Walt Disney World Resort Update for February 11-17, 2020

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer
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Walt Disney World Resort Update for February 11-17, 2020

 

Writer's note: After chatting with some folks planning their first visits to Walt Disney World Resort, I've begun wondering whether the weekly Update should devote more space to providing guidance to those that are overwhelmed with the prospect of planning a vacation to the Vacation Kingdom of the World. In the years I read the Update and in the years since I have taken up the writing task, the Update has always assumed readers have a better-than-basic familiarity with the Resort—like that there are four theme parks, two water parks, Disney-owned hotels at different price points, more hotels on Disney property and off, and, indeed, that "the property" is a huge area bigger than the City of San Francisco, for starters. What do you think? There are lots of ways for you to share your thoughts and, indeed, it is a big Resort, where we could try to expand our coverage in other directions. I'd love to hear from you!

Speaking of love, Happy Valentine's Day on Friday! Even before that, President Lincoln's birthday is Wednesday, and then, just over a week after Valentine's Day comes President Washington's birthday. That all means that next Monday is Presidents' Day, and all those "celebrations" usually add to the crowds around Walt Disney World Resort.

Now on to the news and views for the week…

News and Views

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Disney Villains After Hours Returns on Select Nights

Disney Villains After Hours events have returned to Magic Kingdom. The limited access, extra ticket purchase required event has begun a second run at Magic Kingdom, weekly through July 10 (mostly on Friday nights, and, during the week ending July 10, there are two scheduled events). Disney invited us to a media event that included experiencing the February 7th opening edition of this year's run, just as Disney invited us to the inaugural run last summer (which I wrote about in our Walt Disney World Resort Update for June 11-17, 2019). This was my third time attending a Disney Villains After Hours event, as last year, I also paid the discounted Disney Vacation Club Member rate to attend on another night, and I reported on it in our Walt Disney World Resort Update for July 16-22, 2019.


As you may have seen in recent days on Disney Parks Blog, "Villaintines" promote this year's edition of Disney Villains After Hours. Oogie Boogie is among the villains that have a role in the event and the merchandise. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Disney Villains After Hours event offers attendees the opportunity to mix in the park as early as 7 p.m. on an event night and then enjoy low wait times for at least 20 park attractions from either 9 p.m. until midnight or 10 p.m. until 1 a.m. (depending on the park's regular operating schedule). Like the other (slightly lower price) Disney After Hours events at Magic Kingdom, attendees can enjoy complimentary popcorn, ice cream novelties, and select bottled beverages during the event hours. Disney Villains After Hours events add live entertainment, a DJ-hosted dance party, attraction overlays ("Villainous Adventures"), photo opportunities, and event-exclusive opportunities to buy specialty merchandise, food and beverages. As disclosed in advance, however, the event does not include villain meet and greet opportunities.


Disney Villains After Hours ticket holders mix in to the park, starting at 7 p.m. on event night.


Day guests at the park can buy same day tickets to events when they have not sold out. Same day tickets cost $10 more than advanced purchases.


Once the event gets underway, themed projections and lighting take over at Cinderella Castle and a DJ takes the stage to host the dance party.


A villainous DJ hosts the dance party during the event which goes on whenever the stage show and caravan are not underway.


Themed lighting can be found all over the park during the event.


Haunted Mansion has themed lighting during the event as well.


Some of the lighting takes on the shape of some of the featured Disney Villains, here, around the Tomorrowland Stage (which does not feature any entertainment during the event).


Photo backdrops are available around the park. Character meet and greets, however, are not.


A Scar photo opportunity is available.


A Queen of Hearts photo opportunity is also available.


Themed Castle lighting remains beyond the published conclusion of the event.


Several Disney Villains say farewell from Main Street Station at the conclusion of the event.


Special lighting decorates the front of the park on event nights and after its conclusion.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Last year, one of the exclusive entertainment offerings at Disney Villains After Hours events was Maleficent—the fire-breathing dragon that usually performs in the daytime Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade—winding her way through the park three times during the event. This year, Maleficent is part of the new "Villains' Cursed Caravan" which also includes Ursula, Gaston, Oogie Boogie, Cruella DeVil, Captain Hook, and more. The Villains' Cursed Caravan is only scheduled twice during each event this year (for the 9 p.m. scheduled event night I attended, the caravan started at Frontierland at 10:30 p.m. and followed the parade route to the Hub and back; and it started at Frontierland again at 11:45 p.m. and followed the entire parade route to Town Square in Main Street U.S.A.). Unfortunately, on the opening night this year, Maleficent was not breathing fire (either due to weather conditions or mechanical issues which were not disclosed or apparent).


Lady Tremane rides aboard a horse-drawn carriage in the Villains' Cursed Caravan.


The Queen of Hearts appears as a "face character" in the Caravan.


The Queen of Hearts leads her card soldiers in the Caravan.


Ursula appears in the Caravan.


The Big Bad Wolf rides a float in the Caravan with several other villains.


The Caravan's headliner, of course, remains Maleficent - even though, at least on opening night, she was not breathing fire.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


New for the 2020 edition of Disney Villains After Hours events, more Disney Villains join the Maleficent the dragon float along the parade route during a "Cursed Caravan" which is scheduled twice during the event (check the special Times Guide for map and parade route which varies by time). Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

The other major exclusive entertainment that returns from last year is the Villains Unite the Night stage show on the Cinderella Castle stage which is scheduled twice during the event. Like last year, the show clocks in at over 20 minutes, and stars Hades and Meg from Hercules with appearances by Jafar, The Queen, Dr. Facilier, and Maleficent. Unfortunately, as I wrote last year, the show remains too long (and is somewhat repetitive) for a three hour event. As noted last year as well, on the upside, with attendance capped at a lower level than the park's Halloween and Christmas parties, it is much easier to get a good view without having to use lots of precious event time to save a viewing spot. The show remains visually impressive and makes good use of digital projections on the castle to provide a more villainous backdrop accented with lighting, fire, and pyrotechnics. Likewise, the cast performances are strong and, indeed, unlike some castle shows, several performers speak their parts live (rather than lip-syncing to recordings), which remains a great touch.


Hades and Meg headline Villains Unite the Night, and meet several other Disney Villains along the way, including Jafar.


The Queen pays Hades a visit.


Dr. Facilier also takes the stage during the show.


Maleficent brings fire to the stage, naturally.


Hades is given voice by a live actor playing the role during the show.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


Villains Unite the Night is presented twice during Disney Villains After Hours events on the Castle stage. The whole show clocks in at approximately 22 minutes. This video is just a brief sample. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

This year's Villainous Adventures overlay at Pirates of the Caribbean included two live pirates along the ride itself, interacting with guests in the boats sailing past. Over at Space Mountain, guests again have the opportunity to ride in almost complete darkness during the event with a Disney Villains soundtrack filling the ride's dome.


The exterior of Pirates of the Caribbean is lit for the event; inside, a couple of live pirates interact with guests from scenes along the ride. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Inside Space Mountain, the lights are off along the ride track and the special soundtrack is amped up. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

For those that have followed along here for the past couple of years, you may recall that Disney also has hosted us at a sampling of all of the various versions of Disney After Hours it offers at Magic Kingdom (I first wrote about the event here), Disney's Animal Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios (which events I wrote about here). Before talking specifically about whether you may want to consider Disney Villains After Hours, I reiterate what I have said about Disney After Hours events in general:

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

Indeed, over the past year, I have reported increased crowd size on the nights when I have been invited to experience both Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Likewise, I have experienced increased crowd size on Disney Vacation Club Member Moonlight Magic event nights at the parks as well. That said, this time, Disney Villains After Hours, seemed to have a more reasonable crowd size compared to what I experienced last year. I experienced very low attraction wait times at Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain, notwithstanding the special overlays this time. Indeed, there were times during the event, there were few, if any, other attendees within sight of the folks I spent the event with (and you can see at least one of these times in the Views Around the World below).

Disney After Hours events tickets are even more expensive this year. Visit this page of DisneyWorld.com for more information and to purchase tickets in advance. Tickets purchased in advanced are $145/person or $155 if purchased same day (not including tax and there is no discount for children ages 3-9). Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members can purchase tickets for $115/person plus tax. And, if you want to Disney Bound with a character couture makeover, those opportunities are available at The Salon at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort, Salon by the Springs at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, La Vida Salon at Disney's Coronado Springs, Ship Shape Salon at Disney's Yacht & Beach Club, and even in your room at participating hotels (for an extra fee above the makeover fee) – call (407)WDW-GLAM to book.

So, when considering whether Disney Villains After Hours events are worth the additional price tag depends upon how you view its enhancements and whether you are a guest who likes seeking out and buying exclusive specialty merchandise, food and beverage. The park's atmosphere is certainly different during Disney Villains After Hours events, considering not only the crowd size, but the lighting and background music too. If you are someone that wants to get up close with Disney Villains, this event lets you see Maleficent the Dragon along with the Cursed Caravan, and see some more on stage, and have several bid you goodnight from Main Street's train station, but there are no meet and greets for you; Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is the only place that consistently offers those opportunities, but those lower-priced events have a higher capped attendance level.

For the full Foodie Guide for the event, see this post on Disney Parks Blog and then watch our quick video of the media preview below.


Disney Villains After Hours events have exclusive themed food and beverages for sale. A ticket to the event, however, includes complimentary popcorn, ice cream treats like Mickey Bars, and bottled soft drinks. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

For an overview of the specialty merchandise available this year, see this post on Disney Parks Blog and then watch our quick video of the media preview below.


Disney Villains After Hours themed merchandise is also available exclusively during the events. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

For fans of Disney Villains, this event certainly provides a few unique opportunities to see them. If you have been to a Disney Villains After Hours and would like to share your comments, we would love to hear them too.


After the conclusion of the final Cursed Caravan, from Main Street Station, several Disney Villains say "Farewell" to guests departing the event. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

More Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Details

Since Disney previously announced that the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser would debut, it should not come as much surprise that Disney Parks Blog shared news that reservations will open for this new unique two-day and two-night all-immersive vacation experience. Ann Morrow Johnson, executive producer for Walt Disney Imagineering, describes the new offering with a few new details in the most recent video Disney released about it (for example, that "cabins" aboard the starcruiser can sleep up to five in accommodations unlike anything seen before at the Resort, like the bunkbed Chewbacca slept in aboard Millenium Falcon). In sum, she says, "You're going to live onboard a star cruiser…and you can get wrapped up in the larger Star Wars story."


Ann Morrow Johnson, executive producer for Walt Disney Imagineering, says "Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is a completely new type of experience. Video ©Disney.

While Disney has previously announced that the experience will include a visit to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge inside Disney's Hollywood Studios, and adventures "aboard" the Starcruiser, the more pragmatic details of price (which, since it is being described as a cruise, likely will feature an "all-inclusive" price and a menu of available add-ons) and how you might fit the experience in to a longer stay at Walt Disney World Resort and its other parks have not yet been announced. Stay tuned.

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.


Liana Hunt and Adam Jacobs were one of the duos of the Disney on Broadway Concert Series that completed their run on February 9. The other duo that completed their run that night were Kara Lindsay and Kevin Massey. File Photo 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.


See a replay of the #DisneyParksLIVE stream of the January 25 concert (8 p.m.) featuring Kissy Simmons & Alton Fitzgerald White along with Heidi Blickenstaff & Gavin Lee. The final concert featuring two duos together will be February 24 featuring Ashley Brown & Josh Strickland and Syndee Winters & Michael James Scott. Video ©Disney.

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. File 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.

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.

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). File 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. The most recent additions are High Valley and Casting Crowns. Based on the posted schedule, there are now just two 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.


At publication time this week, our Google Calendar was not embedding correctly. Hopefully, it appears above when you look at it, but in any event, the calendar is still live. This week's scheduled performing duos are: Syndee Winters & Michael James Scott and Ashley Brown & Josh Strickland.

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

In addition to the views from Disney Villains After Hours event itself shared in the news above, we spotted a couple other things of note in Magic Kingdom during the event.

Magic Kingdom


City Hall at Magic Kingdom is wrapped in construction scaffolding. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


While "it's a small world" is open, its queue is surrounded by construction walls. This photo also captures just how empty parts of Magic Kingdom can be during a Disney Villains after Hours event. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

This and That…

…Yesterday, Disney Parks Blog shared an update on "Harmonious," the new nighttime spectacular coming to Epcot later this year. While no new details were revealed, nor an opening date, it is interesting to note the continued evolution of the concept art featuring the title of the show. When it was announced at D23 Expo last summer, the "US" at the end of the name was capitalized (in larger letters). In more recent releases, that ceased being the case. In the art released yesterday, the "O" has been replaced with the Epcot "Rose" which was one of the original symbols for the park.

Harmonious
"Harmonious" is expected to debut later this year at Epcot, permanently replacing the now-retired "Illuminations: Reflections of Earth" and the temporary "Epcot Forever" shows. Concept Art ©Disney.

…This past week, the Disney FastPass+ service added Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway to the top tier of attraction offerings at Disney's Hollywood Studios, starting with the attraction's opening on March 4. When selecting up to three FastPass+ reservations at that park, subject to availability, you may now select one from the tier that includes only Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Slinky Dog Dash, and then make your other two selections from the other attractions in the park which offer FastPass+ reservations (including Tower of Terror, Rock'n'Roller Coaster, Fantasmic!, Star Tours and more). As always, you can make all three selections within that second tier, as well as your additional single selections after you have used your initial three selections (or they have all expired). At some point over the weekend after the announcement that reservations were open for Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway, My Disney Experience would not allow any new reservations for any attractions at Disney's Hollywood Studios during the first weeks of March, but that glitch appeared to have cleared up by Sunday night.

…For the sixth 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 "Croissant de Triomphe" short where a "Minnie's cafe runs out of croissants and Mickey must go on a wild ride battling traffic and a few surprises to deliver the treats," here on Mickey Mouse's official You Tube channel. The new digital posters appear on the video screens throughout the queue on the screens that used to show posters for classic movies and The Great Movie Ride. The new attraction itself includes a brand new short, "Perfect Picnic" where "Mouse rules apply," and the digital posters in the halls leading up to the "premiere" (the pre-show for the ride) set the scene.

CROISSANT DE TRIOMPHE
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.

…Disney PhotoPass Service now has a new "Capture Your Moment" session available for booking at Magic Kingdom. The new add-on service allows you to "book time" with a Disney PhotoPass photographer for a personalized photo shoot at in-park locations that are available that day. Disney Parks Blog suggests that such special capture moments may include proposals, baby announcements, graduations, anniversaries, birthdays, and more. For $50, the Capture Your Moment session includes up to 20 minutes at your selected photo shoot location (or $100 for back-to-back sessions up to 40 minutes which may include a visit to at least two photo shoot locations). Advance sessions may be booked by calling (407)939-7758, and a limited number of same-day sessions may be available by calling as well. Of course, it is called an add-on for a reason: like park admission, the digital downloads and photo prints are not included, but guests with a Memory Maker package or qualifying Annual Pass with PhotoPass benefits, may make use of those benefits with this add-on offering; additional print and download purchase options are available too.

…REMINDER: You can also benefit the Kids Café Program of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida while you sample dishes and beverages featured at Toledo, Topolino's Terrace, Tiffins, The Hollywood Brown Derby, Cinderella's Royal Table, Golden Oak, Epcot Festivals, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Amorette's Patisserie, The Ganachery, Disney's Grand Floridian Weddings, Disney Park Events, Wine Bar George, and more by the Walt Disney World Food & Beverage Concept Development Team. The 7th Field to Field Dinner, which has raised more than $100,000 for the program, will be held in partnership with Edible Orlando magazine at Long & Scott Farms in Zellwood, Florida, on February 22, 2020, from 2:30-5:30 p.m. Tickets are $175/person (and they have sold out in the past). More information and tickets are available at EdibleOrlando.com. 100% of proceeds benefit the after-school meal service program that provides food to needy children in Orange, Seminole, and Osceola counties in Florida.

…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.

For a look at many of the Valentines Day offerings around Disney Springs, check out the Spring at Disney Springs webpage. NEW Disney Parks Blog recently shared a list of quite a few specials available as well.

NEW City Works Eatery & Pour House

Last Thursday, executives and staff at the new City Works Eatery & Pour House were joined by Disney Springs leadership to cut the ribbon and open the venue located just outside NBA Experience on the West Side. We were invited to attend the grand opening celebration on Thursday and to dine at the restaurant over the weekend.


City Works Eatery and Pour House held its grand opening ribbon cutting and celebration on Thursday, February 6, at Disney Springs. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Chicago-based brand has nine locations across the country and the Disney Springs location is its first in Central Florida. The venue features 17 televisions including a 168 inch high definition video screen. Yes, it is a venue that will feature sporting events on those screens (it is next door to and can be entered directly from NBA Experience) that are shown while guests dine on "classic American dishes" and a beer menu featuring over 90 local and global craft brews on tap and eight wines on draft. In addition to its lunch and dinner menus, on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. it also features a "Rock N' Roll Brunch menu," while on weekdays from 3:30 until 6 p.m. its Happy Hour features a discounted menu of select beer, wine and appetizers. Walk-up seating is offered now (and take out orders are available), and reservations made through My Disney Experience and OpenTable will be honored starting March 9. The venue also offers Annual Passholder and Disney Vacation Club discounts on food and (at least some) non-alcoholic beverages. Cast member discounts are available too.

City Works
The restaurant's dining room is along the first level of the newly constructed NBA Experience building that is located where the former DisneyQuest stood. Photo courtesy Disney Parks Blog.


More than 90 beers are available on tap at City Works. Beer flights include an option to make your own selections.


The menu is "classic American" which includes items shown here: Filet Mignon Sliders, City Works Burger, and Fish & Chips.


Rock N' Roll Brunch is available Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Desserts, like S'mores Dip are available during hours when the kitchen is open.


Menus available during weekend brunch feature breakfast specialty items as well as items from the full menu.


City Works is located next door to NBA Experience near Cirque du Soleil.


The City Works banner is on the "back" side of the building containing both NBA Experience and the new restaurant; this is the side of the building that faces parking lots along Buena Vista Drive.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant

NEW For Valentine's Day only, Raglan Road is offering a special dessert pairing: Black Forest Bombe—a concoction of cherry chocolate mousse, kirsch créme brulee, and dark chocolate cake with tart cherry sorbet–paired with its special Valentine's Day-only Bailey's Red Velvet Iced Shake. Regular menu also available, and the live Irish bands and dancers will be on stage (as usual) from 4:30 p.m. through closing. And Raglan also shares this bit of St. Valentine's Day lore:

St. Valentine, the patron saint of love, was executed in Rome and buried there in the 3rd century. Much later, an Irish priest was granted permission to exhume his remains, and now his skeleton lies under Whitefriar Church in Dublin. In 1835 an Irish Carmelite priest, Fr. John Spratt, used his Irish charm to convince then Pope Gregory XVI to dig up St. Valentine's remains and take them home as a gift to his fellow Irishmen and women. Now, love-seeking Irish turn up at his site every St. Valentine's looking for help in finding that special one.

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.

Maria & Enzo's Ristorante

Carnevale has returned to Maria & Enzo's Ristorante for the entire month of February this year. The festival, known in Venice as Carnevale and as Mardi Gras outside of Italy, includes festive decor, glamorous costumes, food and celebrations. At the restaurant, from 5-10 p.m., the restaurant has special menus with signature dishes as well as special items, special beverage offerings, special dessert offerings, and nightly live entertainment. Reservations are recommended by visiting MariaAndEnzos.com or by calling (407)560-8466.


Carnevale at Maria & Enzo's continues until February 29, 2020. Image courtesy Patina Restaurant Group.

We were invited to dine during the opening night's festivities and some of the highlights follow. There was somewhat less live entertainment inside the restaurant this year over last (the singers and specialty acts, for example), but there is some entertainment outside the restaurant to draw folks in, much more decor inside, and some complimentary food items accompanying your meal. As you can see in the photos, though, there is still some entertainment to go with your meal and it may change throughout the event's run.


Festive decor greets guests upon stepping in to the restaurant during Carnevale.


A special menu includes some of the restaurants signature dishes and more.


Some of the special adult beverages created by the restaurant for Carnevale include, on the left, Maschera Rossa (Red Mask) which includes fresh strawberry purée, tangy pineapple juice, simple syrup, lemon juice, Maker's Mark whiskey, and a pineapple wedge. On the right is the more "exotic" Ballerino di Fuoco (Fire Dancer) which includes Leblon, lime juice, simple syrup, muddled jalepeños, and a jalapeño slice garnish.


Carnevale meals begin with Pinzimonio (Italian Crudité) with Giardiniera Cremosa (shown here, upper left). Mamma Maria's mini-meatballs are served with all entrée courses (lower left). The Pastas shown here are: Torchio al Pollo (spiral shaped pasta, roasted chicken ragu, toasted garlic, parmesan cream sauce)(top right), and Ravioli al tre Formaggi (three cheese ravioli)(lower right).


The desserts shown here are Maria's Torta (mascarpone cheesecake, blueberries) and Chocolate Ganache. Meals end with Bugie e Chiacchiere (fried sweet pastry, shown at right).


Strolling musicians are some of the entertainment during your meal.


An artist hand-paints masks for diners throughout the meal as well.


Tables may be visited by a balloon artist.


Earlier in the week before Carnevale, the dining room looked more like its usual appearance (the converted seaplane terminal).


Maria & Enzo's is located in The Landing neighborhood of Disney Springs near the bridge to the West Side.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


Entertainment takes place in front of Maria & Enzo's throughout the night as a preview to the Carnevale celebrations inside. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

Enzo's Hideaway Tunnel Bar

NEW Valentine's Day menu offerings include "Stuffed Baked Maine lobster for 2" – 2 lb maine lobster, jumbo lump blue crab, toasted garlic, saffron aioli, wilted baby spinach, lumache pasta, lobster cream sauce for $42 and Torta Setteveli - even layered Dark chocolate sponge cake layered with hazelnut mousse, milk chocolate, vanilla cream, and feuilletine chocolate crunch.

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 (which are still available), visit this page of Patina Restaurant Group's website. We have been invited to attend as well, so let us know if you will be there to say hello!


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 The menu items for Valentine's Day include the "King Cut" Prime Rib with Jumbo Gulf Shrimp – Boneless 18 oz, au jus, horseradish cream sauce, popover for $52 and the limited time DB "Clothesline Chocolate Covered Candied Bacon" – Maple, black pepper, fruit mostarda, dipped in chocolate. Available beverages include a "Be Mine" cocktail, made with strawberry gin, lime juice, strawberry lemongrass, watermelon juice, topped with Brut, and garnished with a strawberry in a champagne glass.

Vivoli il Gelato

NEW Throughout February, Vivoli il Gelato is serving a "Love Potion" concoction of vanilla gelato and Fanta Strawberry, topped with whipped cream and garnished with sprinkles and rock candy. It is served in a novelty "Be Mine" cup.

Jaleo

Jaleo's Truffle Festival is underway at Disney Springs. The Spanish black truffle is highlighted in special dishes along side sommelier-selected wine pairings for a limited time through February 16 at lunch and dinner. Discovered by truffle-hunting dogs, these black truffles are flown straight in from the Spanish city of Teruel the day they are discovered.


Truffle Festival continues at Jaleo through February 16. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

RusticCuff Pop-Up Shop NOW OPEN

By this past weekend the RusticCuff pop up shop opened its doors at Disney Springs (in the Landing neighborhood across from Wine Bar George and Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar). Earlier this winter, Disney Parks Blog announced that the boutique jewelry brand by founder/designer Jill Donovan would create an "accessory destination" showroom featuring "statement cuffs with a focus on inspirational designes and personal connection." The pop-up shop from RusticCuff.com includes beads, bangles, charm bracelets, and "colorful stackable accent pieces" that include options for personalization. The store is only scheduled to operate for a limited time.


Rustic Cuff opened last week at Disney Springs in the Landing Neighborhood. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


The Erwin Pearl store that previously occupied this location closed earlier this winter. The Rustic Cuff signage appeared last week on the storefront. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

NEW Views around Disney Springs


The "Snow Super Moon" appeared large in the sky over Disney Springs this weekend.


As you may have seen recently, the vintage 1970s-80s retro-look is prominent in merchandise sold in Disney Parks retail locations now, and Disney Style shop's window display reflects that too.


"The Call of the Wild" starring Harrison Ford appears to be the first 20th Century Fox movie featured on the photo background board outside AMC Dine-In Theatres following Disney's acquisition of the 20th Century Fox studio last year.

Photos 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:
    • February 17 & 24
    • March 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30
    • April 5, 13, 20 & 27
    • May 5, 11, 18 & 25
    …at Disney's Animal Kingdom
    • February 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: 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 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-appearances 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 Fantasyland Station.
Epcot
  • 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 Starbucks 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 (quick service restaurant) 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 approximately 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 may 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). Tickets must be purchased by June 27, 2020. Details and on-line purchasing via this page of DisneyWorld.com.


Other Florida Resident Tickets and Room Offers

Visit this page of DisneyWorld.com for all 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.

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

Canadian residents are eligible for some specials that are similar to residents of the U.S.A. See the current listing on this page of DisneyWorld.com.

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.

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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Comments

  1. By wdwchuck

    Thanks again Alan for all the work you do so we can live vicariously through your WDW visits. To your question about gearing the report more toward first timers I would say that in my experience that topic is too HUGE for this report.
    In fact, I would tell anyone who has never been there to go with a very experienced WDW traveler the first time. No amount of reading and studying can prepare someone for the vastness and sensory overload that is WDW.
    I understand that not everybody has access to experienced people but it made all the difference to me. I think your report covers just what it needs to cover.
    Would it hurt to have a paragraph that addresses newcomer tips? No, that wouldn't hurt. Maybe you could hire yourself out as a first time guide? I know Disney has paid guides and that might be a good topic in your report, how to access that service and prices.
    One other thing I would like to see is more comments on your weekly report. I know you get read by a lot of experienced Disney travelers, it would be good to see more of them share their knowledge on these threads.
    That is my two cents. Thanks again.

  2. By asdhollywood

    After publication of this week's Update, Walt Disney World Resort quietly raised prices of several types of Annual Passes: Platinum and Platinum Plus for non-Florida residents increased $76 to $1195 and $1295, respectively. Florida resident-only Gold, Silver and Weekday Select each increased $20, and Epcot After 4 increased $15. All of the current prices we are aware of are now reflected in our Walt Disney World Guide (which we are in the process of bringing current).

    Also, thanks to WDWChuck for the comments above. I agree that it would be nice to see more comments on the Updates. Would it help if we used a different comment platform for that - like Facebook or something else?

    Regards,
    Alan

  3. By carolinakid

    Alan, I’d prefer to see things stay as they are. There’s enough information for newbies elsewhere on this site. Thanks for all you do!

  4. By wdwchuck

    Quote Originally Posted by asdhollywood View Post
    After publication of this week's Update, Walt Disney World Resort quietly raised prices of several types of Annual Passes: Platinum and Platinum Plus for non-Florida residents increased $76 to $1195 and $1295, respectively. Florida resident-only Gold, Silver and Weekday Select each increased $20, and Epcot After 4 increased $15. All of the current prices we are aware of are now reflected in our Walt Disney World Guide (which we are in the process of bringing current).

    Also, thanks to WDWChuck for the comments above. I agree that it would be nice to see more comments on the Updates. Would it help if we used a different comment platform for that - like Facebook or something else?

    Regards,
    Alan

    Hey Alan,
    I don't use any social media and in particular I don't use the Facebok. That is one of the reasons I love Mouseplanet and would like to see much more participation on this forum by my fellow Disney geeks.
    I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate your weekly report and many of the other regular contributors like Chris Barry and Adrianna and all the rest.
    I am not a marketing or sales guy so I can't help you drive more traffic. I do tell all my friends who are irregular travelers to WDW to make sure and check out this site.
    Mouseplanet has a ton of great, great up to date information on WDW and Disneyland.
    Keep up the great work.
    Chuck

  5. By Lloydian

    Let me echo Chuck and say that you shouldn't gear the column for first time vacationers. What you might consider is something resembling a disclaimer letting potential readers know that the focus of your column assumes general knowledge of the resort. Then refer readers with less experience to the park guide for more comprehensive information. Admittedly, I feel like my word choices could be refined more, but I'll leave that to the professional writers.

  6. By Dave1313

    I'll open by saying thanks for all the work on the updates each week. I try to at least skim through them each week and read more thoroughly when there is something I'm really interested in. The effort is definitely appreciated here! I try to make comments when I see something of specific interest. Sorry if I don't chime in more often just to say thanks each week for all the effort, photos, etc. So none of the below should be taken as any sort of negative criticism.

    I'd agree with others, the updates are fine as they are. Lots of other info is here in the general guide sections of the site.

    If you wanted to have a small item or 2 in a paragraph geared for new visitors(maybe near the top of the update, or now that the format has the "jump to" feature, that may not be critical), that might be a little "hook" to help newbies out. Sort of similar to how you would sometimes do the "One Passholder's Tip" a while back (sorry if I botched the title of that, I didn't go look it up in an old update, but I think it's close enough for you to know what I'm referring to)

    I'll suggest the updates give those of us with the additional interest the avenue to become more of an expert once we know the basics and decide to seek more info.

    I forget if it was my actual first visit here or not (I think it was), but I seem to recall my first significant exposure to this site was when I became interested in checking out the Wild Africa Trek almost 7 years ago. At the time I was really new (having only visited WDW maybe two short trips and a day here or there while on business trips over a period of about a year before I was looking at the Trek). I forget what I read to become aware of the Trek (might have been a DPB story), but whatever it was somehow led/linked me to a great write up of the Trek by former update writer Mark Goldhaber. I asked a few questions, got friendly useful answers and I've been here at least a little bit ever since!

    While there are definitely still a lot of folks here with more experience than I have, I feel what I've learned over the years (much of it here, but of course not all of it ) has made me much more of an expert than I was when I was a total newbie 8 years or so ago.

    While this may not be the only site I ever visit to learn new info, it's the only one I am registered for for posting and that I check regularly. IMO, it covers things at a level that help me keep current without being overwhelming in terms of how many posts there are on a given day or any given topic.

    I understand the need for sites to establish some presence on other social media platforms, but if it became necessary to be going over to those to participate in comments for articles like this, I would most likely be less likely to, as I am not interested in registering on FB, Instagram, Twitter, etc. to do so. Just MHO, but there comes a time when it becomes more fragmented and you start to wonder why the site itself exists if lots of content is going to be on other platforms.

    The forum section here seems to work fine, but maybe I'm just old fashioned.

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