Walt Disney World Resort Update for December 20-26, 2016

by Alan S. Dalinka, contributing writer
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Writer's note: For the next several weeks, I will be filling in as the writer for the Walt Disney World Resort Update to lighten the workload for Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix over the Holidays Season. As a regular or occasional reader over the past two years, you likely have seen many of my photos and (occasionally) videos from all over Walt Disney World Resort on this site. You can read a bit more about me in my MousePlanet bio.= If there are public places around the Resort that you would like to see that I have not yet covered and that a Four-Parks Annual Passholder and DVC Member can visit, please do not hesitate to click on the envelope icon next to my name above and let me know. Also, I hope you are following our MousePlanet Facebook and Twitter feeds, where I have been helping provide Live and near-Live coverage around the Resort from time-to-time with more to come. Feedback in those forums and on MousePad is always welcome.

Now, no matter what you celebrate, have a happy and healthy season. With that, on with the Update....


News and Views

'Tis The (Peak) Season | More Magic Kingdom Table Service Restaurants Add Alcohol to the Menu | Star Wars Experiences at Disney's Hollywood Studios Now Includes Elements from Rogue One | Views around the World | This and That | Crowd Forecast

'Tis The (Peak) Season

Historically, we are entering the busiest time of the year at the Walt Disney World Resort. As you can see below from the Crowd Forecast from TouringPlans, the forecast for this week is for the largest crowds (10 out of 10), and, based on our experience in past years, we can expect that forecast to be in place through the rest of 2016. A few changes Disney implemented over the past year may put an ever-so-slight damper on the crowd levels in some places, but there is little doubt that the Parks and Resorts are going to be busy, so plan accordingly.

If riding certain rides with the shortest waits possible is important to you and your fellow visitors, remember to use your Disney FastPass+ reservations. All park guests with valid admission media can book up to three (with "tier" limitations at Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios) in advance, so it is a good idea to buy your tickets and set up your My Disney Experience account ahead of your visit.

Of course, be aware, that since it opened, Disney's FastPass+ service "sells out" of reservation capacity for some attractions like Epcot's new Frozen Ever After ride at the Norway pavilion during the 30-60 day advance window open only to Resort guests, so if you are planning only a few days out, your choices will be limited—and even more so at this time of year. As of yesterday afternoon, several attractions were still offering FastPass+ reservations throughout the week, at least for a party of one.

Expect that Table Service dining reservations bookings will also be limited and walk-ups at many locations are turned away. Check the MyDisneyExperience App, 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463), Guest Relations, and/or Disney Resorts Concierge Desks for the latest availability.

Disney Vacation Club has long-designated the last weeks of the year the "Premier Season" at its resorts at Walt Disney World. This year, it runs from December 24-31, meaning DVC Members staying on property (or those staying as guests of DVC Members) are "spending" the most points per night to stay in their accommodations.

This year, the new "Peak" 1-Day Park ticket pricing again goes into effect starting Thursday, December 22, and it stays in effect until the resumption of "Regular" season on January 4. During "Peak" days, Magic Kingdom 1-Day 1-Park Tickets are $124/adult ($118/ages 3-9), and the other Disney Theme Parks are $114/adult ($108/ages 3-9); 1-Day Park Hopper Tickets are $144/adult ($138/ages 3-9). Be aware that a 1-Day Ticket purchased at the "Regular" or "Value" price points cannot be used on a "Peak" day.

In addition to the "Peak" pricing that may reduce crowds a tiny bit, Disney introduced several new tiers of Annual Passes this year that have blockout dates that began over this past weekend and run throughout the rest of 2016 (and into the first days of 2017). The past couple of weekends and several weekdays saw crowds of soon-to-be blocked Annual Passholders visiting the parks one last time for the holiday season.


Some attractions in Disney's Animal Kingdom have even shorter operating hours than the park. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The best advice at this time of year around Walt Disney World is to remain patient, especially with other guests, and, most of all, the Cast Members. The parking lots can fill up; I personally have seen the Magic Kingdom parking lot closed, and cars backed up along World Drive from the toll plaza all the way the two miles to the ramps from Epcot one recent Christmas Day afternoon. The parks can reach capacity and close: remember that Disney's Hollywood Studios is operating with reduced capacity because of the closure of the Streets of America and Backlot areas to make way for Star Wars and Toy Story Lands; Disney's Animal Kingdom again has limited nighttime hours (it is scheduled to close at 7:30 p.m. every night this week; 8:30 p.m. on Christmas Day and December 26); Epcot tends to have the most breathing room, even on days the Park sets attendance records.

More Magic Kingdom Table Service Restaurants Add Alcohol to the Menu

As had been widely rumored over the past several days, the Orlando Sentinel reports that Disney has confirmed that beginning this Friday, December 23, four more Magic Kingdom Table Service restaurants will begin serving select alcoholic beverages. Joining the Be Our Guest Restaurant, which began serving wines back in 2012 with its dinner service, are Tony's Town Square Restaurant, Liberty Tree Tavern, Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen, and Cinderella's Royal Table. Each location is expected to offer a selection of beverages that compliment their food offerings. For example, Skipper Canteen is expected to have a more "global" beverage menu, with drinks such as a riesling to pair with Trader Sam's head-on shrimp, while Liberty Tree Tavern is expected to serve beer, cider, and domestic wines that pair with its Americana food items.

At this time, there will not be any standalone bar or to-go options for alcoholic beverages in Magic Kingdom. Unlike the other Parks, the alcoholic beverages are not expected to be sold at kiosks or any quick service/counter locations in Magic Kingdom.

Star Wars Experiences at Disney's Hollywood Studios Now Include Elements from Rogue One

With last Friday's opening of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in U.S. theaters, Disney's Hollywood Studios drew on the latest film to add several elements to its Star Wars Experiences. In the Center Stage show, "Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away," Advanced Weapons Research Troopers in black stormtrooper armor now appear. (Disney promotional materials refer to these characters as AWR Troopers and not "Death Troopers" as they are referred to elsewhere.)

The show, now reportedly two minutes shorter than before, is performed numerous times daily but, as we have reported before, sight lines are challenging and made even more so when children are hoisted on to parents' shoulders. It does not seem that any story points from the film are given away by the AWR Troopers in the show.

Photos and a brief video provided below do not contain any spoilers for the new film.


Chewbacca fires into the sky in the new version of the "Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away" stage show. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Advanced Weapons Research Troopers now appear in the stage show. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


It is easier to see the characters in the stage show from the sides of the stage, but viewing from there means not seeing the accompanying video. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


AWR Troopers respond to some pyrotechnics during their stage appearance. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


All of the characters appearing in "Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away" appear on stage together at the end of each show. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The "Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away" stage show includes characters from all of the Star Wars movies, now including "Rogue One." Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

In the Star Wars Launch Bay, several changes have been made to celebrate the opening of Rogue One. Above the entrance to the building, banners now create an image of the Death Star. Inside, the new video presents a spoiler-free, behind-the-scenes type documentary of the making of the new movie. It includes interviews with the filmmakers, including some of its producers and stars, and presents vintage, behind-the-scenes clips from the original Star Wars film now referred to as Episode IV: A New Hope, as Rogue One portrays events relevant to that film. For someone mildly-or-more interested in the Star Wars saga, it is a worthwhile watching experience (at least in my opinion). There are no new character experiences (Chewbacca and Kylo Ren are still available), but replica props and art from the new movie are now on display.


An image of the Death Star now hangs over the entrance to the Star Wars Launch Bay. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Souvenir buttons were distributed on December 19 at the Star Wars Launch Bay to celebrate the opening of "Rogue One." Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


A new video is now showing at Star Wars Launch Bay's theater. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Star Wars Launch Bay now includes a model of the Death Star. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Unlike the stage show, the Star Wars Launch Bay refers to the AWR Troopers as Death Troopers. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Reproductions of "Rogue One" props are now on display in the Star Wars Launch Bay. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

As previously announced, a new Star Wars Guided Tour is coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios starting January 2. Reservations recently opened for this brand-new, seven-hour tour which includes reserved viewing for “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away;” a ride on Star Tours – The Adventures Continue; an opportunity to participate in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple (for children age 4-12); a guided tour and character greetings at Star Wars Launch Bay; dinner at a quick-service restaurant featuring Star Wars-themed items; the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party; fireworks viewing; and more. The tour costs $129 per person (tax & gratuity included) and will be offered Mondays and Saturdays. Reservations are made by calling 407-WDW-PLAY.

Views Around the World

This week, I visited Epcot (where Disney invited me to share a closer look at Candlelight Processional, and, thus, my photos and video are from literally the front row), and I also visited Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, and Disney Springs.

Epcot


Dr. John Sinclair is one of the long-time conductors of Candlelight Processional. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


From very close to the musicians, you can see that each piece of music shows the date of the last time it was arranged for Candlelight Processional. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Meredith Vieira was the Celebrity Narrator December 13-15. Joe Morton is the scheduled Narrator December 20-21; Ming-Na Wen is scheduled December 22-24; and Jodi Benson (voice of Disney's "The Little Mermaid") is scheduled December 25-27. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The huge live orchestra, choirs and Celebrity Narrator make Candlelight Processional a special Holiday tradition. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.


Holiday decor hangs around one of the fish tanks on the Living with the Land boat ride. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The American alligator tank has been replaced with a catfish breeding tank on the Living with the Land boat ride. The animatronic alligators, though, are again in the jungle scene. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Little holiday touches have been added throughout the Living with the Land greenhouses. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Disney's Hollywood Studios Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! fireworks illuminate the top of the France pavilion during the holidays. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Hollywood Studios


With the opening of "Rogue One," throughout the Holidays Season, Disney's Hollywood Studios again has daily presentations of Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular in addition to Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! and Fantasmic. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Star Tours has not received any specific updates related to "Rogue One," but will be returning to a more randomized show this winter rather than always including scenes from "The Force Awakens." Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The outdoor second-level seating area at PizzeRizzo provides a view over the Star Wars Land construction wall and the remnants of the former Streets of America. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The exit of MuppetVision 3*D seems appropriately themed for hiding the construction of the new lands beyond. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


A brief glimpse through the clearing in the trees where the Lights, Motors, Action grandstands used to be is available as World Drive passes Disney's Hollywood Studios. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


A construction staging area is located across World Drive from Disney's Hollywood Studios. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Animal Kingdom


Several new informational signs are posted along the walkway from the far reaches of the Disney's Animal Kingdom parking lot to the entry. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


No more construction cranes are visible above Pandora - The World of AVATAR. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Debuting next summer, the main entry to Pandora is starting to take on its likely final appearance. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Now that the construction cranes are no longer visible, it is possible to view the floating mountains of Pandora while walking around Discovery Island. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Within the past few weeks, the lion-tailed macaque habitat has opened for viewing along the Maharajah Jungle Trek in the Asia section of the park. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The lion-tailed macaque is native to the southern tip of India. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Santa Goofy greets guests in Chester and Hester's Dino-Rama. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Even some of the dinosaurs in DinoLand U.S.A. are dressed for the holiday season. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Themed FastPass+ signage has begun to appear around the amphitheater for Rivers of Light. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


While cast previews of Rivers of Light have been reported this month, Disney has not announced a public opening date for the show (or Annual Passholder or DVC Member previews). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney Springs


Although its opening is delayed until "Early 2017," new signs are now lit on Paddlefish restaurant. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort, across Village Lake from Disney Springs, is lit to accompany the Starbright Holidays drone shows over the lake. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Lights shining from Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort accent the Starbright Holidays drones. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Town Center now has a Starbright Holidays photo backdrop. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Don't keep it to yourself!
Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments.

This and That

…Several sites are reporting that starting on December 21, all four parks will have designated Annual Passholder park entry lanes since, presumably, those with Annual Passes are more familiar with the TouchPoint/Finger-readers and will move through more quickly. Cast Members at the entry to Disney's Animal Kingdom that I asked about this over the weekend were unaware of any upcoming park entry changes.

…Stitch's Great Escape in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom is open for the holiday season. The future of the attraction is unknown beyond the end of 2016.

…Restaurantosaurus in DinoLand U.S.A. at Disney's Animal Kingdom is offering a breakfast service daily until 10:30 a.m. through the end of the year.


Restaurantosaurus is themed for the Holidays in the "style" of nearby Chester and Hester's Dino-Rama. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

…Construction projects are underway along World Drive which likely include the previously announced lane reconfigurations and fly-over to enable Magic Kingdom area resorts guests to bypass the toll plaza.


Construction is underway along World Drive, which may result in some lane closures near the Speedway gas station. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

…With holiday shopping well underway, be aware that the Disney Character Warehouse on International Drive—the Disney-operated location for discounted (and, often out-dated like 2016 Food & Wine Festival and 2015 Halloween) merchandise—now occupies a store that is only about half as large as it used to be. Also note that parking is surprisingly limited at the Premium Outlets Mall, though valet may be available.


Disney Character Warehouse is located at Orlando International Premium Outlets, 4969 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

…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.

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Crowd Forecast

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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, December 20, 2016 10 / 10
Wednesday, December 21, 2016 10 / 10
Thursday, December 22, 2016 10 / 10
Friday, December 23, 2016 10 / 10
Saturday, December 24, 2016 10 / 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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Resort Events

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
  • Holidays at Walt Disney World – November 7 through December 31, 2016
  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas PartyNovember 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 – November 25 through December 30, 2016
  • Candlelight Processional at Epcot – November 25 through December 30, 2016

2017 Resort events

  • Epcot International Festival of the Arts – January 13 through February 20, 2017
  • Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – March 1 - May 29, 2017.
  • MouseAdventure – Saturday, March 4, 2017
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – August 31 through November 13, 2017.
  • Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic – Dates TBD
  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party –Dates TBD
  • Holidays at Walt Disney World –Dates TBD
  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party–Dates TBD
  • Holidays Around the World at Epcot –Dates TBD
  • Candlelight Processional at Epcot –Dates TBD

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.

2017

2018

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

2017

  • Liberty Square Riverboat – closed January 3 – 12, 2017 for refurbishment.
  • Walt Disney World Railroad – closed January 9 – March 2, 2017 for refurbishment.
  • The Magic Behind our Steam Trains guided tour – closed January 9 – March 2, 2017 during the Walt Disney World Railroad refurbishment.
  • The Hall of Presidents – closes January 17, 2017 to add an audio-animatronic figure of the 45th president of the United States. Expected to reopen July, 2017.

Epcot

Permanently closed:

  • Sum of All Thrills – closed permanently on September 14.
  • Storm Struck – closed permanently on September 14.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Permanently closed:

  • Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure
  • Studio Catering Co.
  • Meet & Greet: Mike and Sulley at Streets of America
  • Magic of Disney Animation
  • The Writer's Stop
  • Academy of Television Sciences Hall of Fame

Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • Kali River Rapids – closed January 3 – February 13, 2017 for refurbishment.

Blizzard Beach

  • Closed October 23 – December 24 for seasonal refurbishment.

Typhoon Lagoon

  • Closed December 24 – March 11, 2017 for seasonal refurbishment.

Disney Springs

  • Fulton's Crab House – closed for refurbishment. Scheduled to reopen in Early 2017 as Paddlefish
  • Planet Hollywood – closed for refurbishment and transformation into a Planet Hollywood Observatory.
  • Disney Quest – scheduled to close sometime in 2017.

Resorts

  • 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's All-Star Sports – the Grand Slam Pool closed October 10 for refurbishment, and is expected to reopen by December 2. The Surfboard Bay Pool will remain open.
  • Disney's Pop Century Resort – the Computer Pool closed October 31 for refurbishment, and is expected to reopen by December 23. The Hippy Dippy Pool will remain open.

Elsewhere

  • Disney Osprey Ridge Golf Course – permanently closed.

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.


Travel Discounts for Everyone

All of these packages can also be booked through MousePlanet's partner travel agency Get Away Today.

Early Spring room-only offer

Save 15–25 percent off the published rate for stays most nights January 1 through April 8, 2017.

  • Save up to 25 percent off Disney Deluxe Resort or Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts
  • Save up to 20 percent off Disney Moderate Resorts
  • Save up to 15 percent off Disney Value Resorts

The offer excludes the following hotels and room types:

Campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Disney's Art of Animation Resort—The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms, the Bungalows at Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's All-Star Movies Resort and Disney's Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter.

You must book by December 21, 2016.

Early Spring Kid-sized Vacation offer

This package includes hotel and park tickets. The sample offer advertises a 2-day/3-night stay in a standard room at a select Disney's All-Star Resort, with one park per day Magic Your Way base tickets for $1,032 for a family of three.

Valid for stays most Sunday through Thursday nights from January 2 through February 16 and February 20 through April 6, 2017. As with the room-only offer, you must book by December 21, 2016. and the following room types are excluded:

Campsites, three-bedroom villas, Disney's Art of Animation Resort – The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms, the Bungalows at Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's All-Star Movies Resort and Disney's Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter.

Early Spring Family Magic offer

This package is targeted towards families with older children. The sample package is based on two adults, a teen and a 'tween, and includes a 4-day/4-night stay in a standard room at a select Disney's All-Star Resort with one park per day Magic Your Way base tickets for $1,896.

Valid for arrivals most Sunday through Thursday nights, from January 2 through February 16 and February 20 through April 6, 2017. As with the other offers, you must book by December 21, 2016. and the following room types are excluded:

Campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Disney's Art of Animation Resort—The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms, the Bungalows at Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's All-Star Movies Resort and Disney's Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter.

Magical Vacation Package offer

This is a version of the Family Magic offer, but adds the Disney Dining Plan to the mix. Instead of giving a package price, this offer tells you that you can save from $300 to $500 or more on a 5-night, 6-day package for a family of 4. This offer also has different valid dates, from January 1 through March 7, 2017.

You must book by December 21, 2016. and the following room types are excluded:

Campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Disney's Art of Animation Resort—The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms, the Bungalows at Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's All-Star Movies Resort and Disney's Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter.

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.


Travel Discounts for Annual Passholders

None at this time. If you know of an offer we haven't listed, please drop us an email with the details!

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 Tour
    • Behind the Seeds
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park
    • Backstage Tales
  • Multiple Theme Parks and Backstage Areas
    • Ultimate Day of Thrills VIP Tour
    • Ultimate Day for Young Families VIP Tour
    • Ultimate Day at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
    • Backstage Magic
    • Disney's Holiday D-Lights (offered seasonally)
    • Disney's Yuletide Fantasy (offered seasonally)
    • Wilderness Back Trail Adventure

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
  • Narcoossee's

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
  • Cape May Cafe

Disney's Hollywood Studios:

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

Epcot:

  • Biergarten Restaurant (see restrictions)
  • Coral Reef (lunch only)
  • Le Cellier (lunch only)
  • Rose & Crown Dining Room (lunch only)

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex:

  • ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill

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

  • 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 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. at the Imagination Pavilion at Epcot (enter near the jumping fountains near the exit to the Magic Eye Theater). 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.


Travel 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:

  • Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper Option for $196 each, plus tax
  • Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Water Park Fun and More Option for $196 each, plus tax
  • Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Park Fun and More Options for $230 each, plus tax.

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 percent, based on room category.

The 2016 offer is valid most nights from January 3 through December 19, 2016.


2017 Military Salute – 4-Day or 5-Day Military Promotional Ticket discount

Through December 19, 2017, 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:

  • Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper Option for $209 each, plus tax
  • Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Park Fun and More Options for $246 each, plus tax.
  • Disney 5-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper Option for $224 each, plus tax
  • Disney 5-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Park Fun and More Options for $261 each, plus tax.

Walt Disney World Resort tickets may be used January 1 through December 19, 2017, except that the tickets may not be used April 9–23, 2017.

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, 2017.

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 percent, based on room category.

The 2017 offer is valid most nights from January 1 through December 19, 2017. Like the ticket offer, the hotel discounts are not valid April 9–23, 2017.

Travel Discounts for Florida Residents

None at this time. If you know of an offer we haven't listed, please drop us an email with the details!

Travel Discounts for Canada Residents

MousePlanet reader Scott S. alerted us to a new offer for Canadian residents. Canadian residents receive a 25% discount on 4-day or longer tickets purchased by February 28, 2017. The discounted rate for a 4-Day adult base ticket is $244.00 USD, compared to $325.00 USD when purchased at the gate. A 10-day adult base ticket is $300 USD, a savings of $100 from the main gate price.

This offer is only good for Canadian citizens with valid passport, or residents of Canada with valid proof of Canadian residency. The tickets are sold as an exchange certificate, and must be exchanged for park ticket upon arrival. There is no expiration date on the unused tickets, but once activated the tickets must be used within 14 days of first entry.

You can see the full details on the Walt Disney World website. Thanks Scott for the heads up!

If you know of an offer we haven't listed, please drop us an email with the details!

Travel Discounts for U.K. Residents

None at this time. If you know of an offer we haven't listed, please drop us an email with the details!


Comments

  1. By asdhollywood

    Quote Originally Posted by MousePlanet AutoPoster View Post
    Walt Disney World Resort Update for December 20-26, 2016 by Alan S. Dalinka

    ůSeveral sites are reporting that starting on December 21, all four parks will have designated Annual Passholder park entry lanes since, presumably, those with Annual Passes are more familiar with the TouchPoint/Finger-readers and will move through more quickly.

    December 22, and it's Alan S Dalinka here at Epcot confirming the new AP park entry lanes. Also note that all bag checks (at least on this side) simultaneously include the magnetometers.

    http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/2016...c6c2711bc3.jpg

    http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/2016...2f5b0a997a.jpg


    Read it here!




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  2. By Dave1313

    Good update, and nice photos as always!

    I'm a bit curious about that seemingly (at the moment) intact building from the SOA in the PizzeRizzo 2nd floor shot. I wonder if it's perhaps being spared, or if they somehow just haven't gotten around to leveling it yet. (or maybe it's too close to the current construction walls and they may need to rearrange things before they can get the big machines in that little triangle to do the job - though the building/facade right along where the construction wall is was removed already, aside from that arch that also seems to have been spared).

    It would be sort of neat if that one building can be spared and found a use for. It looks OK right next to Muppets IMO.

  3. By asdhollywood

    I have seen construction workers gathered inside the "building" beyond the glass (but that end of the structure is not much of a building). At the far right end of the structure that is still standing (not shown in this week's photo), though, is where The Writer's Stop shop continued to operate beyond the close of the Streets of America area. In its final months, the shop's food and beverage counter sort of served as a bar/waiting area for the SciFi Dine-In Cafe next door and it is attached to the restaurant. My best guess is that continued operations at the restaurant requires some or all of the building to stand for now. I'll see whether I can find out any more in coming weeks.

    -Alan

  4. By asdhollywood

    Quote Originally Posted by MousePlanet AutoPoster View Post
    Walt Disney World Resort Update for December 20-26, 2016 by Alan S. Dalinka

    'Tis The (Peak) Season | More Magic Kingdom Table Service Restaurants Adding Alchohol To Menu | Star Wars Experiences at Disney's Hollywood Studios Includes Elements from Rogue One | Views around the World | This and That | Crowd Forecast

    Read it here!

    And, just like that, the Starbright Holidays photo backdrop in Town Center was replaced by a beverage station (that, while staffed, doesn't appear to be open).

    http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/2016...f1fc9aed6d.jpg



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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