Walt Disney World Resort Update for August 29 - September 4, 2017

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for August 29 – September 4, 2017

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

Writer's note: With Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party having just begun its (selected nights) run at Magic Kingdom, the 2017 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival about to begin, and the list of narrators for this Holiday Season's Candlelight Processional performances at Epcot continuing to take shape, it looks like news coming out of Walt Disney World Resort is about to start accelerating. To try to keep pace with just a small piece of the huge Resort's news, we have taken our first steps to create a dynamically-updated calendar for the announced performances at Epcot. Take a look at our news item about the Food & Wine Festival to see it and give it a try. Please let us know how you would like to see it evolve to serve your needs by commenting below, or by email or our Facebook page.

Disney Parks Blog cast members dressed for the first HalloWishes Dessert Party of 2017 to welcome guests. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

News and Views

Mickey Parties Like its Halloween in August | 2017 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Begins on Thursday | Star Wars Force Friday II at World of Disney on September 1 | National Slinky Day is August 30 | MouseAdventure Returns to Walt Disney World This Spring | Views around the World | One Passholder's Tip | This and That | Crowd Forecast

Mickey Parties Like its Halloween in August

Halloween made its earliest ever return to Magic Kingdom with the Friday, August 25 start of Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Like in recent years, the Party includes Mickey's "Boo-to-You" Halloween Parade, the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular stage show in front of Cinderella Castle, and the Happy HalloWishes Fireworks Spectacular, among its treats.

Large clues that Magic Kingdom is hosting Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party appear at the parking toll plaza on party nights. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Because guests entering Magic Kingdom to attend Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party may do so before day guests are required to leave the park, arriving guests are routed behind Main Street U.S.A. on the east side where they receive trick-or-treat bags and the first treats of the evening. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The walkway behind Main Street U.S.A. is decorated for the party. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

And, of course, party goers will find opportunities to purchase party themed merchandise during the walk behind Main Street U.S.A. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

A limited edition Magic Band is available for sale during the party in several locations around the park. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Belle and Gaston may make joint appearances during the party near Gaston's Tavern in new Fantasyland. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Tomorrowland's Rockettower Plaza Stage hosts the Monstrous Scream-o-ween Ball. Look carefully for some rarely seen characters amongst the attendees. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Throughout the park, treat stations staffed by cast members distribute large handfuls of candy from the Mars | Wrigley candy company (Allergy sensitive guests may ask for a bag for collecting tokens that provide alternative treats). Special character meeting opportunities are also available around the park, such as Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas, though, as you might expect, the queues to meet the "rare" characters can be quite long. As the 7 p.m. start of the first night's Party approached, cast member estimates for the wait time exceeded 90 minutes for Jack and Sally.

During a "hard ticket" event like this, most of the attractions tend to remain open for partygoers but, between the cap on ticket sales and the fact that partygoers tend to seek out the treat stations, special character experiences, the parades, stage shows, and fireworks, ride wait times tend to be much lower than during regular operating hours. For example, after the presentation of HalloWishes fireworks, the posted standby time at the ever-popular Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was only 30 minutes; Space Mountain was even less. Fastpass+ ride reservations are not available during the party either, which means as the last day guests make their way through the queues, wait times are further reduced by the fact that there are no Fastpass+ riders mixed in.

The Sanderson Sisters are the stars of the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular stage show. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Oogie Boogie from "The Nightmare Before Christmas" appears in the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular stage show.



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Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular show conjures nine Disney villains to the stage. Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Like most Cinderella Castle stage shows, the finale of Hocus Pocus includes some fireworks. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

HalloWishes uses perimeter fireworks, but does not make use of any of the new projection technology seen in the regular Happily Ever After fireworks shows. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Weather conditions can limit some of the scheduled outdoor entertainment; on opening night, the Headless Horseman did not ride ahead of the late running of Mickey's Boo to You! Halloween Parade due to light rain. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Mickey's Boo to You! Halloween Parade is scheduled to perform twice during each party. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

For those that play the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game in the park (or even those that just like collecting the cards), the party includes a special-issue, event-exclusive game card. This year's card is themed to The Country Bear Jamboree. Stop at the Firehouse on Main Street, U.S.A. at any time during the party and show your party wristband (which will be marked) to get your one-per-attendee card.

Each partygoer may obtain one of the event-exclusive Country Bear Jamboree-themed Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game cards. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Not to be left out, Disney PhotoPass Photographers also have a number of special magic shots available. Be sure to ask, as the only photographers who do not offer any special features or props for photos are those accompanying characters. Any guest that purchases Memory Maker packages before, during, or after a Walt Disney World visit can download the photos, and they are available to Annual Passholders with the download benefit as well. The My Disney Experience App also sells a Memory Maker One Day option for $59, which can be purchased in the app during or after the park visit.

One of the special photo opportunities includes live characters on the front lawn of The Haunted Mansion. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Several unique Magic Shots are available from Disney PhotoPass Photographers during the party. This one has been further enhanced by a border, filter, and stickers available in the My Disney Experience App. Disney PhotoPass Photo © Disney.

While we have included some photos and video in this Update, watch MousePlanet.com for an upcoming Photo Tour article with even more highlights of the party later in September.

All told, the separate ticket-required party runs on 32 nights this year (jump to the Resort Events date section below for the remaining schedule). Tickets and official information, including costume guidelines for adults as well as kids, are available on this page of DisneyWorld.com. (Author's note: I was fortunate to have been selected by Disney Parks Blog's random drawing to attend this year's first night, including the HalloWishes Dessert Party.)

Departing Main Street U.S.A., partygoers pass under lighted jack-o-lanterns. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Lights and fog decorate Main Street Railroad Station at the front of Magic Kingdom. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

2017 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Begins on Thursday

This Thursday, August 31, marks the earliest ever start of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. It runs all the way to November 13, which means it is also the longest ever Food & Wine Festival at the park.

Epcot celebrates the 35th anniversary of its opening on October 1, so the Festival is celebrating the 35 years of Epcot with a record number of 35 Marketplaces (which are the kiosks) where guests buy their food and wine (and other beverages). Some of the "new" Marketplaces are serving returning favorites—Active Eats will include Loaded Mac 'n' Cheese, for example. Some of the returning Marketplaces have not been in a Festival in years—India, for example, last appeared in 2009, but will feature all new dishes.

In recent years, a few of the Marketplaces made their way off of World Showcase over and into Future World West. This year, that expansion will continue as well.

Once the festival gets under way, we will bring you even more details here in the Update and in other articles highlighting different parts of the festival. On opening day on Thursday, August 31, for example, be sure to follow our Twitter and Facebook page for details of an event we have been invited to attend starting at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, at the Italy pavilion.

Remy's Ratatouille Hide & Squeak scavenger hunt will be back again this year. Buy your map and stickers at the Festival Center, Pin Central, Disney Traders, or World Traveler (at International Gateway), match up your stickers with the global marketplaces of World Showcase searching for Remy, and then redeem your completed map for (or, simply turn it in if you just want) your prize at Disney Traders at World Showcase Plaza (near Future World). Passholders can get a 20% discount off the map and stickers as well as other merchandise.

Speaking of Passholders, this year's "free" Passholder gifts are even a bit more paltry than last year's single rocks glass per Passholder for the run of the festival. This year, Passholders receive free buttons, roughly one per month: Eiffel Tower (8/31-9/30); Leaning Tower (10/1-10/28); and Torii Gate (10/29-11/13). The "specialty" buttons are available at the Festival Center with your valid Annual Pass card (while supplies last). Additional "specialty" buttons are available when making a purchase from the new Future World Marketplaces. Additional details are on DisneyWorld.com/Passholders.

With the festival starting this week and the Eat to the Beat Concert Series line-up fully announced (but, of course, always subject to change or cancelation), we have created a new calendar of all the announced performers and the scheduled performances. In fact, if you keep scrolling into later November and December, we have also added in all of the Candlelight Processional narrators announced to date as well. We make no guarantee of the accuracy of the information, but will try to keep it as up-to-date as available information permits at least weekly, for the rest of the year. It is provided "As-Is, Where-Is;" use at your own discretion.

At the moment, the Google-hosted calendar displayed below allows transfers either of the entire calendar or individual events into your own Google-hosted calendar. With some encouragement in the comments or by email, we will work on even more compatibility across platforms. In the meantime, you can also subscribe to our iCloud hosted calendar. Given the effort it took to create the dynamic calendar, we do respectfully request that you do not post our entire calendar on another site without first asking for and obtaining our permission. We do not know why Walt Disney World Resort has not created this sort of functionality outside of the My Disney Experience app itself, but, so far, it has not.

Star Wars Force Friday II at World of Disney on September 1

For those who want to be among the first to get their hands on merchandise for the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi and other newly released Star Wars items, Disney Parks plans to provide that opportunity on September 1, 2017, at 12:01 a.m. (one minute after Midnight). Starting at 6 p.m. on August 31, numbered wristbands will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis outside World of Disney in the Marketplace at Disney Springs at the entrance across from Basin.

Those with numbered wristbands may return to World of Disney at 11:30 p.m. to line up in sequential order. Doors will open at 12:01 a.m. on September 1. Participants are directed to park in the Lime Parking Garage (which is the parking structure closest to World of Disney).

R3-BOO17 is already available at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

For those on the West Coast who want to get merchandise, the Disneyland Resort required pre-registration on August 24. Other participating merchants may be found on starwars.com/findtheforce.

Beyond the merchandise, check out starwars.com/findtheforce for more ways you can celebrate Force Friday II from anywhere around the world on the Star Wars app, and for a sweepstakes open to residents in 50 States and District of Columbia, Canada (except Quebec), Australia, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, France, South Korea and Chile who are 18+ or the age of majority in their place of residence, whichever is older. See the site for complete rules and entry details.

National Slinky Day is August 30

Regular readers know that we usually reserve our "National ____ Day" stories for the "This and That" section below. This one seems (or, we hope, is) a little bit different.

Over the weekend, we received a small but intriguing red box from Walt Disney World. The top of the box was decorated with a view of a blue, cloud-covered wall in Andy's Room as we all remember it from Disney-Pixar's Toy Story and its sequels. Inside, there was a Disney-Pixar Toy Story mini wind up Slinky Dog toy and a note:

Celebrate National Slinky Day on August 30. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

National Slinky Day
August 30

It is Something to Toy With!

National Slinky Day is right around the corner, and the Disney team couldn't be more excited. Be on the lookout for special Slinky-related news coming from the Walt Disney World Resort on Wednesday.

Toy Story

We know from D23 Expo back in July, that Toy Story Land is expected to open at Disney's Hollywood Studios next summer, 2018. We also know that the land includes the new Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster, which was recently topped off with its highest construction point. Beyond that, all we know for sure is to watch for news tomorrow, Wednesday. Be sure to stay tuned to our Twitter and Facebook page for the latest!

Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster is one of the two new attractions coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios in Summer 2018. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

MouseAdventure Returns to Walt Disney World This Spring

Third Gate Games is happy to announce the return of MouseAdventure to the Walt Disney World Resort this coming spring, on Saturday, March 3, 2018. It'll be exploring the wilds of Disney's Animal Kingdom this time around, returning to familiar ground with some new additions to explore! If you're not familiar with MouseAdventure, you can read about its 2017 Walt Disney World event, The Florida Project.

Registration will open early next year, so mark your calendars and keep your eyes on mouseadventure.com and here at its media sponsor, MousePlanet.

Are you game?

Views Around the World

With all of the Magic Kingdom photos in the discussion about Halloween, this week's Views focus on the much-changing Disney's Hollywood Studios, and we provide a photo update of some of the latest changes over at Disney Springs.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

The Music of Pixar Live! had its final concert on Sunday. Photo (from Saturday) by Alan S. Dalinka.

The neon sign for The Great Movie Ride is no longer on the front of the Chinese Theatre and the movie-themed banners that used to hang in the courtyard have been removed as well. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

In last week's Update, we reported having seen these "That's A Wrap!" signs in the Chinese Theatre's courtyard. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Over this past weekend, new signage took the place of the Mickey and Minnie themed signs. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The starcase next to the AT-AT frame provides a sense of just how tall the new building which will contain one of the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge attractions will be when completed in 2019. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

A new gate is under construction in the former Streets of America area that will soon be Grand Avenue. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Inside One Man's Dream, changes are increasingly evident as it is being transitioned to Walt Disney Presents. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

One section of One Man's Dream now includes a number of photographs from Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Another section of One Man's Dream now includes a collection of photographs from Disney Parks outside the United States. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The queue for Rock 'n' Roller Coaster reveals the status of the repainting of its main show building which likely will be visible inside Toy Story Land when it opens next summer. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

From outside the park gates, it is also possible to see the new Rock 'n' Roller Coaster show building's new blue paint scheme. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Construction continues in one of the drainage areas of the park's parking lot. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

In front of Donald Duck, at some point during the Steamboat Willie portion of Fantasmic! Moana joined in the show. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney Springs

The American Idol audition kiosk is located in the Market Building (which we sometimes refer to as the "arcade of shops"). It is scheduled to be available for audition submissions through September 14. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The new Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill is being built on the former greenspace across from Planet Hollywood Observatory between the Market Building and the fire station-themed restrooms. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Concept art shows a rendition of the completed new Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Concept art on the construction wall shows a rendering of the interior of the new Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Construction walls surround the former Wolfgang Puck Cafe on the West Side. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

This part of The Edison, scheduled to open later this year, is themed to an airplane terminal building; the exterior graphics here appear to be nearing completion. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

A seaplane is part of the graphics recently painted on the building which will be part of The Edison. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The former DisneyQuest building is surrounded by construction walls. Panoramic Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Demolition work is apparent in the former gift shop and exit area of DisneyQuest. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The newly opened Star Wars Trading Post in the Marketplace is where you will now find the sort of themed merchandise that used to be sold in one section of Once Upon A Toy. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

This portion of the building which used to contain Star Wars themed merchandise is our best guess for the future Disney Springs home to The VOID Experience - Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire which we reported on earlier this summer. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Inside the Once Upon a Toy, a curtain separates the former Star Wars merchandise area from the remaining portion of the store which is still open. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Halloween is fully on display at World of Disney. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Halloween themed Donald and Mickey appear on a wall of World of Disney. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Halloween themed Minnie and Goofy appear on a wall of World of Disney. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

D-Living's summer theme has been removed and the store's merchandise is now largely hats, t-shirts, and other accessories. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

A large section of D-Living is now devoted to "ears" headbands and how to accessorize them. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Uni Qlo has an assortment of Disney character-themed t-shirts which, at least as of this weekend, were on sale for $9.90. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Wine Bar George construction continues. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The concept art on the construction walls at the future site of Wine Bar George still says "Opening 2017," though its construction progress may not make that accurate. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

From high atop the Lime Garage, progress on site preparation for the next Disney Springs parking structure across Buena Vista Drive is somewhat visible through the Lime Garage's metalwork. 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 28 - Photo Fun Edition #6
Your camera's flash will light up the rain (and even unseen humidity)!

The flash on your camera is a powerful light; it will show you things that you probably cannot see with just your unassisted eyes in a dimly lit or dark place. At night around Walt Disney World, our eyes typically do not see the drops of water in the air that makes up Central Florida's often complained of humidity. Likewise, during an evening rain shower of any kind (from misty drizzle to extreme downpour), our eyes do not see the individual drops.

It was raining when I took this photo of the Haunted Mansion's butler during Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party; the larger the photo is when you view it, the more of the raindrops you will see lit by the camera's flash. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

When I took the photo shown here, I knew that my camera's flash would light up drops of water and thought it might make for a more interesting shot. I also took one with the flash turned off—and we will talk about the advantages of doing that in some circumstances in a future Tip—but it was really too dark for a quality photo of the character and his costume. Many folks, however, do not seem to realize that taking photos in dim light with the flash turned on will light up these little spots in the photo.

Of course, the flash may be bright, but its useful distance is rather limited. Imagine that you are taking a photo of Cinderella Castle from the Hub: what do you think your flash is going to light up? Do you think it is going to help you get the castle better lit, or, now that I have shown you this, do you think it will just light up lots of tiny little drops of water in the air in the first six feet or so in front of you?

In my experience, it is usually the latter. Your mileage may vary and be governed accordingly.

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


This and That

…The Mobile Order feature of My Disney Experience continues to expand. As of this week, Disney Parks Blog lists 15 locations around Walt Disney World Resort are now available. Payment is still limited to the credit card(s) registered in the app, and special diets or discounts cannot be processed except by cashiers. We have also seen that Annual Passholder renewal appears to be coming to the app soon too.

My Disney Experience App says that Annual Passholder renewals are coming soon. Screen shot by Alan S. Dalinka.

…Vivoli il Gelato at Disney Springs is debuting its new sundaes which will be available during the month of September. The theme, "Florida Fall," recognizes that around Walt Disney World Resort, September temperatures are not much different than the rest of summer (which to most folks means it will be pretty hot). The announced highlights are the bright flavor of Key Lime Pie and the decedent option "The GridIron" (Pistachio gelato, peanut butter gelato, chocolate gelato, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and pistachio nuts). Tiramisu Cookie Sundae and Carmel Apple Sundae are the other September special creations.

Vivoli il Gelato is open during construction immediately next door at the future Wine Bar George. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

…Also in The Landing neighborhood at Disney Springs, Tea Traders Cafe by Joffrey's is the first (and, currently, the only) Walt Disney World location to offer four images that can be "printed" atop your foamy beverage using its new "Ripple Maker" machine that includes proprietary technology for printing with edible coffee dust toner. Your image choices are Mickey, Minnie, Disney Springs logo, or, of course, the Joffrey's logo. The "Ripple Maker" requires approximately 20 seconds to print.

…And also nearby, just a reminder that the "Great Irish Hooley" returns to Raglan Road this Labor Day Weekend, September 1-4. See the website for the scheduled live music, food, and dancers.

…Orlando television station WFTV-9 reports that negotiations are now underway between Walt Disney World and the Services Trades Council Union which represents 38,000 cast members.

…Disney Vacation Club Members (and their guests) visiting Disney Springs from 6 to 8 p.m. on August 30, can visit the Luxury of Time by Diamonds International boutique in Town Center for complimentary champagne and appetizers while they browse the store, and they will receive a $100 gift certificate toward the purchase of jewelry in the store (see the store for restrictions and details). The store's ongoing discount offer to Members is 10% off regularly priced watches; 20% off regularly priced jewelry. Also, while supplies last, the store is still offering a complimentary watch to Members who try on any watch in the store (of course, the complimentary watch is not the one Members are expected to try on). DVC Membership Extras qualifications exclude new Members after April 4, 2016, who did not purchase their ownership interest directly from Disney. Additional details are on Disney Parks Blog.

…Speaking of Disney Vacation Club Members, just a reminder that reservations are now open for pirate-themed Halloween parties at Disney's Contemporary Resort on October 31. From 3 to 5 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m., the reservations-required parties in the Ballroom of the Americas will include a DJ dance party, a pirate-themed selfie station, carnival-style games with prizes, face painting, a character photo, plus Halloween desserts, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages and a chance to meet a Walt Disney World Ambassador. Tickets are $25/person through DVC Member Services, (800)800-9800. Guests will each receive a "Buccaneer Booty Bag" to fill with "treats and treasures." Costumes are not required, but, should you wish to wear one, be sure to read the guidelines.

…As we continue to follow the sea turtles released at Disney's Vero Beach Resort earlier this summer in connection with Disney's participation in Sea Turtle Conservancy's TourDeTurtles.org: as of last night: the satellite trackers report that Cruz has swum over 793 miles and is now south of the tip of Florida beyond Everglades National Park; Sally has swum only 494 miles, but is now in the Gulf of Mexico, west of Gasparilla Island State Park and the barrier islands west of Fort Myers, FL.

Satellite tracking continues to track Cruz the sea turtle, released at Disney's Vero Beach on July 29. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

…And, in case you missed it last week, a replay of the August 22 #DisneyParksLIVE Stream of the Disney Parks Blog presentation of "Rivers of Light" live from Disney's Animal Kingdom is still available here.

…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 29, 2017 3 / 10
Wednesday, August 30, 2017 4 / 10
Thursday, August 31, 2017 2 / 10
Friday, September 1, 2017 2 / 10
Saturday, September 2, 2017 5 / 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.


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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 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
  • 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

  • MouseAdventure – March 3. More information available at mouseadventure.com
  • 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

  • Splash Mountain – closed for refurbishment.
  • 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 with limited hours.
  • The Hall of Presidents – New show opening "Late 2017."


  • Ellen's Energy Adventure at Universe of Energy – Closed 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 – Closed 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.

Annual Passholders can "Bring-a-Friend" through September 30, 2017, by purchasing a 1-Day Magic Your Way Park Hopper ticket for $79 plus tax. The tickets are not available online; they can only be purchased at Guest Relations locations and ticket windows. Passholder must be present with valid Walt Disney World Annual Pass card and photo ID. Passholders may buy tickets for up to 6 guests and all tickets must be used on the date of purchase.

Magic Strollers, "a Disney featured stroller provider," offers a $5 discount on stroller rental when staying at a Disney Resort Hotel and using coupon code WDWAP17 to arrange your rental.

Through October 1, 2017, Passholders may purchase a 1-Day Water Park ticket to Disney's Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon for $45. Tickets may be purchased at Guest Relations or at a vacation planning booth in the ticket area of each water park and may be used for same-day admission to both water parks. Passholders may purchase tickets at the same price for up to three guests.

Visit the DisneyWorld.com Special Offers page (filtered for Passholders) for information, or call 407-939-7676 to book by phone.

Additional information about available "Passholder Extras" are available here.

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

La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil

Active and retired U.S. Military personnel presenting valid ID can save to 25% on tickets to La Nouba through December 16 for tickets purchased at the theater box office located on the West Side of Disney Springs.

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

Final Days: 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.

The La Nouba "Florida Resident Family Fun Pack" is back. As its final performance of La Nouba approaches on December, Cirque du Soleil is offering Florida resident ticket deals for its least expensive seats: $96.75 for 3 tickets; $129 for 4 tickets. Offer expires on December 16, 2017 and resident ID is required. Discounts may also be available for premium seat categories. Tickets and information on Cirque Du Soleil's La Nouba webpage.

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!