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2019 Free Walt Disney World Dining Announced & Other Disney News This Week

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Every week I gather the latest news from Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, and other Disney parks to help you keep up with all of the changes. Here is the most recent Disney news for the week of July 15-21, 2019:

1. Free Dining & Other WDW Deals

In a surprise move, 2019 free Walt Disney World Dining dropped this week. Here’s what you need to know:

The offer is available to guests arriving most nights from:

  • Sept. 1 through Sept. 18, 2019
  • Nov. 17 through Nov. 27, 2019
  • Dec. 8 through Dec. 23, 2019

If you stay at participating Disney Deluxe Villa & Deluxe Resorts, you’ll receive the Standard Disney Dining Plan for free. If you stay at participating Moderate & Value Resorts, you’ll receive the Quick-Service Dining Plan for free.

Requirements: You must purchase a non-discounted 4-night (the websites says 5, but it’s 4) vacation package that includes a room at a select Disney Resort hotel and ticket with a Park Hopper Option. You can currently book right now through Sept. 29, 2019.

Other Walt Disney World Offers:

2. Here’s When You Can Ride The Gondolas

Finally! Beginning Sept. 29, Walt Disney World guests can officially take flight on the Disney Skyliner. The gondolas connect Epcot and Hollywood Studios to four resorts: Disney’s Art of Animation, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Riviera Resort (set to open in December 2019).

3. Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party Is Returning

This year’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom will once again include Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party. The event runs from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. (30 minutes later than MVMCP) and includes themed-food and beverages and a reserved viewing area for Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. The party costs $99 per person (plus tax) in addition to a MVMCP party ticket. You can make reservations now online or by calling 407-939-3463.

4. More ‘MNSSHP’ Details Are Here

Here are some new details for this year’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (Aug. 16-Nov. 1):

  • The new nighttime fireworks spectacular is called “Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular” and will be hosted by Jack Skellington.
  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor will have an overlay this year, in which the monsters will teach guests about the “curious Human World holiday we call Halloween.”
  • More overlays: Pirates of the Caribbean will feature live pirates who are embarking on a new treasure hunt; Space Mountain will once again go completely dark with a “new hard-rockin’ soundtrack”; the Mad Tea Party will have special lighting and music.
  • Nancy Clancy from Fancy Nancy will join the “Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jam”.


5. You Can Meet Darth Vader At WDW Soon

Starting Aug. 29, when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens at Hollywood Studios, Darth Vader will be available for meet and greets at Star Wars: Launch Bay.

6. New Play Disney Parks Pins Revealed

Three new Play Disney Parks app pins are available for purchase at Walt Disney World and Disneyland:

  • High Seas Scallywag at Pirates of the Caribbean
    • Disneyland: Pieces of Eight in New Orleans Square, Westward Ho Trading Company in Frontierland
    • Walt Disney World: Plaza del Sol Caribe Bazaar in Magic Kingdom, Frontier Trading Post in Magic Kingdom
  • Hitchhiking Ghost at Haunted Mansion
    • Disneyland: Pieces of Eight in New Orleans Square, Westward Ho Trading Company in Frontierland
    • Walt Disney World: Memento Mori in Magic Kingdom, Frontier Trading Post in Magic Kingdom
  • Star Tourist at Star Tours — The Adventures Continue!
    • Disneyland: The Star Trader in Tomorrowland
    • Walt Disney World: Tatooine Traders in Hollywood Studios, Frontier Trading Post in Magic Kingdom
To purchase the pins, just show a Cast Member your digital achievement screen that you’ll unlock after riding the featured attractions. Don’t forget you’ll need to log into the Play Disney Parks app with Bluetooth and Location Services enabled.

7. Dates For Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Are Here

This year’s Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! holiday fireworks spectacular at Hollywood Studios will run from Nov. 8 through Jan. 5, 2020.

8. Great Beverage Refill Offer For Disneyland APs

This is a great offer for Disneyland Annual Passholders. Now through Sept. 5, 2019, APs can buy a collectible tumbler for $14.99 (plus tax) at either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure. Once purchased, you can get refills of fountain soda, regular coffee, hot tea, or hot chocolate at both parks for just 99 cents! Click here for a list of participating locations.

9. New ‘Lion King’ Scavenger Hunt At Animal Kingdom

You can now try the new Lion King Scavenger Hunt at Animal Kingdom. Some of the movie’s characters will be hidden around Harambe Village and every time you spot one, you’ll place a corresponding character onto a map. You can pick up the map at The Outpost Shop, Discovery Trading Company, Island Mercantile, and Mombasa Marketplace. Whether you choose to hunt for all the carvings or not, simply return your map to either Mombasa Marketplace or the Outpost by Sept. 28, 2019 for a “savanna surprise.”

10. New DescenDANCE Party Coming To Disney Springs

If you love the Descendants, then this is right up your alley. A new DescenDANCE Party is coming to Disney Springs this summer for a limited time. The party will happen on the Marketplace Stage from July 26-Aug. 11 and will feature dancing, photo ops, and shoutouts from the film’s cast. AND, if you can’t make it to this event, the dance party will continue at this year’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café’s stage.

11. Channel Your Inner Dream Big, Princess 

There are new exercise items inspired by the Dream Big, Princess campaign now available for purchase on shopDisney.com. The campaign encourages kids to follow their dreams, while highlighting the powerful qualities from each Disney princess.

12. New Plushes Alert!

There are cute new Donald and Chip ‘n Dale plushes inspired by Donald’s Dino-Bash! now available for purchase at Chester & Hester’s Dinosaur Treasures and Dino-Rama Car in Animal Kingdom.

13. So Many New Food Options At WDW

There are some brand new food options available across Walt Disney World.

The Lion King items at Epcot’s Refreshment Outpost: Nigerian Meat Pie, No Worries Panna Cotta (raspberry, papaya, and mango panna cotta with a cookie crumble base and white chocolate), and Savannah Smoothie (coconut milk, agave, and cream liqueur for those 21 and older). These are all available through fall 2019.

-Le Cellier Steakhouse: The Summer Prix Fixe Menu is available again for $55/person plus tax and gratuity or for two Table Service Credits on the Disney Dining Plan. The menu includes your choice of one appetizer, one entrée, and one dessert. The special menu is available through Aug. 28, 2019. Click here for the full menu.

-D-Luxe Burger at Disney Springs: There is a new Vegan Burger with a plant-based patty with cabbage and mushroom ragoût, mango salsa, lettuce, tomato, and pickle on a vegan Parker House roll.

-Disney’s BoardWalk: The BoardWalk Bakery now has a Seaside Sammich with lobster, shrimp, tomatoes, and bacon on a freshly-baked hoagie roll served with your choice of fries or potato chips.

14. Pop-Up Disney! A Mickey Celebration Extended

Pop-Up Disney! A Mickey Celebration located in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District has been extended through this Labor Day, Sept. 2.

15. Why You Should Ride Kilimanjaro Safaris Right Now

For every person who rides Kilimanjaro Safaris at Animal Kingdom now through July 25, the Disney Conservation Fund will donate $2 (up to $350,000) to the Wildlife Conservation Network’s Lion Recovery Fund.

That’s it for Disney news from this past week. I’ll continue to collect park updates, so be sure to keep your eyes open for my weekly news post!


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