Disney Vacation Club Cancels Moonlight Magic Events

One of the perks of being a Disney Vacation Club member are the exclusive Moonlight Magic events that are hosted at Disney theme parks throughout the year.

These after-hours events are only for Disney Vacation Club members and their guests, giving the DVC community a chance to experience various Disney Parks, including Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, and the Typhoon Lagoon water park, without the usual crowds.

DVC has announced that they have canceled events scheduled for this summer.

From the Disney Vacation Club website –

“Update: Events Cancelled in June, July and August

With the safety and well-being of our Members, Guests and Cast always top of mind, Disney Vacation Club continues to evaluate our upcoming slate of Membership Magic events and make necessary adjustments. Moonlight Magic events previously scheduled for June (during the park closure period), July and August will be cancelled.

Thank you for your patience and kindness as we all navigate the challenges surrounding COVID-19.”

The full list of cancelled Moonlight Magic events are below –

 

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

Important Update: More Disney Closures due to COVID-19

Late Sunday night Disney announced that they would be closing all Disney Stores in North America beginning March 17. Guests will still be able to shop at shopDisney.com. Disney will also be closing all of it’s owned and operated locations at Downtown Disney in Anaheim and Disney Springs in Orlando, beginning March 17. Individual tenants […]

Late Sunday night Disney announced that they would be closing all Disney Stores in North America beginning March 17. Guests will still be able to shop at shopDisney.com.

Disney will also be closing all of it’s owned and operated locations at Downtown Disney in Anaheim and Disney Springs in Orlando, beginning March 17. Individual tenants will be making decisions on whether to close, continue operating or adjust operations.

In addition, all Disney owned and operated hotels at Walt Disney World Resort and Disney’s Vero Beach Resort will be closing at 5 PM on March 20.

Walt Disney World Increases Prices on Annual Passes and Overnight Parking

Ahead of today’s opening of bookings for 2020 and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge   opening on August 29th, Walt Disney World significantly increased the prices on their annual passes overnight.

Perhaps hardest hit were out-of-state Annual Passholders. Florida residents’ and DVC members’ prices are still markedly lower but have increased as well.

Here’s the breakdown (you may want to sit down for this) –

Non-Resident Annual Passholder (Pre-Tax) –

Platinum New  – was $894  now $1119 (25.2% increase)

Platinum Renewal – was $759 now $951 (25.3%)

Platinum Plus New – was $994 now $1219 (22.6%)

Platinum Plus Renewal – was $844 now $1036 (22.7%)

Florida Resident and DVC Member Annual Passholder (Pre-Tax) –

Silver (FL Resident) New – was $479 now $519 (8.4%)

Silver (FL Resident) Renewal – was $407 now $441 (8.4%)

Gold New – was $609 now $699 (14.8%)

Gold Renewal – was $517 now $594 (14.9%)

Platinum New – was $749 now $899 (20.0%)

Platinum Renewal – was $636 now $764 (20.1%)

Platinum Plus New – was $849 now $999 (17.7%)

Platinum Plus Renewal – was $721 now $849 (17.8%)

So what do you get with your Walt Disney World Annual Pass?

The passes get you access to the applicable parks for the year, effectively giving you a park hopper. They’ll also get you certain discounts on food and nonalcoholic beverages and merchandise, special event ticket discounts, and AP resort room offers. By having an annual pass you will also get access to exclusive Passholder merchandise, early runDisney registration, certain VIPassholder ticketed events, and giveaways,  such as car magnets and other items given out during Epcot’s festivals.

While not a direct monetary value, but we should also mention that when the parks reach capacity the current process is to restrict entry in four phases, AP holders are not blocked from entering the parks until the fourth and last phase. So AP holders are effectively given preferential treatment on the parks’ most crowded days.

By being a Passholder (or DVC member or Florida resident) you also have access to the Tables In Wonderland card, which currently costs $150. TIW gets you 20% off food and drinks (including alcohol) at most table service restaurants on property and some others. That adds up quickly, especially as a local.

Also announced today was that Walt Disney World is increasing the prices for overnight parking at its resorts.

For reservations made before June 18, 2019 for arrivals in 2019 or 2020:

  • Disney Value Resorts: $13 per night
  • Disney Moderate Resorts: $19 per night
  • Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $24 per night

For reservations made on or after June 18, 2019 for arrivals in 2020:

  • Disney Value Resorts: $15 per night
  • Disney Moderate Resorts: $20 per night
  • Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $25 per night

Guests with cars staying at the Value Resorts seem to be getting hit the hardest with a 15.4% increase.  Guests staying at a Moderate and Deluxe resort will be seeing rates increased by 5.2% and 4.2% respectively.

Walt Disney World Announces Plans to Build New Nature-Themed Resort

Earlier today Walt Disney World announced plans to build a nature-inspired resort along the shores of Bay Lake.  The new resort will be located between Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge on land that previously was the long time closed River Country water park.

The deluxe resort will be themed to complement its natural surroundings.

Disney said the new resort, which has not yet been named, will open in 2022.  The new resort will include 900 hotel rooms and Disney Vacation Club villas.

“Walt Disney World is in the midst of our most significant expansion in the last two decades and the combined 1,700 new hotel rooms and proposed Disney Vacation Club villas we are building at four different resorts will create thousands of new construction and permanent jobs and will drive economic opportunity and incremental revenue for Central Florida,” said George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “We continue to add new attractions, new lands — and these beautiful accommodations will be right in the heart of all that magic.”

The resort has not been named as of yet will be Disney’s 16th Disney Vacation Club property.

“This resort experience will be a celebration of Walt Disney’s lifelong love and respect for nature, with some fun and even surprising accommodation types that families will find irresistible,” said Terri Schultz, senior vice president and general manager of Disney Vacation Club. “It will give our members and guests yet another opportunity to stay in close proximity to all the newest attractions and experiences in our theme parks, and with the flexibility, value and world-class service families expect from Disney.”

 

 

 

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!

Disney Vacation Club Announces Moonlight Magic Dates for 2018

Members will enjoy more Moonlight Magic event dates than ever in 2018, with parties already confirmed for every month from January through November, with more dates still to come! To help you plan accordingly, Disney Vacation Club is pleased to share confirmed party and booking dates.

The confirmed slate includes the first Moonlight Magic events at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where the highly anticipated Toy Story Land is scheduled to have made its playful debut by the time Members take over the park. Also confirmed is a return to Disney California AdventurePark, where Paradise Pier is scheduled to have become Pixar Pier – headlined by the highly anticipated transformation of California Screamin’ into The Incredibles-inspired Incredicoaster!

Introduced in 2017 as part of Membership Magic Ever After, complimentary Moonlight Magic events invite Disney Vacation ClubMembers and special guests to turn Disney Parks into their own personal playgrounds at the end of the parks’ operating days. While attendees may get a jump start on the fun by mixing in with the regular crowd earlier in the evening, the real magic happens after the park has closed to the public. It’s then that privileged partiers discover shorter-than-usual wait times on popular attractions, meet off-the-beaten-path Characters, enjoy complimentary refreshments, let loose at dance parties and more.

Here’s a look at the confirmed 2018 Moonlight Magic schedule, including the dates on which online reservations will open for each event:

  • Jan. 11 and 28, and Feb. 6 at Magic Kingdom Park
    (Booking begins for Members with Resort reservations on the event dates Dec 7. Pending availability, booking opens for all Members on Dec 21.)
  • March 21, April 17 and May 16 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
    (Booking begins for Members with Resort reservations on the event dates Feb 8. Pending availability, booking opens for all Members on Feb 22.)
  • May 30 and June 11 at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
    (Booking begins for Members with Resort reservations on the event dates April 19. Pending availability, booking opens for all Members on May 3.)
  • July 16 and Aug. 13 at Epcot
    (Booking begins for Members with Resort reservations on the event dates June 6. Pending availability, booking opens for all Members on June 20.)
  • Sept. 19 and 26, and Oct. 3 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
    (Booking begins for Members with Resort reservations on the event dates Aug 30. Pending availability, booking opens for all Members on Sept. 13.)
  • Nov. 15 at Disney California Adventure Park
    (Booking begins for all Members on Oct. 4.)

Please note that, in order to allow as many Members as possible to enjoy Moonlight Magic, only one event date for each participating park will be available per Membership. Watch disneyvacationclub.com for additions to the Moonlight Magic event slate, as well as party hours and transportation information.

 

The Artist’s Palette at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Debuts Family Meal Kit

The ability to prepare and enjoy a family meal in a spacious Disney Vacation Club villa has long been part of the magic of Membership … and a new meal kit at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa is making it easier than ever to take advantage of a villa’s kitchen and dining area.

Priced at $49 plus tax and available for a limited time at the resort’s Artist’s Palette marketplace, the meal kit for four features Rigatoni Fiesolana (Rigatoni pasta with creamy tomato sauce, sausage, portabella mushrooms, parmesan and fresh basil) and comes with a large garden salad, garlic bread sticks and baking instructions.

Note that full kitchens are available in one-bedroom villas and larger accommodations at Disney Vacation Club Resorts. Deluxe Studios are not equipped to prepare this meal option.

Disney’s Vero Beach Resort to Re-Open Today

The Disney Vacation Club has announced that Disney’s Vero Beach Resort on the east coast of Florida is reopening today after being closed for nearly a week due to Hurricane Irma.

DVC has also announced that it’s other beach-side resort, Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort will tentatively reopen on September 18th.