Complete Guide to Disney World and Disneyland Coronavirus Closures

Our guide to the COVID-19 outbreak and how it's impacting the Disney Parks will cover everything from refund policies, anticipated re-opening dates, how to reschedule your trip, and safety precautions.

Theme Parks Closed Currently with Anticipated Re-Opening Dates

This is where we will keep you updated with the most recent closures and anticipated re-opening dates for Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and other popular theme parks guests often visit on a Disney vacation.

The CDC has recommended that organizers with events for 50 people or more postpone these events for at least eight weeks. Following this federal recommendation, events could be cancelled (and theme parks closed) until the week of May 11th. We do not anticipate any of the theme parks below opening before the CDC recommendations, though these recommendations could change and have parks open earlier. The State of California and City of Orlando have also both issued stay at home notices with no end date. To emphasize, Disney will follow the government's lead on reopening.

Disney is currently taking hotel reservations starting on June 1st, which leads us to believe that the thinking internally is that the parks will be open by June 1st. We will keep you updated as any updates are released.

See our information on rescheduling Disney vacations due to coronavirus below.

Keep in mind that these re-opening dates aren't set in stone. The situation with COVID-19 is constantly changing and the theme park industry will do what's best for the safety of their guest and Cast Members and are following guidance from their prospective state governments.

It's important to recognize that Disney has paid their cast members during this closure and will continue to until April 18 which is a commendable move.

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You can follow these official websites for more information on how Disney is responding to the coronavirus:

Continue reading our article to review our tips for safe traveling, how to book refundable Disneyland tickets, refund policies, and frequently asked questions.

Disney Discount Exclusive Offer for Guests with Travel Impacted by the Coronavirus 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 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!

Refund Policies on Disney Park Tickets and Vacation Packages

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. All dining reservations, FastPass, special ticketed events will also be cancelled and refunded automatically.

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.

Annual Passholder Information 

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.

Third Party Refunds for Vacation PackagesMickey and Minnie blowing kisses in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle

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.

Airline Refund Policies

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.

We're here to help you plan how to reschedule your vacation and offer tips for rescheduling your trip- read our guide here!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here we're covering the most frequently asked questions in response to the Disney Parks closure amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

When will the Disney Parks open?

This is a trickier question to answer and no one truly knows the outcome- not even Disney. The situation with COVID-19 is constantly changing and only time will tell when the parks can open in their full capacity. The best thing you can do is follow our guide as we keep updating changes to the reopening dates. I would recommend for future travel that you book with options for refundability in case the opening dates are delayed and prepare for this likely scenario.

Will special events taking place in the Spring be extended when Disneyland opens?

So far we know that Dapper Day has added an ‘encore' day for June 21st which is good news! They did decide to reschedule the Dapper Day Expo at the Grand Californian for June 20th and 201st just to be on the safe side.

There's rumors that the California Food & Wine Festival will be extended into September based on park permits Disney applied for but this hasn't been confirmed. Until information is confirmed by Disney, take it with a grain of salt.

It's hard to say what the park schedule will look like when it re-opens and all we can do is wait and see!

What about my prepaid dining and souvenir reservations? 

Any prepaid dining experiences or souvenir reservations (like Droid Depot, Savi's Workshop, etc.) will be automatically canceled and refunded.

Can I get a refund on my ticket?

Currently Disney is not offering refunds on park tickets but they've extended the expiration dates for many of the ticket options- including discount ticket options offered this spring.

Walt Disney World with partners statue- how to prepare for the coronavirus when traveling

Are the third party hotels (Good Neighbor Hotels, etc.) still open?

It depends, many of the hotels have announced temporary closures in lieu of Disney's announcement.

Since the closure has no end date should I cancel my vacation?

I would just wait and see, if you want. Since this is such an extraordinary situation many hotels and airlines are offering rebooking options and refunds.

Will this delay upcoming projects and park refurbishments or will construction continue during the closure? 

It's important to note that Disney values the safety of their employees and many state governments have implemented stay at home procedures to limit the spread of COVID-19. It's possible that construction is halted on many projects currently. Whether that has any impact on opening dates on popular additions, like Avengers Campus, will remain to be seen.

Will the Disney Parks take preventative measures when they re-open? 

Disney always orchestrates best practices in regards to cleanliness regardless. Guests should take advantage of the wide range of restrooms available for handwashing and hand sanitizer stations throughout the parks. Before the recent closure, Disney introduced additional hand sanitizer stations in the parks along with signs recommending guests to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds in the bathrooms.

It's unknown at this point what other preventative measures will be taken in regards to safety with this pandemic. Rumors (and keep in mind, these are rumors!) have circulated claiming Disney will use virtual queue options, reduce crowd forming entertainment like fireworks/parades, and limit attendance capacity. Again, these are just rumors at this time without anything confirmed by Disney just yet.

Pixar Pier and Mickeys Fun Wheel during sunset sky

What if I'm nervous about booking a future vacation during this time?

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.

Many airlines also offer the option to purchase the ability to refund tickets for an additional cost. While this may get pricey, depending on the airline, this is yet another option to ease any concerns about paying off your travel in advance. And of course, if you have travel insurance that can be a help too. Just make sure you read the fine print and do your research when it comes to using travel insurance. Most major airlines are willing to work through travel concerns that are caused by international issues like the Coronavirus.

What preventive methods should I use once travel is recommended again?

First things first, make sure you are following credible sources on the coronavirus outbreak and steering clear of the myths that have taken over social media. False information travels fast anytime there's a public safety crisis and this virus has been no exception. A good source of information is to follow the CDC and World Health Organization for health updates and tips on keeping yourself safe.

If you are traveling, they recommend you follow routine precautions such as:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

For more information about the coronavirus including frequently asked questions, prevention tips, and following updates on the virus- read the guide on the CDC website here.

The tips outlined above are all standard cleanliness practices that I hope you are already utilizing when visiting theme parks or traveling through large cities for that matter. The Coronavirus is spread in a similar way to the flu, so you should just make sure you are taking similar precautions here. WASH YOUR HANDS!

Have questions or thoughts? Please comment them below.

We had a great thread of encouraging responses on our Facebook page on the post embedded below. Check out the comments:

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16 comments add yours

  1. I am still planning our family’s Disneyland trip. We booked everything in January when COVID-19 was still a possible media rumor, so I did not get refundable anything. My plan is to carry a small travel bottle of the alcohol sanitizer in my pocket and using it right away after getting off a ride.

  2. I am planning on going to Disneyland Paris on July and I know it’s completely different the situation from California or Orlando to Europe, is it still safe to go? I am just worried that my vacation will get canceled from the Airlines or Disneyland Paris it’s self, what should I do?

    • You will have to play your vacation by ear. Currently, Disneyland Paris is still fully operational. We hope that the virus is much more under control by July.

  3. We booked our April trip to Disney World last July. We are still planning to go and participate in the Run Disney races. I can’t live my life in fear of getting sick.

  4. If you aren’t 60 or over you don’t need to cancel. But if this had happened in Jan. my family would have gone without me. I’m 78 and survived lung cancer. I doubt my grandchildren would like to add my death to all our Happy Disney stories.

  5. Coming from Australia in April for 2 weeks. If the park is still closed do you think they will offer us a refund as we cant just pick a different month to go??

    • Kirsty, Disney will do everything that they can to make the situation right for you. If the parks are still closed, they will absolutely offer a refund. Did you book your travel directly through Disney?

  6. What about those of us who have the annual pass and now can not use them during this time?

  7. We are traveling from Australia plan to be in Anhiem and visit Disney mid April lets hope the park is open then.Not planning to cancel our trip just be extra cautious with washing hands and not touching surfaces then our face.

  8. We just got back from a cruise on Disney Dream. The attention ALL of the crew gave to sanitation and the guests’ welfare was impeccable. Better yet they made everyone at ease with the extra step up on sanitizing! Way to go Disney! You’re doing what’s best for all!!! Thank you!

  9. Hi. We are actually in Orlando right now for the UCA National Cheer competition. We have visited Magic Kingdom and Epcot already, however.. my husband who is back home says that we should return and are at great risk if we continue our trip and visit other parks before the temporary closure tomorrow evening. I am very torn as what to do. Am I putting my family at risk if we do decide to stay and visit other parks?

    • That’s really a personal decision at this point, you have to make the choice that’s best for your family.

  10. I’m curious if Disney is able to take this closure time to work on refurbishments and maintenance (while safely socially distancing of course). Seems like an opportune time to work on the Parks!

    • Hard to say! Based on the government recommendations it may be hard for construction to continue at the rate it was likely happening before the closure but we can hope.

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