Walt Disney World Resort Update

by Marie Rossiter, contributing writer
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Update for November 24 – December 1, 2014

Go directly to: News & Views | Join our Networks | Resort Events | Refurbishments and Attraction Closures | Discounts and Promotions

News and Views

New Downtown Disney garage opens to public | Disney's Animal Kingdom honored with international award | Friends meet goal to hit every Walt Disney World ride in one day. | ESPN Wide World of Sports hosts basketball tournament | Disney Springs construction update | Frozen gingerbread castle displayed in Disney's Contemporary Resort | Holiday discounts offered for Richard Petty Driving Experiences | Disney's Animal Kingdom begins latest expansion project | Walt Disney World Holiday Event Guide|Views from Around the World Discussion of the Week | Quick takes | Discussion of the Week | Crowd update

New Downtown Disney garage opens to public

Just in time for the holiday rush, Walt Disney World opened the new Downtown Disney parking garage last week according to Rikki Niblett from our sponsor TouringPlans.com

The garage opens with plenty of space to park along with escalators to move guests through its several floors. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The garage is located on the West Side of Downtown Disney. A walking path has been constructed from the garage to the shopping district near the Downtown Disney AMC theaters.

Above each parking space are lights that can indicate to cars from a distance the availability of open parking spaces. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Drivers using the parking garage will notice a great piece of new technology in the new garage: a light over each parking spot indicating if it's open or full. If the light is green, a spot is available; if it's red, it is occupied. This means easier navigation in the garage due to cars not needing to go up and down the aisles to find an open spot.

Construction work continues on the garage and the plan is to have all of the garage and its technology ready for official opening by December.

Disney's Animal Kingdom honored with international award

Last week, the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) awarded Disney's Animal Kingdom's Wilderness Explorers with the Award for Outstanding Achievement - Interactive Park Attraction on a Limited Budget.

This week Wilderness Explorers at Disney's Animal Kingdom won the TEA award for Outstanding Achievement--Interactive Park Attraction on a Limited Budget. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Wilderness Explorers utilizes an interactive experience where visitors talk with cast members at different stations across the park to learn about nature, and then collect badges at each station to complete their expedition.

TEA cited Disney's creativity in developing this attraction:

Disney has incorporated storytelling and gaming to create an experience that is intimate and personal in its connection to the guests, yet wisely recognizes that technology would be a distraction and remove guests from nature. Guests are given a role in the story – becoming a Wilderness Explorer – that was a poignant, aspirational story of a core identifiable character from the Pixar film. This intersection point between film story world, live animals and the beautiful habitats within Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a huge part of why this attraction is effective … This unique attraction is worthy of honors as much for its craft as for the authenticity and cleverness of implementation within a unique park environment.

TEA is a non-profit association representing creators, developers, and designers from around the world.

Friends meet goal to hit every Walt Disney World ride in one day.

The second time proved to be the charm for two friends who aspired to ride all 46 rides across the four Walt Disney World theme parks in one day.

Shane Lindsay and Ted Tamburio shared their experience with WKMG Local 6 Orlando in which they hit all four theme parks in 17 hours to experience 46 rides. Over the course of the day, the men logged in nearly 22 miles according the the WKMG Local 6 report. They took no meal breaks, drank from water bottles, used FastPass+ and park/ride schedules to plan out their mission.

Even if something like this adventure sounds interesting to you, Lindsay advises that it is meant for grown ups only due to the pace and travel required.

The pair attempted this feat last year, but hit a snag near their goal when thunderstorms hit the Walt Disney World area and shut down a number of the rides as they approached the last leg of their journey.

ESPN Wide World of Sports hosts basketball tournament

Basketball fans may want to stop by the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend to catch the Orlando Classic (formerly the Old Spice Classic) basketball tournament.

The event, which runs November 27-30, features a pre-season basketball tournament hosted by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in Division 1 college basketball. Kansas, Michigan State, Marquette, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Rider, and Santa Clara will vie for the tourney championship this year.

Tickets can be purchased by calling (407) 939-4263 or by visiting the event's official website. The best deal available is the All-Tournament Ticket, which includes all 12 games for $150 each plus taxes and fees.

A full tournament bracket is also available at the event's official website.

Disney Springs construction update

Disney Parks Blog announced numerous updates to the Downtown Springs construction project underway in the current Downtown Disney area.

Workers recently installed the "Springs Bottling Co." marquee above the future Morimoto Asia location.

The Waterview Stage now offers nightly entertainment for visitors

A new stage area has opened in what is the former Hyperion district. That design also had a small sunken gathering/stage area. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The Food Trucks at Exposition Park on the West Side opens soon as a permanent home for the Downtown Disney food trucks. Visitors can also take advantage of the new shaded seating area.

The food truck space now has vegetation hanging from the tracks. Rumor is that seating will not be available on the upper deck. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The Landing area of Disney Springs has a new pedestrian walkway between the Portobello and Paradiso 37 restaurants. The walkway access expands to the West Side later this month.

Check back for future Disney Springs construction updates.

Frozen gingerbread castle displayed in Disney's Contemporary Resort

One of the most beautiful features at Walt Disney World during the holiday season is the variety of gingerbread creations featured in the resorts. This year, Disney's Contemporary Resort decided to bring a small part of Arendelle to its lobby by creating a gingerbread castle from the smash movie Frozen. Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, Kristoff and Olaf (who is actually hiding in 12 places around the castle) can be seen in the giant display.

Disney released a fun time-lapse video of the castle construction. Take a look!


Time-lapse video of Frozen gingerbread castle construction at Disney's Contemporary Resort. Disney Parks Blog.

Holiday discounts offered for Richard Petty Driving Experiences

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the Richard Petty Driving Experience is offering discounted prices and payment plans during the holiday season for its driving experiences on Walt Disney World Resort property and in Daytona.

According to the report, here is the cost breakdown for each experience:

  • The ride-along program will cost $59 plus tax (a $40 discount) at the Walt Disney World Speedway and the Daytona International Speedway ride-along program drops to $99 plus tax (a $40 discount).
  • The Rookie Driving Experience now allows four payments of $99 + a one time $39 driver release fee (a $53 savings), and the Daytona driving experience is four payments of $119 plus tax, not including the release fee (a $73 savings).
  • Lastly, the Exotic Driving Experience offers a four payment plan of $49 for the Audi R8, Nissan GT-R or Porsche 997, four payments of $79 for the Ferrari 430 or Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4, four payments of $89 for the Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera, and four payments of $99 for the Ferrari 458 Italia. Prices do not include driver release fees or taxes.

Visitors must pay in full before taking the driving experience session. To book a package, call (800) 237-3889 or visit the website.

Disney's Animal Kingdom begins latest expansion project

MousePlanet photographer J. Jeff Kober sent in a progress photo from the construction site of the upcoming Africa Marketplace area in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Scheduled to open in early 2015, the African marketplace expects to host a new quick service restaurant which serves African-style food. Visitors can also expect to see an overall size expansion of Africa and some new retail shopping locations.

Construction is well underway on a new Africa Marketplace that will be sandwiched between the East side of Africa and the railway tracks for the Wildlife Express. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Walt Disney World Holiday Event Guide

Heading to Walt Disney World during the holiday season? Here's a helpful guide of all the special events happening around the resort to help you plan a magical holiday trip!

Magic Kingdom

Cinderella Castle is all lit up after Elsa works her magic in the nightly "A Frozen Holiday Wish" show. Photo by Adrienne Vincent Phoenix.

A Frozen Holiday Wish: The Walt Disney World holiday season kicked off with a live streaming event of the new A Frozen Holiday Wish show in front of Cinderella Castle. According to Disney Parks Blog, the resort will share a number of live streaming events throughout the season. Didn't get a chance to catch the live stream? Watch the video below!


A Frozen Holiday Wish Show. Video by Disney Parks.

You can also head over to our MousePad forum to get a full review of the show.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party: This annual hard-ticket party shows off the best and and most festive side of Walt Disney World during the holidays. Here is the rundown of the daily events you can expect at the Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party:

The event runs from 7 p.m. to midnight on select nights through December 19. In addition to the returning Christmas Party attractions like the the fireworks show, this year debuts new Frozen additions to Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, a new meet-and-greet with Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws in Storybook Circus, and the "Holiday Hootenanny!" at the Diamond Horseshoe.

The Entertainment Schedule is packed, so you'll need to decide what's most important to see during your 5 hours at the party:

  • Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas Parade featuring the Frozen characters - 8:15 and 10:30 p.m.
  • A Frozen Holiday Wish - 6:15 and 8:00 p.m.
  • Celebrate the Magic - 9:15 p.m.
  • Holiday Wishes - 9:30 p.m.
  • Celebrate the Season - 7:30, 10:05 and 11:20 p.m.

Since A Frozen Holiday Wish and Celebrate the Magic are offered on non-party nights, you can safely skip those and see them another night if you want to maximize your party time.

There are two Dance Parties, with some interesting characters:

  • Holiday Hootenanny at the Diamond Horseshoe, featuring the Country Bears, Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, and Clara Cluck.
  • Club Tinsel at Cosmic Rays, featuring Phineas and Ferb

Plus, there are 18 Character Appearance spots marked on the event map. The big new addition is Sandy Claws, making his first event appearance at Storybook Circus.

Cocoa and cookies (or "healthy alternatives," should you want them) are available at:

  • Sunshine Tree Terrace
  • Tortuga Tavern
  • Columbia Harbour House
  • Pinocchio Village Haus
  • Tomorrowland Terrace
  • Cosmic Ray's Starlight Caf
  • The Crystal Palace

Event merchandise, including a pin, t-shirt, ornament and limited edition Magic Band, are available at:

  • Emporium
  • Frontier Trading Post (pin only)
  • Ye Olde Christmas Shop (Shirts, pin, ornaments only)
  • Big Top Souvenirs (Magic Band only)
  • Star Traders (shirt and pin only)

Most park rides are open during the event, including the Jingle Cruise and the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Based on wait times during Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, cast members said the line for the Mine Train is only about 30 minutes. I'm not a big fan of doing rides during the special events, since you can do those during normal operating hours, but people who could not get a FastPass+ for this new ride may want to take advantage of the shortest standby lines you're likely to see.

Epcot

Epcot is beautiful and lots of fun during the holiday season with a series of events that all ages will love:

An International Yuletide Extravaganza: Experience a world of cheer with unique entertainment celebrating the spirit of the season. Share in the sights and sounds of some of the world’s greatest holiday festivities during Holidays Around the World at Epcot®. Amid joyful music and seasonal food favorites, time-honored traditions come alive as costumed performers share their country’s holiday heritage throughout World Showcase.

Candlelight Processional - (World Showcase, American Gardens Theatre) - 5:00pm, 6:45pm & 8:15pm

One of the most beloved holiday traditions at Epcot® is the Candlelight Processional - a joyous retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and a glorious mass choir.

Dates (2014) Narrator
11/28 - 11/29 Jodi Benson
11/30 - 12/2 Neil Patrick Harris
12/3 - 12/4 Jonathan Groff NEW!
12/5 - 12/6 Whoopi Goldberg
12/7* - 12/9 LeVar Burton
12/10 - 12/11 Edward James Olmos
12/12 - 12/14 Joe Morton NEW!
12/15 - 12/17 Chita Rivera
12/18 - 12/20 Ana Gasteyer NEW!
12/21 - 12/23 Marlee Matlin
12/24 - 12/25 Isabella Rossellini
12/26 - 12/27 Blair Underwood
12/28 - 12/30 Steven Curtis Chapman

Located at the America Gardens Theater. This spectacle is held on select nights, and due to its popularity, often fills up quickly. Unless Guests have purchases a Candlelight Dinner Package, attendance is on a first-come, first-served basis. All entertainment and celebrity narrators are subject to change without notice.

*Community Relations Night is December 7th at 5:00pm. No Day Guest bookings for the first show at 5:00 p.m.

For the hearing impaired, an American Sign Language interpreter translates the legendary account, allowing Guests of all kinds the opportunity to enjoy the event.

Candlelight Processional Dining Packages - If you want to ensure that you have a seat at a Candlelight Processional performance, you can purchase one of Disney's Candlelight Dining Packages that are available on select nights during the holiday season. These packages include a meal and a guaranteed seat for one Candlelight performance. Call 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463) to make your reservation. These packages are popular and sell out quickly, so don't wait too long to book it.

Illuminations: Reflections of Earth - (World Showcase Lagoon) - Nightly at 9:30pm

The World Showcase Promenade comes alive nightly with the brilliance and splendor of music, lights, lasers, water fountains, and custom pyrotechnics in Disney's signature nighttime spectacular, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. From November 28 through December 30, Disney presents a unique finale to celebrate the season. With the song "Let There Be Peace on Earth" at its center, this special musical finale features a special message of peace and good will.

Holiday Storytellers - (World Showcase) - Daily November 28- December 29

Throughout the holidays, World Showcase comes alive with the legends and lore of the season. Listen to the stories of France's Père Noël, Italy's La Befana, and the United Kingdom's Father Christmas. Please refer to the Times Guides for show times.

Epcot® Holiday Merchandise

Be sure to stop by Santa’s Village in The American Adventure where you can get your favorite gifts from toys to stocking stuffers and all your Christmas tree trimmings. No matter where you go in Epcot® you will find the perfect holiday gift.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Disney's Hollywood Studios offers its Frozen Holiday Premium Package November 7 through 19, November 21 through December 9, and December 11 through January 4, 2015. The new VIP package gives fans exclusive opportunities throughout their day at the park, including:

  • Reserved seating for a performance of "For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Reserved viewing for the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
  • A Frozen-themed dessert party with special Anna and Elsa cupcakes and other sweets
  • A holiday-themed lithograph
  • A Frozen pin

Tickets for this VIP experience costs $89 (plus tax) per adult, and $59 (plus tax) per child ages 3–9. These prices include gratuity.

To make a reservation, call (407) 939-1854.

Views from Around "the World"

The holidays haven't slowed down progress on a number of construction projects in and around the Walt Disney World theme parks. Here's what our photographer J. Jeff Kober captured to share in this week's update.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

New signage showcasing the Yeti lot completes construction in the Disney Animal Kingdom parking area. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Construction fences pull back to reveal a more open pedestrian area in the center of Discovery Island. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The land of Pandora is beginning to go vertical. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

A view of the south side of the lake with the construction for the new nighttime show at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Previously known as the Wildlife Tracking Center, the Science Operations Team has renamed their offices to The Science Center. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

A crowd is riveted watching a 15 year old male mandrill undergo exploratory surgery. The animal had not been eating in the last couple of weeks. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Downtown Disney/Disney Springs

Faux abandoned elevated rails are being installed throughout Disney's West Side, acting as a new story thread in that area of the district. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The new garage at night. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

QuickTakes

...A number of Disney fan sites reported that the Magic Kingdom opened the new indoor standby queue at Peter Pan's Flight in Fantasyland. The new queue features a walk through the Darling's house with beautiful paintings and images that tell the story of Peter Pan, along with detailed features of the children's nursery and other areas of the home.

...Disney filed a notice of commencement regarding the removal of Mickey's Sorcerer's Hat from Disney's Hollywood Studios. This document follows earlier confirmation from Walt Disney World about the removal of the park's icon on Hollywood Boulevard. Disney still has not issued any formal statements regarding what may replace the hat.

...The Disney Food Blog reported that Epcot's Spice Road Table is currently accepting dining reservations for dates beginning on December 2, 2014. The blog posted a screen shot of the restaurant's Reservations page to demonstrate availability. Disney has made no formal announcement of this feature, yet, though and it is unclear if this is a temporary feature for just the holiday season or if it will continue beyond January 1, 2015.

...The Orlando Sentinel reported last week that The Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World earned a AAA five diamond award. The Four Seasons was the only resort in the Orlando area to receive this prestigious award. "The AAA Five Diamond Award is a true testament not only to the incredible amenities our resort offers, but to our first-rate team of employees, who go above and beyond every day delivering exceptional guest service," said Thomas Steinhauer, regional vice president of Four Seasons Resort, Orlando, in a press release.

...In Walt Disney World merchandise news, fans looking for holiday gift ideas have a wealth of options as the parks introduced a variety of new product lines including: a holiday collection for the home with items such as a mug and cookie plate for Santa, plush toys, stockings, tablecloths, candy and many other goodies; the new Frozen Gift Card Holiday Pin series, which is a collection of gift cards featuring the main characters from Frozen that can be used on almost anything in the parks and comes with a collector's pin also featuring one of the four major characters: Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf; and yet another idea for Frozen fanatics, a new makeup collection from Beautifully Disney with makeup colors inspired by the movie. The collection has eye shadow palettes, lipstick, a nail polish line and much more!

Discussion of the Week

MousePad forum member StarTourist is returning to Walt Disney World after a long hiatus and is taking on a big challenge.

Yeah, we're doing the most horrendous thing imaginable: We're headed to Walt Disney World at Easter-time. Haven't done that since WDW was a two-gate, one water park resort back in the Eighties.

Normally, we head down in March or late October through pre-Thanksgiving November. We are Disney veterans, and pretty much know the ins and outs of it all. But even I am skeptical about visiting Easter week. We're starting the trip the day before Easter, and will be staying six days afterwards. DVC at Old Key West, btw.

Very generally speaking, what horrors should I expect? What would someone like myself, who never ventures to WDW during peak times, need to do to make it a vacation with as few ultra crowded issues as possible?

One more thing: We haven't been to WDW since the Magic Bands were introduced. Need advice with them as well, especially pertaining to the topic at hand.

Thanks!

With so many changes happening since the member's last visit and especially during a planned visit during a busy time of year, what would you recommend StarTourist does to make the best out of the vacation? Head over to the forum to share your advice and join in the conversation!

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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Seeking Shutterbugs

Are you a frequent visitor to the WDW theme parks? Do you love taking and sharing photos of the lastest happenings around the World?

Would you like to be paid for your work?

MousePlanet is seeking Orlando-based photographers to share their theme park observations and photos with our readers. If you're an excellent photographer with strong communication skills, please contact us—we'd love to hear from you!

Crowd Forecast

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"Do more. Wait less."


The week of Thanksgiving sees some heavy crowds. Consider optimized touring plans mandatory.

TouringPlans.com can help you avoid falling into the typical tourist pitfalls 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, November 25, 2014 8/10
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 7/10
Thursday, November 27, 2014 9/10
Friday, November 28, 2014 8/10

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!

  • Saturday is the best day to visit the Magic Kingdom.
  • The resort crowd level on Saturday 6 out of 10.
  • Following a Touring Plan is important when crowd levels spike at the park you're visiting!

See Disney World crowds for the next 365 days.
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Talk about these stories and more on our Walt Disney World discussion forum here.

Resort Events

2014

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.

2015

2016

  • Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – January 6–10, 2016. Registration opens April 28, 2015.
  • Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend – February 18–21, 2016. Registration opens July 14, 2015.

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


Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • Fantasmic! – closed November 19–21 for refurbishment

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Resorts

As previously reported by MousePlanet, some refrigerators in non-Disney Vacation Club rooms at Walt Disney World are being replaced due to a product defect. All Walt Disney World Resort rooms—with the exception of DVC Villas, the family suites at the Art of Animation and All-Star Movie resorts, and the cabins at Fort Wilderness—are impacted. Disney says "the schedule for replacing the refrigerators at these Resorts is expected to last several months."

In the interim, if you have a reservation at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel and need a refrigerator for medical reasons, we recommend contacting your resort directly to inquire about availability during your trip. The hotel should be able to arrange for one if your room does not yet have a new refrigerator, but supplies may be limited while they work to replace all of the malfunctioning units.

  • All Star Music Resort – refurbishment of its Intermission Food Court is scheduled for reopening on December 21, according to our sponsor TouringPlans.com.
  • Polynesian – Never Land Club Children's Activity Center closed for refurbishment through January 1, 2015.
  • Polynesian – refurbishment of the lobby ongoing.
  • Wilderness Lodge – refurbishment of its Silver Creek Springs Pool through late November 2014.

Water Parks

  • Typhoon Lagoon – the entire park closed October 26 through December 20 for refurbishment.
  • Blizzard Beach – the the entire park closed January 4, 2015 through March 3, 2015.

Elsewhere

  • Disney Osprey Ridge Golf Course – permanently closed.
  • 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

2014 Free Dining offer for general public

Sue from Small World Vacations reports the general public can book Stay/Play/Dine Discounts through December 29, 2014. Offer details:

Stay / Play / Dine Discounted Magic Your Way Packages

  • Stay, Play and Dine Discount Requires a 3-night stay with at least 2 days of tickets.
  • Booking Dates: Now through December 29, 2014
  • Travel Dates: December 14–20, 2014; January 5 through March 7, 2015.
  • Not all dates and resorts available. Subject to availability
  • Disney Value Resorts: Magic Your Way with Quick Service Dining Package Required
  • Disney Moderate, Deluxes and Deluxe Vacation Villa Resorts: Magic Your Way Plus Dine Package Required
  • Excludes: Little Mermaid Rooms at Disney's Art of Animation, Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian, Disney's Bay Lake Tower, Disney's Fort Wilderness Campsites, Disney's Polynesian Villas, 3 bedroom Villas at Disney's Deluxe Vacation Villa Resorts

Room Only Discount Tickets and Dining Can be Added

  • Booking Dates: Now through December 29, 2014
  • Travel January 5 through March 28, 2015
  • Excludes Little Mermaid Rooms at Disney's Art of Animation, Disney's Grand Floridian Villas, Disney's Bay Lake Tower, Disney's Fort Wilderness Campsites, Disney's Polynesian Villas, all 3-bedroom villas at Disney's Deluxe Villa Resorts
  • All Discounts are not guaranteed and are subject to limited availability.

Specific discounts:

  • Disney Value Resorts (except Disney's All Star Movies) – 15% weekends; 20% weekdays
    • Disney's All Star Movies – 10% weekends; 15% weekdays
  • Disney's Moderate Resorts (except as listed below) – 25% weekdays; 20% weekends
    • Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter – 10% weekend; 15% weekday
    • Disney's Coronado Springs Suites – 10% weekday and weekend
  • Disney Deluxe Resorts (unless listed below) – 30% weekday and weekend
    • Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge Savannah View and Club Level – 20% weekday and weekend
    • Disney Deluxe Resort Suites – 10% weekday and weekend
    • Disney Deluxe Vacation Villas – 30% weekday and weekend: Saratoga Springs, Old Key West, Beach Club Villas and BoardWalk Villas 
    • Villas at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge – 20% weekday and weekend

Call your travel agent, contact Small World Vacations, or call Walt Disney Travel at (407) 939-7741 to book these offers.


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 can 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.

Special offer 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

Rates starting at $79 per night on select dates this fall

Disney released new fall discounts for annual passholders for the following travel dates: Now through November 25, and November 29 through December 23, 2014. Rates begin at $79 for value resorts (Sunday through Thursday stays) and go up from there. Book through December 20, 2014.

Sample rates:

  • Disney's All Star Sports Resort: S–Th $79/night; F–Sa $95/night.
  • Disney's Pop Century Resort: S–Th $87/night; F–Sa $104/night.
  • Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort: S–Th $136/night; F–Sa $151/night.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort: S–Th $207/night; F–Sa $234/night.
  • Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa: $228/night.

Advance reservations required. No group rates or other discounts apply.

Length of stay requirements

  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Maximum stay: 14 nights

Discounts only applied to travel dates that are valid offer travel dates

Additional per adult charges may apply if more than two adults per room

Number of rooms allocated for this discount is limited.

Offer excludes:

  • 3-bedroom villas
  • Disney's Art of Animation Resort – The Little Mermaid standard rooms
  • The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian & Spa
  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort.

Discounts for Disney Rewards VISA & Debit Card Holders

2014 Free Dining Offer for Disney Rewards VISA & Debit Card Holders

Sue from Small World Vacations reports the Disney Rewards VISA and Debit Card Holders can now get a free dining discount when booking a qualifying Walt Disney World vacation package.

Offer details:

2014 Vacation Dates

  • October 26 through November 1
  • November 9–20
  • December 12–23

Free Quick Service Plan

  • Book a Magic Your Way vacation package for a minimum of three nights with at least two days of theme park tickets at select Disney Value Resorts to receive Disney's Quick Service Dining Plan for free. Visitors can upgrade to a Table Service Dining Plan for less than $20 per night for adults and less than $5 per night for children ages 3 through 9.
  • Value Resorts included:
    • Disney's Pop Century
    • Disney's Art of Animation Suites
    • Disney's All-Star Music Resort
    • Disney's All-Star Sports Resort

Free Table Service Dining Plan

  • Book a Magic Your Way vacation package for a minimum of three nights with at least two days of theme park tickets at select Disney Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villas Resorts to receive Disney's Basic Table Service Dining Plan for free. An upgrade to the Deluxe Dining Plan is available for less than $50 per night for adults and less than $11 per night for children ages 3 through 9.
  • Moderate and Deluxe Resorts included:
    • Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
    • Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
    • Disney's Fort Wilderness Cabins
    • Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
    • Disney's Contemporary Resort
    • Disney's Grand Floridian & Spa Resort
    • Disney's Polynesian Resort
    • Disney's Wilderness Lodge
    • Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
    • Disney's BoardWalk Inn
    • Disney's Beach Club Villas
    • Disney's BoardWalk Villas
    • Disney's Bay Lake Tower
    • Disney's Old Key West Resort
    • Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
    • The Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
    • Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas.

Offer Restrictions

  • Advance reservations required
  • All guests staying in the same room must add theme park tickets to their Magic Your Way package. Tickets may include park hoppers, water parks & more and/or no expiration options.
  • Walt Disney World Resorts limits the number of free dining rooms.
  • Offer excludes 3-bedroom villas at Disney Vacation Villa Resorts, Disney's Art of Animation Resort Mermaid Rooms, Disney's All-Star Movies Resort, Disney's Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter and Riverside, and The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Dining plans exclude alcoholic beverages and gratuities
  • Children ages 3 to 9 must choose from children's menu, if available

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

20 percent off select guided tours

Disney Visa cardholders receive 20 percent 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 percent 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 percent off select restaurants

Disney Visa cardholders receive 10 percent 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 percent off merchandise

Disney Visa cardholders receive 10 percent 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 5" x 7" 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 five guests. The event is hosted daily from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. inside Innoventions West at Epcot. You'll receive one free 5" x 7" character photo per day.


Discounts for Florida Residents

 None at this time.

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 seven-day ticket depending on travel dates. These particular offers are valid for U.K. residents only.


Discounts for Canada Residents

Fall 2014 Free Dining offer for Canada residents

Offer details:

Free Quick Service Plan

  • Valid travel dates:
    • October 30 through November 1, 2014
    • November 20, 2014
    • December 12–23, 2014
  • Value resorts included:
    • Disney's All-Star Music Resort
    • Disney's All-Star Sports Resort
    • Disney's All-Star Art of Animation Resort – Family suites only
    • Disney's Pop Century Resort

Free Table Service Dining Plan for moderate resorts

  • Valid travel dates:
    • November 20, 2014
    • December 12–23, 2014
  • Moderate resorts included:
    • The Cabins at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
    • Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
    • Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

Free Table Service Dining Plan for deluxe resorts

  • Valid travel dates:
    • October 26 through November 1, 2014
    • November 9–20, 2014
    • December 12–23, 2014
  • Deluxe resorts included:
    • Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
    • Disney's Beach Club Resort
    • Disney's BoardWalk Inn
    • Disney's Contemporary Resort
    • Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
    • Disney's Polynesian Resort
    • Disney's Wilderness Lodge
    • Disney's Yacht Club Resort

Free Table Service Dining Plan for deluxe villa resorts

  • Valid travel dates:
    • October 26 through November 1 2014
    • November 9–20, 2014
    • December 12–23, 2014
  • Deluxe Villa resorts included:
    • Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas–Jambo House
    • Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas–Kidani Village
    • Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
    • Disney's Beach Club Villas
    • Disney's Boardwalk Villas
    • Disney's Old Key West Resort
    • Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
    • The Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Offer Restrictions

  • Advance reservations required
  • Not valid with any other discount or promotion
  • Theme park tickets must be used within 14 days of first use.
  • Walt Disney World Resorts limits the number of free dining rooms.
  • Offer excludes 3-bedroom villas at Disney Vacation Villa Resorts and campsites
  • Dining plans exclude alcoholic beverages and gratuities
  • Children ages 3 to 9 must choose from children's menu, if available


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Comments

  1. By bluebayou

    The Themed Entertainment Association today announced the winners of its 21st annual Thea Awards, honoring outstanding achievements in the themed entertainment industry. Universal Creative's The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley led the winners, with three awards, including the Paragon Award (The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida, for Diagon Alley, Hogwarts Express and Diagon Alley's retail and dining) and the award for the year's best attraction: Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts.

  2. By carolinakid

    You mean the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train didn't win?????? I demand a recount!

  3. By MonoAutoRail

    Congratulations, I suppose, on the Ride-the-rides-in-one-day accomplishment. However, they should realize that the same feat is almost impossible at the Disneyland Resort despite its smaller size and more compact layout because it has substantially more rides than all of WDW.

  4. By houseofmouse

    I am confused by the Frozen package at HS. A reserved viewing area for Osbourne Lights?? Um the whole area is meant to walked around, not just stand in one spot. I went during the CM preview, so I have not seen the package in operation but it seems an un magical add on and very misleading.

  5. By JLM

    OK, MonoAutoRail. Let's do the math and see if you are correct and add up all the rides from each resort. I won't include live shows or walk through attractions, just rides that actually move and shows that are almost exclusively animatronic or film based, e.g. Tiki Room or Philhamagic.

    Let's start with Disneyworld going in the order of AK, HS, Epcot, MK.
    1) Kilimanjaro Safaries
    2) Expedition Everest
    3) Kali River Rapids
    4) Dinosaur
    5) Primeval Whirl
    6) Triceratop Spin
    7) It's Tough to Be a Bug
    8) Wildlife Express Train
    9) Toy Story Mania
    10) Great Movie Ride
    11) Star Tours
    12) Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
    13) Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
    14) Captain EO
    15) Circle of Life
    16)Ellen's Energy Adventure
    17) Journey Into Imagination
    18) Living with the Land
    19) Mission Space
    20) Saurin'
    21) Spaceship Earth
    22) Test Track
    23) The Seas with Nemo & Friends
    24) The American Adventure
    25) Gran Fiesta Tour
    26) Maelstrom
    27) Jungle Cruise
    28) Pirates of the Caribbean
    29) Enchanted Tiki Room
    30) Magic Carpets of Aladdin
    31) Dumbo
    32) Small World
    33) Mad Tea Party
    34) PhilharMagic
    35) Peter Pan's Flight
    36) Prince Charming's Carrousel
    37) Little Mermaid
    38) 7 Dwarfs Mine Train
    39) Barnstormer
    40) Winnie the Pooh
    41) Thunder Mountain
    42) Country Bear Jamboree
    43) Splash Mountain
    44) Liberty Square Riverboat
    45) Haunted Mansion
    46) Disney World Railroad
    47) Astro Orbiter
    48) Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
    49) Space Mountain
    50) Stitch's Great Escape
    51) Tomorrowland Speedway
    52) Peoplemover
    53) Carousel of Progress
    54) Hall of Presidents


    Ok, now DLR starting with DCA.
    1)Flick's Flyers
    2) Fancis' Ladybug Boogie
    3) Heimlich's Chew Chew Train
    4) It's Tough to Be a Bug
    5) Tuck and Roll's Drive'Em Buggies
    6) Luigi's Flying Tires
    7) Mater's Junkyard Jamboree
    8) Radiator Springs Racers
    9) Sorain' Over California
    10) Grizzly River Run
    11) Monsters, Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue
    12) Muppet*Vision 3D
    13) Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
    14) California Screamin'
    15) Golden Zephyr
    16) Goofy's Sky School
    17) Jumpin Jellyfish
    18) King Triton's Carousel
    19) Mickey's Fun Wheel
    20) Silly Symphony Swings
    21) Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure
    22) Toy Story Midway Mania
    23) Enchanted Tiki Room
    24) Indiana Jones Adventure
    25) Jungle Cruise
    26) Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes
    27) Splash Mountain
    28) Winnie the Pooh
    29) Alice in Wonderland
    30) Casey Jr. Train
    31) Dumbo
    32) Small World
    33) King Arthur Carrousel
    34) Mad Tea Party
    35) Matterhorn Bobsleds
    36) Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
    37) Peter Pan's Flight
    38) Pinocchio's Daring Journey
    39) Snow White's Scary Adventure
    40) Storybook Land Canal Boats
    41) Big Thunder Mountain RR
    42) Mark Twain Riverboat / Sailing Ship Columbia
    43) Disneyland RR
    44) Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
    45) Gadget's Go Coaster
    46) Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
    47) Haunted Mansion
    48) Pirates of the Caribbean
    49) Astro Orbitor
    50) Autopia
    51) Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
    52) Captain EO
    53) Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
    54) Space Mountain
    55) Star Tours

    So when it comes to the number or rides, the two resorts are almost identical. It's really quite amazing how they are able to cram so much content into just two relatively small parks in California.

  6. By Dave1313

    Quote Originally Posted by houseofmouse View Post
    I am confused by the Frozen package at HS. A reserved viewing area for Osbourne Lights?? Um the whole area is meant to walked around, not just stand in one spot. I went during the CM preview, so I have not seen the package in operation but it seems an un magical add on and very misleading.

    It's actually a seating area with some tables and chairs. I imagine you are free to go in and come out as you please if you have purchased the package.

    I did not, but that's what I saw set up when I was there. Table area was near (or maybe it was in) the old round area where the Backlot trams used to make the U-turn to get back to the loading/unloading area.

  7. By SimbaOne

    Quote Originally Posted by MonoAutoRail View Post
    Congratulations, I suppose, on the Ride-the-rides-in-one-day accomplishment. However, they should realize that the same feat is almost impossible at the Disneyland Resort despite its smaller size and more compact layout because it has substantially more rides than all of WDW.
    Quote Originally Posted by JLM View Post
    So when it comes to the number or rides, the two resorts are almost identical. It's really quite amazing how they are able to cram so much content into just two relatively small parks in California.

    It should also be noted that many of the DL versions are longer than their WDW counterparts/analogs: Pirates, California Screamin', Grizzly River Run, Tiki Room, Autopia, Small World, Nemo. WDW seems to have fewer that are longer than DL's: Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, ToT, Hall of Presidents are the ones that come to mind.

  8. By houseofmouse

    Dave, yes I know about the table and food. It's the viewing area I am confused about. The light area is huge and to claim it as part of a package, when all you are going to do is walk around, is misleading.

  9. Discuss this article on MousePad.