Rescheduling Your Disney Vacation due to the Coronavirus Closures

Due to the wide outbreak of the COVID-19 virus (also known as coronavirus) Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and the Disney Cruise Line have ceased operations through the end of March. Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott's Berry Farm, SeaWorld, and Universal Orlando have all followed suit.

This left many guests with March trips devastated as they scrambled to get refunds, contact airlines, and reorganize their entire vacation. We're here to help you plan how to reschedule your vacation and offer tips for rescheduling your trip. Keep in mind though that no one truly knows what to expect and while Disney is confident the parks will reopen on April 1st, anything could change between now and then.

Refund Policies- How to Get Your Money BackRescheduling Disney trip

Below I've compiled all the available refund information from Disneyland and Walt Disney World so you have an idea of what your best course of action is. You can also follow the official page on Disneyland's closure here and Walt Disney World's closure here. 

You can also stay up to date on all the details about how the coronavirus is impacting the Disney Parks on our guide as we continue to update with any new information we receive.

Ticket Refunds

If you've already purchased tickets, all you have to do at this point is just hang onto them. Disney is not issuing refunds for park tickets at this time. The only exception to this is if you've booked your tickets with our travel partner Get Away Today which has long been the only travel company to offer the option of refundability to their park ticket purchases. Contact 855-GET-AWAY for more information on processing any ticket refunds.

However, Disney is automatically extending multi-day tickets with unused days to the end of the year. See the full policy below about Disneyland tickets from the Disneyland website:

Any special ticketed events that would have taken place during the closure such as Disney's After Hours will all be automatically refunded. You can read the full details about Disneyland's closure on their website here and Walt Disney World on their website here. 

Annual Passholders

Walt Disney World and Disneyland have announced that their Annual Passholders will see the expiration dates for their annual passes extended by the number of days the park is closed from March 16-31 2020.

Disneyland Flex Annual Passholders will automatically have any Flex Day reservations cancelled with no penalty.

For Annual Passholders on a monthly payment plan, your monthly payments will continue without interruption.

Hotel Refunds

Disneyland hotels are remaining open until March 16th so guests staying on-site have time to pack up and secure travel home. After that point they will remain closed until the end of March just like the parks. The only way to be refunded at this point is to call The Walt Disney Travel Company at (714)-520-5050. As you can imagine, their phones have been ringing off the hook as people scramble to reschedule travel and ask for refunds. If you can afford to wait for your refund, you might be better holding off for a few days until the madness dies down so you're not waiting on hold for hours.

If you had plans to stay at an off-site hotel in the Disneyland area then this experience will vary depending on your hotel. I'd recommend calling them as soon as possible and/or looking on their website for details. So far from what we've seen many of the neighboring hotels nearby have been gracious about offering refunds and allowing guests to rebook without penalty.

As for Walt Disney World, their hotels are remaining open during the duration of the closure of their theme parks. If you have a stay booked at Walt Disney World during this time and wish to cancel your hotel reservation, you can do so in the My Experience App or by calling (407)-934-7639.

Just like with the Disneyland cancellation line, you can expect to see long wait times as you're connected to a cast member. You have the option of just doing nothing and letting Disney automatically refund your stay to your original payment method within 7 days of your check in date.

Walt Disney World has also changed their policy for change fees for guests with future planned travel between now through June 30, 2020 with no change fee or penalty.

Vacation Packages

If you've booked your vacation package directly through Disney and your travel takes place during the closure, you can request a full refund or rebook your stay. You call (714)-520-5050 to request your refund. If you can't get through before your check in date, you won't be charged any fees.

Third Party Refunds

If you've booked through a travel agency or a program through Costco/Sam's Club/etc. your best bet is to contact that individual agency to find out how to proceed with acquiring your refunds or rebooking your travel. The good news is that most travel agencies and third parties will take their cue from Disney when it comes to waiving change fees, processing refunds, etc.

If you've booked through Get Away Today know that their wonderful representatives are working around the clock to make sure that every customer is being taken care of right now. You can read the following statement on their policy during this unprecedented situation here,

If you currently have a Disneyland vacation booked during that time frame, we encourage you to reschedule for a later date. We are waiving all reschedule fees. You can call our agents at 855-GET-AWAY or send us a direct message on Facebook. We are responding to messages and help people reschedule as quickly as possible.

We are trying to help guests who have a vacation scheduled for travel within 72 hours first.

If you feel as though you need to completely cancel your reservation, you may do so without any fees if you purchased our Peace of Mind Plan. If you did not purchase Peace of Mind, you may cancel for just $75 – which is half of our regular cancellation fee. Remember, you can reschedule your entire vacation in full with NO fees at all.

You can read more about how they're helping their customers navigate this stressful time on their official statement page.

Airlines

This is a bit more tricky since this part will vary depending on which airline you selected and if you opted to pay for any refundable options at the time of booking.

Here is what I could find on the most common airlines and what options they're offering customers at this time.

  • Southwest Airlines
    • Southwest Airlines never charges Customers a fee to change or cancel their flight. If a Customer’s plans change, or they decide they no longer want to travel, the funds used to pay for their flight can be applied to future travel – as long as they cancel their flight at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure.
    • The funds are valid for future travel up to one year from the original purchase date and must be used by the individual named on the ticket.
    • Read more about how to change your flight here.
  • United Airlines
    • United is waiving change fees for all tickets issued on or before March 2 — domestic or international — with original travel dates of March 9 through April 30
    • When you book a flight with United between March 3 and March 31, 2020, you can change it for free over the next 12 months
    • Read more about how to change your flight here.
  • Frontier Airlines
    • For tickets issued prior to March 10, 2020 with original travel dates between March 10 and April 30, 2020 customers may make a one-time change to their itinerary without a change/cancel fee.
    • For tickets issued March 10 through March 31, 2020, customers may make a one-time change to their itinerary without a change/cancel fee.
    • Read more about how to change your flight here. 
  • Delta Airlines
    • You have the option to change your ticket, one time, and the change fee will be waived. Please note, if your new flight is more expensive, the fare difference will apply. Your new travel should begin before December 31, 2020 or your ticket expiration date (whichever is sooner).
    • Read more about how to change your flight here.
  • American Airlines
    • You're allowed to make a change to your trip once, and the change fee will be waived.
    • You can cancel your trip online, including Basic Economy tickets, and use the value of your unused ticket toward future travel on American.
    • Read more about how to change your flight here.

Dining, Shopping, and Prepaid Experiences through Disney

Disney will also automatically cancel all dining, shopping, and prepaid experience reservations during this time and process any applicable refunds. This includes Fastpass+, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge reservations, dining, etc. If you don't see a refund, contact Disney for more information if you prepaid for any experiences.

Rescheduling Your Disney Vacation

Now that we've covered how all the applicable refund policies will work, let's dive into some tips on how to reschedule your Disney vacation in the most stress-free possible way! These tips also can apply for guests looking to travel this spring or even in the summer! Let's face it, we're all feeling pretty anxious right now about how our future travel will pan out and there's a few ways to navigate that process to make things feel as magical as they should be!

1. Take Advantage of the Discounts Offered by Disney

Disney is offering guests (that were planning to stay on-site) special discount options when they re-book their vacation for both Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

For guests that booked a Walt Disney Vacation travel package for the Disneyland Resort from the start of the closure dates to May 31st are eligible for this offer:

  • Beginning Monday, March 30, 2020, these select guests will be able to book a special Disneyland Resort offer for most arrival dates from June 1st through December 31st, 2020. Some exclusions may apply.
  • The offer applies to weekdays, Sunday through Thursday. Eligible guests can receive up to 10% off at Paradise Pier Hotel for a premium room or 20% off a premium room at the Disneyland Hotel and Grand Californian. Guests also have the choice of 15% off a standard room at the Disneyland Hotel and Grand Californian.
  • Guests that cancelled before March 1st are not eligible for this offer.
  • Additional discounts may apply such as $50 per night credit for resort fees, check with a cast member for the most up to date information- there's been varying reports of what discounts guests have received.
  • You can call (714) 520-5050 to learn more and book this offer.

For guests that booked a Walt Disney Vacation travel package for Walt Disney World from the start of the closure dates to May 31st are eligible for this special vacation package offer:

  • Guests that had travel plans impacted by the closures are eligible for a free dining plan when they book for new travel dates through June 1st-September 30th. Guests must book by May 31st to receive this offer. The vacation package must be for a non-discounted stay including theme park tickets and a Walt Disney World Resort hotel room.
  • The free dining plan you receive is determined off the level of resort you stay at. Guests staying at value or moderate resorts will receive the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan. Guests staying at the deluxe resorts will receive the standard Disney Dining Plan. You can read more about Disney dining plans here. 
  • You can call (407) 939 -4251 to learn more and book this offer.

Call as soon as you can so you can take advantage of this discount and get your vacation back on track!

2. Book Airlines with Refund Options

If you're rebooking a trip through an airline, as you can see from the airline policies listed above they're being pretty generous on waiving change fees for rebooking. Another thing I noticed when researching all these new policies in affect due to the COVID-19 concerns, they're extending further flexibility to future travel which can help reassure customers that if this continues to impact travel- you can get a refund.

If you're looking to book a new trip, you notice that many of the popular airlines are offering the option of full refundability or waived change fees for travel booked for the 2020 year if you book in March! This is a great perk to take advantage of and can help you plan your vacation with more peace of mind.

3. Get Refundable Tickets and Hotel Options

This is one of the reasons why I absolutely love Get Away Today! We often plan our Disney vacations up to a year in advance and they offer so many great add on options to cover an unexpected circumstances.

Get Away Today offers refundable ticket options for an additional $25 per ticket purchase which allows you the option of refunding your park tickets! This is a great way to ease any hesitation about planning your Disney Parks vacation. Park tickets are also valid through 2020 and can be rescheduled. They are the only ticket reseller that offers the refundable ticket option.

If you book your hotel and tickets through Get Away Today, consider purchasing their Peace of Mind package which allows you full refundability on your hotel and any tickets in your vacation package. I always use this option regardless because you never know what might come up.

If you're traveling with Get Away Today in April and want to reschedule your vacation, you can do so with no reschedule fees. And you don't have to know your dates to reschedule either, you can take your time planning. Contact 855-GET-AWAY for more information.

4. Find a Balance of Realism and Optimism

I think the largest part of what's making this so stressful- and taking the magic out of our planning- is not knowing what's going to happen. As of now, Disney is planning to resume operations on April 1st 2020 at all their USA locations. I would recommend being optimistic at this time to help keep the pixie dust alive for your travel excitement.

But of course, to be realistic- we really just don't know what will happen. But if you have booked with full refundability, then you can rest assured that if the closure does get extended- you will be taken care of.

This is largely what comes down to your own personal lifestyle! Some guests don't have the option to reschedule their trips right away due to their work schedules or their children's school schedules. Some things are just out of our control. Deciding when to reschedule is a personal choice based on a number of different external factors that only you can answer.

5. Come Back as Soon as You Can

There are so many great things happening at Disneyland this spring and summer! Here is just a sampling of the awesome things to look forward to this year:

Even if you have to postpone your spring travel, you might end up being at the resort during one of the many amazing things we can expect this summer and the holiday season.

Don't Let This Take the Fun Out of Planning Your Magical Vacation

And lastly, don't let this take the fun out of your travel planning! If you're anything like me, planning is half the fun. And it can be an excellent distraction from all the bleak and depressing news we're faced with right now.

Turn off social media. Turn off the news. Get out some fun colored pens and start planning your trip. Day one: what will you see? Where will you eat? What characters do I want to meet?

We're still going full steam ahead with our trip planned for summer and my family found that focusing on planning out the magic of our future trip was a great way to relieve stress while we're cooped up in the house. I highly recommend you do the same! Don't let the sadness of the world take your pixie dust away!

Let Us Help Plan Your Disneyland Trip Today!

Let us help you plan your Disneyland vacation! To get started, subscribe to our FREE deals newsletter for access to exclusive content and deals you won't find anywhere else. Check it out HERE! Don't forget to check out some of our other helpful planning guides:

  1. Best Times to Visit Disneyland
  2. Best Disneyland Souvenirs
  3. Disneyland Restaurant Reviews and Tips
  4. Disneyland FastPass Guide
  5. Booking Disneyland Packages

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