Disney World has been releasing more information about what guests can expect when the parks and hotels reopen. This update discusses Disney World transportation and hotels.
Disney World Transportation
Resort transportation will be available for guests of Disney Resort hotels. For those staying before the parks open, there will be transportation available between your Disney World Resort hotel and Disney Springs. Once the parks reopen transportation will be available from your Disney World Resort hotel and the parks, as well as Disney Springs.
Keep in mind that while the transportation will be available to guests Disney transportation will be operating with the physical distancing measures in place. This means that not as many people will be allowed on at the same time (no more cramming the buses like a can of sardines doesn’t actually sound like a bad thing, in my opinion), so the wait times for transportation could be longer.
Self-parking will be available for guests who are driving to Disney World. However, the valet service will be temporarily unavailable upon reopening. The exception to the valet service will be guests who have disabilities that require parking assistance.
Unfortunately, when the parks first reopen the Minnie Van service will not be available. Disney said this is only during the initial reopening period, but no date of resumed service has been announced.
Guests flying into and out of Orlando International Airport can still take advantage of Disney’s Magical Express. Due to the modification of flight schedules that many airlines have made, Disney is recommending confirming your flight information just in case you need to update with the Magical Express service.
Resort Services, Amenities, & Recreation
Disney has made some changes to some of the Disney Resort hotel services during the initial reopening period. These are good things to know if you are visiting soon.
- Bell Services – They will bring your bags to your room, but they will not escort guests.
- Club-level Service – This will be temporarily unavailable.
- Deliveries – Disney will only be making deliveries to occupied rooms.
- In-room Celebrations – Unfortunately, these will be temporarily unavailable.
- Dry-cleaning and Valet Laundry Services – These two services will be temporarily unavailable, but self-service laundry will still be available to guests.
- Shipping Services – This will be temporarily unavailable.
- Resort Airline Check-in Service – This may be temporarily unavailable.
The feature pools at Disney World’s Resort hotels may be operating with reduced hours, but the leisure pools will be open 24 hours a day. There will also be a reduced capacity at the pools, which will allow for physical distancing. One exception is Stormalong Bay at the Yacht Club and Beach Club. Stromalong Bay will be closed during the initial reopening period, but guests of the Yacht and Beach Clubs can use the leisure pool at Beach Club or the Luna Park Pool and leisure pool at BoardWalk Villas.
The fitness centers may also have reduced hours and capacity. They will not be offering instructor-led fitness classes.
Each resort will have their own activities and schedule for recreational activities. You can ask about the recreational activities available during your stay when you arrive at your hotel.
Merchandise Locations (Including Pin Trading)
Disney has announced that until further notice new collection product launches and limited-edition merchandise will not be available for in-person purchasing at the Walt Disney World Resort. However, these items can be found on shopDisney.com.
Pin Trading is a popular hobby at Disney World, but some changes have occurred with this activity as well. Pin trading with cast members using the pin boards will still be available for guests, but there will be no cast member pin trading with lanyards for the time being.
Another change is the suspension of package delivery to the front of the theme parks or to Disney hotels. However, Disney will still ship merchandise to guests’ homes.
Amenities, Experiences, and Services Temporarily Unavailable
- Character Experiences
- Dog Parks
- Electrical Water Pageant
- Marina Rentals
- Spas, Salons, and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
- Fireworks Voyages and Tasting Cruises (Includes 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 (Includes Culinary, Cultural, and Animal Programs)
Checking In and Out of Your Resort Hotel
Disney is strongly recommending that guests use the Online Check-in Service in advance. You can do this on Disney World’s website or through the My Disney Experience app. Once your room is ready you will receive a notification and you can head to your room (your MagicBand will be activated so you can use it to open your door).
Disney will automatically check you out on your departure day. That way you don’t have to visit the lobby to check out.
Virtual Chat With a Resort Cast Member
Another feature being put in place is the virtual chat feature. This will allow guests to chat with a Resort Cast Member through the My Disney Experience app. This will help cut down on the need to visit the lobby or stand in line to ask a question.
It’s good to see Disney releasing more information about what guests can expect once the initial reopening of the parks and some resort hotels begins. I’m hoping we’ll see more information on the theme park reservation system soon. I’ll definitely post an update about that when Disney releases the information.
What do you think of these changes for the initial reopening period?
Thanks for reading!