Coronavirus and Disney World: What You Need to Know

Leah SikesBlog, News

Coronavirus and Disney World Partner Statue

This post was published on March 13th, 2020.

For the latest status on the coronavirus closures at Walt Disney World, click here.

As most of you know by now, Walt Disney World recently announced its temporary closure, beginning March 16th, lasting until the end of the month. While there are no known cases of Coronavirus at Disney World, this measure comes as a precaution to the outbreak and spread of COVID-19.

It can be tricky to navigate all the questions and concerns this may bring up, and we want to help answer any questions you might have.

If you want to know a little more about what the Coronavirus is, and how you can help prevent it, check out our post explaining some simple precautions you can take (even at home)!

Coronavirus and Disney World

As previously stated, there are no known cases of Coronavirus at Disney World, so guests who recently visited shouldn’t worry too much about exposure.

Crowds, Coronavirus and Disney World

Disney World is a crowded place, and the CDC recommends social distancing as a prevention measure for the Coronavirus. Photo by Laurie Sapp

Because Disney World is such a large place, with many thousands of people passing through the gates every day, executives made the decision to close the park in the interest of safety for guests, Cast Members, and to help slow the spread of the virus.

Currently, Walt Disney World Resorts and Disney Springs will both remain open.

I Had a Trip Planned. Now What?

The Disney World closure brings up so many questions for those of us who might have had trips scheduled during the scheduled closure.

Thankfully, Disney has answered many of the more common questions guests may have.

If your question isn’t answered in any of the following sections, you can always call the company directly at (407) 939-5277.

However, it is important to keep in mind that hold times will be extremely high due to a large volume of calls because of the closure. Just remember to be patient and kind!

Park Tickets

Any unused park tickets with a start date on or before March 31, 2020 will automatically be extended to use any date through December 15, 2020. This includes multi-day tickets with unused days or date-specific tickets.

If you are unable to visit by December 15, 2020, you may apply the value of a wholly unused ticket toward the purchase of a ticket for a future date.

Florida Resident Discover Disney Tickets may be used through July 31, 2020.

Any special event tickets, such as After Hours or Early Morning Magic, will be automatically refunded.

Annual Passes

Those guests who have Annual Passes won’t have to miss out on any of the pre-paid Disney days! If your passes are valid through the closure time, they will be extended by the number of days the parks are closed.

Resort Stays During Closure

If you haven’t already checked in for your stay anytime between March 16th, 2020 through March 31st, 2020, you can modify or cancel your reservation or package up to your original check-in date.

Don’t worry, though—you won’t necessarily have to call and cancel your resort stay. If you do nothing, Disney will automatically process a refund to the original form of payment within seven days of the original check-in date.

If you used someone other than Disney to book your vacation, you should contact them to make sure your stay is canceled.

Resort Stays After Closure

If you have a resort stay after the scheduled closure is over (March 31st, 2020), but you still wish to cancel your stay, Disney has stated they will waive any change or cancellation fees up to the date of check-in through June 30, 2020.

Dining & Other Experiences

Pre-paid dining reservations and other experiences scheduled between March 16th-March 31st, 2020 will automatically be refunded. This means your meals that require a deposit, or experiences like Capture Your Moment or Droid Depot will be fully refunded. You do not need to call to get a refund.

If your dining reservation didn’t require you to pre-pay, but did require a credit card number to hold your spot, you will not be charged a cancelation or no-show fee.

This only applies if the dining location is affected by the closure—so if it’s at a resort (which are still open), you’ll want to make sure to cancel those.

Will The Park Extend Their Closure?

There’s no way to know what will happen as the Coronavirus progresses. Right now, the parks plan to re-open April 1st, 2020.

However, if anything changes, and the closure needs to be extended, and other updates are released, we’ll let you know!

Walt Disney World (and other worldwide parks) are keeping safety first in their mind, and by closing the parks, they hope to limit any possible exposure and spread. We know it’s sad our happy place is closed, but we also know it is for the safety of all guests and Cast Members, and the wisest choice at this time.

To read more about Disney’s policy during this time, check out their website.

What Do I Do In The Meantime?

Missing Disney World can be even harder when you can’t go at all. So while you’re waiting for the parks to re-open, why not get a subscription to WDW Magazine to ease the pain?

About the Author

Leah Sikes

Leah Sikes is a graphic designer and contributing writer for WDW Magazine and Dad's Guide to WDW. When she's lucky enough to visit the Happiest Place on Earth, you catch her hanging out with the 999 Happy Haunts. She also loves running in the parks (when it's allowed at the marathons).