And prior to the reopening, Disney released lots of details regarding changes guests could expect to see — including the suspension of some resort activities, enhanced cleaning protocol, and the requirement that all guests have a hotel (or both hotel and dining) reservations to enter.
But even though we were well-prepared, having combed over the must-read Health Acknowledgement Disney sent us last night and read through all the information that was provided to us while we used Disney World’s online check-in for our resort stay, there were still a few things that snuck up on us!
Only Buses Are Running Until Parks Open
Disney has shared with us some information regarding which methods of transportation we’ll be able to use during the initial phase of Disney World’s reopening.
However, we found out today the only Disney transportation method of getting around right now is Disney World’s bus system. Buses are currently running to and from Disney Springs from each resort that has reopened today.
If you want to get from one resort to another, your only free options are to do a bus switch at Disney Springs, or drive yourself. (Guests can also use a taxi or a ride share service, but that would incur an extra cost.)
Valet parking is not currently available at the resorts and keep in mind you must have a hotel reservation (and dining reservation if you’re headed to a hotel you’re not staying in) booked to be allowed at a Disney World resort at this time, according to Disney.
It appears, for now at least, Disney World’s monorail service, ferryboats, and Disney’s Skyliner aren’t likely to resume until the theme parks reopen, but we’ll keep you posted with any and all updates!
No Temperature Screenings to Enter the Resorts
Another thing we were surprised by this morning is how we walked right into our hotel! There are new health and safety signs throughout the grounds stating face coverings must be worn at all times while in common areas, but on-site temperature screenings aren’t currently being performed at any of the Disney World resorts.
By now, we’re very used to having our temperatures taken since health screenings are required to enter Disney Springs and will be required to enter Disney World’s theme parks when they reopen next month.
But this time, Disney World’s resorts are not requiring their guests to undergo mandatory temperature checks. They ask that you take your temperature at home before you arrive and stay home if you have any symptoms of illness.
This Place Is EMPTY
The Disney World hotels we’ve been exploring today have been very calm and quiet. Without the monorail whizzing by us at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and folk disembarking from Disney’s Skyliner at Disney’s Riviera Resort, there’s barely anyone here.
Grand Floridian Resort was a ghost town!
Beach Club, Boardwalk…everywhere we went there was nobody!
Keep in mind Disney World is also limiting who they’re allowing to visit their resorts at this time. You must have a hotel reservation (and a dining reservation as well if you’re not staying at that particular hotel) to be allowed in.
Security Cast Members asked us our name at the gate of one of the hotels we weren’t staying at but had made a lunchtime reservation to dine at. Only after checking their list to ensure we had a dining reservation there were we granted access.
You Can Still Use Your Refillable Mugs!
The Refillable Mug Program at Disney World has become an institution, allowing guests to receive free refills for a limited time. We were curious to see if refillable mugs would still be available — OR NOT!
And it turns out, refillable mugs are still very much alive and well at Disney World! There have been a few modifications made to the process, but other than that, you’ll have the same fun gettin’ as much soda, coffee, and ice tea as you could ever want!
Now, guests will bring their mug to a Cast Member who will fill a paper cup with the guests’ preferred beverage. The guest will then be given the paper cup to empty into their own refillable mug.
Masks and Temperature Patches Are for Sale
We noticed some new products have shown up on the shelves at Disney World’s gift shops. At Disney’s Contemporary Resort’s Bayview Gifts, hand sanitizer and Disney-themed cloth face masks are now being sold. They’re the same ones we’ve seen for sale at Disney Springs recently as well as online.
La Boutique at Disney’s Riveria Resort also had Disney-themed cloth face masks for sale as well as disposable face masks.
We also spotted Forehead thermometers that work like stickers and are reusable in case you don’t want to bring your own thermometer from home.
Cinderella Castle Is Looking really, REALLY Pink!
But perhaps the most shocking change of them all has been how far Cinderella Castle’s transformation has come along since our last visit to Magic Kingdom! We could see it from Disney’s Contemporary Resort today and it’s gone from gray to a rosy-pinkish hue!
To us, the castle seems to be nearing its completion! Could it be ready in time for Magic Kingdom’s grand reopening on July 11th?
It’s truly a mix of emotions being back at Disney World today and we can’t wait to share more of our experience with you! Make sure you’re following along with our live coverage here so that you don’t miss a thing!
Click here to learn more about the changes you can expect at Disney World Resort hotels this summer!
Do you have an upcoming Disney World Resort hotel reservation? Let us know in the comments!