If you have a trip to Disney World planned in 2020 or 2021, there’s a lot of new information you need to be aware of. Things are changing when it comes to planning your Disney vacation and you have to stay on top of things! If you’re also thinking about booking a trip within in the next year but you don’t have reservations yet, there are some things you need to pay attention to as well.
I’ve done my best to highlight all of the changes below. As always, if you are feeling overwhelmed consider using a travel agent to help you through everything! I’m happy to help plan and book Disney vacations (as long as it’s a new reservation – we cannot help with previously booked trips, unfortunately. But consider it for next time!). You can email me at [email protected] if you’d like to work together!
This is probably the biggest change coming to Disney World right now. Because of limited capacity they are going to have people sign up to visit a park in advance. Once that park reaches capacity you will no longer be able to go there, even if you have a ticket. Below are the dates when you can start booking park reservations – after June 28th you will be able to do it as soon as you book a trip.
June 22 – 2020 resort guests who have tickets
June 24 – 2021 resort guests who have tickets
June 26 – Annual Passholders
June 28 – guests with tickets already purchased but no resort reservations
- Check the park availability before booking a trip. If the parks you want to visit are already full, you won’t be allowed in even if you have a resort reservation and a ticket.
- Book these ASAP. As soon as you book the trip, sign up for the park reservations.
- Your travel agent CANNOT do it for you. Part of signing up for park reservations includes a liability waiver so it must be done by the traveler or their party. However, as a travel agent if you book through me I am happy to help you figure it out and walk you through the process. Any travel agent saying they will take care of it for you is not doing this legally.
- As long as there is availability you can change which park you choose to visit even after you book a park reservation, up to midnight the day before. So if you’ve booked Magic Kingdom on January 1st but then decide you’d rather go to Animal Kingdom, you can change that at any time as long as there is still room in Animal Kingdom that day.
Remember – park reservations are MANDATORY!
Park hopping will be temporarily unavailable once the parks reopen. Disney has stated they are hoping to bring it back “later in 2020.” If you have a park hopper you have the following options:
-keep and use the existing ticket (in the hopes that park hopping will be made available for your dates at a later time)
-modify ticket (remove the park hopper option and get a refund for that portion)
Our understanding right now is that if you have a park hopper ticket and when you visit park hopping is still not allowed, they will refund you the price of the hopper.
Free magic bands included with your trip will be discontinued for trips starting January 1, 2021. You can still purchase and link magic bands if you’d like to use one, or use any old ones that you have.
My Disney Experience will offer new functions and technology – you can already unlock your room using the app, so we expect to see many of the things magic bands can do now being done from your phone. It’s possible park admission may be done by scanning your phone, you may be able to pay using the app, etc.
Key to the World cards will be available at no additional cost and will be able to do everything a magic band does (unlock your door, scan you into the parks, charge to your room). If you visited Disney World before 2013 you probably remember these cards.
This is temporarily suspended, and fastpass queues will be used for social distancing purposes of the regular lines. No word on when it will return.
Face coverings ages 2+ are required at all times. The official line from Disney is that “you’ll need to wear them over your nose and mouth at all times (except when sitting at a dining table).”
Temperature screenings will be done upon entering the park. If you read 100.4 or higher you will receive “additional assistance” and your whole party will be pulled from line.
Physical distancing will be expected of 6′ between parties – this is expected to happen everywhere, including in queues for rides.
What to do right now if you have a reservation or are making one
- Read the “Know Before You Go” page on Disney’s website
- Download and make sure you know how to use My Disney Experience
- Link any reservations you have to My Disney Experience – resort, tickets, dining
- Book your park reservations (when you are able to do so based on the dates above)
Today (June 22) a majority of the DVC resorts will be open for guests. This includes:
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
- Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
The other resorts will open on the following timeline:
July 10 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort
July 29 – Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Aug. 12 – Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Aug. 24 – Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
Sept. 21 – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Oct. 1 – Disney’s BoardWalk Resort
Oct. 14 – Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
A few things to keep in mind before arriving at your resort – make sure to review the health acknowledgement on MDE before arriving.
Online check-in is recommended. Disney is introducing a new in-app chat for any questions you might typically ask at the front desk, so try this avenue first before needing to make any contact with people!
If you had a trip booked already, you’re probably aware that Disney cancelled all current reservations and instead will be opening new reservations at 60 days before your trip (rather than the previous 180 days).
When you arrive for your restaurant reservation, you will be able to do dining check in on the app instead of going to host stand for many restaurants. You will then get a notification when your table is ready.
If you are doing quick service dining, most restaurants have the mobile ordering option and it is recommended you use this when ordering.
What about new reservations for 2020 and 2021?
Don’t have a reservation yet but you want to book a trip? If you’re planning to go anytime between now and September 2021 you’ll need to be aware of the above info. Booking for trips in 2021 will open this Wednesday, June 24th. Booking for 2020 will not be available right away – Disney is saying “later this summer.”
Are you planning to go to Disney within the next year? What other questions do you have right now about the changes?
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