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Disney WILL NOT REFUND Guests who can’t visit the parks because they have COVID

Walt Disney World Resort COVID policies and safety guidelines state that Guests who cannot prove they aren’t at risk for spreading COVID to other Guests “must not enter” the parks, but if you’re a no-show because of the virus, don’t expect any refunds.

At the opening of Disneyland Resort in California in July 1955, Walt Disney stood at a podium and spoke 9 words that have lived on for more than 50 years after his death:

“To all who come to this happy place, welcome.”

VIDEO: Walt Disney gives Disneyland's opening day speech on July 17, 1955. - ABC7 San Francisco

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And while it’s true that Disney Parks welcomes lovers of the Mouse of all ages, the fact remains that no one wants Guests in the parks who have COVID or COVID-like symptoms.

According to the Walt Disney World website, when a Guest enters the park, he or she is attesting to the fact that every member of his or her traveling party is free of any COVID symptoms as identified by the Centers for Disease Control, which include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle aches, body aches, headache, a new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Further, he or she is also attesting to the fact that no one in the traveling party has a need to quarantine because of recent contact with someone who has COVID or who is suspected of having COVID, and that no one in the group is under isolation orders. If a Guest is unable to confirm all of these items, he or she “must not enter Walt Disney World Resort.”

Despite the facts that travel is becoming more recognizable as it journeys back toward “normal” and that mask mandates have been lifted in almost every location in the country, the pandemic is not over, and COVID has run rampant long enough to become well-versed in ruining Disney vacation plans.

Family Vacations at Disney Parks & Resorts

Credit: Disney Parks

As COVID made its way across the United States in the early stages of the global coronavirus pandemic, theme park resorts like Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Universal Orlando, and others made announcements about their plans for closure. No one knew how long the closures would last. But for four months at the Walt Disney World Resort, not a creature was stirring, not even a Mouse.

empty magic kingdom august 2020

Credit: @bioreconstruct

Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure at Disneyland Resort in California remained closed for 13 months, and Disney Parks in other countries experienced a succession of closures, openings, and repeat closures and reopenings.

Disneyland to start welcoming out-of-state-visitors on June 15 | KTLA

Credit: KTLA

Back then, the Parks were much more lenient about disrupted travel plans, largely because so many Guests were experiencing them. But things are very different now, as resorts like Disney World aren’t quite as flexible as they were two years ago.

Today, if you have a Park Pass Reservation and a theme park ticket at Disney World, but you’re unable to make your trip, you will not get a refund, per Disney’s policies about non-refundable tickets.

According to USA Today, Walt Disney World tickets are non-refundable, meaning you won’t get any money back for the purchase of park tickets that you weren’t able to use because you or a family member became ill and couldn’t keep your travel plans.

magic kingdom

Credit: Becky Burkett/Disney Dining

You ultimately have only two choices if you have a Disney World trip planned, but you become ill and cannot visit the parks, whether due to COVID or another unforeseen event.

You can transfer your tickets to another person.

Disney World offers Guests the option of transferring their park tickets to someone else. Disney calls this “reassigning” your park tickets.

But according to the Disney World website, there’s a catch.

If the ticket has not yet been used, you can reassign a ticket to another person on your Family & Friends list. To do so, visit the My Reservations section of My Disney Experience, locate the ticket you wish to reassign and select the ‘Reassign Ticket‘ link to the right of the ticket.”

Per the site, Disney World theme park tickets can only be reassigned until their first usage, meaning that even if a Guest has purchased a 10-day ticket and only uses one day, the ability to reassign that ticket is forfeited.

You can change the start date of your tickets.

When Guests purchase Disney World tickets, they must first choose the date of their first visit to the parks. Depending on the number of days purchased, Disney allows so many days for those tickets to be completely used. For example, if a Guest purchases a 5-day ticket and his first day in the parks is April 5, your tickets will be valid from April 5 through April 12. All days on your tickets must be used by April 12, or they are lost.

If you have purchased tickets and are unable to visit the parks, Disney offers the option of choosing a new start date for the tickets, meaning those tickets that would have been valid from April 5 to April 12 can have a different start date so you can visit when you’re feeling well.

As with the previous option, there’s a catch–or two.

“Guests may also change the start date for unused, unexpired tickets, pending park availability. Disney World requires park reservations in addition to tickets, so Guests should make sure the parks they want to visit are available on their new dates.

Because prices vary by date, Guests must pay the difference if the new dates’ prices are higher. Customers may contact Guest Relations with questions about their individual situations.”

Thomas Radzak (@tradzak) posted on Instagram: “LOOK HOW GORGEOUS! 😍 The Western Way entrance sign is now comple… | Entrance sign, Walt disney world, Magical places

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Disneyland Tickets don’t expire for 2 years

Per the USA Today post, Disneyland tickets are a little different from Disney World tickets.

“Tickets are nonrefundable but don’t expire for 2 years,” the post reads. “Dates can be changed to any date within the 2-year window. Some earlier promotional tickets had extended expiration windows because of the parks’ pandemic closure.”

Disneyland Remains Closed Amid California's COVID-19 Guidelines

Credit: Delish

As at Disney World, Guests must pay the difference in ticket prices if they choose new dates for use.

Also, Guests who make Park Pass Reservations but don’t visit the parks on those days for any reason face a penalty at Disneyland. After 3 no-shows in a 90-day period at Disneyland, Guests will be prohibited from making any Park Pass Reservations for a 30-day period, meaning they will be unable to visit Disneyland during that 30-day window.

About Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!