Your Guide to Disney World Reopening News (2021 and beyond!) |

Your Guide to Disney World Reopening News: Disney Updates It’s Mask Policy

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Truth be told, Disney World’s phased reopening is an ongoing process that is constantly changing. It seems like every other day we have updated Disney World reopening news to share! When the parks first closed their doors due to the pandemic, no one quite knew what to expect in the coming months. When would the parks reopen? What would reopening look like? Would it be safe to go?

Now, I can’t answer that last question for you. Only you can decide what is best for you and your family in terms of traveling right now. But after witnessing Disney World’s phased reopening for myself, I can say with certainty that Disney has done a great deal to keep their guests safe. That being said, there are definitely some changes you should keep in mind if you decide to vacation at Disney World any time soon. (And we promise to keep this page updated as more Disney World reopening news is released!)


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The reopening of Walt Disney World is an ongoing process that is constantly changing. We will do our best to keep this page updated with the most current information, but be sure to visit their official website for more details and up-to-date information!


Park Changes

Masks: Walt Disney World has recently updated its mask policy. According to Disney…

“Face coverings are optional for Guests in both outdoor and indoor locations, as well as Disney transportation. It is recommended Guests who are not fully vaccinated continue wearing face coverings in all indoor locations, including indoor attractions and theaters and on enclosed transportation.”

Joy in Epcot |

Entertainment: Things are definitely returning to a new normal in this area as fireworks are back at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot! Also, Disney recently announced the return of the Festival of Fantasy Parade on March 9, 2022, in Magic Kingdom.

When it comes to nighttime shows, two new shows debuted on October 1, 2021, for Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. “Disney Enchantment” kicked off the 50th-anniversary festivities when it debuted at Magic Kingdom Park. “Harmonious” also made its debut at Epcot, and it is said to be one of the largest nighttime shows ever created by Disney.

There is also new daytime entertainment. “Mickey’s Celebration Cavalcade” can be enjoyed at the Magic Kingdom, and “Disney KiteTails” debuted at Animal Kingdom.

Characters: We can hug characters again!

Other Changes: Newly re-introduced on January 1, 2021, park-hopping has returned with some significant changes. If you hold a park hopping ticket, you may change parks at 2 pm after verifying that the park isn’t already at capacity.


Ride Changes

Social Distancing Marker in Disney World | magicintheplanning.comLines: FastPass+ has been permanently suspended and replaced by Disney Genie+. Other than that, lines no longer have social distancing markers as they did when the park first opened, so things are fairly normal in terms of waiting in line for an attraction.

Capacity Issues: Most attractions have now removed the plexiglass Disney installed early on in the pandemic and are operating at normal capacity. (Although, you may still see some plexiglass in select locations.)


Dining Changes

Mobile Ordering: I’ve always been a fan of mobile ordering, even before the pandemic. My family would use our wait time in line to pick out exactly what we wanted to eat for lunch, order everything on the app, and then have it waiting for us at the time we designated. It saved us both time and stress, and it was an added convenience for those who chose to use it. Now, however, you almost can’t survive a day at Disney without it.

Many of the quick service restaurants in Disney World are using mobile ordering exclusively to cut down on crowds. In fact, we often had to show a cast member the verification that our order was indeed ready before we were even allowed to enter. So be sure to get acquainted with the My Disney Experience App prior to your trip!

Closed Restaurant in Hollywood Studios |

Reduced Menus: This was something I didn’t notice too much, but it is worth mentioning. Many of Disney’s restaurants are operating with a reduced menu. Based on my observation, most of what has been eliminated (for now) includes dishes with ingredients that may be more difficult to get or are rare enough that it’s not worth bringing in for the few people who would order it. But overall, this wasn’t a huge issue, and we still enjoyed many of our favorite meals throughout our vacation!

Speaking of menus, many of the table service restaurants have done away with physical menus. Instead, you simply scan the QR code at your table and view the menu on your mobile device!

Closed Restaurants: Things are beginning to look normal in the parks when it comes to dining.

Here is a list of what is currently closed (as of April 19, 2022):

Magic Kingdom

  • Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant


  • Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
  • Cool Wash
  • Monsieur Paul
  • Restaurant Marrakesh
  • Takumi-Tei

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Neighborhood Bakery

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • Restaurantosaurus Burgers & Sundaes (Restaurantosaurus is still open for quick-service.)


Resort Changes

The Yacht Club Lobby in Disney World |

Amenities: Here are some changes that have been implemented due to the pandemic:

  • Bell Services will deliver luggage to the rooms, but will not escort guests. (They will also still take care of transferring luggage to a different resort if planning a split stay.)
  • Club-level lounges are gradually being reintroduced at select Disney World resorts.
  • Deliveries can only be made to occupied rooms.
  • In-room celebrations are temporarily suspended.
  • In-room dining is only available at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.
  • Dry-cleaning and valet laundry services are temporarily not available. (Self-service laundry is still available to guests.)
  • Package delivery to the front of the theme parks or to your resort is suspended, but guests can have merchandise shipped to their homes.
  • Resort airline check-in has also been suspended.

Cleaning: The Walt Disney World Resort has changed its cleaning procedures due to the pandemic. Before your arrival, your room is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Even our remote control was neatly wrapped in a bag indicating it had been cleaned. During your stay, you can choose to not have your room cleaned at all during your stay, or you can have a “light” cleaning done every other day. This light cleaning includes replacing used towels, emptying the garbage, cleaning the vanity and other counter surfaces, and vacuuming if necessary.

Online Check-In: Disney strongly urges guests to complete their check-in process online or via the My Disney Experience App. Going to the front desk is no longer necessary as you will receive your room number as well as a mobile key (via the app) to go straight to your room upon arrival!

Reduced Dining Options: As stated above, dining has changed due to the lower than normal crowds. The resorts are very quiet. That being said, not every dining option needs to be open to accommodate the guests. Mobile ordering is implemented at the quick service locations, and many of the table service restaurants offered mobile ordering “to go.”

Closed Resorts: Some of the Disney resorts have fully opened. Others have opened certain sections of the resorts. And others have remained closed. There are numerous factors contributing to this, but it’s safe to say that capacity is certainly playing a role. It takes quite a bit of staff to open a resort, and Disney simply doesn’t have the attendance yet to warrant opening every resort on property. You will also notice that Disney Vacation Club resorts were typically opened first as Disney needed to make sure to accommodate their Disney Vacation Club members.

Here is a list of currently open or closed Disney Resorts (as of July 5, 2021):

Currently open and taking reservations:

  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
  • Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Scheduled to reopen and currently taking reservations:

  • Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort – Opening March 31, 2022


Transportation Changes

Bus Transportation in Disney World | magicintheplanning.comBus Transportation: Buses are operating normally and masks are optional.

Car Rentals: More and more people seem to be renting cars, and this could be an excellent way to avoid crowded transportation.

Other Transportation: Disney’s newest form of transportation is the Skyliner. Honestly, I was surprised by how easy (and fun) it was to use! Boat transportation is also functioning quite normally now.

Finally, the Walt Disney Monorail System is now fully operational:

  • The Resort Monorail is making stops at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and the Transportation and Ticket Center.
  • The Express Monorail travels round trip from the Transportation and Ticket Center directly to Magic Kingdom.
  • The Epcot Monorail travels round trip from the Transporation and Ticket Center directly to Epcot.


Looking to plan your Walt Disney World vacation? Be sure to visit my step-by-step guide to get started! And be sure to check back for updated Disney World reopening news!

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