By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

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Walt Disney World in 2018

By Dave Shute


Below are my thoughts on rides, hotels, crowds and such at Disney World in 2018. BTW, there’s even more on Disney World in 2018 in the guidebook I co-author, The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2018–the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook, ever.


The big news of 2018 will be the opening of Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

This land will include what looks like a great new roller coaster ride, Slinky Dog Dash, aimed at kids but probably fun for all, kinda like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom, and also a minor spinning ride.

See the image at the top of this page, from the preview model in Walt Disney Presents, for the extent of the Slinky Dog Dash ride. (Click it to enlarge it.)

Toy Story Land will formally open on June 30, 2018.

Construction of the new Star Wars area will continue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2018. It’s not expected to open until late 2019–October or later.

Multiple other rides are being developed or worked on at Magic Kingdom, Epcot and the Studios.



The massive redevelopment at Disney Springs should largely be complete in 2018.

The story at the Disney World resorts will be refurbs and new construction.

Pop Century rooms are being renovated, with queen beds and coffee makers being added.  This should be complete, I’d hope, by mid-2018.

Shortly after Pop is done, I’m betting that Art of Animation Little Mermaid rooms will get queen beds. This will chill the already cold hearts of Disney’s accountants, as these rooms are the highest priced among the values and there’s not many of them.  However, I can’t imagine a world where the premium prices at Art of Animation can be maintained if standard rooms there have full beds and no coffee makers, while Pop has queens and coffee.

Caribbean Beach is in a messy refurb that for the moment has led to weak temporary dining. No official re-opening of the new dining here has been announced, but clues in how Disney priced Caribbean Beach for 2018 make me suspect that permanent dining will open here in the second half of 2018, and letters are being shared that suggest August 2018 is the target date.

All three of these resorts will be eventually connected to a new gondola that will go to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. While I don’t really expect this to open until 2019, work is proceeding pretty quickly at, for example, the station for Pop Century and Art of Animation (image of the pilings for it from September 2017 above), so 2018 is possible for this.

Coronado Springs has lost a building which is being replaced by a new tower, and is also going through a building-by-building room refurb I expect to be completed in 2018.

Port Orleans French Quarter began a room refurb project in early January 2018, to be  followed by a similar refurb at Port Orleans Riverside–first Alligator Bayou, and then Magnolia Bend–ending in 2019. The re-opened rooms in Building 3 show an unambitious refurb, including principally wooden floors, more power points, and bigger TVs.

Kinda hoping for a new shower surround in Alligator Bayou…and since French Quarter is now so far ahead of Riverside in its kids water play area and in 2016 had its quick-service venue completely redone, I would not be surprised to see a bigger redo at Riverside than wooden floors, bigger TVs, and more power points…

Old Key West also is in a long-delayed refurb.

Between permanent closures and building-by-building closures for refurbs at Pop Century, Coronado Springs, and likely floor by floor closures at French Quarter, as much as 6.5% of capacity may be unavailable in earlier 2018 compared to prior years.  Since Disney’s occupancy was already very high, as a result, rooms have been hard to find, so book as soon as you can–and ideally more than 180 days before.

In late 2017, it was announced that the seven Disney Springs Resort Area third-party hotels, and also Shades of Green, would gain access to FastPass+ at 60 days. The Disney Springs hotels also gained access to Extra Magic Hours, which Shades already had. Important details are here,

Kelly B., who has been the travel agent partner of this site for years, can help you. Contact her at or 980-429-4499, or use the form to get a quote from her:

Request a Quote

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Disney World uses a combination of complicated and changing room pricing, and, on top of that, deals, to keep its resort hotel occupancy very high. While deals have been technically available for most times of the year (you’ll find current Disney World deals here), the number and types of rooms available has gotten more and more restrictive. I expect this trend of less-available deals to be even more true in 2018 because of the capacity reductions that I noted above.

Deals often emerge after the best time to book your Disney World vacation. The simplest way to handle getting your deals is to make your initial booking through a travel agent, who will then–if a deal comes out for your dates–move heaven and earth to try to get you in to it.

I recommend Kelly B., who has been the travel agent partner of this site for years. To book your vacation through her, contact her at or 980-429-4499.


Presidents Day, February 19 in 2018, is late-ish, meaning more good January and early February dates, and fewer good late February dates. The week that includes Presidents Day will be bad as usual. (Tons of kids in the northeast have the whole week off.) Crowds for this week actually begin the Thursday before.

Mardi Gras in 2018 is the week before–February 14th.  A few southern school districts have it off as a single or multi-day holiday. This, combined with the more important early Presidents Day breaks, will lead to the week of 2/10/18 being moderately busy, especially in the second half of the week when the President’s Day crew begins to show up.

Easter in 2018 is early, on April 1. As a result, later March will be particularly heavy, but there will be more good April weeks.

Summer crowds are a bit up in the air.  They felt down in both 2017 and 2016. As I note here, I have theories about why, mostly about the effects of Disney’s strategic re-pricing of tickets to make the higher-demand periods like summer less attractive to some, and thus more comfortable for everyone else, particularly in the pricing of Florida resident annual passes with summer block-out dates. These new distinctions launched before the 2016 summer seasons, so the timing is right. But honestly I’m not sure what’s going on, so for the moment am still forecasting high summer crowds.

Thanksgiving, November 22, is almost as early as it can be in 2018, giving more good late November dates but fewer good early November ones.

Christmas is on a Tuesday in 2018.  That means almost all schools will begin their breaks on 12/22/18, with heavy crowds into the new year.

For more on 2018 crowds at Disney World, see this.


Disney World raised ticket prices in February 2018, and announced that later in the year it would move to seasonal pricing for multi-day tickets. Resort prices should not change again during the calendar year.


Disney World 2018 Crowd Calendar

Disney World 2018 Price Seasons

2018 Disney World Week Rankings


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1 The Judo Of Disney World Crowds • Military Disney Tips Blog { 06.08.18 at 7:25 am }

[…] 2018 at Walt Disney World – Is a great overview of the upcoming year. Deals, Dining, What’s New. […]

2 How Do Disney World Resorts Compare To Shades of Green In Price? • Military Disney Tips Blog { 07.16.18 at 6:47 am }

[…] Dave from for the inspiration for these charts. His numerous, fantastic and very through ones cover many aspects of non-military discounted prices and better yet, […]

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