On June 22, select Disney World resort hotels reopened after their COVID-19 closure, and more are set to reopen this summer.

By Elizabeth Rhodes
Updated June 24, 2020
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The day Disney World fans have been waiting for is finally visible on the horizon, after the theme park resort closed in March amid the coronavirus pandemic. In a recent announcement, Disney World revealed its plans to reopen Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on July 11, followed by Epcot and Hollywood Studios on July 15. This week, Disney World welcomed guests back to select resort hotels, and they'll continue to reopen hotels throughout the summer. Before you head to your favorite Disney World hotel this month — Disney face mask in hand, of course — here’s what you need to know.

On June 22, select Disney Deluxe Villa resorts and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground reopened. Properties that are now open are: 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 Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village, Disney’s Beach Club Villas, Disney’s BoardWalk Villas, Disney’s Old Key West Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort, and The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

On July 10, Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas — Jambo House, Disney's Pop Century Resort, and Disney's Contemporary Resort will open to booked guests. On July 29, Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort will reopen, followed by Disney's Polynesian Village Resort and Disney's Art of Animation Resort on August 12. On August 24, Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts are slated to open, and on September 21, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will reopen. Disney's BoardWalk Resort is scheduled to reopen on October 1, and Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is set to reopen on October 14.

New Health and Safety Procedures at Disney World Resort Hotels

Disney World unveiled further details regarding the reopening of these properties on the Disney World website, listing new health and safety procedures and temporarily paused benefits. Firstly, to visit a Walt Disney World resort hotel, guests must have either a confirmed room reservation or a confirmed dining reservation, as well as a face covering for visitors ages two and up. Any guests who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or have come into contact with someone with COVID-19, must not enter the resort. Visitors must also adhere to Florida’s quarantine order if they’re coming from Connecticut, New Jersey, or New York.

The resort hotels are implementing a number of new and enhanced sanitation procedures, including increased cleaning in high-traffic areas and thorough housekeeping, among other protocols.

Matt Stroshane/Disney

Select Resort Amenities and Services Are Temporarily Paused

Although Disney’s Magical Express, the complimentary airport transportation from Orlando International Airport, and complimentary resort transportation will still be operating, a number of popular guest benefits, including FastPass+ and Extra Magic Hours, are temporarily suspended until further notice. Club-level service, in-room celebrations, shipping services, and other resort amenities will also be unavailable upon reopening.

Additionally, arcades, campfires, character experiences, dog parks, the Electrical Water Pageant, marina rentals, playgrounds, spas, salons, the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and other special events and programs are temporarily unavailable. Pools will have reduced capacity and may have reduced hours, with the exception of Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, which will remain closed for now. Perhaps most importantly, staying at a Disney resort hotel does not guarantee access to the parks — park admission will require reservations via the new Disney Park Pass System.

Character dining experiences will not be available upon reopening either, with the exception of a modified experience at Topolino’s Terrace at the Riviera Resort. You can find the full reopening details for each resort, including restaurants and recreational facilities that will be available, on the Disney World website. New reservations can now be made for select Disney World hotels for 2021.

While these new restrictions will undoubtedly impact the Disney experience, this reopening puts us one step closer to experiencing the magic we all love once again while protecting the health of guests and cast members.