Walt Disney World Resort Update for August 1-7, 2017

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for August 1–7, 2017

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

Writer's note: My hectic but fun and educational week here in Central Florida brings you this week's news from around Walt Disney World Resort. While Disney's brief Christmas in July promotion at Disney Springs wrapped up as July drew to a close, Disney took the opportunity to invite me (and other members of the local media) to preview some of the winter holiday offerings coming to Walt Disney World Resort this year.

Disney's Steven Miller and Tom Vazzana celebrated Christmas in July by sharing some of the plans for this year's celebrations around Walt Disney World Resort. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

In this week's Views Around the World, Disney Parks Blog threw one of its fun after-hours meet-ups to celebrate The Great Movie Ride ahead of its upcoming August 13 closing, and I was fortunate enough to have a friend (who signed up quickly before it filled) take me along for the chance to walk through the attraction. In the "This and That," I also made the trip over to Disney's Vero Beach Resort to see lots of Walt Disney World VoluntEars assist in Disney's participation of the 10th annual Tour de Turtles event which included the release of a couple of sea turtles that you can now track via satellite online at TourDeTurtles.org (watch for Cruz and Sally like their namesakes in Disney-Pixar's Cars 3).

Before we get to all that, for those of you that read last week's Walt Disney World Update before 4:15 p.m. E.D.T. last Tuesday, be aware that we took the rare step of updating the Update after its usual publication time because Disney provided information about the "soft open" testing of the Minnie Vans that very afternoon. Yesterday, the Minnie Vans made their official debut, starting with guests staying at Disney's BoardWalk Resort and Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts. So, while One Passholder's Tip is taking this week off, we will start with the latest information about the Minnie Vans and then get to more news and views and the rest. Hooray for Hollywood!

News and Views

Minnie Vans Officially Debut | Epcot's ILM-enhanced Mission: SPACE to Reopen on August 13 | Planning for Winter Holidays | New Grand Avenue Area Coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios This Fall | Views around the World | This and That | Crowd Forecast

Minnie Vans Officially Debut

As we mentioned last week, of all of the "new stuff" announced for Walt Disney World Resort that we reported on following the 2017 D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center, the first to make its official debut is the new Minnie Van transportation service. It did so just yesterday for guests staying at Disney's Boardwalk Resort and Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts. No timeline has yet been announced for when the service will become available at other resorts.

Disney's fleet of 27 "Minnie Vans" have begun providing service around Walt Disney World Resort for guests of Disney's BoardWalk, Yacht & Beach Club Resorts. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

What we did not know last week (even after meeting with Disney representatives), is that the new Minnie Van service is being offered in collaboration with the Lyft ride-share service. According to Disney Parks Blog, guests arrange their Minnie Van from the Lyft app on their own device (smartphone, etc.). Unlike ordinary Lyft service, however, the vehicles and drivers are supplied by Disney; 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 a party of up to six passengers (with no additional charge for the use of the child safety seats which, however, may change the capacity of the van), and does not vary by mileage or time. Only on-property destinations are served by the Minnie Vans, but those destinations include the Disney parks, water parks, mini-golf and golf courses, Disney Springs and so forth. Like their cast mates 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.

The Minnie Vans have better access to pick up and drop-off points than other personal transportation options, including the bus stop area at Magic Kingdom near the park's security screening stations rather than at the TTC, which is where other ride-sharing providers are permitted to operate. Disney representatives told us that essentially anywhere Disney buses are permitted, the Minnie Vans will operate as well.

The hours of operation for Minnie Van services has initially been established as 6:30 a.m. until 12:30 a.m. daily, but that is subject to change. Bell Services cast members at Disney's BoardWalk Resort and Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts will assist with guest questions about the Minnie Van service.

Epcot's ILM-enhanced Mission: SPACE to Reopen on August 13

As we reported from (and following) D23 Expo in recent weeks, the refurbishment this summer over at Epcot's Mission: SPACE attraction turned out to be a bit more than just a routine maintenance type closure for the ride. Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek said that the on-ride video was being enhanced with assistance from the special effects team at Industrial Light and Magic, and that the Green Mission, in particular, is now going to be an all new, more family friendly attraction.

We now know that the attraction will reopen (or to use Disney Parks Blog's word, "relaunch") on August 13. Fastpass+ reservations became available over this past weekend in the My Disney Experience App for rides starting that day.

Mission: SPACE is scheduled to reopen August 13 with a new more family-friendly Green Mission and a refreshed "thrilling" Orange Mission. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The "classic" version of the attraction, the Orange Mission, which includes the physical g-forces intended to simulate an actual space launch to Mars, will reopen with new high definition (HD) video. While we do not yet know if other changes were made to the Orange Mission, Disney Parks Blog describes the same sort of adventure as before the refurbishment where "you'll dodge meteoroids, slingshot around the moon" before finally attempting "a precision landing" on Mars.

The new Green Mission, on the other hand, is billed as a "more family-friendly," all new mission where "you'll take in sites like the Hawaiian Islands, Italy's 'boot' and the Northern Lights–as seen from space, of course–before landing at Kennedy Space Center in Florida." Regular readers and our followers on Instagram will recall that Kennedy Space Center is located due east of the Mission: SPACE building, with its Launch Pad 39-A located ideally for watching SpaceX rocket launches over the top of the model of the red planet. With the assistance of what is called the "X-2 booster seats," the Green Mission's new height restriction has been reduced to 40 inches.

Planning for Winter Holidays

While Disney Springs was celebrating its first ever Christmas in July through this past weekend, Disney took the opportunity to show us (and other members of the local media) some of the Walt Disney World Resort plans for this winter's holiday season. As you might imagine, the Resort pretty much begins planning each year's celebrations just days after the start of each new year. A full time team of approximately 27 work in the Resort's Holiday Services department, responsible for holiday decor all around the Resort. That team expands to approximately 140 cast members during the three weeks that the decorations are installed around the property.

Holiday Tours

Adventures by Disney offers two seasonal tours at Walt Disney World highlighting the Resort's winter holidays celebrations: Disney's Yuletide Fantasy ($99/person plus tax; daily except Sundays and Christmas Day from from November 27 – December 30, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., includes narrated details of Epcot's Holidays around the World displays, Holiday Services cast members, and more) and Disney's Holiday D-Lights ($259/person plus tax and gratuity; offered only 12 select Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights, begins with dinner at Whispering Canyon at Disney's Wilderness Lodge and runs for five hours including the Cinderella Castle lighting ceremony at Magic Kingdom and Candlelight Processional at Epcot). More information and reservations are available at (407) WDW-TOUR. Neither tour requires nor includes Theme Park admission (though tours are escorted to specific areas inside parks). Both tours visit backstage locations where personal photography is not permitted (and, of course, other restrictions apply).

Adventures by Disney showed members of the local press (including me) the Holiday Services warehouse and provided this photo. Photo ©Disney.

In the abbreviated version of the tours we were shown, we learned that installing the holidays decor at each of the parks and resorts takes a single night except for Magic Kingdom, which requires two (excluding the Dream Lights). Because Disney Springs operating hours are longer than the parks, its "overnights" are shorter: four nights are required to install the decor at Disney Springs. Installations are done around the Resort over the course of three weeks.

Adventures by Disney showed members of the local press (including me) some of the equipment used for creating the Holiday Dream lights and provided this photo. Photo ©Disney.

Disney Springs & Disney Resorts

Last year's Christmas Tree Trail in the former Marketplace bus loop will return this year, with more trees; its finale will now be the new home of Santa's chalet where he will meet and greet guests until Christmas and then be replaced by Santa Goofy for the rest of the Season. Each of the 10- and 12-foot trees on the trail this year, like last year, has its own theme: Disney Springs Logo Tree (featuring ornaments from the stores and restaurants of Disney Springs), Mickey & Minnie, Pluto (and an honorarium to pets), Sleeping Beauty, Beauty & the Beast, The Princess & the Frog, The Little Mermaid, Frozen, Snow White, Cinderella, Pinocchio, 101 Dalmatians, Fantasia, Villains, Lilo & Stitch, Dumbo, The Jungle Book, Tangled, Robin Hood, Peter Pan, Mulan, The Muppets, Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, and a tree decorated with ornaments that all may be purchased in the 365 Days of Christmas store. In addition, each of the themed trees will feature an ornament that will be available for sale in the store. Disney snow and holiday music will fill the area too.

The Enchanted Rose ornament is one of the Christmas Tree trail tree decorations that will be available for sale this year. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Amorette's Patisserie and The Ganachery are also creating specialty items for the holiday season. Fans of the gingerbread installations at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney's Contemporary Resort will also be happy to know that preparations are also underway for the return of those popular displays as well.

Preparations are already underway for the annual holiday installation of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort's gingerbread house construction. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The culinary team at Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts are already preparing their annual lobby display as well. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney Floral & Gifts also offers in-room celebrations, which include Christmas trees and decor that can be delivered and set up in your Disney Resort room while you are out and about. The department offers an assortment of other holiday gifts that can be delivered to guests at table service restaurants and other locations around the Resort. Finally, of course, lots of Holiday themed merchandise will be available all over the Resort too.

Disney Floral & Gifts in-room celebrations during the winter Holidays feature Christmas Trees set up in your Disney Resort room. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Steven Miller showed off some of the new merchandise created for the 2017 Winter Holiday Season. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Tom Vazzana, Show Director, Disney Parks Live Entertainment, told us that Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! will return this Holiday Season with additional characters and more fireworks in the show. Tom teased that there are two other "huge things" coming to the park for Christmas, but the details have not yet been released. We will pass those along when we get them.

Magic Kingdom

All of the entertainment offered during the hard-ticketed Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party will be returning this year. In addition, the entertainment will available to all guests from Christmas through the end of the year.


Holidays around the World will return to Epcot this holiday season as we have previously written about, with more celebrity narrators yet to be confirmed for the Candlelight Processional. Las Posadas, an authentic Mexican Christmas experience with mariachi music and dancers will be one of the bigger additions to the celebration this year. Details will be forthcoming soon.

New Grand Avenue Area Coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios This Fall

In July, we saw the MuppetVision 3D theater at Disney's Hollywood Studios get new signage and a new name for the building: "Grand Arts Theatre." We now know that the name ties in to a new "area" being developed around Muppets Courtyard and part of the former Streets of America area, which is scheduled to debut this fall.

The Muppets Courtyard seems to be becoming a part of the new Grand Avenue area this Fall. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The new Grand Avenue area is scheduled to debut this Fall and apparently includes all of the area between the exit of Star Tours and the new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land being built beyond MuppetVision 3D. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney Parks Blog announced this week the new "BaseLine Tap House" is under construction in what it called "the new Grand Avenue area" that is intended "to capture the spirit of present-day Downtown Los Angeles, showing vintage office buildings and warehouses representing the different vibrant districts and cultures of the city." Some of that description fits the recently repainted remnants of New York Street; some captures the already existing theming of the newly renamed Grand Arts Theatre. Less clearly fitting that description is the recently opened PizzeRizzo, It's A Wonderful Shop, and Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano that (at least to my eye) previously seemed to continue the New York theme from the Streets of America.

In any event, Disney Parks Blog says that the BaseLine Tap House will be "a cheerful corner pub specializing in beer and wines from California" and will be located in "a quaint brick building" that pays "homage to the building's former life as the Figueroa Printing Company, a mom-and-pop print house that had ties to the Disney studios in nearby Burbank." The location will operate daily from 11 a.m. and we will pass along its opening date when announced.

It is not yet clear whether BaseLine Tap will occupy a space behind one of the recently painted facades of former New York Street or the former Writer's Stop, which is now completely wrapped in construction scrims. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Concrete walls appear to form a visual barrier between the future Grand Avenue area and the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land beyond. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Views Around the World

Given the rare opportunity to walk the ride path of The Great Movie Ride, the bulk of our Views this week are there since it will close forever on August 13. A few laps around Epcot yield some additional Views this week too.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Highlights of a walk through The Great Movie Ride during the Disney Parks Blog "Meet up" saluting the attraction ahead of its scheduled August 13 finale. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

Mary and Burt are on the rooftops of London. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Clint Eastwood is an imposing figure outside a western bar. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

As the marketing campaign for "Alien" said, "In space, no one can hear you scream." Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Even fully lit, the alien is a rather imposing figure. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Details have stories too: here, Imagineers added their names to the attraction. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

These "hidden" Star Wars droids have been hard to spot opposite Indiana Jones in recent years due to limited lighting. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

But for this walk through opportunity, I had never seen this hidden Mickey and Donald in person before. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

This scene is a tribute to the horror films of the 1930s, but the current script for the ride references the more recent movie quote, "I see dead people." Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Dorothy's arrival in Oz did not go well for the Witch of the East. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Emerald City is ahead at the end of the Yellow Brick Road in Oz. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Construction of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge continues beyond the exit of MuppetVision 3D. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Construction of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge also can be seen from the exit area of Toy Story Mania on the other side of the park. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The new entry to Toy Story Land appears to require the removal of the tour bridge that guests used to use during the long-retired studio walking tour. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


A monorail makes a circle tour of Epcot's Future World at sunset. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Less than two weeks remain for Ellen's Energy Adventure. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

What is, "where do we hope there will be another Disney Parks Blog Meet-Up?" Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Refurbishment is underway in the entry hall of The American Adventure. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Brazil appears to be the theme of the Food and Wine Festival Marketplace between Morocco and France. The Festival starts on August 31. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

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This and That

…Walt Disney World changed the Silver-level and Weekday Select Passholder blockout dates to allow those passholders to return to the theme parks as of yesterday rather than the originally scheduled end of the blockout period on August 10. This change means that those Passholders now have nearly two weeks to get those last rides aboard The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Ellen's Energy Adventure at Epcot before they each close forever on August 13 (rather than just the four days they would have had in the absence of the change). The My Disney Experience App shows the next theme park blockout date for those passholders beginning on December 18.

…The latest enhancement to the My Disney Experience App is the ability to use Online Check-In right inside the App. Guests at Disney Resort hotels can start the check-in process up to 60 days before their arrival; those that receive their MagicBands before arrival may be able to bypass the front desk and go straight to their room (when it is ready). Be sure to download the latest version of the App (which may require the latest iOS or Android OS) for use of the latest features of the App.

…Disney Vacation Club is offering its Members a 40% point discount on last-minute Concierge Collection Resort reservations for stays at eligible resorts completed by September 15, 2017. The $95 reservation fee applies and the discount is only available for new reservations. Additional details are available on Disney Parks Blog and by calling Member Services at (800) 800-9800.

…Disney kicked off its participation in the Sea Turtle Conservancy's 10th annual Tour de Turtles on July 29, just after sunrise with a live turtle release at Disney's Vero Beach Resort. The educational program uses satellite-tracked migration of sea turtles to raise awareness about threats to sea turtle survival. Disney's Animal Program, Disney Conservation Fund, and Disney's Vero Beach Resort are among the sponsors of the program. Numerous Disney VoluntEars from Walt Disney World Resort, including the current Walt Disney World Resort Ambassadors, made the two hour journey to Disney's Vero Beach Resort for the event.

Sunrise marked Disney's Vero Beach Resort's kickoff of its participation in Tour de Turtles. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Walt Disney World Ambassadors pose with Captain Ron, a dog that assists Disney in its sea turtle conservation efforts. We last saw Captain Ron at Epcot during Flower & Garden Festival. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

This sea turtle named Cruz Ramirez (after the character in "Cars 3") walked down the beach and into the Atlantic Ocean. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

…As regular readers probably have noted, I do not follow merchandise releases with the fervor of some, but the Star Wars fan in me did feel the need to Tweet about a new product this week (even though I am probably too tall for one...)

…But, speaking of merchandise, Disney has announced new merchandise celebrating the legacy of The Great Movie Ride will be released later this week and online on August 10.

…And, finally, for those of you that enjoy listening to podcasts, I again appeared on The Garry Meier Show to recap much of the news coming out of Disney's D23 Expo. I also gave away a few Disney-related items I had collected at D23 Expo and during Christmas in July, so if that is the sort of thing you might like in the future, keep an eye on our MousePlanet Facebook and Twitter feeds for when I announce future appearances. Better yet, make Garry happy by joining me and becoming a regular listener (note: although its typically very limited, the show sometimes uses adult language and may cover adult subject matter that may not be suitable for all ears or workplaces).

…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, August 1, 2017 7 / 10
Wednesday, August 2, 2017 7 / 10
Thursday, August 3, 2017 6 / 10
Friday, August 4, 2017 7 / 10
Saturday, August 5, 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.
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Resort Events

Check here to see if a park event might fall during your next trip to the Walt Disney World Resort. If you know of any in-park events, official or unofficial, that should be listed here, please send us an e-mail (link).

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 – Scheduled to reopen August 13, 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

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.

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!