So far Disney World is the talk of the town. Looking for smart ways to get more from life? Hosted by Kellee Edwards. Though I never saw a line form at the pool while we were there, a lifeguard told me the resort did limit the number of people in the area and masks were required when walking or lounging around the pool — though not while swimming. We confirmed that Disney's bus would go directly to the resort without making additional stops and had masks requirements in place, as well as empty rows or plexiglass dividers to keep parties distanced. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. The slow period which occurs right after Marathon weekend in early January allows for Disney to refurbish some of it’s most popular attractions. Spring also means Easter, International Flower and Garden Festival, and mild weather. Guests can purchase individual images and photo gifts inside the parks or on the Disney PhotoPass website; the purchase of Memory Maker allows unlimited downloads of guest images, as well as those of family and friends. Though a representative for Disney World told Insider the company did not publicly share attendance numbers, Disney CEO Bob Chapek confirmed in a November 12 earnings call with investors that the park increased capacity from 25 to 35% — which represented up to a 40% increase in the number of guests — in October. Ultimately, though, visiting Disney World during the pandemic wasn't worth the money and effort, and I wish I'd saved to return later when it will be safer and more enjoyable. The best feature though, and one you’ll need to be familiar with if you’re visiting Disney World during COVID-19 is Mobile Order and Pay. Disney pins are enamel and colorful with designs referencing a character, attraction, or experience within the parks, and often come in small collectible sets. And speaking of, with Disneyland still closed, some people who usually visit the West Coast parks may consider heading east (here is some key info you Disneyland fans need to know about visiting Disney World). In the meantime, Disney has continued offering steep discounts to incentivize cost-conscious families like my own to travel to the area during the pandemic — a move that's paying off for the company. You need a plan to eat. (For charges and other sensitive information, guests must first type in a self-created four-digit PIN, which can be set during check-in.). An homage to Mickey Mouse often in the circular shape of his head with ears that are slightly obscured and often incorporated into construction of buildings, facades, and attractions. Courtesy of Daryl Austin. The general admittance line for all rides at Walt Disney World parks, with estimated wait times listed at the point of entrance. Sit-down restaurants now take bookings 60-days in advance and the hot tickets items are booking up. Loudspeaker announcements frequently reminded parkgoers to properly wear a face covering, signs were posted everywhere warning that "guests not properly wearing an approved mask will be asked to leave," and cast members immediately asked guests to adjust their face mask if it ever fell below their nostrils. The Epcot-area resorts are all located around Crescent Lake and include the … TIME TO SPEND. Planning when to visit Walt Disney World is already a difficult decision, but with everything happening so far in 2020, it’s proved to be a bigger challenge than usual. The process by which guests can pre-select meals at dining locations throughout Walt Disney World. Subscribe to our daily newsletter to get more of it. Whether you're traveling solo or planning a family vacation, here are the 50 best places to visit in 2020. Offers may be subject to change without notice. (Thankfully, our young children — even our 2-year-old — are so accustomed to wearing face masks that we didn't have any issues complying with Delta's face-mask policies once on board. DO buy tickets up front. Ticketed late-night events that give guests unparalleled access to rides and experiences with minimal wait times once a park has closed to the public, with complimentary ice cream, popcorn, and bottled drinks. As a result, there weren't any physical lines at food-pickup windows because everyone was entered into a virtual queue instead. In the past, at least in my experience, the posted wait-time estimates at Disney theme parks were much longer than the actual wait time, but now actual wait times often exceed posted wait times. The first explains what the resort is like during the reopening phase, the second discusses how we recommend you pick the time for your 2021 / 2022 Disney World trip (which we also discuss a bit here). Crowds gathered near Cinderella's castle. 2021 packages for Walt Disney World ARE NOW ON SALE through until the end of 2021. I don't know what attendance was like the week after Thanksgiving when my family arrived, but it seemed very crowded to me. Here, you’ll find a wide variety of family-friendly attractions, Disney Character experiences and fan-favorite food & beverages spread across 6 distinct areas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that "large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area" are among the "highest-risk" level of activity that a person can engage in during the pandemic, and there are many health risks to consider about a trip to Walt Disney World. Though one Disney driver told me they are allowed to load buses only to half-capacity during the pandemic, Disney World has increased the number of buses running — so much so that my family never waited longer than five minutes for a bus to take us anywhere. Many of the park's most popular restaurants are closed too. We highly recommend you also visit our Walt Disney World Reopening Masterpost, where we highlight specific issues guests will face during this unique time. The are widespread, hidden everywhere from hotel carpeting patterns and sidewalk imprints to ride signs and fireplaces throughout Walt Disney World. DME must be booked in advance for all parties traveling together. When the first group finishes, they take over supervision and any party members who waited and would like to ride can board without waiting in line. People With Food Allergies Can Still Get A Consultation. The level of detail at the Animal … Pluto, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, and Wendy (from Peter Pan) greeting guests as part of one of the impromptu parades the author saw during his visit. Like the quarantined NBA playoffs currently hosted on property, Disney World has become a bubble. Check dates of future events prior to booking or planning your trip. Like what you see here? Avoiding the Disney Holiday crowd (especially in November and December) means shorter lines and less traffic.For parents, this can be a bit tricky. (Note: WDW Transportation does not operate directly between resorts. Guests can trade any official Disney pin for another official Disney pin that is on a cast member’s lanyard, an official Disney Pin Trading board, or inside a Disney Pin Trading book, which are located at shops, guest services counters, hotel desks, and many other locations, and can be presented upon request. PhotoPass photographers can be spotted in beige vests and will scan guests’ MagicBands after taking photographs so images can be easily accessed on Disney’s PhotoPass website or on the My Disney Experience mobile app instantly. Each party boarding the bus is assigned a numbered seating section, and large dividers and empty seats are placed between them to ensure distance between travelers once on board. Hidden Mickey pins are not sold, and can only be obtained by trading with a WDW cast member. Rider Switch Is available on many but not all attractions at Walt Disney World and is intended for families and children, but is by no means restricted to that. Ultimately, you have to make the best decision for your family. Disney World’s new health policies made us feel safe while visiting Disney World post-COVID reopening. Minnie Vans can travel between areas within Walt Disney World for a variable fee or between the resort and Orlando International Airport, which can be booked in advance, for $150 flat rate sans gratuity. But it seems many people aren't afraid to visit Disney World for the holidays. What's more, Disney's bus and Skyliner transportation systems ran like clockwork throughout our stay. Gone are the days you make dining reservations for Disney World 180 days in advance (hallelujah), but you still need a plan. Two posts to check out if you’re interested in visiting are our Disney World Reopening Masterpost and our Disney World 2021 / 2022 Outlook post. Getty Images, Everything You Need to Know About Going to Disney World. The Florida theme park had made a number of necessary changes in the interest of safety, but the magic felt a little lost with longer wait times for attractions and popular restaurants closed. Home to the iconic Cinderella Castle, this was the very first theme park to open at Walt Disney World Resort. A Magic Moment could be as small as receiving a ride photograph for free or as memorable as Alice and the Mad Hatter joining a guest for a spin on the Mad Tea Party. And Disney transportation systems are sanitized frequently, according to the company's commitment to health and safety measures. I was also relieved to be in a place that enforced mask-wearing more strictly than my home state of Utah, where a surprising number of anti-maskers have driven up the number of new COVID-19 cases. Up to three advance reservations can be made per day for each Walt Disney World ticket holder, regardless of ticket type. Spend less time getting lost in the details, and more time whizzing through the single rider line for Test Track and collecting Hidden Mickey pins. Pros of Visiting Disney World in COVID-19 Times: While going to Walt Disney World during the COVID-19 pandemic may evoke feelings of anxiety and uncertainty, it isn’t all doom and gloom – there are bright sides to visiting the parks right now. Literally — your Magic Band is not only your credit card, park ticket, FastPass+ reservation, and in-park photo album rolled into one, but it also acts as your hotel room key. I visited Disney World with my family in November the week after Thanksgiving. (Note: RunDisney events often cause parks to become crowded and can limit hotel availability. (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney World Resort) Appreciate the details. Plan your family vacation and create memories for a lifetime. Character interactions have been suspended, and lavish parades have been replaced with impromptu drive-bys of a vehicle or two and a handful of spaced-apart characters waving. Courtesy of Daryl Austin. We experienced the same hospitality and friendly service throughout the days we were there, and the crowds seemed significantly smaller around our hotel, where we could escape the packed theme parks. The all-in-one web portal that allows Walt Disney World guests to book and manage their trip. Disney’s popular timeshare-style membership program that offers apartment-style lodging and operates familiar kiosks inside parks and at hotel lobbies throughout Walt Disney World. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories, Florida is among the worst-affected states, Orlando International Airport was among the busiest airports in the country, articles calling the Magic Kingdom crowd-free and "desolate,", a number of airlines — including Delta, the airline we flew with — were loading from back to front, the Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency-use authorization to two coronavirus vaccines. When we booked the room, we were told that "enhanced cleaning" was used to "thoroughly sanitize" our room, and the resort gave us the option to opt out of housekeeping altogether during our stay or have a "light cleaning" every other day. (Offsite guests can also take the transportation around Disney World for free, but they need other transportation to get to/from WDW). .For those giving travel plans in 2020 a miss due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we thought we’d share with you some of our “preferred” times to visit Disney next year. But it seems many people aren't afraid to visit Disney World for the holidays. Start listening to T+L's brand new podcast, Let's Go Together! Walt Disney World typically sees the largest crowds around the Holiday Season. Tips for Visiting Disney World in 2020 and 2021. A digital package that allows the download of every PhotoPass photo, attraction photo or video, and any photos on the account of friends and family traveling with the guest for one set price. Identify Your “Must-Do’s” At approximately 27 square miles, the Walt Disney World resort is roughly … Twice, we even had the hotel pool almost to ourselves. Score a Great Deal. Complimentary Magic Bands are given to Walt Disney World resort hotel guests either upon arrival or are mailed in advance when customized through My Disney Experience, but park guests can purchase them for $14.95. My family WILL continue to visit Disney World, even with all of the changes. One other upside we experienced was that quick-service restaurants throughout the parks and at our resort now require mobile ordering. While Magic Bands are not necessary — all shops and restaurants take cash and credit card, room keys can be provided and FastPasses can be scanned from your park ticket — they have made visiting Walt Disney World parks more seamless than ever before. Important: Disney World Phased Reopening Notice. This is an opinion column. WDW buses arrive approximately every 20 minutes, and only select properties offer boat and monorail access; a gondola system will debut at Walt Disney World in fall 2019. To utilize the FastPass+ line, each member of a party needs to have a time-specific reservation for the individual ride. Because many pins can be pricey and are collectibles, guests often trade “starter pins” instead, which come in more affordable multi-packs. Journey to Pandora, the World of Avatar. What to expect when traveling to Disney World in 2021. Best Time to Visit Disney World: Fall; Off-Season (September 1 to the third week of October—except Columbus Day) Crowd Level: Low Best For: Preschoolers Why: Low crowds, low prices and seasonal “Free Dining” offers Details: If your kids are little, now is the time to visit the World!Enjoy balmy weather (warm enough for an afternoon swim) and lots of elbow room. This is crazier than a frat party!". That being said, it can be very expensive with prices at $426-$600 an hour for up to 10 people and a minimum of 7 hours. If Walt Disney World is your home, the Magic Band is your key. Walt Disney World is the most popular theme park attraction in North America — the Magic Kingdom is the most visited theme park in the world. An app that utilizes ride queues and locations within Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort parks for family-friendly multi-person game play, as well as collectable location badges and Apple Music-backed playlists. New Security at Disney World. Come and enjoy the magic of Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL. My Disney Experience can also be utilized through a reliable mobile app, allowing guests to change FastPass+ reservations, locate character meet-and-greets, and monitor ride wait times on the go, as well as mobile order food and unlock one’s Walt Disney World hotel room door. 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