Walt Disney World Resort Update for August 8-14, 2017

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer
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Walt Disney World Resort Update for August 8–14, 2017

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

Writer's note: Early August and the Back-to-School sales abound in local advertising. Indeed, here in Central Florida, some of the local school districts get the kids back to school as early as this Thursday, August 10. So, while the heat probably will not abate much for awhile longer, weekday summer crowds might.

My own education was enhanced by a great presentation by Imagineer Joe Rohde at Orlando Museum of Art over the past week, and I share a bit of that with you if you stay tuned for this week's installment of One Passholder's Tip, which follows the roundup of this week's News and Views. Apropos of one of the lessons learned from Joe Rohde, and to quote Buzz Lightyear, "To infinity, and beyond!"


We have to salute The Citizens of Hollywood at Disney's Hollywood Studios for entertaining a crowd notwithstanding the heat index being over 100º F. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


News and Views

Disney PhotoPass Day 2017 Details Announced | Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire coming to Disney Springs | Tiger Cub(s) Expected Soon | Views around the World | One Passholder's Tip | This and That | Crowd Forecast

Disney PhotoPass Day 2017 Details Announced

Often a recurring theme in our "This and That" department, "the just about everything has a day" department starts this week's news with World Photo Day coming up on August 19. Disney is celebrating it with the return of Disney PhotoPass Day at Walt Disney World Resort with a roster of exclusive photo opportunities at the parks and Disney Springs. Some of the opportunities are also tied in to Disney's "Dream Big, Princess" movement which "has inspired young dreamers around the world to realize their full potential," as Disney Parks Blog explains. As always, everything is subject to change and the outdoor locations may be affected by the ever-changing Central Florida summer weather.

Magic Kingdom

  • Dopey & Snow White at Town Square Courtyard
  • Captain Hook & Peter Pan in Fantasyland
  • "Dream Big, Princess" photo backdrop in Fantasyland (daylight hours only)
  • Cinderella's Coach in Fantasyland
  • "Tangled" light painting photo near Ariel's Grotto (after dark only)
  • Mickey Mouse Magic Shot on the bridge near Fairytale Garden
  • Main Street Vehicle near the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor (morning and early afternoon only)

Epcot

  • Genie & Princess Jasmine in the Morocco Pavilion
  • Mushu & Mulan in the China Pavilion
  • "Dream Big, Princess" photo backdrop near Epcot Character Spot (daylight hours only)
  • Baymax Animated Magic Shot near Mouse Gear and Fountain of Nations
  • Fisheye camera lens near the fountain close to the entrance to Spaceship Earth

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • The Queen from Snow White, Maleficent, and Cruella de Vil at Sunset Showcase (10 a.m.-5 p.m. only)
  • "Dream Big, Princess" photo backdrop outside Theater of the Stars (daylight hours only)
  • Poison Apple Magic Shot on Sunset Boulevard
  • Fisheye camera lens in the Chinese Theatre Courtyard area

Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • Meeko & Pocahontas at Character Landing on Discovery Island
  • Timon & Rafiki at Rafiki's Planet Watch
  • Princess Atta & Flik at Discovery Island near Creature Comforts
  • "Dream Big, Princess" photo backdrop before the park entrance (daylight hours only)
  • Jungle Book Magic Shot near Yak & Yeti Restaurant
  • Magical Mickey light effects in DinoLand U.S.A. (9-10 p.m. only)

Disney Springs

  • "Dream Big, Princess" photo backdrop next to the Marketplace Stage
  • Fairy Wings Magic Shot Marketplace near Tren-D (available from 1-10:30 p.m. only)

Remember that Disney PhotoPass photographers will take photos with your camera upon request, but, of course, "Magic Shots" are only available through Disney PhotoPass photos taken on Disney's cameras. Disney PhotoPass photo downloads are included in many Annual Pass categories and in Memory Maker Packages. Disney now also offers a "Memory Maker One Day" option for $59 in the My Disney Experience App during or after your visit.

Also, now through August 20, the Disney PhotoPass Studio at Disney Springs is offering special $99.95 pricing (plus shipping) for a Personalized Storybook. As always, virtual backdrops are available in photos taken at this location during its normal operating hours.

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire coming to Disney Springs

Just like the Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, California, Walt Disney World Resort's Disney Springs will become home to a new "hyper-reality experience" called Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire as Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix reported yesterday in the Disneyland Resort Update. Disney's Lucasfilm and ILMxLab are collaborating with entertainment company The VOID to develop the attraction opening at both locations in time for the upcoming winter holiday season.


Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire is coming to Disney Springs in time for the holiday season. Press release photo.

The Disney Parks Blog article provides very few details, and the press release issued jointly by the three partner companies provided little additional substance: "Guests will move freely throughout the untethered, social, and multi-sensory experience as they interact and engage with friends, family, and Star Wars characters."

Curtis Hickman, co-founder and chief creative officer at The VOID, said, "A truly transformative experience is so much more than what you see with your eyes; it's what you hear, feel, touch, and even smell."

As Adrienne explained yesterday:

The Void's most recent public project, a Ghostbusters experience now open in New York, may offer some insight into what is planned for the Star Wars project. Participants don a virtual reality headset and a backpack, and head into a space to battle spectral scoundrels, including the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, with specially-designed virtual weapons. The VOID posted video of the experience on their YouTube channel:


Ghostbusters: Dimension Hyper-Reality Gameplay Trailer – The Void. YouTube video.

The Ghostbusters: Dimension is a timed game, and the whole experience lasts about 15 minutes. The cost is a steep $50 per person at the New York location, which is part of a larger Ghostbusters experience at Madame Tussaud's, and includes admission to the museum. A second Ghostbusters: Dimension installation in Lindon, Utah, charges $25. Participants must also be 10 years old and 48" tall to participate in the Ghostbusters offering, which could be a big disappointment for younger Star Wars fans at the Disney properties.


First look at The VOID. YouTube video.

As Disney Springs continues to evolve, there are still a number of locations that could be the home for this attraction, but we do not yet know which it will be or whether it will incorporate another dining option. It seems unlikely that the recently closed DisneyQuest building will be used for it, as that site is designated as the future home to the NBA Experience.

We also do not yet know if this attraction will become a permanent offering, or a limited-time experience to bridge the time until the 2019 opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge down Buena Vista Drive at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Orlando Sentinel says that the attraction will be a permanent set up, but this was not mentioned in either the Disney Parks Blog posting or the press release. Of course, the very nature of virtual reality attractions lends itself to multiple permutations and revisions. It is possible that The VOID could follow Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire with other offerings based on Disney movies and properties. Stay tuned.

Tiger Cub(s) Expected Soon

Back in April, we reported that Disney's Animal Kingdom was creating additional shaded areas and working to otherwise "baby-proof" one of the tiger habitats along the Maharajah Jungle Trek with the hope of welcoming tiger cubs before year end. Just last week, Disney Parks Blog revealed that Sohni, a Sumatran tiger in the park, is now pregnant and expecting one or more tiger cubs to be born sometime in August.


One of the tiger habitats was closed for a refurbishment this past spring to "baby-proof" it ahead of tiger breeding. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

According to Disney Parks Blog, the park's Sumatran tigers, Sohni and her mate Malosi were bred through the Species Survival Plan overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Plan seeks "responsible breeding of critically endangered species" to ensure "healthy, genetically diverse populations" in the future.


There are two tiger habitats to view (which are sometimes used to separate the tigers, as the habitats are not attached) from multiple locations along Maharajah Jungle Trek. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Views Around the World

Views from Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney Springs are featured this week, along with some views of the on-going road construction around World Drive approaching Magic Kingdom's parking lot. As is often the case, the captions include more news along the way.

Magic Kingdom


Given just the right cloud cover, Magic Kingdom sunsets can be golden. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Themed construction scrims now hang along Main Street near the Central Plaza (hub). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Scaffolding surrounds some of the tallest spires of Space Mountain. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Based on the concept art revealed at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, the new Tron-themed attraction eventually will rise somewhere in this area between the Fantasyland train station and Space Mountain. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Construction scrims continue to wrap some of the Fantasyland buildings east of Cinderella Castle. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Mobile Order continues to roll out to Quick Service Restaurant locations around Walt Disney World. Check the My Disney Experience App to see if your chosen dining location offers the service and, as we have noted before, if you have granted the App "push notification" permission on your device, as you pass a location, it may attempt to get your attention to remind you. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The upper level of some Adventureland buildings are wrapped in construction scrims. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Hollywood Studios


With The Great Movie Ride closing on August 13, commemorative merchandise is now available for sale. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


One of the projection towers at Center Stage has some refurbishment or enhancement underway. In the distance, the red crane is located near the Toy Story Land construction where the Slinky Dog Roller Coaster was "topped off" last week, roughly a year ahead of the land's scheduled opening. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


MuppetVision 3D shutdown briefly (and unexpectedly) during the past week, but had reopened by this weekend. Interestingly, in between shows this weekend, work lights were lit behind the screen. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge construction continues beyond the exit of Toy Story Mania. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge construction continues beyond the former Streets of America area. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


One of the attraction buildings in the new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge area continues behind the exit of MuppetVision 3D. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Last week, we reported that the new BaseLine Tap House, a corner pub in the new Grand Avenue area specializing in beer and wines from California, will soon 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." Since that report, construction scrims were removed from the former Writer's Stop revealing a building fitting that description. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Construction continues in the parking lot while the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge construction continues inside the park. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Epcot


Very little time remains to visit Universe of Energy ahead of its August 13 closure to make way for construction of The Guardians of the Galaxy-themed attraction. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


What is the attraction that occupied the Universe of Energy from 1996 to 2017, Alex? Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


We know the fate of prehistoric dinosaurs; we do not know the fate of the animatronic ones inside Universe of Energy. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The newest themed merchandise at Epcot celebrates "extinction." Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


We continue to see social media reports of the aging monorail fleet's downtime. At least on days I visited this week, most of the monorail lines were operating. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The exit ramp of the Epcot Monorail Station provides a unique vantage point from which to view the fireworks of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


With this year's record number of food marketplaces coming to the record long Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (opening August 31), we are spotting new kiosk locations: this one is located at Future World West where a temporary stage for visiting musical performances (usually by school groups) was located during past Festivals. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


A Brazilian themed food marketplace appears to be taking up a spot it has been in before between the Morocco and France pavilions ahead of the Food & Wine Festival. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Tiki decorations can be seen on the Food & Wine kiosk near the Canada pavilion. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney Springs


The Minnie Vans fleet staging area is located in the surface parking lot west of Cirque du Soleil on Disney Springs West Side. The larger van is used to assist in the transport of guests using wheelchairs and ECVs. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Graphics are being added to the exterior of The Edison which is expected to open later this year. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


With the aid of manipulating some of the light settings of a photo, we can see that the graphics being added to the exterior of The Edison fit the theme of "The Landing" area of Disney Springs. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


One of the new graphics on The Edison is a seaplane. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Construction work continues near the bridge to The Landing area closest to STK Orlando and across from The Edison. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Vertical construction at Wine Bar George now includes its second level. This new venue is scheduled to open late this year. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Transformation of Portabello into Terralina Crafted Italian continues until this Fall. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The splash fountain in the Marketplace (between Earl of Sandwich and Once Upon a Toy) is surrounded by construction walls further obscuring Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique from foot traffic. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The theme of some of the Marketplace entertainment is Disney Descendance Party, but we have not seen an official description or schedule of related events. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Construction of the third parking structure for Disney Springs continues across Buena Vista Drive between the Casting Center and the Speedway gas station. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Road Construction


The Epcot monorail line glides above the World Drive widening construction on the east side of the roadway. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


On the west side of World Drive, significant earth-moving continues and supports have been sunk for flyover construction. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Flyover construction is also underway between the Magic Kingdom parking toll plaza and the parking lot. News reports a couple years ago indicated that flyovers would allow guests going to Disney's Magic Kingdom Resorts to bypass the toll plaza. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Flyover construction includes a ramp near the entrance of Magic Kingdom's parking lot. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


This ramp is on the east side of World Drive, just on the parking lot side of the Magic Kingdom Toll plaza. 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 25
Listen to Joe Rohde and "slow down!"


Joe Rohde, Portfolio Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering, presented "Animal Kingdom, Pandora and the Great Masters" at Orlando Museum of Art on August 3, 2017, to two capacity audiences. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Thanks to Joe Rohde, Portfolio Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering, I now understand why the Tim Rice lyric from "Circle of Life" in Disney's The Lion King, "There's more to see than can ever be seen," always seems to run through my head at Disney's Animal Kingdom. No, it is not because of the park's area music, the Festival of the Lion King Show, or any other live entertainment.

On August 3, Orlando Museum of Art presented "Pandora: Celebrating the Beauty of the Natural World" (sponsored in no small part by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, of course) and featuring a presentation by Imagineer Joe Rohde entitled "Animal Kingdom, Pandora and the Great Masters." As the name of the presentation suggests, Joe Rohde spoke about some of the major artistic influences on the design of all of Disney's Animal Kingdom, as well as its newest land, specifically, Pandora–The World of Avatar.

One of the major influences Joe Rohde cited was mid-Nineteenth Century American landscape painter Frederic Edwin Church whose IMAX movie-sized paintings used to travel the country and the world to theaters where they were shown much the way movies were shown in later times. Ticket buying audiences would fill an auditorium with the proscenium of a theater stage before them covered by a curtain. Sometimes accompanied by music, the curtain would be opened to reveal the 18-wheeler-sized painting by Church which, when audiences looked into the painting, would reveal another, smaller painting, and another, and another, all the way down to the size of a nickel. Audiences would look into the painting for an hour or more at a time.

As Joe Rohde said, quoting Victorian era English art critic John Ruskin, "There are many beautiful things to see in the world if you stop and you look at them." His point being, there are rewards to be discovered in slowing down, especially at Disney's Animal Kingdom and Pandora–The World of Avatar. He said:

These places are imbued with detail that rewards inspection just like Frederic Edwin Church. You could regard this–and it frankly is not an accident–very deliberately like a Frederic Edwin Church painting. And then you go in and there is another level of detail. And then you go in and there is another level of detail. And you can go down to the size of a nickel, like in a painting by Frederic Edwin Church.

Slowing down is good advice in many places around Walt Disney World Resort and, indeed, around the world itself. Now we know some of the artistic thought that makes that valuable advice in Disney's Animal Kingdom and beyond. If you are just in a park for a day of rides, your mileage may vary. Thanks also to a worthy friend who made sure I knew about this event, as it had escaped my notice when I was, perhaps, moving too quickly myself.

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

 

This and That

…On August 17, Walt Disney World Resort will once again host auditions for "American Idol" the TV Series, which is relaunching on Disney-owned ABC-TV in 2018. An outdoor audition venue will be located at Disney Springs, with registration beginning at 6 a.m. and auditions starting at 8 a.m. Guest parking will be available in the surface parking lot on the West Side near House of Blues and Cirque du Soleil as early as 4 a.m. (and, while Disney Parks Blog notes that "[e]arly arrival is encouraged, as registration will close at 12:00 p.m. or sooner due to capacity," overnight camping will not be permitted). Celebrity Judges are not scheduled to appear. Singers must be 15 years old to audition; full details and pre-registration materials at www.americanidol.com. Those auditioning can bring one guest over five years old along.

…Just a reminder as we mentioned last week, Walt Disney World changed the Silver-level and Weekday Select Passholder blockout dates to allow those passholders to return to the theme parks last week, ahead of the originally scheduled end of the blockout period on August 10. This change means that those Passholders still have this week 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.

Orlando Sentinel reports that Disney is offering signing bonuses for new employees in the culinary department and in housekeeping, as well as for new bus drivers. You can search Disney cast member "roles" at DisneyCareers.com.

…Get a look at the runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend Medals over on Disney Parks Blog. Marathon Weekend is November 2-5, 2017. As of this posting, except for the sold out 5k, registration for marathon events is available on runDisney.com.

…Waitlists are now open for tickets to see ABC-TV episodes of The Chew recorded at Epcot on October 4-6 during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival on this page of audience services coordinator 1iota.com.

…According to Orlando Sentinel, Disney World has unveiled a lighthouse statue honoring toddler Lane Graves who was killed by an alligator while playing around the shore of Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa on June 14, 2016. The gold and blue statue, located near the site of the tragedy, is accompanied by a plaque that reads: "Presented to the Lane Graves Foundation. A beacon of hope. A light of love."

…The satellite trackers show the whereabouts of Cruz and Sally, the sea turtles released from Disney's Vero Beach back on July 29. As of last night, Cruz was located off the coast of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to the north, while Sally was located southeast of Miami, east of Biscayne Bay National Park. You can learn about sea turtle conservation and follow the migration progress of these and other sea turtles on theTour de Turtles website.


Satellite tracking places Cruz the sea turtle, released at Disney's Vero Beach on July 29, east of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the Atlantic Ocean. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

…The MousePlanet Newsletter is here! The newsletter contains a recap of the week's articles (in case you miss a day), news that may have developed since the weekly Updates were published, and tips about what's happening at the Disney theme parks for the coming weekend. We'll also include a fun bonus, such as an Eye Spy or a trivia question. To subscribe to our free newsletter, just enter your e-mail in the box below.

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Crowd Forecast

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Below are the predicted resort-wide crowd numbers for select days generated by the TouringPlans professional statisticians as measured for the upcoming week. For the access to the full year and per-park crowd level predictions, visit our Crowd Calendar.

Date Overall
Tuesday, August 8, 2017 7 / 10
Wednesday, August 9, 2017 7 / 10
Thursday, August 10, 2017 6 / 10
Friday, August 11, 2017 6 / 10
Saturday, August 12, 2017 6 / 10

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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.

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 – 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.

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

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)

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 asdhollywood

    Updated information about the DescenDANCE Party at Disney Springs on our MousePlanet Facebook page.

    Regards, Alan

  2. Discuss this article on MousePad.