Walt Disney World Resort Updateby Mark Goldhaber, staff writer
Update for January 30 – February 5, 2012
Go directly to: News & Views | Join our Networks | Coming Soon | Refurbishment/Attraction Closures | Discounts/Promotions
Disney Cruise Line going to Miami, returning to Europe in 2013 | The Magic, The Memories, and You gets a "romance" makeover | Disney Dreamers Academy class of 2012 announced | Construction update | Quick takes | Crowd update
Just hours after we published last week that the Disney Cruise Line announcement of its 2013 destinations for the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder had been postponed with no word on when the information would be released, DCL announced that, as expected, the Wonder would come back east and sail from Port Miami until it was time to go back to Alaska in the spring, and the Magic would return to Europe for the summer of 2013.
The Wonder departs from the Port of Los Angeles on December 9, 2012, for a 14-night Panama Canal crossing (with stops in Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Cartagena, Colombia, and Costa Maya, Mexico) on its way to docking in Miami on December 23. It sails a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise on December 23 (with stops at St. Maarten, St. Thomas/St. John, and Castaway Cay), and a 6-night Western Caribbean voyage on December 30 (with stops at Key West, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman) to line up to its regular schedule.
Starting in January 2013, the Wonder sails a rotation of two different Western Caribbean voyages and four-night Bahamian cruises from Port Miami, starting at $440 per person. The sailings for the first Caribbean itinerary depart on January 5, 15, February 2, 16, March 2, 16, 20, April 13, and 27, and visit Cozumel and Castaway Cay. The second itinerary of Caribbean sailings visits Grand Cayman and Cozumel and departs January 14, 28, February 11, 25, March 11, 25, April 8, and 22. The Bahamian voyages depart on January 10, 24, February 7, 21, March 7, 21, April 4, 18, and May 2, visiting Key West, Nassau, and Castaway Cay.
On May 6 the Wonder departs from Miami on its way back to the Port of Los Angeles, with Castaway Cay replacing Costa Maya but otherwise reversing its earlier trans-Canal stops, with the 14-night voyage ending on May 20. When the Wonder returns to the Port of Los Angeles, it is just be for one day, as it departs on May 20, 2013, heading for Vancouver. It then sails 7-night cruises from Vancouver to Alaska (starting at $1,015 per person) on May 27, June 3, 10, 17, 24, July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, August 5, 12, 19, 26, and September 2, with visits to Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan.
There are no official announcements for what the ship are scheduled to do after that, but it seems likely that it likely sails from Vancouver back to Los Angeles on September 9, and then returns through the Panama Canal to Miami.
The Magic, currently based out of Port Canaveral, moves to New York City in May after the first few voyages of the Disney Fantasy. It remains there until September, when it moves to Galveston, Texas, where it is scheduled to remain through May 2013, sailing alternating 6- and 8-night Western Caribbean itineraries (starting at $750 per person for six-night cruises and $920 for eight-night cruises). It departs Galveston on May 18, 2013, for a 14-night Transatlantic repositioning voyage to Barcelona, Spain, with stops at Castaway Cay, Funchal (Madeira), Portugal, and Gibraltar, U.K.
Once in Barcelona, the Magic begins a varied set of itineraries. Unlike its previous visits, the Magic really mixes it up this time, with 4-, 7- and 12-night itineraries during its three months there. The four-night cruises (starting at $796 per person) depart on July 9 and August 6, and include stops at Nice (Villefranche), France and Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Seven night voyages (starting at $1,015 per person) visit Nice (Villefranche), France; Florence (La Spezia), Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; and Naples, Italy, and depart on June 1, 8, August 10, 17, 24, and 31.
There are two different 12-night itineraries for the Magic in Europe (both starting at $2,244 per person), with a choice of Greece and Turkey or more Italy and Croatia. The 12-night cruise with Greece departs on June 15 and July 13 and includes stops at Nice (Villefranche), France; Florence (La Spezia), Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Athens (Piraeus), Greece; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Mykonos, Greece; and Valetta, Malta. The 12-night cruise with Venice departs on June 27 and July 25, and includes stops at Barcelona; Nice (Villefranche), France; Florence (La Spezia), Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Naples, Italy; Venice, Italy (overnight); Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Valetta, Malta.
As with the Wonder, there has been no official announcement regarding the Magic after it is done in Europe, but it is likely to depart Barcelona on September 7 for a 14-night Westbound Trans-Atlantic repositioning voyage back to Galveston.
Adventures by Disney is working with Disney Cruise Line to offer three- and four-night pre-cruise itineraries in Barcelona and Madrid, as well as special itineraries at ports during the voyage.
Meanwhile, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy continue their previously announced itineraries of 3- and 4-night (Dream) or 7-night (Fantasy) voyages from Port Canaveral through 2013.
Reservations are available for all cruises now, and Adventures by Disney itineraries and pricing will be available in March.
For more information or to book a cruise, you can call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500, visit the DCL website or contact your travel agent. MousePlanet's preferred Disney travel providers are Small World Vacations, Mouse Ear Vacations, and Get Away Today Vacations.
As we mentioned back in November and in an interview on Episode 437 of the MouseStation Podcast, "The Magic, The Memories and You" castle projection show is getting a "romance" overlay in time for Valentine's Day. The new show debuts this Thursday, February 1, and run through Sunday, April 15.
As demonstrated for the holiday season—which added gingerbread, presents, and snowy themes—the show is capable of infinite customization by swapping in and out segments of themed images. For the spring, the show is incorporating roses, a starry sky, and stained glass window images. The "stained glass" images depict Cinderella and Snow White with their princes, and the final image of Beauty and the Beast, featuring Belle and her transformed prince.
What is sure to be a crowd pleaser is what many call the most magical moment of the movie Tangled: the release of a lantern by the king and queen, joined by hundreds of lanterns by the citizens of the kingdom.
As also mentioned in November is the debut of a summer-themed overlay later this year, featuring Disney Channel stars among other images. Sure to be a big hit in that show is when Cinderella Castle transforms into… a sand castle.
A sure-to-be-striking image (here shown on Disneyland's "it's a small world" facade) is the king and queen from "Tangled" releasing their floating lantern, followed by hundreds of other lanterns. Image © Disney.
Send us your menu photos
Click on the "Dining" section from our Walt Disney World Guide to see our complete list of of the park restaurant menus from Walt Disney World. Please help us keep the menus up to date! Send photos or scans of park menus to email@example.com to help us keep our listings updated.
The members of the fifth class of the Disney Dreamers Academy program were announced last week. Students represent 21 of the 50 states, plus Washington, DC. The largest contingent by far comes from Georgia, which is sending 19 high school students to the event. The next largest groups come from Maryland (11) and Texas (10). Individual cities with the most students this year are Atlanta and Detroit, with four each, followed by Baltimore; Bowie, MD; Charlotte, NC; and Houston, with three each.
The program is co-sponsored by comedian, author, and philanthropist Steve Harvey and Essence magazine, and takes place March 8 through 11 this year. More than 4,700 applications were submitted for the event. Speakers at the event are expected to include Mikki Taylor (Editor-at-Large, Essence Magazine); Yolanda Adams (gospel music legend); Terrence J (BET host of 106 and Park); Stephen A. Smith (broadcaster and sports analyst); Dr. Steve Perry (education advocate and CNN commentator); Sonia Jackson-Myles (founder and author, The Sister Accord); Jonathan Sprinkles (award-winning motivational speaker); and Brandi Harvey (Corporate and Community Relations Director, the Steve Harvey World Group) and Karli Harvey (Hair Artesian [sic], U Salon, Atlanta).
Here is the listing of interesting items from paperwork filed with Orange County in the last week:
- Magic Kingdom Main Street, U.S.A. – Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Firehouse banner installation.
- Magic Kingdom Main Street tunnel – construction.
- Magic Kingdom Cinderella Castle – construction.
- Magic Kingdom Fantasyland – showset package 1.
- Magic Kingdom Fantasyland props – construction.
- Disney's Old Key West Resort feature pool & pool deck – construction.
- Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa Paddock pool – construction.
- Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort Alligator Bayou West B quiet pool & building – mechanical.
- Hilton Walt Disney World Resort (Downtown Disney Area Hotel) – installation of new paving, glass, and tile exterior for porte cochere.
…A new park map indicates that the Storybook Circus area of New Fantasyland is expected to open in late February. Attractions currently scheduled to become available are Dumbo the Flying Elephant, The Great Goofini, Fantasyland Station, and Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak Station.
…We're hearing that the game portals are getting very crowded and backed up for Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. If things are backed up this badly during testing, Disney will have a lot of work to clean things up before releasing it on a regular basis.
…The change to the Disney Look becomes official later this week, so you may start seeing cast members with beards starting very soon. Let us know what you think in the comments below.
…We've recently heard a rumor that the Kim Possible Adventure at Epcot may eventually be turned into an Agent P Secret Mission, themed to the alter ego of Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb. If that proves to be true, it shows the benefit of software-driven activities, where the entire show can be swapped out with a software update. Of course, as with all rumors, this should be taken with a grain of salt.
…Our friends over at TouringPlans.com report that The Seas with Nemo and Friends at Epcot is getting Fastpass access while Test Track is closed for its big update this summer.
…Registration for the May 5 the Expedition Everest Challenge is now open.
…Registration for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler opens in just over two weeks, on February 14.
…Is this the week that registration fills up for the 2012 Disney Princess Half Marathon (scheduled for the weekend of February 24 to 26)? The Princess Half Marathon is 95 percent full, the Royal Famly 5K is 86 percent full, and the Royal Family Kids' Races are 93 percent full. The Pasta in the Park Party is sold out.
Crowd information and forecasts are provided by TouringPlans.com, the website of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, to help you better plan your trip to the Walt Disney World Resort. TouringPlans.com gathers wait time data from a team of in-park researchers and users of their Lines mobile phone application, and then predicts crowd levels for the next 365 days. Using a scale from 1 to 10, TouringPlans.com has a 90 percent accuracy of predicting the crowds to within 1 point, helping visitors prepare for their trips so they can "Do more. Wait less."
Join our networks
Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. Email Mark here.
Talk about these stories and more on our Walt Disney World discussion forum here.
- February 4–5: UDA National Dance Team Championship.
- February 11–12: National High School Cheerleading Championship.
- February 16–20: Twirl Mania 2012.
- February 24–26: Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend.
- March 7 to May 20: Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.
- March 10–11: UCA/UDA International All Star Championship (Cheer/Dance).
- April 27–29: Cheerleading and Dance Worlds.
- May 5: Expedition Everest Challenge.
- May 18 to June 10: Fridays through Sundays: Star Wars Weekends.
- September 28–29: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend.
- September 28 to November 11: Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
- November 9–10: Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend.
- November 22, 23, 25: Old Spice Classic.
- Mickey's Toontown Fair – closed permanently to make way for Fantasyland expansion.
- Peter Pan's Flight – remains open while work takes place on a new interactive queue through March 6.
- Plaza Ice Cream Parlor – closed for refurbishment through March 27.
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – closed for refurbishment through May 27.
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant – closed for refurbishment; will reopen at Storybook Circus March 11.
- Liberty Square Riverboat – closed for refurbishment through February 3.
- Main Street Electrical Parade – is not performed through February 10.
- Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade – runs a shortened route through February 10.
- Magic Carpets of Aladdin – closed for refurbishment February 26 to March 10.
- House of Innoventions – closed through May for conversion to "green home."
- Tutto Italia – closed through April 30.
- Test Track – closed April through September.
- Fantasmic – is not performed through February 12.
- Studio Backlot Tour – closed for refurbishment February 13 to March 9.
- Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure – closed for refurbishment February 13 to March 9.
- Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show – closed for refurbishment April 29 to May 2.
- Kali River Rapids – closed for refurbishment through February 9.
- Grand Floridian Spa – closed through mid-2013 for refurbishment.
- Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – pool side at Beach Pool closed February 6 athrough March 2. The pool remains open.
- Contemporary Resort – main tower balcony wall panel refinished through March 30.
- Contemporary Resort – pool slide at feature pool closed through February 17. The pool remains open.
- Polynesian Resort – rockwork clear coat applied at Nanea Volcano Pool through February 21.
- Polynesian Resort – Great Ceremonial House atrium ceiling steel refinished and skylight fabric replaced February 27 to March 23.
- Wilderness Lodge – Teton Boat and Bike Rental marina dock deck boards replaced January 30 to February 17.
- Wilderness Lodge – metal roof seams recoated from January 30 to June 29.
- Wilderness Lodge – exterior decorative timbers repaired and replaced from February 13 to March 12.
- Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House Bus Stop lane repaved from February 22 to March 21.
- Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village Pool Slide at the Samawati Springs Pool closed through February 3. The pool remains open. Guests may use the pool slide at Jambo House.
- Yacht Club Resort – building exterior repaired and refinished through August 3.
- Yacht Club Convention Center – lobby refurbished through March 2.
- Yacht Club Resort – stamped concrete walkways restained January 9–31.
- Yacht Club Resort – rooftop HVAC hot water piping replaced January 9 to September 28.
- Yacht & Beach Club Resorts – painting of rockwork at Stormalong Bay Pool touched up January 9 to February 21.
- Beach Club Resort – guest room door locks replaced January 12 to February 1. Letters will be placed in the rooms advising guests the door locks will be replaced. Guests need not get new keys, as their existing Key to the World cards will work with the new lock.
- Yacht Club Resort – guest room door locks replaced February 2-22. Letters will be placed in the rooms advising guests the door locks will be replaced. Guests need not get new keys, as their existing Key to the World cards will work with the new lock.
- BoardWalk Resort – roadway rejuvenation from the main entrance road to the bus stop area and through the Conference Center exit area from February 22 to March 21.
- Old Key West Resort – lobby and Olivia's buildings undergo metal roof repairs February 23 to May 16.
- Old Key West Resort – bus and picnic shelters undergo wood truss repair and repainting Februay 9 to March 30.
- Saratoga Springs Resort – villa buildings undergo exterior cleaning and painting one at a time between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday through August 30.
- Saratoga Springs Resort – rockwork painting at High Rock Springs Pool from February 9 to April 24.
- Saratoga Springs Resort – the Carriage House lobby repainted from February 21 to April 16.
- Port Orleans French Quarter Resort – the main commercial building has its flat roof replaced through March 30.
- Port Orleans French Quarter Resort – the entry fence replaced through February 6.
- Port Orleans French Quarter Resort – stamped concrete near the commercial building replaced through February 2.
- Port Orleans French Quarter Resort – buildings 6 & 7 parking lots undergoes roadway rejuvenation from through March 13.
- Port Orleans French Quarter Resort – building 3 parking lot undergoes rejuvenation February 27 to April 27.
- Port Orleans - Riverside Resort – Alligator Bayou leisure pool near buildings 16, 17, and 18 closed January 30 through February 3. All other leisure pools plus the Ol' Man Island feature pool remain open.
- Port Orleans - Riverside Resort – Ol' Man Island feature closed February 6-8. All leisure pools at Port Orleans Riverside Resort plus the Doubloon Lagoon feature pool at Port Orleans French Quarter Resort are available.
- Port Orleans - Riverside Resort – Alligator Bayou leisure pool near buildings 36 & 39 closed February 27 through March 1. All other leisure pools plus the Ol' Man Island feature pool remain open.
- Port Orleans - Riverside Resort – Alligator Bayou buildings receives exterior repainting two at a time through March 30.
- Port Orleans - Riverside Resort – Magnolia Bend building 90 undergoes building and room refurbishment through February 17, for conversion to Royal Princess Rooms.
- Port Orleans - Riverside Resort – Magnolia Bend building 80 undergoes exterior repair and repainting from February 16 to April 19.
- Port Orleans - Riverside Resort – Magnolia Bend building 95 undergoes building and room refurbishment from February 19 to March 23.
- Coronado Springs Resort – Casitas 1 plaza fountain wall and coping repairs takes place through February 7.
- Coronado Springs Resort – Ranchos buildings experiences tile roof repair and replacement through July 27.
- Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground – pool side at Meadow Feature Pool closed February 6 through March 2. The pool remains open.
- Fort Wilderness Cabins – concrete pad repairs takes place through February 13.
- Fort Wilderness Campsites – concrete pad repairs takes place through March 12.
- Fort Wilderness Campsites – repaving takes place on Loop 2100 from through February 21.
- Pop Century Resort – 80s lodge building will have themed walls refinished near the Roger Rabbit icon from through February 17.
- Pop Century Resort – 60s lodge building will have themed walls refinished near the Mowgli & Baloo icons from February 20 to March 30.
- Pop Century Resort – repairs of concrete deck at Hippy Dippy Pool through September 28. The pool remains open during the work, but some small sections of the pool deck will be closed periodically throughout this period.
- All-Star Music Resort – sections of the roadway near Melody Hall closed for rejuvenation at the porte cochere, the check-in parking lot and through the bus stop area through February 10.
- All-Star Music Resort – Piano Pool closed February 6 to March 2; Calypso Pool will remain open.
- All-Star Movies Resort – Beverage coolers installed in guest rooms through March 16. The installation takes place one floor at a time between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Guests notified via an in-room flier the day before the work is scheduled to take place.
- Typhoon Lagoon – closed through March 17 for annual refurbishment.
- Downtown Disney Marketplace Basin – closed through mid-March for renovations.
Cirque du Soleil La Nouba – performs Tuesdays through Saturdays. For 2012, the show is not be performed:
- March 20
- May 15–26
- July 24
- September 18–22
- November 27
Stay-three-get-one-free offer for two weeks in February/March
In connection with the "One More Disney Day" promotion for leap day, Disney has released a "One More Disney Day and Night – Free" discount for stays from February 26 through March 10. If you book a non-discounted Magic Your Way package of at least three nights with an arrival date most nights February 26 through March 10, you receive an additional night for free. the offer can only be applied once per package or reservation, and excludes suites.
You must book this discount by January 31. The rooms available at these rates are limited, and no other group rates or discounts apply.
You can make your reservation through the Walt Disney World website or by calling (407) 939-1920 or your favorite travel agent and mentioning discount code J6R. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).
Florida resident ticket discount
Florida residents can take advantage of a special 3- or 4- day ticket at discounted prices through late May. The "Wild for 3" (and "Wild for 4") tickets are available for purchase through May 21, and are valid for admission any three (or four) days through May 24, excluding blackout dates. The tickets are not valid February 18-20 and April 1-13 due to high crowd levels.
The Wild for 3 Pass ($99 plus tax) and Wild for 4 ($129 plus tax) passes are good at any one of the four Walt Disney World theme parks each day, but without park hopping privileges. Park Hopper and Water Park Fun & More options can be added for $27.50 each ($55 for both).
Proof of Florida residency is required for each adult age 18 and older. The discounted price applies to both adults and children.
Passholder discounts available through March
Disney has released a Passholder discount for most nights from through March 8. Discounts are 35 percent for select Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villa accommodations, and 30 percent for Value resorts from Sunday through Thursday nights.
As with most Passholder discounts, you can book this discount up through your arrival date, if discounted rooms are not yet sold out by then. The rooms available at these rates is limited. Minimum length-of-stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals. No group rates or other discounts apply. Suites and 3-bedroom Grand Villas are not included.
You can make your reservation through the Passholder website or by calling (407) 939-7731 or your favorite travel agent and mentioning discount code H5L. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).
Room-only discounts for February through June
Disney has released a room-only discount for all nights from April 13 through June 14. Discounts vary based on date. However, many resorts are excluded from the discount, including All-Star Movies Resort, Port Orleans French Quarter Resort, Contemporary Resort, Beach Club Villas, Wilderness Lodge Villas, and premium views at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
For stays on the nights of May 25 to 27, guests receive discount rates of:
- 15 percent at Polynesian Resort, Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, standard view rooms at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Fort Wilderness Cabins, Port Orleans Riverside Resort, Pop Century Resort, All-Star Music Resort, and All-Star Sports Resort
- 20 percent at Animal Kingdom Villas, Boardwalk Villas, Caribbean Beach Resort and Coronado Springs Resort
- 25 percent at Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, Boardwalk Inn, and Wilderness Lodge
- 30 percent at Saratoga Springs Resort and Old Key West Resort.
For all other nights during the discount period, the discounts are:
- 20 percent at Polynesian Resort, Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, standard view rooms at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Fort Wilderness Cabins, Port Orleans Riverside Resort, Pop Century Resort, All-Star Music Resort, and All-Star Sports Resort
- 25 percent at Animal Kingdom Villas, Boardwalk Villas, Caribbean Beach Resort and Coronado Springs Resort
- 30 percent at Saratoga Springs Resort, Old Key West Resort, Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, Boardwalk Inn, and Wilderness Lodge.
You must book this discount by February 28. The rooms available at these rates is limited. Minimum length-of-stay requirements may apply for Friday or Saturday arrivals.
You can make your reservation through the Walt Disney World website or by calling (407) 939-1917 or your favorite travel agent and mentioning discount code N6P. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).
Military ticket offer
From now through September 28, 2012, active and retired U.S. military personnel can purchase 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with either the Park Hopper or Water Parks Fun and More option for $138 per ticket, plus tax, or with both the Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun and More options for $165 per ticket, plus tax. No Base ticket is available with this offer.
The tickets expire and may not be used after September 30, 2012. Blackout dates are April 1 to 12, 2012; and July 4, 2012.
Eligible service members include active or retired members of the U.S. military including the U.S. Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reservists. Disney Military Promotional Tickets can be purchased at Shades of Green or at a participating military base (MWR/ITT) office. There is no tax charged for these tickets but they must be activated at a theme park ticket window. Tickets may also be purchased at Walt Disney World Park Ticket Offices and Guest Relations Offices where tax will be charged. No more than twelve Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased, activated and/or used by any Eligible Service Member or spouse during the life of this promotion, and no Eligible Service Member or spouse may purchase, activate and/or use more than six Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets during any single week of the promotion. One of the Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets purchased on each occasion must be for use by the Eligible Service Member or spouse. This offer is for active or retired members of the U.S. military, including the National Guard, Reservists and the U.S. Coast Guard. Valid military identification is required. The tickets are non-transferable and may not be resold.
The tickets may be upgraded to Seasonal Passes or Florida Resident Weekday Select Passes (for Florida Residents), or Annual Passes, Premium Annual Passes, or Disney Premier Pass with credit toward the upgrade based on the actual price paid. The no-expiration option and other upgrades, such as additional days, are not available.
For complete information regarding Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets, military personnel may call 407-939-7830, visit the Walt Disney World website, or participating U.S. military base ticket offices.