If you have a trip to Disney World planned for the next few months, you are likely very concerned with how the current closures will affect your trip.
Disney World is closed at this time and has not announced a date for reopening.
The hotels at Walt Disney World closed on March 20th.
I have created this post to address your Disney World closure concerns and hopefully answer all of your questions.
Can I Change The Dates Of My Tickets?
Disney has made their ticket policy very flexible. Here are the details:
If you have date-specific tickets with a use period between March 16th and the end of the closure, you will be able to use them any time until December 15th, 2020. If you have your tickets linked to your My Disney Experience account, you will see this change reflected in the app (if not already then shortly).
If you aren’t able to visit by December 15th, then you can apply the full value of your ticket towards the purchase of a new ticket.
These policies apply regardless of where you bought your ticket – from Undercover Tourist, direct from Disney, or anywhere else.
You can always change the dates of your tickets to whatever new dates you select. You can do this from the Disney World website. If the new dates you select are more expensive you might have to pay a bit more. If they are less expensive then you unfortunately will not get a refund.
Can I Get A Refund On My Tickets?
If you bought your tickets from Undercover Tourist (my recommended ticket provider), they may be refundable. Physical tickets mailed to your home can be returned for a refund within 90 days of purchase, minus a 5% handling/restocking fee. Disney eTickets that were delivered through email are nonrefundable. To learn how to initiate a refund from Undercover Tourist, check out this page.
If you bought your ticket from another third party seller, you will have to contact the company for their return/refund policy.
If you bought your tickets from Disney they are unfortunately nonrefundable, so you won’t be able to get your money back. But you can change your tickets to a date in the future.
However if you bought your tickets as part of a Disney world package, they are refundable with your package.
Can I Change or Cancel My Disney Resort Reservation?
Here is good news: Disney has waived all change and cancellation fees on it’s resorts until June 30th, 2020.
If You Booked Through Disney or a Travel Agent
If you have a reservation at a Disney World resort hotel (it’s name will start with “Disney’s”) from now until June 30th, 2020, you can change or cancel without any penalty right up until check-in.
In fact if you don’t show up for your reservation, Disney will refund the entire amount of your hotel reservation to the original form of payment.
I always recommend booking through Siera with Destinations in Florida. She is helping all of her clients work through this challenging time and communicating with Disney for them. You can use this form to get in touch with her about any current or future Disney vacation.
If You Booked Through a Third Party
I often make reservations at Disney World resorts through a third party such as Orbitz or Hotwire. Here’s what to do if you have a Disney resort reservation that you made with a third-party.
Most travel consolidator sites such as Orbitz don’t charge any fees for cancelling reservations. But any charges from the hotel do apply. You can cancel any Disney resort reservation up to five days before check-in without any penalty. So I suggest cancelling and rebooking later if you booked a refundable rate during the dates of Disney’s closure.
If you booked a nonrefundable reservation through Hotwire, fear not – they are issuing refunds and making changes for upcoming travel. Hotwire will make changes or issue refunds starting seven days before your travel is set to begin. So unfortunately you will have to wait until your check-in is seven days out take any action at this point.
Hotwire is honoring change policies that hotels have put in place – so you should be able to make changes or cancel your stay up until June 30th, 2020.
Can I Change or Reschedule My Flight?
Most US-based airlines are offering very flexible change and cancellation policies right now.
American Airlines, for example, is allowing you to cancel your flight online and rebook any time before December 31st without any change fees. You will have to pay the difference between the price of your flight and the new price.
Many airlines are offering no change fees if you book a flight before the end of the month, so it is also a good time to book a flight.
What About My FastPasses and Dining Reservations?
Unfortunately I don’t think there is any way for Disney to guarantee that the same dining reservations and FastPasses that you have secured can be transferred to your new dates.
I think with so many people changing and cancelling, there will be a lot of availability for dining and FastPass, so that is encouraging. I know it is disappointing to lose any plans you have made, but hopefully most of what you want to do will be available whenever you are able to visit Disney World.
What About Other Prepaid Experiences?
Disney has addressed all other reservations (such as Droid Depot) on this page on it’s site.
When Should I Reschedule My Trip?
I wish I had a definitive answer for you but at this point I don’t unfortunately. The situation is changing daily so there isn’t any way to know when things will be back to business as usual at Disney World.
I do know that this will eventually pass and it Disney World will reopen. Think of how much you will enjoy your vacation after this stressful time!
When Has Disney World Closed In The Past?
Guest safety is Disney’s #1 priority because it’s brand identity is bound to it. Disney World’s slogan is “The Happiest Place on Earth” and the company will do everything to preserve that image with the public.
Disney World has closed seven times in the past to preserve guest safety. This includes closing in the wake of 9/11 and six more closures due to Hurricanes.
We have seen in the past that Disney World will not hesitate to close it’s parks if there is any threat to guest safety.
I hope this post helped you understand the current Disney World closure. If you have any questions please leave a comment below or join the discussion in The Budget Mouse Facebook group.