Disney World closed March 15, 2020 because of COVID-19 concerns. In order to reopen Disney World has changed many operating procedures and guest experiences which you need to know before planning your next trip.
When Did Disney World Reopen?
Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom reopened July 11, 2020, while Epcot and Hollywood Studios reopened July 15, 2020. Several, but not all, Disney World Resorts have reopened.
Disney World Reopening Changes
There are several changes at Disney World after it reopened. Here is a run down of the biggest changes at Disney World.
Disney World Decreased Capacity
Reduced capacity is the norm now that Disney World has reopened. All guests and annual passholders must obtain a Disney World park reservation in addition to a valid theme park admission before entering the parks.
Cast members and guests will have their temperatures checked prior to entering the parks and Disney Springs.
Disney World Mask Requirements
It should come as no surprise that Disney World requires guests and cast members to wear masks at the parks. Anyone 2 years old and up will need to wear a mask at Disney World.
Guests can briefly remove masks and rest at “relaxation zones” at the parks. Masks can be removed when stationary to eat and drink, too.
Disney World already did a great job in keeping the parks clean. However, they have increased sanitation especially on high touch surfaces around the parks.
Limited Contact Enhancements For Disney World
Disney World added more mobile ordering options in the parks. They also encourage cashless transactions with mobile ordering and Magic Band payments.
Disney World Social Distancing
There are markers and signs reminding guests to maintain distance from other guests. Disney has also implemented a “social distancing squad” to encourage guests to maintain a safe distance.
Ride loading and restaurant seating is reduced to allow more separation between guests. This increases overall safety, but dining and ride wait times may increase despite lower overall crowd levels.
No FastPass+ Reservations
Disney World cancelled all existing FastPass+ reservations due to the new capacity and social distancing requirements. FastPass lines are now used to expand standby lines for greater distance among guests.
Changes To Disney World Dining
As of May 28, 2020, all previously booked Disney World dining reservations are cancelled through the end of 2020.
Disney World dining reservations moved from booking 180 days before a trip to 60 days in advance. Disney World will no longer offer Dining Plans. Guests who had Disney World dining plans will get a refund. Those who had free Disney World dining plans from a promotion can re-book a future trip with a discount.
Does Disney World Have Parades, Fireworks, or Character Meet and Greets?
Currently all Disney World fireworks, parades, nighttime shows, water features, and play areas that might encourage groups to congregate are closed. “High-touch” experiences, like makeovers at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique plus character meet and greets, are also suspended. Disney World still has character sightings, but these are more random and at a distance from guests.
Final Thoughts On Disney World Reopening Plan
There were very few surprises regarding Disney World’s reopening plan. Since the parks reopened in July 2020 guests are reporting good mask compliance, social distancing, and clean conditions. As crowds have started to increase the attraction wait times have increased, but are still very manageable. However, limited attractions, lack of shows, cancelled fireworks, and no character meet and greets may encourage some guests to postpone their Disney World trips.
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