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NEWS: Disney Offers Cool Online Program for Kids (or Kids at Heart) Stuck at Home

There’s not doubt about it, life took a crazy turn in the last week. With schools across the country closing due to the COVID-19 outbreak, millions of students are now at home and will be looking for activities to pass the time. That’s why we were thrilled to hear about Disney’s Imagineering in a box. Not only is it a great Disney related pastime, they may just learn something. Check this out for your kids (or you). Details below.


Here are all the details from Disney Cast Member Josh Gorin:

Hi, I’m Josh Gorin, a creative development executive with Walt Disney Imagineering, and one of the hosts and contributors to Imagineering in a Box –  a free online program created in partnership with the Khan Academy and Pixar.

Imagineering in a Box is a series of interactive lessons in theme park design and engineering, designed to give a behind-the-scenes peek into Imagineering’s development process. It combines 32 videos of actual Imagineers, real-world case studies, and lots of interactive activities to give you the opportunity to dream and design your very own theme park experience!

With so many families at home together right now, we thought this would be an especially useful time to share this program with you. It’s available to all and completely free.

When I was growing up, I would visit the Disney Parks with my family and ask, “how did they do that!?” I watched Disney’s behind-the-scenes TV specials and realized that Imagineering was an actual “job” — it inspired what I studied in school and ultimately led to my current role.

Today, we are so excited to share with learners of all ages the unique ways that science, technology, engineering, and math can be combined with creativity and design to create larger-than-life entertainment for millions all around the world.

And maybe, we’ll be helping the Imagineers of tomorrow to get their first start.

How are you using this program? Use #Disney, #BetterTogether and #ImagineeringinaBox on Instagram and tag @WaltDisneyImagineering to let us know, and for your chance to be featured.

RELATED ARTICLE: Disney World Announces Full Resort Closure, Operations & Procedure Updates 

Below you’ll find the latest updated information on the closings and operational updates from the Walt Disney World website.

Operational Updates

1 – Theme Parks and Water Parks

In an abundance of caution, Walt Disney World is closing the theme parks and water parks beginning March 16 through the end of the month. The Walt Disney World will pay its Cast Members during the closure period.

Click here for the original news announcement.

2 – Resorts

  • Disney owned-and-operated hotels at Walt Disney World Resort, Disney’s Vero Beach and Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort will close beginning at 5:00 pm on Friday, March 20 through the end of the month. This will give guests the ability to make other arrangements.
  • Disney’s Magical Express will continue transfers to and from Orlando International Airport through Friday, March 20.
  • Character dining and dinner shows at Disney Resort hotel locations may have modified experiences and characters present from March 16 through March 20.
  • Disney has canceled all showtimes for Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show and Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue beginning March 16 through the end of the month. Disney will automatically refund Guests with reservations during these dates.
  • Effective March 16, the Electrical Water Pageant around Magic Kingdom area Disney hotels will be temporarily canceled.
  • The following Disney Resort hotel offerings will temporarily stop offering services effective March 16–
    • Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
    • All Spa and Salon Locations
    • Character Coture services at Salon locations.

3 – Disney Springs

All Disney owned-and-operated locations are closed from Tuesday, March 17, through the end of the month.

The NBA Experience and NBA Store are temporarily closed.

Select restaurants and retail locations at Disney Springs may remain open and guests should call the location they wish to visit for operating hours.

4 – Transporation

All Disney transportation will be suspended beginning the morning of Wednesday, March 18, 2020, through the end of the month.

5 – Other Experiences

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and miniature golf locations at Walt Disney World Resort are closed from March 16-March 31.

Disney will automatically cancel and refund experiences occurring near or adjacent to theme parks, including fireworks cruises and special dining events, that will not take place during the parks closure. Most guests with impacted reservations will be notified directly.

The following experiences are temporarily canceled:

  • All fireworks cruises
  • Highway in the Sky Dine Around
  • Pirates & Pals Fireworks Dessert Voyage
  • Ferrytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise
  • Celebration at the Top – Savor, Sip, and Sparkle
  • Day Cruise Around the World
  • Disney Vacation Club Seven Seas Tasting Cruise
  • Grand 1 Yacht Rentals

Golf and FootGolf operations remain available on their regular schedule.


Modification, Cancellations, and Refunds

6 – Tickets

Unexpired multi-day theme park tickets with unused days, or date-specific theme park tickets with a valid use period during the period March 12, 2020, through March 31, 2020, will automatically be extended to use any date through December 15, 2020. 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.

Guests who have purchased tickets for Disney After Hours, Disney Villains After Hours, and Disney Early Morning Magic from March 16, 2020, through March 31, 2020, will be automatically refunded.

7 – Resort Rooms and Packages

Many reservations can be canceled and rebooked online. You can call (407) 939-5277 to reschedule reservations with arrivals of March 20-31 to a future date. To provide additional flexibility, Disney is waiving all Disney-imposed change and cancellation fees up to the date of check-in for your reservation, as well as those rescheduled reservations with arrivals through June 30, 2020.

On Friday, March 20 at 5:00 pm we automatically cancel reservations of Walt Disney Travel Company Disney Resort hotel packages and Disney Resort hotel room-only reservations booked directly through Disney, for arrivals March 20-31.

Disney will also process a refund to the original form of payment if a payment has been made. If you did not book through Disney directly, please contact your travel professional. Please note that cancellation fees imposed by third-party suppliers, including airlines and rentals cars, as well as non-refundable products like travel protection plans, are deducted from refundable amounts for Walt Disney Travel Company packages.

8 – Annual Passes

  • All active Walt Disney World Annual Passes will be extended for the number of days the parks are closed.
  • Passes with renewal windows ending during the closure will also receive an extension of time to renew.
  • For Passholders participating in the Annual Pass Monthly Payment program, your monthly payments will continue as scheduled. Once your payments are completed, you will still have the extra days as provided above.

9 – Dining & Other Experiences

  • All pre-paid dining and experience reservations will be automatically refunded if scheduled between March 16-March 31.
  • Reservations made at locations impacted by the closure will not be charged a cancellation or no-show fee.
  • Character dining and dinner shows at Disney Resort hotel locations may have modified experiences and characters present from March 16-March 31.
  • Disney has canceled all showtimes for Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show and Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue beginning March 16 through the end of the month. Disney will automatically refund Guests with reservations during these dates.
  • All active Tables in Wonderland members will be extended by the number of days the parks are closed.

10 – FastPass+

All FastPass+ reservations scheduled for March 16, 2020, through March 31, 2020, when parks are closed will be automatically canceled.

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.


About Chad & Cindy Nykamp

After years of multiple Walt Disney World vacations, Cindy and Chad's dream of living in Orlando came true in 2010. After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Chad and Cindy have been Disney World Annual Passholders for years, DVC members, together have raced more than 70 runDisney races, and particularly love cruising on the Disney Cruise Line. Chad and Cindy also regularly represent at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, they get an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World. These experiences have helped them gain knowledge and expertise they happily pass on to their followers. They still can't believe how lucky they are to have such an amazing opportunity and will continue to share Disney with anyone who will listen!