Walt Disney World Resort Update for July 16-22, 2019

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for July 16-22, 2019


Writer's note: In my report on the media-invited night at the Disney Villains After Hours hard ticket Magic Kingdom event in our Walt Disney World Resort Update for June 11-17, 2019, I noted that I would be returning to the event during the summer with a ticket I had purchased and would provide "a more personal take on the night after that visit." Well, I returned on July 11, and while it was a fun night, I cannot say that I felt the night merited the price (even as discounted for Disney Vacation Club Members and Annual Passholders with advance purchase). The commentary about Disney After Hours I have repeated after each of the media-invited nights I atteneded is that:

they are specifically NOT at a price-point designed or intended for everyone. As someone who has a very limited amount of time in Central Florida, like a business traveler attending a conference, you might think of a night of Disney After Hours like an evening at a concert, theater, or sports event from a price standpoint. For a parks fanatic, someone who wants to ride and re-ride attractions or spend a lot of time with characters, this can also be a special treat kind of experience. In sum, for those that have planned their visits to Walt Disney World Resort with FastPass+ reservations, with multi-day tickets (or Annual Passes), Disney After Hours retains only its unique aspect: do you want that Disney PhotoPass photo of you alone (or as a couple or family) on a Pirates of the Caribbean boat? Would you like to have Main Street U.S.A. mostly to yourself? Those are all pretty "cool" opportunities that this event can provide. If you hate crowds and hate lines, these events may be just what you have been hoping to find. For Disney Resort Guests, there are times of the year that Extra Magic Hours may provide a similar experience without additional cost (except for the food and beverages).

As an Annual Passholder, I go to the parks a lot. I bought the Disney Villains After Hours ticket looking for some of those unique aspects that I experienced during the prior After Hours events, but with the Disney Villains overlay added here. Instead, I got a much busier park than I expected. I got to experience some attractions as walk-ons—like the Tea Cups and Voyage of the Little Mermaid—but during my July 11 visit, Space Mountain was nearly a 30 minute wait, and Pirates of the Caribbean was nearly a 20 minute wait. Yes, both attractions have special "Villains" overlays (Space Mountain is in the near total dark with new music; Pirates has live actors), but these overlays are pretty much the same as those available at a lower price point during Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Spending nearly a third of the event on just two short attractions is not ideal, and, indeed, if I had decided to try to ride these plussed attractions more than once, more than half of the event would have been gone. If I then add in the nearly 20 minutes for the stage show and the additional time viewing Maleficent, the fire-breathing dragon float (which is very cool), the night would be about over.

Unlike my media-invited visit to the unthemed Disney After Hours last year, neither my media-invited visit nor my paid visit to Disney Villains After Hours event provided an opportunity to experience a nearly empty Main Street U.S.A. for photos. Likewise, several other areas of the park. Rather, especially on July 11 paid visit, some areas of the park actually felt crowded. When I left the park at just past 1 a.m., Main Street was as busy as I have experienced during the end of some Extra Magic Hours and other after-hours parties like DVC Moonlight Magic and the holiday parties. The ferryboat back to the Transportation and Ticket Center that I boarded at 1:30 a.m. was very crowded with guests (and the monorails were not running). In other words, rather than a "limited attendance" experience with little or no wait for most attractions, I felt like I visited a slightly lower attendance version of the Halloween party without its parades, characters, fireworks, and candy, but at a premium price.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Some folks that I have talked to who have never experienced the earlier versions of "After Hours" said that they felt Magic Kingdom did feel less crowded to them than usual. No question, of course, it was much less crowded than a busy summer day in the park. Clearly, guest perception of attendance levels will be based on experience.

This week, I also noticed that Disney's messaging about upcoming After Hours events has shifted language more toward a phrase like "experience attractions with lower wait times than usual." In any event, it seems that something has changed that resulted in the park feeling much busier to me. I have asked Disney to provide some comments about what has changed and when we receive them, we will share them. As I said before, Disney After Hours events are fun, but whether the premium price was worth it to me is much less clear and I am no longer certain which guests would get the most value. Guests that value exclusive food and merchandise opportunities may find extra value in the event, as would guests that enjoy an opportunity to "dress up" in the park under the event's appropriate attire rules or to dance the night away with a DJ-hosted dance party, but I fit none of those categories. I welcome hearing our reader's thoughts on the subject.

News and Views

Headlines are auto-generated here

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Opens December 5!

As we await the highly anticipated August 29 "phase one" opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney Parks Blog announced that the attraction not scheduled to open then, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will open on December 5, 2019. Disneyland, which saw its Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge open its "phase one" back on May 31, will debut its Rise of the Resistance attraction on January 17, 2020.

Final construction work is underway inside Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge as its August 29 opening approaches. Cast member previews are already being scheduled in August and Platinum Passholder (and above) previews have been announced, but not yet scheduled. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is one of two attractions created for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, the new 14-acre additions to both Disneyland in California and Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida. The first ride, Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run, opened on May 31, 2019 when Galaxy's Edge opened at Disneyland, and will open at Disney's Hollywood Studios on August 29, 2019.

Disney describes Rise of the Resistance as "the most immersive and advanced attraction ever imagined in a Disney Park," and says opening the ride on December 5, Walt Disney's birthday, is a way to honor his legacy. The timing is a welcome surprise here on the East Coast and, as Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix noted in yesterday's Disneyland Resort Update, a disappointment for many West Coast fans, as Disney has said that Rise of the Resistance attraction would open in California by the end of the year. Disney Parks Blog describes the attraction as follows:

When it opens, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will blur the lines between fantasy and reality and will put guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Guests will be recruited to join Rey and General Organa at a secret base. Along the way, they will be captured by a First Order Star Destroyer. With the help of some heroes of the Resistance, they break out and must escape the Star Destroyer, protect the secret base, and stay one step ahead of Kylo Ren.

Attraction poster for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction. Photo © Disney.

Disney Skyliner Gondola Transportation To Open September 29

Yesterday, Disney Parks Blog announced that the Disney Skyliner gondola transportation system will officially open on September 29, 2019. Disney Skyliner connects Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot to four resort hotels- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and the new Disney’s Riviera Resort which is scheduled to open in December 2019.

Disney Skyliner is scheduled to open on September 29, 2019. Video ©Disney.

Disney Skyliner has been testing the colorful passenger cabin gondolas on the cables for several months now. Some of the cabins' exteriors feature graphics based on Disney films, attractions, and characters. All of the cabins are fully enclosed with windows that are tinted, but they are not air conditioned. Disney has said that the cabins are ventilated, but we have not yet experienced them or seen any published reports about passenger comforts other than that the interior benches will accommodate up to 10 passengers and that the system will be able to accommodate wheelchairs and ECVs. According to Orlando TV station WFTV-9 there are 300 Disney Skyliner cabins in total, which will be dispatched over six miles of cable, on trips that will take between five and 15 minutes depending on destination.

Protect the Pride at Disney's Animal Kingdom

As we noted earlier this summer, Disney's Animal Kingdom will participate in the "Protect the Pride" campaign to assist in the effort to help double the number of lions across Africa by 2050. Naturally, tied to the release of the new film The lion King, from July 19-25, for every guest that rides Kilimanjaro Safaris at the park, Disney Conservation Fund will donate $2 (up to $350,000 total) to the campaign. (Theme park admission is required.)

Since the release of the original animated version of The Lion King 25 years ago, according to Disney Parks Blog, Africa has lost half of its lion population, and now has only about 20,000 remaining. The Wildlife Conservation Network's Lion Recovery Fund has been established with the hope of doubling the lion population in the wild by 2050. We have been invited to an early morning media event at the park on Friday to kick off Disney's participation in the "Protect the Pride" campaign, so keep an eye on our social media channels for more!

Over this past weekend, JD McCrary and Shahadi Wright Joseph, voices of Young Simba and Young Nala in the upcoming new film "The Lion King" appeared at Disney's Animal Kingdom in advance of a showing of "Festival of the Lion King" to promote the film's July 19 opening. Video ©Disney.

On the more commercial side of Disney synergy, Disney Parks Blog also showed off a first look at the new merchandise coming to the park's Mombassa Marketplace and Discovery Trading Company starting July 19: a new Dooney & Bourke collection featuring Simba, Nala, Timon and Pumbaa. Also starting on July 19, guests can participate in a new scavenger hunt in the park by purchasing a map at outpost, Discovery Trading Company, Island Mercantile or Mombasa Marketplace and redeeming it (whether or not guests complete the hunt) at Mombassa Marketplace or The Outpost Shop in the Oasis by September 28, 2019, (or while supplies last) for "a savanna surprise."

Disney's new "The Lion King" opens in theaters on July 19, including at Disney Springs. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Epcot Concerts & Candlelight Processional News and Calendar

Just over a month remains to see the Guardians of the Galaxy-Awesome Mix Live! on the America Gardens stage. The show has five performances scheduled daily through August 18. 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.

File Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

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). Recently, 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. (This week, Disney announced Tiffany will return to the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, leaving only the act(s) performing November 12-14 to be announced.) Concert showtimes on Sundays through Thursdays will be the usual 5:30, 6:45, and 8:00 p.m., while on Fridays and Saturdays, the showtimes shift an hour later to 6:30, 7:45, and 9:00 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.

Neil Patrick Harris, Gary Sinise, Whoopi Goldberg, Pat Sajak, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Edward James Olmos are all scheduled to return as celebrity narrators for this year's Candlelight Processional. 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 to 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).

Neil Patrick Harris is scheduled to return to Epcot to narrate Candlelight Procession for the 12th year. File photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

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

There are quite a few views in other sections of this week's Update. Here, after a view from Top of the World Lounge and a view inside Magic Kingdom, the rest of our views are from Epcot.

As always, Top of the World Lounge atop Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort, open for Disney Vacation Club Members staying in Walt Disney World resort hotels and their guests, provides an excellent nighttime view of Magic Kingdom. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

A new design has been painted on the wall outside the former Stitch's Great Escape (now character greeting) entrance. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

This and That…

…As we noted in last week's Update, last Tuesday, July 9, Walt Disney World dedicated the new Gran Destino Tower at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, marking the completion of the reimagining of the moderate resort that is home to Disney's largest convention facilities. For a full recap of the dedication, looks at the new rooftop dining and lounge locations, the guest rooms and lobby, the new interactive televisions in the guest rooms, the new Three Bridges Bar & Grill, and more, see the article we published here on MousePlanet.com on Friday. Disney Visa Cardholders may be able to book Gran Destino Tower water view rooms for $199/night plus tax from July 15 to September 28, 2019, by calling (407)939-1313 or their travel agent and asking about the Disney Visa Card offer.

Walt Disney World celebrated the opening of Gran Destino Tower and the completion of the reimagining of Disney's Coronado Springs Resort on July 9, 2019. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

…Rafiki's Planet Watch at Conservation Station in Disney's Animal Kingdom reopened on schedule on July 11. The venue added a new Animation Experience, where guests learn to draw Disney Characters.


Disney Parks Blog showed off the medals for this year's upcoming 2019 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend (October 31-November 3). Medals for this 10th year of this runDisney event salute characters from The Jungle Book for the 5K, Frozen for the 10K, Mickey Mouse saluting the spirit of America for the Half Marathon, and The Three Caballeros for finishers of the Disney Two Course Challenge (the 10K and the Half Marathon). Kids Races medals salute characters from The Lion King. Participating charities and travel providers still have race opportunities available. More information is available on this runDisney.com webpage.

…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

Tickets for the July 17 event are on this eventbrite.com webpage. Tickets 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.

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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.

Goofy's Candy Co.

NEW Goofy's Candy Co. in the Marketplace area has made the gourmet cotton candy offerings from the Christmas Tree Trail a permanent offering in the shop. In addition to holiday flavors, this summer it also offers Sweet Mesquite, Root Beer, Sour Apple, Strawberry Banana, and Key Lime. On the colder side, Goofy's Glaciers are available in flavors that match Goofy's usual colorful outfit, and those guests 21 and older can order more expensive Frozen Glaciers that include Vodka, Rum, Whiskey, or Tequila.

Morimoto Asia

"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

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.

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

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 on hiatus.

NEW Enzo's Hideaway introduced a new Late Night menu last night that we were invited to sample during an invited media event. We will have more details next week, but its highlights include meat and cheese boards, chicken parmesan sliders, and fontina in carozza.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Edison

NEW The Edison also debuted a new Late Nights menu last night that we were invited to sample during an invited media event. We will have more details next week, but its highlights are the $5 "bites" offered Monday through Thursday from 10 p.m. until Midnight: Clothesline Maple Bacon, Philly Cheesesteak, and Bacon Cheeseburger.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Edison at Disney Springs hosts Havana Nights beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays: 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 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 19 & 26
    …at Disney's Animal Kingdom (9 p.m. to midnight; 7 p.m.):
    • July 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

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.
  • Future World "transformation" to result in closings – With major details expected to be announced at D23 Expo in August, so far, My Disney Experience lists closings and relocations to come later this year:
    • Innoventions East, including Colortopia and Nanooze Break will close on September 8, 2019
    • Club Cool will close in its current location on September 8, 2019 (to reopen in "a new capacity at a future merchandise location")
    • Fountain of Nations will close on September 8, 2019
    • Fountain View featuring Starbucks will relocate to a temporary location in late Fall, 2019
    • Meet Disney Pals at the Epcot Character Spot will close on September 8, 2019 (meet characters at other locations throughout the park)
    • Electric Umbrella will close in Winter 2019-20. (New dining options to be announced)
    • Mouse Gear will close in its current location in Winter 2019-20. (It will move to a temporary home to be announced)
    • Art of Disney will operate from a temporary location before eventually relocating to Heritage Manor at The American Adventure
  • 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
  • Liberty Inn - the fast-casual restaurant closed for reimagining starting July 8, 2019.
    Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue will open later in 2019 in its place.
Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • March of the First Order – Captain Phasma commanded her final parade down Hollywood Boulevard on July 6, 2019.
    The First Order will "redeploy" inside Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge upon its opening in August
  • 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
  • No known closures
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.
  • 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

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, now have the option 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.

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.

NEW Disney Resorts Cardmember Rates

Cardmembers may be able to book a Gran Destino Tower water view room at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort for $199/night plus tax from July 15 - September 28, 2019. Cardmember rates are also available at select Disney Resorts during that period for most nights. Call (407)939-1313 or your travel agent and ask about the Disney Visa Card offer. (Thanks to Stephanie Wien for a heads-up about this offer!)

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.

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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  1. By wdwchuck

    Thanks again Alan, although this trip report was a little disturbing to read. I read your review of the after hours events and I am discouraged.
    A large number of people are willing to pay a premium to go to the parks with a large number of people. Once again, Disney has struck gold.
    Pay more for less!
    I wish we had someone more like Walt running Disney instead of who we have now.

  2. By Dave1313

    I've only done this one time when they had the early morning version last year (in the fall) after TSL opened at DHS. (well, I guess more if you count MVMCP - I have done that twice - though I'm not a huge fan of that dynamic either - it should be like DL where it's just Christmas time and you don't need a separate hard ticket aside from your daily admission to see the parade for most of the season... but I digress)

    While I would not make a habit of it, I did feel the TSL event was worth it (for me, single visitor - this can obviously add up very quickly for a family!). The included breakfast at ABC Commissary was decent (I would guess I would have easily paid $15 (I should know the total since I do this a lot, but off the top of my head I do not ) for my normal routine of just a breakfast sandwich and OJ - and there was more available than just that). The crowds were relatively tame for the event I participated in. I ended up on Slinky Dog Dash I think 7 or 8 times, almost every time was less than a five minute wait from getting in line to being on the ride. There was ONE line that was more like 15-20 minutes, and I assume that was when the masses left the breakfast and made their way to SDD. But that was only one long line, all others were short as described. I also got 2 trips on Alien Swirling Saucers in during the event. (forget f I might have done one TSMM at the end or not, since I'd done that many times before). The one minor complaint was that the time listed for the event assumed everyone was eating breakfast(I thin kthe land only opened maybe 30 minutes after the scheduled start), so if you did not have interest in eating, you were basically sitting around waiting for the land to open for the actual time you could go on rides.

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