The world is a changed place, and planning a 2021 Walt Disney World Vacation is very different from previous years. Here are our top planning tips if you are planning to visit Walt Disney World in 2021.
Can you visit Walt Disney World?
In previous years if you had the cash, could get the time off work, and could get the relevant travel documents if you lived outside the US, you could visit Walt Disney World. However, in 2021 things are not that simple.
There is a travel ban on foreign nationals entering the United States from Brazil, China, Iran, South Africa, European Schengen Countries, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. At the moment, these restrictions are in place indefinitely. Also, there are restrictions from various other countries.
However, even if you reside in a country that is allowed to enter the United States, it does not mean your home country will allow you to travel there. Also, there are likely to be various quarantine restrictions when you return home.
In 2021 as international vaccination programs progress, international travel might restart. However, at the moment, there is no certainty when this will happen.
Assuming you can visit Walt Disney World, how will your vacation planning change in 2021?
Book a Disney Park Pass
Forget FastPass+; the essential booking you must obtain as soon as you get your ticket is your Disney Park Pass. To access a park, including to dine, you will need to prebook a reservation online through the new Disney Park Pass System.
To access any park, guests will have to present both their park reservation and a valid park ticket. Guests who do not have either of these will be refused entry.
Park Hopping will be different
Park Hopping will be available in 2021, but it will be slightly different. Guests will still need to make a Disney Park Pass Reservation for their first park each day, and they must enter this park before trying to enter another. Guests will then be able to enter a second park during Park Hopper Hours.
Park Hopping Hours are subject to change, but initially, they will be between 2 pm to close at all parks. Park Hopping will be subject to park capacity, and Disney advises you to check My Disney Experience for the latest information.
Not everything will be available
Walt Disney World has currently suspended:-
- Single Rider Lines
- Extra Magic Hours(it won’t be returning!)
- Disney Dining Plan
- Character meet and greets
- Fireworks and parades
- The majority of tours and unique experiences
It is likely as 2021 progresses, some of these services will become available again, but at the moment, there is no confirmation.
Currently, FastPass+ is not operating. All guests join the same line for all attractions. Make a list of your must-do attractions before you visit.
Changes to Dining
The Disney Dining Plan is currently not available. The biggest downside to this is you will need to watch carefully additional costs. Meals are not cheap at Walt Disney World!
During the reopening period of Walt Disney World, not all restaurants will be open, and some will subject to reduced capacity. A new 60-day Advanced Dining Reservation window applies. Make sure you make your reservations as soon as possible. There are no guarantees you will get a reservation on the day.
If you are planning to visit a Quick Service restaurant, Disney is encouraging all guests to use Mobile Ordering. Visit our guide to learn more about Mobile Ordering at Walt Disney World.
Added safety precautions
Keep your distance, be prepared for temperature checks, cashless transactions, and compulsory face masks are just some of the changes. Remember, if you remove your mask, you might be evicted from the park.
Keep checking My Disney Experience
It seems almost inevitable that changes will happen throughout 2021, assuming the pandemic will become more under control. Make sure you don’t miss out if suddenly FastPass, Fireworks, or Extra Magic Hours restart. Keep checking My Disney Experience for all the latest information, including park hours.
Early Theme Park Entry
Many of the traditional perks at Walt Disney World Resorts are currently not available. One bonus that isn’t returning is Extra Magic Hours! In its place will be a new service, Early Theme Park Entry.
Early Theme Park Entry will replace Extra Magic Hours later this year. Disney Resort hotel guests and guests of other select hotels will be able to gain 30-minute early entry to any theme park every day. Unlike Extra Magic Hours, this will be at all 4 theme parks. No date has been announced of when Early Theme Park Entry will start.
To gain access to a park, you will still need a Disney Park Pass. However, for guests staying off-site, it isn’t great news. Instead of one park being busy before you arrived, Disney Resort guests will now have priority access to all four parks. For resort guests, it might be the best opportunity to ride those must-do attractions.
Visit our Beginners Guide to Walt Disney World to learn more. Our guide includes all the latest information on the reopening of Walt Disney World.
This Guide is part of our “Road to 2021 at Walt Disney World” series. Check out the rest of the guides for the latest information.
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