Walt Disney World Resort Update for June 23-29, 2020by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer
Walt Disney World Resort Update for June 23-29, 2020
Writer's Note & News (Combined)
The phased re-opening of Walt Disney World Resort continues and, as of publication, all of the Disney Resorts around the World have announced plans for phased reopenings except Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii. Shanghai Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland have resumed welcoming guests, and, as we noted last week, Disney's Hilton Head Island and Vero Beach Resorts also reopened last week. Last night, Tokyo Disney Resort announced that it plans to reopen July 1.
Here in Florida, Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom remain on track to reopen on July 11, with EPCOT and Disney's Hollywood Studios following suit on July 15, with additional details released this week about the "Disney Park Pass System" which we will discuss more below. Disneyland Paris plans to begin its phased reopening on July 15, and Disneyland plans to reopen the California parks on July 17, Disneyland's 65th anniversary, with its Downtown Disney District opening a week earlier.
Phased Reopenings: Disney Resort Hotels at Walt Disney World Resort
Yesterday, Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground reopened along with most of the Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts (also known as the Disney Vacation Club properties). The Resorts reopen with new housekeeping and cleaning protocols and schedules, requiring that guests ages 2 and up wear face coverings in all public areas except while swimming or seated for dining, and that all persons entering Walt Disney Resort confirm that they:
- are not experiencing any of the following symptoms of COVID-19 identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at CDC.gov, including:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- have not been in contact with someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 symptoms without completing a 14-day quarantine
- are not under any self-quarantine orders
According to the "Health Acknowledgement," guests who cannot confirm all of the above criteria must not enter Walt Disney World Resort. More information, including a reminder to check the advisories or restrictions that may be in place for travel to Florida at https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/travelers (which still includes a self-quarantine requirement for tourists traveling from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) is posted on this page of DisneyWorld.com.
As we have noted before, the Official DisneyWorld.com website also posts the following warning on quite a few of its pages:
An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and Guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable. By visiting Walt Disney World Resort you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.
Since our last Update, Walt Disney World Resort announced further phases of reopenings for its Resort hotels, starting with a cautionary note:
Please note that given the fluidity of the current environment, these dates are subject to change and Guests’ reservations could still be modified to other Disney Resort hotels if needed.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Jambo House, Disney's Pop Century Resort, Disney's Contemporary Resort
Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort and Disney's Art of Animation Resort
Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Disney's BoardWalk Resort
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
Given the current situation, there are some Disney Resort hotels and other areas that are not, as of this time, being scheduled for reopening yet. We will continue to evaluate the situation and reopen more locations when the environment is right to do so.
Disney Resort hotel reservations are temporarily paused. Guests with reservations for travel through July 10 may request immediate assistance with modifying their plans for dates in 2020. As of yesterday, those currently traveling July 11 - December 31, 2020 may now request assistance. Starting tomorrow, June 24, modification requests into 2021 can be made as well, and Disney is continuing to waive Disney-imposed change and cancellation fees up to the date of check-in for reservations with arrivals through October 3, 2020.
MousePlanet's travel partner, Get Away Today tells us that new reservations for 2021 will be open on June 28, 2020, and they are excited and will be ready to help guests book new reservations at that time.
Looking toward 2021, the My Disney Experience app will take on more of the features currently offered on a Magic Band. The app currently offers a digital key feature. In connection with the new app features, Disney Resort hotel guests will no longer receive complimentary MagicBands for new reservation arrivals starting on January 1, 2021. Hotel guests will have the option to purchase new MagicBands at a discount, and there will be more colors, designs, and character offerings as well. Retail locations will also continue to sell MagicBands. Guests who do not purchase a MagicBand will still be able to use the My Disney Experience app and hotel guests will still have the option to use a "Key to the World" card during their stay.
Disney Park Pass System: Reserving Theme Park Visits at Walt Disney World Resort
On July 11, Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom will reopen with new limits on attendance and guest density, followed on July 15 at EPCOT and Disney's Hollywood Studios with similar new restrictions. Thus, during, at least, this next phase of reopening the parks at Walt Disney World Resort, each guest must have a date-specific park reservation in addition to a ticket to enter one of the theme parks.
The new theme park reservation scheme has been named the "Disney Park Pass System" and it requires guests to have a My Disney Experience account and linked tickets or Annual Passes. Guests planning to visit must make their reservations online at https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/park-reservations/. Park reservations are available through September 26, 2021, based on Resort stay and ticket eligibility or ticket eligibility window.
Guests may only select one park per day. At least for now, there will be no park hopping allowed. Guests with multi-day tickets must make a park reservation for each date guests plan to visit a park. Annual Passholders are eligible to make park reservations for up to three days at a time or the entire length of their resort stay when staying at a Disney Resort or other eligible hotels (whichever is long), but pass blockout dates still apply depending on pass-type (e.g. Gold, Silver, etc.). In several places, Disney is emphasizing that park tickets do not guarantee park admission and that it may be difficult to get park reservations on certain dates while park capacity is limited.
The system opened yesterday for Disney Resort and certain other hotel guests with park tickets. Starting this Friday, June 26, Annual Passholders without a Resort stay can make park reservations. Beginning June 28, 2020, all other existing ticket holders can make reservations. No specific date has yet been announced for the sale of new park tickets, which Disney says will resume "later this summer." More information is available at: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/experience-updates/park-reservations/.
The Disney Park Pass System opened on DisneyWorld.com for hotel guests with park tickets yesterday. The System will open for Passholders on June 26, and other ticket holders on June 28. An interactive calendar is available showing park availability by date, with different availability for hotel guests and Passholders without hotel reservations. Two screenshots shown here as a single image, with arrows added.
Passholders should also be on the lookout in the coming days for an email invitation for Passholder Previews. Passholders will have an opportunity to register for a preview at Magic Kingdom or Disney's Animal Kingdom on July 9 or 10. As you should expect, "Reservations are required and limited, and will be available on a first-come, first served basis. An eligible activated annual pass is required to register." Passholders may only register additional guests to accompany them if they are also Passholders and are linked in the "Family & Friends" list with sharing "All My Plans" selected in My Disney Experience.
In addition to extending Annual Passes for the number of days the parks are closed, Disney is also offering the option of an additional one month extension of the pass (processed automatically in October 2020). Passholders also have cancellation options that vary based on whether the pass has been paid in full or on the monthly payment plan. More details are available: on this page of DisneyWorld.com. In an email to Passholders this week to thank them for their loyalty, Disney plans "to give you a sprinkle of pixie dust by mailing you an exclusive magnet later this summer (one per household)."
Remember, as we mentioned earlier this month: there will be no FastPass+ reservations and there will be no Extra Magic Hours for Resort guests.
Some of the information to "Know Before You Go" to Walt Disney World Resort as it reopens is in this video. ©Disney.
Walt Disney World Resort Theme Park Attractions, Entertainment & Festivals
According to Disney Parks Blog, "most attractions will be available at each park" upon reopening. The planned refurbishment of Spaceship Earth at EPCOT has been delayed, and it will reopen with the park as well. While character meet and greets will not be available, they "will appear in new and different ways that bring a smile to your face while also being mindful of physical distancing." These character experiences will include "cavalcades" on the Magic Kingdom parade route, sailings on the waterways of Disney's Animal Kingdom, processions along World Showcase promenade at EPCOT, and motorcades on Hollywood Boulevard at Disney's Hollywood Studios. A full list has not been published and, of course, everything is always subject to change.
EPCOT's reopening, in particular, will be accompanied by the launch of a "modified festival experience" named "A Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival." It will continue through the fall, and will feature over 20 "global marketplaces" spaced out around the park and it promises to sprinkle in some of "the floral fun of Flower & Garden" Festival, including the new Remy topiary at France pavilion and Flower & Garden Festival merchandise. Remy's Hide & Squeak scavenger hunt will also return, and traditional Food & Wine merchandise will appear later during the Festival's run.
The "Eat to the Beat Concert Series" will not return, however. America Gardens Theatre will include "local EPCOT entertainment such as Mariachi Cobre, the JAMMitors and more," with performances spread out during the day. We have also seen reports that other live entertainment will be available in other open spaces that provide for physical distancing in the park as well.
Along with news of the new modified Festival, however, Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party has been cancelled this year at Magic Kingdom. Likewise, Disney H2O Glow Nights will not be held at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon. Ticket holders will be assisted with refunds.
Magic Kingdom will not host Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party this year. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.
Disney has not yet decided the fate of 2020 editions of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party or the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays and its productions of Candlelight Processional. Stay tuned.
For more information about the status and availability of many of the other various "extras" around Walt Disney World Resort, visit this page of DisneyWorld.com.
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Coming up tomorrow, Wednesday, June 24, at 8:30 p.m. Eastern/5:30 p.m Pacific, we will again be live with any late-breaking Disney news, and then we'll be joined by special guests and MousePlanet Contributors chatting about "All Things Disney" and we'll see what they have been cooking up at home.
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This & That…
…With the reopening yesterday of Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Disney Parks Blog showed off the newly completed new barn at Tri-Circle-D Ranch. Last week, Violet, a pony foal was born in the new stable.
The Tri-Circle-D Ranch is home to "The Happiest Horses on Earth" and was part of Walt Disney's vision to bring horses to Magic Kingdom like he had at Disneyland. Video ©Disney.
…Disney Parks Blog announced that Gideon's Bakehouse will open a location at Disney Springs across from Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar in The Landing later this year. The small, award-winning Orlando bakery is said to be best known for its "small-batch, handmade, almost half-pound cookies (yes, you read that right, half-pound) and cakes."
…DOLE Whip has many fans, and, this week, Disney Parks Blog shared that "DOLE Whip Nachos" are back at Disney Springs at Marketplace Snacks. It's a bowl of Waffle Cone Chips topped with DOLE Whip, Mango Boba Pearls, Fresh Pineapple, Strawberry Sauce, Whipped Cream, and Rainbow Sprinkles.
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Note: MousePlanet does not edit past Updates to reflect price increases; for up-to-date prices, check the most recent Walt Disney World Resort Update.
NOTE Universal Orlando Resort reopened June 5, and Get Away Today still has a great Universal Orlando Resort ticket offer available:
You can get 2 days free when you buy a 2-day, 2-park ticket.
Find all of its Universal Orlando Resort ticket specials here.