Disney World unveils changes to hotels ahead of reopening

Disney's Beach Club Villas. (Courtesy of Disney Parks)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. Disney World is set to reopen a number of its resort hotels this month, following a shutdown in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

What you need to know

  • Some Disney World hotels will reopen on June 22

  • New policy, measures will be taken

  • Disney theme parks begin reopening in July

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and select Disney Vacation Club properties, including Bay Lake Tower in Disney’s Contemporary, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village, Disney’s Beach Club Villas, and Disney’s BoardWalk Villas will reopen on June 22.

On the weekends, Disney shared an update on the hotels, setting out the new requirements that will be imposed on guests.

Guests 2 years and older must wear masks in all public areas of each Disney Resort Hotel. The only exceptions are while swimming or dining. Day guests, guests who are not staying at the hotel, need a confirmed dinner reservation.

Hotel guests may be subject to additional screenings and Disney encourages them to check their temperatures before they arrive.

Disney recommends that guests use online check-in to assist with physical distance. All guests are automatically checked out of their rooms to reduce the need for a visit to the reception.

In their rooms you will find extra bed linen and towels, double upholstery pillows and individually wrapped glassware. The cleaning service will clean the rooms of the guests every other day during their stay. The light cleaning service includes replenishing towels and supplies, removing waste and used towels, and cleaning vanity and counter tops.

Free resort transportation will resume when the hotels reopen, but the service will change. Bus transportation is available between the hotels and Disney Springs. Physical distance measures will be implemented on the buses, leading to reduced capacity and longer waiting times. At the reopening in July, there is also a bus service to the theme parks.

Disney also said that a hotel reservation does not guarantee access to the amusement park. The parks, which will launch a phased reopening next month, will use a new system that requires guests to have a reservation to enter the parks. FastPass + service is suspended during the first reopening. And the additional Magic Hours allowance is not available to hotel guests until further notice.

Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be the first theme parks to reopen at Disney World on July 11. A few days later, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will reopen on July 15. The capacity is limited.

Meanwhile, Universal Orlando reopened its theme parks last week without a reservation system. The crowds were light on Friday for Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure.