Disney recently announced plans to begin reopening the parks in phases starting on July 11th. To our understanding, all the resort hotels will be open by that point. However, Disney Vacation Club Resorts, such as the new Riviera Resort, will begin to welcome back guests on June 22nd along with Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. With the announcement of hotels reopening, a slew of new polices and procedures have now been revealed that will make your visit a little different should you plan to go. The good news is that Disney began rolling out some features in the last couple of years that coincidentally work well in the social distancing world we live in now. Here's a look at what to expect if you're checking-in soon.
Disney will be highly encourage guests to take advantage of their online check-in service that was rolled out a couple of years ago with the My Disney Experience App. This feature is available at almost all the resorts and completely eliminates the need to go to the front desk when you arrive to your hotel. If you've never used it, online check-in becomes available several weeks before your check-in date. You will find a button next to your resort confirmation on the My Disney Experience website. From there, all you have to do is provide a phone number and email address for Disney to communicate with you when your room is ready. You will also be asked to provide an arrival time. Check-in officially begins around 3pm but if for some reason you plan on arriving earlier than that, you can provide those details. When filling out this information online you'll also be able to setup a credit card for room charges and PIN numbers to associate with your MagicBands; this will be required when using MagicBands to make purchases.
You can make adjustments to these details at any time up until a couple of days before you actually arrive. On the day of check-in, you will receive either a text or email just before the arrival time you provided with an update on your room status. In some cases, your room will be ready on time. Disney will send your a room number and you can head straight there with your bags. Your MagicBand can be used to open your door as will your phone via the My Disney Experience. As your arrival time approaches if your room is not ready, Disney will notify you. You'll be free to roam around the resort and as soon as your room is ready, you'll be sent a text or email. Online check-in will be a crucial part of your experience should you choose to visit Walt Disney World in the coming months.
Disney will be increasing their cleaning standards throughout the resort and especially in your room. Before you arrive, your room will undergo a deep cleaning by Cast Members. However, in order to reduce contact with guests, the frequency of how often you room is cleaned throughout your stay will reduce. Disney has stated that rooms will go through a light cleaning every other day as opposed to the normal daily service. Of course if for any reason you do not want housekeeping to enter your room throughout your stay, you can request that too. If you're staying at a Disney Vacation Club resort, the normal cleaning schedule will take place. Guests may also find that select items inside the room, such as the television remote, will be cleaned and wrapped before you arrive. This is to ensure extra cleanliness at high touch point areas.
Dining and Recreation
Disney recently announced that in order to work with the reduced capacity they will operate at, they will be cancelling all dining reservations. This includes reservations you may have made months ago both inside the parks and at the resorts. Restaurants will modify their service where necessary and space tables out by six feet. This means that going to your favorite food spot at the hotel will be strictly on a first-come first-serve basis. At quick service locations and hotel shops, contactless payment will be highly encouraged. Just like with opening your hotel room, your MagicBand will be the preferred method of payment because it will eliminate the need to handle cash. Disney had previously rolled out the ability to accept services such as Apple Pay at various points of sale, but historically the reliability has been shaky. Hopefully, Disney will improve and stabilize this service as just one more option for guests.
In terms of recreation, Disney has been vague about how pools will operate at the resort hotels. It is possible that some locations may not open pools or reduced the number that are available. Social distancing will have to be enforced when it comes to lounging out pool side along with other precautions. Several activities in and around the pool area may be reduced and we will simply have to wait a little longer to find out more.
For more details on how Disney plans to operate the resort hotels, check out this video below:
Source: Disney Parks Blog