It has been a week since Walt Disney World closes all theme parks to on Sunday March 15th. And though the official word from the company is that the parks will remain shuttered through the end of the month, many have speculated that Disney would remained closed for much longer. And though we’re still waiting on an announcement from Disney, there are some concrete signs that Disney will be closed at least through mid-April, if not longer.
1. Reservations for early April disappearing on My Disney Experience
According to several guest reports, previously-existing Walt Disney World resort reservations that were previously available from the My Disney Experience app are being quietly removed for stays up until mid-April. Though this could be a temporary glitch, other guests resort reservations for May and June are still showing up in the app. Though guests with these reservations are not reporting an official cancellation notification yet, we’d expect that we are days away from hearing about an extended closure with refund/change instructions for those affected.
2. Star Wars marathon for mid-April cancelled
RunDisney has announced that the upcoming Star Wars Rival Run Weekend, which was scheduled to return to Walt Disney World Resort for its 5th year from April 16 – 19, 2020, has been cancelled. All participants for the Star Wars Rival Run Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort who purchased their registrations on runDisney.com will receive a refund for their race registration in four to six weeks.
3. Disney Springs Hotel extends closure
Though not owned by Disney, the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace, which is located in the Disney Springs area has confirmed that it will remain closed through the end of April, and all guests who had reservations during this period are being notified that they can either cancel or reschedule their stay.
4. Executive order banning eating in restaurants and alcohol sales still in effect
Earlier this week, Florida governor Ron DeSantis ordered all restaurants and food establishments in Florida to suspend on-premises food and alcohol consumption, effective immediately. This order will be in effect until the State of Emergency is lifted for the State of Florida, and unfortunately, there’s no way to know exactly how long that could potentially be. As long as in-restaurant dining and alcohol sales are banned, unfortunately Walt Disney World will not be able to operate under normal conditions.
Even if Disney is looking at employing some light social distancing methods when it reopens (which would include eliminating entertainment that requires close gathering, such as nightly firework shows and parades and keeping table service restaurant capacity down to 50% occupancy) they wouldn’t be able to comply with this latest order, which would make a reopening impossible as long as Florida’s State of Emergency is ongoing.
As always, while this situation is evolving, all travelers should check out the CDC’s official site here, which has information on the virus and how to prevent its spread.
News Source: Themeparktourist.