Walt Disney World Resort Update for November 7-13, 2017

by Alan S. Dalinka, contributing writer
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Walt Disney World Resort Update for November 7-13, 2017

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Writer's note: Right on the heels of Halloween last week, Walt Disney World Resort has begun its rapid transition to the winter holidays. Around the Resort and in the Parks, Disney is recording segments for the three separate TV holiday specials to air on ABC-TV and Disney Channel between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. We will provide more details as the air dates approach, and we have a few previews in this week's Views around the World thanks to Disney's invitation to attend the taping of a Cinderella Castle performance by the boy band 98 Degrees for the ABC-TV Christmas Day Special.


Watch for filming signs in all four parks. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Filming Specials causes detours. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Julienne Hough (in the red dress in the center) may be spotted around the Resort, as she is a host of the Disney Holidays Special. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Back in the Walt Disney World Update for August 1-7, 2017 we reported on some of the highlights of this year's Holiday Season then in the planning stages. Now is the time to once again consider the Adventures by Disney tours of Walt Disney World Resort - Disney's Yuletide Fantasy and Disney's Holiday D-Lights - that we wrote about then.

Just last night, we were invited to preview some of the new holiday offerings at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The holiday offerings are welcome additions to the Park still undergoing its major makeover, with Toy Story Land due to open next summer, and Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge due to open sometime in 2019 (but after Disneyland's version opens first). And though I and many of our followers cheer for other Major League Baseball teams, we also had a chance to salute "Houston Strong" with three members of the World Series Champion Houston Astros in a celebratory parade down Main Street U.S.A. on Saturday.

I will be away from the Update next week for a family celebration. On November 10, Disney Springs starts its holidays celebrations, including the opening of this year's edition of the bigger Christmas Tree Trail. On November 13, this year's Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will conclude its long (but Hurricane Irma-interrupted) run. The (renamed for 2017) Epcot Internatonal Festival of the Holidays gets underway on November 19 (Candlelight Processional performances begin November 24). When I return to the Update on November 21, I will have details about the November 17 debut of the newest Star Tours destination at Disney's Hollywood Studios based on Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party over at Magic Kingdom, along with photos from the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail and that week's other news around the Resort.

So, with that, on with this week's Update.


News and Views

Flurry of Fun Is About to Begin at Disney's Hollywood Studios | Walt Disney World To Celebrate Mickey's Birthday | Magic Kingdom Salutes Houston Astros First World Series Title | Giovanna Martins Makes Historic Win at Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon | Epcot Concerts & Candlelight Calendar | Views around the World | One Passholder's Tip | This and That | Crowd Forecast

Flurry of Fun Is About to Begin at Disney's Hollywood Studios

The name given to this year's expanded holidays celebration at Disney's Hollywood Studios is "Flurry of Fun." Although the celebrations officially debut on Thursday, cast and passholder previews began over the weekend and, last night, we were invited to attend a media preview highlighting this winter's festivities.


Approaching Disney's Hollywood Studios, guests who have visited in past holidays note that the park's main Christmas tree is not located outside the park gates this year. Instead, the Sorcerer Mickey topiary is still in place with some additional seasonal plantings. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The park's main Christmas tree is located in Echo Lake this year. More on this below. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Flurry of Fun includes expanded holiday decor in and around the recently refurbished Echo Lake, a new finale for the For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration show, expanded and new decor along Sunset Boulevard and its new Sunset Seasons Greetings shows, and an updated edition of last year's Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Spectacular. Santa Clause will again greet guests in the Once Upon a Time shop on Sunset Boulevard until Christmas and then Santa Goofy takes over for the rest of the season. Since our Media Preview was after park hours last night and given our publication deadline, we will provide the highlights here as a photo tour along with a brief video of the finale of this year's Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! with the captions providing some of the finer details.


Holiday decorations around Echo Lake have the same kitschy style that the park's main Christmas Tree has had for many years. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The recently refurbished Echo Lake is where the park's main Christmas Tree is now located. The entire area is decorated for the holidays this year, including a Santa hat on Gertie the Dinosaur. Panoramic Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


At nightfall, the neon of the restaurants along Echo Lake compliment the new holiday lights and the traditional park Christmas Tree. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The new Santa images and other graphics on the light poles around Echo Lake are in the same style as the ornaments on the park's main Christmas Tree. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Tom Vazzana is Show Director, Walt Disney World Entertainment. He was the creative team's leader for the holiday additions to the Frozen Sing-Along and for Sunset Seasons Greetings. The team began their work on the integration of Sunset Boulevard into this year's holiday festivities back in January. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Upon entering the Hyperion Theatre to see the Frozen Sing-Along, returning guests will notice that the digital projections on the walls are now holiday themed. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


While the running time of the show remains unchanged, the show now includes an appearance on stage by Olaf for the first time. Kristoff, Princess Anna, Queen Elsa, and the Royal Historians remain a part of the show. The show also includes a more-than-generous amount of Disney "snow." Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Olaf's appearance in the show is accompanied by three songs from the new animated short film "Olaf's Frozen Adventure" which will be released to theaters to accompany Disney-Pixar's animated feature "Coco" this Thanksgiving. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Like the Santa decorations in the Echo Lake area, the same style of Santa decoration now adorns the Sunset Ranch Market (quick-service restaurant seating area) on Sunset Boulevard. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The newly-installed digital billboard on Sunset Boulevard displays holiday greetings during the day and when not being used for Sunset Seasons Greetings shows. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The former billboard that advertised Fantasmic! on Sunset Boulevard has been replaced with a digital billboard that reproduces the old sign when not being used for Sunset Seasons Greetings shows. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Sunset Seasons Greetings shows make use of digital projection mapping technology to project images on The Hollywood Tower Hotel. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


New lighting has been installed along Sunset Boulevard, including lighting in the stars that hang along the street. All of the new lighting is integrated into the Sunset Seasons Greetings shows, along with the new digital billboards. Disney "snow" is part of the show all along the street too. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


There are four different versions of the Sunset Seasons Greetings show that play in order repeatedly during evening hours in the park. In one version, The Hollywood Tower Hotel becomes The Hollywood Toy Hotel. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Another version of the Sunset Seasons Greeting show includes The Muppets. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Spectacular returns to the park again this year and includes more pyrotechnics and additional animation. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The show uses digital projection mapping to tell the tale of the search for Santa by the team from Prep & Landing with appearances by lots of other Disney characters. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Without a very wideangle lens capable of taking in at least 180° field of view, it is not possible to record all of the pyrotechnics, digital projections, lasers, and snow effects at the same time. Video by Alan S. Dalinka


After Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! there is plenty of Disney "snow" on Hollywood Boulevard and the projected Christmas Tree remains on the Chinese Theatre facade. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


If you are looking for Disney "snow" in Florida this winter, Disney's Hollywood Studios is the park to visit. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


An assortment of this year's holiday merchandise is available at the park. Several items are specifically themed to the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! show. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Quite a few new and returning holiday themed foods and beverages are available this year in the park. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney Parks Blog posted the Foodie Guide to Flurry of Fun at Disney's Hollywood Studios last week, detailing many of the holiday themed items available this year. It also provides a recap of the season's Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party that is offered on select dates from November 9 through December 31 ($79/adults and $45/child ages 3-9 until December 15; after December 15: $89/adult and $49/child including tax and gratuity). More information and reservations online or by calling (407) WDW-DINE.

Walt Disney World To Celebrate Mickey's Birthday

Just as Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix reported yesterday in Disneyland Resort Update for November 6 - November 12, 2017, the Walt Disney Company is marking Mickey Mouse's upcoming birthday with a series of appearances around the globe this month, surprising fans in eight locations with an unexpected visit. The world tour wraps up on November 15, when the main mouse pays a visit to Good Morning America. You can follow the antics on the official Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as by tracking the hash tag #HappyBirthdayMickey


Walt Disney World guests will celebrate Mickey's birthday on November 18 with a free button. Photo © Disney.

Mickey's birthday is celebrated on Saturday, November 18, the anniversary of the release of Mickey's debut in Steamboat Willie. Walt Disney World Resort will celebrate in Magic Kingdom with a special "Happy Birthday" version of the Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! street party, the Cosmic Dance Party in Tomorrowland, and performances by the Dapper Dans. All four theme parks will have special birthday photo props and will give out commemorative Happy Birthday, Mickey! buttons that day. Of course, there will also be special merchandise and even a Sorcerer Mickey Cake.

Magic Kingdom Salutes Houston Astros First World Series Title

On Saturday, Houston Astros players George Springer, Carlos Correa, and Jose Altuve, rode down Magic Kingdom's Main Street U.S.A. with Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto, in a special parade saluting the Astros first ever World Series Championship in the team's 56-year history. The Astros won the Series four games to three over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday in Los Angeles.


Although already prepared for this year's holidays festivities, Main Street U.S.A. was also decorated to greet players from the World Series Champion Houston Astros. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Houston Astros players George Springer, Carlos Correa, and Jose Altuve rode down Main Street U.S.A. aboard a float with Mickey and his pals. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


A confetti blast saluted the World Series Champion Houston Astros Players that got to "Go to Disney World." Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Video by Alan S. Dalinka

The Series victory was a bright spot for the city of Houston, not only because of its long wait for a championship, but because of the recent devestation and flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. Many Houston fans were on hand around Magic Kingdom, including at least one I heard claim that he had spent the night driving over 900 miles from Houston to Walt Disney World. Springer, Correa, and Altuve met with and signed autographs for fans around the Central Plaza (hub) area, and posed for media photos with Mickey and his pals. Of course, the parade is just the latest in Disney Parks' tradition dating back to 1987, where sports champions celebrate by "Going to Disney World!"


Houston Astros players Carlos Correa, George Springer, and Jose Altuve spent time chatting with and signing autographs for fans around the Central Plaza before and after meeting members of the media. Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


Mickey and his pals posed for photos with Houston Astros players. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Donald shows his displeasure at being asked to step out of the photo so that the players could be photographed with just Mickey. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Mickey and his pals were also happy to pose for me as they wrapped up their part in celebrating the Houston Astros and their championship. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Giovanna Martins Makes Historic Win at Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Giovanna Martins of Salto, Brazil made history on Sunday as the first ever woman to be the overall winner of any runDisney race. She completed the 2017 Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon with a time of 1:19:16, six seconds ahead of Paul Graham of Whitehaven, UK. Joseph Dreher of Melbourne, FL was third.


The winner of the Wine & Dine Half Marathon made runDisney history. Photo © Disney.

Martins is believed to be the first woman ever to be the overall winner of a half marathon race of more than 10,000 male and female runners. "To my knowledge, this is the first time a female runner has won a major half marathon race that included both male and female runners," said race director Jon Hughes. "What I think is amazing is that in the 80s, the race field was only 15% women. Fast forward to today and our race participants are nearly 65% female. It’s exciting to see the growth of female participation, and to see women becoming more competitive and making gains in the industry."

Martins also won the women's division of last year's Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. She is the first female runner to win four runDisney races at Walt Disney World, having previously also won the women's division of the Walt Disney World Marathon in 2015 and 2017.


The Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend also included shorter races, like the Disney Fall Feast 5K which finished in the parking lot of Disney's Animal Kingdom. 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.

Views Around the World

We have something to share from all four Theme Parks and Disney Springs this week. As usual, there are bits of additional news in several of the captions.

Magic Kingdom


The Magic Kingdom is ready to welcome the return of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party on select nights starting November 9. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The Main Street Station floral display is ready for the holidays. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The Jingle Cruise will return this holiday season in Adventureland. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Candy Cane Garden next to City Hall will again be a meet-and-greet area this year. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Magic Kingdom's central Christmas Tree is located in Town Square. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Construction scrims have been removed from the westernmost part of the Emporium revealing its new appearance. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The exterior of the Hall of Champions is being rethemed to the House of Magic, a throwback to a previous tenant on Main Street U.S.A. (additional changes here are expected in the not-too-distant future). Hall of Champions has moved one door north. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Splash Mountain refurbishment appears to be nearing its conclusion. My Disney Experience says the attraction is due to return "mid-November." Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Mickey and Minnie again wear their parade costumes in the Disney Festival of Fantasy parade. In a recent Update, we saw them wearing their more traditional costumes. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


This weekend, the band 98 Degrees recorded their appearance in the Disney Holidays Special that will air on ABC-TV on Christmas Day. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Julianne Hough (two-time professional champion on ABC-TV's Dancing with the Stars, among her other credits) is one of the hosts of this year's Disney Holidays Special that will air on ABC-TV. In preparing to record her introduction, she waved to the crowd in front of Cinderella Castle. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Animal Kingdom


A rhino rests very close to the road traveled by the Kilimanjaro Safaris trucks. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Meanwhile, nearby, the lions do what they usually do most of the day: they sleep. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


From atop Expedition Everest, yet another construction crane sometimes appears in the skyline between Disney's Coronado Resort (approximately the middle of the photo) and The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Epcot


The margarita kiosk at Mexico pavilion is expected to open very soon. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The Disney Vacation Club Members Lounge now has new floors and a (non-shedding) new carpet. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The third Annual Passholder button (shown at right) is now available at the Festival Center to Passholders who present their Card along with a Photo ID. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Hollywood Studios


The directional sign outside Walt Disney Presents has been updated to reflect the new name of the attraction. The sign above the attraction now announces the extended preview of Disney-Pixar's "Coco" playing in the Walt Disney Theater inside. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The area around The Walt Disney Theater is now decorated to promote Disney-Pixar's "Coco," opening in U.S. Theaters in time for Thanksgiving. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Art inspired by and reflected in the movie is displayed in the lobby of The Walt Disney Theater. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Outside Tatooine Traders, large trees have recently been planted between the building and the new Grand Avenue area. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Where Grand Avenue ends, the presumed entrance to the future Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land continues to take shape. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Beyond the construction walls, the future Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge continues to rise. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Behind the exit of Muppet-Vision 3D, cranes continue working on one of the attraction buildings in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Even more work has started rising above the construction walls next to Mamma Melrose. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


It is the March of the First Order with Christmas decor (not a new Star Wars Holiday Special). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney Springs


The former DisneyQuest building has been completely demolished to make way for construction of the NBA Experience. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Last week, Patina Restaurant Group announced the names of the new Italian Restaurants adjoining The Edison and now additional signs are on the area's construction walls. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Based on the location of the sign for Enzo's Hideaway, it appears that its entrance will be on the south side of the bridge to The Landing neighborhood, from the stairs adjacent to STK Orlando. 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 #35
Appreciate digital projection mapping technology!


Last December, Spaceship Earth was briefly transformed by digital projection mapping technology into the "fully operational" Death Star for the Disney Parks Blog Meet-up to promote the opening of Rogue One-A Star Wars Story. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Over the past year, as the amount of time I spend covering the Walt Disney World Resort for MousePlanet has increased, I have heard and read a good deal of grumbling about Disney's increasing use of digital projection mapping technology in the Parks. The grumbling I have heard has not risen to the level of outrage, but with this month's debut of Sunset Season's Greetings at Disney's Hollywood Studios and its use of digital projection mapping to alter the look of The Hollywood Tower Hotel (also known as the Tower of Terror), it is bound to persist.

For those that do not know what digital projection mapping technology is, simply explained, it is a method for projecting images on a surface in a precise and predictable way notwithstanding known irregularities in the projection surface (like buildings or objects that are not flat and smooth like a screen). The major examples of where we have seen it used around Walt Disney World in the past year are: at Magic Kingdom's Cinderella Castle during the Happily Ever After fireworks show, Once Upon a Time show, and the nighttime stage shows during the holiday parties; and at Disney's Hollywood Studios on the Chinese Theatre for the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks show, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! show, and the Disney Movie Magic show. Last December, we even saw it used at the one-night-only event where Epcot's Spaceship Earth was transformed into the Death Star to promote Rogue One-A Star Wars Story. And now, we add The Hollywood Tower Hotel (also known as the Tower of Terror) to the list with the debut of Sunset Seasons Greetings.

When I have had opportunities to speak with Disney Imagineers and members of Disney's Creative Entertainment team, they consistently tell me that they seek out technologies (and, sometimes, develop them) that best tell the stories that they are trying to tell. Most often, they like to couch it in terms of "Disney Magic," but when they are willing to talk about show and attraction development and the technologies used to create and present them, they generally emphasize their desire that the technology stay out of the way of the story.

To my eyes, digital projection mapping technology does just that. It allows the Disney storytellers to tell their stories in unique places, the technology usually stays out of the way of the stories, and it does not permanently alter the places where those stories are told.

A great deal of ink (digital and actual) is expended nearly every time something is removed from the Parks. Even more is expended when beloved icons are "changed" for some Park celebrations - most notably, the Cinderella Castle Cake for Magic Kingdom and the Resort's 25th Anniversary, and the Millenium Celebration (and, later, the 100 Years of Magic Celebration) with its 2000 Wand (later changed to "Epcot") towering over Spaceship Earth.


Before digital projection mapping, when the parks decided to change the look of an icon like Cinderella Castle, the physical change was visible day and night, and it persisted for many months. Vintage November 1996 Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

So, my tip as this year's Sunset Seasons Greetings gets underway is to remember that the digital projection mapping technology allows guests to enjoy the sight of The Hollywood Tower Hotel in its usual way when it is not temporarily being used to tell another story. I am not sure about your mileage on this one, but objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear.

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

 

This and That

…While not yet roaming the tiger enclosure viewable by guests at Maharajah Jungle Trek at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney Parks Blog released new photos this week of the two tiger cubs, now named Jeda and Anala, born earlier this year at the park.

 

Here’s a look at the Sumatran tiger cubs, Jeda and Anala, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

A post shared by Disney Parks Blog (@disneyparksblog) on

 

…This past week, I was invited to meet Paul Nolan and John Cooke, Founders and Partners at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant celebrating their 12th year at (what is now) Disney Springs, and to sample some of the restaurant's current food, beverage, and entertainment offerings. Raglan Road also shared with us a preview of its November-December newsletter, the highlights of which we are allowed to share with you:


Paul Nolan and John Cooke are the Founders and Partners at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

  • For locals (or, perhaps, even for folks that are thinking of becoming locals), this Thursday, November 9, Raglan Road is hosting a job fair from noon to 5 p.m. It is hiring for a variety of positions including: line cook, prep cook, stewards, hosts, food runners, bartenders, barbacks, cocktail servers and retail associates. Next door (but also run by the Raglan Road partners), Cookes of Dublin will interview for positions that include cashier, runner and line cook.
     
  • Raglan Road offers a special holiday menu on both Thanksgiving and Christmas days this year. For $27.95/adult, $14/child, your meal includes butter and herb roasted turkey breast on mashed potatoes with apple sage and sweet onion stuffing, smoked bacon, Brussels sprouts, duck-fat roasted potatoes, cranberry and plum chutney served with traditional gravy. The full Raglan Road menu will also be available both days, along with live music and dance performances.
     
  • For Black Friday through Cyber Monday, November 24-27, folks that purchase a $100 (or more) Raglan Road gift card, get an extra 25% cash value added to the cards (so, purchase a $125 gift card for $100, a $250 card for $200, and so forth).
     
  • The Grand Room at Raglan Road has installed a state-of-the-art acoustic system to further enhance the sound of its "daily mix of Celtic bluegrass, folk, ballads and funky roots beats." Weekday live entertainment begins at 4 p.m. On the weekends, during brunch, live entertainment begins as early as 11 a.m. "The quality of the audio is greatly enhanced and makes conversation easier during brunch and dinner," says Raglan Road partner Paul Nolan.


Food at Raglan Road. Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


Entertainment at Raglan Road. Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

…And, while we are not sure when The Edison at Disney Springs will finally open its doors—it tweeted a graphic this weekend that said it was opening January 1, 2018, and then it deleted that tweet—The Edison is holding a Job Fair this week: today (11/7), Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day at Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs (which is also run by Patina Restaurant Group); and tomorrow (11/8) at Delta Hotels Orlando LBV, 12490 S. Apopka Vineland Road (aka FL 535) - Imperial Room from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The post on its Facebook page says "Dress professionally. Pen & Resume a must!" Search Patina Restaurant Group Job listings at this website.

…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

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

Date Overall
Tuesday, November 7, 2017 5 / 10
Wednesday, November 8, 2017 5 / 10
Thursday, November 9, 2017 5 / 10
Friday, November 10, 2017 6 / 10
Saturday, November 11, 2017 7 / 10

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Resort Events

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

2017 Resort Events

  • Star Wars Experiences – Opened December 1, 2015 (ongoing)
  • 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.

Epcot

  • 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.

Resorts

  • Caribbean Beach – Centertown, the resort's marketplace, will be expanded with new waterfront dining and retail shopping areas. The project is expected to be completed 2019-20. Due to the work, the following food service and retail locations are closed:
    • Old Port Royale Food Court
    • Shutters at Old Port Royale
    • Banana Cabana Pool Bar
    • Calypso Trading Post
  • Coronado Springs – A new 15-story tower overlooking Lago Dorado, the resort's central lake, will add 500 rooms featuring suites and concierge level services, and a rooftop dining facility that will include panoramic views of nighttime fireworks shows at the Theme Parks. The resort also plans to refurbish current resort rooms and transform some of its landscape. The project is expected to be completed 2019-20.

Current Discounts & Promotions

Note: MousePlanet does not edit past Updates to reflect price increases; for up-to-date prices, check the most recent Walt Disney World Resort Update. For your convenience, we have grouped the discount offers based on the intended audience. Check out the category that best matches you, and pick the offer that works best for you. And keep those tips coming—let us know if you find a better or different offer, so we can share it with other readers.


Travel Discounts for Everyone

Memory Maker pre-arrival discount

Disney's PhotoPass service provides a discount on Disney Memory Maker pre-arrival packages. For $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

NOTE: ONLY SOME DISCOUNTS FOR THE 45th ANNIVERSARY OF WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT HAVE BEEN EXTENDED THROUGH DECEMBER 30, 2017. OTHER DISCOUNTS AND BENEFITS HAVE EXPIRED OR CHANGED AS OF OCTOBER 1.

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)

Epcot:

  • Biergarten Restaurant (see restrictions)
  • Coral Reef (lunch only)
  • Le Cellier (lunch only)
  • Rose & Crown Dining Room (lunch only)

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex:

  • ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill

10 percent off merchandise

Disney Visa cardholders receive 10 percent off at participating Disney-owned retail location when you spend a minimum of $50 and pay with a Disney's Visa Card and/or Disney Rewards Redemption Card (be sure to request the discount). Read all of the restrictions on the Disney Visa website.

Cardholders also receive 10% off select merchandise purchases of $50 or more at the following Walt Disney World® Resort Operating Participant merchandise locations including Basin®, Basin White®, Chapel Hats, Good Fortune Gifts and House of Good Fortune, kidsHeritage and Marrakesh Emporium Arts & Crafts.


15 percent off all Disney spa and salon services

Disney Visa cardholders receive 15 percent off the non-discounted price of any salon treatment valued at $45 or greater or any 50-minute or longer spa service most days at the spas and salons at Walt Disney World Resort listed below:

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

  • Senses – A Disney Spa
  • Ivy Trellis Salon

Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

  • Senses – A Disney Spa

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge and Villas

  • Zahanati Massage & Fitness Center

Disney's Contemporary Resort

  • Olympiad Fitness Center

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

  • La Vida Health Club
  • Casa de Belleza Salon

Disney's Wilderness Lodge

  • Sturdy Branches Health Club

Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts

  • Ship Shape Massage Salon Fitness

10% off select recreation experiences

Disney Visa cardholders receive 15 percent off the non-discounted price of the recreation experiences listed below:

  • Carriage Rides at Disney's Port Orleans Resort and Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
  • Horseback Trail Rides at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

Free character photo at a private meet and greet location at Epcot

Present your Disney's Premier Visa Card or Disney Rewards Visa Card for access to a private character meet and greet at Epcot for the cardholder and up to five guests. The event is hosted daily from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Imagination Pavilion at Epcot (enter near the jumping fountains near the exit to the Magic Eye Theater). You'll receive one free character photo download per day.

Travel Discounts for Military Personnel

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!