What You Need to Know About the Walt Disney World Changes

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The Walt Disney World Resort’s proposal to reopen on July 11 has been approved.  Keep reading for what you need to know about the Walt Disney World changes that are coming.

What You Need to Know About the Walt Disney World Changes

First to Open

The first bit of magic to open will be the Disney Vacation Club Resorts on June 22nd to both members and guests.  Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will also open that day.  Other Disney resort hotels will open on July 11.  This phased reopening will demonstrate a deliberate approach, with limits on attendance and controlled guest density that aligns with guidance on physical distancing. That means certain experiences we know draw large group gatherings – such as parades and nighttime spectaculars – will return at a later date. In addition, “high-touch” experiences such as makeover opportunities, playgrounds and character meet and greets will remain temporarily unavailable, but characters will still be in our parks to entertain and delight guests.

Theme Park Opening Phases

Magic Kingdom and  Animal Kingdom will begin a phased reopening to the general public on July 11, followed by Epcot  and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15.  Third party businesses began opening at Disney Springs opened on May 20, followed by Disney owned and operated locations on May 27.  You can find information on the processes in place to visit Disney Springs here.

Currently Booked

We know many of you are excited to return to the magic and make new memories with your family, friends and loved ones. Disney is  introducing enhanced health and safety measures reflecting guidance from health authorities and appropriate government agencies.

Because theme park capacity will be significantly limited Disney will manage attendance through a new theme park reservation system that will require all guests to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance.    Over the coming weeks, Disney will be making some necessary updates to prepare for the launch of this park reservation system. Here’s some important information to help you plan ahead.

New Ticket Sales and Hotel Reservations

At this time,  new ticket sales and Disney Resort hotel reservations are temporarily pausing so Disney can focus on guests with existing tickets and reservations.

  • Existing ticket holders and Annual Passholders will be able to make a theme park reservation before new tickets are sold.
  • Disney will be reaching out to these guests soon to provide additional details.
  • Disney will resume new sales of tickets and Disney Resort hotel reservations after that period of time.
  • Theme park reservations will be limited due to attendance limitations and will be subject to availability.

Dining and Experiences

In order to foster physical distancing during this time, upon reopening, Disney’s offerings, restaurants and other experiences such as behind-the-scenes tours will be limited in capacity, and other experiences may remain closed.

  • As a result of limited capacity, Disney has made the difficult decision to cancel all existing dining reservations and experience bookings. This includes Disney dining plans included in packages.
  • Disney will reopen dining and experience bookings with more limited numbers closer to when the parks reopen.
  • Disney will also shift from a 180-day booking window to a 60-day booking window for dining and experience bookings going forward.  This allows Guests to make their plans closer to their visits.

FastPass+ and Extra Magic Hours

As a result of the COVID-19 impact, the FastPass+ service will be suspended for the time being. Disney plans to use additional queue space to manage capacity at attractions and maintain physical distancing.

  • Disney will automatically cancel existing FastPass+ selections and share any future updates on the service at a later date.
  • Also, please note that upon reopening, Extra Magic Hours will be temporarily suspended.

Visiting Walt Disney World

Face coverings will be required in addition to temperature screenings.

  • All Guests ages 2 and up—along with Cast Members—are required to wear face coverings when visiting Walt Disney World Resort.  Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming.
  • Upon arrival at Disney Springs or at the Walt Disney World theme parks, you may undergo a temperature screening with no-touch thermometers.

Physical Distancing & Limited Contact

While you visit, you may notice some temporary adjustments in place to ensure an enjoyable environment for everyone.  These may include:

  • Signage and Ground Markings: Please follow all directional signage and ground markings.  These have been installed throughout Walt Disney World Resort to help guests better navigate common areas while practicing physical distancing.
  • Physical Barriers: Physical barriers have been added in select places where it is difficult to maintain strict physical distancing guidelines. These may be visible in areas around cash registers or at Guest Relations, for example, to help ensure proper distances between people.
  • Cashless Transactions: At this time, it is recommended all Guests use cashless payment options.  These include debit cards, credit cards and Disney Gift Cards. Guests can also opt for contactless payment options—such as mobile wallets—or use cash to purchase a Disney Gift Card at Guest Relations and select merchandise locations. Disney Resort hotel Guests can also use MagicBands to charge their purchase to their Disney Resort hotel folio.

My Disney Experience App

We strongly recommend that you have the latest version of the My Disney Experience app on your mobile device, with location services and notifications enabled. And additional technology can help you make the most of the magic during your visit! Highlights include:

  • Mobile Order Service for Dining: Please order ahead and save time at select dining locations using mobile order service.  This feature is available the My Disney Experience app.  Disney highly recommends that you use this service during your visit.
  • Scannable Codes for Select Restaurant Menus: While at a table-service restaurant, you can scan a code to access the digital menu.
  • Online Check-In at Disney Resort Hotels: Please begin the check-in process in advance online or with the My Disney Experience app. You’ll get a room-ready notification so you can bypass the Front Desk. When your room is ready, you can use the My Disney Experience app as a digital key to enter your room!

Where to Find More Info

This is a very fluid situation and for the most up-to-date information, check here  or contact your TMFLT Travel Counselor.

If you would like to request a no-obligation quote to visit Walt Disney World and other destinations, request pricing here.

What You Need to Know About the Walt Disney World Changes

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What You Need to Know About the Walt Disney World Changes

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