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30by Military Diva


Here we are, 6 months from the initial Disney shutdowns, and the good news is slowly rolling in!  The Walt Disney World Park Reservation system is mostly a success, guests continue to visit and remain healthy. Other Disney destinations worldwide are functioning at reduced capacity or making plans to open soon!  Continue reading below for the most up to date news from the Disney Travel Company.

Walt Disney World
Disney News & Updates September 2020

The new castle colors. Photo courtesy of Pink Diva

  • Know Before You Go and Park Reservations are still an integral part of your Disney World Vacation- for the most up-to-date information on safety and resort policies, guests are advised to visit the Know Before You Go link on the Disney World Website.  Park Reservations and park tickets are still required to enter a Disney World Park.  Guests are being advised to check the Park Reservation availability calendar before booking a package or purchasing tickets.  Finalize package/ticket purchase,  immediately link in the “myDisneyexperience” account and book park reservations.  NOTE:  guests are required to book their park reservations on their own. Travel agents, friends, or other contacts should not book for another party as the reservation includes a legally binding COVID waiver.
  • Changes to Disney World Fall Celebrations-as mentioned earlier this summer, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party will not occur this year.  But guests visiting Walt Disney World from September 15-October 31 can still enjoy full FALL decor throughout Magic Kingdom and other parks.
    • In place of the typical parades and character greetings, guests will instead be surprised by spontaneous Character Cavalcades down Main Street, U.S.A.
    • All guests are welcome to wear their favorite costumes and of course, the park is full of Seasonal Treats! (Mask guidelines found in “Know Before You Go”)
    • The Dapper Dans have returned, performing as “The Cadaver Dans”.
    • Minnie’s Halloween Dine has returned to Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
    • Most importantly, Fall Treats can be found throughout the property.  Check out this “Foodie Guide” from Disney Parks Blog.
  • Several Disney World Resorts remain closed at this time-while operations are slowly returning to some sense of normal, select Disney Resorts remain closed. Guests are being consolidated into open resorts.  At this time, the following updates are available…
    • Deluxe Resorts…Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort will remain closed until the summer of 2021 as updates are made to the Great Ceremonial House and guest rooms. In addition, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge remain closed.
    • Moderate Resorts…Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter are closed.  Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is closed (scheduled to open on October 14, 2020).
    • Value Resorts…All Disney All-Star Resorts remain closed. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is currently closed (scheduled to open on November 1, 2020).
  • New 2021 Discounts are available!  Guests planning a trip between now and December 25, 2020, can enjoy special offers from Walt Disney World.
    • Magic Is Here Vacation Package-guests can save up to $500 on a 4-Night Resort package with tickets.  Most resorts are included, with the exception of 3-bedroom villas, Cabins at Copper Creek Villas, Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Bungalows and Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.
    • Florida Resident Discount at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort-eligible guests can enjoy a discounted beach vacation at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, saving up to 20%-plan your visit between October 24 and November 21, 2020, and November 27-December 17, 2020.
    • Magic Is Here Room Offer for guests of select states-residents of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia can book select Walt Disney World Resort accommodations, saving up to 30 percent!  Book now through December 25, 2020!
  • Disney’s Book With Confidence Policy-guests checking in now through December 31, 2020, can book with confidence!  Disney’s policies have been updated to allow guests to change or cancel their vacation packages up until the date of check-in without penalty.  All changes must be made prior to check-in to receive a refund.
  • Updates on Holiday Celebrations at Disney World-Much like the Halloween Parties, Mickey’s Very Christmas Party, and Epcot’s Candlelight Processional will not occur this year.  Instead, guests can enjoy special entertainment throughout the parks.  Holiday water floats at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Seasonal Promenades at Epcot, and Merry Motorcades at Disney’s Hollywood Studios are a few of the festive additions to this year’s celebrations. Guests of Disney’s Magic Kingdom can enjoy spontaneous character cavalcades with characters decked out in their Holiday Finest, special Holiday Castle Projections in place of the Castle Dream Lights, and Toy Soldiers joining Main Street Philharmagic musicians in a march down Main St. U.S.A. In addition, Disney Springs will still show off their famous Christmas Trees and delight guests with a Magical Snowfall in Town Center, the West Side, and the Landing.  All the holiday decor and seasonal treats will be available throughout the parks and resorts from November 6-December 30, 2020.
  • Star Wars Fans, Savi’s Workshop is up and running-guests of Disney’s Hollywood Studios are now able to reserve their spot to build their very own lightsabre.  Previously closed due to COVID, this exciting Black Spire Outpost location is now open!
  • TRON Lightcycle updates-the first major pieces of the canopy, the portal to the GRID, was recently installed in Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Check out the visual from the video HERE!
  • Walt Disney Waterparks are still closed as of this writing.  But recent updates have noted March 7, 2021, as the preliminary opening date for either Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park or Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park.  Updates and announcements will be based on state and local requirements and will be announced closer to their projected opening date.
  • Mobile Ordering Preferred at Disney World Dining locations-in an effort to offer as many contactless payment options as possible, many Disney World Quick Service locations and select Table Service locations are now offering mobile ordering, dining wait times, and online check-in options.
    • Guests must have access to the “myDisneyexperience” app.
    • Once logged in click the “+” button and then “order food”
    • Select the desired dining location, arrival time, and place order. Guests can make certain menu customizations when ordering.
    • Guests can use the credit card linked to their “myDisneyexperience” account but be advised that there are reports of guests being asked for their CVV security code when picking up food. Make sure you have your code memorized!!
    • Guests also have the option to enter a new credit card, debit card, or gift card on the payment screen.
  • Updates for guests arriving between November 6 and December 31, 2020, who were booked before June 5, are being sent via email.  The communication includes details concerning modified experiences, a reminder to make Park Reservations, safety measures in place, health screenings, In addition, new resort details will be included if the stay includes a Disney Resort that is currently closed.
  • Updates to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort-as Disney World prepares for its 50th Anniversary one of its most beloved Resorts will celebrate with an extensive facelift.  Design upgrades include a new Porte-cochere (entryway), improvements along with the monorail entry, and garden/fountain refurbishments.  Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is currently closed but will reopen in the Summer of 2021.
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on October 5, 2020!  Fans will be pleased to experience the show with only minor changes made to allow for social distancing for both the actors and guests.
Disney News & Updates, September 2020

Photo courtesy of Tinker Belle Diva

  • Disneyland Park, California Adventure, and Disneyland Resort Hotels remain closed at this time.
Disney Cruise Line

Three Night Cruise Enough

  • Disney Cruise Line Online Check-In system is being updated.  As a result, online check-in is currently unavailable.  Guests will receive a notification when the new system becomes available.
  • Updated Disney Cruise Line Suspensions-under guidance from the CDC, Disney Cruise Line has suspended all departures through mid-December. Guests aboard affected sailings that have paid in full will have the choice of a Future Cruise Credit or a full refund. Those that have not paid in full will receive a refund of monies paid.
    • Disney Dream/Disney Wonder-all sailings through December 11, 2020
    • Disney Fantasy-all sailings through December 6, 2020
    • Disney Magic-all sailings through December 12, 2020
  • Final Payment Extension and Cancellation Policy Changes-beginning September 25, 2020, Disney Cruise Line has temporarily adjusted its final payment and cancellation policies.  These changes apply to guests booked on a Disney Cruise from now through March 31, 2021.
    • Final Payment is now due 60 days prior to sailing for unrestricted cabins
    • Cancellation schedules vary based on length of sailing and days prior to sailing.  The new fee schedules can be found on
    • Guests booked on sailings now through October 31. 2021 can change their sail dates up to 15 days prior to the original sail date without penalty.
    • Guests directly affected by Covid-19 within 14 days of sailing can cancel their cruise and receive a full refund or a Future Cruise Credit.
Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
Disney News Updates, September 2020

Photo courtesy of Disney Magic Diva

  • Aulani Resort Opening! Beginning November 1, 2020, Aulani will begin a phased reopening in accordance with local health organizations.  Policies and updates will be announced shortly!
  • New discount announced-guests booking an Aulani room reservation most nights between November 1-December 21, 2020 (book by December 17) can enjoy up to 35% off regular room rates. .  Discount is based on availability and length of stay.
  • Updated Cancelation policy-guests booked at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa from now through May 20, 2021, can cancel or change their reservation without penalty up to 24 hours prior to check-in.  This policy change is temporary; reservations checking in after May 20, 2021, will adhere to the regular cancelation policy.
Adventures by Disney
Disney News & Updates, September 2020

Disney themed and specialty River Cruises offered by Adventures by Disney

  • Final Payment Changes-guests booked with Adventures by Disney from December 1, 2020-February 28, 2021 will receive an auto extension of their final payment due date. While the deposit remains non-refundable, the final payment will now be due 90 days prior to departure.
  • Change Policy Updates-guests booked with Adventures by Disney up until December 31, 2020, can modify their travel dates and receive a full credit to be used towards the new travel dates.
    • The change must be made 45 days prior to the original departure date to receive full credit.
    • The new travel dates must be chosen by March 31, 2021. (Guests do not have to travel by March 31; new dates must be booked by this date).

On a very positive note, the updates article is getting longer and longer each month.  News of openings, new Disney Magic, and enhanced procedures continue to flood my inbox and newsfeed. Here’s to hoping this Fall will continue to bring good news for the Disney Travel Company and public travel.

As always, All for Dreams Travel, our sponsored Travel Agency, is happy to help with your next vacation. All for Dreams Travel is an independent agency with Gateway to Magic Travel, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Request your no-obligation Quote HERE!!



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.