Ultimate Guide to Returning to Walt Disney World

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The Walt Disney World Resort is beginning its phased reopening next week. Select hotels will be reopening followed by the theme parks. With this reopening comes many different changes and updates. Below you’ll find the ultimate guide to these changes and what you can expect when you visit the Walt Disney World Resort.

Ultimate Guide to Returning to Walt Disney World

Health and safety for guests and Cast Members is Disney’s number one priority. The following changes will be implemented at the parks and hotels:


Enhanced Cleaning: Extra attention will be given to high-traffic areas, including public elevators and escalators, handrails, benches, tables, handles, restrooms and more.

Physical Distancing:

  • Signage and Ground Markings: Please follow directional signage and ground markings, which have been installed throughout Walt Disney World Resort to help Guests better navigate common areas while practicing physical distancing.
  • Physical Barriers: Physical barriers have been added in select places where it is difficult to maintain strict physical distancing guidelines. These may be visible in areas around cash registers or at Guest Relations, for example, to help promote proper distances between people.
  • Training: Cast Members are being trained to engage with Guests and promote physical distancing guidelines in common areas and queues.

Reduced Contact: At this time, it is recommended all Guests use cashless payment options, including debit cards, credit cards and Disney Gift Cards. Guests can also opt for contactless payment options—such as mobile wallets—or use cash to purchase a Disney Gift Card at Guest Relations and select merchandise locations. Disney Resort hotel Guests can also use MagicBands to charge their purchase to their Disney Resort hotel folio.

Ultimate Guide to Returning to Walt Disney World

Besides enhanced cleaning and reduced physical contact, there are some top things you’ll need to know before you visit the resort.

Park Reservations: Park attendance will be managed via the Disney Park Pass reservation system. To enter a park, both a park reservation and valid admission for the same park on the same date are required for Guests ages 3 and up. You can find all the details for the new reservation system here.

Face Coverings: Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) and Cast Members. Take your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming.

All face coverings should:

  • Fully cover an individual’s nose and mouth and allow the Guest to remain hands-free
  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Be made of breathable material, either disposable or reusable

Temperature Screenings: Temperature screenings may be required for entry to some locations. Upon arrival at Disney Springs area or at the Walt Disney World theme parks, you may undergo a temperature screening with no-touch thermometers.

Based on guidance from health authorities, anyone displaying a temperature of 100.4 F or above will be directed to an additional location for rescreening and assistance. Those with temperatures 100.4 F or above will not be allowed entry; those in their party will not be allowed entry either.

My Disney Experience App: Make the most of the magic with the My Disney Experience app. It is strongly recommended that you have the latest version of this app on your mobile device, with location services and notifications enabled.

Helpful features include:

  • Mobile Order Service for Dining: Order ahead and save time at select dining locations using mobile order service. Disney highly recommends that you use this service during your visit.
  • Scannable Codes for Select Restaurant Menus: While at a table-service restaurant, you can scan a code to access the digital menu.
  • Online Check-In at Disney Resort Hotels: To aid in physical distancing efforts, Disney strongly recommends that you use Online Check-In Service prior to your arrival. When your room is ready, you’ll get a room-ready notification. Then, you can use either a MagicBand or the app’s digital key feature to enter your room!

Will you be visiting the Walt Disney World Resort soon? Let us know your thoughts!


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Sara is a travel agent with Destinations to Travel, a Disney Earmarked agency. She lives in Alaska with her husband and 3 kids. Due to her extreme dislike of winter, she travels often to warmer destinations during the colder months. She visits the Disney parks and resorts frequently with her family and loves helping other families plan magical vacations. Contact her here for help with your vacation!
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