Walt Disney World Resort Update for October 31, 2023by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer
Walt Disney World Resort Update for October 31, 2023
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Writer's Note, News & Views
Adrienne is covering the Walt Disney World Update this week while Alan enjoys Halloween in Chicago
It's race weekend in Florida, and also time to mark your calendars for the 2024–2025 racing season.
Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend
The 2023 Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend is this Thursday through Sunday, November 2 to 5. Even if you're not participating in the races as an athlete or spectator, the events do bring delays and operational impacts to various areas of the Walt Disney World Resort, so it's good to at least be aware of what's happening if you're visiting this weekend.
All runners are required to attend the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo to pick up their race packet, bib and t-shirts at least the day before their first event. The Expo is held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex as follows:
- Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- Friday, Nov. 3, 2023: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
- Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The Expo is open to the public, but as Alan noted last week, runDisney plans to use a Virtual Queue on the first day of the Expo. Those that plan to shop that first day together (up to a party of six), need to enter the Virtual Queue in the My Disney Experience app from within approximately 45 miles of Walt Disney World Resort. (Refresher instructions are available on this runDisney webpage.)
The weekend race schedule is as follows:
- Disney Wine & Dine 5K: Friday, November 3, 2023 at 5:00 a.m.
- Disney Wine & Dine 10K: Saturday, November 4, 2023 at 5:00 a.m.
- Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon: Sunday, November 5, 2023 at 5:00 a.m.
- Post-Race Party at Epcot: Sunday, November 5, 2023 at 10:00 p.m.
All races start and end in the parking lot of EPCOT, and all runners are encouraged to either take Resort transportation or park in the EPCOT parking lot for the race. Transportation begins at 2:30 a.m. from all Walt Disney World® Resorts, Shades of Green, and the Swan and Dolphin Resorts.
The 5K takes place entirely within EPCOT grounds, and has no impact on neighboring roads.
The 10K ventures out onto World Drive, and will cause road closures and modified traffic patterns in the area from 2:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
The half marathon course passes through the Boardwalk and to Disney's Hollywood Studios, out onto Osceola Parkway and World Drive before heading back to EPCOT. Expect road closures and modified traffic patterns in the area from 2:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning. Guests staying at Disney's Boardwalk Resort in a room overlooking the course may hear race activity and spectators. Of course, guests staying anywhere near EPCOT will possibly hear music and announcements from the start and finish lines.
Best of luck to all of the athletes who participate this weekend!
runDisney announces 2025 schedule
If your 2024 race card wasn't already full, runDisney has announced the rest of their schedule, as well as some 2025 events. Here's what runDisney has planned for both coasts, with a new race announced for the Disneyland Resort.
- runDisney Virtual Series – June 1 to August 31, 2024. Registration for this virtual event opens March 26, 2024
- *NEW* Disneyland Halloween Half Marathon Weekend – September 5–8, 2024. Registration opens February 6, 2024 for Club runDisney members; February 13, 2024 for all others.
- Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend (WDW) – October 31 to November 3, 2024. Registration opens March 5, 2024 for Club runDisney members; March 12, 2024 for all others.
- runDisney Virtual 12Ks of Christmas – December 1–31, 2024. Registration for this virtual event opens July 9, 2024
- Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – January 8–12, 2025. Registration opens April 2, 2024 for Club runDisney members; April 9, 2024 for all others.
- Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend – January 30 to February 2, 2025. Registration opens June 11, 2024 for Club runDisney members; June 18, 2024 for all others.
- Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend (WDW) – February 20–24, 2025. Registration opens July 23, 2024 for Club runDisney members; July 30, 2024 for all others.
- runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend (WDW) – April 3–6, 2025. Registration opens August 20, 2024 for Club runDisney members; August 27, 2024 for all others.
Missing from the announcement is any mention of return to racing at Disneyland Paris. We also note that the new Disneyland race takes place over Labor Day weekend, which was previously the time frame for the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend (now in January).
Fireworks testing to take place this weekend
Walt Disney World hotels this weekend will be packed with athletes hoping to get a good night sleep before they have to get up at Disney-dark-hundreed to catch a bus to their 5:00 a.m. race start. So what better time to schedule an overnight test of fireworks?
Disney will conduct fireworks testing between 10:30 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 1 and Saturday, November 4. Disney hasn't said what exactly they're testing, but we note EPCOT's new fireworks show Luminous debuts on December 5, 2023. Disney may also be testing the Jingle BAM! fireworks at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Early 2025 itineraries announced for Disney Cruise Line
As cold weather is starting to creep across parts of the US, thoughts turn towards warm sandy beaches and tropical vacations. Disney Cruise Line has announced their early 2025 itineraries, including sailings aboard the new Disney Treasure. Of note is a return from the South Pacific for the Disney Wonder, with stops in Hawaii and Canada.
Click Here to view the early 2025 itineraries at a glance, or contact our travel partners at Get Away Today for help finding the perfect cruise.
Reservations open to the general public on November 6, 2023, but members of Disney's Castaway Club may be able to book early, depending on status. Advance bookings are now available to Pearl and Platinum Castaway Club members, as well as Golden Oak Club members. Gold and Silver Castaway Club members can book starting November 1 and 2 respectively, and Disney Vacation Club members and Adventure Insiders can book starting November 2.
Foodie Guide to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2023
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party kicks off November 9, 2023, and Disney has released their foodie guide so you can make your plans to eat your way around the Magic Kingdom. Fortunately some of these treats are available during regular park hours, so day guests can enjoy some of the specialty dishes, but the majority are exclusive to the event.
The first December date is now sold out for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in 2023, marking the third date in total. At publication time, November 9, November 10 and December 1 are now sold out.
Pre-visit attraction reservations coming back
Travel Weekly reports that Walt Disney World is looking at ways for guests planning Walt Disney World vacations to make their Disney Genie+ attraction selections before they leave home. The report comes from remarks made by Walt Disney World Resort president Jeff Vahle to a group of travel agency owners last week during the EarMarked Program Owners Summit.
There were no additional details available, including when this change might roll out, who will be eligible, and how it may work. Long-time Disney World visitors may remember the FastPass service, which allowed guests to pre-plan their day by making FastPass reservations in advance of their visit. The number of reservations available, and how far in advance they could be booked, varied based on a number of factors including where you were staying.
When Disney Genie+ and individual Lightning Lane selections replaced FastPass in 2021, reservations could be made same-day only, and only for one attraction at a time.
This is a development we will certainly be following as Disney evolves the Genie+ offering.
DVC Moonlight Magic events announced for 2025
Disney Vacation Club members can attend a series of after-hours events at Walt Disney World theme parks in 2024 as part of the Membership Magic benefits program.
The complimentary, after-hours events feature select attractions with shorter-than-usual wait times, plus character greetings, entertainment and more. The 2024 schedule was released this week:
- Disney's Animal Kingdom – February 27, 2024 and April 23, 2024.
- EPCOT – January 25, 2024 and March 1, 2024.
- Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park – June 4, 2024 and July 11, 2024.
- Disney's Hollywood Studios – August 27, 2024.
Registration generally opens first for eligible Disney Vacation Club members (namely, those that have bought a certain number of points directly from Disney) with a qualifying Disney Resort hotel reservation on the event date(s). Pending availability, all other eligible Members may try their luck at reservations for the event about a week later. A link to the event registration is posted online shortly before the registration windows open. Keep an eye on your email or the event website for updates.
Disney Genie+ service and Lightning Lane are not available for use during Moonlight Magic Events
As a reminder, Disney Vacation Club added an additional Moonlight Magic event to the calendar on December 13, 2023 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Registration opens November 28, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time for eligible members with a resort reservation, and on December 5, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time for eligible members without a reservation.
Disney Vacation Club Members are limited to attending one Moonlight Magic event per theme park, per calendar year.
This & That & Reminders…
…REMINDER: The 14th Annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic is coming up on November 10 and 11. The event is open to the public (not just those staying at the Swan or Dolphin), and offers attendees unlimited tastings at more than 25 outdoor stations including more than 25 food dishes and more than 200 wine, beer, and spirits samplings and different menus each night of the event. The event takes place along the scenic causeway between the Swan and Dolphin hotels from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. on both nights, and also includes live entertainment. Tickets are $185 per person (plus fees and tax) at swandolphinfoodandwineclassic.com.
…REMINDER: Raglan Road at Disney Springs has published its special Thanksgiving Day menu. On Thanksgiving, guests also can order from the regular all-day dinner menu at listed prices, including vegan and vegetarian options. Thanksgiving dinner will be available from restaurant open at 11 a.m. to close at 10 p.m. Guests can order at the patio, at any of the bars, and even get takeout from the bar areas. Live entertainment begins at 4:30 p.m. inside the restaurant and 6 pm on the patio, weather permitting. Reservations are recommended by calling: (407) 938-0300 or online at RaglanRoad.com.
…REMINDER: On November 28, 2023, Wine Bar George is offering a new Sparkling Wine Experience: Learn How to Taste Wine with a Master Sommelier. Guests will learn to taste wine like a professional with a "blind" tasting of six different sparkling wines and hear firsthand from George about his journey through the wine world and what it takes to become a Master Sommelier. The 90-minute event led by George with the selection of sparkling wines hand-selected by him includes cheese and charcuterie. Doors and the event open at noon, and the event begins at 1:30 p.m. Tickets, including fees, are $126.97 per person are nonrefundable and are available on this page of eventbrite.com. Additional blind tasting experience dates are posted into December too on this web page.
…HALLOWEEN BEVERAGE REMINDERS:
- The Edison at Disney Springs is also offering up its unique Halloween cocktail throughout October: The Blood Donor is served in a blood bag and combines Aperol, Solerno, Espolòn Silver, lime juice and simple syrup to make a vivid crimson concoction that it says is "eerie, yet delicious."
- Next door, at Maria and Enzo’s at Disney Springs, the mixologists are serving up Halloween beverages "inspired by the works of American mystery and horror writer Edgar Allan Poe," after 4 p.m. this season:
- Red Death – $22
Espolon, combier, lime juice, sour mix, hibiscus syrup, garnished with masquerade mask
- Tell-Tale Martini – $22
Vanilla vodka, chambord, pama, lemon juice, grape simple and candy eye
- Raven’s Glare – $22
Lemon cookie margarita featuring Espolon, combier, lemon juice, sour mix, cookie syrup, garnished for the season
- *Try all three of the dark and dreamy Halloween creations with Cask of Halloween Spirits flight for $31*
- Fall of the House of the Apples – $22
Pear and apple brandy cocktail with St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur, absolut pear, apple juice and ginger ale, with apple gummy garnish
- Black Bird Brew – $17
Fruity and festive mocktail with sour apple, grape, sprite, glow cube, halloween garnish
- Red Death – $22
- At nearby Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs, its Halloween concoction is the Tokyo Ghoul: $18, made with Hendrick's Gin, midori, cointreau, yuzu, lemon, monin agave and ginger bitters.
- On Disney Springs West Side, Jaleo, all season long, is offering the Apple & Saffron signature mocktail, made with Seedlip Garden, apple juice, lemon, saffron and Fever-Tree Club Soda.
…REMINDER: Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party continues 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.
…REMINDER: Speaking of Halloween, Disney Vacation Club is holding complimentary "Meet & Treat" events inside the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk including Disney Characters and treats from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Monday, October 30, and Tuesday, October 31, 2023. There's no registration for this event (subject to capacity limits); DVC members eligible for Member Extras who have a qualifying Disney Resort hotel reservation (including at Vero Beach) that includes a party date may attend with up to four additional guests. Resort parking is not available specifically for this event. Check DisneyVacationClub.com for eligibility and other important information.
SPECIAL REMINDER: Give Kids The World Village to Welcome Guests For 2023 VIP Holiday Tours
Give Kids The World Village, the 84-acre, nonprofit “storybook” resort in Central Florida, provides critically ill children and their families with weeklong, cost-free vacations including accommodations in whimsical villas, transportation, donated attraction tickets, meals and much more. Since the organization was founded in 1986, Give Kids The World has welcomed more than 160,000 families from all 50 states and over 75 countries.
Give Kids the World Village is decorating its resort for the holidays. It is inviting the public to see the resort on select nights with VIP Holiday Tours with ticket proceeds benefiting its mission of providing cost-free week-long Central Florida vacations to critically ill children and their families. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
Back during the holidays in 2020, when they couldn’t host the kids and their families, they worked with their partners to create the Night of a Million Lights event nights and invited the public to visit the village to see holiday lights and decorations with the proceeds of those events benefiting the village and its mission. They had another set of Night of a Million Lights events back in 2021 at the Village when it had partially reopened, and then, last year the event moved over to Island H2O Water Park because the Village had fully reopened to Wish kids and their families.
For 2023, the Village is back to full force, and, in fact, is hosting more families than ever just this month. They also wanted to get back to sharing the holidays with the public as much as they can while serving their guest families, so this year they are offering VIP guided tours on November 17 and 18, December 1, 2, 15, 16, 21, and 22 only. Timed Tickets are available at GKTW.org/holidayvip for $59.99 per person (plus a ticket fee). Ticket sales fully benefit the Village and its mission.
The guided tours will include select venues on the Avenue of Angels lit with 1.6 million lights, vignettes decorated by GKTW partners, props and photo opportunities, and more. If you want to take it to another level, groups of up to 30 can arrange for special Balcony Dessert Parties by contacting the Village.
Give Kids the World Village invited MousePlanet and other media to a preview on October 3, 2023, to help get the word out. File Video by Alan S. Dalinka.
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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.
There are currently published offers for bookings by December 15, 2023, with savings up to 25% on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels for stays select nights through March 24, 2024; stays most nights February 25, 2024 through March 24, 2024 feature savings up to 30%. These early booking discounts are detailed specifically at DisneyWorld.com/Save. As always, there are additional offers for Florida residents, Annual Passholders, U.S. Military members and more when you look at the full list of offers.
For Florida residents that wish to visit only on weekdays, they can now purchase a 4-Day Disney Weekday Magic Ticket for just $59 per day, plus tax (total price: $235 plus tax), or a 3-Day ticket for $72/day plus tax (total price: $215 plus tax), or a 2-Day ticket for $98/day plus tax (total price: $195 plus tax). Tickets are valid weekdays only between October 2 and December 22, which, interestingly enough, has no blockout dates which means that unlike all Annual Passes other than the IncrediPass, these tickets are valid on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. Park hopping can be added to this ticket type for $40 plus tax; the Water Park and Sports Option can be added for $35 plus tax; the Park Hopper Plus option (which is sort of a combo of the prior two) for $55 plus tax. For theme park entry, Disney Park Pass reservations are required, but the tickets do not need to be used on consecutive days; all tickets expire December 22, 2023.
Save 20% this fall at Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels. Special rates are available to book now through November 30, 2023, for stays now through December 21, 2023, based on availability. Some blackout dates may apply, and availability may be limited. The rates do not include Resort Service Fees or daily parking fees (if applicable), taxes, or gratuities. The offer is exclusively available through the promotion website and is not valid with any other special offers, promotions, existing reservations, or groups. The Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels include B Resort & Spa, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando, Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando, Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace, Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, Holiday Inn Orlando Disney Springs, and Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista. All Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels are conveniently located in the Walt Disney World Resort with spacious accommodations, luxurious amenities, dining and recreation offerings. Each resort is an Official Walt Disney World Hotel and is within walking distance of Disney Springs via pedestrian sky bridge.
MousePlanet’s travel partner Get Away Today is available to help you book rooms and packages.
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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.
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