The Parks Have Reopened!Here Are 17 Important Changes to Know Before You Head to the “New” Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World has opened all four parks! Here are some quick notes on the changes and what you should know before you head back to the most magical place on earth. A LOT has changed. And while change is ok- you should be informed!

1. Park Pass Reservations are Required to Enter a Park

Now that Walt Disney World has reopened, guests need a Disney Park Pass Reservation to enter the parks. Unless you have a Park Pass Reservation and Valid admission for that select day and park, you aren’t getting in.

If you have a reservation booked through September 26th 2021 it is recommend that you make park pass reservations for your stay as soon as possible.

2. Park Hopping is suspended

Park hopping is temporarily suspended! Since you must have a Park Pass Reservation for one park per day, you won’t be able to spend the morning at Magic Kingdom and enjoy a dinner in EPCOT for example. It is one park per day, for the foreseeable future.

Guests with 2021 packages can purchase hopper tickets in anticipation of park hoppings’ great return- but will only be able to make their reservations for one park per day at the current time.

3. Make Dining Reservations Early!

With Disney’s limited capacity, a table-service dining reservation can be even more difficult to snag than normal. With space being limited due to social distancing, less tables and times will be available. Currently, guests can make dining reservations 60 days in advance. They may do do utilizing the My Disney Experience or by calling Walt Disney World Dining.

4. Hand Sanitizing Stations have been installed through out the parks and Resorts.

Disney has hand sanitizing stations spread throughout the parks and resorts. It is still recommend however that you bring your own sanitizing wipes and liquid. This way you can use wipes and/or liquid whenever you need it without looking for a sanitizing station.

5. Cell Phone POWER! 

Update your phone’s My Disney Experience App, purchase a battery backup, and plug in whenever possible, to keep a full charge going. You’ll be using your phone more now than ever with the importance of the My Disney Experience App for mobile ordering and mobile check in.

6. Touchless Temperature Checks, Security & Admission

There are three stages to entering each park. First – touchless temperature checks on your forehead. All guests must have a temperature of less than 100.4 to enter- if you have higher you and your entire party must leave. Second – walk through security scanner with no in depth bag checks. Third – admission is a simple MagicBand or ticket tap. No more finger scan. Totally touchless!

7. Don’t Bother with a Metal Drinking Bottles, umbrellas or Spray Cans

The new security scanners are designed to flag larger metal objects like metal water bottles, metal spray cans (like sunscreen), or umbrellas. If you really want to bring any of these items, you will need to simply hold it out in front of you as you walk through the scanner.

8. Remain Stationary While Eating

As much as we’re used to eating and drinking on the go, especially at Disney’s Food and Wine Festival- Disney now requires guests remain stationary while eating or drinking. If your mask is off to snack, you’ll need to stay put. No more strolling around EPCOT’s World Showcase with eating and drinking on the move.

9. Social Distancing Ground Markers and Signage

Disney has installed ground markers and social distancing signage everywhere. While it’s easy to get distracted by everything around you at Walt Disney World- it’s very important to pay attention to the social distancing signage and ground markers installed throughout the parks.

10. Mobile Ordering is a Must

Mobile Ordering will be used now that the parks are reopen! Many of the quick-service locations will not allow guests to go in until they can show their Mobile Order is ready. Download the MyDisneyExperience App and get ready to Mobile Order.

11. No FastPass – but FP Queues are Open

Yes, FastPasses are currently not being used. The FP queues are however still open. They are used for guests with the DAS (Disability Access Service) pass. You may also be given a FastPass if you were removed from a broken-down attraction or had a special situation along those lines.

12. Rise is Still a Virtual Queue

The most popular attraction in all of Walt Disney World, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is still a virtual queue! Disney now offers three select times throughout the day to attempt to join a boarding group for this attraction. And yes, even with limited guests in the parks, the boarding groups do fill to capacity. We recommend you get there early for the first boarding group to ensure you can ride.

13. No Parades but Mini Cavalcades

Walt Disney World is not having its usual 3’oclock parades – but Disney does now have character cavalcades which tend to be one or two floats with characters on them. These cavalcades are not scheduled. It simply allows for moment of “hey, look!” and it’s gone before you know it.


14. Masks must be left on while Riding Attractions

Initially, Disney did allow guests to remove masks on Kilimanjaro Safaris, but this isn’t the case any longer. Leave your mask on as Disney is always watching! So much so that if you have a ride photo taken without a mask on, the photo will be removed from your MDE account!

15. Masks Stay ON for PhotoPass

Keep in mind, Disney requires masks to stay ON for PhotoPass photos. There are no exceptions to this rule- see above about ride photos being removed for lack of masks.

16. PhotoPass Cast Cannot Hold Your Phone

PhotoPass Cast are no longer allowed to hold your phone and take a picture for you.

17. PhotoPass Ride Photos are Delayed

PhotoPass ride photos are coming through super delayed. Word is Disney is screening each photo to ensure guests have not removed their masks. Expect several days before seeing a ride photo appear on your My Disney Experience App.

As always, stay tuned to Streaming The Magic for all your Walt Disney World park updates!

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