This past week has been FULL of crazy and hard-to-understand announcements from Disney, as well as other major Orlando theme parks! It seems like every day, another MAJOR headline drops!
Let’s recap ALL of the news you may have missed this week as the summer season kicks off!
Disney World Submits Plans to Reopen July 11 & 15
On May 27, Disney World presented reopening plans to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force. In this presentation, Disney proposed reopening dates of July 11 for Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, and July 15 for Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings approved of the plans and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have approved this proposal, meaning the parks can OFFICIALLY reopen on these dates.
Information On Disney World’s Reopening Procedures
During Disney’s initial reopening phase, guests will be required to obtain an advance reservation to access the parks. As Disney rolls out this new system, new hotel reservations are unavailable at this time. Guests are also unable to purchase tickets right now.
Disney also shared information on required face coverings for Cast Members and guests, temperature screenings upon arrival, increased sanitization processes, and the temporary suspension of high-contact interactions, like fireworks, parades, character meet & greets and photographer experiences.
Disney Cancels All Upcoming Dining Reservations and Disney Dining Plans
When the theme parks reopen, there will be limited capacity available within the parks, including their restaurants. Due to this limited capacity, all current Disney dining reservations have been canceled. In addition, Disney Dining Plans have also been canceled.
Guests will be able to rebook at a later date, with priority given to those who had canceled dining reservations and canceled Dining Plans. For the time being, all new dining reservations will be made within a 60-day window, as opposed to the customary 180-day window.
Currently, Disney is cancelling all Disney Dining Plan reservations through September 26th, 2021, due to current international bookings being made out that far in advance. As far as we are aware, Disney is working to clear out their current system to make way for a potential new system that can better accommodate the temporary limited capacity in their parks, resorts, and restaurants.
Disney Cancels FastPass+ Reservations and Temporarily Suspends FastPass+
In addition to the dining cancellations, Disney has also made the decision to temporarily suspend FastPass+ out of a need for additional queue space to accommodate the new social distancing protocol that will be present when the parks reopen.
As a result of these decisions, Disney has also canceled all upcoming FastPass+ reservations. The function to make FastPass+ selections on My Disney Experience has also been temporarily removed from the app.
Disney is also temporarily suspending Extra Magic Hours at this time.
Learn more about the temporary suspension of FastPass+ and the cancellation of FastPass+ cancellations here.
Disney Vacation Club Resorts to Reopen on June 22
Ahead of Disney World reopening their theme parks, we learned this week that Disney Vacation Club Resorts will reopen for their Members and Guests on June 22. Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campgrounds will also reopen June 22.
In addition to Vacation Club Resorts in Disney World, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort and Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort will reopen on June 15. Currently, the DVC Resorts are the only ones slated to reopen at this time. No additional information is available about other Disney World Resort hotels reopening.
Disney World Makes Updates to Face Mask Policies
Amongst all of these news updates, Disney has also been updating protocol for their face coverings policy. Previously guests above the age of 3 were required to wear a face-covering while on property. Now, all guests above the age of 2 will be required to wear a face covering.
In response to the Disney Vacation Club Resorts reopening on June 22, Disney announced that face coverings must be worn while in public resort areas, like lobbies, gyms, and pools. Note that masks are NOT required while guests are swimming.
World of Disney Reopens at Disney Springs
On May 27, some Disney owned and operated locations in Disney Springs reopened, including World of Disney! With wait times topping at SIX HOURS, there were plenty of shoppers anxious to check out all the latest Disney merchandise!
On its reopening day, a virtual queue was implemented to handle the large crowds looking to shop. Since then, we have not seen reports of the virtual queue being needed.
Tokyo’s Downtown Disney District (Ikspiari) to Reopen June 1
We’ve also heard some international Disney Parks news this week! After Japan lifted their National State of Emergency, it was announced that Ikspiari, the Downtown Disney District at the Tokyo Disney Resort, will reopen on June 1.
At this time, there are no announcements for the theme parks at Tokyo Disney Resort to reopen.
Universal Orlando Resort to Reopen June 5
Back in Orlando, other major theme parks are preparing to reopen. Universal Orlando will reopen to the public on June 5. This is following the reopening of their shopping and dining district, CityWalk, which reopened on May 14.
Prior to June 5, there will be soft previews for their Team Members, as well as Annual Passholders. Also ahead of the parks reopening, select Universal hotels will reopen beginning on June 2.
SeaWorld Orlando Submits Plans to Reopen to the Public June 11
Along with Disney World, SeaWorld Orlando submitted their reopening proposals to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force on May 27. In their presentation, SeaWorld announced that they intend to reopen to the public on June 11.
On June 10, the evening prior to reopening, SeaWorld will host an employee appreciation night.
Smaller Orlando Attractions & Theme Parks Reopen
Amongst the larger Orlando theme parks preparing to reopen, several smaller Orlando attractions and theme parks have already opened their gates to guests in the past week or so.
LOTS of things are changing when it comes to planning a Disney World vacation and things will likely keep changing. We know this is crazy, stressful, and pretty frustrating. But we are here to help you and will do our very best to break down the information so you can understand how it will impact your plans. And if you ever have any questions, please feel free to ask us! We will do our very BEST to get you all the info you need. Sending you a virtual hug during this weird time, friends. 🙂
Do you have plans to visit Disney World once the parks reopen? Let us know in the comments!