Social distancing

Though Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, and LEGOLAND Florida were all very eager to reopen, Walt Disney World has taken things very slowly, and has been announcing opening procedures and rules in small waves, with new announcements and confirmations coming weekly. In an effort to make things a little simpler for guests panning a trip to Walt Disney World in the coming weeks, we've compiled all the new rules and regulations guests will need to abide by. 

1. Required masks and temperature checks

The biggest (and thus far most polarizing) change that guests will encounter at Walt Disney World is required mask usage and temperature checks at each park gate. Masks will be required in common areas at hotels and also on Disney transportation as well. 

2. Park Reservations will be required

Image: Disney

In order to gain entrance to a Walt Disney World theme park, all guests, no matter whether they are staying on-site or somewhere else, will need valid admission tickets as well as an arrival reservation time. And interestingly, Disney has said that they will not be granting special access to resort guests. If a guest does not have a reservation window to go with their tickets, they simply won't be able to visit the theme parks, even if they have a dining reservation. 

3. Restriction on movement between parks

Image: Disney

Travel agents have recently been advised that park hopping will be restricted for all confirmed tickets through 2020, and guests should try and reserve their parks as early as possible to ensure they are able to plan their vacation effectively. 

It has also been confirmed that the popular Minnie Van service will not be available once the parks reopen, along with valet service at resorts. And while bus transportation will be available between resorts and theme parks (as well as Disney Springs), guests may find wait times a little bit longer than usual, as buses will have strict capacity limits and distancing rules inside the vehicles will apply. 

4. No FastPass+ advance planning will be available

Image: Disney

Disney has made the unprecedented step of completely shutting down the FastPass+ service for the foreseeable future and will be using the additional queue space to manage capacity at attractions and maintain physical distancing. Disney has said that they will automatically cancel existing FastPass+ selections and guests will instead be directed to use the new virtual queueing system that will be used for many attractions. All current FastPass+ reservations have already been cancelled, and the FastPass+ section of My Disney Experience has been completely removed. 

5. Extra Magic Hours have been cancelled indefinitely 

Image: Disney

In addition to cancelling FastPass+ indefinitely, Disney has announced that Extra Magic Hours will also be temporarily suspended when the theme parks reopen, and will not be available indefinitely. 

6. Entertainment will be curtailed in a big way

Image: Disney

Because of social distancing best practices, Disney has announced that all fireworks shows, character meet and greets, and parades (including the nightly Electrical Water Parade) have been suspended until further notice. 



Disney seem to want everyone to do everything remotely. Virtual queues, mobile food ordering. All well and good but what if you don’t have a smart phone. Many international visitors ( when they are allowed back) don’t bring their phone as it’s so expensive to use in the US, others do not even have one to bring. Will all these people be excluded from getting on rides, buying food or will Disney have a way for them to be included.

Coronavirus is a blank word. Ruining everyone’s fun.

Interesting that when I spoke with Disney Booking directly yesterday Friday June 12th, I was told there's been absolutely no decision nor confirmation made at this point as to whether or not Park Hoppers will be null and void for the remainder of the season. I was told that this is still a fluid situation that is constantly evolving and it's too soon for them to be making decisions about Park Hoppers until after oening and evaluating crowds, etc. Guess time will tell.

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