Walt Disney World Resort Update

by Marie Rossiter, contributing writer
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Update for December 16 – 22, 2014

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

News and Views

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort refurbishment updates | Taste of Hollywood To Go package returns | Purchase park tickets through My Disney Experience app | Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special returns to Disney's Hollywood StudiosDisney's Meg Crofton to retire in 2015 | Disney CEO discusses new Star Wars theme park connections | Views from Around "the World" | Walt Disney World Holiday Event Guide | Discussion of the Week | Crowd update

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort refurbishment updates

Last week, fans learned more about Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Villas and Bungalows from Disney Parks Blog.

Part of the new Disney Vacation Club offerings at the Polynesian includes 20 new bungalows, each of which can sleep up to eight. These bungalows offer a setting that feels more like a home than a hotel. The project also includes a plunge pool over the Seven Seas Lagoon and a spectacular view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks.

Disney also plans to open the largest deluxe studios found on resort property with their new villas. The "360 Deluxe Studios" sleep up to five guests and the ability to connect to another deluxe studio. This addition marks the first time Disney offers this feature in a Disney Vacation Club Resort. Each room has a kitchenette and extra storage space. Each connected room has a bathroom separated into two areas, one with a sink and show and the other with a tub/shower and sink.

Disney Parks Blog reported that, as with other Disney Vacation Club Resorts, all Disney's Polynesian Resort Villas and Bungalows can be rented by guests when not occupied by a Disney Vacation Club member. The official first-phase opening date has not been set as of this update, but Disney Parks Blog reported it will be sometime in 2015.

Taste of Hollywood To Go package returns

As crowds continue to build at the Walt Disney World theme parks for the holiday season, Disney's Hollywood Studios is offering the Taste of Hollywood To Go Winter Fantasmic! package from December 24 through 31. 

The park previously offered this package to help alleviate congestion in its quick serve and table service dining locations. This time around, there are five different picnic-style packages:

  • Cold-cut roast beef with creamy horseradish, potato salad, grilled asparagus, and chocolate cake
  • California roll and and tuna sushi roll, with avocado, orange and tomato salad, ginger-marinated tomatoes and cucumbers, and a spicy pecan chocolate cluster
  • Golden fried chicken, with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, sweet corn and carrots, and warm apple crisp
  • Shrimp salad, with fresh pita, ginger-marinated tomato and cucumbers, and Mandarin orange cheesecake
  • Veggie sandwich made with ginger-marinated tomatoes and cucumbers, with quinoa salad, and chocolate cake.

The package also includes two kids menu offerings:

  • Turkey and American cheese wrap, apples and carrots, ranch dip, strawberry yogurt, and a seven-layer cookie bar
  • Strawberry yogurt, apple wedges, carrot sticks, Goldfish crackers, and an apple and cinnamon oatmeal bar 

In addition to the meal, guests receive a reserved viewing ticket for Fantastic at a preferred location in the theater. Preferred seating requires guests to bring their To-Go Package meal receipt. Since this is first-come, first-served, make sure to arrive early for the best seats.

To make a reservation, call (407) WDW-DINE (407-939-3463).

Purchase park tickets through My Disney Experience app

You can now purchase park tickets directly through your iOS and Android smartphone My Disney Experience application.

According to Ricki Niblett from our sponsor TouringPlans.com, in addition to the existing features of the My Disney Experience app, such as making Fastpass+ reservations or dining reservations, you can now a buy tickets as well, allowing you to choose the tickets you want to purchase based on the guest's age, as well as how many days for a multi-day, and adding options such as park hopping. 

Before you can make your final purchase of the tickets, the app requires that you assign them to those on your friends and family list. Doing so will allow your party to then make Fastpass+ reservations through the app.

As of now, this app feature can only be used by residents of the U.S. and Canada, and tickets must be purchased with U.S. dollars.

Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special returns to Disney's Hollywood Studios

Disney's Hollywood Studios welcomes back Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special as part of its special entertainment offerings for the holidays, .

According to various online sources, the part-holiday show, part-improvisational comedy experience offers a family-friendly and humorous spin on the holiday season including on the spot Christmas carols, improvised re-tellings of classic holiday stories and more. The performers work quickly and always look for willing audience participants to get in on the fun. The show dates back to Disney's Pleasure Island when the Comedy Warehouse served as a nightly fixture for those wanting a good laugh. The best part of these shows: guests can watch them multiple times because the content changes from show to show, based on audience participation.

To catch the show, visit Disney's Hollywood Studios' Superstar Television Theater (the former home of the American Idol Experience) from December 20, 2014 through January 4, 2015. Each show lasts 20 minutes and runs daily at 12:45 p.m., 1:45 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 5:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. On New Year's Eve, the schedule changes to 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

As with any live show, schedules can change, so check the park's time guide when you arrive.

Disney's Meg Crofton to retire in 2015

Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts' U.S. and France operations plans to retire on June 1, 2015.

According to an Orlando Sentinel report, her retirement comes after serving in her current position since 2011. Before Crofton's tenure in that position, she served as persident of the Walt Disney World Resort in 2006. Overall, Crofton has worked with Disney for 35 years and is now based out of Disney's headquarters in Burbank, California.

The Orlando Sentinel cited an internal memo from Crofton, who reflected on her reasons for retirement. "I wanted to leave while I had plenty of juice for the next chapter in my life," she said. She added that she and her husband plan to live in San Francisco after her retirement.

Disney has not announced Crofton's successor as of this update.

Disney CEO discusses new Star Wars theme park connections

Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger recently shared more details about how the company plans to integrate Star Wars into its theme parks around the world.

In an exclusive article from Variety, Iger said that fans shouldn't expect to see any significant additions or changes in the theme parks in the near future. In fact, he pointed toward waiting until the latest Star Wars installment, The Force Awakens is released worldwide.

"I didn’t want someone to say, ‘I just saw the movie and there’s nothing in that movie in this (attraction),” Iger said. “We waited to see what this film would have in it.” Iger added that he stopped Imagineering's early development work for theme park integration because he "couldn't tell them what was new" until film development and production ended. 

Iger said, “I slowed it all down so what we come forward with will have a blend of the past, present and maybe the future,” referencing upcoming sequels and spinoff films. “Now we have a sense of what’s in ‘Star Wars 8,’ and what some of the standalone films will have in them.”

Views from Around the World

Changes continue to be the buzzword around Walt Disney World, even during the holiday season. Crews in and around the theme parks work to bring guests new experiences and locations to enjoy during their next Disney family vacation. Let's take peek at what's been going on over the past week.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Work continues in a full-scale manner on the night-time pageant at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Photo by J. Jeff Kober. 

It is believed that this additional stand adjacent to the Flame Tree Barbecue is intended as a drink stand. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

A themed rock wall captures the spirit of the new marketplace area being added to Africa at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Construction vehicles now appear around the bridge area that will lead into the new Avatar area. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Several cranes continue supporting the vertical construction going on with the new Avatar area. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

This may be the last year the Christmas tree at Disney's Hollywood Studios appears outside the park entrance. With the removal of the Sorcerer's Hat, it may return to its original location in front of The Great Movie Ride.  Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

New costumes are showcased in the queue at The Great Movie Ride. Here we see Val Kilmer's costume from Top Gun. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The ABC Commissary has new props, posters, and even a new video created  featuring America's Funniest Home Video's host Tom Bergeron. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Changes to the elevation and patio cover have been made in anticipation of the Starbucks addition to Disney's Hollywood Studios. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Here's a first sneak peek at the interior kitchen for the new Starbucks. It maintains a theme aligned to the kitchen designs of the 1930s.

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 following video:


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 event shows off the best and and most festive side of Walt Disney World during the holidays.

The event runs from 7 p.m. to midnight on select nights through December 19. In addition to 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 five 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 you might not normally see:

  • 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 at 5:00pm, 6:45pm, and 8:15pm

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

  • December 15 to 17 – Chita Rivera
  • December 18 to 20 – Ana Gasteyer (new on the schedule)
  • December 21 to 23 – Marlee Matlin
  • December 24 and 25 – Isabella Rossellini
  • December 26 and 27 – Blair Underwood
  • December 28 to 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.

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 from November 28 through 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.

Discussion of the Week

MousePad discussion forum member PinkFloyd is looking for help in choosing the perfect Walt Disney World resort for her family:

After countless hours of researching and crunching numbers, I'm about ready to throw in the towel decide to do our usually yearly trip to DL instead of Disney World. If anyone can provide some guidance I would be very appreciative. 
We are looking at October 20th-November 7th 2015
 
Cost is somewhat of an issue because I am frugal by nature. Hubby says this will probably be the only trip we go on with the kiddos who will be 5 and 8 at that time. I'd like to keep hotel and food $4000 or less since we will be flying from Las Vegas.
 
Convenience is a big consideration. I don't want to spend a lot of time waiting for buses and when we are done for the day we want to get back to our rooms fast and crash. 
 
Some of my thoughts:
I always dreamed at staying at the Contemporary, but I know it will be out of budget. If we can get a DVC Bay Lake tower for our dates it would be $2016. I like the convenience MK since I think this will be where we will spend most of our days.
 
DVC Boardwalk Villas are only $1492 and easy access to Epcot and Studios
Pop Century - Since we might not be able to get a DVC room, this would be our cheapest options. My thought is since we have to take buses everywhere else and this does have a dedicated bus, how inconvenience is this option? Plus, might be nice if free Disney Dining is available for our dates. 
 
Thanks for any input!
What advice do you have for PinkFloyd? Head over to our MousePad Discussion Forum and get in on the conversation!

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Crowd Forecast

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December's crowds are divided into two categories - "busy" most of the month and "crazy" when the month ends. The period between December 27th and January 2nd is the single busiest time of the year, by far. Some wait times will reach astronomical levels. Visit in early or mid-December however, and you will enjoy one of our favorite times of the year.

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, December 16, 2014 3/10
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 5/10
Thursday, December 18, 2014 3/10
Friday, December 19, 2014 4/10

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 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 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 $169 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 $40 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 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

  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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