Walt Disney World Resort Update for May 22-28, 2018

by Alan S. Dalinka, contributing writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for May 22-28, 2018

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

Writer's note: We head into Memorial Day Weekend before our next Update, and Walt Disney World Resort will mark the occasion with its shift from springtime to summer mode. The Incredible Summer kicks off on Friday with the launch of the Incredible Tomorrowland Expo in Magic Kingdom and Donald's Dino-Bash over at Disney's Animal Kingdom (we expect to provide coverage of the latter on social media on Friday after 4 p.m. Eastern).

With the summer Florida heat, do not be shocked if your electronic devices decide that they need to cool down too, especially if you are live streaming the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade. Bonus One Passholder's Tip: have more than one camera handy for anything you want to capture! Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival ends its spring-long run on Monday night with the final Garden Rocks concerts by The Spinners. Last week, we updated our Epcot Concert News section and calendar with the Guardians of the Galaxy-Awesome Mix Live! Concert Series, which is being marketed as part of the Incredible Summer, but is not starting until June 9 (and we have also included the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Eat to the Beat Concert Series acts announced so far for this fall). More Incredible Summer offerings include the Disney H20 Glow Nights at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park starting June 21 (separate hard ticket required) and then, of course, the biggest addition: the opening of Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios on June 30 (and be sure to keep an eye on our social media tomorrow afternoon, May 23, as we are expecting another behind-the-construction walls update from the Disney Imagineering team).

While we have roughly another year to await the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios (and out West at Disneyland), we will get an update on Sunday from the next "Inside Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge" panel during the latest edition of Star Wars: Galactic Nights, the hard ticket, after-hours event at Disney's Hollywood Studios, which this time is celebrating the May 25 release of Solo: A Star Wars Story. We have been invited to cover the event (including the panel) and Disney says tickets are still available. The Galactic Nights host throughout the event will again be Star Wars actor Warwick Davis. The panel promises more details about the planet Batuu (the setting for Galaxy's Edge) and photos of the construction progress, with participation by Scott Trowbridge, Portfolio Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering (responsible for Star Wars across all lines of business at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts), and fellow Imagineers Eric Baker, Jon Georges, and Margaret Kerrison.

The mountains of Batuu continue to rise in the future Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Keep those umbrellas and ponchos handy if you are visiting the Resort this week, as that low pressure system in the Gulf just keeps the rain and humidity coming this way (and, no, it is not just the typical brief almost scheduled summer afternoon rainstorm). As of this posting, Wednesday and Friday look like the drier days, but after almost four years in the neighborhood, I would not place any bets on the weather in this neighborhood. Let's just get on to the News and Views.

News and Views

Wine Bar George Now Open at Disney Springs | Tour "Behind the Themes" to Support Give Kids The World Village | Epcot Concert News & Calendar | Views Around the World | This and That | Crowd Forecast

Wine Bar George Now Open at Disney Springs

Master Sommelier George Miliotes has opened Wine Bar George in The Landing neighborhood of Disney Springs. Open daily from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m., Wine Bar George is the only wine bar in Florida owned by a Master Sommelier; Miliotes is one of only 249 in the world. It is located next door to Raglan Road, across from Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar. Reservations will be available starting on May 25 for bookings starting on June 25.

The new 200-seat venue includes indoor seating themed to the interior of a winemaker's home as well as a terrace. It offers more than 130 selections at a range of price points by the ounce, glass, and bottle. It also offers European-style sandwiches, cheese, olives, hummus, charcuterie, cookies, and wines on tap—served to-go by the glass or carafe at its downstairs shop, The Basket at Wine Bar George.

Tour "Behind the Themes" to Support Give Kids The World Village

Give Kids The World Village is an 84-acre, nonprofit resort in Central Florida that provides weeklong, cost-free vacations to children with critical illnesses and their families. The Village and its community partners provide fully-furnished villas, transportation, tickets to theme parks, meals, entertainment, and more. Numerous Walt Disney World Resort cast members volunteer their time as volunteers at The Village, as do folks at the other attractions in the region. Indeed, executives from the major theme parks are listed among the organization's leadership ranks.

Image courtesy Give Kids The World Village.

Give Kids The World is introducing a "Behind the Themes" tour series to provide the public with exclusive looks at the cutting-edge technologies found in theme parks in Orlando and around the world. All ticket sales help Give Kids The World Village fulfill its mission of providing dream vacations for critically ill children and their families.

So far, three tours have been scheduled and more are expected to be announced soon. Tours are $50/person and include lunch as well as question and answer sessions with the leadership of the companies hosting the tours.

  • Sally Corporation - June 30, 10:30 a.m.: Founded in 1977, Sally Corporation began as an animatronic production company to help market corporate brands in a unique and entertaining way. Since then, Sally has evolved into a world-leading designer and manufacturer of animatronics and so-called "dark rides"—indoor rides that carry guests past a series of sets.
  • Bob's Space Racers - August 21, 10:00 a.m.: Bob's Space Racers offers over 40 years of experience providing games and management services throughout the world. Since 1971, when the company developed Whac-A-Mole, Bob's Space Racers have been creating new and exciting games.
  • Skyline Attractions - September 15, 10:00 a.m.: Based in Orlando, Skyline Attractions strives to be the premier manufacturer of quality, American-built rides. The company sold its Skywarp, one of the amusement industry's most anticipated new attractions, to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, CA, which is set to open this year as Harley Quinn Crazy Coaster.

To purchase tickets and learn more about the tours, visit GKTW.org/tours.

You can read more about Give Kids The World Village on GiveKidsTheWorld.org.

Epcot Concert News & Calendar

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Garden Rocks Concert Series wraps up this weekend with performances by The Spinners, three times nightly Friday through Monday (5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 8 p.m.). The America Gardens Theatre Stage is then scheduled to become a part of the Incredible Summer festivities from June 9 through August 19, with five times daily "Guardians of the Galaxy-Awesome Mix Live!" shows featuring tunes from Star-Lord's Awesome Mixtapes (also known as the two movie soundtracks). Published showtimes are: 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 8 p.m.

Passholder reserved seating for Garden Rocks Concerts requires a wristband distributed in the Future World West hallway behind Fountain View (Starbucks) and Club Cool. We have not seen any announcements about whether there will be Passholder seating for other concert series this year. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Earlier this month, Disney Parks Blog released a partial list of scheduled acts for this year's Eat to the Beat Concert Series at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival which runs three times nightly from August 30 until November 12 on the America Gardens Theatre stage. Sheila E and Glass Tiger are among the new acts on the schedule this year. 98 Degrees, which performed during the Disney Parks Holidays tapings at Magic Kingdom last winter, will also be part of this year's Eat to the Beat Concert Series, and Jim Belushi brings his R&B band The Sacred Hearts to the stage. Contemporary Christian music artists MercyMe and Tauren Wells join the lineup as well.

For the convenience of our readers, we list all of the scheduled acts 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. Walt Disney World Resort does provide schedules in the My Disney Experience app, but does not allow you to add dates to calendars outside the app itself.

Views Around the World

As a long time Disney Vacation Club Member, I was fortunate enough to have secured a reservation and been able to attend the May 16 DVC Moonlight Magic after-hours event at Disney's Animal Kingdom. A rain-soaked day led into a cloudy, damp (but, fortunately, rain-free) evening, but one that was particularly dark, especially for photos.

During an all-too-brief sunny part of Friday, I got over to Magic Kingdom for a few hours and a look at the Disney Festival of Fantasy parade with its new substitute (hopefully temporary) Sleeping Beauty unit given last week's fire that damaged the Maleficent dragon float. On Sunday, amid the off-and-on drizzle and rain storms, I visited Disney's Hollywood Studios to pick up my "complimentary" Donald Duck Passholder Magnet and check out the 10 minute preview of Disney-Pixar's Incredibles 2 at Walt Disney Presents ahead of the film's June 15 opening in U.S. Theaters.

Read the captions for more bits of news along the way.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

While it is often possible to see animals on nighttime visits to Kilimanjaro Safaris, it is very difficult to photograph them. Remember that flash photography is not permitted at night for the sake of the animals (and would not do much good given the distances between you and them). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

A new lighting scheme decorates the exterior of the theater home of "UP! A Great Bird Adventure" at night. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

After reporting that we found no more references to the "Caravan Stage" name for the theater since its reopening last month, this week we found a sign. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic events provide reduced wait times for attractions to registered DVC Members and their guests. Even reduced, the wait to ride Avatar Flight of Passage exceeded an hour and allowed ample opportunity to view the avatar in the lab. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

Last week we asked, "How well do you know Disney's Animal Kingdom?" This photo was taken at the FastPass+ entry to the Rivers of Light amphitheater across from Expedition Everest. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The gift shop at the exit of Expedition Everest also includes similar figures decorating the shelves along the shop walls. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Magic Kingdom

Princess Aurora now appears daily in the Disney Festival of Fantasy parade aboard the often-used gazebo float with Prince Phillip during the Sleeping Beauty segment. The music during this segment now includes only the main main "Festival of Fantasy" theme. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

Just over a week ago, the Maleficent float (seen here), a steampunk-inspired dragon, was damaged by fire. The float has been a highlight of the Festival of Fantasy parade since its debut four years ago. December 22, 2017 File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Sleeping Beauty unit of the parade is the only one affected by the change. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Last week we noted the low-rise construction wall running along the curb of Main Street U.S.A. along the Emporium. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

This week, the low-rise wall was removed to reveal new pavement. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Construction of newly covered outdoor space continues at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café. (New ceiling fans in the space were running at the time of this photo as well.) Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

As construction on the future TRON lightcycle-themed rollercoaster proceeds largely beyond the trees next to Space Mountain (and to the east of Tomorrowland Speedway), some (likely related) work and workers appeared nearby this week as seen from the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Four different "Share A Coke" bottles celebrating Disney Parks icons were available this week at Tomorrowland Power & Light Co. (the gift shop at the exit of Space Mountain): Jungle Cruise & Haunted Mansion (Coke); Tomorrowland (Diet Coke); Big Thunder (Coke Zero Sugar). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Memorial Day is a day to remember those who fought for the country that have passed away. Georgette Washington (as played by Miss Piggy) is probably not the best photo to illustrate that, but The Muppets do pay homage to "Great Moments in American History." Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

After that at Magic Kingdom, what better way to start the views around Disney's Hollywood Studios than with another display paying homage to The Muppets? Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

A new Passholder Exclusive magnet featuring Donald Duck is available at Disney's Hollywood Studios through June 29 (while supplies last). Find a cast member with a tablet (and magnets) to scan your Pass Card or Magic Band inside Mickey's of Hollywood, Keystone Clothiers, Once Upon a Time, and Walt Disney Presents. (Be prepared to show matching Photo ID). Subject to availability, Passholders still have until Monday (May 28) to get the Minnie Mouse Passholder Exclusive magnet over at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival too. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The lobby of the Walt Disney Theater includes a display of "Black Panther" costumes on loan from Marvel Studios. This costume was worn by Zuri, portrayed by Forest Whitaker. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

A costume worn by Ramonda, Queen Mother of Wakanda in "Black Panther" portrayed by Angela Bassett is also on display. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Walt Disney Presents now hosts a preview of the upcoming Disney-Pixar film "Incredibles 2" which includes an introduction by Samuel L. Jackson and the first ten minutes of the movie. Disney California Adventure in Anaheim hosts a 3D version at Sunset Showcase Theater. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The doors of the Walt Disney Theater inside Walt Disney Presents are decorated for "Incredibles 2." Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The theater lobby display has maquettes representing the animated characters of "Incredibles 2" including Jack-Jack and Edna Mode. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

A large maquette of Mr. Incredible is on display as well. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Reel Vogue on Sunset Boulevard has a large selection of Incredibles-themed merchandise. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Reel Vogue also has Incredibles costumes. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Socks decorated with themed hats are now an option at shops around the Resort, including at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Concrete work in front of the Hyperion Theater is surrounded by temporary hedge walls. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The concrete work in front of the Hyperion Theater requires guests take alternate routes to get to locations around the park (which is already filled with detours caused by Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and Toy Story Land construction. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

To walk from the Star Wars, A Galaxy Far, Far Away stage show in front of the Chinese Theater to The Path of the Jedi (film) or Star Tours, guests must walk around Echo Lake during construction. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Temporary hedge walls are on both sides of the Hyperion Theater, but the Frozen Sing-Along show schedule is not interrupted by the work. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The visual barrier between Grand Avenue and the future Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge area now includes trees tall enough to block views of the ongoing rockwork and construction. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

With nearly a month to go until the opening of Toy Story Land and, likely, increased crowds at the park, it appears that some additional parking areas will soon be ready. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

This and That

…Disney Parks Blog is hosting a meet-up to celebrate the first showing of Solo: A Star Wars Story on May 24 at Disney Springs. As usual, ticket distribution was completed in a matter of minutes. Festivities outside the AMC 24 Dine-In Theatres, of course, are open to the public. If you are planning to visit Disney Springs Thursday night for something else, be aware of the likely larger-than-usual crowd and plan accordingly.

…To celebrate the one year anniversary of Pandora-The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom on May 27, The Rookery at Windtraders (at the exit of Avatar Flight of Passage) will begin selling a new limited release banshee inspired by the "bioluminescent wonderland" of the landscape. It includes a display perch and a Certificate of Authenticity. It joins the other 11 colors of banshees available, including the limited release 20th Anniversary of Disney's Animal Kingdom version inspired by the "moss-covered wall."

The latest edition of "Inside Disney Parks" celebrates Disney's Animal Kingdom's 20th Anniversary and includes a fun "Top 5 Places" segment with Imagineer Joe Rohde. The video includes a look at the new bioluminescent-inspired limited release banshee too. Video ©Disney.

…Starting on May 28, Magic Kingdom is adding a new (additional charge) option for viewing the nightly fireworks show "Happily Ever After" (or the special July 3-4 fireworks shows, Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party shows, and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party shows). For $69/adults and $41/children (ages 3-9), the new "After Fireworks Dessert Party" attendees first get to see the fireworks from the Plaza Garden and then go over to Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant for the "all-you-care-to-enjoy" selection of sweet and savory treats "inspired" by the lands of Magic Kingdom (Frontierland S'mores; Adventureland Pineapple Delights; Liberty Square Ooey Gooey Toffee Cakes; Fantasyland Macarons; Tomorrowland Cookies; Main Street Strawberry Tarts), cheese, spinach dip, mini eggrolls, fresh fruit, and beverages such as sparkling apple juice, coffee, tea, and milk. (Special fireworks nights also will include special holiday treats). Call (407) WDW-DINE for reservations now. Online reservations will be available starting Thursday, May 24.

…On the subject of Magic Kingdom fireworks dessert parties, the prices for attending them on and after May 28 are also going up. For the Plaza Garden Viewing version which includes dessert at Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant followed by being escorted to the Plaza Garden, the prices will become the same as the "After" version discussed above - $69/adults and $41/children. The Tomorrowland Terrace Viewing version that includes dessert and then seats on the patio, will be $84/adult and $50/child. Prices all include tax. Gratuity is not included nor required according to DisneyWorld.com.

…During the Special Olympics Florida Summer Games at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex this weekend, Special Olympics North America and Special Olympics Florida signed documents to bring the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games to Orlando June 5-10, 2022. The Games will include 15 Olympic-style team and individual sports and five potential demonstration sports. Special Olympics is the world's largest sports organization empowering people with intellectual disabilities. Disney says that the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games will mark the largest humanitarian event in Florida's history.

…Back in the Walt Disney World Resort Update for February 27-March 5, 2018 we wrote about our trial of the new offering from Walt Disney World Golf (operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management): FootGolf on Disney's Oak Trail Golf Course. Walt Disney World Golf now offers a new FootGolf Kicker's Club for frequent players. Sign up for free at the pro shop. Have your Club card stamped each time you play; get 5 stamps within 90 days and get a 6th round free.

…Repeating from last week, Walt Disney World Golf continues to offer a chance to win a free Player's Club membership on its website. The contest, which continues until midnight (presumably Eastern Daylight Time) on May 31, will award one randomly selected grand prize winner with a free two-year membership in the Players' Club. Four additional prizes, randomly selected, will include free one year, 9-month, 6-month, and 3-month memberships. In addition, those who comment and like the Facebook post about the contest on the Walt Disney World Golf feed will have a chance to win a free round of golf for up to four people at any Walt Disney World Golf course. We, of course, are in no way responsible for the Walt Disney World Golf contest, but provide this information and embed its Facebook post (below) for your information and convenience.

Disney Parks Blog detailed six new magic shots now available by the Disney PhotoPass Service around the Resort. Since some are created by "photographers who continuously roam" rather than fixed locations, the best advice we can give you is to always ask whether the PhotoPass photographer has any magic shots available when you encounter one.

…And, finally, for Disney Vacation Club Members, DVC announced two Member Cruises in 2019. The first will be a five-night sailing of Disney Wonder from San Diego, May 15-20, and visiting San Francisco, and Victoria and Vancouver, Canada. The second will be a seven-night sailing of Disney Magic from New York City, October 5-12, with a stop in Boston on the way to Bermuda. Booking opens June 23 at 10 a.m. (Eastern). Call Member Services at (800)800-9800.

…The MousePlanet Newsletter is here! The newsletter contains a recap of the week's articles (in case you miss a day), news that may have developed since the weekly Updates were published, and tips about what's happening at the Disney theme parks for the coming weekend. We'll also include a fun bonus, such as an Eye Spy or a trivia question. To subscribe to our free newsletter, just enter your email in the box below.


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Crowd Forecast


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

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

Date Overall
Tuesday, May 22, 2018 6 / 10
Wednesday, May 23, 2018 6 / 10
Thursday, May 24, 2018 7 / 10
Friday, May 25, 2018 7 / 10
Saturday, May 26, 2018 8 / 10

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

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Resort Events

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

2018 Resort Events

  • 25th Epcot International Flower & Garden FestivalFINAL WEEKEND - ENDS MONDAY, May 28, 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
  • Disney H20 Glow Nights at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
    • Every Thursday and Saturday, June 21 to August 11, 8 p.m. until 11 p.m.
  • Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom:
    • June 28, 30, July 7, 9, 14, 21, 28, August 4 & 11: from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m.
    • August 30, September 20: from 9 p.m. until 12 a.m.
  • 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
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – August 30 - November 12, 2018
  • Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend – November 1-4, 2018
  • Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic – October 26-27, 2018
    • Sunday Bubbles Brunch – October 28, 2018.
  • Dapper Day (unofficial events)
    • November 17: Disney's Animal Kingdom (until 3-5 p.m.) & Magic Kingdom (evening);
    • November 18: Epcot
  • 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

Disney/Pixar concept hart for H20 Glow
Disney has released concept art for the upcoming Disney H20 Glow Nights event coming to Disney's Typhoon Lagoon. Image ©Disney/Pixar.

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 (cast say until at least June/July).
  • Stitch's Great Escape – My Disney Experience lists as "available seasonally throughout the year."


  • American Heritage Gallery at The American Adventure – closed for refurbishment
  • Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe at Norway pavilion – closed for refurbishment through summer 2018.

A few Kringla favorites are now available at the Midnattssol Bakeri kiosk along World Showcase Promenade. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

  • 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

  • Toy Story Mania– Closed June 11 through June 18, 2018, for work related to new attraction entrance and queue in Toy Story Land.
  • 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 opened in its place on April 22, 2018.

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.
    DisneyStyle now open on the West Side offering additional Disney-themed merchandise.
  • 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.


  • 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

Characters in Flight Tethered Balloon Ride by Aerophile

Once again, for a "limited time," Groupon is selling individual rides for $11.50 and two person rides for $23. The Groupon certificate cannot be redeemed until 24 hours after purchase, is valid for 90 days, but only on flights from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. (weather permitting). This offer was still available when we last checked (May 21), but could end at any time.

Memory Maker pre-arrival discount

Disney's PhotoPass service provides a discount on Disney Memory Maker pre-arrival packages. For $199 plus tax, Walt Disney World guests can digitally download any photos associated with their Memory Maker account, including photos taken on attractions. The advanced purchase price is $169, a $30 savings. Applicable taxes are charged to all orders.

Purchase must be made more than three days prior to arrival at the Walt Disney World Resort for the discount. All sales are final, and not eligible for an exchange or refund. Both the immediate and discount version of Memory Maker can be purchased at this page of DisneyWorld.com.

Travel Discounts for Annual Passholders


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," offers a $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.

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 specially priced 1-Day Water Park Tickets for $49 plus tax (must be purchased in-person at the water parks and not available online; must be used on or before December 31, 2019), 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.

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

Discounts for Disney Rewards VISA Credit Card Holders


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

20 percent off Joffrey's coffee/tea kiosks

Disney Visa cardholders receive 20 percent off their entire purchase at Joffrey's coffee/tea kiosks throughout Walt Disney World, including Tea Traders Café by Joffrey's, and online at Joffreys.com with code: VISABEANS

15 percent off select guided tours

Disney Visa cardholders receive 15 percent off the non-discounted price of selected guided tours for up to 10 people. The cardholder must participate in the tour, and pay with a Disney's Visa Card and/or Disney Rewards Redemption Card. Discounts are not available on Premium VIP tours, programs exclusive to groups, or group team building programs.

10 percent off select restaurants

Disney Visa cardholders receive 10 percent off the check when you pay with a Disney's Visa Card and/or Disney Rewards Redemption Card (be sure to request the discount). Offer excludes alcoholic beverages, merchandise, tobacco, room service, holiday buffets, tax and gratuity. Discount does not apply to the following dates: 12/31/17, 1/1/18, 2/14/18, 4/1/18, 5/13/18 and 7/4/18, and may not be available at all meal times. Visit this page of disneyrewards.com for the latest list of restaurants and restrictions.

10 percent off merchandise

Disney Visa cardholders receive 10 percent off at participating Disney-owned retail location when you spend a minimum of $50 and pay with a Disney's Visa Card and/or Disney Rewards Redemption Card (be sure to request the discount). Read all of the restrictions on the this page of disneyrewards.com.

Cardholders also receive 10% off select merchandise purchases of $50 or more at the following Walt Disney World Resort Operating Participant merchandise locations including Basin, Basin White, Chapel Hats, Good Fortune Gifts and House of Good Fortune, kidsHeritage, Luxury of Time, Marrakesh Emporium Arts & Crafts, Joffrey's coffee/tea kiosks and Tea Traders Café by Joffrey's, Sperry and Volcom.

15 percent off all Disney spa and salon services

Disney Visa cardholders receive 15 percent off the non-discounted price of any salon treatment valued at $45 or greater or any 50-minute or longer spa service most days at the spas and salons at Walt Disney World Resort. Visit this page of disneyrewards.com for participating locations and restrictions.

10 percent off select recreation experiences

Disney Visa cardholders receive 15 percent off the non-discounted price of the recreation experiences listed below:

  • Carriage Rides at Disney's Port Orleans Resort and Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
  • Horseback Trail Rides at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

Free character photos at a private meet and greet location at Epcot

Present your Disney's Premier Visa Card or Disney Rewards Visa Card for access to a private character meet and greet at Epcot for the cardholder and up to five guests. The event is hosted daily from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Imagination Pavilion at Epcot (enter near the jumping fountains near the exit to the Magic Eye Theater). You'll receive complimentary downloads of your photos (one time per day), which may be accessed in the MyDisneyExperience App (or website).

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

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

Travel Discounts for Military Personnel

2018 Armed Forces Salute Tickets

January 1 through December 19, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Travel Discounts for Florida Residents

Discover Disney Tickets

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

Disney Select Tickets

At a higher price, but with a whole lot more flexibility that came along with the price increases of February 11, 2018, Florida Residents can also save with the 4-Day Disney Select Ticket (compared to the price of a 4-Day Magic Your Way ticket). There is a smaller discount for a 3-Day Select Ticket, and there is also a discount for 1–Day Tickets with the Park Hopper Option only. For more information visit this page of DisneyWorld.com.

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





  Regular Day





  Peak Day






Florida Resident
Select Tickets

3-Day Select Ages 10+

3-Day Select Ages 3-9

4-Day Select Ages 10+

4-Day Select Ages 10+


1 Park Per Day






Park Hopper





  • Florida Select tickets expire 180 days after first use. First use must be on or before December 31, 2019.
  • Florida Select tickets do not need to be used on consecutive days.
  • All adults who will use Florida resident tickets must show an acceptable form of proof of Florida residency at a theme park ticket window, or at any Guest Relations location, prior to first use. Pass certificates can be exchanged for valid passes at the same locations.

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

Travel Discounts for Canada Residents

Remember, 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

You can see the latest offers for U.K. residents on Disney World's U.K. packages website. It currently includes an offer for UK and Ireland guests: 2018 Disney's 14-Day Ultimate Ticket for the price of a 7-day ticket when purchased pre-departure by July 31, 2018, for arrivals up until December 31, 2018. Memory Maker is included with every 2018 Adult Ultimate Ticket purchased.

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