Walt Disney World Resort Updateby Marie Rossiter, contributing writer
Update for January 20 – 26, 2015
Go directly to: News & Views | Join our Networks | Resort Events | Refurbishments and Attraction Closures | Discounts and Promotions
New concert series for 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Show | Disney files paperwork for Norway pavilion expansion | 2015 Epcot Food & Wine Festival dates announced | Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin announces sixth annual Food & Wine Classic | Flame Tree Barbecue alternatives provided at Disney's Animal Kingdom | Views around the World | This and That | Crowd update
The 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival debuts new, live entertainment at the American Gardens Theater: the Garden Rocks Concert Series.
The live performances run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Epcot visitors can see these shows for free since they are included in regular park admission.
Disney Parks Blog announced the following lineup for the 2015 Garden Rocks Concert Series (subject to change without notice):
- March 6–8: Gin Blossoms “Hey Jealousy”
- March 13–15: Pablo Cruise “Love Will Find a Way”
- March 20–22: En Vogue “Free Your Mind”
- March 27–29: Starship “We Built This City”
- April 3–5: The Orchestra starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”
- April 10–12: Village People “Y.M.C.A.”
- April 17–19: Jon Secada “Just Another Day”
- April 24–26: The Guess Who “These Eyes”
- May 1–3: Taylor Dayne “Tell It to My Heart”
- May 8–10: Little River Band “Lady”
- May 15–17: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am”
This new concert series takes the place of the Flower Power Concert Series from previous years which primarily featured acts from the 1960s and 19070s and opens up the musical acts to more diverse artists from across a wider time period.
The 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival runs from March 4 through May 17.
Disney filed paperwork last week with the South Florida Water Management System with plans to add on the current Norway pavilion in Epcot.
The documents indicate that the new construction includes a 13,000 sq. ft building that includes a Frozen meet and greet area as well as upgrades to the current restroom in the Norway pavilion.
The documents also include a further breakdown of the work to come on the 1.08-acre site including:
- A 2,000 sq. ft. building
- wo parking lots made up of 18 parking spaces and
- Planters and sidewalk modifications
Disney closed Norway's Malestrom attraction in October 2014 and announced that a new Frozen experience would take its place sometime in 2016.
Fans of Disney and food celebrated last week as Disney announced the dates of the 2015 Epcot Food & Wine Festival. Running from September 25 to November 16, this means Food & Wine Festival fans have 53 days to enjoy all of the international cuisine, wine tastings, live entertainment, and special events that accompany the annual festival.
Each year, Epcot hosts the International Marketplace featuring almost 30 booths with a variety of food and drinks from all over the world. Over at Future World, signature dining experiences with famous chefs offer exclusive menus, seminars and tastings.
In the evenings, the American Garden Theater hosts the annual Eat to the Beat Concert Series, which brings together the some of the best live musical acts from the 70s through today.
Disney Parks Blog plans to release more information about the festival as Disney releases it. Anyone interested in more information can also visit the festival's official webpage.
The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort announced the dates for its sixth annual Food & Wine Classic as October 30 and 31.
The two-night, outdoor festival features more than 40 locations offering food from the hotel's award-winning restaurants as well as wine from more than 30 wineries. The event also features live music, a beer garden with local and seasonal brews from around the world and seminars with hotel chefs and beverage experts.
Anyone interested in keeping up with future event announcements, including ticket packages can visit the event's official webpage.
The Flame Tree Barbecue is closed (and its popular food items sold elsewhere) during construction of the future nighttime fountain and lights spectacular at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka
With Disney's Animal Kingdom's Flame Tree Barbecue closed for an extended period of time for refurbishment, Disney decided to provide alternatives for the restaurant's fans:
- The Beastly Kiosk and Gardens Kiosk features the 1/2 barbecue chicken, 1/2 slab of St. Louis Ribs, and the rib and chicken combo plate.i
- Trilo-Bites features the jumbo turkey leg and the pork sandwich
As these locations serve Flame Tree Barbecue selections, the popular Mickey-shaped pretzels and jalepeno pretzels can be found at the Isle of Java in Discovery Island and hand-scooped ice cream and sundaes are at Dino-Bites Snacks in Dinoland, U.S.A.
Flame Tree Barbecue's refurbishment is scheduled for completion on March 31.
Walt Disney World visitors arriving for Martin Luther King, Jr. week found crowds and construction waiting for them. However, they also likely noticed that a lot of progress has been made around the resort.
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
...Have you put in your daily entry for the Disney "Flip" Side sweepstakes? The contest is awarding 31 winners in January a 5-day/4-night vacation at Walt Disney World for four that includes:
- One-night stay at the Cinderella Castle Suite in the Magic Kingdom Park
- Three-night stay at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel
- Up to four 5-Day Magic Your Way Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun & More Options
- $500 Disney Gift Card
- Personalized “Disney Side” welcome basket
- Glass Slipper gift inspired by the new live-action film “Cinderella,” in theaters March 13
- Round-trip coach airfare (if the winner resides more than 250 miles from the Walt Disney World Resort)
...Happy 40th anniversary to the Magic Kingdom's Carousel of Progress and Space Mountain! Both attractions celebrated this milestone last week.
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.
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!
"Do more. Wait less."
Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. Email Stephanie here.
Talk about these stories and more on our Walt Disney World discussion forum here.
- Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend – February 19–22.
- 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Show – March 4 to May 17.
- 2015 Epcot Food & Wine Festival - September 26 to November 16.
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.
- Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend – February 19–22. All races are sold out, but some associated events are still available.
- Expedition Everest Challenge – May 1–2. The event, which was announced as being the final time it was being offered, sold out within minutes of registration opening.
- Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend – November 6–7. Registration opens March 17.
- Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – January 6–10, 2016. Registration opens April 28.
- Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend – February 18–21, 2016. Registration opens July 14.
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.
- Splash Mountain – closed through January 30.
- Cinderella's Royal Table – closed through March 6 for refurbishment.
- Liberty Square Riverboat – closed January 23–27 for refurbishment.
- Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid – closed February 2 through March 6 for refurbishment.
- Harmony Barber Shop – closed February 2 through March 30 (dates subject to change).
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – closed March 4–7 for refurbishment
- "it's a small world" – closed March 10–15 for refurbishment
- Jungle Cruise – closed April 13 through May 8 for refurbishment
- Dream Along with Mickey – closed April 13 through May 20 for refurbishment
- Liberty Tree Tavern – closed July 6 through November 20 for refurbishment
- Flame Tree Barbecue – closed through March 31.
- Kali River Rapids – closed January 20 through February 4; March 10–13.
- Polynesian – refurbishment of the lobby and pool area ongoing.
- Blizzard Beach – the the entire park closed through March 3.
- 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.
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
Memory Maker pre-arrival discount
Disney's PhotoPass service provides a discount on Disney Memory Maker pre-arrival packages. For $199 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 $169, a $30 savings. Applicable taxes are charged to all orders.
Purchase 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
|None at this time.|
Discounts for Disney Rewards VISA & Debit Card Holders
15 percent off select guided tours
Disney Visa cardholders receive 15 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:
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 and Villas:
Disney's BoardWalk Inn and Villas:
Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort:
Disney's Contemporary Resort:
Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground:
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa:
Disney's Old Key West Resort:
Disney's Port Orleans Resort:
Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa:
Disney's Wilderness Lodge:
Disney's Yacht Club Resort:
Disney's Hollywood Studios:
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.
15 percent off all Disney spa and salon services
Disney Visa cardholders receive 15 percent off the non-discounted price of any salon treatment valued at $45 or greater or any 50-minute or longer spa service at the spas and salons at Walt Disney World Resort listed below:
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge and Villas
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
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
14 days for 7-day park tickets plus up to 4 nights free in 2015.
Get up to 4 free nights when you book a 7-night or longer stay at a Disney hotel for select dates in 2015 and you can also get Disney’s Ultimate 14-Day ticket for the price of 7 offer. Applicable to arrivals between February 1 and December 6, subject to availability. Restrictions apply – see official website for details.
Book by March 31.
Discounts for Canada Residents
None at this time.
Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. Email Marie here.