Walt Disney World Resort Update for March 27 - April 2, 2018

by Alan S. Dalinka, contributing writer
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Walt Disney World Resort Update for March 27 - April 2, 2018

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

Writer's note: With spring break season (as I'm calling it) in fully swing, it was an otherwise quiet Walt Disney World Resort news week. The public relations team took the opportunity to host two events, which I posted about on MousePlanet's social media outlets (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram).

As I noted in last week's introduction, on Thursday, I was invited to see and hear an update on the progress of Toy Story Land (which is due to open on June 30). I got to go on the other side of the construction walls and have a look at the work-in-progress. While photos were not allowed, it was great to hear Imagineers share their excitement and to learn about their attention to the details that are starting to take shape. Disney also confirmed that Woody, Jessie, and Buzz Lightyear will all personally appear and interact with guests in the new land.


As the June 30 opening of Toy Story Land approaches, the construction walls near the land's entrance have been rearranged allowing for a new view of its main entry path, as we showed last week. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

On Friday, as part of celebrating the 25th edition of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (which continues through May 28), Disney showed off some of its Animals, Science, and Environment team to highlight some of the company's conservation efforts. Of course, I also had an opportunity to (again) explore the many flowers and gardens around the park on a rather picture-perfect day during a bit of a photo scavenger hunt and take in a Garden Rocks Concert by Little River Band.


The 25th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival continues through May 28. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Indeed, photos are the focus this week. With March coming to an end, it is time also for another edition of One Passholder's Tip with a Photo Fun installment. But, let's first start with the News and Views.


News and Views

Toy Story Land Continues Toward its June 30 Opening | Exploring Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival as a "Conservation Festival" | Easter Decor, Parades, and Characters Appear for a Limited Time |"Return to Sleepy Hollow" Again This Fall | Epcot Concert News & Calendar | Views around the World | One Passholder's Tip | This and That | Crowd Forecast

Toy Story Land Continues Toward its June 30 Opening

On June 30, which is now less than 100 days away, Disney's Hollywood Studios will open Toy Story Land. As we have reported a number of times before, the new 11-acre land will include a new walk-up food service location, two new attractions and a new entrance for the existing Toy Story Mania attraction. This past week, Disney also confirmed that guests will be able to interact with characters in the new land, with Woody, Jessie, and Buzz Lightyear making regular appearances.


The 11-acre Toy Story Land will include a new walk-up food service location, two new attractions, and a new entrance for Toy Story Mania when it debuts on June 30. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Disney announced that Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and Jessie will all make regular appearances in Toy Story Land and will interact with guests. Image ©Disney.

Imagineer Ryan Wineinger, a creative director on the project, brought us out back into the construction "in progress" site of Toy Story Land. I say "out back" because, as the new land's story goes, guests will enter the world of Andy's backyard and we will see signs of Andy having recently been there.


Last week we noted that the Toy Story Land construction walls recently were moved into their current configuration which reveals additional details of Andy's backyard and a little bit of the Slinky Dog Dash coaster to areas of the park which are open to all guests. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The "glamour of Hollywood" will give way to the dirt of Andy's backyard. For example, Andy leaves behind footprints which are about 25 feet long (the equivalent of a size 240 shoe). His footprints are so large, of course, because in the story of the new land, guests are shrunk down to the size of toys. In fact, Imagineer Ryan Wineinger said that guests are about the same size as a Green Army Man in the new land. Disney says that it would take a Green Army Man roughly 12 steps to travel the length of one of Andy's shoeprints; although I got to stand on a shoeprint, I did not measure.

All of the traditional real-world aspects of a theme park experience like railings and poles are being crafted to look like toys. Tinker Toys, for example, include area lighting and speakers. When entering the land, the plantings also tell the story of being in Andy's backyard. They were selected to appear as super-sized grasses, flowers, and other plants you might find if you had been shrunk down in a backyard.

Inside the new land, Toy Story Mania is getting a brand new entrance themed to the Carnival Games Playset (the box for the game itself from which Andy built Toy Story Mania). It will allow guests to wander through and under all of the games Andy has set up under his bed. The Mr. Potatohead animatronic will return to the attraction as well.

The new Alien Swirling Saucers attraction is, in the land's story, a game Andy won after collecting and cashing in his Pizza Planet tickets. The dozens of Little Green Aliens are spinning through the "Universe of Pepperonia" and trying to be captured by The Claw. The team describes the music as from another world.

The Slinky Dog Dash coaster demonstrates Andy's exploration of his imagination. Like a creative kid, Andy combines his new toys and old toys into one adventure. His Mega Coaster playset, which serves as the basis for the ride, is surrounded with blocks, Jenga Towers, and many of Andy's other toys to bring together the whole adventure.


Andy combines his old and new toys to create a playtime adventure. Photo ©Disney.

The new walk-up food service location is Woody's Round-up Lunchbox, propped open by a Thermos. Guests will order from "Tupperware windows."

We expect to have an additional update about the progress of Toy Story Land toward its June 30 opening in a month.

Exploring Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival as a "Conservation Festival"

Increasingly, folks think of Epcot mostly for its festivals. Summer is the only season without an official festival in the park. The move in that direction all began 25 years ago with the first Flower & Garden Festival that, believe it or not, was only 38 days long!

This year's festival began back on February 28 and runs all the way until May 28. According to Eric Darden, a Disney Horticulturalist who has worked on every Flower & Garden Festival since the beginning, this festival's central identity has become the "Conservation Festival."


Eric Darden is the Horticulture Manager for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Behind the Seeds Greenhouse Tour is offered year-round in The Land pavilion. It is a paid walking tour through the greenhouses that the Living with the Land boats travel through, and includes educational information about pest control, agricultural techniques, and the many plants (and fish and other edible sea creatures) in the building. I have previously paid to take the tour, and included it recent Update if you would like to see more. (This time, I took the tour as an invited media guest.)


Behind the Seeds tours are available multiple times each day inside the greenhouses of The Land pavilion. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The "sensitive plant" is a memorable highlight of the Behind the Seeds Tour, it reacts to touch to protect itself. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

During the Flower & Garden Festival, the tour includes some nods to the Festival and is offered up to nine times each day. Before the media-invited tour (and again later), I had the opportunity to briefly chat with Les Frey from the Agricultural Sciences team, a part of Disney's Animals, Science, and Environment team. He proudly wore a rather unique Disney name tag made of bamboo—one of approximately 20 company-wide—which represents his work on a team whose facility has zero net waste.


Les Frey is a member of Disney's Agricultural Sciences team. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Another conservation highlight of the Festival is its focus on the purple martins and their annual long-distance migration from South America. The earliest purple martins arrive at Walt Disney World Resort around January 1. They make their nests in the gourd-shaped birdhouses now scattered at sites around the Resort, including Epcot.


Purple martins take flight from their nests when one of the Disney conservation team members lowers it to inspect. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Purple martins birdhouses can be seen near the Lightning McQueen topiary. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

According to Disney Horticulturalist Eric Darden, the connection between the purple martins and the Festival, however, was rather accidental. It turns out that gourd-shaped props were used as decorations around the Festival early in its history, and team members discovered the birds making their nests in them. That led to a more scientific and conservation-based approach to studying the birds.


A member of the Disney Animal Sciences team explains that the the gourd-shaped birdhouses are similar to natural structures that these birds prefer to use for nesting. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Disney Animal Sciences team members lower the birdhouses to inspect the nests. This one contained several eggs that the team expects will hatch any day (if they have not already by the date of publication). The hatchlings mature quickly and will then take flight to South America only to return to Central Florida for mating next year. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


At a media reception, Disney's conservation team also discussed the Joffrey's Peru Coffee that is now served in a number of locations around both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. The team, following Walt Disney's personal beliefs about the importance of conservation, have worked with Peruvian farmers to create a more sustainable method of farming which actually also improved coffee yields. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Easter Decor, Parades, and Characters Appear for a Limited Time

As we have previously reported, the Easter Bunny is now making appearances in the Magic Kingdom Town Square Courtyard for photo opportunities until Easter Sunday, April 1. On Saturday and Sunday (March 31 and April 1), Magic Kingdom also features a special Easter-themed pre-parade on Main Street U.S.A. featuring Mr. & Mrs. Easter Bunny, Daisy Duck, Thumper & Ms. Bunny, White Rabbit, Rabbit, Clara Cluck, hippos, ostriches, dancing chicks, and the traditional appearance by the Azalea Trail Maids from Mobile Alabama. The Times Guide and My Disney Experience are your source for scheduled times and any changes. Watch MousePlanet's social media for photos and video on Sunday (schedule and weather permitting).

Several of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels also have displays of hand-crafted Easter Eggs by their bakery cast in their lobbies. The "eggs" are described as "entirely edible having been created using dark and white chocolate, modeling chocolate, sugar and fondant." Each one represents approximately four months of work. The most prominent displays are located at Disney's Beach Club Resort (with a few pieces displayed at the neighboring Yacht Club) and Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.


The lobby of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa displays Easter Eggs crafted by the Bakery cast. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The three dimensional Easter Eggs are displayed in several locations throughout the Grand Floridian's main lobby. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Though the Great Movie Ride's depiction of the Emerald City and the Land of Oz has closed, a tribute to it is part of this year's Grand Floridian Bakery team's Easter Egg display. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


This Grand Floridian Easter Egg appears to have a poison apple created by an Evil Queen. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Some Grand Floridian Easter Eggs are immediately identifiable, like the Nightmare Before Christmas-inspired scene on the left. The inspiration for others (like that on the right), are less certain. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Some of the Easter Eggs are done in a diorama-style, like this enchanted rose at Grand Floridian. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Other Grand Floridian Easter Eggs have added surfaces or, like the "Frozen" inspired egg in the middle, intricate murals. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


This Grand Floridian Easter Egg appears to have as its inspiration the version of "I just can't wait to be King" scene from "The Lion King" as depicted in Mickey's Philharmagic at Magic Kingdom. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


One of the most detailed murals on a Grand Floridian Egg was illuminated by a shaft of sunlight through a lobby window during my early evening visit to the lobby, making the work that much more striking. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Disney's Yacht Club Resort's lobby has a small display of Easter Eggs done by the joint bakery cast for the Yacht & Beach Club Resort. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Next door, Disney's Beach Club Resort's lobby has a central display filled with Easter creations by the bakery cast. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The "Fab 5" are imagined as Easter Eggs at Disney's Beach Club. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


"Wreck-it Ralph" is the subject of, perhaps, the most detailed Easter Egg display at Disney's Beach Club. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Around every side of the "Wreck-it Ralph" Easter Egg is more detail to discover. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Baymax (from "Big Hero 6") is decorated as an Easter Egg at Disney's Beach Club (notwithstanding another guest calling the character "Betamax"). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Stitch seems to be hatching from this Easter Egg display at Beach Club. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Over at Epcot, through April 1, guests can try the popular EGGstravaganza scavenger hunt. If you purchase the map and redeem it, you can obtain a prize for "completing" the hunt. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

"Return to Sleepy Hollow" Again This Fall

Following last week's announced 2018 schedule for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (dates are provided below and which we discussed in last week's Update), this week we have learned that the "Return to Sleepy Hollow" event will return to Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground this fall. The event includes group viewing of the 1949 Disney animated film in the Tri-Circle-D Ranch stables, along with "galloping ghosts" and an encounter with the Headless Horseman.


Guests attending a "Return to Sleepy Hollow" event encounter the Headless Horseman. Image ©Disney.

The "Return to Sleepy Hollow" event takes place at 8 and 10 p.m. on the following nights: September 28-30, October 3-7, 10-14, 17-21, and 24-31. This year's event includes a 9 p.m. dessert party (which guests attend either after the 8 p.m. movie or before the 10 p.m. movie). Reservations are available 180 days in advance (or 190 days for resort guests) by calling (407)WDW-TOUR.

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.


Little River Band returned to Epcot this past weekend. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

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.


Wayne Nelson, the bass player, has been with Little River Band longer than anyone else. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Views Around the World

In addition to the Views shared in the News, this week we have more views of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, and a bit of the Magic Kingdom area road construction. As usual, photo captions provide you with bits of news too.

Epcot


The 25th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival continues through May 28. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Topiary Donald Duck faces a no-win scenario (as usual). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


A bonsai displayed at Japan pavilion is made from a 200 year old plant. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Norway pavilion's Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe is closed for refurbishment. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


As we noted last week, a few of the Norway bakery's popular menu items are now available at the Midnattssol Bakeri kiosk along World Showcase Promenade. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Hollywood Studios


Last week we spotted pieces of the future Disney Skyliner infrastructure in the parking lot awaiting installation. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


This week we saw one of the Disney Skyliner towers erected in the parking lot. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


This Disney Skyliner tower is located not too far from the location of the future station for Disney's Hollywood Studios. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney Springs


Construction of the newest garage across Buena Vista Drive from Disney Springs continues. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The "Wrinkle in Time" photo backdrop is outside the Disney Springs AMC 24 Dine-In Theatres. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The bridge from the West Side to The Landing (formerly Pleasure Island) is again behind construction walls. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Notwithstanding the construction walls on the bridge, all of the Patina Restaurant Group restaurants in the new complex are open (as is neighboring STK Orlando Steakhouse). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Concept art on the construction wall outside the future new Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill shows exposed wood beams inside the establishment, some of which are now visible above the construction wall. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


From atop the neighboring Coca-Cola Store, the extensive wood beams of the future Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill can be seen. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Vertical construction is underway at the future site of the NBA Experience where the former DisneyQuest indoor theme park was located. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


NBA Experience expects to open in Summer 2019. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


From Buena Vista Drive, construction at the future site of NBA Experience once again blocks the view of some of the West Side. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Construction work at the future Jaleo restaurant site has transformed the shell of the former Wolfgang Puck Grand Café into a more curved building. Panoramic Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Magic Kingdom Area Construction


Flyover construction near the Magic Kingdom parking toll plaza continues. Watch for signs indicating traffic pattern changes. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The sunsets beyond the Magic Kingdom parking toll plaza construction work as an Epcot line monorail heads toward the Transportation and Ticket Center. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

One Passholder's Tip

This section of the Update provides our MousePlanet readers with the benefit of my years of experience as a longtime Walt Disney World Four Parks Annual Passholder, and lots of personal trial and errors, one (at least monthly) tip at a time.

One Passholder's Tip #42: Photo Fun Edition #10
Sometimes, interesting photos are the result of volume and luck!

As any of our regular readers knows by now, I take a lot of photos. You get to see some of the best of them when you visit the weekly Updates and, indeed, on some of MousePlanet's social media channels. And, while not every photo is necessarily a "work of the highest quality art" (since some are included just to illustrate a story or point), hopefully you see most of them as a "cut above average" or better.


Duck! It was an accident. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Interestingly and fortunately, not every photo comes out the way the photographer intends. In this instance, I was trying to shoot a zoomed-in photo of the Richard F. Irvine ferryboat crossing Seven Seas Lagoon with Cinderella Castle in the background. Since the ferry was moving, I shot with my camera in burst mode (several images captured while holding down the shutter).

I did not expect to get a photo (let alone a close-up) of a duck in flight. It is a lucky accident that yielded an interesting photo. The tip for you is, do not be shy about taking "extra" photos. You never know if another photo will come out better. Indeed, and particularly with moving objects, you may find that one photo is in better focus than another (especially true with auto-focus cameras), or better lit, or that, perhaps, you have been photobombed in a good way!

Anyway, as I have written before, with digital photography, the only cost is the amount of memory and battery you have left—and both are fairly cheaply available these days. While your mileage may vary, you really do get your best photos from volume: it is not unusual to shoot a couple hundred photos to get a dozen or so good ones.

This and That

Disney Parks Blog continued its celebration of National Women's History Month by saluting more talented women who are Disney pastry chefs at both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

…For those considering attending the next edition of the Star Wars: Galactic Nights event at Disney's Hollywood Studios on May 27, Disney Parks Blog has published its "Foodie Master's Galactic Guide" highlighting all the specialty items available for sale that night, including the return of the Lightsaber Churros. Remember, admission to the event is by separate ticket only. In addition, you can also purchase the "Galactic Tasting and Viewing Package" which includes tastings of five items from the up to 25 different items and beverages (including alcohol) available during the event. Details and package purchase are available online or by calling (407)WDW-DINE. Event tickets are on this page, with discounts available for Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members. Even more information is available by calling (407)W-DISNEY.

…Last week we noted that in May, the West Side of Disney Springs will become home to the new DisneyStyle shop. It will feature what Disney Parks Blog describes as "fresh and stylish apparel and accessories inspired by beloved attractions at Disney Parks and timeless Disney characters." The merchandise will include spirit jerseys, headwear, and accessories like handbags, hats, socks, and more. It will be next door to Star Wars Galactic Outpost, in the space formerly occupied by the Harley-Davidson Orlando shop (which now operated in the Town Center neighborhood).


DisneyStyle is expected to open in May. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


DisneyStyle will occupy the space formerly home to Harley-Davidson Orlando which moved to Town Center this Winter. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

…Sticking with the "Incredible Summer" theme that the Disney Parks are celebrating this year for their seasonal marketing push, the runDisney Virtual Running Shorts series are returning and drawing its theme from the upcoming Disney-Pixar film The Incredibles 2. The Virtual Running Shorts let participants select their own courses and run their own 5k races to earn different commemorative finisher medals which, this year, will salute the namesake superhero family. The "races" are held on a date of your choosing each month, June through August; register for any or all. Complete all three shots and receive the Virtual Running Shorts Finisher Medal. Information (and, later this Spring, Registration) is available on this page of the runDisney website.

…Speaking of sports, golfers considering a Walt Disney World Resort vacation may want to check out the latest Golf Getaway Packages from Walt Disney World Golf operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management. Packages include Walt Disney World Resort hotel stays with rounds of golf, theme park tickets, transportation, pro shop credit, and more.

…And, remember, Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs continues its month long Sakura Festival celebrating the arrival of spring and cherry blossoms through its April 15 Matsuri Festival ($45/person - 12-4 p.m.) which will include family fun, games, food and more. The other special ticketed events include:

  • Taste From the Seas of Japan - March 30: 4-6 p.m. ($45)
  • Morimoto Asia's Guest Chef Series - April 3: 7-9 p.m. ($120)
  • Ramen Seminar and Tasting - April 7: 12-3 p.m. ($36)

More information about the Sakura Festival, its special events and tickets are available on this page of the Patina Restaurant Group's website.

…Finally, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club announced that the next D23 Expo will be held August 23-25, 2019, in Anaheim, California. Advance tickets will go on sale on August 23, 2018. D23 says that all of the "popular presentation venues will return, including Hall D23, the Expo Arena, Stage 28, and Center Stage." As you may recall, the Walt Disney Company has used past editions of the D23 Expo for major Parks and Resorts announcements, films and television program announcements, celebrity appearances, and more. It is too early to speculate much about what may be announced in 2019, but relevant here is that Walt Disney World Resort's 50th Anniversary will be just over two years later in 2021.

…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 26, 2018 9 / 10
Wednesday, March 27, 2018 10 / 10
Thursday, March 28, 2018 9 / 10
Friday, March 29, 2018 9 / 10
Saturday, March 30, 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 – August 17, 24, 28, 31;
    September 3, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28, 30;
    October 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31
  • 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 – November 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, 30;
    December 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21
  • Holidays at Walt Disney World – TBA
  • Epcot International Festival of the Holidays – TBA
  • Candlelight Processional at Epcot – TBA

2019 Resort Events

If you participate in (or are considering signing up for) runDisney events, visit our Team MousePlanet forum on the MousePad discussion board, where you can join our community of health-minded readers and staff. For current information on runDisney registration dates and capacity, see Lorree Tachell's runDisney Race Capacity Updates in the Team MousePlanet forum on our MousePad discussion board.

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

Introduced in 2017 as part of Membership Magic Ever After, complimentary Moonlight Magic events invite Disney Vacation Club Members (that are eligible for the Membership Extras benefits) and their guests to visit Disney Parks at the end of their regular operating hours and after the park has closed to the public. Members (and their parties) with reservations find shorter-than-usual wait times on popular attractions, meet rare characters, enjoy complimentary refreshments, have dance parties, and more. Please note that, in order to allow as many Members as possible to enjoy Moonlight Magic, only one event date for each participating park is available per Membership. Visit disneyvacationclub.com during specified reservation windows to (attempt to) secure access to the event as well as to find additions to the Moonlight Magic event slate, updated party hours, and transportation information.

Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Note: Not all attraction closures have been officially confirmed by Disney, and are all subject to change at any time. All refurbishment schedules are estimates only. We recommend checking for updates as you plan your visit. All information is subject to change without notice. To get the most recent updates, visit DisneyWorld.com or use the MyDisneyExperience App on your iOS or Android device.

Magic Kingdom

  • 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

  • No known closures at this time.

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.

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 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!

 

Comments

  1. By spectromen

    Thank you for the Egg pictures. They looked absolutely awesome!

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