Walt Disney World has opened all four parks, and while other Disney Parks remain closed, and have re-closed we wanted to share answers to the most common Disney COVID questions. Hopefully this roundup of resources will help you decide your next best time to visit Walt Disney World.
UPDATED December 2020
The Changes at Walt Disney World During the COVID Pandemic
Walt Disney World has prepared for COVID-19 to the best of its ability at this point. With limited capacity in the parks, a timed reservation system, face mask requirements and increased cleaning protocols, Disney during the pandemic is functioning. And while getting there through the wilds of Florida is another story, you can take note of all the health and safety protocols, Disney COVID FAQ and more below to help you get the full picture of what is happening at Walt Disney World during the pandemic.
What are the Walt Disney World COVID Plans?
Walt Disney World Protocols in Place
- Required Face Coverings while on property
- Read all about the Disney Face Mask Rules
- Hand washing and sanitizing stations and signage
- A Social Distancing Squad to help guests follow protocols
- Temperature Checks at Main Gates
Reduced Capacity OF…
- Theme Parks
- Restaurants. Increased Mobile Ordering will be available.
- Transportation- buses, monorails, etc.
- Rides and Attractions
Temporary Suspension OF…
- ALL Character Meet and Greets
- Fireworks suspended
- No Parades
- Elimination of Events that create crowds
- High Touch Points
- No playground access
- No water features access
What will Disney’s Park Capacity Be in 2020 when they reopen?
Read about the Disney capacity limits for each park and the estimated 50% and 75% phased plan in our Tips to Remember When Walt Disney World Closes at Maximum Capacity post. Mind you, the capacity will be very controlled due to the Disney Parks Pass Reservation System that is planned to run through September 2021.
When will Resorts Open at Walt Disney World?
Disney Resorts are opening in phases. With DVC resorts opening first. Check out Disney’s Resort page for details.
Do I have to wear a Face Mask?
Yes, you will have to wear a mask. Masks are Required on Park Property. With the exception of at the dining table during your dinner reservations, and pool time, wearing a mask is required in all public spaces.
Will Disney Take My Temperature?
Temperature checks are Mandated so you may undergo a temperature screening with no-touch thermometers at the entrance of all parks, resorts and Disney Springs.
“Based on guidance from health authorities, anyone displaying a temperature of 100.4 F or above will be directed to an additional location for rescreening and assistance. Those with temperatures 100.4 F or above will not be allowed entry; those in their party will not be allowed entry either.”
What do I need to Know if I am Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation Now?
From MagicBand changes to reservation timeline changes there are a TON of things that will affect how you plan a Disney Vacation for 2020 or 2021. Read all the Changes at Walt Disney World and How Your Vacation Is Going To Change so you can be ready with new planning tools and get the lowdown on the new normal.
Does a Disney Resort Reservation Guarantee Access to the Parks?
Yes! All ticket and vacation package sales for 2020 Walt Disney World Vacations have resumed. Read the full details about Tickets to Walt Disney World for 2020.
Park Reservations Required with the Disney Park Pass System.
The Disney Park Pass is required for Park Entry and will soon to be available to select guests. Your availability of booking dates is dependent on your existing Walt Disney World plans. Park reservations will be available through September 26, 2021 for now. Guests access to the Disney Park Pass system will be based on Walt Disney World resort and ticket eligibility window.
How will my Disney Resort Experience Change?
Resort restaurants will be limited to resort guests, masks will be required in public spaces and Disney Vacation Club Resorts at Walt Disney World will re-open ONLY to members and guests. Walt Disney World Reopening Resort Stipulations pose lots of additional issues during these times. Read about them all on Disney’s Resort page here.
Will I need to make a reservation even if I have a ticket?
Yes, Disney’s New Park Reservation system will require ALL guests to obtain a Reservation for Park Entry in Advance. This is in addition to ticket purchase. More information on this system is on the way.
- Mobile Order Service for Dining: You can order ahead using Mobile Order. This is recommended. Check out everything you need to know about Disney Mobile Order.
- Scannable Codes for Select Restaurant Menus: Restaurants will now have a scannable code you can scan to see the digital menu. No physical menus will be given.
- Online Check-In at Disney Resort Hotels: Guests should check in via the My Disney Experience App. And simply use your magicband to enter your room once it’s ready. While desk attendants at the desk will be available, it’s imperative for social distancing measures that lines do not form. Check in on your own if you can.
Can I Buy Disney Tickets for 2020 and 2021?
Yes. 2020 and 2021 Disney Vacation Tickets and Packages are available. Existing ticket Holders and Annual Passholders will also be able to make reservation requests in phases. Grab Walt Disney World Tickets here.
Can I Park Hop with a Park Hopper Ticket or Annual Pass?
The Park Hopper Ticket will return in 2021. Check out the details about the the park hopper for 2021. Guests will be allowed to reserve a main park for the morning and then go to a second park after 2pm as long as they have a ticket.
Can I still Make Dining Reservations?
Yes. Dining Reservations can be made 60 days ahead of time for all guests. If you had restaurant reservations cancelled you will be given priority to make dining reservations when the system opens again, per Disney’s announcement. Keep an eye on the Dining section of Disney’s Know Before you go page for details.
Character Dining is Temporarily suspended with Exceptions…
All Character Dining experiences have been suspended with the exception of Topolino Terrace at Disney’s Riviera Resort. Mickey’s A la Art Character Dining Experience will be available as there is plenty of space for characters to move around.
Cancellation of all Dining Plan Reservations, Behind the Scenes, Events and Tours
Walt Disney World is cancelling previous reservations including dining reservations, dining plans, behind the scenes, events and tours. This includes all Disney Dining Plans in current packages through the end of the year. Read about all the Disney Reservation Cancellations here. So if you were lucky enough to snag free dining for Fall, you are out of luck ( like us), because all dining plans have been cancelled.
Will they Still Offer Disney Transportation?
Yes. With 6 foot physical distancing measures in place. So anticipate buses full at maybe 20 people at best, probably closer to 15. Disney transportation will be provided from all the resorts to Disney Springs and the Disney theme parks. This includes buses, boats and monorails. Minnie Vans may be temporarily halted as a service. and thankfully, Magical Express is still available. Be aware of how limited bus/ monorail/ boat capacity is going to affect your vacation.
Suspension of FastPass+ Service un til January 2021
All currently scheduled FastPasses will be cancelled automatically in order for Cast Members to maintain more control over capacity. This will also help physical distancing and lines. Read about the Disney Fastpasses Cancellations.
Extra Magic Hours Suspended
Extra Magic Hours are temporarily suspended. Again, all cancellations will help to give Disney an idea of the crowd control measures needed to move forward. Don’t expect these things to be reinstated right away. With the previously shared timeline of “rest of the year’ for other cancellations, we can assume this may align to that timeline.
Introduction of Artificial Intelligence Security Scanners
In order to accommodate lower staffing levels and limit contact between security guards and guest belongings, the arrival of artificial intelligence scanners was imminent. Disney Parks is using the Evolve Express system. This is a learning computer that can work really fast.
“Powered by the Evolv Cortex AI™ Software Platform, Express is the only fast, touchless, free-flow firearm and bomb detection system that screens more than 3600 people per hour (60 people per minute) and gets smarter over time. It keeps high volume entrances flowing by reliably detecting guns and other weapons as visitors walk through at a natural pace.”
Walt Disney World Opens with Additional Educational Signage
Plan to see this signage across the parks. Lots and Lots of signage. Be sure to have the My Disney Experience App loaded on your phone and up to date.
Educating Guests Throughout the Process
An extensive plan to education guests of What to Know Before You Go, is going to be overwhelmingly visible. With information in the app, website, signage, from cast members and to anyone booking attendance into the park. Check out Walt Disney Worlds Know Before you Go Page for the everything that is changing.
Walt Disney World Plans for 2020 and 2021
Before Walt Disney World closed there was a lot on the planning docket in anticipation of the 50th Anniversary in 2021. Read the posts below to get a level set on what was and is still in the works at Walt Disney World.
Travelling to Walt Disney World in 2020?
With so many changes as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Disney is still trying to make a Disney Vacation magical. Some ew shows have arrives, some projects are still in the works and Cinderella’s Castle has even gotten a fresh coat of pink paint. Check out What’s New at Walt Disney World in 2020? Everything to Know before you Go!
How will the COVID Pandemic at Disney Affect the 50th Anniversary in 2021?
With an expectation that face masks will still be required in 2021 we can also expect that 50th Anniversary plans may also be affected. Keep in mind that the actual anniversary doesn’t happen until October 1st, 2021. And though we anticipated an August start to The Most Magical Celebration on Earth, we could see the events getting pushed back. Read all about the anniversary changes and plans here: Walt Disney World Changes for 2021: The 50th Anniversary
Construction Changes at Walt Disney World After Being Closed for COVID
Several Disney Projects have already been cnacelled. Add in the ongoing dispute with the Actors Union and you’ll see some new shows have also popped up! Here’s all the Walt Disney World Changes to Park Projects After Closing 2020 for the pandemic.
Walt Disney World Reopening
With so many changes happening at Walt Disney World, be mindful of the protocols, and things in place for the safety of yourself and others. We are super excited to get back to Walt Disney World and Disney is counting on shared responsibility of guests to make this re-opening of Walt Disney World a success! You will want check out Walt Disney Worlds Know Before you Go Page for the fine print of everything we’re sharing here, BEFORE you visit Walt Disney World. This is a lot of information so we tried to break it down into a digestible form. Hopefully this helps give you a snapshot if you have a 2020 Disney Vacation planned or are planning one for 2021. Stay healthy and safe out there!