Coronavirus at Disney World: Latest Updates

by | Feb 27, 2020 | Walt Disney World News, WDW Blog

Updated 11/11/2020. We are keeping this page updated to bring you the latest news on the coronavirus impact on Disney Parks operations.

Disney Park Reopening Dates and Extended Closures

In an effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney has announced new procedures and phased park openings:

Walt Disney World Resort

  • Parks: All four parks are now open.
  • Festivals:
  • Resorts:
  • Disney Springs:
    • Most restaurants and bars are currently open at Disney Springs
    • The Christmas Tree Stroll will run from November 6th to December 30th, 2020
  • Dining: 
    • Advance Dining Reservations can be booked 60 days in advance
    • WDW Resort hotel guests can book 60 days + the length of their stay in advance
    • ADRs in Parks require both a valid dining reservation and a valid Park Pass for the same day/park
    • Resort restaurant ADRs are mandatory for guests not staying at that property
      • They are “strongly recommended” for guests who are staying at that property
    • All ADRs must be booked through the My Disney Experience app
    • Enchanting Extras Collection experiences can be booked by calling (407) 939-6690—or (800) 800-9800 for Disney Vacation Club Members.

Disneyland Resort

  • Parks: Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park reopening dates have been postponed (previously planned for July 17th)
  • Resorts: Reopening of the hotels of Disneyland Resort have also been postponed.
  • Downtown Disney: Started phased reopening on July 9th.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line Sailings Suspended Through Dec. 31, 2020
In alignment with yesterday’s announcement from Cruise Lines International Association regarding the voluntary extension of suspended passenger operations from U.S. ports until at least December 31, 2020, Disney Cruise Line will be canceling all October sailings, as well as the following November sailings:

Adventures by Disney

All new departures suspended through January 31st, 2021.

Aulani Resort and Other DVC Properties

  • Aulani Resort reopened on Nov 1st, 2020
  • Disney Vacation Club properties in Vero Beach, Florida, and Hilton Head, South Carolina, opened on June 15th, 2020

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How Will Coronavirus Affect My Vacation?

With coronavirus COVID-19 updates dominating the news, and thousands of people from all over the globe visiting Walt Disney World each week, it’s easy to start wondering about the spread of disease at the parks.

There are some common-sense preventative measures that you can take to ensure that you never get sick from visiting Mickey.

We’re just a Walt Disney World fan site, but according to the World Health Organization, “coronavirus” is a blanket term for many viruses, including the common cold and the new COVID-19 outbreak. The difference between the two is that COVID-19 can advance to cause serious infections that include breathing difficulty, kidney failure, pneumonia, and even death.

80% of coronavirus COVID-19 cases are mild, and those who are at most risk of serious infection and death are over the age of 50. Younger patients tend to be carriers of the disease and fully recover. Visit the World Health Organization site for more information on coronavirus COVID-19.

The point is to be smart about the daily spread of any virus. It’s up to each of us to keep the spread of disease under control.

Use the following tips to stay healthy whether you’re visiting the grocery store or the most magical place on earth:

1. Wash Your Hands

Mom was right. Wash your hands thoroughly to kill viruses on your hands. This old fashioned method will help to obliterate any bugs you’ve picked up along the way. When you can’t wash your hands, use an alcohol hand sanitizer to do the job. 

In fact, pretend Snow White is going to check them because just a splash of water and soap won’t do! Give them a good rub “and go Bluddle-uddle-um-dum” like the seven dwarfs for at least 20 seconds. See below for tips on getting the kids to wash their hands a little longer!

hand washing coronavirus at Disney World

Courtesy of World Health Organization

2. It’s All in the Elbows

Like the common cold, the new COVID-19 coronavirus is typically spread via any saliva that comes out when someone sneezes or coughs. That debris typically ends up on a sick person’s hands or a nearby surface.

Unless you need to use a handrail on stairs for safety and support, don’t touch public handles, knobs, buttons, etc. When you can, use your elbow to nudge open doors or push elevator buttons. 

And they just keep on giving, because you should be using the inside of your elbow to catch all your sneezes. This is known as the “vampire sneeze” because you’ll look like Dracula peeking over his cape. This is a great way for kids to remember it!

3. Hands-Off Your Eyes, Nose, and Mouth

One way to keep any virus from entering your body is to cut down your chances. Avoid any urge to put your fingers in your eyes, nose, or mouth. 

Use toothpicks if you have something stuck in your teeth, use a tissue to nab that booger (hey, we all get them), and wash hands vigorously before getting an eyelash out of your eye.

protect others coronavirus at disney world

Courtesy of World Health Organization

4. Go The Distance… Or Just Keep It

Stay a safe distance (at least 3 feet) from someone who is sneezing or coughing. Breathing in droplets of moisture from a sneeze or cough could transfer any virus. 

Turn away from someone coughing or sneezing if you can’t maintain a distance of three feet or consider wearing a mask if you are concerned about sneezing/coughing. Politely excuse yourself when appropriate.

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5. When to Wear a Mask

If you currently have a sneeze or cough, a mask should be worn to prevent the spread of viruses. If you are currently in close contact with someone who has a virus, a mask can also help. In general, you do not have to wear a mask if you are not in close, regular contact with someone who has a virus.

Keep in mind that masks are not the main line of defense. They only work when used as a secondary measure to regular hand washing. 

The best line of defense against coronavirus at Walt Disney World is proper hygiene. Washing your hands is of utmost importance to prevent the spread of any viruses. 

6. Teach Kids to Prevent Disease

And don’t forget to teach these important hygiene methods to the kids! We all know that kids have their own special brand of cute disgustingness, but they just don’t know better. 

Make handwashing fun: see who can wash their hands the “best” or make the most suds with one squirt of soap. Try singing the alphabet song each time, or better yet, the theme song to their favorite cartoon. 

You could even chat them up with a crazy question like, how many clouds do you think are on Andy’s wall? The goal is to distract them so they’re rubbing those little hands for at least 20 seconds. Teach them to keep their fingers out of their eyes, mouths, and noses (that one can be a challenge), and don’t forget to sneeze and cough like Dracula! 

7. Feeling Sick?

If you’re already feeling the symptoms of a cold, see your doctor to get tested and be diligent with your personal hygiene. Keep in mind: “coronavirus” is a broad term that includes the common cold and the new COVID-19 strain that can advance to pneumonia.

If you have a trip to Walt Disney World currently planned, we wouldn’t cancel on account of coronavirus just yet. 

Be smart, keep an eye on outbreak updates from the World Health Organization, and teach your family proper hygiene practices in the time leading up to your trip.


Posts by Rain Blanken

Rain Blanken is a published author and leader in digital media. A DVC Member, WDW Annual Pass holder, and former Disney Vacation Planner, Rain would live inside Boma if they would just stop checking under the tables at night.

Authored by
Rain Blanken

Rain Blanken is a published author and leader in digital media. A DVC Member, WDW Annual Pass holder, and former Disney Vacation Planner, Rain would live inside Boma if they would just stop checking under the tables at night.
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