Last week, it was announced that Walt Disney World will be closed until the end of March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The closing press release for COVID-19 provided very little detail, thereby raising a ton of questions for all of us.
The first few days were very critical as we have many clients in Orlando and some who were just a few days away, of course we did and we are doing everything possible to resolve all doubts and resolve each case.
With so many doubts and people looking for answers, the official Walt Disney World website crashed (went offline) and caused a volume of calls so high that the phone lines were saturated.
To proactively address some of the simplest and most direct questions being asked, Walt Disney World published a small page of frequently asked questions.
This answers some of the most common questions, but leaves many others that we have seen from our readers and customers unanswered.
As such, we publish the official Walt Disney World FAQ (above), followed by ours below, which are based on a mix of speculations and past precedents (as far as it exists).
We understand that many of you are absolutely devastated by the fact that the one-of-a-kind or dream vacation at Walt Disney World that you plan for literal years will not happen. We can't even begin to imagine what it is like, and you absolutely have our sympathy.
Even we are terribly devastated by the whole situation. Since we started working with the assembly of personalized itineraries and travel consultancy, we get very close to the people who are planning trips and become our customers. With that, we experience different realities and it breaks our hearts to see dreams being shattered in this way.
We want to make it very clear that we are available to all of you who need help! We want your dreams to come back to reality as soon as possible!
We also encourage you to be as calm and patient as possible.
On the one hand, Disney is prioritizing public health and safety over short-term profits, which is quite commendable, even if it is a bad thing for some people on a personal level (who was traveling for example).
Disney is also paying wages to its cast members during this closing, which is a great relief for many families who depend on the largest Single-Site Employer in the United States (Largest job generator in the same location in the United States).
This is a rapidly evolving situation. Undoubtedly, closing Walt Disney World was a difficult decision after many deliberations and consultations with public health experts, government officials and so on & #8211; but that doesn’t mean that all the details were resolved before the announcement.
Furthermore, this does not mean that all relevant stakeholders of the Walt Disney Company have been informed about what to do.
Disney is a complex organization, with a ton of moving parts, business units, etc.
Much of this will be discovered quickly. For your own sake, we emphasize patience and calm. For the sake of those with whom you interact, kindness will be the supreme virtue.
Well, as we speak here are the FAQS:
Walt Disney Worl Official FAQd
Can I get a refund for my ticket?
Tickets to unexpired multi-day theme parks with unused days or tickets to specific date parks starting on or before March 31, 2020 will be automatically extended for use on any date until December 15, 2020.
If you are unable to visit by December 15, 2020, you can apply the value of a totally unused ticket to purchase a ticket for a future date.
Will the Florida Resident Discover Disney spring special ticket be extended?
The tickets Florida Resident Discover Disney can be used until July 31, 2020.
What about tickets to special events scheduled to take place during closing?
Guests who purchased tickets to Disney After Hours, Disney Villains After Hours and Disney Early Morning Magic from March 16, 2020 to March 31, 2020 will be automatically refunded.
Will annual passes for Walt Disney World be extended?
Walt Disney World annual passes will be extended by the number of days the parks are closed.
RESORTS & HOTELS
I have a future stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel while the park is closed. What does this mean for my vacation?
Guests who have not checked in for stays between March 16, 2020 and March 31, 2020 can modify or cancel the Disney Resort room reservation or Walt Disney Travel Company package until the original check-in date.
If no action is taken, Disney will automatically process a refund to the original form of payment within seven days of the original check-in date. If you have not booked directly through Disney, please contact your travel professional.
What if I want to cancel a reservation Disney Resort hotel after the parks reopened?
Disney waives all change and cancellation fees imposed by Disney until the check-in date until June 30, 2020.
DINNER AND OTHER EXPERIENCES
I have a prepaid restaurant reservation or experience like Droid Depot or Savi & #8217; s Workshop while the parks are closed. Will I receive a refund?
All prepaid meal and experience reservations will be refunded automatically if scheduled between March 16, 2020 and March 31, 2020.
What happens to the FastPass + made during closing?
They are automatically canceled without replacement.
What happens to restaurant reservations that required a credit card at the time of booking?
Reservations made at locations affected by the closing will not be charged as a cancellation or no-show fee.
** note: it is not clear whether this includes Disney Springs restaurants or restaurants as the closing of Disney springs was announced days after the parks closed.
OUR ANSWERS TO OTHER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON CLOSING PARKS IN FUNCTION OF CORONA VIRUS
What follows it is not official information that Walt Disney World provided and is instead our editorial based on speculation, assumptions and conversations with friends who also work in this market. It must be treated as such.
Will Walt Disney World theme parks reopen on April 1, 2020?
Nothing has been officially defined yet.
While the official answers to frequently asked questions are treating this as everything that normally returns to business as of April 1, 2020, we caution you against this expectation. It is simply a matter of Disney wanting to be cautious and not trigger a wave of cancellations beyond that.
It is moderately instructive to see how this outbreak occurred elsewhere, especially in countries that did not engage in aggressive containment at an early stage. Japan is a decent example, and the original closings of two weeks were extended for another two weeks, to be reevaluated at the time.
If the closure is extended, expect the official Walt Disney World responses above to be modified according to subsequent extensions.
We will try to keep this post as updated as possible!
When do you think Walt Disney World will reopen?
I have no idea. This is such a dynamic and evolving situation & #8211; and that remains in its early stages in the United States. I hope it can be resolved as quickly and safely as possible with aggressive measures and diligence, but I am skeptical.
With all that said, my best personal scenario is for Walt Disney World to reopen sometime in the middle of late April 2020. If I had a trip planned on or before May 2020, I would begin to process the real possibility that it would not occurs.
Will Disney Springs remain open during closing?
No, Disney has already announced its closure just like the parks.
What about the resort hotels?
& #8220; open & #8221; until March 20th. With that, they will find themselves in the same situation of the parks very soon.
What about Disney Vacation Club points?
As members of the DVC they have no doubt, there are many intricacies and nuances (for lack of better terms) that govern the rules of the years of use of the point of the DVC, banking services, current accounts and so on.
We are not even going to start speculating about all of this. Disney Vacation Club will release a FAQ describing its policies in due course.
We have a trip starting in more than 4 days and I have a single question, & #8220; what should I do? & #8221;
Wait and see
The above frequently asked questions were posted when Walt Disney World struggled to resolve common questions because the site crashed on the site last night and the volume of calls was so high that the lines were literally busy. Unless your trip starts in the next two days, we encourage patience (and we know it’s difficult).
You will save yourself stress and headaches by calling, waiting five hours on hold, only to find that the answer is & #8220; I don't know yet & #8221 ;. Everything we've seen so far indicates that Disney is going the extra mile to make things right here, and your answer will likely come to you if you're just patient.
We have a trip planned to start during the closing, but we will continue when the park is scheduled to reopen in April. What should we do?
Wait and see. (Do you see a trend here?)
As noted above, there is no guarantee that the parks will reopen in early April 2020. In addition, you have some time before & #8220; need & #8221; response, so we recommend that you wait for more information & #8211; they will be released as it becomes available.
We have vacations scheduled for April 2020 or more, what should we do?
Wait and see.
The Walt Disney Travel Company is requesting that anyone with a check-in date after March 2020 not call now, so the lines are clear for more urgent travelers.
There is really no benefit in taking preventive action. If Walt Disney World reopens and you feel comfortable traveling, great. If the parks do not open or you are not comfortable traveling, you will certainly have the option to cancel or postpone without penalty later.
Should I call Walt Disney World now for [any questions]?
Telephone waiting times in the coming days will be measured in hours.
Before calling, ask yourself how much your time is worth, how likely you are to get an answer that satisfies your question, and the chances that Disney will not proactively address your concerns at some point in the near future.
I spoke to a clueless customer service representative after waiting six hours on hold, should I yell at them?
There is a good chance that the customer service representative & #8220; clueless & #8221; was totally in the dark about it (and for the most part still is) until he got to work.
There is an even stronger likelihood that they have dealt with clients who are not so patient all day and who are overworked, underpaid and overworked.
Finally, there is 100% for certain that the person you would yell at did not choose, personally and unilaterally, to close Walt Disney World or to design the policy you don't like. If the idea of kindness alone is too much to understand, remember that (selfishly!) You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
We reserve tickets / hotel / etc. via third parties, what is their refund policy?
We recommend contacting them directly. No third parties were consulted or notified about Walt Disney World's closure plans, which means that everyone was caught off guard and rushed out to make policies.
This is an unprecedented and already catastrophic event for companies & #8211; they are finding out quickly. We emphasize patience.
Walt Disney World will repair Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, the Yeti, etc. during that closure?
Well, there are people concerned with this, as if this were a real problem.
Either way, don't count on it. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance has been receiving work overnight and is being tested and adjusted in recent months.
Your problems go much deeper than what can be solved with simple maintenance.
The same goes for the yeti. (In addition, we have no idea what construction / maintenance schedules will look like during all of this.)
Although these days I saw aerial footage of the empty parks and saw some scaffolding and a few people working. Let's see & #8230;
What happens to previously announced or disclosed projects as an indirect result of this?
Obviously, the most pressing concern here is public health or safety.
With that said, this is a valid long-term concern.
It is difficult to say now what the consequences will be, but it is possible that anything that has not yet started work will be put on hold indefinitely. It is possible that projects that are not very advanced will be paused.
I have a conspiracy theory about this, do you want to hear it?
No thanks, but I know that you will probably share it in the comments anyway. You can feel free, obviously I’ll read your theory, but I’m skeptical about these things so don’t expect me to agree with anything.
Consider applying the brakes before posting comments that may not age well in ~ 7 days and appear to be insensitive and self-centered at best.
If we follow the same trajectory as Italy, things can get very bad. We may be lucky and that will not happen.
As for Disney's decision to be motivated by dubious ulterior motives, such as [insert your favorite conspiracy], remember that, at the end of the day, & #8220; bias & #8221; Disney is for the almighty dollar. To my knowledge, this is quite non-partisan. The company's stock has already suffered a major blow, and Disney is poised to lose ~ 30% of its operating revenue due to the outbreak. This is neither responsible for divisions other than the parks and resorts that will also be affected, nor does it include the long-term damage it will cause to the travel industry.
And yet they are concerned about the health of their employees and visitors!
Do you really think that one of the most thoughtful and contemplative companies in the world is making decisions with such implications in an unthinking panic or in search of an agenda?
What are you [Carlos and Nath] going to do with all your free time now ?!
Leisure ? We are actually working harder than ever. In addition to our projects for Partiu Disney Parks not stopping due to the Virus, we are looking at more and more people with difficulties and looking for ways to further assist travelers.
And stay tuned as soon we will have a SENSATIONAL product for all Orlando travelers, we are sure you will love it! So be sure to keep an eye on our social networks!
We also have a series of reviews and new posts to post, so we will continue to move normally here. It is a stressful time, but the world will finally return to normalcy.
I feel that continuing to share things about Disney parks and the world will provide a joyful escape & #8211; for both you and me.
We hope again that this post has helped you in your research for your trip to Disney or Orlando.
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This makes planning tiring or sometimes seem impossible!
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Does it look too good? And yes, be sure to contact us and ask for your budget for a Custom Travel Script and make the best trip of your life!
Get your Parks Tickets at a Discount
Many people leave to buy their tickets arriving in Orlando or even on the day of the park.
We do not in any way recommend that you do this for a variety of reasons, such as:
If you buy tickets on the spot, you won't be able to book your park days in advance at the risk of not even being able to enter a park on a given day.
You will lose valuable park minutes in line to buy your tickets.
AND MAINLY, you will pay more because tickets at the box office are more expensive than buying in advance!
Access our sale site to buy your tickets or request a free consultation to find out exactly which tickets are the best to buy.
For free consultation, click here!
More Tips for Your Trip to Orlando
As we've talked about above, be sure to check out our Youtube channel where we give several travel tips for Orlando.
In addition we show you lots of cool things to do there, do you want a better way to plan a trip than already living a little bit of what you will see there?
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