Walt Disney World Resort Update for May 19-25, 2020

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer
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Walt Disney World Resort Update for May 19 – 25, 2020

Writer's note: Yesterday, The Walt Disney Company announced the corporate leadership reshuffling of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products following the promotion of its last Chairman, Bob Chapek, to CEO back in March. Walt Disney World Resort President Josh D'Amaro has been promoted to Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. Jeff Vahle has been named as the new President, Walt Disney World Resort.


In one of the last photos I took at the last invited media event before the parks closed, I captured this image of Josh D'Amaro riding Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway. He had invited Disney PhotoPass cast members and events team cast members that had been working during the attraction's dedication ceremony to join him for their first ride at the brand new attraction in the Chinese Theater at Disney's Hollywood Studios. March 3, 2020, File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Of more immediate consequence to Walt Disney World Resort's resumption of operations, Florida's preliminary softening of stay-at-home orders amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic this month broadened even further this week. The State of Florida now permits even more categories of business to operate with limited capacity, and restaurants may now offer socially distanced, limited-capacity indoor seating expanded to 50% of capacity from the previous cap of 25%, and outdoor, appropriately spaced seating. Local jurisdictions and individual property and business owners may, of course, continue to make choices and set policies that further limit operations beyond what the government allows.

Walt Disney World Resort's first limited foray with retail and dining reopenings begins at Disney Springs tomorrow, Wednesday, May 20, with some third party operating participants. Except for Walt Disney World Golf, the rest of the Resort, including the parks and hotels, remain closed, with the hotels now booking "next available" reservations for July 1 and beyond. Additional limited retail and dining reopenings at Disney Springs will occur as the week goes on, and Disney also announced that it plans to follow with the limited reopening of its D-Luxe Burger (mobile order), Marketplace Co-Op, and World of Disney venues starting on May 27. I will report on the new rules for visiting Disney Springs and the rest of the details we know so far below in the News.


With this week's announcement that Disney plans to open D-Luxe Burger, Marketplace Co-op, and World of Disney on May 27, as the limited reopening of Disney Springs continues after tomorrow's initial reopening of the area and several operating participants, the Update's cover photo today was taken back in September 2018, about a month before the completion and grand reveal of World of Disney's reimagining. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

I will be hosting our "Fun at Home" MousePlanet LIVE! Stream Show #7 from home, and not Disney Springs tomorrow evening, Wednesday, May 20. As I discussed in last week's Show #6 with a couple of other well-known Central Florida social media reporters, I do not plan to visit Disney Springs during this initial phase of reopening. You can hear the full discussion in the show, but, in short, as we are supposed to remain socially distanced to prevent the spread of and being personally infected by the novel coronavirus, I do not view the limited reopening as an invitation to be social. As I am sheltering alone, I would be dining alone at Disney Springs, and that is something I rarely did even before the pandemic.


Replay "Fun at Home" Show #6 from Wednesday, March 13, 2020, which includes a five minute pre-show of highlights of Show #5 with Jeffrey R. Epstein from The Walt Disney Company.

I will keep my eyes on the reports from health experts about the continued spread of COVID-19 following this next phase of statewide business reopenings. If the trend over the coming weeks shows material decline in the spread of the disease notwithstanding the number of people out and about, and Disney's rules for visiting Disney Springs (discussed below) are met by cooperative guests rather than chaos, I look forward to strolling around Disney Springs again after the initial curiosity ends and Memorial Day has passed. If you visit before I do, I invite you to contact me to share your experience; if you post about your experience on social media, be sure to include #MousePlanet as your permission and indication that you would like us to share your posts.

"Fun at Home" Show #7 is scheduled to begin live streaming tomorrow, Wednesday, March 20, 2020, at 8:30 p.m. EDT/5:30 p.m. PDT on MousePlanet.com, Facebook and Twitter. MousePlanet contributors and our special guests are ready to hear from you. We will discuss the leadership changes at Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, share a pre-recorded discussion with Give Kids the World Village, the not-for-profit organization that continues to try to help Wish families by virtual entertainment and more during the closures across Central Florida, and spend a good deal of time talking about all things Disneyland Resort this week!


You can watch the show stream LIVE on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 8:30 p.m. EDT/5:30 p.m. PDT.


A brief prerecorded pre-show will begin in the minutes just before show time to let you know we're streaming live. If you visit this page before the pre-show starts, you'll need to refresh your browser to see the stream.

During our live shows, share comments with us: @MousePlanet on Facebook, Periscope and Twitter. A replay will be available here and those places after the show too! You can share more comments on MousePad below.

One final pair of notes before the News:

  • Since our last Update, the website for Disney Villains After Hours has removed the label "No Longer Available" for events scheduled for June 12, 19, 26 & 29, 2020. We do not know if the previous marking was an error or premature, or whether the Resort now expects that the limited admission, hard ticket, after-hours event will be held on those nights. As noted before, however, Disney hotels are not accepting new room reservations for arrivals prior to July 1, 2020.
     
  • "Drawn to Life" (by Cirque du Soleil and Disney) – which was originally due to begin previews in March and premiere April 17, 2020, and previously was selling tickets for shows starting June 2 – is no longer selling tickets for shows before July 1, 2020.

News and Views

Headlines are auto-generated here

New Policies for Visiting Disney Springs With Limited Reopenings Beginning Tomorrow and Three Disney-Owned Venues Planning to Open May 27

Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort (formerly known as Downtown Disney) is essentially an open air mall that is home to over 150 shopping, dining, and entertainment venues. Early this month, the State of Florida relaxed some of its stay-at-home orders, allowing the reopening of restaurants and retail stores with 25% maximum capacity restrictions and other limitations set by state officials and other local jurisdictions. This past week, the capacity limits were raised by the state to 50%, effective yesterday, and a number of other business categories were permitted to resume operations.

Shortly after the State's initial regulatory changes in the region, Walt Disney World Resort announced it would begin a phased reopening of Disney Springs starting tomorrow, Wednesday, May 20. On May 7, Matt Simon, Vice President, Disney Springs, posted on Disney Parks Blog that unspecified retail stores and restaurants owned by third-party operating participants will open with limitations on capacity, parking, and operating hours, and new and enhanced safety measures, "including increased cleaning procedures, the use of appropriate face coverings by both cast members and guests, limited-contact guest services and additional safety training for cast members."

On Saturday, Matt Simon posted more details on Disney Parks Blog along with news that on May 27, three Disney owned and operated venues at Disney Springs plan to open as well: World of Disney, Marketplace Co-Op, and D-Luxe Burger (mobile order).


A summary of the new policies effecting guests is presented in this video posted by Disney Springs. The new policies implemented at Disney Springs likely will form some of the template for the phased reopening of the rest of Walt Disney World Resort, if and when conditions permit. Video ©Disney.

Matt Simon's post says, in relevant part:

Based on applicable government requirements, as well as guidance from health authorities such as the CDC and appropriate government agencies, we are implementing a number of new health and safety measures and operational changes. Rest assured, there is plenty of magic awaiting you at Disney Springs—it just may feel a bit different than before.

The major points guests planning to visit Disney Springs need to know before they go during its initial reopening are:

  • Limited Parking – Only self-parking in Orange and Lime Garages. All surface lots will be closed; access to Grapefruit Garage will be restricted.
  • Limited Entrances – Only four access points will be open to Disney Springs: Orange and Lime Garages, Hotel Plaza Boulevard pedestrian bridge, and Ride Share location in the Marketplace lot. (A Disney Springs FAQ says the bus loop near Town Center will also be an access point.)
  • Required Face Coverings – Guests 3 years of age and older, all cast members and third-party operating-participant employees must wear appropriate face covering over their nose and mouth at all times except when sitting at a dining table. Guests must bring an ample supply of face coverings before they arrive.
  • Required Temperature Screening – All guests arriving at Disney Springs will be screened and anyone displaying a temperature of 100.4 degrees or above will be directed to re-screening and assistance; guests that still measure 100.4 degrees or higher and their party will be denied entry. Disney encourages guests to check the temperatures of their entire party before leaving home as extra precaution.
  • Physical Distancing and Capacity Measures – Guest capacity will be limited both on the property and within each operating venue to maintain appropriate physical distancing. Ground markings will be added where queues are needed and additional physical barriers will be added in select places.
  • Increased Cleaning and Disinfection – High traffic areas (like elevators, handrails, handles, restrooms and more) will be treated regularly and hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer will be available. Guests are encouraged to wash and/or sanitize hands frequently.
  • Cashless Transactions Encouraged – Debit cards, credit cards, Disney gift cards, and, especially contactless payment options are encouraged. Guests may use contactless payment options or cash to purchase Disney gift cards at the Welcome Center and some merchandise locations to keep guest contact with cash minimized.


Guests will find new policies in effect at Disney Springs tomorrow when it begins its limited reopening.

Matt Simon further explains:

Everything we're doing during this unprecedented time is in service of our guests, our cast members and our third-party operating participants, who will also be following these new guidelines in their locations. We are constantly monitoring conditions and best practices, and we continue to learn every day from health and government authorities. As a result, our operational changes and safety measures may change from time to time as circumstances evolve. We want to deliver all the Disney magic you know and love with safety, as always, our top priority.
I understand this is a great deal of change to absorb, and I speak for all of us at Walt Disney World in thanking you for your cooperation and patience during this initial phase. Today's world is different, and it's going to require a shared responsibility, with everyone doing their part.

Disney directs guests to DisneySprings.com/reopening for the latest information on an on-going basis. The most important addition there and to other Walt Disney World Resort webpages is the new express "COVID-19 Warning" which reminds guests of the inherent risk of exposure to the disease in places where people are present and says that all guests visiting Disney Springs "voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19."


DisneySprings.com/reopening and other pages on DisneyWorld.com now contain an express "COVID-19 Warning." Screenshot Captured May 19, 2020.

As of 1 p.m. (EDT) DisneySprings.com/reopening lists third party retail and dining locations planning to open with Disney Springs. As of publication of this Update, there is no official list of venues that expect to open on May 20 or during this initial phase. We believe some third party retail will open with Disney Springs. From press releases we have received, official social media posts by restaurants, and a search of OpenTable.com seating availability, we are aware of the following restaurants that plan to open on May 20 and a few more on May 22, each with limited hours and capacity and other new precautions:

May 20: Wine Bar George, Planet Hollywood, Earl of Sandwich, Chicken Guy!, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, Frontera Cocina, STK Orlando, The Boathouse, Paradiso 37
May 22: Morimoto Asia and Morimoto Asia Street Food, Pizza Ponte, Vivoli il Gelato

Disney Springs has also posted a Frequently Asked Questions webpage which clarifies a few additional points guests may want to be aware of:

  • Standalone bars will not reopen at this time
  • Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique remains temporarily closed
  • Drawn to Life by Cirque du Soleil & Disney has not yet scheduled a premiere date. (We noted elsewhere that tickets are available for shows starting July 1 at this time.)
  • If parking garages say they are closed, Disney Springs has reached capacity and guests may not park elsewhere and visit
  • Dining reservations do not guarantee that guests will be able to visit Disney Springs: if parking is full, guests may not park and visit Disney Springs, but dining guarantee charges will be waived if Disney Springs is closed due to capacity
  • Entertainment venues, including The VOID, Splitsville, and NBA Experience remain temporarily closed
  • Disney Springs is not implementing a bag check with the temperature screenings

We include the restaurant's various social media posts below. We provided more details for Wine Bar George last week, and our friends at Raglan Road continue to provide news on their website and live entertainment from Ireland on their Facebook page.

Wolfgang Puck

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

We look to forward welcoming you back to @wpbgorlando

A post shared by Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill (@wpbgorlando) on

Frontera Cocina

Patina Restaurant Group

The operator of several venues at Disney Springs announced several reopenings planned for May 22.

The Rest of Walt Disney World Resort Remains Mostly Closed

All four theme parks at Walt Disney World are closed, as are all Disney-owned resort hotels, 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. Disney Springs also remains closed as of this posting, and a pop-up box on the My Disney Experience reiterated just that fact this weekend in light of the first easing of stay-at-home orders in Florida. Closures remain 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 July 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/

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 were closed. It will begin a phased reopening of some of the third party participant locations operating with limited capacity on May 20, 2020, and three Disney owned and operating venues plan to open May 27. Details are above.

Other venues at Disney Springs remain closed.

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 previously 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. The page where the offer was posted https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/special-offers/dining-resort-stay-offer/ was no longer accessible last night. Call (407) 939-4251 if you still have questions about this offer. 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 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, 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 31, 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 promotional offers information from Hyatt Place Orlando/Lake Buena Vista which is now included in the Discounts section below. 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
 Transportation

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 and related furloughs.

Epcot Festivals News & Calendar

Obviously, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is temporarily suspended until further notice. This section remains in the Update this week, but with the Resort now not taking hotel reservations until July 1, at the earliest, it is looking unlikely that we will get to enjoy the balance of the Festival this Spring. The subsequent seasonal Festivals are also included in this space.

 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.


The new Remy topiary stands among the hedges along World Showcase Promenade at France pavilion.


Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy topiaries are in the planter box in the remaining plaza at the center of Future World that is not surrounded by construction walls, and share a garden with nods to their construction surroundings.


The Donald Duck topiary (with Spike buzzing about) stands in World Showcase Plaza, along with Daisy, Huey, Dewey, and Louie.


The Tinker Bell topiary has an updated look this year and it stands in a fairy garden near the band gazebo toward the back of the United Kingdom pavilion.

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).


The Goodness Garden Butterfly House is located near the butterfly topiary outside The Land pavilion in Future World West.


Health Full Trail is located along the walkway between Imagination pavilion and World Showcase.


Tea Garden tours highlight plantings and traditions of tea on display around the United Kingdom pavilion.

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.


The Honey Bee-stro Garden decorates the area near The Honey Bee-stro outdoor kitchen along the walkway from World Showcase to Future World West.


Honey-Peach Freeze is available in a Souvenir Spike the Bee Sipper Cup (while supplies last).


A Spike the Bee reusable spork is available from Outdoor Kitchens this year as well ($2.50 plus tax).


As usual, spring merchandise, including Flower & Garden Festival exclusives, are available at Mouse Gear and at other locations around the park.

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, but, obviously, we are now past that date. We have removed scheduled performers through May 14 from our calendar and will remove the remainder by the end of this week. 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, with social media and Orlando Sentinel buzzing about photos of the empty parks captured by a pilot/photographer reportedly following FAA rules for traveling through the "TFR area" (Temporary Flight Restriction area) that has been in place at certain lower altitudes over parts of Walt Disney World Resort since after the events of 9/11/2001, I have selected videos I shot in 2010 and 2012 when I spotted parts of the Resort out the window of commercial flights into and out of Orlando International Airport. I also share a view of the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade at Magic Kingdom from January 2011.


Flying from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) on United Airlines Flight 110 on September 14, 2010, I spotted Walt Disney World from the plane and captured this aerial video (which was edited and enhanced in iMovie '09). With annotations turned on, some of the major landmarks are labeled as well. Video by Alan S. Dalinka (Music: YouTube Audio Swap).


Flying aboard United Airlines Flight 516 from ORD to MCO on April 24, 2012, I spotted Disney's Contemporary Resort in the distance. With decent optical zoom, this video includes the Magic Kingdom area, as well as Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and even Disney's Animal Kingdom off in the distance. Video by Alan S. Dalinka (Music: Kevin MacLeod).


From Main Street U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom, enjoy the full Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade from January 2, 2011. Video by Alan S. Dalinka.

This and That…

…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 past week, lots of the #DisneyMagicMoments posts celebrated the fact that the calendar for 2020 is now halfway to Halloween. Our Disneyland Resort Update celebrated it yesterday too. Of course, with the first Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party hard ticket event at Magic Kingdom scheduled for August 13, 2020, we are even closer than that to the Resort's scheduled nearly three month celebration of Halloween.


Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is scheduled on select nights from August 13 to November 1, 2020. File photo from August 16, 2019, by Alan S. Dalinka.

…If you stayed to the end of our "Fun at Home" Show #6, you heard MousePlanet Contributor Chris Barry share his story of meeting Jim Henson just before he passed away while working on Muppets projects. If you haven't, jump back up to the Writer's Note and watch! This past week was also the 29th anniversary of the opening of MuppetVision 3D at what is now Disney's Hollywood Studios. It was Jim Henson's last completed Muppet's project.

…And, for those looking for more dishes to make in the kitchen, the 50's Prime Time Café at Disney's Hollywood Studios shared its Peanut Butter & Jelly Milk Shake recipe this week.

…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

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 operational shutdown, our Disney Springs reporting has been incorporated with the rest of the resort information above. Preliminary reopenings of third party participants are scheduled to begin on May 20, and three Disney owned locations are scheduled to begin to reopen on May 27. New rules and capacity limits and related policies will apply and we will move them to this section in coming weeks.

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

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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 25 (cancelled)
    …at Disney's Animal Kingdom
    • May 19 & 26 (cancelled)
  • Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic: (Eligible Member reservations required for wristband entry)
    • Epcot: 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 22 & 29; June 5 (cancelled)
    • June 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 July 1, 2020, but no premiere date announced
  • 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, and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex are closed. Disney Springs locations are closed, though some third party participant locations will open with attendance capacity limits starting May 20, 2020. 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.
Epcot
  • 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 Good Neighbor Hotel Hyatt Place Orlando/Lake Buena Vista

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 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 Residents: 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 Members 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.
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.


Disney Good Neighbor Hotel Hyatt Place Orlando/Lake Buena Vista

U.S. military and veterans: 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 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.

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.


Disney Good Neighbor Hotel Hyatt Place Orlando/Lake Buena Vista

Florida Residents: 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.

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.


Disney Good Neighbor Hotel Hyatt Place Orlando/Lake Buena Vista

Canadian Residents: 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.

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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