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Details on Disney World reopening plans – I’ll keep this updated with the latest info.
Disney World announced it’s dates for reopening the theme parks but there it a LOT to know!
There are many changes to the theme parks in order for Disney World to meet health and safety guidelines. Here’s everything we know right now.
Disney World Reopening Dates
First, Disney Springs began a phased reopening on May 20th. Disney-owned stores reopened May 27th. There may still be some places that have yet to reopen.
Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resorts and Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will start welcoming guests on June 22nd.
We still don’t know when the other Disney-owned resorts will reopen at this point, but I expect it will be sometime within the first week of July.
Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom will reopen on Saturday, July 11th. Epcot and Hollywood Studios will reopen Wednesday, July 15th.
There will not be any Extra Magic Hours during the initial reopening. There are also new daily park hours which right now look like:
- Magic Kingdom: 9 am to 7 pm
- Epcot: 11 am to 9 pm
- Hollywood Studios: 10 am to 8 pm
- Animal Kingdom: 8 am to 6 pm
Disney World Reservations System
Disney World will have limited capacity when it first reopens.
Entering a theme park will require both a ticket and a reservation. They will do this through a new reservation system.
Reservations will be available for dates through September 26, 2021.
Here is when you’ll be able to start making reservations for visiting the theme parks:
- June 22nd: Anyone with a Disney World resort reservation. You’ll know if your resort is owned by Disney World if it’s name begins with “Disney’s” (e.g. Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort).
- June 26th: Annual Passholders who don’t have a Disney World resort reservation
- June 28th: Anyone with a Disney World ticket linked to their My Disney Experience account
You’ll only be able to make a reservation for one park per day for now. If you have purchased a Park Hopper ticket, Disney will refund the difference for you.
With this reservation system you will know WELL in advance of your trip if you will be able to make a reservation for your dates.
There won’t be a situation where you will be turned away at the gates that day.
Disney has halted the sales of new tickets and new resort reservations.
Once they get everyone scheduled for a reservation that already has a ticket and reservation, they will resume sales. There is word that these will resume later this summer.
FastPass reservations are also temporarily unavailable while they sort out the re-opening.
And if you had made any FastPass reservations for an upcoming trip, those will unfortunately be cancelled.
Since there are so many changes to the theme parks during reopening, dining will look very different for a while.
The Dining reservation system is currently unavailable as Disney gets everything sorted out.
However if you have a Disney resort reservation with a check-in between June 22nd and July 10th, you can call Disney to make dining reservations at 407-W-DISNEY.
If you have made any Dining reservations for an upcoming trip, those will unfortunately be cancelled.
Guests will first need to have a reservation to enter a park before they make a dining reservation for the park which necessitated starting from scratch with reservations.
Dining reservations will be able to be made 60 days in advance instead of 180 days. This is similar to Disneyland’s 60-day dining reservation system.
And Disney has decided to not offer any Dining Plans during this time period. I believe this is because there may not be enough opportunity to use all of your Dining Plan credits and Disney doesn’t want guests to be left with unused credits. I am confident the Dining Plans will return once things get back to normal.
If you had a package with a Dining Plan, Disney will contact you via email about either converted your package into an alternative package with a 35% off discount, or refunding your money paid for the Dining Plan.
Disney World Resort Reservations
Starting Sunday, June 28th you’ll be able to book Disney World packages for 2021.
I highly suggest booking a package with a Disney World expert travel agent. It won’t cost you anything extra and you’ll get personal help booking your dining and picking the right resort.
It will be even more important next year as we hope to see things getting back to normal there.
Disney World Reopening Protocols
In order for Disney World to get permission to reopen from the state, they had to demonstrate how they would meet CDC guidelines in three areas:
- Physical distancing
- Reduced contact
Here are the measures Disney will take and what will be required of guests:
- Face covering will be required for any guest age 2 and up and all cast members. There are plans for “relaxation zones” where guests can get a break from their mask, likely with increased distancing measures.
- Temperature screenings before entering the park for guests and cast members through a no-contact process.
- No parades, fireworks, character meet and greets (I assume this means no character dining), or playgrounds for the time being.
- Hand sanitizer and hand washing stations set up around the parks.
- Compliance with staying 6 feet apart from other parties.
- Signs on the ground that indicate where to stand when waiting for an attraction.
- Tables spaced out in restaurants for distancing.
- Heavy use of the My Disney Experience app for a FastPass-type system that will limit how many people are waiting at once.
- Cashless transactions preferred (such as Magic Bands, credit cards, and gift cards) though cash will still be accepted.
- Use of Mobile Ordering for quick service meals.
As you can see, the parks will be very different for a while.
For some, this means they will prefer to reschedule their trip until some or all of these restrictions are loosened.
Others may be fine with these requirements and decide to visit this summer and fall.
Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or join the discussion in The Budget Mouse Facebook group!