A RED VENTURES COMPANY. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Both parks host different rides and attractions. Walt Disney World’s Cancelation Policy for Tickets In short, all Walt Disney World tickets are non-refundable. CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners. I can't believe that is a sentence I … The line for the soon-to-be-rethemed Splash Mountain ride can stretch from Frontierland into Adventureland. And if you are in a more congested park area on a busier day, well, it’s going to feel crowded. Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. By Nathaniel Whelan on March 22 2020 in Travel. The reservation itself is free, but it is of course necessary to also have tickets or an annual pass in order to access any of the four parks. Related: How to choose the best hotel at Disney World. Rides and shops are crammed into tight spaces, creating a somewhat claustrophobic atmosphere. If this will ruin your day, again, I’d hold off, or at least mentally prepare for how you’ll deal with this reality. Here’s what it is like at Disney World right now and thoughts on whether it’s worth the trip. Do they not offer the same enchanted experience? 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. It is recommended that you create a must-see and -do list while planning your visit to Disney World to ensure a fulfilling and enjoyable visit. 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. Disney World has had to cut capacity and many attractions in the face of COVID and Christmas, unfortunately, will be no different. Gone are the days you make dining reservations for Disney World 180 days in advance (hallelujah), but you still need a plan. 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. 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. Hollywood Studios in particular has been quietly opening a full hour early. Disney’s Magical Express service, which provides guests with transportation between Orlando International Airport and the Walt Disney World, will be ending in … Guests under 18 years of age must have parent or guardian permission to call. 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. And when you hit a narrow “chokepoint,” such as near Peter Pan in Fantasyland on a busy day, lines can virtually run right into each other. For Walt Disney World dining, please book your reservation online. 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. 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. 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. Walt Disney World also was to be a sort of \"Disneyland of the future\" where breakthroughs in science and technology could coexist with the original Disney vision of themed entertainment. 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. Come and enjoy the magic of Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL. All of the Disney World theme parks, except Animal Kingdom, have several hotels available within walking distance. 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. A comprehensive Walt Disney World planning guide is a really big project. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. But what marks this difference between the two? Measuring an astonishing 189 feet tall, it is the more iconic of the two. 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 … Walt Disney died five years before the grand opening of Disney World in 1971, unlike Disneyland which was built under his direct supervision. 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). 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. Related: How to use points for Disney tickets. Whew, this is a loaded decision only you can make. Measuring 77 feet tall, it is inspired by Bavaria’s Neuschwanstein castle. Disneyland is known as the happiest place on earth, while its counterpart Disney World is known as the most magical. By all accounts, the strict requirements for wearing approved face masks for everyone aged 2 and up, the distancing, liberal use of plexiglass dividers, cleaning and capped capacity are doing what they were designed to do — keep people safe while keeping the “magic” alive. At Disneyland you can ride the Matterhorn Bobsleds or Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! All maps, graphics, flags, photos and original descriptions © 2021 worldatlas.com, 10 Key Differences Between Disneyland and Disney World, Key Similarities And Differences Between Jaguars And Cheetahs, Bay, Bight, Fjord, And Sound: Similarities And Differences Between These Coastal Features. Orlando, Fla. — My family decided to brave Disney World during COVID-19. Magic-seekers have returned in much greater numbers than we saw back in July and August. Please view our advertising policy page for more information. If you find yourself wanting a sit-down meal but don’t have a reservation, try the “dine now” walk-up waitlist in the Disney app. Journey to Pandora, the World of Avatar. Disney World is significantly larger than Walt Disney’s original park. Disney CEO Bob Chapek has confirmed that the Walt Disney World theme parks are currently operating at 35% capacity, increased from 25%. Related: These are the best restaurants at Disney World. Related: 5 changes at Disney World that I hope become permanent. Sit-down restaurants now take bookings 60-days in advance and the hot tickets items are booking up. Taking inner-park buses, the monorail, or even the ferry is essential to maximize your time and fun. Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, EPCOT and Hollywood Studios are now open to visitors. The level of detail at the Animal … 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. Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida Welcome to Walt Disney World. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Really, 90% of this site is a Walt Disney World planning guide. 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. Similarly, expect to wait 53 minutes for Toy Story Mania at Disney World, but 38 at Disneyland. No structure at Disney World stands taller than 200 feet. 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. Open to the public for the first time in July 1955, Disneyland was built under the direct supervision of Walt Disney himself. The latter contains Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But the good news is these lengthy queues usually move quickly as there isn’t a FastPass+ line to alternate with. The amount of people visiting each park can certainly influence your overall enjoyment. The beginning of the line for Haunted Mansions can be a terrifying distance away from the Doom Buggies. If that fails, come back the last few operating hours of the day when crowds and wait times have been dropping most days. © 2021 THE POINTS GUY, LLC. 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM Eastern Time. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page. The Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood … This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). Experience the theme parks of Walt Disney World Resort—Magic Kingdom park, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom park. 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. Disney World has implemented a number of safety measures which will change the way you plan your Disney World trips. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. He went on to say that the capacity wouldn’t increase from there until the CDC distancing recommendations change. For example, the popular Pirates of the Caribbean ride is seven minutes longer at Disneyland, clocking in at more than fifteen minutes. If the unpredictable, and often inflated, wait times don’t scare you — the length of the lines might. The official website for all things Disney: theme parks, resorts, movies, tv programs, characters, games, videos, music, shopping, and more! So, lower crowds (on some days) can be a good reason to go, but shouldn’t be the only reason as it’s not a guarantee. 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. Disney World is located on an entirely different coast in Orlando, Florida. Plan your family vacation and create memories for a lifetime. This includes reopened character meals such as brunch with characters at Topoloino’s Terrace at the top of the new Riviera Resort and lunch or dinner with Minnie and friends in their festive attire at Hollywood & Vine inside Hollywood Studios. 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. 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. By Lauren Brownlow, WRALSportsFan columnist/reporter. However, on select days during the week, you can still enjoy Disney at a more laid-back pace than was the norm pre-pandemic. Disney World is now officially OPEN! But then, several months went by. 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. You can modify or cancel the booking if you change your mind. Sign-up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more travel tips and deals. Both parks host different rides and attractions. All the Disney World theme parks closed to guests March 16, 2020. For Walt Disney World dining, please book your reservation online. For this reason, Disneyland offers fans a certain degree of nostalgia that Disney World perhaps cannot. (Updated 1/3/21) – Walt Disney World has released park hours through mid-March with reduced hours for all theme parks during the first quarter of the year. On a particularly busy morning, Splash Mountain said 25 minutes immediately after parking opening, while it took 35 minutes. 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. Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. 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. 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. Disney World on a budget. On a weekend day at Disney World, you’re going to see many wait times well over an hour — even at pretty mid-tier attractions. If you like Disney hotel hopping every few nights of your trip anyway (especially while nightly housekeeping is suspended), this could be a good time to pick your lodging based on proximity to the parks so you can simply walk to where you want to be and avoid the transportation situation. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. At Disneyland you can ride … (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. Additionally, the parks are opening before they say they are. Disneyland, on the other hand, can be completed in its entirety over a long weekend. 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). Parking at the Disney Swan or Dolphin and walking to Hollywood Studios is also a good strategy. 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. 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. For assistance with your Walt Disney World vacation, including resort/package bookings and tickets, please call (407) 939-5277. 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. While both parks are located in the southern United States, Disneyland is in California and Disney World in Florida. Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. 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. While it could change, know that Disney is still very much limiting dining capacity and spacing out tables at least six feet (or using plexiglass booth dividers) even though the state of Florida is again fully open. Disney World generally costs more than Disneyland. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). Even though some of his influence exists at Disney World, the creator died five years before its grand opening in 1971. Are There Differences Between Continental Crust and Oceanic Crust? FOR NO COST ASSISTANCE WITH PLANNING AND BOOKING YOUR NEXT DISNEY VACATION, CHECK OUT TPG’S DISNEY BOOKING PARTNER, MOUSE COUNSELORS. Way too crowded already. 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. Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the closest airport to the parks. Even though both parks are often inseparable in the minds of fans, they are quite unique from each other in many ways. There are certainly still some midweek days where crowds and wait times are noticeably light, but weekends are busier than 25% capacity may sound. Epcot food stands are a bit easier since there are so many of them available right now during the modified food and wine festival. 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. You can’t fit all of the content into one post! What Are The Differences Between A River And A Creek? We look at what will remain the same at Disney World … Disneyland and Disney World are both divided into smaller parks. Like all theme parks at the moment, Walt Disney World is controlling the crowd size to around 20-25% normal capacity. If you are going to Disneyland, your single-day ticket might only cost $117. This means the people who are in the parks are more concentrated. Even the rides shared between both parks differ slightly. 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. While we don’t have a date on when FastPass+ will come back, we imagine it will be much later in the pandemic. Nonetheless, depending on the individual, Disneyland might feel more crowded because of its modest 500 acres. For assistance with your Walt Disney World vacation, including resort/package bookings and tickets, please call (407) 939-5277. 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. Below is a guide to help understand the main differences between Disneyland and Disney World. There’s not a lot at Disney World that’s free. HERE’S WHY USING A FREE VACATION PLANNER CAN MAKE YOUR NEXT DISNEY TRIP BETTER. 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. December 3, 2020 at 2:36 pm. 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 … Although you can explore parts of the interior of both castles, each contain different attractions and experiences unique to the character and the mythology in which they belong. Those seeking a vacation destination where there are requirements and enforcement for face masks and distancing can be well served at Disney right now. Children under three may enter for free at both parks. Disney World stretches 43 square miles, while Disneyland only covers approximately 500 acres. We got in line for Soarin’ at Epcot and the wait time said 50 minutes, 20 minutes later we were buckling in for flight. Or, you can always pack your own chips and sandwiches to bring into Disney. At the other three parks, an Uber or Lyft (or friend) dropping you off at the drop-off point early could do the trick. If your main reason for going are the rides, Disneyland offers the better experience, because lines are generally shorter. On the other hand, those who resent wearing masks, or who have kids who have a hard time with masks, should probably hold off. This can help ease your experience and save time commuting each morning. Depending on your intentions, choosing a park may come down to your interest in exploring the area beyond the resorts themselves. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel. 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. During those months, as most of the rest of the country battled with masking or not, in-person schooling or not and gathering or not, it became clear that what Disney World was doing was working. Each park offers something different and can enhance your time at Disney depending on your interests. Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. Also, factor in that many ride vehicles are left empty for distancing, there is no FastPass+, no Extra Magic Hours, shortened operating hours and not all of the restaurants and shows have yet reopened. To order from a quick-service counter restaurant, you need to order and pay in the Disney app. Related: Why you should use a free Disney Vacation Planner. 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. As of 2020, Disney World stretches 43 square miles, whereas Disneyland covers approximately 500 acres. 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. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. 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. Where to Stay at Walt Disney World. 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. The exception to this movement comes for 10 to15 minutes every two hours or so when the rides get their regular disinfecting. While the main rules and guidelines at Disney World are the same as they were in July, the parks themselves were significantly busier. Guests under 18 years of age must have parent or guardian permission to call. Disney World is impossible to explore entirely on foot. 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. Toggle navigation Disneyparks… Save Up to 30% on a Disney Resort hotel stay 2021 Park Tickets Book Now and Discover our Disney Parks in 2021 Rediscover The Magic Welcoming You Back to Walt Disney World Exclusive Disney Extras Enjoy great benefits when you book with Walt Disney Travel Company! Update on Walt Disney World Resort. 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. 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 distancing, the physical lines stretch well beyond the bounds of the normal queue. 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. Purchase theme park tickets to enjoy admission to one Walt Disney World theme park or purchase the Park Hopper option to … Both parks offer hotels to ensure you do not have to leave the park at night. To maintain these numbers, a new parks reservation system has been put into place. (You need a breakfast reservation, or hotel reservation at those properties to get into those parking lot.) 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. Cinderella’s castle is located at Disney World. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Recently, Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek told CNBC that the Disney World theme parks are at about 25% capacity to maintain six-foot social distancing. View our latest valuations here. Disneyland is where you can find Sleeping Beauty’s castle. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Update on Walt Disney World Resort. 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM Eastern Time. I would like to subscribe to The Points Guy newsletters and special email promotions. 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. This often means lots of time in the sun managing your own social distancing until you reach the regular starting point of the line. Please view our advertising policy page for more information. Or if you are at Disney World, check out Spaceship Earth or the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Often, you can be the one to leave the situation if you aren’t comfortable. 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. The former contains its original Disneyland Park and the newer California Adventure Park. 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. 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM Eastern Time. 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. As of 2020, expect to pay up to $200 for a single-day ticket at Disney World. Splash Mountain said an 80-minute wait, but the truth was closer to 28 minutes. 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. Again due to distancing, you may not actually get on that first or second boat or bus to the parks since they aren’t operating at full capacity. 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. Also remember to budget for food, souvenirs, and the aforementioned hotels. The Pirates of the Caribbean ride is seven minutes longer at Disneyland, clocking in at more than fifteen minutes. Rich says. Because of its smaller size, getting around Disneyland is relatively simple. For assistance with your Walt Disney World vacation, including resort/package bookings and tickets, please call (407) 939-5277. 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. 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. Guests under 18 years of age must have parent or guardian permission to call. 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