Walt Disney World Resort Update for September 4-9, 2019

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer
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Walt Disney World Resort Update for September 4-9, 2019

 

Writer's note: By next week's Update, there are quite a few locations around Epcot's Future World slated to close to make way for the park's transformation. Hopefully, too, by the time you read this, Hurricane Dorian will safely be out of reach of Walt Disney World Resort. Indeed, our thoughts are with all those that have been impacted or still lie ahead of its eventual path.

But for Hurricane Dorian, which dominated our Central Florida news this week, the biggest story around Walt Disney World Resort was the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Since we covered that in a stand-alone article on Friday, we will only add a bit to that coverage here in this week's Update. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival also got underway and was busy with lots of locals popping over around their Hurricane prep (well, that's what I did too).

In any event, today, September 4, 2019, is your last chance to take advantage of this offer from our sponsor, Get Away Today: MousePlanet readers can get an extra $10 off Get Away Today's already discounted tickets when purchasing any 3-day or longer Walt Disney World parks tickets for travel now through December 31, 2020. Use promo code: WDWSALE today, September 4, 2019, to get the additional savings when booking at Get Away Today.

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News and Views

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Hurricane Dorian Occupies Central Florida News

Not to risk a "Dewey Defeats Truman" type headline like the Chicago Tribune once suffered by going to press before all the news was settled, suffice to say that Hurricane Dorian constantly has been in the news around Walt Disney World Resort since our last Update last week. What was once forecast to be a rather low-level tropical storm passing quickly across Central Florida and straight through Walt Disney World over the weekend, erupted instead into a strong Category 5 hurricane that stalled over the Bahamas for more than 36 hours before slowly turning north parallel to the Atlantic Coast of Florida. Outer-band squalls and showers are expected before daybreak, but no major storm cells are expected to reach the Resort. So, while Extra Magic Hours have been canceled for this morning, all of the Resort's guest areas except for Fort Wilderness Campground are expected to open during their regular hours today (with Magic Kingdom hosting Extra Magic Hours tonight from 10 p.m. until Midnight).

As of 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time last night, Dorian had become a less severe Category 2 hurricane with its center located in the Atlantic Ocean about 170 miles southeast of Walt Disney World Resort. In an abundance of caution, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom closed at 2 p.m., and Magic Kingdom closed at 3 p.m. Epcot and Disney Springs originally were announced to be closing then too, but, by midday, with the forecast for the region remaining fairly calm, Disney decided to keep Epcot open until 7 p.m. and Disney Springs until 8 p.m. (At 11 p.m. last night, the center of the storm was about 150 miles due East of the Resort; about 90 miles off of the Atlantic Coast.)

With the forecast for potential impacts of Dorian hovering over the Resort all last week, guests visiting the parks could find evidence of storm preparations everywhere. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, for example, opened on Thursday without the sort of light-fixture banners we are used to seeing decorating the park. By the weekend, the park's more permanent collection of banners could be seen rolled up and secured in place, and many light fixtures had been wrapped in plastic to protect the glass. For those that like getting to peek at on-going construction work around the resort, construction scrims were removed from projects all around the property too (we have some around Epcot in our Views Around the World).


Hurricane Dorian preparation this week included boarding some of the windows at Germany pavilion.


The World Showcase banners on the light poles were rolled and tied in anticipation of Hurricane Dorian.


The construction scrims covering the work at Canada pavilion's rocks were removed ahead of Hurricane Dorian.


The lights of Morocco pavilion were wrapped in plastic in anticipation of Hurricane Dorian.


Decorative lights at China pavilion and elsewhere around World Showcase were also protectively wrapped.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

According to Central Florida weather forecasters, we are still a couple of weeks shy of the statistical peak of the Atlantic's tropical storm season, and several more disturbances are being tracked as we publish (though none have yet been identified as specific threats). While tropical storms can occur at any time of year, the "season" runs from May until December and typically hits its peak in mid-September. The last hurricane that closed Walt Disney World's parks (and directly impacted the Resort) was Irma which traveled north through Florida September 10-12, 2017. Guests that plan to travel to the Resort at this time of year should be aware of the potential of these storms, but also should be aware that the Disney Resort Hotels are built well-above the construction standards necessary for the storms that have passed through the region over the years. Indeed, many locals (and those from coastal regions) take refuge by renting rooms (often discounted) in Disney Hotels during the storms because Disney has its own power supply and other facilities to comfort and entertain guests. Kudos are owed to cast members that sign up to ride out the storms!

And, speaking of "ride out" cast members, Disney Cruise Line routinely has a crew that remain on Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the Bahamas. Some on social media this week, as Dorian was bearing down on the islands, seemed oblivious to the notion that a storm shelter is in place on Castaway Cay, complete with its own power supply, plumbing, and provisions for the crew. In response to some of the outcry over the weekend, DCL wrote on its website: "As forecasted, sustained winds on the island did not extend beyond tropical force strength and our Crew has returned to their living quarters after spending a few hours in our storm shelter."

Last night, The Walt Disney Company announced that it has "committed more than $1 million in cash and in-kind support to help relief and recovery efforts for those in The Bahamas affected by Hurricane Dorian." Disney says that it will donate $1 million to non-profit relief agencies in the impacted area. "We stand with the Bahamian people, and especially those in Abaco and Grand Bahama, as they recover from the worst storm ever to make landfall in The Bahamas. As the needs in these communities are assessed, we are prepared to aid the relief and recovery efforts through funding, the provision of supplies and by providing support to our Bahamian Crew Members," said Jeff Vahale, president of Disney Cruise Line.


José Andrés, the celebrity chef behind Disney Springs restaurant Jaleo (and others around Washington, D.C., Las Vegas and more), has also pledged to feed thousands of people in the path of Hurricane Dorian in The Bahamas according to this video report by NBC-4 in Washington, D.C.

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is Open

If you did not already know, last Thursday, August 29, Disney's Hollywood Studios opened the doors to the Resort's largest, single-themed expansion ever, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. We provided coverage on our Social Media channels and a wrap-up in a full article here on MousePlanet.com. On opening day, the nearly identical twin to the new land out at Disneyland in Anaheim, a virtual queue was used to pulse guests in to the new land. At some point during the day, we noticed that Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run, the only ride-type attraction currently operating in the new land, posted a 300 minute standby queue. But, by late in the afternoon on Thursday, the virtual queue was no longer necessary to enter the land and the standby times to fly the Falcon were in the less than a couple hour range. Similarly, on Friday, we did not see the virtual land-entry queue in use and, as Dorian took aim at the region over the weekend, that did not seem to change nor crazy-high standby queues form for the ride.


During the media event, we spotted a possible meeting of members of the Resistance with vendors at the Coca-Cola cart. The special themed beverage bottles were briefly the subject of social media discussion last week as to whether the TSA would permit them aboard airplanes, but, in the end, the TSA ruled that empty bottles could be brought in carry-on and full ones could be packed in checked luggage. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

In the five years that I have lived in Central Florida, the weeks on either side of Labor Day typically have been low attendance weeks in the parks. Epcot has tried to offset that in recent years by opening Epcot International Food & Wine Festival earlier and earlier; and, this year, it opened on Thursday as well. The opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and Food and Wine both saw big crowds, but, with Dorian forecast to make landfall over the weekend and the norm being quiet weeks around here, it is hard to say just how the crowd levels were vis-a-vis expectations. The next major change coming to the equation is the December 5 scheduled opening of the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction that Disney bills as the most ambitious attraction it has ever undertaken. As we noted when we got a sneak peek guided tour by Imagineer Scott Trowbridge last week, what we have seen so far does live up to that hype.


Photo released by Disney Parks Blog.

During the media event in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge last week, I had an opportunity to check out a few of the Disney PhotoPass Magic Shots available in the new land. Two of the shots depend on special cameras (one which is permanently mounted near the First Order's Tie Echelon); as with any photo spots in the park, be sure to ask the Disney Photo Pass photographers what Magic Shots they have available.


The super-zoom Magic Shot uses a specially mounted camera that is trigged by a Photo Pass cast member with a tablet.


A special 360º camera captures an interesting view of Batuu and you.


A more "traditional" Magic Shot includes a porg. (And, a big thanks to #DisneyParksLIVE host Mark Daniel for joining me for the photo.)

Epcot Concerts & Candlelight Processional News and Calendar

The American Gardens Theatre presents the Eat to the Beat Concert Series three times nightly through November 18 as part of this year's edition of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Concert showtimes are scheduled Sundays through Thursdays at 5:30, 6:45, and 8:00 p.m., and on Fridays and Saturdays, an hour later, at 6:30, 7:45, and 9:00 p.m. The entire schedule is published, but, of course, always keep an eye out for signs when you enter the park noting last minute changes. There are even more details and you can make reservations for dining packages including guaranteed concert seating by visiting TasteEpcot.com or calling (407)939-3378. Eat to the Beat Concert Series concludes on November 18, but the Food & Wine Festival continues until November 23.


Joey Fatone will be appearing "With Friends" from November 12-14, 2019, for Eat to the Beat Concerts. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


With the Fountain of Nations slated for removal, the Dance du Jour party takes place on a stage on the Future World East side of Innoventions East during this year's Festival.

The slightly early end of the Eat to the Beat Concert Series allows for preparation of the theatre for the seasonal return of Candlelight Processional. During the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, 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.), from November 29 to December 30. Neil Patrick Harris, Gary Sinise, Whoopi Goldberg, Pat Sajak, Steven Curtis Chapman, Edward James Olmos, and Lisa Ling are all scheduled as celebrity narrators. 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 opened on July 3. EpcotHolidays.com is the page where you can find Festival information and Candlelight Processional Dining Packages (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. 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

Lots of Hurricane Dorian preparation around Epcot meant additional views of some of the construction work in the park. Of course, this week also saw the start of the longest Epcot International Food and Wine Festival and a few more views around the Resort.


Gallery of Arts and History at Morocco Pavilion is closed for refurbishment. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival


The Food & Wine Festival began on August 29 and will run through November 23, 2019, making it the longest ever.


Notwithstanding the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and the threat of Hurricane Dorian, large crowds filled World Showcase for the opening weekend of Food & Wine Festival.


Ahead of Hurricane Dorian and amid the tranformation of the park, the main decorative displays for the Festival are located in Future World near the plaza opposite the Fountain and in World Showcase Plaza.


With the start of the Festival, the new, wider pathway has opened leading to the Marketplaces located in Future World West.


The wider pathway continues all the way to World Showcase where a new building is taking shape near the restrooms.


The new building appears to be a larger restroom facility.


Appleseed Orchard, a new marketplace this year, is located inside the theater that previously was home to O Canada.


Refurbishment of the rockwork at Canada pavilion continues while the interior theater is used as a Festival Marketplace.


Appleseed Orchard has food and beverage locations along the walls of the theater; some of the "lean rails" have been altered to allow guests to rest food and beverage atop them..


World Showplace, the "tent" between Canada and United Kingdom pavilion, is being used during the Festival to host special events.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


The theater that previously was home to O Canada is currently being used as Appleseed Orchard. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

Epcot Future World Transformation & Entry Construction Projects


Construction walls around Future World East are the first physical signs of the transformation to come.


Parts of Future World East are already a maze of construction walls.


Fencing along the Future World East reflecting ponds also reveals work about to begin on the transformation of this part of the park.


With construction scrims removed ahead of Hurricane Dorian, some of the tree removal around the old Innoventions West building was visible this weekend.


The Innoventions West building will be demolished as part of the transformation of this part of Epcot.


With the scrims removed ahead of Hurricane Dorian, the on-going construction along Epcot's tramway was visible this weekend.


Heavy construction equipment is parked between the current tram loading area and the monorail station, as the "reimagination" of the park's entrance experience continues.


Disney has not announced when the entry experience project is expected to be completed.


At the International Gateway entrance to the park, the ticket booths have been removed as the Disney Skyliner station's construction project nears completion. The new transportation system is scheduled to open September 29.


A temporary ticket and guest services booth has opened a little further toward Disney's Beach Club Resort near Epcot International Gateway.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Animal Kingdom


The Simba Passholder magnet was available for only a very limited time starting last Thursday at Disney's Animal Kingdom (and, according to social media reports, supplies ran out ahead of schedule). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Hollywood Studios


Though Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is now open, the Star Wars-A Galaxy, Far, Far Away show continues to be presented several times daily on the center stage in front of the Chinese Theatre. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Legends of Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard reopened with a new interior that connects with the spaces next door which formerly were home to Planet Hollywood merchandise.


Part of Legends of Hollywood is now a Pandora store, with a new interior art deco motif.


The merchandise area in the expanded Legends of Hollywood store also includes a full-figured mannequin.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

This and That…

Disney Parks Blog showed off some of the more than 40 original pieces of art created to decorate Disney's Riviera Resort which blend Disney characters and icons with European storytelling and the stylings of "master artists who found inspiration along the Riviera during the late 19th and early 20th centuries."

…New Sith Trooper merchandise inspired by the upcoming film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now available in the parks. Have a look on Disney Parks Blog.

…REMINDER: Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort presents the return of its Food & Wine Classic on Friday, November 8, and Saturday, November 9. For its 10th year, the Classic will debut a surf party-themed area called Hang 10 on the resort's beach, with a live band, decorations, and two new dishes: Fry Basket (clams, shrimp, oysters and fries) and Hearts of Palm Ceviche. The area will also offer new beverage selections, including Spritzes and hard seltzer water. Returning themed areas include The Pig and The Poke, Chinatown, Carnival Corner, The Bubble Lounge, and a beer garden. For information and tickets, visit SwanDolphinFoodandWineClassic.com or call 1-888-828-8850.

…REMINDER: Lots of restaurants around Walt Disney World Resort will again participate in Visit Orlando's Magical Dining 2019. Including more than 120 restaurants around the Orlando area, the program in its 14th year, runs through September 30, 2019. Participating restaurants offer special prix-fixe dinners for $35 per person, and $1 for each meal served benefits local charities. Visit the official website for Magical Dining 2019 for the list of participating restaurants and more details.

…REMINDER: The 2020 Disney Parks Moms Panel Search will open at noon Eastern on September 5, and will run through noon Eastern on September 12. Entering its 13th year, the "Search" seeks folks with personal experience with Disney Destinations and evaluates applicants based on their ability to communicate that knowledge to prospective guests in "easy-to-understand and friendly ways." As Disney Parks Blog says:

the Disney Parks Moms Panel is the "official" digital forum for Guests to ask detailed personal questions about planning a variety of Disney vacations. Helpful tips, heartfelt advice and unique insights are provided from real guests who have mastered the art of planning Disney vacations. The panel also offers tips in four languages – English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. To find out more, visit momspanelsearch.com.

…REMINDER: Special extra Extra Magic Hours for Disney Resort hotel guests began September 1, and are scheduled daily through November 2, at Magic Kingdom, Disney's Animal Kingdom, and Disney's Hollywood Studios (including, of course, its Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge area).

…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.

Wine Bar George

NEW Join George for a blind tasting of six wines during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Learn to taste wine like a professional on September 14 or 21 from 3:30-5:00 p.m. Tickets and more information are on this EventBrite webpage. Afterwards, as always, stay for dinner and choose from more than 140 wines by the glass, bottle and ounce alongside small plates and family style entrees.

Beatrix

Longtime readers of this Update know that I was a long-time Chicagoan before moving to Central Florida and taking over the digital ink in this space. As a long-time Chicagoan, I was well-familiar with the many Chicagoland restaurants (and some in other cities, including Las Vegas) owned by Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises and have often dined at several of them. This past week, Disney Parks Blog announced that the group's Beatrix restaurant will open a new venue at Disney Springs West Side (at an unspecified date or location).

Beatrix is your neighborhood restaurant, coffeehouse and grab-and-go market featuring healthy food options including vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan along with fresh-squeezed juice cocktails. The restaurant will also offer a bakery and full-service bar with a selection of all-American beer and wine.

There are several existing Beatrix restaurants in Chicagoland which you can read about at Beatrixrestaurants.com.

The Edison

NEW DATE: The Second Annual "A Gatsby Evening at The Edison" has been rescheduled to Thursday, September 19. Guests are invited to get "dolled up in your best flapper attire, donning your 1920s style suits" to celebrate the great novel by "dancing the night away in style." A few glasses of complimentary Moet Champagne will be served and a selection of passed signature appetizers will be available for attendees. The evening's entertainment includes a red carpet arrival, live music, stilt walkers, an aerialist, dancers, a crystal balancer, a magician and a complimentary photo station. Doors open at 7 p.m. but only to guests 21 or older. Tickets are $79/person (plus tax and gratuity) with more information at this Patina Restaurant Group web page. NEW The Edison is offering Cast Members a 15% discount for the event.

Raglan Road

Thanks! The folks at Raglan Road invited us to the media preview on Friday of the 8th Great Irish Hooley. Many of the dishes and acts that headlined this year's festivities over the Labor Day weekend will be permanent parts of the venue's menu and entertainment offerings. Have a look at our Instagram Story Highlights and a few more views from our Facebook posts here.

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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)
    …at Magic Kingdom (10 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.):
    • September 5 & 12
    …at Magic Kingdom (9 p.m. to midnight):
    • September 19 & 26
    …at Disney's Animal Kingdom (9 p.m. to midnight):
    • September 9, 16, & 23
  • Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic: (registration required)
    …at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon
    • September 18 & October 16, 2019
  • 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
  • Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom (hard ticket required)
    • September 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)
  • Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend – October 31 - November 3, 2019
  • Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort Food & Wine Classic – November 8-9, 2019
  • Dapper Days at Walt Disney World (Unofficial Events) – November 16-17, 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
  • Astro Orbiter – closed for refurbishment
  • Liberty Square Riverboat – closed for refurbishment
  • 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
  • Gallery of Arts and History (Morocco Pavilion) – Closed for refurbishment.
  • O Canada! – the film has been retired and the theatre is currently closed.
    The theatre will be used as a venue during Epcot International Food & Wine Festival;
    "Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360" will debut as the new film in January 2020.
  • Reflections of China – the film will be retired and will be replaced with "Wondrous China" presented in a seamless 360° digital format.
  • Future World "transformation" to result in closings – Major transformation announced at D23 Expo in August, 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" will debut in January 2020)
  • 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 "HarmonioUS" 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 2020.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
  • UP! A Great Bird Adventure – will go on a "brief hiatus" in mid-September for updates to the show.
Disney Water Parks
  • No known closures.
Disney Springs
  • Bongo's Cuban Café– Closed in August 2019.
  • DisneyQuest – Closed as of July 3, 2017.
    The NBA Experience opened on the site on August 12, 2019.
  • La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil – Show closed on December 31, 2017.
    A new Cirque du Soleil show is in development with previews to begin March 20, 2020, and its world premiere April 17, 2020.
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.
  • Disney's Beach Club Resort – Beaches & Cream Soda Shop will be closed for refurbishment through winter 2019.
Walt Disney World Golf
  • Disney's Lake Buena Vista Golf Course – closed for refurbishment through September 5, 2019.

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
My First Disney Getaway Package

For a family of three (two adults plus one child age 3-9), this new $999 package includes a two-night stay at a select Disney's All-Star Resort, plus one-day admission to Magic Kingdom and one-day admission to Disney's Animal Kingdom. The package also includes one stroller rental per day, a reusable merchandise bag, a plush toy, an autograph book and pen, and a pair of "My First Visit" Mickey Ears. Bookings must be made now through September 24 for stays most Sundays to Wednesdays between August 11 and September 25, 2019, on this page of DisneyWorld.com or by calling (407)939-2733.


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


Fall & Holiday Season Resort Hotel Offers

Save up to 20% on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels in late 2019. Book through September 29, 2019 for stays most nights September 1 through September 28, 2019; and for stays most Sunday through Thursday nights September 29 through November 7, 2019. Also, book through December 24, 2019 for stays most nights November 10, 2019 through December 24, 2019.

Deluxe Villas and Resort rooms are offered at up to 20% off; Moderate Resort rooms up to 15% off; Value Resort rooms up to 10%. Visit this page of DisneyWorld.com for all the details, exclusions, dates and availability, or call (407)939-2727 or your travel agent.


Meal Vacation Package Offers

If you are considering a Walt Disney World Vacation Package that includes a non-discounted 5-night/6-day stay, Disney dining plans are included in the package when include the hotel and tickets with Park Hopper Option for arrivals most nights September 1 to 18, November 17 to 27, and December 8 to 23, 2019. Deluxe Villa and Deluxe Resort packages include the free Disney Dining Plan; Moderate and Value Resort packages include the free Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan. Everyone in the same room must be on the same package and the theme park tickets must be valid for admission on the date of check-in and be used within a limited number of days (which varies by length of stay). Gratuities are not included. Kids between ages 3 and 9 must order from children's menu where applicable. The package does not guarantee access to any specific table-service restaurants.

Read more information and exclusions, and check availability on this page of DisneyWorld.com, or call (407)939-7216 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

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.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Benefits & Promotions

Epcot encourages Annual Passholders to make repeat visits to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival by offering a number of benefits and a few "gift" items. Like recent past festivals, there are two complimentary magnets available to Passholders during the Festival ("while supplies last"). Through October 14, Passholders (with valid pass and matching photo ID) can get a complimentary Chef Minnie magnet; from October 15 through November 23, Passholders can get a complimentary Chef Remy magnet. Passholders that visit the Festival four times (as tracked by using the AP to enter the park rather than checking in at any particular location inside the park) can also receive a complimentary Chef Minnie wooden coaster set. All of the Passholder "gifts" can be picked up at Mouse Gear or Disney Traders (one of each per Passholder during the specified timeframes and only while supplies last).


Passholder gifts are available during the 2019 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Images ©Disney.

In addition to the usual 20% Passholder discount available on merchandise purchases in the park, there is also a 10% discount on Eat to the Beat Concert Series dining packages. The Festival will also have an assortment of Passholder-exclusive tee shirts, caps, mugs, pins, and more. For Passholders that purchase a special $100 Chef Minnie Disney Gift Card at Mouse Gear, Disney Traders, the Bridge Kiosk or Port of Entry (with valid pass and matching photo ID), they will also receive a $10 digital bonus to use at select Table Service restaurants at the park including Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, Biergarten Restaurant, Coral Reef Restaurant, Garden Grill Restaurant, Le Cellier Steakhouse and Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room (where the usual 10% AP discount also remains available).Other Discounts and Benefits

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).

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.


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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