Walt Disney World Resort Update for July 2-8, 2019

by Alan S Dalinka, staff writer
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Walt Disney World Resort Update for July 2-8, 2019

 

Writer's note: At around this time next week, July 9, Walt Disney World will open the new 545 room Gran Destino Tower at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, marking the substantial completion of the resort's reimagination. I have been invited to be on hand for the two-day media preview of the reimagined resort and the tower's grand opening ceremony, so keep an eye out on MousePlanet social media channels throughout the day next Monday, July 8, for the latest.

Of course, Disney's capital projects keep rolling right along these days around Walt Disney World Resort. Less than five weeks later, on August 12, the NBA Experience opens at Disney Springs (and, yes, I have been invited to be there too). Just over two weeks after that, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge makes its East Coast debut. So far, the crowds at its West Coast counterpart have not caused the chaos many had feared. Between the plans Disneyland put in place and its marketing messages, that resort has not yet been put under the "very large crowd" stress tests many of us here in the East thought (hoped?) would provide Disney Parks valuable learning experiences ahead of the Disney's Hollywood Studios August 29 opening. So, right now, we still really do not know what to expect around here as Labor Day weekend rolls around and the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival also gets underway.


In just under two months, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opens in Disney's Hollywood Studios. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

In the meantime, Disney has been busy this past week quashing concerns that Magic Kingdom classic attractions were going to disappear as the Resort heads towards its 50th Anniversary in 2021. In the News and Views, we start with that immediately below, share the news of the changes coming to the quick casual food options at The American Adventure at Epcot, remind you of the major American Independence Day entertainment coming up this week, and have a few new details about both Epcot's Candlelight Processional and Food & Wine Festival. So celebrate safely, and let's get to it.

News and Views

Headlines are auto-generated here

Don't Trust Rumors: Tiki Birds and Country Bears Continue to Entertain

This week the folks at Disney Parks Blog took the unusal but very welcome step of knocking down two rumors swirling around Walt Disney World Resort in recent days and weeks. On Wednesday, DPB recognized that "unscrupulous sources" were feeding "incorrect information" about the future of the Magic Kingdom's Tiki birds. Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director wrote:

we deal in facts here at the Disney Parks Blog. Although we won't address every rumor, we want to set the record straight: there are no plans for our feathered friends to fly the coop any time soon. We're constantly evolving our stories, but these birds will continue entertaining our guests at the Magic Kingdom Park just as they have done since 1971.

Then, on Friday, Thomas Smith was author of another post, this time confirming that the Country Bears will be around to celebrate Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary on October 1, 2021. He wrote, "Our Imagineers are always looking at ways to bring more magic to our guests through experiences and stories they know, but contrary to rumors, Country Bear Jamboree is not going into hibernation any time soon." (Emphasis added.)

Here, in the MousePlanet weekly Walt Disney World Resort Updates, we try pretty hard to stick to news and views and avoid the rumors. Sure, we hear rumors too, but if we do not see evidence like permits, construction walls, official statements from Disney, or news publications of record like Orlando Sentinel, we are not inclined to include them here. Our mission is to tell you what you can expect when you visit the Resort, hopefully provide you with useful advice, and to tell you about events and "things" around the Resort that you may not have been aware of before.

At least in this Writer's view, sites that trade in rumors and click-bait are in a whole different kind of Fantasyland than what I am interested in and will cover in the Update space as long as I'm at the keys.

Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue Replacing Liberty Inn

On July 8, Liberty Inn at Epcot's The American Adventure pavilion will close to be reimagined as Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue. Disney Parks Blog says:

The new location will be a modern barbecue smokehouse, with all the accompanying sights, sounds, smells and flavors you love – including a large smoker preparing fine food every day right on the pavilion’s promenade. There will also be a redesigned patio for you to enjoy, so get ready to grab a brew, some barbecue, and relax inside Epcot.

Folks that have visited Epcot during several of the park's Festivals over the past few years have probably already gotten a preview of the kinds of foods that will be served in the new restaurant, as a barbecue smoker has often been parked next to the festival food kiosk set up on the pavilion's plaza which was used for quite a few menu items. The new restaurant will be "fast-casual" and will feature several craft brews on tap. No specific date "later this year" has been given for the restaurant's debut, and we have not yet seen whether some other venue will offer the Guardians of the Galaxy-Awesome Mix foods that Liberty Inn has been serving to accompany the concerts on the nearby America Gardens stage.


During recent Epcot Festivals, an on site wood-fired smoker has been located on the plaza at The American Adventure pavilion. File Photo by Donald Fink.

REMINDER: American Independence Day Celebrations

Magic Kingdom and Epcot will both celebrate American Independence with special fireworks and entertainment again this year.

Magic Kingdom will present Disney's Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky on both July 3 and 4 at 9:15 p.m. We expect that, as in past years, this show will include perimeter fireworks, as well as a launch location from a Seven Seas Lagoon launch location that mirrors the one behind Magic Kingdom to the north. If you cannot make it out to Walt Disney World, Disney Parks Blog will present the July 4th fireworks by live stream starting at 9:13 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (and we will provide a link on our social media). Disney says it would "love to share some of your favorite Disney Parks vacation pics as part of [its] live stream. To have your photo considered, share it ... on Twitter now using the hashtag #DisneyParksLIVE."

Also on both nights, DJs will host a Hoedown Throwdown in Frontierland and at a Galactic Gathering in Tomorrowland throughout the night. As with any other day, The Muppets Present … Great Moments in History will present the Muppets' take on American history several times on July 3 and 4 too.

At Epcot, on July 4, Voices of Liberty will perform a cappella concerts of American music inside the rotunda at The American Adventure pavilion at 2 p.m and 3 p.m., and then they will take the stage at America Gardens Theatre for concerts at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. Nearby, Disney characters will appear in their Spirit of '76 patriotic attire nearby at The American Adventure as well (usually near the gift shop and restrooms on the west side of the pavilion; they also make appearances in the Voices of Liberty shows at America Gardens). After the 9 p.m. presentation of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, guests will have their final opportunity to see "The Heartbeat of Freedom" fireworks tag; it is the final opportunity because, of course, Illuminations end its run on September 30, 2019. Throughout the day, there will be special food and beverage options, including special dining packages, available around the park as well.

Epcot Candlelight Processional & Concerts News and Calendar

This past week, Disney announced that both Neil Patrick Harris and Gary Sinise will return to narrate Epcot's Candlelight Processional this coming December. They join the previously announced roster of Whoopi Goldberg, Pat Sajak, Steven Curtis Chapman), and Edward James Olmos. Held at the America Gardens Theatre, the Candlelight Processional combines a live orchestra, massed choir and celebrity narrator in the retelling of the traditional Christmas story three times per night (5:00, 6:45, and 8:15 p.m.) during the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays (November 29-December 30). Guaranteed seating is available by booking a breakfast, lunch, or dinner Candlelight Processional Dining Package at select Epcot eateries. Availability is limited and advance reservations are highly recommended and can be made up to 180 days prior to your visit. Bookings for Candlelight Processional Dining Packages will begin on July 3. EpcotHolidays.com is the page where you can find Festival information and Candlelight Processional Dining Packages starting July 3 (or call 407-WDW-DINE). Early booking opens today, July 2, for Annual Passholders at (407) WDW-DINE and Disney Vacation Club Members at (800) 800-9800.

In the meantime, Guardians of the Galaxy-Awesome Mix Live! continues its run on the America Gardens stage with five performances scheduled daily through August 18 (except, only four on July 4 to make room for Voices of Liberty). Star-Lord and Gamora, along with an "alien" band, take the audience on a "musical journey" that showcases hits from Star-Lord's Awesome Mix tapes. It is the same show that was performed last summer, and each live performance includes the same set list. Check the Times Guide and the My Disney Experience app for the daily schedule.


Guardians of the Galaxy - Awesome Mix Live! is scheduled on the American Gardens stage five times daily.


As a one time resident of Earth, Star-Lord attempts to teach an alien band music appropriate for Epcot (from the 1970s and 1980s, like on his "Awesome Mix Tapes, Vols. 1 & 2," of course).


Gamora flies through her performance with the band (at least, when she is not annoyed with Star-Lord).

File Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


Cindy Wilson, Show Director & Choreographer discusses the return of Guardians of the Galaxy-Awesome Mix Live! Video ©Disney.

As Labor Day weekend approaches, this year's edition of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will debut on August 29 (yes, the very same day that Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opens at Disney's Hollywood Studios). NEW this week, Disney Parks Blog provided more details about some of this year's marketplaces, noted that bookings are now open for the Tailgate Tastings hosted by ESPN's Monday Football (on select Sundays Starting September 8), listed some of the Radio Disney headliners coming to this year's edition of the Disney du Jour Dance Party, and noted that the calendar is continuing to filling up for the three-times-nightly Eat to the Beat Concert Series which runs until November 19. Concert showtimes on Sundays through Thursdays will be the usual 5:30 P.M., 6:45 P.M., and 8:00 P.M., while on Fridays and Saturdays, the showtimes shift an hour later to 6:30 P.M., 7:45 P.M., and 9 P.M. The Concert Series wraps up on November 19 to allow the America Gardens stage to be prepared for the 2019 edition of Epcot's Candlelight Processional. Get even more details and make reservations by visiting TasteEpcot.com or calling (407)939-3378.

For the convenience of our readers, all of the scheduled Eat to the Beat Concert Series performers and announced Celebrity Narrators for Candlelight Processional at America Gardens Theatre are shown in our Google Calendar of Epcot Events. All of the Guardians of the Galaxy-Awesome Mix Live! dates are noted as well. You can add the whole Event calendar to any calendar that supports the iCal format (like iPhone and Mac) by copying this link and, as we get additional information and update the calendar, the calendar will update on your subscribed device as well.

While our Google Calendar of Epcot Events lists announced performers, it is still 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 any last minute changes. The calendar is provided as a courtesy "as is, where is" without any guarantees. 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 just a few views of and near Disney's Hollywood Studios this week.


With "Toy Story 4" now playing in theaters, Forky has made his way to a spot in Toy Story Land near Woody's Lunchbox. No, we are not entirely sure how he ended up in Andy's backyard. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Construction around the entrance of Disney's Hollywood Studios is likely entering its final phases with less than two months to go until the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.


On Hollywood Boulevard, refurbishment continues in the retail shops on the left side of the street (from Mickey's of Hollywood all the way to the center of the park).


New construction walls surround some of the courtyard outside the Chinese Theatre.


On closer inspection, it appears that the ramps that connect the area next to the Theatre with the pathway to Walt Disney Presents and Toy Story Land and Municiberg beyond are being worked on, as nearby cast members were directing strollers and guests with ECVs and wheel chairs to the Studio Arch as a detour.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


Buzz Lightyear stands in Andy's backyard looking toward Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


With two months until opening of this entrance to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, this part of Grand Avenue can still be rather quiet from time to time. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


This past weekend, we spotted lots of Disney Skyliner gondolas stopped on the cables between the Epcot International Gateway station and the turn station near Disney's BoardWalk.


Spaceship Earth at Epcot appears closer to the Disney Skyliner gondolas on the cables between the International Gateway and the turn station than it actually is.


The colorful gondolas of Disney Skyliner are spaced on the cables from the turn station back toward the station at the future Disney's Riviera Resort in the distance.


The sign at the Disney Skyliner station at Disney's Hollywood Studios is still under wraps.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

This and That…

…Congratulations to the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort on the celebration of its 45th anniversary. Since June 30, 1974, one of the longest-running dinner shows in American history has been serving up comfort food and "corny" interactive family fun (yes, Disney Parks Blog uses that term in talking about the history of the show and says that, "at Disney, 'corny' is a compliment, established by Walt Disney himself"). Tom Vazzana, Show Director at Walt Disney World Resort says, "Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue exemplifies everything that Disney stands for."


The Pioneer Hall Players are the stars of the "Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue" File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

…The new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique location coming to Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa on August 6 is now accepting appointments. Like other locations of the boutique for guests 3-12 years old, Fairy Godmothers-in-Training "will help make the fairytale dreams taht you wish come true" by offering makeovers with hairstyling, nail polish, accessories, gowns and more available in different packages transforming a child into "an elegant princess or a gallant knight." Starting August 6, all boutique locations will start offering a new "Carriage package" that includes a specially-themed T-shirt; they will also offer four new hairstyles and additional accessories which can be purchased separately from other packages. Reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance online or by calling (407)WDW-STYLE.

…With Disney's Animal Kingdom's on-going celebration of the 25th anniversary of the release of the original version of The Lion King and the up-coming release of the new "live-action" version of the film, Disney Parks Blog is showing off the newest line of merchandise available in the park at Mombassa Marketplace, Island Mercantile and Discovery Trading Company. Also, coming soon is a new Funko Pop collection featuring Rafiki, Simba, Scar, Pumba and Timon. Starting July 19, the day of the new film's release, there will also be a new MagicBand available around Walt Disney World Resort too.

…And, while focusing on The Lion King, Disney's Animal Kingdom is also emphasizing its focus on conservation of lions and other wildlife across Africa. On a Disney Parks Blog post Dr. Mark Penning, Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks, announced that for every guest who rides Kilimanjaro Safaris during the new film's opening week, July 19-25, 2019, Disney Conservation Fund will donate $2 (up to $350,000) to the Wildlife Conservation Network in support of the Lion Recovery Fund. Disney has already donated more than $1.5 million to the fund and its partners, and through The Lion King "Protect the Pride" campaign intends to make additional grants and invites fans to make the total contribution up to $3 million as part of the effort of doubling the number of lions in the wild by 2050. Only about 20,000 lions live in the wild in Africa today.


The cast of the upcoming film "The Lion King" discuss conservation efforts. Video ©Disney.

…Walt Disney World Resort recently hosted "The Piano Guys" featuring pianist Jon Schmidt and cellist Steven Sharp Nelson in Pandora-The World of Avatar for a performance of "Jake's First Flight" from the movie Avatar. Disney Parks Blog shares the story and a link to the video that showcases the land at Disney's Animal Kingdom inspired by the film.

…As we continue our countdown to this year's D23 Expo in Anaheim, this week Disney announced that the event will include an exclusive Disney on Broadway Celebrates its 25th Anniversary concert on August 24. Some of the same Disney on Broadway talent that has performed Epcot the past several years during the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, will perform in a 75-minute concert with a six-piece band led by musical director Jim Abbott. Gavin Lee (Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast) is scheduled to host the concert featuring Heidi Blickenstaff (Freaky Friday, The Little Mermaid), Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, On The Record), Kissy Simmons (The Lion King), Josh Strickland (Tarzan) and Alton Fitzgerald White (The Lion King).

…REMINDER: Give Kids the World Village has announced its next two speaker series events featuring legendary Disney Cast Members and Voice Actors. On Disneyland's 64th anniversary, July 17, Disney veterans Tom Nabbe, Bill Sullivan and Bill Hoelscher will share stories of their fabled careers, stretching from the Disneyland's launch to the opening of Walt Disney World. On August 3, Paige O'Hara, voice of Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and Linda Larkin, voice of Jasmine from Aladdin, will share stories of the magic behind the scenes of these loved Disney characters. Details:

  • Doors open at 6:30 p.m. at Give Kids The World Village, 210 S Bass Road, Kissimmee, FL 34746
  • July 17: Legendary Disney Cast Members: General Seating $35; Preferred Seating $50
  • August 3: Disney Voice Actors O'Hara & Larkin: General $50; Preferred $75; VIP Package $150

Advanced ticket sales are now available for the July 17 event on this eventbrite.com webpage. Advanced sales tickets are available for the August 3 event on this eventbrite.com webpage. For more information about these and other GKTW events, visit GKTW.org. Since 1986, Give Kids The World Village has welcomed more than 165,000 families to its 84-acre storybook resort in Central Florida. Children with critical illnesses and their families are treated to weeklong, cost-free vacations, complete with accommodations, donated attraction tickets, meals and more.

…Off Disney property in Central Florida, the area's newest themed water park, Island H2O Live! opened in Kissimmee, Florida, with the start of summer. It is located just a bit south of US-192 and west of Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway (not a very long drive off-property from the Disney's Animal Kingdom resort area). For more information, visit its website: IslandH2OLive.com. Of course, be careful to not confuse this new non-Disney venue with the hard ticket H2O Glow Night events at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon.

…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 (including those immediately under this paragraph). Event items NEW to the Update are marked accordingly. For even more of the latest news around Disney Springs, follow its official Twitter Feed: @DisneySprings.

Morimoto Asia

NEW "Sea. Salt. Sake. Sharpen." A new immersive culinary experience will be held at Morimoto Asia on Sunday, July 21, 2019, from 1-3 p.m. This seafood-driven educational seminar and tasting will feature demonstrations and food stations highlighting fish preparation. Attendees will be taught "to master the elements of maximizing the bounty of the whole fish, gain insight into the proper technique for sharpening kitchen knives, and sample a variety of flavors from Mackerel and Hamachi to Madai Snapper." The event will also include beverage pairings like beers, sakes, and shochus to complement the style and texture of each dish. Guests must be 21 or older to attend. Tickets are $50 (excluding ticket fees, tax and gratuity). For more information and tickets, visit this page of the Patina Restaurant Group's website.

Pizza Ponte

NEW The counter service Pizza Ponte restaurant wants you to know that its $5.95/slice Big Roman is the largest slice of pizza available at Disney Springs, measuring 12-inches long. The Big Roman is a classic Margherita-style pizza made made with tomato, mozzarella, and arugula on roman pizza bread. The same team behind Epcot’s Via Napoli restaurant at Italy pavilion is responsible for the food at this venue. "At Pizza Ponte, we're dedicated to using fresh ingredients and signature cooking methods that deliver results that are on par with the traditional characteristics found in the style of pies served on the streets of Naples,"" says Patina Restaurant Group Marketing Director Kyle Collins.

NEW The restaurant has also partnered with a local Orlando-based company to offer Pop Fusion's gourmet ice and wine pops. Hand-crafted, colorful, and made with fresh, locally-sourced fruit, there are $5 non-alcoholic and $9 alcoholic flavors available (well, for those of appropriate age, of course). The handheld treats are also available at Epcot's Italy pavilion.

Maria & Enzo's

NEW On Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the restaurant now offers A La Carte Brunch featuring southern Italian cuisine from Nutella Stuffed French Toast to Italian breakfast skillets. For those 21-and-over, brunch can be paired with midmorning cocktails from the "Garden to Glass" menu of Bloody Mary drinks. "Our Garden to Glass options use fresh ingredients and garnishes that Maria & Enzo would have grown in their own backyards, bringing together the restaurant's origins and our guests' appetite for a beverage lineup at Disney Springs that stems from the similar and coveted farm-to-table concept,"" said Patina Restaurant Group Marketing Director, Kyle Collins.

Enzo's Hideaway Tunnel Bar

The Smuggler's Series is offered at Enzo's Hideaway Tunnel Bar monthly through October. Based on our hosted media-invited experience, for those interested in learning a bit about the beverages they drink, these sessions can be quite informative and the restaurant's culinary team works hard to prepare dishes to compliment the beverages served.

Bourbon - Tim Hiesler, Bourbon ambassador for Jim Beam, Basil Hayden, Maker's Mark
Wednesday, July 17, 7 p.m., $60 per person

Scotch, WM Grants - Balvenie & Glenfiddich, Wednesday, August 21, 7 p.m., $60 per person

Crooked Stave, Wednesday, September 18, 7 p.m., $45 per person

Tito's Vodka, Wednesday, October 23, 7 p.m., $60 per person

The Edison

The Edison at Disney Springs hosts Havana Nights beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays: July 10, July 24, August 7, August 21, September 4, September 18, October 2, and October 16. The no additional charge nights feature a five piece band from 8 p.m. to midnight (trading the spotlight with a DJ from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.) playing Latin renditions of musical styles from instrumentals to pop. Complimentary salsa lessons will be available at any skill level, 7:30-11:30 p.m. and Havana-inspired specialty craft cocktails will be available to order during the entire night.

Wine Bar George

Wine Bar George recently introduced its new Wine Country Brunch, which is now offered every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until 3 p.m. See the menu online here or download a PDF of the menu here. Reservations are available on OpenTable.

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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: (hard ticket required; park entry at 7 p.m., event hours vary by published date and park)
    Disney Villains at Magic Kingdom (10 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.)
    • July 11, 18 & 25
    • August 1 & 8
    …at Magic Kingdom (10 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.):
    • August 22 & 29
    • September 5 & 12
    …at Magic Kingdom (9 p.m. to midnight):
    • September 19 & 26
    …at Disney's Hollywood Studios (9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.):
    • July 5, 12, 19 & 26
    …at Disney's Animal Kingdom (9 p.m. to midnight; 7 p.m.):
    • July 2, 8, 15, 22 & 29
    • August 5, 12, 19, & 26
    • September 3, 9, 16, & 23
  • Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic(registration required but full)
    …at Disney's Animal Kingdom
    • July 18, August 8 & 22, 2019
    …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
  • 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 H2O Glow Nights at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon (hard ticket required)
    Thursday & Saturday nights from May 30-August 24, 2019.
  • Gay Days at Walt Disney World (#RedShirtDays - unofficial events) - August 15-18, 2019
    Disney's Animal Kingdom: August 15; Disney's Hollywood Studios: August 16;
    Magic Kingdom: August 17; Epcot: August 18
  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom (hard ticket required)
    • 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
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – August 29 - November 23, 2019
    (Eat to the Beat Concerts end November 19)
  • Dapper Days at Walt Disney World (Unofficial Events) - November 16-17, 2019
  • Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend – October 31 - November 3, 2019
  • Epcot International Festival of the Holidays – November 29 - December 30, 2019
    (includes Candlelight Processional)
  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom (hard ticket required) — Late Fall/Winter 2019
    • November: 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22 & 24
    • December: 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20 & 22
2020 Resort Events
  • Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend - January 8-12, 2020
  • Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend - February 20-23, 2020
  • Star Wars Rival Run Weekend - April 16-19, 2020
  • MORE 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.

Magic Kingdom
  • Captain Jack Sparrow's Pirate Tutorial – No longer listed in My Disney Experience (final show was September 29, 2018).
  • 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 accommodate TRON construction (reopening to be announced). Guests can visit a Walt Disney World Railroad train at Main Street Station.
Epcot
  • Liberty Inn - the fast-casual restaurant will close for reimagining starting July 8, 2019.
    Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue will open later in 2019 in its place.
  • The SpectacuLAB presented by Murata (in Innoventions) – no longer open or listed in My Disney Experience
  • 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. (New film entitled Awesome Planet announced.)
  • Illuminations: Reflections of Earth – Final performance: September 30, 2019.
    Epcot Forever debuts October 1 for a limited run which will be followed by a new nighttime spectacular in 2020
Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Star Wars: Path of the Jedi – Currently only available during Star Wars Guided Tours
  • Disney Movie Magic (projection show) – final showing was April 30, 2019
    Wonderful World of Animation (projection show) debuted May 1, 2019
  • The Great Movie Ride – Permanently closed August 13, 2017.
    The new Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway attraction to open in Chinese Theatre in Spring 2020.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
  • Conservation Station – Rafiki's Planet Watch – Wildlife Express Train - Closed - announced reopening July 11
Disney Water Parks
  • No known closures.
Disney Springs
  • Bongo's Cuban Café– Closing in August 2019.
  • DisneyQuest – Closed as of July 3, 2017.
    The NBA Experience is scheduled to open August 12, 2019.
  • 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.
Disney Resorts
  • Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Mizner's Lounge closed for refurbishment; reopening planned for fall 2019 with a new Beauty & The Beast theme.
  • 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, Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood, 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, Three Bridges Bar & Grill, is open, at least on a "soft" basis, on an island in the middle of Lago Dorado with new walkways across the water.
  • 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.

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For Everyone

Summer One World Ticket

Through August 23, you can purchase the Summer One World Ticket on DisneyWorld.com or from authorized ticket sellers including travel professionals. For $444/person plus tax, it provides one admission to each of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks and to each of the two water parks. It can be used on any days through August 28, 2019, but, unlike park hopper tickets, it allows only one admission to each park. If you would like to visit more than one park on the same day, that would use each park you visit's admission on that same day. The ticket does not provide admission to separately ticketed park events.

4-Park Magic Tickets

Earlier this year, Disney introduced a new four park ticket that provides one admission per theme park each day that must be used within 7 days of first use or by an expiration based upon price category, whichever comes first. To purchase, call (407)939-7646 or visit this page of DisneyWorld.com

Note that tickets are nontransferable and nonrefundable, do not include admission to hard ticket events and activities. If you purchase the 4-Park Magic tickets for higher-priced dates but use them on lower-priced dates, there will be no credits or refunds issued.


As further incentive to purchase park tickets in advance, for other ticket types, 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.


Enchanting Summer Room Offer

Save up to 25% for stays most nights in Deluxe Villas and Resorts and Moderate Resorts, or up to 15% for stays most nights in Value Resorts from May 28 through August 28, 2019 when you book through August 28, 2019.

The Enchanting Summer Room Offer varies by resort category and the savings depend upon dates which may also have length of stay requirements. The savings is based on the non-discounted price for the same room. In addition to the link, you can call (407)939-7534 for more information and availability, or you can contact your travel agent.

More offers may be available at DisneyWorld.com/save


Quick Service Meal Vacation Package Offer

If you are considering a Walt Disney World Vacation Package that includes a room for four nights at select Moderate or Value Resorts and a 5-day theme park ticket, you can receive one free quick-service meal per person in your party (ages 3 and up) for each night of your stay at more than 90 quick-service dining locations around Walt Disney World Resort when you buy the otherwise non-discounted Walt Disney World Travel Co. package. Offer excludes campsites, Disney's Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter, Disney's All-Star Movies Resort and The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms at Disney's Art of Animation Resort. Meals include soft drinks; at many locations, adults 21 and over may opt for certain alcoholic beverages included in the offer. Children ages 3-9 must order from children's menus where applicable.

Packages for other lengths of stay may also be available. Read more information and check availability this page of DisneyWorld.com, or call (407)939-2745 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.
Ticket Deals

Gold, Platinum, Platinum Plus and Premier Passholders can take advantage of the return of the Bring-a-Friend offer through August 8, 2019. For $89 plus tax, qualified Passholders can buy one-day Park Hopper tickets at park ticket windows for same-day use. Each qualified Passholder can purchase up to six tickets at this price (either all at once or spread out cumulatively across the length of this promotion).

Passholders without Water Park admissions included that want to visit them this summer, will have the option beginning July 5 to purchase the new Summer Splash Pass that provides unlimited visits to both Disney's Blizzard Beach and Disney's Typhoon Lagoon through September 7, 2019, for the same $69 plus tax cost as a non-discounted, one-day water park ticket. These tickets may be purchased at the ticket windows at the water parks.

H2O Glow Night tickets can be purchased by Passholders for $15 off ticket window prices by purchasing them in advance.

Lunch Table Service Dining Discount Through July 2 - THAT'S TODAY!

Several table service restaurants in each park and several at resort hotels are offering Passholders 20% off lunch through July 2, 2019. Lunch is offered 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. but hours of opperation may vary by location; special events and dining packages are not included. The discount applies for the Passholder and up to 3 guests and the Passholder must present their Annual Pass card and matching photo ID. The following locations are included (though, as always, you should ask at the time of booking to confirm):

Magic Kingdom

Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper CanteenLiberty Tree Tavern
The Crystal Palace
The Diamond Horseshoe
Tony's Town Square Restaurant

Epcot Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
Biergarten Restaurant
Coral Reef Restaurant
Rose & Crown Dining Room
The Garden Grill Restaurant
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Hollywood & Vine
Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano
The Hollywood Brown Derby
Disney’s Animal Kingdom  Tiffins Restaurant
Tusker House Restaurant
Resort Hotels Ale & Compass Restaurant at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
ESPN Club at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
Grand Floridian Cafe at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Olivia's Cafe at Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
The Wave... of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

The other usual Passholder discounts and benefits continue as well. The updated list is at DisneyWorld.com/PassBenefits.(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).

Through August 31, Passholders save 15% off lunch or dinner at Maria & Enzo's, Enzo's Hideaway and The Edison (for the Passholder and up to 10 Guests).

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 (including restaurants) 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, 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 April 15, 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
Expect to be required to show proof of Florida Residency for discounts and benefits.

Get Your Ears On Ticket

This special ticket provides Florida Residents (with proof of residency) 3- and 4-day park ticket options for as low as $55 per day (plus tax) for the 4-day ticket (total price $219 plus tax) and is available through August 25, 2019, and can be used any three or four days, depending on ticket purchased, through August 28, 2019. There are no block out dates.

3-Day Get Your Ears On Ticket

$199 (plus tax) – Less than $67 per day (plus tax)

4-Day Get Your Ears On Ticket

$219 (plus tax) – Less than $55 per day (plus tax)

The Get Your Ears On tickets include admission to one theme park each day. They do not include park hopping, water parks or any separately ticketed park events. Upgrade options are available. More information and tickets can be purchased at this page of DisneyWorld.com.


Resort Offers

Florida residents can save up to 30 percent on rooms at select Disney resort hotels for stays most nights July 1 through August 28, 2019, when you book through August 28, 2019, with the Florida Resident Summer Offer.


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.

Call DVC Member Services at (800) 800-9800 to take advantage of most offers.

Walt Disney World Golf now offers a Golf Membership program, exclusively for eligible Disney Vacation Club Members as a part of Membership Magic benefits.

For $99, plus tax, per year, the program provides:

  • Specially priced rounds of golf at Walt Disney World Golf courses throughout the year. These will be available at an average additional savings of $15, in addition to already discounted green fees as a Disney Vacation Club Member.
  • A special-edition Callaway DVC Member logo golf shirt
  • Access to special DVC Member-only events throughout the year
  • Access to special DVC instructional programs with PGA of America golf professionals.
  • A companion pass for 1 DVC clinic, when paying for a clinic session
  • A FootGolf pass for 2 players, one round for each player
  • One complimentary round at Disney's Oak Trail golf course
  • One guest pass for a free round of 9 holes, when purchasing a 9-hole round (Certain terms apply)

The included benefits represent $199 in total value. For more information, call (407)WDW-GOLF or (407) 939-4653. Be sure to mention that you are a DVC Member when you call.

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

For New England Residents

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort celebrates February's big football game victory by the team from New England by offering the Champions Package to residents of New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. For stays through December 24, 2019 (minimum stay of three nights required), the Champions Package includes $100 meal credit, which can be used at Shula's Steak House (named for NFL's winningest coach, Don Shula) or any other restaurant at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. It also includes a "one category complimentary room upgrade that does not include suite upgrades." Guests must have valid state identification at check-in from an eligible state. More information and details of the offer are available at this page of SwanDolphin.com. More information and reservations are available by calling (800)227-1500 and mentioning "CHAMPS."

For Canada Residents

All adults using Canada resident tickets or passes must present valid proof of Canada residency that includes government-issued photo ID to exchange the certificate for a valid ticket at the theme park ticket window or Guest Relations prior to first use. The offer itself requires advanced purchase; it is not available at Walt Disney World Resort theme park ticket windows. Tickets and options are nontransferable, nonrefundable and exclude events/activities separately priced. Admission is subject to capacity closures and to other restrictions.

Check https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/ca/ for the latest offers from Disney.

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

For U.K. Residents

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

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

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