Walt Disney World Resort Update for August 3-10, 2015by Marie Rossiter, contributing writer
Update for August 3–10, 2015
Epcot's Garden Grill extends hours | Premium package details released for 2015 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival | 2015 Epcot International Food and Wine Chase Lounge to return | Walt Disney World executives switch roles | Disney's Animal Programs release sea turtles into the wild | Did you catch these quick takes? | Views Around the World | Crowd Forecast
Starting November 8, Epcot's Garden Grill restaurant, located on the top floor of The Land pavilion in Future World, adds breakfast and lunch to its daily meal servings.
The restaurant, which slowly rotates over the Living with the Land attraction, expands its menu to include the new "Chip n Dale Breakfast Harvest" featuring a family-style meal with Mickey waffles, bacon, biscuits and gravy, sticky buns, and more. The breakfast is an all-you-care-to-enjoy meal.
Lunch brings on the "Living with the Land" family-style meal, which includes the restaurant's popular Harvest Salad made from vegetables grown in the Land's greenhouse, sliced turkey and beef, fresh side dishes, and desserts. Just like the dinner menu it shares, lunch is also an all-you-care-to-enjoy meal.
Of course, a meal at the Garden Grill wouldn't be complete without character greetings. Chip and Dale (and a few other special friends) plan to meet and greet everyone who comes to their feast each day.
Reservations can be made now by visiting the official Walt Disney World dining web page or by calling (407) WDW-DINE (407-939-3463).
Last week, a few details came out regarding this year's Epcot International Food and Wine Festival's Premium Package for those wanting to take their culinary experience to the next level.
The Disney Food Blog shared what they could confirm about this year's package, which includes:
- Access to 11 designated Premium Package Areas throughout Epcot, offering concierge service (that is, cast members will go to the booths to buy items for you and bring them back to you) from noon to 8 p.m.
- One amenity bag, which guests can pick up at the Festival Center. The bag includes a bottle of 20th Anniversary celebratory wine, a wine glass, and one Festival-themed MagicBand.
- Four entitlement tags for use at the Premium Package Areas running concierge service for the Festival Booths. This means guests get four booth menu items for free as part of the package (item restrictions may apply).
- A ticket to either a culinary demonstration (during the 5:00 p.m. slot) or a beverage seminar (during the 2:00 p.m. slot) during the week of participation.
Visitors can participate in this special event Monday through Thursday of each full week of the Festival. The cost is $199 per person ($211.62 with tax included). Interested guests may call (407) WDW-FEST (407-939-3378) for more information and to make reservations.
Disney Visa cardholders will once again be able to enjoy a little exclusive rest and relaxation in the Chase Lounge during this year's Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.
Open exclusively for those with a Disney Visa account, the lounge can be found on the third floor of the American Adventure pavilion (in between the gift shop and attraction). Visitors can enjoy some air-conditioned relaxation with a complimentary soft drink, recharge electronic devices, and learn more about their account benefits from Chase.
Visitors can go to the Chase Lounge from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Rikki Niblett from our sponsor TouringPlans.com said Disney has not confirmed if beer and wine will be available for sale or if cast members will distribute wristbands for a special viewing area for Illuminations: Reflections of Earth on a first-come-first-served basis.
MousePlanet will post updates as we hear and confirm them from Disney.
July has been a busy month of changes within the Walt Disney World management, as three executives have switched roles over the past few weeks.
First, Disney announced that Melissa Valiquette, Director of Operations of Magic Kingdom, would transition into her new position of Vice President of Epcot.
Then, last week, the announcement came that Magic Kingdom Vice President Phil Holmes and Disney's Hollywood Studios' Vice President Dan Cockerell would switch positions in the company.
The Orlando Sentinel report gave no specific reasons for the executive shuffle, although it's clear that there have been many changes at Disney's Hollywood Studios in recent months with multiple attractions closing or re-locating.
Months of work at Disney Animal Programs started to pay off in a big way last week when the first of a series of loggerhead turtles were released back into the wild from Disney's Vero Beach.
Tinkerbell and Marina had many many onlookers cheering them on as they made their way back to the ocean as part of the annual Tour de Turtles migration marathon.
The Tour de Turtles emphasizes the importance of sea turtle conservation and researchers get a chance to better understand sea turtle habits and migratory patterns that may hold the key to species survival.
Disney Animal Programs workers focus on the summer sea turtle nesting season (from approximately May to October) by marking and closely monitoring sea turtle nests within a five-mile beach stretch of Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. Disney Vacation Club members and guests staying at the resort during this time also have the opportunity to join the Disney’s Animal Programs team on turtle conservation and outings to observe the sea turtles and learn ways they can get involved.
Guests can also adopt a sea turtle nest that goes towards conservation efforts in Florida through the Disney Conservation Fund (DCF). Since its inception, the DCF has directed more than $1.2 million to sea turtle conservation efforts around the world.
This is the eighth year Disney has sponsored the event. The turtles’ migration can be tracked online at www.tourdeturtles.org.
- More (unconfirmed) talk about Disney's Hollywood Studios closing One Man's Dream and Voyage of the Little Mermaid. WDWNT.com discusses a possible new location for One Man's Dream and when these attractions may officially close.
- Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, Druzilla, and The Fairy Godmother have a new (but temporary) meet and greet location in the Magic Kingdom according to Kenny the Pirate.
- The United World Soccer shop opened at Downtown Disney.
- Get a sneak peek some of the official 2015 Epcot International Food and Wine merchandise!
- Speaking of new merchandise, have you seen all the cool stuff commemorating the Rock -n- Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith's "Sweet 16" anniversary?
- Looking for something different to do around Walt Disney World beyond the rides and attractions? Check out this special event overview for August.
Our photographer tells me it's been rainy but hot down in Walt Disney World. The weather may not be ideal, but visitors still seem to be out and about enjoying themselves—and trying to keep cool...
Disney Hollywood Studios
The Ice Palace Boutique has opened across from the ABC Commissary as part of Frozen Summer Fun at Disney's Hollywood Studios in the building that formerly was home to American Idol Experience Auditions. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
Beyond the Parks
As reported last month, the gas stations on Walt Disney World property have been rebranded as SpeedWay, like this one on Buena Vista Drive next to BoardWalk and across from Disney's Hollywood Studios. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
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- 2015 Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween 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.
- 2015 Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party - November 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20 and 29; December 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17 and 18.
- 2015 Epcot Candlelight Processional - November 27 to December 30
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. All races are sold out.
- Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – January 6–10, 2016. All races are sold out, except for the full marathon.
- Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend – February 18–21, 2016. Most events are sold out.
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 through September 26 for refurbishment.
- Liberty Tree Tavern – closed through November 21 for refurbishment
- Dream Along with Mickey – closed 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.
- Living with the Land - September 8–18.
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid – closed September 7–10 for refurbishment.
- Entire park closed from October 25, 2015 through January 3, 2016 for refurbishment
- Entire park closed from January 3 through March 13, 2016 for reburbishment.
- 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
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
Up to 35 percent off Disney's Polynesian Villas Studios
Disney Visa cardholders receive up to 35 percent off standard view studio room rates through October 3, 2015. The room must be booked either directly through their travel agent or the Walt Disney World Resort.
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 Military Personnel
4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper Discount
Eligible Service Members can purchase 4-day Park Hopper passes for $177 until December 20, 2015
Tickets can be purchased through December 17, 2015.
No more than 12 Disney Military Promotional Tickets can be purchased by an Eligible Service Member.
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.