Walt Disney World Resort Updateby Mark Goldhaber, staff writer
Update for May 29 – June 3, 2012
Go directly to: News & Views | Join our Networks | Coming Soon | Refurbishment/Attraction Closures | Discounts/Promotions | Comments
Brave-themed event for wee ones at Epcot next month | Adventures By Disney to offer Brave-themed Scotland itinerary for 2013 | Castle projection show adds summer overlay | Midsummer Feast at Raglan Road | Gay Days to be marked by battle in the skies | Construction update | Quick takes | Crowd update
With the June 22 opening of Disney-Pixar's Brave, the studio's newest theatrical film featuring an Scottish setting, how could Disney resist doing a little synergetic tie-in at Epcot near World Showcase? The kid-focused "Brave – The Highland Games Tournament" takes place along the park's Rose Walk from June 1 through July 8, featuring games like mini-caber toss, cake toss, haggis flip, and archery. For those unfamiliar with the location, the Rose Walk is the rambling walkway from Future World to World Showcase near the Imagination and Canada pavilions. The nearby playground from the Flower & Garden Festival will hang around as well, and there will be free enhanced wireless in the area (most likely an early test for the planned resort-wide Wi-Fi system). The event takes place daily from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Adventures by Disney has announced a Brave-themed trip to Scotland for 2013. The nine-day, eight-night "Scotland: A Brave Adventure" trip takes travelers to Edinburgh, the Isle of Skye, and the Isle of Lewis and Inverness, and through the Highlands to experience the land that inspired the Disney-Pixar feature about Princess Merida (opening June 22). Stops include the Black House of Arnol, Gearrannan Village, Dunnotar, Eilean Donan, Urquhart, and Edinburgh Castles, Loch Ness, the Caledonian Forest, and Glamis Castle.
Another new itinerary for 2013 is a 12-day, 11-night Southeast Asia itinerary featuring Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. The trip includes visits to Saigon, Hanoi, Hoi An, Luang Prabang, Siem Reap, and Angkor Wat.
Calling all with a spirit of adventure!
Are you ready for MouseAdventure: World Explorers IV? The fourth iteration of the scavenger hunt/puzzle quest/race through Walt Disney World's parks takes place on Saturday, November 3 at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom (the game has been going on at the parks of the Disneyland Resort for more than 11 years now). Do you think that you know the Magic Kingdom? We bet you don't know it as well as you think you do. Test your wits against those of our puzzle masters. For more information, check out the MouseAdventure information page. Registration opens next week!
The summer edition of The Magic, The Memories, and You debuted on Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom (and the facade of "it's a small world" at Disneyland Park) last Friday. The new version features many new scenes, including "Hakuna Matata" from The Lion King, "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid, a surfing scene with Goofy, fun with Phineas and Ferb, and more. As before, more than 500 PhotoPass photos of guests also play a major role in the 10-minute production.
Other new images include turning the structure into a sandcastle, a Peter Max-style painting, and more. Some previous changes are sticking around, though. The "romance" package added back in February will continue to be part of the show during the summer. At this time, there has been no end date announced for this version of the castle show.
Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant at Downtown Disney celebrates the summer solstice on Wednesday, June 20 with a special Midsummer Feast from Chef Kevin Dundon, featuring craft beer pairings. The four-course feast includes an appetizer of a Picnic Basket of Assorted Pates and Homemade Jams, including Ham hock terrines, potted prawns, brandied chicken liver pate, tomato bavaroie, smoked salmon mousse, and vegetable consomm, paired with Guinness Foreign Extra Stout.
The second course features Champagne Splashed Raspberry Sorbet. An entree of Roast Stuffed Suckling Pig is accompanied by Braised Vegetables, Raisin and Cider Glaze and Potato Roasties, paired with Jai Alai India Pale Ale. Dessert will be Pimms Knickerbocker Glory, a creamy, light treat featuring Pimms liqueur, paired with Bunratty Mead.
Entertainment includes Creel (Raglan Road's house band) and the Raglan Road step dancers.
The event begins at 6:00 p.m., and costs $90 per person, plus tax and gratuity (approximately $112), with the craft beer pairings. For reservations, call the Walt Disney World Dining Line at 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463) or the restaurant at (407) 938-0300, or go to the Raglan Road website.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to help us keep our listings updated.
For the second year in a row, the conservative Florida Family Association plans to hire a plane to fly a banner during the privately organized Gay Days event, where gay individuals and families gather for a long weekend in and out of the Walt Disney World theme parks. This year's FFA banner will again read "Warning Gay Day at Disney." This year, however, they won't be alone. Two other groups plan to fly competing banners. OrlandoGayTravel.com, "Orlando's LGBT Convention & Visitors Bureau," plans to fly as many as three banners, including "Thanks LGBT for $3.0 Billion" and "Welcome LGBT Visitors" during the event. Meanwhile, as mentioned last month, another group calling themselves "average Americans against hatred" is planning to fly a banner stating "Warning: Homophobes Loose in Orlando. Hide Your Kids."
The Gay Days event started in 1991, and has grown into a 100,000-person convention that runs around the first Saturday in June, which is the event's official day for visiting the Magic Kingdom park wearing red T-shirts. The convention includes a travel expo, parties, and other events.
The following is a listing of interesting items from paperwork filed with Orange County in the last week:
- Magic Kingdom bridge from the Hub to Tomorrowland – construction.
- Magic Kingdom Fantasyland expansion – temporary office building.
- Magic Kingdom Pecos Bill's – main marquee sign.
- Magic Kingdom Fantasyland expansion – Gaston's Fountain.
- Magic Kingdom Frontierland – experience development - PIR/PIRIM facility package.
- Epcot – Flower & Garden Festival banner removal.
- Epcot Joffrey's Coffee – marquee.
- Disney's Animal Kingdom Conservation Station – mechanical & electrical modification.
- Downtown Disney Pleasure Island – directional sign.
- Disney's Contemporary Resort Convention Center second floor lighting system – electrical.
- Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground loop 800 – electrical.
- Disney's Old Key West Resort Miller's Road and Turtle Pond pools, spas, and pool buildings – mechanical.
- Disney's Boardwalk Resort – mechanical for boiler components replacement.
- Disney's Boardwalk Resort Convention Center – electrical.
- Disney's Boardwalk Resort – mechanical/elevators.
- Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts – mechanical/elevators.
- Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort – entrance sign finishes.
- Disney's Pop Century Resort commercial building, service building B – electrical.
…The Magic Kingdom's opening-day attraction celebrating Disney's first animated feature princess is in its final days. Snow White's Scary Adventures (the "Scary" was added with a remodel in 1994) will close for good at park closing this Thursday, May 31. The attraction's space will become Princess Fairytale Hall, a meet-and-greet location for the many Disney Princesses, reopening in late 2013. Snow White will be represented by a new attraction, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, opening in 2014. The Snow White attraction will join Mr. Toad's Wild Ride as a former Walt Disney World attraction that can still be ridden at Disneyland Park in California.
…The Enchanted Tales with Belle attraction in the Fantasyland Forest expansion allows guests to be magically transported from Maurice's cottage to Belle's library in the Beast's Castle to meet with the princess and enjoy her tale of her adventures. It seems that the storyline of the actual meeting with Belle may be similar to the former attraction by the same name at the Storytale Garden that now hosts a meet-and-greet with Merida from Disney-Pixar's Brave, but with a Lumiere animatronic participating with Belle. It is expected that Jennifer Fickley-Baker of the Disney Parks Blog will have additional photos from New Fantasyland to share on the blog this morning, most likely from the Under the Sea ~ Voyage of the Little Mermaid attraction.
…Those craving for a little more excitement at next weekend's Car Masters Weekend at Downtown Disney will be happy to hear that the event planners have heard them. High-Performance Karting from the Richard Petty Driving Experience will take place in Parking Lot K during event hours, 9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, June 2-3. Licensed drivers age 16 and older can take a lap for $20 plus tax for the first ride and $10 plus tax per additional ride. All participants must sign a waiver, and you must wear closed-toed shoes to be allowed to drive.
…This fall's Epcot International Food & Wine Festival has been extended one additional day, and will now end on Monday, November 12. This extension was made possible by the fact that—with Veterans Day, November 11, taking place on Sunday—many people will have the Monday off from work and school, as well.
…We are seeing reports that all Tutto Gusto menu items increased by $1 over last week's prices as the restaurant figures out supply vs. demand.
…Storms surrounding Tropical Storm Beryl caused scattered attraction closures at Walt Disney World yesterday. Both Blizzard Beach and Typhooon Lagoon were also shuttered.
…A 15-acre brush fire in the area between Interstate 4, International Drive, S.R. 192 and S.R. 535 caused tremendous traffic for tourists and locals alike last Friday. Those trying to get to Walt Disney World faced tremendous backups as the interstate was closed in both directions due to heavy smoke between S.R. 192 and S.R. 535. Tolls on the Central Florida Greeneway (S.R. 417) and the Beachline (S.R. 528) were suspended as eastbound drivers were directed off I-4 to the Greeneway and westbound drivers were forced off at the Beachline. The highway was reopened around 5:30 p.m., but due to rush-hour traffic it took quite a while for the traffic to clear.
…The Disney Magic cruise ship began its summer sailings from New York last Friday, making a grand appearance in New York Harbor with purportedly the world's largest bumper sticker. The 50- foot-long, 11-foot-high sticker proclaimed "[Mickey head] + NYC = Magic," with the Magic in the ship's logo script. The ship arrived from Port Canaveral in the morning, then departed for an 8-night cruise to the Bahamas, with stops at Nassau, Castaway Cay and Port Canaveral (where guests could take a day trip to the Walt Disney World Resort). Other sailings on that 8 -night itinerary depart June 2, 22, 30, July 20, 28, August 17, and 25. The Magic will also sail nine five-night cruises to the Canadian maritime provinces, with stops at Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick, departing June 10, 17, July 8, 15, August 5, 12, September 2, 7, and 12. There will also be three two-night "cruises to nowhere" that depart June 15, July 13, and August 10. The ship departs September 17 for Galveston, Texas, from where it will sail Caribbean itineraries through the winter.
…Getting to and from the Magic Kingdom may be a bit more difficult in late June, as security will be high while the presumptive candidates for the U.S. Presidential election will both be speaking at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials leadership conference at Disney's Contemporary Resort on consecutive days. Presumptive Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney will address the NALEO 29th Annual Conference 2012 Latino Political Convention from 1-2 p.m. Thursday, June 21, while President Barack Obama will speak in the same time slot on Friday, June 22. Nearly 1,000 Latino public officials are expected to attend the convention from June 21-23.
…The Heart of Florida United Way presented their 20th Annual Chef's Gala at Epcot's World Showplace on May 19, raising a record $219,175. The event has been held every year at Walt Disney World, and the resort is the event's primary sponsor and underwriter. A number of Disney chefs participate each year, and this year was no exception. Half of the 24 participating chefs this year have ties to Disney, including chefs from Artist Point, California Grill, Citricos, and Jike—The Cooking Place.
…The MousePlanet Newsletter is here! The newsletter contains a recap of the week's articles (in case you miss a day), news that may have developed since the weekly Updates were published, and tips about what's happening at the Disney theme parks for the coming weekend. We'll also include a fun MouseAdventure bonus, such as an Eye Spy or a trivia question. To subscribe to our free newsletter, go to the MousePlanet main page and enter your email address in the top right box labeled "Join the MousePlanet Newsletter." Click Join, then fill out the fields in the registration page, including your first and last name. The Newsletter is free, but you must complete this registration to receive it, even if you may have signed up for one with us in the past.
…The 2013 Princess Half Marathon weekend takes place February 22–24, 2013. Registration opens Tuesday, July 10 at 12:00 p.m. EDT.
…Registration for the September 28–29 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend is now full. There is a waitlist in case additional spots become available. The related runDisney Kids' Races are now 54 percent full and the 5K is now 51 percent full.
…Registration for the November 9-10 Disney's Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend is 66 percent full.
…Registration for the January 10-13, 2013, Disney Marathon Weekend is now open. Registration for Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge is 63 percent full.
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."
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- May 18 to June 10: Fridays through Sundays: Star Wars Weekends.
- May 31: Finding Nemo wing of Disney's Art of Animation Resort opens.
- June 18: Cars wing of Disney's Art of Animation Resort opens.
- July: Remainder of Storybook Circus opens at Magic Kingdom.
- August 10: The Lion King wing of Disney's Art of Animation Resort opens.
- September 7-8: Night of Joy.
- September 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 28, 30, October 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, November 2. Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
- September 15: The Little Mermaid wing of Disney's Art of Animation Resort opens.
- September 28–29: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend.
- September 28 to November 12: Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
- November 3: MouseAdventure World Explorers IV.
- November 9–10: Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend.
- November 9, 12, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, and 30, December 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, and 21. Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.
- November 22, 23, 25: Old Spice Classic.
- "In time for Holidays 2012": Little Mermaid- and Beauty and the Beast-themed sections of New Fantasyland open at Magic Kingdom.
- December 13: Disney Vacation Club Condominium Association annual meeting.
- January 10–13, 2013: Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.
- February 22-24, 2013: Disney's Princess Half Marathon.
- Snow White's Scary Adventures – closes permanently on May 31 for conversion to Princess Fairy Tale Hall.
- Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin – closed for refurbishment June 27-29.
- Enclosed Dumbo queue, – opens in July.
- Second Dumbo spinner – opens in July.
- Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak Station – opens in July.
- Liberty Square Riverboat – closed for refurbishment August 4-10.
- Country Bear Jamboree – closed for refurbishment October 1-17.
- Be Our Guest Restaurant – opens by Holidays 2012.
- Maurice's Cottage – opens by Holidays 2012.
- Gaston's Tavern – opens by Holidays 2012.
- Bonjour Gifts – opens by Holidays 2012.
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid – opens by Holidays 2012.
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – opens 2014.
- Princess Fairy Tale Hall – opens 2014.
- Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure – closed May 19 to make way for the Disney Phineas and Ferb: Agent P's World Showcase Adventure, which opens in late June.
- Test Track – closed through November 30 for "reimagining."
- The American Idol Experience – closed For refurbishment June 14-15.
- Affection Section – closed for refurbishment May 3-June 8.
- Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Grand Floridian Spa closed through mid-2013 for refurbishment.
- Wilderness Lodge – metal roof seams recoated thorough June 29.
- Beach Club Resort – Cape May Cafe closed for refurbishment July 9 through August 3.
- Yacht Club Resort Yachtsman Steakhouse – closed for refurbishment August 27 through September 15.
- Yacht Club Resort – building exterior repaired and refinished through August 3.
- Yacht Club Resort – rooftop HVAC hot water piping replaced January 9 to September 28.
- 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.
- Fort Wilderness Campground & Resort Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue – closed for refurbishment August 5 through December 31.
- Coronado Springs Resort – Ranchos buildings experiences tile roof repair and replacement through July 27.
- 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.
- Typhoon Lagoon – closed October 28 for annual refurbishment.
- Blizzard Beach – closed for annual refurbishment upon reopening of Typhoon Lagoon.
- Palm Golf Course – closed May 29 through June 8 for refurbishment.
- Oak Trail Golf Course – closed June 6 through September 28 for refurbishment.
Cirque du Soleil La Nouba – performs Tuesdays through Saturdays. For 2012, the show is not be performed:
- July 24
- September 18–22
- November 27
Discounted rooms and packages released for summer
Two new discounts have been released for this summer, one for room and ticket packages and one for room-only reservations. Both discounts are available for stays most nights from June 15 through August 14 and must be booked by June 14.
Discounts on package stays are available for a minimum stay of three nights and a minimum Magic Your Way base ticket of two days. These rates are available for June 15 through August 4 at Value and Moderate Resorts and July 15 and August 14 at Deluxe and Deluxe Villas Resorts. This discount does not include Disney's Art of Animation Resort.
Room-only discounts are available for June 15 through August 4 (Value Resorts) or August 14 (Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villas Resorts). Discounts are 15 percent at Value Resorts, 20 percent at Moderate Resorts, and 25 percent at Deluxe and Deluxe Villas Resorts. This discount does not include suites and 3 bedroom Grand Villas.
No other discounts or group rates apply. The number of discounted rooms at these rates are limited, and additional minimum stay lengths may apply for weekend arrivals.
Both packages use discount code C8Q.
For the discounted packages, you can make your reservation through the Walt Disney World website or by calling (407) 939-4990 or your favorite travel agent.
For the room-only discounts, you can make your reservation through the Walt Disney World website or by calling (407) 939-1920 or your favorite travel agent.
Passholder room discounts available through June
A Passholder discount is available for most dates March 9 through June 14. The nights of April 1 to 14 and May 25 to 31 are not available due to peak travel periods of Easter break and Memorial Day week.Passholders can book this discount through the day of arrival if rooms are still available. As with all discounts, rooms available at these rates is limited, and 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 Walt Disney World Passholder website or by calling (407) 939-1876 or your favorite travel agent and mentioning discount code RX2. MousePlanet’s preferred Disney travel providers are MouseEarVacations.com (link), Small World Vacations (link) and Get Away Today (link).
Tables in Wonderland members can save on tickets to La Nouba
Tables in Wonderland members can purchase discounted Category 2 tickets La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil on performances Tuesday through Saturday nights, May 29 to June 27. Prices for members and up to 3 guests are $57.85 plus tax for adults and $46.80 plus tax for children. To purchase tickets, call 407-WDW-SEAT (407-939-7328). Note that a valid Tables in Wonderland ID and advance purchase is required. Tickets must be picked up at the La Nouba box office Will Call window.
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.
Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. Email Mark here.