Now that we’ve experienced our first trip back to several Walt Disney World hotels as Disney World continues its phased reopening, we’ve picked up a few handy tips for you!
We would never have thought of many of these helpful tidbits before we arrived, so if you’re heading to a Disney World hotel soon, we really want you to know what we DIDN’T know going into our resort stay!
Bring Your Own Health Supplies — Including a Thermometer
While we knew face masks would be required everywhere we went at Disney World, we were a little surprised when we arrived at our Disney World hotel and found out we didn’t need to have our temperatures taken to enter the resort.
For now, the Disney World resorts are not conducting temperature checks. The Disney World theme parks, however, will be checking temperatures when they reopen. Prior to our arrival, Disney sent us a must-read e-mail that included a mandatory Health Acknowledgment using the My Disney Experience app.
All guests are asked to participate in an at-home health check before they head to Disney World to ensure the safety of everyone on the property. That requires checking yourself and your family for any symptoms including cough, fever, chills, shortness of breath, etc.
While we don’t know if the resorts will start temperature screenings once the parks reopen, our best advice is to play it safe and bring your thermometers from home. That way, you can make sure no one in your party has a temperature above 100.4 degrees before you get to the gates.
While we’re not sure if this will be the case at the theme parks, if someone in your group has a temperature of more than 100.4 degrees at Disney Springs, no one in your party will be allowed to enter.
We didn’t see any thermometers for sale at the resorts’ gift shops, but they did have forehead thermometer stickers, face masks (both reusable cloth and disposable), and hand sanitizer in stock. Of course, we brought PLENTY of extras with us just in case, but it’s nice to know if you blow through your supply of masks and hand sanitizer, you can easily replace it with more!
Calling the Front Desk Might Be Quicker
The Disney World resorts are trying to be as contactless as possible right now, so they’re recommending that guests bypass the front desk by utilizing online check-in.
Disney also told us about a new feature called Virtual Chat they were launching when the resorts reopened. This addition to the My Disney Experience app would put guests in touch with a Resort Cast Member so they can ask questions and request items for their rooms instead of calling or going to the front desk.
While we were pretty keen to get Virtual Chat going on our first day back at the resorts, the app was experiencing huge delays due to high demand. When we checked the wait times, there was well over a 1-2 hour wait to use the Virtual Chat feature, soooo we decided that wasn’t going to be happening for us.
Click here to read 6 super weird things that happened to us at the reopening of the Disney World resorts!
In fact, from our experience using the Virtual Chat feature and chatting with Resort Cast Members in-person (while remaining 6 feet apart), we got the impression you’ll probably get a quicker answer to your question or request if you pick up your in-room phone and call guest services instead.
Keep in mind, Disney World has modified its housekeeping schedule so you might be running out of stuff like towels, toilet paper, or disposable cutlery, plates, and bowls faster than you’re used to! If Virtual Chat wait times are exceedingly long, don’t be discouraged! Just dial your hotel the old-fashioned way!
You’ll Need to Be in Your Guest Room to Have Your Luggage Delivered
Another thing that works a little differently is getting your bags delivered to your room. While many of us are used to Disney’s Magical Express service bringing our luggage right to our rooms while we’re out enjoying the theme parks, Bell Services is no longer able to go into your room if you’re not there.
Click here to read our FAQ about the newly reopened Disney World resorts where we answer our readers’ most common questions!
You’ll need to call Bell Services and let them know when you’re in your room to have your bags brought up to you. We’ve also been able to confirm that your Disney World resort will still accept grocery deliveries or any packages you’ve had sent to you up to one week before your arrival!
You Can Still Check Your Bags With Bell Services If You Have a Later Flight
Many of us try to squeeze in a quick visit to the parks or some relaxation at our resort with the last few fleeting hours of our time at Disney World before catching an afternoon or evening flight.
Thankfully, we’ve been able to confirm Bell Services will hold your luggage after you check out of your room if you have plans to have a little more fun at Disney World before it’s time to go!
Travel Times Around Disney World Will Likely Increase
Until the theme parks reopen, Disney World’s transportation has been reduced. Disney’s Skyliner and monorail system are not currently operating and ferryboat service is also unavailable. Disney buses are the only form of transportation currently running, but with reduced capacity and modified routes.
Click here to find out what you need to know about taking Disney buses now that Disney World has reopened!
While we’re not sure what sort of impact these changes will have on wait times, we recommend giving yourself ample time to get around. Additional forms of transportation will begin operating when the theme parks and more resorts reopen, but with reduced capacity across all forms of transportation, travel will still likely take a big longer!
Disney World’s Refillable Resort Mug Program Is Still Happening
Many of us were worried about whether or not Refillable Resort Mugs would still be a thing given that soda fountains have so many touchpoints. However, Disney World knows how important endless soda, iced tea, and coffee is to their Refillable Mug community, so they’ve come up with a clever work-around!
For now, you can still purchase your refillable mug, but instead of filling it up yourself, you’ll present it to a Cast Member. They’ll scan it for validity and then fill a disposable cup for you — which you can pour into your cup or straight down the hatch!
We know you’ve had to overcome a lot of challenges to make it to Disney World this year, so we hope you’ve found some of this info useful! We’ll continue to bring you more helpful tips and insight about Disney World’s phased reopening of its theme parks as the big day approaches, so stay tuned for more updates!
Which tip was the most useful? Do you have any questions for us? Ask them in the comments below and we’ll do our best to get them answered for you!