Walt Disney World Resort Update for August 29, 2023by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer
Walt Disney World Resort Update for August 29, 2023
Writer's Note, News & Views
The big news impacting Walt Disney World Resort this week is Tropical Storm Idalia, which is currently in the Gulf of Mexico off of the Yucatan Peninsula heading northerly across the warm gulf waters towards Florida, and forecast to continue across Florida, and then up the Eastern Seaboard. As of this posting, while the center of the storm is forecast to stay some distance to the west and then north of the Walt Disney World Resort area, tropical storm force winds are likely at and around the area into Wednesday along with possible tornados. The current forecast is for heavier impact around Tampa than Orlando, but remember that storm forecasts change and the storms don't always behave as predicted.
If you're visiting or plan to visit Walt Disney World Resort on Wednesday, keep an eye on the DisneyWorld.com Weather Updates page, which posts the latest operating changes caused by the storm. If you're flying to the region, be sure to double-check your airline's operational changes. So far, Disney has yet to announce operational changes, but that may not be the case by the time you read this.
As of 8:00 p.m. EDT on August 28, 2023, Walt Disney World reports no operational changes due to Tropical Storm Idalia. Keep an eye on https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/experience-updates/weather-updates/ for the latest updates.
Unlike Disneyland Paris, which made a bunch of announcements about new entertainment offerings yesterday, and all the news Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix had to share from California yesterday in the Disneyland Update and about the new menu coming to that resort's new Tiana's Palace dining venue, it was another quiet week for parks and resorts news for Walt Disney World Resort.
Central Florida has not been left out of all the Disney Parks news for the week, though. Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 30, at 11 a.m. EDT, Disney Cruise Line will present the grand reveal of the next ship scheduled to enter service, Disney Treasure. DCL dropped a number of clues this past week about upcoming sixth ship in the fleet, a sister ship to Disney Wish that began its voyages last year from Disney's Port Canaveral Terminal. As DCL announced on Disney Parks Blog earlier this month, you can stream along with "Unlocking the Disney Treasure: Adventure Awaits Onboard Disney’s Newest Ship" as it debuts tomorrow and, if technology cooperates as the storm passes, we'll start sharing the details too.
Post-publication update: the grand reveal has been postponed until September 5 due to the impact of Hurricane Idalia on Central Florida.
Disney Cruise Line provided a number of clues this past week about the offerings coming to its next ship, "Disney Treasure," and more details will be revealed on
Wednesday, August 30, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern September 5, 2023. (Disclosure: Disney provided MousePlanet with this "Treasure" box and some other clues. More from us on this topic soon.) Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
For new Disney Parks news, it increasingly looks like the Destination D23 event could provide some. Disney D23 announced that it will livestream "all the magical announcements" shared on Saturday, September 9, 2023, on its DisneyD23 YouTube and Facebook pages (@DisneyD23), and at D23.com/DestinationD23. From 9:15 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. EDT, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro and "special guests" are scheduled to take the stage at Disney's Contemporary Resort to present "A Celebration of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" will feature "updates from around the world and some fun surprises along the way." I have been invited to attend in person and will provide updates on our Social Media channels to supplement whatever D23 streams.
This & That & Reminders…
…As part of its more than 40 years working arrangement with Make-A-Wish, this past week, Disney granted its 150,000th Disney wish as part of its celebration of World Princess Week. Walt Disney World Resort hosted one of Disney's largest ever wish-granting events with the Once Upon A Wish Party, a special event dreamed up just for Make-A-Wish kids and their families. More than 50 "wish" families from across the country attended this first-of-its-kind wish event. It was a full-day affair filled with enchanting surprises, inspiration and adventures for a hero or heroine, including a royal ball with favorite Disney characters. Read more on Disney Parks Blog.
…Across Seven Seas Lagoon from Disney's Contemporary Resort, construction continues on the new Disney Vacation Club tower addition at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort. Disney has not shared new details about the project in quite awhile, but, remember, that as part of its timeshare line of business, it has to jump through a number of regulatory hurdles before sharing details. Perhaps the Destination D23 event will provide some, though Disney Vacation Club is currently focusing its news-energy on the new Villas at Disneyland Hotel opening next month. The Disney Vacation Club annual members and board meetings in December likely will share a few more details if we do not hear some in the meantime.
…UPDATED REMINDER: The Great Irish Hooley returns to Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant this Friday afternoon, September 1 through late night on Labor Day, Monday, September 4 at Disney Springs. MousePlanet has been invited to a hosted preview which we will cover on our Instagram story on September 1. Central Florida’s only authentic Irish and roots music festival will feature top Irish bands playing everything from trad and folk to Celt grass and blues. Raglan Road will also debut its new “Stars & Hearts” Keeper’s Heart Whiskey flight, an Irish-American collaboration aged in stout barrels, new Hooley cocktails including “Heart of the Hooley” made with Keeper’s Heart Irish Bourbon and blackberry and mint shrub, and the return of the popular Hooley brew, De Fesht, a limited release collaboration with The Tank Brewing in Miami, plus creative new bites from Raglan Road’s culinary team. There’s no cover charge to join the Hooley fun. Celtic face painting is complimentary. In addition to the pub’s All-Day Menu, the Rollicking Raglan Brunch will be served throughout the weekend and Monday from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. The Raglan Road Irish Dancers will showcase their fancy footwork throughout the event. Reservations are recommended.
…Speaking of Disney Springs, we're still awaiting news on the 2023 opening of the under-construction Summer House on the Lake restaurant (from Chicago's Lettuce Entertain You Restaurant Group) on The West Side. Over the weekend, I noticed a sign that the venue is making progress: it opened an interview office in the former NBA Store right across and a little ways down the walkway from the construction site. I haven't seen information about its hiring plans in the usual media channels but, admittedly, I'm not plugged in to the restaurant industry more broadly.
…The latest change to the Marketplace Co-Op lineup of merchandise shops-within-the-building is a new version of Wandering Oaken's Trading Post. Though the name and light theming suggest a connection to merchandise related to the character from Disney's Frozen, the offerings here are racks of buy-one-get-one-at-half-off apparel that look like the 2023 version of the old record cut-out bin.
…REMINDER: Walt Disney World Resort celebrates Hispanic and Latin American Heritage Month, September 15 through October 15. Mirabel, from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Encanto begins Magic Kingdom meet-and-greets on September 15 (and she will continue beyond the end of the celebration). Mirabel’s uncle, Bruno, also joins the park's Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade starting September 15. More food and beverage and merchandise offerings will be detailed in September as well.
…REMINDER: The 2023 edition of Visit Orlando's Magical Dining event is now underway through October 1. Enjoy three-course, prix-fixe dinners at many of Orlando’s most popular restaurants—including Jaleo and STK at Disney Springs—with tiered pricing set at just $40 or $60 per person plus tax and gratuity. Up to $2 from each meal served will benefit one or more local nonprofits that help people in need. The full list of participating restaurants and their special menus is available at MagicalDining.com.
…REMINDER: Speaking of Jaleo, in 1993, the first Jaleo opened in Washington, DC with Chef José Andrés at its helm. On September 5, 2023, starting at 6:30 p.m., Jaleo at Disney Springs is offering up a celebration of Spanish cuisine as its friends and partners from Jaleo Chicago journey to Orlando for an exclusive event. For one night only, you can experience "30 years of Jaleo, from the classics to the modern favorites, paired with sommelier-selected wines." Jaleo chefs will share some favorite memories and dishes from their recent trips to Spain with José. Tickets are $255/person, including food, wine pairings, tax and gratuity. Book the special chef's dinner here.
…The Edison at Disney Springs offers the September edition of its Mixology Series with a charitable tie: the restaurant is partnering with Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando to support the care of Central Florida’s animals. The Edison's team have curated a menu of signature craft cocktails inspired by furry friends, plus specialty food stations, featuring various bites. Guests can participate in a silent auction, as well, including prizes for restaurants and hotels in and around Disney Springs, Kennedy Space Center tickets, mixology events at The Edison and more. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Pet Alliance. Tickets can be purchased for $85++ per person, and the doors will open at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 14. The Edison kindly requests that pets stay at home. Guests can upgrade their experience to Platinum Upgrade for $40, which includes a choice between a 1 oz. pour of WhistlePig Old World rye whiskey 12-Year of a 3 oz. pour of 2018 Silver Oak cabernet sauvignon. Pours will be paired with A-5 Wagyu pastrami on house-baked focaccia and dijon-naise. Guests must be ages 21 and older. Tickets and information are available on Tock.
…REMINDER: Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is now underway on select nights at Magic Kingdom through November 1. The hard-ticket event runs after the park closes early, at 7:00 p.m., and runs through midnight. Party ticket holders can enter the park as early at 4 p.m. on event night (no additional ticket or park reservation required) and may come in costume subject to the park's published guidelines. Many dates are sold out, so if you want to go, be sure to book your tickets in advance.
Merchandise inspired by the Sanderson Sisters from Disney's "Hocus Pocus" can be found not only at Magic Kingdom during Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, but in World of Disney at Disney Springs. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
…FINAL 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 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 DVC events, "eligible" member generally means that the member bought their points directly from Disney rather than a third-party resale.
…REMINDER: The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic has announced the line-up of interactive food and beverage seminars taking place during this year’s event, Friday, November 10 and Saturday, November 11, 2023. During the educational seminars, guests can expand their knowledge of wine, beer, spirits, or pasta-making through hands-on learning experiences led by the resort’s award-winning food and beverage team. Updates for this year’s seminars include Craft Cocktails offered both Friday and Saturday and Wine Blending adding a bottling component in which guests will leave with their own bottled custom Meritage blend to take home. The 2023 seminar line-up includes:
- Craft Cocktails – Friday and Saturday
- Wine Blending – Friday and Saturday
- Pasta Making – Friday
- It’s Better to Wine in Italian (Italian Wines) – Friday
- Base to Bubbles (Champagne) – Friday
- Beer, Please! – Saturday
The seminars will take place prior to the outdoor festival. It’s Better to Wine in Italian and Beer, Please! seminar tickets are $75 per person, excluding tax. Base to Bubbles, Wine Blending, and Craft Cocktails seminars are $85 per person, excluding tax. Pasta Making seminar tickets are $110 per person, excluding tax. All seminars require separate tickets and space is limited. Specific dates and times of each seminar are available at foodandwineclassic.com. The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic offers guests unlimited tastings at creatively spaced, outdoor stations featuring culinary and beverage selections from the hotel’s award-winning restaurants amidst a festive backdrop of live entertainment on the hotel’s scenic causeway. The event runs from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on November 10–11, 2023. For more information, visit swandolphinfoodandwineclassic.com.
Ahead of the Food and Wine Classic, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels are now offering Walt Disney World Annual Passholders and Florida residents the opportunity to save up to 30 percent off regular rates on hotel stays this summer. Visit swandolphin.com/offers/ for more information or to book.
…Walt Disney World Golf is offering instruction golf clinics for juniors (ages 7-17). More information is available on this page of golfwdw.com.
…REMINDER: Give Kids the World Village, the non-profit resort that provides week long, no cost Central Florida vacations to critically ill children and their families, is offering an opportunity to win a stay in the Cinderella Castle Suite inside Magic Kingdom. The prize vacation package includes a 1-night stay in the suite for up to four guests (including the winner), two more nights in a Deluxe Resort, three day hopper tickets, and more! Visit GKTW.org/castle for all the details and entrance opportunities. All proceeds benefit Give Kids The World. Open to U.S. residents.
…REMINDER: Applications and nominations for the 2024 Disney Dreamers Academy are open through October. Students looking to achieve their dreams can apply and, for the first time this year, be nominated for the program at DisneyDreamersAcademy.com. A panel of judges will select 100 students from the thousands of nationwide applicants to participate in the once-in-a-lifetime mentoring program designed to assist young people in identifying and pursuing their dreams. The selected students, along with a parent or guardian, will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World to participate in the program, including career-oriented workshops, leadership seminars and presentations by celebrity guests, community leaders, educators and Disney executives. Over the years, Disney Dreamers Academy has inspired more than 1,500 students from across the country. Each year, graduates have gone on to become doctors, engineers, performing artists, entrepreneurs, Disney Cast Members and more, and some have transitioned into mentors to the Disney Dreamers who followed them.
The Usual Writer's Note
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).
Disney Park Pass reservations continue to be required for admission to Walt Disney World theme parks when purchasing undated tickets or an annual pass (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. Passholders are no longer 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 back in April. 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.
It is Tropical Storm season for those of us near the Atlantic Ocean, as covered in the opening Writer's Note this week. As we head into September, we head into the historically most active part of that season. As always, keep an eye on the weather alerts for the region you plan to visit, especially if that involves flying into Central Florida. Disney typically only closes the parks when a significant storm is tracking toward Walt Disney World Resort itself, but your airline may have other thoughts about the forecast.
In the meantime, Florida continues to have daily summer thunderstorms at this time of year, and they often occur in mid-afternoon, but that's just a guide, as there is no fixed schedule, let alone a pattern I've been able to rely upon. Severe weather can occur in Central Florida at anytime, even when the forecast says 0% chance of rain (and there are occasional times when there is a forecast 100% chance of rain and it does not rain in some places). Have yourself a regular look at the weather forecasts, and be prepared for heat, humidity, and rain; and have a plan for taking cover for when something severe pops up. If you are driving, be extra alert. I've said it before, I'll say it yet again: it's still very hot and muggy around here this summer!
[COVID infections continue ticking up again, but absent some unlikely indication that some operational changes are coming, this is the final week I will include this section in the Update. Comments about park reservation requirements, rules, the weather and such find their way into the Writer's Note at the start of each Update as appropriate.]
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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 are available — 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 are on sale. 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 until September 29, 2023, except blockout dates from September 1 to September 4, 2023, but the 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. Tickets are valid through September 29, 2023, subject to blockout dates: 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.
Disney also offers a $159 (plus tax) 2-Day Florida Resident Disney 2-Park Explorer Ticket that is valid only at EPCOT and Disney's Animal Kingdom on consecutive or non-consecutive days through September 29. Be sure to read up on all the details to see if the ticket matches your expectations before purchasing. Proof of residency required, and, yes, Park Pass reservations are required to visit the parks too.
MousePlanet’s travel partner Get Away Today is available to help you book rooms and packages.
REMINDER Get Away Today’s Walt Disney World Resort vacation packages can now be booked completely on its website! No cumbersome quotes needed! Simply compare all your favorite Walt Disney World Resort hotels and Get Away Today's hand selected off-property hotels in a few clicks, and then customize for your included tickets for your vacation.
Get Away Today’s Walt Disney World Resort vacation packages now have the option to add Layaway Plans, which allow you to pay the total balance up to eight days prior to travel. You can also add their popular "Peace of Mind Plan" when booking a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, which allows any reschedules and cancellations up to five days prior to travel with no penalty.
When booking with Get Away Today, all Walt Disney World Resort on-site packages include Get Away Today’s e-concierge, which includes its Best Price Guarantee, Dining Reservation Reminders, access to their Concierge Team email for help before and during your vacation, and more.
Looking to go beyond Walt Disney World Resort when visiting Central Florida? Check out Get Away Today's Universal Orlando Resort ticket offers too.