Your next Disney Vacation is going to look a whole lot different than you’re used to. At least in the short term. As the world tries to recoup losses we’re all still moving forward with lots and lots of caution. And the same goes for Walt Disney World and Disneyland too. If you’re planning to travel to Walt Disney World soon after they open, say within the next year or two, here’s how your Disney Vacation may be affected. These official rules on the Walt Disney World website give us a glimpse of what is to come. And are currently being implemented at Disneyland Shanghai and Disney Springs.
Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom OPENS July 11, 2020 and Epcot and Hollywood Studios OPENS July 15, 2020
TEMPORARY ADJUSTMENTS PER THE WALT DISNEY WORLD WEBSITE
Temporary is a relative term. With states opening in multiple phases we don’t have dates regarding the opening of the US Parks. Per previous posts, Disney Springs beings phase one opening on May 20.
The 6 Main Things Walt Disney World is Putting into Practice
- Temperature Screenings Prior to Entry
- For guests and cast members
- Limited Parking and Reduced Entrances
- Limited Park Capacity
- Additional signage across the property to guide guests safely
- Face Coverings Required for Guests ages 3 and up
- Bring your own but masks will also be available for purchase.
- Physical distancing practices, including but not limited to:
- Physically distanced queues
- Physical barriers
- Cashless Transactions
- Contactless Menus
- Temporary Operation Modification, including but not limited to:
- Reduced Operating Hours at Select Locations
- No Scheduled Entertainment Offerings
- No High-Touch Interactive Areas
- Increased focus on Disinfecting and Sanitation
- Added Hand Washing Stations
- Added Hand Sanitizers in key areas
- Increased cleaning in high-traffic areas
To see some of this in action you can review the Disneyland Shanghai opening practices. “Since many of these measures will be new, and may evolve, we want to be sure Guests, Cast Members and Operating Participant employees are aware of all these changes”- Walt Disney World Official Website
Walt Disney World Resort Still Offering Magical Experiences…
“As part of these efforts, Guests may see other changes to our retail and dining offerings, as well as other experiences. Though it may be different from the last time you visited, these new measures are designed to offer a magical Disney experience in a responsible way. We understand that these times are challenging, and we appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we navigate as responsibly as we can. Together, we can find new ways to have fun while being diligent to maintain proper physical distancing. For all related information please see the Walt Disney World Resort Property Rules for more details.”
Changes at Walt Disney World in the Near Future
As a level set, be sure to check out everything that was happening and was supposed to happen at Walt Disney World in 2020. We also have a running a list of all the Walt Disney World changes; including new projects slated to complete for the 50th Anniversary next year.
- What’s New at Walt Disney World in 2020? Everything to Know before you Go!
- Walt Disney World Changes for 2021: The 50th Anniversary
- Walt Disney World Changes to Park Projects After Closing 2020
Official Walt Disney World Re-Opening Announcements
Official news has been shared on Walt Disney World’s Website about the precautions and shared responsibility to stay safe at Walt Disney World. Check out the Disney Springs Rules for Phase 1.Walt Disney World Resort Remains Closed, including theme parks and Disney Resort hotels; Official Announcement. This announcement includes all details on resort stays, already booked packages, transportation etc. To be clear, we’re not a Disney News website that reports on the particulars. We’re just a fun Disney focused blog run by two sisters who like Disney. So, we will include some reliable links here for you to peruse if interested and add to this post regularly.
Walt Disney World Changes in Dining Services
- Shared Food Services :While part of the Disney experience is about getting your refillable mug and heading to the commissary for a refill, this may soon change. The removal of self service food stations has been called out in several states, including Florida, as a necessary measure. This will mean interesting things not only for resorts that have shared stations for drinks and condiments but for almost all of the Disney Quick Service Restaurants across the parks and Disney Springs.
- Buffet Dining Experiences : Reported in the Orlando Sentinel there is some speculation that one of the Walt Disney World changes we may see is the removal of buffet type dining experiences. At least temporarily. Chances are this would morph to more family style meals to still allow for the “all you care to enjoy” portions, while keeping your family away from other families.
- Temporary Removal of Parades, Fireworks, Shows: Anything that causes a crowd will most likely be cancelled for the immediate future. That is until things get close to normal ( or dare we suggest, there is a vaccine at the ready). You can dig deep into the conversation happening in Florida here for context. This also begs to question; what will happen to the things that make our holiday parties so very special? Will people still pay the price for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party if they couldn’t see the Boo to You Parade? These Walt Disney World changes may significantly affect crowd levels. We shall see! As states flirt with reopening we must remember that Disney will not jump the gun on this. As a family-friendly company heavily seated in safety, they will open only when they feel prepared. And most likely do so in phases.
- Increased number of Virtual Queues: As Disney grapples with trying to keep fewer people in the parks to maintain social distancing, virtual queue opportunities may increase. Parks and zoos across the country have begun to implement timed-entry systems, and we can expect the same from Disney in terms of when they allow people into the parks, and when they allow people on rides. As part of the Walt Disney World changes, we can expect this to first get tested in Shanghai, opening first.
- Lower FastPass+ availability: As part of the reopening strategy, it is rumored that fastpass+ availability will become even more restricted. In months prior to the parks closing we often saw fastpass+ lines as long as the regular queue lines. This will surely be a part of the guest experience that gets streamlined. We expect this to work in tandem with the timed virtual queue system in some way.
Entrance Changes- RUMORED
- A Change in Fingerprint Scanning at Entrance at Disney Parks May be Coming: After 9/11, Walt Disney World implemented security checks at every park practically overnight.And now, the humble beginnings of security and bag check are ingrained in Disney culture at the parks. Even Animal Kingdom recently got a brand new streamlined security check pavilion. Just as Walt Disney World began to install hand sanitation stations across the parks, and allow guests to NOT scan in with a fingerprint, the writing was on the wall. So they haven’t really had time to test this. We figure a move towards the Disneyland entrance practices is not far behind. This simple process involves showing your printed or digital ticket, having your picture taken, and receiving an official bar coded ticket. Thankfully, as Walt Disney World does have Magic Band technology that may be a simple way to enter without a fingerprint scan.
Changes at Walt Disney World After Closing
Sure, the future of Walt Disney World may be uncertain, but like anything it will take some time to see effects of the current situation. We won’t discount anything as impossible, and instead be grateful for our times in the parks in the past and in the future. We’ll try to keep you posted as things change.