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Walt Disney World releases updates for resort hotels ahead of reopening

by Brittani Tuttle

A little over a month ahead of its reopening date, Walt Disney World Resort has shared new information regarding resort hotel stays for guests.

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UPDATE – 06/22/20: Disney has shared more reopening dates for Walt Disney World’s Resort hotels.

  • July 10 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • July 29 – Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Aug. 12 – Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • Aug. 24 – Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
  • Sept. 21 – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Oct. 1 – Disney’s BoardWalk Resort
  • Oct. 14 – Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

Keep in mind that with the current situation, some resort hotels and other areas are currently not scheduled for reopening just yet.


These updates come via a new Know Before You Go page on the Walt Disney World website, as part of the Resort’s overall reopening plan.

Resort Hotel Reopening Dates

On June 22, select Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will reopen. These include:

  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
  • The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House is the only DVC resort that not be reopening on this date.

Visiting Disney Resort Hotels

Guests who are under isolation or quarantine orders must not enter Walt Disney World Resort.

In order to be allowed to visit a Disney Resort hotel, you’ll have to either have a confirmed room reservation or a confirmed dining reservation if you’re not staying overnight. In addition, a Disney Resort hotel reservation doesn’t guarantee theme park access, so be sure to get your park reservation and valid admission in order as well.

Transportation

Complimentary airport transportation via Disney’s Magical Express will be available for those traveling to and from Orlando International Airport.

Resort transportation around Walt Disney World property will be available in a limited capacity in order to promote physical distancing. As a result, there could be some delays in travel. The Minnie Van Service will not be operating during this initial reopening period.

Self-parking will be available, though Valet is temporarily unavailable unless you are a guest with disabilities who requires parking assistance. A valid disability parking permit is required for this, however. Parking fees will still apply for Disney Resort hotel guests, as well.

Housekeeping

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Before you arrive at your Disney Resort hotel room, it will undergo a thorough cleaning. Housekeeping tools will be cleaned between rooms and floors will be steam cleaned and vacuumed between guests.

Inside your room, items like extra linens, towels, and glassware will be kept in single-use, individually wrapped packaging. Pillows will be double-cased.

During your hotel stay, your room will receive a light cleaning every other day. You can also opt out of this if you don’t want your room cleaned.

If you’re a DVC member, you’ll receive Housekeeping services on your fourth and eighth days, unless you choose to decline.

Resort Services

Some Disney Resort hotels services will be changed or not available during this initial reopening period, due to physical distancing and health guidelines:

  • Bell Services will not escort guests, but will deliver luggage to rooms
  • Club-level service will be temporarily unavailable
  • Deliveries will only be made when you are in your room
  • In-room celebrations will not be available
  • Dry-cleaning and valet laundry services will be temporarily unavailable, but self-laundry will still be offered
  • Shipping services will be temporarily unavailable
  • Resort airline check-in service may be temporarily unavailable

Amenities and Recreation

Many of the Disney Resort hotel amenities and recreational offerings will also be modified, including:

Dining

At this time, Disney is not allowing any new dining reservations to be made.

Character dining will not be offered during this initial reopening period. However, a modified character dining experience will be offered at Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera at Disney’s Riviera Resort. Dinner shows will also not be offered.

Keep in mind that some dining locations across property may be limited in capacity or remain closed during this reopening period.

Pools

Feature pools may operate with reduced hours, and leisure pools will be open 24 hours a day. The pools will operate with reduced capacity to ensure physical distancing, and select poolside activities may be available at select Resort hotels.

In addition, Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts will not be available during this initial reopening phase. Guests staying at these hotels can enjoy the leisure pool at Disney’s Beach Club Villas instead.

Fitness Centers and Sports Courts

Fitness centers will open according to state and county reservations, and may have reduced hours and capacity. Instructor-led fitness classes will not be offered, though fitness and sports courts will be open. Guests must maintain physical distancing when using these facilities.

Merchandise Locations

New product launches and limited-edition merchandise won’t be available for in-person purchases at Walt Disney World Resort until further notice. Guests are encouraged to find them instead on shopDisney.

Pin trading with cast members will be offered via pin boards only in select locations.

Package delivery to the front of the theme parks or to the Resort hotels will not be available, but shipping merchandise to guests’ homes will still be offered.

Temporarily Unavailable

The following Resort hotel offerings will not be available during the initial reopening period:

  • Arcades
  • Campfires
  • Character experiences
  • Dog parks
  • Electrical Water Pageant
  • Marina rentals
  • Pin trading
  • Playgrounds
  • Spas, salons, and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
  • Fireworks voyages and tasting cruises, including the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage
  • Fun runs
  • Wonderland Tea Party at 1900 Park Faire
  • Hula lessons
  • In-room childcare services
  • Mermaid school
  • Special classes and programs, including culinary, cultural and animal programs

Online Check-In and Automatic Check-Out

Guests are highly encouraged to check-in for their hotel reservation in advance either online or via the My Disney Experience app.

When your room is ready, you’ll get a notification. After that, you can use your MagicBand or the My Disney Experience app digital key feature to enter your room. You can visit the Front Desk to pick up your MagicBands if you don’t receive them before arriving for your stay.

On your scheduled check-out day, you’ll be automatically checked out of your room, so there’s no need to visit the Front Desk (unless you have unresolved charges to your room).

Virtual Chat with a Resort Cast Member

Starting June 22, guests can chat with a Resort Cast Member through a new feature in the My Disney Experience app to receive any assistance during their stay. This feature will offer support nearly anytime, so there won’t be a need to visit the Lobby or stand in line.


What do you think of these changes to the Disney Resort hotel experience? Are they causing you to rethink your upcoming stay? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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11 comments

Larry June 7, 2020 - 9:09 am

It’s nice that WDW is releasing a greater amount of detail for their opening, however, something I haven’t seen yet is how many people are they allowing into each park, what percentage of people will table service restaurants allow in and what criteria will be used to bring back many of the extras that are expected when tickets were/are purchased. My family’s trip isn’t until October so I’m hopeful we can experience some of the “old” normal when we visit.

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Rick Elliott June 7, 2020 - 9:46 am

We are booked for our yearly trip in August 15 years straight we are canceling we pay a lot of money to only get partial experience sorry I’ll wait a year and see

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Cheryl June 7, 2020 - 2:08 pm

We are Premium Pass Holders. I don’t think we should be charged fully, if we are not getting full services at either the resorts or theme parks. That is not what we signed up for. Even though they are not charging us durning these COVID months, I’m quite sure they will begging charging our monthly fee, when the parks open. If they are not fully operational, we should either be compensated or receive a discount on our annual pass rate. Straight and simple.

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Mary Saatkamp June 7, 2020 - 1:18 pm

Shortened park hours should come with reduced admission prices…..I’ll wait, thank you.

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Carrie June 7, 2020 - 1:24 pm

We have a reservation at the Yacht Club starting in July 10th. After reading this I am cancelling. There is on way I am spending crazy amounts of money and not be able to use the pool. It is the main reason we stay at the Yacht Club!

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Zoe June 7, 2020 - 5:04 pm

Disney Springs has opened a few weeks. The experience is no longer magical in both Disney and Universal. This is not just about no entertainment. Staff are no longer friendly, seriously I am not joking. They only focus on your masks, social distancing and watching you all the time. There is almost no privacy – yes, they are watching all the time. There are no social distancing between employees, but they remind the guests about the social distancing & wearing masks. Most of the employees wear their personal old dirty recycled masks and talking to the guests, I am a bit uncomfortable about this. There are double standards about wearing masks. Guests must wear masks at all time, but not in door restaurants or dinning room. The Universal Studios is even worst. I saw multiple securities are stalking the guests constantly. Sometimes, staff scream at the guests from the long distance to scare them. If you are not local, don’t visit until they are fully recovered their magical services.

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Colleen June 7, 2020 - 10:15 pm

I am sure that you only hear the negative comments from people who want everything instantly back to normal, but I appreciate the thought and effort you are trying to put into keeping your guests and cast members as safe as you can. It isn’t your fault that the world is suffering from a pandemic. My family will be back to visit when we can as long as we feel it is safe to do so. Thank you for making people’s health your primary concern and focus.

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Mitzi June 8, 2020 - 7:12 am

We are local and have been to Disney Springs multiple times since they have reopened. It is the only place we feel comfortable due to their safety measures. Cast Members and staff have been extremely welcoming and friendly. Just love the Stormtroopers keeping watch!

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Ronnie watkins June 8, 2020 - 8:43 pm

It could be hard to make me visit right now.

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Debbie June 8, 2020 - 11:26 pm

We have a trip planned for September 30 to October 9. Its for my husband’s 60th birthday. I think we will be canceling also. We spend alot of money when we go. I understand why these changes are in place. I just don’t think the experience is worth the money right now. Also we are retired Navy and purchase salute tickets. We hadn’t purchased our tickets before everything went dark. Glad we hadn’t as Disney has not said whether they will extend expiration date on them.

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Darlene Harmon June 13, 2020 - 5:31 pm

We have reservations for Boardwalk Villas beginning June 23. My only complaint is that we can’t make dining reservations yet. Our anniversary is the 25th…we’d like to go to Kona or The Wave…

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