Walt Disney World Resort Update for October 24-30, 2017

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for October 24–30, 2017

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

Writer's note: For the many of you that have taken the time to answer our one question survey, thank you. In this edition, and in coming weeks, watch for some tweaks to the Update reflecting your valuable input. For those of you that have not yet answered the survey, it is here:

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And now, on with the Update.

News and Views

Former DisneyQuest Building Makes Way For NBA Experience Coming in Summer 2019 | The Latest Versions of "Star Wars Experiences" Debut This Fall | GiveDisneyVacations.com Debuts | Epcot Concerts & Candlelight Calendar | Views around the World | One Passholder's Tip | This and That | Crowd Forecast

Former DisneyQuest Building Makes Way For NBA Experience Coming in Summer 2019

DisneyQuest, the interactive indoor theme park located on the West Side of Disney Springs, closed its doors back on July 3 to make way for the NBA Experience. Since then, we have regularly showed photos of the exterior which gave indications that demolition within was well underway. On Thursday, Disney revealed new concept art and a few more details about the new building scheduled to be completed by the Summer of 2019, and what guests can expect to find inside. At almost the same time, exterior demolition of the building got under way.

The newly released concept art for the NBA Experience building was inspired by the modern style of architecture of new NBA arenas around the country. Concept Art ©Disney.

By Saturday, much of the exterior of the former DisneyQuest building facing Buena Vista Drive had been demolished. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

"We are inspired by the design of the new building and the energy that it will bring to the West Side of Disney Springs," said Senior Vice President of Disney Springs and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Maribeth Bisienere.

When complete, the new venue will include interactive games and competitions, immersive experiences, a retail store, and an adjacent restaurant. NBA President, Global Partnerships Sal LaRocca, describes the project as a "one-of-a-kind experience...sure to be enjoyed by basketball and Disney fans of all ages who visit Disney Springs from around the world."

By Sunday evening, a significant portion of the former DisneyQuest building had been demolished. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The NBA Experience will include "immersive NBA video productions" and hands-on activities, plus a restaurant and a retail store. Concept Art ©Disney.

As we previously reported, Walt Disney World Resort entered into a marketing agreement with Orlando's hometown NBA team earlier this year, the Orlando Magic. As part of that arrangement, guests that renew or purchase certain Walt Disney World annual passes at Amway Center receive an Orlando Magic jersey with the Disney logo while supplies last. More information about that offer is available at orlandomagic.com/annualpass.

The Latest Versions of "Star Wars Experiences" Debut This Fall

Disney's Hollywood Studios collected its various Star Wars-themed offerings under the name "Star Wars Experiences" back in December 2015. Two of those "Experiences" that have changed a number of times since then are the Star Wars-A Galaxy Far, Far Away stage show and the March of the First Order parades. Both debuted their latest versions yesterday. As the December 15 release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the next installment of the saga, approaches, more new and changed "Experiences" are certainly coming too (see the final paragraph of this section for the announced addition coming to Star Tours-The Adventures Continue).

For those that have never seen it, on most park operating days, the Far, Far Away show uses three video screens showing clips from the (now) eight Star Wars films (including last year's Rogue One and not yet including this year's The Last Jedi) to tell some of the broadest aspects of the Star Wars story of the fight between the light and dark sides of The Force. A number of the characters and droids from the films make live appearances on stage along with some brief pyrotechnic effects. The side video screens are also used to show the live character appearances during the show.

Star Wars-A Galaxy Far, Far Away show at Center Stage ends with a bit of pyrotechnics after all the characters assemble. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The March of the First Order is a parade (usually performed multiple times per day) of First Order Storm Troopers led by Captain Phasma. The parade route has changed a number of times, and now runs from near the park's gate down Hollywood Boulevard, with a brief stop at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard, and a long performance stop at the Center Stage, before reversing course back on Hollywood Boulevard toward the park's gate. The side video screens at Center Stage are used to display a live camera feed of the parade.

First Order Stormtroopers, under the direction of Captain Phasma, march to the Center Stage. The side video screens show a live video feed of some of the action. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Center Stage itself is located in front of the Chinese Theatre near where the (infamous) multi-story Sorcerer's Hat like that Mickey wore in Disney's Fantasia stood for over a decade. In the past, the performances used a semi-permanent stage platform and sets of poles used to raise and lower the three digital projection screens.

The Center Stage is located between Hollywood Boulevard and the Chinese Theatre. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Earlier this year, it was much-rumored that the semi-permanent stage platform would be replaced with movable stages which would allow the Center Stage area to be cleared for better viewing of evening presentations of Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks shows (and, more recently added to that, the Disney Movie Magic projection show, plus, coming this Holiday Season, Jingle Bells, Jingle BAM!). Each time the semi-permanent stage was removed and Far, Far Away shows were removed from the Times Guide (and MyDisneyExperience App), the rumors of the changes grew louder.

Yesterday, at long last, the mobile platforms (movable/removable stage pieces) made their debut along with the latest version of the Far, Far Away show. Up close, the platforms look like many of the float vehicles Disney has used in parades over the years. When used for Center Stage shows, however, the units have staircases and other accessories that turn the platforms into a full performance space for the shows.

The new movable platforms are positioned in front of the raised area in front of the Chinese Theatre (closer to Hollywood Boulevard than the theatre). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The "backstage" area of the new movable platforms are now nearly completely visible to park guests. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Regular readers of our weekly Walt Disney World Resort Update (and, particularly, those that read the photo captions in our Views Around the World section), have seen us report on the difficult sight-lines guests historically have encountered at Far, Far Away shows as well as during the staged portions of March of the First Order. The live video described above was added after the shows debuted to attempt to overcome this problem. Unfortunately, in this writer's opinion, the new set up does not improve those sight-lines to a significant degree, especially as guests hoist children up on to their shoulders (and, admittedly, if the littlest ones aren't raised up, they cannot see anything unless they are as close to the stage as permitted).

Children hoisted on adult shoulders further block already difficult views of the Center Stage. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The biggest staging improvement brought by the new set-up is that BB-8 makes its appearance at a much higher position which is easier for more of the audience to see. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

We broadcast both the Far, Far Away show and March of the First Order on Facebook Live on Monday. Those unedited broadcasts are embedded below.

Note, Darth Vader was absent from this performance, but is expected to remain a regular part of this show. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

As each of the past two years' Star Wars films were released, other changes came to the "Star Wars Experiences" too: new scenes were added to Far, Far Away for the new films, and we expect that will be true soon in connection with the release of The Last Jedi. Other changes at Star Wars Launch Bay and Star Wars: Path of the Jedi are likely as well.

On November 17, the nearby Star Tours - The Adventures Continue attraction will debut the new sequence inspired by Star Wars: The Last Jedi ahead of the film's December 15 release. Disneyland in Anaheim will also debut the new ride sequence on November 17, followed by Disneyland Paris on November 22, and Tokyo Disneyland on December 15.

GiveDisneyVacations.com Debuts

With the holiday shopping season increasingly underway—and there is ample evidence of that in this week's Views Around the World—Disney has rolled out a new site devoted to helping folks give Disney vacations, theme park tickets, and other Disney experiences to friends and family as gifts. GiveDisneyVacations.com includes many Disney destinations and experiences in one, easy-to-navigate place.

Gifts available include vacations at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, plus the offerings from Adventures by Disney, Disney Cruise Line, and Disney Vacation Club properties, including Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai'i. Disney gift cards are also available in denominations between $25 and $150, as well as $200, $300, and $500. Cards can be e-delivered or sent via traditional mail in a themed gift holder (and standard shipping to U.S. addresses is free).

As a special promotion through November 15, guests purchasing a 2018 Walt Disney World Resort vacation package of 6-nights/7-days room and tickets for a family of four (with rates starting at $96 per person/per day at select Disney's All-Star Resort hotels), will have their gift sent in a specially designed gold-trimmed gift box that includes limited-edition Magic Bands.

Epcot Concerts & Candlelight Calendar

The full list of this year's scheduled celebrity narrators for Epcot's Candlelight Processional during the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays and the list of the remaining scheduled Eat to the Beat Concerts during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival are now available in our Google Calendar of Epcot Events. You can also add it to any Calendar that supports the iCal format (like iPhone and Mac) by copying this link.

The calendar is provided "As is, where is" and without any guarantees, as a courtesy. Given the effort it took to create it, we do respectfully request that you do not post our entire calendar on another site without first asking 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.

The Eat to the Beat Concert schedule is posted outside the America Gardens Theatre at World Showcase. We have removed the embedded version from the page at the suggestion of some who responded to our Survey who told us that it was difficult to scroll past it on mobile devices. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Views Around the World

This week, our Views take us to the Transportation & Ticket Center, Magic Kingdom, Epcot and its neighboring Resorts, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and then over to Disney Springs. As usual, there are lots of photos (and more video) to see and bits of additional news appear in the captions.

Transportation & Ticket Center and Magic Kingdom

A couple of new signs remind pedestrians walking from the Transportation and Ticket Center back to their cars where the various sections of the Magic Kingdom parking lot are located. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Mickey's Gift Station, the TTC's souvenir shop, is now located entirely outside the area secured by bag/security checkpoints. The doorway at left previously had been blocked by a temporary hedge wall which is now located further to the left than is shown by this photo. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Monorails Red and Gold pass one another at the Transportation and Ticket Center. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Introduced last winter on a "trial basis," the Annual Passholder Entrances remain at each of the parks. Magic Kingdom now has new, more substantial signs pointing to the applicable touchpoints. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

During at least last Thursday's "Disney Festival of Fantasy" parade, the classic characters like Mickey and Minnie were not wearing their usual parade attire. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Main Street Bakery, the Starbucks location at Magic Kingdom, sells both "Disney Parks" and "Magic Kingdom" ceramic Starbucks tumblers. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The latest Magic Kingdom "You Are Here Collection" Starbucks mugs are available at Main Street Bakery. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Construction walls extend from Adventureland toward the Central Plaza (hub). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Adventureland construction walls continue all the way to the veranda area outside the building that includes Skipper Canteen. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Epcot, Disney's BoardWalk & Disney's Yacht Club

The 2017 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival makes the World Showcase Promenade rather crowded and especially so on a nice October Saturday afternoon. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The long-under-construction beverage kiosk outside the Mexico pavilion now has a sign "Choza de Margarita," and a twitter account @ChozaMargarita. No opening date has yet been announced. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

For Disney Vacation Club Members visiting the DVC Members Lounge at the Imagination Pavilion, there is now actual DVC merchandise available for sale next to the check-in podium. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Some refurbishment is underway at Disney's Yacht Club Resort. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The new directional signage we noted outside Disney's BoardWalk a few weeks ago has been removed; it likely was installed to assist particular convention attendees. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Remember, Halloween is just ahead. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Limited edition Halloween pins are still available. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

But, even with Halloween not yet here, shops on Hollywood Boulevard are now stocked with "New Arrivals" for the winter holiday shopping season, complete with lots of Christmas decor. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Holiday lights headbands are now available for sale. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Star Wars themed holiday merchandise is now available. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Darth Vader appears on an "ugly sweater" style t-shirt for the holidays. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

A Stormtrooper snow angel t-shirt is now available. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Apparently, this t-shirt suggests Chewbacca may not be helpful when installing Christmas lights. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Several character-themed holiday stockings are now available. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

With this week's installation of the stars on Sunset Boulevard, the area is further taking on the look shown in the concept art for the upcoming Sunset Seasons Greetings. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney says "Holiday magic brings billboards to life and transforms the famous Hollywood Tower Hotel into scenes of the season" during Sunset Seasons Greetings, coming this winter to Disney's Hollywood Boulevard. Concept Art ©Disney.

Like this one, Disney "snow" machines are visible on roofs of Sunset Boulevard. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Star-lined Sunset Boulevard, as we noted last week, now includes a billboard promoting Paradise Pier. In the distance, cranes are working in the future Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge area of the park. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Sunset Seasons Greetings is scheduled to run November 9 through December 31. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Construction continues next to Walt Disney Presents on the entry area for Toy Story Land which is scheduled to open next summer. The sign in the foreground, however, still refers to One Man's Dream which is now just a part of the overall Walt Disney Presents attraction. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The entrance to Toy Story Land will be located between the Pixar archway and Walt Disney Presents. Toy Story Mania's current entrance is near where this photo was taken, but its new entrance will be on the other side of the building within the bounds of the new land when it opens next summer. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Construction on Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge continues beyond Pixar Place. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Additional details continue to emerge beyond the construction walls. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Green Army Men recruit guests outside of one of the Toy Story Mania exits with Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge construction continuing in the distance. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Miss Piggy fountain has not yet been restored to working order. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Looking from the Miss Piggy "fountain" toward Grand Avenue and Tatooine Traders beyond, additional construction is visible beyond the newest construction walls. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge construction continues beyond the current "end" of Grand Avenue. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Echo Lake refurbishment continues. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Echo Lake will have additional holiday decor this year, including a central Christmas tree. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The former drainage canal between the Stage and Music areas of the parking lot will soon become additional rows of parking, as construction in this part of the lot appears nearly complete. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Row numbers in the Music section of the lot have been updated (increased by 2) to reflect the construction of the new rows of parking. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney Springs

The AMC Theatres at Disney Springs recently removed the row older Automated Ticket machines. By this past weekend, two machines were in place and operating. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The former Wolfgang Puck Grand Café continues to be transformed to Jaleo. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Transformation of Wolfgang Puck Grand Café into Jaleo and the demolition of DisneyQuest are visible from across Village Lake at Disney's Saratoga Springs. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Savannah Bee Company has relocated to its new, larger store in The Landing area. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Construction on Wine Bar George continues. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

World of Disney Store introduced a number of retro-themed attraction t-shirts this week. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Space Mountain debuted in the 1970s. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Splash Mountain appears as both a retro-style t-shirt (shown here), as well as on a shirt in the Twenty-Eight & Main collection. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

From across Village Lake at Disney's Saratoga Springs, there is a view of the exterior construction underway transforming Portobello Country Italian Trattoria which Closed in April and is due to reopen as Terralina Crafted Italian sometime this Fall. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

D-Living remained closed for retheming this weekend. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The palm trees of town center are now all lit. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

At night, the exterior of the Cirque du Soleil theater has a projected jack-o-lantern. 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 (often weekly) tip at a time.

One Passholder's Tip #33
Get your tickets in advance!

Weekends bring out huge lines at Epcot ticket booths, especially with the popularity of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

There is not really much more to say about this. It is 2017. There are lots of ways go get tickets before getting to the gates of the theme parks, yet, seemingly, hundreds of guests choose not to on some days, like this past Saturday at Epcot. Nearly every ticket booth was open, and each had a huge line.

Given the cost of a day at the park in 2017—and, especially, if you are just buying a one day ticket—it seems that your time would be better spent inside the park rather than out front waiting to buy a ticket. In recent weeks, I have posted similar photos from both the TTC and Disney's Animal Kingdom on Twitter, so I know it is not just a Food & Wine thing.

Anyway, be governed accordingly and your mileage may vary. Also, for reading this far, note this hashtag: "#MousePlanetHalloween2017" for something special on our Facebook page and Twitter feed this week for our followers.

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


This and That

…For folks who come to Walt Disney World Resort to enjoy playing golf, you will soon have three additional opportunities to try to avoid Mickey-shaped sand bunkers. Currently, the No. 6 hole on Disney's Magnolia Golf Course has had the distinction of having the only Mickey-shaped sand bunker. Disney Parks Blog revealed that each of the other three courses will each add one sometime next summer: hole No. 8 on the Disney’s Palm Golf Course, No. 12 on Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course, and No. 9 on Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course.

…If you missed out on buying one of the quickly sold out rose gold headbands, you will be happy to know that in a Disney Parks Blog post about the new styles available this Fall, Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager, mentioned that there are more rose gold headbands arriving in the parks in November. Some headbands are available on the Shop Disney Parks app and via ShopDisney.com, but no word on whether this will include the prized rose gold headbands.

…Congratulations to Victoria & Albert's at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa for being voted second-best fine dining restaurant in America on TripAdvisor in the site's Travelers' Choice awards. As Disney Parks Blog notes, this is the second time the restaurant has scored this result, and it is also has AAA's highest rating: the Five Diamond Award." No other restaurant in Florida made TripAdvisor's list. For reservations, visit Victoria-Alberts.com.

…While no official word from Walt Disney World Resort, it is sounding like parts of the Disney Parks Holiday TV Specials will be filmed around the property on November 3-7 this year. In recent years, musical acts have recorded segments at all Four Parks and elsewhere on property. No particular public viewings have been announced, but we have heard that Cast Members are being invited to comprise audiences around the resort. Expect some areas may become blocked during this time and watch for signs. No broadcast dates have been announced yet, though, as in the past, we expect at least one Special to air on Christmas Day.

Last November, a Disney Parks Holiday TV Special recorded a musical act on a stage at Mission: SPACE at Epcot. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

…Believe it or not, it's National Dessert Month, and, of course, there are a number of places around Walt Disney World Resort where you can get your sugar coma. Here are just five examples (with photos courtesy of the restaurants):

It is National Dessert Month. Photos Courtesy of the restaurants.

  1. Churro Fondue from Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs: House-made churros with Nutella and vanilla cream
  2. Cannoli from Tutto Italia at Epcot's Italy pavilion: Crisp pastry filled with sweet Ricotta, chocolate
  3. Zeppole di Caterina from Via Napoli at Epcot's Italy pavilion: Ricotta cheese fritters, served with whipped cream and chocolate sauce
  4. Baccio Al Cioccolato from Tutto Italia at Epcot's Italy pavilion: Warm hazelnut chocolate cake, vanilla gelato, chocolate sauce
  5. S’mores Brownie Sundae from Vivoli il Gelato at Disney Springs: Vanilla gelato, chocolate gelato, graham cracker crumbles, Nutella brownies, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and marshmallows

…And a repeat reminder from last week for those away from Walt Disney World but in Orlando, The Florida Mall is holding a "Mall-o-ween" event on October 31, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Its theme is Disney Junior's Vampirina and everyone is invited to come in costume and "be ready for spooktacular fun and surprises," though the fine print does say that Disney Character live appearances will not be part of the event.

The Florida Mall in Orlando celebrates Halloween with Disney Junior's Vampirina theming (as the fine print says "Disney Character live appearances are not part of this event." 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 email 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, October 24, 2017 3 / 10
Wednesday, October 25, 2017 4 / 10
Thursday, October 26, 2017 4 / 10
Friday, October 27, 2017 6 / 10
Saturday, October 28, 2017 6 / 10

Check out the Disney World Park Crowd Levels page on TouringPlans.com for park-specific predictions and recommendations on which days to visit and avoid particular parks!

See Disney World crowds for the next 365 days.
Get Disney World wait times on your iPhone, Android or Smartphone.
Do more. Wait less.

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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 email.

2017 Resort Events

  • Star Wars Experiences – Opened December 1, 2015 (ongoing)
  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party – October 24, 26, 27, 29, 31; November 1
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – Opened August 31 - November 13, 2017.
  • Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic – October 27–28, 2017
  • Holidays at Walt Disney World –Starts November 9
  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party – November 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 26, 28;
       December 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22
  • Dapper Day Outing (unofficial events) – November 18, 2017 at Magic Kingdom; November 19, 2017 at Epcot
  • Star Wars: Galactic Nights – December 16, 2017
  • Epcot International Festival of the Holidays (formerly known as Holidays Around the World) –Dates November 19 to December 30
  • Candlelight Processional at Epcot –Dates November 24 to December 30

2018 Resort Events

  • Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom – January 19, 26 & 30; February 8 & 15; March 1 & 8.
  • Epcot International Festival of the Arts – "January 12 - February 19, 2018
  • MouseAdventure (unofficial event) – March 3, 2018. See mouseadventure.com for more information.
  • 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. All 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 scheduled through mid-November.
  • The Hall of Presidents – New show opening "Late 2017."
  • Stitch's Great Escape – closed a "seasonal" basis.


  • 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

  • Closed for Seasonal Refurbishment through January 6, 2018
    Note: closure includes Winter Summerland Miniature Golf

Typhoon Lagoon

  • Seasonal Refurbishment scheduled to begin January 7, 2018

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.
  • DisneyQuest – 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 – closed its West Side location on August 1, 2017. A new Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill is under construction int Town Center area 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 $199 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 $169, a $30 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


For the most up-to-date list of locations offering dining discounts to Annual Passholders, visit this page of DisneyWorld.com. Be aware that dining locations that previously were participating in the 20% discount celebrating the 45th Anniversary (excluding alcoholic beverages, tax, and gratuity), have announced that they will continue to do so through December 23, 2017. Many other dining locations offer Passholders 10% discounts during some or all meal periods (also excluding alcoholic beverages, tax and gratuity). The special 30% discount offered at several dining locations during limited hours has ended.

We have received conflicting information regarding the continuation of merchandise discounts. The latest information on this page of DisneyWorld.com lists discounts at many merchandise locations across Walt Disney World Resort, including many locations that continue to show 20% discounts off regularly priced merchandise. However, we received several reports on October 1, that some locations were now only providing 10% discounts to Passholders. We will seek out clarification for a future Update.

We cannot confirm whether Magic Strollers, "a Disney featured stroller provider," is continuing to honor its $5 discount on stroller rental when staying at a Disney Resort Hotel and using coupon code WDWAP17 to arrange your rental. It is no longer listed on the Passholder website. Check directly with the provider.

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

Florida Residents can enjoy room rates starting as low as $85/night (plus tax) for standard rooms at Disney's All-Star Resorts, most Sunday through Thursday nights from October 29 to December 9, 2017. Discounts are available at other resorts starting as soon as October 9 through December 9. Visit this page of DisneyWorld.com for availability and pricing, or call your travel agent.

Florida Residents can save on 4 days at the theme parks with a 4-Day Disney Select Ticket. This $55.75 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.

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

Travel Discounts for U.K. Residents

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

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

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



  1. By davidgra

    Awesome update! How long did you have to stand to get that shot of the two monorails passing at the TTC? The new merchandise looks cool -- especially the Christmas t-shirts! I'm glad they're selling DVC merchandise at the entrance to the DVC Member Lounge. Now, if they would only put bathrooms up there in the lounge...

  2. By asdhollywood

    Quote Originally Posted by davidgra View Post
    Awesome update! How long did you have to stand to get that shot of the two monorails passing at the TTC? The new merchandise looks cool -- especially the Christmas t-shirts! I'm glad they're selling DVC merchandise at the entrance to the DVC Member Lounge. Now, if they would only put bathrooms up there in the lounge...

    Thanks, it was just luck on the Monorail photo - itís been nearly 3 years since I was in the right spot, with my camera, at just the right moment.

    As for DVC Lounge: Iím just happy itís staying open in 2018!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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