Corona Virus and Disney – Frequently Asked Questions: Refunds, Cancellations and Delays.

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Written By Carlos Braga

Last week, it was announced that Walt Disney World will be closed through the end of March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On this post

The COVID-19 shutdown press release provided very little detail, thereby raising a ton of questions from all of us.

The first days were very critical because we have many clients in Orlando and some who were just a few days away from going, naturally we did and are doing everything possible to solve all the doubts and solve each of the cases.

With so many questions and people looking for answers, the official website of Walt Disney World crashed (went off the air) 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 FAQ page.

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 (top), followed by ours below, which are based on a mix of speculation and past precedent (to the extent that it exists).

 
We understand that many of you are absolutely devastated that the once-in-a-lifetime or dream Walt Disney World vacation you've been planning for literal years will not happen. We can't even begin to imagine what that's like, and you absolutely have our sympathies.

Even we are terribly devastated by this whole situation. Since we started working with the assembly of personalized itineraries and travel consultancy, we get very close to people who are planning trips and become our customers. With that, we experience different realities and it breaks our heart 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 true again as soon as possible!

We also encourage them 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's a bad thing for some people on a personal level (those who were traveling for example).

Disney is also paying salaries to its cast members during this shutdown, which is a huge relief for many families who rely on America's largest Single-Site Employer.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. No doubt closing Walt Disney World was a difficult decision after much deliberation and consultation with public health experts, government officials and so on – but that doesn't mean all the details were ironed out before the announcement.

Furthermore, this does not mean that all relevant Walt Disney Company stakeholders have been told 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 good, we emphasize patience and calm. For the sake of those you interact with, kindness will be the ultimate virtue.

Disney Empty
Disney Empty

Well, as we speak here are the FAQs:

Walt Disney Worl Official FAQd

Park Tickets

Can I get a refund for my ticket?

Unexpired multi-day theme park tickets with unused days or date-specific theme park tickets with a start date on or before March 31, 2020 will be automatically extended for use on any date through December 15, 2020.

If you are unable to visit by December 15, 2020, you may apply the value of a completely unused ticket towards the purchase of a ticket for a future date.

Will 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 Disney After Hours, Disney Villains After Hours, and Disney Early Morning Magic tickets from March 16, 2020 through March 31, 2020 will be automatically refunded.

Will Walt Disney World annual passes be extended?

Walt Disney World Annual Passes will be extended by the number of days the parks are closed.

RESORTS & HOTELS

I have an upcoming 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 may modify or cancel their Disney Resort room reservation or Walt Disney Travel Company package through their 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 did not book directly through Disney, please contact your travel professional.

What if I want to cancel a reservation Disney Resort hotel after the reopening of the parks?

Disney waives all Disney-imposed change and cancellation fees up to the check-in date on or before June 30, 2020.

DINNER AND OTHER EXPERIENCES

I have a prepaid restaurant reservation or experience like Droid Depot or Savi's Workshop while the parks are closed. Will I get a refund?

Yes.

All prepaid dining and experience reservations will be automatically refunded if booked 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 closure will not be charged a cancellation or no-show fee.

**Note: It is unclear if this includes restaurants or Disney Springs restaurants as the closure of Disney springs it was announced days after the parks closed.

OUR ANSWERS TO OTHER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CLOSING OF THE PARKS DUE TO THE CORONA VIRUS

What follows it is not official information that Walt Disney World provided, and instead it's our editorial based on speculation, guesswork, and conversations with friends who work in that industry as well. 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 FAQ answers are treating this as everything normally back to business as usual on April 1, 2020, we caution you against this expectation. It's simply a matter of Disney wanting to be cautious and not trigger a wave of cancellations on top of that.

It is moderately instructive to see how this outbreak played out elsewhere, particularly in countries that did not engage in aggressive containment in the early stages. Japan is a decent example, and the original two-week closures were extended by two more weeks, to be reassessed at that time.

If the closure is extended, expect the official Walt Disney World responses above to be modified in line with subsequent extensions.

We will try to keep this post as up to date as possible!

When do you think Walt Disney World will reopen?

I have no idea. This is such a dynamic and evolving situation – and one 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 due diligence, but I'm skeptical.

With all that being said, my personal best case scenario is for Walt Disney World to reopen sometime in mid-to-late April 2020. If I had a trip planned on or before May 2020, I would start to process the very real possibility that it wouldn't. occurs.

Will Disney Springs remain open during the closure?

No, Disney has already announced its closure just like the parks.

What about resort hotels?

They were “open” until the 20th of March. With that, they will find themselves in the same situation as the parks very soon.

What about Disney Vacation Club points?

As members of the DVC have no doubt, there are many intricacies and nuances (for lack of better terms) that govern the rules of years of use of the point of DVC, banking, checking accounts and so on.

We're not even going to start speculating about all of this. Disney Vacation Club will post a FAQ describing its policies in due course.

We have a trip starting in more than 4 days and I have a single question, “what should I do?”

Wait and see

The FAQ above was posted as Walt Disney World struggled to resolve common questions because the website went down last night and the call volume was so high that the lines were literally busy. Unless your trip starts within the next two days, we encourage patience (and we know it's tough).

You'll save yourself the stress and headaches of calling, waiting five hours on hold, only to find the answer is “I don't know yet”. Everything we've seen so far indicates that Disney is going above and beyond to make things right here, and its answer will likely come to you if you're just patient.

We have a trip planned to start during the closure, but continue when the park is scheduled to reopen in April. What should we do?

Wait and see. (Are you seeing a trend here?)

As noted above, there is no guarantee that the parks will reopen in early April 2020. Also, you have some time before you "need" a response, so we encourage you to wait for more information - it will be released as it becomes. if available.

We have a vacation scheduled for April 2020 or later, 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 lines are clear for more urgent travelers.

There's really no benefit to acting preemptively. If Walt Disney World reopens and you feel comfortable traveling, great. If the parks don't open or you don't feel comfortable traveling, you certainly have the option to cancel or postpone without penalty at a later date.

Kiss Godnight - Magic Kingdom
Kiss Godnight – Magic Kingdom

Should I call Walt Disney World now for [any questions]?

Phone hold times over the next few days will be measured in hours.

Before you call, ask yourself what your time is worth, how likely it is that you will receive a response that satisfies your inquiry, 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 being on hold for six hours, should I yell at them?

There's a good chance the "clueless" customer service rep was totally in the dark about this (and largely still is) until he got to work.

There's an even stronger likelihood that they've been dealing with not-so-patient customers all day and that they're overworked, underpaid, and overworked.

Finally, there's a 100% certainty that the person you'd yell at didn't personally and unilaterally choose to close Walt Disney World or craft the policy you don't like. If the idea of kindness alone is too much to wrap your head around, remember that (selfishly!) you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

We book 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, meaning everyone was caught off guard and rushed to come up with policy.

This is an unprecedented and already catastrophic event for companies – they are finding out fast. We emphasize patience.

Walt Disney World will repair Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, the Yeti, etc. during that closure?

Yeah, there are people worried about it, as if it were a real problem.

Either way, don't count on it. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance has been receiving work overnight and being tested and tweaked over the past few months.

Your problems go much deeper than what can be solved with simple maintenance.

The same goes for the yeti. (Also, 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 I saw some scaffolding and a few people working. We will see…

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's hard to say right now what the fallout from this will be, but it's possible that anything that hasn't already started work will be put on hold indefinitely. It is possible for projects that are not very far along to be paused.

I have a conspiracy theory about that, wanna hear it?

No thanks, but I know you'll probably share it in the comments anyway. Feel free, obviously I'll read your theory, but I'm skeptical of these things so don't expect me to agree with anything.

Consider putting the brakes on before posting comments that may not age well in ~7 days and come across as insensitive and self-centered at best.

If we follow the same trajectory as Italy, things could get very bad. Maybe we're lucky and that doesn't happen.

As for Disney's decision being motivated by dubious ulterior motives like [insert your favorite conspiracy], remember that, at the end of the day, Disney's "bias" is towards the almighty dollar. As far as I know, that's pretty nonpartisan. The company's stock has already taken a huge hit, and Disney is poised to lose ~30% of its operating income due to the outbreak. This neither accounts for divisions other than parks and resorts that will also be affected, nor does it include the long-term damage this will do 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 a mindless panic or in pursuit of some agenda?

Nath and Carlos at Epcot
Nath and Carlos at Epcot

What will you [Carlos and Nath] do with all your free time now?!

Free time ? In reality we are working harder than ever. In addition to our projects for Partiu Disney Parks not having stopped due to the Virus, we are assisting more and more people with difficulties and looking for ways to help travelers even more.

And stay tuned because 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 with the movement normally here. It's a stressful time, but the world will finally return to normalcy.

I feel like continuing to share things about the parks and the world of Disney will provide a joyous escape – both for me and for you.

We hope again that this post has helped you in your research for your trip to Disney or Orlando.

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Guarantee the Best Trip to Disney

We know that the amount of information that goes into a trip to Disney and Orlando is simply enormous.

This makes planning tiring or sometimes seem impossible!

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Unlike the assembled itineraries found out there, this itinerary will take into account all the factors of your group such as ages, tastes and any profile that may change your trip.

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Does it look too good? And that's right, don't forget to contact us and ask for your quote for a Custom Travel Script and have the best trip of your life!

Get your Parks Tickets at a Discount

Many people leave to buy their tickets when they arrive in Orlando or even on park day.

We absolutely do not recommend that you do this for a number 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 MOSTLY, you will pay more because tickets at the box office are more expensive than buying in advance!

Access our ticket website 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 Orlando Trip

Don't forget to check out our Youtube channel where we give several travel tips for Orlando.

In addition, we show you many 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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