A lot is changing in and around Disney World right now as some stores and restaurants have recently reopened in Disney Springs and a plan is in the works for reopening Disney World’s hotels and theme parks.
That’s why a lot of you have questions about what’s going on and how your future plans at Disney World may be impacted.
We wanted to take some time today to provide you with all the best resources we’ve been compiling over the last several weeks. We’re going to lay everything out on the table and clear up anything and everything we can so that you’ll have all the facts at your disposal.
Here are the answers to the most critical questions we’re receiving from you right now.
What safety measures has Disney implemented so far and are they mandatory?
With the recent reopening of Disney Springs, we now have a better understanding of what Disney World may require its Cast Members and guests to do before entering any of its theme parks (although they haven’t officially announced any new procedures yet for other parts of Disney World other than Disney Springs at this time).
What we do know is this: Disney Springs isn’t allowing any exceptions to their new safety measures. That means if you don’t want to go through their health-check, have your temperature taken, and wear a face mask for your entire stay, you won’t be permitted inside Disney Springs at this time.
Are the temperature screenings accurate?
Professional healthcare workers provided by AdventHealth are conducting the temperature screenings at Disney Springs using touchless thermometers. The easy-to-use handheld devices use infrared light to read the energy your body produces, translating this data into a temperature reading within two-tenths of a degree of accuracy in some cases.
To be allowed to enter Disney Springs, your temperature needs to be under 100.4 F. If your temperature is 100.4 F or greater, you’re allowed to wait off to the side in a tented “cool-off” area and have your temperature re-taken. If it’s still too high, you and your entire party won’t be allowed inside.
When discussing potential health screenings for guests entering Disney World, Disney Company Chairman Bob Iger had previously speculated Disney Parks may implement mandatory temperature checks to enter.
When do I have to wear a face mask at Disney World?
At Disney Springs, guests over the age of three must wear face coverings at all times. The only time you’re permitted to remove them is when you’re seated at a restaurant or consuming a drink or a food item.
Other than those few occasions, your mask must be covering your nose and mouth for the duration of your visit.
While Disney Springs is providing an extremely limited number of disposable face masks for guests who accidentally leave their mask at home, they can’t guarantee they’ll have one for you if you don’t bring your own. That means you could be turned away if you forget to have a face mask for each person in your family over the age of three.
Will Disney World be limiting its capacity?
Yes. It is expected Disney World will reopen with a limited capacity, as it now states on its website. Realistically, it could be some time before the parks operate at their full capacity.
Will I be turned away at Disney World if I have a park ticket and a hotel reservation?
While it’s unclear at this time how Disney World will begin to allow guests back in, a few viable options are possible.
Whether it’s similar to Shanghai Disneyland’s reservation system or something closer to the tiered closures Disney World uses during the holiday season when the parks reach their capacity, we hope to be able to provide you with this information soon.
When is Disney World going to reopen?
That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? Now that Universal Orlando, Legoland Florida, and other Central Florida attractions have announced their official reopening plans and dates, Disney World is planning to propose theirs soon.
So far, we’ve seen many of the first signs we mentioned earlier that Disney World might be preparing to reopen. Florida’s local government has now permitted several small and major theme parks to reopen, Disney Cast Members are slowly being called to work, and Disney Springs has started its phased reopening.
It’s unclear what Disney World’s official reopening will be like, but based on what we’ve experienced with Disney Springs so far, we expect Disney World to be very different from how we saw it last.
It also seems likely that Disney World in Florida COULD reopen sooner than Disneyland in California based on how their local governments are handling the situation. Nothing has been announced at press time.
Is my favorite ride or attraction going to be open?
On Disney World’s website, it states some attractions, experiences, services, and amenities may have limited availability or remain closed. That’s a pretty broad statement and we hope to be able to provide you with more clarity soon.
What we CAN tell you is that looking at Shanghai’s reopening, most of their rides are open to guests. Only parades, stage shows, fireworks, and some play areas with frequent touchpoints have been closed down.
What about coming soon attractions? Are they still going open on time?
It’s hard to say…these new projects did experience delays when construction was halted at Disney World. While some attractions were closer to being done than others, it’s unclear how their timelines have been affected.
And for Disney World’s 50th-anniversary celebration, big plans were in the works for Magic Kingdom including a revamping of Cinderella Castle as well as the new TRON: Lightcycle Run roller coaster in Tomorrowland.
Epcot was also left in a precarious spot when the parks suddenly shut down. Plans to close Spaceship Earth had just been announced while much of Future World is currently in the midst of a massive overhaul as part of the big Epcot Transformation. Work also stopped on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. All of these projects and more could be affected, but so far the extent of possible delays hasn’t been revealed.
Is it even worth it to go to Disney World this year?
That will depend largely on you and your level of comfort. Even if you’ve planned a trip to Disney World a million times before, planning a trip following the closures is going to be more unique with its own set of challenges and problems to work through.
First of all, it’s not going to be the same Disney World from your memories. It will be, but it won’t be. Choosing when you want to visit next is a very personal decision you’ll ultimately have to make based on your comfort level with this whole situation.
If you’re used to traveling to Disney World to attend certain events, festivals, or popular times of year like Christmastime, keep in mind a number of these special things we expected Disney to have announced by now, but Disney has remained quiet.
You might need extra-assurance from Disney before booking a trip if any of these offerings are super-important to you, otherwise, you might want to save your money for when you know they’ll be offered.
When is Disney World going to get back to normal?
There has been a lot of speculation floating around about how long it will take the Disney parks to reach their normal attendance levels. Some estimate it could happen as soon as next year while others think it could take even longer.
While all of these analysts’ predictions are just speculation at this point, Disney will only re-open the park to the capacity recommended by the local government and public health officials.
It’s unknown when mass gatherings will be permitted again, but at that time, with the guidance of local and state government, Disney World will most likely start to look and feel a lot more “normal.”
Should I go to Disney World this year or wait until next year?
There are definite pros and cons to each, which you need to consider carefully before making your decision.
As we mentioned earlier, 2021 is the 50th anniversary of Disney World, so while there will be many new experiences to enjoy if you wait, it’s likely there will be more people too!
We hope we’ve helped you make a little more sense out of these last few weeks and what lies further down the road. Please keep sending us those questions and we’ll keep doing what we do to try and answer them as best we can!
Do you have a question about Disney World that we didn’t answer above? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll get back to you!