Walt Disney World Resort Update for September 18-24, 2018

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for September 18-24, 2018


Writer's note: While the Walt Disney World Resort crowds start to tick back upward the slightest bit this week, there is also lot of news to cover. Before we do that, just a brief check-in with the Disney's Vero Beach Resort entrants in the Tour de Turtles, where Trixie, in second place, has been tracked for 999 miles, and Mrs. Potato Head, in third place, has been tracked for 632 miles in the Atlantic Ocean.

There have been some digital hiccups with Disney PhotoPass and My Disney Experience this past week. Even as of this posting, a number of PhotoPass photos from the past week have not appeared in my account, and in at least one instance, were not found by visiting a PhotoPass desk in a park and searching for it. Screenshot by Alan S. Dalinka (Underlying content ©Disney).

News and Views

Headlines are auto-generated here

About A Year Left To See Illuminations: Reflections of Earth

In our Walt Disney World Resort Projects: Status Check back on July 31, we noted that:

…on July 25, 2018, Orlando Sentinel reported that the Disney-controlled Reedy Creek Improvement District approved a preliminary budget of over $2 million for electrical upgrades, materials, engineering, and construction inspection and survey work around World Showcase Lagoon that could be an indication that a replacement (or at least changes) are coming to Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. The rest of the project remains out of the public eye, including its timeline.

Well, yesterday, Disney Parks Blog addressed the speculation by announcing that "Illuminations: Reflections of Earth will be ending in the second half of next year." The current version of Illuminations debuted as part of the Millennium Celebration back in October 1999. Just shy of the current show's 20th anniversary, Disney promises an "all-new nighttime fireworks spectacular coming to Epcot's World Showcase Lagoon [that] will be part of the park's exiting evolution."

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

In the meantime, Illuminations is scheduled to run, as usual, until the end of Summer 2019. As we learned during the Christmas in July Media Day, the holiday finale will return to the show when the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays begins in mid-November.

Disney Early Morning Magic Debuts in Toy Story Land

As Disney announced and we mentioned a few weeks ago, as of yesterday, Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios now offers Disney Early Morning Magic on most Mondays and Wednesdays, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. The extra-cost option includes "exclusive, limited-time access" to the new land, including all three attractions (Slinky Dog Dash Coaster, Alien Swirling Saucers, and Toy Story Mania!), character greetings with Woody, Jessie, and Buzz Lightyear, plus breakfast served at ABC Commissary (which remains available until 10 a.m.) for $79 plus tax (ages 10 and up)/$69 plus tax (ages 3-9) in addition to a valid theme park ticket.

Disney Early Morning Magic for Toy Story Land debuted at Disney's Hollywood Studios on September 17, 2018. MousePlanet was invited by Disney to attend as part of a media event. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

To make the access "exclusive," ticket sales are capped. Reservations are available and must be booked at least one day in advance on this page of DisneyWorld.com or by calling (407) 827-7350. This new offering is similar to the Disney Early Morning Magic offered at Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom since 2016, which continues to be offered most Sundays and Tuesdays ($69/adult; $59/child plus tax in addition to valid theme park admission).

For its debut yesterday, we were invited by Disney to a media breakfast at ABC Commissary featuring the same food available during Disney Early Morning Magic and to experience the first "exclusive" time in the land. While we were invited to have breakfast before the 7:30 a.m. start of Disney Early Morning Magic, most guests probably will want to enjoy their exclusive time in Toy Story Land before heading over for breakfast, since breakfast is available all the way until 10 a.m., but Toy Story Land is "exclusive" only until about 8:45 a.m. The breakfast menu was developed specifically for Disney Early Morning Magic, and is a bit different than typical breakfasts around the park (more details in the photo captions that follow).

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Like the observations I shared after being invited to attend Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom, Disney Extra Magic Morning in Toy Story Land is a fun, unique but premium offering that is not aimed at all guests. Like Disney After Hours, it can be seen as filling a dining and entertainment niche that avoids the obvious cliché that it is an event just "for the wealthiest guests." But, as was also true for Disney After Hours, for those that have planned their visits to Walt Disney World Resort with FastPass+ reservations, with multi-day tickets (or Annual Passes), or for those that make good use of their included Extra Magic Hours mornings as a Resort guest (especially during a quiet time of year in the park like the weeks just after Labor Day), this may not be an add-on you would find valuable unless you also want to have Toy Story Land mostly to yourself (your party), want to ride the attractions multiple times pretty much back-to-back, hate crowds and hate lines, and want a tasty breakfast that is different from the usual fare. (More observations in the photo captions below, including speculation of how some guests may, in the future, experience Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.)

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Enjoy rides on Slinky Dog Dash Coaster with nearly no wait during Disney Early Morning Magic. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

Enjoy a ride on Alien Swirling Saucers nearly alone during Disney Early Morning Magic. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

ESPN's Monday Night Football Hosts Tailgate Tasting

With both the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and the football season underway, the Disney synergy team introduces the latest cross-business unit offering: Food & Wine Tailgate Tasting Hosted by ESPN's Monday Night Football at the Festival Center in Epcot. Included with admission, but same-day wristband pick-up required, the new 45-minute session includes three sample size food items "inspired by the cities playing in the game each week along with three different beverages." Culinary experts will teach guests how to prepare the dishes as well.

The program will be offered on September 17, 24, and October 1, 8, and 15, from 4:30-5:15 p.m. in the Festival Center. Wristband distribution begins at the Festival Center at 9 a.m. each Monday for that day’s seminar, and everyone who wants to attend must get the wristband in person (so, no sending one member of your party ahead with a request for a bunch of wristbands). Both wristbands and seating are first come, first served. Disney's announcement about the program does not include any age restrictions (though, obviously, if adult beverages are among the options, guests will need appropriate proof of age).

Preview Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Starting October 5

Starting on October 5, guests can preview 12 minutes from the upcoming film The Nutcracker and the Four Realms at Walt Disney Presents in Disney's Hollywood Studios. The sneak peek will include an on-screen introduction by Mackenzie Foy who plays Clara in the film, which opens in U.S. theaters on November 2.

Disney shared this special message from Mackenzie Foy, who plays Clara in the upcoming film, "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms." Video ©Disney.

The film follows the journey of Clara, who finds herself in a strange and mysterious parallel world, home to a host of eccentric characters and surprises. There, Clara encounters a soldier named Phillip, a gang of mice, and the regents who preside over three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers, and Land of Sweets. Clara and Philip must brave the ominous Fourth Realm and its ruling tyrant, Mother Ginger, to return harmony to the unstable world.

Disney's "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms" opens in U.S. theaters on November 2, 2018. Video ©Disney.

On the West Coast, the preview can also be seen in 3D at Disney California Adventure in the Sunset Showcase Theater in Hollywood Land.

Epcot Concert & Candlelight Processional News & Calendar

Epcot's America Gardens Theatre stage continues to be the home for the Eat to the Beat Concert Series throughout the entire run of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, three times nightly through November 12. During September, there is "limited dedicated seating" for passholders; Passholders (with Pass and Photo ID) can receive up to four wristbands for one of the three daily concerts each day during the month on a first-come, first served basis at the America Gardens Theatre (up to an hour before showtime or while supplies last; check at the podium on the Promenade closest to the Japan pavilion side of the Theatre starting at 11 a.m.). There is a new Quick Service dining package option that is available daily (no advanced reservations, limited availability) at Liberty Inn at The American Adventure pavilion: for $29.99/person plus tax, guests purchase a meal (entrée, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage) and get a guaranteed concert seat. The usual Table Service dining packages that include guaranteed concert seats are available by visiting TasteEpcot.com or calling (407) 939-3378.

Postmodern Jukebox returned to this year's Eat to the Beat Concert Series at the America Gardens Theatre. There are shows on stage three times nightly throughout the entire run of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Postmodern Jukebox took the "Eat to the Beat" name of the concert series seriously with a turkey leg. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Passholders can get up to four wristbands for reserved seating from the cast member at the podium outside the theatre from 11 a.m. until an hour before showtime (or when the wristbands are all distributed) for concerts during September. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Our Google Calendar of Epcot Events includes a list of the scheduled performers (but, as always, check the My Disney Experience app, Times Guide, and, yes, sometimes even signs posted at the park entrances and at the theater noting last minute changes).

The Food & Wine Festival also includes a second concert venue on Friday and Saturday evenings in conjunction with the new Disney Du Jour Dance Party at the Fountain View Stage in Future World. Different pairs of Disney characters stop by each weekend (Remy and Emile from Disney-Pixar’s Ratatouille, Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps from Zootopia, Lilo and Stitch, or classic favorites such as Chip 'n Dale or Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar). The Disney Du Jour Dance Party is highlighted by a special concert appearance by an up-and-coming artist from Radio Disney.

The new Disney Du Jour Dance Party takes place at the Fountain View Stage in Future World on Friday and Saturday evenings during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and is highlighted by a special concert appearance by an up-and-coming artist from Radio Disney. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays begins on November 18, with additional entertainment by storytellers and musical acts all around the park. Starting on Thanksgiving night, November 22, and running until December 30, the Candlelight Processional returns to the America Gardens Theatre for the traditional retelling of the story of Christmas with celebrity narrator, live orchestra and mass choir. We have updated our Candlelight Processional at Epcot Guide with an updated listing of the dining packages available for breakfast, lunch and dinner around Epcot and its neighboring resorts, and the partial listing of celebrity narrators currently available. You can also visit this page of DisneyWorld.com for Candlelight dining package information and reservations.

The Candlelight Processional will debut at Epcot this year on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, and is scheduled to run three times nightly through December 30. Pat Sajak is scheduled to return as a celebrity narrator again this year. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

For the convenience of our readers, all of the scheduled performances at America Gardens Theatre are shown in our Google Calendar of Epcot Events. You can add the whole Event calendar to any calendar that supports the iCal format (like iPhone and Mac) by copying this link. The calendar is provided as a courtesy "as is, where is" without any guarantees. 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

The captions tell the story and include bits of news along the way. New & Coming Soon at Disney Springs.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

And, since we were talking about refillable popcorn buckets last week at Epcot, here is one of the carts at Disney's Hollywood Studios that offers the buckets and refills. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Sunsets in Pandora-The World of Avatar can be stunning. HDR Photo by Alan S. Dalinka

The bridge from Asia to DinoLand U.S.A. provides a view of the sun setting into The Tree of Life. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

At Disney's Animal Kingdom, a Halloween merchandise display also doubles as an educational opportunity relevant to the season. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka

Some of the features of the park echo other features (in case you had not noticed). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka

From the ascent of Expedition Everest, in the distance you can see (left to right) the building which will enclose the Guardians of the Galaxy-themed coaster near Spaceship Earth at Epcot, the new hotel tower under construction at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, and the future Disney Riviera Resort construction (the proposed 15th Disney Vacation Club property) which is somewhat to the left of the Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka


Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

This and That…

…For golf players in Central Florida (locals, seasonal or regular visitors), the $29/month Walt Disney World Golf Player's Club provides 15% discounts in the pro shops, 10% discounts at Club Champion Orlando (the premium club fitter), and 20% discounts on food and beverages at Chip and Dale's Deli and Café at each of the Walt Disney World Golf courses (excluding alcohol and tobacco), and more benefits. More information is available on the Programs and Membership page of GolfWDW.com, including both annual and seasonal membership options.

…Tune in to The Garry Meier Show free podcast for September 19, 2018, (tomorrow, Wednesday, or anytime thereafter) to hear me with very special guest, MousePlanet's own Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, chat with Garry about this year's Halloween, Christmas and more at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World.

…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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New & Coming Soon at Disney Springs

This new section collects all of the Disney Springs retail and dining events we are aware of in one place. Items NEW to the Update are marked accordingly.

NEW Dream Big, Princess Movie Marathon

Through October 18, AMC Disney Springs 24 Dine-In Theaters will salute the "Dream Big, Princess" campaign that inspires girls to celebrate achievements, encourage one another and be empowered to go after their own dreams, by showing five different Disney Princess films:

  • Beauty and the Beast (Live Action) – Now through September 20, 2018
  • Princess and the Frog – September 21 – 27, 2018
  • Tangled – September 28 – October 4, 2018
  • Moana – October 5 – 11, 2018
  • Cinderella (Live Action) – October 12 – 18, 2018

Showings include at least 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. daily (though Fandango.com, for example, shows four showings today for Beauty and the Beast), and regular ticket prices apply.

NEW New Hyper-Reality Experience Coming to The VOID

Last winter, The VOID opened at Disney Springs with Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire created by The VOID and ILMxLAB (the immersive entertainment division of LucasFilm). With the Disney Animation Studios film Ralph Breaks the Internet due in theaters on November 21, this fall, The VOID, ILMxLAB and The Walt Disney Company will present Ralph Breaks VR go give guests "a new multi-sensory Disney adventure...immersed in the worlds of the internet and online gaming with Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope."

For those that have never visited The VOID at Disney Springs Marketplace (or Downtown Disney in Anaheim or elsewhere), the physical space guests explore itself is pretty much a "black box" where the players wear equipment and a helmet immerse them into another world rather than the place itself. Thus, it is not surprising that Disney Parks Blog confirms that Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire "will not be going away" when Ralph Wrecks VR debuts.

Fall Decor is on Display

Several of the Fall displays that we featured last week by day, are internally lit at night, such as this one outside Marketplace Co-Op. HDR Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month continues

All month long, restaurants all over the Orlando area participating in Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month (including many at Disney Springs, including Morimoto Asia, Maria & Enzo's, & Wine Bar George), offering special prix fixe dinners for $35/person, with one dollar from each meal benefiting Best Buddies and Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida. Dinner includes the choice of an appetizer, entrée, and dessert from the participating restaurant's Magical Dining Month menu. Beverages, tax, and gratuity are not included in the price (Visit Orlando encourages diners to tip servers on the total "meal value" rather than the prix fixe price).

All of this year's participating restaurants and their Magical Dining Month menus are available online. Reservations are recommended, and the restaurant list includes links for those that accept online reservations and phone numbers to call restaurants directly. Whether making a reservation or walking in, diners need to ask for the "Magical Dining Month" menu at the participating restaurant. No other discounts, dining plans, or offers can be used for a Magical Dining Month dinner, and no, you cannot "share/split the three-course Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month dinner with another person."

WonderFall Flavors at Disney Springs

Celebrating fall flavors, new menu items can be found at 14 Disney Springs restaurants and quick service locations, as of last Friday, September 7, with WonderFall Flavors at Disney Springs. Disney Parks Blog has the "foodie guide" to point you toward "everything from harvest tacos and pumpkin desserts to hard ciders and autumn-inspired cocktails."

The Ganachery has House-made S'mores. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

NEW Chef Art Smith's Homecomin'

Chef Art Smith's Homecomin' now offers the Rise & Shine Brunch on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.. See the brunch menu for details or call (407) 939-5277 for reservations.

Chef Art Smith's Homecomin' serves its Rise & Shine Brunch on Sundays. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

NEW Terralina Crafted Italian

Terralina Crafted Italian now serves up Meatball Mondays. Guests can choose from three meatball dishes including a meatball sandwich ($14), pizza ($15) or calzone ($14) served with pecorino-truffle potato chips and garlic pickles. Substitute the sides with a baby greens salad or French fries for $3.

NEW Maria & Enzo's and Enzo's Hideaway

Maria & Enzo's and Enzo's Hideaway at Disney Springs are now offering 40% off to Disney Annual Passholders during lunch through December 31st. Not valid with any other offer or during brunch.

Wine Bar George

Join Wine Bar George for lunch and a 12 vintage retrospective of De Toren Fusion V from 2004 - 2015 with Albie Koch, De Toren winemaker and Master Sommelier George Miliotes. Tickets are $110 plus $5.81 EventBrite ticket fee here. Friday, September 21, from noon to 3 p.m.

Under Construction

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Crowd Forecast


"Do more. Wait less."


Save time and money at Walt Disney World. TouringPlans.com can help you avoid falling into the typical tourist pitfalls.

Our Disney 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 Disney Crowd Calendar.

Date Overall
Tuesday, September 18, 2018  2 / 10
Wednesday, September 19, 2018  3 / 10
Thursday, September 20, 2018  3 / 10
Friday, September 21, 2018  2 / 10
Saturday, September 22, 2018  4 / 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!

See Disney World crowds for the next 365 days.
Get Disney World wait times on your iPhone, Android or Smartphone.
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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

Just click the year you want to expand (or close).

2018 Resort Events
  • Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom:
    • September 20: 9 p.m. – midnight
    • December 3 & 10: 10 p.m. - 1 a.m.
  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom:
    • September 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 to November 12
  • Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic – October 26–27
    • Sunday Bubbles Brunch – October 28
  • Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend – November 1–4
  • Holidays at Walt Disney World – begins November 8
    • 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
    • Epcot International Festival of the Holidays – November 18 to December 30
    • Disney's Hollywood Studios Flurry of Fun – November 6, 2018 - January 6, 2019
      • ​Includes nightly presentations of Sunset Seasons Greetings and Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!
      • Toy Story Land gets special holiday songs on Alien Swirling Saucers and more
    • Disney's Animal Kingdom – begins November 8
      • Diwali, the holiday Festival of Lights in India, celebrated as part of the UP! A Great Bird Adventure show.
  • MouseAdventure Remix (unofficial event) – November 10
  • Dapper Day (unofficial events)
    • November 17 – Disney's Animal Kingdom (until 3-5 p.m.) & Magic Kingdom (evening);
    • November 18 – Epcot
2018 Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic Events 
2019 Resort Events

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.

NEW ENHANCEMENT! View the different areas of the Resort by scrolling horizontally and selecting the one you want to read about. If the menu bar does not work on your screen, please let us know by email (include which Browser and Operating System you are using)!

Magic Kingdom
  • Liberty Square Riverboat – closed for refurbishment (track work now underway).
  • Stitch's Great Escape – My Disney Experience lists as "available seasonally throughout the year"
    Be aware that it is increasingly unlikely it will reopen; the attraction's lobby is usually used for greeting Stitch
  • Walt Disney World Railroad – scheduled closure beginning in December 2018 to accomodate TRON construction
  • Tomorrowland Speedway – scheduled 2019 closure for track adjustment to accomodate TRON construction (expected Summer reopening)
  • 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.
  • Pixar Place area – Closed since just after the opening of Toy Story Land
    New entrance to Toy Story Mania! and character encounters now inside Toy Story Land
  • Disney Junior Live on Stage – Closed.
    Disney Junior Dance Party expected to debut in its place, Fall 2018.
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.
Disney Water Parks

Disney's Blizzard Beach

  • No known closures at this time.

Disney's Typhoon Lagoon

  • No known closures at this time.
Disney Springs
  • World of Disney – phased store closings for refurbishment underway until Fall 2018.
    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 has opened in its place.
  • 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.
Disney Resorts
  • Caribbean Beach – Centertown, the resort's marketplace, will be expanded with new waterfront dining and retail shopping areas. The Old Port Royale "reimagining" is expected to be completed this fall, and will include the expanded Centertown Market and the new waterfront table service casual restaurant, Sebastian's Bistro, which replaces the now closed Shutters restaurant. The overall construction project at the Resort is expected to be completed 2019–20.
  • 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.
    • Iguana Arcade is closed for refurbishment.
    • Siestas Cantina poolside quick service dining location is closed for refurbishment
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Uzima Springs Pool Bar is closed for refurbishment.
WDW Golf
  • Disney's Lake Buena Vista Golf Course – Closed for aeration.
    Reopens Friday, September 21, 2018.

Current Discounts and 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.

Just click the category you want to expand (or close).

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.

For Annual Passholders
Expect to be required to show your Passholder Card and matching photo ID to receive a discount and other benefits.

For the latest offerings during the 2018 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, visit this page of DisneyWorld.com. Passholder benefits during the Festival include:

  • Passholder wristbands are available at America Gardens Theatre (up to an hour before show time or when they run out) for same-day Eat to the Beat concert seating during September.
  • Passholders can obtain a new Chef Mickey Passholder magnet (with their Pass and Photo ID) on their first visit to the Festival Center at the theatre across from The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar, hosted by Ghirardelli.
  • On a Passholder's fourth visit to Epcot during the Festival(tracked by entering the park with the Pass, not the Festival Center, Passholders can pick up a new Chef Mickey cutting board at the Festival Center.
  • Passholders get "V.I.Passholder" 8-9 a.m. access to Epcot to be "among the first to purchase the newest releases of Passholder-exclusive merchandise" and mimosas at the Festival Center (or just merchandise at Mouse Gear) on three "Thank You Thursdays" during the Festival: September 20, and October 18 (Event Registration is not required, but attractions do not open until 9 a.m.).

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 percent 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 percent 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 nine holes of golf, a hot breakfast and two beverages between 7:00 and 8:30 a.m., subject to availability, at Disney Golf courses), a new $29 Sunset 9 golf offer (including nine 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 percent 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 percent 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.

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 benefits. 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 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 My Disney Experience smartphone application (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 My Disney Experience smartphone application (or website).

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 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.

For Florida Residents

Disney Select Tickets

Florida residents can 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 available 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.

Florida residents can check out the latest hotel package offers on this page of DisneyWorld.com.

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

For Disney Vacation Club Members

Member Benefits and Discounts may be found on this page of DisneyVacationClub.com. Note: some benefits and discounts are only available to those with a valid Disney Vacation Club Membership Card which is only available to Members owning at least 75 Vacation Points purchased directly from Disney Vacation Development, Inc.


If you know of an offer that you think most Members do not know about, please drop us an email with the details.

For Canada Residents

Canada residents can purchase an adult 4-day or longer base theme park ticket for as low as $316 (that is $79/day; US Dollars not including tax). Upgrades to the Park Hopper Option are also available. Tickets may be purchased on this page of DisneyWorld.com for Canada residents or by phone at (407)939-7648. This offer is available through March 15, 2019, and they may be used through September 27, 2019 (but are blocked December 24, 2018, to January 1, 2019). Tickets must be used within 14 days of first use or by September 27, 2019, whichever is earlier.

All adults using Canada resident tickets or passes must present valid proof of Canada 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. The offer itself requires advanced purchase; it is not available at Walt Disney World Resort theme park ticket windows. 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.

For U.K. Residents

You can see the latest offers for U.K. residents on Disney World's U.K. packages website. It now features an offer where everyone on your booking dines for FREE during their entire stay when you book a Disney Moderate, Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort Hotel and Ticket package for a minimum of 5 nights in 2019; also enjoy FREE Breakfast if you stay in a Value Resort Hotel! Plus, enjoy speciality non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages during your stay!

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

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