An unofficial Walt Disney World news and trip planning guide!

The Turf Club Bar and Grill to serve dinner-only from September 30

The Turf Club Bar and Grill located at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort will stop serving lunch from September 30 2012, to become a dinner-only restaurant. Guests wishing to dine at lunch time will need to visit the resorts other two restaurants (Artist Palette and the Paddock Pool Grill) instead.

Unannounced refurbishment of Contempo Cafe

Without so much as a warning to guests, Disney closed the Contempo Cafe at Disney's Contemporary Resort for a minor refurbishment on August 23rd. The restaurant is due to open again later today. No explanation as to why the restaurant was closed was announced.

Disney's All Star Sports Resort feature pool closed for refurbishment

Over the weekend Disney closed the Surfboard Bay Pool at Disney's All Star Sports resort for refurbishment. The pool is expected to re-open in late September 2012. Guests of the resort can still use the resort's Grand Slam Pool, as well as the pools at the other All Star resorts.

RFID door locks installed at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

Disney are currently installing their new Radio Frequency ID (or RFID) door locking system across the Walt Disney World hotels, and Disney's Coronado Springs is the latest to join the new program. It is expected that the work will be finished by the end of September 2012. 

The new RFID system will mean that guests no longer need to insert their room key into a slot in the lock, and can instead just touch the card against the lock to open the door, much like the Near Field Communications (NFC) used on newer credit and debit cards.

Road closure at Epcot Resort Blvd affecting the Yacht and Beach Club Resort

Road works have started on Epcot Resorts Blvd, and the road will be closed in both directions at the Epcot water bridge from today through to September 1 2012. Guests heading to the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts will need to use the entrance at the Swan and Dolphin instead of the one on the Boardwalk Inn side.

Bay Lake Tower check-in area to move to Bay Lake Tower lobby

The check-in area for Bay Lake Towers has always been inside the contemporary resort. This is in part due to the Magical Express not stopping at Bay Lake Towers and instead stopping at the Contemporary Resort next door. However from tomorrow (August 20 2012) guests will be able to check in and out at the Bay Lake Towers Lobby.

Guests arriving by car or taxi can go directly to Bay Lake Towers. Guests on the Magical Express will still arrive at the Contemporary Resort's main building.

In addition to check-in and check-out, the lobby desk will also be providing dining reservations, recreation, ticket sales and planning assistance. The desk will be open from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm daily.

Contemporary Resort 14th floor refurbishment set for January 2013

Disney plan to refurbish the entire 14th floor of the Contemporary Resort between January and the summer of 2013. This will include the complete renovation of rooms, suites, corridors, hallways and the concierge lounge. The plans for the previously announced "Wellness Suites" have been scrapped, so it is expected that the design of the 14th floor will remain very similar and in some cases completely unchanged.  Some more up to date elements are likely to be added to rooms and suites to bring them more in line with the newer resorts around Walt Disney World.

At the same time, California Grill will be closed from January 6 through to late summer 2013 and is set to feature a completely new interior decor and an updated menu.

Upcoming refurbishments at the Grand Floridian resort

As part of the expansion of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort, to include a new Disney Vacation Club wing, there are a number of refurbishments schedlued for later this year, set to impact shopping, food and the resorts main swimming pool. Disney sent notifications out to guests with reservations of the following dates. As always, the dates are subject to change.


  • Narcoosee's - Closed through to July 22, 2012
  • Citricos - Closed July 23 to August 4, 2012
  • Beach Pool Bar - Closed through to August 24, 2012
  • Mizner's Lounge - Closed through to July 14, 2012
  • Gasparilla Grill Quick Service - Closed August 24 to December, 2012 (Unknown reopening date in December)

Whilst the quick service location, Gasparilla Grill is closed, guests will be able to use the Beach Pool Bar and Mizner's Lounge for quick service food.

Swimming Pool

The main pool in the courtyard area will be closed from August 24 through to December 2012. The pool is to be partially rebuilt to allow for a zero-entry area, similar to those seen in some of the newer pools such as the one at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. The beach pool will remain open for guests during the work.


Sandy cove will be closed from August 21 through to December 2012.

Changes to in-room TV channels due to DirectTV and Viacom dispute

Due to an ongoing legal dispute between DirectTV and Viacom, a few channels on the in-room television systems used across all Disney-owned resorts have changed. 

BET, CMT and TV Land are all currently unavailable, and have been replaced with TV One, Fox Movie Channel and the Speed channels. It's unkown if this is a permanent change or a temporary one.

President Obama and Mitt Romney to visit Contemporary Resort

The former Governor of Florida, Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama will be visiting Disney's Contemporary Resort tomorrow, June 22, as part of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

Traffic restrictions will be in place from today through to the 23rd around the local area. The Contemporary Resort parking lot is also restricted to resort guests only.