Walt Disney World Resort Update for September 24 - October 1, 2018

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for September 24 - October 1, 2018


Writer's note: Welcome to fall 2018!

According to the Star Chart app, that dot in the sky is Venus rising above Cinderella Castle on one of the first nights of fall at Magic Kingdom. HDR Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Here at MousePlanet, we have had a last minute publishing schedule change this week. As you can see, it is Monday, but here is this week's Walt Disney World Resort Update. Do not fret, though, if you are missing your usual Monday dose of Disneyland Resort news from Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix: Adrienne joined me on last Wednesday's free Garry Meier Show Podcast to chat about what is going on at Disneyland Resort this fall. Of course, we also recapped what our regular readers have been reading here about the upcoming season at Walt Disney World Resort as well and you can listen to the show below.

Starting at 23:14 in Episode 383 of The Garry Meier Show, Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix and I chat with Garry Meier about what is going on this fall at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort for Halloween, the winter holidays, and more. As always, our MousePlanet.com segment is family friendly. While I encourage you to listen to all of Garry's shows, be aware, that he sometimes uses adult humor (and vocabulary), so be governed accordingly.

News and Views

Headlines are auto-generated here

Looking Ahead to 2019

With the fall here, more and more vacation planners start looking toward the new year. Walt Disney World Resort too is looking for ways to get your vacation attention in 2019—and, for now, it would like to do so in the long part of 2019 before Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is scheduled to open at Disney's Hollywood Studios in the "late fall."

This week, Disney Parks Blog touts "19 Magical New and Limited-Timing Experiences Coming to Walt Disney World Resort in 2019." While there are some new or changed experiences coming, to say there are 19 for '19 really is more a (possibly cute?) marketing hook. In any event, keep reading to see what is coming and what is departing. Except as noted below, each of the "new" offerings is set to start on January 18, 2019.

Mickey Mouse Celebrations at Magic Kingdom

As you may know, Mickey Mouse's 90th birthday is coming up on November 18. Since it was all started by The Mouse, the whole Walt Disney Company plans a whole bunch of celebrations, company-wide (and you have seen and will see more about that elsewhere here on MousePlanet.com). Walt Disney World Resort will participate in those celebrations in 2019 too. At Magic Kingdom, "Mickey & Minnie's Surprise Celebration" is the name for a collection of "new" offerings.

Mickey Mouse will be the focus of lots of celebrations at Magic Kingdom in 2019. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

"Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party" will replace the current version of the Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party in front of Cinderella Castle (with its roll-out up and down Main Street U.S.A.). It will feature live singers performing new arrangements of "Mickey Mouse Club" songs. To make way for the new Street Party, it appears that the current show will end on October 6, as My Disney Experience lists no more performances after that date.

The current version of the Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party is scheduled two to three times per day through October 6, and does not appear on the calendar after that date. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

Dapper Dans and "other entertainers on Main Street U.S.A." will also sing songs in honor of Mickey and Minnie, and the park will offer even more themed merchandise and food. Disney also says to "expect more Limited-Time Magic entertainment and other experiences to pop up periodically around Magic Kingdom Park," but it has not provided any details.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

With the Incredible Tomorrowland Expo having ended at Magic Kingdom back on Labor Day, the Supers will next take up residence over at Disney's Hollywood Studios in the former Pixar Place area (the area which used to include the entrance to Toy Story Mania!,) which will be transformed into a Municiberg city block. Mr. Incredible, Mrs. Incredible, and Frozone will appear at a party at the end of the block in their honor. Edna Mode will have her own "special location on Pixar Place showcasing some of her best creations (no capes!)." There will also be "clues to the whereabouts" of Jack-Jack.

The Supers previously made appearances in the Incredible Tomorrowland Expo at Magic Kingdom, which ended on Labor Day. With only nighttime parties scheduled during Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween parties, the shade structure has been removed from the Rockettower Stage area. HDR Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Mike and Sulley from Pixar's Monsters, Inc. also return to Disney's Hollywood Studios, this time inside Walt Disney Presents. They previously appeared near the exit to the Studio Tram Tour before their meet and greet area was razed for construction of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and Toy Story Land construction a few years ago. While Disney makes no mention of it, this new meet and greet for the monsters likely means an end to the Star Lord and Baby Groot meet and greet that currently occupies space inside Walt Disney Presents (and, of course, makes some sense since those characters will be taking up some sort of residence over at the Guardians of the Galaxy-themed attraction being built at Epcot expected to be completed by 2021).

At an unspecified date in the spring, "Ka-Chow! Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy" (which was announced immediately following Toy Story Land's dedication back in June), will also make its debut in the park, with Cruz Ramirez available for photos outside. It will take up residence in the Sunset Showcase near Rock 'n' Roller Coaster.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

With the film The Lion King celebrating its 25th Anniversary late in 2019 (officially, November 18), Disney's Animal Kingdom, the park that already celebrates the film in several ways, will add another starting January 18. The "Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party" on Discovery Island offers an opportunity to party with Timon and Rafiki (see below for why, it seems, Rafiki will be available on Discovery Island rather than Conservation Station). The park will also offer special "three-dimensional photo opportunities re-creating scenes from the animated classic," which we imagine will be similar in style to the very popular walk-in photo opportunities that Epcot International Festival of the Arts first introduced in 2017.

Epcot's Winter and Spring Festivals Return

The third edition of the popular Epcot International Festival of the Arts will run January 18 through February 25. In its debut run in 2017, it ran only "Disney Weekends" (Thursdays through Mondays). In 2018, it expanded to seven-days a week for much of its offerings, but not its Disney on Broadway Concert Series. Well, in 2019, the concert series expands to seven days a week too.

Nine days after the close of the first Festival of 2019, the annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will get underway on March 6 and will run until June 3 with its outdoor kitchens, topiaries, and gardens. Its Garden Rocks Concert Series will also expand to the full seven days a week in 2019, bringing guests 270 scheduled concerts during its 90 day run.

Go "Up Close with Rhinos"

Starting on November 1, Disney's Animal Kingdom guests can experience a new backstage animal experience called Up Close with Rhinos. The new 60-minute guided experience includes behind-the-scenes views of Disney's care for the white rhinos of Kilimanjaro Safaris and explains the park's role in the efforts to protect this endangered species in the wild. Disney Parks Blog notes, for example, that Disney Conservation Fund has provided more than $2 million to support rhino conservation efforts around the world.

Like last year's introduction of the Caring for Giants experience featuring the African elephants of Kilimanjaro Safaris (that I wrote about last November and, to our best information remains available), the experience will be an intimate encounter with the animals. The cast members charged with the care of the rhinos say that they "love talking to guests about how unique each individual rhino's personality is." Indeed, unlike the Caring for Giants elephant encounter, this experience may even provide an opportunity to touch a rhino.

The white rhinos at Kilimanjaro Safaris often roam around their habitat fairly close to the safari vehicles and other animals. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Advanced reservations for the daily Up Close with Rhinos experience opened on September 22 (World Rhino Day). According to social media reports, some of the first booking days for the experience filled quickly. We expect that, like Caring for Giants, the tour group size is small, limited by protocol for the animals themselves plus the size of the vehicle(s) used to transport guests to the animal observation area(s). The experience is open to all guests ages 4-and-up. The cost is $40/person (plus tax), though discounts are available to some Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members. For reservations, call (407)WDW-PLAY.

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.

Outside Liberty Inn, a sign advertises the Quick Service guaranteed concert seating package available during this year's Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Until September 30, Passholders can get up to four wristbands for reserved concert seating from the cast member at the podium outside the American Gardens Theatre from 11 a.m. until an hour before showtime (or when the wristbands are all distributed). 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 2018 scheduled performances at America Gardens Theatre are shown in our Google Calendar of Epcot Events. With the recently announced dates for the Disney on Broadway Concert Series and Garden Rocks Concert Series in 2019, we will soon add those as well (and as further details are announced).

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

As always, the captions tell the story and include bits of news along the way.

Magic Kingdom

Just over a month left to celebrate Halloween at Magic Kingdom.

The Emporium is decorated and stocked for Halloween.

Themed pumpkins decorate the buildings along Main Street U.S.A..

There are likely stories for many of the pumpkins along the way.

Some pumpkin stories are more obvious: the late Roy E. Disney was an avid sailor, and his tribute window always has reflected that as well.

Some pumpkins relate not only to the shop (the candy cane is at the Confectionary), but hint at the next celebration at Magic Kingdom.

Look closely at Cinderella Castle and see that the winter holiday Dreamlights are already taking their usual place ahead of the winter holiday season.

Behind Cinderella Castle, the crane for holiday Dreamlights installation can be seen. This year, all of the installation is being done outside of park operating hours.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Enjoy a performance of "Muppets Present Great Moments in History." Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

The previously drained section of the Rivers of America has been refilled and the temporary dam removed. There has still not been an announced date for the return of the Liberty Square Riverboat.

All of the Rivers of America that can be seen by guests is again filled with water.

The crane rising above Goofy's Barnstormer is aiding in the construction of the TRON-themed roller coaster that is expected to be completed by 2021.

A TRON-themed billboard was installed next to the Fantasyland train station, and refers to the on-going construction beyond the tracks. The railroad will close for, at least, part of 2019 in connection with the construction project.

The early evening sun shines through the trees along the pathway between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland next to the Speedway (which will also close for part of 2019 in connection with the TRON construction project).

Construction walls surround several sections of the pavement in Tomorrowland where trees and planters are being moved and/or removed.

This photo shows the same construction site as the prior photo, but from a different location and angle. This set of walls is located between the Lunching Pad and the entrance to the PeopleMover.

This set of walls surrounds a section of pavement which previously anchored the mast for the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor sign. The attraction continues to operate as usual.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Happily Ever After fireworks appear in the sky above the "floating lanterns" in the Tangled-themed area in Fantasyland. HDR Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The future Guardians of the Galaxy-themed attraction's construction site can be seen from the ramps to the Epcot monorail station.

Another new structure is being built between the existing Universe of Energy pavilion (which will be incorporated into the new Guardians of the Galaxy-themed attraction) and the taller structure which will house the new roller coaster.

The newest structure under construction is only a little taller than the existing pavilion building.

A large hole is visible in the back wall of the existing Universe of Energy pavilion.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

The future Ratatouille-themed attraction's ride building is now enclosed in "go-away green" walls.

The exterior of the Epcot International Gateway Disney Skyliner station now blends into the surrounding tree canopy.

Disney Riviera Resort, the next proposed Disney Vacation Club property continues to take shape beyond the Germany pavilion (all the way across the Buena Vista Drive behind the park near Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort).

The limited areas set aside for guest smoking in the parks get moved from time to time. This one, between the Brazil Food & Wine Festival Marketplace and the France pavilion is no longer a smoking area; guests here are directed to an area on the island between the United Kingdom and France pavilions.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

This and That…

Disney Parks Blog shared some of the latest menu changes around Epcot, Magic Kingdom, and Disney's BoardWalk Bakery and its neighboring Pizza Window, from new poutine dishes at Le Cellier Steakhouse, to the latest hot dogs at Casey's Corner, and more. In fact, at Magic Kingdom, Plaza Restaurant will once again be serving breakfast daily from November 4, 2018, to January 5, 2019, from 8 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Reservations are available (and "highly recommended") online, in the My Disney Experience app, or by calling (407)WDW-DINE.

…At some point today (maybe even by the time you are reading this Update), Disney Parks Blog is going to release "an exclusive video of a special celebration of the new Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios." It posted a teaser video on Saturday.

Lots of dominoes toppling for Toy Story Land teases a longer video "celebration" for the new land that opened on June 30. Video ©Disney.

…We tend to avoid publishing rumors here on MousePlanet, and, so far, official Disney sources of have been largely silent on these next items. There is, however, sufficient evidence to give them credibility and share them here for your attention when planning your next visit to Walt Disney World Resort, and we now reflect them all in the Refurbishments and Attraction Closures section below.

  • Numerous usually reliable sources and sites are reporting that at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Rafiki's Planet Watch - Conservation Station (and all the attractions at that location, which requires guests to take a train from Harambe Station) will close permanently around October 21. Stay tuned as we keep an eye out for official news about this. So far, My Disney Experience app does not reflect this information.
  • Captain Jack Sparrow's Pirate Tutorial at Magic Kingdom also appears to be having its final show this Saturday, September 29. My Disney Experience app shows no showtimes after that day and, again, numerous usually reliable sources and sites report the show is coming to an end.
  • My Disney Experience app now shows seasonal refurbishment dates for Disney's Blizzard Beach (October 28-January 5), and Disney's Typhoon Lagoon (January 6-March 16), respectively.

…If you follow along on our social media accounts, you may have already seen this Mickey Mouse birthday treat that you may be able to find in grocery stores around the United States.

…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.

Join the MousePlanet Newsletter

New & Coming Soon at Disney Springs

This 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.

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:

  • Princess and the Frog – Now through September 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 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.

LAST CHANCE Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month Concludes September 30

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.

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.

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.

The Edison

NEW Modern Mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim will host a vodka-tasting and cocktail class at The Edison Orlando on October 9, at 7 p.m. (for those ages 21 and over). The evening includes passed appetizers from The Edison's menu paired with vodka=based cocktails and all guests will receive a copy of Tony Abou-Ganim's book, Vodka Distilled. Space is limited. Tickets are $50 (not including tax or gratuity) and are available with more information on this page of Patina Restaurant Group's website.

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

NEW Join Master Sommelier George Miliotes for a screening of the newly released Somm 3 film and a blind tasting of six wines (alongside cheese and charcuterie) On October 6 or 20, from 2-5 p.m.. Tickets are $100 plus $5.36 EventBrite ticket fee for October 6 here and for October 20 here. Must be age 21 or over.

NEW Enjoy a guided tasting with Master Sommelier George Miliotes featuring six red wines from around the world plus a selection of cheese and charcuterie on November 1, from 5-6:30 p.m. Tickets are $105.25 available here (note, the webpage says that the price is $110.25 per person includes tax and tip, but the tickets link on the page suggests the charge will be $105.25). Must be age 21 or over and the event will be cancelled if less than 10 register.

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 25, 2018  2 / 10
Wednesday, September 26, 2018  3 / 10
Thursday, September 27, 2018  3 / 10
Friday, September 28, 2018  3 / 10
Saturday, September 29, 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.
Do more. Wait less.


Join Our Networks

On Facebook:

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
  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom:
    • September 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
  • Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom:
    • December 3 & 10: 10 p.m. - 1 a.m.
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.

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
  • Captain Jack Sparrow's Pirate Tutorial – no shows scheduled after Saturday, September 29, 2018.
  • Move it! Shake it! Dance & Play It! Street Party – no shows scheduled after Saturday, October 6, 2018.
    Starting January 18, 2019, the new "Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party" will take its place, featuring new arrangements of classic "Mickey Mouse Club" songs
  • Liberty Square Riverboat – closed for refurbishment (return date is still unknown)
  • 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.
  • Illuminations: Reflections of Earth – closing during the second half of 2019 for new nighttime spectacular.
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
    Starting January 18, will become home to Mr. Incredible, Mrs. Incredible, Frozone & Edna Mode.
  • 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.
  • Conservation Station – Rafiki's Planet Watch - expected to close permanently around October 21
Disney Water Parks

Disney's Blizzard Beach

  • Closing for seasonal refurbishment October 28, 2018 – January 5, 2019.

Disney's Typhoon Lagoon

  • Closing for seasonal refurbishment January 6 – March 16, 2019.
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. Disney Parks Blog has published some details of the new menu coming to Centertown Market and the new pool-side bar named Banana Cabana, expected to open late this fall.
  • 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
  • No known closures.

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).

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.

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.

If you can't see the categories, please let us know by email (include which Browser and Operating System you are using)!

Share, Links, Comments & More