Since the shut down of the Disney World Resort in March 2020, Disney fans have been anxiously awaiting to find out when they can get back to their happy place. Well, the time has come. Initially, new reservations were put on hold in order to confirm, reschedule, or cancel all current reservations. Now Disney is back to taking new reservations at select Walt Disney World hotels. New ticket sales are also back!!
On June 22, 2020 select Disney Villa Resorts and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground reopened to guests!
These resorts include:
- -Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- -Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- -Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
- -Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- -Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
- -Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- -Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
- -Disney’s Riviera Resort
- -Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
- -The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
- -Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- -Disney’s Art of Animation
- -Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- -Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- -Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- -Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
- -Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
- -Disney’s Pop Century
- -Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
- -The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Depending on the current situation, the following Disney World hotels are set to open on these dates:
- March 22, 2021 — Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
- May 30, 2021 — Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- June 6, 2021 — Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Summer 2021 — Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Know Before You Go
Before you consider making reservations at a Disney World Resort hotel for any time in the foreseeable future there are several things you need to know.
First, due to the uncertainty of our current situations (ugh), all of the hotel opening dates are subject to change and your reservation may be modified to another Disney Resort hotel. You will have to pay the difference if you are moved to an upgraded hotel.
Second, be sure that you are aware of any advisories or restrictions that may be in place for travel to Florida or for the state you are traveling from. Visit https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/travelers/ for more information regarding travel restrictions to Florida. Also, check to see if your state has any quarantine orders in place for when you return.
Finally, Disney has implemented measures to help facilitate social distancing that will affect your experience. Below are some of the health and safety protocols that are being implemented and modifications to Disney hotel benefits, transportaion, dining, services, amenites and recreation. Some of these changes are significant and important to understand before booking a stay.
Health and Safety Protocols at Disney World hotels
Disney World hotels have implemented several new Health and Safety Protocols to help ensure a safe environment for Guests and Cast Members. These include:
- Masks are required for all Guests 2 and under while on Disney property
- Increased hand washing and sanitizing stations
- Increased cleaning of high traffic areas
- Enhanced cleaning of rooms between guests
- During your stay, housekeeping services will only include light housekeeping every other day – this will include removal of trash and used towels, replenishing amenities and towels, cleaning of vanity area, vacuuming if needed
- Dining services may be limited, room service and club level are not available
Disney has also released a Covid- 19 warning of the inherant risk of being exposed to Covid-19 in public places. By visiting Disney World Resort you assume all risk related to possible expose to Covid-19
Disney World hotel benefits
One of the many reasons Guests choose to stay at a Disney Resort hotel are the benefits. of being a Disney Resort hotel Guest. Currently, most of the perks of staying on property are entirely suspended or modified. These include:
- Disney’s Magical Express – This complimentary bus service to Disney Resort hotels will continue but this some modifications. This service will no longer include luggage delivery to your hotel room. Guests will need to collect their luggage at baggage claim and bring it to the Magical Express bus. Luggage service will be available at your hotel for luggage storage and transport to your room. However, bell service will not escort guests to their rooms. **Magical Express will be ending in 2022)
- FastPass+ is no longer available
- Extra Magic Hours are currently suspended
Staying on-property right now may not afford you all of the perks you are used to. But, there are a few reasons why staying at a Disney Resort hotel is still a great choice. Staying at a hotel given the current situation may seem a little unsettling but Disney has implemented great policies to ensure social distancing and enhanced cleaning. With the limited capacity
- Magical Express will continue with modifications-see above
- Complimentary resort transportation is available but with modifications
- Bus transportation is available from all resorts
- Skyliner transportation is available-boarding one party per gondola
- Most watercraft transportation is suspended 2/6/2021 most watercraft transportation options are back in operation
- All forms of transportation have measures in place to ensure social distancing.
- Face covers must be worn while on Disney transportation
- Minnie Van service is not available this service has been suspended indefinitely
- Valet parking is not available, except for Guest with disabilities that may require parking assistance
- Select dining locations are available at Disney Resort hotels
- All guests can make dining reservations 60 days in advance
- Dining reservations for table service restaurants are required for day guests (those not staying at the resort) and highly recommended for guests staying overnight at a Disney Resort hotel
- In-room dining (room service) is not available
- Club level service is not available
- Modified character dining experiences are available at Garden Grill Restaurant, Hollywood & Vine, Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera, and Chef Mickey’s.
- Disney Dining Plans are temporarily suspended
- Mobile Order Service is offered at select quick-service dining locations and is highly recommended
Disney World hotel services
- Bell Services -is available to deliver luggage to rooms but not escort guests
- Club level service is unavailable
- Deliveries will only be made to occupied rooms
- In-room celebrations are not available
- In-room dining is not available
- Valet and Dry Cleaning services are not available, self service laundry is available
- Shipping services are unavailable (other than packages from Disney shops to Guests’ home)-no front desk shipping
- Resort airline check in is not available
Amenities and Recreation
- Feature pools are open with reduced hours (with the exception of Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts)
- Pools will operate at reduced capacities
- Select poolside activities are available
- Masks are required when walking around the pool area, not when you are in the pool or sitting around the pool with social distancing
Fitness Centers and Sport Courts
- Fitness Centers are open at reduced hours and capacity
- Classes are not available
- Sport and fitness courts are open
- Resort recreation and activities will vary. Schedules will be provided at your resort
- Shops throughout Disney Resort hotel will be open with modifications
- Cashless payments are encouraged
- New collection product launches and limited-edition merchandise are not available in stores
- Pin trading will be limited to the use of pin boards with cast members in select location
- Package delivery to the front the theme parks or the Disney Resort hotels is suspended. Package delivery to guests’ homes is available
- Dressing rooms are not available
- Store returns are available
Disney World hotel Amenities and Experiences Not available
The following amenities and experiences are currently not available. Disney states they are not available during this re-opening phase which seems to mean through the remainder of 2020. However, they have already re-introduced a few amenities that they originally said would not be available. This list will likely be fluid through the end of 2020.
- Character experiences
- Dog parks
- Electrical Water Pagent- It’s back! Click here for times and more info ➡️ https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/entertainment/magic-kingdom/electrical-water-pageant/
- Marina rentals
- Spas, salons and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
- Fireworks voyages and tasting cruises, including the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage
- Fun runs
- Wonderland Tea Party at Park Fare
- Hula lessons
- In-room childcare services
- Mermaid school
- Special classes and programs—including culinary, cultural, and animal programs
Check out this Instagram post to see how you can stay at a Disney Resort hotel on a budget!
Park Pass Reservations
If you are planning to visit any of the 4 parks while staying at Walt Disney World Resort you will need to make a Park Pass Reservation. Each guest must have a park pass reservation for each day that they plan to visit the parks. Availability to limited due to reduced capacity. Read this post for more information about the Park Pass Reservation system.
Disney World hotel recommendations
Check in Online
- Set up a MyDisneyExperience account and link your hotel reservations
- Download the MyDisneyExperience app
- Check-in online or using the app
- You will get a notification when your room in ready
- Use your Magic Band or the MyDisneyExperience app digital key to enter your room
Automatic Check Out
On your check out day you will be automatically check out. There is no need to visit the front desk unless you have billing questions.
Use Virtual Chat
You can chat with a Resort Cast Member using the MyDisneyExperience app anytime during your stay. Use the chat feature to get any questions answered or to make requests.
Disney World hotels have gone to great lengths to help ensure the health and safety of its guest and cast members. This does mean that several services and amenities and guest are accustomed to when staying at a Disney hotel are not available or are modified. I still think you can have a lovely stay at any of the operating Disney hotel locations. You can still enjoy some of the benefits that come with staying in the Disney bubble. The impeccable service, ambiance, and magic that surrounds you when staying on Disney property is still there. With limited hotel capacities staying at a Disney right now may be better than ever!!
See ya real soon!!