Walt Disney World Resort Update for February 19-24, 2020

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer
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Walt Disney World Resort Update for February 19-24, 2020

 

Writer's note: Thanks to the several readers that provided thoughtful input in response to my request last week. While I know there are folks out there that are overwhelmed with the prospect of planning a vacation to the Vacation Kingdom of the World, I did not hear from them. Our weekly Updates will continue to assume readers have a better-than-basic familiarity with the Resort, and, if it turns out any of you out there want some clarity on a point, be sure to let us know.


Having noticed these Disney Vacation Club magnets on cars the past several years, I finally able was able to pick one up at the Members Lounge in Imagination pavilion this week. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

And, for all of you regular visitors out there, hopefully, by now, you saw that just after we published last week's Update, new Walt Disney World park ticket pricing changes went into effect without any advanced notice. The biggest increases effect non-Florida residents purchasing Platinum or Platinum Plus annual passes: Platinum & Platinum Plus for non-Florida residents +$76; Florida resident-only Gold, Silver & Weekday Select each +$20, and Epcot After 4 +$15 (all prices before tax). While we continue the process of revising and updating our MousePlanet Walt Disney World Resort Guide, I have made sure that the Annual Pass ticketing information on the site reflects the February 11, 2020 pricing. Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix covered Disneyland's latest price increases, including the Premier Passport—valid at both the Disneyland Resort and the Walt Disney World Resort which is now $2,199 per year—in yesterday's MousePlanet Disneyland Resort Update.

Ticket Options (like Hopper and Water Parks) also increased on February 11. With day tickets now varying by selected start date and length, it is logistically too complicated for me to figure out exactly which days changed, but we know that the highest ($159) and lowest ($109) one day base ticket prices did not change. The lesson, as always, is to see whether promotions are available from Disney and authorized providers like our sponsor, Get Away Today, and buy your park tickets from an authorized source in advance!


Ticket prices vary by the date you plan to start using them. Visiting park ticket booths on different days, like on Wednesday, February 12, and again on Monday, February 17 (which was Presidents' Day), shows you just two of the many different versions of the park ticket prices now in effect at Walt Disney World. Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

And, yes, notwithstanding the price increases, as I suggested last week, Valentine's Day, Presidents' Day (and individual Presidential birthdays), combined with various school breaks around the country to make it a rather busy week around Walt Disney World last week. Be aware that from now, until mid-April or so, we will see other ebbs and flows of crowds, as different regions celebrate Spring with vacations at different times.

Now on to the news and views for the week…

News and Views

Headlines are auto-generated here

Cinderella Castle: Royal (Not Extreme) Makeover

Particularly by the holidays season this past winter, it seemed likely that some sort of makeover was coming to Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom. The icon looked rather faded from the harsh Florida sunshine during 2019, and that became more apparent as the holiday "dreamlights" were added, the netting that previously blended with the blues of the castle surfaces stood out more in daylight. With memories of the 25 Years of Magic Castle "Cake" makeover done for the park's 25th anniversary back in 1996, we have been approaching October 1, 2021, the park and Resort's 50th anniversary, wondering what we could see.


Back in October, the faded condition of Cinderella Castle became rather apparent when seeing the daytime contrast between the dreamlights' netting and the Castle's blue surfaces. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

25 Years of Magic
Way back in 1996, Cinderella Castle had a pink "Cake" makeover as part of the park's 25 Years of Magic celebration. Personal Archive Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Earlier this week, Jason Kirk, Vice President, Magic Kingdom, announced to cast members and then on Disney Parks Blog that Cinderella Castle would receive a "Royal Makeover" in honor of the 70th anniversary of the release of Disney's animated classic, Cinderella. The concept image Disney released shows darker blues more reminiscent of Cinderella's dress, and more gold accents.

Castle Concept Art
Cinderella Castle's Royal Makeover will include more gold trim and a darker shade of blue when work is completed. Concept Image ©Disney.

The makeover project, which is scheduled to begin "in the coming weeks" and continue through summer, is not expected to interrupt castle shows like "Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire" or "Happily Ever After" fireworks shows. Of course, it is always wise to check My Disney Experience, the Times Guide, and, in the event of last minute changes, be sure to also ask cast members on Main Street U.S.A. Disney has not yet announced whether there will be further "enhancements" to the Castle as we head into the 50th anniversary celebration next year.

In the meantime, Disney Parks Blog also provided highlights of Disney PhotoPass photo opportunities that also celebrate Cinderella both at Magic Kingdom and at Disney Springs.

Earth Day 50th Anniversary Celebrations Coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom

Since Disney first noted that this coming April 22 is the 50th anniversary of both Earth Day and the 25th anniversary of the Disney Conservation Fund (and we noted that it will be Disney's Animal Kingdom's 22nd Anniversary), we assumed there would be a celebration and have been regularly noting it in our Resort Events section in the Update each week. This week, Disney Parks Blog announced that Disney's Animal Kingdom will host special entertainment and activities celebrating the occasion, from April 18 to 22, with an "all-day extravaganza" on Earth Day (April 22) itself.

Even with the announcement, there are not yet a whole lot of specifics available just yet. There will be "a stellar lineup of expert speakers and entertainment; behind-the-scenes tours; specialty food and beverage; limited-edition merchandise signings; character greetings; photo opportunities; special Wilderness Explorers activities for kids – and MORE!" The headline "Wild by Nature Speaker Series" presented in Theater in the Wild (usually home to Finding Nemo: The Musical) will include the park's animal experts and educators discussing Disney's conservation work, and National Geographic (acquired by Disney just last year) will participate with presentations by its wildlife photographers, videographers, and Nat Geo Explorers.

The one specific event - Tiffins Talks featuring Imagineer Joe Rohde discussing his research trips and exploration along with a four-course meal - is already sold out, as registration opened and filled yesterday. Keep an eye on this page of DisneyWorld.com to see if cancelations result in spots opening up.

The Animation Experience at Conservation Station continues to run as well. During the celebration, there will be special Disney characters featured in the program. Check the My Disney Experience app for times and FastPass+ reservations.

For those that cannot make it to the park but get the National Geographic or Nat Geo WILD channels, the park will be featured on April 22 during a global live television event "Born Wild: Earth Day Live" which starts at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central. Showing off Disney synergies created by last year's acquisition of National Geographic, the program is being produced by ABC News and will include "revered National Geographic Explorers and leading ABC News anchors and correspondents" in a program focused on baby animals.

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

The fourth annual Epcot International Festival of the Arts concludes next Monday, February 24. The Festival has, once again, been a large draw for the park (especially on weekends and holidays), during what used to be a fairly quiet part of winter. The 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, is included with park admission every day this week. The official website for the Festival is: ArtfulEpcot.com.


Even the miniature railroad town at the Germany pavilion is decorated for the Festival of the Arts. 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 the shows is available on ArtfulEpcot.com or by calling (407)939-5277. Booking for dining packages and workshops is open as well; Passholder discounts are available.


Ashley Brown, who originated Mary Poppins on Broadway, and Josh Strickland, who originated Tarzan on Broadway, returned for the fourth annual Disney on Broadway Concert Series last week and continue performances on select days this week. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


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" debuted 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.


Koda from Disney's "Brother Bear" catches fish near waterfalls at Canada pavilion. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Interactivity remains 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.


The "Expression Section" paint-by-number mural is located on the central construction wall in Future World near where the Fountain of Nations used to be. Photo 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 Will Gay "painted" Mickey Magnet 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 (which may now only be accessed by the new walkway on the Guest Relations side of Spaceship Earth if walking from the park's front gates; otherwise look for signs!) Passholders must 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.


Signs point to Passholder magnet distribution at the back door of the current location of Mouse Gear. 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, Casting Crowns, and Claudia Leitte. Based on the posted schedule, there is only one remaining act to be announced. 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 and gardens 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.


Garden planting is underway for the 2020 edition of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.


The flower gardens this year will stand in contrast to the on-going transformation of the park, especially when viewed from the monorail's circle tour.


As of Monday, flower garden preparation was just underway near the Future World East ponds. The Purple Martin birdhouses were moved to this location earlier this winter, as their former location is now behind construction walls.


The earliest arriving Purple Martins do not seem to mind that the birdhouses have been moved a number of yards.


It is unclear whether this area near The Land pavilion is being prepared for landscaping for this year's Festival or is being transformed as part of this part of Future World West's becoming Epcot's World Nature area.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

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.


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

The on-going transformation of Epcot creates a whole lot of new views this week. Some of them you may have already spotted a bit in the new photos of the Festival of the Arts and preparations for the Flower and Garden Festival above. Now, after entering the park and being directed to the left (east) side of the entrance plaza up to Spaceship Earth, there is no longer a walkway all the way through the center of Future World. In fact, if you need to use the restrooms, you had better go to the right of Spaceship Earth because, at least on Monday, the restrooms near Guest Relations were closed off behind construction walls, the restrooms in the Innoventions East building were closed with the closing of The Electric Umbrella Restaurant over the weekend, and the restrooms near the blue breezeway also remain closed behind construction walls. In other words, the first sets of open restrooms you may find on the east side of Future World when entering the park (or the last, if walking out on the east side after exiting World Showcase) are at Odyssey. Lots of additional changes noted in the captions.

Epcot


Transformation of the Epcot entrance and exit experience continues.


To the left of the main gates, construction continues at the new eastern security bag check area.


The fountain and western side of the entrance plaza continues to be transformed behind construction walls, but the monorail provides a nice view of the work-in-progress.


Inside the park, the new walkway connecting the entrance plaza with Future World West near The Seas with Nemo and Friends now has a clearly marked exit.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.


With the closing of Electric Umbrella, it seems the Odyssey building's menu has expanded a bit and the building has more available seating around the outside of the ring walls that contain the screens for the preview of Epcot's transformation.


At the other end of the park, however, as of Monday, the new Regal Eagle Smokehouse had not yet opened to provide additional fast casual dining options to hungry guests, though the menu boards for the outdoor bar could be seen from the Promenade. It is expected to open very soon. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.


Permanent new Epcot signage is starting to appear around the park that uses the retro-style font reminiscent of the original EPCOT logo.


Inside the park, cast members hold signs (with the same font) pointing the way to attractions around construction walls. The signs seem to be color coded: green seems to be Future World West.


Red signs seem to indicate Future World East and to get there, guests walk to guest relations and then take a left to go around the back of the building over near Universe of Energy/Guardians of the Galaxy-Cosmic Rewind.


The new Future World East walkway extends from behind Guest Relations toward the entrance to the temporary location for Mouse Gear and, in the distance, Mission: Space, Test Track, and, ultimately, Odyssey.


In the opposite direction, the blue signs point the way back to the park exit.


The blue breezeway is now completely blocked by construction walls. The blue signs also are used to point toward Spaceship Earth near the park exit. As before, the green sign directs guests toward Future World West (and its connection to World Showcase).


Near Test Track, there is now a bank of FastPass+ kiosks. Note that they have the same color red seen elsewhere in Future World East.


From the plaza near Spaceship Earth, the green archway leads to Future World West and its connection to World Showcase.


On west side of Future World, the green breezeway is blocked by construction walls. The sign color-coding is consistent with blue pointing to Spaceship Earth and the exit and red pointing to Future World East.


A bank of green FastPass+ kiosks is located in Future World West along the construction wall surrounding the remaining portion of the former Innoventions West.


The temporary signs use the same font all along the construction walls.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Transportation and Ticket Center


Construction continues at the old tram loading and bag check security area at the Transportation and Ticket Center. Tram loading and unloading remains on the other side of Seven Seas Drive, requiring guests to walk under the roadway to the current bag check security area near the vacation planning ticket booths. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney's Hollywood Studios


Some construction continues to the far right of the ticket booths at the entrance to Disney's Hollywood Studios.


While the interior of Legends of Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard was recently refurbished, and the store is open, the exterior is now under construction scrims.


The new Roundup Rodeo BBQ restaurant is taking shape just beyond the existing boundaries of Toy Story Land (in the distance in this photo, where the trees have been cleared).


MuppetVision 3D does not always operate the same hours as the park.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

This and That…

…For the seventh 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 all the shorts, you can even watch this week's "Yodelberg" short where Mickey, longing to visit Minnie at her mountain chalet, "realizes that a potential avalanche and some unexpected surprises threaten to put an end to their yodeling duet," 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.

Yodelberg
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.


In front of the theater, the posters advertise the attraction opening on March 4 and the new sign has been installed above the doors. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney Parks Blog also shared a video from its #DisneyCastLife series showing off Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway opening team cast members taking their preview rides aboard the "Runnamuck Railroad" that is at the center of the new attraction "where mouse rules apply." Just as we have heard from other members of the creative team over the past years of the ride's development, Antony Capstick, Project Engineer at Walt Disney Imagineering, said in the Disney Parks Blog post, "For this attraction, you are going to be in the cartoon world and anything is possible."


Cast member previews are underway at Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway. Passholder previews have not been announced. Video ©Disney.

…On a somewhat related note in the "oops, we missed it" department, as Orlando Sentinel reported and as confirmed by the schedule in the My Disney Experience app, the "Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away" stage show at Disney's Hollywood Studios in front of the Chinese Theater will have its last scheduled shows on February 22. The show, including video clips from all of the Star Wars films and with live, brief appearances by heros and villains from the franchise, debuted on the center stage at the park back in the Spring of 2016, and was updated a few times, as new films were released. Like the retirement last Summer of the March of the First Order, and last year's closing of the Path of the Jedi film, the "Far, Far Away" show closing is not particularly surprising since the park opened its Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge area. The only remaining Star Wars entertainment and attractions outside of Galaxy's Edge in the park after February 22 will be Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple, and the Star Wars Launch Bay (which is in the "Animation Courtyard" area of the park which is ripe for future re-imagination, particularly since it has not been home to animation for many years).


The final performances of "Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away" are scheduled for February 22, 2020. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

…For those visiting the Resort this weekend, be mindful of road closures for the 2020 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. For those coming for the runDisney event or otherwise interested in it, the Health & Fitness Expo is open to everyone at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Thursday, February 20 (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.), Friday, February 21 (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.), and Saturday, February 22 (9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.). The schedule of free Interactive Zone activities is available on this page of the runDisney events website and Disney Parks Blog shows off highlights of the commemorative merchandise available this year.

…In addition to the on-going preview of the upcoming Disney-Pixar film Onward which is playing in the theater inside Walt Disney Presents at Disney's Hollywood Studios, you can now find merchandise inspired by the film at locations around the Resort and online at shopDisney.com. While Disney Parks Blog yesterday announced that Disney California Adventure and Hong Kong Disneyland will host meet and greets for the teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot from the film, there have not yet been any announcements for character interactions at Walt Disney World.


Walt Disney Presents is currently showing an extended preview of the upcoming Disney-Pixar film "Onward."


The doors of the Walt Disney Theater advertise the upcoming film.


The theater lobby includes a display of the characters and settings for the upcoming film.


The pieces in the display case may be more recognizable after viewing the actual film.


Banners advertising the film hang from a light pole opposite the entrance to Walt Disney Presents.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

…Interested in a chance to win a stay in the Cinderella Castle Suite in Magic Kingdom? Interested in additional bonus chances to win by making donations that benefit Orlando Magic Youth Foundation? Omaze has a sweepstakes (with lots of fine print on its site that you need to read and we have no affiliation with or responsibility for it) with a grand prize offering of a two-day, one-night vacation that includes a night in the Suite for up to four people, plus park tickets, a VIP tour guide for a day, and dinner at Narcoossee's. Donation or purchase not required for the single entry, but bonus entries are included with different donation levels. The deadline to enter is April 7, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific (which is April 8, 2:59 a.m. Eastern) with the winner to be announced on or around April 22, 2020.

…FINAL REMINDER: You can 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 Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic will return for its 11th year on Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7. Overnight packages and tickets are now on sale at www.FoodandWineClassic.com or by calling 1-888-828-8850. The ticketed event is a street party festival with unlimited tastings of culinary selections from the hotel's award-winning restaurants, wine samplings from around the world, and a selection of other beverages, all "amidst a festive backdrop of live entertainment." Educational seminar experiences may be added to packages for an additional fee. Menus and more information will be announced as the event gets closer.

…Speaking of food, the former Chicagoan at the keyboard in these Updates has previously noted with excitement that Portillo's, the Chicagoland-based restaurant chain that features hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, a legendary chocolate cake, and more, is building a location just beyond Walt Disney World Resort near Disney Springs which is expected to open later this year. This week, Portillo's announced that its food truck, "The Beef Bus," will be serving up its Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, crinkle cut cheese fries, and soft drinks just a little bit further way from Disney property at Icon Park, 8375 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819 (at the backside of the Ferris Wheel) from 2 to 11 p.m. on February 27 to March 1, and March 5-9. Anyone want to meet up?

…Walt Disney World Golf is offering special "Play 9 After Sunrise or Before Sunset" promotions. The Sunrise 9 promotion, with green fees as low as $35 plus tax, provides for tee times typically between 7:00 am and 8:30 am daily. Included as part of this promotion, golfers enjoy a hot, freshly prepared breakfast sandwich and coffee, orange juice, or water before your round. After your round, enjoy an additional beverage (domestic beer or soft drink). The Sunset 9 promotion offers green fees as low as $29 plus tax, for daily tee time windows varying seasonally (starting between 3:00 pm and 5:30 pm) depending upon when sunset occurs. Enjoy a fresh hot dog and a pre-round beverage (domestic beer or soft drink). For more information, call (407)WDW-GOLF.

…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.

City Works Eatery & Pour House

Earlier this month, 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. File 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.

File Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant

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.

File 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. File Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

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.

Vivoli il Gelato

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

NEW On Saturday, March 21, from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., Jaleo is holding a Paella Block Party in celebration of its one-year anniversary. Taking over the sidewalk on the West Side and inside the restaurant, the ticketed event features four Festival Paellas, unlimited tapas, flamenco dancers, a DJ, a photo booth, and more. Visit this EventBrite page for more information and tickets. Early bird tickets are available now until February 23: All-Inclusive (age 21 and over) is $75 plus $6.20 fee; Food and non-alcoholic beverage ticket (all ages) is $40 plus $4.06 fee; children 10 and younger are free. Prices increase on February 24.

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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 24
    • March 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30
    • April 5, 13, 20 & 27
    • May 5, 11, 18 & 25
    …at Disney's Animal Kingdom
    • February 19, & 27
    • March 5, 12, 19 & 26
    • April 1, 7, 14 & 22
    • May 2, 9, 16, 19 & 26
  • Epcot International Festival of the Arts - ends February 24, 2020
  • Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic: (Eligible Member reservations required for wristband entry)
    • Disney's Animal Kingdom: February 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 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 Celebrations at Disney's Animal Kingdom – April 18 to 22, 2020
    April 22 itself is the 22nd Anniversary of the park's opening; it is also Earth Day's 50th Anniversary
    & it is the 25th Anniversary of Disney Conservation Fund
  • 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) closed February 16, 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
  • Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away – final performances on Saturday, February 22, 2020.
  • 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 – Permanently 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 March 19, 2020.
Disney Water Parks
  • Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park
    daily operating hours are published, 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 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.

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

For Everyone

4-Park Magic Ticket

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

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


Mid-Day Magic Tickets

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



Summer Free 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

    Hey Alan,
    You really jogged my noggin with this weeks report. The first time I ever came to Walt Disney World was during spring break. The place was absolutely packed and I hate crowds like that. Packed in like sardines. Yet I had a blast! And part of that was like I mentioned last week is I went with someone who knew their way around. I could imagine how confusing it would be to go and to be in those crowds and not know where to go next. Sounds like a nightmare.
    Thanks for your pictures of Epcot. Looks like it is going to be messed up for awhile.
    And I noticed that more new restaurants are opening but they are serving the same old high fat, high calorie stuff that I don't need anymore. I meant to ask you last week how your diet is going? You were an inspiration to me and I continue to try and eat more and more anti inflammatory foods each day rather than all that highly inflammatory food that is all around me.
    Interesting things happening around Earth Day in China.
    Thanks again for the weekly WDW update,
    Chuck

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