- Disney's US Parks and Cruise Line Closed! Plus DoD Travel Ban!
- When Will Disney's Theme Parks Reopen?
- Disney Armed Forces Salute Ticket Refunds
That’s the big question on everyone’s mind!
(Updated 29 March)
Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort are Closed Until Further Notice!
Well that’s it. As of 27 March, Closure for Disney’s Resorts has changed from a specific date to “Until Further Notice.”
But as of 29 March opening appears to be 1 June 2020.
That makes the discussion of a 1 April opening below a moot point…
We’re probably looking at a Mid-May opening as noted below.
Both of Disney’s US Resorts (Disneyland & Walt Disney World) are currently closed indefinitely.
They had originally been closed through the end of March…
The Disney closures through the end of the March came out in several announcements over a couple of days mid-March and the indefinite closure came out on the 27th.
Then the Department of Defense announced a Travel Ban which currently runs through 11 May 2020.
Shades of Green, the Military Resort on Walt Disney World property has officially closed through
15 April 14 May 2020.
We documented all of these closures as well as the Department of Defense Travel Ban in our Disney Closure Post, you’ll find lots of details there.
Is Opening 1
April June Realistic?
Sadly, we at Military Disney Tips don’t think so. And we were right, we now don’t know when the parks will open!
We thought the end of March was just the initial salvo in what could be a series of closure extensions or one long extension.
Disney’s initial closures were for just over 2 weeks, but this could stretch on much longer.
On the 15th the Centers for Disease Control recommended that large gatherings be cancelled for the next 8 weeks!
That is through 3 May 2020!
The current DoD Travel ban runs through 11 May.
Shades of Green is now closed through 14 May.
Coincidence? I think not.
I believed that as we get closer to the end of March and the phone lines had calmed down from those whose vacations were affected by the first closure, that further closure extensions would be announced, and they were.
I thought that if Disney was smart They would announce the closures progressively in 2 or 3 blocks of time to allow their call centers to deal with the flood of calls progressively. But they went a different way by not giving a date at all.
UPDATE 3/26: Intel from Disney cast member channels is that Disney is looking at Mid May for reopening and will be cutting staff to 2008/2009 recession levels!
UPDATE 3/27: Disney is only going to pay cast members through 18 April.
UPDATE 3/29: Walt Disney World’s reservation system is not accepting reservations prior to 1 June 2020! June first is the first day you can now make reservations.
What to do?
It’s a tough choice pulling the trigger on cancelling your Disney Vacation that you’ve been looking forward to for so long!
I cancelled my 28 March – 4 April trip yesterday. I had the final page open with the Cancel button for quite a while before in begrudgingly clicked it. I’d initially added the 5th through the 8th to my reservation in case I needed to cancel the first 4 days. But I decided to just pull the plug.
Still in jeopardy is my family trip (3 generations traveling) scheduled for 19 -25 April. I expect to hear from Disney or decide on our own that we’ll need to reschedule this to the fall (we don’t want to be there in the summer heat!). Looks like I’ll cancel this too, We have a fallback plan for November.
Reschedule If You Can
For most of the military a Disney Vacation is a No Go through the middle of May right now.
So, my recommendation is to start looking at a summer reschedule (if you have school age kids). The second half of August the Disney Resort prices go back down from summer pricing. Or look at a fall trip if you’re not worried about school.
My friends at Ears of Experience will be more than happy to assist you with planning that vacation for later in the year. They’ve got plenty of time on their hands right now to assist you!
UPDATE 3/29: Disney is now promoting this offer:
Eligible Guests can take advantage of a vacation package offer that includes accommodations at a select Disney Resort hotel, park admission and a Disney dining plan – valid for arrivals most nights June 1 through September 30, 2020 when you book through May 31, 2020.
This offer is valid only for Guests who booked a vacation package or room reservation to stay at a Disney Resort hotel from March 16 through May 31, 2020 (even if the park opens before then). Offer not valid for reservations cancelled before March 1, 2020.“
Don’t forget to do your pre-planning! If you’re in the market for a great Disney Guidebook, please check mine out. Some versions are on sale during this travel crisis.
Here are some links to help with Planning:
Cancel If You Must
However many in our military community Do Not Have The Option to Reschedule!
Disney has waived cancellation/change fees for check in dates through June 30. Shades of Green has waived cancelation fees through May 30. Most airlines are being very liberal with waiving change fees as well.
The big issue for our community are the non-refundable Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets which expire 18 December 2020 at Disneyland and 19 December 2020 at Walt Disney World.
(Update 3/27) Disney has posted on their Disneyland Update page that there is no change whatsoever to the 2020 Disney Armed Forces Salute Ticket expiration policy!!!
Disney has not published an official policy for military families who will not be able to use their pre-purchased tickets before they expire due to military schedules.
In a conversation with a Disney official last evening, he recommended that you attempt to return tickets that you cannot use due to your military schedule to your Base Ticket Office where you purchased them. When you are told that the tickets are non-refundable Disney recommends asking again.
My usual recommendation is that you try to escalate your issue politely. Ask them to check with their supervisor, or regional office and to definitely get them to contact Disney Military Sales to get them involved. This is the Disney department that deals with the MWR system and military ticket sales. You could even try to get the Commander of the military unit that oversees your Ticket Office involved if needed.
If all else fails Disney says to call their Reservation Number at 407-939-5277 to ask for assistance.
I encourage Disney to come up with an official, published policy that makes this right for military guests!!!
Something like extending the 2020 Disney Armed Forces Salute Ticket expiration to the end of 2021.
Too many bases and Shades of Green are saying no to ticket refunds.
These are trying times! Unprecedented really!
Disney parks have closed before, but just for a day or so due to natural disasters and 9/11. Never like this!
All we can do is try to keep in a good frame of mind and think about that next vacation, whenever it might be…
In these trying times, please, please, please keep frequenting all of your favorite Disney planning sites!
Don’t forget us!
Traffic is the lifeblood of websites, so keep on coming back! All sites is trying to come up with interesting content for you while this is going on, but you can always reread some of your favorite posts too!
Thanks for being there for us, we’ll still be here for you.
All my best, Steve
p.s. If you have success returning tickets to your Base Ticket Office, please share where in the comments below!
See our other “Closure” Posts:
- Disney’s US Parks and Cruise Line Closed! Plus DoD Travel Ban!
- Disney Armed Forces Salute Ticket Refunds
Planning a Disney Trip? Want to get the best military discounts that are available? Feeling a little confused?
See our great Disney Discount and Planning Info:
- Disney Veteran & Military Discount Eligibility Guide
- The Military Family’s Walt Disney World Comprehensive Vacation Planning and Preparation Guide
- Military Disney Tips Disney Packing Checklist
- Disney Military Tickets – Your Start to Finish Guide
Learn about the Disney Armed Forces Salute the best military discount that there is for Disney.
See our Topic Overview Pages:
- Resorts/Hotel Overview Page
- Dining Overview Page
- Transportation Overview Page
- Technology Overview Page
- Shades of Green, WDW’s Military Only Resort
Military Disney Tips' Recommended
Ears of Experience Disney Only Travel Agency. Military family owned and operated! They know all the ins and outs of Disney military discounts!