Walt Disney World Resort Update for March 30 - April 4, 2016by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer
Walt Disney World Resort Update for March 30 – April 4, 2016
Vacation planners eagerly wait each year for Disney to release the dates for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, and last week they were officially confirmed.
- September – 2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 29, 30
- October – 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31
This year, Disney watchers have also been waiting to see how the company would modify the costume policy for adults attending the event in the wake of the new park rules put in place last year. The new rules banned visitors over age 14 from wearing costumes inside the park, and prohibited all guests from carrying toy weapons. runDisney shortly followed suit for their 2016 events, imposing a costume ban with slightly different guidelines.
According to the Disney Parks Blog,
"While costumed attire may be worn, guests ages 14 and older are strongly discouraged from wearing layered costumes or costume props that surround the entire body as they may be subject to additional security screening. Additionally, costumes may not contain any weapons that resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon."
The article goes on to refer readers to the costume guidelines on the Walt Disney World website, but that site just contains the "no costumes for adults" policy. We're hoping Disney will provide some additional clarification about the costume policy for this event.
We also note that Disney has yet to announce pricing or on-sale dates for this event.
After we published the Update last week, Disney officially announced the After Hours event we mentioned. The exclusive event will take place on seven Thursday nights this spring:
- April: 14, 21, 28
- May: 5, 8, 12, 19
Guests who purchase the ticket have access to the Magic Kingdom starting at 7:00 p.m., 3 or 4 hours (depending on date) earlier than the park's posted closing time. The "after hours" portion runs until 3 hours after the theme park closes to the public, so 1:00 a.m. or 2:00 a.m. depending on date.
Reservations are now open. The cost is $149 per person (ages 3 and older), plus tax. The event includes select attractions and character experiences, along with ice cream novelties and bottled soft drinks from vending carts around the park.
Disney won't officially confirm the number of tickets to be sold each night, but CMs tell us it's about the capacity of Mickey's PhilharMagic (just under 500).
Reservations are available by calling (407) 827-7185. [Ask the automated system for "tickets," because this offering is not yet recognized the by voice response system]
Contributing photographer Alan Dalinka shares these photos of the 5th Annual Easter Egg display at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The resort's bakery team crafted these hollow eggs from chocolate, and decorated them with edible ingredients. Each egg is up to 20 inches tall, and weighs as much as 12 pounds. The eggs will remain on display through April 4, so there's plenty of time to go see them if you're visiting Walt Disney World this week.
After Disney announced major changes to the 2016 Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend format and schedule, the public outcry led us to question whether the event would sell out as quickly as other runDisney events.
As it happens, the race sold out even faster than many recent runDisney events. The new 10K event was the first to sell out after general registration opened Tuesday morning, lasting just over an hour. By 11:45 a.m., all events except the runDisney Kids Races were full.
If you weren't fast enough to register, you can still secure a spot through one of the official runDisney charity groups, or by booking a package through a travel provider. A list of both charity and travel partners are posted on the runDisney website.
If you registered for the event, come add your name to the Team MousePlanet race roster to connect with other runners and share training tips.
Contributing photographer Alan Dalinka shares some photos from around Walt Disney World.
Though it could change, the rows of the Amaze section of Epcot's Parking lot (the eastern side or left of the tram lane when approaching Spaceship Earth from the lot) just beyond (north of) the parking for the disabled is usually the area now designated "Preferred Parking" and staffed by a Cast Member. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
Stone and rock work are nearing completion in the Royal Sommerhaus extension of the Norway pavilion that will soon be home to meet and greets with characters from Disney's "Frozen." Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
When visiting Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, of course, there are great viewing locations from which to see Magic Kingdom's Wishes fireworks, complete with the soundtrack. This photo was taken on the outdoor deck of Narcoossee's. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
Do you love Disney and have a flair for writing? We're currently looking for columnists to cover new areas of the Disney universe for MousePlanet.com.
If you are interesting in adding your voice to MousePlanet, please contact us—we'd love to hear from you!
...The construction walls near the Germany pavilion have been removed to reveal a new stage.
...The opening date for Disney Springs Town Center is rumored to be May 16, with STK opening a week or so earlier.
…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.
"Do more. Wait less."
Check here to see if a park event might fall during your next trip to the Walt Disney World Resort. If you know of any in-park events, official or unofficial, that should be listed here, please send us an e-mail (link).
2016 Resort events
- Star Wars Experiences – December 1, 2015 – ???
- 2016 Flower & Garden Festival – March 2 – May 30, 2016
- Dapper Day at the Magic Kingdom (unofficial event) – Saturday, April 16, 2016. More information at the event website.
- MouseAdventure Silly Symphonies (unofficial event) – Saturday, May 14. A puzzle hunt at Epcot and the Epcot Resorts. More information at the event website.
- Gay Days at Walt Disney World (annual unofficial event) – June 2–5. More information on the event website. To whatever degree there are "organized" events, the schedule calls for attendees to visit the parks on these days:
- Thursday, June 2 - Animal Kingdom
- Friday, June 3 - Disney's Hollywood Studios
- Saturday, June 4 - Magic Kingdom (the busiest day of the event)
- Sunday, June 5 - Epcot
- Night of Joy – September 9 & 10
- 2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival –September 14 through November 14, 2016.
- Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic – dates to be announced.
- Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party –September – 2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 29, 30; October – 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31
- "Jersey Week" – November 6 – 13. Expect larger crowds this week as New Jersey students and families take advantage of a Fall Break created by their school's participation in the New Jersey Teachers Convention.
- Dapper Day at Epcot (unofficial event) – Saturday, November 12, 2016. More information at the event website.
- Holidays at Walt Disney World – dates to be announced.
- Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party – dates to be announced.
- Holidays Around the World at Epcot – dates to be announced.
- Candlelight Processional at Epcot – dates to be announced.
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.
- Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side Weekend – April 14 – 17, 2016. All races are sold out. The deadline to submit proof of time for these events has passed.
- Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend – November 3 – 5, 2016. All races are sold out, with the exception of the runDisney Kids races.
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.
Check here to see if a sporting competition might fall during your next trip to the Walt Disney World Resort. We don't list all events here, but focus on the larger sport and cheer events that might result in extra visitors to the theme parks, and make it harder to secure a hotel room. The All-Star and moderate resort hotels are often the home base for these larger events, so it's worth avoiding those properties if possible.
2016 ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex events
- 2016 Atlanta Braves Spring Training – March 4 – April 4. See website for game schedule. Tickets, including season tickets, mini plans and single-game tickets are now on sale
- ICU Cheerleading and Dance Worlds Championship – April 21 – 22.
- USASF Cheerleading and Dance Worlds Championship – April 23 – 25. This event draws over 12,000 participants.
- Varsity All Star’s Cheerleading Championship – April 29 – May 1.
- Special Olympics Florida Summer Games – May 20 – 21.
- AAU National Club Championship – June 30 – July 3.
- Special Olympics Florida Fall Classic – November 11 – 12.
- 2016 Pop Warner Super Bowl – dates to be announced, but likely either December 3 – 10, or 10 – 17, 2016.
|March 2–April 3||
Egg-stravaganza returns for the fourth time March 2 through 27. A dozen oversized eggs decorated with images of Disney characters will be placed around the World Showcase lagoon. Egg hunters first purchase a special map and stickers to help locate these eggs, and then place the stickers in the corresponding spots on the map.
The maps are $5.95 plus tax (a $1 increase from 2015), and no discounts apply. Maps are sold at the following locations:
Once complete, participants return the map to a redemption location to claim their prize—one of six different two-inch-tall "eggs" featuring all-new character designs for the 2016 promotion. The redemption centers is located at the Point of Entry store in Epcot.
If you are only in it for the eggs, you don't need to complete the egg hunt to claim your prize—just buy your map at the redemption center and receive your egg. The eggs are awarded randomly, but you may be able to trade with other collectors to complete a set if that is your goal.
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – closed April 4 – July 15 for refurbishment.
- Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse – closed July 7 – September 24 for refurbishment.
- Liberty Square Riverboat – closed August 15 – 21 for refurbishment.
- "it's a small world" – closed August 22 – September 15 for refurbishment.
- Soarin' – closed as of January 4, 2016. Reopens sometime in "summer of 2016" as Soarin' Around the World, with a new ride film.
- Circle of Life – closed February 7 through April 2 for refurbishment.
- Maelstrom – permanently closed for construction of Frozen Ever After attraction. New ride expected to open May, 2016.
Disney's Hollywood Studios
- Magic of Disney Animation – building permanently closed for future expansion. Part of the space has been converted to the Star Wars Launch Bay.
- Pizza Planet restaurant – closed January 11 for refurbishment. Reopening date TBD.
- Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show – closes on April 3, 2016 to make way for the Star Wars Land expansion.
- Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure – closes on April 3, 2016 to make way for the Star Wars Land expansion.
- Studio Catering Co. – closes on April 3, 2016 to make way for the Star Wars Land expansion.
- Meet & Greet: Mike and Sulley at Streets of America – closes on April 3, 2016 to make way for the Star Wars Land expansion.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
- None scheduled
- None scheduled
- None scheduled
- Fulton's Crab House – closes April, 2016 for refurbishment.
- Planet Hollywood – closed January 1 – June 1, 2016 for refurbishment and transformation into a Planet Hollywood Observatory.
- Disney Springs Bridge 4 and restrooms on Pleasure Island – temporarily closed for ongoing construction work.
- Disney Springs Lots A-G – closed through August 1, 2016.
- Disney Springs Lots H, I, J, and K (in Westside area) – closed until further notice for construction.
- Cirque du Soleil La Nouba – performs Tuesdays through Saturdays.
- Disney Quest – scheduled to close sometime in 2016. Will be replaced with an NBA Experience venue.
- Boardwalk Inn
- Exterior painting and repair during daylight hours, through May 5, 2016
- Flying Fish Cafe closed February 1 - September 30, 2016 for refurbishment.
- Seashore Sweets – closes February 1 as part of the Flying Fish refurbishment.
- Wilderness Lodge and Villas – Hidden Springs pool, resort beach, playground, and Recreation fire pit closed. No opening date provided, but the pool is expected to be closed through 2017. Expect construction-related closures and noise due to construction of the as-yet-unannounced Disney Vacation Club cabins.
- Disney Osprey Ridge Golf Course – permanently closed.
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
Spring 2016 Family Time package
The Family Time package offers a 5-day/4-night Walt Disney World vacation package for a family of 4 for as low as $1,714. The package includes 5-day theme park tickets and a 4-night stay in standard rooms at Disney's All-Star Music Resort for as low as $1,714 for a family of 4. Book this offer through February 28, 2016 for stays most Sunday through Thursday nights February 22 through March 3, 2016 and April 3 through May 26, 2016.
Other great rates are also available for alternate lengths of stay and party sizes for stays most nights February 22 through June 11, 2016. Travel must be booked from December 28, 2015 – Feb. 28, 2016.
The Magic Your Way package offers up to 25 percent off on rooms for travel from April 14 to June 11 with a booking window from February 29 to March 31, 2016.
Find a full list of resorts and discounts on the Small World Vacations blog.
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 $149, a $20 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 Military Personnel
2016 Military Salute – 4-Day Military Promotional Ticket discount
Through December 16, 2016, active and retired U.S. military personnel (including active and retired members of the United States Coast Guard, National Guard and Reservists) or their spouses can purchase:
Walt Disney World Resort tickets may be used January 3 through December 19, 2016, except that the tickets may not be used March 20 – 2016 April 1, 2016.
Active and retired U.S. military personnel can purchase Disney Military Promotional Tickets for themselves and up to five additional family members or friends. No more than six Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased by any eligible member of the U.S. military (or spouse) pursuant to this offer. All tickets and options are non-transferable and must be used by December 19, 2016.
2016 Military Salute – Hotel discount
Disney does not publish the actual discounted rates offered to service members under this program, and instead asks eligible U.S. military personnel to call 407-939-7830 to check pricing, availability and to make reservations. The website Military Disney Tips.com says the offer is 30-40%, based on room category.
Discounts for Florida Residents
None at this time.
Discounts for Canada Residents
None at this time.
Discounts for U.K. Residents
None at this time.
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