Park Watch: What’s Happening This Month

And just like that it’s a new year and a new month. While most of us are probably feeling some post-holiday exhaustion and taking it easy, there’s always something happening at Disney. Here’s a look at some of what’s happening in Disney Parks this month.

All-Day Park Hopper Access Returns

No more waiting until 2:00 PM! Starting January 9, guests with park hopper tickets or an annual pass will be able to visit another park any time during the day.

Disney Dining Plan Returns

Guests will be able to choose from two options: packages that include either the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan or the Disney Dining Plan.

Get more info on the Dining Plan here.

No More Park Reservation Requirement

Guests who buy standard theme park tickets that are tied to a specific date or set of dates won’t need park reservations to get into the parks. Annual passholders, cast members, and other admission types will still need park pass reservations.

Disney After Hours

After pausing for the holiday events, Disney After Hours Events return to Disney World. These are 3-hour extra ticket events that give guests a chance to enjoy the parks late at night with low crowds and low wait times for select rides and activities. This is definitely one of the most unique ways to check out the parks and perfect for anyone who is a night owl. You can purchase tickets to attend on select nights between January 10 and April 10.

Magic Kingdom
10:00 PM – 1:00 AM
Select dates January 11 – April 8

Hollywood Studios
9:30 PM – 12:30 AM
Select dates January 10 – April 10

10:00 PM – 1:00 AM
Select dates February 2 – April 4

EPCOT International Festival of the Arts

The EPCOT International Festival of the Arts kicks off January 12 and runs through February 19 and is a celebration of visual, culinary, and performing arts. While not as popular as the Food & Wine festival, it offers lots of unique experiences including over 100 artist booths, art-themed photo ops, musical performances, acrobatics and even opportunities to make your own art. The Festival of the Arts is free with an EPCOT admission but there are some activities offered that are an additional cost.

Food is part of the art experience as well. Like other EPCOT festivals, there are stand alone marketplace booths featuring extra cuisine options around the World Showcase, but unlike other festivals the focus is on artistic presentation. One of the highlights of Festival of the Arts is the Disney on Broadway concert series at the American Garden Theatre in The American Adventure pavilion in the World Showcase. Disney offers a Concert Series Dining Package for this event that allows you to choose from 8 restaurants at EPCOT offering lunch and dinner. Each package is prepaid with the price ranging from $50.00 to $99.00 per adult and $21.00 to $50.00 for children. The includes an appetizer, entree, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage or 1 full buffet depending on the restaurant selected, and one guaranteed seat per person to a Disney on Broadway concert held on the same day.

Lunar New Year Celebration in Disneyland

From January 23 to February 18, Lunar New Year at Disney California Adventure Park ushers in a joyous tribute to Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean cultures. During this limited time event, you’ll be able to partake in a joyous cultural celebration with a touch of Disney magic, featuring Asian-inspired food and drinks, vibrant décor and costumes, rare characters, and exciting entertainment.

This year the celebration rings in the Year of the Dragon with Asian-inspired food and beverages, vibrant décor and Mushu leading the way in “Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession.” You can purchase a Sip and Savor Pass which comes with six tabs to be exchanged for select food and nonalcoholic beverage items.

Pixar Place Hotel Opening

The transformation of Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel at Disneyland Resort is finally complete and will officially re-open as Pixar Palace Hotel on January 30, becoming the first fully Pixar-themed hotel in the US.