Walt Disney World Resort Update

by Marie Rossiter, contributing writer
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Update for April 21 – 27, 2015

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


News and Views

Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package now on sale | Sounds of Summer Concert Series returns to Epcot | Dockside Margaritas scheduled to open April 23 | Disney offering new allergy-friendly menus throughout resort | 2015 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival Guide April 24 to 26Views around the World | This and that... | Crowd Update

Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package now on sale

Last week, Disney announced the release of this year's Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package from June 17 through September 7, 2015.

Each Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package includes:

  • See Anna and Elsa in the reserved viewing for Frozen Royal Welcome, complete with regal refreshments—water, a selection of soft drinks, and ice cream
  • Reserved seating for your choice of one performance of For the First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Frozen Fireworks viewing with dessert party, a dazzling nighttime display of fireworks paired with Frozen-themed desserts as well as specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages

The cost for this event is $69 for adults and $39 for children age 3 to 9 (tax and gratuity are included). Reservations can be made online or by calling (407) 939-3463. Package availability is limited.

Sounds of Summer Concert Series returns to Epcot

Epcot visitors during the summer have the chance to enjoy live entertainment when the Sounds of Summer Concert Series returns from June 7 through July 25 to the American Gardens Theater in World Showcase.

Disney Parks Blog published the list of entertainers. A large lineup of tribute bands who are scheduled to rock the theme park include:

  • June 7–13 – DSB – A Tribute to Journey
  • June 14–20 – 2U – A Tribute to U2
  • June 21–26 – Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot – A Tribute Billy Joel Show
  • June 27 to July 4 – Don’t Look Back – A Tribute to Boston
  • July 5–11 – Fire & Ice – A Tribute to Pat Benatar
  • July 12–18 – Stayin’ Alive – A Tribute to the Bee Gees
  • July 19–25 – Hotel California – A Salute to the Eagles

Sounds Like Summer concerts do not require a separate ticket and are included with regular Epcot admission. Show times are 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. daily.

Dockside Margaritas scheduled to open April 23

Dockside Margaritas, a waterfront bar in the Downtown Disney Marketplace, is scheduled to open on April 23. 

Disney Parks Blog reports that visitors can expect a wide variety of drink offerings, including:

  • Patrón Añejo Margarita – Patrón Barrel Select Añejo Tequila, Grand Marnier, Sweet-and-Sour, and fresh Lime Juice
  • Habanero Lime Margarita – Patrón Silver Tequila, Habanero Lime, fresh Lime Juice, and Florida Sugar Cane Simple Syrup
  • Sunset Margarita – Casamigos Reposado Tequila, Cointreau, fresh Lime Juice, Sweet-and-Sour, and Orange Juice
  • Orange Grove Rum Runner – Siesta Key Spiced Rum, Blackberry Brandy, Crème de Banana, and Florida Citrus Juices with a float of Gosling’s 151 Rum
  • Sugar Cane Mojito – Siesta Key Silver Rum, Florida Sugar Cane Simple Syrup, fresh Lime Juice, and Mint
  • Strawberry Margarita – Herradura Reposado Tequila and fresh Lime Juice blended with Strawberry Purée
  • Florida Citrus Freeze – Florida Cane ‘Orlando Orange’ Vodka and Peach Schnapps blended with Orange Purée

Visitors can also enjoy craft beers from Florida breweries, like Orange Blossom Pilsner, Bold City Duke’s Brown Ale and Cigar City Jai Alai IPA. Tropical Florida wine in refreshing flavors like Mango Mamma and Key Limen will also be available.

Live entertainment also returns to the waterfront with music scheduled from 2:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays, and 12:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Disney offering new allergy-friendly menus throughout resort

Great news for Walt Disney World visitors with allergy or food sensitivity concerns.

On April 14, Walt Disney World restaurants rolled out brand news allergy-friendly menus to its counter-service and table-service restaurants. The roll-out began with the signature restaurants and eventually hits other counter-service locations.

According to the Disney Parks Blog, the new allergy-friendly menus provide allergen content for each menu item, making informed choices easier. Menu selection includes appetizers (where applicable), entrées, side items, desserts, and kids’ meals, and focuses on the most common allergens of gluten/wheat, milk, peanut, tree nuts, and fish.


In its announcement, Disney includes the recently updated Jiko menu so potential guests can see what it looks before arrival at the restaurant. Photo by Disney.

Disney provided no specific timeline for all restaurants on resort property, but the press release indicated Disney hoped to have these new menus will have arrived in all Disney locations within the next few weeks. 

2015 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival Guide April 24 to 26

It doesn't seem possible that the 2015 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival is already is preparing for its eighth weekend, but time flies when you're having fun, right?


For the first time ever, Chip 'n' Dale appear as topiaries with the rest of the Disney gang. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The annual event showcases incredible topiary creations sculpted to look like classic Disney characters, and gardens filled with flowers of every color of the rainbow. Guests can also attend live demonstrations on how to grow their own gardens and sample a variety of international cuisine to throughout the 75-day festival.

Each weekend, Epcot presents special events that include music, seminars, tours and more. Make sure to check the guide below and/or pick one up at the parks to get information on how to make reservations. We'll have an event guide updated each week for MousePlanet readers.

Here's what you can expect for Week #8 of the 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival:

Friday, April 24    
Gardens of the World Tour: A three-hour tour of special displays and international Gardens. 9:00 – noon Epcot
Heather McPherson and Katie Farmand, authors. 11:00, 2:00 Greenhouse Stage
Jessi Bloom, landscape designer and horticulturalist Noon, 3:00 Fresh Epcot Stage
"Planting Pointers": join experts as they present great gardening ideas for everyone 1:00, 4:00 University of Florida Stage
English Tea Garden Tour 1:00, 3:45, 6:15 Tea Caddy
Florida Fresh Weekend Experiences 10:00 – 5:00 Festival Center
Garden Rocks Concert Series: The Guess Who 5:30, 6:45, 8:00 American Gardens Theater
Saturday, April 25    
Gardens of the World Tour: A three-hour tour of special displays and international Gardens. 9:00 – noon Epcot
Heather McPherson and Katie Farmand, authors 11:00, 2:00 Greenhouse Stage
Jessi Bloom, landscape designer and horticulturalist Noon, 3:00 Fresh Epcot Stage
"Planting Pointers": join experts as they present great gardening ideas for everyone. 1:00, 4:00 University of Florida Stage
English Tea Garden Tour 1:00, 3:45, 6:15 Tea Caddy
Florida Fresh Weekend Experiences 10:00 – 5:00 Festival Center
Garden Rocks Concert Series: The Guess Who 5:30, 6:45, 8:00 American Gardens Theater
Sunday, April 26    
Gardens of the World Tour: A three-hour tour of special displays and international Gardens. 9:00 – noon Epcot
Heather McPherson and Katie Farmand, authors 11:00, 2:00 Greenhouse Stage
Jessi Bloom, landscape designer and horticulturalist Noon, 3:00 Fresh Epcot Stage
"Planting Pointers": join experts as they present great gardening ideas for everyone. 1:00, 4:00 University of Florida Stage
English Tea Garden Tour 1:00, 3:45, 6:15 Tea Caddy
Florida Fresh Weekend Experiences 10:00 – 5:00 Festival Center
Garden Rocks Concert Series: Guess Who 5:30, 6:45, 8:00 American Gardens Theater

Views around the World

Magic Kingdom


The removal of the scrim and scaffolding at the Main Street Cinema has restored a classic view of the Magic Kingdom. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Construction for the expansion of the hub is now progressing near the bridge to Adventureland at Magic Kingdom. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Construction to expand the hub area at the Magic Kingdom is now progressing in the northeastern area near the bridge to Liberty Square. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Magic Kingdom hub expansion construction is now proceeding in the northern areas near the bridge to Tomorrowland. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Construction to expand the hub area at the Magic Kingdom is now progressing in the previous site of the Rose Garden. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Epcot


Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival continues through May 17. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Center includes a Pluto topiary. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


An extended trailer preview of the upcoming Disney movie "Tomorrowland" is now playing at the Magic Eye Theater at Epcot's Imagination pavilion. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


A costume from the upcoming Disney movie "Tomorrowland" is on display in the pre-show area of the Magic Eye Theater at Epcot's Imagination pavilion. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Downtown Disney/Disney Springs


Amphicars share Village Lake at Downtown Disney with the water taxis that run between the West Side and Marketplace docks, as well as those for Disney's Saratoga Springs, Disney's Old Key West and Disney's Port Orleans (French Quarter and Riverside) Resorts. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The dashboards of each of the Amphicars are decorated with rubber ducks. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The Dockside Margaritas seating area and stand appear to be nearing completion in the Marketplace area of Downtown Disney. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


There are several separate dining areas and an outdoor dockside bar at The Boathouse at Downtown Disney. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

This and that...

...Disney launched the Kids Remember Contest last week. To enter, participants share a video of their child's favorite Walt Disney World memory. The video can be submitted via Instagram, Vimeo, or Twitter.

One grand prize winner and their little ones will win a trip to Walt Disney World to experience the Ultimate Princess & Pirate Vacation for a family of four. The prize package includes:

  • A night's stay in the Cinderella Castle Suite
  • 5 nights in a Pirate Room at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Four 7-Day Magic Your Way Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun & More Options
  • Memory Maker package – Enjoy unlimited digital photos taken at Disney PhotoPass locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort
  • Lunch at Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine with Sofia the First and Jake and the Neverland Pirates
  • One Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or Pirate's League makeover
  • A Disney Gift Card for extra magic during your stay
  • Travel to and from the Walt Disney World Resort

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Save time and money at Walt Disney World.

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, April 21, 2015 5 / 10
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 4 / 10
Thursday, April 23, 2015 4 / 10
Friday, April 24, 2015 5 / 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!

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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.

Resort Events

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.
  • 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.


Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Magic Kingdom

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Resorts

  • Polynesian – refurbishment of the lobby and pool area ongoing.

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

Save Up to 30 percent with room discount

Summer travelers looking to save money on Walt Disney World trip have some new options with last week's new room discount announcement

Visitors traveling between June 16 and August 27, 2015 can save between 15 percent and 30 percent off regular room rates with this promotion.

Room inventory is limited and this promotion only lasts until June 12 and certain exclusions apply (see below). 

To make reservations, contact your travel agent or visit the official Walt Disney World website.

June 16 - August 27, 2015

Save 30%

  • Deluxe/Deluxe Villas: Disney's Boardwalk Villas, Disney's Old Key West Resort, Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Standard & Pool View, Disney's Boardwalk Inn, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney's Polynesian Resort, Disney's Wilderness Lodge, Disney's Yacht Club Resort.

Save 20%

  • Deluxe: Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Savannah & Club View, Disney's Beach Club, Disney's Contemporary Resort

Weekdays June 16 - August 9, 2015

Save 20%

  • Moderate: Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, Disney's Fort Wilderness Cabins, Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside.

Save 15%

  • Value: Disney's All Star Sports Resort, Disney's All Star Music Resort, Disney's Pop Century Resort, Disney's Art of Animation Resort - Family Suites Only.

Weekends August 10-27, 2015

Save 25%

  • Moderate: Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, Disney's Fort Wilderness Cabins, Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside.

Save 20%

  • Value: Disney's All Star Sports Resort, Disney's All Star Music Resort, Disney's Pop Century Resort, Disney's Art of Animation Resort - Family Suites Only.

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:

  • 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 and Villas:

  • Boma
  • Jiko (see restrictions)
  • Sanaa

Disney's BoardWalk Inn and Villas:

  • ESPN Sports Club
  • Flying Fish Cafe (see restrictions)

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort:

  • Shutters at Old Port Royale

Disney's Contemporary Resort:

  • The Wave...of American Flavors

Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground:

  • Trail's End Restaurant

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa:

  • Citricos (see restrictions)
  • Grand Floridian Cafe

Disney's Old Key West Resort:

  • Olivia's Cafe

Disney's Port Orleans Resort:

  • Boatwright's Dining Hall

Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa:

  • The Turf Club Bar and Grill

Disney's Wilderness Lodge:

  • Artist Point (see restrictions)
  • Whispering Canyon Cafe

Disney's Yacht Club Resort:

  • Captain's Grille

Disney's Hollywood Studios:

  • The Hollywood Brown Derby (see restrictions)
  • Hollywood & Vine (see restrictions)

Epcot:

  • Biergarten Restaurant (see restrictions)

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

  • Senses – A Disney Spa
  • Ivy Trellis Salon

Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

  • Senses – A Disney Spa

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge and Villas

  • Zahanati Massage & Fitness Center

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

  • Olympiad Fitness Center

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

  • La Vida Health Club
  • Casa de Belleza Salon

Disney's Wilderness Lodge

  • Sturdy Branches Health Club

Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts

  • Ship Shape Massage Salon Fitness

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

None at this time


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.

 

Comments

  1. By carolinakid

    Did anyone else chuckle and shake his head when the first item listed after "regal refreshments " was.....wait for it...WATER? ??
    Oh, Disney, thanks for the laugh! For 69 bucks, what a royal treat!

  2. By UncleMike

    The update still shows the POC shut down refurb date as May 11th 2015.
    Disney has moved it to June 8, 2015.

  3. By Dave1313

    Quote Originally Posted by carolinakid View Post
    Did anyone else chuckle and shake his head when the first item listed after "regal refreshments " was.....wait for it...WATER? ??
    Oh, Disney, thanks for the laugh! For 69 bucks, what a royal treat!

    Maybe, but then again I'm the rare bird that will actually drink water that comes from a fountain in FL. Apparently that is not an option for many people. (More seriously, even though it's not a cheapie, this was actually a pretty good event last year. Not needing to camp out for an hour or more to get a spot for good parade viewing, combined with the Desert Party for Fireworks and the reserved seating for the sing-along was a decent experience.)

    There might also be a slight typo in one of the captions for hub expansion. I'm pretty sure going towards Liberty Square would qualify as the northwest area of the Hub, Fantasyland or maybe even Tomorrowland would be northeast.

    Good summary and pics, all the same!

  4. By WDW heart

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleMike View Post
    The update still shows the POC shut down refurb date as May 11th 2015.
    Disney has moved it to June 8, 2015.

    Oh no, this is our favorite ride.

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