FAQ About Disney World’s Big Changes Including Fastpasses, Dining Plans and More
Good morning Disney friends. If you weren’t online late last night then chance are you’re waking up this morning to lots of talk about changes that are being made at Walt Disney World to help ready the park for reopening. Whether you have existing reservations or in the early planning stages these changes will apply to you.
There are so many tiny intricacies to Walt Disney World’s re-opening plans and with that so many questions that we are going to do our best to address most of them here.
Let’s get started:
Why can’t I make a reservation to visit Walt Disney World?
Disney has currently suspended reservations on the disneyworld.com website. This includes packages, hotel, theme park tickets, special event tickets. This is being done so that they can update their reservation system and to get all existing guests set up in the new system. This is only temporary. We will let you know as soon as reservations reopen.
What about my existing reservation?
As of going to print Disney has suspended making adjustments to any existing reservations. If you would like to change your plans reach out to your travel agent who will advise when these changes can be implemented. Alternatively, watch this space and we promise to keep you posted.
When is Walt Disney World Reopening?
Disney announced on Wednesday that they will begin a phased reopening of the theme parks starting on July 11th. At first only Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom will be open. Then on July 15th, EPCOT and Hollywood Studios will reopen.
When are the resorts reopening?
Disney has yet to make an official statement regarding resorts. We do know that DVC properties will be welcoming timeshare guests starting on June 22nd. The campsites at Fort Wilderness will also open at this time. We will let you know as soon as a decision is made regarding resorts.
I heard they’ll only be letting a few people it the theme parks when they reopen. Is this true?
Yes. Disney World will be implementing a phased re-opening. When the parks first open we expect that Disney will only fill them up to 20-30% of capacity. This is to ensure that social distancing requirements will be met.
But what if I have an existing reservation?
Disney is working to accommodate all of those with existing reservations which is why they’ve closed off new reservations for the time being. They want to make sure all existing guests are prioritized.
I already have tickets but I am staying offsite will I be allowed in?
This should become clearer in the days ahead. What we do know is that Disney will be limiting attendance at the parks. Park-goers will be required to have date-specific reservations. We suspect priority will be given to onsite guests and DVC members.
Will I be required to wear a facemask when I visit?
Yes. Upon reopening, guests will be required to wear face masks in the park. This is a mandatory requirement and they will have social distancing teams at the theme parks to help enforce this.
Even in the 90-degree weather?
Will my children have to wear facemasks?
Disney has updated their statement to say that facemasks will be REQUIRED for ALL guests ages 2 and up.
How can I eat or drink?
Guests can remove their facemasks while eating or drinking. However, they will need to be worn when walking through the parks, in line for attractions, in the shops, while waiting in line at restaurants etc.
I heard Disney is going to cancel all existing dining reservations is this true?
Yes. As part of Disney World’s shift to a new booking system all existing dining, reservations are being cancelled through the end of 2020.
Wait. So I won’t be able to dine at any of the restaurants I originally booked?
Though Disney is cancelling all reservations, guests will have the option to rebook. Instead of being able to make your dining reservations 180 days in advance, guests will be able to book your reservations 60 days in advance.
Why is Disney cancelling my dining reservations?
Because of social distancing, Disney needs to adjust the number of guests that are allowed into a restaurant. Because EVERY restaurant at Walt Disney World will have reduced capacity Disney has decided to clear out all existing reservations and give guests an opportunity to rebook once the new capacity requirements are in place.
But I had already booked all the restaurants I wanted. Will I be able to get those reservations again?
It is important to remember that EVERY dining reservation will be wiped from the system, not just yours. When Disney opens up restaurant reservations again it will be just like making reservations during the 180-day mark and you should see availability for many of Disney’s incredible eateries.
I haven’t received an email saying my dining reservations are being cancelled. That means I won’t be affected right?
Disney will be cancelled ALL dining reservations currently in the system for 2020 and guests will be able to rebook at the 60-day mark. If you haven’t received notification from Disney you likely will soon.
Do I have to go through and manually cancel my dining reservations?
Nope. Disney will autocancel ALL dining reservations to the current system as they migrate data to the NEW reservation system.
I heard that Disney is going to be cancelling the Dining Plan that I booked is this true?
Yes. Because Disney is having to limit capacity at all of their restaurants and is asking guests to rebook your dining reservations they have decided the best way forward is to ‘temporarily suspend’ the dining packages. Please know that Disney World has your best interests in mind in implementing this change. During these uncertain times, you don’t want to prepay for dining options if you aren’t yet sure what restaurants will have availability.
But Disney offered me FREE Dining earlier this year due to COVID-19 and they are now taking it away!?
As of this moment, the FREE Dining offer is a casualty of Disney World’s reopening plans. This is because the dining reservations are being cancelled for ALL guests for the reasons listed above. While Disney World adjusts the capacities at their eateries it was decided the better move (we suspect for many of the reasons we outlined above) was to swap out FREE Dining discount with a 35% resort discount. This means that you can take advantage of a discount even while adjustments are being made to the dining process. However, the discount cannot be applied if further modifications are made to your travel dates.
So this means there will be no more dining plans ever?
At the moment, this appears to be a temporary measure put into place while Disney adjusts capacities to restaurants during their phased reopening.
I heard Fastpasses are going to be cancelled too. Is this true?
Yes. FastPass provides front-of-the-line access to rides show and other experiences for park visitors. This is being temporarily suspended.
Why is Disney cancelling Fastpasses?
When the parks re-open, they will only be at 20-30% capacity. This means shorter queues and congestion at rides. This is essential to maintaining social distancing protocols. Because there will be fewer guests at the parks, Fastpasses aren’t as necessary. With that in mind, Disney will use that queue space to manage capacity at attractions and better keep physical distancing between parties.
So the Fastpasses I currently have in My Disney Experience will be cancelled?
Yes. Disney will clear all existing Fastpasses when moving to the new system.
I haven’t received an email saying that they are cancelling my Fastpasses. Does that mean I get to keep them?
No. Disney will be clearing ALL Fastpasses and the system will not be used as part of the phased reopening.
Parades and Fireworks
I heard Disney’s parades and fireworks shows will be cancelled. Is this true?
Yes. As part of the reduced social distancing requirements, Disney will be limited shows and events that draw a crowd. This will include things like Magic Kingdom’s “Happily Ever After” fireworks display as well as the Festival of Fantasy Parade. Disney is doing this to ensure guest safety while at the theme parks.
How long will these activities be cancelled?
No specific date has been given. As social distancing requirements start to ease in the future we can expect the return of these offerings. However, there is no timeline at the moment.
Extra Magic Hours
Is the Extra Magic Hours perk for resort guests going away?
At the moment yes. As part of Disney’s reopening plans, they announced that Disney Extra Magic Hours, a perk that allows resort guests access to the theme parks before opening or after closing will be temporarily suspended.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party & After Hours Events
I have tickets for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in October. Will my tickets be cancelled?
Disney hasn’t said anything specifically about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or other special events. However, we do know that new bookings for these events are suspended at the moment.
Have additional questions?
Our goal is to use this page as a resource to keep you updated regarding the latest Walt Disney World developments. If you have any additional questions please feel free to ask them in the comments below. We’ll do our best to respond to you with an answer and may even add them into our FAQ!
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