Walt Disney World Announces More Resort Hotel Openings

Today Walt Disney World announced a schedule of openings of more resort hotels as part of its phased re-opening.  Previously Disney had announced that it was opening it’s Disney Vacation Club Villas and Fort Wilderness Campground on June 22.

Below is Disney’s announcement:

We currently plan to open the following resort hotels to booked Guests on the following dates. Please note, that given the fluidity of the current environment, these dates are subject to change and Guests’ reservations could still be modified to other resort hotels if needed.
  • July 10 – Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • July 29 – Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Aug. 12 – Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • Aug. 24 – Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
  • Sept. 21 – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Oct. 1 – Disney’s BoardWalk Resort
  • Oct. 14 – Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

Guests with current reservations at impacted Disney Resort hotels can request help with modifying their reservation starting Monday June 22. Reservations for stays in 2021 will begin booking on Wednesday, June 24. Only Guests with a valid theme park ticket or Annual Pass will be able to access the Disney Park Pass reservation system.

Given the current situation, there are some resort hotels and other areas that are not, as of this time, being scheduled for reopening yet. We will continue to evaluate the situation and reopen more locations when the environment is right to do so.

 

Walt Disney World Updates Plans for Re-Opening its Resort Hotels

Walt Disney World has released new information about is plans to re-open its resort hotels on June 22nd.


Disney has confirmed the list of resort hotels re-opening on June 22 will include:

  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort – including The Wave, Contempto Cafe and Cove Bar.
  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – including Whispering Canyon Cafe and Roaring Fork.
  • Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village – including Sanaa, Maji Pool Bar.
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas – including Beaches and Cream, Beach Club Marketplace and Martha’s Vineyard. Stormalong Bay will NOT be available.
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Villas – including Trattoria al Forno, Pizza Window, BoardWalk Bakery, Leaping Horse Libations, AbracadaBar.
  • Disney’s Fort Wilderness – including P&J’s Southern Takeout, Meadow Snack Bar, Crocket’s Tavern.
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort – including Olivia’s Cafe, Good’s Food to Go, Gurgling Suitcase.
  • Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows – Kona Cafe, Capt. Cook’s ,Pineapple Lanai, Barefoot Pool Bar.
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort – including Topolino’s Terrace, Primo Piatyo, Le Petit Cafe, Bar Riva.
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort – including The Artist’s Palette, The Paddock Grill, On the Rocks Pool Bar.
  • The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort – including Grand Floridian Cafe, Gasparilla Island Grill, Enchanted Rose, Beaches Pool Bar.

Guests will need to be aware of:

  • Disney will waive its change and cancellation fees up to the date of check-in for reservations with arrivals through October 3, 2020.  
  • Guests entering a resort hotel will require a confirmed room reservation or a confirmed dining reservation for day guests.
  • Online check-in will be encouraged but not required.
  • Masks will be required in all public areas expect for swimming or dining for ages 2 and over.
  • Staying in a resort hotel does not guarantee access to the parks from July 11.
  • Temperature screening may be in operation.
  • Before the parks reopen, bus transportation will be available to Disney Springs, and then to the parks once they open.
  • Magical Express will be available.
  • Minnie Van Service will not be available.
  • Bell Services will deliver but luggage but will not escort guests.
  • Club Level service will be unavailable.
  • Resort airline checkin will be unavailable.
  • Valet Parking will not be available.
  • Feature Pools and Fitness Center will be operating at reduced hours.
  • Restaurants will not be operating any character dining with the exception of Topolino’s.
  • The Electrical Water Pageant will not be available.

The following will not operating at any of resorts:

  • Arcades
  • Campfires
  • Character experiences
  • Dog parks
  • Electrical Water Pageant
  • Marina rentals
  • Pin trading
  • Playgrounds, spas, salons and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

Disney Vacation Club Changes Trash Pick-Up & Walt Disney Resorts Changes Security Policy

Hey there everyone!  Disney News Today is back!

A week or so ago, I wrote that the site was going to be re-imagineered into reporting the news and happenings of the Disney Community along with my take on the stories.  This will be the first installment of the new site with hopefully a lot more to follow.

Last week Friday Disney Vacation Members were sent an email from Ken Potrock, DVC Senior VP & General Manager, extending Holiday Wishes to members.  Along with the holiday sentiments, Potrock  also mentioned the “big plans” for the future that DVC was thrilled to tell us about.

The item in this list that drew my attention was the mention that DVC would begin removing trash on a daily basis.  This change would begin immediately at Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, The Villas at The Grand Floridian, Disney’s Grand Californian and Aulani.  The change would be implemented to all remaining Disney Vacation Club Resorts on January 7, 2018.

We’ve been Disney Vacation Members since 1995, and frankly we’ve gotten used to ‘Mousekeeping’ not showing up every day.  So, understandably my first reaction was, “who complained about not having daily trash pick up” and what was this going to do to my dues.

Being the way that I am I had to find out why this was happening.  I just didn’t believe that this was just about trash pick up.  So, I contacted Membership Services.  While the answer that I got from them was not completely forthcoming, it did shed some light onto the situation.  In a statement that I got from a Cast Member at Member Services I was told, “It is important for us to visually inspect every room for maintenance, safety, security and other purposes.”

Within days sources were saying Walt Disney World was changing the security policy at this time for the Monorail Resorts (Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village  .  Reports stated that Disney would be removing “Do Not Disturb” signs.  According to the Orlando Sentinel, guests at these locations can now use “Room Occupied” signs. Using the new door tag does not preclude maintenance or housekeeping staff from entering.  Guests are now being informed that Disney staff will now enter rooms at these properties daily. If guests are not comfortable with Disney staff going into their rooms when they are gone, the company will coordinate with those people on an individual basis.

While Disney has not specifically said so, there is a lot of rumors and chatter that sooner than later this policy change is going to be extended to other resorts.

When the security policy at the Monorail Resorts was reported, the trash policy change at the Disney Vacation Resorts started making more sense.

So, why is Disney making these changes?

Like I mentioned earlier, I was initially confused why DVC was doing this.  Then I thought it might have to to with it was taking Mousekeeping longer to clean out the trash when they did come because there was a significant number of guest not taking out their own trash between trash pick ups.  Then I started thinking that maybe this way that maintenance/housekeeping staff and check on things that need to be fixed and get them fixed before guests check out, thereby not holding up guests checking into their new rooms.

Now, even though Disney has not “officially” stated so, the new policy appears to be a response to the October shooting in Las Vegas that killed 59 people and injured more than 500.

I have seen some blowback by a small amount of people on the Internet that they are not happy about this change….stating that they won’t be staying at any of the Monorail Resorts anymore.

Personally, I think that this is very short-sighted.  While Disney has not officially said so, it appears that this change is going to spread to the remaining Disney Resorts.

Honestly, while inconvenient, I’m fully in support of this change.  Unfortunately, this is the world we live in now.  It’s why “we can’t have nice things.”  Disney has to do this because they would end up being liable if they didn’t implement something like this and something like Las Vegas did happen on property.

What is surprising me is why Disney hasn’t come out front and said this is why they are implementing the new polices.  I think as Disney Vacation Club Members, we’d be more understanding why the trash pick-up is being changed if management at DVC would just tell us it’s out of concern for guest safety.  I also believe that guests staying at the Walt Disney Resorts would be less reactionary and more understanding of the security changes if Disney was more upfront about why the change is occurring.

Okay….that’s it for for today.  I’ll be back soon with another story soon.

See ya real soon!

Walt Disney World to Celebrate Mickey’s Birthday Saturday

The Magic Kingdom will be celebrating Mickey Mouse’s birthday on Saturday November 18th with special entertainment, merchandise and desserts.

The day will kick off with a special Welcome Show birthday moment and rope-drop, followed by a Tomorrowland birthday-themed dance party, birthday celebration during Move it! Shake it! Dance & Play It! Street Party, and finally a Happily Ever After pre-show birthday moment.

Guests arriving at any of the Walt Disney World theme parks will also receive a birthday button.

If you’re celebrating Mickey tomorrow, be sure to pick up one of his tasty treats and wish him a happy birthday. All of these items will be available all weekend, November 17-19

Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Found at Trolley Car Café

  • Mickey’s Birthday Cupcake – Cookies and cream-flavored cupcake with cookies and cream frosting

Magic Kingdom
Found at Main Street Bakery, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café and Pinocchio Village Haus

  • Steamboat Willie Cookies ‘n Cream Cheesecake – Cookies and cream cheesecake with chocolate glaze, whipped cookies and cream panna cotta and Steamboat Willie garnish
  • Found at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Be Our Guest Restaurant and Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen
  • Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat Chocolate Cake – Layers of flourless chocolate cake with caramel mousse, milk chocolate pearls and a red glaze

Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Found at Contempo Café

  • Mickey’s Red Velvet Cake – with cream cheese filling and white chocolate glaze

Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts
Found at Beach Club Marketplace and Market at Ale & Compass

  • Mickey’s Birthday Celebration Cupcake – Large peanut butter cupcake

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Found at Narcoossee’s

  • Happy Birthday Mickey Dessert – Almond-crusted cheesecake

Disney Springs
Found at the Ganachery

  • Strawberry Ganache Lollipop
  • Mickey Mouse-themed Milk Chocolate Bar

Found at Amorette’s Patisserie

  • Mini Mickey Dome Cake – Chocolate chiffon, milk chocolate mousse and orange blossom pâte de fruit
  • Mini Pluto Dome Cake – Banana and peanut butter-flavored
  • Mickey-Shaped Chocolate Macaroon

Epcot
Found at Sunshine Seasons

  • Mickey’s Cookies ‘n Cream Cheesecake

Found at Rose & Crown Dining Room

  • Kid’s Bangers and Mash with Mickey-Shaped Potatoes
  • Scotch Egg with Mickey-Shaped Puff Pastry
  • Mickey-Shaped Cheese in Cheese Plate
  • Mickey Banoffee Tart – Banana, Jameson Irish Whiskey-Caramel, sweet cream and chocolate

Found at The Garden Grill

  • Mickey-Shaped Cucumber Salad

Found at Fountain View and Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe

  • Mickey’s Celebration Cupcake – Vanilla cupcake with white chocolate mousse and vanilla buttercream

Found at Le Cellier Steakhouse

  • Mickey Nanaimo – Chocolate cake with peanut butter cream covered in red glaze with graham cracker-coconut streusel and toasted coconut ice cream

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Found at Kona Café

  • Mickey’s Hau’oli lā Hānau – Coconut mousse, crispy vanilla pearls, tropical fresh fruits and dragon fruit sorbet

Found at Capt. Cook’s

  • Mickey’s Chocolate Celebration Birthday Cupcake – Chocolate cupcake filled with strawberry guava ganache and topped with white chocolate mousse

Disney’s All-Star Resorts
Found at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort

  • Mickey’s Pumpkin Mousse Marshmallow Tart – Pumpkin mousse with spiced marshmallow dipped in chocolate

Found at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort

  • Steamboat Mickey’s Cupcake – Chocolate cupcake with Oreo buttercream

Found at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort

  • Mickey’s Pumpkin Whoopie Pie – Pumpkin whoopie pie with cream cheese buttercream

Disney’s BoardWalk
Found at BoardWalk Bakery

  • Heritage Mickey Dessert – Black and white tart with white chocolate mousse and topped with a dark chocolate Mickey dome adorned with chocolate ears, tail and buttons

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Found at Roaring Fork

  • Mickey’s Mischievous Rice Krispy Treat – Mickey-themed crispy treats

Found at Whispering Canyon

  • Mickey’s Birthday Dark Chocolate Dome – Dark chocolate Mickey dome with raspberry sauce and Chambord cream

Found at Geyser Point

  • Mickey’s Birthday Celebration Brownie – Mickey brownie with dark chocolate mousse and white chocolate face

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Found at The Mara

  • Mickey’s Charm – Lemon rose cremeux, caramelized milk chocolate mousse tart

Found at Jiko – The Cooking Place

  • Fantasmic Entremet – Spiced chocolate and cherry entremets

Found at Boma – Flavors of Africa

  • Steamboat Willie Cheesecake – Oreo cheesecake tartlets

Found at Sanaa

  • Tropical Mickey Tart – Coconut lime cremeux, passion fruit mousse tart

Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Found at Creature Comforts, Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery and Isle of Java

  • Safari Mickey Cupcake – Yellow cake filled with banana pastry cream, dipped in chocolate ganache and topped with buttercream and fondant and red chocolate balloon

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
Found at Leaning Palms and Happy Landings Ice Cream

  • Mickey’s Birthday Cupcake – Vanilla cupcake with white buttercream icing and Happy Birthday Mickey chocolate topper

Found at Typoon Tilly’s and Snack Shack

  • Mickey’s Birthday Cupcake – Chocolate cupcake with buttercream icing and red chocolate Mickey glove

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
Found at Trail’s End Restaurant

  • Mickey’s Birthday Celebration Cupcake – Yellow cake with strawberry filling, buttercream icing, sugar cookie Mickey Ears, chocolate buttons and tail

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Found at ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill

  • Mini Mickey Dome Cake – Chocolate chiffon, milk chocolate mousse and orange blossom pâte de fruit

Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Found at Everything POP Shopping & Dining

  • Mickey Cupcake – Vanilla cupcake covered with buttercream frosting and topped with Oreo cookies and crumbles

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Found at Landscape of Flavors

  • Mickey Cupcake – Vanilla cupcake with buttercream icing, Oreos and white chocolate buttons

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Found at Artist Palette

  • Happy Birthday Mickey! – Funfetti cake with vanilla buttercream

Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Found at Good’s Food to Go

  • Mickey Funfetti Mini Cake – Yellow cake with vanilla bean filling

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Found at Centertown

  • Mickey’s Birthday Celebration Cupcake – Red velvet cupcake filled with chocolate mousse and fondant Mickey topping

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside and French Quarter
Found at Riverside Mill Food Court and Sassagoula Float Works and Food Factory

  • Mickey’s Birthday Celebration Cupcake – Red velvet cupcake filled with chocolate mousse and fondant Mickey topping

Walt Disney World Making Changes to Private Dining Hours at Resorts

Walt Disney World has announced that some of it’s deluxe resorts will be revising the hours for their private in-room dining services.  The new hours will go into effect on October 29th.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts will be losing their 24 hour private dining.

New Resort Private Dining Hours –

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

  • Breakfast – 6am to noon
  • All Day Dining – Noon to midnight

Disney’s BoardWalk Resort

  • Breakfast – 6am to noon
  • All Day Dining – Noon to midnight

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

  • Breakfast – 6am to noon
  • All day dining – Noon to 11pm
  • Late Night – 11pm to 2am

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

  • Breakfast – 6am to noon
  • All day dining – Noon to 11pm
  • Late Night – 11pm to 2am

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

  • Breakfast – 6am to noon
  • All Day Dining – Noon to midnight

Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort

  • Breakfast – 6am to noon
  • All day dining – Noon to 11pm
  • Late Night – 11pm to 2am

Disney Releases Room Only Discounts and Package Offers at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

Along with the release of today’s Free Dining package, Disney has also released three more offers, including a room-only offer.

Room-Only offer

It’s the perfect time to stay in the middle of the magic! You can save up to 25%* on rooms at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels for stays most nights Aug. 1-Oct. 7, 2017 when you book by Aug. 31, 2017.

With this offer, you can enjoy distinctive Disney Resort Guest benefits and amenities – including early access to Disney FastPass+ planning, Extra Magic Hours, complimentary Resort transportation, standard parking and entertaining amenities!

Plus, you can uncover a magical mix of new and unforgettable experiences when they add theme park admission, including Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.

Booking Window: April 24-Aug. 31, 2017

The following room types and Disney Resort hotels are excluded:

  • 3-bedroom villas
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms
  • Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows – Bungalows
  • Copper Creek Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Length-of-stay requirements may apply. Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room. Additional per-adult charges may apply if more than two adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required. Offer excludes 3-bedroom villas, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms and the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows. 25% savings for select Disney Deluxe and Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts; lower savings may be available at other select Disney Resort hotels.
Travel Window: Aug. 1-Oct. 7, 2017

Enchanted Escape Package

You can enjoy a package that includes a 4-night stay in a standard room at a select Disney’s All-Star Resort and 4-day Magic Your Way base tickets for as low as $1,890.* Sample package price is valid for a family of 4 for stays most Sunday through Thursday nights from August 13 through October 5, 2017.

Late summer is a great time for you to sneak in a family vacation at Walt Disney World® Resort. Together, you can explore exciting experiences across all 4 theme parks—and still be among the first to visit Pandora – The World of Avatar, an all-new awe-inspiring land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® theme park.

Book through August 31, 2017.

Are you planning a longer stay or have more people in your party? Check availability for packages that can accommodate other lengths of stay and party sizes.

Booking window: April 24, 2017 – August 31, 2017
(Sunday-Thursday nights)

Travel window: August 1 – October 7, 2017

*Price based on 2 adults, 1 junior (ages 10-17) and 1 child (ages 3-9). The number of packages available at this rate is limited. Savings based on the non-discounted price of the same package. Tickets are valid for one Theme Park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required.

Kid-Size Enchanted Escape Package

You can explore a package that includes a 3-night stay in a standard room at a select Disney’s All-Star Resort and 2-day Magic Your Way base tickets for as low as $938*. Sample package price is valid for a family of 3 for stays most Sunday through Thursday nights from August 13 through October 5, 2017, when you book from now through August 31, 2017.

With this offer, you can uncover a treasure trove of fun together, including up-close encounters with Disney Junior pals, sing-along stage shows and more than 80 preschool-friendly attractions.

Are you planning a longer stay or have more people in their party? Check availability for packages that can accommodate other lengths of stay and party sizes.

Booking window: April 24, 2017 – August 31, 2017
(Sunday-Thursday nights)

Travel window: August 1 – October 7, 2017

*Price based on 2 adults and 1 child (ages 3-9). The number of packages available at this rate is limited. Savings based on the non-discounted price of the same package. Tickets are valid for one Theme Park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required.

 

‘Ohana Dinner Hours Extended

The operating hours for dinner at ‘Ohana inside Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort will be extended starting weekend.

Beginning March 13th, dinner service will start at 3:30 PM instead of 5 PM and continue through 10 PM.

‘Ohana Best Friends Breakfast Hours Extended

Ohana Character Breakfast

The operating hours of the very popular ‘Ohana Best Friends Breakfast at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort have been extended.

The breakfast which starts at 7:30 AM now has seatings extended until noon.. Prior to the extension, last seating was at 11am.

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto Officially Opens at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Trader Sam's Grog Grotto

The collectible souvenir mugs are in at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and the doors officially open today.

Those coveted cups include the Uh-Oa!, Krakatoa Punch, Nautilus, Polynesian Pearl, HippopotoMai-Tai, Rum Flight shot glasses in the three colors and the Shrunken Zombie Head – all available only at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.

Grog Grotto

It’s a pretty popular spot, with waits some evenings up to two hours at peak times as guests ooh and ah over more than 1,200 pieces of memorabilia and have a good time with the staff. The handcrafted cocktails are delicious, and just order an Uh-Oa! and see what happens with the special effects.

If you want a table and there’s a wait, Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace is almost as cool as the lounge, with a lava rock waterfall and live Hawai’ian-themed entertainment every night with the gorgeous backdrop of Seven Seas Lagoon and a seat for the Magic Kingdom Park fireworks.

Walt Disney Parks & Resorts recently won a VIBE VISTA Award in the category of “Best Spirits Program in Hotels.” The award represents “exemplary creativity, execution and results in an extremely competitive field,” as judged by the faculty at Johnson & Wales University. And Trader Sam’s helped land the prestigious award.

Walt Disney World Monorail System Operating Revised Resort/Express Beam Routes During February and March

Monorail Gold

The Walt Disney World Resort Monorail System will be operating revised routes on both the Resort and Express beams over the next couple of months.

The changes listed below will be in operation February 3 – 5, February 9 – 12, February 23 – 26, March 2 – 5 of this year, between the hours of 11am and 7pm.

  • Monorails on the Resort beam will stop at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort only.
  • Monorails on the Express beam will stop at the Magic Kingdom, Transportation and Ticket Center and Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

The above changes mean that resort beam guests who wish to get to Epcot will have to first get to the TTC by using the Express beam, and then change to the Epcot beam. Alternatively, direct buses will serve the resorts for travel to Epcot.  Also….remember that the TTC is a short walk from Disney’s Polynesian Village, so if you can get to the Poly on the resort beam you will be able to get to the TTC fairly easily.