Walt Disney World Resort Update for April 11-17, 2017

by Alan S. Dalinka, contributing writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for April 11–17, 2017

Go directly to: News & Views | Join our Networks | Resort Events | runDisney Events | Refurbishments and Attraction Closures | Discounts and Promotions

Writer's note: It was sure an interesting week at Walt Disney World Resort. We had the spectacular flyovers by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels flight team on Thursday morning at Magic Kingdom. Then, starting Friday, several wildfires broke out across the region. The closest wildfire to Walt Disney World Resort could easily be seen from the parks and Disney Springs, as we reported on Twitter and Facebook. That fire spread across 500 acres from near Daryl Carter Parkway toward the International Drive tourist district (closer to Sea World). Fortunately, it did not cause any reported injuries or damage to buildings or attractions (though one area Sheraton resort was briefly evacuated on Friday).

The extremely dry winter and spring have left the threat of more wildfires in place for now. I personally saw smoke and haze still in the air on FL-417 from FL-536 (World Center Drive) to near John Young Parkway and all the way to the Florida Turnpike as recently as yesterday afternoon.

Apart from that, it was actually a fairly quiet week for Walt Disney World Resort news. We do have new information about this year's Mickey's Halloween and Christmas parties at Magic Kingdom, a notable new patent application filing by Disney, as well as our Views around the World, One Passholder's Tip, "This and That" and more. For whatever you celebrate this week, whether it be Passover, Good Friday, Easter, each or any day, visits to Disney Parks, or anything else, have a good celebration!

Flags around Florida, including Epcot, were lowered to half staff last week to salute the late astronaut and former U.S. Senator John Glenn for his funeral. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Transportation and Ticket Center Flags were also lowered to half staff in honor of John Glenn. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

News and Views

U.S. Navy Blue Angels Perform Spectacular Flyovers at Magic Kingdom | Dates Announced for Mickey's Halloween and Christmas Parties at Magic Kingdom | Disney Inventors Developing Soft Robotic Characters | Views around the World | One Passholder's Tip | This and That | Crowd Forecast

U.S. Navy Blue Angels Perform Spectacular Flyovers at Magic Kingdom

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels flight team performed two spectacular flyovers at Magic Kingdom on Thursday, April 6. Disney Parks Blog announced the planned visit of the six F/A-18 Hornet jets early last week, and we kept you updated about the weather that could impact the schedule on our Facebook page and Twitter feed. From a very crowded Main Street U.S.A., we broadcast the event on Facebook Live (and you can watch the full replay there, including waiting around on Main Street U.S.A., or you can keep reading and see the one minute highlight video of the two flyovers).

Notwithstanding the gray sky and drizzle, a large crowd turned out at the gates of Magic Kingdom as the announced timeframe for the Blue Angels flyovers approached. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Less than half an hour before the scheduled performance time window, the skies were gray and it was still lightly raining at Magic Kingdom. As if by "Disney Magic," just minutes before the Blue Angels arrived, clouds over Cinderella Castle cleared revealing blue skies, and the jets came roaring over the Castle and Main Street U.S.A. in tight formation at reported speeds of more than 250 mph! On their second pass, a few minutes later, the Blue Angels performed a "Delta Break" maneuver 500 feet above the Castle.

The Blue Angels performed a crowd-pleasing "Delta Break" maneuver in a blue sky 500 feet above Cinderella Castle mere minutes after the cloud cover lifted. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

U.S. Navy Blue Angels perform two spectacular flyovers at Magic Kingdom on April 6, 2017. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

After the Walt Disney World flyovers, the Blue Angels headed to nearby Lakeland, Florida, for weekend performances at the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In.

Dates Announced for Mickey's Halloween and Christmas Parties at Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom has announced the 2017 slate of popular after-hours, separate ticket required, Halloween and Christmas Party dates and scheduled (but subject to change) entertainment. Pricing and tickets on-sale dates have not yet been announced. Tickets are expected to go on sale in early May.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party has 32 scheduled dates this year, debuting in late August and running through November 1:

  • August 25, 29
  • September 1, 7, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26, 29
  • October 1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 29, 31
  • November 1

"Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular" stage show at Cinderella Castle featuring the Sanderson sisters from the Disney film Hocus Pocus, Mickey’s "Boo-to-You" Halloween Parade and "Happy HalloWishes" fireworks show are all expected to return.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is scheduled for 21 dates this year:

  • November 8, 9, 12, 14, 16, 17, 26, 28
  • December 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, "Holiday Wishes" fireworks show, "A Frozen Holiday Wish" stage show at Cinderella Castle, and "Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration" stage show at Cinderella Castle are all expected to return.

It will be interesting to see whether either of the party-version "-wishes" fireworks shows receive any changes in light of the fact that the daily "Wishes" fireworks show is being retired on May 11 and replaced with "Happily Ever After" starting May 12. As you may recall, "Happily Ever After" has been described as making extensive use of projections on Cinderella Castle and lasers.

Last week, Disney posted video showing off some of the animators' work on "Happily Ever After" castle projections. Video ©Disney.

Disney Inventors Developing Soft Robotic Characters

Last week, the United States Patent and Trademark Office published Disney's recently filed United States Patent Application titled, "Soft Body Robot for Physical Interaction with Humans." As described in the application, Disney seeks patent protection for a soft robot "designed for reducing collision impacts during human interaction." In other words, Disney inventors are attempting to create soft, fully robotic characters that can safely interact with guests.

At least one of the drawings in the Patent Application resembles Baymax from Disney's animated film "Big Hero 6." Possibly a coincidence, but to my eye, it looks like some Disney Patent Attorney, Paralegal or Agent even gives the slightest nod to this resemblance by labeling the drawing in the Application "Fig. 6."

As we have said before with respect to patent applications, they do not necessarily result in issued patents. Indeed, issued patents themselves do not necessarily result in any particular product, method or service offering. But, with those caveats, this particular patent application, does seem to suggest that Disney Imagineers are taking the next logical steps in the "Living Characters Initiative" we have seen over the years. The concept in this patent application seems to be taking the technology behind characters like Lucky the Dinosaur, WALL-E, and Muppets Mobile Lab, combining some of the animatronics of the blinking/talking Mickey Mouse that greets guests at Magic Kingdom, and moving forward to the next generation of technology for interactive guest experiences like meet and greets.

As described by Disney's patent application:

The inventors recognized that there was a need for robots that can safely interact with humans and, particularly, with children. To physically interact with children, the inventors understood that the robot should be soft and durable.

We will keep an eye out for new fully robotic characters around Walt Disney World Resort. Let us know if you think you spot any.

Views Around the World

This week's Views Around the World are from Magic Kingdom (including the TTC), Epcot, and Disney's Animal Kingdom, as well as construction photos outside Disney's Hollywood Studios, around Disney Springs and some of the roads around the Resort. MousePlanet's Donald Fink contributes to our Views this week and a couple of the photos in the "This and That" section below too.

Magic Kingdom

Following up on our coverage last week of the TTC security changes, there is now a portable hedge wall directing pedestrians arriving from Magic Kingdom's main parking, guest drop-off and the general bus stop (for all but Disney Resorts buses) to the new security check points at the east end of the tram loading area. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The blue wagon made one of its occasional appearances on Main Street U.S.A. after the Blue Angels flyovers. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Main Street Station was filled with equipement for the United Kingdom television "chat show" production in Town Square that was expected to take place over the weekend. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Sam Eagle performs from his perch over Hall of Presidents during the Declaration of Independence version of Muppets Present Great Moments in History. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

With Hall of Presidents closed through June 29, Sam Eagle no longer concludes Muppets Present... Declaration of Indepence shows by referring to his box inside Hall of Presidents. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

Since at least one Live viewer of the Blue Angels flyovers requested we present some rides too on Thursday, enjoy this full Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover ride-through video. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.


Disney PhotoPass photographers often have time-of-year themed props you can pose with in photos with your camera or theirs. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

At this time of year, the Imagination pavilion is perfectly positioned for observing golden sensets at Epcot. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

At long last, significant progress on the new permanent (likely margarita and other beverages) kiosk outside the Mexico pavilion appears over the construction walls. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The new permanent kiosk outside the Mexico pavilion has a fairly large footprint and may make this already congested area even more congested when open. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The charter boat Fan-Ta-Sea was spotted providing a VIP tour of World Showcase Lagoon on Thursday. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Crews can often be spotted tending to the flower gardens as the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival continues through May 29. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Lately, Mouse Gear, the large store in Future World, has sold a large variety of themed novelty socks. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

World Drive provides a view of new vertical construction inside Disney's Hollywood Studios for the future Toy Story and Star Wars Lands. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Newly planted vegetation is growing on the new berm between Disney's Animal Kingdom's bus stop and the backside of Pandora-The World of Avatar as its May 27 official opening approaches. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Pandora-The World of Avatar will also connect to the Africa area of the park just past the restrooms across from Harambe Theater, home of Festival of the Lion King show. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Portions of the Tree of Life Garden are closed to guests. This closure may be related to unconfirmed rumors that the nighttime "awakenings" of the Tree may become visible in additional places around the park. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

As we reported on Friday on Twitter and Facebook, a major wildfire broke out near the International Drive tourist district northeast of the park. Smoke from that fire was visible behind Expedition Everest. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

From atop Expedition Everest's lift hill, the scope of the International Drive area wildfire could be seen on Friday. There were no reported injuries or damage to buildings from this fire. Central Florida has seen numerous wildfires in recent days and some have caused damage to buildings (but, so far, not in what is often called "the tourist corridor" or near the Attractions.) Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Expedition Everest's lift hill provides excellent views of Central Florida. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Since the closing of Camp Minnie-Mickey to make way for Pandora-The World of Avatar, Donald Duck greets guests and poses for photographs in DinoLand. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Ducklings wander around the feet of guests dining at the Yak & Yeti Local Foods Cafe. As with all the animals at the park, feeding the ducklings can be hazardous to their health, and the park requests that guests refrain from feeding all wildlife. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

For human consumption, Animal Kingdom's Starbucks, Creature Comforts Coffee Shop, now serves Artisan Breakfast Sandwiches in addition to the themed desserts we featured in a prior Update. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Orange Bird themed and inspired merchandise is displayed inside Riverside Depot on Discovery Island. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney Springs

Construction is underway on the new parking structure behind the Speedway gas station on Buena Vista Drive across from Disney Springs. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

As construction gets underway on the new parking structure, the pond between the Speedway gas station and Casting building on Buena Vista Drive across from the Lime Garage is being drained. Photo by Donald Fink.


An incomplete path: back in the mid-1990s Walt Disney World said that a pathway would encircle the Seven Seas Lagoon instead of stopping just beyond the Magic Kingdom to the west of the monorail station. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Springtime holidays means springtime themed treats are available at Screen Door General Store at Disney's BoardWalk Resort and other bakery counters around Walt Disney World. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Road Construction

Significant road construction is underway "behind" Disney's Hollywood Studios around the intersection of Osceola Parkway and Victory Way. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Several pieces of road construction equipment sit behind the ESPN Wide World of Sports sign near the intersection of Osceola Parkway and Victory Drive. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

One Passholder's Tip

This section of the Update provides our MousePlanet readers with the benefit of my years of experience as a longtime Walt Disney World Four Parks Annual Passholder, and lots of personal trial and errors, one (hopefully weekly) tip at a time.

One Passholder's Tip: Week 12
Carry a zip-top plastic bag or two (or three) in the Parks!

Plastic bags can protect, for example, your portable electronics from the rain! Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Following our discussion last week about having a poncho on hand for the sudden Central Florida rainstorms, it is also helpful to have a plastic bag handy for your portable electronic devices. We all know folks who would give up all sorts of other things before their smartphones and tablets, yet most folks fail to consider the possibility of getting those devices wet when visiting Walt Disney World. Ordinary pockets will not protect devices from a deluge of water—whether that deluge come from Kali River Rapids in Disney's Animal Kingdom or a sustained downpour from up above.

Now, some folks may think that the poncho would be sufficient to protect their devices, but here comes the added benefit of the zip-top plastic bag: many devices operate just as or nearly as well inside the plastic as out. In other words, those who feel the urge to make that next Facebook post, tweet, SnapChat, IM or text probably can do so right through the bag during any kind of weather. The plastic bag also can keep electronic key fobs, cash, wallets, and important papers like the (very rare at Walt Disney World) paper FastPasses dry as well.

On the thunderstorm-filled night last summer when I first visited Disney's Animal Kingdom's new nighttime offerings, a major downpour hit while I was inside Harambe Theater enjoying a performance of Festival of the Lion King. Fortunately, as the last show of the night, they did let guests linger in the exit area of the theater as the storm raged on. Eventually, as the lightning passed but the rain continued, I decided it was time to venture on. I got my $1.00 emergency poncho on, placed my iPhone, keys and wallet in zip-top bags that I had brought along (especially knowing the forecast that night), and was able to keep an eye on weather radar apps and the MyDisneyExperience app to see which attractions remained open as I walked. When the rain finally subsided, the quart size zip-top bag was the perfect new home for my folded poncho. As I often say, your mileage may vary.

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

This and That

…While long gone are the extravaganza Easter Day Parade telecasts from Magic Kingdom, this year, on April 15 and 16, the park will present a special Easter pre-parade before the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade. Note that all this week, the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade is scheduled to step off at both 12 noon and 3:30 p.m. daily, instead of its usual 3:00 p.m. start, so the "pre-parade" will step off earlier. Check with crowd-control cast members along the parade route for the time to expect the pre-parade to pass your chosen viewing location.

…We received reports over this past weekend from Star Wars Launch Bay at Disney's Hollywood Studios that the BB-8 character meet and greet experience made a "soft" opening ahead of its Star Wars: Galactic Nights (April 14 hard-ticketed event) scheduled debut. As with any "soft" opening, the meet and greet may or may not be operating at any given time before the official debut.

…Yesterday, April 10, The Polite Pig in Town Center at Disney Springs made its debut. The new concept eatery from Orlando Chefs James and Julie Petrakis (who also own The Ravenous Pig and Swine & Sons restaurants in Winter Park, FL, and Cask & Larder at Orlando International Airport) along with Brian Petrakis, features a "modern barbecue" menu plus "Southern sides." The 190 seat restaurant includes a sauce bar with seven different choices from sweet to hot, plus craft beers, cocktails and a bourbon bar with more than 50 selections.

The Polite Pig is now open in Disney Springs. Photo by Donald Fink.

The Polite Pig has an open kitchen. After guests place orders at the counter to the left of the kitchen, the staff brings the food to the tables. Photo by Donald Fink.

…The pages of the official Disney Springs website for Portobello Country Italian Trattoria say that the restaurant "will be closed for enhancement on April 24, 2017 and is scheduled to reopen in fall 2017."

…Likely given the popularity of the lighted lantern Disney PhotoPass photo opportunity outside the tower from Disney's Tangled (near the Tangled-themed restrooms) at Magic Kingdom, Epcot now offers a new Disney PhotoPass photo opportunity with a lighted lotus flower prop at the China pavilion beginning at 7:30 p.m. nightly (weather permitting).

…Speaking of Disney PhotoPass, Disney Parks Blog noted that currently available "Magic Shots" during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival now include additional shots with Figment and shots including one or more "magically added" butterflies. As always, it does not hurt to ask which "Magic Shots" your PhotoPass photographer can help create for you.

…Disney Vacation Club Members may now register for one of the upcoming Moonlight Magic at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park Events scheduled for June 23 and 28, and July 5 and 13, from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Members (except those who, after April 4, 2016, did not purchase directly from Disney) without a Resort hotel reservation may register for up to 5 guests plus the Member (who must be present with Membership Card and photo ID); those qualified Members with a Resort hotel reservation may register for the number of guests on their reservations. As of this weekend, it did not appear that any dates had yet sold out. Let us know in the comments or on Social Media if you plan to attend!

…Starting April 21, the Walt Disney Theatre inside One Man's Dream at Disney's Hollywood Studios will show preview scenes from the upcoming film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales which is arriving in theaters across the U.S. as well as the ships of Disney Cruise Line on May 26. Disney California Adventure at Disneyland Resort and all four Disney Cruise Line ships will also be showing the previews. To promote the film, Disney is offering a sweepstakes for a chance to win a 6 day/5 night trip for four to Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line. To enter, post a photo to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #PiratesLifeSweepstakes. You can enter once per day per platform, now through April 30, 2017. Be sure to read the official rules carefully, because there are several "photo content restrictions" which might render your entry ineligible, including depictions of drinking or use of weapons. Disney Parks Blog also includes further details.

…Epcot's Mission: SPACE will close for refurbishment on June 5, 2017, and is expected to reopen in late July. Check the MyDisneyExperience App or website for the latest information on this attraction.

Mission: SPACE is scheduled for refurbishment during the peak summer months of June and July. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

…For those dreaming of working at Walt Disney World Resort, Disney announced that it is looking to hire more than 1,000 positions during their Online Spring Hiring Event on www.WaltDisneyWorld.jobs. Not only did we receive that announcement by press release from the Resort, but it has shown up this past week as a "Sponsored" post on Facebook as well as on Orlando-area radio stations.

…It is now easier than ever to see our Facebook videos, as we have created playlists which allow you to select one or all of our Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, or D23 videos to view!

…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.

Join the MousePlanet Newsletter

Crowd Forecast


"Do more. Wait less."

Save time and money at Walt Disney World. TouringPlans.com can help you avoid falling into the typical tourist pitfalls.

Our Disney World Crowd Calendar shows you the least crowded park to visit every day of the year, customized Touring Plans save you hours in line for Disney's best rides, honest restaurant reviews, how to save on Disney tickets, the best hotel rooms to ask for, and so much more. Everything can be accessed on our site or on Lines - Mobile Wait Times App which also shows to current and estimated wait times for attractions.

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, April 11, 2017 8 / 10
Wednesday, April 12, 2017 8 / 10
Thursday, April 13, 2017 8 / 10
Friday, April 14, 2017 6 / 10
Saturday, April 15, 2017 6 / 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!

See Disney World crowds for the next 365 days.
Get Disney World wait times on your iPhone, Android or Smartphone.
Do more. Wait less.

Join Our Networks


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).

2017 Resort Events

  • Star Wars Experiences – Opened December 1, 2015 (ongoing)
  • Star Wars: Galactic Nights – April 14, 2017
  • Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – March 1 - May 29, 2017.
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – August 31 - November 13, 2017.
  • Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic – October 27–28, 2017
  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party – August 25, 29; September 1, 7, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26, 29;
       October 1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 29, 31; November 1
  • Holidays at Walt Disney World –Dates TBD
  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party – November 8, 9, 12, 14, 16, 17, 26, 28;
       December 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22
  • Holidays Around the World at Epcot –Dates TBD
  • Candlelight Processional at Epcot –Dates TBD

2018 Resort Events

  • Epcot International Festival of the Arts – "Early" 2018
  • 25th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – "Spring" 2018

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.



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

Note: Not all attraction closures have been officially confirmed by Disney, and are all subject to change at any time. Refurbishment schedules are estimates only. We recommend checking for updates as you plan your visit. All information is subject to change without notice. To get the most recent updates, visit DisneyWorld.com or use the MyDisneyExperience App on your iOS or Android device.

Magic Kingdom

  • Wishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams – has its final showing on May 11, 2017, to make way for the May 12 premier of the new fireworks show named Happily Ever After.
  • Stitch's Great Escape – closed except for occasional "seasonal" openings, such the week of April 10.

Stitch was back in operation briefly in March to absorb peak Spring Break crowds. For the week of April 10, its listing on My Disney Experience changed from "temporarily closed" to "Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m." Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

  • The Hall of Presidents – closed January 17, 2017, through June 29, 2017, to add an audio-animatronic figure of the 45th president of the United States.

The Hall of Presidents is closed until this summer. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Scheduled closure:

  • Mission:SPACE – June 5, 2017 through late July, 2017

Permanently closed:

  • Innoventions West (except Character Meet and Greets)
  • Innoventions East (except Colortopia and a Passholder shop)
    …including Sum of All Thrills and Storm Struck

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Permanently closed:

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

Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • No known closures at this time!

Blizzard Beach

  • Runoff Rapids. Expected completion: TBA.

Typhoon Lagoon

  • No known closures at this time!

Disney Springs

  • Portobello Country Italian Trattoria – Scheduled to close April 24, 2017 for enhancements through Fall 2017
  • Disney Quest – scheduled to close July 3, 2017 to make way for The NBA Experience.
  • La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil – ends its run on December 31, 2017. Next use of the theater on the West Side TBA.


  • Caribbean Beach – Centertown, the resort's marketplace, will be expanded with new waterfront dining and retail shopping areas. As construction gets underway, it is possible some existing venues will close. The project is expected to be completed 2019-20.
  • Coronado Springs – A new 15-story tower overlooking Lago Dorado, the resort's central lake, will add 500 rooms featuring suites and concierge level services, and a rooftop dining facility that will include panoramic views of nighttime fireworks shows at the Theme Parks. The resort also plans to refurbish current resort rooms and transform some of its landscape. The project is expected to be completed 2019-20.
  • Wilderness Lodge and Villas – Hidden Springs pool, resort beach, and playground closed. Opening date expected around July 17, 2017, debut of new Disney Vacation Club's Copper Copper Creek Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. Continue to expect construction-related closures and noise due to construction.

With the opening of general sales for Disney Vacation Club's newest resort, Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge last week, Disney posted a video highlighting the expected features of the new resort. (Of course, Disney's promotion material is a timeshare solicitation and is not an offer in any jurisdiction where the timeshare is not registered.) Video ©Disney.


  • 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

Our friends at Small World Vacations let us know that Disney has a made a summer discount offer where you can save up to 25% on rooms at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels for stays most nights May 28-Aug. 31, 2017 when you book March 27-July 14, 2017. You can also see all of Disney's current special offers on DisneyWorld.com.

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

Kick Off Your Spring room offer

Passholders can book rooms at the Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort starting at $86 per night under this offer. The discount is valid most Sunday through Thursday nights, April 23 through May 25, 2017. Additional resorts and dates are available for stays April 9 through April 22 and May 26 through June 10, 2017, with rates from $101 at the All-Star Resorts to $292 per night at Disney's BoardWalk Inn

Booking Window – Must book by June 9, 2017

Travel Window – Most nights from April 9, 2017 through June 10, 2017

Terms and Conditions:

  • Passholder must present a valid Walt Disney World Pass at check-in.
  • Advance reservations required.
  • Maximum – 14 nights
  • Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotions.
  • Offer excludes the following room types: campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Disney's Art of Animation Resort – The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms and Bungalows at Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.

Visit the Annual Passholder website for details, or call 407-939-7676 to book by phone.

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

Discounts for Disney Rewards VISA Credit Card Holders

20 percent off Joffrey's coffee/tea kiosks

Disney Visa cardholders receive 20 percent off their entire purchase at Joffrey's coffee/tea kiosks throughout Walt Disney World, including Tea Traders Café by Joffrey's, and online at Joffreys.com with code: VISABEANS

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
    • World Showcase: DestiNations Discovered
  • 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

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)


  • 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.

Cardholders also receive 10% off select merchandise purchases of $50 or more at the following Walt Disney World® Resort Operating Participant merchandise locations including Basin®, Basin White®, Chapel Hats, Good Fortune Gifts and House of Good Fortune, kidsHeritage and Marrakesh Emporium Arts & Crafts.

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

10% off select recreation experiences

Disney Visa cardholders receive 15 percent off the non-discounted price of the recreation experiences listed below:

  • Carriage Rides at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
  • Horseback Trail Rides at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

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.

Travel Discounts for Military Personnel

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. Thanks to our reader Dr. Smith who alerted us that the website militarydisneytips.com notes that April 9-23 are no longer listed as blockout dates for Disney's Armed Forces Salute.

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.

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.

Travel Discounts for Florida Residents

La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil – Subject to availability, Florida residents can get discounts for groups of three or more tickets for shows now through April 29. With the discount, a family of four can purchase tickets for as low as $32.25 per ticket for Category 3 seating. Discounted Family Pack tickets are also available for Category 1, Category 2 and Front and Center. For tickets, call (407)939-7328 or visiting the La Nouba box office. (Proof of Florida residency required for discount.)

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 an offer for Canadian residents. Canadian residents receive a 25% discount on 4-day or longer tickets purchased. 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. Scott S. just alerted us that the offer has been extended to tickets purchased through May 20, 2017.

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!


  1. By davidgra

    You got some SPECTACULAR photos this week, Alan! Great update, as always!

  2. By asdhollywood



  3. Discuss this article on MousePad.