Walt Disney World Resort Update for July 21-27, 2020

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for July 21 - 27, 2020

Writer's Note & News (Combined)

The phased reopening of Walt Disney World Resort continued last week with the July 15 reopening of EPCOT and Disney's Hollywood Studios. As with Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom that reopened on July 11, capacity is limited at the parks, and all guests must make date specific reservations in the new Disney Park Pass system in order to visit a park (and, as previously announced, Park Hopping, currently is not permitted).

While traditional character greetings are not offered during the phased reopening, Edna Mode makes physically distanced appearances in a Motor Car along the parade route at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Photo Courtesy Disney Parks.

Last Thursday, July 16, additional Disney Park Pass reservation availability was extended to Annual Passholders on select dates in July and August at Magic Kingdom park, Epcot and Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. This additional Disney Park Pass reservation availability does not reflect an increase in park attendance, which remains limited during this reopening period. As of last night, Disney's Hollywood Studios shows no additional reservation availability for Passholders until August 31, and then no weekend availability through September. Remember, though, that availability remains "fluid," so it cannot hurt to keep checking; individual tickets and guests with resort stays will find additional availability as of right now, but the parks may make later shifts of that availability over to Passholders.

In addiiton, Disney now provides Annual Passholders staying at Resorts (or designated select hotels) additional eligibility to make theme park reservations for each day of their stay(s), plus, like all Annual Passholders, theme park reservations for up to 3 days at a time on a rolling basis. Once a Passholder uses a theme park reservation, the Passholder can make another reservation for a future date.

In June, Disney announced that Annual Passholders can receive a one-month extension to their pass. The additional month will automatically be processed and visible in Passholders' My Disney Experience accounts over the coming weeks. If Passholders prefer, in lieu of the additional one-month extension, Passholders may choose to cancel their annual pass. If Passholders choose this option, their annual pass will remain valid through August 11, 2020 and will be canceled effective August 12, 2020. Passholders can select this option now through August 11, 2020 by clicking on the personalized link that was included in an email they should have received last week. Alternatively, Passholders may call V.I.PASSHOLDER Support at 407-939-7277 for assistance and any individual concerns. Please note that once submitted, selections cannot be changed. Passholders now also receive 30% off select merchandise purchases at Walt Disney World Resort owned and operated merchandise locations through August 14, 2020.

By this past weekend, Walt Disney World also updated the details of its face coverings requirements. Since Disney Springs had its phased reopening back in May, they remain required for all Guests ages two and older as well as all Cast Members. They must be warn at all times except when dining or swimming. The rules now clarify that the eating or drinking exception is supposed to apply when guests are stationary and still maintaining appropriate physical distancing. The rules also clarify that "neck gaiters and open-chin triangle bandanas are not acceptable face coverings" based on guidance from health authorities.

Walt Disney World Resort has updated its face coverings requirements. July 20, 2020, Screenshot of https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/experience-updates/.

As we continue to advise, folks planning to visit the parks and resorts should, in particular, keep an eye on the "Know Before You Go" pages of DisneyWorld.com. The face covering requirements are posted to that page along with other pertinent information.

We also previously have noted that Disney has resumed 2020 park ticket sales and Disney Resort Bookings. You can read more about on Disney Parks Blog or you can discuss with your travel planner, like MousePlanet's travel partner, Get Away Today. We continue to remind those out of state that Florida continues to require travelers from the New York tri-state area to self quarantine after arriving in the state for 14 days, and several states and other governments (like the City of Chicago and now the surrounding Cook County) have imposed restrictions on travelers arriving from a number of states including Florida that require those arriving to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Remember that this could impact, for example, your return to work or school or such after a trip to Florida.

EPCOT reopened with the debut of the new "blended" festival: The Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival. It carries over some of the "floral fun" of the Flower & Garden Festival that began just before the park's temporary closure, and it brings some of the food and beverages from the usual fall Food & Wine Festival. Disney Parks Blog published a Foodie Guide to the more than 20 global marketplaces (and be aware that there are several in the World Showplace, the air conditioned structure between the U.K. and Canada pavilions that first debuted as the Millennium Showplace and is often used for special events but is not often generally open to park guests). A digital festival guide is also available in the My Disney Experience app. Tables are available around the park where guests can remove their face coverings to eat and drink while still maintaining physical distancing.

Disney's Hollywood Studios reopened with its modified virtual queue system for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Social media reports over the weekend suggest that its boarding groups filled fairly quickly when it opened at 10 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. (we did not see reports of its third scheduled opening, but assume it occurred). Disney Parks Blog shared photos of Hollywood Studios and EPCOT from their July 15 reopening.

Join us Wednesday for MousePlanet LIVE!

Join us tomorrow, Wednesday, July 22, at 8:30 p.m. Eastern/5:30 p.m Pacific, for "Fun at Home" Show #16, our MousePlanet LIVE! stream, where we will update any news that breaks between publication of this Update and then, and our Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix will lead a Disneyland Resort-focused show with a special guest. Some of our regular group of MousePlanet Contributors will also be on hand for our physically distanced chat about "All Things Disney" and share what they've been cooking up at home.

"Fun at Home" Show #16 begins at 8:30 p.m. Eastern/5:30 p.m. Pacific, Wednesday, July 22, 2020.

A countdown clock and brief pre-show will begin a few minutes before showtime. If you have loaded this page before the pre-show begins, be sure to refresh your browser to see the show. If the embed isn't working below, you can view the show directly on this Facebook page, even if you do not have an account.

During our live shows, share comments with us: @MousePlanet on Facebook, Periscope and Twitter.

Continue to Support Give Kids the World Village

Give Kids the World Village, the Central Florida-based non-profit resort that helps fulfill Wish trips for critically ill children and their families, has launched a Virtual Challenge For Hope fun run. For the past three years, the event had hosted more than 1,000 participants at the Village's 84-acre resort, resulting in nearly $400,000 raised.

"The safety of our wish families, supporters, staff and volunteers is always our top priority, so this year our Challenge for Hope fundraiser will be completely virtual," said Pamela Landwirth, Give Kids The World president & CEO. "Were thrilled that with this change our supporters around the world will have the chance to participate, bringing the spirit of Give Kids The World to wherever they are."

Participants can register to become a "Challenger” for $39 and are encouraged to fundraise to reach incentives. They will receive a kit in the mail with everything needed in order to complete their challenge from home, including a commemorative medal featuring wish kid art and a race bib. Past events hosted at the Village boasted an inclusive and accessible fun run where all were welcome to "walk, run, roll, or stroll." They say this year's event will feature the same inclusivity, but from home. "The virtual challenge you complete is up to you. Walk, roll, run, stroll, swim – or even jump rope your way to complete your event," said Landwirth.

Give Kids The World announced an extended closure due to COVID-19 in early June. They say that fundraising events like Challenge for Hope will allow them to reopen as soon as possible. "While our resort is temporarily closed, more than 700 children each month wait for their life-changing wish. By participating, you'll join a community of supporters who will help us emerge from these challenging times and resume fulfilling these wishes as soon as possible," said Landwirth.

For more information and registration, visit https://www.gktw.org/challengeforhope/.

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Resorts Availability, Ticket Advice & Special Offer

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.

With Disney now accepting Resort Hotel reservations for 2020 and 2021, our travel partner Get Away Today is available to help you book rooms and packages. Disney has resumed new park ticket sales, but, at present and for the foreseeable future, requires guests to use the Disney Parks Pass System to reserve dates for guest park visits in addition to having a valid admission.

As always, we remind our readers that Walt Disney World Resort theme park tickets are rarely offered at deep discounts unless you are a resident of Florida or eligible for U.S. Military Personnel benefits. Historically, non-Florida residents tend to benefit the most by purchasing tickets in advance (and, of course, being mindful of the rules relevant to those tickets). As prices go up, it becomes even more important to pay heed: Don't get scammed! Never buy tickets from an unofficial or secondary outlet, such as through eBay or Craigslist. Never rent or purchase tickets from people approaching you outside Disney property stating they have remaining days or leftover tickets. This practice is against the terms of use for Walt Disney World Theme Park admissions, and may result in denial of entry. There is no way to determine if these tickets are valid until you try to use them to enter the parks. When available, only purchase Disney theme park tickets directly from Disney, an authorized seller, or a travel agency like MousePlanet travel partner Get Away Today.

Get Away Today Logo

When you book your Walt Disney World Resort vacation* with Get Away Today for travel through September 26, 2021, you'll get a $100 Booking Bonus! Your booking bonus includes a $50 Disney Gift Card for your trip + a $50 Get Away Today credit for future travel valid for any of our destinations.

Plus, when you book with Get Away Today, you'll receive all of the perks that come standard with your Walt Disney World® Resort package and these bonuses:

  • Complimentary Concierge Services, including detailed planning assistance. A certified Disney Travel Agent is more valuable now than ever before as there have been many changes to the Park experience.
  • Complimentary Price Monitoring. If Disney releases a discount or special that can be applied to your reservation, we will do so automatically!

*Walt Disney World Resort vacation must include 2-night or longer Disney Resort Hotel and at least two theme park tickets to qualify for $100 Booking Bonus and complimentary concierge service.

You can get a vacation quote from Get Away Today here.

Get a vacation quote from Get Away Today.

ALSO 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.