What to expect as Disney World resorts reopen

Good news, Mouseketeers! Disney World resorts are set to re-open soon. According to the latest word from the House of Mouse, 11 different Disney resorts will be opening as early as June 22nd, as well as Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Disney’s private Hilton Head Island Resort and Vero Beach Resort will be opening even sooner, welcoming members and guests again on June 15th. On July 11th, the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom theme parks will begin what Disney describes as a “phased reopening,” with Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios opening once more on the 15th of July.

If you’re wondering just what “phased reopening” actually means, Disney does offer the additional information that sales of new tickets will still be on hold at the time of reopening. Anyone already holding a ticket or an annual pass can make reservation requests, although these will also be “phased” in a process they do not describe on the website, as details will only be shared with the affected ticket holders. All the rest of us need know at this time is that new ticket sales will resume…well, soon. We hope.

How Disney World plans to keep guests safe after the reopening

As you might expect, things will look a little different at Disney World parks and resorts once they reopen. For starters, you’ll need a confirmed room reservation before you visit, or, if you’re just dropping by for the day, at least a confirmed dining reservation. What’s more, a Disney Resort reservation won’t guarantee theme park access. Instead, you’ll need both a park reservation and valid admission for that park on the same date. 

Face masks for any guest over age 2 are also required — Disney is unlikely to cave on this requirement, so save your protests and just wear that mask (and maybe pack a spare). While not absolutely mandatory, Disney also strongly suggests using a cashless form of payment such as their MagicBands that allow Disney Resort guests to charge purchases to their hotel folios. Disney also recommends downloading the latest version of their My Disney Experience app to be notified of any late-breaking changes.

One caveat for would-be Disney guests arriving from New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut: while Disney didn’t put this restriction in place, the Florida Department of Health will nonetheless be pretty strict in enforcing a 14-day quarantine for visitors from those states. The quarantine does not apply, however, to anyone who’s visiting for work purposes, so if you’ll be doing a deal with Scrooge McDuck, you should still be good to go.

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