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Right now, Walt Disney World is in a bit of a weird spot. Almost all of their new attractions (including Frozen Ever After, Soarin' Around the World, and Mickey's Friendship Faire) debuted to rave reviews and massive queues. However, as a whole, attendance at Walt Disney World has been down this summer, and many are expecting that the company's quarterly financial report (which will be released early next month) with include some sobering attendance figures. However, in order to help bring guest levels back up before the end of the year, Disney has announced some interesting changes that it likely hopes will bring guests (especially locals) back to the resort in the coming weeks and months so that 2016 doesn't end on a down note. 

1. Merchandise discount offered for Disney diners 

Image: Disney

Disney confirmed earlier this week that guests who grab something to eat at select Magic Kingdom quick service restaurants will be able to get a special 10% off discount coupon for use at select Disney Springs merchandise shops. Guests who dine at the following Magic Kingdom restaurants will receive a coupon printed on the back of their receipt that is good until the beginning of September:

  • Aloha Isle
  • Auntie Gravities
  • Casey's Corner
  • Cheshire Café
  • Columbia Harbour House
  • Cool Ship
  • Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café
  • Gaston’s Tavern
  • Golden Oak Outpost
  • Lunching Pad
  • Pecos Bill’s Café
  • Pinocchio Village Haus
  • Pecos Bill’s Café
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Storybook Treats
  • Sunshine Tree Terrace
  • Tomorrowland Terrace
  • Village Fry Shop

There is no minimum purchase required to get the coupon, and those who redeem this limited-time deal can use their 10% discount at the following Disney merchandise locations at Disney Springs:

  • Disney’s Days of Christmas
  • Disney’s Design a Tee
  • Disney Pin Traders
  • Disney’s Wonderful World of Memories
  • Goofy’s Candy Company
  • Marketplace Co-Op 
  • Fun Finds
  • Mickey’s Pantry
  • Once Upon a Toy
  • Tren-D
  • World of Disney

As you might expect, there are some common-sense restrictions to this limited-time deal. This discount cannot be used to purchase theme park tickets, gift cards, tours, or DVDs, and also can’t be combined with other deals (like DVC or annual passholder discounts). 

2. A free Wishes dessert party at the Grand Floridian

Image: Disney

Dessert parties are all the rage at Walt Disney World, but while Disney usually charges a fee to attend one of these events, it is experimenting with a new format at one of the resort's hotels. Though Disney didn’t formally announce it, a new Wishes dessert party has quietly debuted at the Grand Floridian hotel and interestingly, it doesn’t cost anything to attend. The Gone Mad Party is themed to Alice in Wonderland and looks like it will take place at the Grand Floridian hotel every Wednesday from 8:30PM – 10:30PM on the outdoor patio behind the Gasparilla Grill. In addition to getting a unique view for the Wishes fireworks spectacular, guests at this event can also purchase special Alice in Wonderland-themed treats and drinks all while enjoying some fun music before the Wishes audio is piped in during the show.

This new drop-in event is completely free, and you do not need a theme park ticket or be a hotel guest in order to watch Wishes from this location. It is unknown how long this event will take place at this location, but if it proves to be a hit, we would expect it would continue for the foreseeable future, with other free dessert parties possibly popping up in other locations around Walt Disney World hotels in the future as well.

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Comments

Since the Magic Kingdom is the park that seems to be at typical levels or more, I believe the intent of the quick serve dining coupon is two fold:
1.) Get MK park attendees to start thinking about going to Disney Springs for dinner at night. It's a higher priced meal, and Disney wants to promote DS as much as possible.
2.) It moves potentially moves people from a crowded park to DS in the evening.

We are coming at the end of August!! SO EXCITED!!

I love Disney,been there many times,but I try and wait for the free food deal.

It would help this single mother of 2 to have a little $$ break on a hotel/dining plan/park tickets. Not much - hotel and free dining plan for the kids is how we went down the first time when they were little. Another time, we found a package that greatly reduced single park no hopper tickets. Little things like this make the difference between being able to go and wistfully watching YouTube videos!!

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