With major Disney news seeming to drop every single day lately, it’s been tough to keep up with everything that’s going on! While there are plenty of things we’ve managed to wrap our heads around, we STILL have quite a few unanswered questions.
Today, let’s look at nine things we’re still unsure about when it comes to the Disney Parks.
We don’t know when certain guests can book Advance Dining Reservations.
Earlier this week, guests who had an active dining reservation between May 28 and September 2 that was canceled due to the Disney World’s temporary closure were able to begin booking new dining reservations 60 days in advance of their arrival — a shift from the previous 180-day advance booking window for dining.
However, guests who did NOT have dining reservations canceled are still in the dark about when they will be able to make new bookings. Many of these guests have upcoming trips beginning as soon as July 11th when the parks begin to reopen, and with restaurants across Disney World property seeing a reduction in their capacity, there will most likely be fewer reservations available.
While we don’t know when everyone will be eligible to book new dining reservations, we DO know what in-park restaurants will be opening!
BIG TIP: And for those of you who think you SHOULD be able to book your dining reservations based on Disney World’s current website language, but are still getting that “Paws” message, definitely call Disney directly. We’re hearing plenty of anecdotal evidence that people who are running into difficulty have been able to book dining reservations via the phone lines.
We don’t know when Disney World will allow guests to begin making new 2020 bookings or ticket purchases.
New vacation packages for 2021 went on sale on June 24. However, new bookings for 2020 are still unavailable, and Disney has yet to announce when that may change. All we know for sure is that 2020 should become available “later this summer.”
Disney is faced with a logistical challenge in accommodating guests with existing 2020 bookings. Many hotels have yet to reopen, creating a kind of Disney hotel tetris game for guests who hold reservations. Disney will need to make sure that all guests with existing 2020 reservations are accommodated when it comes to hotels AND park entrance before they open things up for new 2020 bookings.
We don’t know when the Disneyland parks are going to reopen.
A few weeks ago, Disneyland proposed a reopening date of July 17 for their theme parks. Since then, those plans have been delayed until further notice.
We also don’t know what Disneyland’s theme park reservation system will look like once their reopening plans are confirmed. We expect many components to closely resemble Disney World’s Park Pass Reservation System, but nothing has been confirmed.
Disneyland’s Downtown Disney reopening, which is still currently slated for July 9 according to the Disneyland website, was thrown into question when California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the suspension of indoor operations at restaurants and certain other businesses in 19 California counties, including Orange County, where Disneyland is located. It has been reported that Downtown Disney is still planning to move ahead with its July 9 opening, but restaurants will have to stick to outdoor dining.
We don’t know when the Disney Dining Plan will come back.
Disney made the decision to cancel existing Dining Plans as well as to completely suspend the Disney Dining Plan for the time being. Disney has yet to say when they plan on reintroducing the Disney Dining Plan.
Currently, you cannot add the Dining Plan to any new 2021 bookings, although it’s possible that should the Dining Plan become available again, you might be able to add it to an existing reservation.
We still don’t know the future of the Park Pass Reservation System.
Perhaps the biggest source of confusion for guests planning their upcoming Disney World vacations has been the announcement and rollout of the new Disney Park Pass Reservation System. The system went live on June 22 for guests with existing resort reservations, then on June 26 for Disney World Annual Passholders, and finally on June 28 for all other guests with valid theme park tickets.
The system experienced some glitches on its first day, but most of those seem to have been resolved. There have also been some discrepancies regarding the amount of Park Passes one person can have at a time, especially for Annual Passholders who also have upcoming resort reservations.
The biggest question we have moving forward is whether Disney will add availability to dates that have already filled up. At time of writing, most upcoming dates are still available for guests with resort reservations or theme park tickets, but for Annual Passholders, nearly all of July and most August weekend days have filled up. So, it will be interesting to see if more availability gets added — and for whom.
We don’t know what the Food & Wine Festival booths will be or what their menus will include.
In an announcement that frankly no one saw coming, A Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival will begin on July 15th, the FIRST DAY EPCOT is open! That’s right folks, we have a theme park reopening AND the first day of Food & Wine on the same day!
All we know so far, however, is that the festival will feature 20 “global marketplaces” and will last through the fall. At this time, we don’t know much about those marketplaces, other than that they will include Hawaii, Hops & Barley, and Islands of the Caribbean!
Will all of the marketplaces be returning booths from last year, or will there be some new ones? We know there will be elements from EPCOT’s Flower & Garden Festival sprinkled in, so could that mean we’ll see a few of those menu items in the mix? We don’t know!
Because we don’t know what the booths will be, we have no idea what the menus look like either, and this festival starts SOON!!!
We don’t know what’s happening with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party or EPCOT’s Candlelight Processional.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party was canceled for 2020. This move, as unfortunate as it was, made sense, as many of the key components of the Halloween parties, including fireworks, parades, and character meet and greets, have been suspended until further notice.
This might not bode well for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, but we have yet to hear an official announcement from Disney. We also don’t know the current status of the Oogie Boogie Bash in Disneyland.
Add to that we haven’t gotten an update on the future of EPCOT’s Candlelight Processional for 2020. So far, Disney has not called back any groups or shows that focus on singing. This could have to do with the fact that, according to the New York Times, singing seems to be a risky activity given the global health crisis.
With those things in mind, can the Candlelight Processional even happen this year? We’ll have to wait and see!
We don’t know when Park Hopping will return.
Recently, Disney announced that Park Hopping, the ability to visit multiple theme parks in a single day, would be temporarily suspended. However, if you purchase a 2021 vacation package right now, you are able to add on Park Hopping. So, as of right now, Disney hasn’t ruled out bringing back Park Hopping in time for 2021 vacations.
Disney has yet to make an announcement of when we may expect Park Hopping to return, if before 2021.
BIG TIP: If you currently have park hopping added on to your ticket, you have the option to use the ticket later (many tickets have been extended for use into 2021), modify your package, or cancel your tickets. Wanna get a refund? Click the link below for details.
We don’t know the opening dates of some Disney World’s Resort hotels.
Last but not least, we are still in the dark on the reopening status of many of Disney World’s hotels. We know that hotels are reopening in phases, with only Disney Vacation Club resorts currently open.
We also know that some resorts, like Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, are temporarily closed to the general public to host the NBA as they conclude their season at Walt Disney World.
But, some hotels don’t have reopening dates yet at all! These include Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts (French Quarter and Riverside), and Disney’s All Star Resorts (Sports, Movies, and Music).
BIG TIP: If you’re staying at a Disney World resort hotel that won’t be opening by the time you’re scheduled to travel, or a resort hotel that doesn’t have an opening date yet at all, definitely get on the phone with Disney to modify your reservation. Disney has stated on their website that reservations that are not moved to an open resort hotel will be automatically canceled seven days before the scheduled arrival date. If you still want to go to Disney World — modify to an open resort ASAP.
We know this may have given you more questions than answers when it comes to some major Disney World trip-planning components! Hopefully this gives you a better perspective as to what we are currently waiting to hear from Disney, and what you should be doing in certain circumstances (mostly — calling Disney if you have questions!). News can drop at a moment’s notice, so we are constantly checking to make sure we are providing YOU with the most up-to-date news possible!
What unanswered question do YOU have regarding Disney World’s reopening? Ask away in the comments!