As the coronavirus epidemic spread, practically every aspect of our lives outside of our houses changed. Walt Disney World in Florida is no exception, despite its long-standing claims to fantasy and magic. COVID-19’s reality has compelled the theme park resort to adopt new regulations and undertake several operational adjustments.
Given how much has changed, there is a lot to consider while organizing a trip. However, before we go into what will be changed in the parks and around the resort, allow us to reassure you that nearly all of the E-Ticket rides and attractions you know and love will be available. Whether you’re riding a banshee across Pandora: The World of Avatar or piloting the Millennium Falcon through Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, there are still plenty of intense moments to be enjoyed.
What is currently open at Walt Disney World?
The resort did not reopen everything immediately after closing its gates in mid-March 2020. Rather than that, it has been gradually reopening parks and attractions and reintroducing features. For instance, while you may be admitted to the Magic Kingdom, you will be unable to view the distinctive fireworks that illuminate Cinderella’s Castle each evening. The following is a list of what is currently open at the resort:
- On May 20, 2020, Disney Springs—the dining, retail, and entertainment district—was the first to reopen.
- On June 22, several Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts (part of the Disney Vacation Club) and the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground reopened. The resorts such as Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Pop Century Resort have all opened. On Disney World’s website, you can get an updated list of reopened hotels.
- On July 11, the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme parks reopened.
- On July 15, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot reopened.
Visitor Guidelines for Parks
Disney World has adopted many additional guidelines to guarantee that its customers have the safest possible experience. Prepare to make these adjustments.
All guests ages two and older must wear a proper mask throughout the resort; they will not be permitted to enter the parks without one. Disney states that you may remove it just while eating or swimming. If you forget to bring your mask, the resort sells some trendy, themed face coverings. Nota bene, neck “gaiters” and bandanas are prohibited.
Before you entering the theme parks or Disney Springs, cast members will conduct temperature inspections using touchless thermometers. If your temperature is abnormally high, you will not be permitted to proceed. To save time and energy, you should monitor your home’s temperature.
Extra Magic Hours are no longer available: Disney has permanently discontinued Extra Magic Hours, which provided on-property visitors with special access to the parks before and following regular operation hours.
Apart from limiting daily attendance, Disney is taking further measures to ensure that guests maintain social distance. There are ground markers and signs to direct guests in line for rides and other high-traffic areas, as well as markings to indicate areas where guests are not authorized to stand. Additionally, the resort has employed cast members disguised as Stormtroopers to persuade guests to follow the rules—their comic attempts to preserve order contribute to the de-escalation of situations and the promotion of distancing.
Park hopping is restricted: Disney World passes that permit guests to visit more than one park per day are “Park Hopper” tickets. When the resort reopened, customers were limited to one park each day. The resort reinstated park hopping on January 1, 2021, but only until 2:00 p.m. each day. Additionally, keep in mind that if you choose to use the park hopper option, you must book reservations at both parks on the same day.
There is no Minnie Van service; however, you can move around the resort using your vehicle or one of Disney’s monorails, boats, or buses. However, Disney World’s Minnie Vans, a similar-to-Uber-style transportation service, is currently unavailable. Third-party cabs are almost certainly still running.