Walt Disney World Resort Update for December 27, 2017 - January 2, 2018

by Alan S. Dalinka, contributing writer
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Walt Disney World Resort Update for December 26, 2017 – January 2, 2018

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Sadly, we note the passing of longtime Magic Kingdom cast member, "Mayor Weaver" of Main Street U.S.A. His vibrant presence will be missed. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Writer's note: Happy New Year! Even as 2017 draws to a close, we have a little bit of news with the quiet re-opening of The Hall of Presidents at Magic Kingdom and the quiet opening of Pizza Ponte at Disney Springs, the quick service portion of the Patina Restaurant Group's complex (which we toured in time for last week's Update) in the Landing neighborhood that will include the New Year's Eve ticketed grand opening of The Edison followed by the other restaurant concepts early in 2018.

But first, we kick things off with our annual look at the entertainment and some of the ways to spend the busy New Year's Eve at the parks. Following the "new" news, we will also take a quick look back at the biggest news of 2017 and a look ahead at 2018 and beyond. Rather than our usual "Views" section, we will mix the photos in with the News.

Everyone: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…


News and Views

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? | The Hall of Presidents Quietly Reopens | Pizza Ponte is Now Open | A Quick Look Back at 2017 and Ahead | Epcot Disney on Broadway Concert & Candlelight Processional Narrators Calendar | One Passholder's Tips: Rewind | This and That | Crowd Forecast

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

Historically, this is the busiest time of the year at the Walt Disney World Resort. The Crowd Forecast from TouringPlans is for the largest crowds (10 out of 10). So if (unlike me), you do not plan to be at Walt Disney World Resort to ring in 2018, you can virtually participate thanks to a video stream from Disney Parks Blog on YouTube.


Tune in to Disney Parks Blog's live stream from Walt Disney World Resort on New Year's Eve. Video © Disney.

Like we said last year at this time, the tiered Annual Passports and ticket pricing Disney implemented, plus certain currency and economic disadvantages for visitors from South America, United Kingdom, and Europe, does seem to put an ever-so-slight damper on the peak season's crowd levels which is, after all, what Disney claimed was being sought when it announced the tiers. Now, to be sure and just like last year, Magic Kingdom was still very busy on Christmas Day: backups were reported on World Drive from the Toll Plaza toward US 192 at one point, and Disney's Guest Relations twitter account (@WDWToday) announced that Magic Kingdom was not admitting new guests from 12:30 p.m. until 1:20 p.m.

The other three parks operated normally all day. Like last year, I visited a very pleasant Epcot on Christmas Day afternoon around 4 p.m., and there was ample parking available. Standby times were a bit higher than I saw last year, and the World Showcase promenade felt a bit more crowded in spots than last year, but some of the Holiday Kitchens had minimal or no lines; I was able to walk up to the Shanghai Holiday Kitchen and place my order after waiting for just one family ahead of me at 5:30 p.m. As I drove to Epcot, I drove past the Magic Kingdom Toll Plaza and saw cars were being admitted to its main parking lot.


Even on Christmas Day afternoon, there was breathing room on the World Showcase Promenade at Epcot. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


By Christmas Day, the roof and signage that had been removed from outside Test Track ahead of Hurricane Irma was finally replaced. On New Year's Eve, it is not uncommon for the standby time here to approach or exceed 300 minutes. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


As the sun set on Christmas Day, crowd levels at Epcot declined with the slightly cooler temperature. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Whether crowd levels this week, and especially New Year's Eve, again reach their historic peaks, we do not know for certain. Only Platinum and Platinum Plus Passholders can visit all four parks this week (and Floridians with the "Epcot After Four" pass are not blocked either). Gold, Silver, and Weekday Select Passholders remain blocked out until next Wednesday, January 3, 2018. As always, our best advice at this time of year is still to remain patient, especially with other guests, and most of all with the Cast Members who are working while you are celebrating a holiday.

As we highlight the New Year's festivities scheduled for each of the parks below, I will provide a few of the strategies I have developed and employed when visiting Walt Disney World all but one December 30-31 since 2002 (of course, your mileage may vary). Remember, a few "people-eater" attractions have closed around the Resort (Universe of Energy at Epcot; Lights! Motors! Action! at Disney's Hollywood Studios, for example) since last year, so it is possible the parks will "feel" more crowded even without any attendance increases over past years.

As we said last week, if riding certain rides with the shortest waits possible is important to you and your fellow visitors, remember to use your Disney FastPass+ reservations. All park guests with valid admission media can book up to three (with category limitations at Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and in Pandora–The World of Avatar in Disney's Animal Kingdom) in advance, so it is a good idea to buy your tickets and set up your My Disney Experience account ahead of your visit. As we have observed numerous times throughout 2017, there is no need to make your first major wait of the day the wait in line at the ticket booths at TTC or the park gates!


On the Saturday afternoon before Christmas Day, all of the ticket booths at Disney's Animal Kingdom were open and crowded. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

And, while we talk about attractions that excel in "people-eating" without the need of a FastPass+ reservation, when it comes to guests actually eating, if you do not have table service reservations, don't forget about the new mobile order feature of the My Disney Experience App. It still cannot cater to every dietary need and does not yet accept dining plan credits, but for those paying with a credit card and ordering from the regular menus, it will save you from waiting in a queue to place your quick service food order.

Magic Kingdom – December 30 & 31

Magic Kingdom celebrates the New Year both on December 30 and 31 with 11:50 p.m. showings each night of "Fantasy in the Sky" fireworks and a countdown to midnight. For those with earlier bedtimes, Magic Kingdom also does those shows at 6:30 p.m. Note that the "Fantasy in the Sky" fireworks show includes perimeter fireworks that require some roads around the Magic Kingdom to close, and the launch site in the Seven Seas Lagoon that mirrors the one behind the park requires that some transportation in and around the Seven Seas Lagoon will be suspended from time to time.

Much of the entertainment offered during this year's Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is offered both nights as well. Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade steps off at noon and 3:30 p.m. Frozen's Queen Elsa will grant "A Frozen Holiday Wish" at Cinderella Castle at 6 p.m. Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration takes the castle stage at 8 p.m., 9 p.m., and 10 p.m. DJs entertain at dance parties in Frontierland and Tomorrowland Stage in between other scheduled entertainment.


For the rest of the year, Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade replaces the Festival of Fantasy as the afternoon parade at Magic Kingdom. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Magic Kingdom is scheduled to remain open until 1 a.m. on both nights. Extra Magic Hours on the morning of December 30 open the park gates to Resort guests at 7 a.m., extend the operating day for Resort guests to 3 a.m. on the morning of December 31, and then open the gates again at 7 a.m. on December 31. Highlights both days and nights include:

  • Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire (with Holiday Ending) – five showings
  • A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas! – six showings
  • Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade at Noon and 3:30 p.m.
  • A Frozen Holiday Wish at 6 p.m.
  • Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration at 8 p.m., 9 p.m., and 10 p.m.
  • Once Upon a Time (Castle projection show) at 7:15 p.m. and 12:45 a.m.
  • “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks at 6:30 p.m. and 11:50 p.m.

I have visited Magic Kingdom on December 30 nearly every year since 2002 to enjoy the slightly smaller crowds and to view the "Fantasy in the Sky" fireworks with the midnight countdown. As a Resort guest, I have enjoyed the extra-late (super-early) Extra Magic Hours (which in some years stretched all the way to 4 a.m.) on many December 31 mornings, riding the "mountains" (except Splash because December nights can be "Florida cold" and, sometimes, actually cold), and the other classics and E-Tickets with increasingly minimal waits as the park's Extra Magic Hours closing approached.


Stitch's Great Escape has reopened for a limited time, and for limited hours, to help absorb some of the peak Magic Kingdom crowds. Its future operation is unknown. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

To date, I have avoided Magic Kingdom during New Year's Eve itself. Aside from the in-park crowds, my main concern has been just how long it could take Disney Transport (also known as the bus) to get me back to my resort when everyone departs the park (tens of thousands) at the same time. Perhaps, if I were to stay at Bay Lake Tower or the Contemporary and I could walk back to the resort, I would reconsider Magic Kingdom on New Year's Eve. In addition to whatever FastPass+ reservations I would make (as long in advance as permitted), attractions that may help fill the day without long queues given their high capacity and turnover include:

  • Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover
  • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Muppets Present: Great Moments...
  • Hall of Presidents
  • Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room
  • Swiss Family Treehouse
  • Country Bear Jamboree
  • Mickey's PhilharMagic

Epcot – December 31

Epcot is scheduled to be open from 8 a.m. unti 1 a.m. While the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays entertainment around Epcot, including Candlelight Processional at the American Garden Theatre, has its final performances on December 30, on December 31, DJ dance parties take over many of the entertainment venues around the park, including the Future World Fountain Stage and the American Garden Theatre. This year, the "Silent Groove" dance party (where you listen with your headphones) will be located at Future World Center.


Storytellers, like Father Christmas at the U.K. pavilion, will complete their celebration of the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays on December 30. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The Future World Fountain Stage will remain home to Joyful! through December 30, as their post-Christmas show focuses on the celebration of Kwanzaa. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

A ticketed New Year's Eve Buffet Dinner is available in World Showplace. For information and reservations visit disneyworld.com/holidays or call (407)WDW-DINE.

The IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth fireworks show is performed twice on New Year's Eve, each show with a different ending. The early showing, this year at 6:30 p.m., usually includes the final showing of the holiday finale ("Let There Be Peace on Earth") for the season, though the My Disney Experience App and Disney Parks Blog do not confirm that as of publication. The 11:40 p.m. performance usually does not include the holiday finale, but, instead is immediately followed by fireworks launched from behind the pavilions of World Showcase saluting New Years already celebrated around the world and then a countdown to the New Year (in past years begun with "...and now it's our turn!").

Epcot has most often been my park of choice to ring in the New Year. Epcot's pathways are nearly all broad (with the most notable exception, the choke-point in front of the Mexico pavilion which now also features the new margarita stand). There are numerous places to breathe in Future World and along much of the World Showcase Promenade. You can even be fairly isolated from the hubbub of the New Year's Eve crowd for a few moments if you are looking for that sort of thing. The less-visited nooks and crannies of the park tend to remain quiet: try the museums at Morocco, Japan, and China; the Stave Church at Norway; and more.


Inside the Mexico pavilion, the "Remember Me" exhibit has been further updated to include two windows featuring scenes inspired by Disney-Pixar's "Coco." Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Though hard to photograph without seeing reflections of other objects in the room on the glass, the new windows featuring scenes inspired by Disney-Pixar's "Coco" include some of the "ghosts" from the Land of the Dead depicted in the film (and Mexican culture). HDR Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

On New Year's Eve, backstage paths are often opened to help with crowd flow from the World Showcase toward the main exit—in the past, they have gone from the gate between China and Norway to Test Track on the East, and from World Showplace to Imagination on the West. If you have never been backstage, it can be an interesting, un-themed look at Epcot (though, scrubbed and spruced up even more than you see on a backstage tour, sort of like folks do when having company visit their homes at this time of year).

In any event, in addition to whatever FastPass+ reservations you may make (usually, pretty far in advance), you do not have to spend New Year's Eve waiting in lines and, generally,can still get a full day's entertainment at Epcot. Although it is theoretically possible for the park to reach the point where its gates will close, its capacity is so large that I have never been unable to park hop over to Epcot (after first visiting another park) or even to re-enter the park after visiting Disney's BoardWalk or Yacht & Beach Club Resorts for dinner on New Year's Eve. Some of the high-capacity options are:

  • Future World
    • Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable - the movie at Land Pavilion
    • Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival at Imagination Pavilion
  • World Showcase
    • Circlevision 360º films at Canada and China
    • Multi-screen film at France
    • The American Adventure


The Circlevision theaters are a great place to enjoy some entertainment on busy days in the parks. There has not yet been an announcement of when the new "seamless" show will debut at the China pavilion. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

It is even possible to select a good New Year's Eve fireworks viewing location an hour or even less before midnight, especially for a usually solo visitor like me. Pro tip: when the torches around the World Showcase Lagoon are lit (which on most nights is a half hour before Illuminations), see which way their flames are pointing and select a location along the shore away from where they point. The regular Illuminations fireworks can generate a lot of smoke that will obstruct some of your view; the holiday finale generates even more. The final display as the New Year begins brings to mind the scene with Tommy Lee Jones and Anne Heche in the climactic eruption scene in the 1997 movie Volcano. If the smoke is not blowing toward the southern shore of World Showcase Lagoon, you can pick a spot that also has a view of Magic Kingdom's fireworks off in the distance to the north; on the other side of the lagoon, there are many spots where you can also see fireworks over at Disney's Hollywood Studios to the south.

For me, and lots of other folks, another prime appeal of spending New Year's Eve at Epcot is the easy ability to walk back to one of the Epcot Resorts through the International Gateway ("Epcot's Backdoor"); Disney's BoardWalk Resort, Disney's Yacht & Beach Clubs, and the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin are all within a reasonable walk. As a DVC Member, I have spent many New Years at Disney's Beach Club Villas (which is the closest resort to Epcot) and at Disney's BoardWalk Villas (which is only a slightly longer walk). Disney's Friendship boats also operate between the International Gateway and those resorts, even after the fireworks, but boat capacity is rather limited.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios – December 31

Like last year, because of the ongoing construction of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge (opening in 2019) and Toy Story Land (opening Summer 2018), Disney's smallest Florida theme park's public areas and operating attractions are limited. Add to that, this year's closure of The Great Movie Ride for the ongoing construction of Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway (opening unknown), and the park feels smaller still as 2017 comes to a close. Nevertheless, it may still be possible to ring in the New Year there.

Beginning at 7 p.m., there will be a DJ dance party in front of the Chinese Theatre, including special projections. The DJ dance party will pause for a showing of the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! nighttime spectacular at 8 p.m. Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular will be shown at midnight. There are also two scheduled showings of Fantasmic!, at 7 and 9:00 p.m., and Sunset Seasons Greetings projection show is scheduled to run from 6 until 10 p.m.

Before the closing of Streets of America, I visited the Studios on New Year's Eve quite a few times. There were many high-capacity places to spend the day. In past years, I was also a very regular attendee at showings of The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special. Unfortunately, that show did not return last year and will not return this year. The huge stadium for Lights! Motors! Action! Extreme Stunt Show was demolished last year to make way for construction of new lands, and we have already reached the second anniversary of the end of the run of the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights.

The new Grand Avenue area of the park may allow for a bit of additional breathing room this year over last, but aside from its small BaseLine Tap House, it does not offer activities to fill your day. Of course, there are still a number of places around the park to find entertainment without waiting in lines all day:

  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
  • Beauty & The Beast Live on Stage
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid
  • Star Wars: Path of the Jedi (movie)
  • Star Wars Launch Bay (movie and props display)
  • Disney Junior - Live on Stage! (if you are willing to sit on the floor)

And, certainly, do not forget to check out some of the many performances of the Citizens of Hollywood on Sunset or Hollywood Boulevards. These talented actors and improvisers help give the park some much needed character, especially now as it continues its years-long transformation into its next form.

Also, on the up-side of a New Year's Eve visit to this park, it is possible to walk to the Epcot Resorts after the park closes—you could even walk all the way to Epcot's back door before closing if you want. The path that runs along the waterway is marked and lit. Disney's BoardWalk Villas are the closest to the park, followed by the Swan and Dolphin. The same Friendship Boats that serve Epcot and its resorts also make their way to this park.

Disney's Animal Kingdom – No New Year's Celebrations Scheduled

Although Disney's Animal Kingdom was open late throughout the summer months following the opening of Pandora–The World of Avatar, and it now offers nighttime outdoor arena entertainment in the Rivers of Light show, the park still tends to close earlier than the other parks. Likely for the sake of its animal inhabitants, on New Year's Eve the park is scheduled to close at 9 p.m.

On New Year's Eve, Rivers of Light is scheduled at 7:15 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. Tree of Life "Awakenings," begin at 6:15 p.m. Nighttime safaris likely will run until park closing, but if you decide to visit the park on New Year's Eve, be sure to check the My Disney Experience App and get a times guide and park map to confirm what hours the shows and attractions you want to visit are operating.


On nighttime versions of Kilimanjaro Safaris, the lions tend to be more active than they are by day. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

With no resorts directly connected to the park by walkways—not even the namesake Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge—remember that transportation will be required to park hop. With its earlier closing time, this park also is probably the best option for families that do not plan to ring in the New Year in a park at all, though the continued popularity of Pandora–The World of Avatar could keep the park busy.


The attractions in Pandora–The World of Avatar, remain popular. On Saturday, the standby line for the Na'vi River Journey, for example, was 150 minutes at the time of this photo. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


With a FastPass+ reservation, riding the Na'vi River Journey typically involves a wait time of no more than five minutes. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

In any event, there are a number of high capacity attractions that often do not require a FastPass+ reservation to experience:

  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Flights of Wonder*
  • Finding Nemo: The Musical
  • It's Tough to Be A Bug

*Note that the Flights of Wonder show will close forever after its final December 31 performance, so its theater may fill up with fans, family, and friends coming for one last show. The new show featuring characters from Disney-Pixar's Up is scheduled to open in the spring.


With a large seating capacity, "Finding Nemo: The Musical" can be enjoyed my many guests simultaneously, without waiting in a long standby queue. Check the Times Guide for showtimes. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Also, in addition to animal enclosures scattered throughout the park, there are two places that are often overlooked and rarely crowded where you can also view animals: Maharajah Jungle Trek in Asia is home to tigers, lion-tailed macaques, and more; Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail (formerly known as Pangani Forest Exploration Trail) in Africa is home to gorillas, zebras, meerkats, and more.


The Maharajah Jungle Trek can provide some quiet moments where guests can observe the inhabitants, even on the park's busiest days. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's BoardWalk Resort - Atlantic Dance Hall

Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney's BoardWalk Resort is hosting an adults only (21 years-and-over) New Year’s Eve party. The ticketed party includes soft pretzels, churros, and other sweet and salty snacks, along with hats and horns, a unique (but distant) view of Epcot's fireworks, and a champagne toast at midnight. Other adult beverages will be available at a cash bar. Doors open at 9:00 p.m. Guests must be 21 years or older with valid ID to enter. For reservations, call (407) WDW-DINE.

The Hall of Presidents Quietly Reopens

The latest transformation of The Hall of Presidents finally wrapped up last week and the attraction quietly reopened on December 19. We say "quietly" because, while there is a Disney Parks Blog post about the enhancements completed during the year the attraction was closed, the post was not visible on the Blog's front page as we finalized last week's Update for publication late last Monday night (nor at the time of this publication), and the usually active @DisneyParks official twitter account also did not publicize it. Of course, we did note that local Central Florida television news outlets reported the news last Monday night.

The pre-show lobby of the theater now includes additional tributes to Walt Disney, noting, like the new opening narration for the show, that it was Walt Disney's idea to honor all of the presidents of the United States in a park attraction. The new show itself makes use of new digital audio and video projection systems, and the latest in animatronic technology. An animatronic version of President Trump has been added to the show at center stage and, like his three immediate predecessors in office, the president personally recorded remarks for attraction.


Lobby displays in The Hall of Presidents emphasize Walt Disney's role in creating the attraction. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is credited as the predecessor of The Hall of Presidents. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


One of the lobby displays in The Hall of Presidents explains the process of creating the animatronic likenesses of the presidents. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Sharp observers will note that visible security has also been increased in the theater. The lip of the "orchestra pit" at the front of the stage now features a decorative yet functional row of spikes. During the performance I attended (and according to the reports of others), a uniformed Disney Security officer stood toward the back of the theater on both sides of the audience, and several security camera ("eye in the sky") domes are evident above the audience as well.


The "orchestra pit" in front of the stage is now topped with a decorative yet functional row of spikes. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


President Lincoln still plays a major role in the show at The Hall of Presidents. A new voice actor now speaks for Lincoln. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Like his immediate predecessors who are now grouped together behind President Washington, President Trump is represented by an animatronic performer that delivers a speech personally recorded by the president. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Pizza Ponte is Now Open at Disney Springs

In time for last week's Update, we toured several of Patina Restaurant Group's new concepts coming to the Landing area of Disney Springs that encompasses the former footprint of Pleasure Island's Adventurers Club and BET Soundstage (and, before that, the Neon Armadillo) Club. While our tour did not include Pizza Ponte, that quick serve location has now opened for business.


All four concepts are located within one complex at Disney Springs. Logo images courtesy Patina Restaurant Group.


Pizza Ponte is located through the first doors next to the bridge ("ponte" in Italian) in the Disney Springs' air terminal building. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Its scheduled hours are 8 a.m. until midnight daily. Its menu provides an assortment of house-baked sweet and savory Italian pastries, handmade sandwiches, and Sicilian-style pizza by the slice. Its beverages include traditional Coca-Cola fountain products, as well as Italian beer, wine, and other non-alcoholic beverages.


Pizza Ponte's menu provides an assortment of bakery items, sandwiches, pizzas, and beverages. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Pizza Ponte has a small indoor seating area and additional seating outside. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


House-baked Italian pastries are displayed in glass cases and ready to be purchased (and eaten). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Several Italian sandwiches are displayed in glass cases and ready to be purchased. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Several Sicilian and Roman-style pizzas are also available. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The remaining restaurants in the complex are expected to open soon, starting with a ticketed grand opening party at The Edison on New Year's Eve. We will pass along opening information about Maria & Enzo's Ristorante and Enzo's Hideaway Tunnel Bar as soon as it is available.


Construction walls were no longer blocking the entrance to The Edison this past weekend, ahead of its expected opening on New Year's Eve. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

A Quick Look Back at 2017 and Ahead

It has been a very busy year around the Walt Disney World Resort. As folks do at the end of a year, we also took a look back at all of the Walt Disney World Updates published in 2017, and came up with quite a list of the bigger stories we covered and some of the fun stuff (ongoing or not). The Walt Disney Company itself ended the year with the big announcement that it has reached an agreement to acquire most of 21st Century Fox which will, no doubt, impact stories we cover in 2018 and beyond.

Central Florida faced Mother Nature's fury with drought, wildfires, and then Hurricane Irma. All touched Walt Disney World and the surrounding community, and, fortunately, were not devastating to the Resort or most of us in the immediate area. We reported on more than one occasion how the Walt Disney World community lent a hand to those less fortunate, particularly those in Puerto Rico who are still suffering the effects of Hurricane Maria.

Epcot Celebrated its 35th Anniversary in October, and back in July at the Disney D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, Disney's Parks & Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek announced a whole host of future plans for not just Epcot, but all of Walt Disney World Resort in the years to come leading up to the Resort's 50th anniversary in 2021 (and beyond).

Here, in categorized, alphabetized lists, are some of the notable debuts, finales, transformations, and other things we learned and experienced in 2017:

Fun 2017 Discoveries and Events
  • Caring for Giants: Elephant Encounters (ongoing)
  • Disney Vacation Club launches Moonlight Magic Events (ongoing)
  • U.S. Navy Blue Angels Perform Spectacular Flyovers at Magic Kingdom
  • The View, The Chew, and Wheel of Fortune visit Walt Disney World


My personal favorite video moments of 2017. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

2017 Debuts
  • Disney Movie Magic: A Celebration of Disney Live Action Films
  • Happily Ever After (Magic Kingdom fireworks)
  • Minnie Vans
  • Miss Adventure Falls (Disney's Typhoon Lagoon)
  • Mobile Order (in the My Disney Experience App)
  • Pandora-The World of Avatar
  • Pizza Ponte and The Edison
  • Rivers of Light
  • Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire (New "Hyper-Reality" Experience)
2017 "Limited Time Event" Debuts
  • Epcot International Festival of the Arts (and the Disney on Broadway Concert Series)
  • Flurry of Fun (and Sunset Seasons Greetings)
  • Music of Pixar LIVE in Concert
  • NFL Pro Bowl Experience (ESPN Wide World of Sports)
  • Star Wars: Galactic Nights
Completed Renovations/Transformations
  • BaseLine Tap House and the New Grand Avenue Area (Disney's Hollywood Studios)
  • Copper Creek Cabins & Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
  • Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
  • The Hall of Presidents
  • Magic Kingdom Opening Ceremony
  • Paddlefish (formerly Fulton's)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean (on-ride photo)
  • Planet Hollywood Observatory
  • RELAUNCHED! Mission: SPACE
  • Star Tours: The Adventures Continue (new destinations)
  • TTC Security Bag Check & Magic Kingdom entrance plaza
  • Walt Disney Presents (formerly One Man's Dream)
  • Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Redesigned Interiors
Future Developments & Renovations Announced/Underway
  • Caribbean Beach Resort (major renovations)
  • Circlevision 360 seamless projection (new film for China at Epcot)
  • Cirque du Soleil (new unnamed show)
  • Disney Skyliner (gondolas)
  • Disney's Coronado Springs (new mid-rise tower)
  • Disney's Riviera Resort (new Disney Vacation Club property)
  • Flights of Wonder Show Replacement (Featuring Characters from UP)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy-themed attraction (Epcot's Universe of Energy)
  • Jaleo (Spanish restaurant at Disney Springs)
  • Magic Kingdom (unnamed) theater
  • Maria & Enzo's Ristorante and Enzo's Hideaway Tunnel Bar
  • Membership Clubs Coming to Florida (akin to Disneyland's Club 33)
  • Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway
  • NBA Experience (Disney Springs)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean - redhead to have a new role
  • Ratatouille themed attraction (France at Epcot)
  • Space-themed restaurant (at Epcot)
  • Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge (name of the new themed land)
  • Terralina Crafted Italian
  • Toy Story Land (details of the attractions)
  • TRON Lightcycle-themed coaster (Magic Kingdom)
  • Wine Bar George (Disney Springs)
  • Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill (Disney Springs)


The redhead will take on a new role in a new scene at Pirates of the Caribbean after the next refurbishment of the attraction in 2018. Its future operation is unknown. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

2017 Finales
  • DisneyQuest
  • Ellen's Energy Adventure at Universe of Energy
  • Express Transportation Option
  • Flights of Wonder
  • The Great Movie Ride
  • La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil
  • Portobello Country Italian Trattoria
  • Wishes (Magic Kingdom fireworks)
  • Wolfgang Puck Grand Café
Unknown Future
  • Stitch's Great Escape

Epcot Disney on Broadway Concert & Candlelight Processional Narrators Calendar

The America Gardens Theatre on the shore of World Showcase Lagoon opposite the entrance to The American Adventure is home to numerous shows throughout the year. The nightly Candlelight Processional continues its performances there through December 30, and then, starting January 12, the Disney on Broadway Concert Series takes the stage Fridays through Mondays during the Epcot International Festival of the Arts.

For the convenience of our readers, we list all of these performances 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.


Neil Patrick Harris completed his four-night return engagement as the narrator for Candlelight Processional last week. As is often the case, he was spotted all over Walt Disney World Resort during his stay, and even I saw him enjoying Magic Kingdom. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

One Passholder's Tips: Rewind

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. Here is a look back at my 38 Tips, 8 Photo Fun entries, and 1 Reader Tip from 2017.

Date

PhotoFun

#

Tip

1/24/17

 

1

Take a photo of your row number in the parking lot

1/31/17

 

2

Be prepared to recharge your electronics

2/7/17

1

 

Photo filters may be found in all sorts of places

2/7/17

 

3

Wear the right socks for your feet

2/14/17

 

4

Get a belt and/or clip-mountable bottle holder

2/21/17

 

5

Be an alert pedestrian

2/28/17

 

6

Learn how to disable your camera’s flash

3/8/17

 

7

Be aware of conflicting parking row markers

3/14/17

 

8

Arrive before park gates open rather than when the park opens to avoid the biggest lines at security

3/21/17

 

9

Garbage cans along a parade route are great for adults or taller kids to stand behind

3/28/17

2

10

Facebook Messenger Filters Revisited

4/4/17

 

11

Ponchos: don’t visit Walt Disney World without them

4/11/17

 

12

Carry a zip-top plastic bag or two (or three) in the Parks

4/18/17

 

13

The parks have some healthy snacks too

4/25/17

 

14

Take a break from time to time

5/2/17

 

15

Reader Tom Linn’s Tip: Visit Captain Cooks quick serve for Tonga Toast and Dole Whips

5/17/17

3

16

Use optical zoom for long-distance photos

5/23/17

 

17

Stay hydrated

6/6/17

 

18

Take a breath and remain calm

6/13/17

 

19

Get to know a Weather app or two before visiting Central Florida

6/20/17

 

20

If you want to sit in the middle of a Disney Parks theater, do not rush the door

6/27/17

4

21

Use manual focus for photos in low light

7/5/17

5

22

Record video for the screen you want to view it on later

7/11/17

 

23

Notice the details, even when they are wrong

7/25/17

 

24

Smoking is not permitted in Disney Parks and Resorts except in designated areas: check the map

8/8/17

 

25

Listen to Joe Rohde and "slow down"

8/15/17

 

26

Engage friendly cast members and #CastCompliment

8/22/17

 

27

Annual Passholders are not required to use the Passholders touchpoints

8/29/17

6

28

Your camera's flash will light up the rain (and even unseen humidity)

9/26/17

7

29

Cast Members will take your photo

10/3/17

 

30

Follow MousePlanet on Facebook and Twitter

10/11/17

 

31

Know where you are going and, perhaps, even how to get there

10/17/17

 

32

Tweet @WDWToday

10/24/17

 

33

Get your tickets in advance

10/30/17

 

34

Many animals are restless, so be patient if you would like to see them

11/7/17

 

35

Appreciate digital projection mapping technology

11/28/17

8

36

Notice that Facebook recently introduced new tools to create panoramic photos

12/5/17

 

37

Avoid leaving luggage strapped to the roof of the car in the parking lot

12/12/17

 

38

Save money at Walt Disney World: Don’t Throw it Away

12/19/17

 

39

You Can Actually Buy Disney Gift Cards to Save Money


Bonus Tip: The Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets is home to one of the two official Disney Character Warehouse outlet stores that sells (often discontinued) Disney Parks merchandise, often at steep discounts. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


For example, with Mickey Mouse's birthday celebrations having run their course by the days leading up to Christmas, celebratory "ears" were available at a substantial discount. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


On the other hand, to get the latest (full price) Dooney & Bourke merchandise featuring Mary Poppins, you need to head to the Dress Shop on Cherry Tree Lane inside the Marketplace Co-Op in Disney Springs. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


And in Disney Springs Town Center, Coach finally opened its retail doors just ahead of Christmas. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Finally, another bonus opportunity: if you want some swag, there is an opportunity for three of you, if you listen to my Christmas Day chat with Garry Meier and follow the instructions by posting comments with keywords on the posting on Garry's Facebook Page (note: the podcast does contain some adult humor).

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

This and That

…Disney Parks doubled its #ShareYourEars campaign donation to Make-A-Wish from $1 million to $2 million.

…Disney Vacation Club's recent announcement at its annual meeting regarding enhanced housekeeping has already resulted in changes to the DVC in-room experience. Effective December 22, 2017, housekeeping has begun daily trash removal from rooms at Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian, Disney's Grand Californian and Aulani. The service extends to all other Disney Vacation Club resorts on January 7, 2018. Regular housekeeping visits remain unchanged.

…And while we are mentioning DVC, its exclusive ticket savings offer for members and guests at Walt Disney World Resort are available for purchase only through January 3, 2018: Save more than 25% on a Disney Platinum Plus Annual Pass, or get seven days of Disney Theme Parks for the price of five. Though the tickets must be purchased now, they can be activated through the end of 2018. Members should login to DisneyVacationClub.com or call Member Services at (800)800-9800 for further details.

…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, December 26, 2017 10 / 10
Wednesday, December 27, 2017 10 / 10
Thursday, December 28, 2017 10 / 10
Friday, December 29, 2017 10 / 10
Saturday, December 30, 2017 10 / 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!

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Join Our Networks


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

  • Holidays at Walt Disney World – Started November 9
  • 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
  • New Year's Eve – December 31

2018 Resort Events

  • 25th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – January 3-7, 2018.
  • Epcot International Festival of the Arts – January 12 - February 19, 2018
  • Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom – January 19, 26 & 30; February 8 & 15; March 1 & 8.
  • 10th Anniversary Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend – February 22–25, 2018.
  • MouseAdventure (unofficial event) – March 3, 2018. See mouseadventure.com for more information.
  • 25th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – February 28 - May 28, 2018
  • Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side Weekend – April 19-22, 2018.
  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party – TBA
  • Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend – TBA
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – TBA
  • Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic – October 26-27, 2018
      –Sunday Bubbles Brunch – October 28, 2018.
  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party – TBA
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.

2018 Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic Events (Including Event Reservation Opening Dates)

  • Moonlight Magic at Magic Kingdom – January 11 & 28; February 6, 2018
    Members with Resort Reservations: Now open!
    All Members (pending remaining availability): Now open!
  • Moonlight Magic at Disney's Animal Kingdom – March 21; April 17; May 16, 2018
    Members with Resort Reservations: February 8, 2018
    All Members (pending remaining availability): February 22, 2018
  • Moonlight Magic at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon – May 30; June 11, 2018.
    Members with Resort Reservations: April 19, 2018
    All Members (pending remaining availability): May 3, 2018
  • Moonlight Magic at Epcot – July 16; August 13, 2018
    Members with Resort Reservations: June 6, 2018
    All Members (pending remaining availability): June 20, 2018
  • Moonlight Magic at Disney's Hollywood Studios – September 19 & 26; October 3, 2018
    Members with Resort Reservations: August 30, 2018
    All Members (pending remaining availability): September 13, 2018
Introduced in 2017 as part of Membership Magic Ever After, complimentary Moonlight Magic events invite Disney Vacation Club Members (that are eligible for the Membership Extras benefits) and their guests to visit Disney Parks at the end of their regular operating hours and after the park has closed to the public. Members (and their parties) with reservations find shorter-than-usual wait times on popular attractions, meet rare characters, enjoy complimentary refreshments, have dance parties, and more. Please note that, in order to allow as many Members as possible to enjoy Moonlight Magic, only one event date for each participating park is available per Membership. Visit disneyvacationclub.com during specified reservation windows to (attempt to) secure access to the event as well as to find additions to the Moonlight Magic event slate, updated party hours, and transportation information.

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 – will close for refurbishment scheduled early January through early February 2018.
  • Stitch's Great Escape – will close after the "peak" "seasonal" opening. Its future status is unknown.

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

  • Flights of Wonder - Final shows on December 31, 2017.
    New show starring Russell and Dug from "Up" and their bird friends coming in Spring 2018

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

  • DisneyQuest – Closed as of July 3, 2017, to make way for The NBA Experience.
  • Portobello Country Italian Trattoria – Closed April 24, 2017. Will reopen as Terralina Crafted Italian, a new concept from James Beard award-winner and Top Chef Master Tony Mantuano and Chef Justin Plank. Its website, terralinacrafteditalian.com now says the restaurant is "Coming This Winter."
  • 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.
  • La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil – ends its run on December 31, 2017. A new Cirque du Soleil show is now in development with is premier date to be announced.

Resorts

  • Caribbean Beach – Centertown, the resort's marketplace, will be expanded with new waterfront dining and retail shopping areas. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed in Summer 2018, with the overall project completed 2019-20. Due to the work, the following food service and retail locations are currently 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. DisneyMeetings.com offers an extended look at concept art for the re-imagined convention facilities and hotel.

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 for the discount. All sales are final, and not eligible for an exchange or refund. Both the immediate and discount version of Memory Maker can be purchased at this page of DisneyWorld.com.

Travel Discounts for Annual Passholders

THE 45th ANNIVERSARY OF WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT DINING DISCOUNTS ENDED ON DECEMBER 23, 2017. BE AWARE THAT THE PASSHOLDER (GOLD) CARD AND PHOTO I.D. MUST BE SHOWN TO RECEIVE A DISCOUNT AND OTHER BENEFITS.

For the most up-to-date list of locations offering dining discounts to Annual Passholders, visit this page of DisneyWorld.com.
Many dining locations offer Passholders 10% discounts during some or all meal periods (also excluding alcoholic beverages, tax and gratuity).

The latest information on this page of DisneyWorld.com lists discounts at many merchandise locations across Walt Disney World Resort, including locations that continue to offer 20% discounts off regularly priced merchandise.

The latest information on this page of DisneyWorld.com lists discounts for special events and tours at locations around Walt Disney World Resort.

The latest information on this page of DisneyWorld.com lists discounts for sports, recreation, and spas around Walt Disney World Resort.

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 once again listed on the Passholder website.

Visit the DisneyWorld.com Special Offers page (filtered for Passholders) and log in with a My Disney Experience account linked to your Annual Pass for information, or call (407) 939-4232 to book by phone.

Additional information about available "Passholder Extras" are available here, including discount game tickets to the NFL Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, an Orlando Magic Jersey Offer for purchasing or renewing an Annual Pass at Amway Center in Orlando, a 15% discount on the Ultimate Nights of Adventure VIP Tour at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Spa & Salon Discounts around Walt Disney World Resort, Amphicar Tour discounts at Disney Springs, runDisney Early Registration discounts, Best Friends Pat Care discounts, Children's Activity Centers discounts, and more (including discounted stays at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii).

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

REMINDER TO MAGICBAND USERS: YOU MUST STILL SHOW YOUR DISNEY VISA CREDIT CARD TO RECEIVE DISCOUNTS AND OTHER PERKS; DISCOUNTS ARE NOT AUTOMATICALLY APPLIED EVEN IF YOU HAVE LINKED YOUR DISNEY VISA CREDIT CARD TO YOUR MAGICBAND.

To conserve space, we have eliminated some of the participating location details of the Disney Visa Rewards offers from this section. Visit Disney Visa Rewards website for the latest participating location information.


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. Discounts are not available on Premium VIP tours, programs exclusive to groups, or group team building programs.


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). Offer excludes alcoholic beverages, merchandise, tobacco, room service, holiday buffets, tax and gratuity. Discount does not apply to the following dates: 12/31/17, 1/1/18, 2/14/18, 4/1/18, 5/13/18 and 7/4/18, and may not be available at all meal times. Visit this page of disneyrewards.com for the latest list of restaurants and restrictions.


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 this page of disneyrewards.com.

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, Luxury of Time, Marrakesh Emporium Arts & Crafts, Joffrey's coffee/tea kiosks and Tea Traders Café by Joffrey's, Sperry and Volcom.


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. Visit this page of disneyrewards.com for participating locations and restrictions.


10 percent 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 photos 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 complimentary downloads of your photos (one time per day), which may be accessed in the MyDisneyExperience App (or website).


Free character photos at a private meet and greet location at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Present your Disney's Premier Visa Card or Disney Rewards Visa Card for access to a private character meet and greet at the Star Wars Launch Bay in the Animation Courtyard at Disney's Hollywood Studios for the cardholder and up to five guests. The event is hosted daily from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. You'll receive complimentary downloads of your photos (one time per day), which may be accessed in the MyDisneyExperience App (or website).

Travel Discounts for Military Personnel

Thanks to our reader Dr. Smith who alerted us to the website militarydisneytips.com.


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.


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 militarydisneytips.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.


2018 Armed Forces Salute Tickets

January 1 through December 19, 2018

  • Four-Day Park Hopper Tickets: $226.00
  • Four-Day Park Hopper PlusTickets: $266.00
  • Five-Day Park Hopper Tickets: $246.00
  • Five-Day Park Hopper Plus Tickets: $286.00

NOTE: Spring Blockout Dates have not yet been announced! Tickets must be used by December 19, 2018.


Read more information at militarydisneytips.com, visit your base ticket office, or when at Walt Disney World, visit Shades of Green.


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

Travel Discounts for Florida Residents

Spring into 2018 rates for Florida Residents are available for most nights through April 14, 2018. Visit this page of DisneyWorld.com for information or call (407) 939-2752.

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

Travel Discounts for Canada Residents

Canadian Residents can now receive special pricing on theme park tickets to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida until February 10, 2018. Save 20% on advance purchase of 4-Day or Longer Magic Your Way Tickets

Savings compared to the price of the same ticket sold online at Disneyworld.ca. Tickets are valid for one Theme Park per day unless Park Hopper option is purchased. Tickets and options must be used within 14 days of first use. First use must be on or before December 31, 2018. Proof of Canadian residency required. Offer not valid at Theme Park ticket window.

All adult Guests who will use Canadian resident tickets or passes must present valid proof of Canadian residency that includes government-issued photo ID to exchange the certificate for a valid ticket at the Theme Park ticket window or Guest Relations prior to first use. Tickets and options are nontransferable, nonrefundable and exclude events/activities separately priced. Admission is subject to capacity closures and to other restrictions.

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!


 

Comments

  1. By wdwchuck

    Thanks again Alan for an excellent WDW resort update. Very nice job of avoiding any of the controversy around the new President Trump animatronic.
    I do have one bone of contention, the back way into Epcot and the pathway to Hollywood Studios are really one of the huge bright spots for us in this day and age of consistently larger crowds.
    I know you are trying to help, but maybe not mention it so much? The benefit is going to go away soon when they start operating the gondolas.
    Now that the economy is getting back on track again, that probably means even more crowds. Oh well, rather have a great economy rather than an anemic one.

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