Disneyland and Walt Disney World have just underwent the longest closure in it's history due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a phased reopening is on the horizon for our beloved parks!
Keep reading our guide for everything you need to know including new policies in place, exclusive come back travel discounts, and how to still plan for a magical vacation.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Re0pening on July 17
Disneyland has submitted their reopening proposals! Disneyland will reopen on July 17th, Downtown Disney on July 9th with the Grand Californian and Paradise Pier on July 23rd.
No details have been given on the Disneyland Hotel. The hotel was undergoing a few minor construction projects before the closure so it could be (this is purely speculation!) that Disney might want to catch up on those projects to get in ready for guests sooner rather than later.
These dates are all pending government approval. We expect Disney to receive full government support for these dates.
The parks will manage attendance with a new reservation system. All guests, including Disneyland Annual Passholders, will be required to obtain a park reservation guaranteeing entry. These reservations will be subject to availability. We don't have any further details on this yet, but we will share them with our newsletter email list when they are released.
Some experiences will return later like parades and nighttime spectaculars. We will get more details on this soon. Disney shared that while character meet and greets will not immediately return, “characters will be in the parks in new ways to entertain and delight guests.”
Disney has also now paused all new ticket sales and Annual Pass sales or renewals.Disney has also now paused all new ticket sales and Annual Pass sales or renewals. But you can still book for a limited time through our travel partner Get Away Today! Book quickly because we don't know how long this could last. Get your tickets here!
This year will definitely be different in regards to our usual crowd patterns and with reduced capacity limitations on the horizon, it may in fact be a perfect time to visit during a usually crowded time (I'm looking at you New Years Eve!) and have a great experience.
Walt Disney World Opening Dates Announced
Walt Disney World announced their planned reopening dates on May 27th with staggered dates for the theme parks:
- The Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom will reopen on July 11
- Epcot and Hollywood Studios will reopen on July 15
Each theme park will begin with a soft reopening period leading up to these dates with Cast Previews and “Affinity” Soft Opening Preview Days.
There will be new policies in place, similar to what we've seen already at Disney Springs, such as reduced capacity and mask coverings required for all guests. Disney World has announced they will manage attendance through a new theme park reservation system with guests with cancelled vacations having first priority along with Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members. It is likely that the reservation system will require guests to reserve dates in advance in order to control capacity limits. We will have more details soon on how this new reservation system will work.
Disney Vacation Club resorts at Walt Disney World will also reopen to members and guests and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will begin to reopen on June 22. Disney Vacation Club resorts in Vero Beach, Florida, and Hilton Head, South Carolina, will also open to members and guests starting on June 15.
This year will definitely be different in regards to our usual crowd patterns and only time will tell if the Halloween and Holiday season crowds will behave as normally. With reduced capacity limitations on the horizon, it may in fact be a perfect time to visit during a usually crowded time and have a great experience.
This is also a great year for travel discounts! Disney is encouraging guests to book future vacations and we've seen some great discounts released to our travel partner Get Away Today that include:
- Discount Walt Disney World tickets
- Save up to 35% off Walt Disney World hotel rooms this summer plus our travel agent will book all your dining and FastPass+ reservations for you! Request a quote here>>>
This is a great year to enjoy a vacation with a ton of savings and low crowd levels with these limited capacity measures that will be in place. Don't hesitate to take advantage!
Walt Disney World Re-Opening Safety Procedures
Walt Disney World will follow similar safety measures that we've seen in place for Disney Springs and other Florida theme parks. These 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.
- 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.
At this time, Disney World is also temporarily pausing new ticket sales and Disney Resort hotel reservations so they can focus on guests with existing tickets and reservations (Disney Vacation Club members can still make new reservations). Existing ticket holders and Annual Passholders will be able to make reservation requests in phases before new tickets are sold. Disney will resume new ticket sales and hotel reservations after that period of time.
Disney Springs Phased Re-Opening
- Limited parking and reduced entrances
- Temperature screenings prior to entry
- Face coverings required for everyone
- All Guests ages 3 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 navigated:
- 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.
Disney has released photos showing the process for entering Disney Springs and the experience throughout.
You can see above that guests will be 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 will look 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.
Discount Disneyland Tickets
Our favorite Disney-approved re-seller, Get Away Today,offers the best Disneyland 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.
Disneyland ticket deals:
- 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 >
- 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.
You can read my review on my personal experiences booking through Get Away Today and how much you can save here!
Get Away Today Comeback Offers for Anaheim Area Hotels
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
- Clarion Hotel – Heavily Discounted Rates on All Room Types
- Castle Inn & Suites – 3rd Night Free
- Courtyard Theme Park Entrance Waterpark – Reduced Rates on All Room Types
- Courtyard Anaheim Resort Convention Center – 20% Reduced Rates
- Clementine Suites Anaheim – 25% Reduced Rates on All Rooms Types
- Anaheim Springhill Suites Maingate – 20% Off Rates (2 night min) and 30% Off Rates (4 night min)
- Cambria Hotel & Suites Anaheim – Reduced Rates on All Room Types
Other Southern California Attractions
- Knott's Berry Farm – Get Adults at Kids' Prices – Just $59 per person
- Universal Studios Hollywood™ – Save up to $34 per ticket
- LEGOLAND® California Resort – 2nd Day Free on Park Hopper Ticket with Water Park
- SeaWorld San Diego – Weekday Special Ticket for $55.99
You can read some of our staff reviews on a few of our favorite neighboring hotels within walking distance to Disneyland below:
- Clarion Review
- Howard Johnson Anaheim Review
- Best Western PLUS Park Place Inn & Mini-Suites Review
- Get Away Today Service Review
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!>
Tips for Planning a Disney Vacation During this Unusual Time
As we start to look forward to Disney opening, many guests are now trying to decide how to book their vacations or reschedule cancelled Spring/Summer travel. We have some tips to help you navigate these challenges with Disney opening!
Take Advantage of the Discounts Offered
Disneyland is offering guests (that were planning to stay on-site) special discount options when they re-book their vacation. The results of this discount have been off the charts from what we've been told with discounts up to 20% off rooms, $50 per night credit for resort fees, gift cards, and more. If you were planning to stay on-site and your travel was interrupted, call (714) 520-5050 to learn more and book this offer.
Get Away Today is also offering an enormous amount of offers right now including heavily discounted tickets and special comeback offers for local area hotels. The local Anaheim economy depends on tourism from Disneyland guests and the area hotels are providing many incentives for guests to visit in 2020.
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 room discounts when rescheduling their Walt Disney World vacation!
- You can call (407) 939 -4251 to learn more and book this offer.
Seriously, this is the year to visit and save a bucket load of money. If you want to visit this year take advantage of these offers!
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.
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. And with Disney opening after this extended closure, there's plenty of additional discounts to go around along with refundable options.
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 opening!
Plan Your Disney Parks Vacation!
Keep reading our blog to keep you updated on everything you need to know to prepare for Disney opening to the public again! We have a team of writers working hard to keep you updated weekly on events in the parks and tips for navigating the magic. Subscribe to our free deals newsletter to receive helpful Disney opening information, exclusive Disney opening deals, and access to the lowest priced Disney tickets anywhere. You can find more information on planning your vacation here: