Disney Resorts During COVID-19 – What to Expect at Your Hotel

Updated September 9, 2020

I traveled to Orlando, Florida early July for the reopening of Walt Disney World.

As with most of my visits, I stayed 6 nights.

This trip included a visit to Pop Century!

Let’s take a look at what feels different at the resorts right now.

Need info on Disney Parks during COVID-19? Visit this post.

Overall Changes

The following are changes to what resort guests are accustomed to:

  • Magical Express Luggage delivery for resorts has been paused. Guests pick bags at baggage claim and take them to the bus.
  • Online check in is strongly encouraged.
  • Use of the new chat option on the app is encouraged.
  • Traditional housekeeping has been paused. For now, towels are changed and trash is removed every two days. Also, there is no credit for declining housekeeping currently.
  • Security checks in hotel rooms are still happening, but are brief.
  • Merchandise delivery to resorts has been paused.
  • Arcades are closed.
  • Mobile ordering is required at food courts.
  • Food delivery to your hotel room has been paused.
  • Hanging out at the pool socially distanced without masks in or out of the water is fine.
  • Masks are required everywhere in or outdoors unless at the pool as noted.
  • Keyless entry into your room is available on your app. Or, you can use your MagicBand if you wish.
  • “Happily Ever After” fireworks are available for streaming from your hotel room during your stay. More on this here.

Room Tour

This link shows LOTS of photos of what is in place during COVID at Disney Resorts. Browse through those images for more details on what you can expect.

My room was clean like always with even more detailing in place.

Dining

Dining at table service restaurants include the following changes:

  • Online check in is required. (This is easy to do and available on your Disney app.)
  • Tables are distanced at least 6 feet apart from each other.
  • Cast members wear masks.
  • Guests wear masks until seated.
  • Menus are abbreviated, but most locations kept guest favorites.

Dining at counter service restaurants include the following changes:

  • Mobile ordering is mandatory.
  • When your food is ready, your app will direct you where to pick up your food.
  • Your food will be bagged, sealed, and labeled. Don’t forget condiments! I walk through how this process works here.

Transportation

Transportation works similarly to what you already know. Cast members are on site to answer any questions you have.

A few notes on transportation:

  • Cast members will advise on where to sit when boarding transportation.
  • Buses and monorails are sectioned off with partitions in place to distance groups.
  • If you’re traveling on the Skyliner, your party will have a car to itself.
  • With shorter hours at the parks and Disney Springs, all transportation options will end their routes earlier than normal. Check to be sure your options sync with your plans.

What I Don’t Think is Worth the Expense Right Now

  • Topolino Terrace character meal at Riviera Resort might not be everything you want it to be.
  • I have not personally attended this character meal, but several friends and colleagues have and suggest it’s not worth the money due to the restraints with COVID-19.
  • From their descriptions, I agree.
  • Additional Resources

    • For everything you need to know about WDW theme parks during COVID-19, click on this post.
    • While in Orlando, I tested out several mask varieties and share my results here.
    • To see what flying is like right now, click here.
    • For general information on all Disney Parks – including Disneyland – during Quarantine, check out this post.
    • To book Walt Disney World with the best possible discounts, concierge service and expert advice, contact the only agency I recommend here.

    Notes

    • Unless you’re at the pool or dining, a mask is necessary at your resort. Take a look at my review post for what works best in the Orlando heat.
    • Some resorts are being super strict about only allowing guests with a hotel or dining reservation on site. Contemporary was definitely this way. Some aren’t as strict. I found this to be the case at the Grand Floridian and BoardWalk Inn.
    • The balance of lower capacity in parks and resorts for guests and fewer transportation options running worked out nicely. Wait times are about the same as you knew before.
    • Tipping is more important than ever considering those in the service industry have gone without for several months now. If your budget allows, please tip well.
    • For resort reviews and general information on where to stay at Walt Disney World, check out this post.
    Take a look at how Get Away Today can help with your vacation

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