”Coronavirus and Walt Disney World” has been top of my Google searches for some weeks now. With our next Disney trip booked for this May, I’ve spent numerous hours worrying. Firstly worrying if, or how, COVID-19 would impact on our plans and then whether we’d be able to travel at all.
While my worry has now become a reality, another fact has become clear. That is; this is a very trivial problem to have in the current climate. There is no denying that it is incredibly disappointing to cancel a much longed-for holiday. However, Coronavirus is more than a ‘holiday inconvenience’.
Many people are finding their lives irrevocably changed forever. The World is in lockdown. We are facing a threat to our way of life, and to our lives. The My Disney Holiday Family is hugely sensitive to this. For those of you with poorly loved ones, for those of you suffering, our thoughts are with you. To all the medical professionals, for your sacrifices and hard work; thank you.
Disney has responded to the threat of Coronavirus in the way that we would expect; with responsibility and care. If you have any queries about your upcoming holiday with Walt Disney World and Coronavirus then we recommend contacting Disney or your travel agent direct in the first instance.
However, phone lines are backed up and delays in receiving a response are, understandably, inevitable. Because of this, we’ve detailed some basic information below.
Coronavirus and Walt Disney World
Disney closed all Walt Disney World theme Parks on 16 March. Currently, the timescale for the park closures is through to March 31 2020. Meanwhile, Resort hotels will close at 5:00 PM on March 20 2020. Disney Springs will close beginning March 17 2020.
In terms of Disney holiday package bookings (booked with Disney direct) the following has been confirmed by Disney:
- Fees – Disney is waiving all Disney-imposed change and cancellation fees for arrivals through to 30 June 2020; and
- Automatic Cancellation – on Friday 20 March, Disney automatically cancelled reservations of Walt Disney Travel Company Disney Resort hotel packages and Disney Resort hotel room-only reservations for arrivals from 20 March 2020 through to 31 March 2020. Note that this is for bookings made directly through Disney only.
Remember: other than for dining reservations booked for the period during the Park closure, you will need to cancel your reservations.
For more information on Coronavirus and Walt Disney World view Disney’s official updates page here.
The Disney Food Blog team have prepared a detailed page on the impact of Coronavirus on Walt Disney World. This includes frequently asked questions and further details on refunds. You can view the page here.
UPDATE 28 March 2020: Disney has confirmed that Walt Disney World is closed until further notice.
Coronavirus and Disneyland Paris
Coronavirus has also impacted on Disneyland Paris. Disneyland Paris will remain closed through to 31 March 2020. The closure also includes Disney Village and Disney’s Hotels. For reservations at Disney Hotels for arrivals while the Parks are closed, Disney is giving guests until April 15th 2020 to modify or cancel reservations without fees. Disney has stated that these conditions also apply for arrivals between April 1st and June 1st 2020. Disney requests that guests fill in an electronic form for modifications and cancellations. You can find the form here.
We know that we are in unprecedented times. We’re all facing challenges, and necessary changes to our way of life. However, Disney will still be there when the dust settles, and in the meantime we’re trying to sprinkle magic wherever we can.
In the words of Cinderella “Have faith in your dreams, and someday, your rainbow will come smiling through”. In the meantime, we’re always here to reminisce about Disney and we’d love to hear from you!