Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- Proposed Reopening of Disney's US Theme Parks
- What We Know about the Walt Disney World Reopening
- Disneyland Reopening
- Disney Springs: Phased Reopening Began on May 20, 2020
- Shanghai Disneyland Reopened May 11, 2020
- Disneyland Paris- Scheduled to Re-open on July 15th
- Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea
- Hong Kong Disneyland Re-opened June 18th
It is the moment Disney lovers had been waiting for: Walt Disney World and Disneyland are ready to reopen after the long, trying COVID-19 shutdown. Reopening plans include changes likely to upset loyal customers. Here is what we know, and some insights into how your visit might look different post-coronavirus pandemic.
Disclosure: TravelingMom uses affiliate links.
Proposed Reopening of Disney’s US Theme Parks
Walt Disney World’s plans, approved on May 29, call for the four parks to reopen slowly beginning on July 11. That’s when the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom open. EPCOT and Hollywood Studios will follow on July 15.
Disneyland originally announced their reopening on June 10. Gates were scheduled to reopen on July 17th. We’re now getting word that the reopening of the parks themselves are being pushed back. A Change.org petition asking reopening to be delayed had 35,000+ signatures at last check. The Disneyland website now says, “The Hotels of the Disneyland Resort remain closed and will reopen at a later date. Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park remain closed and will reopen at a later date, pending state and local government approvals.” We will update when we know any new information.
Last updated 8pm June 24, 2020.
What We Know about the Walt Disney World Reopening
- Disney has temporarily paused new tickets sales and Disney resort hotel reservations.
- Folks with reservations (including those that had plans canceled by the shutdown) are being helped first
- ALL dining reservations have been canceled, including reservations made as part of Disney dining plans included in packages. When reservations resume, the booking window will start 60 days ahead of a trip, down from the former 180 days.
- FastPass+ reservations have been canceled.
- There will be a reservation system for entry into the parks.
- Extra Magic Hours are suspended.
- Disney Vacation Club members can make new reservations.
- Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground will reopen on June 22nd along with Disney Vacation Club resorts at Walt Disney World. Read this line twice. It means not all properties will be opening at the same time.
- Experiences that draw large groups – such as parades and nighttime spectaculars – will be paused for the near term.
- “High-touch” experiences such as makeover opportunities, playgrounds and character meet and greets will remain temporarily unavailable, although Disney characters will still be in the parks.
- Disney states that: “Additional information on enhanced health and safety measures and operational changes for reopening locations will be shared soon.”
- Guests will be subject to temperature checks and guests ages 3 and up will be required to wear masks.
Disney Resort Hotels Reopening Dates
At first announcement, we were notified that Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground would reopen on June 22nd along with Disney Vacation Club resorts. Since that initial announcements, new dates have been released.
- Disney Animal Kingdom’s Jambo House, Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Pop Century will reopen on July 10th.
- On July 29th Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will reopen. This resort is the main hub forDisney’s Skyliner service.
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will be open on August 12th. Larger families love Art of Animation for its affordable family suites.
On August 24th Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts reopen. Check out why we love their pool for families.
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will open back up on September 21st.
In October Disney’s BoardWalk Inn will reopen on the 1st followed by Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort on October 14th.
- The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin will begin accepting reservations again beginning July 29th. These properties are located in the BoardWalk area but are run by the Marriott. They are great options for a Disney stay but some things operate differently so you’ll definitely want to read up. Be aware that staying here does not guarantee you park admission.
If You Have a Disney Vacation Booked
The single biggest takeaway we’ve gotten from all information put out by Disney is to make sure that the email address on your reservation is one you check regularly. Disney is making all notifications by email. Phone wait times can be lengthy; digital contact is definitely the way to go right now. If you used a travel agent to book your Disney vacation, notifications will go to the travel agent.
We’re looking forward to welcoming you back to Disney resort hotels! Here’s what to expect from your stay. For more about health and safety measures, visit the blog: https://bit.ly/2zoW2ge
Posted by Disney Parks Blog on Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Disneyland Park and Disneyland California Adventure Park were scheduled to reopen July 17th.
Downtown Disney will still open on July 9. At this point the hotel and park opening dates have been pushed back.
When the parks do reopen, Disneyland will limit park capacity through a park reservation system that requires all guests (including passholders) to reserve a spot in advance. As we predicted, ticket sales were shut off after the announcement just as they were at Walt Disney World.
If your vacation is impacted and you booked with our partner Get Away Today they will be reaching out to you to reschedule. If you booked with anyone else please be sure your email recorded with Disney is correct. This is their first point of contact.
Need to Know Disney Reopening Policies
Disney has announced that temperature screenings may be required for entry to some locations. Those with temperatures 100.4 or above (including everyone in their party) will be refused entry.
All cast members will be wearing face coverings. Disney will require face coverings for all guests ages 2 and up, except when swimming or dining. ShopDisney recently added some pretty adorable Disney-themed face masks. One more way to Disneybound!
A New Park Reservation System
Want to go to Disney? You’ll need a park reservation AND valid admission for the same park on the same date to enter. This applies to every person in your group ages 3 and up. Booking for park reservations through the Disney Park Pass system opens in a staggered fashion as follows:
- Beginning June 22, 2020, Disney Resort and other select hotel Guests with valid theme park admission can make reservations.
- On June 26, 2020, Annual Passholders without a Resort stay can make reservations.
- Beginning June 28, 2020, existing ticket holders can make reservations.
You will be able to reserve a park date all the way through September 26, 2021!
Also- no park hopping. One park per day is the limit at this time.
These will be abundantly located around the parks. We visited in the first week of March and saw them everywhere. In Florida, the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force mandated that touchless hand sanitizer be located at the entrance and exit to every ride. We love this. It’s much more manageable to have everyone sanitize their hands than wipe down pull bars and belts between riders.
Disney has started testing a new contactless screening system at Disney Springs. Leaked images of the parks show bag check stations “missing”. We expect these new screening systems to be in place when they reopen the parks.
How Theme Park Re-Openings Might Look
As we said, details are skimpy about how the Disney reopening will work. We’ve outlined what we know for sure above. As keen Disney watchers, we’ve got some additional thoughts. These are what we like to call logical speculation, our best guesses on what might happen.
Update 5/5/2020: Disney’s Chief Medical Officer put out a statement that confirms some of our assumptions.
Currently, the turnstiles at the entrance to all of the parks like Magic Kingdom and EPCOT require you to tap your MagicBand and put a finger on the scanner. We speculate these entries will temporarily be made touchless with no fingerprint required.
Quick Service Dining
We expect Disney’s Quick Service Dining services to be heavily promoted. In keeping with social distancing guidelines, table service dining restaurants would not be able to seat a party larger than 10 and would have to add more space between tables. It’s an obvious conclusion to assume that quick service dining will be encouraged.
The My Disney Experience app will become even more important. You could always place mobile food areas at specific outlets (like Magic Kingdom’s Caseys). Expect more locations to become available for mobile ordering. Since you’ll need to have the My Disney Experience app to get into the parks it will likely be utilized consistently to social distance.
Theme parks will tape off 6 foot guidelines in line. Even with that, it will be difficult to maintain social distancing in lines, so we expect virtual queues to become more utilized. Some of you may have experienced the virtual queue process for Hollywood Studio’s Rise of the Resistance. This process requires guests to be in the park to enter the queue. However, we think the process will be more immediate. Maybe a Curbside approach? You order your ride and then click “I’m here” when you arrive to get an exact time slot to enter the ride. Again, this is our best guess. We’d love to hear how you would run virtual queues in the comments.
Expect some changes here. The tricky parts? Rides like Typhoon Lagoon’s Crush ‘n’ Gusher and Blizzard Beach’s Toboggan Racers involving rafts and floats. Disney will need to sanitize those. The biggest changes will be on Blizzard Beach’s Cross Country Creek Lazy River. You used to be able to just grab a float along the 3,000 foot attraction and hop in. Another thought: Watch for reserved cabanas or family seating. We’ve got to imagine that offering reserved seating will minimize the number of roving cast members on chair sanitizer duty.
A Different Type of Character Experience
Disney has announced that high-touch experiences like makeovers and character meet and greets will be on hold for right now. That doesn’t mean the Disney magic will disappear. Expect roving characters that you can see from a distance. There have been some creative photo opportunities at the reopened Shanghai Disneyland and Disney Springs including Princess Aurora’s fairy godmothers on castle balconies and Stormtroopers patrolling shops.
Where to Buy Discounted Disney Tickets
Traveling Mom recommends Get Away Today for discounted Disney tickets and vacation packages. Not only does the company have the lowest prices, but it also offers a best price guarantee. If you ever find park tickets cheaper, Get Away Today won’t just match the price, the company will beat it. Read our full review of Get Away Today here. With their Peace of Mind and layaway plans it’s the perfect way to plan your next Disney vacation.
A Park-by-Park Guide to Other Disney Park Reopenings
Disney World Resort Area Transportation
No announcements on Magical Express changes have been made at this time. (5/28/2020)
It seems likely that transportation options may have cut capacity to promote social distancing. This makes the Skyliner a great option since families can travel in their own gondola. We expect busses, monorails, and boats to have reduced capacity. Busses may end up being a winning option here since Disney has extra to put into service.
This could also impact Magical Express capacity from the airport. Families, especially larger families, may want to consider a car rental once they’re in Orlando. If you’re staying in a resort area hotel you’ll pay for parking but then parking in the theme park lots will be free.
Disney Springs: Phased Reopening Began on May 20, 2020
Disney Springs in Orlando began their phased reopening started on May 20, with limited parking, capacity and hours.
Self-parking is available only in the Orange and Lime garages. From there, guest go through a temperature checkpoint. You must wear a face covering at all times, except when eating or drinking. The Re-Open Florida Task Force outlines that during Phase 1 restaurants should operate at 50% capacity using social distancing guidelines. Restaurants should prioritize patio dining and keep bar areas closed.
Earlier today, cast members welcomed guests back to Shanghai Disneyland. Check out highlights from the reopening: https://bit.ly/3coSB7v
Posted by Disney Parks Blog on Monday, May 11, 2020
Shanghai Disneyland Reopened May 11, 2020
Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown, Wishing Star Park and Shanghai Disneyland Hotel reopened on May 11th with limited operations. Disney will adjust these guidelines as the company assesses implementation and success.
- Visitors will need to present a China government ID card, or valid travel document, for each guest at the park turnstiles (photos or printed copies will not be accepted)
- Purchase dated admission tickets for Shanghai Disneyland prior to arrival. On-site sales will not be available. Annual Pass holders must make a reservation for their visit date and time through Shanghai Disney Resort’s official online channels before their visit to the park.
- Provide basic personal information for each guest visiting the park, including name, phone number, ID type and ID number via Shanghai Disney Resort’s official online channels after purchasing a ticket and prior to arriving at the resort. A Shanghai Disneyland Reservation QR Code will be provided after the successful submission of the required identification information, and guests will be required to present the code before entering the theme park.
- All guests must wear an approved mask during the entire visit to the resort except when dining.
- Every guest and employee entering the area will need to undergo a temperature screening upon arrival and present their Shanghai green QR code. An app calculates the QR code. It combines factors such as travel history, exposure to coronavirus patients, and a symptom checklist to “green light” someone to move around the area. Guests will need to register for their Health QR Code prior to their arrival.
Disneyland Paris- Scheduled to Re-open on July 15th
Disneyland Paris announced their reopening for July 15th. If you plan to travel there from the United States make sure it’s in late 2020. Visitor restrictions based on country of residence still exist.
Note: Coronavirus has delayed construction on Disney’s Hotel New York- The Art of Marvel. If you have reservations before November 1, 2020 your trip will be impacted.
Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea
Tokyo Disneyland is closed. Originally reopening dates were supposed to be announced in mid-May. On May 25th, an announcement was made that closures were being extended. An announcement will now be made once requests for closure from the government and municipalities have been lifted. Since at this point Japan still has restricted tourist access including for those coming in from the United States, it could be awhile.
Hong Kong Disneyland Re-opened June 18th
Hong Kong Disneyland is open again with reduced capacity. Magic Access members can make a reservation starting 8 days prior to their visit. General guests can make reservations starting 7 days prior to their visit.
Which Disney park are you most excited to visit once it reopens?