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Characters greet guests at Epcot in 2004

BREAKING NEWS: Disney Provides Additional Details on Characters in the Parks, Available Attractions, New PhotoPass Policy & Park Hopper Adjustments

Disney is continuing to update guests by providing more information on theme park experiences such as what we can expect from characters in the parks, what attractions and entertainment options will be available, new Disney PhotoPass policies, and how you can adjust your park hopper ticket since park hopping will not be available. Catch all the details below.





 

Here is the information from the Walt Disney World website:

1 – Attractions Confirmed Including Spaceship Earth

Disney Cast Member Laurel Slater gave this update on attractions.

Most attractions will be available at each park – for example, live your adventure at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with attractions like Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. At Magic Kingdom Park, classics such as Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean are waiting to welcome guests with thrilling adventures for the whole family. Time travelers, take note that the iconic Spaceship Earth attraction at EPCOT will also continue to be available in its current state while we pause on its planned refurbishment, along with other favorite attractions like Soarin’ Around the World, Frozen Ever After and Test Track presented by Chevrolet. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, the magic of nature awaits with Kilimanjaro Safaris, Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain and Avatar Flight of Passage.

Click here for a complete list of available experiences at the theme parks when they reopen.

2 – Characters in the Parks

Disney Characters will still be in the parks to entertain and delight guests. Additionally, you’ll be able to experience many favorite attractions and dozens of entertainment offerings.

From special cavalcades down the Magic Kingdom park parade route and friends sailing the waterways of Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park to processions along World Showcase promenade at EPCOT and motorcades on Hollywood Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, each area will come to life throughout the day. You never know when a party of your pals may come by, so be prepared for plenty of surprises!

For example, after rocketing through space in Tomorrowland you might see that famous Space Ranger, Buzz Lightyear; or discover a captive Captain Jack Sparrow as you traverse the Castillo del Morro on your way to Pirates of the Caribbean. You could cross paths with Queen Anna and Elsa as they venture “into the unknown” on a journey around World Showcase at EPCOT or spy members of the Resistance hiding out from the First Order throughout Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu.

Note: Some experiences may be modified, limited in capacity, and subject to availability or closure.

Characters on Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Expeditions greet guests in 2005. This is what we can likely expect when the parks reopen.

3 – Musical Groups Confirmed

Several musical groups will also return. You can look forward to seeing Main Street Philharmonic at Magic Kingdom Park, plus the Mariachi Cobre and everyone’s favorite funky drumming crew the JAMMitors at EPCOT, just to name a few.

4 – Disney PhotoPass Service

To promote cleanliness, physical distancing, and reduced contact, you will notice some temporary adjustments to Disney PhotoPass Service to provide an enjoyable environment for everyone:

  • Handling Guest’s Personal Devices: Disney PhotoPass photographers will not handle Guests’ personal devices such as cellphones and cameras.
  • Photo Prop Usage: Where photo props are in use, they will be thoroughly cleaned between Guests. For select props, your photographer may request that you stand next to or behind the prop without making contact with it. In these scenarios, your photographer will endeavor to capture your photos with the best angles and perspective in mind.
  • Photo Linking: Before the photographer takes your photo, please have your MagicBand or Card ready for the photographer to scan so they can quickly link your photos to your account. Photographers will keep as much distance as possible during this process.

5 – Park Hopping

As we mentioned in our 15 Things You Might Have Missed From Recent Disney News Announcements article (see related article below), park-hopping will not be available during the phased reopening. Disney has outlined its policy if you have a ticket that includes the park hopper options.

If you have a ticket that includes the Park Hopper Option or Park Hopper Plus Option, there are several options available to you:

  • Ticket Extension: You may use your current date-based ticket by September 26, 2021, with the existing add-on options, should the options return by that date.
  • Ticket Modification: Resort Packages with tickets may be modified or canceled. To discuss your options, please call the Disney Reservation Center at (407) W-DISNEY or (407) 934-7639 beginning June 22, or contact your travel professional.
  • Ticket Cancelation: If you do not want to use your ticket, you also have the option of canceling your ticket or package. To discuss your options, please call the Disney Reservation Center at (407) 566-4985 beginning June 22, or contact your travel professional.

Learn more about what we know about the phased reopening of Walt Disney World by clicking here.

RELATED ARTICLE: 20 Details You Might Have Missed from a Huge 24 Hours of Disney World Reopening Announcements

by Chad and Cindy Nykamp

In just two days Disney released a ton of information on the new theme park reservation system, updates on fall special events, attraction, and entertainment updatesMagicBands, and recreation such as special tours and experiences. There was a lot to read through and follow. So much so that you might have missed some pretty important details! Keep reading to learn 20 details you might have missed from the recent news about Walt Disney World’s phased reopening.





 

1 – Disney Resort Guests Get the Perk of Getting Reservations First

Not surprisingly, Disney is giving its Disney Resort guest the first crack at theme park reservations. This is to be expected and the right thing to do for people with existing travel plans. Reservations for Disney Resort and other select hotel Guests with valid theme park admission can make reservations can begin to make reservations on Monday, June 22, 2020.

2 – Park Hopping is NOT Available
While it has been rumored and expected, Disney confirmed that there till be no park hopping during the initial reopening phase. Guests will be able to select one park per day. Visiting more than one park per day will be temporarily unavailable upon the reopening of the theme parks due to attendance limitations. Disney hopes to bring back the ability to visit more than one park per day soon and will continue to offer these add-ons for 2021 ticket purchases.

3 – You’ll Need to Make Reservations for Each Day of Entry

When the reservation window opens, be prepared to make reservations for each day you want to visit. We recommend you start with your first choices first and then work your way down. So, if you want to visit Magic Kingdom on a particular day, try that first and then make reservations for the other parks in the order you want to visit.

4 – Annual Passholders May Only Reserve 3 Parks Days at a Time Unless You’re a Disney Resort Guest

Disney annual passholders are eligible to make park reservations on June 26. Note that you can only make theme park reservations for up to 3 days at a time. However, annual passholders staying at select Disney Resort or other select hotels with valid Theme Park admission are eligible to make theme park reservations for their entire resort length of stay.





 

5 – Existing Ticket Holders

Existing Ticket Holders without resort reservations can begin to make theme park reservations on June 28, 2020.

6 – Spaceship Earth’s Refurbishment Has Been Delayed

Spaceship Earth was scheduled to close on May 26 for a lengthy refurbishment as part of the reimagining of Epcot. Disney has confirmed that they have paused its planned refurbishment and it will be available in its current state.

7 – Other Confirmed Attractions

Most attractions will be available at each park. Here are the confirmed major attractions that will be open.

  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Test Track
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
  • Avatar Flight of Passage

This begs the question of what is NOT open. Click here for a complete list of available experiences at the theme parks when they reopen.

8 – Expect to See Characters in the Parks in Different but Familiar Ways

Disney Characters will still be in the parks to entertain and delight guests. From special cavalcades down the Magic Kingdom park parade route and friends sailing the waterways of Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park to processions along World Showcase promenade at EPCOT and motorcades on Hollywood Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, each area will come to life throughout the day. Disney characters have interacted with guests this way before. Click on the photos below from 2004 and 2005 to see the characters at Epcot and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Click here for a complete list of available experiences at the theme parks when they reopen, including character cavalcades.

9 – 2021 Resort Packages and Tickets Available Soon

By June 28, all guests will be able to purchase new Disney Resort hotel packages and theme park tickets and make their park reservations for arrivals starting in 2021 as the phased reopening continues. Guests will be able to view park reservation availability on DisneyWorld.com prior to purchasing their tickets.

10 – The Reservation Window is through 2021

Park reservations will be available through September 26, 2021, based on your Resort stay and ticket eligibility or ticket eligibility window. This doesn’t necessarily mean that reservations will be required for that long. It simply means that as people book their 2021 packages and tickets, they can make their reservations right after they book. This gives guests the opportunity to book their theme park reservations well in advance and gives guests peace of mind that they will be able to visit the parks.

11 – 2020 Tickets and Reservations Opening Up Later This Summer

Later this summer, Disney will resume sales of 2020 tickets and Disney Resort hotel arrivals, based on availability of park reservations, while we continue to provide guests with existing tickets and annual passholders the opportunity to make park reservations for 2020 dates.

12 – Fall Special Events Canceled

With so many park experiences being temporarily suspended Disney announced that Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, and H2O Glow Nights at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon have been canceled. Note that if you purchased Halloween Party tickets or H2O Glow tickets, refunds will be given.





 

13 – A Modified Food & Wine Festival Coming

A modified Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will kick off on July 15, when Epcot reopens. This shrunk down version will feature 20 global marketplaces (usually there are over 35) and will continue through the fall. As soon as we learn more about “Taste of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival”, we’ll update our audience.

14 – A New Epcot Scavenger Hunt is Coming to Epcot

Some floral fun from the Flower and Garden Festival will be around the modified Food & Wine Festival as well as Flower and Garden merchandise. For scavenger hunt fans, you can look forward to a new experience that celebrates the best of both festivals: Flower & Garden and Food & Wine.

15 – Christmastime Events are Safe – For Now

The good news is that no decision has been made about how Holiday Season events will be impacted or canceled. We’ll update you on this when we learn more.

16 – Musical Groups Confirmed

Several musical groups will also return. You can look forward to seeing Main Street Philharmonic at Magic Kingdom Park, plus the Mariachi Cobre and everyone’s favorite funky drumming crew the JAMMitors at EPCOT, just to name a few.

17 – Tours, Special Dining Experiences, & Recreation Activities Impacted

We’ve already learned about certain resort activities being modified or canceled. Learn more about updates to Resort activities, recreation, rentals, and pool cabanas, by clicking here. But we also learned that miniature golf, surfing activities, spas, salons, and the Harmony Barbershop will be closed unavailable during the initial reopening period.

If you are like us, you enjoy backstage tours such as Backstage Magic, Behind the Seeds, and Wild Africa Trek. Disney confirmed the park tours will be unavailable. We also got a definitive list of special dining and nature experiences that will be impacted. Click here for the full list of tours and experiences that will be unavailable. 





 

18 – Complimentary MagicBand Distribution Ending in 2021

Complimentary MagicBands for Disney resort guests will end this year. Beginning with arrivals January 1, 2021, and beyond, resort guests will not receive a complimentary band. This is because a new system will be rolled out in the My Disney Experience app that will bring key features to your smart devices. Disney Resort hotel guests will continue to have the option to purchase new MagicBands at a discount, and Disney will be introducing even more colors and designs featuring favorite Disney characters in the future.

19 – Small Change in Disney Photo Pass Service 

Note that to promote cleanliness, physical distancing, and reduced contact, Disney PhotoPass photographers will not handle Guests’ personal devices such as cellphones and cameras like they have in the past.

20 – Annual Passholders Will Have the Option to Cancel Their Passes or Get an Additional One-Month Extension

With all of the changes in the parks, many annual passholders have expressed concern about being able to enjoy the parks. Disney has now addressed those issues and is giving passholders either a one-month extension on their passes (on top of the four months the park was closed) or the option to cancel the pass. See the details below.

If you are an Annual Passholder that has paid in full, your options include:

  • You will receive a one-month extension to your pass (unless you choose one of the alternative options below). This additional month (on top of the four months the park was closed) will automatically be processed and visible in your My Disney Experience account in October 2020.
  • Alternatively, and in lieu of the one-month extension, Passholders who have paid in full may choose to cancel their annual pass and receive a partial refund.

If you are an Annual Passholder on the monthly payment plan, your options include:

  • You will receive an additional one-month extension to your pass (unless you choose the alternative option below). This additional month (on top of the four months the park was closed) will automatically be processed and visible in your My Disney Experience account in October 2020. Please note that monthly payments are scheduled to resume with park opening on July 11, 2020.
  • Alternatively, and in lieu of the additional month extension, Passholders on the monthly payment plan may choose to cancel their annual pass and waive their monthly payments due after August 11, 2020. Any payments made between July 11, 2020, and August 11, 2020, will be retroactively refunded for those that select this option and all future payments would be stopped.

Disney will send information in early July with details on how to take action on these options.

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



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.






 

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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 DisneyLists.com 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 DisneyLists.com 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!