Walt Disney World Resort Update

by Mark Goldhaber, staff writer

Update for February 25 – March 3, 2013

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

News and Views

"The Original Boy Band" makes Limited Time Magic | Big Thunder interactive queue update | Booth defends Princess Half Marathon title, wins 4th runDisney title overall | Mickey and Minnie move at Disney's Animal Kingdom; Adventurers Club link? | A Personal Appeal, Year Eight: Last Week for Mark's March of Dimes Donation Matching Challenge! | Tables in Wonderland Discovery Dinner, Raglan Road dining events set for March | Downtown Disney's St. Patrick's Day celebration | Hunnel again nominated for Beard award | Construction update | Quick takes | Crowd Update

"The Original Boy Band" makes Limited Time Magic

This week will see one of the last pre-announced Limited Time Magic themes with the Dapper Dans performing as "The Original Boy Band" along Main Street, U.S.A. The barbershop quartet will perform a medley of songs from *NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, One Direction and more from today through Sunday.

With that, nearly all of the Limited Time Magic themes announced to date have taken place. The only remaining themes are those targeted at specific dates, such as Independence Week, "Unleash the Villains" on Friday the 13th in September, and Pirate Week (likely to coincide with International Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19). There will likely be more "Long Lost Friends" Weeks, as there are plenty of Disney characters who haven't been seen in the parks for a long time (in fact, we wouldn't be surprised to see a later "Long Lost Friends" Week feature the Orange Bird in Florida).

As always, you can find out the latest Limited Time Magic promotions on the Disney Parks Blog, at the Limited Time Magic website, via Twitter hashtag #LimitedTimeMagic, or here in the weekly Update.

Last week's Limited Time Magic celebration featured concerts at the America Gardens Theater by the Voices of Liberty in their contemporary outfits in honor of Presidents Week. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Big Thunder interactive queue update

The new interactive queue at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is getting ready to go live in just a few weeks. The queue will feature the operation's Mining Office, the Explosives Magazine Room, the mine's ventilation system, the ability to trigger explosions in the mine, and more. Enjoy the Disney video about the queue below, and then check out Jeff Kober's latest photos of the queue below that.

A new sign in the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad queue ties Frontierland's counter-service eatery into the story of the attraction. Note the shout-out to the long-long Mile Long Bar. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The fusing cage in the Explosives Magazine Room honors Imagineers such as Blaine Gibson, Bob Jolley, Fred Joerger, and Marc Davis. Joerger was the rockwork specialist that designed much of the "rock" seen at Big Thunder Mountain and elsewhere around the resort. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

This sign for a cafe in Quake City calls out the Apple Dumpling Gang movies of the 1970s. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Toward the end of the coaster ride is a blasting zone with a casket atop it. It's unknown whether the likely explosions in the blasting zone will cause the casket to open. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

This sign for the Butterfly Stage Line references the attraction's forebear Thunder Mesa, oded town Tumbleweed, Disneyland's former Rainbow Ridge and Walt Disney's Carolwood-Pacific backyard railroad. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Booth defends Princess Half Marathon title, wins 4th runDisney title overall

Despite the threat of hot weather, the course stayed cool and dry for yesterday's Disney Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World. The race had a familiar finish as last year's champion, Rachel Booth, repeated her victory with another record time. Her 1:17:38 finish broke the previous record of 1:18:11 that she set last year. Second-place Mia Elbon stayed close behind Booth the entire race, finishing 26 seconds back at 1:18:04. Third-place finisher Megan Jaswell finished in 1:26:47.

With her win, Booth, of Mandeville, Louisiana, became the first woman to win four runDisney races. In addition to her two Princess Half Marathon victories, she also was the top women's finisher at the Disneyland Half Marathons in 2010 and 2011. She did not register for the 2012 Disneyland Half. Booth finished 31st in the women's marathon 2012 Olympic Trials.

More than 36,000 runners participated in various events during the weekend, including more than 26,000 in the half marathon, 8,000 in the Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Royal Family 5K, and 1,700 in the runDisney Kids Races. The half marathon featured more than 24,500 female runners and 1,700 male runners, and is one of the country's largest race weekends geared toward women. Congratulations to all who ran, including MousePlanet's Lorree Tachell, Lani Teshima, and Stephanie Wien!

The new Fantasyland restrooms continue toward completion. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The near railings contain a garden box with lamps. The far right railing is the boundary for a large stroller parking area that will run all the way to "it's a small world." Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The stumps and tables in the foreground will be part of the area where guests will be able to recharge their mobile devices. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Mickey and Minnie move at Disney's Animal Kingdom; Adventurers Club link?

On the heels of the move of Pocahontas' meet-and-greet location at Disney's Animal Kingdom from Camp Minnie-Mickey to Bradley Falls, the land's namesakes will be moving out, as well. This spring, Mickey and Minnie Mouse will relocate from their greeting trails in the Adirondacks-themed area to the Adventurers Outpost on Discovery Island, formerly the Beastly Bazaar. The greeting trails will be used by other Disney characters until the time comes to close the land for the construction of Pandora: The World of Avatar. Work on that would likely not begin until construction is completed on the new home for Festival of the Lion King behind the Tusker House Restaurant.

The new Adventurers Outpost is described on the Disney Parks Blog as "a gathering place, where explorers might come together to share tales from their expeditions around the world." That sounds like of like the late, lamented Adventurers Club on Pleasure Island, doesn't it? Wouldn't it be interesting if Hathaway Browne, Samantha Sterling, or Otis Wren made an appearance there during Limited Time Magic?

Construction in the queue at Pirates of the Caribbean continues. This week, a right-hand queue has been greatly shortened. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The right-hand queue still goes by the jail cell and will probably be used as the FastPass entry with the interactive queue being reserved for the left-hand side. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

A Personal Appeal, Year Eight: Last Week for Mark's March of Dimes Donation Matching Challenge!

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 and 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, but time is running out! If it's in by this Thursday, February 28, I'll match it. So far (including matching donations) we're over 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!

More props are being added to Adventureland for the new Pirates Adventure interactive game. The note says: "Captain Sparrow, I wish to meet with you about our earlier agreement. I believe the terms of the deal are not in my best interest. contact me immediately. Commander John Evenrude, formerly of the Royal Navy." Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

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 menus@mouseplanet.com to help us keep our listings updated.

Tables in Wonderland Discovery Dinner, Raglan Road dining events set for March

Tables in Wonderland, the discount dining program available to Annual Passholders and Florida residents, is hosting another Discovery Dinner in March.

Thursday, March 21, sees another Discovery Dinner at The Wave… of American Flavors at the Contemporary Resort, with a 6:30 p.m. reception and 7 p.m. dinner. The $110 price includes tax and gratuity. Appetizers will be paired with wine during the reception, and dinner features an appetizer, salad, entree and dessert, and each course will be paired with wine. This month's dinner showcases Central Florida strawberry season, and features Lott Farms located just west of Plant City, Florida. Wines are from Raymond Vineyards, hosted by Director of Winemaking Stephanie Putnam. The event is limited to 46 attendees.

Dishes during the reception include Edible Black Sesame Cone with Ahi Tuna Tataki, Wasabi-Strawberry Aioli; Sparkling Wine Spritzer with Wild Caught Shrimp; and Pesto Cone with Caprese Salad, Teardrop Tomatoes, Micro Basil, House-made Mozzarella and 8-year Balsamic, paired with JCB No. 69 Rose Cremant de Bourgogne. Dinner starts with an appetizer of Duck Egg “Benedict” with Wild Boar Bacon and Jalapeno-Strawberry Salsa, paired with Raymond Reserve Collection Merlot. Raymond Reserve Collection Chardonnay is paired with a salad course of Triple Brie, Saturn Farms Salad Greens, Heirloom Tomatoes, and Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinaigrette.

The Beef Tenderloin entree with Strawberry Gastrique, Vidalia Onion and Potato Purée, and Miniature Vegetables is paired with Raymond Sommelier Selection Cabernet Sauvignon. A cheese course of Cabot White Cheddar, Pecorino Romano, and Laura Chanel Goat Cheese is paired with Raymond Reserve Collection Cabernet Sauvignon. A dessert trio of Lavender Strawberry Shortcake; Strawberry Ice Cream with Balsamic Strawberry Reduction and Strawberry Crouton; and Strawberry Consommé with Gelée is paired with Neige Premier Apple Ice Wine.

Dress is casual evening attire.

To request a reservation to the event, visit the event website starting tomorrow at 10 a.m. EST for self-booking and instant confirmation. You will need your Tables in Wonderland ticket number, the first and last name of everyone in your party (maximum of eight), your home address, phone number, credit card number, the billing address of the credit card, personal email address, and special dietary needs (if any). Reservations are first-come, first-served. Your credit card will be charged at the time of the booking, and you'll receive an immediate confirmation email at the address that you provide (make sure that the confirmation e-mail doesn't get blocked as spam).

While not a Tables in Wonderland-exclusive event, members will get 20 percent off their tickets to two events at Raglan Road Irish Pub at Downtown Disney Pleasure Island on March 13 and 14, featuring Chefs Kevin Dundon and Derry Clarke.

The first event is the St. Patrick's Festival Lunch Demonstration on Wednesday, March 13, at 1 p.m. Master Chef Dundon and Michelin star Chef Clarke will create a three-course luncheon "on stage" for guests. Each course will be accompanied by a wine pairing. The menu consists of Hickory Smoked Free-range Chicken Breast with Spring Vegetables and Soft Quail Eggs and an Apple and Pear Dressing, paired with Chandon Pinot Meunier 2011, California; Papillote of Lemon Sole with Baby Potatoes, Sea Asparagus, and Citrus Essence, paired with Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2012, New Zealand; and Poached Pear with a Crème Brulee Foam and a Beetroot Macaroon, paired with Inniskillin Vidal Icewine Pearl 2008, Canada. The cost is $55 per person ($45 per person without the wine pairings), plus tax and gratuity.

The second event is called A Tale of Two Chefs Signature Dining Experience, and takes place on Thursday, March 14, at 6:30 p.m. For this event, the chefs will create a five-course dinner with wine pairings for $150 per person, plus tax and gratuity. This menu features Langoustine wrapped in Ketaifi Pastry with Tomato Jelly and a Chili Jam, paired with Ommegang Witte Craft Wheat Ale; Potato Salad with a Garden Herb Foam; Sweet Pea Soup served with a Pea Panna Cotta, paired with Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2009, New Zealand; Rack of Spring Lamb and Braised Cottage Lamb Pie, Farm Fresh Vegetables with Twice Cooked Roast Potato, paired with B.V Beaurouge 2009, California; and Layered Chocolate Indulgence infused with Coffee with an Irish Twist, paired with Rosenblum Cellars Kathy's Cuvée Viognier, 2009, California.

Reservations for both of these Raglan Road events are available by calling Raglan Road at 407-938-0300, or at the Raglan Road website. Tables in Wonderland members should mention their membership at the time of booking.

The signs for the Express Monorail and the Ferry Boats now sport wait times. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Downtown Disney's St. Patrick's Day celebration

Downtown Disney Pleasure Island will celebrate St. Patrick's Day over two weekends, with the celebration centering around Raglan Road Irish Pub. The festivities will take place the weekends of March 8-10 and March 14-17 and will include dancers, special food, and more than 10 top Irish bands. The first weekend of the celebration runs from 6-11 p.m. each night, and will feature The Willis Clan (at Raglan Road) and Nova Celtic (on an outdoor stage). The second weekend runs from 6 p.m.-1 a.m. on Thursday and Friday nights, and noon to 1 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Musical performers include Albannach, Celtic Wave, Raglan Road house band Creel, The Farrell Bros., Girsa, Johnny & Justin, Nova Celtic, Three Dollar Band, The Willis Clan, Wyndbreakers, and world-famous U2 tribute band Elevation. The Raglan Road Dancers will perform daily. There will be workshops March 15-17 featuring Irish dancer and choreographer Ronan McCormack of the original Riverdance cast, leading Irish Dance Workshops, and Dublin-born multi-instrumentalist Declan Masterson, leading Irish Music Workshops. The event will top off with "The Electric Ceili" on Sunday evening, featuring a host of Irish musicians and dancers.

Reservations are available at Raglan Road for March 14 and 15, but seating on March 16 and 17 will be first-come, first-served. There will also be a cover charge of $5 (Saturday) or $10 (Sunday) for certain entertainment.

For more information visit the Walt Disney World website and the Raglan Road website.

From the top of the train station, you can see how last week's Live with Kelly and Michael filming took up all of the plaza at Town Square. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Storybook Circus performs at the beginning of the Live with Kelly and Michael show, including the rarely-seen Dumbo walkaround character. Perhaps a foreshadowing of a future "Long Lost Friends" Week? Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Kelly and Michael banter before a live audience. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The Goodyear blimp flies over the Magic Kingdom providing aerial views for Live with Kelly and Michael. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Howie Mandell chats with Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan during last week's taping. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Hunnel again nominated for Beard award

Will this be the year for Chef Scott Hunnel? Once again, the chef at Victoria & Albert's has been nominated to The James Beard Foundation's list of top chefs in the country. For the last six years, Hunnel has been a finalist for the award, and he has once again been nominated for the Best Chef South award. Finalists will be announced on March 18, and winners will be announced on May 6 at Lincoln Center in New York City. Boosting Hunnel's chances is the fact that Victoria & Albert's itself has been nominated for a Beard award this year, in the category of Outstanding Service.

Hunnel and Victoria & Albert's are also getting some TV time. On the March 10 episode of Emeril Florida, Emeril Lagasse's latest show on the Cooking Channel, Lagasse visits with Hunnel in the restaurant's Queen Victoria Room to discuss the restaurant's dining options and culinary focus. Hunnel also demonstrates the preparation of a dish of bison and Florida oranges.

Construction work is under way on the north side of Disney's Contemporary Resort near the Skyway Bridge to Bay Lake Tower. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Construction update

The following is a listing of interesting items from paperwork filed with Orange County in the last week:

  • Magic Kingdom:
    • Main Street Train Station – construction.
    • Enchanted Tales with Belle – construction.
    • Mad Tea Party – construction.
  • Epcot:
    • Seas pavilion – construction.
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios:
    • Sorcerer Mickey meet-and-greet installation.
    • Toy Story Midway Mania – stair replacement.
    • Muppet Theater 3D – construction.
    • Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano – plumbing.
    • Toy Story Pizza Planet – plumbing.
    • Phineas and Ferb meet-and-greet – construction.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom
    • Kilimanjaro Safaris cheetah exhibit – general construction.
  • Typhoon Lagoon
    • Shark Reef pumps and chillers – mechanical.
  • Downtown Disney Marketplace
    • World of Disney – construction.
  • Disney's Grand Floridian Resort Main Building – mechanical.
  • Disney's Pop Century Resort – replacement of 51 corroded or painted fire sprinklers in buildings 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, and 10.

The Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs topiaries for the upcoming Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is already set across from the Germany pavilion. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Prince Charming and Cinderella topiaries dance near the France pavilion. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The outdoor exhibit space between the France and Morocco pavilions is being prepared for the Festival. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Quick takes …

…For those asking for more information about our lead story last week, we were unable to get either a confirmation or a denial from Disney about the rumored Disney Springs redo of Downtown Disney.

…We were able to get a response from Disney regarding the halt to Segway tours at Epcot. The official word is that they were discontinued as Disney periodically re-evaluates their offerings to guests. While Disney made sure to note that there are several other tour options available to guests, they would not comment on why the Wilderness Back Trail Adventure Segway tour was still running while the Keep Moving Forward tour had been cancelled.

…As a follow-up to our lead story from two weeks ago, Disney and Joffrey's have now officially announced their new partnership. Joffrey's has already been providing the espresso and specialty coffee blends for the fine and signature dining locations at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts, as well as several kiosks throughout Walt Disney World (including near the monorail stations at Epcot and the Transportation and Ticket Center). The new alliance will add the coffees to select dining locations and resort hotels, including Disney Vacation Club properties. As mentioned previously, this will not affect the Starbucks locations that will be located in each theme park.

…The final round of the Walt Disney World Soccer Classic took place on Saturday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, with teams from Group B winning three of the four matches. The only winner from Group A was the host Orlando City Soccer Club of the USL Pro league, who beat the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the NASL 2-0 in the seventh-place game, the only two teams not from MLS Soccer. In the fifth place game, D.C. United beat Philadelphia Union 2-0, while Sporting KC beat Toronto FC 1-0 in the third-place game. In the championship match, Montreal Impact beat previously-undefeated Columbus Crew 1-0 on a goal by Justin Mapp off of a corner kick in the 54th minute. The teams now turn their attention to preparation for the regular season.

…Disney Parks has released collections of clothing, handbags, pins, vinyl statuettes, and more. "What's next?" you might ask. The answer: a new cosmetics line called Beautifully Disney. The collection of cosmetics and beauty products will be available beginning next weekend at Tren-D at Downtown Disney Marketplace and other locations at Walt Disney World (and Disney Vault 28 and other Disneyland Resort locations). The collection is inspired by a variety of Disney characters and features classic colors and "fashion-forward trend colors" that work with all skin tones. The line will only be available at Disney Parks and Resorts, Walt Disney World Mail Order (877-560-6477), and via the Disney Parks Store online. A launch event will take place at both Tren-D and Disney Vault 28 on March 2 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring makeup artists to help with application techniques, and a special purchase-with-purchase opportunity.

…The sixth annual Disney’s Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine will bring 100 high school students to the Walt Disney World Resort March 7-10 for a career-inspirational program that includes motivational seminars, networking events, and hands-on creative experiences, along with the opportunity to interact with entertainment experts, motivational speakers and business professionals who encourage them to succeed.

…The small indoor seating area adjacent to Tangierine Cafe at Epcot's Morocco pavilion is now a gift shop.

…The Kinsey Collection art exhibit is opening for previews at the American Heritage Gallery in the American Adventure pavilion at Epcot this week. The exhibit's official opening will take place Friday, March 8.

…This Labor Day weekend, the Walt Disney World Resort will host a weekend focused on collector and custom cars of all generations. Dream Cars Weekend will take place at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from August 30 through September 2 and will feature automotive exhibitors, custom professional car builders, themed nightly parties, musical entertainment and more. The event will take place simultaneously with the Mustang Club of America Grand National 2013 Show, which will take place at the Walt Disney World Speedway with more than 800 Mustangs and other Fords. Dream Cars Weekend itself welcomes all years, makes, and models of cars. Entertainment includes acts such as the Cadillac Kings, The Dukes, and a steel drum band. This will be the largest car event ever on a Disney property. There's a special room rate or $99 per night plus two theme park passes for show attendees and their guests. More than a quarter of all rooms are already booked. For more information, visit the Dream Cars Weekend website.

…Another year, another vacation survey from Disney. This year, the Disney Time Survey was conducted by the Kelton global insights firm, and it found that families have less free time and less quality time to spend together, and they make up for it by going on vacation together. Top preferred vacation types were theme park, beach, cruises and camping, respectively, and top family vacation destinations were Florida (specifically Orlando), Hawaii and California. It's unknown what the questions and the response options were, but the results pretty much say "Disney."

…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 tickets for the pre-race picnic and the post-race party.

…Registration is now open 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).

…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 update


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."

The parks are entering the last couple of weeks before the busy Spring Break Season. 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, February 26, 2013 4 / 10
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 4 / 10
Thursday, February 28, 2013 4 / 10
Friday, March 1, 2013 6 / 10

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

  • Tuesday is the best day to visit the Magic Kingdom.
  • The resort crowd level on Saturday and Sunday is 5 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.
Get Disney World wait times on your iPhone, Android or Smartphone.
Do more. Wait less.

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

Coming up

Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

  • 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's Hollywood Studios

  • No known refurbishments

Animal Kingdom

  • No known refurbishments.


  • Disney's Contemporary Resort – California Grill closed February 1 through late summer 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 Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa – Spa closed January 16 through summer for conversion to Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort.

Water Parks

  • 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.

Current Discounts & Promotions

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, three-bedroom Grand Villas, and standard rooms at Disney's Art of Animation Resort are not included. Discounts range from 20 percent 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).

Passholder room discounts for April through early June

A Passholder discount is available for most dates April 2 through June 3. Passholders can book this discount through the day of arrival if rooms are still available. The discount is a two-level discount, with a lower price per room if the room is booked by March 31.

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, 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.

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

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 percent 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, three-bedroom Grand Villas, and Fort Wilderness campsites.

If you add minimum four-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 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.

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 four-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.

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