Walt Disney World Resort Update for June 21-27, 2016by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer
Walt Disney World Resort Update for June 21–27, 2016
Walt Disney World implements operational changes in wake of fatal alligator attack | Soarin' Around the World cleared for takeoff | Mickey's Royal Friendship Fair debuts at Magic Kingdom | Star Wars: Galactic Fireworks Spectacular | Epcot finally gets Frozen | Disney makes $1 million donation to the OneOrlando Fund; Pulse shooting victims honored at Magic Kingdom | 2017 Disney Dining Plan details | Bid on Disney media exclusives and support Team Muscle Makers | This and That | Crowd Forecast
Author's Note –
For the second time in as many weeks, this Update leads with coverage of a horrific event in Orlando. There is no place here for second-guessing or 20/20 hindsight. The death of a child is every parent's worst nightmare. Opinions will not change the facts.
Our role as media is to cover this tragedy in a way that informs our readers about what may be different as a result the next time they visit Walt Disney World. Our role as humans is to offer support to a grieving family, and to accept that pixie dust can't fix everything.
Disney is making changes throughout Walt Disney World following an alligator attack which claimed the life of a young boy last week. All Walt Disney World beaches remain closed as workers install new fencing and signs around the shores, and other operational changes are in effect.
Last Tuesday evening, 2-year-old Lane Graves was killed by an alligator on a beach near Disney's Grand Floridian Hotel. The boy was walking with his father along the shore of the Seven Seas Lagoon when an alligator pulled him into the water.
Parents Matt and Melissa Graves, along with Lane and a 4-year-old daughter, were staying at the Grand Floridan Resort. The family was on the beach for a "Movies Under the Stars" event hosted by the hotel. Witnesses said the child was wading in the lagoon in about a foot of water when the attack occurred. The father tried unsuccessfully to rescue his son, and was injured in the attempt.
Authorities searched the artificial lagoon by land, water and air well into the next afternoon before locating the child's remains. During the search, five alligators were taken from the Seven Seas Lagoon. Officials do not yet know if they have trapped the alligator who dragged the child into the water, but said they would continue searching to ensure that they have the alligator involved.
Disney immediately ordered all beaches closed following the incident, and they remain closed at press time. At first Disney used temporary stanchions and even rows of beach chairs to block beach access, but by Friday had begun installing new permanent rope railings.
The beach at Disney's Grand Floridian is located next to the pool area. Temporary signs and stanchions are used to keep guests off the sand while workers installed new boundary markers and warning signs. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
Lounge chairs placed at the edge of the pool deck block access to the beach outside the Grand Floridian Hotel, and a new rope fence is installed along the shoreline. In the center of the photo, a cast member stands watch near a memorial set up on a fire pit located between the DVC Villas (in the distance in this photo) and the main lobby building. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
New signs note that the beach at Disney's Beach Club Resort is closed. Friendship boat service between the Epcot-area Resorts and Disney's Hollywood Studios operates normally. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
At the same time, the company added a new warning sign that specifically mentioned the risk of alligators and snakes in the area, and tells guests to stay out of the water. Prior to this incident, some of the Walt Disney World golf courses had signs that specifically cautioned about alligators, and the nearby Shades of Green hotel had signs advising that Florida is a natural wildlife habitat, warning guests not to feed or go near alligators.
While signs on the nearby Polynesian Resort beach stated that the beach was closed, and contained a caution against feeding the wildlife, signs posted on the Grand Floridan Hotel beach stated only "no swimming."
The signs installed over the weekend are the same at all properties, and include an illustration of an alligator and a snake along with a caution against feeding the wildlife.
Newly posted signs warn against the dangers posed by alligators and snakes along the shore of the Seven Seas Lagoon. The older signs prohibiting swimming and feeding wildlife stand beyond the new rope fence. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
Future "Movies Under the Stars" events at the Grand Floridian will now take place indoors. Other resort hotels that offered the evening beach gatherings may move their movies indoors, or to available lawns away from the water.
All passenger watercraft are again operating at Walt Disney World, including the ferries that cross the Seven Seas Lagoon between the Transportation and Ticketing Center and the Magic Kingdom. along with the smaller boats that service the Grand Floridian Hotel and the Polynesian Resort. Friendship boat service between the Epcot-area Resorts and Disney's Hollywood Studios is unaffected.
Marinas located at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort and Disney's Grand Floridian Resort on the Seven Seas Lagoon, as well as Disney's Contemporary Resort on the connected Bay Lake make several types of rental watercraft available for guest use on the Lagoon and Lake. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
Rentals of the Sea Raycer individual (or 2-person) watercraft has been suspended indefinitely at all of the marinas at Walt Disney World. At the marina at Disney's Polynesian Village, pontoon boats and other charters were still available as of this past weekend, and passenger vessels to the Magic Kingdom were operating as normal. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
Pontoon boat charters at the marina at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort remained available over the weekend, while the individual-sized Sea Raycer watercraft rentals are suspended indefinitely. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
While not directly connected to Seven Seas Lagoon or Bay Lake, Bayside Marina located at Disney's Yacht Club on Crescent Lake also suspended Sea Raycer rentals. Pontoon charters, including the Illuminations Fireworks Cruises continued over the weekend. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
The Bayside Marina on Crescent Lake at Disney's Yacht Club has various watercraft rental opportunities for guests. As of this past weekend, while individual-style Sea Raycer watercraft rentals had been suspended, other charters remained available. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
Disney at first closed all of the rental marinas following the incident, but has allowed them to reopen with some changes. Visitors can once again rent a 17' Boston Whaler or 21' Sun Tracker, or enjoy specialty cruises during fireworks or Illuminations. Sea Raycers are in dry dock until further notice, and cast members speculate the jet ski-like craft are now part of Disney history.
Guided bass fishing excursions are still offered, but the 7:00 a.m. departure has been pushed back to 9:00 a.m. each morning.
The incident also prompted some changes inside the theme parks. Jungle Cruise cast members have removed alligator and crocodile references from their spiel. Drivers on Disney's Kilimanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom have also been instructed not to make any jokes about the crocodiles, or imply that passengers are in any danger as the vehicle passes their exhibit.
The alligators – animatronic and real – are still in place at the Living with the Land attraction in Epcot.
The Tic Toc crocodile satellite float was removed from the Festival of Fantasy parade at Magic Kingdom, and we do not know how long that change will be in effect. Missing also was Louie the Alligator from Friday's debut of the new Mickey's Friendship Faire show at the Magic Kingdom. The character appeared in concept art for the show, but was reportedly pulled due to the incident.
Disney-provided concept art for Mickey's Friendship Faire shows Louie in the Princess and the Frog sequence, but the alligator character was missing from the show during last week's debut. Photo © Disney.
As news of the attack spread, some Disney visitors came forward with reports of their own close-encounters with Florida's official; state reptile. A widely-circulated video showed a cast member trying to nudge an alligator away from the Splash Mountain ride flume. Our own Donald and Bonnie Fink spotted a small alligator at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort earlier this year, noting that hotel guests had been feeding the creature.
Last week's tragedy was not the first alligator attack on Disney property, as was stated during a news conference. In 1986, then 8-year-old Paul Santamaria was attacked by an alligator during a family vacation to Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort. Santamaria was injured, but survived.
With the tragedy at the beach along the Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, we take a look at the changes to the beaches and other water recreation areas. As the map shows, the Grand Floridian's beach area is actually rather small. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
Let's get right to the important details—Patrick is still the chief flight attendant for the updated Soarin' attraction, providing both the preshow safety video, as well as the safety announcements once you're inside the ride.
It seems the actor Patrick Warburton didn't even know that his role had been kept, tweeting the following late Wednesday night:
The actor followed up the next day:
I really didn't fake my own funeral ! I'm surprised , and filled with joy to still be flying with you on #SoarinOverCalifornia ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️— patrick warburton (@paddywarbucks) June 17, 2016
So yes, the original safety video is still used, "these little beauties" must still be stowed, and Patrick still gives a big thumbs-up to a young boy who is now 16 years older. As for the rest... well, we really don't want to give too much away about the new movie yet, since we know you may want to avoid spoilers before you get to see it.
Soarin' Around the World first debuted with the grand opening of Shanghai Disney Park in China Wednesday, and then opened Friday in Orlando and California. Each of the three parks has a unique ending to their version of the film, as well as a slightly different introduction montage in the waiting area.
The ride also has an updated musical score that is a new composition by Bruce Broughton that is based on the original theme by the late Jerry Goldsmith.
The Magic Kingdom debuted a new castle stage show last week, replacing the long-running "Dream Along with Mickey". The new show features Mickey and friends, along with the contemporary Disney princesses. (Read: the ones introduced since 2009, with the exception of Merida).
The show includes sections from The Princess and the Frog, Tangled and Frozen., with the princesses appearing with their male counterpart, and interacting with one of Mickey's friends. As noted above, Louis the trumpet-playing alligator from The Princess and the Frog did not appear in the show this weekend, despite having been featured in concept art of the show. We do not know if this is a permanent change, or if the character will rejoin the show at a later time.
The new show is presented on the Cinderella Castle Forecourt stage, with 6 performances scheduled on peak days.
From Disney's Tangled, Rapunzel, Flynn Rider and some of the customers of the Snuggly Duckling appear with Daisy Duck (and, not shown here, Donald Duck) in the new Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire show. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
There's one thing you need to know about the new Star Wars fireworks show at Disney's Hollywood Studios: location matters. Our Alan Dalinka calls this possibly the best Disney fireworks spectacular he's ever seen, but that was only after he watched the show from center stage on Sunday night. He wasn't so sure Friday night, when he watched the show from Epcot's World Showcase following the Illuminations show.
In terms of airborne effects, this show can't compete with explosion-heavy shows, but to compare them is to miss the point. The new spectacular is all about the screens, with the pyrotechnics used sparingly but to great effect.
If you're a real fan of Star Wars, it may be worth it to you to splurge on the Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party. The $69 price tag is about as hard to take as a Kylo Ren temper tantrum, but you can save yourself the stress (and heat stroke) of having to camp out for the best position.
Images simulating the original Chinese Theater's marquees at the 1977 debut of Star Wars are projected on Disney's Hollywood Studios' version of the Chinese Theater at the beginning of the new Star Wars: A Galactic Fireworks Spectacular. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
Some of the fireworks in the new show are launched from the new facility constructed across World Drive from the park and, from the Center Stage area, appear to the right side of the Chinese Theater. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
One of the new projection surfaces for the new Star Wars: Galactic Fireworks Spectacular is near the exit of The Great Movie Ride (seen here). Another stands on the other side of the Chinese Theater, between One Man's Dream and The Voyage of the Little Mermaid. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
The recently completed tower closest to the Animation Courtyard studio archway gate serves as a control center and projection tower for the new Star Wars: A Galactic Fireworks Spectacular. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
While some of the fireworks used in the new Star Wars: A Galactic Fireworks Spectacular can be seen from along Epcot's World Showcase Lagoon, it is a "spectacular" best viewed from the Center Stage area of Disney's Hollywood Studios. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
The new Frozen Ever After attraction officially opens today in Epcot, but the Royal Sommerhus had a soft-opening last week. Frozen fans can meet Anna and Elsa in their new venue, and then shop for Frozen souvenirs at the Wandering Reindeer on their way out.
With the media event canceled due to the recent tragedies in Orlando, and no previews or soft openings of the ride, fans won't get their first official look at the attraction until 9:00 a.m. this morning. However, we do have some operational notes to share.
La Cantina de San Angel in the Mexico pavilion will open at 9:00 a.m. each morning to offer breakfast to hungry Frozen fans before the rest of the World Showcase opens at 11:00 a.m.. The breakfast menu features chilaquiles, tamal verde, and a Mexican breakfast sandwich of eggs, chorizo, cheese and guacamole.
The Gran Fiesta Tour will also open at 9:00 a.m. along with Frozen Ever After, providing visitors with something else to occupy their time while waiting for their FastPass return time.
Disney makes $1 million donation to the OneOrlando Fund; Pulse shooting victims honored at Magic Kingdom
After we published last week's Update, the Walt Disney Company announced a $1 million donation to the OneOrlando fund, and also committed to match donations made by Disney employees. Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks, released the following statement regarding the pledge:
Today, the Walt Disney Company is announcing a $1 million cash commitment to the OneOrlando Fund, established by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer to assist those affected by the tragic events in Orlando. Also, eligible donations from Disney employees will be matched dollar for dollar by Disney Employee Matching Gifts: A Program of The Walt Disney Company Foundation.
“We are heartbroken by this tragedy and hope our commitment will help those in the community affected by this senseless act,” said Bob Chapek, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “With 74,000 Cast Members who call Orlando home, we mourn the loss of the victims and offer our condolences to their families, friends and loved ones.”
OneOrlando Fund will provide funds and other services to individuals affected by the tragedy. The website for the new fund is www.oneorlando.org.
Walt Disney World Resort has also been working in coordination with other Central Florida agencies and leaders to provide support to those in need. In coordination with OneBlood, cast members and other employees working at Walt Disney World Resort wishing to donate blood to help victims may donate at five designated locations across the resort property.
Through an effort led by the City of Orlando and the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association, Walt Disney World Resort is also providing complimentary accommodations for the families and friends of the victims.
Our hearts are with everyone impacted by this horrific event.
Disney also canceled media events scheduled around the return of the updated Soarin' attraction, and the grand opening of the new Frozen ride, citing "sensitivity for the events that happened in Orlando on Sunday." In fact, our Alan Dalinka notes that Walt Disney World's social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have been mostly dormant since June 11, with the most recent posts focusing only on the opening of the new Disney resort in Shanghai .
On Saturday night, Disney allowed an unofficial vigil to take place inside the Magic Kingdom at park closing, during the "Kiss Good Night" segment. Hundreds of visitors gathered in front of Cinderella Castle to pay tribute to the victims of the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
While not organized or authorized by Disney, the company did not make an effort to discourage or prevent the observance. In fact. off-duty cast members were allowed to attend the moment in costume if they wanted. As the guests made their way out of the Magic Kingdom following the "Kiss Good Night," cast members passed out stacks of rainbow-colored Mickey Mouse pins.
One current and one former Walt Disney World employee are among the 49 people killed in the nightclub attack.
Disney has made a few changes to the Dining Plan for 2017, and vacation planners can book the new packages starting today for stays beginning January 1, 2017. Here are the highlights:
- Character meals are now 1 Table Service credit, with the exception of Cinderella's Royal Table at the Magic Kingdom. and Mickey's Backyard BBQ at Fort Wilderness.
- Dessert is no longer included in a Counter Service Meal. Depending on how much you liked mini carrot cakes, this may or may not be a disappointment to you.
- The Quick Service Dining Plan now includes two snacks per day, instead of one. In the end, you lose two desserts (one from each of the two meals in the daily entitlement), but you gain an extra snack.
- There is no change to the allocations of the basic Disney Dining Plan, which means you lose one dessert from the Counter Service Meal each day. The Table Service Meal still includes dessert.
- There is no change to the allocations of the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan. This plan still includes three meals per day – Counter Service or Table Service – so you lose dessert whenever you opt for a Counter Service meal.
MousePlanet's practice has long been to accept promotional items and swag bags offered at media events, and sell the items at auction to benefit children's charities. We received quite a few items earlier this year during the Awaken Summer media event at Walt Disney World, and are pleased to offer them now via the eBay for Charity program.
100% of the money raised from the sale of these items will benefit Team Muscle Makers for UCMD, a runDisney charity partner founded by MousePlanet readers Melissa Mayorgas and Lonna Eshelman.
All auctions close Sunday. June 26. Happy bidding, and thank you for your support.
This assortment was given to members of the media invited to preview Disney Springs, the new shopping, dining and entertainment complex at Walt Disney World. The lot contains a printed Disney Springs canvas tote bag ; $10 gift card from Sprinkles Cupcakes ; small cosmetic bag from Vera Bradley; Disney Project Mickey Mouse t-shirt in pouch from UNIQLO. Adult XL; 18" Sven plush from the World of Disney; sticky note set from the Trophy Room; wooden surfboard bottle opener from Tommy Bahama; Sperry Topsider keychain from Sperry and a monkey keychain. Click here to bid.
This collection was given to members of the media invited to a presentation by Disney Destinations. The lot includes a printed Adventures by Disney canvas tote bag; embroidered Disney Cruise Line fleece blanket; travel document pouch from Ama Waterways; and a note pad and pen from Aulani. Click here to bid.
This set of neoprene tech bags were given to online media covering Walt Disney World press events. Click here to bid.
This lithograph was commissioned for media covering Walt Disney World. It features Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Huey, Dewey and Louie as reporters getting a "scoop" from Daisy Duck in front of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom. It was never sold at retail, and would be a perfect addition to any Don "Ducky" William collection. Click here to bid.
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!
...In answer to a question raised by a reader of a previous Update, Alan visited Animal Kingdom and confirmed that the pedestrian bridge between Expedition Everest and the Theater in the Wild is available for guests to watch the new "Jungle Book: Alive with Magic" show.
Cast Members lay down masking tape on the bridge over the Discovery River between Expedition Everest and the Theater in the Wild to mark a first-come, first-served overflow viewing area for nightly showings of The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
...Open Table notified guests who had used the service to make reservations for the new Frontera Cocina for this coming week that their reservation could not be honored. It appears the restaurant's new opening date – at least according to the update from Open Table – is Thursday, July 21. The restaurant's website still shows only "Opening Summer 2016"
...The 2016 Sounds Like Summer concert series continues this week with Rumours – A Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band. Show times are 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. each day through June 24. Simply Tina – A Tribute to Tina Turner continues the series from June 25 through July 1.
…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 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 – Opened December 1, 2015
- Night of Joy – September 9 & 10
- 2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival –September 14 – 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 – November 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 27, 29; December 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 22
- 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.
- Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend – November 3–5. All races are sold out, with the exception of the runDisney Kids races. Proof of time must be submitted by August 2, 2016
- Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – January 4–8, 2017. Registration opens at Noon (Eastern) on Tuesday, April 26. Proof of time must be submitted by October 4, 2016.
- Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend – February 24–26, 2017. Registration opens at Noon (Eastern) on Tuesday, July 12. Proof of time must be submitted by November 15, 2016.
- Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side Weekend – April 20–23, 2017. Registration opens at Noon (Eastern) on Tuesday, August 9. Proof of time date has not been released.
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.
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex events
- AAU National Club Championship – June 30 – July 3.
- Special Olympics Florida Fall Classic – November 11–12.
- 2016 Pop Warner Super Bowl –December 3–10.
- Pro Bowl week festivities – take place the week prior to the 2017 game on January 29. Additional schedule information to be released.
|June 29–July 5||
- Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse – closed July 7 – September 24 for refurbishment.
- Carousel of Progress – closed for refurbishment July 25 – 28.
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – closed August 8 – November 18 for refurbishment.
- Liberty Square Riverboat – closed August 15–21 for refurbishment.
- "it's a small world" – closed August 22 – September 15 for refurbishment.
- None scheduled
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.
- One Man's Dream theater – an expanded sneak peek at Alice Through the Looking Glass began May 6.
- Pizza Planet restaurant – closed for refurbishment. Reopening date TBD.
- Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show – permanently closed to make way for the Star Wars Land expansion.
- Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure – permanently closed to make way for the Star Wars Land expansion.
- Studio Catering Co. – closed to make way for the Star Wars Land expansion.
- Meet & Greet: Mike and Sulley at Streets of America – closed to make way for the Star Wars Land expansion.
- One Man's Dream theater – closed July 16–19 for refurbishment.
- MuppetVision 3*D – closed August 15–22 for refurbishment.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
- Dinosaur – closed for refurbishment July 25 – October 16.
- None scheduled
- None scheduled
- Fulton's Crab House – closed for refurbishment. Scheduled to reopen in Fall 2016 as Paddlefish
- Planet Hollywood – closed for refurbishment and transformation into a Planet Hollywood Observatory.
- Disney Quest – scheduled to close sometime in 2016.
- Boardwalk Inn
- Flying Fish Cafe closed through September 30 for refurbishment. Will reopen simply as "Flying Fish."
- Seashore Sweets – closed permanently. Will reopen as the "AbracadaBar" later this year.
- 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
Fall Free Dining offer
Back to School room-only offer
Kid-sized Vacation offer
Late Summer Family Time offer
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:
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex:
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 most days 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 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 character photo download per day.
Star Wars meet and greet at Disney's Hollywood Studios' Star Wars Launch Bay
Present your Disney's Premier Visa Card or Disney Rewards Visa Card for access to a character meet and greet at Star Wars Launch Bay for the cardholder and up to five guests. The event is hosted daily from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. inside Star Wars Launch Bay at Disney's Hollywood Studios. You'll receive one free character photo download 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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