Walt Disney World Resort Update for July 19-24, 2017

by Alan S. Dalinka, contributing writer
Advertisement

Walt Disney World Resort Update for July 19–24, 2017

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

Writer's note: Not surprisingly, there is an amazing amount of news to report around Walt Disney World Resort following this weekend's Disney D23 Expo 2017 in Anaheim, California. Disney Parks Chairman Bob Chapek made good on his promises back at D23 Destination D in November and delivered a whole bunch of news about new attractions, transportation, and more. You can watch Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix and me discuss the announcements and share our views in the recorded replay of our Facebook Live video from MousePlanet's booth on the Expo show floor. There we also mention several of the rumors that we heard no news about (confirming, denying, or otherwise).


Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix and Alan S. Dalinka discuss the Parks and Resorts news from the MousePlanet booth on the D23 Expo show floor.

As in the video, while I provided some of our Disneyland coverage in the parks earlier this week on social media, as usual and appropriate, Adrienne provides the West Coast announcements in this week's Disneyland Resort Update.

As seems to be often true in the world of Disney fandom, a lot of the announcements confirmed rumors (sometimes only in part), and, of course, some opened up more questions. The announcements cover a span of time from as soon as later this month when Epcot's Mission: SPACE reopens, to summer 2018, 2019, the Resort's 50th Anniversary in 2021, and unspecified points in between and beyond those years. As always, stay tuned.

While I did manage to visit all four Walt Disney World Parks earlier in the week before heading out to D23 Expo, we will skip our usual Views Around the World section (though I have included a few along with the news), One Passholder's Tip, and have just an abbreviated This and That. Since I did complete what I'll call my personal "Disney Domestic 6 Park Challenge" earlier this week by also visiting Disney California Adventure and the place where Disney Parks all began (and on its 62nd birthday at that), Disneyland, in coming days (or weeks?) I will create a photo album and add some brief videos on the MousePlanet Facebook page of this Chicagoan-turned-Central Floridian's eye on the sites of the old Resort in the west that will never be complete.

A special thank you to Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix for convincing me to make my first trip out to D23 Expo since I did so as an unaffiliated fan back in 2009, and making sure that I got in to the presentations I needed to see to report here. Thanks also to Todd Pickering for making sure the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom map in my head did not always conflict with the layout of Disneyland (since I had not visited since 2012 and regular readers have a sense of how many times I have visited Magic Kingdom in just the past three years). And a big thanks for the other MousePlanet team members I met for the first time and all the readers that offered up kind words when I was around the MousePlanet booth, or when they spotted me wandering the floor of the Expo, and even at the edge of Rivers of America (and you know who you are).

Everybody neat and pretty? Then on with the show!


News

Official Name is "Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge" | Mickey Mouse Gets His First Ride and Toy Story Land to Open Summer 2018 | Revealing Some New Epcot Offerings |TRON and a New Live Entertainment Theater Coming to Magic Kingdom | New Transportation Options In the Works | Next DVC Property Proposed | This and That | Crowd Forecast

Official Name is "Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge"

One of the very first Disney Parks and Resorts announcements at D23 Expo was the name for the Star Wars-themed lands being built at both Disneyland in California and Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Disney Parks Chairman Bob Chapek announced the official name of the lands will be "Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge."


By the time the Disney Parks & Resorts presentation had ended, a banner with "Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge" was flying in the rafters above the pavilion showing off the scale model of the Anaheim version of the new land. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

If you are a regular reader of MousePlanet, you should be aware that construction of the Anaheim version is months ahead of the Hollywood Studios edition. As such, it was no real surprise when Disney Parks Chairman Bob Chapek announced that the new land will first open in 2019 at Disneyland, followed by the Disney's Hollywood Studios version later the same year. He did not provide any more details about when in 2019 the openings will occur.


Construction of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios appears months behind Disneyland. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka (July 12, 2017).


Substantial heavy equipment can often be seen working on Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge beyond the construction walls in Pixar Place at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka (July 12, 2017).

Adrienne showed off a bunch of close-up photos of the models of the Anaheim version of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge yesterday. We believe that there will be some differences between the Anaheim and Florida versions based on, at minimum, where Galaxy's Edge fits within each respective park's map and topography. While we expect that the Florida version will have the same major attractions and similar elements, we have not yet seen any detailed information about how Galaxy's Edge will be laid out at Disney's Hollywood Studios nor whether exterior theming changes are coming to Star Tours which appears to be well-outside the boundaries of Galaxy's Edge since the park is most definitely no longer the "working studios" facility it was back when the attraction debuted.

We do know that Star Tours is intended to continue operating, as previous announcements have discussed more new worlds to explore as additional movies are released. We also know that the former pilot of Star Tours, Rex, will have a new role in the new land that he may or may not be any better at than he was at piloting the tour.

In any event, the level of immersion in Galaxy's Edge is being described by Disney with the strongest superlatives they can muster. For example, you can read Disney Parks Blog's discussion about the new land and attractions here. Below, you can watch the full presentation regarding the land.


Disney Parks Chairman Bob Chapek announces the new Star Wars land in the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge presentation from the 2017 Disney D23 Expo Parks and Resorts presentation. MousePlanet video.

On a related note, those "stories you heard" about an incredibly immersive hotel in the planning stages that bring you into the Star Wars universe from the moment you arrive and include time in what we now know will be called Galaxy's Edge, "they're all true," or so it seems. Bob Chapek announced that development of a Star Wars hotel where every room has a view of space is underway. He did not specify an opening date or where it will be located, but he did say words to the effect that Disney intends it to be a "game changer."


Disney Parks Chairman Bob Chapek announced plans for an immersive Star Wars-themed hotel: "a one-of-a-kind experience where a luxury resort meets a multi-day adventure in a galaxy far, far away." Image ©Disney.

Mickey Mouse Gets His First Ride and Toy Story Land to Open in Summer 2018

An all new ride-based attraction called "Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway" is coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios at some point in the future. Also calling it a "game-changing attraction," Chapek said that the development team is creating an all-new adventure, with an all-new ride theme song in the great tradition of Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean, using what he called "2-and-a-half D" technology to create effects like 3D but without requiring the additional glasses needed on other attractions.


Mickey Mouse's first ever ride-through attraction will take its visual look from the Disney Channel animated shorts. Image ©Disney.

The ride takes you inside the version of the world depicted in Disney Channel's “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts. The news item that may be of most interest to folks planning a visit to the park in the near future is that the new ride will be located inside the Chinese Theatre, meaning that this new attraction will replace The Great Movie Ride which is now slated to close August 13, 2017.

While we are talking about Disney's Hollywood Studios, Chapek confirmed that Toy Story Land is scheduled to open in summer 2018. While no additional specific information was provided, a brief video he showed included a moment where members of the imagineering or construction team mentioned that the new Toy Story Mania entrance was looking great, which confirms a rumor that the ride's new entrance would be inside the land. That likely means that what is now Pixar Place will be repurposed, even possibly as a backstage area.

Revealing Some New Epcot Offerings

At Disney D23 Destination D last November, Bob Chapek previewed that a major overhaul was in the works for Epcot. He described it as true to its original vision, more timeless, more relevant, and more Disney. He repeated that notion at D23 Expo and provided the very tip of the iceberg of details, including two new attractions, changes to some existing attractions, and a new table service restaurant.


Disney Parks Chairman Bob Chapek showed a "blue sky" rendering of a reimagined Future World at Epcot. It is hard to tell for sure, but among other things, it appears that the Innoventions (originally the Communicore) buildings may be slated for removal, along with the post-show area behind Spaceship Earth and the overhead shade screens added for the millenium, and, perhaps the Fountain of Nations too. Of course, all of these plans could change many times. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka of the Artist rendition ©Disney.

Guardians of the Galaxy to Replace Ellen's Energy Adventure

A new Guardians of the Galaxy-themed attraction will, indeed, replace Ellen's Energy Adventure. Calling it a brand new "E-ticket" attraction, Chapek described its tie to Epcot by saying one of the Guardians, Peter Quill/Star-Lord, left something behind at Epcot when he visited as a child. We will have to wait to see what this means.


The artist rendition for the new Guardians of the Galaxy attraction at Epcot shows the shell of the Universe of Energy pavilion intact. Image ©Disney.


It seems too early to tell what the artist rendition for the interior of the new Guardians of the Galaxy attraction tells about the experience within. Image ©Disney.

We do know however, that Ellen's Energy Adventure is scheduled to close August 13, 2017. Disney plans to have the new attraction ready for Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary in 2021.

Ratatouille is coming to the France pavilion

Based on the Disney-Pixar movie, and currently said to be patterned after the "number one family attraction at Disneyland Paris," a new Ratatouille inspired attraction will be added to a new area behind the France pavilion. Unlike Guardians of the Galaxy, this new attraction is not displacing any existing attractions as far as we have learned so far, including the film Impressions de France. Disney also plans to have this new attraction ready for the Resort's 50th anniversary in 2021.


The "Ratatouille" attraction is to be located in a new space behind the existing France pavilion. Image ©Disney.

New Seamless Circle-Vision Film coming to China pavilion

Chapek announced that Disney is developing a "next-generation digital camera system" to create a new, seamless Circle-Vision movie for the China pavilion. As you may recall from watching any of the existing or retired Circle-Vision films, the "9-eye" approach to creating them, always left blank areas between the screens in the past. It is likely, the new technique will be similar to how the various projection mapping technologies have allowed for the shows on the front of Cinderella Castle, the Chinese Theatre and the Tree of Life.

Chapek teased that many other changes are in the works for World Showcase, but he did not provide any specifics. Indeed, notwithstanding rumors of the addition of another nation to the Showcase (the loudest rumor has been Brazil), there is no news to report there. However, Epcot's 35th Anniversary is coming up on October 1 and, we hope (maybe, expect) there will be some additional news then.

Mission: SPACE Refurbishments about to end with updated and new missions

Back in Future World, as you may recall, Mission: SPACE closed for a several month refurbishment that is due to end later this summer. Chapek announced that when the attraction reopens in a few weeks, guests will find an updated Orange Mission and a brand new Green Mission around the Earth that allows younger guests to ride for the first time too. He said that the Parks teamed with the special effects folks at Industrial Light and Magic to create some of the updates to the attraction. (As you may recall, Disney acquired ILM several years ago when it purchased LucasFilm Ltd.)

New Table-Service restaurant to open next door to Mission: SPACE.

The east side of Future World currently has no table-service restaurants, while the west has two. Chapek announced that a new space-themed table-service restaurant will be opened on Future World's east side, adjacent to Mission: SPACE at an unspecified time in the future. Diners will have views of space all around them as they eat.


Diners will view space while they dine at the new venue. Image ©Disney.

A Disney Press Release says that the new restaurant will be managed by the Patina Restaurant Group. At Walt Disney World, Patina also manages Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs, and Tutto Italia Ristorante and Via Napoli at Epcot's Italy pavilion.

We received some online questions asking whether this was, possibly, going to go in the Odyssey building between Future World and World Showcase that once was a food location. That building, however, is adjacent to Test Track, not Mission: SPACE, so that is highly unlikely.

TRON and New Live Entertainment Theater Coming to Magic Kingdom

With all the rumors that had been swirling around the past several months, perhaps the most interesting part of the announcement that Shanghai Disneyland's TRON Lightcycle Power Run coaster-style attraction inspired by the 1982 Disney film TRON (and its 2010 sequel Tron: Legacy) was coming to Magic Kingdom was not even immediately apparent until more carefully looking at the artist rendition. The image shows that the new attraction will not be replacing the Tomorrowland Speedway after all. Indeed, reflecting back on the announcement when Chapek discussed the new attraction, he described it as being located in an entirely new area next to Space Mountain.


The new TRON attraction will sit in a new space next to Space Mountain and not result in the removal of the Tomorrowland Speedway. Image ©Disney.


Minor renovations appear underway atop Space Mountain. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka (July 12, 2017).


Both the Tomorrowland Speedway and (to use its full name) the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover appear to not be heading to retirement as a result of the TRON attraction. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka (July 12, 2017).

Disney plans to have the new TRON ride ready to open by the Park and Resort's 50th anniversary in 2021, so we expect we will see some signs of its future footprint very soon. It will be very fun to see this part of Tomorrowland alive with two giant E-Ticket attractions right next door to each other too. And, the really good news for PeopleMover fans (like me) is that the artist rendition shows the PeopleMover track structure seemingly unaltered by the new attraction!

Somewhere "right off Main Street, U.S.A.," the park is also planning to build "a new venue for world-class entertainment" in the form a theater that resembles Kansas City's Willis Wood Theater as it appeared in the 1920s when Walt Disney lived there after he left Marceline, MO. The artist's rendition of the new theater does not provide sufficient context about where it may be located, but size-wise, Chapek discussed the scope of the theater being similar to the Hyperion at Disney California Adventure, which was built to accomodate large-scale productions and seat nearly 2,000 for a show.


The artist's rendition for the new live entertainment theater shows how the building may blend with the theme of Main Street, but does not show where it will be located. Image ©Disney.

On satellite views of the park, the area behind the east side of Main Street to the right as you head toward Cinderella Castle) does appear to be large enough to accomodate a theater venue of such a large scope. No closings were announced in connection with constructing this venue, but no timeline was announced either.


Exterior work along Main Street's west side seems routine in nature rather than being related to this announced new theater. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka (July 12, 2017).

New Transportation Options In the Works

The new "Minnie Van" service will debut later this month giving guests a new point-to-point transportation option around Walt Disney World. The vans, decorated in polka dots like Minnie Mouse's iconic dress will be available on-demand via smartphone (presumably, but not yet confirmed, via the My Disney Experience App). The program will begin a limited roll out for guests at Disney's BoardWalk Resort and Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts. No pricing has yet been officially announced.

While the Minnie Vans will be driven by a Disney cast member, an increasing number of mainstream press have written and spoken about Disney's interest in using autonomous vehicles around the Resort. This could be a small step in this direction, or perhaps it is just Disney's response to Uber, Lyft, and the like.


Minnie Vans driven by Disney Cast Members will soon provide point-to-point, on-demand transportation around Walt Disney World, starting with Disney's BoardWalk and Yacht & Beach Club Resorts. Photo ©Disney.

The other new transportation option had become public because of Disney's permit applications quite some time ago: the gondolas we have previously written about were confirmed at the D23 Expo. The "Disney Skyliner" is the name announced for the system.


Disney released concept art reflecting some of the character designs that may appear on the Disney Skyliner. Image ©Disney.

Connecting four resorts with Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios, an updated version of the old Tomorrowland-Fantasyland sky ride will create all sorts of new high-level views of Walt Disney World. The resorts are: Disney's Art of Animation, Disney's Pop Century, Disney's Caribbean Beach and the (discussed below) proposed newest Disney Vacation Club property, Disney Riviera Resort. No estimated completion date has been provided and no details have been released about the size of the gondolas or the extent to which they will be climate controlled.


Artist rendition of Disney Skyliner shows cars very reminiscent of those that used to travel between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom. Image ©Disney.


Bob Chapek discusses the new Disney Skyliner transportation system. From the map, it appears that there will be no direct Skyliner connection between Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios. Photo ©Disney.


Substantial road construction is underway all over the Resort, including here at Buena Vista Drive across the Bonnet Creek Resorts. No mention was made at D23 Expo of when we may see the completion of this roadwork. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka (July 12, 2017).

Next DVC Property Proposed

Even before this past Monday's grand opening of Copper Creek at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, the fourteenth Disney Vacation Club property, Bob Chapek announced that plans were underway for DVC's fifteenth to be called Disney Riviera Resort. From the map of the Disney Skyliner and from construction activity apparent along Buena Vista Drive, it appears that this new property will be located on previously undeveloped grounds in or near Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort.

Plans for the new DVC property, like the hotel tower previously announced over at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, include a mid-rise tower that will have a rooftop restaurant that will offer views of nighttime fireworks at both Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios. A Disney press release estimated that the new property will open in Fall 2019. Be mindful, of course, that the amount of legal filings that are associated with DVC properties which are regulated by the states and other countries as "timeshares," necessarily means that DVC tends to be able to provide public information about new resorts only once various filings are accepted by regulators.

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

 

This and That

…Mobile Order continues to expand around Walt Disney World Resort. The latest additions are over in Magic Kingdom with Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe and Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant both added within the past week or so. If you have push notifications and location services permissions granted to the My Disney Experience App, do not be surprised if you walk past a food location and have the App seek your attention to let you know that you can order food from your phone. Big Mouse is watching, brother?

…The ever-more-attentive-than-me Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix (at least about events like this) noticed that Walt Disney World is holding auditions for Male and Female Vocalists for "Candlelight Processional Voices of Liberty" in New York City's Pearl Studios on August 2, 2017. Find more information (and more auditions) on the Disney Auditions calendar.

…Donald and Bonnie Fink got a look and sampling at a preview of some of the offerings coming to the 2017 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This year's further-expanded Festival begins on August 31. Read more information in their First Look article from earlier this week.

…July 17 was not only the 62nd Anniversary of the opening of Disneyland and the 17th since the launch of MousePlanet, it marked this year's official opening of the newest Disney Vacation Club property: Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. Donald Fink attended its opening day festivities and will have a report here on MousePlanet soon. I previously provided my report The Hard Hat Tour back in April if you would like to catch up on the theming and major elements of the project.


Copper Creek Villas & Cabins Grand Opening took place at Disney's Wilderness Lodge on July 17, 2017. Photo ©Disney.

…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
E-mail:

Crowd Forecast

Advertisement

"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, July 18, 2017 7 / 10
Wednesday, July 19, 2017 7 / 10
Thursday, July 20, 2017 7 / 10
Friday, July 21, 2017 7 / 10
Saturday, July 22, 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

MousePlanet


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)
  • Dapper Day Outing (unofficial events) – November 18, 2017 at Magic Kingdom; November 19, 2017 at Epcot
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – August 31 - November 13, 2017.
  • 35th Disney Night of Joy at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex – September 8 and 9, 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 November 24 to December 30
  • Candlelight Processional at Epcot –Dates November 24 to December 30

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.

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

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 – had its final showing on May 11, 2017, and has been replaced by the new fireworks show: Happily Ever After.
  • The Incredibles Super Dance Party – closed. The Rockettower Plaza Stage now hosts "The Cosmic Dance Party."
  • Stitch's Great Escape – often closed on a "seasonal" basis. As of this posting, it is again open for the peak Summer season.
  • The Hall of Presidents – New show opening "Late 2017."

Epcot

  • Mission: SPACE – Expected to reopen in August, 2017, with a refreshed Orange Mission and a new, younger-guest friendly, Earth-bound Green Mission
  • Ellen's Energy Adventure at Universe of Energy – Closing August 13, 2017, to make way for a Guardians of the Galaxy-themed attraction in approximately 2021.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • The Great Movie Ride – Closing August 13, 2017, to make way for Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway at a date to be announced.

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 – Closed April 24, 2017. Will reopen as Terralina Crafted Italian in Fall 2017, a new concept from James Beard award-winner and Top Chef Master Tony Mantuano and Chef Justin Plank.
  • Disney Quest – Closed as of 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.
  • Wolfgang Puck Grand Café – closes its West Side location on August 1, 2017. A new Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill has been announced for Town Center and is expected to open in 2018.

Resorts

  • Caribbean Beach – Centertown, the resort's marketplace, will be expanded with new waterfront dining and retail shopping areas. The project is expected to be completed 2019-20. Due to the work, the following food service and retail locations are closed:
    • Old Port Royale Food Court
    • Shutters at Old Port Royale
    • Banana Cabana Pool Bar
    • Calypso Trading Post
  • 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.

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

 

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

Visit the DisneyWorld.com Special Offers page (filtered for Passholders) for information, 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)

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.

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

Rates for Florida Residents starting as low as $108 per night, plus tax are available for a stay in a standard room at Disney's Pop Century Resort, most Sunday through Thursday nights from June 11 through August 31, 2017. Other discounted rates and Resorts may be available from June 6 through August 31, 2017. Book through August 30, 2017. Visit this page of DisneyWorld.com for more information and reservations.

Florida Residents can also save 30% on 4 days at the theme parks with a 4-Day Disney Select Ticket. This $54.75 plus tax per day ticket gives you access to one theme park per day for up to 4 days (which do not have to be used consecutively). A 3-Day Disney Select Ticket is also available for $66.34 plus tax per day. Tickets expire 6 months after first use, with the first use on or before December 31, 2018. Proof of Florida Residency is required. More information is available on this page of DisneyWorld.com.

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

Travel Discounts for Canada Residents

Check disneyparks.ca for the latest offers from Disney.

Canadian residents can save 25% on fall cruises aboard Disney Cruise Line's Disney Magic departing from New York City on October 14 and November 18, 2017, when booking Verandah, Oceanview and Inside Staterooms. Both sailings include festive decor, themed activities, and the "Marvel Day at Sea" along with other entertainment. Both itineraries also include a visit to Disney's private Bahamian island, Castaway Cay, and a one-day visit to Walt Disney World Resort (including a Park Hopper ticket and roundtrip transportation from the ship). For more information and booking, visit this page of the Disney Cruise Line website, or call (800) 491-9744 (mention booking code "CAN"), or your Travel Agent. Offer may be applied to existing bookings, exclusions apply, and Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses not included in offer.

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

Travel Discounts for U.K. Residents

The website GetWestLondon.co.uk has an updated list of some of the offers available to folks planning ahead to holiday at Walt Disney World Resort from the United Kingdom.

You can see the latest offers for U.K. residents on Disney World's U.K. packages website.

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


 

Comments

  1. By xezat

    Just as long as the Mickey Mouse ride isn't based on that horrible looking new cartoon series...which is probably is I guess. Really dislike the animation and subject matter of those, they have nothing on actual classic Mickey Mouse cartoons.

  2. By stan4d_steph

    Quote Originally Posted by xezat View Post
    Just as long as the Mickey Mouse ride isn't based on that horrible looking new cartoon series...which is probably is I guess. Really dislike the animation and subject matter of those, they have nothing on actual classic Mickey Mouse cartoons.

    I love the new shorts. They're cleverly written with lots of fun gags.

  3. Discuss this article on MousePad.