Walt Disney World Resort Update for March 6-12, 2018

by Alan S. Dalinka, contributing writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for March 6-12, 2018

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

Writer's note: Around Walt Disney World Resort, the above-average warm temperatures (nearly 90º several times over the last week) actually abated just in time for the invited-media visit to the 25th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival on Saturday, March 3. With clear blue, sun-lit skies and temperatures not much above 70º, Media Day at this year's Festival was nearly picture perfect in a way that conspiracy theorists always like to suggest that Disney controls the weather. While we know that is not true, every time the weather works out so perfectly during an event, it does give me an opportunity to tease the Disney cast and leadership on hand! The Festival itself began a few days earlier (on February 28) and will run all the way until May 28. (My photos of the Festival in the Update include February 28, and March 1, in addition to Media Day on March 3.)

Thanks to a friend's invitation, I also made a (rare for me) visit to Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground this weekend to enjoy an evening at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue in Pioneer Hall. For those that do not know about this dinner show, it has been running for nearly 40 years and includes (in Disney-speak) an "all you care to enjoy" menu of fried chicken and ribs, plus the "fixin's" you would expect, beverages, and, of course, a show where the servers even dance on stage with your dessert. Well, when you get to this week's Views Around the World, you will see what I mean.

Because the MousePlanet server has experienced some technical issues lately, this week's Update may appear and, perhaps, respond a little differently on your screen than usual, but all of the regular content should appear. As you may be aware, I am just a regular "contributor" to the site; the technical staff is working to get to the source of the server issues and, indeed, by the time this Update publishes on Tuesday, those issues may all be resolved.[Everything is back to normal.]

In any event, before we get to the News and Views, here is Mother Nature with a special greeting for MousePlanet readers.

Mother Nature is one of several characters you may encounter during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Video by Alan S. Dalinka

News and Views

The 25th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is Underway | During the Oscars Telecast, Did you #FollowTheBall? | World's Biggest Mouse Party Coming Later This Year | Epcot Concert News & Calendar | Views around the World | This and That | Crowd Forecast

The 25th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is Underway

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival began its twenty-fifth anniversary run on Wednesday, February 28. For the length of the Festival (through May 28), the park is filled with what Disney says is more than thirty million blooms. Around the park, as we have been featuring in Updates the past several weeks leading up to this Festival, are also topiaries of favorite Disney and Pixar characters: from Mickey and the gang, to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Stitch, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and more (and, yes, we have "fresh" photos of topiaries spotted this week which we have not featured this year).

Weekends during the Festival can be quite crowded. At 9 a.m. on Saturday, the Epcot parking toll plaza was very busy with cars filled with guests coming to experience the Festival. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The entrance topiary garden this year includes Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and the approximately 14-foot-tall Goofy. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The flower-covered cart of "characters" may be spotted all over the park during the Festival. Of course, you might want to watch out for Mother Nature: she has a spray bottle full of water and is not afraid to use it! Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

FTD is a presenting sponsor of this year's Festival and has a well-placed display in World Showcase Plaza. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

FTD's sponsorship includes the floral blooms around the Future World reflecting ponds. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Topiary Daisy stands in Future World West, appropriately near the Butterfly House. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Three Caballeros topiaries are located along World Showcase Promenade near the bridge to the Odyssey building. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Cacti are displayed along the Road to the Florida 500 on the east side of Future World. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Cruz Ramirez has returned (as a topiary) to the Road to the Florida 500 near Lightnight McQueen on the east side of Future World. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Topiary Stitch almost blends in with the surrounding greenery near Mouse Gear in Future World. HDR Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

At night, many of the topiaries are dramatically lit. HDR Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

After sunset, the Epcot Monorail Station displays the Festival logo. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Entering the park, guests should pick up their guidemap and Garden Passport, highlighting the attractions all around the park, including those unique to the Festival. In particular, the Garden Passport highlights the Festival's topiaries, special gardens, tours, merchandise, and the fifteen "Outdoor Kitchens" that are the specialty food and beverage kiosks set up around World Showcase this year. Guests that have visited the Festival in past years will note that this year there is no "Festival Center," which in past years was located in the former Wonders of Life pavilion. While some recent Festivals (like Festival of the Arts and Festival of the Holidays) have used Odyssey building as a Festival Center, that is not the case for this Festival. Instead of presenting various lecture series in a centralized indoor setting on weekends this year, Festival organizers have spread the educational features around the park. In particular, there are self-guided tours available in several gardens: from the new "How-to" Garden along the walkway from Future World West to World Showcase, to the newly imagined Butterfly House now named "The Goodness Garden," and even the re-designed "Imagination Play Garden" which provides more opportunities for adults to join in with their children during their visit.

Guidemaps and Garden Passports are available at park entrances and other locations around the park. Passholders can pick up their complimentary souvenir magnet in the hallway behind Fountain View (Starbucks) in Future World West (supplies permitting, the Mickey magnet shown here will be distributed through April 8; starting April 9, a Minnie magnet will be distributed while supplies last through the end of the Festival). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Goodness Garden is this year's Butterfly House. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

A self-guided tour inside the Butterfly House tells the story of butterflies and how they interact with the environment. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The plants included in the Butterfly House are specifically selected to accommodate the variety of butterflies living in the park during the Festival. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The "How-to" Garden includes signs and displays to inspire the creation of gardens at homes everywhere. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

One of the "How-to" displays explains creating a garden using concrete blocks as planters, which, according to Festival organizers, is a popular way for guests that live in urban settings to create gardens at home. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The "Imagination Play Garden" is one of the children's play areas at this year's Festival. The Epcot horticultural team leaders explained that the planter boxes shown here had been recycled from prior festivals where they had been used as planter boxes around Outdoor Kitchen queues. The garden itself, encourages more interaction between adults and kids than past play areas. During my visit, I saw adults and kids playing in the musical maze together. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The "Imagination Play Garden" includes outdoor play areas and shaded seating. Nearby, a checkerboard and tic-tac-toe board is set with ladybugs (painted rocks) ready for guest play. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The newest Outdoor Kitchen introduced this year is "The Honey Bee-Stro" presented by the National Honey Board. As the name suggests, the kiosk and its surrounding area tell the story of the importance of bees in agriculture and its menu features a showcase of multiple honey varieties. Returning Outdoor Kitchens include "The Berry Basket" and "The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brew."

The Honey Bee-stro includes displays about bees, but the team did not install working bee hives; bees in the area are wild bees attracted by the flowers. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Honey Bee-Stro includes a display of several varieties of honey. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Several honey-included food items are available at the Honey Bee-stro, including an adult beverage. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Though some Outdoor Kitchens return this year, the culinary team has made changes to menus. You can see them all in the Garden Passport. Many of the invited media especially enjoyed sampling the Toasted Pretzel Bread topped with Black Forest Ham and Gruyere Cheese from the Baurenmarkt (near the Germany pavilion); the Northern Bloom's Sweet Corn Gelato has a uniquely mildly sweet flavor. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Though many of the tours are self-guided, there are several formal guided tours. The English Tea Garden Tour is a same-day sign-up tour at the United Kingdom pavilion that takes guests through a complimentary tour of the "history and art of tea blending" during a walk through the tea garden. For $18/person (including tax), guests can sign up for the guided Royal Tea Garden Tour which includes a sampling of tea and scones (reservations required by calling (407) WDW-TOUR, and, in fact, organizers say may dates are already sold out during the first weeks of the Festival).

On a grander scale, Epcot offers the spring version of its Gardens of the World Tour during the Festival. This three hour tour is offered on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and takes guests with a Disney horticulturist though the gardens of Epcot. For pricing and reservations call (407) WDW-TOUR. The Behind the Seeds Tour (which is less than an hour long) at the Land Pavilion is also offered several times daily (from 10:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.); you can often sign up at the tour desk next to the entrance to Soarin' on the same day, or you can get information and pricing by calling (407) WDW-TOUR.

The English Tea Garden Tour is complimentary, but you must sign up in the shop. The Royal Tea Garden Tour is $18/person, advance reservations are required. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Spike's Pollen Nation Exploration is a scavenger hunt where guests look around World Showcase to find Spike the bee; when completed, guests receive a souvenir prize. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Spike is located in gardens all around World Showcase. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival also has special merchandise of all sorts. Mickey, Minnie, Figment and even Orange Bird are prominently featured on their own pieces. Around World Showcase, specialty items also can be found in booths around the Promenade which will vary during the run of the Festival - like, for example, the Fairy House Ladies which we mentioned during the latter days of Festival of the Arts. You can read more about the merchandise offerings in this article from Disney Parks Blog.

Orange Bird, Mickey Mouse, and Figment are each featured on Festival merchandise. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Oranges are prominent on much of the Festival merchandise. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

One of the Festival caps features Orange (Spaceship Earth) ears. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Orange Bird appears on several Festival t-shirts and other items. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

An enchanted purple rose has been created (like the Beauty and the Beast variety) for the Festival. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Minnie Mouse also has a flower shop-themed line of merchandise for the Festival. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

All over the park, smaller gardens are on display. The small gardens include signs explaining the parts and cultures of the world responsible for creating them. Other temporary exhibitors will visit Epcot during the Festival through its May 28 conclusion.

One of the many gardens around World Showcase is the Morocco Spice garden display. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Bonsai trees are displayed around the Japan pavilion, including signs explaining each individual plant. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Some displays and activities during the Festival are only around for a short time. For example, Barrels by the Bay returned for its second year at the Festival, but just for the opening weekend. This non-profit organization focuses on sustainable development through the use of rain barrels and guests attending the Festival during its opening weekend could assist in painting these drums that will be used all over the city of Orlando to help collect rain water. You can learn more at barrelsbythebay.org. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

MousePlanet will have more coverage of the Festival in coming days and weeks. Follow our social media accounts, and, of course, come back to each week's Walt Disney World Resort Update for more News and Views.

During the Oscars Telecast, Did you #FollowTheBall?

If you were following along on our Twitter feed during Sunday's Oscars teleast on the Disney-owned ABC-TV network, you saw that we were tweeting along with the "#FollowTheBall" tweets tracing the Pixar Ball's journey across the United States to Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World Resort. Toy Story Land will open on June 30, 2018, and we will provide even more coverage as its opening approaches. Watch for our social media posts with "#ToyStoryLand" for the latest.

The #FollowTheBall ad campaign included this commercial during the Oscars telecast. Video ©Disney.

Toy Story Land will include an attraction called Alien Swirling Saucers inspired by the Pizza Planet aliens and "The Claw" just like this long-existing merchandise kiosk in Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

World's Biggest Mouse Party Coming Later This Year

On the heels of the upcoming "Incredible Summer" season, to salute Mickey Mouse's 90th birthday on November 18, Disney Parks is launching what it has named the "World's Biggest Mouse Party" to honor Mickey and Minnie with special events around the world. Lots of merchandise, treats, photo opportunities, and more will all be available celebrating the November 18, 1928, release of Mickey's first film Steamboat Willie. Disney's other media will join in as well: ABC-TV will also have a star-studded celebration; Disney Channel will presented an extended birthday episode; a new Disney on Ice show will tour the Asia Pacific region (starting this July), and, in addition to the Disney D23 Destination D celebration, the Fall issue of its namesake publication Disney twenty-three will include a print of Disney animator Mark Henn's official portrait of Mickey for his 90th birthday.

The parks always have lots of Mickey-themed merchandise, and it will likely increase as the celebration of Mickey's 90th birthday gets underway. This is the latest selection of Mickey-themed merchandise I spotted in the exit area of Space Mountain on Friday. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Earlier this month, Disney announced that the new attraction in the Chinese Theatre at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway, will also be ready for its debut in 2019. The attraction is the first ever ride-through attraction starring the mouse that started it all.

Epcot Concert News & Calendar

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival's Garden Rocks Concert Series At the America Gardens Theatre began this year's run with returning band Night Ranger (“Sister Christian”) over this past week end. In addition to more returning bands, 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.

The Jazz Ambassadors, America's Big Band, The United States Army Field Band performed three concerts at America Gardens Theatre on March 1 as part of their national tour. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Views Around the World

As usual, photo captions provide you with bits of news too. If you skipped the captions in the news, you probably missed some news you could use (I'm looking at you Passholders).


The Pub Musician at the Rose & Crown Pub at the United Kingdom pavilion, Carol Stein, now dons a new costume. She regularly entertains Pub guests of all ages (there are no age restrictions for entering the Pub) with traditional English, Scottish, and Irish pub music (and your Disney favorites) in the afternoons on Sundays through Thursdays. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Purple Martin migration is now well-underway. It is often possible to spot them at the birdhouses around the Resort, including these on the east side of Future World. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Steve Harvey's daytime talk show will be recording episodes in Epcot's World Showcase Plaza. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Magic Kingdom

Construction at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe can be seen from the Tomorrowland Transportation Authority PeopleMover. The quick service restaurant remains open, but you will need to follow signs and cast member instructions to enter. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Signs on the construction walls point the way to the entrance to the Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Beyond the Walt Disney World Railroad tracks between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, substantial ground clearing has begun for construction of the "Tron"-themed lightcycle rollercoaster expected to be completed by the park's 50th anniversary in 2021. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Carousel of Progress is again being re-painted. Its show continues to operate during regular park hours. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The scrim around Prince Charming Regal Carrousel is getting a decorative overlay. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Pirates of the Caribbean refurbishment is expected to continue for at least another week or so. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The renovations at the Speedway gas station near Magic Kingdom's parking toll plaza continues. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground

The beach near Pioneer Hall at Disney's Wilderness Campground provides excellent viewing of Magic Kingdom's "Happily Ever After" fireworks and is accompanied by the show's soundtrack. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The "Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue" has been running at Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground for more than 40 years. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Pioneer Hall Players are the stars of the "Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue" Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Even the cast members that serve your dessert get in on the dancing during the show. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The "Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue" Strawberry Shortcake is a sweet ending to the dinner show. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

This and That

Disney Parks Blog celebrates National Women's History Month this March by saluting many of the talented and passionate women that make a difference around Disney Parks and Resorts. This week, the focus is on Food & Beverage at both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

…For those interested in further celebrating the various "Instagram-worthy" spots around Walt Disney World Resort beyond just taking your selfies there, increasingly, we have seen merchandise saluting these places. In recent weeks, we saw the "Meet Me at the Purple Wall" cap on sale at several locations around the Parks. Now, you can also get the Limited Release "Meet Me at the Purple Wall" MagicBand which Disney Parks Blog says has been "carefully designed to match the exact color shade from the Purple Wall" at Magic Kingdom. A two-week flash sale on ShopDisney.com began yesterday. More Limited Edition and Limited Release MagicBands are available for Flower & Garden Festival, and more are on their way, including one celebrating Disney's Animal Kingdom's upcoming 20th anniversary starting on March 21 (with a limited edition size of 2,000 and available only at the park).

…Paddlefish restaurant at Disney Springs says that March is going to be an exciting time to visit for some spring some fun in your routine. First up is National Crab Day on Friday, March 9, Paddlefish will be offering 50% off its famous King Crab entrée. This offer cannot be combined with any other discounts and it will be for the King Crab entrée only.

Next up at Paddlefish, a Rooftop Mixology Class on Saturday, March 24th from 12 to 2 p.m. Guests will be able to learn how to make four specialty cocktails with house hold ingredients. Light bites will be served along with tastings of the cocktails, all for $50 per person. Click here to register before seats fill up.

And finally, Paddlefish will be offering the chance to sip on Rosé All Day. Bottles of Cantele Negroamaro Rosé will be available for $20 on the rooftop all day March 16-18 and 23-25.

…Apologies that last week we wrote that this is the Atlanta Braves final season of spring training at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Indeed, just a few Updates ago, we reported that the Braves signed a one year extension to stick around Walt Disney World Resort into the 2019 spring training season to allow for completion of their new facility at the end of that year's spring training schedule. For this year's Atlanta Braves ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex home games, the full schedule and tickets are available at espnwwos.com/braves, Ticketmaster outlets including by phone at (800) 745-3000, and at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Box Office.

…Repeating from last week: Tickets are now on sale for the next edition of Star Wars: Galactic Nights event on May 27, 2018, at Disney's Hollywood Studios: Ages 10+ @ $129; Ages 3-9 @ $124 (not including tax). Visit this page of DisneyWorld.com for more information and to purchase tickets. Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members can get a $10/ticket discount (follow instructions on the site to log in). No new details about this edition of the event have been published yet, though we know it follows the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Like the last edition of the event back in December, the advertised details of the event include a "one-night only panel discussion taking you behind the scenes at the all-new land, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge," plus character encounters and special photo opportunities, a projection show on the Hollywood Tower Hotel on Sunset Boulevard (previously called Star Wars: Galactic Destinations, but, so far, not named in the announcements we have seen), Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away stage show, Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple (for younglings only), Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks, special food and beverage offerings, special merchandise, and, of course, most of the park's attractions open for the duration of the event with shorter waits (mostly because the attendees are mostly waiting in lines to meet characters).

…Also repeating from last week: St Patrick's Day is right around the corner. We previously have mentioned the Raglan Road Mighty St. Patrick's Festival bringing three days of "non-stop live Irish music, family fun and late-night revelry" to Disney Springs with eight award-winning bands on the pub's Grand Room and Patio stages from March 16-18. The Raglan Road Irish Dancers will also perform throughout the Festival. On March 17, St. Patrick's Day, guests will be seated on a first-come, first served basis with a $10 cover charge for guests 18-and-older. You can now read more information about the Festival and the bands on the Festival's web page. Reservations can be booked for the other Festival Dates by calling (407) 938-0300.

…And, continuing the journey across the Atlantic to Disneyland Paris Resort, Disney Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger announced plans for a two billion euro multi-year expansion of the Resort in phases beginning in 2021, including new areas based on Marvel, Frozen, and Star Wars coming to its Walt Disney Studios Park. This announcement follows, as you may recall, The Walt Disney Company's 2017 announced acquisition of essentially all of the outstanding shares of the European resort that it did not already own. The previously announced reimagining of the Resort's Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith into an adventure with Iron Man will continue as well.

…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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Our Disney World Crowd Calendar shows you the least crowded park to visit every day of the year, customized Touring Plans save you hours in line for Disney's best rides, honest restaurant reviews, how to save on Disney tickets, the best hotel rooms to ask for, and so much more. Everything can be accessed on our site or on Lines - Mobile Wait Times App which also shows to current and estimated wait times for attractions.

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

Date Overall
Tuesday, March 6, 2018 6 / 10
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 3 / 10
Thursday, March 8, 2018 5 / 10
Friday, March 9, 2018 6 / 10
Saturday, March 10, 2018 6 / 10

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

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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

  • 25th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – February 28 - May 28, 2018
  • Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom – March 8
  • 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 – Fall 2018
  • 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. As a bonus for reading this far, DVC Members looking to make reservations for Moonlight Magic at Disney's Animal Kingdom may notice that we have provided a jump link to the reservations page. Members with reservations need to have their reservations number handy; all Members will need their DVC ID number handy.

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 – closed for refurbishment scheduled through mid-March 2018.
  • Liberty Square Riverboat – closed for refurbishment.
  • Stitch's Great Escape – My Disney Experience lists as "available seasonally throughout the year."


  • Ellen's Energy Adventure at Universe of Energy – Permanently closed on August 13, 2017. Guardians of the Galaxy-themed attraction opens in approximately 2021.
  • Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable – closed February 3, 2018. Theater to be repurposed.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • The Great Movie Ride – Permanently closed August 13, 2017. The new "Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway" attraction to open in Chinese Theatre in 2019.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • Flights of Wonder (Caravan Stage) – Show Closed on December 31, 2017. "UP! A Great Bird Adventure" starring Russell and Dug and their bird friends opens April 22.

Blizzard Beach

  • No known closures at this time.

Typhoon Lagoon

  • Seasonal Refurbishment scheduled to end March 18, 2018.

Disney Springs

  • World of Disney – phased store closings for refurbishment underway. 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 in 2018.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • 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.

Walt Disney World Resort theme park tickets are rarely offered at deep discounts unless you are a resident of Florida or eligible for U.S. Military Personnel benefits. It is increasingly true that non-Florida residents tend to benefit the most by purchasing tickets in advance (and, of course, being mindful of the rules relevant to those tickets). As prices go up, it becomes even more important to pay heed: Don't get scammed! Never buy tickets from an unofficial or secondary outlet, such as through eBay or Craigslist. Never rent or purchase tickets from people approaching you outside Disney property stating they have remaining days or leftover tickets. This practice is against the terms of use for Walt Disney World Theme Park admissions, and may result in denial of entry. There is no way to determine if these tickets are valid until you try to use them to enter the parks. Only purchase Disney theme park tickets directly from Disney, an authorized seller, or a travel agency like MousePlanet travel partner Get Away Today.

Get Away Today Logo

In fact, although Get Away Today does not know how long they will be able to continue selling tickets at the prices on its website today, now is a great time to check out the discounts available at the site. Be sure to move the calendar to at least seven (7) days out, to see what ticket options and discounts are available for your planned visit.

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


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 WDWAP18 to arrange your rental. It is listed on the "Passholders Extras" page of the Passholder website with the updated code as of February 19, 2018.

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 a discount of $30 on tickets to one of the remaining Disney After Hours events at Magic Kingdom, a new $35 Sunrise 9 golf offer (including 9 holes of golf, a hot breakfast and 2 beverages between 7 and 8:30 a.m., subject to availability at Disney Golf courses), a new $29 Sunset 9 golf offer (including 9 holes of golf, a light snack and a beer or soft drink, subject to availability in the late afternoon at Disney Golf courses), 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. It currently also includes an opportunity to enjoy exclusive access to game-day suites on Passholder Suite Day when the Atlanta Braves take on the St. Louis Cardinals on March 17, 2018 (1:05 p.m. game time) at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex - packages includes a full ballpark buffet (one hour prior to scheduled first pitch), admission to the game and the opportunity for kids to run the bases after the event (and there is an optional add-on opportunity to step on to the field before the game to watch batting practice): Space is limited, call (407)939-GAME for prices and to reserve your package.

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.

Very far away from the Resort, Passholders staying 3 or more consecutive nights at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii, can save up to 30% for rooms booked most nights from April 2 through June 7, 2018. Reservations must be made by May 9, 2018. The Passholder must present the annual pass at check-in and must stay in a room on the reservation. (Also applies to Disneyland Resort annual passholders.)

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


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

2018 Armed Forces Salute Tickets

January 1 through December 19, 2018

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

NOTE: Tickets must be used by December 19, 2018.

U.S. Military personnel can also purchase the Memory Maker product for $98.00 through December 19.

Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased at participating U.S. military sales outlets by Eligible Service Members (as defined on Disney World.com) or their spouses (but not both), for use by themselves and only family members and friends, as provided by Disney's rules. These Tickets may not be otherwise transferred, distributed or resold. Limit six (6) tickets purchased by the military personnel (or spouse), and one ticket must be used by that member of the military (or spouse).

U.S. Military personnel can enjoy discounts at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels when booking by December 19, 2018, for stays most nights from January 1 through March 24, 2018, and April 6 through December 19, 2018. Offer excludes moderate and deluxe resorts. Call(407)939-5684 for information and reservations.

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 a whole lot more flexibility that came along with the price increases of February 11, 2018, Florida Residents can also save 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





  Regular Day





  Peak Day






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






Park Hopper





  • Florida Select tickets expire 180 days after first use. First use must be on or before December 31, 2019.
  • 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

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 https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/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. It currently includes an offer for a 14-day ticket for the price of a 7-day ticket and up to four free resort nights on a two-week holiday (valid most school holidays) when booked by 28th March. Package includes Memory Maker and is valid for residents of the U.K. and Ireland only. On select arrivals for stays at Disney Hotels, guests also receive a $100 US Disney Gift Card.

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