Walt Disney World Reopening During Coronavirus Pandemic

Today I am going to discuss the reopening policies at Walt Disney World. I am including a link to dive a little further, as well as putting my personal thoughts about the subject. You don’t have to agree with me at all. I am welcoming discussion and your thoughts on this topic as well. As long as we keep it peaceful and keep the magic alive. 😉

My brother, myself, Chip, and my mom. 1996

When Walt Disney World reopens there will be plenty of changes to the way we usually go about things:

  1. Guests are required to wear face coverings.
  2. There will be a much smaller capacity in the parks.
  3. Guests are required to have a reservation to get into the park which can be obtained from the My Disney Experience account.
  4. Both dining plans and Fastpass+ reservations are suspended for the time being.
  5. Most restaurants will be closed.
  6. We are unaware of which resorts will be opening and when. All we know is that by June 22nd the Disney Vacation Club Resorts as well as Fort Wilderness will be open.

So, let’s dive into the dining plan first, since that seems to be a topic of high priority. Walt Disney World began offering the dining plan to guests staying at a Walt Disney owned and operated resort in 2005. If you traveled to Walt Disney World from 1965-2004 such a thing did not exist. For the time being we are going back to the way things were before we became technologically advanced, and dare I say it a little impatient?

From this, I am going to move onto booking dining reservations. At this time, Walt Disney World has changed the reservation system. Advanced Dining Reservations are no longer booked at the 180-day mark. You can make your Advanced Dining Reservations 60 days before your dining experience, much like the dining reservation system at Disneyland. I personally like this system much better. Being an authorized Disney vacation planner, I book my clients’ dining reservations for them, and I have had several tell me in the past, “I don’t know what I want to eat 6 months from now, this is so stressful!” I completely agree, especially if you are going to Disney for the first time. I think it is much better to decide what you would like to eat 60 days in advance than 6 months in advance. Again, this is my personal thoughts and opinions, and we don’t know how long these procedures will be in effect. For a full list of updated policies and procedures, click here.

Stroll down memory lane: I remember going to Walt Disney World on my high school senior trip. We didn’t dine at many table service restaurants, but we did dine at 50’s Prime Time Café in Hollywood Studios, Tony’s Town Square Restaurant in Magic Kingdom, and Teppan Edo in Epcot. When we were ready to eat, we just walked up to the restaurant, put our names in for a table, and waited for a few minutes like you would do at any other restaurant.

On to the Fastpass+ system. The Fastpass+ system began at Walt Disney World in 1999. It was originally a ticket system, which has now been upgraded to the My Disney Experience App and Magic Bands. Before Fastpass+ reservations, everyone waited in line and took their turn on their favorite attractions. Although I must add Walt Disney World was not the mega theme park it is today.

Let’s move on to safety. The Walt Disney Co. has repeatedly said the safety of its guests and employees is of the highest importance. Guests and Cast Members are required to wear face coverings at all times unless seated to eat or while swimming. Things that will draw a crowd such as fireworks, Extra Magic Hours, and the Electrical Water Pageant will all be suspended temporarily. Experiences such as day cares, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and Mermaid School are also suspended temporarily.

When I first received notice of these new policies, I was a little taken-aback and upset, but now I am getting used to the idea that Walt Disney World doesn’t have to be so much planning all the time. That is why some people are hesitant when it comes to booking a Disney vacation. There is a lot to think about if you want your vacation planned to the “T”. If you take away dining reservations and Fastpass+ reservation, and just show up and wing it, that may make some of us a little nervous, or take the fun out of it for us planners, but think about waking up and saying, “Hm.. Where do you want to go today, Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios?”

How do you feel about these new policies? Do you think they will be in effect for long?

-M

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

IMG_20191121_161154Since the debut of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, my family begins our mornings in Hollywood Studios very early, so that by dinner time we are ready to find a place to relax for a while. For a few years now, we have been wanting to dine at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, and there was usually a schedule mishap, so our dining experience kept getting put off.

A few months ago, I made a reservation for 5:30 at the Dine-In. While we were waiting for our seats, my kiddos played in the parked car outside the restaurant with some other children.

IMG_20191121_165218When walking into the restaurant, my kids gasped. I think they were in awe. Is that a giant TV screen? Mom is letting me eat and watch TV while in Hollywood Studios? This is a dream come true!

The restaurant is dim, with stars lighting the path. Each person is seated in their own car, which seats 6. If you need a bigger booth, that is available too. Some cars may pick up hitchhikers along the journey to fill the car. Since the restaurant is dimly lit, each booth has a table light for you to see your food. We were seated in the very first car, so my kids got a front row view of what was playing on the screen, and Mom and Dad got a mini date while the girls sat together up ahead!

Now, onto the food. The food is diner style. Burgers, salads, pastas, barbecue. Fun fact: I am a sucker for fried pickles, and I can eat that as my meal. Guess what is on the menu… fried pickles!

My husband loves a good burger, especially if it has a little kick to it. So, he ordered the Drive-in BBQ Burger. I ordered the specialty burger of the day which was a fried green tomato burger. It was good, but way too much food for me. The burgers came with a side of fries. My girls ordered the macaroni and cheese and the cheeseburger with a salad and celery and carrots for sides.

After you dine, don’t forget to have your children ask for their driver’s license!

IMG_20191121_163328We had a great time at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant. We will be going back in a few months! 😊 

For a full menu, click here.

A Glimpse Back at The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

We will forever remember and cherish our trip in December 2016 to see these magical lights for the last time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Seeing our daughter’s reaction as a baby was priceless. I plan on digging up even more footage of The Osborne Lights for a longer, more thorough video and photos post soon! Subscribe to our YouTube channel for weekly videos!

Galaxy’s Edge Guide

Bright suns! Here it is – my first Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge blog post including my go-to guide and the beginning of a tour of the land! I had heard Disney was going to randomly be announcing its Annual Passholder Preview for Galaxy’s Edge via email. At the end of July on a Thursday morning at 9am I got that email. 9:33am I officially had us set for this special event! It was a tricky process waiting in virtual queues as the lottery happened, but we are so thankful it was meant to be for us! A few weeks later we were here & couldn’t believe it!

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Our Annual Passholder Preview of Galaxy’s Edge!

Bright suns! We were totally stoked to get the opportunity to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios before it opened to the public! We were able to experience the new land from 3:30-9pm, rode Smuggler’s Run 3 times and enjoyed drinks at Oga’s Cantina! Check out our vlog for a complete tour and details! Subscribe to our Youtube channel if you’d like to watch more! Till the spire!