, and a visit to Disney's Hollywood Studios will give you all of the information you need to suceed. Download Quest #5, and have fun exploring a different kind of Hollywood "set" (link). Good Luck! Once you think you've solved the quest, come discuss your answers on our MousePad discussion board (link).

Don't forget, today (Monday, August 3rd) is the last day to reserve your space at our negotiated group rate for the MouseAdventure on the High Seas Cruise, sailing Sunday, November 15th. Contact MouseEarVacations.com, the official agency for the 2009 Walt Disney World MouseAdventure and MouseAdventure on the High Seas Cruise, for more information (link).


The Inaugural MouseAdventure event at Walt Disney World will take place on Saturday, November 14, 2009!

The day will begin with a private breakfast at the Odyssey Center prior to park opening, followed by a six-hour fun-filled race around Epcot park for a fresh look at things in the park that you never noticed before! The first part of the game will be in the classic MouseAdventure format, sending you on quests throughout Future World. After completion of that portion, teams will engage in an Enchanted Race around World Showcase to the finish line!

For more information or to register, go to the MouseAdventure page (link)! Don't forget to sign up for the MouseAdventure Newsletter to stay up on the latest MouseAdventure news (link).

Passholder discounts through end of 2009

Passholder rates for August 9 – December 24, 2009 have been released. Rates are available for all dates except for November 25– 28, the Tuesday through Saturday of Thanksgiving week. Under this promotion, the starting rates at these resorts are:

  • Value resorts – $64 per night (8/9-8/17, 8/28-9/22, 10/2-10/2), $69 per night (10/4-11/24), $54 per night (11/29-12/17) and $89 per night (12/18-12/24)
  • Moderate resorts – $89 per night (8/9-8/18, 8/22-9/23, 9/27-10/3), $99 per night (10/4-11/24), $89 per night (11/29-12/17) and $124 per night (12/18-12/24)
  • Select deluxe resorts (Yacht Club, Beach Club, BoardWalk) – $234 per night (8/28-10/3)
  • Select deluxe resorts (Animal Kingdom Lodge and Wilderness Lodge) – $169 per night (10/4-11/24), $139 per night (11/29-12/17) and $229 per night (12/18-12/24)
  • Studio accommodations at Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, and Old Key West Resort – $159 per night (8/9-10/3), $189 per night (10/4-11/24), $169 per night (11/29-12/17) and $249 per night (12/18-12/24).

The Disney Dining Plan may also be added to these discounted reservations. The number of rooms available is limited and minimum length of stay requirements may apply for Friday and Saturday arrivals. These rates may be available through your date of arrival. Reservations may be booked through the Passholder web site or by using codes EQA (8/9-10/3) or NBM (10/4-12/24) if booking via the Passholder phone line (407-939-7722) or through a travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link) and Small World Vacations (link).

Room-only discounts for the general public through end of 2009

Discount room-only rates are now available to the general public for dates from October 4 – December 24. These rates are blocked out from November 25– 28, the Tuesday through Saturday of Thankgiving week. Under this promotion, the starting rates are:

  • Value resorts – $74 per night (10/4-11/24), $84 per night (11/29-12/17) and $94 per night (12/18-12/24)
  • Moderate resorts – $109 per night (10/4-11/24), $96 per night (11/29-12/17) and $134 per night (12/18-12/24)
  • Select deluxe resorts (Animal Kingdom Lodge and Wilderness Lodge) – $179 per night (10/4-11/24), $149 per night (11/29-12/17) and $239 per night (12/18-12/24)
  • Studio accommodations at Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, and Old Key West Resort – $199 per night (10/4-11/24), $179 per night (11/29-12/17) and $259 per night (12/18-12/24).

These rates must be booked by September 26. The number of rooms available is limited and minimum length of stay requirements may apply for Friday and Saturday arrivals. Reservations may be booked through the Walt Disney World web site or by using code FSC if booking via the Walt Disney World Reservations phone line (407-939-6244) or through a travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link) and Small World Vacations (link).


The back portion of Tomorrowland is walled off. The wall starts at the Tomorrowland Light and Power Authority arcade building. Photo by Don Sullivan.


The wall stretches all the way along the former Skyway station building. Photo by Don Sullivan.


The former Skyway station is rumored to be headed for demolition, though we haven't been able to find construction permits supporting that contention yet. Photo by Don Sullivan.


The Tomorrowland Transit Authority is getting new speakers and new lighting as it waits to return to service. Photo by Don Sullivan.

Candlelight narrators announced

The list of this year's narrators for the Candlelight Processional has been released. For the second straight year, Edward James Olmos will be narrating on Christmas night. This year's narrators include Anika Noni Rose (the voice of Princess Tiana in The Princess and the Frog), Andy Garcia (who recently was the keynote speaker at the mass naturalization ceremony in front of Cinderella Castle on July 3), Vanessa Williams (of ABC's Ugly Betty) and Whoopi Goldberg (of ABC's The View). The traditional telling of the Christmas story with a mass choir and 50-piece live orchestra runs from the night after Thanksgiving through December 30 at the America Gardens Theatre at Epcot three times nightly, at 5:00, 6:45 and 8:00 p.m. Here are this year's narrators.

  • November 27-29 – Isabella Rossellini
  • November 30-December 2 – John O'Hurley
  • December 3-5 – Steven Curtis Chapman
  • December 6-8 – Anika Noni Rose
  • December 9-11 – Andy Garcia
  • December 12-14 – Vanessa Williams
  • December 15-17 – Abigail Breslin
  • December 18-20 – Whoopi Goldberg
  • December 21-23 – Brian Dennehy
  • December 24-26 – Edward James Olmos
  • December 27-30 – Angela Bassett / Courtney B. Vance

Quick takes …

…Reservations open next Tuesday, August 11 for special events at Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival. You can see the complete list of events at Walt Disney World's Food & Wine Special Events page (link).

…On last week's earning conference call, Disney CEO Bob Iger and CFO Tom Staggs stated that the first of the new cruise ships should be delivered late in calendar year 2010 and will enter service in the first quarter of calendar year 2011. Look for the Disney Dream to sail its inaugural cruise early in 2011.

…Cap'n Jack's Restaurant at Downtown Disney Marketplace has a new "all-day" menu. Of course, the place isn't open for breakfast, so all day means lunch & dinner. You can check it out in our Walt Disney World Park Guide.

…There's a lot of exciting news about the D23 Expo today, check the DLR Update for details.

…If you've got an extra $250 (including tax, it's $266.25) and would like your own private shack for the day at Typhoon Lagoon, you can reserve a "Beachcomber Shack" (photo) at the park, which provides a "premium" shaded area with comfortable seating for six people, all-day drink mugs, an ice chest stocked with bottled water, towels, a locker and an attendant to bring food and beverage orders. You can make your reservation by calling 407-WDW-PLAY (407-939-7529). Same-day rentals can be made on-site, if available.

…This year's three performances by the Encore! Cast Choir and Orchestra raised a record-smashing $35,000 for United Arts of Central Florida. "Revolution! - A Musical Flashback to the '60s and '70s," featuring music by The Beatles, Queen, Elton John and ABBA bested last year's $25,940, the previous record, by 35 percent.

…The Disney Vacation Club's Bay Lake Tower Resort opens tomorrow, August 4.

…The 2010 Walt Disney World Half Marathon is now full. Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge is 93 percent full (7,500 capacity). The Marathon itself is now at 70 percent of capacity and the Family Fun Run 5K is at 78 percent. Time is running out! Register now (link)!

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Jonathan Heigl's Trivia Tidbit of the Week:

Mickey’s Philharmagic Orchestra marks the first time the classic characters were animated digitally.


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

Coming up

  • June 15 - Aug. 9. Sounds Like Summer Concert Series.
  • Sept. 4, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29, Oct. 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 29, 31, Nov. 1. Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.
  • Sept. 6. Trek Women Triathlon (link).
  • Sept. 10-11. Night of Joy (link).
  • Sep. 20. Athletes for a Cure Triathlon (link).
  • Sept. 25 - Nov. 8. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
  • Sep. 26. Expedition Everest Challenge (link).
  • Oct. 11. Race for the Taste 10K and 3K (link).
  • Oct 24. Tower of Terror 13K and 5K (link).
  • Nov. 10, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 29, Dec. 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17,18. Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.
  • Nov. 10 - Jan 3, 2010. Castle Dreamlights.
  • Nov. 12-15. Children's Miracle Network Classic (link).
  • Nov. 13-15. Festival of the Masters (link).
  • Nov. 14. MouseAdventure! (link).
  • Nov. 17 - Dec. 24. Festival of the Seasons at Downtown Disney.
  • Nov. 26, 27, 29. Old Spice Classic (link).
  • Nov. 27 - Dec. 30. Holidays Around the World at Epcot.
  • Nov. 27 - Jan. 3, 2010. Osborne Familiy Spectacle of Dancing Lights.
  • Nov. 27 - Jan. 3, 2010. Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade.
  • Dec. 7-12. Pop Warner Super Bowl (link).
  • Jan. 7-10, 2010. WDW Marathon Weekend (link).
  • Mar. 7, 2010. Disney's Princess Half-Marathon (link).

Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

Epcot

  • Tutto Italia Ristorante – is now open, but will close at a date to be determined to be completely remodeled.
  • The Wonders of Life pavilion – has again closed as such, and most likely will only be used as a Festival Center until a new sponsor is found.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • No currently scheduled refurbishments.

Animal Kingdom

  • No currently scheduled refurbishments.

Resorts

  • Animal Kingdom Lodge – Phase 1 of the Kidani Village annex buildings for the Disney Vacation Club's Animal Kingdom Villas is now open, with Phase 2 opening in September 2009.
  • Bay Lake Tower at Contemporary Resort – Construction is complete. The resort opens August 4, 2009.

Water Parks

  • No currently scheduled refurbishments.

Elsewhere

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

Current Discounts & Promotions

Walt Disney World free dining deal!

From now until September 26, if you book a three- to 14-night, non-discounted Magic Your Way package, you'll get Disney's dining plan for free.

The offer is good for stays on most nights September 27 – December 17, 2009, except November 25-28, the Wednesday through Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend.. This time, the free dining comes with a twist: while the package stays the same if you book at a moderate, deluxe or villas resort, free dining packages at value resorts will be the quick service dining plan instead of the basic dining plan. You should be able to pay to upgrade your plan, but the "free" value of the deal at the values will be $29.99 per day for adults, $8.99 for children instead of $39.99 per day for adults, $10.99 for children. For a family of four with both children under age 10, that's a difference of $24 per day. For a family of four with both kids age 10 and up, it's a difference of $40 per day. Please be aware of that before you choose your resort!

To book these packages, go to the Walt Disney World Web site (link), call 407-939-7928 or contact one of MousePlanet's Preferred Disney Travel Providers, Small World Vacations (link) and MouseEarVacations.com (link). Just remember to book by September 26!

Gaylord Palms debuts new exclusive rate specials

MousePlanet sponsor Gaylord Palms Resort has announced a new set of nights for a special promotional rate of $119 per night (Reserve now!). Why stay off property? Because you can get luxury accommodations for the price of a Disney moderate, just a mile from Disney property. Many other nights are available for $129 per night (see below). The following dates are now available at $119 per night:

  • July 23 – July 28
  • August 1 – August 10
  • August 13 – August 16
  • August 18 – August 27
  • August 30 – September 2
  • September 6 – September 16
  • September 18 – September 20
  • September 25 – September 27
  • November 22 – December 1
  • December 11 – December 25

There are 32 more nights that you can stay at the Gaylord Palms Resort for just $129 pr night! Combined, these rates are available for approximately 2 nights out of every 3 for the rest of the year! Check out the special MousePlanet reader discount rate (Reserve now!) today! The special $129 per night rates are available on the following nights:

  • October 2 - October 5
  • October 13 - October 18
  • October 23 - October 24
  • October 29 - October 31
  • November 3 - November 7
  • November 12 - November 15
  • December 2 - December 5
  • December 9 - December 10
  • December 26 - December 27

Discounted ECV rentals for MousePlanet readers through Scooter Vacations

Scooter Vacations, MousePlanet's mobility scooter rental partner, is offering MousePlanet readers a 10 percent discount on their scooter rentals by using code MP10 when making your reservation for any of their five scooter models.

Passholder discounts through end of 2009

Passholder rates for August 9 – December 24, 2009 have been released. Rates are available for all dates except for November 25– 28, the Tuesday through Saturday of Thanksgiving week. Under this promotion, the starting rates at these resorts are:

  • Value resorts – $64 per night (8/9-8/17, 8/28-9/22, 10/2-10/2), $69 per night (10/4-11/24), $54 per night (11/29-12/17) and $89 per night (12/18-12/24)
  • Moderate resorts – $89 per night (8/9-8/18, 8/22-9/23, 9/27-10/3), $99 per night (10/4-11/24), $89 per night (11/29-12/17) and $124 per night (12/18-12/24)
  • Select deluxe resorts (Yacht Club, Beach Club, BoardWalk) – $234 per night (8/28-10/3)
  • Select deluxe resorts (Animal Kingdom Lodge and Wilderness Lodge) – $169 per night (10/4-11/24), $139 per night (11/29-12/17) and $229 per night (12/18-12/24)
  • Studio accommodations at Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, and Old Key West Resort – $159 per night (8/9-10/3), $189 per night (10/4-11/24), $169 per night (11/29-12/17) and $249 per night (12/18-12/24).

The Disney Dining Plan may also be added to these discounted reservations. The number of rooms available is limited and minimum length of stay requirements may apply for Friday and Saturday arrivals. These rates may be available through your date of arrival. Reservations may be booked through the Passholder web site or by using codes EQA (8/9-10/3) or NBM (10/4-12/24) if booking via the Passholder phone line (407-939-7722) or through a travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link) and Small World Vacations (link).

Room-only discounts for the general public through end of 2009

Discount room-only rates are now available to the general public for dates from October 4 – December 24. These rates are blocked out from November 25– 28, the Tuesday through Saturday of Thankgiving week. Under this promotion, the starting rates are:

  • Value resorts – $74 per night (10/4-11/24), $84 per night (11/29-12/17) and $94 per night (12/18-12/24)
  • Moderate resorts – $109 per night (10/4-11/24), $96 per night (11/29-12/17) and $134 per night (12/18-12/24)
  • Select deluxe resorts (Animal Kingdom Lodge and Wilderness Lodge) – $179 per night (10/4-11/24), $149 per night (11/29-12/17) and $239 per night (12/18-12/24)
  • Studio accommodations at Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, and Old Key West Resort – $199 per night (10/4-11/24), $179 per night (11/29-12/17) and $259 per night (12/18-12/24).

These rates must be booked by September 26. The number of rooms available is limited and minimum length of stay requirements may apply for Friday and Saturday arrivals. Reservations may be booked through the Walt Disney World web site or by using code FSC if booking via the Walt Disney World Reservations phone line (407-939-6244) or through a travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link) and Small World Vacations (link).

Disney Cruise Line half-price deposits for online reservations, for a limited time

The Disney Cruise Line has announced a special deal where any bookings through the Disney Cruise web site (link) will only require payment of half of the usual deposit, with the other half due with the rest of the final payment. The offer is only good on new bookings, and for category 4-12 cabins only. The offer is available to those booking online or through their travel agents (though the travel agent would have to book the cruise through disneycruise.com for the offer). Bookings are also eligible for the standard $25 onboard credit offer for all online bookings. The deal is available "for a limited time," but there's no word on when the limited time expires. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link).


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

 



Talk about this article and more, on the MousePad community forums.


(Send an email to Mark Goldhaber)

Mark (@MPMark) is a veteran of dozens of trips to Walt Disney World starting in 1972, with a few Disneyland trips thrown in for good measure. As a Disney stockholder and a Disney Vacation Club member, Mark is always in touch with what's going on with The Mouse. Mark serves as MousePlanet's Walt Disney World content coordinator. Mark is a senior information technology manager working for the State of New York. He lives in the suburbs outside Albany, New York, with his wife and son.