Walt Disney World Resort Update for October 31 - November 6, 2017

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for October 31 – November 6, 2017

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

Writer's note: Happy Halloween! Congratulations to our #MousePlanetHalloween2017 winners, Jeanette Kloss, a follower on Twitter, and Kevin Yee, a follower on Facebook, whose Mickey Pumpkin popcorn buckets are on their way!

Living with the Land greenhouse at Epcot celebrates Halloween with a fall harvest display. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

And to those of you who responded to our survey, thank you for the valuable input (and, indeed, the many kind words received in the comments section). This week, you may notice another very subtle change in format as a result of some of that feedback. Some constructive comments also gave us insights that will help us focus on our readers' interests in the future. Of course, at any time, if you would like your constructive comments to be heard, our Updates always have an email link at the top and a comments section at the bottom, and our Social Media outlets are there for you too.

As you can imagine, Walt Disney World Resort will rapidly transition to its holidays decorations over this week and coming weeks. In this week's Update, like the past few weeks, we have a sprinkling of holiday decor and more and more holiday merchandise. On the evening of November 6, we will even have a preview of the holiday season offerings at Disney's Hollywood Studios to share (weather permitting) on our Social Media platforms where you can keep an eye out for live (and replay) video. We will give you a heads-up about times and where to tune in on those platforms later this week.

This "Happy Holidays" display is a year-round photo spot outside of Disney's Days of Christmas in the Marketplace at Disney Springs. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

So, with that, on with the Update.

News and Views

Woody's Lunch Box coming to Toy Story Land | Three New Italian Restaurant and Bar Concepts Opening at Disney Springs This Winter | 2018 Epcot International Festival of the Arts Disney on Broadway Dining Packages Now Available | Coco Family Celebration Nightly at Disney Springs | Epcot Concerts & Candlelight Calendar | Views around the World | One Passholder's Tip | This and That | Crowd Forecast

Woody's Lunch Box coming to Toy Story Land

As the Summer 2018 opening of Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios approaches, more details about the new area continue to be announced. This week, Disney Parks Blog revealed that Woody's Lunch Box will be a new walk-up quick-service window in the new land. The menu itself has not yet been released, but the location will serve meals and old-fashioned soda floats.

All of Toy Story Land presents its stories to guests shrunk down to the size of Andy's toys in his backyard. In keeping with that notion, Andy has taken a vintage Woody-themed lunch box, propped it open with a thermos, and turned it into Woody's Lunch Box. The area includes other items strewn about the yard, including toys, items from the lunch box, and a book. A green army man keeps a lookout for Andy's return.

Woody's Lunch Box will be a new quick-service window in the new Toy Story Land next summer. Concept Art ©Disney.

In connection with the announcement, Disney also announced that Mini Babybel, the creamy, red-wax-wrapped cheese, has been named the "Official Snack Cheese of Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, the Disneyland Resort in California, and Disney Cruise Line." Mini Babybel will be prominently featured at Woody's Lunch Box.

Three New Italian Restaurant and Bar Concepts Opening at Disney Springs This Winter

Adjacent to The Edison, the "Industrial Gothic" destination due to open in The Landing neighborhood at Disney Springs later this year from the Patina Restaurant Group, three new modern Italian restaurant and bar concepts will also open this winter. "I'm delighted to announce that we will be opening a trattoria named Maria & Enzo’s, as well as Enzo’s Hideaway, a separate restaurant in what were said to be rum-running tunnels, which is destined to become a local favorite,” said Nick Valenti, CEO of Patina Restaurant Group, creator of what Patina describes as its "expansive dining complex showcasing authentic Italian food and entertainment."

This winter, The Landing neighborhood at Disney Springs will welcome The Edison, Maria & Enzo's Ristorante, Enzo's Hideaway Tunnel Bar, and Pizza Ponte. Logos courtesy of Patina Restaurant Group.

The Edison, an "Industrial Gothic" venue is expected to open before year-end. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The 1930s airline terminal-style building will be home to Maria & Enzo's Ristorante, an open and airy dining room with 50-foot ceilings and expansive views of Lake Buena Vista. The restaurant will include numerous period air travel artifacts, including maps and flight paths. The menu, inspired by the cuisine of Sicily, will include family-friendly dishes, such as Arancini di Carne (rice balls stuffed with meat), Melanzane Parmigiana (eggplant Parmesan), and handmade pastas including Busiate con Granchio (spiral pasta with crab), 'Ncasciata al Forno (Sicilian baked pasta), all served tableside. Other dishes will include fresh fish, steaks, and chops.

The 1930s-style airport terminal building (at left) will be Maria & Enzo's Ristorante. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Located in "the storied rumrunner tunnels that adjoin Maria & Enzo's," is Enzo's Hideaway Tunnel Bar, a speakeasy inspired by Roman aperitivo bars. Prohibition-era cocktails will be served at the Tunnel Bar, and its casual menu of Roman dishes will include Bucatini alla Carbonara (hollow spaghetti with creamy egg and pancetta sauce) and Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe (square-cut spaghetti with pecorino and black pepper). The venue's theme is inspired by Florida's actual rum running history (although, hopefully, criminal elements are only for guest entertainment).

Construction located around the bridge from the West Side to the Landing neighborhood appears to be the entrance to the "storied rumrunner tunnels" and the Tunnel Bar. The logo for Pizza Ponte seems to reference the bridge itself. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The final new addition is the fast-casual concept, Pizza Ponte. Its menu will include "quick bite" pastries, pizza, Italian sandwiches, and espresso. Pastry specialties will include Bomboloni (Italian doughnuts) Sfoglia di Riso (pastry with rice cream) and Tiramisu. Savory items include signature Triangolo (stuffed pizza bread) sandwiches, Porchetta (roast pork) and Pizza al Taglio, Sicilian-style pizza by the slice.

At Walt Disney World Resort, Patina Restaurant Group also operates Tutto Italia Ristorante and Via Napoli at the Italy pavilion at Epcot, and Morimoto Asia Orlando at Disney Springs. On the West Coast, Patina operates Patina Restaurant in Walt Disney Concert Hall, Café Pinot, Ray’s & Stark Bar, Catal, Tortilla Jo’s, and Naples in Anaheim’s Downtown Disney District, among other locations.

2018 Epcot International Festival of the Arts Disney on Broadway Dining Packages Now Available

A few months ago, Disney announced that this year's (delightfully surprisingly highly successful) Epcot International Festival of the Arts will return in 2018. This week, Disney announced a few more details: from January 12 to February 19, 2018, Epcot will celebrate the performing, visual, and culinary arts, with festivities everyday, and with Disney on Broadway performances on "Disney Weekends" (Fridays through Mondays).

With the festival scheduled for 39 days this year, seminars and workshops will be offered from Disney, local, and nationally-renowned artists on subjects from animation to photography to topiary-making, among others. Guests can now book Disney on Broadway Dining Packages for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, followed by priority seats at a Disney on Broadway inspired concert on select dates from January 12 to February 19. Concerts will be scheduled at American Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45, and 8 p.m.

For more information, visit the ArtfulEpcot page of DisneyWorld.com. Dining reservations and other information are also available by calling (407)WDW-DINE.

Coco Family Celebration Nightly at Disney Springs

As most readers probably know by now, the next Disney-Pixar animated feature film Coco will be released in U.S. Theaters on November 22, in time for Thanksgiving. Exposition Park (also known as the Food Truck courtyard) on the West Side of Disney Springs now hosts a nightly fiesta, Coco Family Celebration, through November 26, from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.

The elevated train trestle next to Exposition Park is decorated for "Coco" Family Celebration. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Colorful "Coco" banners decorate the area near the "Coco" themed DJ podium. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The film follows aspiring musician Miguel as he teams up with a trickster named Héctor on a journey through the Land of the Dead. A bit of that world is brought to the fiesta with themed music, food, and décor depicting scenes from the movie. On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, there will also be face-painting and children's activities. The Street Tacos Food Truck has added vanilla flan to its menu for a limited time.

Area decorations show scenes inspired by the film. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

"Coco" opens in U.S. theaters in time for Thanksgiving. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The trestle is decorated with themed signs promoting the film. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

During the daytime, the decorated trestle is the extent of the "celebration." Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

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 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.

Saxophonist Kenny G performed during the Eat to the Beat Concert series last Monday and Tuesday, and told the audience that he intends to return next year after his final set. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Views Around the World

Disney offers numerous tours to guests. Some are complimentary, some are rather inexpensive, and some, are VIP-level expensive. Many of the complimentary and inexpensive tours are (almost) hidden gems; in fact, there are some even I did not know about until recently.

Earlier this year, we reported on the opening of the new "Caring For Giants" tour at Disney's Animal Kingdom, allowing guests to get an up-close on-stage and backstage look at the elephants at the park. This week, I finally enjoyed this excellent, $30/person tour (with DVC, Passholder, and other discounts available) and will provide a full article about it in November. We have a few preview photos below.

But first in the Views this week, thanks to the portion of Disney Parks Blog devoted to Disney Vacation Members, I learned about and took "The Legend of Conch Flats" tour of Disney's Old Key West. This complimentary, 45-60 minute walking tour open to all guests (not just DVC Members) was excellent. It departs Papa's Den, named for famed Key West resident Ernest Hemmingway's nickname, next to the Hospitality House main lobby on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10 a.m. Advance registration is neither necessary nor required, and the tour not only includes a free exclusive Conch Flats pin, but a few other complimentary surprises that you will just have to take the tour to experience.

As usual, in the rest of our Views this week, there are lots of additional photos with bits of additional news in several of the captions. By the way, that Disney Parks Blog post mentions other tours that may be worth my/your time when looking for something to do away from the parks, shopping, eating, or other recreation of Walt Disney World Resort. More of those in future Views.

Disney's Old Key West Resort

Disney's Old Key West Resort opened in 1991, and was originally named Disney Vacation Club Resort. At the time, it was the only Disney Vacation Club property. With the opening of Disney's Vero Beach Resort in 1995, the resort was renamed to fit its theming to Old Key West. There are currently 15 DVC Resorts, including those at Walt Disney World, and one each at Disneyland, Vero Beach, Hilton Head Island, and Ko Olina, Oahu, Hawai'i.

Conch Flats is the Disney Imagineered Florida town in which Disney's Old Key West Resort is located. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Legend of Conch Flats tours are complimentary and depart on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10 a.m. next to the main lobby in Papa's Den. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

William, a long time Disney Cast Member, proved to be an excellent storyteller, mixing the history of the Florida Keys with Disney history (like the fact that Walt Disney vacationed in Key West during his famed "breakdown" mentioned in "One Man's Dream," after which he produced "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," the first full-length animated feature film). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Like traveling in the actual Florida Keys, guests at Old Key West must cross bridges to get from "island" to "island" (or take a boat to Disney Springs). This bridge's design was inspired by the original railroad bridge constructed under the direction of industrialist Henry Flagler and his Florida East Coast Railway. Flagler is known as the "father" of several Florida cities, including Miami and Palm Beach. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The lighthouse at Old Key West represents the one built in Key West which helped prevent shipwrecks (and, thereby, wrecked the economy there that depended upon it and piracy). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The flags at the DVC Ferry dock actually do have a message spelled out letter by letter in flags known to sailors. From this perspective on the land, the left side says "MEMBERS" and the right side says "WELCOME HOME;" from the water, the way guests arrive by boat, it reads "Welcome Home Members," the traditional DVC greeting. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The rafters of the General Store are filled with the sort of artifacts that may have been recovered from shipwrecks and, indeed, are said to also be inspired by those collected by Ariel in Disney's "The Little Mermaid." Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Guests that take the tour receive a complimentary pin with the logo for Conch Flats. HDR Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Not relating to the tour, but to the various social media posts we have seen about the availability of "Hairwraps" around Walt Disney World Resort lately, guests who are interested in such a service can find it at Disney's Old Key West Resort near the boat dock. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

The "Caring For Giants" tour departs from the Animal Tours check-in desk located near the entrance to Kilimanjaro Safaris in Harambe at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The tour, which departs several times daily (weather permitting) and lasts approximately an hour, includes a drive backstage around the savannah to a lookout point behind the elephant enclosure (from the perspective of the safari trucks that drive through the red clay pits). Tour guests are greeted by a Disney Animals expert and a cultural representative. As noted above, a full article about the tour will be on MousePlanet.com in November but, for now, a preview.

Each tour participant receives a name tag made from a particular recycled/renewable elephant byproduct (look carefully at the name tag and, if necessary, read it in a mirror). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The matriarch of the elephant herd can be identified by spotting her uneven tusks. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

On my recent tour, Denise, a Disney Cultural Representative from Zimbabwe, and Jake, a Disney Animals expert, shared lots of details of the lives of the elephants on the savannah and discussed how these animals serve as ambassadors for those living in the wild in Africa. They also spoke extensively about Disney's partnership with non governmental organizations in Africa working on elephant conservation projects. HDR Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

From aboard a ride on a truck on the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction, the elephant observation area can be seen beyond the elephants (here, behind young Stella, the calf). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Elsewhere on a ride on Kilimanjaro Safaris, good timing shows a hippo surface for a yawn. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The mandrills at Monkey Point were unusually active during a recent ride at Kilimanjaro Safaris. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

It turns out that the mandrills at Monkey Point at Kilimanjaro Safaris were excited to have pumpkin 🎃 to eat. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Even in the cooler (mid 60ºs) weather of October, the male lion sleeps during many of the daylight hours. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

At Gorilla Falls, one of the younger members of the family group enjoys some vegetables. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The tiger cubs recently born at Disney's Animal Kingdom are not yet on public display at Maharajah Jungle Trek, but are likely to be before year's end. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The birds in the aviary beyond the red temple at Maharajah Jungle Trek receive treats inside a carved pumpkin: worms. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Approaching six months since Pandora-The World of Avatar opened to the public, and typical standby times at Avatar-Flight of Passage still are often at or above three digits. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Merchandise selection at Windtraders in Pandora changes fairly often. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Christmas decor appears in shops around the park; the park-wide decorations will be installed very soon. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

With less than 60 days until Christmas, Disney's Animal Kingdom already has a large selection of holiday merchandise. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Some of Disney's Animal Kingdom's holiday merchandise is animal print themed. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

With Disney-Pixar's "Coco" opening in a few weeks, merchandise relating to the film is now available as well. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

"Coco" merchandise is very colorful and seems similar to the colors shown in trailers for the film so far. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Driving along Osceola Parkway from Disney's Animal Kingdom, past ESPN Wide World of Sports (and behind Disney's Hollywood Studios), construction of flyover ramps to handle the new traffic patterns coming in connection with the 2019 opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge continue. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Transportation & Ticket Center and Magic Kingdom

Construction of roadway flyovers for circulating hotel guest traffic around Magic Kingdom parking lot traffic continues along World Drive between the Magic Kingdom parking toll plaza and parking lot. A sign along northbound World Drive a bit south of this photo but approaching the Magic Kingdom toll plaza says that the traffic pattern in this area will change on November 11. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

An outpost of The Dress Shop on Cherry Tree Lane from the Marketplace Co-Op at Disney Springs has opened inside the Emporium on Main Street U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

A selection of the dresses and accessories previously only available at Disney Springs are now available in the park as well. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Even as Halloween approached this past week, new themed merchandise arrived in the Emporium. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

A futuristic (or Space) version of Pluto was available this week in the gift shop at the exit of Space Mountain. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

At Memento Mori outside The Haunted Mansion, haunted ornaments are available for the coming holiday season. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Outside Gaston's in New Fantasyland, a cast member offered kids an opportunity to shoot (plunger-tipped) arrows at a bulls eye. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


On the Living with the Land boat ride through the greenhouse, though some of the lettuce growing area is being refurbished, some of the plants continue to help celebrate Epcot's 35th Anniversary. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival continues through November 13. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Soon after television production wrapped up a couple weeks ago, topiary Mickey and his barbecue grill were returned to World Showcase Plaza. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

A monorail makes part of its circle tour of Future World in this 15 Second Exposure Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney Springs

By this past weekend, more than half of the former DisneyQuest building had been demolished to make way for the NBA Experience. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

On Monday, October 30, the skyline of Disney Springs included only a smaller portion of the former DisneyQuest building and the steel frame of the former Wolfgang Puck Grand Café, which is becoming Jaleo. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

From the farthest part of the West Side walkway (near the parking lot), demolition work at the former DisneyQuest building can be seen in the distance. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

NBA Experience concept art now decorates the walls surrounding the demolition of the DisneyQuest building. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Construction of the new Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill is underway next door to the Coca-Cola Store. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Through the construction tarps, bricks are now part of the exterior of the future Wine Bar George in The Landing neighborhood. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

It appears that the decorative chandeliers that lit the Town Center neighborhood during the holidays last year will be returning soon for this year's holidays season. 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 #34
Many animals are restless, so be patient if you would like to see them!

One of the gibbons near Kali River Rapids in Asia at Disney's Animal Kingdom climbs across one of the ropes in its habitat. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

With thanks to a Cast Member along the Disney's Animal Kingdom trails for reminding me, this week's tip expands on a theme I have written about before: you can see more at Disney Parks by (quoting Joe Rohde, Portfolio Creative Executive, Disney Imagineering) slowing down, just like covered in Tip #25 back on August 8, 2017. When it comes to seeing the animal residents of Disney's Animal Kingdom, a little patience can go a long way.

Many guests enter animal viewing areas, like those at Gorilla Falls or Maharajah Jungle Trak, or the area around Kali River Rapids in Asia where the gibbons live, and when they do not immediately see any animals, they hurry past. Well, it turns out, many of the animals are as or more restless than the theme park guests—they scurry about and move around quite often. The reward for a patient guest is the opportunity to see the animals come back into view.

While the trucks at Kilimanjaro Safaris do not make lengthy observation stops for guests along the way, lingering in the animal viewing areas when on foot often yields great observation (and photographic) opportunities. The upcoming article about the "Caring For Giants" tour will expand on this tip a bit further, so be patient and read it in November. While time is a precious commodity (and, perhaps, especially so on vacation at Walt Disney World Resort), the experiential rewards of patiently awaiting animal viewing opportunities at Disney's Animal Kingdom can be well worth the time.

Then again, your interests may be different, or your luck may be too. You could always ask nearby cast members for guidance about how long you may need to stick around for a chance to see the local residents. The animal experts on the trails can certainly tell you the times of day the animals tend to be most active because of feeding or enrichment activities.

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


This and That

…If you are looking for some Halloween-themed wallpapers for your electronic devices today, Disney Parks Blog has 17 to choose from.

…Flights of Wonder at Disney's Animal Kingdom said farewell to one of its long time Animal Expert hosts, John Scott, last week. The cast saluted him for his final bow.

Just by photographer's luck, this was John's final show. He will next be working at the Central Park Zoo in New York City. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

…For the first time in a long time, Epcot's Innoventions will welcome a new attraction—and, it seems, old fashioned, Epcot-style Disney Edutainment at that. In November, The SpectacuLAB interactive show will debut. Guests will join a group of real scientists and their "tech-savvy intern" for several experiments demonstrating scientific principles like barometric pressure, ultrasonics, acceleration, and force. The attraction is sponsored by Murata, a global designer, manufacturer, and supplier of electronic components, and is presented in collaboration with Science from Scientists, a nonprofit organization that aims to improve STEM literacy at schools.

…Disney D23: The Official Disney Fan Club celebrates the Holidays in Hollywood Studios with a special Gold Member Event on December 6. For $120/person (including a processing fee), Gold Members and their guests will enjoy a special behind-the-scenes presentation about the new "Sunset Seasons Greetings" show by Entertainment Show Director Tom Vazzana, a private dessert reception, and reserved viewing for both the Disney Movie Magic projection show and Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! nighttime spectacular. While the evening includes seasonally inspired snacks, desserts, wine, beer, specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and D23-exclusive holiday twists, the event does not include admission to the park itself. D23 Gold Members may reserve a ticket for themselves and one guest; Gold Family Members may reserve tickets for themselves and up to three guests. All guests must be at least 10 years old to participate. More information and tickets are available from D23.com.

…On November 16, 2017, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Paddlefish at Disney Springs will host its second rooftop dinner, this time, in partnership with local brewery, Crooked Can Brewing. Guests receive a Crooked Can Brewing pint glass as a souvenir. Must be 21 to attend. The price is $70.68/person (including tax, gratuity, and ticket fee). More information and tickets are available on the event's page on Eventbrite. The dinner event includes a 5-course pairing:

  • Oyster trio - shooter, mignonette, lemon & pepper
    Pairing: Mr. Tractor Kolsch Style Ale
  • Steamed clams
    Pairing: High Stepper American IPA
  • Shrimp & Chorico Gumbo
    Pairing: McSwagger's Own Amber Ale
  • Pork Two Ways - coffee dusted loin, stout braised Kurobuta belly
    Pairing: Freedom Ride Stout
  • Spiced Apple Bread Pudding
    Pairing: Domestic Bliss

…Paddlefish also will be serving up Traditional Southern Turkey on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23. Herb roasted turkey breast, cornbread stuffing, brown butter mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and pan gravy are on the menu, priced at $34/adult and $17/child. More information and reservations are available on PaddlefishRestaurant.com.

…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 31, 2017 2 / 10
Wednesday, November 1, 2017 2 / 10
Thursday, November 2, 2017 2 / 10
Friday, November 3, 2017 5 / 10
Saturday, November 4, 2017 6 / 10

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

See Disney World crowds for the next 365 days.
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Resort Events

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

2017 Resort Events

  • Star Wars Experiences – Opened December 1, 2015 (ongoing)
  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party – October 31; November 1
  • Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend – November 2–5, 2017.
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – Opened August 31 - November 13, 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) – November 19 to December 30
  • Candlelight Processional at Epcot – November 24 to December 30

2018 Resort 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 runDisney 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. Its location is being transformed to Jaleo, a restaurant featuring Spanish cuisine. A new Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill is under construction next door to the Coca-Cola Store 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, though, so far, every Disney Merchandise location we have visited, has continued to offer the 20% Passholder discount.

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 through December 9, 2017. Discounts are also available at other resorts 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!