Walt Disney World Resort Update for September 10-16, 2019

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer
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Walt Disney World Resort Update for September 10-16, 2019

 

Writer's note: As we had hoped at the time we published last week's Update, Hurricane Dorian passed Central Florida without significant impact and operations around Walt Disney World Resort quickly returned to normal. To those in the Bahamas that were hit with the full force of the Category 5 storm, and to those all the way up the Eastern Seaboard up into Canada, our thoughts are with you, and we direct our readers in the United States to the official website of the American Red Cross for Hurricane Dorian disaster relief and donations. Disney Cruise Line's Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy have been transporting relief supplies to Disney's Bahamian island, Castaway Cay, for distribution to the hardest hit parts of The Bahamas, in addition to The Walt Disney Company's $1 million donation to relief organizations.

On Sunday, September 8, Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney World Ambassador Marilyn West, and a group of Walt Disney World cast members made a surprise seventh birthday visit to Jermaine Bell to celebrate his selfless act of compassion during Hurricane Dorian's passing of the South Carolina coast that was in the news over the weekend. Since before his sixth birthday, Jermaine had been saving money for a birthday trip to Walt Disney World Resort, but when he learned Dorian was causing evacuees to pass through the South Carolina town where he was visiting his grandmother, he spent his savings to buy hundreds of hot dogs, bags of chips, and bottled water to provide, free of charge for those fleeing the storm. Walt Disney World Resort will provide Jermaine and his family a VIP vacation at the Resort later this month.


Walt Disney World Ambassador Marilyn West shares Jermaine's story. Video ©Disney.

As the news reflects, this is the traditionally quiet time of year around Walt Disney World Resort. Also, no doubt, Hurricane Dorian caused more than a few folks to alter their visiting plans, maybe even making it more quiet than usual around here. Even Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge has not required "Boarding Groups" to enter the land at Disney's Hollywood Studios since its August 29 debut, and wait times for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run have been reported as low as 30 minutes from time to time (with 50-60 minutes being most common when we have looked). Be aware, of course, that the "Now More Than Ever" marketing push that began back in January is about to come to an end on September 30—with Mickey & Minnie's Surprise Celebration at Magic Kingdom, Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party at Disney's Animal Kingdom, and partying with The Incredibles in Municiberg at Disney's Hollywood Studios all still listed as "Limited Time Magic." And, that same day, Epcot's nearly twenty year run of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth comes to an end too.

Of course, as Orlando Sentinel notes, there are more tropical weather systems to keep an eye on at this time of year…

News and Views

Headlines are auto-generated here

Epcot International Festival of the Arts Begins January 17, 2020

With the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival having just gotten underway, and the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays ready to follow it, this week it was time for the park to announce this winter's return of its newest park-wide celebration. The fourth annual Epcot International Festival of the Arts will run January 17 through February 24, 2020.


The Fourth Annual Epcot International Festival of the Arts begins January 17, 2020. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Like the 2019 run of the Festival, in 2020, the Disney on Broadway Concert Series will again return to the America Gardens Theatre nightly. The new Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along (directed by Don Hahn) will also debut in the France pavilion during January 2020 (though no exact date has yet been announced when it will begin to be shown in the theater that will also continue to show Impressions de France). Likewise, in January, Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360 will debut with new scenes and a new story in the Canada pavilion, while Awesome Planet will also begin showings in The Land pavilion.

The almost "surprise" introduction of the festival back in 2017 as a Thursdays-through-Mondays-only offering (which I wrote about here) during an otherwise quiet time at the park pretty quickly evolved to a popular seven days-a-week annual seasonal event. For planning, be aware that there are times when the Festival of the Arts has drawn crowds comparable to the other Festivals, and this year's Festival will face the added challenge of the ongoing multi-year park transformation, which includes changing Future World into three distinct neighborhoods: World Discovery, World Celebration, and World Nature.

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 closed effective September 8, the Dance du Jour party takes place on a stage on the Future World East side of Innoventions East during this year's Festival. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

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. We will add the Disney on Broadway Concert Series performers when they are announced. You can add the entire 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

Construction is the theme of most of the views around the Resort this week.

Magic Kingdom Arrival Experience: TTC to the Park Gate


While walking through the maze of construction fences of the former tram loading zone at the TTC, just some of the vertical supports of one of the former Villains Tram Loading stations remain above the fence-line.


From the monorail above, it is possible to see much of the ongoing construction.


As the express monorail approaches the main entrance to Magic Kingdom, guests can see the latest construction work near the Ferryboat dock and adjacent to the security checkpoint for guests arriving by resort buses.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Magic Kingdom


Magic Kingdom Halloween decor seems to all be in place following the passing of Hurricane Dorian.


The new walkway between the Liberty Square bridge and Fantasyland appears complete, though the castle moat had not yet been refilled by this weekend.


On the Tomorrowland side, the crane assisting installation of the winter holiday dreamlights is on-site.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


As the express monorail approaches Disney's Contemporary Resort, two cranes now are part of the Magic Kingdom skyline behind Space Mountain, as construction continues on the TRON Lightcycle Run coaster due to open in time for the park's 50th anniversary celebration in 2021.


The PeopleMover shows the latest concrete footings for the partially-enclosed TRON Lightcycle Run.


On the Storybook Circus/Fantasyland side of the TRON Lightcycle Run construction, the walkway between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland remains closed.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Epcot (and its transformation


The latest map of Future World in the My Disney Experience app already shows the Fountain of Nations and half of the Innoventions West building removed.


As part of Epcot's Hurricane Dorian preparations, the canvas "tents" that usually decorate the sign atop the Epcot parking toll booths were removed.


Passholders that visit Epcot four or more days during this year's Food & Wine Festival are eligible to receive the Passholder gift (note, from personal experience, not every cast member in the distribution line has access to complete park visit records; if you have park hopped on one of your day's visits, you may have to find a lead cast member to verify your four visits).


The Passholder gift is a set of wooden Chef Minnie Mouse coasters and a holder.


The exterior of the still under construction Space 220 Restaurant is being painted "go away green" which can be seen while speeding past on Test Track (the building largely sits "backstage" and guests will be transported to the restaurant by a space "elevator" or transport of some kind to maintain the story of the restaurant being 220 miles in orbit above the earth).


The park's Hurricane Dorian preparation included brief removal of construction scrims around Future World East, as that area is transformed.


The Fountain of Nations closed effective September 8; it will be removed as part of the transformation of this part of the park.


The Character Spot in this part of Future World West closed effective September 8 (with new temporary greeting areas now available in another portion of the former Innoventions West building). See map above, which no longer includes this building and points the way to the new character location.


This hallway behind Club Cool an the Character Spot also contained the timeline of Epcot history through 2016. The Future of Epcot is being built now, but has only been revealed in part.


Canada pavilion's rockwork refurbishment's scrims were temporarily removed for Hurricane Dorian preparation.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


After midnight on some recent nights, the night sky has been illuminated by light beacons testing at Epcot that could be seen from miles away ahead of the October 1 debut of "Epcot Forever." Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Hollywood Studios


With last month's opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, the My Disney Experience app has an updated map of the park.


Keystone Clothiers has reopened and now features a large assortment of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge souvenirs (whereas the shops in the land feature items guests can only buy when visiting Batuu).


A large Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge display sits in the window bay next to the ramp that connects the areas of the store which used to include steps.


Exterior theming of the newly constructed building near Grand Avenue continues.


There has been no official announcement as to the purpose of this building near Grand Avenue, but it is immediately adjacent to restrooms.


Cast Members outside the Grand Avenue entrance to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge this weekend passed out a new, land-specific Traveler's Guide.


Stormtroopers can be spotted patrolling Batuu.


Themed fans have been installed in several areas around the new land.


Back at the model for the land still on display inside Walt Disney Presents, it is interesting to note just how close the final construction is to the display. Also, from our media-invited preview of Rise of the Resistance, we can confirm that the life-size transport at the new attraction closely resembles the model as well.


Over at Launch Bay, Darth Vader is once again available for meet and greets. He does not appear inside Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

This and That…

Tonight (September 10, 2019), from 6:30 to 8;30 p.m., there will be an exclusive V.I.PASSHOLDER pop-up event featuring new merchandise from the "Arendelle Aqua" collection inspired by Frozen at Epcot's Future World West next to the Flavors from Fire outdoor marketplace. The collection includes Minnie Mouse ear headbands, spirit jerseys, loungefly backpacks, limited edition pins, and more. The Passholder event also includes the first opportunity to purchase Arendelle Aqua food and beverage that will be available around Epcot. Registration is NOT required, but a valid annual pass and photo ID are required to enter and purchase (and to get the applicable 20% Passholder discount). For a look at the collection, see Disney Parks Blog, and the "full reveal" of the Collection will be on Friday, September 13.

…With Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge now open at Disney's Hollywood Studios, three of its food and beverage locations are now accepting mobile orders using the My Disney Experience app: Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, Ronto Roasters, and the Milk Stand. As is true for all mobile order locations, placing a mobile order does not guaranty entry to a park or specific land, so be sure to pay attention to whether the land is "open" for all guests or using timed "Boarding Groups" (of course, except for opening day, we have not seen reports of the land using "Boarding Groups" for entry).

…As Hurricane Dorian was passing Central Florida on Wednesday morning, an eland calf was born at Disney's Animal Kingdom which has been named Doppler in honor of its post-storm arrival. The calf and mother will remain backstage for the next several weeks before being allowed on to the savanna. Disney Parks Blog has a first look at baby Doppler who was born as part of a species survival plan in partnership with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

…With the recent opening of the newest Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique location at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney Parks Blog notes that there are now three Disney PhotoPass Studios where guests can take photos without reservations (and, yes, the photos are included in Magic Maker and other PhotoPass packages). Sir Mickey's at Magic Kingdom (near the park's Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique) and the second floor of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort lobby offer studios with standard backdrops; the studio at the Marketplace at Disney Springs has both a standard backdrop and a variety of virtual (digital) backdrops for photos.

…Have you ever scored a hole in one on a Walt Disney World Resort golf course? There is a page on the Walt Disney World Golf website that includes the honor roll of those that have. The Official GolfWDW Blog says that for amateur golfers, the odds of a hole in one on a par-3 hole are around 12,500 to 1, and invites those that have scored an ace on a Walt Disney World Resort course to let them know after reading more here.

…REMINDER: Lots of restaurants around Walt Disney World Resort (including several at Disney Springs) are again participating 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: 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: The 2020 Disney Parks Moms Panel Search is open 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.

NEW Views Around Disney Springs


Fall decor and photo spots now decorate Disney Springs.


Bongo's Cuban Café has closed and its signage has been removed.


Disney Springs has not announced whether or not the former Bongo's site will become home to Beatrix (see below).


Curl by Sammy Duvall has closed its West Side store.


Though the NBA Experience has opened in the newly constructed building, City Works Eatery & Pour House still looks like it has quite a bit of construction left to do ahead of its opening (though its signs say opening Winter 2019).


Cirque du Soleil theater's exterior renovations are ongoing as well, with the new show created in conjunction with Walt Disney Imagineering and Animation scheduled for previews in March and a grand opening in April, 2020.


New Sunshine Churros kiosks have opened in several locations at Disney Springs, including this one near the Disney Style shop.


The Food Truck park now includes a Cookie Dough truck featuring desserts.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Wine Bar George

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

As announced last month by Disney Parks Blog, Beatrix restaurant by the Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises will open a new venue at Disney Springs West Side (at an unspecified date and location). Now that Bongo's has closed, that location is a likely site, but we await official news.

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

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. The Edison is offering Cast Members a 15% discount for the event.

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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 12
    …at Magic Kingdom (9 p.m. to midnight):
    • September 19 & 26
    …at Disney's Animal Kingdom (9 p.m. to midnight):
    • September 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 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
  • Epcot International Festival of the Arts - January 17 to February 24, 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
  • Captain Jack Sparrow's Pirate Tutorial – 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 is being used as Appleseed Orchard marketplace 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" closings – Major transformation announced at D23 Expo in August, My Disney Experience lists closings and relocations including:
    • Innoventions East, including Colortopia and Nanooze Break effective September 8, 2019
    • Club Cool closed effective September 8, 2019 (to reopen in "a new capacity at a future merchandise location")
    • Fountain of Nations closed effective 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 - relocated September 8, 2019 (look for signs in Future World West)
    • 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) – closed
  • Ellen's Energy Adventure at Universe of Energy – Permanently closed on August 13, 2017.
    Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind 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
  • 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 Palm Golf Course – closed for refurbishment through September 19, 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.


Mid-Day Magic Tickets

Disney has introduced a new park ticket that provides one admission per theme park each day after 12:00 p.m. Visit this page of DisneyWorld.com for more information.


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.
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 September 9, 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.

New Seasonal Flex Ticket

Florida residents can purchase tickets for use on most dates through February 29, 2020, without picking a specific start date. The tickets, which can be used on non-consecutive days, must be purchased by December 17, 2019, and used in their entirety by February 29, 2020. The tickets are blocked out November 21-28, 2019, and December 18, 2019, through January 2, 2020.

  • 3-Day 1-Park Per Day Seasonal Flex Ticket – $249 plus tax ($83 per day plus tax)
  • 4-Day 1-Park Per Day Seasonal Flex Ticket – $269 plus tax ($68 per day plus tax)

Visit this page of DisneyWorld.com and click on "Read More" in the Florida Resident Seasonal Flex Tickets section. That page also provides a link where Florida Residents can save 40% on 4-Day Tickets and 30% on 3-Day Tickets compared to the non-resident prices of the same tickets when selecting specific visit start dates.


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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Comments

  1. By Dave1313

    …Have you ever scored a hole in one on a Walt Disney World Resort golf course?.....

    Until I realized Fantasia Gardens probably doesn't count here, I was excited for a second. (Pretty sure It was a simpler one, Hole 9, Bacchus's Corner for me )

  2. Discuss this article on MousePad.