Home » The 9 BIG Updates from Walt Disney World (And Beyond) This Week (July 27 – August 2, 2020)

The 9 BIG Updates from Walt Disney World (And Beyond) This Week (July 27 – August 2, 2020)

Magic Kingdom castle, Disney

This week at Walt Disney World, Disney tightens restrictions on masks and temperature screenings as cuts are made to resort reopenings. 

Outside Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort cuts hours and attractions while offering a new offer that allows guests to purchase one day and get most of the rest of 2020 free. 

1. Disney Junior show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios resumes with new name and non-equity actors 

Though most shows at Walt Disney World remain dark due to the ongoing dispute between Disney and the Actors’ Union, Disney has debuted a modified version of the “Disney Junior Dance Party!” that debuted in late 2018, named “Disney Junior Play and Dance!”. Like its predecessor, features a DJ host spinning favorite songs from Disney Junior TV shows, with onstage appearances by Disney Junior characters including Mickey Mouse, Vampirina, Fancy Nancy and Doc McStuffins.

2. Construction resumes on several Walt Disney World projects

Construction has resumed as of this week on several Walt Disney World projects, including Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Harmonius  and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Though we’re expecting that these projects will be delayed a year or more from their projected opening dates, it is great to hear that work is resuming on these much anticipated projects. 

3. Disney delays/cancels hotel openings 

Disney has announced changes to the following hotel reopenings, planned for later this year. 

  • The Polynesian Village Resort, which was originally scheduled to reopen on August 12 will now reopen on October 4
  • The Art of Animation Resort,  which was also originally scheduled to reopen on August 12, will reopen on November 1
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort which was supposed to reopen on August 24, will remain closed until further notice
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, which was supposed to reopen on October 1, will also remain closed until further notice

4. Magic Kingdom wins TripAdvisor award

The Magic Kingdom Park was recently named “Best Amusement Park” in TripAdvisor’s annual Travelers’ Choice Awards  taking the crown from last year’s champion, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, which fell to third place for 2020. 

5. Disney tightens mask restrictions

Guests wearing masks, Walt Disney World
Image: Disney

Because there are a wide variety of face coverings available (and some seem to be more effective than others at preventing the spread of COVID-19), Disney has once again tightened its mask-wearing policy, to officially ban masks with breathing valves and/or holes. With this new addition, that means the following types of face coverings are all banned now:

  • Neck gaiters
  • Open-chin triangle bandanas
  • Face coverings containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind 

6. Temperature screenings expanded to resort restaurants

Though temperature screenings at the theme park gates have been a fixture of the “new normal” Walt Disney World experience since its very first phases Disney has announced that it has now expanded temperature screenings to guests dining in table-service restaurants at Disney Resorts, effective immediately. According to the official Walt Disney World website guests dining in table-service restaurants at Disney Resort hotels will undergo a temperature screening prior to entering the location, and if a guests’ temperature falls outside the acceptable range, they will not be allowed to enter. 

7.  Universal cuts hours and attractions 


Universal Orlando Resort has quietly reduced theme park hours earlier this week, with Universal Studios Florida now closing an hour earlier at 5:00 PM most days through the end of next month, compared to the previous 6:00 PM close. Next door, Islands of Adventure will be opening an hour later in the mornings now at 10:00 AM as compared to the previous 9:00 AM opening time.

In addition, it was announced that beginning August 9, the following attractions will not be operating until further notice:

  • A Day in the Park with Barney
  • Fear Factor Live
  • Fast & Furious: Supercharged
  • Kang & Kodos Twirl n Hurl
  • Poseidon’s Fury
  • Storm Force Accelatron

8. Universal Orlando Resort offers new Florida Resident ticket deal

Universal Orlando Resort has announced a new special ticket deal for Florida residents that allows guests to purchase a one day, two park ticket for $164, and enjoy access to both parks every day between the date of purchase and December 24, 2020. In order to take advantage of this special offer, tickets must be purchased by September 30, 2020 and there are no blockout dates. 

9. SeaWorld expands Flicks and Fireworks series 

SeaWorld announced this week that they are expanding their Flicks and Fireworks event into a regular series, now running every weekend through September 5-6, This event costs $50 per car and includes a drive-in movie shown in SeaWorld’s  parking lot, with a fireworks show and  local food trucks providing concessions. Here is the movie lineup so far: 

  • Friday, Aug. 7 – Men in Black
  • Saturday, Aug. 8 – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • Friday, Aug. 14 – Footloose
  • Saturday, Aug. 15 – Despicable Me
  • Saturday, Sept. 5 – Grease