Vacation Planning

Walt Disney World And Vacation Planning: Start of 2021 Update

Start of 2021 Update

As we say goodbye and good riddance to 2020, it’s time to check in on some of our favorite places to visit and see what’s going on.

Walt Disney World:  All four of Disney’s theme parks are all open and following COVID protocols. Masks are still required for everyone over the age of 2, sanitizer is widely available and social distancing is still being enforced everywhere.

Guests still need to make a Park Reservation for each day, but new in 2021 is the return of Park Hopping. It is a modified version of park hopping that guests are used to, but guests now have the option of going to multiple parks in one day.

Now that the weather is getting warmer, guests hoping to visit a water park, get their wish. Disney’s Blizzard Beach will reopen on March 7th, with protocols in place. Tickets are now available for purchase.

Most of the resorts are open for guests and 3 more will be opening in the first half of 2021. A completely renovated All Star Movies Resort will be opening at the end of March. Beach Club will begin welcoming guests at the end of May and Wilderness Lodge will reopen in the first week of June. Not all the facilities and dining locations will open at the same time, so be sure to check for updates.

The experience continues to be different from what guests know and love from pre-Covid visits. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t still magic to be found. Character Cavalcades are still popping up in the parks multiple times a day. Guests can also see characters from a distance in various locations throughout the parks, so be on the lookout for these great opportunities. Guests are reporting that some very rare characters have even been out to visit with park goers.

While there are still no shows or fireworks for guests at the current time. Disney did make a big announcement last week that the fan favorite – Festival of the Lion King show at Animal Kingdom will be returning sometime this summer. There will be COVID-19 protocols in place and the show may be modified as well. No official date has been announced, but stay tuned for more information.

Dining locations still have restrictions on capacity in place and some locations have not reopened quite yet. Some locations have reopened, but with some different offerings. Traditional buffet locations are now serving guests family style at their tables, for example. Character meals also continue to be a different experience. Characters are not signing autographs or doing close-in photos. They are still visiting around the restaurants and stopping for socially distanced photos and interactions.

Disney Springs has been open since late May 2020 with limited capacity and social distancing guidelines in place. Parking and entrances are limited and guests over the age of 2 are required to wear a mask and under temperature checks. Most of the dining and retail establishments have reopened.

New locations such as Gideon’s Bakehouse and Everglazed Donuts and Cold Brew are getting rave reviews!

Disneyland:  Disneyland’s theme parks, and resorts are closed until further notice. There has been no re-opening date or plans announced as of now. We are still waiting for 2021 reservations to be available for booking. Downtown Disney, including Buena Vista Street in California Adventure, has partially reopened, in accordance with state guidelines. Select retail locations are open. Some quick service and table service locations that can offer outdoor dining are also open.

Disney Cruise Line: Disney Cruise Line has voluntarily suspended all sailings through as follows: Disney Fantasy through April 24th, Disney Dream through April 30th, Disney Magic through May 6th and the Disney Wonder through May 12th. Due to CDC Guidelines, all cruises longer than 7 nights have also been canceled through September. Guests on impacted sailings who are paid in full are being offered either a full refund or 125% future cruise credit to be used on a new sailing within 15 months of the original booking date. Guests who are not paid in full will receive a full refund back to the original form of payment.

Adventures by Disney:  Most adventures both domestic and international through March 31st have been canceled.  Some Disneyland/Southern California Adventures in April are also canceled.  Adventures by Disney has also made a temporary change in the final payment date for adventures into the early part of 2021. Final payments are now due 90 days prior to travel versus the standard 120 days.

Aulani Resort and Spa:  Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa reopened on November 1st.  As with most locations reopening, things look a bit different than normal. Limited dining locations, activities and characters are available. Aunty’s Beach House, the fantastic kid’s club, is still closed. Another important thing guests should be aware of is that the state of Hawaii is requiring Covid testing prior to arrival, so be sure to check the latest requirements.

Universal Orlando Resort:  Both of Universal’s theme parks – Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure – are open to guests. Universal is requiring that all guests over the age of 3 wear masks unless they are dining. Other COVID-19 protocols, such as temperature checks, social distancing and limited capacity on attractions and at dining locations, are in place to keep guests safe. Park reservations are not required at Universal at the current time. Volcano Bay is closed, but plans to reopen on March 1, 2021.

City Walk, Universal’s dining and entertainment district is mostly open. Some restaurants are closed on scheduled days, so be sure to check hours.

Five of Universal’s hotels – Portofino Bay, Hard Rock Hotel, Royal Pacific, Cabana Bay and Endless Summer: Dockside – are open for guests. As with Disney resorts, not all dining locations and recreational offerings are opening with the resort. Be sure to check for the latest information. Sapphire Falls, Aventura Resort and Endless Summer: Surfside are still closed and do not have a reopening date.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line:  Royal Caribbean has suspended all service through April 30th. And The cruise line is currently offering several options for affected guests and guests who would like to voluntarily change their plans in the coming months. Some ports plan to remain closed, which could affect sailings.

Royal Caribbean is also working on safety measures for both cruise and passengers for when they are allowed to sail. While exact details have yet to be announced, mask wearing, COVID testing prior to boarding, as well changes to the onboard experience are all possibilities.

As with everything COVID-19 related, things can change in a matter of minutes. Please stay tuned for the latest information as it is released. Stay safe!!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.