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NEWS: Disney Releases New Annual Passholder Statement for Phased Reopening

Disney has been steadily releasing more information regarding its phased reopening. Today they updated their website to give annual passholders information about what they can expect when the parks reopen beginning July 11, 2020. Check out the full statement below.


Here is the full statement from the Walt Disney World website:

Our Annual Passholders are some of our most loyal and valued Guests. We truly can’t wait to welcome you back—and we will do it with great thought.

With that in mind, when the parks reopen, park capacity will be significantly limited—and may continue to be for a period of time, based on guidance from health experts to promote physical distancing.

We understand how much excitement, thought and time goes into planning your Disney visits and realize some new changes may be disappointing. For example, during this unprecedented time, an annual pass will not guarantee park entry and Annual Passholders will be required to make an advance reservation to enter a park.

Please note that:

During the limited capacity period, it may be difficult for Annual Passholders to get park reservations to visit on certain dates. To help manage capacity, total reservation days held at one time will be limited. More details will be shared in the coming weeks.

Some pass benefits and features will not be available during periods of limited capacity. Also, park experiences and offerings will be modified and subject to limited availability or even closure.

Annual passes are subject to blockout dates. Guests should ensure their pass type is valid for park entry prior to making a park reservation.

As we prepare for the reopening of the parks, we’re planning a special preview opportunity for Annual Passholders. We look forward to sharing details with you soon.

Please know we will be here to help you as we remain focused on delivering a wonderful experience for everyone who visits.

If you have any questions, please contact V.I.PASSHOLDER Support at (407) 939-7277. Options to manage your annual pass continue to be available during the closure period.

Here is the Annual Pass Policy Update and Refunds from the Walt Disney World website:

Policy Updates and Refunds

Due to the closure of the Walt Disney World theme parks, some policies were modified to assist Passholders.

If you are an Annual Passholder who has paid in full:
All active Walt Disney World Resort theme park and water park Annual Passes will be extended for the number of days the parks are closed. The new expiration date will be reflected on the Annual Passholder’s account prior to the reopening of the parks.

As an alternative, and in lieu of an extension of their passes, Passholders who have paid in full may choose to receive a partial refund for the park closure period. To request this alternative option, we ask that you contact V.I.PASSHOLDER Support at (407) 939-7277. We do anticipate heavy call volume and appreciate your patience as we answer all inquiries.

If you are an Annual Passholder on the monthly payment plan:
On April 5, 2020, we automatically stopped and will waive monthly payments due while the theme parks are closed. We will also retroactively refund payments made between March 14 through April 4, 2020. Payments will resume on the Passholder’s regularly scheduled payment dates once the parks reopen. Please note, pass expiration dates will not be extended and passes will expire upon their originally scheduled expiration dates.

As an alternative, Guests who are paying for Walt Disney World Annual Passes using our monthly payment program may choose to have their monthly payments postponed starting with payments due April 5, 2020, through the park closure period, and then resumed on the Passholder’s regularly scheduled payment date once the parks reopen. Postponed payments will be collected in the months following the end of the Passholder’s currently scheduled payment term. The pass will be extended the number of days the parks are closed. The new expiration date will be reflected on the Annual Passholder’s account prior to the reopening of the theme parks. To request this alternative option, we ask that you contact V.I.PASSHOLDER Support at (407) 939-7277. We do anticipate heavy call volume and appreciate your patience as we answer all inquiries.

If you have any questions, please contact V.I.PASSHOLDER Support at (407) 939-7277.

RELATED ARTICLE: Disney Springs Now Open – What You Need to Know

by Chad and Cindy Nykamp

Florida is a few weeks into its Phase One reopening. On May 7, Disney announced a phased reopening of only Disney Springs, and many have been looking forward to its phased reopening. The rest of Walt Disney World Resort is still closed for now, including theme parks and Disney Resort hotels. Visiting Disney Springs is not what we are used to, and there are things you need to be aware of before you visit the area. We present this information to inform you of what to expect as Disney World reopens and for you to make a decision on whether or not to visit. Here is what you need to know about the phased reopening and visiting Disney Springs.


1 – Getting There & Parking

Because all Disney resorts are closed, there is no Disney transportation to Disney Springs. All guests must arrive in their own vehicles. During this initial phase, guests are directed to self-park in the Orange or Lime Garages. All surface lots are closed. Disney has reduced the number of entrances for Disney Springs to four locations: Orange and Lime Garages, along with the Hotel Plaza Boulevard pedestrian bridge and rideshare location. There was plenty of signage and traffic cones out to guide guests to the right place to drive and park. We experienced no trouble and only a short wait to get into the Orange Parking garage, but not any longer than an average busy day delay when trying to park in Disney Springs.

2 – Appropriate Face Covers are Required

Be aware that all guests three years of age and older, along with cast members and third-party operating-participant employees, are required to wear an appropriate face covering while visiting Disney Springs. Disney has stated that this is an important part of protecting both guests and cast. Please be sure you have an ample amount of face coverings for yourself and your party before you arrive, as you’ll need to wear them over your nose and mouth at all times (except when sitting at a dining table eating).

Do be aware that at this time there are no face coverings for sale at Disney Springs. You need to have them with you and wearing them as you approach the screening area. If you do not have them, you will not be allowed to enter. Also, if you are in the Disney Springs area and not wearing the mask (other than eating or drinking as stated above), you will be asked to put your mask on. A Disney Cast Member confirmed to us that they are enforcing the face-covering rule. You must wear one. If you are not willing to do that, then as the Cast Member said, “Disney Springs is not the place for you at this time.” Guests who refuse to wear a face mask will be made to leave.

3 – Temperature Screening

Once you arrive at Disney Springs, you and your party will be required to undergo temperature screenings. Based on guidance from health authorities, anyone displaying a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher are directed to an additional location for rescreening and assistance; those who again measure 100.4 degrees or higher will not be allowed entry, nor will those in their party. We encourage you to check the temperatures of yourself and your party before leaving home, as an extra layer of precaution.

Since we parked at the Orange Garage, our screening was done just before the walkway over to Disney Springs from Level 2. We saw other screening areas at the Lime Garage and at the bottom of the Hotel Plaza Boulevard pedestrian bridge near Once Upon a Toy and Earl of Sandwich. Note that entrances are being controlled, and you have to submit to a temperature screening to enter Disney Springs. (Click on any photo below to enlarge).

4 – Warning Signs

Disney has released a warning statement for those considering coming to Disney Springs. The following is stated on the Disney Springs 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 Disney Springs.

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 Disney Springs you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.

Help keep each other healthy and safe.

Warning signs with the same message are near the entrances of Disney Springs for visitors to see.

5 – Physical Distancing and Capacity Measures:

To maintain appropriate physical distancing throughout Disney Springs during this initial phase, Disney will limit the number of guests visiting the property, as well as within each location. In addition, ground markings help promote proper distancing when queuing is necessary. Disney also added physical barriers in select places where it’s difficult to maintain physical distancing.

We observed many ground markings all over Disney Springs to help people stand on the right spots. Most businesses had markings indicating where to stand if there was a queue outside the store. Stores were limiting the number of people inside, and we saw several long lines outside of the stores with people appropriately spaced. Walkways also had markings that included arrows to guide the direction of pedestrians. Finally, we saw many doors marked entrance or exit only, so stores are creating one-way traffic to prevent people from getting too close to each other. (Click on any photo below to enlarge).


6 – Cleanliness

Disney has increased cleaning and disinfection procedures in high-traffic areas such as elevators and escalators, handrails, benches, tables, handles, restrooms, and more. There were also plenty of hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer available throughout Disney Springs. We observed a lot of cleaning being done by Cast Members. Surfaces were being wiped down, especially in high-traffic/high touch areas such as trash bins. Disney is doing a great job of trying to keep Disney Springs clean and encourage guests to do their part as well.

7 – Cast Members and Security

Disney Cast Member Matt Simon shared the following on cast training:

Our cast members are going through extensive new training as we all learn to adjust to these changing times together. To that end, we will have some cast members walking throughout Disney Springs to explain our new procedures and answer any questions you may have. They will also encourage everyone to follow these measures for the health and safety of us all.

Also, the security staff presence was a lot more than we are used to seeing. There was a lot of security walking around to ensure guests were adhering to the new policies. Thankfully, we saw everyone following the guidelines. The only time we saw someone without a mask was when they were eating and drinking.


8 – Operating Participants Now Open

During the initial phase of reopening, not all locations in Disney Springs are operating.

Here is a list of the locations now open:

  • 4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck
  • Anthropologie
  • The Art Corner by Artistic Talent Group
  • Basin
  • Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza
  • Chapel Hats
  • Chicken Guy!
  • Columbia Sportswear
  • Crystal Arts by Arribas Brothers
  • Earl of Sandwich®
  • Edward Beiner Purveyor of Fine Eyewear
  • Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC
  • Free People
  • Frontera Cocina
  • Happy Hound
  • Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company®
  • Lucky Brand
  • Luxury of Time by Diamonds International
  • Morimoto Asia
  • Morimoto Asia Street Food
  • Pandora® Jewelry
  • Paradiso 37 Entertainment
  • Pelé Soccer
  • Pizza Ponte
  • Planet Hollywood
  • The Polite Pig
  • Pop Gallery
  • Ron Jon Surf Shop®
  • Royally Yours by Arribas Brothers
  • Sanuk
  • Savannah Bee Company
  • Sosa Family Cigars
  • STK Orlando
  • Sugarboo & Co.
  • Sunshine Churros at Disney Springs Marketplace
  • Sunshine Churros at Disney Springs West Side
  • T-REX™
  • UGG®
  • UNOde50
  • Vivoli il Gelato
  • Volcom
  • Vera Bradley
  • Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill
  • Wine Bar George – A Restaurant & Bar
  • YeSake Kiosk
  • ZARA

The remaining Patina Restaurant Group-operated locations at Disney Springs, including Maria & Enzo’s, Enzo’s Hideaway, and The Edison, will also resume operations soon. Please stay tuned for more information regarding the reopening of each of those restaurants.

9 – Three Disney Owned Locations Now Open

On May 27, three Disney-owned and -operated stores and venues reopened: World of Disney, D-Luxe Burger (mobile order) and the Marketplace Co-Op. People flocked to Disney Springs on the morning of May 27 and it hit capacity around 10:45 am. To handle the crowds, Disney has implemented a virtual queue for both World of Disney and Marketplace Co-Op. On May 27, wait times just to get sign up for the virtual queue were around an hour long. After that, return times were given up to 4 hours later for World of Disney. Thankfully, it seems these long waits were for the first day only. We’ve visited since then and have had no problem getting in.

10 – Overall Thoughts

While we didn’t stay too long, we really enjoyed our time at Disney Springs. We visited for just about an hour. We chose not to eat because the wait times for the quick-service restaurants were long because there are only a handful operating. We look forward to eating there soon.

Once more Disney operated stores open, we feel that more people will be visiting Disney Springs. It will be interesting to see how busy it becomes and how crowded it will become. Disney has said they will limit crowd size. Since its likely only locals are visiting at this time, we expect crowds to be pretty manageable.

Deciding whether and when to visit Disney Springs is going to be a decision that each guest needs to make for themselves. We hope that this information is helpful in making that decision for your family. We can tell you that Disney is taking the safety of its guests and following all guidelines from local and state health officials very seriously. It was obvious that Disney has put a lot of thought into how to create a positive and safe guest experience. We felt Disney delivered on that while providing a very clean space and managing the area in a way that provided the safest environment you can hope for under the circumstances. If you choose to visit Disney Springs during the first phase of reopening, you will likely find it a positive, comfortable experience.

Disney Spring is open from 10 am – 10 pm for the foreseeable future. Restaurant hours vary by location.

Click here to see our Instagram Story with more photos and video.

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!