One of the priciest hotels at Walt Disney World, the Polynesian Village Resort sits on the shore of Seven Seas Lagoon, just two stops from the Magic Kingdom on Disney's monorail line. Depending on your intentions, choosing a park may come down to your interest in exploring the area beyond the resorts themselves. No structure at Disney World stands taller than 200 feet. Related: How to use points for Disney tickets. Update on Walt Disney World Resort. Related: Why you should use a free Disney Vacation Planner. The Pirates of the Caribbean ride is seven minutes longer at Disneyland, clocking in at more than fifteen minutes. Magic-seekers have returned in much greater numbers than we saw back in July and August. Children under three may enter for free at both parks. Walking to the Magic Kingdom from Disney’s Bay Lake Tower or the Contemporary Resort will work to get you in before the stated park opening time. Both parks host different rides and attractions. Because of its smaller size, getting around Disneyland is relatively simple. The beginning of the line for Haunted Mansions can be a terrifying distance away from the Doom Buggies. Walt Disney's concept for Disney World was of a larger, more expansive version of Disneyland, so that it could constantly expand and not be as constrained by the need for land that Disneyland suffered from. The level of detail at the Animal … Related: 5 changes at Disney World that I hope become permanent. Rich says. As my first big pandemic-era trip, walking into the gates of the Magic Kingdom, I was a bit scared, nervous of the unknown at a place that is normally so familiar and later received a heaping pile of online travel shaming for making the trip, which made me wonder if I’d made a mistake. That sounds like plenty of time to get there and be first in line, but it’s not if you are trying to “rope drop” a ride (aka be there when it really first opens). Measuring an astonishing 189 feet tall, it is the more iconic of the two. Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course and Magnolia Golf Course are both currently open to the public and are offering deals through the Walt Disney World Golf website. Taking inner-park buses, the monorail, or even the ferry is essential to maximize your time and fun. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. We got in line for Soarin’ at Epcot and the wait time said 50 minutes, 20 minutes later we were buckling in for flight. See, 5 changes at Disney World that I hope become permanent, How to choose the best hotel at Disney World, Why you should use a free Disney Vacation Planner, These are the best restaurants at Disney World, Australia unlikely to reopen borders until 2022 — even if majority of population is vaccinated, Man lived at O’Hare for 3 months, claims he was scared of the coronavirus, Limited time: 100% bonus when you buy Hilton points, Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Like all theme parks at the moment, Walt Disney World is controlling the crowd size to around 20-25% normal capacity. Parking at the Disney Swan or Dolphin and walking to Hollywood Studios is also a good strategy. Here’s what it is like at Disney World right now and thoughts on whether it’s worth the trip. Unlike Universal Studios and some other theme parks, however, your Disney World park tickets will normally give you access to the FastPass+ ride queue skipping system. Again, in an effort to minimize lines and crowding, Disney World’s parking lots and transportation from the resort hotels to the parks don’t start until within an hour of official opening time. So, if you have your heart set on an early morning minimal wait for Seven Dwarf Mine Train, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway or Pandora: Flight of Passage, you need a sprinkle of extra strategy. Disney's Magic Kingdom -- the world's most visited theme park last year according to industry tracker Themed Entertainment Association -- attracted 20.96 million guests in … The latter contains Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. For Walt Disney World dining, please book your reservation online. But what marks this difference between the two? HERE’S WHY USING A FREE VACATION PLANNER CAN MAKE YOUR NEXT DISNEY TRIP BETTER. Disney World is located on an entirely different coast in Orlando, Florida. You will probably spend double the amount of time at Disney World than Disneyland, so keep in mind that the longer you stay, the cheaper each day becomes. So while you may have a bit of a wait on busy days in some cases, you continue to make visible progress toward the front of the line. Disney Springs closed all of the Disney-owned shops and restaurants on March 17, 2020, and the Disney Resort hotels quickly followed suit by closing on March 20, 2020. Frankly, Disney is hitting a tipping point where bringing back some version of FastPass+ might be better than the snaking long lines, but for now, you are left with old-fashioned waiting. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Disneyland and Disney World are both divided into smaller parks. When I went to Disney World in July on the day the parks officially reopened after months of closure, I assumed that would be my only trip to the “Most Magical Place on Earth” for the rest of 2020. Each park offers something different and can enhance your time at Disney depending on your interests. This was are fourth time going to Disney World since 2016 so this wasn’t our first visit and like others have mentioned we probably will not visit again until we can park hop or get FastPasses. So while you can probably still walk around Epcot’s World Showcase without bumping into a stroller most parts of the day, you may still wait 45 minutes to well over an hour for popular rides or on popular days. Journey to Pandora, the World of Avatar. Also at Epcot, Journey Into Imagination with Figment and the Gran Fiesta Tour both said 20-minute waits, and we walked straight on the two attractions without delay. The Points Guy will not sell your email. And those perks are included whether your Disney trip involves a stay at the toney Grand Floridian or a value-priced Disney … Toggle navigation Disneyparks… With two pandemic-era trips under our Mickey ears, I’m not ruling a third trip out when the holiday decorations come out to play. The official website for all things Disney: theme parks, resorts, movies, tv programs, characters, games, videos, music, shopping, and more! So, if it is 25% of that number that’s very rarely hit, then it’s more than 25% of an average pre-pandemic crowd. Related: These are the best restaurants at Disney World. © 2021 THE POINTS GUY, LLC. With so many of the normal holiday traditions paused for 2020 across the country, seeing some Christmas trees up at Disney while wearing a green and red face mask may not be a bad idea after all. For assistance with your Walt Disney World vacation, including resort/package bookings and tickets, please call (407) 939-5277. As we continue to monitor the coronavirus situation, we wanted to share a few updates you should know about concerning Disney parks and resorts as well as Disney Cruise Line. Mostly everything is accessible by walking; however, there is a shuttle to and from the parking lot and a monorail within the park itself for those who wish to use it. This often means lots of time in the sun managing your own social distancing until you reach the regular starting point of the line. The awe-inspiring castles which commonly adorn advertisements and postcards act as the central hub for both Disneyland and Disney World; however, these differ greatly, too. Guests under 18 years of age must have parent or guardian permission to call. Are There Differences Between Continental Crust and Oceanic Crust? This page is your one-stop shop for all the details you need to know regarding the phased reopening of the Walt Disney World Resort. There are certainly still some midweek days where crowds and wait times are noticeably light, but weekends are busier than 25% capacity may sound. The amount of people visiting each park can certainly influence your overall enjoyment. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). Should that all sound like too much work, mid-day is a good time to retreat to your hotel for a few hours and eat off-property. But regardless of where you want to eat, it’s good to go ahead and make a booking at a sit-down restaurant if you feel comfortable doing so, just in case. A few days later at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad had a posted wait time of 45 minutes but was really less than 15 minutes. Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the closest airport to the parks. Orlando, Fla. — My family decided to brave Disney World during COVID-19. If this will ruin your day, again, I’d hold off, or at least mentally prepare for how you’ll deal with this reality. Epcot food stands are a bit easier since there are so many of them available right now during the modified food and wine festival. If you end up at the gates precisely at the posted opening time, your park of choice has actually probably been open for a while, and wait times have started to grow at the tier one attractions. All of the Disney World theme parks, except Animal Kingdom, have several hotels available within walking distance. Nonetheless, depending on the individual, Disneyland might feel more crowded because of its modest 500 acres. At Disneyland you can ride … 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM Eastern Time. Rides and Attractions. If you wanted a “once in a lifetime” chance to enjoy Disney World with walk-on waits across the park and no one in the background of your pictures, that boat has largely sailed. Sign-up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more travel tips and deals. Even though some of his influence exists at Disney World, the creator died five years before its grand opening in 1971. Even the rides shared between both parks differ slightly. A comprehensive Walt Disney World planning guide is a really big project. For Walt Disney World dining, please book your reservation online. FOR NO COST ASSISTANCE WITH PLANNING AND BOOKING YOUR NEXT DISNEY VACATION, CHECK OUT TPG’S DISNEY BOOKING PARTNER, MOUSE COUNSELORS. As of 2020, Disney World stretches 43 square miles, whereas Disneyland covers approximately 500 acres. Below is a guide to help understand the main differences between Disneyland and Disney World. A RED VENTURES COMPANY. If you’re after riding big-name attractions without long waits, you will need very up-to-date strategies that don’t involve FastPass since those are still suspended. Disney World is significantly larger than Walt Disney’s original park. If you are going to Disneyland, your single-day ticket might only cost $117. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. While both parks are located in the southern United States, Disneyland is in California and Disney World in Florida. Where to Stay at Walt Disney World. This varies from limited capacity, social distancing in lines and attractions, face coverings required for ages two and older, and other health safety measures that our Disney World reopening guide covers extensively. However, don’t think that means that the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom are still only a quarter as busy as they were pre-pandemic. Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. Disney World has had to cut capacity and many attractions in the face of COVID and Christmas, unfortunately, will be no different. Open to the public for the first time in July 1955, Disneyland was built under the direct supervision of Walt Disney himself. 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM Eastern Time. All reviews disney world magic kingdom fast pass happiest place on earth cast members magical place dining plan space mountain per day meal plan park hopper family vacation popular rides splash mountain small world haunted mansion pirates of the caribbean … Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, EPCOT and Hollywood Studios are now open to visitors. 10 Oldest National Parks In The United States, Largest Nature Parks In And Around Urban Areas In The United States, The Most Visited National Parks in the United States, 10 Ways Anyone Can Climb The Mount Everest Base Camp Expedition, The Most Beautiful Countries In The World. At Hollywood Studios, the line for Slinky Dog Dash can stretch out of Toy Story Land and into the area for the Disney Jr. characters and wrap that section four times. To maintain these numbers, a new parks reservation system has been put into place. Disney World is now officially OPEN! Rides and shops are crammed into tight spaces, creating a somewhat claustrophobic atmosphere. Come and enjoy the magic of Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL. This means the people who are in the parks are more concentrated. You can modify or cancel the booking if you change your mind. Sit-down restaurants now take bookings 60-days in advance and the hot tickets items are booking up. Splash Mountain said an 80-minute wait, but the truth was closer to 28 minutes. Since park hopping is still not permitted outside of official Disney VIP private tours, many folks are done and gone with their park for the day by 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Related: Guide to visiting Walt Disney World. That’s not a huge additional delay, but it’s a couple of examples that you can’t just assume the waits will always be less than stated. Went to Hollywood Studios yesterday. Cinderella’s castle is located at Disney World. Both parks offer hotels to ensure you do not have to leave the park at night. December 3, 2020 at 2:36 pm. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page. However — with tens of thousands of daily guests, know that at some point in your trip you are probably going to encounter someone who is not fully distancing or who isn’t wearing a mask as is required. If you’re OK with the new rules, are just after watching some short parades (aka cavalcades), waving at characters, riding what you can, eating some churros and appreciating being back on Main Street, then now is actually a pretty good time to visit Disney World. Disney CEO Bob Chapek has confirmed that the Walt Disney World theme parks are currently operating at 35% capacity, increased from 25%. Just know it isn’t the same as it was pre-COVID, nor is it as tame and empty as it was in those first few weeks after reopening. As of 2020, expect to pay up to $200 for a single-day ticket at Disney World. Please view our advertising policy page for more information. Really, 90% of this site is a Walt Disney World planning guide. For example, the popular Pirates of the Caribbean ride is seven minutes longer at Disneyland, clocking in at more than fifteen minutes. Pirates of the Caribbean said we’d be sailing away in 20 minutes, but it took 30 minutes for the dead men to start telling their tales. Disney World generally costs more than Disneyland. What Are The Differences Between A River And A Creek? But then, several months went by. Disney World stretches 43 square miles, while Disneyland only covers approximately 500 acres. So in mid-October, as school took its first long weekend break since restarting, the kids and I packed a big bag of face masks and neck fans and again headed east to Orlando. While the norm is that wait times at Disney World are pretty dramatically over-inflated right now, it’s not a simple as that being consistently true. If that fails, come back the last few operating hours of the day when crowds and wait times have been dropping most days. (UPDATE 1/6/21) – Walt Disney World started its phased reopening on July 11, 2020, with Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opening, followed by EPCOT and Hollywood Studios.We’ve updated our Crowd Calendar to reflect the latest crowd expectations for early 2021 and beyond. At Disneyland you can ride the Matterhorn Bobsleds or Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! Whew, this is a loaded decision only you can make. Disneyland, on the other hand, can be completed in its entirety over a long weekend. If your main reason for going are the rides, Disneyland offers the better experience, because lines are generally shorter. Guests under 18 years of age must have parent or guardian permission to call. The exception to this movement comes for 10 to15 minutes every two hours or so when the rides get their regular disinfecting. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel. Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. And if you are in a more congested park area on a busier day, well, it’s going to feel crowded. When I went to Disney World in July on the day the parks officially reopened after months of closure, I assumed that would be my only trip to the “Most Magical Place on Earth” for the rest of 2020. By Lauren Brownlow, WRALSportsFan columnist/reporter. Disneyland is known as the happiest place on earth, while its counterpart Disney World is known as the most magical. You can’t fit all of the content into one post! Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. He went on to say that the capacity wouldn’t increase from there until the CDC distancing recommendations change. On the other hand, those who resent wearing masks, or who have kids who have a hard time with masks, should probably hold off. Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. For assistance with your Walt Disney World vacation, including resort/package bookings and tickets, please call (407) 939-5277. Way too crowded already. 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. The traditional theme park truths that wait time are lowest first thing in the morning and at the end of the evening are still true, but with some important nuances. Gone are the days you make dining reservations for Disney World 180 days in advance (hallelujah), but you still need a plan. Disneyland only has three hotels, whereas Disney World boasts more than 25 variously themed hotels, including the All-Star Music Resort and the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. The former contains its original Disneyland Park and the newer California Adventure Park. Additionally, the parks are opening before they say they are. Please view our advertising policy page for more information. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Plan your family vacation and create memories for a lifetime. Those seeking a vacation destination where there are requirements and enforcement for face masks and distancing can be well served at Disney right now. The line for the soon-to-be-rethemed Splash Mountain ride can stretch from Frontierland into Adventureland. This was made possible due to innovations in attraction operations while maintaining health and safety guidelines. Also remember to budget for food, souvenirs, and the aforementioned hotels. Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida Welcome to Walt Disney World. This is likely because even in normal times, Disney World very rarely hits true capacity — maybe on just one or two days per year (and those are the days we recommend never going). Both parks host different rides and attractions. Walt Disney died five years before the grand opening of Disney World in 1971, unlike Disneyland which was built under his direct supervision. Related: How to choose the best hotel at Disney World. CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners. Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course will open on June 19 after regular maintenance, while Disney’s Palm Golf Course will resume operations after regular maintenance on July 3. Disney World on a budget. The credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. Or, you can always pack your own chips and sandwiches to bring into Disney. If the unpredictable, and often inflated, wait times don’t scare you — the length of the lines might. For example, Jungle Cruise has an approximate wait time of 75 minutes at Disney World, but only thirty at Disneyland. We know that staying on property at a Walt Disney World Resort is worth the cost, thanks to the extra perks that come with the room. On a particularly busy morning, Splash Mountain said 25 minutes immediately after parking opening, while it took 35 minutes. Hollywood Studios in particular has been quietly opening a full hour early. Walt Disney World and other Central Florida theme parks are hoping for a busy Thanksgiving week after the coronavirus pandemic cost them so much business earlier in the year. While we don’t have a date on when FastPass+ will come back, we imagine it will be much later in the pandemic. I can't believe that is a sentence I … The Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood … Purchase theme park tickets to enjoy admission to one Walt Disney World theme park or purchase the Park Hopper option to … At the other three parks, an Uber or Lyft (or friend) dropping you off at the drop-off point early could do the trick. 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