With Walt Disney World having been open again for a few months now, we are starting to learn a lot more about what to expect on your next visit. After personally visiting Walt Disney World a few times between our agents, there are quite a few changes and things you will need to do to prepare for your next trip. So today we’re here to give you all the information you need to get ready for your next vacation to Walt Disney World!
Theme Park Reservations
The biggest change coming to your next Walt Disney World vacation is the new theme park reservation system. In order to visit any of the four theme parks, you must now have a park reservation for each day of your trip. Park hopping is no longer available for guests to use, so you can only book one park for each day of your vacation.
If you have a vacation package booked you will be able to reserve your parks in advance. Annual Pass holders are also able to book now, however, can only hold a maximum of three days of bookings at one time (without a hotel reservation). With your vacation package, you will be able to book one park for each day of your trip, so it’s certainly an added bonus of staying on-site.
Fastpass and Special Events
Upon reopening Fastpass is no longer available for use in the theme parks, nor are Single Rider lines. They have recently started using the Virtual Queue at Rise of the Resistance again, and passes are available multiple times a day now, instead of just once in the morning like before. As Disney has significantly reduced their park capacity, the lack of Fastpass is generally not too much of an issue.
Special Events for this year have also been heavily affected, with the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party both cancelled for 2020. The parks will still experience the wonderful Halloween and Holiday decorations, but with adjustments and reductions in comparison to previous years. The Food and Wine Festival is already running at Epcot and will run throughout the Fall.
Previously when visiting Walt Disney World, you could book your dining at 180 days in advance of your trip. This has been reduced to 60 days currently. Restaurants are operating at a reduced capacity, so we’d definitely recommend booking ahead if you and your family have any must-visit dining locations. Some restaurants have still not opened, so check the My Disney Experience app for an updated list.
Entertainment in the Parks
Since re-opening, the parks are no longer offering Fireworks displays or Parades. All Parks have smaller character cavalcades each day, which are a great way for kids to see the characters still. These appear at random times to avoid crowds gathering.
Character Meet and Greets and Character Dining are currently reduced, although slowly they are implementing different ideas and options to meet the characters. Topolino’s Terrace at Disney’s Riviera Resort is holding a great character breakfast daily, where you can meet the characters for a selfie from a distance. Characters are also appearing in the parks from a social-distance, and you can see them roaming around for photos.
Safety considerations for your next visit
When visiting the theme parks, all members of your group aged two and above will need to wear a face mask at all times. Disney have put rest areas in each park, where they can be removed for some respite from the Florida heat. When you first arrive at the parks or Disney Springs, you will have your temperature checked each time. There are also hand sanitizing stations at all entrances and exits of attractions.
If you are staying onsite, expect enhanced cleaning and an encouraged 6 foot physical distance throughout the resort. Many of the resorts have not reopened yet, so your choices will be more restricted than before, but there are still options available in each of the different price categories.
We’d highly recommend downloading the My Disney Experience app for your visit so you can complete online check-in for your resort reservation. A contactless payment method is also highly advised.
With the Disney parks slowly reopening around the world, it’s an exciting time for Disney fans to return to the magic. As before, make sure you research and plan ahead by booking your theme park reservations for your upcoming trip. While the experience may be a little different than before, we hope you have a magical time on your upcoming Walt Disney World trip. If you need any help planning your next Walt Disney World vacation, don’t hesitate to contact us!