Now that the reality of Walt Disney World along with much of the country being closed is starting to sink in, and we all have some time on our hands as we hunker down at home, the obvious question among Disney fans with upcoming vacations is, when will Disney World reopen?
While no one knows for sure, probably not even top Disney officials at this point, there are some clues that might give us some indication on when we might be able anticipate Walt Disney World reopening.
WHAT DOES DISNEY HAVE TO SAY?
On Walt Disney World’s official closure page it reads:
In line with state and federal guidance, Walt Disney World theme parks and Disney owned-and-operated hotels are currently closed through March 31. All locations at Disney Springs are also temporarily closed.
WILL DISNEY WORLD REOPEN ON APRIL 1?
Based on Walt Disney World’s website, optimistic guests might be hopeful that the resort will reopen on April 1, 2020. Although, no official statement has been released yet, and this is pure speculation on my part, I find it extremely unlikely that this will be the case. Given what is currently happening with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) across the country and around the world, it is difficult to imagine that Disney World would reopen so quickly.
If we take a look at what is happening currently in the state of Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency on March 9, schools are closed across the state until at least April 15, and now public beaches, bars, nightclubs, and restaurant dining areas have been closed indefinitely. Each day as the number of diagnosed cases of the Coronavirus rises in Florida, more restrictions are being put in place and more establishments are closing. With this current trend in the state as well as the country as a whole, I would be shocked if Walt Disney World opened on April 1, 2020.
IF NOT APRIL 1, THEN WHEN WILL DISNEY WORLD REOPEN?
So if it is unlikely Walt Disney World will reopen on April 1, then when might it reopen? While this situation continues to change by the moment, we can make an educated guess based on the information we have so far. Many medical experts and scientists have shared that they estimate the Coronavirus spread should peak in approximately eight weeks. If that does turn out to be true, and we conservatively begin our eight week countdown from when places across the country began trying to “flatten the curve” as March 16, 2020, the day President Trump released his “15 Days to Slow the Spread,” then we can estimate the peak to be around mid May 2020.
If we notice as a country beginning in mid May that the number of new cases of the Coronavirus are starting to decline, then we could slowly see businesses begin to reopen and restrictions to be lifted. In China, where Shanghai Disneyland closed on January 25, Disney has been slowly resuming normal operations since March 9 by opening a limited number of restaurants and shops. It would be safe to anticipate that Disney may take a similar approach here in the states, slowly coming back on line, in case another outbreak occurs and they need to shut down again quickly.
Optimistically, if cases of the Coronavirus start to decline in mid May as predicted and Disney begins to slowly reopen at that time, we could hopefully see the entire Walt Disney World resort back up and operational for the busy summer season.
WHEN WILL DISNEY MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT?
Disney is still slammed with people cancelling and rescheduling vacations that were scheduled during this initial closure period that runs through the end of March.
Disney will most likely make an announcement sometime in the next few days that will extend the closure for another couple of weeks possibly through the Easter holiday. Don’t expect Disney to say they will be closed for more than a two or three weeks at a time. It is much easier for them to manage shorter incremental closures, not to mention, they are undoubtedly wanting to remain optimistic and reopen as soon as possible.
WHAT I AM DOING ABOUT MY UPCOMING TRIPS
In my recent post Disney World Is Closed – Now What?, I shared what I am doing about my upcoming Walt Disney World vacations that I have scheduled throughout the rest of 2020.
As a quick update, I have now rescheduled my spring trip to early fall 2020. It was a difficult decision, I didn’t want to give up hope, but realistically I couldn’t imagine Walt Disney World would reopen at a time the Florida schools were scheduled to still be closed. It took a couple of hours on the phone, but Disney moved my reservation and kept my bounce back offer to later in the year, and Frontier Airlines allowed me to reschedule my flights without having to pay any change fees or difference in fare. So while I am disappointed that my trip was postponed, it didn’t cost any extra to make the changes for which I am very thankful.
I am still hanging on to my early summer trip for now. I did receive an email from Frontier Airlines this weekend offering me $200 in vouchers in addition to the credit I would get if I would go ahead and cancel my summer flights. While that is a fantastic offer, I am not willing to give up hope yet.
In the meantime, while we wait for things to get back to normal, I will continue to share the latest Walt Disney World news and information here. You can still expect to see several posts a week, filling you in on all of the fun things coming up at the most magical place on earth for the rest of the year and beyond!
Please stay safe and well, and I will see you in the parks real soon!
Heading to Disney World?
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Even if I’m not planning to go, I’ll just feel better when I know it’s open!
Supposed to be going end of June. Still staying optimistic that it will happen.
Scheduled to go end of June. Staying optimistic that we won’t have to cancel.