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Walt Disney World has reopened, here’s what you need to know

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Walt Disney World has reopened, here’s what you need to know

On March 16, 2020 Walt Disney World temporarily closed, but we all knew that the resort would eventually reopen.

And, guess what? All four parks are open once again!

Reopening Protocols & Updates

Please note that policies and procedures are changing all the time.   

Health & Safety Protocols

Enhanced Protective Measures (including face masks)

Guests

  • Anyone 2 and older must wear face coverings (masks) when indoors, on transportation, or while waiting or on attractions
  • Hand-washing and sanitizing stations placed across resort
  • Plexiglass at points of sales in retail and dining locations where distancing cannot be maintained

Cast Members

  • Company issued reusable face coverings
  • Sanitizing stations and signage reminders

Physical Distancing

Guests

  • Social distancing where appropriate, including theme parks, restaurants, shops, transportation, and any other necessary
  • Parades, fireworks, entertainment, character meet and greets (they will still be around to entertain), makeover opportunities (i.e. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique), and playgrounds will temporarily be suspended

Cast Members

  • Enhance/modify backstage areas to enable distancing while on lunch/break periods in break room and backstage environments
Walt Disney World reopening rules

Enhanced Cleaning/Sanitation

Guests

  • More frequent cleaning of high-touch areas and surfaces in operating areas 

Cast Members

  • More frequent cleaning of high-touch areas and surfaces in operating areas, including break areas and backstage environments

Temperature/Health Screening

Note: As of May 15th, 2021 Disney is no longer doing temperature checks.

Guests

  • Must have temperature taken before theme park entry, prior to entering Disney Springs, and before dining in table-service locations at Disney Resort hotels
  • Are taken via a contactless thermometer

Cast Members

  • On-site temperature checks for Cast Members in guest-facing area
  • Daily at-home temperature checks and health assessment prior to coming on property

Limited-Contact Enhancements

Guests

  • Contactless payment is encouraged, i.e. MagicBands, Apple Pay, Google Pay
  • Cashless transactions are enabled at restaurant and retail locations
  • Mobile Ordering is available at more locations

Cast Members

  • Cashless transactions are enabled at restaurant and retail locations
  • Continue to distribute individual costumes
Walt Disney World health and safety reopening protocols

Resorts

The following resorts are currently either or scheduled to reopen and accepting new reservations:

  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • Disney’s All Star Movies
  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
  • Beach Club Resort (opening 05/30/2021)
  • Beach Club Villas
  • BoardWalk Villas
  • Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Contemporary Resort
  • Coronado Springs Resort
  • Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
  • Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Old Key West Resort
  • Polynesian Resort (opening summer 2021)
  • Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
  • Pop Century Resort
  • Riviera Resort
  • Saratoga Springs Resort
  • Wilderness Lodge (opening 06/06/2021)
  • Yacht Club Resort
  • The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

And, here are the resorts that remain closed with no known reopening date:

  • Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Animal Kingdom Villas- Jambo
  • All-Star Music
  • All-Star Sports
  • Boardwalk Inn
  • Port Orleans – French Quarter
  • Port Orleans – Riverside

Note: Dsney’s Polynesian Village Resort won’t reopen until summer 2021 due to ongoing refurbishments. It’s also important to note that the Disney Vacation Club side of BoardWalk are not affected and same with the Bungalows and Villas at Polynesian.

New Resort Reservations

As for new ticket and hotel reservations, here’s what you need to know:

  • Ticket sales and hotel bookings are open for all of 2021 and into 2022.
  • Before booking, it is recommended that guests can also view park reservation availability prior to purchasing their tickets.

Dining at a resort

Dining reservations for table-service locations at resorts are now open for all guests. Remember, you can only make them up to 60 days in advance.

IMPORTANT: Day guests (those not staying overnight) need a confirmed dining reservation. Dining reservations are also recommended for those who do have hotel reservations.

Online reservations are only available for select Disney Springs dining spots, but online reservations for other dining locations may reopen at a later date.

As time goes on, you can always check on walk-ups, but to guarantee a spot we highly recommend you secure a reservation. 

Masks at Disney World resorts (recently updated)

All guests ages 2 and up must wear a mask when indoors, on transportation, or while waiting or on attractions.

Masks were originally required at all times, but Disney has relaxed several of its health and safety policies including their face coverings policy.

Check-in and check-out

Guests are highly encouraged to utilize online check-in prior to their arrival. 

While it is not required (there will still be Cast Members at the front desk), it definitely will help reduce contact.

Online Check-In

As for check-out, guests will be automatically checked out at the end of their reservation, which means unless you have charges you need to clear up on your account, there’s no reason to visit the front desk on your final day.

Temperature checks at resorts

Disney has stated that “Walt Disney World Resort Guests may be subject to additional screenings. Before you leave home, please check the temperatures of everyone in your party—including yourself—as an extra layer of precaution.”

Also, prior to entering a table-service restaurant at Disney Resort hotels, guests will have their temperature taken.

Like all other locations where temperature screenings are required, anyone with a temperature of 100.4 F or above will be directed to an additional rescreening. Those with temperatures 100.4 F or above will be denied entry, along with other members of their party.

Frozone Check your temp

Magical Express

Magical Express is available. Take note of the following as well for Magical Express:

  • Luggage delivery service for those arriving to and departing from the airport will not be available beginning July 16, 2020.
  • Magical Express guests are responsible for picking up checked luggage from baggage claim so it can be loaded onto the motorcoach and be taken to your Disney Resort hotel.
  • Luggage assistance is available at the front of your Disney Resort hotel, including luggage storage and/or transport to the room.
  • When departing, make sure your luggage is with you and loaded onto the motorcoach, because the resort airline check-in service is not be offered at this time.

Cleaning and Mousekeeping

Disney is implementing extra cleaning procedures in all high-traffic areas, such as public elevators, escalators, handrails, benches, tables, handles, restrooms, etc.

As for your resort hotel room, those too will undergo thorough cleanings between guests, including:

  • Housekeeping tools are cleaned between rooms
  • Floors are steam cleaned and vacuumed between guests
  • Items like glassware are individually wrapped
  • Double-cases on all pillows
  • During your stay, your room will receive a light cleaning service every other day, which includes: removal of trash and used towels, replenishment of towels and amenities throughout the room and bathroom, wiping and cleaning of the vanity and counter surfaces, and vacuuming if needed.

Guests can decline this every-other-day service if they choose.

Of course, if you are a Disney Vacation Club Member and are using points for your stay, your service will occur on the 4th and 8th days, unless you opt to decline that service. 

Disney enhanced cleaning measures

Parking

Self-parking is available for resort guests, but Valet Parking is not.

Parking lot trams are not available upon reopening.

Note: there is a fee to park at the Walt Disney World resorts if you are a guest there.

Pools & gyms

Feature pools may operate with reduced hours, however, leisure pools (sometimes called “quiet” pools, although you do not have to be quiet when using them) are open 24 hours a day.

And, because of physical distancing, expect the capacity to be controlled.

Gyms and fitness centers are open in alignment with state and county regulations, and may have reduced hours.

Restaurants – reservations now open

In order to comply with social distancing guidelines, all Disney World Restaurants are operating at a reduced capacity. 

This also means that there are some changes in how things work.

Advanced Dining Reservations (now 60 days in advance)

All Guests may now make dining reservations online up to 60 days in advance.

In order to dine in the parks, guests MUST have a Park Reservation. More details on how the new Disney Parks Pass system works below.

IMPORTANT: For park dining locations, guests need both a park reservation and valid admission before they can rebook dining reservations.

Day hotel guests (those not staying overnight) will need a confirmed dining reservation. Dining reservations are also recommended for those who do have hotel reservations.

As time goes on, you can always check on walk-ups, but to guarantee a spot we highly recommend you secure a reservation. 

Disney Dining Plan

All existing Disney dining plans are suspended.

We do expect it to eventually return, however, we don’t expect that to happen until capacity limits are increased.

Dining and experiences updates for Walt Disney World's reopening

Face coverings and restaurants

Face coverings are not required when guests are seated at a table, however, they are required for all guests ages 2 and up in all public areas of the Walt Disney World Resort, including when entering and leaving a restaurant.

Temperature screenings at restaurants

As previously stated, prior to entering a table-service restaurant at Disney Resort hotels, guests will have their temperature taken. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 F or above will be directed to an additional rescreening. Those with temperatures 100.4 F or above will be denied entry, along with other members of their party.

Cashless and Contactless Payment

It is strongly recommended that guests opt to use cashless (debit or credit cards, Disney Gift Cards) or contactless forms of payment (like your MagicBand or through phone apps like Apple Pay). 

Mobile Order

One easy way to reduce your contact with others is to use Mobile Order whenever it is available.

Mobile Order (which is available in the My Disney Experience App) allows guests to order their food for Quick Service restaurants ahead of their arrival.

You use the app to notify the restaurant that you have arrived and then you are able to pick up your order at a designated window.

Mobile Order screenshot

Doing this bypasses the standard order line, thus reducing your contact with other guests and Cast Members, which right now is a good thing.

NEW — Mobile Order is now available at select Table Service restaurants, including Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, The Wave… of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and Olivia’s Cafe at Disney’s Old Key West Resort.

It works exactly like Mobile Order for Quick Service locations. However, keep in mind that these meals will be made to order so they may take just as long as if you were sitting in the actual restaurant.

On Sept. 21, Disney confirmed other select hotel Table Service restaurants will soon offer Table Service To Go.

Table Service to Go on My Disney Experience

Mobile Dine Check-In

This new feature allows you to check in via My Disney Experience (MDE) for dining reservations at select table-service restaurants at theme parks and resorts.

Here’s how it works: 

You’ll receive a push notification prompting you to check in via MDE or you can check-in by scanning a QR code located in the restaurant’s lobby. This means you don’t need to visit the host stand to check in.

Via the push notification or QR code you’ll check in for your reservation and confirm your arrival time and party details.

When your table is ready you will be notified to proceed to a specified location.

You can also check walk-up availability at Table Service restaurants right in MDE. The app allows guests without reservations to view current availability and wait times. Depending on availability, you can add your party to the waitlist at participating locations.

Dining Check-In

As of Sept. 21, these are the locations offering Mobile Dine Check-In:

Magic Kingdom

  • Be Our Guest Restaurant
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table
  • Liberty Tree Tavern
  • Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen
  • The Plaza Restaurant
  • Tony’s Town Square

Epcot

  • Biergarten Restaurant
  • Coral Reef Restaurant
  • Le Cellier Steakhouse
  • Garden Grill
  • Rose & Crown Dining Room

Hollywood Studios

  • Hollywood Brown Derby
  • Hollywood & Vine
  • Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano
  • 50’s Prime Time Café
  • Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
  • Oga’s Cantina

Animal Kingdom

  • Tiffin’s Restaurant

Disney’s BoardWalk

  • Trattoria al Forno

Disney’s Old Key West Resort

  • Olivia’s Café

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

  • Sanaa

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

  • Kona Café

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

  • California Grill
  • Chef Mickey’s
  • The Wave

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

  • Whispering Canyon Cafe

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

  • Grand Floridian Café
  • Narcoossee’s

Disney’s Riviera Resort

  • Topolino’s Terrace

Disney’s Yacht Club & Beach Club Villas

  • Ale & Compass Restaurant
  • Beaches & Cream Soda Shop

Menus

Moving forward, Disney World is using reduced-contact menus.

Simply put, this means menus are shared in ways to minimize how many people touch them.

In Quick Service locations this is relatively easy as menus can be displayed on sign boards.

And, at Table Service restaurants, you’re able to scan QR codes with your mobile device to access the digital menu.

QR Code

Note: if you are unfamiliar with how QR codes work, we recommend you practice a bit at home before you go. They are extremely easy to use, and with many phones you’ll simply use your camera app.

Character Dining & dinner shows (like Hoop-Dee-Doo and Spirit of Aloha)

There are several modified character dining experiences available, including:

Cinderella’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom is open, but characters aren’t present (Cinderella may pop by, but only briefly).

In addition, all dinner shows have been temporarily suspended during this initial reopening.

During the initial reopening phase, both Private Dining and in-room delivery (including pizza) will not be offered. However, in-room dining is available at Yacht Club.

Parks

In order to limit park capacity, attendance is being managed via a pre-arrival reservation system called Disney Park Pass. This means all guests have to obtain a reservation in order to enter a park.

They must also have valid theme park admission in order to make a park reservation, whether that be a ticket or an Annual Pass.

Disney Park Pass System

Park reservations are available through January 14, 2023, depending on availability. We’ve summarized the key points below but be sure to check out our post on Disney’s new Park Pass system for additional details.

Remember, guests also need both a park reservation and valid admission before they can book in-park dining and experience reservations.

Preparing to make Disney Park Pass reservations

Before making reservations, there’s a few very important things you’ll want to do FIRST:

  • Set up your My Disney Experience account (if you don’t already have one) or make sure you know how to access yours if you do have one because this is where all of your Walt Disney World Resort plans are stored and managed.
  • Make sure park tickets or Annual Passes are properly linked in My Disney Experience for all members of your traveling party.  
  • Staying onsite at a Walt Disney World resort hotel? Link your WDW Resort Reservation to your My Disney Experience account beforehand, as well.

Making Disney Park Pass reservations

Once you have a valid ticket linked to your account you can access a calendar of available reservation dates for each theme park.

Family and friends traveling together can link tickets to allow them to select theme park entries at the same time.

If you have a multi-day ticket, you will be required to make a park reservation for each day of your visit.

It is important to note that at least in the beginning, there is no Park Hopping. Guests with Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus tickets are able to modify or cancel. We expect to learn more details about that in the upcoming days and weeks.

And, as you can imagine, reservations are limited in number and subject to availability so Disney is advising you to make your park reservations as soon as you purchase your tickets.

Visit the official Walt Disney World website for more information about the new Disney Park Pass system.

FastPass + & Extra Magic Hours

FastPass+ is suspended for the time being as the parks use additional queue space to manage capacity at attractions and to help maintain physical distancing.

All existing FastPass+ selections will automatically be cancelled.

Extra Magic Hours are also temporarily suspended. 

FastPass+ and Extra Magic Hours for Walt Disney World's reopening

Available attractions and entertainment offerings

While not everything will be open in the parks, most of the “biggies” will. 

As you can see by the lists below, things that aren’t open are primarily shows.

Magic Kingdom

Not open:

  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle

Open:

  • “it’s a small world”
  • Astro Orbiter
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Country Bear Jamboree
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Liberty Square Riverboat
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Swiss Family Treehouse
  • The Barnstormer
  • The Hall of Presidents
  • The Haunted Mansion
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tom Sawyer Island
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
  • Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

Entertainment

  • Main Street Philharmonic
  • Character Cavalcades throughout the day, with Guest-favorite Disney friends appearing along the parade route—which include:
  • The Royal Princess Processional
  • Mickey & Friends Cavalcade
  • Fantasyland Friends Cavalcade
  • A Goofy Cavalcade
  • Tinker Bell & the Lost Treasure

There are also seasonal cavalcades for Halloween and the holidays.

Animal Kingdom

Not Open

  • Primeval Whirl (closed permanently)
  • Finding Nemo – The Musical
  • Boneyard
  • Festival of the Lion King

Open

  • Affection Section
  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • DINOSAUR
  • Discovery Island Trails
  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
  • Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug!
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • Na’vi River Journey
  • The Animation Experience at Conservation Station
  • The Oasis Exhibits
  • TriceraTop Spin
  • Up! A Great Bird Adventure (modified and without characters; temporarily titled “Feathered Friends in Flight”)
  • Wilderness Explorers
  • Wildlife Express

Entertainment

  • Character Cruises throughout the day, with Guest-favorite Disney friends appearing in boats around Discovery River—including the following:
  • Discovery River Character Cruise
  • Discovery Island Drummers
  • Donald’s Dino Boat Bash!
  • Mickey & Friends Flotilla

Epcot

Not Open

  • Turtle Talk with Crush

Open

  • Awesome Planet
  • Beauty and the Beast Sing Along (shows from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.)
  • Canada Far and Wide
  • Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
  • Friendship Lagoon Boats
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
  • Impressions de France (follow Beauty and the Beast Sing Along starting at 7:30 p.m. until 9 p.m.)
  • Journey Into Imagination with Figment
  • Kidcot (modified)
  • Living with the Land
  • Mission: SPACE
  • Reflections of China
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track
  • The American Adventure
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  • Walt Disney Imagineering presents the Epcot Experience

Entertainment

  • America Gardens Theatre Presents… featuring popular EPCOT performers such as:
  • JAMMitors
  • Mariachi Cobre
  • Character Cavalcades throughout the day, featuring favorite Disney friends traveling around World Showcase promenade—including:
  • Frozen Promenade
  • Mickey & Friends World Tour
  • Princess Promenade

Hollywood Studios

Not Open

  • Star Wars Launch Bay (operates as a relaxation station)
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid
  • Disney Junior Live on Stage
  • Beauty and the Beast show

Open

Attractions

Entertainment

  • Character Cavalcades throughout the day, with favorite Disney friends appearing along Hollywood Boulevard—including:
  • Disney Junior Stars Motorcade
  • Mickey & Friends Motorcade
  • Pixar Motorcade
  • Frozen Sing Along (returns Oct. 5, 2020)
  • Disney Junior Play and Dance!

Experiences

Disney Springs

Disney Springs reopened on May 20. There are many shopping and dining experiences open for business.

The shopping and dining complex have also put in place several health and safety protocols, including: 

  • Increased cleaning procedures
  • Use of appropriate face coverings by guests and cast members
  • Limited-contact guest services
  • Additional safety training for cast members
  • Limitations on capacity, parking, and operating hours during the initial opening phase
  • Cashless and contactless payment options

Read our Disney Springs post for the complete list of protocols and further details. Visit the official Disney Springs website for a list of which locations are open

Only select Disney Springs locations are accepting reservations at this time.

Disney Springs reopening protocols

Other Experiences 

Many of the regular experiences offered will be temporarily suspended, and those that aren’t are operating with a limited capacity.

All existing experiences that have been booked are automatically cancelled effective immediately.

And, guests can only now book experiences up to 60 days in advance versus the previous 180-day mark. 

Both Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and H2O Glow Nights at Typhoon Lagoon have been cancelled for 2020. If you have already purchased a ticket those will be automatically refunded in the upcoming weeks.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Epcot’s Candlelight Processional have also been cancelled for the 2020 holiday season.

Other bookable in-park experiences not listed are still subject to cancellation so be sure to check back frequently for the latest updates.

Disney will reach out to guests affected by these updates with more information, including details about refunds.

Some previously scheduled experiences that were cancelled can now be booked.

If you had a reservation for an experience between May 28 and Sept. 2, 2020 that was cancelled, there are select number of experiences you may now book:

Magic Kingdom Park:

  • Capture Your Moment photo experience

Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels:

  • Golf and FootGolf
  • Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf
  • Ft. Wilderness Archery Experience
  • Horseback riding
  • Wilderness Back Trail Adventure
  • Fishing excursions
  • Private pool cabanas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Oasis Patios at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

Eligible Guests with experience reservations previously cancelled due to the closure can call (407) 939-6690 to make reservations.

DVC Member? You can call Member Services at (800) 800-9800 for reservations.

It’s also important to note that select third-party owned and operated experiences may not be canceled.

IMPORTANT: For park experiences, guests need both a park reservation and valid admission before they can book experiences.

Amenities and experiences not available during the initial reopening period:

  • Arcades
  • Campfires
  • Character experiences
  • Dog parks
  • Electrical Water Pageant
  • Marina rentals
  • Pin trading
  • Playgrounds
  • Spas and salons
  • Harmony Barbershop
  • In-room childcare services
  • Fireworks voyages and tasting cruises, including the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage
  • Fun runs
  • Wonderland Tea Party at Park Fare
  • Hula lessons
  • Mermaid school
  • Special classes and programs (culinary, cultural and animal programs)
  • ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
  • Surfing activities – including group lessons and private sessions

In addition, all of the following will also be unavailable:

Unique Tours

  • Backstage Magic
  • Behind the Seeds
  • Disney’s Family Magic Tour
  • Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour
  • Disney’s The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour
  • Taste of Magic Kingdom Park VIP Tour
  • The UnDISCOVERed Future World
  • Ultimate Day of Thrills VIP Tour
  • Ultimate Disney Classics VIP Tour
  • Ultimate Nights of Adventure VIP Tour
  • Up Close with Rhinos
  • Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom Tour
  • World Showcase: DestiNations Discovered
  • Wild Africa Trek
  • Wild Africa Trek (Morning)

Important: Disney Private VIP Tours is currently accepting reservations. Reservations are subject to availability.

Adventures in Dining

  • Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Tea Room
  • Cake Decorating Experience at Amorette’s Patisserie
  • Circle of Flavors: Harambe at Night
  • Dine with an Animal Specialist
  • Dining with an Imagineer – Cítricos
  • Dining with an Imagineer – The Hollywood Brown Derby
  • Disney Early Morning Magic – Fantasyland
  • Epcot Forever Dining Package
  • Fantasmic! Dining Package
  • Festival of the Lion King Signature Dining Package
  • Highway in the Sky Dine Around
  • Jiko Wine Tasting
  • Rivers of Light Dining Package
  • Savor the Savanna: Evening Safari Experience
  • Sense of Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Signature Celebration at Cinderella’s Royal Table
  • Taste of Magic Kingdom Park VIP Tour
  • Tiffins Talks
  • Victoria & Albert’s Chef’s Table Dinner
  • Wanyama Safari
  • Wonderland Tea Party at 1900 Park Fare

Spectacular Sweet Spots

  • Fantasmic! Dessert & VIP Viewing Experience
  • Ferrytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise
  • Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace
  • Fireworks Dessert Party with Plaza Garden Viewing
  • Frozen Ever After Dessert Party
  • Pirates & Pals Fireworks Voyage
  • Rivers of Light Dessert Party
  • Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Nature Experiences

  • A Path Less Traveled Tour
  • Behind the Seeds
  • Caring for Giants
  • Dine with an Animal Specialist
  • Epcot Seas Adventures – Aqua Tour
  • Epcot Seas Adventures – DiveQuest
  • Epcot Seas Adventures – Dolphins in Depth
  • Savor the Savanna: Evening Safari Experience
  • Sense of Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Starlight Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Up Close with Rhinos
  • Wanyama Safari
  • Wild Africa Trek
  • Wild Africa Trek (Morning)

Make-Believe & More

  • Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
  • Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew
  • Character Couture
  • Perfectly Princess Tea Party
  • Pirate Adventure Cruises
  • Pirates & Pals Fireworks Voyage
  • Wonderland Tea Party at 1900 Park Fare

Water Parks (Blizzard Beach & Typhoon Lagoon)

On Sept. 17, Disney announced that both Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon will remain closed through at least March 7, 2021. Disney hopes to reopen one of the water parks by this date, but the reopening depends on government approval.

Annual Passholders with water park access will receive a partial refund. There are also several options available for those with water park tickets. No word yet on whether or not we can expect the water parks to reopen.

Transportation

Complimentary transportation is available between the resorts, the theme parks, and Disney Springs, depending on the form of transportation.

All forms of transportation are available, unless otherwise noted below:

  • Epcot Monorail currently unavailable
  • Water taxis are limited at Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness
  • No water taxi from Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and Contemporary
  • Minnie Vans and Watercraft options are not be available during the initial re-opening phase

The Disney Skyliner resumed operation on July 15 and Friendship boats reopen starting November 1.

As noted above, Magical Express is also currently available.

Walt Disney World transportation reopening dates

Much like the capacity in the theme parks and restaurants being reduced, transportation is running with physical distancing measures put in place, including at loading zones and queues and on buses, monorails, and boats. Physical barriers have also been installed to maintain physical distancing guidelines. 

Face masks are required aboard all Disney transportation.

In the olden days (like just a year ago), it was pretty typical for buses to be packed shoulder to shoulder during peak times. 

This is not the case moving forward.

It’s important to note that because of these changes, there might be transportation delays and you may want to consider renting a car for Walt Disney World.

Check out this post for more information about Renting a car at Disney World.

And then, make sure you review our information about Parking at Walt Disney World, too.

FAQ’s

Although we have received more questions than we currently have answers for, we will continue to update this section as we learn more information. 

Have a question we haven’t answered? Drop us an email.

Should I postpone my trip?

This one is tricky, but here’s our thoughts:

If this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip – especially if you are traveling with little ones or small children – then as sad as we are to say it, postponing may be the right decision. 

For people that are frequent visitors that may not mind that things aren’t “normal” or that all experiences aren’t available or if you are not traveling with little kids that may struggle with the mask requirements and you personally feel comfortable traveling, then going may make sense for you. 

Every family and every situation will be different. There is no one right or wrong answer. Our goal is provide all the information you will need to make the best decision for you and your family.

Will Food & Wine be cancelled?

No, but it will be a modified experience called “A Taste of Epcot International Food and Wine Festival” that will last a lot longer than what we’ve seen in the past.

Beginning on July 15 (which is the scheduled reopening date for Epcot) and lasting through the fall, the new modified version of Food and Wine will offer 20 signature global marketplaces spaced throughout the park.

In addition, guests will also get a bit of the Flower and Garden festival via Remy (the newest topiary unveiled earlier this year) still being on display as well as Flower and Garden merchandise being available for purchase.

Some hallmarks of Food & Wine – like the popular Eat to the Beat Concert Series – will not happen. As an alternative, musical acts from Epcot (like Mariachi Cobre and the Jammitors) will provide performances in the American Gardens Theatre.

The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is also happening, but will be modified just like Food & Wine. It begins on Nov. 27.

Are masks required?

Yes. Masks are required for all guests ages 2 and over in certain situations. Masks must be worn when indoors, on transportation, or while waiting or on attractions.

There are also mask requirements, including (these are for both reusable and disposable):

  • Fully cover your nose and mouth and secure under the chin
  • Made with at least two layers of breathable material
  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops and allow you to remain hands-free
  • Neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas, and face coverings with valves, mesh material, or holes of any kind are not allowed
Disney face mask

What about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?

Disney has officially announced that Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party was cancelled for 2020. However, there has been no statement made for 2021.

Here’s what they said:

“…we determined that many of its hallmarks – stage shows, parades and fireworks – are unable to take place in this new, unprecedented environment. With that in mind, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.”

Guests that had already purchased MNSSHP tickets saw those automatically refunded. 

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Epcot’s Candlelight Processional was also cancelled for 2020.

Will the pools at the resorts be open?

Pools and gyms are open, however, they operate under reduced capacity. Also, expect feature pools to have limited hours and for some to not be immediately available.

What about the characters?

The character meets are temporarily suspended, however, there are some characters that are out and about entertaining guests from a safe distance.

What about character meals and buffets?

Disney has confirmed that certain experiences, such as most Character dining, cannot be provided at this time, except for the following modified character dining experiences:

  • Topolino’s Terrace at Riviera Resort
  • Garden Grill at Epcot
  • Minnie’s Seasonal Dine at Hollywood & Vine in Hollywood Studios
  • Chef Mickey’s returns Dec. 16 (reservations open Oct. 17)
  • Ravello’s at the Four Seasons

Restaurants that were traditionally buffets look to be returning but will be served family-style.

Will park hopping be allowed?

Park Hopping is now allowed. Currently, Park Hopping is only available after 2 p.m. and guests must have made a Park Pass reservation for the first park they wish to visit in order to hop.

Important note: Park Hopping is subject to the park’s capacity. Guests wishing to check on the status of Park Hopping can dial (407) 560-5000.

Will the water parks be open?

Blizzard Beach has reopened.

I have a resort reservation but had not yet purchased tickets, will I still be able to buy my tickets?

Yes, as of July 9, 2020 ticket sales and hotel bookings are open.

Guests can also view park reservation availability prior to purchasing their tickets, since you need both valid theme park admission and park reservation for park entry.

Note: you need valid theme park admission to be eligible to reserve your theme park days.

How will bag check work if they are trying to limit contact?

As you know, Disney bag check traditionally involves a Cast Member going through every bag by hand. 

However, that process has now changed to due current circumstances. There is a new contactless security system available at theme parks and Disney Springs. 

That said, the security procedures may vary by location. You might also be at times asked to remove select items from your pocket or wallet, like umbrellas, metal water bottles, portable chargers, etc.

Will the buses be running?

Yes, buses are currently running from all open resorts, theme parks, and Disney Springs.

Bus interior

In addition to buses, other select complimentary transportation is available, including the Monorail, Ferry Boats, and the Disney Skyliner. 

When can I book a trip for 2022?

Guests can now book a Disney Vacation Package (that means room and tickets) for 2021 and 2022 arrivals.

At the time of booking, guests will also be able to view park reservation availability before purchasing their tickets.

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We will continue to update this page with all of the information you’ll need for your Walt Disney World vacation, so keep checking back!

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