Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- What You Need to Know for Your 2020 Walt Disney World Visit
- 1. Shorter Hours
- 2. No Extra Magic Hours
- 3. Fewer Hotel Choices
- 4. Reservations to Get into the Park
- 5. New Ticket Sales Paused
- 6. Mandatory Face Coverings
- 7. Temperature Checks
- 8. No Parades or Nighttime Spectaculars
- 9. Fewer Character Interaction Opportunities
- 10. No Disney Dining Plans or Dining Reservations
- 11. Shorter Booking Window for Reservations
- 12. No FastPass+
- 13. No "High-Touch" Interactions
- 14. Special Experiences on Hold
- 15. Pin Trading Paused
- 16. Hand Sanitizers Everywhere
It’s jaw dropping when you think about how much the world has changed in just a few short months. The coronavirus pandemic has impacted all of us differently. One common area many of us have? We love Disney. But Walt Disney World after Covid-19 will include some major changes. From character interactions to pin trading, here’s what to expect if you visit Walt Disney World this year.
What You Need to Know for Your 2020 Walt Disney World Visit
If you’ve been planning a 2020 Disney trip and have even glanced at Facebook lately, you’re probably having some mixed feelings. Excitement at Disney’s reopening dates being announced. Dismay at canceled reservations. Confusion about what else will be sprung on us. Here are some of the changes to expect at Disney World after Covid-19, based on the company’s announcements so far.
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1. Shorter Hours
The Walt Disney World park hours calendar has been updated to reflect shorter operating hours. When Magic Kingdom reopens on July 11, 2020, hours will be 9am to 7pm. Animal Kingdom will be 8am to 6pm. Four days later, EPCOT (11am-9pm) and Hollywood Studios (10am-8pm) will open with shortened hours.
Note: Although no official announcement has been made on the reopening of Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach the Disney website shows hours of 10am-8pm starting on July 11.
2. No Extra Magic Hours
This perk available to people who stay “on property” at a Disney hotel is one of our favorites. It give resort guests access to one of the four parks each day, either before or after regular park opening hours. Does that mean you should choose to stay off property instead? Not necessarily. We believe that when crowds are limited, Disney will accommodate resort guests first.
3. Fewer Hotel Choices
It remains to be seen exactly what the timeline will be for opening all of Disney’s resort hotels. What we know right now is that Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and Disney Vacation Club properties will reopen beginning June22. This is ahead of the proposed July 11th reopening of Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom and the July 15th reopening of Hollywood Studios and EPCOT.
Disney Vacation Club properties that we expect to open on June 22 include:
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Animal Kingdom Villas Jambo House and Kidani Village
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
- Boulder Ridge Villas and Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
Disney resort properties that have not yet announced reopening dates are:
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Pop Century
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- All-Star Music, Movies, and Sports Disney Resorts
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Port Orleans Resort- Riverside and French Quarter
- Disney’s Yacht Club
4. Reservations to Get into the Park
In order to get into one of the parks you’ll need both a valid park admission (ticket) and a park reservation. Disney hasn’t said whether park hopping will be banned, but we imagine it will be far more difficult to move from one park to another.
5. New Ticket Sales Paused
At this time new ticket sales have been paused. Disney has announced that Annual Passholders and existing ticket holders will be able to make reservation requests before they begin selling new tickets.
6. Mandatory Face Coverings
Information on age requirements for masks have different ages in different postings. Originally it was stated that those 3 and up would be required to wear face coverings. Now we are seeing ages 2 and up. They must be worn at all times except when eating or swimming.
7. Temperature Checks
Temperature checks may be conducted upon entry to Disney Springs and all four parks. If your temperature is 100.4 or above, you will be refused entry. Those in your party will also be refused entry.
8. No Parades or Nighttime Spectaculars
Parades and nighttime shows draw big, enthusiastic crowds every day. That’s why Disney does not plan to run them for the foreseeable future. We assume that they will find a way to creatively resume some offerings later in 2020, but they’ll likely look very different.
9. Fewer Character Interaction Opportunities
In order to comply with social distancing guidelines, there will be no character meet and greets or one-on-one interactions. But we still expect there to be chances to see Mickey, Minnie and the rest. Disney Springs, which reopened on May 20 and Shanghai Disneyland, which reopened on May 11, found some cute, socially distanced ways to offer character experiences. Expect the characters to greet crowds from afar. The upside? Even the shortest littles, who sometimes get lost in the crowds around character interactions, will be able to look up and see their favorite princesses waving from a balcony overhead.
10. No Disney Dining Plans or Dining Reservations
Disney announced that existing dining reservations had been canceled. In addition, Disney dining plans will not be offered. If you had a dining plan on your package it will be updated and the price will be adjusted.
11. Shorter Booking Window for Reservations
When the dining booking window reopens, it will now be 60 days out, down from 180 days. The goal, Disney says, is to allow people to make reservations closer to their travel dates.
12. No FastPass+
FastPass+ has been a way for families to maximize their time at Disney by “skipping” the line at popular attractions. Disney has announced that FastPass+ bookings have been cancelled and no new bookings are being made. They plan to use the extra FastPass queue space to “manage capacity at our attractions and maintain physical distancing.” On the plus side, the smaller crowds should mean shorter waits at rides even without FastPass.
13. No “High-Touch” Interactions
Bye-bye to the non-socially-distanced Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Character Couture makeovers, at least for now. But they are not the only “high touch” interactions that could be affected by this rule. We covered character meet and greets above. There is a chance that resort salons/spas will remain closed. Other items defined by Disney as high-touch interactions include playgrounds. It will be interesting to see how that is handled when the Fort Wilderness campground reopens and what happens with the four playgrounds there.
We also expect the following “play areas” also will remain closed at least initially:
- Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse
- Certain hands-on areas of Tom Sawyer Island like steering wheel/gun areas of the Scavage Fort
- Interactive queue areas of Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Winnie the Pooh, and Seven Dwarf Mine Train
- Laughing Place Playground outside of Splash Mountain
- Video games in Space Mountain Queue are likely to be off
- Bruce’s Shark World at The Seas with Nemo and Friends
- Mission: SPACE Advanced Training Lab
14. Special Experiences on Hold
In addition to the “high touch” experiences, special tours and behind-the-scenes experiences have also been put on hold for right now.
15. Pin Trading Paused
This one makes us tear up because we love pin trading. However, due to the physical nature of it (who doesn’t touch a few pins before deciding on the perfect one?) it’s on pause. You’ll still be able to buy pins in gift shops, but expect pin trading boards to be noticeably absent in parks and resorts.
16. Hand Sanitizers Everywhere
This is a good change that we want to see stick around everywhere even after a coronavirus vaccine is developed and delivered. Being able to spritz some sanitizer on our hands and the kids’ hands before and after every ride and at random spots throughout the parks is a good thing!