With the announcement that the Walt Disney World Resort would potentially be reopening the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom on July 11 and Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15, there were, of course, some things that we didn’t know.
What was announced was that when the theme parks reopen, attendance would be managed through a new theme park reservation system that will require all guests to make a reservation in advance for theme park entry. Details about how this system will work will be released later. But how would things move forward for those who already had their vacations planned – especially with things like dining reservations, FastPasses and more. We now have an answer.
First of all, as I had mentioned in a previous article, the Walt Disney World Resort is currently pausing new ticket sales, as well as any new Walt Disney World Resort Hotel reservations. This will allow Disney to focus on Guests who already have tickets and reservations currently scheduled during a time when park capacity will be extremely limited. For those who have already bought tickets and those who are Annual Passholders, they will be able to make a theme park reservation before any new tickets are sold to the general public moving forward. These individual with already purchased ticket media will be contacted soon to provide additional details. New ticket sales and Disney Resort hotel reservations will resume after that period of time.
In addition, due to the need to physically limit Guests, Disney has decided to cancel all existing dining reservations, as well as experience bookings (like the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Savi’s Workshop, tours, etc). When the ability to make dining and experience reservations opens back up, Guests will find that it will be a 60-day booking window, not the traditional 180-day booking window. Those Guests who did have existing reservations will have priority access to rebook dining and experience reservations when they reopen.
In addition, the Disney Dining Plan will be suspended through the end of the year. And those who purchased a Disney Dining Plan for dates between May 28, 2020 and September 26, 2021 will be automatically cancelled. If you have purchased the Disney Dining Plan for your upcoming vacation, you will be refunded that money.
Those who booked a Resort hotel reservation with Free Dining for dates between May 28, 2020 and September 26, 2021 will also see their Disney Dining Plan cancelled and they can choose to rebook their vacation for a later date with a 35% room discount.
In addition, for the time being, FastPass+ will be suspended as the additional queue space that normally gets taken up by FastPass+ Guests will now be used to help manage capacity and maintain physical distancing. Existing FastPass+ selections that have previously been made will be cancelled.
Finally, Extra Magic Hours for the parks will be temporarily suspended.
Disney will be reaching out to those Guests who are affected by these updates with additional information and details on options, including refunds.
Stay tuned to the blog for more information on what new changes are in store for those looking to visit the Walt Disney World Resort as we navigate a world that now has the threat of coronavirus.