While we are all yearning to travel again, I’d like to share one of my family’s most memorable vacations to locations we can’t wait to return to someday!
That evening, we visited the Spanish Village, enjoyed another outdoor cafe for a quick bite and took in a spectacular Flamenco show. The cafe gave us just a small taste of the delicious cuisine that was in store on this trip, with traditional patatas bravas, pan con tomate, and the first of numerous glasses of sangria. The show was a feast for the eyes- I never realized how meaningful and moving dance can be. Even my children were captivated by the show!
Health and safety measures:
THEME PARKS & EXPERIENCES:
Walt Disney World will begin a phased re-opening on July 11, 2020 with Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom theme parks.
Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios will join them a few days later, on July 15, 2020. Select audiences, including Cast Members, may get previews prior to the scheduled opening. Disney Springs is currently in a phased re-opening, with many retail and dining locations already open.
Amenities and Services:
The following will be temporarily unavailable:
The following special offerings and childcare services will not be available during the initial reopening:
In order to visit any Walt Disney World Resort, you must have a confirmed room reservation for your stay or a confirmed dining reservation, if you are not staying overnight.
During the re-opening of Walt Disney World Resort, many dining experiences will be modified or unavailable in order to promote cleanliness and physical distancing:
We understand that there are a lot of updates being made and we are here to help our clients navigate through them. Stay tuned for more updates from Walt Disney World!
Exciting news! Universal Orlando Resort will open select Universal Hotels beginning June 2nd! Guests staying in Universal's resort hotels June 2nd – June 4th with a valid park ticket will be invited to visit to the theme parks on June 3rd and 4th, prior to our public reopening on June 5th.
Here are some of the most popular Frequently Asked Questions that Universal answered for us:
1. Which hotels are reopening on June 2?
The phased reopening of the hotels will include Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal’s Aventura Hotel and Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites. Plans for Loews Portofino Bay Hotel and Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites will be announced at a later time.
2. What specific guidelines are the hotels implementing?
Universal Orlando’s resort hotels have enhanced its standards and protocols throughout its operations. These enhancements, which are subject to change as guidance from health and government officials is updated, currently include:
3. Why are hotels opening before the theme parks?
Select hotels are opening a day prior to Universal Orlando’s parks to give guests the opportunity to check-in and get settled before visiting the theme parks and taking advantage of Early Park Admission. Guests arriving on June 2 will not be able to enter the parks until June 3.
4. Will hotel guests have to purchase tickets to visit the parks on June 3 and 4?
Hotel guests must have valid theme park admission in order to access the theme parks on June 3 and 4. Guests can visit the Vacation Planning desk in their hotel to pick-up tickets.
5. What if a hotel guest registers a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater?
If a guest registers a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater upon check-in, they will not be allowed to check-in until they receive medical clearance to do so. The rest of the guest’s party will be allowed to check in. We understand some guests may feel they have special conditions, which we will consider upon request.
If a guest registers a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater anytime following the check-in screening, they are required to self-quarantine and seek medical attention. The hotel will follow medical professional’s recommendations as to whether the guest can safely remain on hotel property. An additional guest room may be provided for other members of their party and they will still be able to move about the resort as they continue to successfully undergo temperature screenings.
6. Will hotel amenities and dining locations be affected by these changes?
The availability of food service, pools, fitness centers and other amenities may be limited due to increased frequency of cleaning and sanitization or to comply with the latest guidelines and recommendations. Guests should check with the front desk for more details.
7. Will I still receive hotel benefits like Universal Express if staying at a Premier hotel?
Yes, guests who stay at Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort will receive Universal Express access to select attractions as well as their other hotel benefits.
8. Will Universal Express be available when the theme parks reopen?
Universal Express will be available for purchase for theme park visits beginning June 8th. Hotel guests staying at Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort will be also able to take advantage of their Universal Express access benefit on any day of their visit.
9. Is Early Park Admission still valid for hotel guests?
Yes, all hotel guests can take advantage of Early Park Admission as well as other hotel benefits during their visit. Currently, Early Park Admission is scheduled for 8:00 – 9:00 am at Universal Studios Florida and 9:30 – 10:00 am at Universal’s Volcano Bay.
10. How will resort transportation be affected?
Guests can still utilize water taxi and resort shuttle transportation to visit Universal CityWalk and the theme parks. Face coverings will be required for all guests using resort transportation. We will limit capacity on all shuttles and water taxis so wait times may be impacted. We will also increase our already-aggressive cleaning and disinfecting procedures on all forms of resort transportation.
11. Will hotel guests be turned away if the theme parks reach capacity?
We account for hotel guests when setting our capacity limits and they will not be impacted if the theme parks reach capacity.
12. What if I’m visiting the hotels from out-of-state?
Visitors from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Louisiana and international markets should be aware of and comply with government guidelines regarding travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines before visiting our destination.
Walt Disney World shared important updates last night that we wanted to share with you. Things are changing every day but this does give a more clear picture of what a Walt Disney World vacation will look like upon reopening.
We understand how much excitement, thought and time goes into planning a Disney vacation, and we realize some of these changes may be disappointing. However, we are confident that the magic will still be alive in Walt Disney World and we look forward to the parks reopening.
Here is a graphic from Walt Disney World with more specifics for your reference:
It's official! Walt Disney World will begin a phased re-opening on July 11, 2020 with Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom. A few days later, Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios will join them in opening on July 15, 2020. Select audiences, including Cast Members, will get previews prior to the scheduled opening.
We didn't get a lot of details during today's Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force Meeting but we did get a great overview of their plans to implement new health and safety protocols in their theme parks. Walt Disney World will start implementing a pre-arrival theme park reservation system to help manage significantly reduced capacity in their parks, restaurants, and stores. Capacity will also be reduced on attractions and on all modes of transportation.
Additional health and safety protocols include mandatory face coverings, a social distancing squad, more sanitization and hand-washing stations, temperature checks upon entry and other enhancements that will limit person-to-person contact. These enhancements include encouraging a cashless environment, increased mobile food ordering options, and the temporary pause of character meets, parades, fireworks and other events that create crowds. Play areas, like playgrounds, water effects, etc. will also be temporarily suspended.
Guests who plan to visit Walt Disney World will receive numerous 'Know Before You Go' communications to ensure only healthy, prepared guests are visiting the parks. There will be ample signage throughout the park, as well as Cast Members positively encouraging guests to comply with these protocols.
At this time, we have no update about Walt Disney World Resort hotels reopening. We hope to learn more in the days and weeks ahead, and we'll continue to share updates here.
UPDATE FROM THE DISNEY PARKS BLOG: Additionally, Disney Vacation Club resorts at Walt Disney World will reopen to members and guests and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will begin to reopen on June 22. Disney Vacation Club resorts in Vero Beach, Florida, and Hilton Head, South Carolina, will also open to members and guests starting on June 15. Plans to support required physical distancing as well as enhanced cleaning measures, along with a number of other safety and cleanliness protocols, will be implemented as part of this planned phased reopening.
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The following article was written and released by Disney Destinations on May 22nd:
PLANNING YOUR DISNEY PARKS VACATION
Released by Disney Destinations
"It’s an understatement to say that the past few months have been a challenging time for us all. As we navigate the longest park closures in our histories, we’ve loved hearing your kind words of hope and seeing how you’ve made your own Disney memories at home has uplifted and inspired us all.
During this time, we know it can be difficult to plan your Disney vacation. Now more than ever we’re longing for the opportunity to come together with family and friends to escape, to celebrate, to re-do missed milestones, like birthdays and anniversaries and to make new Disney memories.
Given the current uncertainty as to when we will reopen Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort, we’ve had to periodically adjust the schedule for the ability to book hotel reservations at our resorts. While we’re currently accepting reservations starting in July 2020 at both resorts, as this situation evolves, timing may continue to shift.
As we continue to follow guidance from government and health care officials regarding how we’ll be able to reopen our parks and resorts in a responsible way, we may also need to make real-time adjustments to booked experiences, park tickets and park passes.
Please know that if any reservations you may have made need to change, we will work with you to make the necessary modifications.
If you haven’t already, we encourage you to check out the recent blog post from our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Pamela Hymel, on how we’re planning for re-opening our parks and resorts.
Our focus remains on the safety of the entire Disney community. Be sure to keep checking our websites for more details, and stay tuned for more information.
We appreciate your understanding and patience as we navigate this unprecedented time together. We continue to be moved by the incredible support and passion our guests have shown for our Disney family, and we hope to see you real soon."
Quite often, when clients call about their next trip to Walt Disney World, they say, ‘We want to stay as close to the parks as possible.’ It doesn’t get any closer than the three resorts located on the monorail - Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Magic Kingdom is accessible via the monorail from all three resorts; you can even walk to the park from the Contemporary. The rooms at these resorts are larger overall, making them more appealing to families hoping for a bit more space. Multiple dining options, including table service, character dining and lounges, can be found inside each resort which gives guests the opportunity to relax with a cocktail or enjoy a meal without having to leave their hotel. The pool areas at all three resorts are extensive; they include water slides and splash pads for the littlest resort guests.
Each resort has its own unique theming and offerings for their guests. From a luau at the Polynesian, to afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian, and even a fireworks voyage with Peter Pan at the Contemporary - there’s something for everyone at the monorail resorts. Last December, we were lucky enough to stay at Disney's Contemporary Resort for a few days of holiday fun.
Our standard room included a beautifully redone bathroom with separate toilet area, a small wet bar, a nice large desk, two super comfy queen size beds and a pull out twin size bed. Our view of the Mickey pool and the lagoon made the perfect backdrop at bedtime. We even got to watch The Electric Light Parade from our balcony one evening, in our jammies!
We really enjoyed the Contempo Cafe as a quick service location for both a quick breakfast and a nice lunch on arrival day. Their cheese danish and grilled cheese & tomato soup were both delicious! Chef Mickey’s was just outside our door; we did enjoy waking up to their music each morning. The Wave is an easy to access restaurant located inside and is a nice option for every meal; Kristen swears they have one of the best steaks on property.
Another nice perk of staying on the monorail was being able to bypass the long security lines at Magic Kingdom since we had already gone through security at the resort. Transferring monorails at the Ticket & Transportation Center to get to Epcot was easy and quick. As always, busses were available to take us to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Disney Springs.
Traveling with Adventures by Disney provides culturally immersive, once-in-a-lifetime experiences that prove all vacations are not created equal. Experiencing New York City, America's melting pot of culture and cuisine, with Adventures by Disney is a dream come true. There is so much to see and do—from taking in the splendor of Times Square to attending a Disney Broadway musical to visiting the studios of Good Morning America and more. You'll understand why New York is called "The City That Never Sleeps"!
You'll stay in the center of the City for three nights at the InterContinental New York Times Square. Breakfast is included everyday of your four day adventure, in addition to VIP Treatment, tickets and admissions to included events, and an Adventure Guide to ensure a hassle-free vacation from start to finish. Check out the slideshow below to see the highlights of the New York City Escape: