Disney World posts ‘disappointing’ list of canceled special events, tours and dining experiences when parks reopen


  • Photo via Walt Disney World/Facebook

For those seeking to vacation in the midst of a pandemic, your options at Walt Disney World will be severely limited when the Magic Kingdom and three other parks reopen next month.

One day after Florida posted its highest ever one-day total of new coronavirus cases (3,208 announced on Thursday), the "most magical place on earth" will be grounded by a list of major changes, according to its "Events, Tours and Extras" page.

All guests age 2 and older who enter the parks are required to bring and wear face masks, after first making reservations. Everyone gets a temperature check at the entrance. Most park planning must now be done through the My Disney Experience app, because no one wants to interact with your contagious face anymore.

Currently, the park lists 17 unique tours that are off the table, including the Backstage Magic, Behind the Seeds and Disney's Family Magic Tour. That also includes experiences like Up Close with Rhinos, Adventures in Dining and World Showcase: DestiNations Discovered.

Disney's website says most dining events are also unavailable, with 22 listed and counting, including Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Tea Room, Dining with an Imagineer and Victoria & Albert's Chef's Table Dinner. Nine dessert parties are canceled, as well, along with 15 nature experiences and most character interactions, including the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Perfectly Princess Tea Parties and Pirate Adventure Cruises.

"As we prepare for the reopening of our theme parks, we're taking a measured and deliberate approach to our planning that applies appropriate new health and safety measures," the parks page announces, before a long scroll through the events and experiences that will no longer take place. "During the initial reopening period, some special events, tours and other experiences may be modified, limited in capacity or unavailable in order to promote physical distancing."

The Taste of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will continue, though as "a creative, modified experience," lengthening the celebration from July 15 "through the fall," and will offer more than 20 "signature global marketplaces" like Hawaii, Hops & Barley and Islands of the Caribbean.

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will carry over, as well, with a new topiary of Remy from Ratatouille in the France pavilion, which you can gaze upon while quietly chanting, "everything is fine, nothing is wrong."

Sadly but thankfully, Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is canceled too, nixing one family tradition where wearing a mask already feels normal, for the necessity of curtailing the spread of coronavirus.

"Many hallmarks of Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party—like stage shows, parades and fireworks — cannot take place in this new, unprecedented environment," says the Disney site.

Typhoon Lagoon's Disney H2O Glow Nights are canceled at the water park, but still unknown is the status of Disney's holiday events, including Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, with its candlelight processional.

For now, Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom are set to reopen July 11, with Hollywood Studios and Epcot reopening July 15.

"We are monitoring our new environment closely, and will make a decision on these events as we continue to learn more from government and health officials," says Disney. "We understand how much excitement, thought and time goes into planning your visits to Walt Disney World Resort and realize some of these changes may be disappointing."


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