Walt Disney World Resort Update for December 4-10, 2018

by Alan S. Dalinka, contributing writer
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Walt Disney World Resort Update for December 4-10, 2018

 

Writer's note: Walt Disney World Resort's holidays decor is in place and celebrations underway, but traditional vacation travel periods not yet begun. That means 'tis the last brief pause in the crowds for the year. With Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opening about a year from right now at Disney's Hollywood Studios, this little pause may not come again at this time of year for years to come, so if you are thinking about a very near-term visit, get moving!


Happy Hanukkah! This "souvenir" was purchased at Disney's Animal Kingdom about a decade ago and is not presently available for sale around Walt Disney World Resort. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Not unexpectedly, it was a quiet week for news around the Resort. For those that have never had a chance to experience Candlelight Processional in person (and, for those that would like to view it again and again), #DisneyParksLIVE will present a live stream of Epcot's third show tonight, December 4, with host celebrity narrator Neil Patrick Harris. Save this page and tune in right here tonight starting at 8:05 p.m. Eastern!


Video via #DisneyParksLIVE.

You can also tune in by visiting Disney Parks Blog. The video will include a "behind-the-scenes look" at how Epcot brings the show to life. The Processional "show" itself starts at 8:15 p.m. Eastern. The replay of the stream will be available for a limited time after the show (Epcot representatives have told us that it should remain online for about a month). Last night, we were invited by Walt Disney World to watch Neil Patrick Harris narrate the show from reserved seats (photos below).


Neil Patrick Harris returned to Epcot to narrate Candlelight Procession for the 11th year.


Tonight, December 4, 2018, you can watch a Live stream of Neil Patrick Harris narrating the show.


Neil Patrick Harris will also be the narrator on Wednesday and Thursday.


The orchestra conductor encourages the audience to sing along with "Silent Night" (and Neil Patrick Harris sings too).

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

News and Views

Headlines are auto-generated here

More Moonlight Magic for DVC Members in 2019

Last week, Disney Vacation Club posted details of its slate of Moonlight Magic complimentary after-hours parties for Members and their guests in 2019. Like in 2018, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon and each of the four Theme Parks will host at least two events (Disney's Animal Kingdom will host three). For those lucky enough to secure reservations, the events include complimentary mix-in admission to the park before its official public closing time, and several hours of after-hours exclusive time in the park, including Disney Characters, complimentary refreshments, dance parties, and "shorter-than-usual" wait times on popular attractions.

Also, like in 2018, advanced registration is required: Members with Resort Room reservations have an opportunity to register earlier than those without, and Members may only register for one date for each participating park. DVC has changed the booking process, which it says will be "easier" than in the past: when a Member's booking window opens, Members visit the event page for the one they wish to attend and enter a virtual waiting room to secure a place in the registration line. When it's a Member's turn to sign up in that virtual line, the page will automatically redirect to the registration form (Member ID number must be handy). During the sign-ups for many of the 2018 events, it was necessary to constantly refresh screens and attempt to reach registration pages more than once.


Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic will return to all four Walt Disney World theme parks and Disney's Typhoon Lagoon in 2019. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The event registration details also contain a few more noteworthy changes. For past events, Members could register themselves plus five additional guests or the number of guests listed on their room reservation. For 2019, Members can register themselves and only up to three guests or the total number on their room reservation. If the Member has multiple room reservations, new restrictions apply: if booked with DVC points, the Member can register themselves and the total number of guests on the reservations; if booked with cash or RCI points, Members can only register themselves and the number of individuals staying in the same room. Children under 3 years old (who you are willing to keep out that late in the parks) do not need to be registered. For the Magic Kingdom event only, note that the priority registration window is only available to Members who have booked their room reservation at least two days earlier than the booking window opens.

Event and registration dates for all of the Walt Disney World Resort Moonlight Magic Events are now listed in our 2019 Resort Events tab below. In California, Disneyland Park will host Moonlight Magic on January 31, 2019. Registration opens for all Members using the new virtual queue registration system on December 18, 2018 at 11 a.m. Eastern (8 a.m. Pacific). The West Coast experience with the Registration system may give us an indication of how smoothly registration will be for the Florida 2019 events.

Epcot Candlelight Processional and Concerts News & Calendar

The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays began on Sunday, November 18. Along with the holiday decor and special food offerings, additional entertainment by holiday storytellers and musical acts are now all around the park.


The Hanukkah holiday storyteller located between France and Morocco along the World Showcase Promenade performs several times daily during the festival (and two "candles" were lit on the right side of the Menorah along with the center last night for the second night of Hanukkah). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Starting on Thanksgiving itself (for the first time ever), Candlelight Processional returned to the America Gardens Theatre for the traditional retelling of the story of Christmas with celebrity narrator, live orchestra, and mass choir three times nightly through December 30. Our Candlelight Processional at Epcot Guide lists the dining packages available for breakfast, lunch and dinner around Epcot and its neighboring resorts, and the up-to-date listing of scheduled celebrity narrators. You can also visit this page of DisneyWorld.com for Candlelight dining package information and reservations.


The Candlelight Processional debuted at Epcot this year on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, and is scheduled to run three times nightly through December 30. Panoramic Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Looking ahead to 2019, the Disney on Broadway Concert Series will take the stage three times nightly, from January 18 through February 25 during the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. Also expanded to seven days a week, beginning on March 6, the Garden Rocks Concert Series takes the stage three times nightly through June 3.


The 2019 edition of the Disney on Broadway Concert Series will run three times nightly for the entire 39-days of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

​For the convenience of our readers, all of the 2018 scheduled Candlelight Processional narrators at America Gardens Theatre are shown in our Google Calendar of Epcot Events. With the dates announced for the Disney on Broadway Concert Series and Garden Rocks Concert Series in 2019, we have added entries for the daily schedule and we will update those as performance details are announced. While our Google Calendar of Epcot Events includes a list of the scheduled performers, it is always best to 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. You can add the whole Event calendar to any calendar that supports the iCal format (like iPhone and Mac) by copying this link and, indeed, if when we get additional information and update the calendar, the calendar will update on your subscribed device as well. 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

We have views from all four theme parks and Disney's Wilderness Lodge this week. Thanks again to Donald and Bonnie Fink for some of the photos!

Magic Kingdom


The top of Magic Kingdom's Christmas Tree in Town Square on Main Street is visible from Seven Seas Lagoon.


The Magic Kingdom's Christmas Tree in Town Square towers above the shops of Main Street.


Walt Disney World Railroad cast members were posing for photos (for themselves, guests, and, at our request) on Sunday, December 2, the last day of operation for the trains for an unspecified period of time.


Main Street Station is decorated for the holidays, and is expected to remain open even though the trains will not be operating.


One last ride aboard the Walt Disney World Railroad for 2018 and while construction of the TRON coaster being built just east of the tracks near the Fantasyland station requires the trains not run.


The park announced that guests will be able to visit a train at Main Street Station during much of the time the trains are not operating.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


The Liberty Belle riverboat is not yet back in operation, but can once again be seen (sometimes in testing) along the Rivers of America after its long refurbishment. Photo by Bonnie Fink.

Epcot


First section of track for the new Guardians of the Galaxy-themed coaster coming in 2021 that can be seen by guests is visible just beyond the far left side (East) of the ticket booths at the entrance of Epcot. When completed, the coaster is expected to be completely enclosed. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


With the recent theatrical opening of Disney's "Ralph Breaks the Internet" Epcot guests can now meet Ralph and Vanellope inside the former Innoventions West building (follow the signs to enter at the doors closest to The Seas with Nemo and Friends).


Ralph and Vanellope appear in front of a wall-sized photo backdrop. (HDR Photo)


With the early sunsets of late fall comes the opportunity for Disney Vacation Club Members (and their guests) to visit the Lounge on the upper level of the Imagination pavilion as the sky darkens. The Lounge closes at 6 p.m. sharp.


A Mickey Mouse plush doll is available at The American Adventure with pants that resemble many World Showcase cast members' costumes.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


In the Italy pavilion, the holiday story of La Befana (The Epiphany) is told. The old Witch, La Befana, visits children on the Eve of the Feast of the Epiphany, searching for the Bambino Gesù (Baby Jesus). (BF)


The greenhouse gardens in the Living With the Land ride are decorated for the holidays. (DF)


In the Living With the Land boat ride through the greenhouse at Epcot's The Land, you will find several holiday decorations. Most are out among the gardens, but the lab is in a festive way too. (DF)


In the Norway pavilion at Epcot, you can see a bit of the story of Julenissen, the Christmas Gnome. (DF)


Santa and Mrs. Claus are back in the American pavilion at Epcot. Right now they're making four appearances a day, beginning at 11:45 am with the last opportunity at 5:45 pm. (DF)


At the Old Mill Stage in the Canada pavilion, the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs perform traditional holiday songs from all around Canada. (DF)


In Germany, the rock band Durch & Durch perform mostly German Rock music, with a bit of modern holiday inspired sounds in there too. They perform five days a week, so check a current times guide to see when you can catch them. This performance wasn't traditional Christmas music, but it was pretty good Rock. (DF)


We missed the Chinese Lion Dancers at the China pavilion, but the Lion was out and about for pictures with guests. In China, the Lion dance is a New Year's tradition that brings good luck to those who see the performance. (DF)

Photos and captions by Bonnie Fink (BF) and Donald Fink(DF).


The finale of the special holiday ending of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth fills the sky with light above World Showcase Lagoon. Remember, this is the final season for this version of the nighttime spectacular. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Hollywood Studios


The former auto entrance to the park along World Drive no longer displays the park's name, and the entry billboards have all been removed. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Animal Kingdom


Disney's Animal Kingdom's Christmas Tree is in its usual location between the security screening checkpoints and the ticket booths in front of the park..


While Pandora-The World of Avatar is not decorated for the holidays, the main entrance of the park has some decor.


Much of the holiday decor in the park appears as if made by the people of the lands represented from recycled materials.


Dinoland U.S.A. also has holiday decor.


Some of the Dinoland U.S.A. decor is the same sort of kitschy-theming as the Chester-and-Hester's Dino-Rama area.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


Construction along the Discovery River next to Drink Wallah has been completed, and a new seating area is now open in the area. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


There seem to be even more decorations outside the entrance to UP! A Great Bird Adventure.


Amongst the posters on the outside of the stage are ads promoting the former occupant: "Flights of Wonder."


Stroller parking for the show is now located at Upcountry Landing, the former boat dock and former meet and greet location, across from the stage entrance.


Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights celebrated from November 7 to 12, is incorporated into the show throughout the winter holiday season.


Kevin, Russell and Dug's bird friend from South America, now appears in the show, but only as a drawing by Russell.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


Kilimanjaro Safaris once again may close before the park does.


The youngest hippo splashes around not very far from its mother.


The youngest elephant stands within sight of her herd.


Even in the cooler weather, the lions sleep most of the daytime hours.


If you thought getting your group to stand still for a Disney PhotoPass photographer was tough, imagine this group.


One of the youngest members of the gorilla family group spends some time in a tree watching people passing by and the bachelor group beyond.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Wilderness Lodge


Disney's Wilderness Lodge has a central Christmas tree that is nearly as tall as its lobby. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Near the tree, guests can find tables set up with holiday gifts available for purchase (with a helpful cast member and cash register too). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

This and That…

…As we mentioned in past Updates, on December 2, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto hosted the first annual "12 Beers of Christmas" featuring multiple stations of holiday-themed beers from local breweries paired with Pan-Asian bites at Morimoto Asia restaurant in Disney Springs. He also autographed copies of his newest cookbook Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking, which was available for purchase with proceeds donated to Give Kids The World Village, the nonprofit resort built to serve critically-ill children and their families by providing them week-long Florida dream vacation "wish trips." We were invited to attend the event by representatives of Patina Restaurant Group and share a few photo highlights here.


Morimoto Asia held its first annual "12 Beers of Christmas" event on December 2.


Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto himself was on-hand to host the event and greet attendees.


Both levels of the restaurant were used to host attendees, with stations set up featuring local brews and at least one imported from Japan and Pan-Asian bites.


3 Daughters Brewery from St. Petersburg, Florida, participated in the event with a special seasonal beverage. It also has participated in Epcot International Food & Wine Festival with specialty brews in recent years.


An unexpected highlight (at least for me) of an event featuring "Pan-Asian" bites: mini-churros!

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

…Youth football fans can catch the 62nd edition of the Pop Warner Super Bowl Championship tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex this coming weekend. All this week, guests can watch tournament games as well as watch cheer and dance teams in competition as well. Single day admission tickets are $18.50 for those ages 10 and up/$13.50 for ages 3-9; length-of-tournament passes are $55.50 (ages 10+)/$40.50 (ages 3-9). Select games will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.

…Walt Disney World recently donated $20,000 "wishing coins" to Community Based Care of Central Florida, the largest supporter of child welfare programs in the region, supporting more than 3,000 children every day with services from foster care and adoption to mentoring and youth transitional services. "Wishing coins" are the coins the parks collect from the places around the Resort that guests "make wishes" by tossing money into the water or attractions - whether it be traditional locations like the wishing well at Cinderella Castle, or the moat of "it's a small world," or the less traditional ones like the temple queue of Expedition Everest. For the past two decades, Guests have "made wishes" amounting to more than $325,000 in "wishing coins" around the Resort. Each year, Walt Disney World Resort donates that money to nonprofit organizations.

Orlando Sentinel noted that Cirque du Soleil recently issued a casting call relating to the show being developed for Disney Springs for someone who could "play a 12-year-old Caucasian girl" and who is "between 4 feet and 5 feet" with a "slim figure." While no details of the show have yet been announced, let alone a title, the sought lead character is described as "sensitive on the inside, yet fearless on the outside." Orlando Sentinel also noted that "it will still be quire a while until the new show is ready for an audience" because the performer to be hired has been informed "to be available beginning in September 2019 for a minimum of two years." Orlando Sentinel estimates that the earliest a new show could open would be the holiday season next year.

…The newly named, still under construction "Gran Destino Tower" at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is now accepting reservations for stays starting in July 2019. The new tower is part of the reimagining of the resort and will include a new rooftop table service restaurant, Toledo–Tapas, Steak & Seafood, with indoor dining and a lounge with indoor and outdoor seating. The completed tower will add 545 new guest rooms (including 50 suites) as well as a new main lobby for the resort.

…Walt Disney World Resort recently celebrated the millionth Mobile Order in the My Disney Experience app. Disney Parks Blog reported on Chef Mickey Mouse and the Walt Disney World Resort Ambassadors meeting up with a family picking up their mobile order of Dole Whip items at Aloha Isle and awarding them a "gift card which they can use to pay for up to $500 of food and beverage mobile orders." Interestingly, the My Disney Experience app still does not accept gift cards for payment for Mobile Order and Disney Parks Blog did not respond to questions about this nuance to the post. Of course, as the parks get very busy for the upcoming end-of-the-year holidays, Mobile Order remains one of the quicker ways to get food and beverage by allowing you to skip at least one line (and that slow family ahead of you that cannot make up their minds about what they would like to order).

…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 section collects all of the Disney Springs retail and dining events we are aware of in one place along with our most recent views of the area. Event items NEW to the Update are marked accordingly. Also, this Disney Parks Blog post highlights even more "limited-time" holiday food and beverage offerings around Disney Springs.


The Christmas Tree Trail, located in the old bus loop at the Marketplace, has 27 themed trees to see, plus specialty beverages and foods, and, of course, Santa in his Chalet. The Haunted Mansion tree is one of the most impressive new additions to the trail this year. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The Marketplace also is decorated with less traditional seasonal decor. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Edison

NEW Tickets are now on-sale to celebrate the New Year and The Edison's 1 Year Anniversary. Doors open on New Year's Eve at 7:30 p.m. and the event includes tray-passed hors d'oevres, live-action food stations, a wide selection of beer, wine and premium spirits until midnight, plus a selection of coffee, desserts and a celebratory midnight toast. Guests must be 21 years old or older to attend. Tickets are $150/person (plus tax and gratuity) and may be purchased on this page of Patina Restaurant Group's website.

Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill is Now Open

The new venue located next to the Coca-Cola Store and across from Planet Hollywood Observatory and Chicken Guy, is the fourth "Bar & Grill" location from Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck. Disney Parks Blog describes the venue as "[f]eaturing approachable dining with a touch of California elegance ... [in] a dynamic setting inspired by traditional farmhouses and ... a menu designed to suit every occasion - from casual, leisurely meals to lavish, celebratory gatherings." Reservations are available on this page of DisneyWorld.com, but be aware that Dining Plans are not accepted.

Ralph Breaks VR at The VOID Now Open

Last month's theatrical opening of Disney Animation Studios' Ralph Breaks the Internet was closely followed by the debut of Ralph Breaks VR at The VOID at Disney Springs (and the Downtown Disney District in Anaheim). Like Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, which opened last winter, the "hyper-reality" experience was created by The VOID and ILMxLAB (the immersive entertainment division of LucasFilm). Teams of four join Wreck-It-Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz to break into the internet disguised as "Netizens" adventuring their way through Dunderdome and Pancake Milkshake Diner to come up against B.E.V. (which stands for "Built to Eradicate Viruses").


Disney Parks Blog shares an inside look at "Ralph Breaks VR." Video © Disney.

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 that immerses them into a virtual world rather than the place itself. Guests must be at least 48 inches tall and 10 years old. Disney Parks Blog confirms that Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will continue to operate: check the schedule and get tickets for either (or both) at TheVOID.com.

NEW The VOID is now selling location-specific gift cards. They can be purchased on line or in-person.


Say "MILKSHAKE" when checking in at The VOID and you will receive a free digital photo with the purchase of your round of play (though you may be asked where you saw it, and you should know that this poster is on a Disney Resort Bus). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Chef Art Smith's Homecomin'

Cake for Ugly Sweaters All December, guests who dine at Chef Art Smith's Homecomin' in a Disney-themed "ugly" Christmas sweater receive a complimentary slice of Chef Art’s signature hummingbird cake with green and red sprinkles with the purchase of an entrée or appetizer (but limit one per table).

Splitsville Luxury Lanes

NEW Cake for Ugly Sweaters guests dining in a Disney-themed "ugly" Christmas sweater can receive a brownie dessert with whipped cream with green and red sprinkles with purchase of an entrée or appetizer (but limit one per person).

T-Rex

NEW On select dates in December, for $32/person ($20.50 for kids ages 4-9), T-Rex offers "Breakfast with Santa" including a breakfast buffet, meeting Mr. and Mrs. Claus, plus early access to World of Disney store and the T-Rex Dino Store from 9-10 a.m. on the day of their breakfast.

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 and Disney Vacation Club Members during lunch through December 31. Not valid with any other offer or during brunch.

Groups of Sunday Brunch diners at Maria & Enzo’s through December 30 that wear matching holiday pajamas receive a complimentary commemorative photo. Plus, kids age 9 and under eat free with purchase of adult entrée! Call 407-560-8466 for full details and to reserve a table.

…All of the Patina Restaurant Group restaurants are offering a $20 bonus card when you purchase a $100 gift card during the holiday season. The bonus cards must be redeemed January 2, 2019-March 31, 2019, and cannot be combined with other offers, promotions or discounts. Visit PatinaGroup.com/bonuscard for more information.

Paddlefish

Rooftop Wine Experiences are available on the second Tuesday every month through January on the third "deck." The experience and discussion lead by its Sommelier team features wine flights from around the world and light bites. For more information and tickets, visit its EventBrite webpage. Guests must be 21 or older to attend.

Status of Parking Availability at Disney Springs

Those who visit Disney Springs during the weekends or during busy times of the year at the Resort know that the two parking structures often fill to capacity during those peak times. Even the flat lot on the West Side can fill up during very busy times! Construction continues across Buena Vista Drive at the site of the new "Lemon" garage that will connect to Disney Springs by a series of pedestrian bridges. We have not yet heard when the new structure will be open, but stay tuned and, if you are driving on Buena Vista Drive, observe the overhead signs directing cars to the garages and lots with availability.


The new "Lemon" parking structure is on the opposite side of Buena Vista Drive (next to the Speedway Gas Station) and is connected by a series of pedestrian bridges to Disney Springs. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


As of December 2, work was not yet complete on the new pedestrian bridge connecting the future Lemon Garage with Disney Springs. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Note, as of December 2, only some of the new system advising drivers of parking availability in the Lime Garage was functioning. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Wine Bar George

For holiday shopping for the wine enthusiast on your list, check out Wine Bar George's holiday gift offerings, including "the world's best wine tools to books and gift baskets." On Black Friday when you shop you'll receive 25% off your retail purchase (some restrictions apply). The Coravin is on sale from 11/23-11/25 for $199. From November 23 - January 1 receive an $15 additional gift card for $200 spend, $50 for $500 and $125 for $1,000.

Retail

Walt Disney World Resort would like you to do all of your holiday shopping at the Resort this year. To further that, Disney Springs has launched its special Disney Springs Gift Guide: From Holiday Dreams to Wishes Granted.


The Disney Springs Stitch's Holiday Gift Hunt clue book can be picked up at numerous locations around Disney Springs, especially Disney-operated locations like the Star Wars Galactic Outpost. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Art of Disney Presents Greg McCullough

On November 3 artist Greg McCullough (who has previously been featured at other Art of Disney stores and at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts), began daily residence (except Mondays) from 1 to 7:30 p.m. in a new pop-up shop located in the shop formerly operated by Little Miss Matched in the Marketplace area of Disney Springs scheduled to be open through January 1, 2019. The shop features McCullough's art, including original works, limited-editions and prints. Guests will have a chance to interact with him and have artwork signed.


Greg McCullough poses with some of his works featured in the shop.


The new pop-up shop featuring artist Greg McCullough is located in the former Little Miss Matched shop.


The pop-up shop is scheduled to be open through January 1, 2019.

File Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Crowd Forecast

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

Date Overall
Tuesday, December 4, 2018  2 / 10
Wednesday, December 5, 2018  4 / 10
Thursday, December 6, 2018  2 / 10
Friday, December 7, 2018  2 / 10
Saturday, December 8, 2018  4 / 10
 

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Resort Events

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

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

2018 Resort Events
  • Holidays at Walt Disney World – began November 8
    • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom:
      • December 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21
    • Epcot International Festival of the Holidays – November 18 – December 30
    • Disney's Hollywood Studios Flurry of Fun – November 8, 2018 - January 6, 2019
      • ​Includes nightly presentations of Sunset Seasons Greetings and Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!
      • Toy Story Land now includes special holiday songs on Alien Swirling Saucers and more
    • Disney's Animal Kingdom – began November 8
      • Diwali, the holiday Festival of Lights in India, celebrated as part of the UP! A Great Bird Adventure show.
  • Disney After Hours
    • …at Magic Kingdom: December 10: 10 p.m. - 1 a.m.
    • …at Disney's Hollywood Studios: December 8, 15 & 22 (park entry at 7 p.m.)
    • …at Disney's Animal Kingdom: December 4, 12 & 18 (park entry at 7 p.m.)
  • Disney Vacation Club Members Annual Meetings – at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort Convention Center
    December 13, 2018, doors open 1:30 p.m. (Member online RSVP or telephone (407)566-3844 required). -
2019 Resort Events
  • Disney After Hours:
  • …at Magic Kingdom:
    • January 7, 17, 24, & 28: 8 p.m. - 11 p.m.
    • February 14, March 7: 9 p.m.– midnight
    …at Disney's Hollywood Studios (entry at 7 p.m.):
    • January 5, 12 & 19
    • February 2, 9 & 16
    • March 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30
    • April 6 & 13
    …at Disney's Animal Kingdom (entry at 7 p.m.):
    • January 8, 16, 22 & 31
    • February 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 & 26
    • March 5, 20 & 27
    • April 3
  • Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic:
  • …at Magic Kingdom
    • February 5 & 12, 2019.
    • Registration opens for Members with Resort Reservations (must be booked prior to 1/7/2019): January 9, 2019 at 9 a.m. Eastern
    • Registration opens for all Members: January 16, 2019 at 9 a.m. Eastern
    …at Disney's Hollywood Studios
    • March 20 & 27, 2019.
    • Registration opens for Members with Resort Reservations: February 14, 2019 at 9 a.m. Eastern
    • Registration opens for all Members: February 21, 2019 at 9 a.m. Eastern
    …at Epcot
    • May 13 & 20, 2019.
    • Registration opens for Members with Resort Reservations: April 3, 2019 at 9 a.m. Eastern
    • Registration opens for all Members: April 10, 2019 at 9 a.m. Eastern
    …at Disney's Animal Kingdom
    • July 8, August 8 & 22, 2019.
    • Registration opens for Members with Resort Reservations: June 5, 2019 at 9 a.m. Eastern
    • Registration opens for all Members: June 12, 2019 at 9 a.m. Eastern
    …at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon
    • September 18 & October 16, 2019.
    • Registration opens for Members with Resort Reservations: August 14, 2019 at 9 a.m. Eastern
    • Registration opens for all Members: August 28, 2019 at 9 a.m. Eastern
  • 2019 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – January 9–13, 2019
    • Mickey & Minnie's Surprise Celebration at Magic Kingdom – January 18 – September 30, 2019
      • Epcot International Festival of the Arts – January 18 – February 25, 2019
        • Party with Pixar Pals at Disney's Hollywood Studios – January 18 - September 30, 2019
          • 25 Years of The Lion King at Disney's Animal Kingdom – January 18 – September 30, 2019
            • Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend – February 21–24, 2019.
              • Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – March 6 – June 3, 2019
                • Star Wars Rival Run Weekend – April 4–7, 2019.
                  • Disney's Hollywood Studios 30th anniversary – May 1, 2019.

                    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 longer listed in My Disney Experience (final show was September 29, 2018).
                    • Move it! Shake it! Dance & Play It! Street Party – No shows scheduled in December.
                      Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party" is scheduled to debut January 18, 2019, featuring new arrangements of classic "Mickey Mouse Club" songs
                    • Liberty Square Riverboat – Closed for refurbishment (return is imminent)
                    • Tom Sawyer Island – Closed for refurbishment
                    • 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 – Closed as of December 3, 2018 to accomodate TRON construction (reopening to be announced)
                    • Tomorrowland Speedway – Scheduled January 2, 2019 closure for track adjustment to accomodate TRON construction (expected Summer reopening)
                    Epcot
                    • 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
                    • Star Wars: Path of the Jedi – My Disney Experience lists as closed with no further information.
                    • The Great Movie Ride – Permanently closed August 13, 2017.
                      The new "Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway" attraction to open in Chinese Theatre in Fall 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 scheduled to debut December 22, 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 – Wildlife Express Train - Now closed - planned reopening Spring 2019
                    Disney Water Parks

                    Disney's Blizzard Beach

                    • Closed for seasonal refurbishment from October 28, 2018, through January 5, 2019.

                    Disney's Typhoon Lagoon

                    • Closing for seasonal refurbishment January 6 – March 16, 2019.
                    Disney Springs
                    • 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 now open next door to the Coca-Cola Store
                      Wolfgang Puck Express continues to operate in its existing location in the Marketplace.
                    Disney Resorts
                    • Caribbean Beach – The overall construction project at the Resort is expected to be completed 2019–20. The resort's new lobby, restaurants and other amenities, including Sebastian's Bistro, Centertown Market, and Banana Cabana are all now open.
                    • Coronado Springs
                      • The new 15-story "Gran Destino Tower" overlooking Lago Dorado, the resort's central lake, will open in July, 2019, adding 545 rooms, including 50 suites and concierge level services, and a rooftop dining facility that will include panoramic views of nighttime fireworks shows at the Theme Parks. The Gran Destino Tower will serve as the new main entrance point for the resort. The resort's more than 1,800 existing rooms have been fully updated with new fixtures, furniture and lighting. A second new restaurant is planned to open on an island in the middle of Lago Dorado with new walkways across the water. Disney Parks Blog posted the latest renderings of the project in an article on October 16, 2018.
                      • 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.
                    • Disney's Art of Animation Resort - The Big Blue Pool will close for refurbishment beginning in Fall 2020.
                    Walt Disney World 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

                    Play, Stay, Dine and Save

                    You can Play, Stay, Dine and Save up to $500 for a family of four on a five-night/six-day Walt Disney Travel Company room, theme park ticket and dining plan package at a select Disney Resort hotel, for arrivals most nights January 1 through March 9, 2019. he number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited and may be booked through January 2, 2019. Read more about it on this page of DisneyWorld.com.

                    Gift of Magic Offer

                    You can save 25 percent on rooms for stays most nights January 1 through April 27, 2019, at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels with the Gift of Magic offer. The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited and may be booked through January 2, 2019. Get more information on this page of DisneyWorld.com.

                    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 Festival of the Holidays and more, visit this page of DisneyWorld.com. Passholder benefits during the Festival include:

                    • Passholders can obtain a new Goofy Passholder holiday design magnet (with their Pass and Photo ID) on their first visit to the Festival at Mouse Gear or Port of Entry.
                    • An exclusive Passholder Festival of the Holidays Chip & Dale ornament, T-shirt and other merchandise are available at locations around the park (while supplies last).
                    • The Passholder 20% merchandise discount applies to the all-new Cookie Jar (that can be filled up during the Holiday Cookie Stroll) as well as the Chip & Dale's Christmas Tree Spree Scavenger Hunt.

                    For the most up-to-date list of locations offering dining discounts to Annual Passholders, visit this page of DisneyWorld.com. Don't forget about the dedicated V.I.PASSHOLDER SUPPORT service for questions about Passholder benefits and recommendations. Call (407)WDW-PASS or on-line chat (via chat button on this page of DisneyWorld.com) daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern, by email (via a web form), or in-person at Liberty Square Ticket Office in Magic Kingdom, Ticket Central at Disney's Hollywood Studios, or Ticket Corner at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

                    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 $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 $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

                    Park Tickets

                    Walt Disney World Resort continues to offer Florida resident discount ticket programs. Disney sweetened the offer of saving 30% on a 3-day ticket or 40% on a 4-day ticket by including the Park Hopper option at no additional charge for tickets purchased by December 16, 2018, with a selected start date on or before December 16, 2018. Visit this page of DisneyWorld.com for more information and purchasing options. Proof of Florida residence will be required at park entrance

                    For other currently available park tickets, passes and offers 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.

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

                    MORE DETAILS WILL BE LISTED HERE SOON!

                    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)!

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