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NEWS: Disney Makes Significant Changes to Mobile Order to Promote Physical Distancing

Disney recently announced that with the phased reopening they would be working on “Limited-Contact enhancements,” that would help reduce the contact between Cast Members and guests in dining and retail situations. Disney has now added a couple of great new features to its Mobile Order service to encourages guests to use the service. One of the new features is one that guests have been asking for a long time! Catch all the details below.


D-Luxe Burger at Disney Springs is currently offering Mobile Order service, so we can see what the new enhancements are. First up, is a new “Arrival Window” selection. Previously, when you arrived at your quick-service location you would tap the “I’m Here” button. Now, you’ll choose an arrival window of 30 minutes.

New “Arrival Window” with Mobile Order

What guests have long been asking for were more ways to pay with Mobile Ordering. Now Disney Gift Cards and Apple Pay have been added as payment options. This will allow for more contactless purchasing.

Guests can now add Disney Gift Cards and use Apple Pay when completing a purchase with Mobile Order.

Mobile Order will be the preferred way to dine at quick-service restaurants and we’re excited to see the changes within the app.

RELATED ARTICLE: Disney World Reopening Details – 15 Things We Know Right Now

by Chad and Cindy Nykamp

Officials from Walt Disney World presented plans for reopening the theme parks to Orange County’s economic recovery task force on May 27 that included a phased approach to reopening the resort. Two days later the governor of Florida approved the plan. There is a lot of information to wade through, so we’ve put together a guide of what we know about the reopening for your convenience.   Visiting Walt Disney World this summer will not be what we are used to, and there are things you need to be aware of before you visit. We present this information to inform you of what to expect as Walt Disney World reopens and for you to make a decision on whether or not to visit. There are a ton of questions and many details that need to be filled in. However, here are the 15 things we know now about the phased reopening and visiting Walt Disney World after the coronavirus closure.


1 – Phased Reopening Announced

Officials from Walt Disney World presented plans for reopening the theme parks to Orange County’s economic recovery task force on May 27 that included a phased approach to reopening the theme parks, Disney Resort hotels, restaurants, attractions, and other experiences. Things will be different when Walt Disney World reopens, and there will be many safety and health protocols in place for guests and Cast Member protection. We’ll be covering the details on the reopening in this article, but click here for the original announcement.

2 – Opening Dates at a Glance

Disney officials presented their plans to reopen the theme parks, which include a phased reopening with the following dates:

  • June 15– Disney Vacation Club resorts in Vero Beach, Florida, and Hilton Head, South Carolina, will open to members and guests.
  • June 22 – Disney Vacation Club resorts at Walt Disney World will reopen to members and guests, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will begin to reopen on June 22.
  • July 11– Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will open.
  • July 15– Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will open.

Credit: Disney

Disney Springs has already begun its phased reopening. Click here for everything you need to know about your visit to Disney Springs.

3 – Park Reservations Will be Required

According to the Walt Disney World website, the parks will reopen with some important updates to promote physical distancing, including a new park reservation system. Initially, park attendance will be managed through a new park reservation system. To enter a park, both a park reservation and valid admission for the same park on the same date is required. Theme park reservations will be limited due to attendance limitations and will be subject to availability. More details about this new reservation system will be available soon.

4 – Expect Reduced Park Hours

The park hours beginning July 11 have already been posted to the Walt Disney World website and the operating hours of the parks have been reduced. For example, Magic Kingdom has hours of 9:00 am – 7:00 pm. Disney’s Animal Kingdom has posted hours of 8:00 am – 6:00 pm, also reduced. Beginning July 15, Epcot has hours of 11:00 am-9:00 pm, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios hours are 10:00 am – 8:00 pm. These hours are subject to change. Always check the My Disney Experience app or the Walt Disney World calendar on the website for up to date hours.

5 – No FastPass+ & No Extra Magic Hours

As a result of the COVID-19 impact, the FastPass+ service will be suspended for the time being as Disney plans to use additional queue space to manage capacity at our attractions and maintain physical distancing. Disney will automatically cancel existing FastPass+ selections and share any future updates on the service at a later date. Also, please note that upon reopening, Extra Magic Hours will be temporarily suspended.

Email sent to guests regarding FastPass cancellations and the new Theme Park reservation system.

6 – Resort and Dining Reservations are Suspended

New reservations at Disney Resort hotels are temporarily paused, so Disney can focus on guests with existing reservations. However, Disney Vacation Club Members can still make new reservations. Reservations will resume after a period of time.

Disney has released the following statement regarding dining and other experience reservations:

In order to foster physical distancing during this time, upon reopening, our offerings, restaurants and other experiences such as behind-the-scenes tours will be limited in capacity, and other experiences may remain closed. As a result of limited capacity, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all existing dining reservations and experience bookings, including Disney dining plans included in packages, through the end of the year. We will reopen dining and experience bookings with more limited numbers closer to when the parks reopen. We will also shift from a 180-day booking window to a 60-day booking window for dining and experience bookings going forward to allow Guests to make their plans closer to their visits.

Email sent to guests regarding dining and experience cancellations.

7 – New Ticket Sales Suspended

At this time, new ticket sales are temporarily paused. Existing ticket holders and Annual Passholders will be able to make reservation requests in phases before new tickets are sold. Additional details will be shared with these guests soon. New ticket sales will resume after that period of time.

8 – Annual Passholder Update

Disney has released a statement to its annual passholders about what they can expect during the phased reopening. There are no guarantees that passholders will be able to get entrance into the parks and certain benefits, we assume park hopping, will be available. Click here for the full statement

9 – Face Coverings are Required

When visiting Walt Disney World, health and safety protocols will be in place to safeguard the health and safety of the entire Disney community. Here are the guidelines from the Walt Disney World website:

All Guests ages two* and up—along with Cast Members—are required to wear face coverings when visiting Walt Disney World Resort. Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming.

All face coverings should:

  • Fully cover an individual’s nose and mouth and allow the Guest to remain hands-free.
  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face.
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops.
  • Be made of breathable material, either disposable or reusable.

Costume masks are not considered appropriate and are prohibited from being worn, in alignment with Disney’s existing rules.

The use of face coverings is not a substitute for physical distancing.

*Note that originally the age for face coverings was three and up. Disney has changed this policy to ages two and up.


10 – Temperature Screenings

Upon arrival at Disney Springs or at the Walt Disney World theme parks, you may undergo a temperature screening with no-touch thermometers.

Based on guidance from health authorities, anyone displaying a temperature of 100.4 F or above will be directed to an additional location for rescreening and assistance. Those with temperatures 100.4 F or above will not be allowed entry; those in their party will not be allowed entry either.

Before you leave home, be sure to check the temperatures of everyone in your party—including yourself—as an extra layer of precaution.

Temperature screening at Disney Springs.

11 – Physical Distancing and Limited Contact

There will be reduced capacity of theme parks, restaurants, retail, attractions, buses, monorails, and other transportation that enables appropriate physical distancing. Also, parades, fireworks, and other events that create crowds are temporarily suspended. High touch experiences such as Meet and Greets, makeover opportunities, and playgrounds are also temporarily suspended. Characters will still be in the parks to entertain and delight during your visit.

Here some of the other things to take note of regarding physical distancing and limited contact from the Walt Disney World website.

  • Signage and Ground Markings: Please follow directional signage and ground markings, which have been installed throughout Walt Disney World Resort to help Guests better navigate common areas while practicing physical distancing.
  • Physical Barriers: Physical barriers have been added in select places where it is difficult to maintain strict physical distancing guidelines. These may be visible in areas around cash registers or at Guest Relations, for example, to help ensure proper distances between people.
  • Cashless Transactions: At this time, it is recommended all Guests use cashless payment options, including debit cards, credit cards, and Disney Gift Cards. Guests can also opt for contactless payment options—such as mobile wallets—or use cash to purchase a Disney Gift Card at Guest Relations and select merchandise locations. Disney Resort hotel Guests can also use MagicBands to charge their purchase to their Disney Resort hotel folio.
  • Plexiglass will also be installed at points of sale in retail and food and beverage locations where distancing cannot be maintained.

12 – Enhanced Cleaning and Sanitation

Here are some of the things you can expect during a visit this summer.

  • Hand-washing and sanitizing stations and signage reminders at appropriate locations in the theme parks.
  • More frequent cleaning across high-touch locations and surfaces in operating areas.

13 – You Assume the Risk of Visiting in the Age of the Coronavirus

Disney has released a warning statement for those considering coming to Disney World. The following is stated on the Walt Disney World website:

We have taken enhanced health and safety measures—for you, our other Guests, and Cast Members. You must follow all posted instructions while visiting Walt Disney World Resort.

An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable.

By visiting Walt Disney World Resort, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.

Help keep each other healthy and safe.

14 – You’ll Need the My Disney Experience App

We always encourage guests to have the latest version of the My Disney Experience app for the Walt Disney World vacations. This app will be even more important during the phased reopening. You’ll want the app for online check-in at Disney Resorts so you can skip the Front Desk, for Mobile Order Service for dining, and for scannable codes at select restaurants to access the digital menu. If you do not have a credit card linked to your Magic Band, you will also want to consider Apple Pay or Google Pay for contactless payments. You’ll want to have that set up before your visit.

Click here to learn about new features added to Mobile Ordering for the phased reopening.

15 – How to Adjust Your Travel Plans

For guests who are interested in modifying their existing travel dates, modifications to reservations are currently available for future travel dates. As previously shared, unexpired multi-day theme park tickets with unused days or date-specific them park tickets with a valid use period beginning March 12, 2020, through the closure 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.

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 the closure period. Many reservations can be modified or canceled online. If guests need further assistance, they can reach Disney at the Disney Reservation Center through the online chat feature or by calling the reservation line.

More Detail to Come

While there are some big questions that have been answered regarding the reopening of Disney World, there are a lot of questions we don’t have answers to yet, and a lot of details that need to be filled in regarding how much of this will work. For instance, there is a question of when non-DVC resorts will open. Many more questions remain. We will continue providing updates on our website, newsletter, Facebook page, and on Instagram as details are released and we get answers to our list of questions.

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!