Walt Disney World Resort Updateby Marie Rossiter, contributing writer
Update for May 18 – 25, 2015
Tickets for Jodi Benson special event available now |13 new locations announced for Disney Springs | Magic Kingdom 24-Hour Day Kicks off "Coolest Summer Ever" | Chef Mickey's to serve brunch starting May 31 | Star Wars Force for Change fundraising program debuts at Disney's Hollywood Studios | Disney Springs to welcome Jack Lindsey's Hangar Bar | Views around the World | Crowd Forecast
If you are a fan of The Little Mermaid and actress/singer Jodi Benson, then you may want to check out a new event coming Sunday, July 19.
"Part of Your World: A Day with Jodi Benson," sponsored by Legend Events, is offering a limited number of people a special day at the Magic Kingdom and an evening concert in Celebration, Florida. The day includes a chance to not only have lunch with the actress who voiced Ariel, but also an opportunity to ride Journey of the Little Mermaid with her and attend an exclusive concert.
The event comes at a steep price, though, and only a total of 60 tickets are available for sale. Tickets range from $150 to $2,000, depending on how much access you wants with Jodi Benson—whether you simply want to be in the same room during lunch and the concert, or wish to sit at the same table during lunch with Ms. Benson and then ride in the same Clamobile on Journey of the Little Mermaid ride. Everyone who attends gets a complimentary autographed photo, access to a silent auction with one-of-a-kind signed merchandise, and dining gift certificate to be used during lunch.
Tickets are very limited. Reservations can be made now until the event is sold out by visiting the official event website. A full breakdown of available tickets can be found on the site, including prices for each package.
Disney announced 13 new retail and dining locations coming to Disney Springs as renovations continue in the Downtown Disney area:
|Dining Locations||Retail Locations|
The Downtown Disney/Disney Springs expansion has a scheduled completion for some time in 2016, according to Disney Parks Blog, and Disney plans to release more information about further tenants in the coming months.
In what seems to have become an annual tradition, Walt Disney World kicks off its official summer season with a 24-hour day in the Magic Kingdom starting at 6 a.m. on Friday, May 22 and ending at 6 a.m. on Saturday, May 23.
This year's theme, "Coolest Summer Ever," focuses once again on Frozen, with a number of the scheduled events tie-into the movie:
- Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf join the Magic Kingdom's official Welcome Show to kick off the day.
- Later, Olaf, Kristoff, Anna and Elsa, transform the Magic Kingdom into an icy wonderland with pre-parade appearances at the 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. Main Street Electrical Parade.
- Tomorrowland's Rocketeer Plaza hosts showings of a sing-along Frozen from midnight to 4 a.m.
In addition to the special Frozen appearances, Magic Kingdom visitors can see current Disney Channel stars (to be announced) as Grand Marshalls of the "Festival of Fantasy Parade" at 3 p.m.
The Magic Kingdom has a number of dance parties scheduled to keep the fun going all through the day and night:
|Tomorrowland||DJ Frost keeps the feet moving from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Party goers can also see sneak peeks at the new Disney Channel Original movies Teen Beach 2 and Descendants.|
|Frontierland||The Frontierland Dance Party, which runs fro, 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. will be hosted near Country Bear Jamboree|
|Cinderella Castle||Disney’s “Up All Night” Dance Party keeps the celebration going from 2:00 a.m. to 5:45 a.m. with a DJ, stiltwalkers and lots of fun party people!|
As that 24th hour comes to a close, Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A. hosts a special finale with Mickey and the gang to wrap up the celebration.
Disney Parks Blog plans to cover the event throughout the day for those of us who cannot be there. In the past, the site has had a live feed camera broadcasting from the Main Street. U.S.A. Railroad Station. Stay tuned—as the date draws closer, Disney should have more announcements about events and coverage.
One of Walt Disney World's most popular character meal restaurants, Chef Mickey's located inside the Contemporary Resort, begins offering a brunch seating starting Sunday, May 31.
With reservations opening on May 22, the new Chef Mickey's brunch runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. This new meal can give more people a chance to be able to enjoy a meal with Chef Mickey Mouse and friends.
The menu takes some of the restaurant's breakfast favorites, including its famous Mickey waffles, and adds soups, salads, barbecue ribs, salmo,n and more to round out the brunch meal. The buffet also includes Contemporary Resort's baked goods and an ice cream bar.
Although Disney has not announced a price for the buffet brunch, you can experience thie buffet with the Disney Dining Plan, costing 1 Table Service credit.
The 2015 Star Wars Weekends not only looks to provide souvenirs for visitors to Disney's Hollywood Studios, but also plans to raise money for a worthy cause.
Star Wars: Force for Change is an initiative in which Disney teams up with UNICEF's Kid Power, a program that encourages kids around the world to get up and moving to earn points on a wearable "Power Band." When the kids earn points, program partners convert those points into funds that go toward food purchases for malnourished children.
During the final Star Wars Weekend, June 12–14, you can purchase a limited edition Stormtrooper pin at Darth's Mall. Twenty-five percent of pin sales gets donated to U.S. Funds for UNICEF in support of the Kid Power program.
Direct donations to this cause can be made directly through the program's official website.
Disney announced the addition of Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar to the Disney Springs entertainment complex coming later this fall.
The new restaurant, named after Indiana Jones' pilot, will be on the waterfront and sit between the new Boathouse restaurant and the Paradiso 37 restaurants in The Landing section of Disney Springs, according to an article. at the Orlando Sentinel.
The restaurant features an aviation theme and will seat 150 guests. The menu continues the Indiana Jones tie-in with Rolling Boulder Meatballs, Air Pirates Everything Pretzels with mustard and beer-cheese fondue, and a "Hovito Mojito."
It's the last week of the 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, plus there's a lot of construction going on over at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Downtown Disney. Let's take a look.
Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone played to large crowds, including numerous loyal fans waving Union Jack, as the final act for the Garden Rocks Concert Series at the America Garden Theater at the 2015 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
Nearly all of Innoventions West (the side nearest The Land) is now closed behind construction walls at Epcot. The Disney Visa/Chase character photo spot is still open within (for now). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Downtown Disney/Disney Springs
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- Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios – May 22, 23 & 24, May 29, 30 & 31, June 5, 6 & 7, June 12,13 & 14
- 2015 Mickey's Not So Scary Hallowen Party – September 15, 18, 20, 22, 25 and 27; October 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29 and 31; November 1
- 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 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend – November 6–7. Most events are sold out.
- Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – January 6–10, 2016. Many events are sold out.
- 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.
- Pirates of the Caribbean – closed June 8 through September 25 for refurbishment.
- Liberty Tree Tavern – closed July 6 through November 20 for refurbishment
- Dream Along with Mickey – closed July 19 through August 22 for refurbishment
- Liberty Square Riverboat – closed August 4–10 for refurbishment.
- Walt Disney World Frontierland station – closed September 29 through November 5 for refurbishment.
- Walt Disney World Main Street U.S.A station – closed September 29 through November 5 for refurbishment.
- Walt Disney World Fantasyland station – closed September 29 through November 5 for refurbishment.
- Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage – closed June 12–14 for refurbishment
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid – closed September 7–10 for refurbishment
Disney's Animal Kingdom
- Triceratop Spin – closed through May 23.
- Polynesian – ongoing refurbishment of the lobby and pool area.
- 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 – 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
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
Weekdays June 16 – August 9, 2015
Weekends August 10-27, 2015
Free Dining Plan Offer
Get a free dining plan when booking a non-discounted 6-night/7-day Walt Disney Travel Company package that includes a room at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels and ticket with either a Park Hopper or Water Park Fun & More option.
Offer is valid for arrivals most nights from August 28 to October 2, October 25–31, November 8–19, and December 15–21.
The booking window is now through July 10, 2015.
Guests receive the Disney Dining Plan if they stay at select Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts, Disney Deluxe Resorts, or a Disney Moderate Resorts.
Guests receive the Quick-Service Dining Plan if they stay at select Disney Value Resorts.
The offer excludes:
Dining plans exclude alcohol and gratuities.
Children ages 3 through 9 must order from the children's menu.
To check for availability, visit either the Walt Disney World official webpage, call a Walt Disney World vacation specialist at (407) 827-7181 or contact a travel agent.
Up to a 30 percent room-only discount offered for fall season
For those who either choose not to or cannot use the free dining package, Disney also announced a discount of up to a 30 percent off on rooms for the late summer/early fall.
Here are the offer details:
Offer is valid August 15 through October 3, 2015
The booking window is now through August 7, 2015
To check for availability, visit either the Walt Disney World official webpage, call a Walt Disney World vacation specialist at (407) 827-7181, or contact a travel agent.
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
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.