Walt Disney World Resort Update For January 21-27, 2020

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for January 21 - 27, 2020


Writer's note: It was nice to see our West Coast readers and staff finally get their first experiences with Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, as Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix reported in yesterday's Disneyland Resort Update. Around Walt Disney World Resort, very large crowds enjoyed the opening days of the Fourth Annual Epcot International Festival of the Arts during the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Weekend which was accompanied by the debut of three new films at The Land, Canada, and France pavilions plus the debut of the 4K projection version of Impressions de France.

Tom Fitzgerald, Portfolio Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering talks about the three new movies that opened at Epcot on January 17, 2020: "Canada Far & Wide," "Awesome Planet," and "Beauty & The Beast Sing-Along." File Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

In my opinion, all of the films are worthy of Epcot. There was a good deal of grumbling this week on social media that "Impressions de France" is currently only scheduled to be shown from 7:30 p.m. until park closing (usually 9 p.m.), nightly, with "Beauty & The Beast Sing-Along" showing the rest of the day. I saw the very first showing of the new projection of "Impressions de France," and it was shown to a full house which was a rarity before its closing for refurbishment. Daytime demand for the Sing-Along was high too over the weekend: I attended a full house screening of it on Saturday. As a digitally projected film, the park now has the flexibility to schedule the films according to demand, so if you would like to see "Impressions de France," be sure to check the daily schedule and the sign at the theater's entrance.

A video-enhanced sign shows the minutes remaining until the next show and is located outside the "Awesome Planet" theater's lobby (which retains the wallcarpet that was there when the theater last showed "Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable") which has no preshow.

A new sign for "Canada Far and Wide" is located along the World Showcase Promenade at the steps to Canada pavilion.

The Palais du Cinema is the theater at France pavilion.

The theater is now home to both "Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along" and "Impressions de France" which are shown by digital projectors.

The video sign above the entrance to the theater shows which film will play next. The sign can be hard to read from a distance depending on glare.

As of the time of publication, the theater switches over to presenting "Impressions de France" in the evening, with the first showing beginning at 7:30 p.m. Check My Disney Experiences and the sign for the daily theater schedule.

The 4K upscaling of the long-running "Impressions de France" film itself is stunning. While the screen itself is now seamless, the film's original 5 separate frames remains a part of the projection.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

But for the openings on both coasts, it was a quiet week for Resort news. Will the crowds at Epcot continue to resemble the other Festivals all weekend? Stay tuned: none of the Passholder categories are blocked right now at Epcot and, indeed, Theme Park Select Passholders only are blocked February 20-23 at Epcot, with the Festival concluding Monday, February 24. Oh, and we noticed that more of the Garden Rocks Concert Series schedule has been filled in on the FreshEpcot.com website and we have updated our calendar too.

Crowds around World Showcase during the early evening on the first Saturday of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts seemed as large as those during the other, longer-established festivals like Food & Wine Festival and Flower & Garden Festival. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

News and Views

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H2O Glow Nights Return to Typhoon Lagoon This Summer

From May 27 to August 29, on Wednesday and Saturday nights between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., Disney H2O Glow Nights returns to Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park (except June 13). Inspired by the Toy Story Toon "Partysaurus Rex," and with Toy Story 4 characters on hand, the hard-ticket after-hours party includes a DJ-hosted dance party, exclusive merchandise and themed food and beverage sales, and shorter wait times for attractions. Guests receive a "festive glow wristband" upon arrival and, in fact, can enter Typhoon Lagoon as early as 6 p.m. on event night without also having a daytime waterpark admission ticket. We were invited to attend and reported on the very first H2O Glow Night back in June 2018.

The "host" of Disney H2O Glow Nights is Partysaurus Rex, a 14-foot inflatable version of Rex as he appeared in the Pixar short film "Partysaurus Rex." File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

This year, advanced tickets are $65 for guests over 9 years old and $60 for those ages 3-9 (not including tax). There is an additional $6/ticket discount for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members that have logged in to their linked My Disney Experience account. For tickets and more information, visit this page of DisneyWorld.com.

Epcot Festivals News & Calendar

All the latest details about the on-going and up-coming Epcot Festivals are covered in order in this section.

Festival of the Arts

Running through February 24, 2020, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts has returned 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. The official website for the Festival is: ArtfulEpcot.com.

With construction walls surrounding the park's entry planters, guests arriving at Epcot are greeted with banners celebrating the Epcot International Festival of the Arts.

The Figment topiary is back for this year's Festival, as the centerpiece of the display which is located in World Showcase Plaza.

The central Future World planter box also includes a Festival display.

Also returning from last year, characters like Mushu from "Mulan" have been artistically added around the park in the countries relevant to their stories.

At France pavilion, Lumiere from "Beauty and The Beast" has lit a lamp that, in return, casts a shadow of him on the wall.

The park is also decorated daily by chalk artists working along the walkway between Future World and World Showcase.

Disney characters are featured in chalk art along the walkway.

Some chalk artists create works that appear 3-D when viewed from just the right angle and invite guests to stand in a particular spot to be captured in photos along with the art. (This photo is not taken from that ideal angle.)

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

The most popular performances during the Festival are the Disney on Broadway Concerts Series shows, three times nightly at America Gardens Theatre: 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 8 p.m. The shows feature pairs of Disney on Broadway performers in scheduled duos singing songs from Disney musicals: 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 during the Festival, and on three evenings during 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; Passholder discounts are available.

At the media preview earlier this month, Kissy Simmons & Alton Fitzgerald White sat down with us to discuss what to expect from their upcoming performances and what they especially enjoy about performing at the Festival every year. They were also joined on stage by Gavin Lee & Heidi Blickenstaff in an abbreviated version of their upcoming January 25 performances at America Gardens Theatre. File Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

Other performance artists appear on stages around the park during the Festival as well. With the Fountain Stage razed as part of Epcot's on-going transformation, a new stage is located on the shore of the Lagoon at World Showcase Plaza. Visual artist, Trevor Carlton, for example, does his rapid create-to-music paintings of Disney characters there. Art Defying Gravity also performs there. The stage's schedule is posted. Check Times Guides for published schedules.

A stage in World Showcase Plaza features many of the performing artists during the Festival. The stage's schedule is posted on-stage, along with the current performer. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

In less than 15 minutes, visual artist Trevor Carlton creates Disney Fine Art to a lively musical soundtrack (though here, we show it in even quicker hyperlapse with stock music). File Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

Other venues feature performing artists as well. The Living Statues are back, this year they are appearing in Future World East near the entrance to the temporary location of Mouse Gear. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

This year, the new "Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine" debuts with food creations "that make you look twice and delight all your senses." 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 and Disney Parks Blog has published its Foodie Guide to the Festival.

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Pretzel Crunch is available at Decadent Delights, located near Refreshment Port and the new Starbucks location in World Showcase Plaza. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Interactivity is a hallmark of this Festival. From the very popular walk-into-the-art photo opportunities, to workshops and hands-on experiences. Some experiences are included in the price of admission, and some have additional costs. The event Passport and the ArtfulEpcot.com website provide more specific information. One of the returning free activities is the paint-by-number mural which, this year, is located in the center of Future World near where the Fountain of Nations previously stood (and is now surrounded by construction walls). Arribas Brothers at Germany pavilion offers an opportunity to build your own Festival souvenir from pieces of glass that will be fired in its off-stage ovens and mailed to you (prices range from $25 to $55 including shipping). Near Japan pavilion, you have the opportunity to create "Spin Art" (aboard a stationary bike or a turntable) for a nominal you-keep-what-you-make fee; at a kiosk in Future World West (where the Butterfly Garden usually stands during Flower & Garden Festival and food kiosks stand during Food & Wine) artists will create painted creatures from your handprints (also for a fairly nominal fee). Artistic Marbling is back at World Showcase Plaza, and, as guests approach Canada, Enemy Ink is back with its custom-printed t-shirts.

Popular walk-into-the-art photo opportunities have returned and are located around World Showcase, including the painting of General Washington crossing the Delaware at The American Adventure.

Two works by Vincent van Gogh provide a new walk-into-the-art photo opportunity near the water play area between Future World and World Showcase this year.

The "Expression Section" (no extra charge) paint-by-number mural is located on the wall in the center of Future World near where the Fountain of Nations previously was located.

Each of the "Expression Section" murals are usually completed in a couple of days. This photo was taken on the second evening of the Festival. Several different murals will be painted and rotated up on the wall throughout the length of the Festival.

Among the paid interactive activities is the opportunity to create hand prints that artists will craft into a custom-created animal design that guests may keep. The kiosk is located in Future World West where the butterfly house stands during Flower & Garden Festival and where food kiosks stand during Food & Wine Festival.

Enemy Ink is back at the Festival this year, selling t-shirts that are customized to order on the spot. Guests choose from several designs and shirt styles and, after paying for their choices, watch the design printed at the kiosk located near Canada pavilion.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Merchandise offerings during the Festival, as usual, give Figment a large role. Disney Parks Blog has published highlights of this year's commemorative merchandise. The theme of much of the merchandise is the Figment Color Co. Figment's Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt returns (guests purchase a map from designated merchandise locations, hunt around World Showcase, and return the completed map to a designated location for a "prize"). Passholders can purchase an exclusive Figment t-shirt during the Festival, and there is a complimentary "Artful Mickey" magnet "painted" by artist Will Gay available at a designated pickup location for Passholders with a valid Annual Pass and matching photo ID.

Annual Passholders can pick up a Mickey magnet "painted" by artist Will Gay during the Epcot International Festival of the Arts through February 24, 2020 (or while supplies last), at the back door of the new, temporary location of Mouse Gear (all the way through the blue breezeway, past the "front" door of Mouse Gear and down the path to the left near the former Universe of Energy. Look for signs. Passholders have a valid Annual Pass and photo ID.

Passholders should look for signs leading to the complimentary magnet distribution at the "back" door of the temporary location of Mouse Gear in Innoventions East (limit one per Passholder while supplies last during the Festival). 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. More recent additions include: The Orchestra starring former members of ELO, The Guess Who, A Flock of Seagulls, Tony Orlando, Christopher Cross, Air Supply, and Crowder. Based on the posted schedule, there are four remaining acts to be named. The official website for the festival is 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 this 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. 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 Epcot International 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 Festival's official website is: EpcotHolidays.com.

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

It was a very Epcot week for me and that is reflected in our Views…


Construction walls are now the norm around Epcot's entry plaza and Future World as its on-going transformation continues.

This week, when approaching Spaceship Earth from the park's gates, the left side (East) walkway under "the ball" was closed, along with Gateway Gifts and the neighboring restrooms.

When the Future World West's new walkway around Innoventions West is open (near The Seas with Nemo & Friends), it provides views of the full Spaceship Earth sphere unlike those previously seen by guests.

Demolition of the portion of Innoventions West that was home to Club Cool, Fountain View, and Character Spot was nearly complete by this weekend.

Test Track (including its exit merchandise location, SIMporium) is closed for refurbishment and scheduled to reopen on February 26.

As we reported last week, the "Gusteau's" restaurant sign was installed at the entrance to Remy's Ratatouille Adventure which is expected to open this summer (guests will travel through the restaurant in the adventure, it is not a new food location). The sign cannot currently be viewed inside the park, but, instead, can be seen from near the Epcot Resorts Friendship Dock outside the International Gateway entrance.

Traveling aboard Disney Skyliner gondolas to or from the International Gateway station provides a view of the new sign as well.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria (Italy pavilion at Epcot)

The folks at Via Napoli invited media to sample some of its current offerings at a hosted event last week just before the start of Epcot International Festival of the Arts. The restaurant's authentic Neapolitan pizza specials change from time-to-time, and that shown here will be available during the Festival. Via Napoli was created by Patina Restaurant Group, which is also responsible for the neighboring Tutto Italia Ristorante and is assisting in the creation of Space 220 in Future World, as well as several restaurants at Disney Springs and Disneyland Resort.

Via Napoli is located in the Italy pavilion, as far back into the pavilion as guests can walk from World Showcase Promenade.

The restaurant offers a flight of sangrias made from different wines ($20).

While Via Napoli will share which wines are used (this is the Prosecco), it considers some of its mixture a proprietary blend.

Pizzas are fired in wood-fired ovens in the restaurant's open kitchen.

The Regina Margherita pizza special will be available through at least the end of Epcot International Festival of the Arts.

A traditional cannoli is always on the menu at Via Napoli.

With this Fall's opening of Disney Skyliner, some seats in the restaurant now provide a view of the new transportation system as it travels behind World Showcase along Buena Vista Drive.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

This and That…

…Disney Parks launched a new monthly collectible series, Minnie Mouse: The Main Attraction, which is available on both coasts, in Disney Stores nationwide, and online at shopDisney.com. With Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom celebrating its 45th anniversary this month, that's the theme of the items available in the collection at its launch. At Walt Disney World, you can find it at Magic Kingdom in Emporium and Uptown Jewelers, and at World of Disney in Disney Springs. New additions to the collection will be revealed on the third Saturday of each month.

…For the third week in a row, Disney Parks Blog released a look at one of the digital posters that will appear inside the Chinese Theatre at Disney's Hollywood Studios when it reopens with the March 4 debut of Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway. Each poster pays tribute to an actual Mickey Mouse short; like last week, you can even watch this week's "Split Decision" short featuring two different versions of Donald Duck here on Mickey Mouse's official You Tube channel. As we have mentioned a number of times, when we were invited for a media preview in December, new digital 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.

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.

…Following up from last week, a reader, Sandra, alerted us that she was unable to make dining reservations at Epcot's Rose & Crown Restaurant after July 4, and we took a look in My Disney Experience and saw no availability published after that date within the 180-day reservation window either. We checked again this week, and there are reservations at this U.K. pavilion staple available throughout the portion of July now within the 180-day window. With technology, sometimes glitches occur, and sometimes there may be a behind-the-scenes reason for the unavailability. It never hurts to check for reservations on multiple occasions.

…For Disney in another part of the World, Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai'i, is advertising 30% stays of five or more consecutive nights and 25% stays of four consecutive nights for stays through the end of February when booked by February 13, and for Spring stays between March 1 and June 13, when booked through May 8. Details and terms are available on this page of DisneyAulani.com or contact your Travel Agent.

…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.

Raglan Road

Later this year, Raglan Road celebrates 15 years since it opened at Walt Disney World Resort. Serving up authentic Irish entertainment along with its menu by Irish chef Mark O'Neill (accompanied by lots of locally crafted beers, Irish gin and more) everyday, Raglan Road's Might St. Patrick's Festival will run Friday, March 13 through Tuesday, March 17, 2020. It is complimentary March 13-16 (and reservations are accepted); on March 17, seating is first-come, first served, and there is a $10 cover charge for guests 18 years old and above. The full Festival entertainment schedule will be posted at RaglanRoad.com, and the highlights will include: Strings & Things, TradGad, MACA, Fia Rua, Mike Waters, and Emily Furlong.

Raglan Road is located in the Landing Neighborhood of Disney Springs and has been in the same place at Walt Disney World for nearly 15 years (dating back to when the area was Pleasure Island). File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

On January 25, National Irish Coffee Day, Raglan Road will introduce its newest brew: BushTail Nitro. Working with local coffee maker Foxtail Coffee and with Bushmills (which claims to be the oldest licensed distillery in the world), the Raglan Road beverage team created the new Nitro Cold Brew Irish coffee which will be available on draft. The adult beverage is 70% Foxtail Cold Brew coffee (Winter Park, FL), 22% Bushmills Irish Whiskey, 8% Homemade Brown Sugar Syrup, and is topped with lightly sweetened whipped cream. [NEW UPDATE: On January 25, the pub's traditional Irish Coffee has a special offer: "You buy the coffee, the whiskey is on us [the House]."]

The Edison

On February 22, 2020, from 8:30 p.m. until 2 a.m., The Edison will host its inaugural Masquerade. According to the announcement, guests ages 21 and above will enter "a fantasy world of electrifying mystique" where they should "be prepared to be surprised and delighted around every corner as all party goers will be dressed incognito during a magical evening shrouded in an air of secrecy." Tickets are $65/person (plus tax and gratuity) and includes "power-house trays of gourmet passed appetizers". There will also be a dedicated menu of themed cocktails available. Masks are mandatory (but full face masks are prohibited). For more information and to purchase tickets, visit this page of Patina Restaurant Group's website.

The Masquerade Event will be held for guests at least 21 years old at The Edison, Saturday, February 22, 8:30 p.m. until 2 a.m. $65 Tickets are required (plus tax and gratuity); guests must wear "Festive Masks." Image courtesy Patina Restaurant Group

NEW Pop-Up Shop

Last week we noted that the Erwin Pearl store had closed at Disney Springs (in the Landing neighborhood across from Wine Bar George and Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar). This week, Disney Parks Blog announced that boutique jewelry brand, Rustic Cuff, will soon open a pop-up retail store across from Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar. The brand's founder/designer is Jill Donovan, and its website RusticCuff.com shows some of its wares as well as a photo of the former Erwin Pearl store as its next showroom. The Disney Springs "accessory destination" will feature "statement cuffs with a focus on inspirational designes and personal connection." The pop-up shop plans to include beads, bangles, charm bracelets, and "colorful stackable accent pieces" that include options for personalization. The store will operate for a limited time, but an opening date has not yet been announced.

The Erwin Pearl store has closed. The Rustic Cuff showroom apparently will occupy this space during Spring 2020. File photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

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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 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 16, 22, & 30
    • February 6, 13, 19, & 27
    • March 5, 12, 19 & 26
    • April 1, 7, 14 & 22
    • May 2, 9, 16, 19 & 26
  • 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 closed.
    • 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
    Given its brief re-appearnces during the final days of 2019, it may reappear "seasonally."
  • Move it! Shake it! MousekeDance it! Street Party – two performances scheduled daily now through February 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 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.
  • Test Track – Closed for refurbishment through February 26, 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 September 8, 2019 (to reopen in "a new capacity at a future merchandise location")
    • Fountain of Nations closed September 8, 2019
    • Fountain View featuring Starbucks closed September 8, 2019 (new temporary location now open near Refreshment Port)
    • Meet Disney Pals at the Epcot Character Spot - closed September 8, 2019 (check guide maps for character locations)
    • Electric Umbrella will close in early 2020. (New dining options to be announced)
    • Mouse Gear closed its original location for refurbishment January 4, 2020. (It moved to a temporary home nearby)
    • 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.
  • 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.
    Theater to reopen as venue showing Mickey Mouse Shorts in March 2020.
  • 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"
    My Disney Experience shows the attraction closed as of publication of this Update
    No FastPass+ service is available for the attraction through at least February 19, 2020.
Disney Water Parks
  • Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park is closed due to cold weather through Wednesday, January 22, 2020.
    daily operating hours are published starting Thursday, January 23, 2020 (but be aware that cold weather closures can occur).
  • Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is closed for seasonal refurbishment during the winter
    daily operating hours are published starting Monday, March 29, 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, 2019, for an extensive renovation; expected 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.
  • Disney's Art of Animation Resort – The Big Blue Pool will close for refurbishment beginning in Fall 2020.
Walt Disney World Golf
  • No known closures.

Current Discounts and Promotions

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

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.

Get Away Today Logo

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 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 bookings by 1st April 2020, 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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