Walt Disney World Resort Update for January 7-13, 2020

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer
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Walt Disney World Resort Update for January 7 - 13, 2020

 

Writer's note: Happy New Year!


Disney Parks have a long tradition of distributing complimentary hats to guests on New Year's Eve.


For the past three New Year's Celebrations, the hats have been made of a recyclable paper product. This year, there were recycle bins at park exits encouraging guests to recycle their hats. I have a collection.


Complimentary hat and horn distribution in the parks, like this one at Epcot, get quite crowded when they open but, with plenty on hand, it usually is not necessary to arrive at the opening of distribution.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

While our West Coast readers were keeping an eye out for annual price increases over the weekend, which, as Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix reported in yesterday's Disneyland Resort Update have not appeared as yet, here on the East Coast the pricing news over the weekend was the release of the various dining-included discount plans unveiled by Walt Disney World Resort and noted in yesterday's Disney Parks Blog. Details and links to the plans are now in the Discounts section below, but, in brief, they are:

  • Summer free dining plan for non-discounted 5-night/6-day packages including a room at certain hotels and a ticket with Park Hopper Option. Must be booked by January 16, 2020 (limited arrival dates).
  • Summer free dining plan for kids (ages 3 to 9) for non-discounted 4-night/4-day packages including a room at certain hotels, theme park tickets, and dining plans (for all the "adults"). Must be booked by February 26, 2020 (less limited arrival dates).
  • "Sun & Fun" Room Offer for saving 25% on certain hotels for most nights between April 1 through September 12, 2020. Must be booked by February 26, 2020.

For Passholders, "Save Up To 35%" offers have been published; for Florida Residents, "Save Up to 30%" offers have been published as well. Our Sponsor, Get Away Today can help you arrange your packages, or you can contact other Travel Agents or Disney.

For park tickets, as we regularly remind readers, buying them in advance usually is your best option. Make sure you confirm such things as first use date and expiration date, but, once you buy your tickets, they will be honored according to their original terms regardless of whether price hikes happen before your chosen vacation dates. And, in case you missed it last week, Florida Residents that want to visit the parks in the first half of 2020 can now purchase the new Florida Resident Discovery Disney Ticket: The 4-Day Ticket is $195/person plus tax ($49/day) and the 3-Day Ticket is $175/person plus tax ($59/day) for one park per day admission on any dates through June 30, 2020, with no block-out dates (Park Hopper and Park Hopper Plus upgrades available for extra charges and must be purchased by June 27, 2020).

News and Views

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Sam Eagle Salutes All Cook-Offs But Mostly Barbecue

This week, Disney Parks Blog revealed that the new fast-casual restaurant expected to open soon in the space formerly occupied by Liberty Inn at The American Adventure pavilion in Epcot gets its name from Muppet Sam Eagle. Muppets fans know that Sam is known for his American patriotism. In recent years, guests at Magic Kingdom had a chance to see Sam play a significant role in "Muppets Present...Great Moments in American History" and guests that have seen MuppetVision 3D at Disney's Hollywood Studios (or, for some time ago at Disney California Adventure) may recall that Sam there presents "A Salute to all Nations, but Mostly America."


Muppets Present... briefly returned to Liberty Square during the last days of 2019. Its sign prominently features Sam Eagle. December 30, 2019 Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Now, Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue will be the site for "Sam's Centennial Cook-Off: A Salute to All Cook-Offs but Mostly Barbecue." The venue will serve a variety of "classic American backyard barbecue" selections from around the United States. Disney Parks Blog provided highlights of the menu back in a November post.

Regal Eagle
Muppet Sam Eagle inspires the name of the new Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue restaurant opening soon at The American Adventure pavilion in Epcot. Image ©Disney.

The sign greeting guests features Sam sporting appropriate backyard barbecue spatula and fork. A poster in the restaurant highlights the cook-off which it says is "A Competition Fit For Patriots and Pit Masters." The location will also sell exclusive Sam Eagle Regal Eagle Smokehouse merchandise. No specific opening date has been announced.

Regal Eagle
Sam Eagle Salutes All Cook-Offs but Mostly Barbecue. Image ©Disney.

Epcot Festivals News & Calendar

Festival of the Arts

Starting next Friday, January 17, and running through February 24, 2020, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts returns for its fourth annual celebration of Disney-inspired visual artists, culinary artistic creations by Walt Disney World chefs, and the performing arts, including Disney's Broadway songs and artists. This year, the new "Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine" debuts with food creations "that make you look twice and delight all your senses." Based on the description on the Festival's website, ArtfulEpcot.com, the Walk is like the Holiday's Cookie Trail, if you purchase 5 menu items from the Cuisine locations and receive stamps in your Passport, you can bring the completed Passport to Decadent Delights for a "colorful culinary prize offered exclusively at the Festival." Passport stamps do not have to be collected on the same day; the Passport may be completed at anytime before the end of the Festival. The menus for all the Festival's "Food Studios" (kiosks) are also on the Festival's website, ArtfulEpcot.com.


Chalk artists and Living Statues will return for the 2020 Festival of the Arts. Some of the artists demonstrated their talents during the media event ahead of the opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The Painted Panda at China Pavilion is one of the Food Studios that will be part of the Festival of Arts. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The America Gardens Theatre will again host the Disney on Broadway Concerts Series, three times nightly: 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 8 p.m. The performing duos scheduled to appear this year are: Kissy Simmons & Alton Fitzgerald White, Heidi Blickenstaff & Gavin Lee, Kara Lindsay & Kevin Massey, Liana Hunt & Adam Jacobs, Ashley Brown & Josh Strickland, and Syndee Winters & Michael James Scott. Each duo is scheduled to perform several times, and three evenings over the course of the Festival (January 25, February 9 and 24), two duos combine for three concerts. More information about both the whole Festival and the shows themselves is available on ArtfulEpcot.com or by calling (407)939-5277. Booking for dining packages and workshops is also now open for the entire 2020 Festival.


America Gardens Theatre is being prepared to once again host the Disney on Broadway Concert Series during the run of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

At Germany pavilion, a "brand new to Epcot" performing group, Lebendig ("Alive") will take to the stage during published times January 17 through February 25. The four-piece pop/rock group performs "its contemporary interpretation of the beloved German Schlager style, including covers and originals."

Remember, that the 2020 opening of the Festival of Arts also marks the opening of the permanent new films at the Canada and The Land pavilions, along with the Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along (plus the return of Impressions de France, upgraded to 4K projection), opening at the France pavilion.


"Canada Far and Wide in CircleVision 360," is scheduled to debut at Canada pavilion January 17, 2020, with narration by Catherine O'Hara and Eugene Levy, and a new score by Andrew Lockington. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


A new permanent sign has been installed above the theater entrance for the new 10-minute film "Awesome Planet" which is scheduled to debut January 17, 2020, inside The Land pavilion. The new show will feature in-theater effects and an original musical score by Steven Price. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

 
Flower & Garden Festival

The longest running Epcot festival—the one that started them all back in 1994 as "a 38-day celebration of Disney-style gardens and topiaries"—the 2020 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, runs 90-days from March 4 to June 1, 2020. The 27th edition of the Festival includes the Garden Rocks Concert Series three times nightly at America Gardens Theatre, and, the list of scheduled performers so far includes both returning and new names including: Peabo Bryson, STARSHIP, Sister Hazel, Rick Springfield, Plain White T's, Don McLean, Herman's Hermits, Daughtry and Survivor. As the Festival gets closer, we expect we expect we will increasingly see the gaps in the schedule filled. The official website for the festival, FreshEpcot.com.

Garden Rocks Concert Series Dining Packages are now available. Booking a breakfast, lunch or dinner package at select Epcot restaurants provides guaranteed concert seating for a 5:30, 6:45, or 8 p.m. show.

If you are new to the Festival, you may not otherwise know that this is the one that features the most topiaries around the park. New this year will be a Remy topiary that will be unveiled as the centerpiece of Ratatouille Garden at France pavilion. The garden will include vegetables that make up the traditional ingredients of a ratatouille recipe. Remy's Ratatouille Adventure attraction opens at the pavilion during the summer, with a specific date not yet announced.

Other topiary displays that have been announced so far are the return of Anna & Elsa, Buzz Lightyear, Miss Piggy & Kermit the Frog, Tinker Bell, Snow White, and Bambi. The Goodness Garden Butterfly House will also return, as will the "Play Full Garden" where "families can celebrate spring at a unique playground experience." The Floating Gardens, Flower Towers, and more bedded blooms will be planted as well. Behind the scenes tours are available during the Festival from the no-additional-charge 20 minute English Tea Garden tour to the Spring edition of the 3 hour Gardens of the World tour ($85/person plus tax).

Like the other Festivals, Flower & Garden Festival will include food and beverage kiosks. This year, 16 "Outdoor Kitchens" and other "stops" will include three Florida-centric locations: The Honey Bee-stro, The Citrus Blossom, and Florida Fresh.

Food & Wine Festival

The 2019 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival concluded back in November. Disney Parks Blog lists the 25th anniversary edition of the Festival among the 20 Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2020, but the park has not yet announced its specific dates. It is a very safe bet that the hugely popular festival will return for a near 90 day run in the late summer/fall of 2020. The official website for the festival is TasteEpcot.com. The runDisney Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend which traditionally takes place during the Festival has been scheduled for November 5-8, 2020.

Festival of the Holidays

2019 Performances of Candlelight Processional, wrapped up on December 30, along with the park-wide Festival of the Holidays. The celebrations, no doubt, will return late in 2020, and, as in recent years, we will probably start getting specific details to share in the summer, probably with a Christmas in July media event or promotion.


The 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Holidays officially concluded December 30. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Festivals Calendar

For the convenience of our readers, the scheduled performers for this year's Disney on Broadway Concert Series are shown in our Google Calendar of Epcot Events. We have also added the announced Garden Rocks Concert Series performers announced so far for this year's Flower & Garden Festival. 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

Magic Kingdom


As in past years, Magic Kingdom kicked off its New Year's Eve celebrations on December 30 with the same dance parties and fireworks as New Year's Eve itself, but with somewhat smaller crowds.


Cinderella's carriage was available for photo opportunities for the park's New Year's Eve celebration.


Tinker Bell flies to start Magic Kingdom's Fantasy in the Sky New Year's Eve (and the night before which Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix likes to call New Year's Adam) fireworks shows.


Fantasy in the Sky fireworks finale fills the sky all around Magic Kingdom with a full 360 degree display that my camera cannot adequately capture.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


Construction at TRON Lightcycle Run has progressed to where the "gravity box" now has internal lighting. (Credit that quoted term to "The Imagineering Story" on Disney+.)


Near the entrance to Space Mountain and the walkway that will eventually lead to Tron Lightcycle Run, a new display has been installed allowing guests to pose on the ride vehicle seats.


A diagram shows the paths guests are to take to get onboard the ride vehicle. It appears that the new attraction will have a sponsor as well.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Epcot


Epcot welcomed 2020 with the same sort of massive fireworks display we have seen in recent years that was preceded by fireworks saluting the countries of World Showcase that welcomed the New Year earlier in the day.


Epcot's main Christmas Tree was removed by December 30 to provide more viewing areas for the nightly presentations of Epcot Forever and the big New Year's Eve celebration.


Festival of the Holidays topiaries, however, remained in place on New Year's Eve.


Silent Groove provided DJ-hosted headset-based musical entertainment for those gathered "behind" Spaceship Earth on New Year's Eve, while louder DJ-hosted parties were held at China and Italy pavilion, and at a smaller temporary stage in Future World East.


Spaceship Earth again served as a giant laser-projected clock for much of New Year's Eve.


Epcot Forever was presented just ahead of the countdown to the New Year.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


Since most of the pyrotechnics of "Epcot Forever" are high above World Showcase Lagoon, it is possible to see quite a bit of the show, including its finale, from the plaza outside The American Adventure. On New Year's Eve, Epcot Forever was shown "early" starting at 6:30 p.m. (shown here), and again just before Midnight. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.


Lasers projected a Happy New Year message just past Midnight on January 1, 2020. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.


Demolition continues at Innoventions West as part of the transformation of the park.


A new pathway has been built from near Spaceship Earth to Future World West. It was open during New Year's Eve.


The new walkway follows along the path of the Epcot monorail loop.


This weekend, however, the new pathway was not always open. This photo was taken on Sunday.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


With Innoventions West demolition continuing the Character Spot has closed. As of January 5, the main place to meet Mickey at Epcot is now the entry to the Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival at Imagination! Pavilion. Minnie meets guests at the gazebo along World Showcase Promenade. We spotted Goofy near one of the former entrances to Innoventions West. Sometimes we have also spotted these three near International Gateway. December 31, 2019 Character Spot Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


Imagination Land is the new meet and greet area for Joy from "Inside Out" and is located in ImageWorks within Imagination! pavilion. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Joy from "Inside Out" now appears in Imagination! pavilion by way of "The Link" to her new meet and greet area, Imagination Land in ImageWorks. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.


As part of the park's transformation, Mouse Gear has opened in a new temporary location in Innoventions East as of Sunday, January 5.


Mouse Gear signage was removed and the store closed for renovations effective January 5.


Doors of the former Mouse Gear location had signs directing guests to to its new temporary location.


Electric Umbrella, the quick service restaurant, is also slated to close this Winter.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


On January 5, as part of the transformation of Epcot, Mouse Gear, the main merchandise location for the park, relocated from its location of the past two decades to a smaller, temporary location which most recently was the location of Innoventions East, including Colortopia. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.


Outside the park gates, the new East Tram loading and unloading areas are nearing completion.


From inside the park, it is possible to spot a construction crane behind Canada pavilion which is on a portion of Epcot Resorts Boulevard which is currently closed between Disney's Beach Club and Disney's BoardWalk Resorts.


Vertical construction on "The Cove," the new tower under construction at Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort can also be spotted from inside the park.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


The holiday floral bed behind Spaceship Earth has been planted with Figment-like purple flowers ahead of the upcoming Festival of the Arts.

Disney's Hollywood Studios


Sunset Boulevard had a large New Year's Eve afternoon crowd. On the left in the photo, Santa Goofy briefly took over meeting guests from Santa Claus inside Once Upon a Time after Christmas.


With the holidays celebrations at the parks wrapping up this weekend, we expect the Green Army Men in Toy Story Land will put their holiday scarfs away for the season.


Star Wars Launch Bay has new props relating to "The Rise of Skywalker" and its entrance and the Animation Courtyard have new banners.


Lots of guests made visits to Batuu (Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge) on New Year's Eve afternoon as well.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney Skyliner


Disney Skyliner stations now post notices when Boarding Groups for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance have filled for the day to alert guests travelling to Disney's Hollywood Studios. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

This and That…

…For those with tickets or considering getting tickets to attend Disney Villains After Hours during one of its select nights between February 7 and July 10 this year, Disney Parks Blog has published a Foodie Guide to the specialty food and beverage offerings available for sale around the park during this hard ticket event.

…Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 2020 kicks off tomorrow, January 8, with the full Marathon coming up on Sunday, January 12. For those visiting the Resort, be mindful of the road closures and (in the descriptive words of our Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix) the Disney Dark Thirty start times of races that are often accompanied by fireworks and such. Disney Parks Blog has posted a guide to the merchandise that will be available at the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex starting Wednesday, 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. The Expo is open to all guests, and it also runs Thursday and Friday (10 a.m. until 7 p.m.) and Saturday (9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.).

…REMINDER: For a chance to dine at Space 220 Restaurant in Epcot, Patina Restaurant Group’s latest signature table-service restaurant and lounge expected to open this Winter, the non-profit Give Kids the World Village has an opportunity for you to win a package for two including roundtrip airfare to Orlando, lodging for two nights at a Walt Disney World®Resort, 2-day Theme Park Tickets with Park Hopper option and dinner for two at Space 220 at Epcot. Chances to win start at as little as $10. No purchase is necessary. To participate visit www.gktw.org/space220 to enter to win by January 15, 2020. Guests will be able to redeem the package following the opening of the restaurant and the availability of the resort. Donors help Give Kids The World provide life-changing wish trips to critically ill children and their families while getting a chance for an out-of-this-world experience. As we have mentioned many times before, Give Kids The World Village is an 84-acre, nonprofit "storybook" resort in Central Florida where critically ill children and their families are treated to weeklong, cost-free vacations, complete with accommodations, donated attraction tickets, meals, and more. For more information, visit givekidstheworld.org.

…When the Chinese Theatre at Disney's Hollywood Studios reopens with the March 4 debut of Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway, those in the queue will see new Mickey & Minnie posters decorating the lobby. When we were invited for a media preview in December, these new posters appear on the video screens throughout the queue - the same screens that used to show posters for classic movies and The Great Movie Ride. The new attraction includes a brand new short, "Perfect Picnic" and the digital posters in the halls leading up to the "premiere" (the pre-show for the ride) set the scene.

Mickey
Posters inspired by Mickey & Minnie cartoon shorts have been created for the lobby of Chinese Theatre at Disney's Hollywood Studios to set the scene for Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway which opens March 4. Image ©Disney.

…Elsewhere in Central Florida, LEGOLAND Florida Resort is now offering a free Preschooler Pass. When purchased by February 3, 2020, it will provide Florida Resident children ages 3 and 4 years old (at the time of purchase) unlimited admission to both LEGOLAND Florida Theme Park and Water Park with no block out dates. Children ages 2 and under continue to receive free daily admission. Get the pass at an admission ticket window with either a copy of the child's birth certificate or travel passport. For more information, visit Legoland.com/preschooler-pass.

…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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Disney Springs News & Views

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). Some items are repeated week to week until they occur, while other items NEW to the Update are marked accordingly. For even more of the latest news around Disney Springs, follow its official Twitter Feed: @DisneySprings.

The Edison

The Edison's YouTube channel is now home to a video series providing a behind the scenes look at exclusive specialty cocktails. A lead bartender from The Edison provides step-by-step mixology lessons on how to re-create some of The Edison's specialty drinks at home. We have been told to expect new additions to the channel quarterly.


Learn to make "The Last Coconut in San Juan" from The Edison's winter cocktail collection. Video courtesy The Edison.

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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).

2020 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:
    • January 13, 17, 20, 23, 27 & 31
    • February 3, 10, 17 & 24
    • March 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30
    • April 5, 13, 20 & 27
    • May 5, 11, 18 & 25
    …at Disney's Animal Kingdom
    • January 9, 16, 22, & 30
    • February 6, 13, 19, & 27
    • March 5, 12, 19 & 26
    • April 1, 7, 14 & 22
    • May 2, 9, 16, 19 & 26
  • Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend - January 8 to 12, 2020
  • Epcot International Festival of the Arts - January 17 to February 24, 2020
  • Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic: (Eligible Member reservations required for wristband entry)
    • Disney's Animal Kingdom: January 21, February 11 & 25, 2020
      Registration closed.
    • Magic Kingdom: March 3, April 21 & 28
      Registration for Members with Resort reservations opens: January 8, 2020
      General Member Registration: January 15, 2020
    • Epcot: May 4 & June 29, 2020
      Registration for Members with Resort reservations opens: March 11, 2020
      General Member Registration: March 18, 2020
    • Disney's Typhoon Lagoon: July 27 & August 10, 2020
      Registration for Members with Resort reservations opens: June 17, 2020
      General Member Registration: June 24, 2020
    • Disney's Hollywood Studios: September 15 & 22; October 6, 2020
      Registration for Members with Resort reservations opens: July 15, 2020
      General Member Registration: July 22, 2020
  • Disney Villains After Hours: (hard ticket required; park entry at 7 p.m., event hours vary by published date)
    • February 7, 14, 21 & 28
    • March 6, 11, 18 & 27
    • April 3, 10, 17 & 24
    • May 1, 8, 14, 22, 29
    • June 5, 12, 19, 26 & 29
    • July 6 & 10
  • Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend – February 20 to 23, 2020
  • Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – March 4 to June 1, 2020
  • Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway debuts at Disney's Hollywood Studios – March 4, 2020
  • Star Wars Rival Run Weekend – April 16 to 19, 2020
  • Earth Day 50th Anniversary & 25th Anniversary of Disney Conservation Fund – April 22, 2020
    As Earth Day is also the 22nd Anniversary of Disney's Animal Kingdom, there will likely be special events TBA.
  • Dapper Day – Spring Weekend (unofficial events) May 1 to 3, 2020
    ♦ May 2 - Disney's Hollywood Studios ♦ May 3 - Epcot
  • Gay DayS #RedShirtDays (unofficial events) – June 4 to 7, 2020
    ♦ June 4 - Disney's Animal Kingdom ♦ June 5 - Disney's Hollywood Studios
    ♦ June 6 - Magic Kingdom ♦ June 7 - Epcot
  • Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend – November 5 to 8, 2020
  • D23 Destination D: Fantastic Worlds – November 20 to 22, 2020

2021 Resort Events
  • Coming Soon!

Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Note: Not all attraction closures have been officially confirmed by Disney, and are all subject to change at any time. All refurbishment schedules are estimates only. We recommend checking for updates as you plan your visit. All information is subject to change without notice. To get the most recent updates, visit DisneyWorld.com or use the MyDisneyExperience App on your iOS or Android device.

View the different areas of the Resort by scrolling horizontally and selecting the one you want to read about.

Magic Kingdom
  • Splash Mountain – closed for seasonal refurbishment January 6, 2020 through late February, 2020.
  • The Muppets Present...Great Moments in American History – its final scheduled shows were performed October 5, 2019.
  • Move it! Shake it! MousekeDance it! Street Party – two performances scheduled daily now through January 2020.
  • Royal Majesty Makers – no longer has scheduled appearances in Fantasyland as of October 2019.
  • 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"
    It is unlikely it will ever 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
  • Test Track – Will close for refurbishment January 13-February 26, 2020.
  • Impressions de France – Closed for refurbishment related to sharing the theater with "Beauty & the Beast Sing-Along" - both debut in rotation: January 17, 2020.
  • O Canada! – the film has been retired. "Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360" will debut as the new film on January 17, 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 2019.
    Closings and relocations include:
    • Future World itself will become three new lands: World Discovery, World Nature & World Celebration
    • Spaceship Earth will close for a major renovation starting at a date to be announced
    • Innoventions - all exhibits now permanently closed, effective September 8, 2019
    • Club Cool closed effective September 8 (to reopen in "a new capacity at a future merchandise location")
    • Fountain of Nations closed effective September 8
    • Fountain View featuring Starbucks closed effective September 8 (new temporary location now open near Refreshment Port)
    • Meet Disney Pals at the Epcot Character Spot - closed September 8 (check guide maps for character locations)
    • Electric Umbrella will close in early 2020. (New dining options to be announced)
    • Mouse Gear will close its current location early 2020. (It will move to a temporary home to be announced)
    • Art of Disney has relocated to the former Heritage Manor at The American Adventure
  • Ellen's Energy Adventure at Universe of Energy – Permanently closed on August 13, 2017.
    Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind to open in its place in approximately 2021.
  • Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable – Closed February 3, 2018.
    New film entitled "Awesome Planet" will debut January 17, 2020
  • Illuminations: Reflections of Earth – Show retired: September 30, 2019.
    Epcot Forever debuted 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 this winter in its place.
Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • March of the First Order – concluded parades down Hollywood Boulevard on July 6, 2019.
    First Order Stormtroopers have "redeployed" inside Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
  • Star Wars: Path of the Jedi – Closed.
  • The Great Movie Ride – Permanently closed August 13, 2017.
    The new Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway attraction to open in Chinese Theatre on March 4, 2020.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
  • Kali River Rapids – closed for seasonal refurbishment January 6, 2020 through late March, 2020.
  • Primeval Whirl – is now listed as "Operates Seasonally" - as of December 15, 2019
    My Disney Experience shows the attraction open with a published standby wait time
    No FastPass+ service is available for the attraction through at least January 29, 2020.
Disney Water Parks
  • Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park is closed for enhancements with no announced reopening date
    but, the calendar for the park on DisneyWorld.com shows daily operating hours starting Monday, January 13, 2020.
  • Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park usually closes for seasonal refurbishment during the winter, and
    the calendar for the park on DisneyWorld.com shows no operating hours between January 13 and March 28, 2020.
Disney Springs
  • Bongo's Cuban Café– Closed in August 2019
    Beatrix restaurant from Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises coming to the site at a date to be announced.
  • 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, "Drawn to Life," begins previews March 20, 2020, and will have its world premiere April 17, 2020.
Disney Resorts & Vicinity
  • McDonald's restaurant near Disney's All-Star Resorts – closed October 30 for an extensive renovation, and is scheduled to reopen in March, 2020.
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House – Due to Resort construction, the Disney Vacation Club Value category accommodations are not available for stays from December 2019 through early spring 2020
  • Disney's Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Tower – Road Closures are scheduled near the resort in January and February 2020 which may impact guests when traveling to or from the buildings.
  • Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Mizner's Lounge replaced with "Enchanted Rose," a larger venue with a 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 is scheduled to reopen December 26, 2019.
Walt Disney World Golf
  • No known closures.

Current Discounts and Promotions

Note: MousePlanet does not edit past Updates to reflect price increases; for up-to-date prices, check the most recent Walt Disney World Resort Update. For your convenience, we have grouped the discount offers based on the intended audience. Check out the category that best matches you, and pick the offer that works best for you. And keep those tips coming—let us know if you find a better or different offer, so we can share it with other readers.

As regular readers know, 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. Be sure to move the calendar to at least seven (7) days out, to see what ticket options and discounts are available for your planned visit.

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For more discounts and offers we know about, click the category below that you want to expand (or close).

For Everyone

4-Park Magic Ticket

The 4-Park Magic Ticket is once again available for purchase at Disneyworld.com/4ParkMagic. For $356 plus tax (ages 10 and up; less for ages 3-9), it provides one visit to each of the four Walt Disney World Theme parks (one park per day). Guests must select a start date on or before September 30, 2020, and the ticket expires seven days after the selected start date. (Certain start dates will lower the price of the Ticket further.)

For an additional $40 plus tax (ages 10+; less for ages 3-9), the ticket will also provide admission to one water park and one visit to NBA Experience at Disney Springs.


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.


Summer Free Dining Plan (Limited Dates)

For bookings through January 16, 2020, for arrivals most nights in the following windows: June 27-28, July 5-7, and August 29-September 8, 2020:

Enjoy a free dining plan when purchasing a non-discounted 5-night/6-day package that includes a room at a select Disney Resort hotel and ticket with Park Hopper option. Every guest in the same room must be on the same package. The theme park tickets are valid on date of check-in and must be used within 9 days of check-in.

Packages booked in available rooms at Disney Deluxe Villa Resort Hotels and Disney Deluxe Resort Hotels receive the Disney Dining Plan. Packages in available rooms at Disney Moderate and Value Resorts receive Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan. Dining plans do not include gratuities, and, as always, Table-Service restaurants may be fully booked (the plans do not guarantee seating). Offer excludes the following room types: 3-bedroom villas, campsites, Cabins at Copper Creek villas & Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, Bungalows at Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, Little Mermaid Standard Rooms at Disney's Art of Animation Resort.

Visit this page of DisneyWorld.com for details and availability.


Summer Free Kids Dining Plan

Get a free dining plan for kids (ages 3 to 9) when purchasing a non-discounted 4-night/4-day package that includes a room at select Disney Resort hotels, theme park tickets and a dining plan (for everyone else in the room ages 10 and up). The offer is available for arrivals on most nights May 25 through August 28, 2020, when booked by February 26, 2020. Offer is valid for any of the three dining plans (Disney Deluxe Dining, Disney Dining, or Disney Quick-Service), but everyone in the reservation has to be on the same package. The theme park tickets in the package are valid on the date of check-in and must be used within 7 days.

 

Child must stay in a room with an adult to qualify for the offer. Dining plans do not include gratuities, and, as always, Table-Service restaurants may be fully booked (the plans do not guarantee seating). Offer excludes the following room types: 3-bedroom villas, campsites, Cabins at Copper Creek villas & Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, Bungalows at Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, Little Mermaid Standard Rooms at Disney's Art of Animation Resort.

Visit this page of DisneyWorld.com for details and availability.


Sun & Fun Room Offer - Save Up to 25% on Rooms During Spring & Summer

Save up to 25% on rooms in select Disney Resort hotels for stays most nights from April 1 through September 12, 2020, when booked by February 26, 2020.

Discounts vary by travel dates and booking dates (some are available for booking as late as July 9, 2020). The only Resorts offering dates with 25% discount are Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge and Villas (Jambo House and Kidani Village), Disney's BoardWalk Inn and Villas, Disney's Old Key West, Disney's Saratoga Springs, Disney's Riviera, Disney's Grand Floridian (not including Villas), and Disney's Yacht Club. Other Resorts offer discounts between 10% and 20%.

Additional per-adult charges may apply if more than 2 adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts and Studios at Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts. Offer excludes the following room types: campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Cabins at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.

Visit this page of DisneyWorld.com for the discount chart, details, and availability.


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.
Discounts and Benefits

The updated list of PASSHOLDER benefits and discounts is located 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. For the 2019 Holiday Season, many of the Disney Springs and Bonnet Creek hotels are offering special room rates to Passholders from this page too.

Passholders can save up to 35% on select Rooms at Disney Resorts through April 25, 2020. See this page of DisneyWorld.com for details.

The Passholder version of the "Sun & Fun" offer lets guests save up to 35% on select Rooms at Disney Resorts on most nights though July 9, 2020. See this page of DisneyWorld.com for details.

With the recent changes to stroller and ECV delivery policies around the resort, the Magic Strollers Passholder offer is no longer listed among the available Passholder benefits.

Visit the DisneyWorld.com Special Offers page (filtered for Passholders) and log in with a My Disney Experience account linked to your Annual Pass for information, or call (407) 939-4232 to book by phone.

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

For Disney Rewards VISA Credit Card Holders
Reminder to MagicBand users: You must still show your Disney Visa credit card to receive discounts and other benefits. Discounts are not automatically applied even if you have linked your Disney Visa credit card to your MagicBand.

To conserve space, we have eliminated some of the participating location details of the Disney Visa Rewards offers from this section. Visit Disney Visa Rewards website for the latest participating location information.


20 percent off Joffrey's coffee/tea kiosks

Disney Visa cardholders receive 20 percent off their entire purchase at Joffrey's coffee/tea kiosks throughout Walt Disney World, including Tea Traders Café by Joffrey's, and online at Joffreys.com with code: VISABEANS (U.S. orders only)


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, including blockout dates. Note that a 20% gratuity will be added to each spa service.


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

2020 Military Promotional Tickets

January 1 through December 18, 2020

  • Four-Day Park Hopper Tickets –$265.00
  • Four-Day Park Hopper Plus Tickets – $315.00
  • Five-Day Park Hopper Tickets – $283.00
  • Five-Day Park Hopper Plus Tickets – $333.00
  • Six-Day Park Hopper Tickets – $301.00
  • Six-Day Park Hopper Plus Tickets – $351.00

Prices do not include tax. Six-Day Tickets must be purchased by December 13, Five-Day Tickets by December 14, Four-Day Tickets by December 15. Tickets may be used from January 1 through December 18, 2020.
Prices may be lower at U.S. military base ticket offices.

U.S. military personnel can also purchase the Memory Maker product for $98 from January 1, 2020, through December 18, 2020.

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. No more than two Memory Maker products may be purchased at the special price by the service member or 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. For 2020, discounts are available most nights January 1 through April 4, and April 19 through December 18, 2020, when booked by December 18, 2020. 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. For more information and details, visit this page or call (407)939-7825.


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.
Florida Resident Discover Disney Ticket

Florida Residents that want to visit the parks in the first half of 2020 will be able to purchase the new Florida Resident Discovery Disney Ticket starting January 2. The 4-Day Ticket is $195/person plus tax ($49/day) and the 3-Day Ticket is $175/person plus tax ($59/day) for one park per day admission on any dates through June 30, 2020, with no block-out dates (Park Hopper and Park Hopper Plus upgrades available for extra charges). Tickets must be purchased by June 27, 2020.

Other Florida Resident Tickets and Room Offers

Visit this page of DisneyWorld.com for current Florida Resident theme park ticket offers, including 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.

Visit this page of DisneyWorld.com for Florida Resident room rates at select hotels, including the opportunity to save up to 30% on rooms for most nights through April 25, 2020.


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.

Walt Disney World Golf operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management offers a Golf Membership program exclusively for Disney Vacation Club Members. As of November 1, 2019, the $99/year (plus tax) program includes discounted rounds of golf (averaging $15 below usual DVC-discounted pricing), access to DVC Member-only golf outings, access to DVC Member instructional clinics and coaching, an exclusive DVC Member hat and bag tag, 4 Companion Passes for DVC Golf Clinics, 6 Guest Passes to play golf at the special discounted member DVC rate, 6 complimentary baskets of driving range balls, 4 complimentary rounds of golf on Disney's Oak Trail Golf Course, 4 Complimentary Twilight rounds of golf, 8 complimentary rounds of FootGolf at Disney's Oak Trail Golf Course. All told, Walt Disney World Golf says that the Golf Membership includes $746 in included benefits. Visit this page of GolfWDW.com for more information.

Call DVC Member Services at (800) 800-9800 to take advantage of most other available 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 Canada Residents

Until February 2020, Canadian residents can save 20% on theme park tickets. They must be purchased by February 7, 2020, and the offer is NOT available at theme park ticket windows. Visit Disneyworld.ca/tickets for more information.

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. For early 2020 arrivals, the site advertises a package including free dining, $100 gift card, and 14-Day Ultimate Tickets for the price of a 7 Day Ticket with Memory Maker.

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

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