While Disney was hoping to have guests back in its U.S. theme parks by April 1st, a LOT has happened since that original closure announcement was made.
While we’re so sorry to hear that your vacation has been impacted by this delay, we’re here to guide you. We know you’re probably experiencing a mix of emotions from confusion to sadness, disappointment, and frustration with this whole situation. But somewhere in there, we’re sure you probably feel a little relief from all the stress and anxiety of not knowing whether or not you would have to cancel your trip.
At least there’s a way forward now, even if this wasn’t the outcome you were hoping for.
Why Disney Just Extended Its Closure
Many of the questions you’re probably asking yourself right now start with “why.” Why me? Why Did Disney not reopen when they said they would? Why didn’t they say something sooner?
Disney has been very aware of this developing situation for many months and their decision to remain closed for a longer, undetermined amount of time comes under the advisement of local and federal government agencies as well as public health officials.
Disney has a responsibility to protect its guests and Cast Members and at this very critical moment in time, they simply cannot ensure everyone’s safety if they reopened the parks.
Why the Parks Are Now Closed Indefinitely
When Disney announced its parks would be temporarily closing on March 12th, they had no way of knowing when the parks would actually reopen.
April 1st was just an estimate in a lot of ways — a place-holder while Disney and the rest of the world figured out how this situation was going to develop. Events are unfolding each and every day. Honestly, any specific dates are just placeholders at this time.
Disney was initially being very cautious with respect to the number of guests’ visits who were impacted by their decision to close. Given the fluidity of this situation, Disney has now determined it’s in everyone’s best interest to remain closed until further notice rather than adjusting their timeline week-by-week.
But what about YOU? What are YOU supposed to do now??? We’ve got your back.
Here Are Your Next Steps If You Had A Trip Planned:
Call or Go Online to Check on Your Flight
Many airlines that don’t normally allow guests to cancel or modify flights without incurring a fee are waiving their service charges right now. Check with your airline to see what their current refund policy is.
You can expect to be on hold for sometime before speaking with an airline representative. We’d strongly recommend going online first to see if your airline will allow you to modify your reservation via their website or app before picking up the phone.
For folks who made their travel arrangements through a third party service or travel agency, you might want to reach out to them first. They also might be able to help you cancel some of your other bookings.
Cancel Your Reservations for Cars, EVCs, Strollers, or Non-Disney Hotels
If you booked a car, stroller, or any rental device, you’ll want to contact the third-party service provider you used and cancel your reservation. Additionally, if you booked a room at any non-Disney owned property, reach out to them to modify or cancel your arrangements.
This might take a while to accomplish since many people are trying to do the same thing. There’s no rush, but you should try to resolve this stuff over the next few days.
Refunds for Hotel Reservations
Disney World Resort Hotels
Guests who were booked to stay at a Disney World Hotel between now and June 30th and would like to cancel or modify their reservations 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. Try not to stress out too much, though. There’s no hurry to take care of all of these things right away.
In fact, you can also choose to take no action before your scheduled check-in date during the closure and Disney will automatically cancel your reservation within 7 days of your arrival date with no fees. Your refund will be automatically processed and issued to you in whatever form of payment you originally used. We still think its best to call — that way you can probably get your reimbursement a little faster, too, without having to wait until your actual check-in date!
Disney Vacation Club Resorts
Similarly, Disney Vacation Club members with plans until the end of June 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.
Disneyland Resort Hotels
To cancel your reservations at any of the Disneyland Resort Hotels, you should first try to cancel your reservation online here. Disneyland has JUST created this opportunity to help guests cancel visits during the closure. You can also call 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 were scheduled to take place during the temporary closure.
Disney Cruise Line Refunds
The Disney Cruise Line has announced they’ll be shut down through April 28th. 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 within this timeframe.
Due to the high frequency 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.
Private Offers for Rebooking
Disney World and Disneyland recently announced exclusive offers for guests who had to cancel their trips. For guests who had planned on traveling to Disney World, there’s a special free dining offer. It is only valid on new reservations booked before the end of May and is only available to guests whose reservations were directly affected by the closure.
Eligible guests can book an arrival date for most dates from June 1st through September 30th, 2020 — as long as you book through May 31st, 2020. You can call (407) 939 -4251 or your travel professional to learn more! It is likely that guests who are eligible will receive communication from Disney directly.
Disneyland’s offering a special room discount to guests who were impacted by the temporary closure.
Beginning Monday, March 30, 2020, these select guests will be able to book a special Disneyland Resort offer for most arrival dates from June 1st through December 31st, 2020. The Cast Member we spoke with said the offer will apply to weekdays, Sunday through Thursday. Eligible guests will receive up to 10% off at Paradise Pier for a Premium Room. Guests booking at the Disneyland Hotel or Grand Californian Hotel can receive 15% off a standard room or 20% off a premium room!
Here’s What You DON’T Need to Worry About Right Now:
FastPasses and Advance Dining Reservations During The Closure
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 now and when Disney World reopens. These will be canceled automatically on your behalf with no fees.
If you have made any dining reservations at a location that might reopen before Disney World parks reopen, such as a Disney Springs 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 via My Disney Experience 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 the closure will also be automatically reimbursed to you without any action on your part.
Managing 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 when the parks reopen. 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.
Florida Resident Ticket, Annual Pass, and Tables in Wonderland Extensions
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 memberships extended by the same number of days the parks remain closed. Disneyland Annual Passholders will have their passes adjusted according to pass type.
Other 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 between March 16th and when the parks reopen will automatically be refunded. 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!
We’ll be here — continuing to share the latest updates and news — during the closures. Stay tuned.