Home » The 7 BIG Updates From Walt Disney World (and Beyond) This Week (August 31 – September 6, 2020)

The 7 BIG Updates From Walt Disney World (and Beyond) This Week (August 31 – September 6, 2020)

This week at Walt Disney World, Disney Springs hits capacity for the first time in months, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort gets a new theme, plus Disney announces plans to bring back a character dining favorite to Disney’s Hollywood Studios! 

Outside Walt Disney World,  Universal parks hit capacity due to the Labor Day Weekend, plus SeaWorld announces a new free admission deal. 

1. Reopening plans announced for several Walt Disney World restaurants  

Though the big dining news this week was the news that Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella’s Royal Table will be welcoming guests back with modified offerings beginning later this month on September 24, 2020 with no princesses meeting guests, there has been news of other planned restaurant reopenings in the theme parks as well. Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Hollywood & Vine will reopen on September 25 with limited “distanced” character interaction and ABC Commissary will also reopen at this park on October 8.   

2. Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort to get a Moana re-theme during extended closure

This week it was announced that Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort will not be opening at all in 2020, with Disney confirming that this hotel will remain shuttered until summer 2021. In addition, Cast Members have been informed that the resort’s monorail station will be closing at the beginning of October.

However, in a statement Disney said this additional closure time will give them some extra time to complete some refurbishment work at the Resort hotel, including enhancements to the Great Ceremonial House and Guest rooms, and according to the Orlando Sentinel this refurbishment will include a move to a Pacific Ocean-inspired color palette as well as details, patterns and textures from Disney’s Moana.

3. Disney Springs hits capacity over Labor Day weekend

Though capacity is carefully managed at Walt Disney World’s theme parks thanks to the Parks Pass reservation system, Disney Springs has no such restrictions on entry and as a result hit capacity over the Labor Day weekend, turning away guests in the evening hours on September 5 as guests flooded the shopping and dining district. We expect this to happen at least a few more times this weekend as it is normally a busy one so if you are planning on hitting Disney Springs in the near future, make sure you check the My Disney Experience app before heading out to make sure this area is still admitting new guests. 

4. Walk-up availability rolled out inside My Disney Experience

Though we saw this new My Disney Experience feature soft debut a few weeks ago, this week Disney fully launched its new walk-up waitlist feature, which allows guests to check walk-up availability at a table-service restaurant inside the app. After launching the app guests can select “Check Dining Availability” choose the current date and party size, and then select “Now” as the timeframe. A list of restaurants with walk-up availability will be displayed and guests can “Join Walk-Up List” for restaurants with space to accomodate additional guests. You can see a full list of restaurants with this new availability here

5. New discounts now available for fall

This week Disney announced a far-reaching new room discount for the fall that applies to guests visiting from the following locations:  Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia or West Virginia.

Guests who live in these states can now save up to 30% on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels for stays most nights September 4 through December 25, 2020 when the room is booked through December 25, 2020. As a reminder, Florida residents also have their own 35% discount that they can use on resort hotel rooms on most nights from now through September 30th. You can read more about that here

In addition to this room-only discount Disney has announced that package purchasers can save up to $500 on a 4-night, 4-day Walt Disney Travel Company room-and-ticket package at select Disney Resort hotels, valid for stays most nights September 4 through December 25, 2020. Book through December 25, 2020.

6. Universal theme parks hit capacity

Around mid-day this past Saturday Universal Orlando Resort theme parks announced that they had hit capacity for the day as guests crowded in to the theme parks as part of the 3-day Labor Day weekend. Interestingly, even though the parks technically closed, several guests reported still being let into the theme parks using alternate entrances, so it is unclear how well capacity closures will be communicated and enforced as this busy weekend continues. 

7. SeaWorld brings back free educator Fun Card

SeaWorld has announced that beginning this week educators in Florida can register to get a new Florida Teacher Card pass that includes free admission from now through August 31, 2021.Once registered, teachers may also take advantage of the following additional offers:

  • Up to three additional guest tickets for the reduced rate of $27.99 through September 30, 2020
  • Up to four $10 off of All-Day Dining Deals
  • Up to four 50% off of Quick Queue Unlimited through September 30, 2020

You can learn more about how to register and redeem this deal here