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 had to cease operations. Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott's Berry Farm, SeaWorld, and Universal Orlando then all followed suit.

This left many guests with 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 planning a trip during this time. The good news is that the parks are beginning to reopen with Universal Orlando open now, Universal Studios Hollywood CityWalk open now, Disneyland opening date coming soon, and Walt Disney World opening July 11th. 

You can also read all about how the rephased opening process will be like for Disneyland in our guide>

Rescheduling Your Disney Vacation

Let's dive into some tips on how to plan a Disney vacation right now in the most stress-free possible way! 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 Future Discounts

This is the best time to book travel for Disneyland because of all the great discounts being offered. Our favorite Disney-approved re-seller, Get Away Today, offers the best Disneyland discount tickets around. Here are some of the great ticket offers you can get right now for travel in 2020:.

Disneyland Ticket Deals

  1. Kids Sale – Disneyland has extended their kid's spring sale to be valid for travel through December 15, 2020. Must be booked by May 18, 2020. Book HERE >
  2. Extra Day Free – Get your 5th day free when you book a 4-day Disneyland ticket of any type. Book HERE >

Buying tickets from Get Away Today is easy and convenient since all their tickets are sent electronically. You can take their vouchers and head straight to the gate without needing to wait in any ticket booth lines. They also offer layaway plans so you can pay off your vacation over time. Plus this is one of the only ticket resellers to get fully refundable options for ticket purchases!

Book your discount tickets NOW >

You can read my review on my personal experiences booking through Get Away Today and how much you can save here!

Disneyland Hotel Deals

Local Anaheim area hotels are offering unprecedented discount rates to offer incentive for travel for the rest of the 2020 year. Now is a great time to get a fantastic deal on a fabulous Good Neighbor hotel near Disneyland.

We often stay at these Anaheim area hotels and have magical experiences. Some of these local area hotels are even closer to the resort than the official resort hotels. When you book with Get Away Today you get even more reduced rates along with the potential of other perks like free parking, breakfast, waived resort fees, and more.

Anaheim Area Hotel Offers – Must be booked by May 31, 2020

Other Southern California Attractions 

You can read some of our staff reviews on a few of our favorite neighboring hotels within walking distance to Disneyland below:

With so many hotels to choose from, you can find a great deal for a place that fits your family with these amazing comeback offers. Click here to start your vacation planning!>

Guests with Vacations Impacted by the Closure

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 during the closure:

  • 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 for travel impacted by the closure are eligible for this special vacation package offer:

  • For guests that booked a Walt Disney Vacation travel package for Walt Disney World during the closure may be eligible for discounts including discounted hotel rooms. Previously, Walt Disney World was offering a free dining package but with the recent change to limited capacity for dining this offer was changed to a percentage discount on hotel rooms.
  • You can call (407) 939 -4251 to learn more about what discounts are available.

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 below 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! 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. Be prepared for New Health Policies in Place

You can expect things to look different when you return to Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Disney has been working hard to put health policies in place to protect guests and cast members. Be prepared for new policies that could include:

  • Certain Experiences Temporarily Suspended: Experiences that draw large group gatherings– such as parades and nighttime spectaculars – will return at a later date. In addition, “high-touch” experiences such as makeover opportunities, playgrounds and character meet and greets will remain temporarily unavailable. Characters will be in the parks, at a distance, to still greet guests.
  • Reduced capacity: Walt Disney World will have a reduced guest capacity and an advanced reservation system in place to manage attendance. All guests will be required to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance. More details about this new reservation system will be available soon.
  • Screening and prevention support: Guests 3 years of age and older and cast members will be required to wear appropriate face coverings in theme parks and common areas of resort hotels. All guests and cast members will also undergo temperature screenings prior to entering a theme park.
  • Cleanliness and sanitization: Increased cleaning and disinfection, determining where that should take place (for example, in high-traffic areas), and the cleaning products and processes used. Cashless transactions are recommended.
  • Physical distancing: Managing guest density in queues, restaurants, hotels, ride vehicles and other facilities throughout the park and across the resort.
  • New Signage: Disney also revealed a list of new signs to remind guests of hand washing, touchless payment, distancing measures, etc.
  • Mask Relief Areas: There will be designed ‘guest relaxation' areas for guests to safely remove their masks and get a break from wearing them throughout the park. More details coming soon on how this will be implemented and what safety procedures will be in place for these areas.
  • Reduced Operating Hours: As of now Disney World's operating hours will be much shorter with an average time of operation from 9AM-7PM. Over time, along with capacity, Disney World will begin extending operating hours based on the circumstances surrounding the pandemic.

We will continue to update things as we know more but it's safe to say you can expect policies in place like these when you revisit the park.

5. Get Reservations

You will now need Disneyland reservations to visit the theme parks until further notice. More details on this new reservation system and how it will impact guests coming soon! Here is what we know so far:

It's been confirmed that park hopping will be allowed with your reservation which is great news for Disneyland. Since Disneyland and California Adventure are so close together, it makes sense to allow park hopping for Disneyland.

We expect that guests with multi-day tickets will secure just one reservation for the consecutive days of their tickets and be good to go. So for example, if you have a 5-day park ticket you should just be able to secure a reservation starting with your first day in the park and that will cover you for the following days of your ticket.

Follow our guide for all the up to date information on securing a reservation to Disneyland. 

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

Even if you had to postpone your spring or summer 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.

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.

Here is everything you need to know about Disney Park ticket valid dates, extensions, vacation package refunds, and more.

Ticket Refunds and Expiration Dates

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.

Walt Disney World is automatically extending multi-day tickets with unused days that were dated between March 12th through March 31st. You now have until December 15th, 2020 to use those park tickets. If you cannot visit by then, you can apply the cost of the ticket to a future visit. Florida Resident Discover Tickets can be used by July 31, 2020.

For Disneyland, see the below information from Disney regarding all different ticket types and promotions:

Any special ticketed events that would have taken place during the closure such as Disney's After Hours will all be automatically refunded if they are not rescheduled. All dining reservations, FastPass, special ticketed events will also be cancelled and refunded automatically.

It's also important to keep in mind that Disney park tickets never lose their value, you can always apply an expired ticket to the price of a new one and pay the difference in price.

Hotel Refunds

For Disneyland, 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 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.

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.

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.

Annual Passholders

Originally, Disney stated that passholders would just have their expiration dates extended by the numbers of days the parks would be closed. Now since it's become apparent that the parks could remain closed for longer than originally anticipated, Disney has updated their policy to be more accommodating to their annual passholders.

If you are an annual pass holder on a payment plan:

  • Beginning April 5th Disney will automatically stop and waive all upcoming monthly payments while the theme parks are closed.
  • Disney will also refund payments made between March 14th-April 4th.
  • Payments will resume when the park reopens and most pass holders will see their annual passholder expiration dates extended to accommodate the dates of the closure.

If you have paid in full for your annual pass you can opt for a partial refund for the park closure period or you can choose to have your pass expiration date extended by the number of days the parks are closed.

Disneyland Flex Annual Passholders will automatically have any Flex Day reservations cancelled with no 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 May 31st. Watch for emails for other flight change and credit offers past this duration, they've been sent out frequently.
    • When you book a flight with United through April 30th, 2020, you can change it for free over the next 12 months
    • Read more about how to change your flight here.
  • Frontier Airlines
    • Frontier is offering customers the choice to 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.
    • 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.

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

Disclosure: We have used all the products recommended on Mickey Visit. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products featured.

2 comments add yours

  1. We have canceled our trip for July based on concerns with the virus we asked to change the dates till 2021 and they refused . This is our grandsons
    First visit and we want it to be
    a good on we need assistance
    Changing the date and have been refused. 847 8146223

    • If you booked with Disney directly, I would recommend calling back and seeing what they can do to make things right for you!

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