Walt Disney World Resort Update for January 15-21, 2019

by Alan S Dalinka, contributing writer
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Walt Disney World Resort Update for January 15-21, 2019

 

Writer's note: As those readers that follow MousePlanet social media channels know, I was away from the Walt Disney World Resort this past week, invited by Disney Cruise Line to sail aboard Disney Magic from Miami, Florida, for five nights to the Western Caribbean, including a visit to Disney's Castaway Cay and a Marvel Day at Sea with the debut of Captain Marvel. It was a voyage filled with fun and top-notch Disney entertainment and service; I will have a full report as a separate article here on MousePlanet soon! Disney Parks Blog provided an advanced look at Captain Marvel's debut last week too.


Setting sail from Port Miami, Florida, just before sunset, "Disney Magic" voyaged toward the Western Caribbean with Miami and the sunset to its aft.


At Grand Cayman Island in the Western Caribbean, "Disney Magic" sits off shore; guests going ashore from this port must take a tender (a smaller boat, similar in size to a double-decker version of Epcot's Friendships).


While in port at Grand Cayman Island, "Disney Magic" was joined by "Disney Fantasy" allowing for unique views from one Disney Cruise Line ship to another.


Marvel Day at Sea included a "Mickey & Friends Super Hero Celebration" deck party, featuring the characters paying homage to some of their Marvel favorites.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


Visiting George Town, Grand Cayman requires taking a tender to and from the ship, offering a great view of the stately bow of a Disney Cruise Line vessel like "Disney Magic." Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Captain Marvel made her Disney Cruise Line debut during the media-invited cruise aboard "Disney Magic," and her big screen debut is coming to theaters on March 7, 2019. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Back at Walt Disney World Resort, lots of new things get underway on Friday. Watch our social media channels this week for more and a wrap-up in next week's Update. First this week, on Wednesday, we will bring you highlights of a media preview of the third edition of Epcot International Festival of the Arts ahead of its Friday opening (and, of course, you can visit this page of DisneyWorld.com for an overview of the Festival). On Friday, we will also bring you highlights of our first look at Mickey & Minnie's Surprise Celebration at Magic Kingdom, including the new "Move it! Shake it! MousekeDance it! Street Party" and the Party with Pixar Pals at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Before next week's Update, we will also try to bring you the highlights of Disney's Animal Kingdom's celebration of 25 years of The Lion King and more.


Inside Disney Parks provides a look at some of the latest entertainment coming to Walt Disney World Resort this week and beyond (plus a bit about Disneyland Resort too). Video ©Disney.

News and Views

Headlines are auto-generated here

2019 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Complete

The biggest runDisney event of the year, the Walt Disney World Marathon presented by Cigna, took place over this past weekend. Fredison Costa and Giovanna Martins, past champions, respectively won the male and female divisions of the 26th annual event.


More than 15,000 runners participated in the 26.2-mile 2019 Walt Disney World Marathon presented by Cigna. Photo ©Disney.


Brazilians Giovanna Martins and Fredison Costa continue their dominance of the Walt Disney World Marathon. Costa has seven of the last eight Disney Marathons. Martins has become the first woman to win four Disney Marathons (2015 and 2017, 2018, 2019). Photo ©Disney.

Costa, a native of Brazil who now lives in Kissimmee and trains at Walt Disney World Resort, recaptured the title after struggling through last year's race. It was his seventh Disney Marathon victory, leaving him one shy of Adriano Bastos' record of eight wins. Running in unseasonably warm Florida weather, Costa posted a time of 2:18:45, well-shy of the race record of 2:11:50, but well ahead of second-place finisher Nick Hilton (2:21:48), the Flagstaff, AZ runner who won the race a year ago, and Jose Lima of Brazil (2:26:40), who was third.


Fredison Costa reclaims his Disney Marathon title after struggling in last year's race. He won the 2019 race with a time of 2:18:45. It was Costa's seventh Disney Marathon victory, one shy of Adriano Bastos' record eight wins. Photo ©Disney.

Giovanna Martins of Salto, Brazil, is the first woman to win four Disney marathon titles, including the last three in a row. She is the only four-time women's winner in race history after crossing the finish line in 2:45:24 – more than two minutes ahead of Antonia Lins Da Silva of Fortaleza, Brazil, who was second (2:47:36) and Nancy Jurgens of Apex, North Carolina who was third (2:50:39).


Giovanna Martins of Salto, Brazil, won the women's division of the 26th annual Walt Disney World Marathon presented by Cigna for the third straight year, with a time of 2:45:24, and the fourth time overall. She is the only four-time women's winner in race history. Photo ©Disney.

The Marathon weekend was filled with touching and inspirational stories of athletes overcoming obstacles. Disney shared the moving story of Ron Wertley who took on the Walt Disney World Marathon’s Dopey Challenge–running all 48.6 miles of the 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon–in successive days despite having to train while undergoing chemotherapy treatments for cancer. He was first diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and given a 40% survival chance just after he completed the Dopey Challenge last January. But nearly a year of aggressive chemo treatments sent the cancer into a period of remission. Unfortunately, December brought news that the cancer had returned and doctors say he needs a 30-day stint in the hospital and an aggressive chemo regimen to combat the disease again. Nevertheless, Wertley was determined to participate in the Dopey Challenge (he has done all five previous ones), and he did so with the support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training. runDisney and supporting runners raised more than $98,000 to support the Society this year.


Ron Wertley completes Walt Disney World Marathon’s 48.6-mile Dopey Challenge just before a 30-day hospital stint to treat cancer. Photo ©Disney.

New Illuminations Dining Package Available at Epcot

With the nearly two decade-long run of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth coming to an end this fall, Epcot is offering a new dining package that combines a prix fixe menu with a selection of the Rose & Crown's menu, unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and dessert, with patio seating outside the Rose & Crown's Dining Room along the World Showcase Lagoon for its unique view of the show. More information is now available and reservations will be available starting Thursday (January 17) for seatings starting Friday (January 18) by calling (407)WDW-DINE or visiting this page of DisneyWorld.com.


The Rose & Crown Dining Room and Pub is located on the shore of World Showcase Lagoon. Its outdoor patio provides a unique view of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

A Masai Giraffe Calf Was Born Yesterday at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Late yesterday afternoon, Monday, January 14, Disney shared the news that a new Masai giraffe calf was just born on the savanna of Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The newest member of the tower stands approximately six feet tall, but it is still too early to tell the calf's gender. The calf and its mom, Mara, are doing well and are out on view to guests.

Around the same time as we received the news from Disney, we noticed that Kilimanjaro Safaris was listed as "Temporarily Closed" not very long before its scheduled 6:30 p.m. final scheduled safari of the day. Earlier this winter, when another new calf was introduced to the savanna, safari trucks were unable to make their usual photo stops in the area of the young calf and proceeded through the area with extra caution. Remember that the animals have the right-of-way, and waits to ride may be longer than posted.

Epcot Concerts News & Calendar

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. Dining packages are available at ArtfulEpcot.com or by calling (407)WDW-DINE. (Workshops around the Festival can also be booked at the website or by calling (407)WDW-TOUR.) Passholders can receive a 10% discount for these dining packages throughout the Festival during lunch and dinner (excludes alcohol, tax and gratuity).


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.

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. Part of the schedule of performers has been released. Announced returning performers include The Spinners and Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone, and new to the Festival performers include TobyMac, Steven Curtis Chapman, Sister Sledge, and Colin Hay of Men at Work. Reservations open this Thursday, December 13. For more information or reservations, call (407)WDW-DINE or visit FreshEpcot.com.

For the convenience of our readers, all of the scheduled Disney on Broadway Concert Series performances at America Gardens Theatre are shown in our Google Calendar of Epcot Events. The performers announced so far for the Garden Rocks Concert Series that follows later this year have also been added to the calendar. 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 and keep it updated, 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

Having been on a "beyond-the-berm" Disney Cruise this past week, we have just a few views from Magic Kingdom this week. A few new views from Disney Springs are also included together with the latest news about that entertainment, shopping, and dining area below.

Magic Kingdom


It is possible to see some of the "Happily Ever After" fireworks walking from Magic Kingdom's parking lot to the Transportation & Ticket Center.


The Magic Kingdom's holiday decor remained in place during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.


The Magic Kingdom's Christmas Tree was also in place during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.


Peter Pan's Flight is closed for refurbishment until early February.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

This and That…

Disney Parks Blog announced the 12 new panelists joining the 28 returning panelists comprising the 2019 Disney Parks Moms Panel. The new members were selected from thousands of applicants and help guests plan everything from Disney Cruise Line vacations to Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. Panelists also provide guidance about Disney Vacation Club and can answer questions in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French. Visit DisneyParksMomsPanel.com for more information or to ask a Disney vacation planning questions.

…While sailing aboard Disney Magic we were unable to attend the V.I.Passholder Potion Purple pop-up event, but, for those foodies interested in where to get the purple treats being offered up on both coasts, Disney Parks Blog has you covered with its latest Foodie Guide.


Disney Style shop at Disney Springs West Side has a large selection of the new Potion Purple merchandise available for sale. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

…The NFL Pro Bowl returns to Orlando's Camping World Stadium for the third consecutive year on Sunday, January 27, 2019. In connection with that game pitting stars of the NFL's two conferences, the AFC and the NFC, the NFL Pro Bowl Experience returns to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for the third time during Pro Bowl Week, January 21 to 27. Fans can check out AFC and NFC team practices, participate in activities such as the 40-yard dash and the revamped NFL Skills Showdown, featuring several new events for the NFL's top skill players, including the 40-yard Splash, a Gridiron Gauntlet obstacle course, and a Precision Passing contest. NFL Pro Bowl Week events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex are open to the public, with no charge to guests

…Speaking of ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, the hub for Walt Disney World Resort sporting events was recently honored by the readers of Sports Destination Magazine as the top outside sports venue in the country. The magazine, each summer, publishes its annual Reader’s Choice Awards, where readers cast votes in a variety of travel categories. Sports Destination Magazine is a bi-monthly publication specifically designed to provide sports event managers and organizers innovative and creative strategies essential to hosting successful youth, amateur and professional sporting events.

…Walt Disney World Golf is offering a series of four-week early spring junior golf club sessions from January to early March (okay, that is winter to most of the rest of the country, but still...). The camps run on four consecutive Wednesdays or Saturdays at Disney's Palm, Magnolia and Oak Trail golf courses. Visit Walt Disney World Golf's Blog for more information, or call Michael Schlager, PGA Director of Instruction at (407)454-5096, or email him at mschlager@palmergolf.com.

…A new Disney-focused event series is coming to Central Florida. Give Kids The World, the Kissimmee-based nonprofit resort which fulfills wish vacations for critically-ill children visiting the Central Florida theme parks, is hosting a speaker series at their resort. The first event is an evening with Former Vice President of Operations at Walt Disney World, Lee Cockerell, on January 17 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. During this discussion moderated by Jeff Barnes, Lee will share about his time at the company and give insights into what makes a great leader. 100% of ticket sales go directly to programs benefiting the children and families Give Kids The World serves. Admission starts at $35 which includes general seating and parking. Other packages range from $50 for preferred seating to up to $150.00 for a VIP experience with Lee. You can purchase tickets and see the event details on this Eventbrite page.

…Walt Disney World Resort revealed the 100 youths selected from across the nation who will participate in the 2019 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine, March 21-24. Each selected student receives in an all-expenses paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort for an immersive four-day experience that encourages teens "to be positive, to be 'all in' and to carry what they learn back with them, so they can relentlessly pursue their dreams and make a difference in the lives of others." The "Disney Dreamers" will visit the parks and go behind the scenes to discover career opportunities, will hear from Harvey and other celebrity and motivational speakers, and will attend career-oriented workshops ranging from animation to zoology.

…Speaking of dreams, last week, Disney Parks Blog launched its new "Dreams Within Reach" series by introducing the first Disney Aspire graduate, Anthony Payne, a Custodial Cast Member at Epcot. The Disney Aspire program was launched to help the more than 85,000 hourly cast members reach their goals by providing them with education programs, coaching and job skills, and giving them the opportunity to enroll in online courses across a network of schools, with Disney paying the cost of the tuition and books. You can read more about the program and eligible cast members can apply at aspire.disney.com.

…And, finally, for more Disney vacations beyond-the-berm(s), Disney Parks Blog noted that Adventures by Disney will offer more European river cruise sailings than ever before starting in 2020. A new Rhone River itinerary through southern France joins AbD's line-up of sailings along the Seine, Rhine and Danube rivers. More news to come on January 24.

…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.


Disney Springs was decorated with runDisney banners during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. Note the construction wall in the background of this photo. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


New construction walls have been installed around some of the Cirque du Soleil theater building on the West Side. Since "La Nouba" closed on December 31, 2017, this is the first publicly visible activity at the theater that Disney and Cirque announced would next house a new show celebrating Disney characters. No opening date has yet been announced. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Also on the West Side, glass windows have been installed at the future site of the NBA Experience; it is scheduled to open this summer. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Enzo's Hideaway Tunnel Bar

Partnering with Goose Island Beer Co., Enzo's will host its first "Smuggler's Series" of 2019, on Saturday, January 19, from 12-2 p.m. The Smuggler's Series is a recurring dining event featuring notable beer, wine, and spirit pairings at the Hideaway. Lunch will feature Bourbon County Stout pairings in partnership with Goose Island Brewery. Goose Island Brewery educator and industry expert, Mike Smith, will formally instruct attendees about the brewery's beer barrel aging program and provide insight on each of the beers selected to complement the dishes on the four-course tasting menu. Enzo's Hideaway Executive Chef John Miele has paired the brews with Italian specialties like aged fontina en carozza, roasted baby beets with burrata, grilled main lobster linguini, ricotta gnudi and braised lamb ragu, and a bittersweet chocolate ganache tart, enhancing the flavors of the stouts in each course. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit this page of PatinaGroup.com.

The Edison

The Edison's Burger of the Month Series is going to continue through 2019. The January Burger, "The Double Stack Deli Burger," has a patty that is a blend of sirloin, short rib, and brisket and is topped with thinly sliced hot pastrami, corn chips, spicy mustard, and pickles. It is served with The Edison's "famous hand-cut" fries.

Jaleo - NEW Details

As we noted last week, Jaleo a Spanish restaurant by José Andrés, has updated its website to reflect that it expects to open during winter 2019. While no specific opening date has yet been published, this week the restaurant released additional details about the new venue.


The signs on Jaleo's exterior construction walls have been updated to show that the restaurant is now expected to open this winter. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The 22,000 square foot restaurant is Chef José Andrés' largest venue to date. The shape of the building is inspired by an artichoke, a vegetable native to Spain, Andrés' homeland. The petals of the artichoke form pergolas, extending toward the outdoors; the two-story building's interior has no solid walls and features large windows offering views of the lake. A double height central courtyard visually connects the restaurant's two floors.

"There are no cubic forms, no opaque walls, no straight lines: here reigns a plant-like organic structure with its dynamic forms. An avant-garde, expressionist and welcoming architecture," according toJuli Capella, principal at Capella Garcia Arquitectura, the firm responsible for Jaleo's design. The restaurant's colors are typical of Spanish citrus, particularly orange and lemon, and its interior includes artwork from Spanish photographers Rafael Vargas and Ciuco Gutiérrez, as well as a large mural from Marc Jesús, a famous painter from Menorca.

The front corner of Jaleo overlooking the main promenade of Disney Springs West Side will be a quick-service concept with Spanish street-food-inspired sandwiches and salads. The restaurant interior includes a "family-style gathering space" as well as more elegant central seating, anchored by the restaurant's open kitchen and wood fire grill. Private dining options include two terraces, one overlooking the Disney Springs promenade and another overlooking the lake.

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.

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, January 15, 2019  5 / 10
Wednesday, January 16, 2019  5 / 10
Thursday, January 17, 2019  7 / 10
Friday, January 18, 2019  7 / 10
Saturday, January 19, 2019  8 / 10
 

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Resort Events

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

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

2019 Resort Events
  • Disney After Hours:
    …at Magic Kingdom:
    • January 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 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 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
  • 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
  • NFL Pro Bowl Week events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex – January 21-27, 2019
  • Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend – February 21–24, 2019.
  • Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – March 6 – June 3, 2019
  • Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine – March 21-24, 2019
  • Star Wars Rival Run Weekend – April 4–7, 2019
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios 30th anniversary – May 1, 2019.
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – Late Summer/Fall 2019 (Dates to be announced)
  • Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend – October 31 - November 3<, 2019/li>
  • Epcot International Festival of the Holidays – Late Fall/Winter 2019 (Dates to be announced)
2020 Resort Events
  • COMING SOON!


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
  • Peter Pan's Flight – Closed for refurbishment through early February 2019
  • 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 – Not scheduled.
    Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party" is scheduled to debut January 18, 2019, featuring new arrangements of classic "Mickey Mouse Club" songs
  • 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).
    • Guests can visit a Walt Disney World Railroad train at Main Street Station.
  • Tomorrowland Speedway – Closed as of January 2, 2019 for track adjustment to accomodate TRON construction (expected reopening mid-May).
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 – Ending 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 debuted in its place on December 22, 2018.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
  • Kali River Rapids – Closed for refurbishment through late March, 2019.
  • 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 Typhoon Lagoon

  • Closed 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 soon.
    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. Reservations are now open. 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.
  • 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.
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 debuted in its place on December 22, 2018.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
  • Kali River Rapids – Closed for refurbishment through late March, 2019.
  • 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 Typhoon Lagoon

  • Closed 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 this winter.
    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. Reservations are now open. 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.
  • 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.

 

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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

As further incentive to purchase park tickets in advance, you can save $20 when you buy a 3-day or longer Disney Theme Park Ticket online compared to the price of the same ticket purchased at theme park ticket windows. Visit this page of DisneyWorld.com official ticket purchasing options.

Sun & Fun Room Offer

  • Save up to 25% for stays most nights April 28 through May 27, 2019 when you book through May 27, 2019
  • Save up to 30% for stays most nights May 28 through September 30, 2019 when you book through March 24, 2019

The Soak Up the Sun and Fun Offer varies by resort category and the savings depend upon dates which may also have length of stay requirements. In addition to the link, you can call (407)827-7393 for more information and availability, or you can contact your travel agent.

Save Up to 20% on Rooms

If your travel dates do not line up with the Sun & Fun Room Offer, you may still be able to save up to 20% on rooms for stays most nights through April 27, 2019, at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels. The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Get more information and check availability this page of DisneyWorld.com, or call (407)939-2769 or your travel agent.

Free Dine Offer

For those booking a non-discounted five night/six-day Walt Disney Travel Co. package that includes rooms at select hotels and tickets including Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus (minimum 4-days) through February 10, 2019, for arrivals most nights from July 5 to September 30, you receive a free dining plan corresponding to the category of hotel booked: Value & Moderate Resorts – Disney Quick Serve Plan; Deluxe & Deluxe Villa Resorts – Disney Dining Plan. Visit this page of DisneyWorld.com for more information and availability, or call (407)939-4269 or your travel agent.

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.

While supplies last during this year's Epcot International Festival of the Arts, Passholders can receive a complimentary magnet featuring Figment for the first time. Visit Mouse Gear or Port of Entry and show your Pass with matching Photo I.D. to the designated cast member distributing the magnets.

For the most up-to-date list of locations offering dining discounts to Annual Passholders, visit this page of DisneyWorld.com. (You may need to sign in to see the full list applicable to your pass.) 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% discounts during some or all meal periods (excluding alcoholic beverages, tax and gratuity).

Certain table service restaurants (and two dinner shows) are offering a 20% Passholder discount for lunch and dinner through January 31, 2019 (exceptions also noted below):

  • Biergarten Restaurant at Epcot
  • Coral Reef Restaurant at Epcot
  • The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Hollywood & Vine at Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom Park
  • Tiffins Restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom
  • Tony's Town Square Restaurant at Magic Kingdom Park
  • Ale & Compass Restaurant at Disney's Yacht Club Resort
  • Boatwright's Dining Hall at Disney's Port Orleans Resort – Riverside (Dinner Only)
  • Citricos at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (Dinner Only)
  • Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
  • Flying Fish at Disney's BoardWalk Resort (Dinner Only)
  • Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort (8:30 p.m. show only)
  • Jiko – The Cooking Place at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort (Dinner Only)
  • Sebastian's Bistro at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort (Dinner Only)
  • The Wave… of American Flavors at Disney's Contemporary Resort
  • Whispering Canyon Café at Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort

The January 20% discount is not available for breakfast and does not apply to alcoholic beverages, tax or gratuity and cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. The discount is valid for the Passholder and up to three guests.

House of Blues Restaurant & Bar offers 20% off non-discounted price of food and nonalcoholic beverages in the restaurant before 4 p.m. and 10% discount after; and $36 adult/$21 kids (ages 3-9) tickets for World Famous Gospel Brunch (Passholder and up to 5 guests; blockout dates may apply).

Paradiso 37 offers 15% off regular price of food and beverages during lunch and dinner. Special events excluded.

Joffrey's Kiosks at Disney Springs offers 20% off food and nonalcoholic beverages. Special events excluded.

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. Remember, not all merchandise locations at Walt Disney World are owned and operated by Disney, but some of the non-Disney participants offer discounts between 10 and 20% to Passholders as well. Note, the current terms and conditions include, "Discount is for personal use only and may not be used to purchase merchandise with the intent to resell the 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.

For the current list of Passholder Extras visit this page of DisneyWorld.com. Passholder Extras include information about V.I.Passholder Perks, discounts on Disney After Hours events, 2019 Pro Bowl Game Ticket discounts and VIP seating for events held at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (when purchased with a Pro Bowl Ticket), Animal Encounter and tour discounts, Water Park discounts, Golf discounts, and more.

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 (last checked January 5, 2019).

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.

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 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 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

2019 Military Promotional Tickets

January 1 through December 19, 2019

  • Four-Day Park Hopper Tickets –$241.00
  • Four-Day Park Hopper Plus Tickets – $291.00
  • Five-Day Park Hopper Tickets – $257.00
  • Five-Day Park Hopper Plus Tickets – $307.00

Prices do not include tax and tickets must be used by December 19, 2019.
Prices may be lower at U.S. military base ticket offices.

U.S. military personnel can also purchase the Memory Maker product for $98 through December 19, 2019.

For more information, definitions and details, visit this page of DisneyWorld.com. Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased at participating U.S. military sales outlets by eligible service members 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). Each ticket must be used by the same person on any and all days.

Special pricing for Memory Maker is available at Walt Disney World theme park ticket windows when purchased by eligible service members or their spouses. No more than two Memory Maker products can be purchased by an eligible service member or their spouse. Usual Memory Maker restrictions apply and a MagicBand is required to receive some digital content.

Special Rates at Resort Hotels

U.S. military personnel can enjoy discounts at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels when booking by December 19, 2018, for stays most nights through April 13, and from April 26 through December 19, 2018. Offer excludes suites in Moderate and Deluxe Resort hotels, 3-bedroom villas, campsites, Cabins at Copper Creek at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms at Disney's Art of Animation Resort, and Bungalows at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort. Call (407)939-4249 for information and reservations. Eligibility details are listed on this page of DisneyWorld.com.


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

Florida Resident Discover Disney Ticket

Walt Disney World Resort continues to offer Florida resident discount ticket programs. For the first half of 2019, the Discover Disney Ticket offer has returned. Visit this page of DisneyWorld.com for more information and purchasing options. Proof of Florida residence will be required at park entrance

  • 3-Day Discover Disney Ticket – $175 plus tax
  • 3-Day Discover Disney Park Hopper – $207.50 plus tax
  • 3-Day Discover Disney Park Hopper Plus – $232.50 plus tax
  • 4-Day Discover Disney Ticket – $195 plus tax
  • 4-Day Discover Disney Park Hopper – $232.50 plus tax
  • 4-Day Discover Disney Park Hopper Plus – $257.50 plus tax

Discover Disney Tickets are valid for admission to one park per day (unless Park Hopper is added) and can be used anytime through June 30, 2019, with no blockout dates. Tickets must be purchased by June 27, 2019. Proof of Florida residency required. Tickets exclude activities and events separately priced (i.e. "hard ticket" events and such).

The Park Hopper Plus Option permits visits to Disney Water Parks, select Disney Golf courses, and select other opportunities. The 3-Day Plus Option permits 3 visits; the 4-Day Plus Option permits 4 visits.

All tickets and options expire June 30, 2019. A wholly unused ticket can be applied to the purchase of a new ticket with an equal or higher price after the expiration date of the original ticket.

Other Florida Resident Offers

For special tickets, passes and offers available to Florida Residents, visit 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)!

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Comments

  1. By asdhollywood

    And, after we published, Disney Parks Blog announced ticket sales are now underway for 2019 Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party nights - there are 36 of them this year, including November 1. The Disney Parks Blog post is here. Tickets start at $79.

    Here are the dates for 2019:

    August 16, 20, 23, 27, 30
    September 2, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29
    October 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 29, 31
    November 1

    Regards,
    Alan

  2. By Andoski

    Illuminations RoE has been running for nearly TWO decades, in case you want to update that in the report.

    Also, is it really necessary to keep saying that the marathon is "presented by Cigna," or say "Disney's" Castaway Cay? This is MousePlanet; it's off-putting when articles here feel like they were written by the Disney marketing robots...

  3. By asdhollywood

    Thank you for the correction. The word "two" was inadvertently left out of the sentence about Illuminations. It will be nearly two decades by the time the show is retired.

  4. Discuss this article on MousePad.