Fall/Winter Offers for WDW – Free Dining is Back!

New Fall and Winter Offers are here and Free Dining is back!

Free Dining WDW
FREE DINING WDW

FREE dining plan when you purchase a non-discounted 5-night/6-day vacation package that includes a room at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels and ticket with a Park Hopper Option.

Book through September 29, 2019 for arrivals most nights:

September 1 through September 18, 2019
November 17 through November 27, 2019
December 8 through December 23, 2019 (this means you can extend a free dining stay over Thanksgiving or Christmas)

A minimum 4 night stay and park hopper tickets are required. The offer excludes several resorts this year, including 3-bedroom villas, campsites, Cabins at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Bungalows at Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, and Little Mermaid Standard Rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.)

If you stay at a participating Value or Moderate Resort, you will receive the Quick Service Dining plan for FREE. (Note that you can upgrade to the standard or deluxe dining plans by paying the difference in cost per night.)

If you reserve a participating Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort, you will receive the standard Dining plan for FREE. (You can upgrade to the deluxe dining plan by paying the difference in cost per night.)

Disney Deluxe Villa Resort Hotels To Receive a Free Standard Disney Dining Plan:

  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Villas (sans Bungalows)
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

Disney Deluxe Resort Hotels To Receive a Free Standard Disney Dining Plan

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Disney Moderate Resort Hotels To Receive a Free Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan

  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

Disney Value Resort Hotels To Receive a Free Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan

  • Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
  • Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – Family Suites Only
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort

ROOM OFFER

Save up to 20% on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels in late 2019.

  • Book through September 29, 2019 for stays most nights September 1 through September 28, 2019; and for stays most Sunday through Thursday nights September 29 through November 7, 2019.
  • Book through December 24, 2019 for stays most nights November 10, 2019 through December 24, 2019.
  • Offer excludes the following room types: campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Cabins at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.
  • Offer excludes The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort for stays through November 9, 2019.

Are you ready to book your next Walt Disney World Resort vacation?

Our travel partner, Jenn Greene of MEI-Travel offers concierge planning at NO COST. 

For a limited time, when you book your vacation through Jenn, you will receive a $20 gift card (to be mailed one week before check-in) as a THANK YOU for supporting An Open Suitcase.

Start planning and happy vacation!




America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks: No. 2 Disneyland

And our series continues with the number two spot for America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks: Disneyland!

Most Amazing Parks Disneyland

Disneyland in California was the very first park opened by Walt Disney. It remains one of the most popular all these years later. The park opened in 1955 and welcomes 18.3 million visitors each year.

No one can visit Southern California without spending a day at the “Happiest Place on Earth!” Disneyland is second only in attendance to the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida.

Since it’s opening in 1955 Disneyland has welcomes more than 700 million people. The park continues to get better with age as evidenced by the recent opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Most Amazing Parks Disneyland

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle is the crown jewel of Disneyland. The It’s a Small World attraction in Anaheim offers hidden looks at some Disney and Pixar characters including Peter Pan and Tinker Bell, Cinderella, Aladdin and Jasmine and Woody from Toy Story, and spends a small portion outside.

The New York World’s Fair and Walt Disney

The 1964 New York World’s Fair was a shining moment for Walt Disney and Disneyland. It provided the opportunity to create brilliant attractions that still exist today. The fair also provided funding for Walt Disney Imagineering which led to the development of new vehicles and showmanship that hadn’t been seen before.

Most Amazing Parks Disneyland

One of those new developments included the OmniMover, a ride system still used in iconic attractions like the Haunted Mansion and the Little Mermaid. It also included water driven vehicles like the boats found in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. On top of funding, the Walt Disney Company was also hired by many U.S. companies to build pavilions, including:

  • Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, sponsored by the State of Illinois. This grand attraction is still amazing guests on Main Street U.S.A in Disneyland.
  • The Magic Skyway, sponsored by Ford. Parts of the attraction, like Primeval World and the Grand Canyon exhibits, can still be found on the Disneyland Railroad.
  • The Carousel of Progress, sponsored by GE. The attraction was moved to Disneyland after the World’s Fair, but now calls Walt Disney World home.
  • “it’s a small world,” sponsored by Pepsi-Cola.

Each of these World’s Fair pavilions provides fond memories of the past. However, it was the “it’s a small world” attraction that was one of the most popular at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. This pavilion, originally called “Pepsi-Cola presents Walt Disney’s ‘it’s a small world’ – a salute to UNICEF and all of the world’s children,” inspired fair-goers to remember that we are all truly the same. It pulled from cultures around the world and was no surprise when the ride became a permanent attraction at the Disneyland Resort.

Most Amazing Parks Disneyland

Disneyland had opened in 1955 and Walt Disney was always looking for ways to improve his amusement park and he is famously quoted as saying, “Disneyland will never be completed and it will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world”.  So, by working on these various sponsored attractions for the World’s Fair, Disney was able to develop new ride systems which would eventually be used in Disneyland. 

After the conclusion of the New York World’s Fair in 1965, all the attractions were disassembled and moved to Disneyland in Anaheim, California.  (Special Note:  Walt Disney died in 1966 and the four attractions created for the World Fair were some of the last projects that Disney was directly involved in from concept to ride completion.

Disneyland Attractions

Although there are many of the same rides and attractions in Disneyland as in Walt Disney World such as Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – the rides are not identical on both coasts.

Most Amazing Parks Disneyland
The Haunted Mansion attraction at Disneyland has a very different look from the one in WDW

Disneyland also includes rides that haven’t made it to Florida such as Alice in Wonderland, Snow White’s Scary Adventures and Storybook Land Canal Boats.

There are lots of opportunities to meet the stars of Disneyland. Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, Tinker Bell and of course, Minnie and Micky too.

Disney California Adventure

Disneyland’s sister park is full of roller coasters and interactive games starring Disney, Pixar and Marvel characters.

Disney California Adventure opened in 2001 and welcomes 9.6 million visitors annually. California Adventure is the go to park for comic fans and will be even better in 2020 when Marvel Land opens with a Spider Man ride, Avengers roller coaster and Doctor Strange stage show joining Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout.

Pixar Pier and Cars Land are popular areas of California Adventure and both offer fun filled looks into some of the best fantasy Disney has to offer.

One thing is for sure – if you’re a regular Walt Disney World visitor, you should really take the time to visit Disneyland and vice versa. As much as they are the same – they are very, very different.

 

Did you have the chance to read America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks – The History of Amusement Parks where you can learn how it all started! And don’t miss America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks – No. 1 Walt Disney World.




America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks: No. 1 Walt Disney World

We all knew I would start off the series on America’s most amazing theme parks by talking about Walt Disney World in Florida didn’t we?! Well, it does take the number one spot for America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks.

Amazing Parks WDW

Amazing Parks WDW

Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom opened in October, 1971 and today receives 20.5 million visitors annually. 

Walt Disney World is a huge property that is well over 100 acres and still has room for expansion. For twelve consecutive years the Magic Kingdom alone has been the most visited theme park in the world.

Although Walt Disney World is one of America’s most amazing theme parks, the entire property is so much more. The property as a whole is actually a resort vacation experience made up of several theme parks. Amazing!

Walt Disney World has many components so let’s break the entire property down into sections. 

Amazing Parks WDW

Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida is the largest of all the Disney properties around the globe. Roughly the size of San Francisco, Walt Disney World includes four theme parks, two water parks, a shopping-and-entertainment zone, golf courses, lakes, and more.

There are currently more than 25 Disney Resort hotels to pick from when visiting Walt DisneyWorld Resort, from budget-conscious value Resort hotels to luxurious deluxe Resort hotels.

There are more than 200 places to get food within Walt Disney World, including about 90 full service restaurants.

Opening Dates:

  • Magic Kingdom – 1971
  • Disney Springs (Downtown Disney) – 1975
  • Epcot – 1982
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios (MGM) – 1989
  • Typhoon Lagoon Water Park – 1989
  • Blizzard Beach Water Park – 1995
  • ESPN Wide World of Sports – 1997
  • Animal Kingdom – 1998

The Magic Kingdom

The park is made up of six lands: Main Street USA, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Frontierland. Liberty Square and Adventureland. There are over 40 attractions in the Magic Kingdom and due to the overwhelming popularity of park it can often take more than one day to enjoy them all.

A day at the Magic Kingdom isn’t complete without getting to meet some of the big Disney stars – Mickey and Minnie, Cinderella, Snow White Belle, Donald – the list of Disney personalties is long.

There is magic at every turn in the most magical place on earth. Princesses, rides and attractions, shows, parades and fireworks create endless enchantment for visitors. Since I began visiting WDW in the 1970’s when only the Magic Kingdom was in existence, it will always be my favorite park. I don’t feel like I’ve really visited unless I spend at least one day in the Magic Kingdom.

Epcot – Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow

Epcot opened in 1982 and welcomes 12.2 million visitors annually. Technological innovation and international culture are the cornerstones of Epcot. The park is broken down into two distinct areas: Future World and World Showcase.

Future World is home to educational rides and pavilions while World Showcase is home to countries from around the world with their own pavilions, attractions, cuisine and culture.

Epcot is also a much loved destination for epic annual events such as the International Food & Wine Festival, Festival of the Arts and the International Flower & Garden Festival.

The most popular rides are Soarin’ and Test Track in Future World and Frozen Ever After in World Showcase. Although the number of rides/attractions in Epcot is small, the shows, food and happenings throughout the park make it a great, fun-filled day.

Of course it’s also possible to visit with Disney celebrities in Epcot as well. Each country’s pavilion in World Showcase features its own: France/Belle; Germany/Snow White; China/Mulan; Morocco/Aladdin and Jasmine, and United Kingdom/Alice. In Norway you can dine with princesses and visit with Anna and Elsa.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios opened in 1989 as MGM Studios and welcomes 10.7 million visitors per year.

Amazing Parks Walt Disney World

It may be 2,000 miles away from the real Hollywood but this theme park celebrates movies in a grand way.

The movies come alive with their own attractions and lands – Star Wars, Cars, Toy Story – visitors are sure too have action packed adventure when they spend a day at Hollywood Studios.

As with all Disney parks you’ll be able to meet some more stars from Disney movies like Buzz Lightyear, Woody, BB-8 and Chewbacca.

The latest expansion opening in late August of this year – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will let Star Wars fans live their Star Wars Adventure in a Galaxy far, far away! You will be Batuu in the blink of an eye.

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom opened in 1998 and welcomes 12.5 million visitors each year. The park offers five lands – Discovery Island, Pandora, Africa, Asia and Dinoland USA.

There are dozens of creatures on display from rhinos, elephants, lions, giraffes, insects, birds, reptiles and more. You can get up close and personal with some of the animals by taking a tour like the Caring for Giants elephant tour.

Animal Kingdom showcases veterinary care and conservation and is not only fun but also educational.

As with all Disney parks you’ll be able to meet some more Disney stars like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald and Daisy and Pocahontas. You also won’t want to miss the Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party! 

The Water Parks

Blizzard Beach: You can chill out all year round at this 66-acre water park, built around the mythical tale of a one-time ski resort that melted into soothing, warm water—creating the perfect water playground.

Typhoon Lagoon: Delight in this tropical paradise that’s been transformed by a legendary storm into an oasis of pure excitement! Enjoy the largest wave pool in America and relax on a sandy beach and enjoy the plunges and spills of a whitewater journey! 

ESPN Wide World of Sports

Located in the middle of Walt Disney World, athletes competing at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex live the “I’m going to Disney World” MVP moment each and every day. From professionally manicured fields and ESPN entertainment to the awe-inspiring attractions of the world-class theme parks, there is something magical about playing here!

⇑  ⇑  ⇑

People continue to visit WDW over and over again for many reasons: Family reunions, making memories with little ones, and re-living childhood memories are just some of the reasons to visit!

So there you have it! Just this little bit of information explains why World Disney World comes in as Number 1 on the list of America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks!

 

Amazing Parks Walt Disney World

Did you have the chance to read America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks – The History of Amusement Parks where you can learn how it all started!




The Taste of the Magic Kingdom VIP Food Tour

 I love all the different tours you can take at Walt Disney World. As someone who has been visiting WDW since the 1970’s I’m always amazed by the new things I learn when I take a tour.

The Taste of the Magic Kingdom VIP Tour is a relatively new tour that everyone should take at least once!

Taste of the Magic Kingdom VIP Tour

Make sure you’re hungry! Within minutes of arrival at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, you’ll be feasting on a giant Mickey shaped cinnamon bun and coffee.

Taste Magic Kingdom Tour

The tour starts early – arrival at Tony’s is 8:45 a.m. After check-in the tour group (not a large group – about 12 people) head into the restaurant for a seat on the indoor porch overlooking Main Street USA. Everyone takes a moment to introduce themselves, tell where they are from and what their favorite Disney snack is. You soon discover “it’s a small world!” when members of the group live just a couple of miles from you.

Taste Magic Kingdom Tour

Do you want to discover how food memories are made as you taste your way through the kitchens of Magic Kingdom park? Remember the first time you tried a Dole Whip? Or maybe you eat a turkey leg every time you come to the park? No matter what your favorite Disney snack is – food is an essential part of the Walt Disney World vacation experience.

On this 3-hour experience VIP tour you will:

Uncover the Magic Behind the Meals

Hear stories from the chefs and Cast Members that bring creative and delicious meals to life each day at the Magic Kingdom. 

As with all Disney tours, the line-up and exact itinerary can change. Our tour included touring through Casey’s Corner, The Diamond Horseshoe, Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd, Skipper Canteen, Aloha Isle, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, the “grey stuff” outside Gaston’s Tavern, Pecos Bills Tall Tale Inn and Cafe and lots of discussion as we roamed by some of everyone’s other favorite spots!

Go Behind-the-Scenes

You will enjoy access to backstage kitchens and working areas that have never before been shared with Guests. See what goes into the production of serving millions of guests each year and interact with the creative experts behind these memorable meal experiences.

Find out how Casey’s Corner gets all those hot dogs out all day long in a kitchen no bigger than the one in my house! A kitchen that can’t accommodate more than 6 or 8 people in it at one time!

Delight in Delicious Tastings

Be sure to bring your appetite because you’ll be tasting an incredible assortment of sweet and savory flavors!

Taste Magic Kingdom Tour

Taste Magic Kingdom Tour

Because the tour starts early in the morning, many of the locations you’ll visit are not yet open to park guests. As many times as I have been in and out of the restaurants in the Magic Kingdom – I have never seen any of them empty!

It’s a totally different look at many of them when you see them with no guests inside!

While you eat, listen to one of the chefs discuss how they do what they do – serve thousands of guests per day!

Taste Magic Kingdom Tour

Taste the Future

I think one of my favorite parts was the last stop of the tour when you get to not only taste a new dish being created for the parks but you also get to fill out a rating form. To actually have a part in the decision of whether or not an item makes it into the parks is amazing!

Because your last tasting is still in development, no pictures are allowed!

VIP Treatment

Your VIP Guides will take care of everything. Although a relatively new tour experience, the WDW Tour Guides have already re-worked the experience based on participant’s input.

As the mom of a food allergy sufferer, I was super pleased to see accommodations were made for an allergy sufferer in our group. Disney never fails to come through when it comes to food allergies!

The Details

  • Price: $99 per person, plus tax (valid park admission is required and not included in the price of this experience) 
  • Dates: This experience is currently offered on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
  • Reservations: Book online – or call (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463

Know Before You Go




Fall into Magic and Fun at Walt Disney World

There is no bad time to visit Walt Disney World but this fall will bring even more reasons to plan a trip! New hotels, new foods, new fireworks – the list of “new” gets bigger and better all the time.

As the calendar turns the page into fall later this year, the curtain will lift on an exciting time for Walt Disney World Resort.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be brand new at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, while Magic Kingdom Park will unveil a new fireworks show as part of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will run for a record number of days, and the park will wave a fond farewell to “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” before ushering in a new nighttime spectacular, “Epcot Forever.”

These enticing options and more are all part of a season of fun where guests are invited to “fall into magic.”

New Fireworks Show for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park

A new Halloween-themed fireworks show debuts this year during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This new show will feature state-of-the-art projection effects, lasers, lighting and dazzling fireworks that come together to tell a not-so-scary story about how anything can happen on Halloween night.

fall happenings wdw

The show will take guests along for a trick-or-treating adventure, where four friends – Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy – find themselves drawn into a mysterious haunted house.

Held for a record 36 select nights from August 16 through November 1, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a specially ticketed event that captures the spirit of the season with spooky décor, lighting and music parkwide, along with returning favorites such as “Mickey’s Boo to You Parade,” the “Hocus Pocus Villains Spelltacular” castle stage show and trick-or-treating throughout the park.

Also returning for this year’s party will be special attraction experiences for Mad Tea Party, Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain. Children are encouraged to dress in costume and enjoy the spirit of Halloween with their families. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a ticketed, after-hours special event. Tickets start at $79. 

DID YOU KNOW … The Headless Horseman appears prior to “Mickey’s Boo to You Parade.”

Record Number of Days Set for Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

The Epcot celebration of cuisine, music and more takes place August 29 through November 23 – a record 87 days. During this foodie festival, the park will brim with marketplaces, culinary demonstrations, beverage seminars, the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, specialty merchandise and much more.

fall happenings wdw

The America Gardens Theatre serves up performances from major recording artists as part of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This year, the musical menu will feature 36 irresistible acts—the biggest and best lineup ever.

General Eat to the Beat Details

  • Where: America Gardens Theatre at World Showcase, Epcot
  • When: Daily from August 29 through November 19, 2019
  • Showtimes – Sundays to Thursdays: 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:00 PM
  • Showtimes – Fridays and Saturdays: 6:30 PM, 7:45 PM and 9:00 PM

Valid Epcot admission is required. All entertainment and artist appearances are subject to change or cancellation without notice.

2019 Eat to the Beat Schedule

Make a date to catch one or more of the big-name artists live in concert!

  • Plain White T’s
    August 29 through 31
  • Sawyer Brown – NEW!
    September 1 through 2
  • MercyMe
    September 3 through 4
  • Grace Kelly – NEW!
    September 5 through 6
  • Zach Williams – NEW!
    September 7 through 8
  • Lauren Daigle – NEW!
    September 9 through 10
  • Jimmie Allen – NEW!
    September 11 through 12
  • TBD
    September 13 through 15
  • The Allman Betts Band
    September 16 through 17
  • Everclear
    September 18 through 19
  • STARSHIP featuring Mickey Thomas
    September 20 through 22
  • Postmodern Jukebox
    September 23 through 24
  • Blue October
    September 25 through 26
  • Mark Wills
    September 27 through 29
  • Sugar Ray
    September 30 through October 2
  • Taylor Dayne
    October 3 through 4
  • India – NEW!
    October 5 through 6
  • TBD
    October 7 through 9
  • Boyce Avenue – NEW!
    October 10 through 11
  • Southern Avenue – NEW!
    October 12 through 13
  • Kenny G
    October 14 through 15
  • 38 Special
    October 16 through 17
  • Baha Men
    October 18 through 20
  • Billy Ocean
    October 21 through 22
  • Sheila E
    October 23 through 25
  • High Valley
    October 26 through 27
  • Hanson
    October 28 through 30
  • Sheena Easton
    October 31 through November 1
  • Kris Allen – NEW!
    November 2 through 3
  • Boyz II Men
    November 4 through 6
  • The Hooters
    November 7 through 8
  • Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
    November 9 through 11
  • TBD
    November 12 through 18
  • DCappella – NEW!
    November 19

In some fun for the whole family, Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak will send guests on an adventure searching for Remy in a savory scavenger hunt around the festival.

Families will find a play area for kids and an international flair – including kid-approved menu items – at many of the 30-plus Global Marketplaces.

DID YOU KNOW … This year’s festival will offer 249 Eat to the Beat concerts.

Last Call for “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” as “Epcot Forever” Debuts Oct. 1

For nearly 20 years, the nighttime spectacular “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” has brought each day at Epcot to a thrilling close. Guests have marveled as World Showcase lagoon came to life with fireworks, fountains and lasers paying homage to the joyful story of humanity and the remarkable achievements of our time.

fall happenings wdw

The show’s final night will be September 30, to make way for an all-new, limited-time spectacular, “Epcot Forever,” debuting October 1. This new show will be a celebration of the past, present and future of Epcot, built around the magical soundtrack guests have come to know and love at the park.

The new show will feature fireworks, lasers and choreographed special-effect kites accompanied by a stirring collection of songs celebrating Epcot.

DID YOU KNOW … “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” has entertained millions of guests since it debuted in October 1999.

Bounce into Fall at Disney Springs with NBA Experience and Special Seasonal Offerings

Basketball is officially “in season” this fall, after NBA Experience holds a championship-worthy grand opening August 12 at Disney Springs. When guests step into this re-creation of a modern NBA arena, they’ll feel what it’s like to be a basketball superstar.

fall happenings wdw

The one-of-a-kind destination features 13 unique interactive and hands-on experiences where Disney magic merges with the thrills of the NBA and WNBA. NBA Experience is part of the ever-evolving Disney Springs area.

Also new is Jaleo, offering the very best of Spanish cuisine and design seen through the creative lens of renowned Chef José Andrés. Jaleo (which means “revelry” in Spanish) treats diners to an extensive tapas menu, reflecting the rich regional diversity of traditional and contemporary Spanish cuisine, complemented by sangrias and a premier selection of Spanish wines.

Just off the main entrance is Pepe by José Andrés, the first brick-and-mortar location of the chef’s wildly popular Spanish food truck.

Jaleo is one of six restaurants at Disney Springs featuring James Beard Award-winning chefs, and dining venues throughout the district will offer sample-sized fall food and drinks. With the help of a printed guide, guests can make their way through Disney Springs and sample all the flavors of the season from select locations.

The fall season is also a great time to enjoy entertainment and shopping at Disney Springs. Colorful backdrops will make great seasonal photos for the entire family, while new fall looks will be available in shops throughout the shopping district, including Halloween costumes for kids and clothing for adults featuring their favorite Disney characters.

DID YOU KNOW … NBA Experience will span 44,000 square feet of basketball action and fun.

Make the Jump to Lightspeed in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

On the heels of its August 29 opening, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge offers Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests the chance this fall to live their own Star Wars stories. The action takes place on Batuu, a far-flung planet populated by scoundrels and adventurers.

fall happenings wdw

While visiting the land, guests can stop for a drink at Oga’s Cantina or discover rare artifacts at Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, among other immersive Star Wars experiences.

The groundbreaking attraction Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run gives guests control of the iconic spacecraft as the ship hurtles through space on a smuggling mission. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, a second attraction opening later in 2019, will put guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

DID YOU KNOW … Guests will play one of three unique and critical roles in Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run – pilots, gunners or flight engineers – providing multiple ways to experience the attraction.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and its experiences are subject to capacity.

Disney Skyliner Takes Flight this Fall

A new mode of transportation will float through the air around Walt Disney World this fall when Disney Skyliner, a state-of-the-art gondola system, begins gliding guests across the sky in custom cabins.

fall happenings wdw
Photo via WDWnews.com (Kent Phillips, photographer)

Disney Skyliner will conveniently connect Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot to four resort hotels – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, as well as the 15th Disney Vacation Club property, Disney’s Riviera Resort (planned to open in mid-December).

Select gondolas will have iconic Disney characters incorporated into their exterior designs to give the appearance that a Disney pal is riding along with guests. Disney Skyliner will offer a new way to experience Walt Disney World with amazing views only available from the sky.

DID YOU KNOW … Several Disney Skyliner gondolas will be adorned with graphics based on Disney films, attractions or characters.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park Lights Up at Night

As the sun sets earlier and earlier this fall, these nighttime experiences will come to life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

fall happenings wdw
Photo via WDWnews.com  (David Roark, photographer)

  • “Rivers of Light: We Are One” is the next chapter for this nighttime show on Discovery River. Updates include dramatic new imagery and familiar animal characters from Disneynature films along with a colorful tapestry of unforgettable moments from Disney animated films.
  • Pandora – The World of Avatar continues to come to life each night with bioluminescent fauna and flora as guests hike amid floating mountains, fly on their own mountain banshee, take a mystical river ride and more.

Photo via WDWnews.com (David Roark, Photographer)

DID YOU KNOW … On May 1, 2019, a baby western lowland gorilla was born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Named Grace, the gorilla and her parents can now be seen at the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail inside the park.

Disney Resort Hotels News

To welcome fall travelers, there’s always something new at Disney resort hotels. Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort will greet guests with its new 15-story Gran Destino tower (opening this summer), adding 500-plus guestrooms, including suites and concierge-level services.

New waterfront dining and a retail shopping area have come to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, while a mid-December opening is planned for Disney’s Riviera Resort, a Disney Vacation Club property inspired by the grandeur and enchantment of the European Riviera.

DID YOU KNOW … Sitting atop the new Gran Destino tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort will be Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood, a new table-service restaurant featuring dishes and small plates inspired by the flavors of Spain.

2019 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Marks 10-Year Milestone

This fall’s runDisney race season is a delectable celebration 10 years in the making as the 2019 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend takes place October 31-November 3. Filled with a delicious slate of events and Disney magic along every mile, this year’s event includes a 5K, 10K, half marathon and kids’ races.

During this year’s Disney Fall Feast 5K, guests can run, jog or walk their way around Epcot for the first time during this fall event. At the November 3rd post-race party, guests enjoy after-hours access to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, including marketplaces and select Epcot attractions.

For all race-season details, visit runDisney.com. Guests can also register via the celebrated charity for this year’s event, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

DID YOU KNOW … runDisney is one of the most popular race organizers in the United States, with more than 188,000 runners participating in events throughout the year.