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News Archive for Disney Park Closures & Reopenings

Since there is so much news coming out about all the Disney Park closures worldwide including Walt Disney World and Disneyland, we decided to make one place where you could come to look at past news updates about the situation.

Disney World reopening info

This is an archive though, so it won’t have the very latest news about the situation, but from days and weeks ago.

If you are looking for the most recent information about the Disney Park closures including dates, refunds, rescheduling and other FAQs, you can read our articles linked here:

Table of Contents

Disney Parks Closures News Archives

Here is an archive of the most recent updates regarding the coronavirus and the Disney parks including Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Shanghai Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland and any other Disney-related entity.

(NEWS: 10/23/20) – Disney California Adventure Reopening for Shopping and Dining

We now that many Disneyland fans were upset to hear the news earlier this week about Disneyland not being able to reopen for quite some time. Well, now we have some good news to share with you that will see part of one of the theme parks reopen once again.

Starting in November, Disney California Adventure is reopening for dining and shopping only and will work as an extension of Downtown Disney. Access will be limited to Buena Vista Street only, but it means guests will be able to be inside California Adventure once again!

The list of what is opening includes:

  • Carthay Circle Lounge
  • Elias & Co.
  • Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe
  • Julius Katz & Sons
  • Kingswell Camera Shop
  • Smokejumpers Grill
  • Trolley Treats
  • Vending Carts

Once again, none of the attractions at Disney California Adventure will be open, but only these select shops and dining locations on Buena Vista Street. They will likely be filled with holiday merchandise as well as seasonal food options.

No mention was made about the admission fee, but we can assume that it will remain free, just like Downtown Disney is.

If it works out and guests respond well to the idea, we anticipate them reopening Disneyland with a similar setup, and giving them a chance to go back there too, while at the same time putting some cast members back to work.

As Disney drops more info we will update you. Stay tuned.

NEWS 6/1/20 – Could Disneyland Be Reopening Mid-July?

Now that we know when Walt Disney World in Florida is reopening, the attention has turned toward the original Disney park on the West Coast. Looking at their website, it seems Disneyland might be reopening sooner than we thought.

On the Disneyland website park tickets are now available starting July 16, 2020!

Though this doesn’t confirm the reopening date will be in July, tickets were previously not available for those dates.

The Disneyland update also still says reservations are available starting July 15 which would be perfect if the parks are really reopening July 16.

Another reason why Disney might be pushing for a Mid-July reopening is that July 17 is Disneyland’s 65th anniversary. What better anniversary present would there be than seeing the park open once again!

We’ll be watching for updates in the coming days and hope to get a date soon. Stay tuned for more!

NEWS 6/1/20 – Disneyland Not Accepting Reservations Until July 15

With The Walt Disney World Resort reopening on July 11, many Disneyland fans are wondering when they might see their favorite park reopen too. At the very earliest we’ll have to wait until Mid-July as Disneyland has announced they are not taking any new reservations before July 15, 2020.

If you try to book any of the three Disneyland Resort Hotels (Disneyland Hotel, Grand Californian Hotel or Paradise Pier) there are no reservations available before July 15. The same goes for guest experiences in the parks, with no new reservations being taken.

Previously like Walt Disney World, Disneyland was taking reservations starting July 1. They realized that date was a bit too early still and have now pushed it back until July 15.

To be clear, Disneyland hasn’t yet announced a reopening date. Just because they are accepting reservations for July 15, doesn’t mean that the parks there will be ready by then. We’ve seen reservations get pushed back a few times already, so no one really knows at this point.

Disneyland has always been a bit further behind in their reopening plans than Walt Disney World, but when it does finally open, expect to see many of the same new guidelines and safety policies in place there too.

UPDATE 5/27/20 – Updated Park Calendars Reveal Reduced Hours

Disney has updated their park calendars for the reopening dates and the park hours have been significantly reduced compared to what they normally are.

Disney World park calendar after reopening

This makes sense since the parks will not have any nighttime spectaculars so they can close earlier than usual.

We also anticipate that guests will be able to get much more done in the same amount of time with a much lower park capacity.

The standard operating hours for the parks when it reopens are:

  • Magic Kingdom 9:00 am to 7:00 pm
  • EPCOT 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
  • Hollywood Studios 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
  • Animal Kingdom 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

We also noticed that Extra Magic Hours are still in place for Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios and the Animal Kingdom.

NEWS 05/26/20 – California Allows Theme Parks to Reopen in Phase 3

While it’s true that California Governor Gavin Newsom just recently announced Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan, we’ve now learned when Disneyland could open back up.

According to the Orange County Register, theme parks in California can start reopening during Phase 3. Kate Folmar, with the California Health and Human Services Agency, talked about it today saying that “Theme parks are slated to open in Stage 3,” as long as the current health crisis continues to improve.

Phase 3 reopenings include salons, gyms, theaters, weddings, and sporting events without live audiences.

Before this news, it was unclear when theme parks like Disneyland could reopen in California as no clear indication had been given if they belonged to Phase 3 or Phase 4.

Now that we know which group theme parks are a part of, when will Disneyland reopen?

At this time we still do not have a reopening date for Disneyland. We haven’t heard anything from Disney either on the matter as they are most likely still working on a reopening proposal once the time comes.

Right now no new reservations are being taken for Disneyland before July 1, but it is possible that guests who already have reservations could go in June. It’s also possible that the theme parks will open before the hotels, which would allow local guests to visit Disneyland first.

This is a developing story so we’ll keep our eye on it and let you know when we hear more.

NEWS 05/23/20 – California Governor Approves Orange County Phase 2 Reopening Plan

California Governor, Gavin Newsom has approved the Orange County Phase 2 Reopening Plan, bringing Disneyland one step closer to reopening.

According to ABC7, in-restaurant dining and shopping centers can be visited by the public as long as they adhere to the safety guidelines, laid out by Orange County’s health advisors. These guidelines include distancing and wearing a face mask in public.

Michelle Steele, chair of the Board of Supervisors of Orange County, said: “It is our goal to ensure all Orange County businesses have the confidence to open as safely and as soon as possible without concerns about the state order.”

So far there has been no mention of Disneyland or Downtown Disney and when they might reopen. Most likely, Disney will follow the same plan it’s had for Shanghai Disneyland and Walt Disney World. That means we will see Downtown Disney shopping center open first to test the new protocols, followed by a reopening of Disney California Adventure and Disneyland after that.

It’s unclear however, in which phase Disneyland could open up, it probably wouldn’t be until Phase 3 or 4. The outlines for phase 3 include reopening salons, gyms, theaters, weddings, and sporting events without live audiences. It isn’t until stage 4 that concerts, live-audience sports, and large gatherings come back into play.

Disney has yet to comment on this latest news, but we’ll keep an eye on what they say over the coming days.

NEWS 5/16/20 – Disney Announces Official Disney Springs Reopening Safety Guidelines

With the reopening of Disney Springs only a few days away, Disney has announced the official safety guidelines that guests and Cast Members both will have to follow from May 20 and moving forward.

  • Limited parking and reduced entrances
  • Temperature screenings prior to entry
  • Face coverings required for everyone
  • Physical distancing practices including physically-distanced queues and physical barriers
  • Temporary operation modifications, including reduced hours at select locations and no scheduled entertainment offerings or high-touch interactive areas
  • An increased focus on disinfecting and sanitation, including the addition of hand-washing stations and hand sanitizers in key areas
view of the water in Disney Springs

Below is a full list and description of all the new changes and safety guidelines:

Parking and Entrances – Parking will be limited to the Orange and Lime garages. All surface parking lots will be closed.

At this time there will only be 4 entrances to Disney Springs:

  • Orange Garage
  • Lime Garages
  • Hotel Plaza Boulevard Pedestrian Bridge
  • Rideshare location.

Temperature Screening – All guests and Cast Members must undergo temperature screening upon arrival. Screening locations will be the second floor level of the Orange and Lime parking garages and the Marketplace Entrance.

Guests with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will not be allowed entrance based on guidance from the health authorities. The same applies for Cast Members.

Physical Barriers – In order to limit physical contact between guests and Cast Members, physical barriers have been added in certain locations. These include: cash registers, Guest Relations, etc.

Cleaning and Sanitization – The Disney Springs staff has increased its cleaning and sanitization of all high-traffic areas including tables, doors, benches, handrails, escalators, restrooms and more.

There are also new handwashing stations that have been installed throughout Disney Springs that guests are encouraged to use.

Disney World Hand Washing Station

Face Coverings – All Guests 3 years and older, Cast Members and other employees are required to wear face coverings at all times. The only exception is while dining.

Cashless Transactions – Cash transactions will be discouraged. Guests should use contactless payment options such as credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, Apply Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, etc.

Cast Training – Disney Springs staff has been trained to employ physical distancing and will continue to receive training to improve protocols.

Signs/Queues – Queues for restaurants and shops must be respected. Signs will be installed telling guests where to stand and what guidelines to follow in the various locations.

Disney Springs Reopening Guidelines

This is a good start and we find the instructions very clear to understand and put into practice. Stay tuned for more updates coming soon as the situation develops.

NEWS 5/15/20 – Disney World Reaches Agreement with Union on New Cast Member Safety Measures

Disney World executives have just reached an agreement with the Services Trades Council Union on new safety guidelines, an essential step in the Walt Disney World reopening process.

The Service Trades Council Union represents over 43,000 Disney Cast Members and with the agreement for the new safety measures, it allows them to return to work. These new guidelines will give more protection and benefits to Cast Members in light of the current health crisis.

Some of the key takeaways from the agreement are:

  • The right to paid time off if forced to go into quarantine
  • No attendance disciple if at home due to symptoms
  • New Cast Member training on self-diagnosis regarding symptoms
  • Training on safety in the parks
  • Mandatory face masks for guests and Cast Members
  • Temperature checks upon entrance for guests and Cast Members
  • More hand washing stations throughout Walt Disney World
  • Plastic dividers at cash registers between guests and Cast Members
  • Touchless transactions at checkout
  • Increased sanitization of work environments
  • Monthly work safety meetings

Again, these are pretty much all the same safety practices we’ve either seen announced or highly rumored already. Obviously for Cast Members, it is important to have these safety measures in place in order for them to feel safe to return to work.

Now that Disney and this union have reached an agreement, it removes a big block in the way of Disney World reopening.

Stay tuned for more soon…

NEWS 5/13/20 – Disney Springs Phase 2 Reopening Starting May 27

In a recent article from The Hollywood Reporter, it was revealed that phase 2 of the Disney Springs reopening is starting on May 27.

This second phase will include Disney-owned restaurants and shops, as well as more of the thrid-party ones located there. Because of these additions, more custodians will be needed to maintain proper hygiene and sanitization standards.

It was not mentioned what temperature levels would be acceptable for entry, but 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit has been previously mentioned by the Orange County Task Force as a number that could work as a limit.

There will also be some differences in the Cast Member and Guest interactions, reducing contact as much as possible. Plexi-glass dividers will be installed on the counters between cashiers and guests, and guests won’t hand their credit card to pay but will swipe it themselves.

An extensive Cast Member training program is underway to help bring everyone up to speed and make sure they are ready.

In addition, more Disney Springs restaurants are opening on May 22. These include:

  • Pizza Ponte
  • Morimoto Asia
  • Vivoli il Gelato 

NEWS 5/12/20 – Walt Disney World Won’t Necessarily Open July 1

As you may have heard, Disney officials, along with executives from other Orlando-area businesses have been meeting as part of the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force to figure out a way to reopen the local tourist attractions, which they did again on Tuesday.

You may have noticed that World Disney World pushed back the date guests can make new reservations at the resort to July 1, 2020. However, according to WDW Senior Vice President Thomas Mazloum, that doesn’t mean Disney World will definitely be open on that date.

This is a similar comment to the one he made some weeks ago when Disney announced guests could make reservations for June 1 and after. At that time he said it didn’t mean Disney World would be open by that date, and in fact, they ended up pushing it back.

He also mentioned that Disney World still does not have an opening date decided, except Disney Springs which is reopening on May 20. For the parks and hotels we’ll have to hold on a little longer still.

This is disappointing news for Disney fans hoping to get back to the parks sooner than later. From Mazloum’s comments, it’s pretty clear that Disney World is still not ready to reopen at this time, and much more organization is needed before that happens.

We’ll keep you updated on the latest in the Disney World reopening as the Orange County Recovery Task Force continues to meet throughout the week.

NEWS 5/11/20 – Bob Chapek Confirms Disney World Will Likely Require Face Masks for Guests When It Reopens

Today during an interview with CNBC, Disney CEO Bob Chapek talked about the recent Shanghai Disneyland reopening, and also outlined how the opening of the U.S. Domestic Disney Parks will go, including likely requiring face masks for both guests and Cast Members.

Chapek was asked what would be the key thing to get the U.S. Disney parks up and running again. Of course, distancing between guests was mentioned as critical, but the main point was getting guests used to wearing face masks while in the parks.

Chapek said: “It will culturally different. It will be trying for guests, especially in the hot, humid summers that we tend to have.”

During the interview, he was also asked if Walt Disney World is reopening in July. Chapek responded that “A lot depends on the state government, local government, healthcare experts, and the immediate hospitals in the area near Walt Disney World.”

Bringing up the hospitals near Disney World is a good point because if there were ever suddenly many cases there, they might need a large number of rooms on very short notice.

They also talked a lot about the Shanghai Disneyland reopening which started today. “We’re very encouraged by what we see in Shanghai.” He also mentioned they are “significantly constraining the amount of tickets that we’ll sell,” in order to limited attendance to 30% for the moment.

Bob Chapek says the company will be “very conservative, very prudent and very disciplined” as it reopens its theme parks.  The park will start at 30% capacity, and then ramp up by 5,000 per week until they get to the point they know their infrastructure can handle and maintain safety standards.

This is a good model for how they will reopen Disney World, so we’ll be paying attention to how it goes in the coming days and weeks.

NEWS 05/8/20 – Disney World Stops Taking Dining and Event Bookings Before July 1

With every day it seems more and more like Walt Disney World will continue to be closed throughout the month of June. Today while searching through the Walt Disney World website, we saw that Disney Dining Reservations and bookings for events in the month of June are no longer possible.

The only dining reservations available in Disney World for June are at the restaurants opening in Disney Springs in May. All dining in the theme parks and hotels is not available to be booked at this time before July 1.

It’s the same thing when you try to book a special event or experience. Experiences like Savi’s Workshop, Droid Depot, or events like Villains After Hours or Desserty Parties are all unavailable to book.

This comes the day after we found out that no new hotel reservations can be made until July 1 either. While they haven’t confirmed Disney World will be closed through the entire month of June, it’s looking like that is a distinct possibility.

Right now all guest reservations have been canceled through the end of May, but we will see that continue week-by-week as for June in the near future.

Stay tuned for more soon…

NEWS 5/7/20 – Disney World Confirms Limited Park Capacity and Enhanced Safety Measures at Reopening

While we did get some great news today about Disney Springs reopening on May 20, no dates have yet been given for the Walt Disney World theme parks or resort hotels. However, Disney did update its policy page regarding what will happen when they do reopen.

Disney confirmed that the theme parks, attractions, experiences, hotels and restaurants will have limited capacity at first. That means they will probably be running at 25%-50% during this 1st phase. This is the same as we saw announced for Shanghai Disneyland earlier this week.

Some of the attractions, experiences, services and entertainment could have limited availability, be modified from their normal operations or even remain closed for a time. This is again very much like the Shanghai opening and means that even once the parks are open, Disney will not open all the attractions and experiences at once, but it will be done in phases according to how much of a health threat they could be to guests.

It’s also likely they will make the theme parks reservation-only in order to control better the number of guests in the parks each day.

Disney also reserves the right to cancel any reservations, admission media, or purchases and provide applicable refunds.

More guidelines and info will be added the closer we get to the parks and hotels reopening.

NEWS 5/7/20 – Disney Springs Reopening May 20

Disney Springs Reopening

Today we got the first really big piece of positive news in a while and it now looks like we are closer to a Disney World reopening. It has just been announced that Disney Springs will start a phased reopening on May 20.

Not everything will be open initially, but a limited number of shops and restaurants will open their doors in this first phase. Most of the locations in Disney Springs are owned by a third party, and they will be the first ones to test out this new phase.

Of course, there are restrictions. Restaurants can serve guests at outdoor seating, or indoor but only at 25% capacity. Tables have to maintain a 6-foot distance between them as a safety measure.

Shops also can only run at 25% guest capacity.

Disney Springs Closures

In order to reopen Disney and the third-party owners will be following the guidance of government and health officials with all decisions made. Disney will continue to monitor the health and safety of Cast Members and guests above all.

In line with this, additional safety measures are being taken. In both restaurants and shops, Cast Members and Guests must wear appropriate face coverings. It will be interesting to see how this is handled, especially in restaurants where you have to eat. Additional Cast Member training regarding the new policies is underway.

Disney Springs will also have limited parking available and limited hours. You can check www.DisneySprings.com for the latest info on hours, parking, and safety procedures.

It is worth noting that the Walt Disney World theme parks and the Disney Resort Hotels are NOT opening at this time, nor are the restaurants or shops at those locations. The only restaurants and shops reopening right now are in Disney Springs.

Disney updated their statement on their website regarding how they are handling the reopening of the Walt Disney World Resort and some of the guidelines:

Upon reopening, theme parks, Disney Resort hotels, restaurants, attractions, experiences and other offerings may be modified and will be limited in capacity and subject to limited availability or closure, based on direction from health experts and government officials to promote physical distancing.

Disney Springs Reopening safety precautions

“Additionally, attractions, experiences, services and amenities may have limited availability or may remain closed. We will provide more information as it becomes available. We reserve the right to cancel any reservations, admission media or purchases and provide applicable refunds. Please also see our policy s regarding cancellations by Guests.”

“Our focus remains on the health and safety of the entire Disney community—including the well-being of the Cast Members who are caring for and securing our parks and Resorts during the closure. We’re currently evaluating new and enhanced safety measures to help us all stay well.”

As was previously mentioned, this will be handled in phases. If things go well in Disney Springs and the see good results from guests, and once the state of Florida moves into the next phase, then they can think about slowly opening more parts of the Walt Disney World Resort.

We are extremely encouraged by this news, and though we might still be a ways away from getting back to the theme parks, at least it’s a step in the right direction!

NEWS 05/8/20 – Disney World Stops Taking Reservations Before July 1

In the last few days, we’ve seen the Disney World Parks Calendar emptied through May 31, and guest reservations also canceled through that date. Now Disney has sent en email to travel agents informing them that they will now only take new reservations from July 1 and beyond.

We’ve seen this happen already as the previous limited for reservations was June 1, which now has gotten pushed back a month.

This doesn’t mean that Walt Disney World is reopening July 1, and it doesn’t mean that it couldn’t possibly open before that either. Just today some guests with reservations in June received surveys asking how they feel about their upcoming June trips.

It may be that they are already at capacity for June with reservations and can’t safely take any more. We aren’t sure at this time. Checking on the website it looks like June reservations are still possible, but since this email is new it will probably be updated to reflect the change soon.

It’s important to note that in the email they did say they expect the current notification process of canceling reservations one week at a time to continue, including reservations into June. So if they are ready to go it won’t be until later on in the month.

Disney World is offering discounted rates where guests can save 25% on rooms at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels from July 1 through August 31, 2020.

Any guests with reservations between now and then can modify or cancel their trip free of charge, and if the dates after July 1 become affected by the closure, they can also modify or cancel those.

Walt Disney World is currently closed, but Disney Springs is opening some restaurants and shops starting May 20, so at least we are seeing some progress.

We’ll update you if more cancelations are made soon.

NEWS 05/06/20 – Disneyland Updates Website Limited Offerings Possible When Parks Reopen

Disneyland just updated its website sharing some information about what type of offerings guests can expect when the parks reopen.

According to the statement, it’s possible that the attractions, hotels, restaurants, etc will have limited capacity, as well as the parks themselves. This is in line with the statement that was already put on The Walt Disney World website on May 7.

Upon reopening, certain Disneyland Resort theme parks, hotels, restaurants and other locations may be limited in capacity and subject to restricted availability or even closure based on guidance from health experts and government officials.

Furthermore, certain attractions, experiences, services and amenities will be modified, have limited availability or remain closed. Park admission and offerings are not guaranteed. We will provide more information as it becomes available. We reserve the right to cancel any reservations, admission media or purchases and provide applicable refunds.

This is to be expected as so far Shanghai Disneyland, Disney Springs and the Disney World parks either have or have announced they will have limited attendance to be able to keep distancing measures between guests. Disneyland will do the same.

The exact percentage of the park capacity is likely to be in the 20-30% range at first and then build up slowly after that, like the other parks.

As soon as we find out more we’ll let you know.

News (5/6/20) – Disney Cruise Line Will Not Be Running “For the Next Few Months”

As you might have heard, The Walt Disney Company had their big Q2 Earnings Call yesterday afternoon and answered some questions regarding the Parks, Resorts, and Experiences division, of which the Disney Cruise Line is a part.

The biggest news was that Disney CEO Bob Chapek said the Disney Cruise Line will not be running “for the next few months.” That is the first time a Disney representative has given us any indication of how long we will have to wait for cruises to start up again. A “few months” means at least three, so May, June, and July are most likely out, with August potentially being the earliest they could resume operations.

Right now all sailings are canceled through June 18, and some even into July. The CDC’s recommendation is for cruises to stay suspended until at least June 19. Either way after those latest comments, we are looking on waiting a lot longer than June.

Whatever the timeline, they did confirm that the Disney Cruise Line will be the last area of the travel division to return to operations, meaning after the Disney theme parks reopen.

There also has been some question in regard to what will happen to the 3 new Disney Cruise Line ships that are currently under order to be built. While Disney didn’t comment on them directly, it seems that they have no plans to cancel those orders at this time, even if they won’t be running at full capacity for quite some time.

Our guess is those ships are going to be delayed a year or two, but will end up getting built eventually.

NEWS 05/6/20 – Disney Spending $900 Million Less in 2020 by Cutting or Delaying Park Construction Projects

Disney had their Q2 earnings call today and we learned some interesting information that gives us some insight into all the new attractions we are waiting for so eagerly, and it doesn’t sound good at all.

Disney announced they are decreasing their capital expenditures by $900 million in 2020 by delaying, cutting costs on, or outright canceling the construction projects in progress in the parks. This especially affects Walt Disney World as they are currently working on an unprecedented number of projects all at once.

Disney has been forced into looking for ways the company can save money during this time where revenue is at a standstill in almost every sector of the company, and theme park construction is naturally an easy place to make that happen.

This announcement affects both projects currently under construction and ones yet to be started but were planned to be underway sometime in 2020.

The worst part about the announcement though are CEO Bob Chapek’s comments about the budget cuts. He announced that he will be going over all expenditures with a “fine-toothed comb.” According to Chapek, “big plans” are still in the works for the parks, but they will be reduced from their original plans.

For a man that already has a reputation of cutting costs when the company was flush with money, that does not sound good for the current projects we are so excited about.

We are most scared now for EPCOT as the entire center of Future World is still a construction site, and massive investment into the park was finally going to make it respectable again among its peers. Many of the projects there are nowhere near completion and they will either get pushed off, canceled or have massive budget cuts, meaning the final product could be far different than what Imagineers had planned.

I guess we can say goodbye to Dreamer’s Point in World Celebration.

Disney didn’t mention specifically which projects will be cut or have a reduced budget, but it sounds like many of those decisions have been made since they already have a figure of $900 million.

Stay tuned as we will be updating you as soon as we find out which projects were affected.

In the meantime, these two articles have more information about those Disney World construction projects:

NEWS 05/06/20 – Disneyland Closure Extended, No New Reservations Before July 1

With Disney park closures being extended all over the world, besides Shanghai of course, it now looks like the Disneyland California closure has also been extended as the resort is not taking new reservations before July 1, 2020.

If you try to book any of the three Disneyland Resort Hotels (Disneyland Hotel, Grand Californian Hotel or Paradise Pier) there are no reservations available before July 1. The same goes for guest experiences in the parks, with no new reservations being taken.

Before this change, guests could make reservations for June 1 and after, but after recent comments from Governor Gavin Newsom, it was clear that Disneyland would not be ready by June, and perhaps not even for the whole summer.

This news doesn’t mean that Disneyland is reopening on July 1. Right now it’s just a temporary date for guests to be able to make reservations with the hopes of going, but if more time is needed, that date will get pushed back further too.

Newsom has said it’s highly unlikely large gatherings will go on this summer and many events have already been canceled.

No word yet if guest reservations for June have been canceled, but we’ll keep an eye on it if we start hearing that has happened. Stay tuned for more soon.

NEWS 5/4/20 – Disney World Says “We Do Not Have an Opening Date Yet”

Walt Disney World Reopening Guidelines

The Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force met again on Monday to discuss timelines and procedures for reopening the Central Florida businesses, including theme parks like Walt Disney World.

Today was the first time we actually heard from a Disney representative in that group about the reopening. After much speculation from fans over when Disney World might reopen, Disney World’s Senior VP of Resort & Transportation Operations, Thomas Mazloum, confirmed that Disney does “not have an opening date yet.”

The even more interesting part of the conversation was that Mazloum confirmed that even though Disney World is currently taking reservations starting June 1, they are not confirming that Disney World will be opened back up by then, or even in the month of June at all.

Mazloum was adamant in his statement saying that he wants to “make it clear” that Disney World does not currently have any reopening plans to share at this time.

Empty Epcot UK Pavilion at park opening

Task Force co-chair Chuck Whittall pressed Mazloum again, asking him if Disney World will open back up in the “short-term or long-term” with long-term being January 2021. Mazloum reiterated that Disney is closed “until further notice” and that he does “not want to comment on speculation.”

Executive Vice President of Resort Operations at Universal Orlando, Rich Costales, stated that Universal Orlando is still closed until May 31st and that the company has not yet decided on anything past that date. He too stated: “to speculate anything past what we’ve announced wouldn’t be appropriate.”

This is disappointing news for Disney fans hoping to get back to the parks sooner than later. From Mazloum’s comments, it’s pretty clear that Disney World is nowhere near ready to reopen at this time, and much more organization is needed before that happens.

We’ll keep you updated on the latest in the Disney World reopening as the Orange County Recovery Task Force continues to meet throughout the week.

NEWS 5/5/20 – Disney Outlines Reopening Procedures on Company Earnings Call

Great news today from the Disney company earnings call as Shanghai Disneyland begins reopening May 11. Disney outlined how that phased reopening will work, which also gave us more insight into the Walt Disney World reopening to follow.

In line with that are a set of guidelines that they are exploring, outlined by Disney Chief medical Officer Dr. Pamela Hymel. These enhanced safety measures are what guests would have to follow once they start visiting the parks again.

These safety enhancements include:

  • Phased parks opening
  • Use of the Virtual queue to minimize groups of people in line
  • Managing guest density in all areas of the parks, restaurants, shops, transportation, etc
  • Increased cleanliness and sanitization
  • Increased use of hand sanitizer/sanitizing stations
  • Screening procedures
  • Use of face coverings
  • Cast Member training

These are only a few of the areas that Disney looks to be implemented when the parks finally reopen.

No reopening date was given for Disney World at this time, but the fact that Shanghai is coming back online is encouraging news and the company will surely learn things there that they can then apply in the domestic parks in the near future.

They maintained that Disney is focused on the health and safety of the entire Disney community, including guests and Cast Members in the parks and many new safety procedures have already been put in place for their future well-being.

Here is a transcript of the statement from Disney today:

As you may have heard at Disney’s Q2 FY20 Earnings Results Webcast, our CEO Bob Chapek announced that Shanghai Disney Resort will begin the phased reopening of Shanghai Disneyland on May 11 – an encouraging sign for Disney parks and retail locations all over the world. After so much time at home, I know many of you are eager to enjoy the magic of a Disney parks visit, and we can’t wait to welcome you back.

I’m fortunate to work with Disney’s extraordinarily talented team of health and safety experts who are some of the most experienced in the industry. Together, with our colleagues in operations, and local health and government authorities, we’re evaluating several new and enhanced safety measures to do our part towards helping us stay well while we work, stay, and play at a Disney resort and a Disney store. I’m also working closely with the US Travel Association on a set of guidelines the travel industry may tailor to their individual businesses to help demonstrate that safety of travelers is a top focus.

To that end, I want to share an update with you about our plans and considerations as we prepare for the reopening of our parks, resorts and stores. At Disney, we’re exploring:

  • Phased reopening: We’re looking at all of our locations and how best to begin the reopening process, including a gradual reopening and/or partial reopening of certain locations. For example, the opening of retail and dining locations prior to the opening of our theme parks.
  • Physical distancing and capacity measures: As you can imagine, managing guest density in queues, restaurants, hotels, ride vehicles and other facilities throughout the park and across the resort is a major focus, as we implement physical distancing guidelines based on guidance from health authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and appropriate government agencies. This will likely include implementation of guest capacity measures to comply with state and federal guidelines. We’re also exploring ways to use technology to aid us in these efforts, like with our Play Disney Parks App and through virtual queues at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
  • Cleanliness and sanitization: We’re planning increased cleaning and disinfection, determining where that should take place (for example, in high-traffic areas), and the cleaning products and processes we’ll use.  
  • Screening and prevention support: We’ll follow guidance from the government and the medical community regarding enhanced screening procedures and prevention measures, including those related to personal protective equipment (PPE), such as face coverings. Some measures, like adding hand sanitizers and hand washing stations across our resorts, have already been implemented.
  • Cast training: We’re further emphasizing our strong culture of health and safety amongst our cast members, and will continue to provide new training and reinforcement as we get closer to reopening.

These are just a few examples of the many areas we are developing plans for, so please keep an eye on our online channels, where we’ll provide more details as we confirm and begin to implement our plans. Given the constantly changing global health environment, these practices may evolve as we consider the latest guidance, but we will share more information with you as we look towards reopening.

In the meantime, our focus remains on the health and safety of the entire Disney community – including the wellbeing of the Cast Members who are caring for and securing our parks and resorts during the closure. We have already implemented a number of enhanced health and safety measures, such as increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfection in work areas, adjusting practices to promote physical distancing, and providing Cast with access to necessary PPE, including face coverings. We continue to learn from these experiences and will carry these lessons into reopening and beyond.

Finally, I want to recognize the medical professionals working to bring care and comfort in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. We will continue to do what we can to help support the medical community and our local communities during this time.

We’re looking forward to welcoming all of you back to our Disney parks, resorts and stores. Until we are together once again, we wish you and your families health, hope, and happiness.

From this, we can expect Disney Springs to be the first area in Disney World to open back up, which will happen before the theme parks. We’ll slowly start seeing the restaurants and shops there open, and then Disney will see how crowds are handled and how many people actually show up.

Things are moving in the right direction and we’ll hopefully have more on the Disney World reopening including a date soon.

NEWS 5/1/20 – Mayor Demings Says the Theme Parks Could Take a “Considerable Amount of Time” to Reopen

Florida Task Force meeting to discuss when to open Disney World

Orange County Mayor Demings spoke again today at a press conference after the Recovery Task Force once again met to discuss reopening local businesses, including theme parks like Disney World.

Mayor Demings gave some more insight into the reopening plan and also confirmed that theme parks would not be opening in Phase 1, as was already outlined by Governor DeSantis. He didn’t say when they would, but confirmed they would be “opening in phases.”

A big problem for places like Disney World is getting all their furloughed employees back to work, which according to Demings would “take a considerable amount of time.”

Best Time to Visit Disney World for Park Hours

He also confirmed that the Recovery Task Force has been working on some more specific guidelines for theme park reopenings together with the companies themselves but that, nothing concrete has been established yet. Theme parks like Disney World would then use their own discretion on when to reopen, again keeping in line with the Governor’s mandates.

It’s been a long week of meetings, but at least things are moving in the right direction and we can say it seems like the task force and companies like Disney are working hard to figure out the solution to reopening.

Unfortunately, Disney still hasn’t said when that is going to happen and which changes will definitely be implemented, but at least we have some ideas now. Keep reading to see the changes proposed by the task force a few days ago. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we have more!

NEWS 4/29/20 – Florida Phase 1 Reopening Starting May, Disney World Not Included

Disney World reopening plan

Today, Florida announced that the first Phase in the reopening of Florida will start May 4. He outlined the details of the guidelines and not surprisingly, it doesn’t look like Walt Disney World or other theme parks will be included.

Florida is following the government’s guidelines for what is required to enter into a Phase 1 reopening including a downward trajectory in cases and symptoms in a 14-Day period of time.

Schools will remain closed during Phase 1, and in the tourism industry, shops and restaurants can open, but only at 25% occupancy indoors, while bars remain totally closed at this time.

Theme parks were not mentioned specifically by the Governor, but it’s clear that Disney World and the other Orlando attractions will not be reopening on May 4. What hasn’t been outlined is if Disney World can open during Phase 2 or if it has to wait until Phase 3.

Disney hasn’t made any comments on the reopening process at this point. Orange County is expected to announce more plans by the end of the week, leaving it up to Disney to make public their reopening strategy.

We’ll let you know what else we learn later on in the week. Stay tuned…

NEWS 04/29/20 – California Governor Outlines 4-Phase Plan for Reopening, Disneyland Likely “Months Away”

California Governor Gavin Newsom and other authorities have been putting together a 4-stage plan for reopening California. Although Walt Disney World is looking like it might open this Summer, these new guidelines in California make a Disneyland reopening potentially months away.

“Politics will not drive our decision making. Protests will not drive our decision making. Political pressure will not drive our decision making,” Newsom said. “Science, data, and public health will drive our decision making.”

Right now California is in stage 1 and lower risk businesses will reopen during stage 2. It’s trying to figure out which stage Disneyland falls into where things get tricky.

The outlines for stage 3 include reopening salons, gyms, theaters, weddings, and sporting events without live audiences. It isn’t until stage 4 that concerts, live-audience sports, and large gatherings come back into play.

Governor Newsom didn’t specifically comment on Disneyland or the other theme parks, but it looks like they would fall into stage 4 from the looks of things, with potentially parts of them reopening in stage 3.

To put a timeline on things, Newsome said stage 3 is months away and we won’t get to stage 4 until a treatment has been found, which as of yet, we are nowhere close to having. Disney hasn’t commented on which stage they plan on being able to reopen in, but we’ll keep you updated as more info comes out.

NEWS 4/29/20 – Orange County Recovery Task Recommends Disney World Can Decide When to Reopen

Disney World deciding when to reopen

The Orange County Recovery Task Force has multiple meetings scheduled for today, and the newest recommendation is that theme parks, including Walt Disney World, should be able to decide for themselves when to reopen.

This latest suggestion was made by Mayor Demings, pointing out that Disney has handled the closure fantastically and was quick to shut things down instead of risking public health and safety.

Demings said: “When you look at those large theme parks, they’re like cities unto themselves. And so nothing should be done in the way of our recommendations should appear to be punitive towards them, because as a corporation… if they can see small business units [re]open and they have something similar, i.e. restaurants and shops that they can [re]open… why wouldn’t they be allowed to [re]open?”

Chuck Whittall, President of Unicorp added his own statement into the theme park reopenings:

“Theme parks and other venues of that magnitude shall each develop their own specific and unique set of guidelines following the CDC recommendations and using best practices that will protect the life, health, and safety of their employees and guests. They will be permitted to open at their own discretion with their internally determined level of safe capacities throughout the various phases.”

when is Disney World reopening now?

The Mayor also expressed his confidence in how quickly places like Disney World could get back up and running again, stating that once the restrictions are lifted, these large facilities could be ready to go “with short notice.” In the end, the parks will be “judged” by the public whether or not they are safe to reopen saying: “Ultimately, they’re going to be judged by the marketplace. If guests feel safe, they’ll show up. If they don’t, they’re not.”

Overall this was a positive step in opening back up Disney World and the other Orlando theme parks. It should be noted however that the theme parks are still going to work in cooperation with the government’s timeline for reopening Orange County, and the theme parks won’t open prematurely before the county and other local businesses.

We should be hearing more about all of this later today so stay tuned…

NEWS 4/28/20 – Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force Shares New Guidelines for Opening Theme Parks

busy crowds in the Magic Kingdom

Every day we are moving closer to reopening Disney World and the other Orlando theme parks and today was a big step in the right direction as the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force held a meeting discussing the steps needed to do so.

In that meeting, the initial guidelines were given which give us a look at how Disney World and other local businesses will have to be run when they reopen. Among the new guidelines were keeping the theme parks at 50% capacity during Phase 1, temperature checks for employees, tape marking 6-foot distances on attractions and hand sanitizer everywhere.

Besides the theme parks, the task force gave guidelines for businesses such as restaurants and hotels which are also a big part of Walt Disney World.

Mayor Demings has also indicated that a June reopening is possible, and would definitely be “more realistic” than a May reopening due to difficulties in the supply chain.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said today that he plans on making more announcements on Wednesday, April 29, which will give more details on the reopening of Florida.

Below is a full list of the various new guidelines for Disney and other businesses. These are not written in stone as they were given at the initial meeting. More things will probably be added in the coming days.

Guidelines for reopening Disney World

Theme Parks

  • Guidelines:
    • Tape marking of 6 feet apart in ride/attraction queues
    • Staff to regularly wipe down surfaces at random
    • Phase 1 and 2: Staff who are 65+ are encouraged to stay home
  • Mandates:
    • All employees required to wear facemasks
    • Touchless hand sanitizer at each ticketing entry and turnstiles
    • Touchless hand sanitizer at each ride/attraction entry and exit
    • Temperature checks for staff prior to shift (temp above 100.4 must not enter premises)
    • Wipe down of all railing and surfaces regularly
    • Phase 1: 50% capacity
    • Phase 2: 75% capacity

One of the big takeaways from the theme park guidelines is Disney World having to be at a limited capacity when it reopens, 50% during Phase 1 and 75% in Phase 2. This was expected and we now have confirmation this is how it will be.

From images surfacing in Shanghai Disneyland it’s no surprise they will add tape markings on the ground so people keep their distance in the ride queues. This is a huge job and means cast members will have to go through each ride queue to set up the spacing properly.

Employees are going to have to wear facemasks which is no surprise either, and all but confirms no “face characters” in the parks immediately unless you want your picture with Prince Charming and his white face mask.

Hotels

  • Guidelines:
    • Phase 1: Housekeeping services to be limited and allow for minimal guest and employee exposure
    • Phase 1: Promote, if available, mobile check-in
    • Phase 1: Housekeeping services only clean upon request, or when guests depart
    • Phase 1: Allow employees to work from home if not playing a critical role in serving guests
    • Phase 1: Only deliver room service to guests’ doors
    • Phase 1: Provide self-parking
    • Promote social distancing for all guests and staff
    • Recommended touchless sanitizer at entry
    • Increase cleaning services/additional sanitation services through cleaning companies
    • Phase 1 & 2: Staff who are 65+ are encouraged to stay home
  • Mandates:
    • All employees required to wear facemasks
    • Hand sanitizer at entry to be in plain visible sight
    • Temperature checks for staff prior to shift (temp above 100.4 must not enter premises)
    • All employees with flu-like symptoms advised to stay home
    • Front desk to sanitize themselves on a regular basis
    • Consistent cleaning of all guest areas
    • Front desk to utilize sneeze-guards
    • Remove all service items in guest rooms to include glassware, coffee cups etc.
    • Minibars not to be stocked
    • Do no offer self food services
    • Space pool furniture according to distancing guidelines
    • Pool gates and pool chairs to be sanitized regularly
    • Door handles, elevator button and railing to be sanitized regularly
    • Remove all coffee makers from guest rooms
    • Remove all guest collateral items, except for those that are single-use
    • Sanitize guest keys before and after each use
    • Sanitize bell carts after each year
    • Phase 1 & 2: No conferences

Reduced house cleaning services is the big takeaway here. They will only come at your request, and otherwise, clean the rooms after guest departure. That’s fine for 3-4 days, but if you are staying a week, things could get interesting.

Mobile check-in will also be promoted heavily at the Disney hotels in order to keep guests away grouping up at the front desk.

It also looks like there will be no self food services in the hotels it so sounds like guests won’t be able to touch anything themselves and cast members will be taking care of it. Sanitizing pool furniture is a big one, even the front desk, elevator buttons and even sneeze-guards up at the front desk so the cast members don’t get sprayed on!

Restaurants

  • Guidelines:
    • Paper/disposable menus
    • Encourage takeout/online orders
    • Touchless sanitizer at entry
    • Phase 1 & 2: Staff who are 65+ are encouraged to stay home
  • Mandates:
    • Hand sanitizer at every table
    • Hand sanitizer at entry to be in plain visible sight
    • All employees required to wear facemasks
    • Temperature checks for staff prior to shift (temp above 100.4 must not enter premises)
    • All employees with flu-like symptoms advised to stay home
    • Doors to be wiped regularly
    • All staff behind counters must wear gloves (except for bartenders)
    • Bartenders to sanitize hands after making each drink order
    • Seated tables to be six feet apart
    • Phase 1: Limit restaurant and bar capacity to 50%
    • Phase 2: Limit restaurant and bar capacity to 75%

We also see a limit on restaurant and bar capacity at 50% during Phase 1 and 75% during Phase 2, just like the theme parks.

Employee temperature checks, sanitation and encouraging take-out or mobile order are all as expected. The only one I don’t see any mention of is buffets. I was anticipating Disney and other restaurants not allowing buffet service right now due to how close the guests get to the food. We’ll keep an eye on that and see if it’s added at some point.

Best Time to go to Disney World

We’ll be updating this list as the days go on and we learn which guidelines stick when the list is made official, and updating you on how this all will affect your trip. Stay tuned…

News (4/27/20) – Disney Cruise Line Cancels All Sailings Through June 18, Mediterranean through July 2.

Not unexpectedly, the Disney Cruise Line has extended the cancellation of all sailings through June 18, 2020, and Mediterranean cruises (Disney Magic) through July 2, 2020. This means that all scheduled sailings on the Disney Magic, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy are all canceled until at least those dates, and the Disney Wonder through the end of June.

Previously, all Disney Magic sailings were canceled through June 7, meanwhile the Disney Dream and Fantasy only through May 17. In light of the ongoing situation, it would have been impossible to open before June and thus the pushed back dates.

NEWS 4/22/20 – Florida Task Force Discusses Disney World and Tourism Reopening Timeline Toady

It’s no secret Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been eager to figure out when statewide tourist attractions can once again begin to operate. The Governor, along with the rest of the Re-Open Florida Task Force, have been discussing potential timelines for when theme parks like Walt Disney World can reopen.

Universal Orlando Resort CEO John Sprouls said Wednesday that planning is underway for when the gates open. In a meeting on Wednesday, he told the Florida Task Force: “We’re not sure yet how we’re going to do that, but we’re looking for help from health officials to help us figure out what might be an appropriate protocol to try to minimize the possibility of any sick guests entering the parks.”

Sprouls mentioned the following procedures:

  • Reopening the attractions in stages. First State residents, then national and international visitors.
  • Enhanced cleaning
  • Recommending guests wear masks
  • Guest and Employee temperature screenings
  • Disinfecting Ride Vehicles
  • Enhanced hygiene measures for workers at hotels, restaurants and theme parks
  • Capping attendance for the parks
  • Increased Virtual Queues

“We’re evaluating face coverings for our team members,” Sprouls said. “We’re potentially evaluating, allowing or even encouraging guests to wear face coverings as well. At least initially.”

Busiest Time of year to Visit Disney World

Visit Florida CEO Dana Young pointed out in the call that they have “helped rebuild Florida’s economy after Hurricane Irma, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and other tragedies.” Young then outlined a 4-Step process to bring back Florida tourism.

  • Step 1 – Gather data and share messages of hope on VisitFlorida social medial accounts.
  • Step 2 – When public health officials give the ok to reopen businesses, VisitFlorida will push its marketing campaigns to Floridians to take ‘stay-cations.’
  • Step 3 – A marketing campaign will be released to domestic travelers.
  • Step 4 – A marketing campaign will be created to attract international visitors.

This goes along with the earlier news from Spectrum News 13, that the task force is considering gradual reopenings for Florida tourist attractions in which they would first be accessible to Florida locals, then followed by national visitors and lastly international visitors.

Obviously, tourism is the main economic driver in the state of Florida and local hotels and attractions have felt the impact already. It’s estimated that Florida hotels have lost over $1.6 billion in revenue over the last 6 weeks alone, with that number only to increase the longer things are closed.

Walt Disney World President, Josh D’Amaro is among the other Florida business leaders on the task force, with Disney World executives having a big influence in what steps are ultimately implemented. DeSantis praised Disney yesterday saying they are “ahead of the curve,” so it will be interesting to see the steps they are able to come up with.

We’ll update you with the latest details as the Re-Open Florida Task Force continues to meet this week. Stay tuned for more.

NEWS 4/21/20 – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Says Disney is “Ahead of the Curve” on Reopening.

When will Disney World reopen

Not long after the White House announced their new plans for reopening U.S. businesses, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had his own comments for how progress is being made working with Walt Disney World and other businesses across the state. In an interview today he said that Disney is “so far ahead of the curve” on reopening, and expressed confidence in their ability to reopen safely.

Yesterday it was announced that Walt Disney World President, Josh D’Amaro, along with other Florida business leaders, would be joining a Florida Task Force charged with helping create uniform guidelines to open up business across the state once again.

Here is the clip with Governor DeSantis:

“It’s amazing the ideas that the businesses are already thinking about. They’ve been thinking deeply about this for weeks and weeks… there’s a lot of great ideas that I’ve already seen put on the table. I’m in discussions with places like Disney. They are so far ahead of the curve, and I think everyone wants to make sure we do it safely.

And yeah, if you think about it, if you own a hotel in Miami, the last thing you want is to do a false negative and have a small outbreak in your hotel… so they are very keen on safety and I think that they’re going to be leading the way on the innovation. So we’ll have some guidelines of course, but I think some of the businesses are going to go above and beyond…”

Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis

From the interview, it seems like Walt Disney World already has some pretty extensive plans in place for when the parks are eventually able to reopen. Things like temperature screening and helping guests stay far from each other are most likely on the list of new protocols that Disney plans on introducing.

They did not mention when they think Disney World will reopen, but you can read further down in this article for our best guess and all the potential guidelines that Disney could implement to keep guests safe. Stay tuned for more soon…

NEWS 4/17/20 – White House Plans Phased Reopening for U.S. Businesses – How Disney Parks Could Reopen

As the situation is slowly recovering in the U.S., last night Government officials gave new insights on how American Businesses could start reopening starting in phases starting May 1, 2020. These details shed more light on how Disney World and Disneyland could reopen, what steps they would have to take first, and how long before they might open.

First of all, the guidelines given are not mandatory and the exact procedures and timelines will be decided on a state-by-state basis. In the case of the Disney parks that means the circumstances and guidelines might be slightly different for what is required to reopen Disney World in Florida vs reopening Disneyland in California.

In any case, these guidelines have made it clear that a heavy emphasis has been put on employers to enforce personal hygiene among employees and clients, using various forms of testing, sanitation, temperature checks and keeping distances. This goes along with Bob Iger’s recent comments about Disney World potentially using temperature checks on guests entering the parks.

reopening America Phase 1

Essentially these new guidelines are broken down into 3 phases, in which the restrictions ease up every time a state enters into a new phase. The only complicated thing is understanding exactly where Disney World fits into their classification for business types. Many attractions and entertainment venues in Disney World I would imagine fit under the “Large Venues” category as they have them listed as “sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues.”

We’ll have to see how various attractions/entertainment end of being classified in the Disney Parks. There’s a difference between riding Big Thunder Mountain and standing in front of the castle for an hour waiting for Happily Ever After. Because of this, it’s likely that we’ll see Disney World open in phases with certain venues even inside the parks open first, then others as restrictions lessen.

reopening America Phase 1

Phase 1 is the first most strict of the phases and it’s unlikely Disney World could reopen during this phase. It restricts any unnecessary travel and public gatherings of more than 10 people where precautionary measures cannot be observed. Theme parks would be classified as unnecessary travel so that alone would tell us Disney World is off-limits here.

States can start entering into Phase 1 starting May 1, but each state would have to have 2 weeks of a sustained drop in cases and then can decide if it’s ready by that point.

Phase 2 is next with restrictions easing slightly, and could potentially see the Disney parks opening back up at some point, as Non-Essential travel can begin. However, even if it opens at this point, there could be potential restrictions and possibly opening only part of the parks at a time. Guests would still have to keep a distance and Disney would have its hands full with how they are going to go about enforcing it.

reopening America Phase 2

Again in order to enter Phase 2, that state would have to show an additional level of fewer cases which is sustained for at least 2 weeks.

reopening America Phase 2

In all likelihood, with the time needed between phases, we won’t see Florida enter Phase 2 much sooner than June. And also, even if they enter into Phase 2, it doesn’t mean that Disney World will reopen right away. Disney will have to decide if they are ready and have the infrastructure in place to handle guests again.

Phase 3 is the “new norm” where large venues can operate under “almost normal” circumstances.

reopening America Phase 3

So basically, it looks like Disney World could open up either in Phase 2 or 3. Phase 2 would likely see a very restricted version of the Resort with many attractions or entertainment venues still closed. Phase 3 would probably be the parks running at 90% but still have certain restrictions.

If I were to guess, I think Disney World will wait until Florida is in Phase 3 of the reopening to open the parks once again. It will take some time and planning to get ready whatever new procedures they are going to use to keep guests safe and stay within the guidelines.

They also have a responsibility to provide as close to a “Disney experience” as possible to their guests who are paying a lot of money to be there, and I’m not sure if that can really be done with a Disney World running at 60-70% which would likely be the case in Phase 2.

Also, with many states running on different timelines and not all reaching phase 2 or 3 at the same time, it might not be cost-effective for Disney World to open back up if 80% of the East Coast (a huge part of their visitors) is still closed for example.

These are all questions Disney has to carefully consider as they work toward reopening and I’m sure we’ll be hearing more as the days and weeks go by.

NEWS 04/17/20 – Florida Schools Will Remain Closed Through End of Academic Year

Disney World closed through May

After the President’s recent announcement about a phased reopening, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has just announced that all Florida public schools will remain closed through the end of the academic year.

As part of the reopening guidelines, schools can reopen in Phase 2 if the state so decides. Florida schools were originally scheduled to close on May 28, so this announcement would indicate that the state of Florida doesn’t feel it’s likely to get to Phase 2 before June.

As far as Walt Disney World is concerned, it would appear that theme parks reopening also couldn’t happen until Phase 2. Disney World isn’t taking any new reservations until June 1, so this confirms that we won’t be seeing the theme parks opening before that. Both the state and Disney World will have to have extensive testing and controls in place before letting people back into the parks.

NEWS 04/16/20 – Disney World Updates Guidelines on Refunds for Annual Passholders

Disney World annual passholder entrance sign

Not too long ago, Disney gave some positive news to Disney World and Disneyland Annual Passholders letting them know that partial refunds for their annual passes were possible. Today Disney has updated their guidelines and given more details into how passholders can get those refunds.

Here is the official statement from Disney:

Disney World annual passholder refunds details

For guests who have already paid upfront for their Disney World annual pass, there are now two options:

  1. Get an extension added on to your annual pass for the number of days the parks are closed.
  2. Get a partial refund for the park closure period.

By default, all Disney World Annual Passholders will get an extension added on to their pass for the number of days the parks are closed. However, if you want a refund, contact VIPASSHOLDER Support at (407) 939-7277.

We expect the call volume to be heavy to patience will be appreciated while waiting.

Before this change, Annual Passholders only had the option to get their passes automatically extended based on how many days the parks were closed, like option 1. That meant that if the parks end up being closed for 60 days, you will automatically get 60 more days added on to your pass.

This change, however, gives people who are struggling in this economic downturn a chance to take some of that money tied up in their annual passes, and put it towards essentials like food and shelter.

Disney World annual pass

For guests who are on an Annual Pass Monthly Payment Plan, there are also some modifications that might help.

  • Starting April 5, 2020, all upcoming monthly payments for your annual pass were automatically stopped. All monthly payments will be waived during the Disney World closure period.
  • Disney is also retroactively refunding payments made from the time Walt Disney World closed on March 14 through April 4, 2020.
  • All Annual Pass payments will automatically continue when Disney World reopens.

There is one important thing to note with this option. Annual passes will NOT be extended in this case, because you are now paying for fewer months than before and not a complete year.

If you do want your annual pass payments to be postponed and then picked up again once the parks open, in that case, your Annual Pass expiration date will be extended the number of days the parks are closed for.

Disney mentioned they consider Annual Passholders to be some of their most loyal guests and to request this alternative option, contact VIPASSHOLDER Support at (407) 939-7277. Again, expect heavy call volumes and long wait times.

Stay tuned for more information soon.

NEWS 04/16/20 – New Details for Disneyland Annual Passholder Refunds

Good news for Disneyland Annual Passholders, Disney has just given some more info to help you get a refund for your annual passes and help put your monthly payments on hold!

Disney has just come out with these new guidelines for both Disneyland and Disney World and they should greatly help Disney’s most loyal fanbase in the middle of this financially stressful time. Here is the official statement from the Disneyland website:

Disneyland statement annual passport

Since April 5, Disney has stopped all monthly payments for annual passes and they will be on pause until Disneyland reopens. Not only that, but Disney is also retroactively refunding any annual pass payments you made from March 14 – April 4, 2020. That means if you made a payment then, you’ll be getting that money back.

With this change, if you are on a monthly payment plan, your ticket will expire after your 12 months, but you will end up not paying for the time the parks were closed.

For Disneyland passholders who have already paid their annual passes upfront, the expiration dates on them will be automatically extended by the number of days the parks are closed. If Disneyland is closed for 60 days, you will get an extra 60 days added onto your pass.

If however, you don’t want to continue paying for your annual pass and are looking for a refund, Disney will refund you for the theme park closure period. This is a great option for people struggling financially and would like to use that money in another way.

For a partial refund of your annual pass or if you want an extension on the expiration of your annual pass with a monthly payment, call Disneyland at (714) 781-4567. If you call for one of these changes, expect long wait times.

We will bring you more new information as soon as Disney updates anything so stay tuned. Scroll down to the Annual Passes subheading for more info…

NEWS 04/15/20 – Disney World Starts Canceling Guest Reservations Through May 16

Disney World closing due to coronavirus

While it’s been believed for some time now that Walt Disney World won’t open before June 1, that is slowly being confirmed as Disney has starting canceling guest reservations from now through May 16, 2020.

Recently Disney World had canceled all reservations through April, and after more evaluation have decided to go ahead and start canceling more reservations through May 16, making it look nearly impossible to see the parks reopen in May at this point.

The canceled reservations include vacation packages, hotel rooms, FastPasses and dining reservations. At this time Disney hasn’t canceled all the reservations through May 16 as some readers have said they still have their reservations intact, but it looks like they are doing in waves.

Monorail passing Imagination! pavilion Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Disney has been notifying the affected guests by email or phone, and giving the same refund or rebooking options as prior guests have had. Guests with reservations beyond May 16 all the way until June 30 are eligible to cancel their vacation and get a full refund with no penalties.

As of now, Disney World is still accepting reservations from June 1, so in the best-case scenario, they would like to open by that date, though that is not guaranteed to happen at this time. If you are interested in a refund, please read our section further down in this article which explains all the steps needed to do that.

Stay tuned as we’ll be bringing you more info on the Dinsey World closure as soon as we hear more.

News (4/15/20) – Disney Cruise Line Cancels All Disney Magic Sailings Through June 7, 2020

front of Disney Magic Coronavirus Disney Cruise Line

Even though just days ago the Disney Cruise Line announced all sailings were suspended through May 17, that has now been extended for some sailings. All Disney Magic cruises have now been suspended through June 7, 2020.

We’re not surprised that this extension was put in place, especially due to the latest “No Sail” order from the CDC. We aren’t sure though why Disney announced this for Disney Magic sailings only and why only through June 7 since the CDC order essentially keeps all U.S. cruises docked until June 19. We anticipate more announcements for the Caribbean sailings soon.

This latest announcement by Disney affects the following Disney Magic Cruises:

  • May 23 – 30 (7-Night Mediterranean Cruise)
  • May 30 – June 6 (7-Night Mediterranean Cruise)
  • June 6 – June 13 (7-Night Mediterranean Cruise)

As usual, for any guests affected by this latest group of cancellations, Disney is offering a 125% value credit to be used toward a future Disney Cruise, or a full refund on the amount you’ve paid so far.

See the Refunds section in this article for more info.

NEWS 04/14/20 – California Governor’s Latest Comments Suggests Disneyland Might Not Open This Summer

Disneyland Closure Sleeping Beauty Castle

Are you hoping to get back to Disneyland this Summer? I have some bad news for you, that might not be possible according to the latest comments from California Governor, Gavin Newsom.

During a press conference today, Newsom was very bleak in the outlook for places with large crowds like Disneyland being able to reopen this Summer. He said that the likelihood of any mass gatherings this Summer is “unlikely” at this point.

“The prospect of mass gatherings is negligible at best until we get to herd immunity and a vaccine,” Newsom said.

He didn’t mention Disneyland specifically, but the parks definitely count as a mass gathering and if there was a statewide ban on them still, Disneyland couldn’t reopen and would be forced to remain closed until given the ok.

This obviously comes as a big disappointment to fans who were hoping to put this nightmare behind them and get back to a somewhat “normal” life this Summer. This, of course, is not written in stone and things can change between now and then, but at this point, it really looks like you’re going to have to put that homemade Dole Whip recipe to the test because it might be quite a while until you can set foot in Adventureland again.

Disney has not updated its outlook on the parks and according to the website, Disneyland is still closed indefinitely until further notice. We’ll update you as soon as anything else is announced, so stay tuned.

News (4/10/20) – Disney Cruise Line Cancels All Sailings Through May 17, CDC Extends “No Sail” Order to 100 Days

The Disney Cruise Line has just announced they are canceling all sailings through May 17, 2020. This change affects all Disney Magic, Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream sailings and comes just days after announcing that all Disney Wonder cruises have been canceled through the end of June.

This announcement from Disney comes together with the latest order from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) as they have now extended their original “No Sail” order of 30 days to 100 days. The original announcement from the CDC was for 30 days starting March 14.

With this extension, it means that the Disney Cruise Line and all other cruise companies will not be sailing from the U.S. before June 19 at the earliest. So why is Disney only extending the closure to May 17, when it won’t be able to sail until June?

Disney is probably being hopeful that the situation could get under control before then and that the 100 days will get reduced at some point. While this theoretically can happen, it isn’t looking very likely, and if cruises start up again by June 19, we should all be jumping for joy at this point.

Palo Brunch Review

The only positive from this situation is that guests who had reservations on any of the newly canceled Disney Cruise sailings have their choice of a full refund or a 125% credit which can be used toward a future Disney Cruise Line vacation, within 15 months of the original departure date.

Scroll down to our “Closures” section for a full list of the sailings affected by this closure extension as well the “Refunds” section for how to get a refund for your Disney Cruise or reschedule to a future date. We’ll be updating you again soon, so stay tuned.

The good news is that guests who had reservations onboard the Disney Wonder during this period will be getting a choice of either a full refund or a 125% credit which can be used toward a future Disney Cruise Line sailing within 15 months of the original sail date.

NEWS 4/7/20 – Wall Street Says It Could Take 2 Years for Disney Parks to Recover Once They Reopen

When will Disney World Reopen

No doubt you are anxiously waiting to get back to Disney World as soon as possible, but the latest from Wall Street is that it could take up to 2 years for the Disney parks to recover and get back to normal once they reopen.

A recent Variety article explains how Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahall downgraded the Disney stock with doubts surrounding Disney World and Disneyland to get back to full operating capacity anytime soon. In fact, he points out that the parks aren’t likely to get “anything close to full capacity until testing and/or vaccines are far more ubiquitous.”

Cahill lays out that he believes Disney will have “zero park attendance” from the parks for the rest of the 2020 fiscal year. Since Disney’s fiscal year ends in September, he is essentially saying he doesn’t believe Disney World will reopen before September, and the parks will remain closed throughout the summer.

It could take 2 years for Disney to recover after reopening

“We see the limiting factor as healthcare technology as assets like Walt Disney World will either need to operate with social distancing in-place – significantly limiting capacity – or a vaccine will need to be widely enough available that the population will again feel safe in such a gathering,” he wrote. “Testing may also improve, allowing customers with immunity/antibodies to behave a bit more freely.”

So in order to get the parks to open back up, Disney would either need to greatly limit capacity or wait until a vaccine is ready.

“While the healthcare community is working hard we think it’s overly optimistic to expect either a widely distributed vaccine or large parts of the population being immune in the next 12 months,” added Cahall. “As such our attendance forecasts are a best guess with a precipitous decline followed by a ~12-month recovery.”

what will happen after Disney World reopens

So 2 12-month periods of time before the Disney parks are back on their feet completely. Because, even if they were to reopen the parks, and get significant safety measures in place, who knows when guests would feel comfortable enough to come back in the attendance numbers that Disney is used to seeing.

This story comes just a day after Bob Iger stated Disney World could start requiring guest temperature screenings before allowing them entrance into the parks as one measure of safety. You can read the details of that below, plus the procedures we think are most like when Disney World reopens later on in the article.

NEWS 4/7/20 – Bob Iger Suggests Guest Temperature Reading When Disney World Reopens

temperature screening when Disney World Reopens

In a recent interview from Barrons, Disney Chairman Bob Iger suggested that Disney World and Disneyland could be testing guests’ temperatures before allowing them access once the theme parks reopen.

Iger talked about the different challenges facing Disney during this period of closure and how in order to reopen the theme parks, it will take some big changes and some time to pass before things get back to normal.

Here are some excerpts of what Iger said:

“One of the things that we’re discussing already is that in order to return to some semblance of normal, people will have to feel comfortable that they’re safe. Some of that could come in the form ultimately of a vaccine, but in the absence of that it could come from basically, more scrutiny, more restrictions. Just as we now do bag checks for everybody that goes into our parks, it could be that at some point we add a component of that that takes people’s temperatures, as a for-instance.”

“We’re studying very carefully what China has been trying to do in terms of their return to normalcy. And one of the things that’s obvious is they’ve conscripted a large segment of their population to monitor others in terms of their health. You can’t get on a bus or a subway or a train or enter a high-rise building there—and I’m sure this will be the case when their schools reopen—without having your temperature taken.”

Bob Iger talks about Disney World reopening

“So we’ve asked ourselves the question, let’s prepare for a world where our customers demand that we scrutinize everybody. Even if it creates a little bit of hardship, like it takes a little bit longer for people to get in. Just as the case after 9/11 where people ultimately lived with the notion that in order for them to enter a building, if you’re in an office building you have to show a picture ID or get your picture taken and be screened. Or in order to enter a park you have to put your bags out there to be checked and you go through some kind of metal detector. Or certainly what’s going on in airports with the TSA.”

Clearly, the Disney parks will not be exactly the same once they reopen and Disney is doing all it can to get people back to the parks, but at the same time make sure they are completely safe. To us, temperature readings could be one safety measure that’s implemented at the park entrances without causing too much trouble to the guest.

On our last flight that we took in March, there were airport security members measuring everyone’s temperature as they were passing through security and with the readers available today, this can be done in seconds, not causing too much of a holdup.

Temperature screening when Disney World reopens

It also would be a good idea in our opinion to not limit temperature checks to just the parks, but also to guests upon check-in at their hotel or when entering the various Disney transportation systems like buses, the monorail or Disney Skyliner.

Whatever Disney implements, whether temperature reading or the other processes they are no doubt working on, it’s just a matter of finding the right balance and being able to protect guests and offer them the “Disney” experience they are looking for at the same time. This will be hard to do, but ultimately if we want to get back to the parks, somethings will have to change, at least for the time being.

Keep reading below for some of the other changes that could be in place when Disney World reopens.

NEWS 04/7/20 – Disney World Suspends College and International Programs

Disney World reopening info

As we know, all the parks are currently closed and since Disney doesn’t know how long this will continue going on for, they have just suspended the College and International Programs for Cast Members effective April 18, 2020.

In a post on Twitter today, Disney announced that all college internships are being suspended for the time being, as well as the cultural programs which bring workers from other countries to the parks (i.e. EPCOT’s World Showcase). This is a big deal as it means they are anticipating the parks being closed for a significant time still.

The next round of college students were supposed to be arriving through early June, but that program has been canceled, with no mention of when it will restart. This makes sense and jives with the fact that Disney is not expected to reopen until June at the earliest.

Disney suspends college program and international program

As for Cast Members in the Cultural Representative Program, they will be helped to return home by April 17, 2020. Disney will help them make travel arrangements and will continue being paid through April 18.

Members of both groups will be invited to return to experience one of the Disney Programs in the future, and even the eligibility requirements will be amended, allowing those who have already graduated to apply once the parks are open again.

Disney World Closure

This comes as no shock honestly as the latest rumors say as a best-case scenario the parks will be closed only into June. Since the college students otherwise would be arriving in May and early June, Disney currently would have no need for all these extra workers. Disney already has furloughed its own regular Cast Members this past week, so it doesn’t make sense to bring on even more workers when you can’t afford to pay the ones you already have.

As you can see, Disney is in no rush to reopen and it looks like we have a long road ahead of us still to get back to the parks. Stay tuned for more info soon…

News (4/6/20) – Disney Cruise Line Cancels All Disney Wonder Sailings Through End of June

Disney Cruise ships closed suspended

The Disney Cruise Line has just announced they are canceling all Disney Wonder sailings from now through June 29. This news comes after the Canadian government announced they will not be allowing any ships with more than 500 passengers to dock in their ports until at least July 1.

This obviously was a problem for the Disney Wonder as all of its sailings through June were set to either depart from or disembark from Vancouver. Disney had no choice in the matter since no other ports could be found.

The following Disney Wonder Sailings are affected:

  • April 29-May 8 (9-Night Hawaiian Cruise)
  • May 8-18 (10-Night Hawaiian Cruise)
  • May 18-25 (7-Night Alaska Cruise)
  • May 25-June 1 (7-Night Alaska Cruise)
  • June 1-8 (7-Night Alaska Cruise)
  • June 8-15 (7-Night Alaska Cruise)
  • June 15-22 (7-Night Alaska Cruise)
  • June 22-29 (7-Night Alaska Cruise)
  • June 29-July 6 (7-Night Alaska Cruise)
Disney Cruises suspended

The good news is that guests who had reservations onboard the Disney Wonder during this period will be getting a choice of either a full refund or a 125% credit which can be used toward a future Disney Cruise Line sailing within 15 months of the original sail date.

As the default option, a 125% credit will automatically be placed on your account which you can then use when you reschedule your future cruise. The credit can be added as payment during the booking process online.

Read more under our “Refunds” subheading for more information. The rest of the Disney Cruise Line sailings are still canceled through April 28. Stay tuned for more updates soon.

NEWS 04/3/20 – Disney World Makes Changes to Annual Passholder Policy During Closure

Some positive news for Disney World and Disneyland Annual Passholders has just come out which will provide guests more options during the park closure. These changes will allow Disney’s most loyal fanbase to either put their Annual Pass payments on hold or get a refund.

Disney World annual passholder entrance sign

For guests who have already paid upfront for their Disney World annual pass, there are now two options:

  1. Get an extension added on to your annual pass for the number of days the parks are closed.
  2. Get a partial refund for the remaining days left on your pass. More information will be provided soon to how this works.

Before this change, Annual Passholders had their passes automatically extended based on how many days the parks were closed, like option 1. That meant that if the parks end up being closed for 60 days, you will automatically get 60 more days added on to your pass.

This change, however, gives people who are struggling in this economic downturn a chance to take some of that money tied up in their annual pass, and put it towards essentials like food and shelter.

Disney World annual pass

For guests who are on an Annual Pass Monthly Payment Plan, there are also some modifications that might help.

  • Starting April 5, 2020, all upcoming monthly payments for your annual pass will be automatically stopped. All monthly payments will be waived during the Disney World closure period.
  • Disney is also retroactively refunding payments made from the time Walt Disney World closed on March 14 through April 4, 2020.
  • All Annual Pass payments will automatically continue when Disney World reopens.
Disney World closing due to coronavirus

There is one important thing to note with this option. Annual passes will NOT be extended in this case, because you are now paying for fewer months than before and not a complete year.

If you do want your annual pass payments to be postponed and then picked up again once the parks open, in that case, your Annual Pass expiration date will be extended the number of days the parks are closed for.

Stay tuned for more information soon.

NEWS 04/2/20 – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Issues 30-Day Order to Stay at Home

Dragon slide Port Orleans Resort

Following most of the other states, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has now issued a statewide mandate for residents to stay at home for the next 30 days due to the current health crisis. The order goes into effect starting tonight at 12:01 am April 3, 2020.

“I’m issuing an executive order directing all Floridians to limit movements and personal interactions outside the home to only those necessary and essential activities,” the governor said.

Florida was one of the last states to put these measures into effect and has come under criticism for the passive attitude taken towards closing the beaches, bars, etc. Now the only things guests can go outside for are the essentials like groceries, going to the pharmacy, bank, gas stations or doctor’s office.

Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway in the Chinese Theater

Of course, this affects on Walt Disney World to a degree, and means that it will definitely be closed for the entire month of April and into the beginning of May. 30 days takes us to May 2, which would be the earliest that things could start opening back up in Florida.

That doesn’t mean that the order to stay at home will necessarily be over at that point, and even if it is, Disney World could still stay closed. The last we’ve heard from Disney is that Walt Disney World is not accepting reservations until June 1, and this new confirms that for sure they won’t be changing their minds and taking any in April. What May brings is yet to be seen.

Stay tuned for more as we keep you updated with the latest on the Walt Disney World closure…

News (3/30/20) – Disney Cruise Line Closure Extended through April 28

Disney Cruise Line Closure extended

Disney has just announced that the suspension of all new Disney Cruise Line itineraries are being extended through at least April 28.

The suspension is in place for any new Disney Cruise Line sailings up to that date. The latest announcement before this one said that the Disney Cruise Line would be closed through April 12, but with recent recommendations given by the U.S. government, the closure has been extended through April 28.

This comes right on the heels of every single Disney theme park in the world now being closed over the current set of circumstances. Last week it was announced that Disneyland, Disney World and Disneyland Paris are all being closed indefinitely, until further notice.

Disney has not mentioned when exactly the Disney Cruise Line will start sailing again. They only said it will be closed through April 28. That means technically, it could reopen again at that point. At this point, though it’s almost impossible to see cruises start sailing again in April, or even May for that matter.

Disney continues to work with authorities to monitor the situation and do what’s best for its staff and guests.

Guests with reservations during the closure period can choose between a credit for a future Disney Cruise or a full refund of the amount paid for their trip.

We’re happy they won’t lose their money completely, and we think that given the current economic situation, they should be given an opportunity to get their money back without having to pay any penalties or cancelation fees. Good job by Disney.

Scroll down to see all your FAQs answered, including how to reschedule your trip and all the other details you need to know. Stay tuned for more updates…

3/30/20 – Disneyland Paris Closure Extended Indefinitely

Just days after extending the closure to April 15, Disneyland Paris has now announced that the resort will remain closed indefinitely, until further notice, without giving any possible dates.

This is no surprise considering the severity of the health crisis in France after the government has imposed strict order for residents to stay at home for their safety. Disney is cooperating with these authorities and therefore has decided to extend the closure.

This comes as no surprise after the U.S. Domestic parks Disney World and Disneyland have also both decided to close indefinitely without a reopening date.

As of now Disneyland Paris is still not offering a full refund, but the possibility to put your payment toward another future visit.

The current Disneyland Paris refund policy allows for guests to rebook their vacation for reservations through June 30, 2020. Those guests can rebook a new vacation with the full value of their package for arrivals before October 1, 2020. Otherwise, they can receive a voucher valid for 18 worth the full value of payment already made toward the trip.

NEWS 03/29/20 – Disneyland Not Accepting Reservations Before June 1

On March 27 we learned that Disneyland is being closed “until further notice,” which means they aren’t saying when it will reopen again. This, of course, has left many fans worried and wondering when they will be able to visit Disneyland again. Now, we might have a clue to when Disneyland is reopening…

The Disneyland Resort is not accepting any new reservations BEFORE June 1, 2020.

Looking at the updated cancelation policy on the Disneyland website is reads: “For Guests who are interested in modifying their existing travel dates or making a new reservation for a future vacation, reservations are currently available for travel dates June 1 and later. As always, Guests are able to modify these bookings if the Disneyland Resort opens before or after that time.”

Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that Disneyland won’t open before June 1 or that it will definitely be open by June 1. What this means is that Disney currently sees June 1 as a “safe” date to start thinking about reopening and taking reservations again.

Disneyland Closure Paradise Pier

Disney can always push back the Disneyland reopening after June 1 if they don’t think the resort is ready to open at that time. Guests booking after June 1 will also be given the chance to rebook to another date if the opening date keeps getting delayed.

Starting on Monday, Disney will also be giving a special offer for all guests who rebook their Disneyland vacation before May 31, 2020. This offer is valid for any new bookings from June 1 – December 31, 2020. On Monday we will have updated information on this offer.

We were quite surprised the other day when Disneyland made their original announcement without mentioning any dates. This update clears up things a bit and lets us know that any chance for Disneyland to reopen in April and May is most likely gone at this point. Disney knows that it’s a pain for guests to keep rescheduling their plans, and delaying this process until June 1 makes things a little less frustrating for everyone.

What should you do if you have a reservation at Disneyland already for April or May? The announcement doesn’t say you HAVE TO change your reservation immediately, just that no new reservations are being taken until June 1. You can wait until your date comes and get a refund at that time or reschedule.

However, we recommend that you go ahead and get that process started right away and get a jump on other guests in the rebooking process.

This is a developing situation. Stay tuned…

Read how to modify your stay or get a refund in the instructions further down in this article.

NEWS 03/28/20 – No New Walt Disney World Reservations Before June 1

Disney World closure vacation offers refunds

Yesterday we learned that Disney World is being closed “until further notice,” without any indication of possible reopening dates. With the latest update from Disney today, we may have a clearer picture of how long we have to wait.

When looking at the cancelation policy page on the Walt Disney World website. There it says “reservations are currently available for travel dates June 1 and later.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that Disney World will definitely be closed until June 1. They also state: “As always, guests are able to modify these bookings if Walt Disney World Resort opens before or after that time.”

That leaves them some room in case Disney World isn’t closed for that long or closed even longer.

info about Disney World Closure

That’s a big statement as it means that Disney isn’t anticipating reopening Disney World before that date, otherwise, they would be accepting reservations. They know it’s difficult for guests to constantly have to rebook reservations, so this way, they are only accepting reservations for a time they think it’s possible to reopen again.

It doesn’t say that if you have a reservation for April or May, you absolutely have to reschedule at this point, but if they aren’t taking any new reservations before June 1, the handwriting is on the wall. You might as well modify your dates now and get a jump start over other people before too many of the good rooms book up.

If you are rebooking, make sure to take advantage of the new Disney Free Dining offer, which is available only for guests who had their Disney World vacations canceled because of the closure.

We’ll keep an eye on this if any more dates come up. Stay tuned…

Read how to modify your stay or get a refund in the instructions further down in this article.

NEWS 03/27/20 – Disneyland Extends Closure Indefinitely “Until Further Notice”

We expected Disney to make an announcement about the Disneyland closure, we weren’t expecting this amount of time. In an unexpected move, the Disneyland Resort closure in Anaheim California has been extended indefinitely and now will remain closed “until further notice.” This includes Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, the Disneyland Hotels and Downtown Disney.

Disneyland Galaxy's Edge Closure

We knew an extension was coming as the situation in California is getting worse. It would have been impossible to expect Disneyland to reopen after only a couple of weeks of being closed.

As the situation continues to get worse throughout the U.S. by the day, it gets harder and harder to see when people will be able to go back to traveling like normal, and with the recommendations from the authorities, the Disneyland Resort will remain closed for the time being.

Here is the official statement from Disney:

Disneyland closed indefinitely until further notice.

The same announcement also covered Walt Disney World, as the closure there has also been extended indefinitely. Like Disneyland, Disney World was supposed to be closed through the end of March and now there is no reopening date in sight.

At first impact, this news is very discouraging. While it’s true I never expected Disney World to open at least for another month from now, it’s hard to hear it from Disney directly. I was hoping to hear they postponed it another 2-3 weeks, saying they would then reevaluate the situation. That would have at least made us see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Instead “until further notice” could be weeks or many months. What it does tell me is that Disney does not plan to open either park until AT LEAST May, but even that isn’t certain with what is going on.

Universal Studios had already made a similar announcement that both Universal Studios in Orlando and in Universal Studios Hollywood will be closed through April 19, 2020. The situation will be re-evaluated at that point, but we are not optimistic about that date either and they will likely have to push it back and might do like Disney at that point.

Again, none of these announcements come as a shock to us. The entire state of California has to stay home at the moment so there would be no one to even come and visit Disneyland if it were open. The original announcement from Disney was that Disneyland would be closed through “the end of March,” but that was just a formality. It was always going to be extended.

The earliest date at this point that Disneyland could reopen is sometime in April, but we don’t see that happening at all. Disneyland reopening at any time before May seems like a pipe dream at this point, if not later.

We have updated instructions further down the page about what exactly is closed, how to get a refund or reschedule your Disneyland vacation, plus any other questions you might have so make sure to check that out.

This is a developing story so stay tuned…

3/27/20 – Disneyland Paris Closure Extended Through at Least April 15

After the latest orders from the French government, it looks like the Disneyland Paris closure is being extended through at least April 15.

The original announcement for the Disneyland Paris closure was from March 15 – March 31, 2020. Many have since speculated that Disney would have to push back that date due to the worsening conditions in France. Now new orders have come from the French government in which residents must remain at home through at least April 15.

Obviously included in that mandate would be Disneyland Paris, meaning it would have to remain closed and the earliest it could open is April 16, that is if the current situation is under control by then. Our guess is that it won’t be, and Disney will have to delay the reopening even longer than that.

Disney hasn’t made an official statement about a Disneyland Paris closure extension but with only a few days left on the original announcement, they are expected to at some point today. We also should be seeing an update for Disneyland and Walt Disney World today as well.

We’ll update you as soon as possible so stay tuned…

NEWS 03/27/20 – Walt Disney World Extends Closure Indefinitely, Paying Cast Members Through April 18

Bay Lake Disney World front desk

We knew Disney would be making an announcement, but we didn’t know it would be like this. In an expected move, the Walt Disney World closure has been extended, but will now remain closed indefinitely. That means there is no reopening date at this time.

We all knew they would be extending the closure but perhaps didn’t see this coming. It would have been impossible for Disney World to reopen in only 2 weeks’ time as originally announced, and as the situation continues to get worse throughout the U.S. by the day, Disney World will remain closed for the time being.

Here is the official statement from Disney:

Disney World closed indefinitely

Also, they announced that the Disneyland Resort closure is also being extended indefinitley without a reopening date. Disneyland was supposed to be closed through the end of March like Disney World and instead will be closed indefinitely.

What this also tells us is that Disney is not expecting to open Disney World anytime soon. They said they are cooperating with the local and federal authorities surrounding the situation, and this has obviously lead them to understand we are in it for the long haul.

Thankfully after days of wondering, Disney also announced that they WILL be paying Disney World Cast Members, though only through April 18, 2020. This applies to hourly parks and resorts cast members. While this is positive news, it also implies that it’s possible Disney will stop paying Cast Members past that point, even if the parks remain closed. We’ll have to wait for more clarification on this one from Disney.

As far as what is closed, not much changes with the Disney World closure extension. It still involves all 4 Disney World theme parks, hotels, restaurants, Disney Springs and the same facilities throughout the property that were already closed.

This announcement from Disney comes on the heels of Orange County and Osceola County Florida issuing a “Stay at Home” order through April 9. The Orange County Mayor has announced that the “stay at home” order goes into effect starting Thursday, March 26 at 11:00 PM, and will last for 2 weeks through April 9.

It allows only people with essential jobs to continue going to work or for people to go grocery shopping or carry out other necessary duties.

Disney World reopening info

Universal already got the jump on Disney and had already made an announcement that Universal Studios in Orlando and California will be closed through April 19, 2020, at which point the situation will be reevaluated. If Disney understands they will be closed much longer, we expect an updated statement from Universal too at some point.

Here is what Universal had to say:

“We are extending the closure of Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood through April 19 as we continue to respond to current conditions and make the health and safety of team members and guests our top priority.  This includes our theme parks and Universal CityWalk at both destinations.  The Universal Orlando Resort hotels have also temporarily suspended operations.  We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as needed, based on guidance from health agencies and government officials.” 

Disney may have made their announcement second, but the writing was already on the wall. When Disney World first closed, the original announcement said that the Walt Disney World Resort would be closed through the end of March. Obviously, though, there was no way the parks can open up on April 1 if there is a “stay at home” mandate in effect in Orlando.

After the new state orders, mid-April would be the earliest Disney World could reopen at this point, but the way things are going right now, that will be impossible and anything less than a month from now would be way too ambitious.

We have updated instructions further down the page on how to get a refund or reschedule your Disney World vacation, plus any other questions you might have.

This is a developing story so stay tuned…

News (3/26/20) – 125% Credit Offered to More Canceled Sailings

Disney has just announced they are offering 125% future credit as compensation for more canceled sailings than when they made the original suspension announcement.

Now they are offering 125% future credit for canceled sailings from March 14 – April 12 on all Disney Cruise Line ships. Previously it was only for select sailings closer to the beginning of the closure. This future credit can be used for up to 15 months in the future from the original date.

NEWS 03/20/20 – California Issues Indefinite Statewide “Stay at Home” Order

The more days pass, they further away it seems we are from Disneyland finally reopening. Just last night, California State Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statewide decree ordering all residents to stay at home until further notice.

This follows suit with the nationwide lockdowns we’ve seen in Asian and European countries as American states are beginning to close down all unnecessary stores, shops and businesses to keep everyone as safe as possible. All 40 million California residents are urged to stay at home unless for emergencies or needs like food or work.

Right now the only open stores and businesses in California are:

  • Supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, and farmers markets
  • Pharmacies
  • Gas Stations
  • Banks
  • Take-out and delivery restaurants
  • Laundrymats/laundry service
  • State and law enforcement agencies providing essential services

The big question is how this will affect Disneyland reopening and if it will cause the resort to stay closed for longer than anticipated. Right now this state mandate doesn’t have an expiration on it so people might have to stay at home weeks or more.

For now, Disneyland is set to stay closed through the end of March, but with this news, it’s pretty obvious we are looking at much longer. Yesterday Disneyland hotels were offering deals starting April 19th, which before this news may have been their target reopening date. It’s uncertain if that has changed or not.

We will keep a close eye on the situation and let you know as soon as Disney announces something.

NEWS 03/19/20 – New Disney World MagicBand Orders Suspended

Disney World Closure Suspends MagicBands

Of course, if you have a trip to Disney World coming up, one of the best moments as you are preparing is getting your MagicBands in the mail! It doesn’t look like that is going to be happening for a while as Disney World is suspending all new MagicBand orders from delivery.

Some guests have already been notified that their MagicBands have shipped, and those will continue. However, any orders scheduled to arrive at your resort hotel for arrivals between March 20 – March 31, 2020 (current Disney World closure period) have been canceled.

Disney has informed us that if these were the “upgraded” MagicBands the cost will be automatically refunded to the guest.

However, it doesn’t stop there. All new orders for guests with arrival dates AFTER March 31, 2020, have also been suspended. Now, part of this is just because they don’t have the manpower to process the MagicBands now that all the Walt Disney World employees have been sent home. But this also gives us some insight into something that most fans have already speculated on, Disney World will not be opening up April 1.

If Disney is canceling MagicBand orders for the next group of guests, that in theory should be arriving in the beginning of April, this means that Disney has no intention of actually opening up at that time.

Guests with arrival dates after March 31 will be informed soon about what to do, and we’ll let you know what that means when we find out.

NEWS 03/17/20 – All Walt Disney World Construction Suspended

Disney Construction suspended

One of the things we were wondering was if construction was going to continue during the current pandemic. Now we have our answer. According to the Orlando Business Journal, all construction in Walt Disney World has now been suspended effective immediately.

Burbank, California-based Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) has shuttered construction operations at Disney World as the virus continues to impact Central Florida’s once booming building industry, according to the head of the region’s top construction trade organization.

It wasn’t immediately known if construction workers will be paid or when construction operations will resume, said Mark Wylie, president and CEO of the Central Florida chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors Inc.

Wylie expects other Central Florida construction sites to shut down, as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended March 16 that events of 10 or more people be canceled or postponed.

Many were hoping Disney would be able to still use this time when the parks are empty to continue construction on the current projects in progress, but that will not be the case.

This will surely have an impact on the many new attractions being built in Disney World right now like the TRON coaster, Guardians of the Galaxy coaster, etc, and mean delayed opening dates. Just how much depends on how long construction is closed down for.

NEWS 03/17/20 – Florida Governor Mandates 30-Day Closure of Bars, Clubs and Restaurant Restrictions

All Bars and Clubs in Florida Closed

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has now mandated a 30-Day closure of all bars and nightclubs in the state and new restrictions on restaurants.

The order will begin today, March 17 at 5:00 pm. This is to encourage people to not congregate together and to stay at home to help slow the spread of the virus.

The new rules for restaurants is a maximum capacity of 50%, and tables need to be at least 6 feet apart from each other. Restaurant guests will also be mandatorily screened before having entrance to the restaurant.

All Walt Disney World-owned restaurants and bars are already closed with only a few Disney Springs restaurants remaining.

In the bigger picture, if there is a 30-Day mandatory closure of bars and nightclubs, and strict restrictions on restaurants, you can be sure Disney World will remain closed past the end of March that has been given as the official end of the closure so far.

We will keep you updated as soon as we have more.

NEWS 03/16/20 – Walt Disney World Transportation Suspended Starting March 18

Following the announcement that the Disney World hotels are closing March 20, it was just announced that all Walt Disney World Transportation will be suspended starting March 18.

The suspended transportation includes:

  • Buses
  • Disney Skyliner
  • Monorails
  • Boats
  • Minnie Van Service

The only transportation that will continue running is the Disney Express which will continue taking guests to the airport from the hotels until March 20. Once the hotels close on that date, the Disney Magical Express will also temporarily cease operations.

Again, this is all temporary and as soon as Walt Disney World reopens, the transportation systems will start running again too. We will keep you updated as soon as we know more.

NEWS 03/16/20 – Walt Disney World Hotels Closing March 20, Disney Springs Closing

Disney World Hotels Closing

Disney has just announced that the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels are closing at 5pm on March 20 due to the virus. This includes all Disney-operated hotels in Walt Disney World as well as their Vero Beach property.

Disney had previously announced the hotels would remain open, but we knew it was only a matter of time that they would close after the parks. This gives guests who are currently staying in Walt Disney World enough time to make travel arrangements to get back home safely.

They also announced that Disney Springs is closing starting March 17. This too was previously announced to stay open, but with no visitors to the resort, it doesn’t make any sense to keep open.

Disney Springs closing

Lastly, Disney announced that all Disney stores in North America will close starting March 17.

None of these announcements come as a shock as it would be too costly for Disney to keep any of them open with stricter guidelines being enforced all over the country to deal with the spread of the situation.

This is a breaking story and we’ll have more updates for you soon.

NEWS 03/15/20 – CDC Now Recommends Avoiding Gatherings of 50 People or More for 8 Weeks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been one of the leaders in giving guidance to authorities on how to act when it comes to the coronavirus COVID-19. Now the CDC is advising people in the U.S. to cancel or postpone events and gatherings with 50 people or more.

According to the CDC, eliminating large gatherings is essential to slow down the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and listed events like festivals, concerts, conferences, and sporting events among the type of gatherings that should be avoided at this time.

“Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities,” the CDC said.

What does this mean for Walt Disney World? Right now Disney World is scheduled to keep the parks closed until the end of March. That is just over 2 weeks from now.

Now Disney doesn’t necessarily have to follow the guidance from the CDC, but it’s very likely as COVID-19 spreads throughout the country, many, if not all of the event-types will be canceled beyond the next 2-3 weeks and will follow the CDC’s advice.

If Disney follows suit, that would mean Walt Disney World wouldn’t open back up until mid-May at the earliest. With all the cast members in the college program already being sent home, it’s obvious Disney is pretty sure they will be extending the closure.

Disney hasn’t commented on this yet so we’ll have to see what their reaction is. We should be finding out if that March 31 date is sticking in the next week or so stay tuned for more.

News (3/14/20) – Final Payment Extension Added For Upcoming Sailings

The Disney Cruise Line has announced that starting March 18, it will be extending the final payment date for select upcoming cruises to an additional 30 days. That means if your original final payment was due March 25, now it’s due April 23, 2020.

The following Disney Cruise Sailings are impacted:

  • Disney Dream: Sailings embarking on June 17th – August 30th
  • Disney Fantasy: Sailings embarking on July 18th – August 31st
  • Disney Wonder: Sailings embarking on July 20th – August 31st
  • Disney Magic: Sailings embarking on August 5th – August 30th

To go along with the new extension, there are some policies to follow:

  • Guests must FIRST pay in full before being able to complete Online Check-In or book Cruise Activities/Port Adventures.
  • Disney Cruise LineAir will continue to follow existing policies
    • Payment will be due at time of final for Flexible Air
    • Restricted Air is non-refundable once paid
  • The cancellation policy will shift by 30 days for all non-suite/non-concierge staterooms
    • There are no changes to the cancellation policy for Suites and Concierge Staterooms

Right now Disney is giving these extensions as it becomes clear the closure of the Disney Cruise Line will continue for a while longer. If we see an extended closure past 30 days, we could start seeing more extensions for future cruises past August. We’ll keep you posted with the latest.

News (3/14/20) – Disney Cruise Line Now Suspended Through April 12

Animator's Palate Disney Cruise closed

(Updated 3/14/20) – Disney has just announced that all new Disney Cruise Line itineraries are being temporarily suspended.

The suspension is in place for any new Disney Cruise Line sailings starting Saturday, March 14, through and including April 12, 2020. The original plan was to close the Disney Cruise Line through the end of March, but with recent recommendations given by the U.S. government, the closure has been extended through April 12.

This comes right on the heels of every single Disney theme park in the world now being closed over the current set of circumstances. Earlier today it was announced that Disneyland, Disney World and Disneyland Paris are all being closed to keep guests and cast members safe from the virus.

Disney has not mentioned when exactly the Disney Cruise Line will start sailing again. They only said it will be closed through the end of the month. That means technically, it could reopen again in April. At this point, though it’s too early to say if that will happen and Disney will continue to work with authorities to monitor the situation.

If you have a Disney Cruise booked during this timeframe you can get a refund for your trip and reschedule another cruise.

Scroll down to see all your FAQs answered, including how to get a refund and all the other details you need to know. Stay tuned for more updates…

News (3/14/20) – All U.S. Cruise Lines Suspending Ships for 1 Month

Disney Cruise ships closed suspended

In cooperation with government officials, all U.S. Cruise Lines are suspending new itineraries for 30 days. Companies like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and MSC are all cooperating with these new guidelines.

Ships leaving from U.S. ports are the ones affected and international cruises will continue to operate. The last of these ships left port on Friday night. Those leaving before midnight will continue operating through the originally planned itineraries.

This comes after President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence’s comments on Friday afternoon: “The American people cherish our cruise line industry,” said Pence. “We want to work with the cruise line industry to ensure that when we come through this … cruise lines are safer than ever before and can prosper for years to come.”

As of now Disney has not commented on the 30-day suspension and they still have their closure listed as being “through the end of the month” on their website. We will keep you informed is they update their cruise cancellations.

News (3/14/20) – Canada Bans Cruise Ships Until July, Will Affect Disney Cruise Line Sailings to Alaska and Hawaii

Disney Cruises suspended

As if it wasn’t bad enough that the Disney Cruise Line is suspending all new sailings for the next 30 days, now according to CBC, Canada has now banned cruise ships from docking there until July in order to help stop the spread of coronavirus COVID-19.

This change in policy would have an impact on cruise itineraries going to Alaska and Hawaii as they dock in Canada along the journey.

The Rules are as follows:

  • Boats and cruise ships that carry more that 500 people will be banned from Canadian ports until July.
  • International flights will be only be permitted at a small number of yet-to-be-determined airports.
  • International travelers from all countries will be asked to self-isolate.

These new guidelines would specifically affect the Disney Wonder who has multiple itineraries that include stops in Vancouver, British Columbia for sailings to Alaska and Hawaii. The first of these sailings is scheduled for April 24.

We’ll keep you updated with the latest information on this story when we have more.

NEWS 03/12/20 – Walt Disney World Closing Sunday due to Coronavirus

Disney World closing due to coronavirus

Just hours after finding out that Disneyland is closing, we now got the official word that the entire Walt Disney World Resort is closing starting Sunday, March 15, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This comes in reply to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis just days after he declared a state of emergency in the state of Florida.

All Disney World theme parks and resort hotels will be closed at least through the end of March. This includes the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon, and Blizzard Beach.

Restaurants and shops in Disney Springs and all Disney World Resort Hotels will remain open for the time being. They will probably close in the days following March 15.

Not only that but Disneyland Paris is closing and all Disney Cruises are also being canceled for new departures starting March 14.

Here is the official release from Disney:

The Disney World parks will be officially closed starting “at the close of business on Sunday, March 15,” so it sounds like the parks will be open throughout the whole day. Disney hasn’t mentioned if the park hours will be reduced on Sunday or not.

With this news it means that Walt Disney World will be closed at least through the end of March with the chance things could be reevaluated in April. Disney is not making any claims however at this time about when they expect to open back up.

Walt Disney World cast members who can work from home are being invited to do so.

Disney World doesn’t close often and in fact, this is only the 8th time in history the resort has closed down. The other times were other extreme events like 9/11 and various hurricanes that have hit the area.

This is a breaking story and we’ll have more for you soon. Stay tuned…

NEWS 03/12/20 – Disneyland Closing Saturday due to Coronavirus

Sleeping Beauty Castle Disneyland refurbishment complete

(Update 5:30pm) – The Disneyland Resort will be temporarily closing on Saturday, March 14 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. It will remain closed through the rest of the month of March.

This closure includes Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure and the Disneyland Hotels.

The Disneyland Hotels will remain open until Monday, March 16, in order to allow guests to make new travel arrangements and get back home.

Disneyland is also giving refunds to guests who have reservations during this time. There will be heavy call volume during this period so please be patient as Disney works with all guests. We have more detailed information on that below.

Disney has said they will continue to fully cooperate with local authorities and put the lives of their cast members and guests first above operation of the theme parks.

We will be following this story closely and continue to update you as we find out more info.

NEWS 03/12/20 – Disneyland Likely to Close due to Coronavirus After New Guidelines

(Original Story) – We may be one step closer to seeing Disneyland close due to the coronavirus COVIC-19 as the city of Anaheim has now released a statement calling for the elimination of large gatherings (250 people or more) from now through March 31.

Together with California State Governor Gavin Newsom, the city of Anaheim is planning these new guidelines that would suspend all sporting events, concerts, conventions and most likely Disneyland. This policy would go into effect statewide and not be limited only to the city of Anaheim.

Where the grey-area exists is what defines the term “gathering?” According to the state, the term gathering applies to any event which brings people into the same room or single space together. These could include a conference room, stadium arena, auditorium, or even any indoor or outdoor space.

Similar policies have been put into place already in Disneyland Paris, though there the government has limited gatherings of 1,000 people or more. Both parks in Disneyland Paris continue to operate, although at limited capacities and activities at this time.

While Disney hasn’t commented on the new guidelines that look to be established, it is looking pretty likely at this point that we will start to see the Domestic Disney parks start to close at some point soon. I don’t have any insider info on the matter, but my guess is that Disneyland could close as soon as the weekend.

Any guests who have plans to visit the Disneyland Resort in the next few days should be aware that those plans could change at any moment.

This is a situation in progress and we will update you as soon as we know something more.

News (3/12/20) – Princess Cruise Line Suspended for 2 Months Over Coronavirus

Princess Cruise Line closes

With the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) reaching to pandemic levels, Carnival Corporation announced Thursday that they are suspending Princess Cruises for 2 full months until May 10, 2020.

This comes as no surprise as cruise line bookings have fallen off dramatically as very few people want to risk going on a cruise at the moment. The Princess line of cruise ships has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus as one of its ships, the Diamond Princess, had over 700 confirmed cases of the virus between guests and crew.

Recently, another one of the ships in its fleet, the Caribbean Princess was delayed from docking for days after two crew members tested positive for COVID-19.

This closure of Princess Cruises will affect their entire global operation and all 18 in the fleet.

Any Princess cruises currently in progress and scheduled to finish before March 17 will carry on as planned. Princess will compensate guests who are affected by this closure with a cash refund that can be requested online or an “additional generous future cruise credit benefit” that can be applied in the future.

So far the Disney Cruise Line is still operating all scheduled itineraries as planned and hasn’t made any statements about suspending any ships in the fleet. The Princess closing however is most likely the start of a long line of cruise companies that will be forced to temporarily suspend operations.

We’ll keep you informed if anything changes form Disney’s side as the days go on. In the meantime, keep reading below for more information on how the Disney Cruise Line and its guests are being affected so far by the coronavirus.

NEWS 03/11/20 – President Trump Suspends All Travel Between U.S. and Europe

In an all-out effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, President Donald Trump has just announced that all travel between the United States and Europe will be suspended for the next 30 days.

These restrictions do not include the United Kingdom which can still be traveled to. These restrictions go into effect starting Friday, March 13, 2020, at midnight and can be re-evaluated at any time depending on the conditions of the virus.

Disney has not made any new changes or announcements since this declaration, and it is not yet known if the U.S. domestic parks in Disney World and Disneyland will close because of this news or at any time in the future. Disney is doing all that is possible to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the parks and have installed dozens of hand sanitizing stations and hand-washing stations in the past few days.

We have no insider information about what Disney is going to do, but at this point with the outbreak spreading further and further each day, we have to think that at some points the parks will be closed, if only for a short while. We hope it doesn’t come to that, but the chances get worse and worse each day.

We will keep you updated if Disney announces anything so stay tuned.

NEWS 03/11/20 – World Health Organization Upgrades Coronavirus COVID-19 to Pandemic, Disney World Waves Change Fees

Coronavirus update in Walt Disney World

It’s official, the World Health Organization has now declared the Coronavirus COVID-19 a global pandemic. Cases of the virus worldwide have now risen to over 121,000 and the global death count is over 4,300.

“We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news conference. “We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: All countries can still change the course of this pandemic.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told lawmakers Wednesday that things are going to continue to get worse in the U.S. from coronavirus. “Bottom line: It’s going to get worse,” he said.

In response to this, Disney World has been increasing its efforts to keep the sanitation and cleanliness of the resort at the highest level possible. In addition to the hand sanitizing stations located around the parks, today they started installing mobile wash stations where people can easily wash their hands.

The Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts have also decided to wave the normal $50 change fees on guest vacation packages. Guests can now change their Disney vacation package to another date, subject to availability of course, without paying the fee. They will have to pay the difference however in price if the package costs more at the new date.

This provision has been made to all guests who have booked their vacation package directly with Disney and doesn’t apply if you used a third-party vendor online. If airfare was booked separately, guests are responsible for any change fees moving the dates might occur.

Disney also updated the travel insurance policy and if anyone has purchased travel insurance through Disney, guests can modify their arrival dates and package up to 24 hours before the scheduled arrival.

We’re happy Disney is making these adjustments for guests as many have been thinking about changing their travel dates to a later time. Disney is very good in situations like this as they have shown a willingness to work with travelers in the past.

Stay tuned for any new changes…

NEWS 03/11/20 – Tokyo Disney Resort Extends Closure Until April, Postpones New Beauty and the Beast Attraction Opening

The Tokyo Disney Resort has just announced that it’s extending the closure of its theme parks and resorts and postponing the opening of its “new Fantasyland,” which includes a brand new Beauty and the Beast attraction until at least early April.

Tokyo Disneyland closed on February 27 due to concerns over the coronavirus and was scheduled to reopen on March 16. That date has now been pushed out until sometime in early April due to a request from the Japanese prime minister to cancel public gatherings for the rest of the month.

As a result of this extension, the opening of the new Beauty and the Beast attraction and New Fantasyland has been postponed until Mid-May.

This means that all three Asian Disney resorts will remain closed for the time being, although some positive news has come out on the Shanghai front and slowly that Resort is starting to open some of its facilities.

We’ll keep you updated as soon as we have more info including the exact reopening date for Tokyo Disneyland, New Fantasyland or if they get postponed once again. Keep reading for more details on the Tokyo Disneyland closure and what it means moving forward.

News (3/10/20) – CDC and U.S. State Department Advise Against Cruising due to Coronavirus Outbreak

front of Disney Magic Coronavirus Disney Cruise Line

In light of the extent of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are officially advising American travelers to not go on a cruise at this time.

On the official U.S. Department of State website it advises:

“U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship. CDC notes increased risk of infection of COVID-19 in a cruise ship environment. In order to curb the spread of COVID-19, many countries have implemented strict screening procedures that have denied port entry rights to ships and prevented passengers from disembarking.

It continues: “In some cases, local authorities have permitted disembarkation but subjected passengers to local quarantine procedures. While the U.S. government has evacuated some cruise ship passengers in recent weeks, repatriation flights should not be relied upon as an option for U.S. citizens under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities.”

Cruise ship travel worldwide is discouraged especially for older adults and people with existing health problems which could be made worse due to the COVID-19 virus. Such health problems include respiratory issues, diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung disease, and other conditions affecting the immune system.

Guests aboard cruise ships are especially susceptible to contracting viruses, as illnesses can pass from guest to guest very quickly due to the close quarters and contact with others.

We’ll continue to monitor this situation and any other advisories given by the government.

NEWS 03/10/20 – The Falcon and The Winter Soldier Filming Shuts Down in Prague Over Coronavirus

The coronavirus isn’t just affecting the Dinsey theme parks, it’s also affecting the movie and tv section of the company. According to Deadline, the Disney+ series, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier has stopped filming in Prague over coronavirus concerns and everyone involved in the production has been sent home.

Prague recently closed schools and has placed restrictions on travel throughout the country, which then lead to Disney stopping production there.

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is supposed to debut in August 2020 on Disney+. At this time it’s unsure what kind of impact this will have on the opening schedule for the series and if those scenes will be filmed somewhere else or if the crew will go back once the area is virus-free.

NEWS 03/09/20 – Shanghai Disneyland Resort Starting to Reopen Areas of Resort

Though the Shanghai Disneyland Resort has been close now for over a month, progress with the coronavirus in China has led some areas of the resort to now start reopening.

As of this writing, the Shanghai Disneyland park itself is still closed, however, Disneytown, the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and Wishing Star Park are all open with limited access.

Guests wishing to visit these areas in Shanghai Disneyland are required to have a body temperature test, wear a mask throughout their visit and show their Health QR Code in dining locations.

An official statement from the park’s website reads: “Shanghai Disneyland remains closed as we continue to closely monitor health and safety conditions and follow the direction of government regulators…as the first step of a phased reopening, Shanghai Disney Resort will partially resume operations on March 9, 2020 with a limited number of shopping, dining, and recreational experiences available in Disneytown, Wishing Star Park and Shanghai Disneyland Hotel. Each of these resort locations will operate under limited capacity and reduced hours of operation. The Disney Car and Coach Park and the Disneytown Parking Lot will also reopen”.

The cases of patients infected with coronavirus has been drastically lowered in recent days with only 40 new cases in the country being reported in the last 24 hours. Shanghai Disneyland Officials will continue to monitor the situation and determine when to fully reopen the resort, including Shanghai Disneyland Park.

Stay tuned for more soon.

NEWS 03/09/20 – Updated Official Disney World Statement for Coronavirus

hand sanitizer in Epcot Flower and Garden Festival for coronavirus

Now that worries over the coronavirus have escalated to the domestic parks, Disney has released an official statement on the situation and the preventative steps they are taking to lower the risks:

“We know there is new information this week about coronavirus in Florida. We have very stringent sanitation procedures in place at Walt Disney World Resort. We are in close contact with health agencies for information and guidance, and at this time, we are continuing to communicate to our Cast the importance of preventative measures such as frequent hand-washing and rigorous cleaning processes.”

The Walt Disney World parks continue to operate as usual and they have implemented additional preventative measures in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as other health agencies.

The statement continues: “For guest convenience, we have placed additional hand sanitizers throughout our parks and resorts and will adjust our protocols as the situation warrants.”

Dr Pamela Hymel, Cheif Medical Officer had this to say in a recent Disney Parks Blog post:

As part of our commitment to the health and well-being of our cast, guests and the larger community, we are carefully monitoring the evolving coronavirus situation and are in regular contact with health agencies for information and guidance. Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, are welcoming guests as usual and we continue to implement preventive measures in line with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health agencies.

Disney World Cast Members are being trained about illness prevention and the latest CDC recommendations such as staying home when sick, washing hands thoroughly and often, avoiding close contact with others, following proper respiratory cough etiquette, etc.

This news comes days after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ordered officials at the Florida Health Department to declare a public health emergency due to the coronavirus epidemic.

Scroll down to our section about Disney World and Coronavirus for more information on how Disney is handling the situation.

NEWS 03/08/20 – Disney Family Museum Extends Closing for Coronavirus

The Disney Family Museum has just announced that they are extending their temporary closing for coronavirus prevention. Originally they were planning on staying closed only through March 8, but that has now changed to Friday, March 20, 2020.

They planned the closure to allow time for a thorough cleaning of the facilities for coronavirus prevention. The museum located in San Francisco, California is taking as many precautions as possible due to coronavirus worries. They have consulted with experienced professionals regarding secondary exposure to the staff and thus made the decision to extend the closure.

The new protocols they are implementing will help prevent the spread of germs and the coronavirus.

Here is the original tweet explaining the situation:

The Disney Family Museum will remain closed through Friday, March 20 while the cleaning is going on and have apologized for any inconvenience this may have caused guests who were planning on visiting this week.

“I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience, but the health and well-being of our guests, staff, and community are our primary concern,” said Executive Director Kirsten Komoroske. “We thank everyone for your support of the museum during this time, and we send you and your families our best wishes.”

If you are planning a trip to The Walt Disney Family Museum during the coming weeks, you can check for updates at waltdisney.org/visitor-update as they will continue to inform guests of the situation.

NEWS 03/05/20 – Orlando International Airport Implements New Procedures for Coronavirus

hand sanitizer in Orlando International Airport for coronavirus

Obviously airports could be a big travel risk for travelers to contract illnesses like the coronavirus, and the Orlando International Airport has outlined new procedures they are using to help prevent these illnesses as much as possible.

Phil Brown, Chief Executive Officer for Greater Orlando Aviation Authority said: “It is critical for the Authority to do everything we can to not only safeguard our passengers but protect our employees from this public health event. The airport’s Emergency Management team has done an exceptional job detailing ways.”

In fact, immediately as you enter the airport you will notice the additional hand sanitizer stations easily visible to travelers.

Airport staff is also cleaning high touch point areas more frequently than normal including the following areas:

  • Curbside Area
  • Elevators
  • Escalators
  • Food Courts
  • Handrails
  • Seating areas
  • Tables restrooms

The Orlando International Airport also has special equipment such as the KaiVac and Zymec machines which are used in deep-cleaning areas like restrooms, inspection areas, etc.

Your Thoughts

I want to know what you think about all the older stories about the closures…

Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂

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Zoulikha

Tuesday 14th of April 2020

Merci beaucoup.