Walt Disney World Is Open But Was Opening Weekend A Success
Visitors drive past a sign welcoming them to Walt Disney World on the first day of reopening of the … iconic Magic Kingdom theme park in Orlando, Florida, on July 11, 2020. – Disney’s flagship theme park reopened its doors to the general public on Saturday, along with Animal Kingdom, as part of their phased reopening in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. New safety measures have been implemented including mandatory face masks for everyone and temperature checks for guests before they enter.
DIS began their phased reopening July 11 with Magic Kingdom and Disneys Animal Kingdom Park almost four months of being closed, during which the theme park giant lost an average of $38 million on admissions, hotels, parking, merchandise and food a day. Walt Disney World brought in an estimated $11.2 billion to The Walt Disney Company in the 2019 fiscal year, so making that number or more in 2020 will prove challengingif not impossible.
Success is a relative term, and even though Disneys opening weekend had a lot of high points and a few low points, the real test will come when Epcot and Disneys Hollywood Studios open on July 15, and even more people are able to tour Walt Disney World. Recouping the money lost over the closure that lasted 116 days will mean relying on pass holders and people within driving distance of the resort to come back and feel safe from the new park operations and safety standards.
Into The Largest Disney Park In The Whole World
- The newest theme park, Star Wars: Galaxy’ Edge, is ready for you! Book tickets and live out your own Star Wars story!
- Make your dreams come true with a day ticket to the best of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida!
- Spend a day in the no. 1 Theme Park Worldwide
- Explore four theme park worlds: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Choose between an array of packages to suit your preferences
- Whether you’re young or old, love sci-fi or fairytales, seek adventure or romance, there’s something for you!
- End the day with the world’s most famous and romantic musical fireworks show!
Which Walt Disney World Hotels Are Open
Here is a list of The Walt Disney World Hotels currently open:
- Bay Lake Tower at Disneys Contemporary Resort
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disneys Wilderness Lodge
- Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disneys Wilderness Lodge
- Disneys All-Star Movies Resort
- Disneys Animal Kingdom Villas Jambo House
- Disneys Animal Kingdom Villas Kidani Village
- Disneys Art of Animation Resort
- Disneys Beach Club Villas
- Disneys BoardWalk Villas
- Disneys Saratoga Springs Resort
- Disneys Yacht Club Resort
- The Villas at Disneys Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels
When Will the Rest of the Disney World Hotels Reopen?The remaining Walt Disney World Resort Hotels started a phased reopening on July 10 which is scheduled to continue through Summer 2021.
Here is the current list of hotels and dates when they are reopening:
- Disneys Boardwalk Inn July 2, 2021
- Disneys Polynesian Village Resort July 2021
Not all Walt Disney World hotels have announced reopening dates yet, and we are still waiting to here when the following are reopening:
- Disneys All-Star Sports Resort
- Disneys All-Star Music Resort
- Disneys Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House
- Disneys Port Orleans Resort French Quarter
- Disneys Port Orleans Resort Riverside
Obviously with very low occupancy and attendance limits in the parks, there is no rush to open all the remaining Disney World hotels. As soon as attendance picks up, we will start to see the remaining hotels reopening.
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Crazy Things You Never Knew About Walt Disney World
Walt Disney sure had some grand plans when it came to building the Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida. He not only wanted it to be a fun theme park, but also to include an experimental prototype community of tomorrow that would be a real working futuristic city, utilizing the latest push-button technology a la The Jetsons. The visionary sadly died in 1966, several years before Disney World opened in 1971, and EPCOT eventually just became another theme park incorporated into the larger resort in 1982. But did you know it was once meant to actually be lived in? Below are a few other fun facts that you might never have guessed about the Happiest Place on Earth.
When Did Disney World Open & More Fun Disney History
On that day there was no EPCOT, there was no Animal Kingdom, there was no MGM Studios .
Many of these additions were already in the works by way of plans and, in some cases, ground breaking had already begun.
The only Hotels that Disney had available was the Contemporary Hotel and the Polynesian Village Resort. Just to compare, today there are currently 36 resorts at Walt Disney World, including nine Disney Vacation Club properties.
Today there are currently 36 resorts at Walt Disney World, including nine Disney Vacation Club properties.
In total, today Disney World has over 30,000 hotel rooms, 409 wilderness cabins, 799 campsites, and 3,293 DVC units. Quite a change over the years.
Walt had the plan for Disney World many years before it opened but, unfortunately, he never saw it materialize because he passed away in 1966. Walts brother, Roy took the helm to push it through to completion but after it opened, he passed away the same year in December.
Here are some fun and amazing facts about the early days of Walt Disney World and its history.
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Dumbo The Flying Elephant Still Has One Of The Best Views In Magic Kingdom
When Fantasyland was renovated in 2012, Dumbo the Flying Elephant became part of a big top-themed land called Storybook Circus, the Disney Parks Blog reported at the time.
Now, the ride has an indoor queue with a kids’ play area and a second set of Dumbo vehicles.
Present: Transformation And Redesign
In November 2016, Disney revealed that Epcot would be receiving a major transformation that would help transition the park into being more Disney, timeless, relevant, family-friendly, while keeping the original vision alive. No further details were mentioned. In July 2017, The Walt Disney Company formally announced that Epcot would undergo a multi-year, redesign and expansion plan that would introduce Guardians of the Galaxy and Ratatouille attractions to Future World and World Showcase, respectively, as well as maintaining the original vision and spirit for the park. As part of the announcement, Ellen’s Energy Adventure closed the following month, and the interior of the show building was gutted to be reused for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. That same year, the park reported the first drop in overall attendance ranking among the four Walt Disney World Resort parks, dropping from second to third place, the first in its history.
On August 25, 2019, at the 2019 D23 Expo, Disney expanded on the plans for the improvements to Epcot. One of the most significant changes announced was the creation of four distinct “neighborhoods”, with the subdivision of Future World into three areas and World Showcase remaining as the fourth one. The park’s name was changed from “Epcot” to “EPCOT”.
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Disney World Proved That Theme Parks Could Be Vacation Destinations
The creation of Disney World changed Florida, and it also changed theme parks and the entertainment industry. Carissa Baker, an assistant professor who studies theme parks at the University of Central Florida, says Walt Disney pioneered the concept of synergy.
“He creates…the Disneyland TV show in 1954, which kind of sells the idea of the Disneyland Park,” Baker says. “But all of these movies and TV shows that are on the Disneyland TV shows were of course his previous properties. So now, you’re kind of tying all this together.”
Baker says Disney World also showed that by adding hotels and more attractions, theme parks could become vacation destinations, a place where families can spend a week or more without ever leaving the Disney bubble.
Guests ride the Alien Swirling Saucers at Toy Story Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in 2018. John Raoux/APhide caption
Matt Jason, from New York City, was recently visiting Disney World for third time since he first visited as a child. He and his family planned to spending five days there.
“Right now, I’m going with my daughter so she can learn to be there and learn to love it,” he says.
“The average wage in metro Orlando is beneath the state average which is beneath the national average,” Rick Foglesong says. “That’s the legacy of tourism and relying upon tourism as the basis of your economy.”
Will Disney World Stay Open Or Close Again
Though we are super-excited that Walt Disney World is now open, many are wondering if Disney World will stay open, or if it will be forced to close once again?
It seems like a strange question to ask when Disney World has been reopened now for a year. Originally, when the parks first reopened there was some doubt whether or not they would close again.
An update on the Disney World website said: Upon reopening, theme parks, Disney Resort Hotels, restaurants, attractions, experiences and other offerings may be modified and will be limited in capacity and subject to limited availability or closure, based on direction from health experts and government officials to promote physical distancing.
Things have come a long way since then however and with the majority of the world in the middle of mass vaccination, we dont see a big risk anymore in the parks shutting down again.
With that in mind, guests should be aware that things can change in the future and theyll have to be flexible with their reservations.
Disney has to cover its bases and obviously, without knowing exactly what will happen we cant be 100% sure.
However, right now things are going smoothly in Walt Disney World since the reopening, and Disney is only concentrating on opening up more, not re-closing. It would take another cataclysmic event to shut down the parks again, and Disney has shown a high tolerance to risk and a willingness to keep things open no matter what.
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The Walt Disney World Railroad
The Walt Disney World Railroad opened on October 1st, 1971, at Magic Kingdom, Disney said. Walt himself considered a steam train a must-have in his plans for the Disneyland park in California. When conceptualizing the attraction for the Florida resort, the park purchased four locomotives with their own interesting history.
“Manufactured by the Baldwin Automotive Works of Philadelphia between 1915-1928 for the United Railways of Yucatan, these trains spent years transporting jute and sugar through the Yucatan Peninsula. The locomotives were restored, repainted and put in place in time for the parks opening on October 1, 1971,” they explained.
Since then, the Disney fleet is said to have consisted of three locomotives named after members of the Disney family: the Walter E. Disney, the Roy Disney, and the Lilly Belle . A fourth train is said to be named after Imagineer Roger E. Broggie.
Walt Disney World kicked off its 50th anniversary celebration, dubbed The Worlds Most Magical Celebration,’ on October 1st. Festivities will go for 18 months as new experiences debut across the resort.
Many of those will be at Magic Kingdom, the park where it all started.
For example, Disney said that the centerpiece of the anniversary magic is Cinderella Castle. It underwent months of renovation, donning a new color and decor. Jewels and royal blue ribbons adorn the castle as gold draping and turrets surround its towers.
Disney Parks Blog
Disney Parks Blog
Blizzard Beach Water Park Now Open
All 4 Walt Disney World theme parks have been open now since July, but the 2 water parks have remained closed since March. That changed on when Disneys Blizzard Beach reopened for the first time in since last March.
Obviously, Disney wants to provide a safe experience for its guests and they have guidelines that emphasize health and well-being. For that reason, many of the same safety guidelines required in the theme parks are also being enforced when Blizzard Beach reopens.
Some of the guest safety guidelines include:
- Wearing a Face Covering
- Reduced Capacity
- Physical Distancing
1-Day Tickets to Blizzard Beach are now available for $69 + tax for adults and $63 + tax for children . Tickets can be purchased online and are valid through December 31, 2021.
Guests already holding passes will be affected by the water parks reopening including guests with the following ticket types:
- Premier Passport
- Water Parks After 2 Annual Pass
- Tickets that include the Park Hopper Plus Option or Water Park & Sports Option
Annual Passholders Guests will be given a partial refund for the price of the water parks.
Water Park Annual Passes Guests with this ticket type will be automatically extended for the period the water parks are closed. Guests can request a full refund for their pass by calling 939-2732
Well let you know as soon as more is announced abut Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. See The Walt Disney World Website for more information.
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What Is Open In Disney World
Though the majority of things are currently open in Walt Disney World, including the theme parks and many of the resorts.
Below youll find all the latest reopening information we have for Walt Disney World including:
- Disney Springs
- Water Parks
What Attractions and Entertainment are Open?Its important to note that the theme parks will open in phases and without the full lineup of attractions, shows and restaurants. That means some rides might not be running when you go, plus some character meets, fireworks shows and other entertainment will not be open.
When Will Those Higher-risk Experiences Reopen?Disney has slowly been introducing more shows into the theme parks as safety guidelines loosen. Fireworks are coming back to Disney World starting July 1, but only at Disneys Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. As more info comes out well update you about what is open and whats not.
New Character CavalcadesAll 4 Disney World theme parks have new Character Cavalcades to make up for the missing character meets in the parks. Characters go by and greet guests from a safe distance.
These special cavalcades take place down the Magic Kingdom Park parade route, sailing the waterways of Disneys Animal Kingdom Theme Park, processions along the World Showcase promenade at EPCOT and motorcades on Disneys Hollywood Studios Hollywood Boulevard.
Some of the characters in the parks include:
- Buzz Lightyear
Not only that but several musical groups are entertaining guests such as:
What Is The Oldest Ride In Disneyland Florida
The dark ride, which opened on January 15, 1975, is the original version of the iconic attraction that has since been replicated at other Disney theme park locations worldwide, with the exception of Shanghai Disneyland Resort. Space Mountain is also the oldest operating roller coaster in the state of Florida.
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Finding A Location For Disneyland
The first part of the project was to find a location. Disney hired the Stanford Research Institute to find an appropriate location that consisted of at least 100-acres was located near Los Angeles and could be reached by a freeway. The company found for Disney a 160-acre orange orchard in Anaheim, California.
Suspended Services & Perks
Many of the common services and perks you are used to on a Walt Disney World vacation are not going to be running during the reopening phase. Here are some of the biggest changes:
FastPass+ All FastPasses have been canceled during this time. The entire FastPass+ system has been suspended. This is to allow more space in the attraction queues to be used for distancing between guests. Right now, guests will only use stand-by queues to enter the attractions.
Extra Magic Hours This is temporarily suspended, and Early Theme Park Entry is taking its place later in 2021. It lets Walt Dinsey World Resort hotel guests enter the parks 30 minutes before the general public.
Disney Dining Reservations Disney guests are now able to make dining reservations with some changes:
- Reservation windows have been decreased from 180 days to 60-Day windows allowing guests to make reservations closer to their arrival date.
- New Disney Dining Reservations are now available for All Guests starting 60 days from your hotel arrival date or dining date.
Special Experience Bookings All special events and experience bookings have been canceled at this time through the end of 2021. Disney will give more information about booking these special events at a future date.
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Transportation And Ticket Center
Magic Kingdom lies more than a mile away from its parking lot, on the opposite side of the man-made Seven Seas Lagoon. Upon arrival, guests are taken by the parking lot trams to the Transportation and Ticket Center , which sells admission into the parks and provides transportation connections throughout the resort complex.
A New Experience At The Disney World Theme Parks
Most attractions are available at each theme park. At Magic Kingdom Park, popular rides including Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain and Peter’s Pan Flight are ready to take your frog family on fun adventures. Experience the magic of nature on Kilimanjaro Safaris, Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain and Avatar Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Travel to a galaxy far, far away on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, or become part of the cartoon world on Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Over at EPCOT, Spaceship Earth is available as its refurbishment plans are temporarily on hold, along with other favorites such as Test Track and Soarin’ Around the World. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is now open with a virtual queue.
The newest nighttime spectaculars have arrived with Disney Enchantment at Magic Kingdom and Harmonious at EPCOT. Wonderful World of Animation is available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, along with Disney Movie Magic. Animal Kingdom has new daytime entertainment with the debut of Disney KiteTails.
Even though parades and individual character greetings aren’t immediately available , there are still chances to see familiar faces!
We also have detailed guides for each park, so you know exactly where to find the best spots for character viewing and adjustments to our park plans:
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