Disney World Reopening- Different Character Interactions, New Safety Policies, Reservation System

Walt Disney World has endured the longest closure in it's history due to the COVID-19 pandemic and as of July 15th all four theme parks are now open with limited capacity with a reservation system in place.

Keep reading our guide for everything you need to know about the Disney World opening including new policies in place, exclusive come back travel discounts, and how to still plan for a magical vacation.

Walt Disney World Reservation System

Advance reservations for park admission is required for Walt Disney World as Disney uses limited capacity restrictions to ensure a safe environment for guests and cast members.

Booking Dates for Park Reservations

Park reservations are available through September 26, 2021, based on your Resort stay and ticket eligibility or ticket eligibility window. So in other words, you can expect to be required to make a reservation until September 2021 based on this news from Disney World.

How to Make a Reservation 

  1. Link your park tickets/admission to your Disney account. You will need valid park admission to make a reservation.
  2. Create your party. Before you make a reservation, you'll be prompted to create a party from your Family & Friends list on your account. This ensures your group has the same reservations for your trip.
  3. Select a date and park. Choose the date and time you'd like to visit from the available reservations.
  4. Review and confirm your plans. You will also be prompted to agree to a COVID-19 liability waiver.

To help yourself prepare for making reservations you should make sure to:

  • You’ll need a My Disney Experience account, as this is where your Walt Disney World Resort plans are stored and managed.
  • You’ll also need a valid theme park ticket or Annual Pass that’s linked to your My Disney Experience account.
  • If you have a Disney Resort hotel reservation, be sure to link it to your My Disney Experience account beforehand, as well.

Important Details for Making Reservations

Everything looks a bit different right now for visiting Disney World so it's important to be aware of these new policies for the reservation system and the state of the parks when they open.

  • Reservations are limited and subject to availability and are not guaranteed until a reservation is finalized.
  • At this time, Guests will be able to select one park per day; visiting more than one park per day will be temporarily unavailable upon the reopening of the theme parks due to attendance limitations.
    • Guests with existing tickets that include the Park Hopper Option or Park Hopper Plus Option have options available to them for ticket modifications and cancellations.
  • A park reservation must be made for each day of entry. If you have a multi-day ticket, you will be required to make a park reservation for each date of your visit.
  • It is highly recommend that you make your park reservation as soon as you complete your ticket purchase, as availability can change until the reservation is finalized.

Travel for through 2020-2021

Walt Disney World just reopened ticket sales and vacation packages for the 2020 year! You can also purchase 2021 packages and make your reservations up until September. Considering booking for 2021 with our travel partner and get FREE concierge Walt Disney World services! These services include having Get Away Today's Walt Disney World expert Brooklyn take care of all your dining reservations, FastPass+ reservations, and more! This really takes all the stress out of planning a Walt Disney World vacation. Rather than waking up at odd hours of the night to book all your reservations, why not let their travel agents take care of it for you- for free!

Start Planning Your Disney World Trip Now!

Technology and Magic Band Changes

Disney World plans to retire complimentary Magic Bands in 2021 as they upgrade the My Disney Experience App to include the same features that Magic Band provides with the app's existing digital key feature. Complimentary MagicBand distribution to Disney Resort hotel guests will end for new reservations with arrivals beginning Jan. 1, 2021. Disney Resort hotel guests will continue to have the option to purchase new MagicBands at a discount and guests who prefer not to purchase a discounted MagicBand will be able to use the My Disney Experience app or a Key to the World card during their visit.

Disney World's New Policies in Action

During the cast member previews social media has been flooded with pictures and videos of being welcomed back to the Most Magical Place on Earth with cast members greeting guests with “Welcome back, we've missed you!” Here are some of the highlights of Disney World's new policies in action.

Select Entertainment Options ReturnFor the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

Since Disney World's reopening, all stage entertainment has been temporarily paused and now we're starting to see some entertainment options return!

“For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” will return to Disney's Hollywood Studios on October 5th in a show that retells all the fun sing-along moments of Disney's Frozen. The show will remain the same with some adjustments to staging and audience seating to allow for appropriate physical distancing.

“Disney Junior Play & Dance!” will return in the Animation Courtyard. Each party performance throughout the day features a DJ spinning songs from Disney Junior TV shows with appearances from Disney Junior characters such as Mickey Mouse, Vampirina and more.

Modified Character Experiences

Disney World has gotten creative in order to still incorporate characters into their parks while still enforcing social distancing to keep cast members and guests safe.

The Incredibles

In Hollywood Studios, Disney and Pixar characters will perform along Hollywood Boulevard and across the park in pop-up motorcades throughout the day. The motorcade features favorites like Mickey Mouse, Edna Mode or Doc McStuffins.

Mickey and Friends Motorcade  features Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto and Chip ‘n’ Dale, accompanied by a bouncy musical score inspired by Disney cartoon shorts. The Pixar Pals Motorcade features the Incredibles, Woody, Buzz Lightyear waving to the beat of the Green Army Drum Corps. And the Disney Junior Stars Motorcade brings favorite TV friends Fancy Nancy, Doc McStuffins and Vampirina to Hollywood Boulevard.

Vampirina

See some of the social media posts below to see how characters will still bring magic to your visit!

Photo via Laughing Place

Photos - Cast Member Preview at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom ...

Photo via The Laughing Place

Photo via StayatHome_Mouse on Instagram

 

We love seeing the unique ways that Disney World incorporated characters into the Magic Kingdom! Putting Gaston and Merida on horses is especially a nice touch. As always, Disney does a great job at making magic happen even in a strained situation.

Dining Changes and New Policies

There have been many changes to the dining at Walt Disney World, here are some of the most important highlights to be aware of:

  • Only modified character dining experience will be offered in the initial reopening phase with characters ensuring proper social distancing takes place along with no autographs.
  • Dining packages are not being offered- likely in response to the limitation on entertainment and nighttime spectaculars not being initially offered
  • Restaurants are operating in limited capacity and some locations remain temporarily closed
  • Dining plans are currently suspended
  • The booking window has been temporarily changes to 60 days in advance for making dining reservations.
  • Increased cleaning in high traffic areas of restaurants and spaced seating areas to accommodate social distancing.
  • For quick-service restaurants menus are displayed on the signs. For table-service restaurants there will be the option to scan a QR code with your phone to access a digital menu. Disposable paper menus will be available at most restaurants too.
  • Items that used to be self-serve will now be served by cast members.

Guests will also be provided with a QR code to scan on their mobile device to access a digital menu or be provided with a paper/disposable menu at table-service restaurants.

Photo via Laughing Place

Quick-service restaurants will continue to rely on menu signage for guests. You can also read all the restaurant menus on the Walt Disney World app!

Social Distancing in Attractions and Queues

You can see the effort to manage social distancing in the line queues and attractions at Disney World. Plexiglass barriers have been installed for attraction queues that are difficult to maintain six feet of distance. Ride vehicles are also spaced out with guests of the same parties only sitting near each other and some ride vehicles being used with just one party per ride (DINOSAUR- so we might see this with Indiana Jones in Disneyland). Haunted Mansion sees the biggest change with no pre-show in the stretching room, guests just walk in and out of the attraction without congregating together.

The Enchanted Tiki Room is the only show in operation at Disney World and guests are seated in every other row. (Photo via The Laughing Place)

Social distancing markers are placed on the ground telling guests where to stand. (Photo via The Laughing Place)

Plexiglass barriers in ride queues. (Photo via The Laughing Place)

Social distancing markers tell you where to stand. (Photo via The Laughing Place)

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge has undergone the most changes in order to effectively create social distancing in this popular land… planet.. of Batuu! It's great to see that rather than just shut down areas of this land that Disney went out of their way to create safe ways for guests to still experience the magic of a galaxy far, far away.

Virtual Queue for Star Wars: Rise of the ResistanceStar Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Disney World is using a virtual queue, nearly identical to the previous Boarding Groups that were used prior to the closure, for guests to access the popular Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction.

Guests will have a chance at 10AM and 2PM to request to join the virtual queue. The great thing about this change is that there is no need to arrive early to access it and will prevent those pre-morning crowds we were seeing at Hollywood Studios. You will only be able to access the virtual queue once per day.

Here are the steps to access the virtual queue:

  • First, make sure you have the My Disney Experience app. Once you enter the park, log in to your account at one of the distribution times (10 a.m., 1 p.m. or 4 p.m.).
  • Once you have logged in, select “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Virtual Queue” on the home screen. You will be able to view the current status and next steps for joining the virtual queue.
  • The app will indicate when there is no availability for a specific distribution time. Some guests may join backup groups.
  • As long as your My Disney Experience account is linked to park tickets for you and the others in your group, you can enroll everyone in the virtual queue at the same time. In order to give as many guests as possible the opportunity to join the Resistance, each guest can enter the virtual queue no more than once per day.
  • Make sure push notifications are turned on for My Disney Experience so you will be alerted if your group is called to return. You’ll have up to an hour from the time of the alert to go to the entrance of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
  • Please note that joining the virtual queue does not guarantee the ability to experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

All of the ride show areas have been marked with social distancing stickers and cast members are managing the experience to ensure guests remain distanced from other parties. You group will not be combined with other groups and only one group is seated per vehicle.

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run Capacity Changes

Similar to the other attractions at Disney World, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run has social distancing markers in the queue and plexiglass to protect guests when the line gets too close to other parties. The pre-show with Hondo is now a walk through though some reports have said guests can choose to stay and watch it if there's space to properly distance.

The biggest change worth mentioning is that now parties will have the entire Falcon to themselves when flying and won't be grouped with other parties since the ship doesn't offer much room for social distancing. When not in use, the other stations in the Falcon go into auto pilot mode allowing just a few people to fly the ship without the need for other guests.

Oga's Cantina Reopening Experience

Oga's Cantina is open in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge which is welcome news as this is one of the most popular places on Batuu.

Oga's Cantina is subject to the same policies as other Disney restaurants during this time with limited capacity, six feet of spacing from other guests, and increased cleaning/sanitation measures.

Since the capacity of Oga's is small, we highly recommend booking your reservation for this popular site right when it becomes available for your visit. Based on reports so far, guests have seen only about seven other groups besides their own seated in Oga's at the same time. There is no more standing at the bar now and guests are all seated at the standing and seated tables. Guests are being told to wear their masks when not drinking including order more drinks or leaving from their table.

Modified Shopping Experiencesblack spire outpost market reopening

Guests wait in line at social distanced markers to access the Marketplace. Photo via WDW News Today.As for the Marketplace, the number of guests allowed in the area is limited to less than 30. Guests will check in with a cast member at the end of the Marketplace to enter. Only one party at a time is allowed inside the shops and guests will be asked to use hand sanitizer prior to visiting each shop. This might be a bit of a welcome change for some guests as the marketplace was always a place to felt pretty crowded when visiting Batuu.

In Droid Depot, plexiglass has been installed to protect guests in line when they check in for their droid building experience. Plexiglass has also been installed between the build areas where you build your droid. You can still pick out your droid pieces individually but Disney discourages touching pieces unnecessarily and provides the assistance of a cast member along with plenty of hand sanitizer to use.

Modified Character Greets

Like all other areas of the theme parks, modified character meet and greets are still available. In the case of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Disney has utilized all the areas with ships and other Star Wars vehicles behind fencing to create authentic character experiences.

Rey and Chewy maintain distance behind fencing as they interact with guests. Photo via WDW News Today.

Vi Moradi interacts with guests from above. Photo via WDW News Today.

Stormtroopers are watching you from above! Photo via WDW News Today.

As always, Disney uses their creative genius to make the most out of a difficult situation to keep the experience as magical as possible.

Clarification on Face Covering PolicyLarge – Disney Cloth Face Masks 4-Pack Set – Pre-Order | shopDisney

Disney has updated their policy regarding face coverings to help guests be informed on what type of face covering is allowed in the parks. As a reminder, guests aged 2 years of age and older must wear a face covering at all times (including water rides) except when dining.

  • All face coverings (whether disposable or reusable) must:
    • Be made with at least two layers of breathable material
    • Fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin
    • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
    • Be secured with ties or ear loops and allow the guest to remain hands-free
  • Unacceptable styles:
    • At this time, based on guidance from health authorities, neck gaiters and open-chin triangle bandannas are not acceptable face coverings nor face coverings containing vales, mesh, or holes of any kind.
    • Costume masks are also not considered appropriate and are prohibited from being worn, in alignment with Disney’s existing rules.
  • Face coverings need to be worn at all times except when dining. If you're eating in the park, you must be stationary to remove your mask to take a bite of food or drink of water.

Disney World Resort Hotel Amenity Chances and Opening Dateshttps://disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/art-of-animation-resort/

Disney World has staggered some of the reopening dates for their resort hotels. This is likely in response to the limited capacity and the cost of operating such a large quantity of hotels with smaller amounts of guests.

Here are the Disney World hotels that are open and taking new reservations: 

Here are the staggered reopening dates for the other hotels: 

Some of these hotels, like Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, were revised recently to open later. Guests with stays booked before their opening dates can be accommodated by calling Disney. We've heard reports of free upgrades to higher cost resorts for guests impacted by these delayed openings.

October 16, 2020Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
November 1, 2020Disney's Art of Animation Resort
Summer 2021Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

Disney previously released reopening dates for Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Disney’s BoardWalk Inn but now these Disney Resort hotels will remain closed until further notice as Disney reevaluates their reopening timeline.

Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort and Disney's Vero Beach Resort are now open to Members and Guests.

Guests staying at a Disney World Resort hotel should also be aware of other temporary changes during this reopening phase such as: 

  • Bell Services will deliver luggage to rooms, but will not escort Guests
  • Club-level service is temporarily unavailable
  • Deliveries may only be made to occupied rooms
  • In-room celebrations are not available
  • In-room dining is not available
  • Dry-cleaning and valet laundry services is temporarily unavailable; self-service laundry is available
  • Shipping services are temporarily unavailable
  • Resort airline check-in service will be unavailable

Amenities at resort hotels may also see some changes including: 

  • Feature pools may operate with reduced hours; leisure pools are open 24 hours a day
  • Pools are operating with reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing
  • Select poolside activities may be available at select Resort hotels
  • Stormalong Bay at Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resorts will not be available during the initial reopening period; Guests of this Disney Resort hotel may enjoy the leisure pool at Disney's Beach Club Villas or the Luna Park Pool and leisure pool at Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
  • Fitness centers are open in alignment with state and county regulations, and may have reduced hours
  • Fitness centers may have reduced hours and capacity
  • Instructor-led fitness classes are not available
  • Fitness and sports courts are open, and Guests must maintain physical distancing

These amenities and experiences will be temporarily unavailable during Disney World's reopening period: 

  • Arcades
  • Campfires
  • Character experiences
  • Dog parks
  • Electrical Water Pageant
  • Marina rentals
  • Playgrounds
  • Spas, salons and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
  • Fireworks voyages and tasting cruises, including the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage
  • Fun runs
  • Wonderland Tea Party at Park Fare
  • Hula lessons
  • In-room childcare services
  • Mermaid school
  • Special classes and programs—including culinary, cultural and animal programs

Information on housekeeping at Disney World hotels: 

Prior to your arrival, your room will undergo thorough cleaning—with attention to:

  • High-touch areas, like TV remotes and door handles
  • Housekeeping tools will be cleaned between rooms
  • Floors, which will be steam cleaned and vacuumed between Guests

Inside your room, you’ll find:

  • Individually wrapped glassware
  • Double-cased pillows
  • Additional items that have been cleaned and wrapped in single-use packaging

And during your stay, your room will receive a light cleaning service every other day, which will include:

  • Removal of trash and used towels
  • Replenishment of towels and amenities throughout the room and bathroom
  • Wiping and cleaning of the vanity and counter surfaces
  • Vacuuming if needed

You can also decline every-other-day service.

Please note that:

  • If you’re a Disney Vacation Club Member using your Membership to stay, you’ll receive service on the 4th and 8th days, unless you decline that service.
  • If there is more than one room on your reservation and you choose to decline service, your selection will apply to all rooms on the reservation.

Transportation Changes at Disney Worldwalt disney world transportation

Disney World is still offering complimentary transportation options for guests with some modifications to accommodate social distancing and enhance safety measures such as:

  • Transportation is operating with physical distancing measures in place, including in the load zones and queues, as well as aboard buses, monorails and watercraft boats.
  • Face coverings are required at all times while boarding and using Walt Disney World transportation.
  • The Disney Skyliner will load one party per gondola.
  • Physical barriers in select places where it is difficult to maintain strict physical distancing guidelines, such as partitions inside our buses and monorails.
  • Minnie Van Service is temporarily unavailable.
  • Self-parking is available. Valet service is temporarily unavailable, with the exception of Guests with disabilities who may require parking assistance.

Walt Disney World Re-Opening Safety Procedures

Walt Disney World has outlined clear safety procedures to protect guests and cast members which 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.
  • Screening and prevention support: Guests 2 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. Face coverings must have ear ties or loops- no gaiters or bandanas are allowed. 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 keep things updated as we learn more about these new policies and Disney's commitment to safety.

Walt Disney World Dining and Experience Reservation ChangesQuiz: How Well Do You Know Avatar Flight of Passage? | Disney ...

There have been significant changes to reservations for the rest of 2020 at Walt Disney World including vacation packages, dining, FastPass, and other experience reservations.

Dining and Experiences

Disney World has shifted from a 180-day booking window to a 60-day booking window for dining and experience bookings to allow Guests to make their plans closer to their visits.

FastPass+ and Extra Magic Hours

FastPass+ service will be suspended for the time being as Disney uses additional queue space to manage capacity at attractions and maintain physical distancing. Extra Magic Hours are also temporarily suspended.

The good news with this new information? Low waits for popular attractions is what comes to mind first! Disney is going to do their best to ensure everyone still has a magical trip even if things look a bit different.

Disney Springs Phased Re-OpeningSome Restaurants Reopening Soon at Disney Springs

Disney Springs began its phased reopening on May 20th and the official website describes the preventative measures in place:

  • Limited parking and reduced entrances
  • Temperature screenings prior to entry
  • Face coverings required for everyone
    • All Guests ages 2 and older, Cast Members and Operating Participant employees are required to wear an appropriate face covering. Guests must bring their own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining.
  • Physical distancing practices including physically-distanced queues and physical barriers
  • Temporary operation modifications, including reduced hours at select locations and no scheduled entertainment offerings or high-touch interactive areas
  • An increased focus on disinfecting and sanitation, including the addition of hand-washing stations and hand sanitizers in key areas
  • The area will operate with limited hours from 10 am to 10 pm daily

The Frequently Asked Questions portion of the Disney Springs website also gives insight into how dining reservations and other activities are being handled:

  • Following state guidance, bars will not reopen during this initial phase.
  • Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique remains temporarily closed.
  • Rideshare drop offs will be allowed.
  • Guests may park in the Orange and Lime parking garages. Surface parking lots and valet will remain unavailable.
  • There will be reduced entry points into Disney Springs.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be available at a variety of locations throughout Disney Springs.
  • Entertainment venues (Splitsville, the Void, etc.)will not be available at reopen and we will share more details at a later date.
  • Once the parking garages are full, Guests will no longer be able to park and visit Disney Springs. This includes Guests who have a booked a dining reservation.
    • Guests will not be charged a dining penalty fee if they cannot get in due to limited capacity.

You can see above that guests are being spaced out in the entrance lines. The signs indicate that guests need to have a mask on and are required to go through a temperature check.

Throughout the area there are arrows on the floor indicating guest directional flow and boxes indicating where not avoid stepping.

These Cast Members seen above are demonstrating what the process of waiting in line for a restaurant looks like in Disney Springs during this COVID 19 reopening.

Disney has also brought over a team of Cast Members to focus specifically on helping to keep guests safe and following social distancing procedures. You will find them dressed in these bright colors.

There are also hand washing stations and hand sanitizer throughout the area.

You can read more FAQ in further detail on the official Disney Springs website. It's also important to note that the website does state that “by visiting Disney Springs you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19” so that is something to keep in mind.

What to Expect in 2020 for Walt Disney World OpeningTree of Life at Animal Kingdom- Disney World opening

The coronavirus pandemic caused many construction projects to be delayed so one of the biggest questions on guests' minds is how this year will pan out with everything we've been looking forward to on Walt Disney World's schedule.

Disney After Hours and Other Special Events

Disney After Hours is a special ticketed event for guests to enjoy either Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom Park for extended hours after the park closes. These events have been on the schedule since the closure and leading up to July. Guests who have purchased tickets for Disney After Hours, Disney Villains After Hours, Disney Early Morning Magic and Disney H2O Glow Nights from March 16, 2020 through the end of the closure period will be automatically refunded.

Disney has also announced that Disney H20 Glow Nights will not take place for the remainder of 2020 and all guests with tickets to this event will be automatically refunded.

Cirque du Soleil- New Show

Walt Disney Imagineering and Walt Disney Animation Studios have collaborated with Cirque du Soleil to create a show of Disney storytelling with Cirque du Soleil’s signature artistry. The new show was originally set to premiere in April- we have no official word on this so only time will tell for the show's new debut date.

Refurbishments 

Disney was in the middle of a few major and minor refurbishments before the closure for its usual spring time upkeep. All we can do is watch the Walt Disney World calendar on this one- it's safe to say that these refurbishments are still in need of completion and the completion dates will be delayed.

Halloween and Holiday Season

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween party and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas party have unfortunately been cancelled for the 2020 year.

However, Disney World is still planning holiday events for both Halloween and Christmas with themed character cavalcades, dining options, decorations, and other safe ways to celebrate. You can read more in our Halloween guide and Holiday guide to find out what the holiday season will bring!

Universal Orlando Opening DateUniversal Orlando

Universal Orlando opened to the public with new safety and health procedures on June 5th 2020.

The new safety and health procedures are similar to the ones they have been utilizing for the CityWalk Phased Re-Opening process such as limited capacity, temperature screenings, mask requirements, etc. Additional specific theme park measures include:

  • no single rider lines
  • virtual queues for popular attractions
  • no interactive water/play areas
  • single use menus at restaurants
  • no buffet or self serving options
  • post-show meet and greets closed
  • water elements on attractions reduced or closed entirely

Keep our guide bookmarked as we constantly update with more information! Universal Orlando is encouraging future travel and our travel partner, Get Away Today, has great discounts including:

  • Buy two days, get two FREE at Universal Orlando. Book here>>>

If you're unfamiliar with Universal Orlando, be sure to read our guide to the theme park which includes everything you need to know about attractions, dining, and hotels!

Universal Orlando CityWalk Phased Re-OpeningUniversal Orlando CityWalk

Universal Orlando's City Walk (similar to their version of Disney Springs) are also open with preventative health procedures in place.

This procedures are nearly identical to what we've seen outlined as required in the Disney Springs opening with face masks, temperature screenings, limited capacity, floor markings for social distancing along with other distancing measures.

Here are a few takeaways from the re-opening at Universal ‘s CityWalk:

  • Bars, nightclubs and movie theaters remain closed.
  • CityWalk is only open from 4-10pm daily.
  • All Team Members are undergoing temperature checks and will wear face coverings. Team Members with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater will not be permitted to work.
  • Limiting capacity at venues to help enforce social distancing.
  • Continuously and thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting all tables, chairs and high-touch surfaces.
  • Offering cashless payments at all venues.
  • Guests can remove masks to dine at tables (then put them back on afterwards)

It's helpful to note that most guest experiences with the new procedures at CityWalk have been positive with touchless temperature checks being quick and easy. Masks are also available to purchase on site, in case guests forget their own. There is no getting around the mask policy, however, you have to wear a mask to be admitted. Guests also noted that Universal employees were diligent about cleaning surfaces, such as the popular Voodoo Donut chair, immediately after guests touched it. So far, it appears that everything is operating smoothly with these preventative measures in place which is great news for all theme parks.

Discount Walt Disney World TicketsImage result for walt disney world

Our favorite Disney-approved re-seller, Get Away Today, offers the best Walt Disney World discount tickets around. In addition to great discount prices, their customer service and easy support is absolutely fantastic. They have an entire department dedicated to making sure every order has a wonderful experience and they are on-call to help you during your vacation if you need them.

And at no additional charge, you get FREE concierge Walt Disney World services! These services include having Get Away Today's Walt Disney World expert Brooklyn take care of all your dining reservations, FastPass+ reservations, and more! This really takes all the stress out of planning a Walt Disney World vacation. Rather than waking up at odd hours of the night to book all your reservations, why not let their travel agents take care of it for you- for free!

Find discount Walt Disney World tickets 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.

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

Tips for Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation During this Unusual TimeDumbo ride at Disney World

We get it- planning a vacation right now is difficult. It's hard to anticipate what the world will look like in a few weeks much less a few months away. All you can do is go into this with a balance of optimism and plan realistically! We have a few tips to help you- many of our own staff has had their vacations impacted by the closure so much of this advice is based on our own personal experiences!

Book Airlines with Refundable Options

If you're rebooking a trip through an airline or booking one for the first time, many of the airlines are being pretty generous on waiving change fees for rebooking and offering flexible options. Another thing I noticed when researching all these new policies in affect due to the COVID-19 concerns, many airlines are extending this flexibility to future travel which can help reassure customers that if this continues to impact travel- you can get a refund.

Whatever you end up needing to book whether it is airfare, shuttle tickets, etc. make sure that it is all refundable so you can plan with peace of mind.

Cinderellas Castle at Disney World

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. But also keep in mind, if your travel was or will be impacted by a closure Get Away Today will work with you on rescheduling with no penalty fees. They have been absolutely fantastic to everyone during this- I cannot applaud them enough. Support a small business and book with them for your trip!

You can contact 855-GET-AWAY for more information and get things rolling to plan your trip for Disney World opening!

Plan Your Walt Disney World Vacation!

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