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Disney Magic & Dole Whips Are Back! Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort Is OPEN

Yes, Disney friends… today, I had a Dole Whip AND a Mickey Ice Cream Bar at a Disney Resort! I know you all understand my sheer excitement over something as simple as Disney snacks, right?! It’s been months of closures due to COVID-19, but finally, the first two Disney Resorts reopened today (June 15) including Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort and Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. Check out the details and photos from our visit at Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort.

First, we must say, we were super impressed with reopening day to say the least. We weren’t totally surprised because we tend to expect the best of the best from Disney, but once again, they didn’t let us down.

Since we weren’t staying the night, we were not allowed to enter the main clubhouse where check in takes place. We did however have a chance to walk the grounds, enjoy some food, and check out the overall feel of the resort.

Right from the get go, you’re greeted by a masked Cast Member waving from the second floor at the main clubhouse for check in. Two signs regarding COVID-19 and safety precautions were very apparent. Guests were asked to walk up one side of the stairs to enter and exit down a different set of stairs. We even saw as a guest was unloading some luggage without a mask, a Cast Member asked them to please put a mask on. We did notice no masks were for sale in the gift shop. A Cast Member told us Disney is sending them but they have not yet arrived.

Signs as soon as you enter the resort

It was odd to see the waving Mickey statue we’re used to seeing next to Shadow’s doghouse as you enter the resort was removed, leaving a green space. This is likely to avoid a high touching place where many would normally gather for a photo op.

Missing Mickey Statue

We asked about Shadow, the beloved golden retriever that is the resort’s character/mascot. A Cast Member informed us that Shadow is on vacation! She’s off fishing with Baloo and having a grand time! We believe it’s because of the problem of crowding around which wouldn’t work well for social distancing. Never heard of the story of Shadow? Click here.

Shadow is on vacation!

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Masks are to be worn throughout the property unless you are eating, drinking, or in the pool. The pool and spa were open and several guest were enjoying a dip. We will say we felt bad for the Lifeguards as they too wore masks despite the South Carolina heat. There are still fun pool games taking place such as the Disney Song Trivia we heard while dropping by. Everyone stayed in their pool chairs or in the pool to play as there was no gathering around for the game that was lead by a Cast Member with a microphone. It was super exciting to hear Disney music being played at a Disney Resort once again! We also noted seeing signs that asked guests not to move the table, chairs, or lounge chairs from their current location. They were spaced appropriately for social distancing.

We found that there were several Cast Members walking around with cleaning products in hand. They sprayed handles, picnic table tops, and just about everything that could be touched regularly, even in the pool area. There were social distancing signs, hand sanitizer stations, and “please stand here” markers on the ground.

Constant cleaning

Tide Me Over, a great place for snacks or meal, was open. The usual set up for seating was different however. All the stools and tables have been removed from the deck to make room for social distancing while waiting to order or enter the gift shop. There was seating located at the base of the deck however. Tide Me Over had a modified menu as included in the pictures below.

Table and chairs gone for social distance space

We ordered our Dole Whips. The Cast Member attempted to use the machine with no luck. No Dole Whips! We were in the Disney spirit however and said it would be no problem and instead picked up a couple of Mickey Ice Cream Bars from the gift shop. As we exited the shop however, a super friendly Cast Member brought us a Dole Whip! The machine was up and running. We tried to offer to pay for it but she insisted that she hasn’t been able to create Disney magic for months now, so let her do so! All Cast Members were friendly and truly seemed happy to be back among the resort guests.

YES! Dole Whip

Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort is broken into two sections. The main resort side is on the other side of the highway from the beach. You can take the Disney bus transportation to reach the beach and second resort pool or ride a bike. Bikes were available and being washed down regularly by a Cast Member. The bus transportation was also running. Since we weren’t overnight guests, we weren’t permitted to enter the beach side of the resort.

Bus Transportation to and from the beach

The resort typically has plenty of outdoor activities including horseshoe tossing, bocce ball and more. Those items were unavailable. The playground was also closed. Guests were welcome however to enjoy the hammocks and picnic tables throughout the resort grounds. Cast Members were also planning to host regular resort guest activities in the clubhouse where each family would have their own table and supplies.

Playground closed

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A pin trading board was located next to the gift shop. Since only 4 people are allowed in the small gift shop at once, it makes sense having the board outside. There were however pin trading guidelines to follow. They had their usual shop trivia question for the day but no candy which is usually offered for those participating in the shop trivia.

Pin trading is available

Overall, everyone seemed happy and at ease. Guests were following the mask policy and watching for the social distancing guidelines. It was a enjoyable visit and we still felt that “Disney magic”. Enjoy our photos here!

About Mike and Jamie Sylvester

We are Disney nerds. Two kids at heart who love the magic and the memories of Walt Disney World! We follow all things Disney and have great experiences with Disney Vacation Club and RunDisney events in particular. We enjoy the vacations, day trips, weekend getaways and geek out over the planning of such events. From lodging to dining to Fastpasses we have a spreadsheet for every occasion. Mike’s frivolous Disney goal is to acquire a magic band of every style while Jamie’s goal is to experience as many Disney desserts as possible. Usually there isn’t a day that passes without some discussion of the master plan of our next trip to the happiest place on earth. Most people think we’re normal – until they travel to Disney with us. We have been married for 15 years and are blessed with a daughter and a son who have already learned the importance of planning ahead! As a family we thoroughly enjoy the magic and the memories at Walt Disney World and are here to help others experience the magic as well.