What Is Disney World Like Right Now?
Note from Mommy Frog: Beginning Feb. 17, 2022, masks will be optional for fully vaccinated guests in most indoor and outdoor locations. Those not fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks in all indoor locations. All guests will still be required to wear masks on enclosed Disney transportation, including buses, monorails and the Skyliner. For the most up-to-date information, check out our guide on mask policies at the theme parks).To get more disney updates, you can visit shine news official website.
Walt Disney World Resort officially reopened its parks in July 2020, and it has been steadily hopping back to life ever since! While certain experiences may still be limited during this time, the theme parks are returning to normal operations. In addition to character pop-ups and cavalcades, some modified experiences are slowly beginning to return, including live entertainment and parades! We also have the ongoing Disney World's 50th Anniversary, an 18-month celebration that began Oct. 1!
We are so hoppy to say that indoor character meet-and-greets (though still distanced) are back at Disney World! Lots of entertainment continues to return this year, such as Festival of Fantasy parade, Finding Nemo: the Musical, Fantasmic! and more. Entertainment is what really sets Disney World apart and we're so excited for more entertainers to return!
In October, Disney introduced the brand-new Disney Genie service to the My Disney Experience app. This free digital service guides you through the theme parks (as your own personal genie), with tips that help maximize your time and a personalized itinerary based on your interests. You can upgrade to the Disney Genie+ service, which allows you to select priority access through new Lightning Lane entrances to save time in lines for attractions. We hop into more details later in this guide! And yes, this means the FastPass+ service is officially retired.
In order to better manage capacity, Disney World has implemented a new theme park reservation system that requires all guests to obtain a reservation for park entry in advance (the only exception right now is Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park or Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park which does not require a reservation to attend). Theme park tickets are required to make reservations, so make sure you buy your tickets right away! Find out more information about the Disney Park Pass reservation system in our separate blog post.
Guests with passes or tickets that include the Park Hopper option must make a Disney Park Pass reservation for the first park they plan to visit and enter that first park prior to visiting another. Additionally, there are specific Park Hopper hours — Park Hopper hours begin at 2 p.m. each day and end at the park’s scheduled close time, and entry is still subject to capacity limits (though to date, capacity limits have only interfered with guests' ability to hop once). as they could start earlier at a later date, depending on the day and park. Since park hopping has returned, park availability has been open and accessible. For more details about park hopping policies, check out our separate guide.
Many restaurants and special experiences remain closed, but more steadily continue to reopen. There has also been a shift from a 180-day booking window to a 60-day booking window for reservations moving forward.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney's Hollywood Studios has paused the use of a virtual queue, as of Sept. 23, 2021. The attraction now utilizes a traditional standby queue as well as paid Lightning Lane access through Disney Genie.