What to do if the Coronavirus Impacted Your Disney Vacation
In line with direction provided by government officials, Disney has announced that all Disney World parks and resorts will remain closed until further notice. This also includes all Disney Springs restaurants and stores.
Travel plans up until June 30, 2020 and booked directly through Disney can be adjusted or changed free of charge under “My Plans” on the “My Disney Experience” page.
Well, I guess it’s not really news now. If you have a Disney World vacation planned anytime between now and April you have probably received the devastating news that Disney World is closing its gates beginning on March 16, 2020 until at least April 1, 2020.
Before I get into any of the details, I first just want to say that I am so, so sorry that this is happening. While it is completely out of everyone’s hands, it does not change the fact that many of you are breaking the news this morning to your sweet children who have been dreaming of this trip since the day you announced you were going. When I stop for a moment to consider having to do this with my own kids it brings me to tears. So as much as people want to tell you it’s for the best and that there are so many others who have it so much worse, the reality is…
It. Still. Sucks.
But today you’re inevitably asking yourself, “Now what?” I’m hoping to compile some of the answers to frequently asked questions here, and I will do my best to update them as new information becomes available.
Will Disney World Resorts Remain Open?
As of the time I am writing this, resorts are set to remain open throughout the time the parks are closed. Disney Springs will also remain open.
UPDATE: Disney owned and operated hotels will close beginning at 5:00pm on March 20 through the end of the month.
Disney owned-and-operated stores in Disney Springs will be closing beginning on March 17 through the end of the month.
Can I modify a stay I have booked at a Disney Resort while the parks are closed?
If you have a stay that begins between March 16, 2020 – March 31, 2020, you may modify or cancel your stay without any change fees. If you do not take any action, before your check-in date, Disney will automatically process a refund to your original form of payment.
It sounds like this is only for reservations made directly through Disney. If you booked with another source you will have to contact them directly to see what your options are.
Can I make changes to my reservation if my trip is after March 31?
It looks like you have until June 30, 2020 to make changes to or cancel your reservation should you decide not to go once parks reopen.
If you do decide to change your plans, I would suggest waiting a few days before calling. The phone lines at Disney are jammed with people frantically trying to make changes. Save yourself the headache and let the dust settle a bit before waiting on hold for hours.
What can I do if I am booked at an off property hotel and my reservation is nonrefundable?
Most hotel chains are doing all they can to be accomodating right now, especially if you are rescheduling to a future date. My husband and I just rescheduled our anniversary trip with a Hyatt that was scheduled for 10 days from now (within the non-refundable window), and they rebooked us for June without a problem. So regardless of what your initial reservation states about cancellation fees, it’s worth a phone call.
Can I get a refund on my Disney World tickets?
Disney announced today that if you have unused days on your park passes, you now have until December 15, 2020 to use the remaining days. In other words, if you are visiting this week and are not able to use all of the days remaining, you can return at another time this year to use the rest of your theme park days.
If you have a wholly unused ticket with a start date on or before March 31, 2020, you also have until December 15, 2020 to use your pass. However, if you are unable to return by that date, you have the option to put the full price of your unused pass towards the purchase of a pass in 2021. The passes will likely cost more for dates in 2021 but at least this gives you an added layer of flexibility when rescheduling.
Will I be refunded for tickets purchased for after hour events?
Yes. If you have purchased tickets for Disney After Hours, Disney Villains After Hours and Disney Early Morning Magic for dates between March 16, 2020 through March 31, 2020 you don’t have to do a thing. Your purchase will be automatically refunded.
This includes all prepaid dining experiences as well!
What about my annual pass?
Disney has announced that they will extend annual passes for the amount of time that the parks are closed. Currently that means you will have an extra 2 weeks to use your annual pass.
What if I bought my tickets through another source, like UnderCover Tourist?
I am doing my best to find an answer to this. According to a Twitter response by @UndercoverTourist, it is possible to change the dates of your eTickets. They also said that if you have additional questions, to please email their customer service here.
UPDATE: Disney World tickets purchased from UnderCover Tourist will be subject to the same expiration extension as tickets purchased directly from Disney! Use My Disney Experience to make changes to your vacation dates.
Should I go when the parks reopen?
That’s a decision you’ll have to make for your family. Of course you want to take into consideration the health and age of your family members. And beyond that, you really should take into consideration who you will interact with when you get back.
Just be smart and go with your gut. Keep up with new travel restrictions, do your research, and try to make changes to your reservations within the window allowed.
In the meantime, I’ll be doing my best to add updates relating to Disney travel here. Be smart, stay well, and don’t panic!
- How to Rent DVC Points and Save a Ton on Your Disney Vacation
- The Best Disney World Souvenirs Under $20 and Where to Find Them
- The Ultimate List of Free Disney World Souvenirs
- The 10 Things You Need to Buy on Amazon Before Your Disney Vacation
- A Few Things You Should Know About Disney World’s Minnie Vans