Slow but steady, select Walt Disney World Resorts are beginning to prepare for reopening on June 22 after being closed for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Disney has released several guidelines and procedures of what their Resort Guests can expect. If you’ve missed our update with that information, you can catch up here. There are a few resort experiences we’re going to miss during this initial Disney Resort reopening beginning June 22.
Keep in mind, if you are planning a visit to the Disney Resorts, the parks don’t begin their phased reopening until July 11, and resort reservations don’t guarantee access to the parks.
1. Character Dining, Buffets, and Dinner Shows
Disney has shared that Character Dining will not be offered during the initial reopening, with the exception of a modified Character Dining experience at Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera. Examples of restaurants that will not reopen initially include Chef Mickey’s, 1900 Park Fare, Ohana, Artist Point Storybook Dining, Cape May Cafe, and more. Buffets, such as Boma, also don’t make the cut. Plus, don’t expect to catch a Dinner Show (Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue or Spirit of Aloha) as they will not be offered during the initial reopening. To view a full list of resort restaurants reopening, click here.
2. Electric Water Pageant
The Electrical Water Pageant will be temporarily unavailable. This floating nighttime parade on the Seven Seas Lagoon is a resort experience favorite for many staying at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Bay Lake Tower, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. We suspect the reason it will be temporarily unavailable is due to possible crowding on the beaches to watch the show.
3. Minnie Van Service
While we are all about Disney’s complimentary transportation, we do enjoy a special ride with the Minnie Van Service. For a fee, you can take a ride in style in one of these red and white polka dot vehicles. It’s a quick and fun way to get around Disney. Disney has shared it will be temporarily unavailable upon reopening. You will be able to take a bus to and from Disney Springs however.
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4. Stormalong Bay
Resort pools WILL be open beginning June 22! There is however one except, Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort’s Stormalong Bay. Disney has shared this pool will not be open during the initial reopening. Guests of this Disney Resort hotel may enjoy the leisure pool at Disney’s Beach Club Villas. Other Resort feature pools may operate with reduced hours while leisure pools will be open 24 hours a day. Pools will operate with reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing.
5. In-Room Celebrations
If you’ve ever ordered an in-room celebration via Disney Floral and Gifts, be aware during this initial reopening this option is not available. In-Room Celebrations offer guests an option to purchase something special to have in their resort room upon arrival. From balloons, to snacks, candy, special blankets and more, it’s a special magical touch that we’ll have to wait on for now.
6. Spas, Salons and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
Senses Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa will be unavailable during the initial reopening. Don’t expect to get a massage, have your nails done, or get salon treatment. Your little princesses and little knights will have to wait for their royal makeover as Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique will also be closed upon reopening.
Speaking of little princesses and little knights, the resort playgrounds will be closed upon reopening. Thankfully, they’ll have the pools to work their energy off in, but if you’re planning on playground time, you be disappointed to find these closed during this time.
Disney has also made the decision to temporary close arcades upon the reopening of the resorts. We suspect it is because these high-touch areas would be difficult to keep clean. Gamers, you’ll want to bring along your own gaming entertainment.
There will be no gathering around the Resort Campfire as you may have experienced in the past. Roasting s’mores at a Disney Resort is a timeless memory, but until this initial reopening is behind us, the gathering part of a campfire removes this resort experience from being an option.
10. Being Mask Free
We’re going to miss being Mask Free while being out and about within the Disney Resorts. Disney has stated they are requiring face coverings for each guest age 2 and up—which must be worn in all public areas, except while swimming or seated for dining.
Which of these will you miss the most during this initial Resort reopening?