This post was last updated on: March 29th
The last few weeks have been twinged with a peculiar air of uncertainty due to the widespread yet unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 virus, otherwise known as Coronavirus.
When news first came out that some of the overseas Disney parks would be closing down in an abundance of precaution against the highly contagious virus, many of us were concerned about what would happen here in the States. Now it seems we finally have an answer.
And if you, like many, were planning on visiting Disney parks in the next few weeks, this outcome of Disneyland and Disney World closing soon “until further notice” probably isn’t what you were all hoping for, but at least it’s a resolution. With this decision to close the U.S. Disney theme parks also comes some peace of mind. You no longer have to worry about what you should do, but now you need to know what you can do to cancel your trip.
We’re going to give you a checklist of how to proceed if you had booked a Disney trip from now through March 31st, 2020.
Here’s What You Need to Do:
Check With Your Airline
First, you will want to reach out to your airline to see if they will allow you to modify or cancel your flight. Certain airlines such as Southwest will typically allow you to change your flight without a service fee. However, due to the impact that Coronavirus is having on the airline industry, many airlines that normally do not allow free modifications are making an exception.
You can expect a long wait when you call your airline. We’d recommend going online first to see if your airline will allow you to modify your reservation online before picking up the phone.
If you used a travel agency or third party service to book your flights, you might need to reach out to them first. They also might be able to handle your other reservations on your behalf.
Inquire About Canceling Any Rentals Including Cars, EVCs, Strollers, or Non-Disney Hotels
Since many Disneyland and Disney World guests use third-parties to provide them with additional services during their stay, each one will need to be contacted to modify any reservations. These could be orders you’ve placed several months ago for vehicles, equipment, etc., so think hard. Again, this might take some time due to how many folks are finding themselves in similar situations, so be patient.
Refunds for Hotel Reservations
Disneyland Resort Hotels
Disneyland Hotels will remain open until Monday, March 16th, at which point they’ll be closed until at least the end of March. You can change a reservation at any Disneyland Hotel by calling The Walt Disney Travel Company at (714) 520-5050.
A Disneyland representative will also be able to assist you with getting a refund for any pay-in-advance experiences or any separate, special-ticketed events you may have purchased which are scheduled between March 14th and March 31st.
We’ve heard the phone lines, again, are very backed up. So be patient. If you can’t get through, try again at a later time. There’s no immediate rush to take care of all of this, so try to keep calm. You’ll eventually speak to someone and clear everything up.
UPDATE: Disney World’s Hotels will close at 5PM on March 20th.
As of March 15th, you can now cancel your Disney Resort Hotel stay online here.
Disney World Resort Hotels and Disney Beach Resorts
Guests who are booked to stay at a Disney World Hotel between March 16th and March 31st should cancel online through My Disney Experience under “My Reservations” or call (407) 934-7639 to modify or cancel their Disney World Hotel reservations. You will be able to apply the full value of your booking towards future visits without penalties or fees.
Due to the high volume of calls right now, it could take several hours to get through to a Disney World representative, so we highly recommend trying to cancel on My Disney Experience first.
Similarly, Disney Vacation Club members with plans until the end of March can “modify or cancel their Disney Resort room reservation or Walt Disney World Travel Company package up to their original check-in date” by calling (800) 800-9800. Disney Vacation Club members will be credited back with their DVC points.
If you took advantage of online check-in already, be sure to give Disney a call at (407) 934-7639 when you can. They’ll be happy to assist you.
Change fees have been waived for vacation package modifications as well. Disneyland and Disney World are scheduled to be closed “until further notice.” So, if you were planning on visiting Disney World in the months following March, you can change or cancel your vacation package with a check-in date from now through June 30th, 2020, without incurring a fee.
Disney Cruise Line Refunds
The Disney Cruise Line will offer the use of a future cruise credit or an option for a full refund to guests whose vacations are impacted. But since there are is a high number of calls at the Call Center, the Disney Cruise Line has requested guests wait to contact them until after they have received an email from Disney Cruise Line or their travel agents regarding their upcoming trip.
Here’s What You DON’T Need to Do:
As long as you haven’t checked into your Disney World Resort, you don’t need to cancel any FastPasses or Advance Dining Reservations scheduled between March 16th through however long the parks are closed. These will be canceled automatically on your behalf. If you have reservations at a location remaining open, like a Disney Springs restaurant or a resort restaurant, as long as you haven’t checked in for your resort reservation, your ADRs should be canceled. If you’re worried, you can always cancel yourself or give Disney a call (407) 824-1391 to be sure.
And if you’d like to modify your FastPasses or dining reservations to reschedule for a different visit, you can do that online at My Disney Experience or on the My Disney Experience app.
Any additional pay-in-advance experiences you’ve scheduled during this time will also be automatically reimbursed to you without any action on your part.
Modify Your Park Tickets
At this time, you don’t need to do anything with your already purchased park tickets. Even if you contact Disney, they will tell you they aren’t issuing refunds for park tickets at this time.
However, Disney will be automatically extending your multi-day tickets with unused days or tickets that were specifically-dated between March 12th and March 31st, 2020. You’ll now have until December 15th, 2020 to use those tickets.
If you’re unable to use your tickets by that date, Disney will credit the value of your unused tickets toward another ticket purchase for a future date.
Click here to read more about Disney World’s policy for theme park tickets affected by Coronavirus closure.
Florida Residents, Annual Passholders, and Tables in Wonderland Members
Florida Resident Discover Disney Tickets may be used at Disney World through July 31st, 2020. Disney World Annual Passholders and Tables in Wonderland Members will have their AP memberships extended by the same number of days the parks remain closed. Disneyland Annual Passholders will have their passes adjusted according to pass type.
Refunds for Extra Event Tickets
Guests who have purchased special tickets to extra events at Disney World’s closed theme parks such as Disney’s After Hours, Disney Villains After Hours, and Disney Early Morning Magic for dates starting March 16th and through the park closure. Or, you can call (407) 939-5277 if you have any additional questions. We will keep you posted if the policy is updated due to extended closures.
We hope we’ve helped you make sense of the next steps you will and won’t need to take regarding the travel arrangements you’ve made to either of the U.S. Disney parks.
For even more answers to some common questions regarding Disneyland and Disney World’s temporary closure, click here!
Have you gone through the process of canceling a Disney trip before? What are some of the challenges you’ve faced? Tell us in the comments below.