Walt Disney World Resort Update for September 1 - 8, 2020

by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer
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Walt Disney World Resort Update for September 1 - 8, 2020

Halloween season, COVID-style

In a departure from long-standing policy, Walt Disney World will allow adults to wear full Halloween costumes during regular park hours when the Halloween season officially kicks off at the Magic Kingdom on September 15.


The Mickey Mouse pumpkins will return to Main Street, U.S.A. this year when the Magic Kingdom kicks off Halloween season on September 15. MousePlanet file photo.

This announcement came last week at Disney unveiled plans for this nontraditional Halloween celebration, in a year which has seen all of the Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween parties canceled due to COVID-19. Visitors to the Magic Kingdom from September 15 through Halloween will get to enjoy several new offerings designed for maximum social distancing and safe spooky fun.

Main Street, U.S.A. will of course be decorated for the season with the familiar glowing pumpkin wreaths all around. Disney is also adding new PhotoPass locations around the park, where visitors can pose for photos against a variety of themed backdrops.

While the Boo-to-You parade is on hiatus for 2020, Mickey and friends will appear in a Halloween-themed cavalcade down Main Street. Chip and Dale will show off their Halloween costumes at a Frontierland location, and other characters may take a ride on the horse-drawn trolley throughout the day.


It may not be Halloween as usual this year, but we hope to still see seasonal decorations like this display at The Land. MousePlanet file photo.

Halloween treats will be on offer at all four theme parks, with Halloween cupcakes at EPCOT and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, along with frozen apple cider at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The Halloween merchandise has already hit Walt Disney World resort shops, with several new collections based on the Haunted Mansion, Nightmare Before Christmas and Hocus Pocus. For those who can't get to the theme parks, a smaller collection of this merchandise is available on the Shop Disney website.

Disney delays reopening of Polynesian resort, plans renovation


The Great Ceremonial House at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort is slated for another refurbishment. MousePlanet file photo.

Visitors who were hoping to stay at Disney's Polynesian resort whenever it eventually reopened later this year are going to have to look elsewhere for a room. Disney confirmed to the Orlando Sentinel on Monday that the Polynesian will remain closed until Summer, 2021, as the company begins a refurbishment of the Great Ceremonial House and guest rooms in the hotel portion of the property. The Sentinel reports the resort's new decor scheme will reflect the colors, patterns and textures from the Disney animated feature "Moana."

This renovation is not expected to impact the Disney Vacation Club units at the property, which have already reopened.


The Bora Bora bungalows at Disney's Polynesian resort will not be affected by the planned refurbishment of the hotel property. MousePlanet file photo.

Swan and Dolphin Resort debuts new culinary event; resort expansion reaches milestone

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort announced last week a new fall culinary event starting Saturday, September 19. Called the Sip, Savor and Stay Saturdays, the event is the resort's COVID-era adaptation of its popular Food & Wine Classic.


The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort will debut a new food and wine festival for 2020. MousePlanet file photo.

Each of the five Saturday night events will have a unique theme, highlighting some of the most popular elements of the Food & Wine Classic. The resort promises, "each event will feature an intimate atmosphere and implement the latest in responsible food delivery safety measures and social distancing procedures to create an entertaining, unforgettable, mouthwatering experience." The schedule is as follows:  

  • Sept. 19: Bubbles Lounge –  A lounge experience showcasing the finest in sparkling beverages with perfectly paired small bites to complete the experience. Taste the base varietals of traditional Champagne along with various sparkling wine styles from around the world.
  • Sept. 26: Beer Garden –  A celebration of hops with a variety of ales, lagers, and pilsners served alongside pub favorites.   
  • Oct. 3: Italian Wines & Bites –  A delicious trip for guests’ taste buds across the Atlantic showcasing top Italian wines varietals from across the country’s famed regions from Sicily to Tuscany to Piedmont.   
  • Oct. 10: Smokin’ D’s Bourbon, Beer, & BBQ – A selection of BBQ favorites handcrafted by the resort’s executive chef Dan Herman along with the best in bourbon and beer samplings. Smokin’ D’s menu items are annual favorites at Food & Wine Classic and only offered at the resort select times each year.
  • Oct. 17: Food & Wine Classic: Limited Edition –  A new Food & Wine Classic experience, this event features fan favorites from the well-known Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic in a more intimate setting.
  • Oct. 24: Oktoberfest Biergarten –  An Oktoberfest party with German-themed music and tastings alongside a full selection of brews.

Tickets are limited to just 100 people per event, and are available only with a hotel reservation at the Swan and Dolphin resort. Packages start at $295 for two adults. The October 17 Food & Wine Classic: Limited Edition will be held in a larger venue and is limited to 200 guests. Packages for this event start at $395 for two.

Visit www.SwanDolphin.com for more information or to book a package.

 The Swan and Dolphin Resort also commemorated a milestone last week during the "topping off" ceremony for the new 14-story tower, which will be known as the Walt Disney World Swan Reserve. The new hotel tower will feature 349 guest rooms plus 22,000 square feet of meeting and event space. The Walt Disney World Swan Reserve is on schedule to open in summer 2021


The new Walt Disney World Swan Reserve under construction in Orlando last week commemorating its "topping off" milestone. Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort.


An artist concept of the completed Walt Disney World Swan Reserve. Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort.

Walt Disney World Resort $100 Booking Bonus

Book your Walt Disney World Resort vacation* with our partner, Get Away Today by September 15, 2020 for travel now through September 26, 2021, and you'll get a $100 Booking Bonus from Get Away Today! Your exclusive booking bonus includes a $50 Disney Gift Card for your trip + a $50 Get Away Today credit for future travel valid for any of our destinations.


When you're ready to return to the Magic Kingdom, our partners at Get Away Today are ready to help you get there. MousePlanet file photo.

Plus, when you book with Get Away Today, you'll receive all of the perks that come standard with your Walt Disney World Resort package and these bonuses:

  • Complimentary Concierge Services, including detailed planning assistance. A certified Disney Travel Agent is more valuable now than ever before as there have been many changes to the Park experience.
  • Complimentary Price Monitoring. If Disney releases a discount or special that can be applied to your reservation, we will do so automatically! 

See Sample Package Prices:

Sample Package Dates: October 12-17, 2020 

  • Travelers: Two Adults and Two Children (ages 3-9)
  • Hotel: Disney's Pop Century Resort (Value Resort)
  • Tickets: 4-Day Base Walt Disney World Resort Tickets 

Total cost: $2,958 ($740 per person)

Sample Package Dates: November 15-20, 2020

  • Travelers: Two Adults and Three Children (ages 3-9)
  • Hotel: Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort (Moderate Resort)
  • Tickets: 4-Day Base Walt Disney World Resort Tickets

Total cost: $3,934 ($787 per person)

Get your FREE quote by calling 855-GET-AWAY and mention MousePlanet when booking.

*Walt Disney World Resort vacation must include 4-night or longer Disney Resort Hotel and at least two adult 3-day theme park tickets to qualify for $100 Booking Bonus and complimentary concierge service. The $100 Booking Bonus is funded by and exclusive to Get Away Today.

Join us Wednesday for MousePlanet LIVE!

The MousePlanet LIVE! "Fun at Home" Show #22 starts Wednesday, September 2, at 8:30 p.m. Eastern/5:30 p.m. Pacific.

Join us for another episode of our "MousePlanet LIVE! Jibe Time" game show this week. Each round, our players try to have their answers to our original, rather hypothetical, fill-in-the-blank questions jibe with the answers of our panelists comprised of our MousePlanet regulars and other guests. Your answers during the LIVE show can help the players score points too! Type them in the comments (along with the question number you are answering), and see them shown on all our streaming platforms: Facebook, YouTube and Periscope/Twitter.! If your answers jibe with a player, that player gets a point that counts in the score. Our prizes, unfortunately, have no retail value, but there are bragging rights!

As usual, we'll also cover Disney Parks news that breaks between our regular publication schedule and showtime, and our MousePlanet Contributors will talk all things Disney around our game play. Like all of our shows, a replay will be available here after the show.

"Fun at Home" Show #22 begins streaming LIVE on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. Eastern/5:30 Pacific. A brief pre-show countdown will begin a few minutes before showtime. You may need to reload this page to see the video if you are here before showtime. You can also view this show by following @MousePlanet on Facebook or Twitter/Periscope.

A replay will be available here after the show.

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Resorts Availability, Ticket Advice & Special Offer

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.

With Disney now accepting Resort Hotel reservations for 2020 and 2021, our travel partner Get Away Today is available to help you book rooms and packages. Disney has resumed new park ticket sales, but, at present and for the foreseeable future, requires guests to use the Disney Parks Pass System to reserve dates for guest park visits in addition to having a valid admission.

As always, we remind our readers that 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. Historically, 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. When available, only purchase Disney theme park tickets directly from Disney, an authorized seller, or a travel agency like MousePlanet travel partner Get Away Today.

Get Away Today Logo

When you book your Walt Disney World Resort vacation* with Get Away Today for travel through September 26, 2021, you'll get a $100 Booking Bonus! Your booking bonus includes a $50 Disney Gift Card for your trip + a $50 Get Away Today credit for future travel valid for any of our destinations.

Plus, when you book with Get Away Today, you'll receive all of the perks that come standard with your Walt Disney World® Resort package and these bonuses:

  • Complimentary Concierge Services, including detailed planning assistance. A certified Disney Travel Agent is more valuable now than ever before as there have been many changes to the Park experience.
  • Complimentary Price Monitoring. If Disney releases a discount or special that can be applied to your reservation, we will do so automatically!

*Walt Disney World Resort vacation must include 2-night or longer Disney Resort Hotel and at least two theme park tickets to qualify for $100 Booking Bonus and complimentary concierge service.

You can get a vacation quote from Get Away Today here.


Get a vacation quote from Get Away Today.

Checkout Get Away Today's Universal Orlando Resort ticket offers too.