Walt Disney World Resort Update for March 13-19, 2018

by Alan S. Dalinka, contributing writer
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Walt Disney World Resort Update for March 13-19, 2018

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

Writer's note: With spring breaks varying quite a bit by school and region, we probably should expect a very long season filled with crowds all around Walt Disney World Resort. This past weekend at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival was no exception, judging by just how crowded the World Showcase Promenade was on Saturday night.


With crowds drawn to the flowers, gardens, and outdoor kitchens during the Festival, as they are here on World Showcase Promenade viewed from the steps outside Mexico pavilion, Epcot seems even busier on weekends as the spring season gets underway. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

If you plan to visit the Resort by car, you should be aware of the significant road construction projects going on all around the Resort (and also on I-4 and beyond in Central Florida). Traffic patterns seem to be changing every few weeks around the Resort. On World Drive, for example, the resort traffic by-pass at Magic Kingdom toll plaza has changed a couple of times already just since December, and the flyovers in that area are visibly coming closer to completion. On the portion of Osceola Parkway that runs behind Disney's Hollywood Studios near ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, signs advise of upcoming traffic pattern changes and the flyovers under construction there continue toward completion.


Construction at Osceola Parkway and Victory Way (between Disney's Hollywood Studios and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex) includes flyovers with traffic pattern changes to come. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

In any event, if you are driving around the Resort, be aware that your GPS may not have the latest road information. Be sure to pay extra close attention to directional signs to get around the Resort by car, as the roads are not likely how you remember them nor as your GPS may suggest. And with that mini-tip, let's get to this week's News and Views.


News and Views

2018 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Dates Announced | Disney Dreamers Academy Held at Walt Disney World | Children's Pixar-Themed Playtime Coming to Disney's Contemporary Resort | Epcot Concert News & Calendar | Views around the World | This and That | Crowd Forecast

2018 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Dates Announced

Just as spring comes to Walt Disney World and the 2018 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival completes its first couple of weeks, it is time to start thinking about fall visits to the Resort. That, of course, means Disney has started to announce plans for this year's 75-day run of the 23rd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Yesterday, Disney Parks Blog announced that this year's Festival will start on August 30 and run until November 12, 2018.


The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival returns on August 30 for another 75-day run. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

So far, other than the dates, all we know for certain is the usual big-picture rundown for the Festival: celebrity chefs, Eat to the Beat concerts, dining packages, Marketplaces (food and wine kiosks), special events, and such will all return. Keep an eye on the Festival's website: TasteEpcot.com for the latest details and we will bring you news in future Updates as it gets released.

Disney Dreamers Academy Held at Walt Disney World

Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine was held at Walt Disney World last week to honor and inspire students from its 2018 Class of Disney Dreamers. Disney Dreamers Academy is an annual empowerment program featuring 100 select high school students from across the country who are looking to dream big and learn how to put dreams into action. The Academy aims to prepare students for the future by developing networking and interviewing skills and showcasing a variety of career opportunities.

Students between ages 13 and 19 that live in the United States and enrolled in grades 9-12 apply for the opportunity to be one of the 100 students selected to participate in the program. Disney says that the program "seeks students with a winning combination of attributes that reflect strong character, positive attitude, and persistance to take advantage of opportunities." More information is available on the Academy's website.


Annette Gibbs, a member of the Walt Disney World public relations team, took the stage with Disney Dreamers Academy's Executive Champion Tracey Powell and Essence Magazine President Michelle Ebanks. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Malachi Hobbs, 16, is a Rockledge High School (Rockledge, Florida) sophomore who, despite an extremely difficult childhood which included homelessness, financial difficulties, and other significant challenges, dreams of becoming a surgeon. He was selected as a 2018 Disney Dreamer. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The 11th annual Disney Dreamers Academy kicked off this year's four-day mentoring program with a news conference at Disney's Contemporary Resort. Annette Gibbs, a member of the Walt Disney World public relations team, took the stage with the Academy's Executive Champion Tracey Powell and Essence Magazine President Michelle Ebanks, featured speakers. The Disney Dreamers were then paraded through Magic Kingdom with television personality Steve Harvey along with Minnie and Mickey Mouse leading the way.


Magic Kingdom salutes Disney Dreamers Academy with a parade that began with television personality Steve Harvey along with Minnie and Mickey Mouse. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Disney Dreamers Academy features high school students selected from around the United States. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Steve Harvey in a car along with Minnie and Mickey Mouse were at the head of a parade of Disney Dreamers Academy selected students past Cinderella Castle. Video by Alan S. Dalinka


Television personality Steve Harvey speaks with members of the media after the parade. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Steve Harvey spoke about the Disney Dreamers Academy event after riding in a parade past Cinderella Castle. Video by Alan S. Dalinka

Steve Harvey also honored the 2018 Class of Disney Dreamers during the taping of his daytime one-hour variety show STEVE recorded at Epcot March 9-11 for broadcast March 19-23. These episodes include details of the "Incredible Summer" coming to Walt Disney World this summer, and, of course, the upcoming opening of Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Check your local listings for station information.

Children's Pixar-Themed Playtime Coming to Disney's Contemporary Resort

Disney Parks Blog announced that Disney's Contemporary Resort will introduce a new pilot program of "playful and immersive Pixar character experience[s]" for (fully toilet-trained) children 4-12 starting on April 13, 2018. The $65/child (plus tax) four and a half hour program includes games, dinner and dessert, and, in many ways, sounds similar to how kids aboard Disney Cruise Line ships are "checked in" to the kids-only Oceaneers Club which frees up parents to enjoy other forms of entertainment for awhile.


Disney's Contemporary Resort will soon introduce a new Pixar character experience pilot program for kids on April 13. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The nightly program draws from Disney-Pixar's Toy Story, Cars, and The Incredibles franchises. Kids start the evening in Space Ranger Training, where they learn to identify and battle the enemies of Star Command. Then they meet Wood and Jessie for some of their version of the Wild West during Woody's Roundup. Next, kids can build a race car and race on the Radiator Springs Racetrack during the Piston Cup Challenge. Finally, Mr. and Mrs. Incredible will host the Incredible Dance Party. Doors will open for registration at 5 p.m. and the program will run from 6 until 10:30 p.m. The exact location inside the Resort has not yet been announced.


Adult-focused activities are also scheduled around resorts, including these at Disney's Contemporary Resort. Look for signs and calendars; ask a concierge or front desk cast member for details. Some activities, like "Painting with a View" in the Top of the World Lounge at Bay Lake Tower are exclusive to Disney Vacation Club Members and their guests. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Epcot Concert News & Calendar

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival's Garden Rocks Concert Series takes the stage at the America Gardens Theatre three times nightly on Fridays through Mondays through May 28. 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.


Starship featuring Mickey Thomas returned to Epcot last weekend as part of the Garden Rocks Concert Series during the 25th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Views Around the World

This week, I visited Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Animal Kingdom, and Disney Springs. As spring break gets underway, this week's Views include lots of the latest merchandise spotted around the parks as well as lots more of the blooms and topiaries around #FreshEpcot. By the way, we sometimes feature photos on our @MousePlanet on Instagram feed that do not make their way to our Updates, so why not follow us there too? As usual, photo captions provide you with bits of news too.

Magic Kingdom


Springtime days in Central Florida can bring beautiful skies over Main Street U.S.A. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


A decorated scrim now surrounds Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. The ride usually continues to operate during park hours. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Construction continues on the exterior of Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


After seeing the exterior painted white in recent weeks, this week, the vibrant colors of the most recent paint scheme are returning to the exterior of Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Construction continues on the buildings just inside Adventureland. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Mickey Mouse appears on a "C YA Real Soon" T-shirt in the Emporium. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Several pieces of merchandise at the Emporium feature this stylized iconography from around Walt Disney World Resort. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Mickey Fun Wheel from Disney California Adventure at Disneyland Resort is available at the Emporium as a Metal Earth 3D Metal Model Kit. At Disney California Adventure, it is in the area being reimagined as Pixar Pier, so you may want to read our weekly Disneyland Resort Updates to read about the ride's current status. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Epcot


Sponsorship signage has finally been removed from Spaceship Earth. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Sponsorship signage has also been removed from Project Tomorrow signs at the exits of Spaceship Earth. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


New temporary signs point the way to the hallway behind Fountain View (Starbucks) in Future World West where the complimentary Annual Passholders' Magnets and Garden Rocks Concert Series reserved seating wristbands are distributed. On Saturday afternoon and evening, the queue inside was quite long. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The Smokehouse is the Flower & Garden Festival's "Outdoor Kitchen" at The American Adventure. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The bonsai trees on display at Japan pavilion have required years of "training" to take on their current forms. Each tree has a sign that includes the years required for the tree's present shape. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The topiary display at the France pavilion is inspired by Disney's animated film Beauty & The Beast. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The Winnie the Pooh topiary stands at the U.K. pavilion. Fans will also appreciate this week's release of the trailer for "Christopher Robin," the live-action Winnie the Pooh film coming later this year. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The wood-carved bears at Canada pavilion have striking lighting at night. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Bambi and Friends topiaries are located at World Showcase Plaza this year rather than at Canada (where the bears stand this year). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The FTD floral display at World Showcase Plaza is not lit at night (the photo is lit by the flash of the camera). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Butterflies decorate the center of World Showcase Plaza. Behind it is the stage built for the Steve Harvey daytime show "STEVE" episodes recorded at Epcot March 9-11. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The Figment topiary is located between World Showcase Plaza and the Future World Fountain of Nations. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The Daisy Duck topiary is located in Future World West. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


As there is no Festival Center for the Flower & Garden Festival, Passholder Exclusive merchandise is available in an exclusive lane of one of the cash-wrap stations inside Mouse Gear. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Hank the octopus (septopus) plush from Disney-Pixar's "Finding Dory" is available at The Seas with Nemo and Friends. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


He's and She's "Mine! Mine! Mine!" t-shirts are also available at The Seas with Nemo and Friends. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Animal Kingdom


This week's interesting fact courtesy of Imagineer Joe Rohde (@joerohde on Instagram) is that the Tree of Life was made to be the same size as the dome of the Pantheon in Rome, Italy. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Refurbishment continues at the Caravan Stage which, starting April 22, will be home to "UP! A Great Bird Adventure" starring Russell and Dug and their bird friends. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


On Kilimanjaro Safaris, animals like this bongo have the right-of-way on all roads and may, in fact, give you a longer-than-average safari ride (or wait back in the queue). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Augustus, the baby hippo recently born at the park, lies close to his mother on a cool but sunny afternoon. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


One of the many giraffes on Kilimanjaro Safaris dines on the leaves atop a tree on the savannah. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The "ghost of the forest" seemed truly to be invisible during refurbishment at the okapi enclosure. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The younger members of the silverback gorilla family group at Gorilla Falls are getting larger. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Several new purse designs are available in shops around the park. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Park foods are in large type, attractions are in smaller type on this T-shirt being sold at the park. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The new Otterbox smartphone cases featuring Disney designs are now appearing in more stores around all of Walt Disney World Resort, including at Disney's Animal Kingdom's shops. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney Springs


Construction of the new (third) parking garage continues across Buena Vista Drive from Disney Springs. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


World of Disney store phased refurbishment has now temporarily closed nearly two-thirds of the "World's Largest Disney Store." Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Twenty Eight and Main inside the Marketplace Co-op is where you can find merchandise saluting classic and former attractions, characters, and more. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The Dress Shop on Cherry Tree Lane inside the Marketplace Co-op now sells Disney-Pixar's "Monsters, Inc."-inspired door-covered dresses and accessories. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Another of the dresses is decorated with Disney Parks iconography. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


As construction continues on the transformation of Portobello Country Italian Trattoria into Terralina Crafted Italian (now expected to be completed this Spring), the newest sign on the construction wall features its James Beard Award winning chef, Tony Mantuano. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Wine Bar George has finally had its exterior windows installed ahead of its anticipated opening this Spring. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Signs now advertise "Late Night" with "No Cover Charge" on Thursday through Saturday "'Til 2 a.m." at a number of Disney Springs locations, like Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar. HDR Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

This and That

Disney Parks Blog continued the celebration of National Women's History Month this March by saluting more of the talented and passionate women that make a difference working with Food & Beverage at both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

…Walt Disney World Golf announced a series of one-day Spring 2018 Junior Golf Camps for golfers ages 7 to 17. The camps will be hosted at Disney's Palm, Magnolia, and Oak Trail golf courses on March 14, 21, 22 and 28, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Each one-day session is $145/participant and includes lunch and beverages, PGA of America Professionals teaching full swing, short game, and putting, along with games and prizes. Junior golfers can attend one or all of the camps. Disney Vacation Club Members, Military Personnel and Cast Member discounts are available. For additional information, contact Michael Schlager, PGA Direction of Instruction, directly at (407) 454-5096 or mschlager@palmergolf.com. Space is limited.

…The Disney Dreamers Academy (which we discussed in the news above) also saluted The Kinsey Collection at Epcot's American Heritage Gallery inside The American Adventure during its commencement ceremony at the end the weekend. The Kinsey Collection of African American art and history, which has been on display for the past five years, is returning to the Kinsey Family at the end of March. No announcements were made regarding the future of the American Heritage Gallery.

…When visiting the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, be sure to ask a Disney PhotoPass photographer about available Magic Shots including Orange Bird, Spike the honey bee, one or more butterflies, and more. Photographers also have themed props during the Festival. One Day PhotoPass photo downloads are available for $69 (during or after your visit on the My Disney Experience mobile app) or your entire vacation for $169 when purchased online three days or more in advance. PhotoPass photo downloads are also available as a Passholder benefit included with most types of annual passes.

…The Blizzard Beach Spring Challenge is back on March 24-25, with obstacle courses, water slide challenges, and other interactive games for the whole family. Winners get to take home Blizzard Beach themed prizes.

…Walt Disney Company announced the dedication of more than $100 Million over the next five years to create "personalized, distinctly 'Disney' experiences featuring beloved Disney characters and stories" at children's hospitals around the world. In this initiative named "Disney Team of Heroes," Walt Disney Imagineers, working with patient care experts, will create customizable experiences for young patients and their families. Some of the technologies included in this initiative are reminiscent of those used in Disney's Parks and Resorts: RFID-based systems allowing individual personalization; "enchanted" artwork that "comes alive." Disney first-run movies and television shows will be available in-room and in themed pop=up movie theaters in the hospitals, along with other Disney entertainment options like "play carts" filled with Disney-themed games and activities. The Disney Institute will also create customized training programs for healthcare professionals to assist them in finding ways to create hospital experiences that are less stressful and more patient and family-centric.

…Just a couple of Paddlefish restaurant reminders from last week (at Disney Springs):

  • 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. The deck opens at 12 p.m. daily.
     
  • Paddlefish is holding 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.

…Also repeating since St Patrick's Day is this weekend and I will be tweeting (follow @MousePlanet) about a Raglan Road holiday preview as an invited guest on Thursday, March 15. As you may recall, 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.

…Speaking of St Patrick's Day celebrations, though from Florence, Italy, Vivoli il Gelato at Disney Springs is also offering up a couple of festive desserts for a limited time. Its Leprechaun Milkshake is made with mint chocolate chip gelato, spun with Nutella brownies, drizzled with chocolate sauce, and topped with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. The Shamrock Sundae includes two scoops of pistachio gelato, mint chocolate chip gelato, chocolate sauce, and is topped with whipped cream.


Vivoli il Gelato is located in the Landing neighborhood of Disney Springs. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

…Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs kicks off its first ever Sakura Festival celebrating the arrival of spring and cherry blossoms with a Happy Hour with the brewmasters from Crooked Can Brewing Company featuring the "Sakura Kolsch," exclusively available at Morimoto Asia, and Pan-Asian bites. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit this webpage.


Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs hosts its first ever Sakura Festival from March 15-April 15. Image courtesy of Patina Restaurant Group.

…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, March 13, 2018 7 / 10
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 8 / 10
Thursday, March 15, 2018 8 / 10
Friday, March 16, 2018 8 / 10
Saturday, March 17, 2018 8 / 10

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Resort Events

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

2018 Resort Events

  • 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 (unofficial events) – Spring: Magic Kingdom: April 28, 2018; Epcot: April 29, 2018;
    Fall: Disney's Animal Kingdom (until 3-5 p.m.) and Magic Kingdom (eventing): November 17; Epcot: November 18, 2018
  • Star Wars: Galactic Nights event at Disney's Hollywood Studios – May 27, 2018
    Visit this page of DisneyWorld.com for more information and to purchase tickets.
  • 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 – August 30 - November 12, 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."

Epcot

  • Stave Church Gallery at Norway pavilion – closed for refurbishment.
  • Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe at Norway pavilion – closed for refurbishment through summer 2018.
    A few Kringla favorites will be available at Midnattsol Bakeri, a kiosk on World Showcase Promenade at Norway during the refurbishment.
  • Ellen's Energy Adventure at Universe of Energy – Permanently closed on August 13, 2017.
    Guardians of the Galaxy-themed roller coaster-type 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 now open in Town Center offering 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 Spring 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.

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.

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

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

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

For the most up-to-date list of locations offering dining discounts to Annual Passholders, visit this page of DisneyWorld.com.

Many dining locations offer Passholders 10% discounts during some or all meal periods (also excluding alcoholic beverages, tax and gratuity).

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

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

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

Magic Strollers, "a Disney featured stroller provider," is continuing to honor its $5 discount on stroller rental when staying at a Disney Resort Hotel and using coupon code 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

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

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

$136.50

$130.50

$164.00

$158.00

 
  Regular Day

$146.50

$140.50

$174.00

$168.00

 
  Peak Day

$156.50

$150.50

$184.00

$178.00

 
 
 

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

$209.00

$197.00

$229.00

$215.00

 
 

Park Hopper

$241.50

$229.50

$266.50

$252.50

 
 
  • 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!