What will Walt Disney World look like in 2021? And how will the current situation affect the way you’re planning for your next trip?
For starters, last minute trip to Disney won’t be an option. Of course, you can always go to Disney Springs with little to no planning. But, thanks to Park Reservations and the inability to purchase tickets at the gate, planning your Park days is going to take just a little bit more planning.
On the other hand, frequent changes have been making it hard to plan anything. Lately, I can’t open my computer without reading something new that’s just been announced. As a result, Guests who like to have their entire trip planned out months ahead of time may find themselves changing their plans more frequently.
The biggest change on how we’re planning our 2021 Walt Disney World vacations are Park Reservations.
No one knows for sure how long these Park Reservations will be required. But, for now, the system is set up for Guests to book between now and September 2021.
How does this change your planning? Choosing your Park days will now rely on Park Reservation availability instead of crowd calendars, Extra Magic Hours, and/or personal preference.
The good news is that you can check Park availability before purchasing Park Tickets, so you can plan your trip accordingly.
No Park Hoppers
Upon reopening, Guests will be limited to one Park per day. This means there will be no Park Hopping for awhile. By limiting the number of Parks each Guest will be allowed to visit, Disney can keep attendance down.
The Park Hopper add-on is available to be added to your 2021 Ticket purchases. But, just know that adjustments may need to be made further down the road.
Luckily, you have 3 options to choose from if modifications need to be made to your Park Tickets.
- Extension: Dates will extend past the date on your Ticket. You may use your current date-based ticket by September 26, 2021 (should Park Hopping return by that date).
- Modification: The Park Hopper add-on may simply be taken off your ticket purchase.
- Cancellation: If your plans change, you also have the option of cancelling your ticket or your entire package.
No Dining Plans
Restaurants everywhere are modifying their menus and reducing their capacity. Walt Disney World restaurants are no different.
As a result, Dining Plans are currently not available for 2021 Walt Disney World Packages. Once Disney starts offering them again, you can simply add it onto your existing reservation.
This change will be the hardest adjustment for families who rely on Free Dining Promotions. For many, this is the only way they’re able to afford to go.
Historically, Free Dining has been used during the summer and/or early fall, with release dates announced early in the year.
I know that Disney is eager to start offering Dining Plans to their Guests again. So, I’m not ruling out the possibility of it making a comeback in 2021. But, I’m not expecting promotions involving a Dining Plan to be released any time soon, either.
60 Day Dining Reservations
For many, booking your Dining Reservation at 180 days is what really starts to get you pumped for your upcoming vacation. This is the first step in seeing your vacation really start to take shape.
Due to operational changes at the restaurants, the normal 180 day time frame has been shortened to 60 days. And for the near future, you will no longer be able to walk up to the host stand and ask if there is an available table. Due to the limited capacity, you will not be seated unless you have a reservation.
60 days is still a pretty good timeline. And it still gives you plenty of time to plan out the rest of your vacation.
The cancellation of FastPasses is probably the hardest to take for many Disney Guests. With top tier attractions reaching high wait times, it’s hard to imagine not being able to at least cut down your wait of at least a few attractions per day.
Lower capacity could help ease the pain of not having any FastPasses. But, we don’t know exactly what capacity the Disney Parks will open with. According to Bob Chapek, all we know is that it “will likely be less than 50%”
Social distancing on attractions and in the queues will likely play a role in how long it’ll actually take to get through the lines.
And now that the news that there will be no virtual queues will be available, I’m anticipating longer wait times than you’d expect with far fewer crowds.
No More Complimentary MagicBands
A major disappointment came when Disney announced they will no longer be offering complimentary MagicBands to Disney Resort Guests.
But, with Guests relying heavily on the My Disney Experience App, Disney plans to bring more features that will ultimately replace your MagicBand.
Guests who choose not to purchase a discounted MagicBand will be able to use the My Disney Experience app or a Key to the World card.
|Disney Parks MagicBand 2 Lavender|
Unlock all the enchantment of Walt Disney World Resort wearing your own personal MagicBand 2. With a simple touch, redeem FastPass+ selections, enter parks, charge purchases to your room, and more!
I understand that there are a lot of questions right now. So, if your question wasn’t answered above, you’re welcome to leave a comment below or send me a private message. I will get you a personalized answer as soon as possible.
As always, for all of the official information, visit Walt Disney World.