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by Military Diva

Disney News & Updates

 

For better or worse, Disney World began their phased reopening this month.  While there is great debate on the safety of visiting at this time, several of our writers have visited and had a great experience.  I know a visit isn’t for everyone right now.  But if you do choose to visit, please pay attention to the updates and guidelines to protect yourself and your fellow guests.  And be sure to check both Disney’s Park Reservation Calander (reservation required for entry) and Disney World’s “Know Before You Go” page before your arrival.

Walt Disney World Resort

Disney News & Updates

 

  • As of July 7, Disney World’s Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) system is open to guests at 60 days, a change from the traditional 180-day booking window. Guests now need a valid park ticket, park reservation, and a dining reservation to dine at select in-park table service locations. This update also includes the ability to check-in for your dining reservation online via the “myDisneyexperience” app.
  • Additional Dining Changes
    • Many character dining locations have either removed their characters or modified the experience to provide safe social distances for guests and Cast Members
    • Guests are asked and encouraged to use mobile ordering for quick service locations where available.
    • Disney World is currently operating on a cash-free system, preferring Magic Band charging to room account, gift cards, and credit/debit cards for payment.
    • Guests dining at a Walt Disney World Resort Restaurant (not in the park) will now be subjected to temperature screenings prior to entering
  • The Disney World parks began their phased reopening this month…Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened to the public on July 11; Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios reopened on July 15.  All guests must have a valid theme park ticket and a park reservation to enter!
  • Important updates and modifications concerning the park openings…
    • INFORMATION LISTED HERE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME!
    • Be sure to visit Disney’s “Know Before You Go” Site to stay current on all resort and park procedures.
    • Guests planning on visiting a park must have both valid theme park admission and a park reservation.
    • Guests will undergo a health screening prior to entering a park.
    • Masks must be worn at all times.
    • Experiences that draw large crowds such as parades, fireworks, and traditional character greetings have been halted.
    • Traditional character greetings are suspended for now. Guests may experience more spontaneous and distanced character interactions
  • At this time, only the following Disney World Resorts are open- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas-Kidani Village, Disney’s Beach Club Villas, Disney’s Boardwalk Villas, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Lodge & Campgrounds, Disney’s Old Key West Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, and The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.  If your resort is unavailable during your travel dates, Disney World will notify you in advance with new resort details.  If you choose to accept Disney’s changes, your resort/package pricing should remain the same.  If you choose to select or request a different resort you will be responsible for any price increases.
  • Below is the list of expected opening dates for the remaining Disney World Resorts…
    • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort-August 24, 2020
    • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa-September 21, 2020
    • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort-October 4, 2020
    • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort-October 14, 2020
    • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort-November 1, 2020
  • Are you a Florida Resident interested in visiting Walt Disney World this summer?  Be sure to take advantage of your amazing discounts!
    • Disney’s Florida Resident Room Discount!  Guests staying from July 9-September 20, 2020 can save up to 35% off select rooms.
    • Florida Resident Disney Magic Flex Ticket offers 2-day flex tickets for $130 per guest, valid for use 07/22-09/30/2020; 3-day flex ticket for $174 per guest and 4-day flex ticket for $195 per guest, valid for use 07/22-11/20/2020 and 11/29-12/18/2020.
  • Disney’s Magical Express Changes-beginning on July 16, Disney’s Magical Express employees will no longer retrieve bags from the airport.  Guests will need to gather their own bags from baggage claim and take them to the bus.  Baggage assistance and bellhop (baggage hold) will be available at the resort.  In addition, online resort check-in is currently unavailable.  Guests will be required to take their bags with them onto the Magical Express bus and personally check them at the airport for their return flight.
  • Disney World room, packages, and tickets for 2020 are once again available.  Earlier this spring the ability to book new 2020 reservations and tickets were halted. As the resorts and parks have reopened, guests can now continue with new 2020 travel plans. BE SURE TO CHECK DISNEY’S PARK PASS AVAILABILITY CALENDAR PRIOR TO MAKING ANY NEW RESERVATIONS OR TICKET PURCHASES!
  • The 2020 Taste of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival opened this month with several changes and safety precautions
    • This year’s Festival Guidebook is now digital.  Guests can locate the guide on their My Disney Experience app.
    • Many family activities and entertainment offerings are still available.
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Virtual Queue is now operating with a new booking policy. When this attraction opened, guests rushed to the park before opening to snag a spot in the virtual queue.  As of this month, booking opportunities are now available at 10 am and 2 pm instead of the park opening.
    • Guests should download the My Disney Experience app to their mobile device in advance
    • Guests will need valid park admission and a park reservation to enter Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
    • At the appropriate time (10 am or 2 pm) guests should log onto their app and locate the “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Virtual Queue” link on the home screen.
    • If available, you can book your virtual spot for yourself and your linked “friends & family” that also have park tickets/reservations.
    • If there is no availability for your selected window, you may have the opportunity to join a backup group.
    • Guests can only book one queue spot per park day.
    • If push notifications are turned on, you will be notified when it is time to enter the queue.  Guests will have one hour to arrive.  Be sure to check the app often for changes.
  • runDisney’s Wine and Dine 2020 Half Marathon Weekend has been canceled. Previously registered participants have several options moving forward.
    • All guests are eligible for a full refund of all race fees. Money will be returned to the original form of payment; guests that no longer have access to the original form of payment can opt for a check or digital Disney Gift card.  All refunds should be delivered in 6-8 weeks.
    • Participants that purchased their registration via runDisney and have a valid US mailing address have the option of converting their fees to a virtual race.  Those choosing this option will receive their race-specific medal(s), race shirt, Digital bib, race certificate, Digital Goody bag, virtual playlist, and a Digital Disney Gift Card (for half, 10K, 5K and two-course challenge participants).
    • Commemorative Merchandise and Chear Squad purchases will automatically be refunded to the original form of payment.
    • Runners that booked via the Disney Travel Company should call 407-939-4786 for options; those that purchased through a charity or travel agent should contact them directly for instructions.
Disneyland Resort
Disney News & Updates

Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle

  • On July 9, 2020, Disney Springs began their phased reopening.  Several dining, snack and shopping locations have opened with new health policies in place
    • Guests are required to wear masks and practice proper social distancing.
    • Hand sanitizing stations can be found throughout the area.
  • The parks, resorts, and hotels of Disneyland remain closed at this time.  Guests planning to check in between now and August 22, 2020 should receive communication from the Disney Travel Company concerning refunds and waived cancellation/change fees.
Disney Cruise Line
Disney News Updates

Disney Cruise Line

  • All sailings through September 30, 2020 have been canceled as a result of the CDC’s No Sail Order.  Guests with reservations should receive guidance from either the Disney Travel Company or their travel agent.
  • Fall 2021 sailings have opened for booking this month
    • July 27 for Platinum Castaway Club Members and Golden Oak Residents
    • July 28 for Gold Castaway Club Members
    • July 29 for Silver Castaway Club Members and DVC members
    • July 30 for all first-time guests
Adventures by Disney and Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
Disney Travel News & Updates

Aulani

  • All Adventures by Disney bookings through September 30, 2020, have been canceled
  • Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa will remain closed indefinitely. Guests with reservations through August are currently being notified that their trip will be canceled.

If you plan on traveling to Disney World in 2020 or 2021, consider contacting  All for Dreams Travel.  The agency is partnered with Gateway to Magic Travel, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.  Let them help navigate all the changes, current policies, and safeguards to help make your vacation magical!

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My name is Patricia, aka Military Diva, and I have a soft spot for Disney Destinations! After a two year post-9/11 deployment, our family was able to reconnect during a Disney World vacation. While counting on time together, we did not expect the touching service we received from Cast Members. We were treated like royalty! It is my mission as a writer for "Tips from the Disney Diva" and as owner of "All for Dreams Travel" to help other families experience their own special connections through travel.