Not surprisingly, we had a couple of months where there wasn’t a lot of news out of Disney. Boy, has that changed! While there are still many details we’re waiting on regarding what changes are coming to Disney parks and resorts, the last week has been like drinking from a firehose of information. Some guests need to be aware of travel restrictions in place by the state of Florida that could prevent them from visiting. There have also been changes to the cancellation and rescheduling policy everyone needs to be aware of. In addition to all the announcements regarding Disney World, we also got opening plans for Disneyland and additional adjustments to Disney Cruise Line schedules. Custom MagicBands are back, and the MLS will be joining the NBA in calling Disney World home for the 2020 season. All this and more in this week’s roundup below.
1 – Disney Announces Details on Dining Changes, Character Dining, & More as Disney World Reopen
Disney also announced more details on what we can expect with dining when the resorts, and eventually the parks, reopen. Reservations will be necessary to visit resorts and are required when dining in the parks. Also, there will only be one modified character dining experience offered. Catch all the details at the link in the bio.
2 – Disney Releases Many New Details for Resorts and Resort Experiences During Phased Reopening
On June 22, select Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will reopen. As expected, Disney has modified or temporarily suspended many experiences that we’ve come to know and love at Disney resorts due to health and safety concerns. There is a lot of information about what you can expect while staying at a Disney resort during the initial reopening. Get all the info at the link below.
3 – 15 Smaller (but Important) Details You Might Have Missed in the Recent News Announcements
As we have noted above, there is a lot of information and details to read through about staying at resorts and dining during the initial reopening plan. There may be a lot of small details that you might have missed. These details are very important and may significantly impact an upcoming Walt Disney World vacation. We didn’t want you to miss anything, so we put them all together in one spot for easy reference. Get all the information at the link below.
4 – MagicBand Customization Options Available Again in My Disney Experience
Shortly after the parks closed in March, Disney temporarily suspended the ordering of customized Magic Band for Disney resort guests and annual passholders. But now the MagicBand customization is back up and running! If you have a reservation, or if you are an annual passholder who still hasn’t ordered your band for the year, you can now order through MyDisney Experience! You can order up to eleven days before your check-in date. The photos below show some of the styles that are currently available. Styles sell out quickly, so if you see one you like, it’s best to order as soon as possible.
5 – Travel Notice for the New York Tri-State Area
If you are traveling to Florida from the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York), be aware that travel restrictions are still in place. An executive order from Governor DeSantis directs “all individuals to isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into Florida or the duration of the individual’s presence in Florida, whichever is shorter. This includes persons entering Florida by roadways.”
There has been a lot of confusing and even conflicting information about this topic in the last week. As you can see by following this link, the order is still in place and was recently extended in Section 3 of Executive Order Number 20-139 (the order that began Phase 2 of Florida’s recovery plan). No end date to the travel restriction is given on the official website, although some sources have given a July 7 end date.
There are exceptions to the order. The “Executive Order does not apply to individuals involved in commercial activity and students traveling for the purpose of academic work, internships, sports training, and any other activity or program approved by the educational institution.”
When entering Florida by car, you may encounter roadside checkpoints on the interstates you’ll be asked about from where you are traveling from. When entering by airplane, you will be directed to fill out a health questionnaire and may be subject to further delays.
If you are planning on visiting Florida from the New York Tri-State Area, be aware of this travel restriction. Visit this link as your trip approaches to see if (and when) the order is lifted. We will also be watching this closely and be reporting any updates for you.
6 – Modifying or Canceling Resort Reservation Policy Changes
During this uncertain time, many guests are modifying or canceling their room reservations. Disney has recently extended the date of what reservations can avoid the Disney-imposed change and cancellation fees. Originally, Disney stated that reservations impacted during the closing period would be able to avoid fees. Now Disney is waiving change and cancellation fees up to the date of check-in for reservations with arrival through October 3, 2020. If guests need further assistance you can call the Disney Reservation Center, click here for the more information.
7 – Disneyland Announces Phased Reopening Plans & Dates
Two weeks after Walt Disney World announced its reopening, Disneyland announced its own phased reopening plan. The proposed reopening date for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure park is July 17, which is the 65th Anniversary of Disneyland Park! Catch more dates and details at the link below.
8 – Disney Cruise Line Update
This week Disney Cruise line extended sailing suspensions on many departures. Below is the statement from the Disney Cruise Line website:
Disney Cruise Line Extends Suspension of Departures from Europe through October 2, 2020, Departures from Canada through September 14, 2020, and Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy Departures through July 27, 2020
With the well-being of our Guests and team members our top priority, and in line with direction from health experts and government officials, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Disney Cruise Line has suspended:
- Disney Magic sailings through October 2, 2020
- Disney Wonder sailings through September 14, 2020
- Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy sailings through July 27, 2020
Guests booked on affected sailings will be offered the choice of a cruise credit to be used for a future sailing or a full refund. These Guests and travel agents will receive an email from Disney Cruise Line outlining details and next steps.
Guests who booked their reservation through a travel agent should contact their agent directly with any questions. Those who booked directly with Disney Cruise Line and have questions after receiving their email should call us at (866) 325-6685 or (407) 566-7797.
9 – Update on Cleaning and Safety at Walt Disney World Resorts
In addition to the operational updates about the resorts, Disney also released information about what guests can expect regarding the cleanliness and safety of the resorts. Katie Kelly, Vice President of Worldwide Safety Services, provided details on what Disney will be doing to ensure the resorts are clean and safe. Get all the information at the link below.
10 – The Magic is Returning
Recently Josh D’Amaro, Chairman Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, released a statement that reminds us that even though the Disney park experience might be different when we return, the true magic is returning and will still be there. Read the full statement at the link below.
11 – ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Welcomes Back Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer announced the league’s plan to restart the 2020 season with all 26 MLS clubs competing in the MLS is Back Tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida beginning July 8. The tournament, which will be played without fans in attendance, provides a compelling way for MLS to resume its 25thseason. Group stage matches will count in the MLS regular season standings, and the tournament winner will earn a spot in the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League.
“We are pleased to team up with Disney to relaunch the 2020 MLS season and get back to playing soccer,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “The opportunity to have all 26 clubs in a controlled environment enables us to help protect the health of our players, coaches, and staff as we return to play. We also recognize that the death of George Floyd and others has focused our country on issues of racial injustice, inequality, and violence against black men and women. Together with our owners, players, and staff, the League and its Clubs are deeply committed to creating meaningful and impactful programs to address these issues that have plagued our society for far too long.”
Major League Soccer has a longstanding relationship with ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The league held its 1998 preseason at the complex and hosted events for the 1998 and 2019 MLS All-Star Games at the facilities.
“Sports have the power to unify and inspire, particularly during challenging times,” said Josh D’Amaro, chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. “And we’re looking forward to bringing this exciting sport back to millions of fans, while prioritizing the health and well-being of the players, coaches and support staff as well as our cast members.”
For more information about the MLS is Back Tournament, including the detailed competition format and information, visit www.mlssoccer.com.
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