Walt Disney World Resort Update for January 30 - February 5, 2018

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer
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Walt Disney World Resort Update for January 30 - February 5, 2018

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

Writer's note: In a year that is going to be rather full of major news at the Walt Disney World Resort, this past week will be recorded as a relatively quiet one. In Orlando's Camping World Stadium on Sunday, the AFC defeated the NFC 24-23 in the NFL Pro Bowl after a week of related activities around Walt Disney World, including over at ESPN Wide World of Sports and Disney Springs; if you live in a television market with an NFL Pro Bowl player, you probably saw a video clip of him somewhere at the Resort this week.

Weekend crowds in the parks continued to be large. As I drove past Epcot on Saturday afternoon, I decided the parking lot was full enough that I chose not to visit the park and, as I continued past Magic Kingdom's main parking lot, I saw that it was fairly full too. Most likely in part due to the apparent popularity of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, January weekends no longer seem to fall under the "slow season" label any more.


The Partners statue provides an interesting way to frame the action in front of Cinderella Castle. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

On with the news and, when you get to the Views you will see several examples of the Resort's effort to combat the spread of this year's colds and flu: hand sanitizer dispensers. Our public service announcement: please use them and wash your hands with soap and water too.


News and Views

Two Scavenger Hunts Available at this Year's Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival | Alton Fitzgerald White to Appear at Book Signings Through February 5 | Star Wars: Galactic Nights Event Returns May 27 | Epcot Concert News & Calendar | Views around the World | This and That | Crowd Forecast

Two Scavenger Hunts Available at this Year's Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

With just over four weeks to go until the kick-off of the 25th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival on February 28, the latest details of this year's festival have been announced. The Egg-stravaganza Easter Egg scavenger hunt will return to the festival this spring, but, unlike last year when it ran the entire length of the festival, it will run only from March 16 to April 1. Maps and stickers for the hunt can be purchased for $5.99 (plus tax) at Disney Trader, Pin Central, and World Traveler. Upon completion, return the map to Disney Traders for the prize.


Discover the hidden Disney Character-themed "eggs" around the park, place the corresponding stickers on the map, and return it to Disney Traders to claim your prize. Photo © Disney.

"Spike's Pollen Nation Exploration" featuring Spike the Honey Bee is an all-new scavenger hunt that will run the entire length of the Festival. After purchasing the maps and stickers at Port of Entry for $5.99 (plus tax), players look for Spike as he pollinates Epcot's gardens. Once you find the plant Spike has pollinated (featuring a Spike's Pollen Nation Exploration plant stake), you add the corresponding sticker to your map. When complete, you return the map to Port of Entry for your prize.


Discover the plants Spike has pollinated, place the corresponding stickers on the map, and return it to Port of Entry to claim your prize. Map © Disney.

Alton Fitzgerald White to Appear at Book Signings Through February 5

As we enter the middle of the second Epcot International Festival of the Arts this week, Disney on Broadway stars Alton Fitzgerald White and Kissy Simmons, both veterans of extended runs in Disney's The Lion King on Broadway, are scheduled to be back on stage this coming Friday through Monday for three nightly concerts at the America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45, and 8 p.m. Alton Fitzgerald White will also sign copies of his new book, My Pride (Broadway's Record-Breaking Lion King): Mastering Life's Daily Performance at special signing events this week:

  • January 30: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Discovery Trading Company, 11 a.m.-noon
  • January 31: Disney Springs Marketplace, Art of Disney, 7-8 p.m
  • February 5: Epcot, Heritage Manor Gifts in the American Adventure, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.


Alton Fitzgerald White will sign copies of his book this week at special events around Walt Disney World. Photo © Disney.

Each special event book signing will have limited wristband distribution. The events will be first-come, first served, and arriving early is your best chance to participate. The publisher's list price for the hardcover edition of the book is $24.99; we have not seen the price at which the book is sold at Walt Disney World Resort.

Star Wars: Galactic Nights Event Returns May 27

Yesterday, Disney Parks Blog announced that the hard ticket, "one night only" special event, Star Wars: Galactic Nights will return to Disney's Hollywood Studios on May 27. As you may recall from our Disney Parks Star Wars Special December 2017 Update for Both Coasts the park has twice before hosted this special hard ticket, after-hours event, most recently on December 16, 2017. In addition to an assortment of characters and themed photo opportunities—and the debut of the latest changes to the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks and the Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away stage shows—the event will also mark the one night only return of the Star Wars: Galactic Destinations projections show on The Hollywood Tower Hotel.


Warwick Davis, who has played several roles in the Star Wars Saga, was a special guest at the Star Wars: Galactic Nights event on December 16, 2017. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The park used the December 16 event to provide a few additional details about the new Star Wars themed land, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, which is due to open there (and at Disneyland) in 2019. No additional added entertainment or scheduled announcements have yet been revealed for the May 27 event. Ticket prices and onsale dates also are not yet available.

Epcot Concert News & 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. During the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, the Disney on Broadway Concert Series takes the stage three times nightly on Fridays through Mondays until February 19. Remember that Passholders can get wristbands at The American Adventure Pavilion on a first-come, first-served basis, at least one hour prior to the show that you wish to attend, for up to four reserved seats for the Disney on Broadway Concert Series performances (annual pass card and a valid photo ID required). All guests can get guaranteed reserved seating with a dining package.


Passholder wristband and gift distribution are located at The American Adventure (look for signs). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival gets underway on February 28, and its Garden Rocks Concert Series kicks off at the America Gardens Theatre on March 2. Returning acts include Night Ranger (“Sister Christian”) which opens the series March 2-5, and The Spinners, known for “Working My Way Back To You,” the final Festival weekend May 25-28. Several new bands will perform at Epcot for the first time: Foghat (“Slow Ride”); Smash Mouth (“All Star”); Lonestar (“Amazed”); and Don Felder, formerly of The Eagles (“Hotel California”). Other bands new to the Garden Rocks series will be Rick Springfield (“Jessie’s Girl”), Survivor (“Eye of the Tiger”) and Jo Dee Messina (“Stand Beside Me”).

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


Disney on Broadway concerts are held on Friday nights through Monday nights during the Festival of the Arts. Other performing acts - especially local community organizations - may be scheduled on other dates: check the board (shown here) or the Times Guide for more information. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Views Around the World

Timing is everything when it comes to capturing magic in the parks, and I was fortunate enough to be in Magic Kingdom this week just in time for a really special few moments with the Citizens of Main Street U.S.A. The Views this week also take in some of the parks' efforts to encourage good hygiene in response to the deadly cold and flu season this winter, and, as promised in the Writer's Note, we have a few Views of NFL ProBowl Week activities (including cheerleaders and mascots).

Magic Kingdom


The Citizens of Main Street U.S.A. gathered for photos in Town Square after their trolley ride. Bonus (unadvertised) Tip: for the best photos, position yourself close to Disney's photographers (but stay out of their way). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Seasonal refurbishment at Splash Mountain progressed to the point where water was running in the flume this past week. It is expected to reopen in early February. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Out of sight of guests, seasonal refurbishment continues on the "Liberty Belle." Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Within sight of guests, the crane is back in its usual post-holidays spot for removal of the dream lights and the seasonal touch-up of the castle. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The latest phase of outdoor refurbishment is underway at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


From the PeopleMover it appears that the latest phase of outdoor refurbishment at Cosmic Ray's involves a good deal of earth-moving. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


With Stitch's Great Escape listed once again as "Seasonal" the signs outside advertise the Alien Encounter Character Greeting, which uses the attraction's first pre-show room. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Epcot


Epcot International Festival of the Arts seems to be a popular event for Passholders. Reminder: Passholders may use any open touchpoints to enter the parks, but only Passholders may use the Passholders touchpoints. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The Epcot International Festival of the Arts merchandise offers several styles of Festival themed pre-printed merchandise. As we mentioned at the Festival's start, do not forget that there are several print-on-demand t-shirt options this year, including a Passholder exclusive, available from Enemy Ink inside Future World West (in the hallway behind Fountain View Starbucks and Coca-Cola Club Cool). HDR Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The Odyssey building serves as the Festival Showplace for the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, home of seminars, workshops, some merchandise, and a display of Disney Parks poster art. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


In last week's One Passholder's Tip we discussed packing several weights of clothing at this time of year to anticipate all sorts of weather. While your results may vary, on days where the forecast is on the (Florida) colder-side, extra racks of heavier apparel sometimes can be found in merchandise locations (like the Festival Center). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The paint-by-number mural near World Showcase Plaza this week was a stylized image of a Walt Disney World Monorail train. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Guests that participate in the paint-by-number mural near World Showcase Plaza (or those of us who just ask) can get a complimentary postcard showing the expected final image. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Mexican artist Frida Kahlo's work provides a child-size photo opportunity near the Mexico pavilion. At least during my visits, however, no Disney PhotoPass Photographers were stationed here so guests appear to be on their own to capture images. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Inside the Mexico pavilion, it appears that the new "Remember Me" interactive screens themed to Disney-Pixar's "Coco" are nearly ready for guest use. HDR Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Like the scavenger hunts coming to the park during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, a scavenger hunt is available during the Epcot International Festival of Arts as well—if you can spot Figment, that is. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Hollywood Studios


New entry lanes from Buena Vista Drive opened with a new tollbooth into the Disney's Hollywood Studios parking lot this week. The older lanes and toll plaza can be seen on the left in this photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


One commenter correctly identified this display as being located in the gift shop across from MuppetVision 3D. The formal name of the location is "Stage 1 Company Store." Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Fighting Cold & Flu Season Around Walt Disney World


Just inside the park gates at Epcot, a new hand sanitizer dispenser has been installed. HDR Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


A hand sanitizer dispenser was installed near the FastPass+ kiosks in the Future World West breezeway. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


A hand sanitizer dispenser was installed near the escalators leading from the Orange Garage at Disney Springs. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


At Magic Kingdom, hand sanitizer dispensers were installed inside some of the quick serve restaurants. This is Columbia Harbour House. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


At Magic Kingdom, hand sanitizer dispensers were installed just outside the entrance to quick serve restaurants. This is Casey's Corner on Main Street. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

NFL Pro Bowl Week Around Walt Disney World


ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, located between Osceola Parkway and Interstate-4 along Victory Way was the center of NFL Pro Bowl Week activities at Walt Disney World. Significant road construction continues at the intersection of Osceola and Victory, as these roads will likely handle a great deal of additional traffic when the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge area opens just to the north in Disney's Hollywood Studios. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


ProBowl Week provides the public with free access to the grounds of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Interactive football-related activities were one of the family and kid-friendly attractions available at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex during ProBowl Week. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


This was the second consecutive year that ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex hosted ProBowl Week activities. Prior to 2017, the NFL Pro Bowl was played annually in Hawaii. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Inside The Arena at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, players competed in the Madden NFL 18 (video game) club championship division finals. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Some of the NFL cheerleaders posed with fans at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex with the Pro Bowl trophy. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


NFL Cheerleaders and Mascots headlined a pep rally on the Marketplace Stage at Disney Springs on Saturday ahead of Sunday's Pro Bowl game played at Orlando's Camping World Stadium. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


NFL Cheerleaders and Mascots danced on stage, assisted fans participating in a Disney trivia challenge, and posed for photos during the pep rally. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

This and That

…Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings Showcase is coming up on February 3 at Disney's Contemporary Resort Convention Center from 3-6 p.m. It provides an opportunity to look at how the Disney Wedding Team, Disney Floral, Fine Art Photography, and more cast can help create your "fairy tale wedding" at the Resort. Attendees can also visit an Open House at Disney's Wedding Pavilion on the Seven Seas Lagoon from 2-3:30 p.m. and take a tour of Franck's Studio (remember Martin Short as Franck the wedding coordinator in Father of the Bride). There are two ticket options: Open House & Showcase ($45/person) or Open House, Showcase plus a Happily Ever After Fireworks Dessert Party ($95/person). Read more information on Disney Parks Blog or jump right to the Event Registration, as pre-registration is required to attend. As a bonus, Disney Vacation Club Members who are bride/groom attendees will receive one Mickey Mouse or Minnie Mouse Ear Hat for showing their Membership Card.

…Several news outlets, including MyNews13.com, report that a Disney spokesperson has confirmed that guests staying in club-level rooms in select resorts now have the option to buy three additional FastPass+ reservations per day for $50/day which can be used at any park (theme park admission, of course, not included). A miniumum 3-day purchase of the add-on is required and these FastPass+ reservations can be booked up to 90 days in advance rather than the usual 60 days permitted resort guests and 30 days for Passholders/advance ticket purchasers. The add-on also includes preferred viewing for nighttime spectaculars.

…In our "just about everything gets a day" department, it's pizza's turn. February 9 is National Pizza Day, and Walt Disney World sure has plenty of different options to choose from, including these:

  • Prosciutto e Melone (Via Napoli, Epcot): white pizza, Fontina, Mozzarella, prosciutto, cantaloupe, arugula
  • Affumicata (Via Napoli, Epcot): white pizza, mozzarella, smoked salmon, arugula, pomodorini, stracchino
  • Porchetta (Pizza Ponte, Disney Springs): B&G hot peppers, onions
  • Spicy Salame (Pizza Ponte, Disney Springs: mozzarella, tomato
  • Cheese Pizza (Trattoria Al Forno, Disney’s Boardwalk): House-pulled Mozzarella and basil
  • Green Stripe Pizza (Blaze, Disney Springs): Pesto drizzle over chicken, red peppers, garlic, Mozzarella and arugula
  • Red Vine Pizza (Blaze, Disney Springs): Ovalini Mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, Parmesan, basic, red sauce, olive oil drizzle
  • Clam Pie (Ale & Compass, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort): Caramelized leeks, chorizo and clams
  • Meat Lover’s Pizza (PizzeRizzo, Disney’s Hollywood Studios): topped with sausage and pepperoni
  • Veggie (PizzeRizzo, Disney’s Hollywood Studios): topped with mushrooms, peppers, onions and tomatoes

…In the same department, it turns out that National Handwriting Day was January 23. Who knew? Well, Disney PhotoPass noted (via Disney Parks Blog) that character signature stickers are available to add to Walt Disney World PhotoPass photos in your MyDisneyExperience account whether you purchase photos individually, or as part of a Memory Maker entitlement (including the one-day option).

…For folks that plan to follow football's annual "big game" between Philadelphia and New England live in the winning team's home state, and want to celebrate the victory with a trip to Walt Disney World Resort, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is offering a Champions Package to residents of Pennsylvania or New England (specifically, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut). Based on the outcome of the game, residents of the winning team's state can book the package to receive a $100 credit for "a championship-caliber meal" at any restaurant at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort and a complimentary room upgrade. The Champions Package is valid for stays through December 24, 2018, with a minimum of three nights. For additional information, visit the offer page of SwanDolphin.com or call (800)227-1500 and mention CHAMPS. Valid state identification will be required at check-in, and taxes, resort fees and gratuities are not included; the promotion cannot be combined with other special offers or promotions and will not be applied to existing reservations or groups.

…SpaceX has scheduled a launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket on February 6 from the Space Coast. As Orlando Sentinel describes it, this is expected to be "one of the biggest, brightest launches in recent years." With three SpaceX Falcon boosters tied together, this launch vehicle is described as having "more lift capacity than any U.S. launch since the last Saturn V in the 1970s." Given that description, if there is not significant cloud cover, this expected daytime launch should be visible from all over Walt Disney World Resort (and, indeed, the rest of Central Florida), though, perhaps, not as spectacularly as a nighttime launch. The launch facility is East of the Resort. For rocket-watchers, the launch window for an "ordinary" Falcon 9 rocket opens tonight at 4:23 p.m. Eastern.

…Not too far away from the launch site but from that Galaxy Far, Far Away, on Saturday, I will again be visiting Port Canaveral for an invited-media event aboard the Disney Fantasy, showcasing elements of the return of the "Star Wars Day at Sea" sailings coming from Disney Cruise Line in 2019 from January to early March. During the actual seven-night sailings on the specially designated itineraries, the cruise features a full day of Star Wars-themed activities including a deck party with fireworks, character encounters, special food and beverage offerings, and special merchandise. Star Wars Day at Sea sailings depart only from Port Canaveral for the western Caribbean on January 5 & 19, February 2 & 16, and March 2, 2019; and the eastern Caribbean on January 12 & 26, and February 9 & 23, 2019. For more information, visit DisneyCruise.com or call Disney Cruise Line at (888) 325-2500 or call your travel agent. We will have more information in my upcoming Disney Cruise Line article on MousePlanet.com in early February, including additional details about the 2019 return of "Marvel Day at Sea" as well.

…Back at Walt Disney World but out on the savanna at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney Vacation Club Members can get a 30% discount off the regular price ($169/person plus tax) of the Savor the Savanna: Evening Safari Experience through March 31. The privately guided experience includes animal viewing plus a sampling of African-inspired cuisine, regional beers and wines, and a special keepsake. Theme park admission is required but not included in the price. Reservations are available by calling Member Services (800)800-9800; a valid DVC Membership Card and photo ID are required for the discount.

…And, finally, well beyond the shores of North America, the first overseas Disney Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort, will celebrate its "Happiest Celebration" in honor of its 35th Anniversary from April 15, 2018 through March 25, 2019. New parades, new shows, and a new nighttime spectacular plus the "Happiest Mickey Spots"–35 special Mickey statues around the resort—are all part of the celebration. Is Tokyo Disney Resort on your bucket list too, or have you already been there and done that?

…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, January 30, 2018 4 / 10
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 3 / 10
Thursday, February 1, 2018 3 / 10
Friday, February 2, 2018 5 / 10
Saturday, February 3, 2018 7 / 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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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.

2018 Resort Events

  • Epcot International Festival of the Arts – January 12 - February 19, 2018
  • Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom – January 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.
  • Dapper Day – Magic Kingdom: April 28, 2018; Epcot: April 29, 2018; Park TBD: November 27-18, 2018
  • Star Wars: Galactic Nights event at Disney's Hollywood Studios – May 27, 2018
  • Gay Days at Walt Disney World 2018 ("#RedShirtDays" – unofficial events) – Disney's Animal Kingdom: May 31;
    Disney's Hollywood Studios: June 1; Magic Kingdom: June 2; Epcot: June 3
  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom – TBA
  • Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend – November 1-4, 2018
  • 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 at Magic Kingdom – TBA
  • Holidays at Walt Disney World – TBA
  • Epcot International Festival of the Holidays – TBA
  • Candlelight Processional at Epcot – TBA

2019 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.

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

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

  • Pirates of the Caribbean – will close for refurbishment scheduled from late February through mid-March 2018.
  • Liberty Square Riverboat – closed for refurbishment.
  • Splash Mountain – closed for refurbishment scheduled through early February 2018.
  • Stitch's Great Escape – My Disney Experience lists as "available seasonally throughout the year."

Epcot

  • The American Adventure – closed for refurbishment scheduled through early February 2018.
  • Ellen's Energy Adventure at Universe of Energy – Closed August 13, 2017
    Guardians of the Galaxy-themed attraction in approximately 2021.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • The Great Movie Ride – Closed August 13, 2017.
    Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway attraction to open in Chinese Theatre at a date to be announced.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • Kali River Rapids – Closed for refurbishment January 2 until early February 2018.
  • Flights of Wonder (Caravan Stage) – Show Closed on December 31, 2017.
    New show starring Russell and Dug from "Up" and their bird friends coming in Spring 2018

Blizzard Beach

  • No known closures at this time.

Typhoon Lagoon

  • Seasonal Refurbishment scheduled to end March 18, 2018.

Disney Springs

  • World of Disney – portions closing in phases for refurbishment beginning mid-February.
    The Disney Corner opening in Town Center in mid-February to offer select merchandise during refurbishment.
  • DisneyQuest – Closed as of July 3, 2017.
    The NBA Experience expected to open Summer 2019.
  • Portobello Country Italian Trattoria – Closed April 24, 2017.
    Terralina Crafted Italian expected to open early 2018.
  • Wolfgang Puck Grand Café – closed August 1, 2017.
    Location is being transformed into Jaleo, a restaurant featuring Spanish cuisine, expected to open 2018.
    A new Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill is under construction next door to the Coca-Cola Store, expected to open 2018.
    Wolfgang Puck Express continues to operate in its existing location in the Marketplace.
  • La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil – Show closed on December 31, 2017.
    A new Cirque du Soleil show is now in development with its premiere 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.

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

Characters in Flight Tethered Balloon Ride by Aerophile

For a limited time, Groupon is selling individual rides for $11.50 and two person rides for $23. The Groupon certificate cannot be redeemed until 24 hours after purchase, is valid for 90 days, but only on flights from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. (weather permitting). This offer was still available last night (January 29), but could end at any time.

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.

Passholders can receive a complimentary commemorative artwork celebrating the 35th Anniversary of Epcot during the 2018 Epcot International Festival of the Arts (while supplies last). To receive the artwork, from January 12 to February 19, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Passholders must visit The American Adventure Pavilion and show their annual pass card and valid photo ID. Limit one per Passholder during the run of the 2018 Festival.

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 and, at least as of January 8, 2018, the coupon code still includes "17" rather than "18."

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.

Away from the Resort, Passholders can use code DANCEPARTY to get 20% off of tickets to the new Disney Junior Dance Party on Tour in Jacksonville, Melbourne, Clearwater, and Sarasota Florida, for house seats while supplies last. Visit disneyjuniortour.com for more information and tickets.

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.


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 are March 25 through April 5. 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

Discover Disney Tickets

Florida Resident Discover Disney Tickets are back: $159/person plus tax for the Discover Disney 3-Day Ticket; $179/person plus tax for the Discover Disney 4-Day Ticket. Tickets must be purchased by June 20 and may be used on any day until June 24, 2018. Park Hopper Option is available for an additional $30/ticket plus tax for the 3-Day Ticket; $37.50/ticket for the 4-Day Ticket. Further information is available and tickets may be purchased on this page of DisneyWorld.com.

Disney Select Tickets

At a higher price, but with more flexibility, Florida Residents save 30% with the 4-Day Disney Select Ticket (compared to the price of a 4-Day Magic Your Way ticket). There is a smaller discount for a 3-Day Select Ticket, and there is also a discount for 1–Day Tickets with the Park Hopper Option only. For more information visit this page of DisneyWorld.com.

 
  1–Day Ticket+
Park Hopper Option
Florida Resident General Admission  
  Ages 10+ Ages 3-9 Ages 10+ Ages 3-9  
  Value Day

$134.50

$128.50

$162.00

$156.00

 
  Regular Day

$142.50

$136.50

$170.00

$164.00

 
  Peak Day

$149.00

$143.00

$174.00

$168.00

 
 
 

Florida Resident
Select Tickets

3-Day Select Ages 10+

3-Day Select Ages 3-9

4-Day Select Ages 10+

4-Day Select Ages 10+

 
 

1 Park Per Day

$199.00

$185.00

$219.00

$204.00

 
 

Park Hopper

$226.50

$212.50

$253.50

$238.50

 
 
  • Florida Select tickets expire 6 months after first use or by June 30, 2019, whichever comes first.
  • Florida Select tickets do not need to be used on consecutive days.
  • All adults who will use Florida resident tickets must show an acceptable form of proof of Florida residency at a theme park ticket window, or at any Guest Relations location, prior to first use. Pass certificates can be exchanged for valid passes at the same locations.

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!