Walt Disney World Resort Update for July 25-31, 2017

by Alan S. Dalinka, contributing writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for July 25–31, 2017 [UPDATED: 4:15 P.M. EDT]

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

Writer's note: Given all of the news in last week's Walt Disney World Resort Update of Disney's plans for Walt Disney World over the next five or so years, we have more "This and That" and just a little news to share this week. Our Views Around the World are focused on Epcot with the preparations underway for this year's Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and with the things we now know will be changing in the not-too-distant future. We also have another edition of One Passholder's Tip.

With that, let's get right to it.

News and Views

Minnie Vans Apparently Begin Service Soft Open [UPDATED: 4:15 P.M. EDT] | Epcot International Food & Wine Reservations Now Open | Views around the World | One Passholder's Tip | This and That | Crowd Forecast

Minnie Vans Apparently Begin Service Soft Open [UPDATED: 4:15 P.M. EDT]

Writer's note: Edited at 4:15 p.m. EDT to reflect the opportunity Disney provided to local press to view a Minnie Van and chat with representatives, including cast members now called "Ride Services Associates" who drive them. The Update also now includes additional photos.

Of all of the "new stuff" just announced for Walt Disney World Resort that we reported on last week following the 2017 D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center, the first scheduled to make its official debut is the new Minnie Van transportation service. Disney Parks Blog reported earlier this week that service officially starts later this month for guests staying at Disney's Boardwalk Resort and Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts. Minnie Van service is now in a "soft opening" testing phase around the Resort.

Disney's fleet of "Minnie Vans" have begun providing some service around Walt Disney World Resort. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney cast members called "Ride Services Associates" drive the new Minnie Mouse-decorated vans, which seat six. The Minnie Vans carry two child safety seats in the cargo space for quick installation in the passenger area of the vehicle when needed.

The fee for the service is currently $20/ride for the party of up to six (with no additional charge for the use of the child safety seats), and does not vary by mileage or time. Only on-property destinations are served by the Minnie Vans, but the destinations otherwise include the Disney parks, water parks, mini-golf and golf courses, Disney Springs, and so forth. Like their counterparts driving the Disney buses, Minnie Van drivers do not expect to receive gratuities and, we were told, the cast compensation designates the drivers as being in a "non-tipped" role.

Minnie Vans carry two child safety seats for quick installation in the passenger area of the vehicle when needed. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Cast Members that drive the new Minnie Vans are called Ride Services Associates. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Although the smartphone app for the service is still being finalized, when the service is fully launched, guests will be able to arrange for transportation from their device. As compared to other ride-share services, with Minnie Vans, Disney cast members are at the wheel delivering "Disney quality service" (and, we are told, Disney music can accompany your ride). The Minnie Vans also have better access to pick up and drop-off points, such as the bus stop area at Magic Kingdom near the park's security screening stations rather than at the TTC, which is where the ride-sharing providers are permitted to operate; essentially, we were told, anywhere Disney buses are permitted, the Minnie Vans will operate as well.

The hours of operation for Minnie Van services have not been finalized. The initial plan is to provide Minnie Van service from 6:30 a.m. until 12:30 a.m. daily, but that is subject to change. As we learn more information, we will pass it along.

Epcot International Food & Wine Reservations Now Open

With preparations well-underway (see also this week's Views Around the World) for this year's 75-day Epcot International Food & Wine Festival set to run August 31 – November 13, reservations are now open for many of the events that are not included with regular admission to Epcot. Up-to-date information and reservations for the scheduled hard ticketed demonstrations, seminars, and talks are all available on this page of DisneyWorld.com or by calling (407) 939-3378. Dining packages that include reserved seating for the Eat to the Beat Concert series are also now available. Disney Vacation Club Members can receive $2 discounts on select events throughout the Festival scheduled on Mondays through Thursdays by calling Member Services, (800) 800-9800.

Among the events open for general reservations is this year's run of the Party of the Senses. Disney Vacation Club has set aside blocks of 50 seats each to the Saturday, September 23, and the Saturday, October 21 events for DVC Members to book via Member Services, (800) 800-9800 before August 4. If space remains in the reserved blocks starting on August 5, that space will be released for general reservations as well.

Views Around the World

Summer in Central Florida continues its wet afternoon and sometimes evening ways, and since returning just moments ahead of a thunderstorm late last week from my trip to D23 Expo, Disneyland, and Los Angeles, I have only had an opportunity to get over to Epcot since our last Update. Between a sampling of the marketplace preparations for this year's Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and all the changes coming to this park, there are still plenty of things to see as I walked a couple of laps around World Showcase Lagoon and Future World.

Monorail Yellow approaches Epcot for a circle tour of Epcot's Future World on a cloudy summer afternoon after hours of rain as I approach for a couple of laps on foot. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Florida Fresh Marketplace appears that it will once again be just a quick left turn from Future World into World Showcase Plaza. During recent Food & Wine Festivals, it has served a personal favorite: Loaded Mac & Cheese. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Continuing clockwise toward Mexico, the kiosk which in previous Food & Wine Festivals has been the Greece marketplace (and was located closer to Canada pavilion), stands along the Promenade. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Japan marketplace stands in its usual spot. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Morocco marketplace also stands in its usual spot. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Near the Canada pavilion, another marketplace stands along the shore of World Showcase Lagoon. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

At the front of Future World, the Siemens corporate sponsorship of Spaceship Earth is soon coming to end. So far, no announcements have been made regarding operation of the attraction inside. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Ellen's Energy Adventure inside Universe of Energy is scheduled to close August 13, to make way for the new Guardians of the Galaxy-themed attraction which is expected to be completed by the Resort's 50th anniversary in 2021. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Mission: SPACE is expected to reopen in August with a new family-friendly Green Earth-bound mission and a refreshed "thrilling" Orange Mission. As of this posting, Fastpass+ reservations are not yet available within the next 30 days. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

France pavilion will become home to a new attraction based on the Disney-Pixar film "Ratatouille" (and a similar attraction at Disneyland Paris Resort), which is slated for a new space beyond the back of the current pavilion. Possibly unrelated, additional blue fall-safety rails can now be seen above the entrance to the "Impressions de France" theater. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Construction related to the recently announced Disney Skyliner, the new gondola-based transportation system, fills a large area just beyond the International Gateway entrance to Epcot (also known as "Epcot's back door.") Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Refurbishment of the splash play area in Future World concluded earlier this month. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Painting of the exterior of the pyramid at the Mexico pavilion continues, with one section of the wall high at the top behind the treeline still the previous color and a new blue accent color recently applied around the art at the entrance level. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The east Friendship boat dock is closed near the Mexico pavilion (as we previously reported with respect to the east dock on the Italy/Germany side of the Lagoon). Friendship boat service operates during appropriate weather on the west side of the Lagoon until early evening. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Formerly the sign at this kiosk read "Bead Outpost" at the African Outpost area between the China and Germany pavilions. The participating vendor operating here is the same that has been operating since the end of the Flower & Garden Festival. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The new technology under development for CircleVision 360 discussed in last week's Update will result in the debut of a new "seamless" presentation in the China pavilion in the future. The current film, like all "nine eye" CircleVision presentations, has nine seams (gaps) separating nine screens. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

While, so far, no preview center for all the coming attractions around Walt Disney World Resort has been announced (or even rumored), the Shanghai Disneyland Resort exhibit at Epcot's China pavilion includes a 1:3 maquette of that park's TRON Lightcycle Power Run vehicle which is the inspiration for the new roller coaster announced for Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Magic Kingdom's TRON Lightcycle Power Run, modeled on the attraction at Shanghai Disneyland Resort, is expected to open in time for Magic Kingdom's 50th Anniversary in 2021. 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 24
Smoking is not permitted in Disney Parks and Resorts except in designated areas: check the map!

I am not a smoker and I do not like to be around folks who are smoking (or the debris that many smokers leave behind). Having said that, there are still folks who smoke, and there are limited areas where it is permitted around Walt Disney World Resort.

For both smokers and those of us that prefer not to be around smoking, knowing where those areas are is important. I raise this as a "Tip" because the areas designated for smoking change from time to time and folks need to check the maps for the latest zones to find or try to avoid the areas as appropriate.

Unfortunately for us non-smokers that use the International Gateway at Epcot, you must now pass the smoking area to get in or out of the back door of Epcot. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Some of my former favorite quiet spots in the parks—in Epcot, the pathway between the International Gateway and the U.K. pavilion; in Magic Kingdom, the pathway between the Fantasyland train station and Tomorrowland, for example—have been converted to "smoking areas" in the past year or so, while other smoking areas have been eliminated. Current park maps and signs are really the only reliable way to know where smoking is permitted, as past performance does not guarantee present results (namely, knowing where the smoking areas are located on any given park visit).

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


This and That

…Through July 30, Disney Springs is celebrating its first ever "Christmas in July" event. Summer Santa, holiday candies and pastries, and seasonal apparel are among its highlights. Watch our Twitter feed today for more details, as I will be on a tour and have an opportunity to chat with some of the folks responsible for the plans for the upcoming winter Holidays Around the World celebration at Epcot and around the Resort.

…Through September 30, the Passholder 45th anniversary dining benefit increases to a 30% discount for dinner (excluding alcoholic beverages, tax and gratuity) before 6:30 p.m. or after 8:30 p.m. at the following participating locations: Artist Point, Boatwright's Dining Hall, Captain's Grille, Citricos, Flying Fish, Grand Floridian Cafe, Jiko–The Cooking Place, Olivia's Cafe, The Turf Club Bar and Grill, and The Wave...of American Flavors. Valid Pass and Photo ID are required for discount; not combined with other discounts, packages, promotions or special events. Reservations may be made online or at (407) WDW-DINE

…Disney PhotoPass Service now maintains albums on its Facebook page showing each park's current Magic Shot offerings and where they typically are available. Disney Parks Blog says that the albums will be "continuously updated as Magic Shot offerings adjust and expand (especially around festivals and holidays!)"

…Cherry Tree Lane in Marketplace Co-Op at Disney Springs will once again be home to the shop-within-a-shop "The Dress Shop" starting July 27. This time, shoppers will find "ten original dresses inspired by the Orange Bird, Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room, the Haunted Mansion, and more," according to Disney Parks Blog. The Dress Shop made its debut limited run at Cherry Tree Lane back in the Spring.

…Disney Vacation Club Members and their guests can sample cocktails, wines, spirits or beers at the new weekly Beverage Tasting Series at Top of the World Lounge atop Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort, from 5 to 6 p.m. every Thursday from July 27 through October 19. The sessions are $35/person (including tax and gratuity) and advanced reservations are required by calling Member Services at (800) 800-9800 (full payment with credit card guarantee required as well). Each Member may bring up to three additional guests age 18 years and over (but, of course, guests must be 21 years old to consume the alcohol on the tasting menu). Tasting menu details are on this page of the DVC Member website.

…The Sea Turtle Conservancy kicks off its 10th annual Tour de Turtles this weekend with live turtle releases in Florida, Costa Rica, Panama, and Nevis. The educational program uses satellite-tracked migration of sea turtles to raise awareness about threats to sea turtle survival. Central Florida's Barrier Island Center, 8385 S. Highway A1A in Melbourne Beach, FL, will be the site on Sunday, July 30th, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. of a Florida live turtle release. Disney's Animal Program, Disney Conservation Fund, and Disney's Vero Beach Resort are among the sponsors of the program. We expect to have coverage of Disney's participation in the Conservancy on our Facebook page this Saturday, July 29th, from Disney's Vero Beach Resort.

…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


"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 25, 2017 / 10
Wednesday, July 26, 2017 / 10
Thursday, July 27, 2017 / 10
Friday, July 28, 2017 / 10
Saturday, July 29, 2017 / 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)
  • 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.



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."


  • 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.


  • 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)


  • 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!


  1. By GusMan

    The Minnie Van program is real cool. Got a chance to try one out last week. Got picked up at the Boardwalk and they took us back to AKV. After Illuminations, I was back in my room before 9:45. Yea... that saved a ton of time.

    Right now, they are saying that it is going to be $20 per trip and they can take 6 people as the vehicles are set up with seating for one up front, two in the middle, three in the back. Car seats are available, but it changes how many people can be transported. They will go anywhere on property. They will even make a stop for you if needed - as long as its on property. Wanna stop for a few moments to get snacks at the Speedway? Yep, they will do it. A quick run through the drive through at McD's? Yep, that too. (These were the examples given by our MV driver.)

    In comparison to Uber, which I also did while I was there, I think the cost is going to be pretty compatible. I took two Ubers during my trip last week, one from AKV to CR and one from AKV to SSR, and each cost me about $18, including a nice tip. (Minnie Van drivers are not allowed to accept tips.) While my Uber experiences were fine and dandy, I would have surely paid a few extra bucks to have Disney do the driving. Keep in mind, some Uber trip will be much less than what I did, but still - Ill give my $$ to Disney first.

    A note - the first Uber ride was kinda of a test as it was my first ever Uber ride. And we are glad we did. We had dinner reservations at Cali Grill and if we would have taken a bus to the MK and then walked or Mono over, we would have been stuck in a huge downpour. For the second one, we needed to be at SSR for a spa appointment and if we were to take a bus, we would have to catch a bus about 60+ mins beforehand to make it - and then worry about having to transfer buses since it was very early. (Had to be there by 8:30 AM.) At this time, Disney's only answer for us when we inquired about direct transportation was to cab or uber it. So, The MV system is going to nicely fill in this gap.

    Also, it was announced that HC accessible vans are also going to be made available as well. They will seat 4 + a WC or ECV. No word of if they will be an extra cost. (But I speculate not.)

  2. By asdhollywood

    Thanks for the first-hand account GusMan. Just a little while ago today (Tuesday, July 25), Disney made one of its Minnie Vans available to the local press and provided us with an opportunity to chat with a couple of its new Ride Services Associates and other representatives. I am in the process of Updating the Update with the latest information and will let folks on MousePlanet's Twitter and Facebook know to come back to see the latest information.

    Alan S. Dalinka

  3. By stan4d_steph

    Quote Originally Posted by GusMan View Post
    While my Uber experiences were fine and dandy, I would have surely paid a few extra bucks to have Disney do the driving. Keep in mind, some Uber trip will be much less than what I did, but still - Ill give my $$ to Disney first.

    Keep in mind that a lot of hourly Disney CMs moonlight as Uber and/or Lyft drivers to supplement their income. So you are getting a Disney driver, he or she just isn't officially representing the company at that time.

  4. By GusMan

    Quote Originally Posted by stan4d_steph View Post
    Keep in mind that a lot of hourly Disney CMs moonlight as Uber and/or Lyft drivers to supplement their income. So you are getting a Disney driver, he or she just isn't officially representing the company at that time.

    While I dont doubt that to be true, since it would be an easy way to pick up income in an environment that you already know like the back of your hand, I can tell you with the utmost of confidence that the two Uber drivers that we had were not CM's.
    (Though one did tell us that he did work as a CM at one time.... but not anymore.)

    I feel like most people that have never used an Uber before would feel somewhat the same way - that using a service with the Disney brand does bring about some confidence in such a service if for no other reason safety and quality control reasons.

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