Walt Disney World Resort Update for May 31, 2023

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for May 31, 2023

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 Writer's Note, News & Views

Memorial Day Weekend seems to have turned out rather quiet over at Walt Disney World Resort based on reports and friends, and, indeed, there was really very little traffic on the roads in the vicinity. It was a quiet week for news that impacts visits to the resort or its future, though Disney finally shared the discounts and experiences that will be available to Annual Passholders during the V.I.Passholder Days that start today and run through June 30 (details in the This & That & Reminders section below).

Views of Walt Disney World Golf

Back in February 2018, Walt Disney World Golf debuted the sport of footgolf at Disney's Oak Trail Golf Course, a nine-hole walking course fairly close to Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Disney's Polynesian Resort. I was invited as a member of the media and reported on it in our Walt Disney World Resort Update for February 27, 2018. Guests can play footgolf on the Oak Trail Course on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Traditional golf is also available on the same course, as well as the three other courses (although the Magnolia course reimagination currently has it limited to 14 holes).

Footgolf is a hybrid sport, combining the skills of soccer, with the etiquette of golf. Footgolf has expanded internationally since the sport held its first World Cup in Hungary in 2012, when 79 athletes from eight countries participated. Right now through June 6, Walt Disney World Golf and the neighboring Evermore Orlando Resort are co-hosting the 4th FIFG FootGolf World Cup with 1,000 players from nearly 40 different countries, competing in three categories (men, senior men, and women’s divisions) in two different formats (individual stroke play and team match play). The 18 hole Disney’s Palm Golf Course is staging FIFG FootGolf World Cup events at Walt Disney World Golf, having last year played host to the U.S. FootGolf Open, the Jansen Cup, and the Pacific Trophy.

"Our FootGolf offering here [at Walt Disney World Golf] has served as a new gateway to our facilities," said Alex Forsyth, Director of Sales and Marketing for Walt Disney World Golf operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management. "We've seen families and amateur players regularly visit Disney's Oak Trail Golf Course to play FootGolf, and now they can come and watch the world's very best in action."

Before the FIFG FootGolf World Cup began over the weekend, Walt Disney World Golf invited me to a brief media event at Disney's Oak Trail Course. The brief overview video I posted on MousePlanet's Instagram is embedded below.


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Disney's Magnolia, Palm, and Oak Trail Golf Courses are located just to the west of Disney's Grand Floridian and Polynesian Village Resorts. Walt Disney World Golf opened with the Resort in 1971. The Lake Buena Vista Course is located at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort.

Disney's Oak Trail Course is a 9 hole walking course where guests can play footgolf on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays. Traditional golf is also available..

Footgolf is played with a standard-size soccer ball.

Walt Disney World Golf also has a driving range that faces the site of the future Disney Vacation Club tower at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort.

Closer to Floridian Way, the extent of the ongoing construction at the future DVC tower at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort is in full view.

The Walt Disney World Golf clubhouse features a Mickey Mouse-themed golf cart out front.

Walt Disney World Golf is operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management.

Walt Disney World Golf courses surround the former Disney Golf Resort (also formerly known as the Disney Inn) which is now Shades of Green, owned and operated by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The driving entrance to Shades of Green is also the entrance to Walt Disney World Golf courses (except the Lake Buena Vista Course which is located at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort). Only guests of Shades of Green and those visiting the golf courses and pro shop are permitted to pass the security gate past this entrance monument.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

This & That & Reminders…

…Following up on the last couple of weeks of teasing by The Passholder Buzz on the My Disney Experience app that "V.I.Passholder Days" are coming to Walt Disney World Resort in June, we now have details of the special offers and experiences available starting today, May 31, and continuing through June 30, 2023 (in some cases, while supplies last):

  • The new complimentary Passholder magnet featuring Figment will be available daily at Creations Shop at EPCOT from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily, while supplies last. There is no virtual queue for this one; Passholders must show photo ID and have the cast member at the distribution spot tap their annual pass (card, Magic Band, Magic Band+, or Disney MagicMobile on a supported device). Assuming there will be an actual physical queue, look for the door marked with the magnet distribution signs for where to line up.
  • Passholder discounts for food and beverage (where offered at all) will increase from 10% to 20% across the property; during this time only, Passholders will also receive 20% off food and nonalcoholic beverages at 15 select Outdoor Kitchens at EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival. The Passholder Buzz lists those included, and they go a bit beyond the Festival kiosks to include Refreshment Port, Refreshment Outpost, and The Land Cart. If you know which locations are not run by Disney itself (but, rather its operating participants), those are the ones that are not offering discounts.
  • Passholder discounts for merchandise (where offered at all, usual exclusions apply) will increase from 20% to 30% across the property.
  • Special Disney PhotoPass offerings are available at Disney's Animal Kingdom featuring WALL-E and EVE by Discovery River near the Tree of Life, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily; Figment-inspired props are available for photo poses near the fountains at Imagination pavilion from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The photos, however, are only available if you also purchase the photo downloads benefit or purchase the individual photos.

Disney Parks Blog previewed the Pride food and beverage offerings coming to Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort during Pride Month. Most Walt Disney World offerings are scheduled to be available June 1 to 30, but some have less scheduled availability. Disneyland is offering a tumbler and some sippers starting on particular dates and subject to however long supplies last.

Disney Parks Blog also provided a broader look at new and returning summer "best bites" around Walt Disney World Resort.

…And what's a Disney Parks food discussion without churros? Well, it turns out, June 6th is National Churros day, and, guess what, Disney Parks have lots of options around the globe, including around Walt Disney World Resort, with details published by Disney Parks Blog.

…World Princess Week will be August 20 through 26, 2023. Walt Disney World will host one of its biggest wish-granting events ever with "Once Upon A Wish Party," a special event just for wish families. The party "will be a full day affair filled with enchanting surprises, inspiration and adventures fit for a hero or heroine," according to Disney Parks Blog. "Disney is the largest wish granter in the world, and over our more than 40-year relationship, we’ve granted some pretty incredible wishes together," said Leslie Motter, Make-A-Wish America President and CEO. "Whatever Disney does, they go all out. I can’t wait to see the new happy memories...attending wish families will be able to make at what is sure to be an unforgettable event."

…REMINDER: Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic details and registration for the remaining complimentary events at Walt Disney World Resort are posted on this page of the DVC website. Early registration occurs once for each park hosting a Moonlight Magic Event, where DVC members with Disney Resort hotel reservations falling on the day of an event may register for the event; General registration takes place on specified dates for each event. The remaining complimentary but registration required after-hours events in the parks for members and their guests are:

  • Disney's Animal Kingdom – July 11, August 2
    – Early registration will be on June 14, 2023. Resort reservations with party size finalized prior to 11:59 p.m. (Eastern) on June 11, 2023.
    – General registration (pending availability) opens June 21 for the July 11 event, and July 19 for the August 2 event.
  • Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park – August 23. General registration will be August 9(pending availability) for the August 23 event(early registration has closed).
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios – September 13. General registration is August 31 (early registration has closed).

For "early registration," an eligible DVC member must have resort reservations at a Disney-owned-and-operated hotel at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida or at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort—with party size modifications finalized prior to the respective deadlines. Eligible DVC members are those who are eligible for member extras. Any eligible DVC member (regardless of hotel reservation status) may attempt to register for an event during "general registration" pending availability. Members can register up to a party size of five (including the member) or, when registering during the early registration period, up to the number of guests on the resort reservation finalized by the applicable deadline. Modifications to a hotel reservation's party size after the deadline will not change the party size for the event. Children under age 3 do not need to be registered for the event.

For all of these DVC events, "eligible" member generally means that the member bought their points directly from Disney rather than a third-party resale.

…REMINDER: Several of the Disney Springs restaurants asked us to remind you that they can host graduation celebrations for both locals and visitors. Here are the highlights they asked us to share with you (and, yes, reservations are strongly recommended for each with each restaurant name below being a link to further information):

Maria and Enzo’s
Celebrate in style with Maria and Enzo’s at Disney Springs, set in a unique dining space with 50-foot ceilings and beautiful views of Lake Buena Vista. The elegant Italian trattoria serves authentic Sicilian-inspired cuisine, ranging from homemade pastas, fresh fish, steaks, desserts and coffees that the entire family will enjoy, plus a full bar providing hand-crafted cocktails and rare Italian wines.

Enzo’s Hideaway
For a unique speakeasy experience with Prohibition-era cocktails and hearty Roman-style dishes, enjoy a hospitable and lively dining experience at Enzo’s Hideaway. Offering chef-curated entrees, including handmade pasta, fresh fish, chicken, steaks and desserts, plus assistance in customizing the right event for its guests, Enzo’s Hideaway is a perfect spot for graduation celebrations.

Morimoto Asia
Toast to success at Morimoto Asia, the pan-Asian destination serving mouth-watering traditions such as Peking duck carving, dim sum, savory ramens and more. Guests can enjoy a customized event in the restaurant’s private dining spaces or celebratory dinner in the main dining room with views of the glass-encased kitchen, giving guests a behind-the-scenes look at the culinary action.

Jaleo Disney Springs
Visit Jaleo Disney Springs for a festive and memorable graduation celebration amidst a vibrant atmosphere, embodying the spirit of España. Enjoy an incredibly impressive lunch-and-dinner menu that showcases the rich, regional diversity of traditional and contemporary Spanish cuisine. This festive eatery features an extensive variety of tapas—the popular, shared plates of Spain—authentic paellas cooked over a wood-fired pit, cheeses, salads and other signature specialties sure to please. A premier selection of sangrias, Spanish wines and sherries is also available.

…DISCOUNT REMINDER: About a mile and a half down the road from Walt Disney World Resort, the newly renovated and rebranded Delta Orlando Hotels at Celebration (formerly Grand Orlando Resort), completed a $35 million renovation and also held a ribbon cutting earlier this month. The newly renovated guestrooms are divided across the hotel's 20-acre property in six buildings, each renamed with tropical references which help create the sense of a serene vacation. In addition to the new rooms, guests can enjoy pools, a waterfall and slide, two tennis courts and restaurants ranging from grab and go to full-service at this official Walt Disney World Good Neighbor Hotel which offers complimentary scheduled transportation to Disney Parks as well as Universal Orlando Resort. The hotel is inviting guests to celebrate its renovations by offering 15% off rates with the corporate code NEW. Guests can book their rooms by visiting www.marriott.com/mcodk. For more information, visit www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/mcodk-delta-hotels-orlando-celebration/ or call (407) 396-7000.

Delta Hotels Orlando Celebration
The renovated hotel is a Walt Disney World Good Neighbor Hotel located about a mile and a half off Disney property and offers scheduled transportation to the Disney Parks as well as Universal Orlando. File Photo courtesy Delta Orlando Hotels Celebration / Marriott.

The Usual Writer's Note (Updated)

Face coverings remain optional across all of Walt Disney World Resort. Remember to check this page of DisneyWorld.com for the latest requirements. It remains unlikely that the State of Florida will impose new requirements. As always, be sure to pay attention to updates to the policies around Walt Disney World Resort.

As has been true throughout the past several years, if you're traveling to or from overseas, be sure to check with the places you're visiting and traveling from or through for the latest rules. Though most requirements have been relaxed or removed, it remains important to check on and abide by the most up-to-date COVID-19 testing and vaccine requirements for entering the United States whether as a citizen, permanent resident, or visitor (and be aware of who needs a visa).

Until the recently announced 2024 policy changes go into effect, Disney Park Pass reservations continue to be required for admission to Walt Disney World theme parks in addition to a valid ticket. If your tickets have the Park Hopper option, Park Hopping only becomes available after 2 p.m. daily, and only after you have first visited the park for which you have made a reservation that day. There have been instances where Magic Kingdom has reached capacity and paused admission of Park Hoppers, as Disney reserves the right to do so at all the parks. As of April 18, 2023, Passholders are not required to make reservations to visit parks after 2 p.m. except for Magic Kingdom on Saturday and Sunday .

Speaking of Annual Passes, sales of new ones resumed April 20, 2023 (April 13 for the DVC Member Sorcerer Pass). All Passholders may continue to purchase renewals in all tiers, and, now may upgrade pass type before renewal by paying the difference in price. As Disney reserves the right to limit quantities of passes available, sales may pause at any time, so be sure to check https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/passes/ for the latest availability. Logging in to the site with existing MyDisneyExperience credentials can direct you to purchasing opportunities for Florida Residents and Disney Vacation Club Members if those details are already tied to your account.

Note Disney now has a "Courtesy" section included in its "know before you go" webpage on DisneyWorld.com which states:

Be the magic you want to see in the world. You must always remember to treat others with respect, kindness and compassion. Those who can't live up to this simple wish may be asked to leave Walt Disney World Resort.

The usual Tropical Storm season is just about here. As this week's Update is being finalized, there is a disorganized system in the Gulf of Mexico that is expected to produce some potentially significant rain later this week or into the weekend; forecasts keep its potential of forming into a named storm in the 10-20% range. As we get into June, the usual Florida daily summer thunderstorms are likely to start popping, and certainly will in July. Of course, severe weather can occur in Central Florida at anytime. When visiting, have a regular look at the weather forecasts, and be prepared. If you are driving, be extra alert.

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Resort Reservations, Ticket Advice & Special Offers

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.

The Walt Disney World Resort website lists current offers, deals, and discounts on this page.

Summer ticket offers were announced this past week — Disney has a four day/park offer for all guests, and new 3- and 4-day offers for Florida Residents.

For All Guests — 4-Park Magic Ticket for $396 (plus tax)
The $99/day per park (plus tax) tickets go on sale May 23, 2023. The 4-Park Magic Ticket includes one admission to each of the 4 Walt Disney World theme parks—Magic Kingdom park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios—for a total of 4 admissions, on 4 separate days. Limit one admission per theme park, and one theme park per day, theme park reservations are not required. Ticket is valid for theme park admission from June 1 to September 29, 2023, except blockout dates from July 1 to July 4, and September 1 to September 4, 2023, but ticket expires within 7 days of first use or on September 29, 2023, whichever occurs first. For full details, visit this page of DisneyWorld.com.

For Florida Residents — 4-Day Disney Summer Magic Ticket for $229/3-Day for $209 (plus tax)
The $58/day per park (plus tax) four day or $69.67/day per park (plus tax) three day tickets are on sale as of today. Ticket are valid starting today and through September 29, 2023, subject to these blockout dates: May 26 to May 29, 2023, July 1 to July 4, 2023, and September 1 to September 4, 2023. These tickets require theme park reservations for one theme park per day, but they do not need to be used on consecutive days, so long as they are used by September 29, 2023. For full details, including add-on options, visit this page of DisneyWorld.com.

For Florida Residents — 2-for-1 Water Park Ticket Offer
Florida Residents can enjoy Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park with a 2-Day Water Park Ticket for the price of a 1-Day Water Park Ticket: $69 plus tax, valid now through June 30, 2023. Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park is currently closed.

Discounted hotels stays are available on most nights through July 10, 2023, of 10% to 25% depending on Disney Resort hotel selected for stays between 1 and 14 nights. Details and availability are available on this page of DisneyWorld.com. There are additional offers for Passholders (up to 35%), Florida Residents (up to 30%), and everyone else (up to 25%) now posted through September 28, 2023. Scroll through the full list on this page of DisneyWorld.com.

The official Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels have a bunch of special offers available with weekday rates starting at $120/night (plus tax). These "on-property" resorts enjoy many of the same perks (though not all of them) as the Disney owned-and-operated resort hotels, and offer complimentary transportation to and from the parks. For more information and rates, visit: disneyspringshotels.com. The family owned-and-operated Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando is now officially open in this category, and, as it reaches its targeted completion this Spring, it will feature 604 rooms including 78 two-room suites, in-room amenities including 55” smart flat screen televisions, mini refrigerators, microwaves, alarm clocks with Bluetooth and charging stations, executive work spaces, and in-room safes. The Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando is within walking distance to Disney Springs and will also offer 17,000-plus square feet of meeting and event space for up to 250 people.

MousePlanet’s travel partner Get Away Today is available to help you book rooms and packages. When you book a Walt Disney World Resort Package with Get Away Today with a minimum 3-night stay at a Disney Resort Hotel plus tickets, you receive its complimentary concierge service which includes:

  • Free Price Monitoring – if a special comes out after you book, we'll automatically apply it!
  • Dining Reservation Assistance – we wake up early and snag those hard to get dining reservations so you don't have to.
  • The GAT expert team is available to you! Contact them any time for extra assistance with your vacation planning; transportation, theme park recommendations, etc.

You can get a free Walt Disney World Resort vacation quote by calling 855-GET-AWAY (and tell them MousePlanet sent you) or, you can find sample prices and submit a free quote request here.

Looking to go beyond Walt Disney World Resort when visiting Central Florida? Check out Get Away Today's Universal Orlando Resort ticket offers too.

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Only purchase Disney theme park tickets directly from Disney, an authorized seller, or a travel agency like MousePlanet travel partner Get Away Today! 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). 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.

A Further Word From Our Sponsor (For full offer details and disclaimers, visit GetAwayToday.com)

We are so looking forward to summer travel at Walt Disney World Resort this year. Summer brings longer park hours, nightly fireworks, exciting entertainment and a NEW special offer!

Walt Disney World Resort has released a 4-Day/4-Park ticket that allows guests to visit each theme park once this summer at an amazing price - roughly $150+ LESS than a regular 4-Day Base Ticket! We’re thrilled to let you know that we are selling that special ticket offer at an even lower price than Disney. No theme park reservations are required for these tickets, but there are two sets of blackout dates around the 4th of July and Labor Day.

Get a day at each Walt Disney World Resort Park for even less with huge savings on a 4-Park Magic Ticket from Get Away Today! June 1 - September 29, you can spend a day at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and save big! No theme park reservations required; blackout dates of July 1-4 and September 1-4, 2023 apply. Save even more when you book your 4-Park Magic Ticket with Get Away Today. Buy your tickets now or call the travel experts at Get Away Today at 855-GET-AWAY (and tell them that MousePlanet sent you).

For those guests who want a more leisurely vacation, you will have more time to experience the Walt Disney World Resort with our 2 Days FREE Walt Disney World tickets! Get a full week of theme park admission for the price of a five day ticket. You can find those tickets here.

There are SO many reasons to visit Walt Disney World Resort this summer, including the return of Happily Ever After, a fan-favorite firework show and nighttime spectacular and the new TRON/Lightcycle at Magic Kingdom. The EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival runs now until July 5th. You can check out Get Away Today's favorite tips for enjoying the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, and, remember that the Food and Wine Festival kicks off July 27. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is celebrating welcoming guests for 25 years, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios is home to Fantasmic!, making it the perfect place for summer nights.

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