In case you missed it, this week Disney World shared some big news about Walt Disney World Resort, including plans to welcome guests back to the theme parks as part of a phased reopening beginning July 11, pending state approval.
Myself, along with many of you, are excited to return to the magic and make new memories with your family, friends and loved ones. Last night, we talked about some of the news and updates as Disney takes these next steps forward, and, along with our special guest, we discussed some of the enhanced health and safety measures reflecting guidance from health authorities and appropriate government agencies.
One of the major changes that will be put into effect when the theme parks reopen, will be how they manage attendance through a new theme park reservation system on DisneyWorld.com that will require all guests to make a reservation in advance for theme park entry. Over the coming weeks, they will be making some necessary updates to prepare for the launch of this park reservation system and we will be talking about them and discussing them on the channel as well. For now, here’s some important information to help you plan ahead:
- New Ticket Sales and Hotel Reservations: At this time, Disney is temporarily pausing new ticket sales and Disney Resort hotel reservations so we can focus on guests with existing tickets and reservations. Existing ticket holders and Annual Passholders will be able to make a theme park reservation before new tickets are sold; we will be reaching out to these guests soon to provide additional details. New sales of tickets and Disney Resort hotel reservations will resume after that period of time. Theme park reservations will be limited due to attendance limitations and will be subject to availability. (See the latest article regarding updates on this subject.)
- Dining and Experiences: In order to foster physical distancing during this time, upon reopening, offerings, restaurants and other experiences such as behind-the-scenes tours will be limited in capacity, and other experiences may remain closed. As a result of limited capacity, as of May 28th, they have now made the difficult decision to cancel all existing dining reservations and experience bookings, including Disney dining plans included in packages. Guests who purchased a Disney dining plan and tickets between May 28th and September 26, 2020, will be receiving an automatic cancellation and refund of their Disney Dining Plan. If you booked your resort reservation with a free dining offer between those same dates, the dining package will be automatically cancelled and those guests will receive the option to rebook their vacation at a later date with a 35% room discount. They have stated that they will reopen dining and experience bookings with more limited numbers closer to when the parks reopen. They will also be shifting from a 180-day booking window to a 60-day booking window for dining and experience bookings going forward to allow Guests to make their plans closer to their visits.
- FastPass+ and Extra Magic Hours: As a result of the COVID-19 impact, the FastPass+ service will be suspended for the time being as we plan to use additional queue space to manage capacity at the attractions and maintain physical distancing. They will automatically cancel existing FastPass+ selections and share any future updates on the service at a later date. Also, please note that upon reopening, Extra Magic Hours will also be temporarily suspended.
Disney will be reaching out to guests affected by these updates with additional information and details on options, including refunds. As Disney lovers ourselves, we understand that this is an ongoing process and Disney is doing this to bring the best possible magically experience to those visiting the parks and providing the best possible overall experience. We understand what goes into planning a vacation and we can sure can understand the immense undertaking that Disney is going through with managing reservations in during this unprecedented time and one that no one has very had to go through before.
You can visit a new “Know Before You Go” hub at DisneyWorld.com/Updates, where you can find the latest updates on Disney operations and offerings, including details on how to modify your plans. If you booked through a travel agent, they recommend you reach out directly to your travel professional or ticket seller.
I will always try my best to keep up to date and relay the message to you in the best possible way. Stay tuned for more information over the next few weeks on how to use the theme park reservation system and other tips to be aware of prior to your visit as Disney keeps us updated. Check back here at spokesmayne.co as well as follow on social media such as Instagram, Facebook and Youtube at Spokesmayne.
Disney Parks Blog; Disney Food Blog; Spokesmayne