Our 2021 Guide to Walt Disney World Resorts is a little different than previous years. This year, we will focus on resort reopening plans and how your experience may differ from previously. There are over 30,000 hotel rooms, 3,000 Disney Vacation Club units, & 799 campsites at Walt Disney World when operating at full capacity. Not all resorts are currently open, but the number of resorts accepting reservations has gradually increased over the course of 2021. By the end of 2021, it is expected that all the remaining resorts will be open. Our 2021 Reopening Guide to Walt Disney World Resorts has all the information you need to plan your Disney Resort Vacation.
This article was updated on August 8th. We will keep the information updated throughout 2021 as it is likely to be subject to change. To learn more about specific resorts, visit our 2020 Walt Disney World Resort Guide.
What Walt Disney World Resorts are open?
The following resorts have now reopened at Walt Disney World:
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
- Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
What other Walt Disney World Resorts are scheduled to open in 2021?
Disney has announced reopening dates for the remaining Walt Disney World resorts:
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House- August 26
- Disney’s All-Star Music Resort for arrivals beginning September 16
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside for arrivals beginning October 14
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter for arrivals beginning October 28
- Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort for arrivals beginning December 9
However, all resort reopening dates are subject to change, and don’t be surprised if this happens.
What resorts are now accepting reservations at Walt Disney World for 2022?
By 2022 all Walt Disney World Resorts are scheduled to be open and are now accepting reservations. Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort is the final resort scheduled to reopen in December 2021.
What will your Walt Disney World Vacation be like in 2021?
You can have a great vacation at Walt Disney World in 2021. However, the experience will be slightly different from previous years but is returning closer to normal. At this time, FastPass+, Character Meets, and the Disney Dining Plan are some of the traditional Walt Disney World experiences that remain unavailable.
All guests, including Disney Resort Guests, must have a Disney Park Pass to enter a theme park. A limited Park Hopping option has been introduced, but a reservation is still needed for your first park each day. Staying at a Disney Resort does not guarantee admission to the parks.
What do I need to enter a Walt Disney World Resort?
Officially, Walt Disney World Resort Hopping is not going to be an option during 2021! Current guidance states, to enter a resort, you will have to have one of the following reservations:-
- A confirmed room reservation.
- If you are not staying overnight you must have a dining reservation to enter.
However, we are aware that Disney isn’t enforcing the guidance that non-residents must have a dining reservation to enter.
Disney has recently adjusted the rules on face coverings, and guests over 2 must now wear them in all indoor public areas. The only exception is when seated for dining.
Resort Benefits and Perks
Walt Disney World Resorts traditionally provide several enhanced guest benefits. Since the reopening of Walt Disney World, the perks offered at resorts have changed significantly:
- Extra Magic Hours will not be returning.
- FastPass+ is suspended.
- There is a new 60-day window for Advanced Dining Reservations. Guests at Walt Disney World Resorts get the extra perk of booking up to 10 days of Advance Dining Reservations that same day.
- Free MagicBands are no longer provided.
- The Disney Dining Plan has been suspended until further notice.
- The resort airline check-in service is no longer available.
- Package delivery from parks to resort is suspended.
- Disney’s Magical Express will not be offered in 2022.
It is possible, some of these services will return. The loss of some of these benefits might make you wonder whether staying offsite is now a better option. However, some new benefits are coming soon that might make you change your mind!:
- Early Theme Park Entry will also start on the 1st of October. This new benefit, which replaces Extra Magic Hours, will be available for all Walt Disney World Resort guests and guests of other select hotels. Guests will be able to gain 30-minute early entry to any theme park every day. However, you will need a Disney Park Pass.
- Extended Evening Hours is a new service for guests staying at Deluxe Resorts. Guests staying at one of these resorts will be able to enjoy extended evening hours on select nights in select theme parks.
Changes to Resort and Room Cleaning Schedules
Public areas at resorts will be subject to enhanced cleaning throughout your stay. Before your arrival, your room will undergo thorough cleaning with attention to high-touch areas. However, during your vacation, rooms will only receive “light housekeeping” every two days. DVC members will receive housekeeping on the 4th and 8th days of their visit.
Transportation is available between resorts and parks, plus Disney Springs. Capacity has been increasing, but waits might still be extended due to increased physical distancing. Face coverings remain a requirement on transport.
The Minnie Van Service remains suspended until further notice.
Valet parking has been reintroduced at resorts recently.
Changes to Resort Services
While it is excellent news that Disney Resorts are starting to reopen, many of the fun and relaxing parts of your stay will have altered. The following changes are listed as part of the initial resort reopening:
- Club-level service is only avaible at select resorts.
- In-room celebrations are only availble at the Grand Floridian.
- Dry-cleaning and valet laundry services will be temporarily unavailable; self-service laundry will remain available
- Resort airline check-in service is no longer available
Changes to Resort Amenities & Recreation
Due to physical distancing and health guidance, there have been significant changes to resort amenities. However, expect there to be further changes throughout 2021. A schedule for available activities will be available in your resort.
Pools, Fitness Centers, and Resort Shops are open, but there are some changes:
- Feature pools may operate with reduced hours; leisure pools will be open 24 hours a day
- Pools are operating at reduced capacity
- Fitness centers will open in alignment with state and county regulations and may have reduced hours. Instructor-led fitness classes are not available
- You will be unable to have packages delivered from parks to resort shops.
- Pin trading will be through select pin-boards only.
Also, the following amenities and experiences are not available:
- Character experiences
- Marina rentals
- Spas, salons and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
- Fireworks voyages and tasting cruises, including the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage
- Fun runs
- Wonderland Tea Party at Park Fare
- Hula lessons
- Mermaid school
- Special classes and programs—including culinary, cultural and animal programs
Since the initial reopening period, this list has gradually shortened. Hopefully, more of these amenities will return soon.
Disney Resort Dining
The majority of resort restaurants have now reopened,but opening hours and capacity may remain reduced.
The traditional 180 Disney Dining Advance Reservation Window has been canceled. In its place is a new 60-day window. In addition, Disney Resort hotel Guests can make reservations up to 60 days in advance plus the length of their stay (up to 10 days).
To dine at a Disney Resort table-service restaurant, you must have a reservation. This is essential for guests not staying at a resort but is recommended for resort guests too.
At Quick-Service locations, Disney will be encouraging the use of Mobile Ordering, where possible.
Automated Guest Services
You must have My Disney Experience if you are planning to stay at any of the Disney resorts. Disney hopes that if guests use this as the default option, it will reduce the need for cast interactions.
Online check-in and automatic checkout are encouraged. There will also be an option to chat with guest services through My Disney Experience instead of visiting your resort reception virtually.
Visit our Guide to Walt Disney World Resorts to learn more about all the Disney Resorts.
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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