Walt Disney World Resort Updateby Mark Goldhaber, staff writer
Update for February 11 – 17, 2013
Go directly to: News & Views | Join our Networks | Coming Soon | Refurbishment/Attraction Closures | Discounts/Promotions | Comments
Joffrey's to replace Nescafe throughout parks, resorts | Super Bowl MVP Flacco goes to Disney World | This is True Love Week | Win a four-night trip, including night in Cinderella Castle | Pro Soccer Classic kicks off | A Personal Appeal, Year Eight: Mark's March of Dimes Donation Matching Challenge Returns! | Construction update | Quick takes | Crowd Update
Many have complained about the lack of "good coffee" at Walt Disney World, especially in the parks. Those people will be happy to hear that Disney is doing away with longtime staple Nescafe. In its place, a new long-term agreement Disney signed with Joffrey's Coffee and Tea Co. will have the company's products appearing at Disney Parks and Resorts over the next few months. The deal includes a provision for Joffrey's to develop Disney-exclusive blends that would be sold on-site and available for purchase to take home.
These changes are independent of the deal bringing Starbucks to one location in each theme park. Magic Kingdom's Main Street Bakery is already closed for its conversion, while Epcot's Fountain View Cafe closes next month for its Starbucks makeover. Disney has not yet announced the locations for Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom theme parks.
Super Bowl XLVII's Most Valuable Player award recipient Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens was feted in a special parade at the Magic Kingdom on Monday. The parade had the quarterback sitting on the back of an open-top convertible as he rode with Football Mickey Mouse from the Frontierland gate down through Liberty Square, around the Hub, and finally down Main Street, U.S.A. Other characters, dressed in football-related costumes—from players to referees to cheerleaders—followed the car down the parade route amid balloons and confetti. The usually reserved Flacco even managed a few broad grins as he waved to the scores of fans in purple Ravens jerseys along the parade route.
This coming week's Limited Time Magic celebration is True Love Week, for which many details were released over a week ago. Some of the details of the prix fixe dinners for two have now been released as well.
Brown Derby at Disney's Hollywood Studios – dinner includes:
- A colossal prawn appetizer stuffed with blue lump crab
- Filet mignon entree topped with Cabernet and shallot butter
The Wave at the Contemporary Resort is offering such dishes as:
- Butter-poached lobster with Florida avocado and heirloom tomato salad
- Duck confit with Florida candied kumquats
- Ribeye steak
- Citrus-infused truffle torte
Yachtsman Steakhouse at the Yacht Club provides a choice of:
- New York strip steak
- Filet mignon
- Twin lobster tails
- Long Island duck
- Butternut squash tortellini
Artist Point at the Wilderness Lodge – dinner includes:
- Kumamoto oyster
- Heirloom beets
- A choice of cedar plank roasted king salmon, filet mignon, or crispy buttermilk-dipped chicken
- A dessert of Valrhona Chocolate Indulgence with local strawberries.
Shutters at Old Port Royale at Caribbean Beach is offering:
- Caribbean conch chowder
- Seared ribeye with plaintain and white sweet potato gratin
- A chocolate and strawberry sweetheart dessert
Reservations are still available via the Walt Disney World Dining Line, 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463).
Send us your menu photos
Click on the "Dining" section from our Walt Disney World Guide to see our complete list of of the park restaurant menus from Walt Disney World. Please help us keep the menus up to date! Send photos or scans of park menus to email@example.com to help us keep our listings updated.
You could win a five-day, four-night trip to Walt Disney World (including one night's stay in the Cinderella Castle Suite) in the Disney Store's New Fantasyland Getaway Sweepstakes. The grand prize includes the trip— with one night in the Castle Suite and three nights at a Disney hotel—airfare and/or ground transportation, 5-day Magic Your Way tickets with Park Hopper and Water Park Fun & More Options, food and beverage including breakfast at Cinderella's Royal Table and dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant. The winner also receives a $500 Disney gift card, up to two experiences at either the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or Pirates League, and the services of a VIP Disney Tour Guide for eight hours.
Five entrants will win $100 Disney Store Gift Cards and 25 will win $25 Disney Store Gift Cards. These gift cards are only valid online and at physical Disney Store locations in the U.S. Foreign Disney Store locations will not accept the cards. The grand prize trip must be taken between June 1, 2013 and June 1, 2014.
You can either enter via the Internet or with a physical entry form at Disney Stores in the U.S. and Canada (except Quebec). Entries must be received by midnight the night of March 3, 2013. Entries are limited to one per person and/or email address.
The fourth annual Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic is underway at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, for the second time featuring six Major League Soccer clubs among the eight teams participating. Last year's tournament champ, the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, is not returning to defend the championship. Other MLS teams not returning are three-time participants FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo. The departure of Dallas and Houston leave Toronto FC as the only team remaining from the first tournament in 2010. Other returning MLS teams are Montreal Impact and Sporting Kansas City. MLS teams joining them this year are Philadelphia Union, DC United, and Columbus Crew. Also returning is the host team, Orlando City Soccer of the United Soccer League. Rounding out the field is the North American Soccer League's Tampa Bay Rowdies, who replace Sweden's BK Häcken from the Allsvenskan league.
The first matches of the round-robin portion of the tournament took place on Saturday, with Columbus beating Toronto 1-0, Montreal downing Sporting KC 2-1, DC United topping Tampa Bay 4-0, and Orlando and Philadelphia playing to a 1-1 tie. Play continues on Wednesday with Philadelphia facing Columbus, Tampa Bay taking on Montreal, Sporting KC going up against DC United, and Toronto facing Orlando. The final round-robin games take place on Saturday, with Montreal taking on DC United, Philadelphia facing Toronto, Orlando going up against Columbus, and Tampa Bay facing Sporting KC.
The final round of games takes place on Saturday, February 23. Games to determine seventh, fifth, and third places will precede the championship game. All tournament games will be streamed live on MLSsoccer.com, except for the third-place and championship games, which will be shown on ESPN3.com.
In previous years, there was one session of two games played each evening, mostly on consecutive days, with only semifinal and final games being played in the final round. This year, each day's games will be played in two sessions, with the first session's games at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m., and the second session's games at 6:00 and 8:00 p.m.
Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and at the Complex box office. You can also call 407-949-GAME (407-949-4263).
There is nothing more heartbreaking than a baby who is born too soon having medical complications that leave them with medical difficulties for life, or worse, that never let them leave the hospital alive. On April 28, I will once again walk to raise money for the March of Dimes. The March of Dimes mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.
MousePlanet readers and MouseStation listeners have helped me to raise nearly $25,000 for this worthy cause over the last seven years. This year, my goal is to raise another $4,000. This year, I am again issuing a special challenge: I will match, dollar-for-dollar, every donation that comes in by the end of February from any MouseStation listener or MousePlanet reader. If it's in by February 28, I'll match it. So far (pending matching donations) we're almost 20 percent of the way to my goal!
You can also walk with me, either in person or virtually, by joining Team MousePlanet and getting your friends and family to contribute! You can go to my fundraising page to sponsor me, or the Team MousePlanet page to join in and walk yourself! Help us to provide a better chance to prevent prematurity and to help those babies that are born prematurely!
The following is a listing of interesting items from paperwork filed with Orange County in the last week:
- Splash Mountain – animation cabinet assembly.
- Tomorrowland Light & Power Co – electrical.
- Buzz Lightyear photo shop – electrical.
- Inside Track – electrical.
- World Traveler – electrical.
Disney's Hollywood Studios:
- Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show – construction.
- Toy Story Midway Mania – electrical work on lighting system.
- Backlot Express – plumbing.
- The Darkroom – electrical.
- Rock 'n' Roller Coaster merchandise shop – electrical.
Disney's Animal Kingdom:
- Kilimanjaro Safaris – construction.
- Tree of Life – construction.
- Primeval Whirl – construction.
- Kali River Rapids – construction.
- Restaurantasaurus – carpentry.
- Ski Patrol Training Camp Area – refinishing/coating foam playground elements.
Downtown Disney Marketplace
- Once Upon A Toy – electrical.
- Team Mickey's Athletic Club – electrical.
- Reedy Creek Emergency Services – construction.
- Car Care Center – roof work, HVAC.
- Sherberth Road intersection with Osceola Parkway – mill and overlay with new friction course and installation of new warning signage.
- Disney's Grand Floridian Resort Commander Porter's – electrical.
- Disney's Contemporary Resort Fantasia – electrical.
- Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground Meadows Trading Post – electrical.
- Disney's Wilderness Lodge – construction.
- Disney's Beach Club Resort Beach Club Marketplace – electrical.
- Disney's Boardwalk Resort Character Carnival – electrical.
- Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort Fulton's General Store – electrical.
- Disney's Old Key West Olivia's Restaurant – installation of drain.
Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort
- Artist's Palette – electrical.
- between buildings 4100 and 4500 – repair in ground water leak.
Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
- Aruba buildings – finishes.
- Calypso Trading – electrical.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge:
- mechanical work on valve replacement.
- The Mara – mechanical.
- The Mara – electrical.
- The Mara – installation of kitchen equipment.
- fire sprinklers – mechanical.
- Disney's Coronado Springs Resort Panchito's – electrical.
…Will you be at Walt Disney World for Princess Half Marathon weekend, February 22–24? If so, please join us for a Team MousePlanet meet-up on Saturday Feb 23 at 6 p.m. in the outside seating area of Pollo Campero at Downtown Disney. Grab some food then eat with us, or just come to say hi. We'll have some MousePlanet goodies to give out, too. The meet is open to Princess Half and 5K participants as well as supporters! Attendees are expected to include MousePlanet staff members Stephanie Wien, Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, and Lani Teshima, as well as contributing writer Lorree Tachell.
…Disney Junior Live on Stage is now running cast previews and may offer soft openings before its official reopening on Friday.
…The Avengerail is no more. The Marvel superhero-themed wrap has been removed from Monorail Red, which again is displaying its former livery.
…The permit application for modification of the surface water management system to support the Magic Kingdom bus loop expansion was approved last week by the South Florida Water Management District. There's still some preparation work and inspections that need to happen, so we'll see how long it takes for work on the project to begin.
…Last week, Walt Disney World joined a coalition of state and national organizations to support legislation to stop motorists from texting while driving. Florida is one of the few states without a distracted driving law.
…Registration for just about everything at the February 22–24, fifth annual Princess Half Marathon Weekend is full, including the individual and team Half Marathons, the Royal Family 5K, the post-5K breakfast, the Race Retreat, the Pasta in the Park Party and the ChEAR Squad Platinum and Gold Packages. The runDisney Kids Races are 91 percent full (dashes sold out, Mickey Mile 72 percent full), and the ChEAR Squad Silver Package is 90 percent full.
…Registration is now open for the 2013 Expedition Everest Challenge. The Challenge itself is now full, but the Family Edition is still available. Also available are the runDisney Kids Races for kids ages 4 to 10 and post-race party tickets.
…Registration opens for the events of the 2013 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend (Tower of Terror 10-Miler, Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run, runDisney Kids Races, Disney Villains Hollywood Bash) on February 12.
…Registration opens for the events of the 2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend (Wine & Dine Half Marathon, Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5K, runDisney Kids' Races, Wine & Dine Finish Line Party) on March 12.
…Registration opens for the events of the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (Walt Disney World Marathon, Half Marathon, Disney Family Fun Run 5K, runDisney Kids Races, Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge, Pasta in the Park Party) on April 9.
…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, go to the MousePlanet main page and enter your email address in the top right box labeled "Join the MousePlanet Newsletter." Click Join, then fill out the fields in the registration page, including your first and last name. The Newsletter is free, but you must complete this registration to receive it, even if you may have signed up for one with us in the past.
Crowd information and forecasts are provided by TouringPlans.com, the website of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, to help you better plan your trip to the Walt Disney World Resort. TouringPlans.com gathers wait time data from a team of in-park researchers and users of their Lines mobile phone application, and then predicts crowd levels for the next 365 days. Using a scale from 1 to 10, TouringPlans.com has a 90 percent accuracy of predicting the crowds to within 1 point, helping visitors prepare for their trips so they can "Do more. Wait less."
Join our networks
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.
- February 15–18: Twirl Mania.
- February 22–24: Disney's Princess Half Marathon.
- March 1–3: Contest of Champions Nationals.
- March 6 to May 19: Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.
- March 9–10: UCA/UDA International All Star Championship.
- March 16–17: AmeriCheer / AmeriDance International Championships.
- April 27–28: Cheerleading and Dance Worlds.
- May 4: Expedition Everest Challenge.
- May 17–June 9: Star Wars Weekends.
- September 6–7: Night of Joy.
- September 27 to November 10: Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
- October 4–5: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend.
- November 8–9: Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend.
- January 9–12: Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.
- Snow White's Scary Adventures – closed permanently for conversion to Princess Fairytale Hall.
- Splash Mountain – closed January 2 through March 19 for refurbishment.
- Main Street Bakery – closed January through early summer for conversion to Starbucks location.
- Princess Fairytale Hall – opens 2013.
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – opens 2014.
- Fountain View Cafe – closed March through mid-summer for conversion to Starbucks location.
- Disney Junior - Live on Stage – closed January 14 - February 14 for replacement of Handy Manny and Little Einsteins with Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins.
- Kali River Rapids – closed January 6 through February 15 for refurbishment.
- Disney's Contemporary Resort – California Grill closed February 1 through late summer for refurbishment.
- Disney's Bay Lake Tower Resort – Bay Cove Pool slide closed February 4-15 for refurbishment.
- Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resort – Stormalong Bay kiddie pool slide closed February 1-12 for refurbishment.
- Disney's Boardwalk Resort – Boardwalk Bakery closed January 2 through April 1 for refurbishment.
- Disney's Boardwalk Resort – Luna Park feature pool closed January 28 through March 1 for refurbishment. The two quiet pools will remain open, and guests wishing a feature pool experience during their stay will be able to use the Stormalong Bay complex at Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts during the refurbishment.
- Disney's Old Key West Resort – sand castle pool slide closed January 24 through February 15 for refurbishment.
- Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa – Spa closed January 16 through summer for conversion to Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort.
- Blizzard Beach – January 6 through March 16 closed for annual refurbishment.
Cirque du Soleil La Nouba – performs Tuesdays through Saturdays. Will not be performed on the following dates in 2013:
- March 19;
- May 14-18;
- May 21-25;
- July 23;
- September 17-21;
- November 5-6.
Passholder room discounts through mid-March
A Passholder discount is available for most dates through March 22, except January 18–20. Passholders can book this discount through the day of arrival if rooms are still available.
Guests will receive 35 percent off at select Deluxe and Deluxe Villas Resorts, 30 percent off at select Moderate Resorts, and 25 percent off at select Value resorts. Moderate and Value Resorts have additional blackout dates.
As with all discounts, rooms available at these rates is limited, and minimum length-of-stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals. No group rates or other discounts apply. Suites, 3-bedroom Grand Villas, and standard rooms at Disney's Art of Animation Resort are not included. Discounts range from 20 to 35 percent and availability varies by date.
You can make your reservation through the Walt Disney World Passholder website or by calling (407) 939-1895 or your favorite travel agent and mentioning discount code S6Z. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).
Room-only and Magic Your Way package discounts for February through mid-June
You can now can book room-only and Magic Your Way package reservations at select Walt Disney World resorts for 15 to 30 percent off of standard rates most nights from February 18 through June 14, except March 24 through April 1. You must book your reservations by March 7 for nights through March 23 and March 31 for nights through June 14.
Guests can receive 30 percent off at all Deluxe and Deluxe Villas Resorts, except for all Magic Kingdom resorts (Disney's Polynesian Resort, Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney's Wilderness Lodge and the Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge), which offer 20 percent off, and Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas, which is not available at a discount. Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge only offers the discount for Standard-view rooms.
Discounts of 25 percent are available at all Moderate Resorts, including Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort, and Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort Cabins.
Guests can also get a 20 percent discount at Disney's All-Star Sports Resort, Disney's All-Star Movies Resort, and Disney's Pop Century Resort
Fifteen percent discounts can be had for family suites at Disney's Art of Animation Resort. Standard rooms in the Little Mermaid-themed section are excluded. Also excluded are Port Orleans French Quarter Resort, All-Star Music Resort, 3-bedroom Grand Villas, and Fort Wilderness campsites.
If you add minimum 4-day Magic Your Way tickets to your room to make it a package, you will receive discounts on both your room and tickets.
The number of rooms available at these rates is limited. Minimum length-of-stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals.
You can make your reservation through the Walt Disney World website, or call (407) 939-1283 or your favorite travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).
Florida residents get special discount tickets through June
Florida residents can get discounted three or four-day tickets through early June. The Discover Disney ticket provides three days of base admission for $119 plus tax, or four days for $129 plus tax. The Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun & More Options can be added for just $28.50 each, plus tax. The tickets are priced the same for adults and children.
Tickets are available for purchase from now through June 3, and may be used through June 7. Passes may not be used during the Easter peak weeks from March 23 through April 5.
For more information or to purchase tickets, check out the special deal website or call 407-939-1283.
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 over 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 may 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.
2013 Military Salute offers
From now through September 28, 2013, active and retired U.S. military personnel can purchase 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with either the Park Hopper or Water Parks Fun and More option for $156 per ticket, plus tax (up from $138 last year), or with both the Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun and More options for $184 per ticket, plus tax (up from $165). No Base ticket is available with this offer.
These tickets expire after September 28. Blockout dates are March 24 through April 4 at all ticketed locations, and July 4 at Magic Kingdom park only.
Eligible service members include active or retired members of the U.S. military including the U.S. Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reservists. Disney Military Promotional Tickets can be purchased at Shades of Green or at a participating military base (MWR/ITT) office. There is no tax charged for these tickets but they must be activated at a theme park ticket window. Tickets may also be purchased at Walt Disney World Park Ticket Offices and Guest Relations Offices where tax will be charged. Tickets may be purchased by active and retired military personnel for themselves and up to five additional family members or friends. One of the Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets purchased on each occasion must be for use by the Eligible Service Member or spouse. This offer is for active or retired members of the U.S. military, including the National Guard, Reservists and the U.S. Coast Guard. Valid military identification is required. The tickets are non-transferable and may not be resold.
You may upgrade the tickets to Seasonal Passes or Florida Resident Weekday Select Passes (for Florida Residents), or Annual Passes, Premium Annual Passes, or Disney Premier Pass with credit toward the upgrade based on the actual price paid. The no-expiration option and other upgrades, such as additional days, are not available.
In addition, specially priced rooms are available to active and retired U.S. military personnel at select Walt Disney World resorts for stays most nights through September 28, except for March 25 through April 4, 2013.
For complete information regarding Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets and discounted resort rates, military personnel may call (407) 939-7830, visit the Walt Disney World website, or participating U.S. military base ticket offices.
Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. Email Mark here.