Walt Disney World Resort Update for April 28 - May 4, 2020

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for April 28 – May 4, 2020

Writer's note: I hosted our MousePlanet "Fun at Home" Show #3 LIVE Stream last Wednesday night, and several other MousePlanet contributors joined our chat with special guests Joy Andersen and fellow Central Florida theme parks social media journalists Jeremiah Good and Shelley Caran. A replay is below.

Replay "Fun at Home" Show #3 from Wednesday, April 22, 2020.

We will be back tomorrow night starting at 8:30 p.m. EDT/5:30 PDT with Show #4 featuring scheduled special guests including a familiar Central Florida entertainer and host that has appeared in photos and videos in many prior Updates (and lots of other places), the General Manager of Disney Springs' Raglan Road, additional fellow Central Florida journalists, and even more MousePlanet contributors. For tomorrow night's "Fun at Home" show, we plan to have distinct segments covering entertainment, Star Wars in the parks and beyond, and collecting merchandise even while we are safe at home. If you have this article open in your browser more than five minutes before showtime, you will need to refresh the page to see the show, or you can watch LIVE on this page on Facebook or by following our Twitter feed (which will show our Periscope video).

Enjoy "Fun at Home" Show #4 right here, or via MousePlanet's Facebook or Twitter/Periscope feeds, LIVE on Wednesday, April 29, 2020, starting at 8:30 p.m. EDT/5:30 p.m. PDT. Replays will be available after the show is complete too.

As for that constant question out there about when we can go back to having fun in the parks (or elsewhere outside our homes), MousePlanet's Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix gave our take on the situation in our Monday Disneyland Resort Update:

The Internet is absolutely crammed with speculation about what it will take to get the Disney theme parks—along with the rest of society—open again. Who better to weigh in on that subject than Bob Iger, executive chairman and chairman of the board of the Walt Disney Co.?

Iger was recently named to a California task force that will help the state navigate the issues of economic recovery and job development in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 80-member Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery includes four former California governors, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and executives from a host of business, labor, healthcare, and educational organizations.

Shortly after being named to the panel, Iger gave an interview to Los Angeles-based KABC. In the brief interview, Iger outlined key goals for reopening businesses in California:

Clearly, making people feel safe from getting the virus is the biggest obstacle and it's clearly complicated. It's not just about, as far as we know, social distancing. It's about taking a number of steps, implementing a number of procedures to make sure that people feel safe.

Obviously hygiene will be one of them, increased hygiene, but it's likely that we're going to need some mass testing, at scale, and some form of contact tracing as well so that we can identify people who have been exposed or people who have had the virus and may be of harm to others.

While the remarks in the KABC interview were in regards to reopening California's economy at large, Iger gave an interview to Barron's earlier this month in which he suggested that Disney theme parks might incorporate screening measures that could include temperature checks when the theme parks reopen.

In Florida, Walt Disney World Resort President Josh D'Amaro was named to the Re-Open Florida Task Force Executive Committee. He joins Universal Orlando Resort CEO John Sprouls on the 22-member team.

The Orlando Weekly last week reported that Universal Studios had sent a survey to many of its annual passholders, seeking feedback about potential health and safety measures in a post-COVID world. Respondents were asked how they would feel about nearly two dozen potential measures, such as capping park attendance from 25% to 75% of normal; adding temperature checks at the entrance; or requiring all visitors to wear face masks. Other ideas included closing all indoor attractions; reducing capacity on rides and shows; and implementing virtual queues for all attractions. One of the more extreme measures in the survey would require all guests and employees to take and pass a rapid COVID test before they could enter the parks.

For another very thoughtful take on what the reopening of the Florida parks (and probably beyond) could entail, I recommend you read Orlando Sentinel reporter Dewayne Bevil's April 26, 2020 article. He also had a very somber discussion about theme parks in a "post-coronavirus world" with theme parks industry analyst Dennis Speigel, CEO of International Theme Park Services on the Sentinel's Theme Parks Rangers podcast Episode 44 (which is available for replay in several places, including at that link).

Beyond looking at the practicalities, I strongly advise readers to be critical of mass media and social media guesses about when the parks will open, and to pay attention to official announcements by Disney itself. Right now, notwithstanding the wild speculation of one financial analyst that got a bunch of more reputable media outlets to repeat the speculation that the parks will not reopen until 2021, the last official announcement from Disney is that it is accepting hotel reservations for June 1 and beyond. We continue updating our article Walt Disney Company Operational Responses to COVID-19 from time to time as we learn official news.

Of course, if you think you know with some precision when the parks will reopen (and are not a Disney insider), would you also please send us next week's PowerBall and MegaMillions numbers by private message?

For this week's cover photo, it's Woody standing at the entrance to the largely empty Toy Story Land back on June 28, 2018, the day before the land's dedication, two days before its opening to guests at Disney's Hollywood Studios. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

In Views Around the World again this week, my views from the past: videos shot during the Millennium Celebration in 2000. Disney shared a pre-recorded viewing of Magic Kingdom's Happily Ever After fireworks for home viewing too.

News and Views

Headlines are auto-generated here

Disney Vacation Club Temporarily Modifies More Policies

Disney Vacation Club previously announced that Vacation Points for canceled DVC reservations during the time the parks and resorts are closed will be returned to the current use year, meaning they will not be placed in a holding account or forfeited. Borrowed Points used for canceled. reservations will be returned to the Use Year they were borrowed from regardless of arrival date (though DVC notes that it may take up to 15 business days for processing to be completed). Reservations Points for canceled reservations at a Disney Collection Resort will be returned as Reservation Points to the current Use Year and reservations made with Banked Points or One-time use Points will be returned to the current Use Year.

On Friday, April 24, DVC notified members by email of additional temporary updates to its policies relating to certain points set to expire that were tied to reservations for stays between March 12 and the end of the closure period and temporary changes to rules for borrowing points. Over the weekend, we updated our article entitled Walt Disney Company Operational Responses to COVID-19 to reflect those changes, and the specific details are also posted on this page of the DVC website. DVC also posted a FAQ which requires Members sign in on this page of the DVC website. In summary, for reservations during the closure period that were cancelled after February 29, 2020:

  • 2019 Use Year Points for April and June that are set to expire in 2020 that were used for reservations during the closure period will be extended for one year from their original expiration.
  • 2018 Use Year Points for April and June that were banked into 2019 and used for reservations during the closure period will be extended for six months from their current expiration period.
  • Members with later Use Years should follow normal banking guidelines to bank current Use Year Vacation Points. Should a reservation be cancelled due to Resort closure after the close of the applicable banking window, an exception will be made to bank the allotted Points associated with the reservation.
  • "One Time-Use Points" remaining from a cancelled reservation can be refunded upon request. Contact Member Services.
  • Members that purchased Travelex Insurance and made a claim due to a cancelled reservation are still eligible for points extensions if they meet the other criteria.
  • DVC will not use the 6-month extension on previously banked developer Points in the interest of supporting Member availability.
  • Effective immediately, Members may only borrow up to 50% of their future Use Year Points per contract for new reservations (to the extent permitted by Home Resort Rules and Regulations). DVC says that "this will help manage inventory and accomodate more Members who want to schedule their vacations once the Resorts reopen." The policy applies to all DVC reservations and exchanges. Members who book a new reservation or multiple reservations that exceed the 50% maximum will have their reservations cancelled automatically within 7 days.
  • Points already borrowed for future reservations outside the closure period will be honored, even if they exceed the new 50% threshold. The temporary policy also excludes borrowed Vacation Points that would be applied to matched waitlists created prior to April 24 if the reservation requires more than the 50% threshold.
  • DVC will continue to monitor inventory and re-evaluate, and has the "goal" of returning its standard policy as soon as appropriate.
  • Disney and Concierge Collection Reservation Points from April and June 2019 Use Years that have expired or will expire during the closure period will be moved into the next Use Year as Reservation Points. Additional Use Year will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Members with cancelled Disney Cruise Line voyages or Adventures by Disney trips due to the closure have been offered their choice of a full refund, the ability to rebook a new cruise/trip with additional credit or the option to "park" their cruise/trip for a later date.
  • Members with a June Use Year that deposited points into the RCI system after March 12 may reverse that transaction and withdraw their points. Members with previously booked RCI reservations that were cancelled during the closures can continue to use the points within the RCI system until their expiration.

Disney Vacation Club also acknowledged that the condominium associations that make up the DVC properties anticipate lower operating costs as a result of the closures. DVC notes that it cannot predict what unanticipated additional costs will be required to reopen properties when it is safe to do so. DVC proposes to issue a credit to Members in mid-December when Annual Dues Statements for 2021 are distributed reflecting any operating surplus rather than rolling surpluses into reserves (which has been the usual policy following IRS and other guidelines mentioned at each year's Annual Meeting).

For DVC Resorts, DVC Members may, as always, make many reservation changes on the Disney Vacation Club website. All Members can call Member Services at (800)800-9800, but be aware of the high call volume.

Disney Good Neighbor Hotel Hyatt Place Orlando/Lake Buena Vista Offers Deals

This week, Disney Good Neighbor Hotel Hyatt Place Orlando/Lake Buena Vista let us know it is offering several new deals. In future weeks, we will include these in the Discounts and Promotions section of the Update, but, since this is news (at least to us) this week, here are the details:

Florida Resident
Enjoy 10% off Standard Rate. Hyatt Place Gallery Breakfast Buffet is included for World of Hyatt members booking this rate. Valid Florida ID is required at check in. Valid dates - May 4 - Dec 23, 2020. Book online at https://orlandolakebuenavista.place.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html?corp_id=43610 or call 1-888-492-8847 ask for rate code FLRR. Offer is based on availability and cannot be combined with other discounts. Subject to change without prior notification.
Military/Veteran/First Responders
Enjoy up to 20% off Standard Rate. Hyatt Place Gallery Breakfast Buffet is included for World of Hyatt members booking this rate. Valid Military/Veteran/First Responders ID is required at check in. Valid dates - May 4 - Dec 23, 2020. Book online at https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/florida/hyatt-place-orlando-lake-buena-vista/orlzb?offercode=MILVET or call 1-888-492-8847 ask for rate code MILVET. Offer is based on availability and cannot be combined with other discounts. Subject to change without prior notification.
Georgia Resident
Enjoy 10% off Standard Rate. Hyatt Place Gallery Breakfast Buffet is included for World of Hyatt members booking this rate. Valid Georgia ID is required at check in. Valid dates - May 4 - Dec 23, 2020. Book online at https://orlandolakebuenavista.place.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html?corp_id=85715 or call 1-888-492-8847 ask for rate code GARE. Offer is based on availability and cannot be combined with other discounts. Subject to change without prior notification.
AAA Hot Deal
Enjoy 15% off Standard Rate. Hyatt Place Gallery Breakfast Buffet is included for World of Hyatt members booking this rate. Valid AAA ID is required at check in. Valid dates – Jun 1 – Sep 24, 2020. Book online at https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/florida/hyatt-place-orlando-lake-buena-vista/orlzb and select AAA rate or call 1-888-492-8847 ask for AAA Hot Deal rate. Offer is based on availability and cannot be combined with other discounts. Subject to change without prior notification.
Canadian Resident
Enjoy 10% off Standard Rate. Hyatt Place Gallery Breakfast Buffet is included for World of Hyatt members booking this rate. Valid Canada ID is required at check in. Valid dates - May 4 - Dec 23, 2020. Book online at https://orlandolakebuenavista.place.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html?corp_id=144553 or call 1-888-492-8847 ask for rate code CDAS. Offer is based on availability and cannot be combined with other discounts. Subject to change without prior notification.

Walt Disney World Resort Remains Mostly Closed

All four theme parks at Walt Disney World are closed, as are all Disney-owned resort hotels, the entire Disney Springs shopping area, water parks and most recreational offerings except Walt Disney World Golf, where golf and footgolf operations remain on their normal schedule with enhanced health safety measures implemented, including its "Park and Play" program where golfers can book a tee time and pay in advance online, show up to a pre-positioned, sanitized cart, and proceed to the first tee without further contact. The closures are in effect until further notice.

Remember to visit the My Plans section of WaltDisneyWorld.com because many reservations can be modified without calling. You may also modify or cancel many reservations in the My Disney Experience mobile application. The following sections contain the latest information available as of publication, including the recently announced suspension of monthly payments for Annual Passholders on applicable plans.

Future vacation reservations are currently available for travel dates June 1 and later. As always, Guests are able to modify these bookings if the Resort opens before that time. More information and a special offer from Disney are in the Hotels section below.

Reports are that construction projects have been halted around Walt Disney World Resort in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well. These work stoppages may impact the completion timelines for many announced projects, from Remy's Ratatouille Adventure—which was expected to open this summer at Epcot—to the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser (hotel experience) that was to begin operations in 2021, as well as attractions that were expected to open in time for the resort's 50th anniversary in 2021, including TRON Lightcycle Run Coaster at Magic Kingdom, Guardians of the Galaxy-Cosmic Rewind coaster at Epcot, and Play! pavilion at Epcot, along with other projects like the Reflections (resort property combining a hotel and Disney Vacation Club), and the on-going transformation of Epcot.

Official information is posted and updated at: disneyworld.disney.go.com/travel-information/

Last week, we also reported that the websites run by organizers of two of the unofficial events we track (because they draw large crowds to the parks) announced cancellation of their Spring Walt Disney World Resort events: Dapper Days Spring Weekend May 1 to 3, and Gay DayS #RedShirtDays June 4 to 7. Links to the organizer's pages are listed, as always, in the Resort Events section below.

 Parks, Annual Passes & Ticket Policies
Theme Parks
Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom are all closed until further notice.
All Fastpass+ reservations for closed dates will be automatically canceled.
Water Parks
Disney's Typhoon Lagoon has been closed for its annual seasonal refurbishment since early this year and remains closed until further notice.
Disney's Blizzard Beach is closed until further notice.
Tickets & Annual Passes

Unexpired multi-day theme park tickets with unused days, or date-specific theme park tickets with a valid use period during the period March 12, 2020 through the end of the actual closure period will automatically be extended to use any date through December 15, 2020. If you are unable to visit by December 15, 2020 you may apply the value of a wholly unused ticket toward the purchase of a ticket for a future date.

Florida Resident Discover Disney Tickets may be used through July 31, 2020.

Guests who have purchased tickets for Disney After Hours, Disney Villains After Hours, Disney Early Morning Magic, and Disney H2O Glow Nights from March 16, 2020 through the end of the actual closure period will be automatically refunded.

Walt Disney World annual passes:
  • Passholders who have paid in full for their Disneyland or Walt Disney World Resort annual passports can either opt to have the expiration date of their passport extended based on the length of the closure, or can request a pro-rated refund of the amount paid.
  • Disney has stopped collecting automatic payments for passholders on the monthly payment plan effective April 5, 2020, and will retroactively refund payments collected between March 14 – April 4, 2020. Passholders can opt to have their pass expire on the original date, or to resume making payments when the theme parks reopen and have their expiration date extended based on the number of days the parks were closed.
  • While the theme parks are closed, Disney is not accepting new MagicBand orders linked to Annual Passes. Pass blockout and admission calendars will not be updated during the closure period. Additional details may be posted later.
  • Passholders opting for partial refunds for the closure period and those opting to extend passes on the monthly payment plan should contact V.I.PASSHOLDER Support at (407)939-7277 to make their requests. Passholders may also call with other questions but, of course, call volume may be heavy.

Pass blockout and admission calendars will not be updated during the closure period. Additional details may be posted later.

Disney Springs Operations

As of March 20, 2020, all Disney Springs shops, restaurants and entertainment are closed.

These closures are now until further notice. Where individual operators have listed different reopening dates, we have detailed them below:

  • AMC Theaters announced it has closed all North American theaters for six to 12 weeks in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It previously had sought to continue operating at limited capacity. A-List Members may put their account on pause.

For other operational and venue information, Disney Springs website is: DisneySprings.com.

 Disney Owned & Operated Hotels

All Disney-owned and operated hotels at Walt Disney World, Aulani, Disney's Vero Beach and Hilton Head Island Resorts are closed.

These closures are until further notice.

Disney-imposed change and cancellation fees up to the date of check-in for reservations with arrivals through June 30 will be waived. If no action is taken before a check-in date during the closure period, Disney will automatically cancel the reservation within 7 days of the original check-in date and process any refund due to the original form of payment. Cancellation fees imposed by third-party suppliers and non-refundable products like travel protection plans will be deducted from refundable amounts for Walt Disney Travel Company Packages. If you did not book through Disney directly, please contact your travel professional.

For guests that have placed orders and received notifications that MagicBands have already been shipped to their homes, those guests will still receive their orders. For those that arranged for upgraded MagicBands be delivered to Disney Resort hotels for check-in dates between March 20 through the closure period, those orders will be automatically canceled and refunded. While the hotels are closed, no new orders for Magic Bands linked to Annual Passes or hotel reservations will be accepted.

Walt Disney World has posted a Special Offer for Guests who booked a vacation package or room reservation to stay at a Disney Resort hotel during the dates Walt Disney World Resort is closed and had not canceled. reservations before March 1, 2020. These Eligible Guests can take advantage of a special vacation package offer that includes accommodations at a select Disney Resort hotel, park admission and a Disney dining plan—valid for arrivals most nights June 1 through September 30, 2020 when you book through May 31, 2020. Details are posted: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/special-offers/dining-resort-stay-offer/. Call (407) 939-4251 to learn more about this offer, check availability and book. You can also work through a travel agent, including MousePlanet travel partner Get Away Today by calling (855) 438-2929 or by email to bcoles@getawaytoday.com.

 Disney Vacation Club
Official information is posted at: disneyvacationclub.disney.go.com/travel-information/.
Additional Cancellation of Select Member Events information is posted at: disneyvacationclub.disney.go.com/member-events-temporary-cancellation/

In summary, Disney Vacation Club operations at all locations (including Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Vero Beach, Hilton Head Island, and Aulani) are closed until further notice. Member events and experiences are likewise canceled until further notice.

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai'i, has a specific webpage with its travel alert posted at: https://www.disneyaulani.com/travel-advisory/

DVC properties at Walt Disney World and Disneyland direct guests to the travel advisory for the Resort where they are located. Webpages for Disney's Vero Beach and Hilton Head Island Resorts also direct guests to the Walt Disney World Resort travel advisory.

Vacation Points for cancelled DVC reservations will be returned to the current use year, meaning they will not be placed in a holding account or forfeited. Borrowed Points used for cancelled reservations will be returned to the Use Year they were borrowed from regardless of arrival date (though DVC notes that it may take up to 15 business days for processing to be completed).

Reservations Points for cancelled reservations at a Disney Collection Resort will be returned as Reservation Points to the current Use Year.

Reservations made with Banked Points or One-time use Points will be returned to the current Use Year.

On April 24, DVC addressed cancellations involving Points that are set to expire soon and more details. This week, we devoted an entire news section to this topic above.

For DVC Resorts, Members may, as always, make many reservation changes on the Disney Vacation Club website. All Members can call Member Services at (800) 800-9800, but be aware of the high call volume.

All Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic Events scheduled for April and May have been cancelled. Registration for General Members for the Epcot event scheduled for June 29, 2020, has been postponed until a date to be announced. Registration for Members with Resort Reservations is full for the Epcot event. Registration for the Typhoon Lagoon events has been postponed until a date to be announced.

 Other Hotels on Disney Property & Good Neighbor Hotels

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is closed through May 19, 2020. Further information about existing and making new reservations is available and updated at: https://swandolphin.com/importantinfo/index.html.

Shades of Green on Walt Disney World Resort, the hotel for U.S. Military Members and Families, is closed. Shades of Green will continue to accept reservations for new arrivals after May 31st. More information on the resort's COVID-19 Update webpage at: ShadesOfGreen.org/your-stay/travel-information-covid-19-update. Guest questions may be emailed to: guestsupport@shadesofgreen.org.

Five of the seven Disney Springs Area Hotels are now closed and not accepting reservations through the near term: DisneySpringsHotels.com.

  • Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace
  • Best Western Lake Buena Vista
  • DoubleTree Suites by Hilton
  • Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
  • Holiday Inn Orlando – Disney Springs Area

Orlando Sentinel reports that B Resort & Spa in the Disney Springs Resort Area is offering qualified essential workers and others that are displaced or traveling due to the pandemic a room for $79/night (and no resort fee) when booked before May 15 for a stay before June 30. Qualified guests are:

  • Healthcare professionals and first responders
  • National Guard members, law enforcement, state or federal government employees Airline crewmembers
  • Journalists and others responding to COVID-19
  • Displaced residents, visitors or college students
  • People unable to return to their home due to COVID-19 travel restrictions including those who had to vacate their home due to an emergency

For more information and reservations visit: bhotelsandresorts.com/b-resort-and-spa.

The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort (adjacent to Golden Oak on Disney Property) is now closed, and will not accept reservations for guests arriving prior to June 1, 2020. More information is available on its website, FourSeasons.com/orlando/.

We are not tracking the individual status of the 53 Walt Disney World Good Neighbor Hotels. However, we did receive information from Hyatt Place Orlando/Lake Buena Vista this week which is in the news section above. You can find contact information for all of these off-property hotels on their association website: WDWGoodNeighborHotels.com

Neither Flamingo Crossings (which is on Disney Property but has hotels that are not Disney-owned and operated), nor Bonnet Creek Resort (which is not owned by Disney but is completely surrounded by Disney Property) have official websites that we have identified.

 Disney Dining & Experiences

All active Tables in Wonderland members will be extended by the number of days the parks are closed.

Pre-paid dining and experience reservations (like Droid Depot) will be automatically refunded if scheduled between March 16 the actual end of the closure period.

Guests with dining reservations guaranteed by a credit card will not be charged cancellation or no-show fees during park closure.

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and all miniature golf locations at Walt Disney World Resort closed on March 16. These closures are now until further notice.

Walt Disney World Golf, including Footgolf operations, remain available on the regular schedule at all Walt Disney World Golf courses. Walt Disney World Golf is operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management, and its team says it is continuing "to closely monitor recommendations by health officials and have implemented measures to help ensure the well-being of all who visit and work at Walt Disney World Golf. For more information and updates, visit GolfWDW.com. Additional operational details released by management follow:

Due to the closure of Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, there will be a restricted access policy for Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course commencing Saturday March 21st. If a guest plans to visit this facility, they will be required to have a confirmed tee time reservation before entering the property. Access to the property will only be allowed from the security guard gate located across the street from the entrance to the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace resort. Guests that would like to make use of our driving range facilities, or purchase items from our golf professional shop are being redirected to visit Disney’s Palm, Magnolia, and Oak Trail Golf facility instead.

Due to the restricted access policy for Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course, we are inviting Player’s Club members to contact our reservations team within an hour of an available tee time, and pre-book at the Walk-up rate. This will add your name to the tee sheet, and therefore, security can grant you access to the property.

For those that are here in Orlando currently, and interested to play, please contact our reservations center at (407) WDW-GOLF to request additional information, or to confirm a suitable tee time. We recommend continuing to visit our website for further updates to our schedule.

The following experiences are all temporarily canceled.:

  • All fireworks cruises
  • Highway in the Sky Dine Around
  • Pirates & Pals Fireworks Dessert Voyage
  • Ferrytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise
  • Celebration at the Top – Savor, Sip, and Sparkle
  • Day Cruise Around the World
  • Disney Vacation Club Seven Seas Tasting Cruise
  • Grand 1 Yacht Rentals

All Disney transportation were suspended beginning the morning of Wednesday, March 18, 2020, until further notice.

Disney's Magical Express concluded transfers to and from Orlando International Airport on Friday, March 20.

 Cast & Performer News
Many Cast Members Furloughed and Company Executives Reduce Pay

Following Disney's announcement at the beginning of April, as April 19 came around, the Walt Disney Company furloughed non-essential U.S.-based cast members. Disney's written statement released on April 2 said, "All impacted workers will remain Disney employees through the duration of the furlough period," which means that the workers are still eligible for health care benefits; Disney additionally said it will cover the employee's health care contribution at this time. Furloughed cast will also retain access to the Disney Aspire education program. Disney committed to paying its hourly Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort cast members through April 18. Effective April 5, Disney CEO Bob Chapek took a 50% reduction in salary, Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger waived his entire salary and car allowance, and other senior executives took pay cuts of 20% to 30%, depending on their role.

College and International Programs Suspended
Walt Disney World suspended its College Program, Culinary Program, Cultural Exchange Program, and Academic Exchange Program effective March 16, 2020. Participants will receive certificates of completion that give them the opportunity to seek future employment with the company.
Disney published an updated letter to their College Program participants, and encouraged those who would like to return to work for the company at a future date to keep in touch.
On March 16, Josh D'Amaro, President, Walt Disney World Resort further explained in a "MouseMail" email:
I want to acknowledge our hardworking college, culinary and exchange program participants. We made the difficult decision to suspend these programs, based on guidance from leading health agencies as these participants live in dorm-like housing here at our Resort. We believe it's the right thing to do and is consistent with the way college and university programs are prioritizing social distancing. We are actively working with each individual to help them get home, including finding the right solution to each of their unique circumstances.
As noted in the news section above, yesterday, April 6, Walt Disney World announced that it is working to help remaining participants in the Cultural Representative Program to return to their home countries by April 17, 2020. The participants will be paid through April 18, 2020, and will receive a lump-sum payment on April 9. Disney also said it will waive housing payments immediately.
In the same announcement, Disney said that the Internship, College Program and Cultural Representative programs scheduled to start through early June, 2020, have been canceled. Participants will receive refunds of program fees and Cultural Representatives will be invited back to complete their programs "when the time is right." Disney says the eligibility requirements for all programs will be amended so that participants affected by this cancellation can reapply, even if they have already graduated from college.
Musical Acts End at Epcot
Orlando Sentinel tourism reporter Dewayne Bevil reports that Matsuriza, the drummers at the Japan pavilion, and British Revolution, the vocal quartet at the United Kingdom pavilion perform for the final time at Epcot, March 15, 2020.
Credible social media posts suggest that several other contract Epcot musical acts at World Showcase also had their final performances on March 16; credible social media reports that Epcot musical acts comprised of Disney cast members have not been impacted beyond the temporary park closure.

Epcot Festivals News & Calendar

Obviously, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is temporarily suspended until further notice. This section remains in the Update with the hope that we get to enjoy the balance of the Festival this Spring, and the subsequent seasonal Festivals which we include in this space each week.

 Flower & Garden Festival

The 27th Annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival began on March 4, and, though currently suspended due to the park's temporary closure, it is scheduled to run through June 1. This longest running Epcot festival is the one that started them all back in 1994 as "a 38-day celebration of Disney-style gardens and topiaries." The official website for the festival is FreshEpcot.com.

The 2020 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival began on March 4 and is scheduled to run through June 1. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Festival includes the Garden Rocks Concert Series, three times nightly at America Gardens Theatre. The list of scheduled performers released ahead of the Festival included both returning and new names including: STARSHIP, Sister Hazel, Rick Springfield, Plain White T's, Don McLean, Herman's Hermits, Tony Orlando, Air Supply, Christopher Cross, Daughtry, and Survivor. Some of those acts have been cancelled due to the closure, and, of course, the remaining schedule is subject to change. As of this Update, performers scheduled starting April 19 were still shown on the official event website, but we have removed them from our Calendar below.

The Festival sells Garden Rocks Concert Series Dining Packages where 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. Those that booked packages for dates the park is closed will receive refunds in accordance with Disney's policies discussed in the news sections above.

Singer Peabo Bryson took stage at the America Gardens Theatre as the opening act of this year's Garden Rocks Concert Series on March 4-5, 2020. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

This is the Festival that features the most topiaries and gardens around the park. New this year is a Remy topiary that is the centerpiece of Ratatouille Garden at France pavilion. Remy's Ratatouille Adventure attraction is scheduled to open at France pavilion during the summer, but a specific opening date has not yet announced. The full list of topiaries and gardens announced for this year's Festival is on this page of the official FreshEpcot website.

File Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Goodness Garden Butterfly House returned in a new location this year. It is located further west in Future World West than in past years—between The Land and Imagination pavilions. There are also two playtime areas for kids: Bo Peep's Playtime Training Ground is near the Test Track walkway in Future World East, and the Health Full Trail along the Imagination Walkway includes the Play Full Garden. The Floating Mini-Gardens, Flower Towers, and more bedded blooms are back 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).

File Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Like the other Festivals, Flower & Garden Festival includes food and beverage kiosks. This year, 16 "Outdoor Kitchens" and other "stops" include three Florida-centric locations: The Honey Bee-stro, The Citrus Blossom, and Florida Fresh. The full list of Outdoor Kitchens and other special food offerings, along with their menus, is available on this page of the official FreshEpcot website. Disney Parks Blog has published a Foodie Guide to the Festival, and published more suggestions to "Taste Your Way Around" the Festival when it opened on March 4. There is also a new "Garden Graze Stroll" (like the Holiday Cookies and Arts stroll varieties) where guests purchase five festival dishes from select locations, receive Passport stamps, and then, rather than more food like the other strolls, there is a keepsake for completion.

File Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

Spike's Pollen Nation Exploration scavenger hunt also returns for the entire run of this year's Festival. Purchase maps for $7.99 plus tax (Passholder discounts available) at Port of Entry and other marked locations, search for Spike the Bee around the park (like one we showed in the photos of the English Tea Garden above), and return your completed map to Port of Entry for a prize. The Egg-stravaganza Scavenger Hunt was scheduled to return for a limited time during the Festival, from March 27 through April 12, but those dates have now passed.

The new location of Pin Central is under the western legs of Spaceship Earth. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

New to this year's Festival is the expansion of Disneyland's Disney Channel Fan Fest. Guests at Disney's parks in California will have a one-day-only opportunity to mix and mingle with the casts of several popular Disney Channel shows and a cavalcade down Disneyland's Main Street U.S.A. will feature many Disney Channel celebrities which will be live streamed on Disney Parks Blog and on Disney Channel YouTube on Saturday, May 9. After that, kids and families at Epcot during three of the Festival's weekends—May 16-17, May 23-24, and May 30-31—will experience Fan Fest events as well. The details and schedule have not yet been announced, but Disney Parks Blog says:

Fan Fest events include stars from "ZOMBIES 2," "Gabby Duran & the Unsittables," "Raven's Home," "Just Roll With It," "Sydney to the Max," "Coop & Cami Ask The World, "BUNK'D," and the upcoming "Disney Fam Jam" and "Upside-Down Magic." The learn-to-draw sessions will feature the creative teams behind "Big City Greens," "The Owl House," "Amphibia" and "DuckTales."

Annual Passholders were supposed to be able to get two complimentary magnets during the 2020 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. The "Donald Duck with Spike the Bee" magnet was scheduled to be available through April 19. The first-ever “Orange Bird” magnet was to become available April 20 to June 1. When the park was open, guests could see signs outside the temporary location of Mouse Gear in Future World East (which may now only be accessed by the walkway on the Guest Relations side of Spaceship Earth if walking from the park's front gates or via the bridge from Odyssey or the walkway next to the flower gardens at the eastern ponds). Passholders must have a valid Annual Pass and photo ID; magnet supply is not guaranteed to last the length of the time periods (though the supply usually does last). We have not heard what the Passholder program plans to do with its undistributed magnets.

Passholders that made it to the Festival before the park's closing were able to pick up the Donald Duck with Spike the Bee magnet by visiting Mouse Gear with a valid pass and Photo ID. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Passholder-Exclusive merchandise like t-shirts and pins, were announced to be available for sale during the Festival as well. Passholder 20% merchandise discount would apply, as well as to purchases of maps for Spike's Pollen-Nation Exploration Scavenger Hunt at Mouse Gear, World Traveler and select Festival Markets (the marked kiosks around the park).

Passholders are also eligible for 10% discount on dining packages that include guaranteed seating for Garden Rocks Concert Series performances, and for 15% discounts on the Behind the Seeds and Gardens of the World tours.

 Food & Wine Festival

Disney Parks Blog lists the 25th anniversary edition of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival among the 20 Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2020, but the park has not yet announced its specific dates. The hugely popular festival ought to 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.

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic is scheduled to be held November 6 to 7, 2020.

 Festival of the Holidays

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, including its three times nightly presentation of Candlelight Processional should also return late in 2020. In recent years, we have started getting specific details to share in the summer 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 Garden Rocks Concert Series are shown in our Google Calendar of Epcot Events. As this posting, Disney removed performers scheduled only through April 19, and we have removed them and those through April 27 from our calendar as well. You can add the entire Event calendar to any calendar that supports the iCal format (like iPhone and Mac) by copying this link and, as we get additional information and update the calendar, the calendar will update on your subscribed device as well.

While our Google Calendar of Epcot Events lists announced performers, it is still always best to check the My Disney Experience app, Times Guide, and, yes, sometimes even signs posted at the park entrances and at the theater noting any last minute changes. The calendar is provided as a courtesy "as is, where is" without any guarantees. We do respectfully request that you do not post our entire calendar on another site without first asking our permission. Walt Disney World Resort does provide schedules in the My Disney Experience app, but does not allow you to add dates to calendars outside the app itself.

Views Around the World

With the parks closed, I continue to share videos from my personal archives that have been posted to my personal YouTube channel for some years. This week: a curated look at the Millennium Celebration, a bit of Comedy Warehouse at Pleasure Island with Carol Stein on the keys and more, a ride aboard Mexico pavilion's El Rio del Tiempo. Disney provided a pre-recorded video of Happily Ever Fireworks for home viewing as well.

A video visit to all four Theme Parks, Pleasure Island, a few of the resorts -- all in 10 minutes (the one-time YouTube upload limit) during the Millennium Celebration at Walt Disney World in 2000. This video, by the way, was my first major editing project (for fun) on my then brand-new iMac DV Special Edition in 2000 (which I then re-edited to update to YouTube in 2008). Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

From Pleasure Island on February 7, 2000, enjoy a few moments with Carol Stein on the keys ahead of a scene from a Comedy Warehouse show. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

From the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Florida in February and September 2000, enjoy an edited ride through "El Rio del Tiempo," about seven years before it was reimagined into the Gran Fiesta Tour featuring The Three Caballeros. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

This and That…

…Give Kids The World Village, the non-profit dedicated to fulfilling Wish Trips for critically ill children and their families at no charge, also decided to temporarily close on March 17 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That means, so far, over 700 trips have been postponed, and, each additional month it is closed, another 700 trips will be postponed as well. The Village provided "Boxes of Hope" care packages to many of the children whose trips have been postponed, and the Village continues to host Facebook Live parties for the families. On May 5, join its Facebook Live for #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving and unity in response to the need caused by COVID-19. You can also make a donation at any time and read more about the organization at www.gktw.org.

…REMINDER: For those looking for more Disney Magic Moments at home, Disney has launched a new free website highlighting such moments and activities to do from home: DisneyMagicMoments.com. This week, Walt Disney Imagineering completed its virtual tour by featuring of its art library.

Walt Disney Imagineering shared a virtual tour of its art library as one of this week's #DisneyMagicMoments. Video ©Disney.

…In case you missed it, last week, WDI showed off its R&D with a virtual tour.

…Also, for those looking for a Mickey-themed treat to make at home, Disney shared a recipe.

…A little porcupette at Walt Disney World was named for a cast member.

…And for Earth Day, April 22, Dr. Mark Penning shared a look at Disney's conservation efforts and more.

…Reminder: Through midnight Pacific Time on Thursday, April 30, the Disney Bedtime Hotline is back (in the United States only) also courtesy of shopDisney.com. Call (877)7-MICKEY for one of five special messages (which Disney Parks Blog says are "for your little ones," but…) from Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck or Goofy. Limit one message per call to the toll-free number (but, standard mobile airtime charges can apply if you use a cellular phone).

…As Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix reported in yesterday's Disneyland Resort Update (and more details can be found there):

Passengers holding Disney Cruise Line reservations are justified in being concerned about their cruise being canceled or rescheduled, and MousePlanet unwittingly added to the uncertainty when we incorrectly reported that Disney had officially canceled the entire 2020 Alaska cruise season.

In fact, only a portion of the season has been officially canceled by the Disney Cruise Line, and the company is still accepting reservations for the nine remaining cruises of the 2020 Alaska season, currently scheduled to depart July 6 through September 7. We regret the error.

Though our reporting was inaccurate, there remains a very real chance that Disney will extend its cancellations well beyond the currently announced itineraries. When Disney first announced the change to the Alaska schedule back on April 6, the company cited a regulation put in effect on March 13 by the Canadian government that prohibits ships carrying more than 500 passengers from docking in any Canadian port until July 1, 2020 at the earliest.

…Already released early for digital sales last month, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker makes its debut on the Disney+ subscription streaming service when? Oh, "May The Fourth," of course. (No, we are not kidding: May The Force Be With You.)

…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.

Join the MousePlanet Newsletter

Disney Springs News & Views

Normally, 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. During the remainder of the operational shutdown, our Disney Springs reporting is incorporated with the rest of the resort information above.

For even more of the latest news around Disney Springs, follow its official Twitter Feed: @DisneySprings.

Wine Bar George

For those looking to build their own "Wine Bar" at home, George Miliotes visited by video with the folks at Coravin, makers of the device that allows wine lovers and professionals to enjoy wine without removing the cork, for a "Wine O'Clock Live" discussion on Instagram that you can replay on Coravin's Facebook Page.

Raglan Road

Our friends at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant want you to know that, though its Disney Springs venue is temporarily closed, it is continuing to provide its brand of Irish music and dance this week, live from Ireland, on its Facebook page: @RaglanRoadOrlando. One of our scheduled special guests on our "Fun at Home" MousePlanet LIVE stream tomorrow is Alan Delahunt, General Manager, who will tell us more about Raglan's gift card offer this month that attracted thousands of fans to provide money the the venue's furloughed staff and the on-going Facebook Live entertainment schedule. Here is a preview of this week's schedule where you can grab a pint from your fridge and tune concerts and dance lessons brought to you from the homes of Raglan Road Irish Pub band members and dancers who are sheltering in place in Ireland (all times listed are Eastern Daylight Saving Time):

  • 11 a.m. Tues., April 28; Thurs., April 30; and Sat., May 2: "Reeling in the Years" Live one-hour dance lessons with Maggie Domingo.
  • 5 p.m. Fri., May 1: Concert with Jake Richardson of Dunshaughlin Co. Meath (singing, guitar and mandolin with a repertoire of Irish traditional songs)
  • 5 p.m. Sat., May 2: Stephen & Abby concert with special guest. Raglan Road says "Stephen (vocals, guitar) & Abby (vocals, fiddle) of Kilmurry Co. Clare are one of the finest traditional Irish music duos around!"
  • Noon Sun., May 3: Stephen & Abby Rollicking Raglan Brunch concert
  • 5 p.m. Sun., May 3: Live concert with Emily Jane Furlong. Raglan Road says she is "an extraordinary singer- entertainer from Wexford who captivates with her stunning voice!"

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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 (Published cancellations are noted below too.)
  • Disney After Hours: (hard ticket required; park entry at 7 p.m., event hours vary by published date and park)
    …at Magic Kingdom:
    • May 5 & 11 (cancelled), 18 & 25
    …at Disney's Animal Kingdom
    • May 2, 9 & 16 (cancelled), 19 & 26
  • Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic: (Eligible Member reservations required for wristband entry)
    • Magic Kingdom: April 28 (cancelled)
    • Epcot: May 4 (cancelled) & June 29, 2020
      General Member Registration has been postponed with further details to be announced
    • Disney's Typhoon Lagoon: July 27 & August 10, 2020
      Registration has been postponed with further details to be announced.
    • 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)
    • May 1, 8, & 14 (cancelled), 22, 29
    • June 5, 12, 19, 26 & 29
    • July 6 & 10
  • Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – Scheduled through June 1, 2020
  • "Drawn to Life" (by Cirque du Soleil and Disney)previews postponed: originally scheduled March 20, 2020, premiere April 17, 2020
    — Tickets are available for shows starting June 2, 2020
  • Dapper Day – Spring Weekend (unofficial events) May 1 to 3, 2020 (cancelled)
  • Gay DayS #RedShirtDays (unofficial events) – June 4 to 7, 2020 (cancelled)
    Replaced event with "Gay Days Halloween at Margaritaville," October 27 to November 22, 2020.
  • Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party – 7 p.m. to Midnight – Ticketed Magic Kingdom Events
    • August 13, 18, 21, 25 & 28
    • September 1, 4, 7, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27 & 29
    • October 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29 & 31
    • November 1
  • Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend – November 5 to 8, 2020
  • Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic – November 6 to 7, 2020
  • Dapper Day – Fall Weekend (unofficial events) November 20 to 22, 2020
  • D23 Destination D: Fantastic Worlds – November 20 to 22, 2020

2021 Resort Events
  • Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – January 6-10, 2021
  • More events coming soon!

Refurbishments and Attraction Closures

Until further notice, all four theme parks, Disney Hotels, both Disney Water Parks, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and Disney Springs locations are closed. Walt Disney World Golf remains open for regular golf and footgolf operations. The remaining information below was current as of March 10, 2020.

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
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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 May 26, 2020
    • 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 is now open 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 reopened as the Mickey Shorts Theater on March 4, 2020.
  • The Great Movie Ride – Permanently closed August 13, 2017.
    The Chinese Theatre reopened as Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway on March 4, 2020.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
  • Kali River Rapids – closed for seasonal refurbishment January 6, 2020 through late March 2020. FastPass+ reservations are available for adventures starting March 22, 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 April 29, 2020.
Disney Water Parks
  • Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park no known refurbishments scheduled
  • Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is closed for seasonal refurbishment during the winter
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 collaboration with Disney, "Drawn to Life," previews postponed (originally: 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 later in 2020.
  • Disney's Art of Animation Resort – The Big Blue Pool will close for refurbishment beginning in approximately Fall 2020.
  • Disney's All-Star Music Resort – The Calypso Pool will be closed for refurbishment from mid-September 2020 through mid-December 2020.
Walt Disney World Golf
  • No known closures.

Current Discounts and Promotions (Note: Some Offers may be suspended due to COVID-19 Pandemic)

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.

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.

Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

Through May 21, save up to 20% on campsite stays Sundays through Thursday nights between March 29 and May 21.

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 July 31, 2020 (as extended), 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. Note, the U.K. page has not been updated since December 2019.

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

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  1. By wdwchuck

    I watched Happily Ever After as part of your Views Around the World section and I was able to see a lot of cool stuff I normally don't see. And then I thought about not having to walk out of the park in the sea of people and get on the third jam packed bus and I thought, this Zoom life ain't that bad.

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