Disneyland is currently in the middle of its longest-ever closure in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and there’s no reopening date yet in sight. For Disneyland Resort fans looking for an escape that includes some Disney magic, the only options are to visit Downtown Disney which reopend a few weeks ago, or to consider a trip to Orlando for Walt Disney World.

For magic-seekers willing to make the trip to Florida, the current landscape will look different than previous years so there’s a few things that you absolutely must know before you go.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Today’s Guest Post comes from Lindsay Brookshier — editor of MickeyVisit.com and DisneyDose.com — whose sites’ tips help people save money and experience more at Walt Disney World and Disneyland and have been featured in Forbes, Travel+Leisure, the LA Times, Yahoo! News, and more.

Walt Disney World has gone above and beyond park safety in their reopening phases with limited capacity, social distancing throughout the resort, and plexiglass installed in ride queues and vehicles. Reports out of the Most Magical Place on Earth have been overwhelmingly positive with many guests stating they feel safer there than at their local grocery store.

So if you’re ready, here’s the top five things you need to know as a Disneyland fan visiting Walt Disney World right now.


1. Park Pass Reservations

New Safety Measures for Cast Members at Walt Disney World Resort Theme Parks

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Your first step is to grab yourself a reservation to the theme parks with the Park Pass Reservation System. This is one of the many changes that Walt Disney World has made upon reopening to create a safe place for guests and cast members. The Park Pass system, which will eventually be in place at Disneyland, greatly limits park capacity and requires advance reservations for each day of your park visit.

How you make a Park Pass Reservation: 

  1. Link your park tickets/admission to your Disney account. You will need valid park admission to make a reservation.
  2. Create your party. Before you make a reservation, you’ll be prompted to create a party from your Family & Friends list on your account. This ensures your group has the same reservations for your trip.
  3. Select a date and park. Choose the date and time you’d like to visit from the available reservations.
  4. Review and confirm your plans. You will also be prompted to agree to a COVID-19 liability waiver.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the park seeing most days sell out quickly since newest attractions are located there including Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Keep in mind, there is currently no park hopping allowed and you will be required to make a Park Pass reservation for each day you want to visit.

MORE INFO: For more on securing a Park Pass, check out the tips in Mickey Visit’s Walt Disney World tickets guide

2. New Safety Policies and Event Changes 

Enhanced Cleaning Measures at Walt Disney World Resort Restaurants

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Walt Disney World has worked hard to implement the most stringent safety policies at their theme parks, transportation, and resort hotels to protect cast members and guests. One of the most talked about safety policies is the hard rule that all guests ages 2 and older must wear a face covering at all times except when dining. Disney has been quick to adjust policies based on any potential risks so these safety measures are constantly evolving.

For example, when Disney saw guests walking around eating/drinking for extended periods of time with their masks removed, they tightened their rules on face coverings to require guests to stay ‘stationary and socially distanced’ when removing their masks to eat/drink. Disney is paying close attention to their new policies and are striving to reduce risk as much as possible.

Read all the specifics of the new safety policies and special event changes at Disney World in Mickey Visit’s When to Visit WDW events calendar so you arrive prepared, knowing that Disney is doing everything in their power to provide a safe guest experience.

3. Dining Reservations

Health and Safety Measures at Walt Disney World Resort Restaurants

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Disney has greatly reduced capacity at popular park restaurants to effectively create social distancing. This logically results in less dining availability so once you know your trip dates, book your dining reservations as soon as possible.

Walt Disney World has switched their dining policies to what us Disneyland folks are used to, 60 days in advance rather than 180 days, so you have a bit more flexibility when it comes to reservations. They also made a number of other changes to Walt Disney World dining ranging from changes to character dining to an increase in mobile ordering offerings.

You can make dining reservations online or by calling (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463. Guests under 18 years of age must have parent or guardian permission to call.

4. Prioritize the Unique Disney World Experiences

Magic Kingdom Park Reopening

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For Disneyland fans visiting Walt Disney World, one of the coolest things about their visit is finding the unique Disney World experiences. Magic Kingdom is the closest replica, in some ways, to the Disneyland park but even that area has its differences.

Guests should absolutely take the time to visit the unique Disney World theme parks such as Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot to experience popular areas like the World Showcase or Pandora. This is also the best time to enjoy Walt Disney World with limited lines so that means you can ride Flight of Passage in Pandora without planning for months to snag a FastPass.

In fact, FastPass is currently not in use at Disney World since the capacity is kept so low and the result is extremely short wait times for rides. This is really the best time for Disneyland fans to enjoy popular rides at Disney World without worrying about booking FastPass reservations.

5. Unique Character Interactions

Character Diniing at Topolino's Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera

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Character meet and greets are one of the experiences that have been modified to ensure proper safety policies are met. The good news is that no one thinks more creatively than Disney!

Characters are in the parks more than ever but at a distance to ensure proper social distancing between guests and cast members. You might see Merida or Gaston riding horses down Main Street, spontaneous character cavalcades or Winnie the Pooh catching butterflies on the lawns of Epcot.

Ready to Visit?

This is a great time to visit Walt Disney World and experience the parks at the lowest capacity we’ve seen in years. If you’re planning a last minute trip to Disney World, it’s easier than ever before with the removal of FastPass+ reservations and shorter booking windows for dining.


Physical Distancing on Attractions

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