Updated: Feb 18, 2021
When it comes to planning a Walt Disney World trip there are a lot of questions that come to mind!
Here I will answer some of the most asked questions on Google about Disney World!
In part one we will cover the what, when, where, can and without questions. Look out for parts 2 and 3 which will be coming in the following weeks!
So let's answer some of the most burning questions about a trip to Disney World!
What Disney Hotels Are Open? and What Disney World Hotels Are Closed?
Select Disney World Resorts reopened in June 2020. Since then even more have welcomed guests back. There are now a huge range of resorts to choose from!
Currently the following resorts are open.
Art of Animation Resort
Bay Lake Tower at Contemporary Resort
Boulder Ridge Villas at Wilderness Lodge
Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Wilderness Lodge
Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas – Kidani Village
Beach Club Villas
Caribbean Beach Resort
Coronado Springs Resort
Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Old Key West Resort
Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
Pop Century Resort
Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Yacht Club Resort
The Villas at the Grand Floridian Resort
Later in 2021 even more resorts will reopen. These are:
All-Star Movies Resort – 22nd March 2021
Beach Club Resort – 30th May 2021
Wilderness Lodge – 6th June 2021
Summer 2021 – Polynesian Village Resort
At present the following resorts don’t have opening dates announced yet.
Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House
All-Star Music Resort
All-Star Sports Resort
Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter
Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
What Disney World Restaurants Are Open? and What Disney World Restaurants Are Closed?
Luckily a large majority of Disney World restaurants have now reopened for you to enjoy! You won't have any trouble finding places to dine in the Disney Parks.
Do be sure to make dining reservations for table service restaurants as there is lower capacity currently so dining reservations can be harder to get!
The restaurants that remain closed are typically at resorts that are yet to open, buffet restaurants and character dining locations.
Some fan favourite restaurants, like Casey's Corner in Magic Kingdom and Ohana at the Polynesian Village Resort, are still closed so be sure to check out which locations are open before your trip to help you plan your Disney dining!
Easily print out and take with your my Quick Reference Guide to Which Restaurants Are Currently Open at Walt Disney World or download an up to date list of every restaurant that is open and which ones remain closed with my Guide to Which Restaurants Are Currently Open At Walt Disney World!
What Disney World Parks Are Open
The four Disney World theme parks, Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, are all open!
Disney World's two water parks are currently closed but Blizzard Beach is set to reopen on 7th March 2021!
What Disney World Park Has The Most Rides?
Magic Kingdom has the most amount of rides out of the Disney Parks! It has a great mixture of thrill, water, dark and family rides so there is something for everyone!
Be sure to check out my Ride Guide for Walt Disney World for a list of every ride in the Disney Parks, as well as which ones are temporarily closed, a ride height guide so you know all the attractions you can go on and a must ride list to fill in!
What Disney World Rides Are Closed?
Disney are always looking to improve so sometimes rides may be closed during your visit due to scheduled maintenance or upgrades.
Some rides may also break down leading to unscheduled maintenance. Luckily these types of shutdowns often don't last too long!
The following rides are currently closed in Disney World as of February 2021 for maintenance, upgrades or due to Covid-19.
The Hall of Presidents
Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
Enchanted Tales With Belle
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
Walt Disney World Railroad
Tom Sawyer Island - reopening soon!
Liberty Square Riverboat - reopening soon!
Mad Tea Party will be closed from February 22nd till March 5th 2021
Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse will be closed from March 12th till 25th March 2021
Advanced Training Labs
Bruce's Shark World
Turtle Talk With Crush
Star Wars Launch Bay
Star Wars Launch Bay Theater
Kali River Rapids
What Disney World Park Has Star Wars?
If you are a Star Wars fan then Hollywood Studios is the park to visit! In August 2019 Galaxy's Edge opened. Visit the Black Spire Outpost on Batuu in this immersive land. As well as two incredible new rides, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millenium Falcon: Smuggler's Run, there are also amazing shops, dining locations and a highly themed bar!
To dine on some galactic fare visit Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo or Ronto Roasters. Don't forget to try the Blue and Green Milk from Milk Stand. And for some out of this world cocktails head to Oga's Cantina.
You can also build your own lightsaber and droid which are amazing experiences and give you some unique merchandise to take home with you!
Also in Hollywood Studios is the Star Wars Launch Bay where you can meet your favourite characters and see props from the films. Unfortunately, this area is currently closed as meet and greets are temporarily suspended but this area is now a relaxation station and you can still spy some props!
The classic Disney attraction, Star Tours, has been in Hollywood Studios since 1989! In 2011 this iconic attraction was upgraded to Star Tours - The Adventure Continues, which you can still ride today!
Although temporarily suspended at the moment Hollywood Studios also offer a Star Wars nighttime spectacular called Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks and a Star Wars dessert party.
This year the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort is due to open. This resort offers a 3 day, 2 night immersive experience unlike anything we have ever seen before at Disney! A must for all Star Wars fans!
One of the awesome benefits to staying at this resort is you will have your own transport and private entrance straight into Galaxy's Edge!
When Disney World First Opened and When Disney World Opened in Florida
Disney World opened on 1st October 1971! Disney World first opened with Magic Kingdom Park.
In 2021 Magic Kingdom will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary! I cannot wait to see the celebrations!
When Disney World Reopen
Disney World reopened to guests in July 2020. Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opened first on July 11th, with EPCOT and Hollywood Studios opening days later on July 15th.
Disney World Resorts opened slightly earlier and started welcoming guests back from June 22nd 2020.
A visit to Disney World is slightly different now as a number of operational changes are in place to ensure safety. The parks are currently operating at 35% capacity with face coverings and physically distancing now requirements to visit.
You now also need Park Pass reservations as well as valid tickets to enter the parks.
To learn about all the updates at Walt Disney World Resort since reopening check out my Guide to Covid-19 Updates at Walt Disney World. A must have to let you know all the information you will need for your trip, plus lots of handy hints and tips about the best places to dine and best entertainment currently on offer.
When Disney World Open
Disney World is open 365 days of the year!
In exceptional circumstances Disney World has closed its door, such as for hurricanes and 9/11.
The Covid-19 pandemic saw Disney World close for the longest time it has ever been since opening in 1971!
The Disney Park hours vary depending on the time of the year. You can check out the current opening hours on the Disney World website!
When Disney World Was Built
Walt Disney announced plans for Disney World in 1965. Sadly Walt Disney died in 1966, where upon Roy Disney came out of retirement to oversee the project.
Work started on building Disney World in 1967. Magic Kingdom opened 4 years later on October 1st 1971.
The Contemporary Resort, Polynesian Village Resort and Wilderness Lodge all open in 1971 too!
When Disney World Christmas Decorations
Disney World put up their Christmas decorations in early November, typically in the first week. Magic Kingdom is usually the first park to be decorated.
In 2020 on the 2nd November Magic Kingdom has had its transformation into a winter wonderland and the Christmas decorations were up. All the Disney Parks were fully decorated by the 6th of November.
The Christmas decorations stay up until early January and are all removed by the 2nd week of the new year.
Where is Disney World Located? and Where's Disney World?
Walt Disney World Resort is located in Orlando, Florida in the United States of America.
Where is Disney World on a Map?
Disney World is slap bang in the middle of Florida! Not only is Orlando a great destination with so much to do in Central Florida but it also is within reach of amazing beaches. A few hours drive to the East you can visit Cocoa Beach or to the West you can visit Clearwater.
Within Orlando Disney World is in the area called Lake Buena Vista. Nearby you can visit Celebration, the community that was previously owned by Disney, the Orlando Premium Outlets at Vineland Avenue which is just outside of Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios Orlando, which is shown on the map below by the blue Ferris wheel symbol. Orlando MCO International Airport is just 17 miles away.
Here is a map of Walt Disney World Resort to help you see where each Disney park and Disney resort is located. Walt Disney World Resort is 40 square miles in size. It is so large that is it almost like its own city!
Where is Disney World in California?
There is a bit of a trick question as there is no Disney World in California! But you will find the original Disney Park, Disneyland, in Anaheim, California.
Where is Disney World and Disneyland?
Disney World is located in Orlando, Florida and Disneyland is in Anaheim, California.
Disney also have 4 other resorts around the world:
Tokyo Disney Resort
Hong Kong Disneyland
Shanghai Disney Resort
Where is Disney World in Japan?
The Disney Resort in Japan can be found in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture. Although the park is called Tokyo Disneyland the resort is actually in the Chiba Prefecture which is about 20 miles outside of Tokyo. Tokyo Disney Resort can easily be reached by public transport.
There are two different parks: Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea and four Disney hotels to choose from.
Can You Bring Food?
Yes! You can bring your own food and drink in to Disney World but there are a few restrictions.
No glass containers
No plastic straws in Animal Kingdom Park to protect the animals
No items that need heating, reheating, processing, refrigeration or temperature control
No coolers larger than 24 inches long by 16 inches wide by 18 inches high
No foods with pungent odors
There are a number of supermarkets in close proximity to Walt Disney World Resort and many people like to stock up on bottles of water and snacks to take with them into the parks to help cut costs.
Can You Park Hop?
Park Hopping resumed 1st January 2021! If you have a park hopper ticket you can now visit two parks in one day. You must book a Park Pass reservation for your first park of the day. After 2PM you can then park hop to a second park! You don't need a reservation for the second park but if the park is at its capacity you will be turned away.
Disney have recently announced additional information about park hopping. You must enter your first park of the day which you have Park Pass reservations for to be able to park hop to a second park.
Park hopping is a great way to be able to get the most out of your time at Disney World! I love to be able to visit one park during the day and then hop to another for the evening and to enjoy dinner!
Can You Leave and Come Back?
Yes! With the introduction of Park Pass reservations, people were worried about whether you would be able to leave a park and come back later in the day The good news is you can! As long as you have valid tickets and a Park Pass reservation for the park on that day you can come and go as you please!
Can You Go In The Castle?
You can go inside the castle! You can walk inside Cinderella Castle to see the beautiful interior or to visit Bibbidi Boddidi Boutique, where children can get magical makeovers. Unfortunately this experience is temporarily closed.
You can also dine inside Cinderella Castle! Make a reservation for Cinderella's Royal Table if you fancy this unique experience!
The only time you can't walk through the castle is when they are preparing for a stage show in front of the castle and the walkways will be roped off.
Can You Stay In The Castle?
There is a suite inside Cinderella Castle! Thie Cinderella Castle Suite was originally meant to be where Walt Disney and his family would stay when at Disney World. Sadly Walt Disney died before the park was completed.
The amazing news is that people have stayed in this suite! Unfortunately this room is not available to book and usually is only able to be stayed in if you win a competition.
So yes you are able to stay in the castle but it is incredibly, incredibly rare to get the opportunity to do so!
Check out this video to see a tour of this beautiful room!
Can You Take Bags On Rides?
Yes! Disney World allows you to take bags onto their rides. You will need to secure them either in bag pouches that are provided in front or under the seat, or in between your legs.
I recommend taking a bag or backpack that fully closes with a zip to ensure your belongings stay inside your bag!
When Can I Book FastPass+?
You used to be able to book your FastPass+ reservations 60 days in advance if you were staying at a Disney Resort or 30 days in advance if you were staying off-site.
When the Disney Parks reopened in July 2020 the FastPass+ System was suspended. There is no set date at the moment for when this will return.
Disney World Without A Car
You can easily visit Disney World without a car, particularly if you are staying on-site at a Disney Resort.
Disney has a whole range of complimentary transport to help you get around the entire property. This includes Disney Buses, the monorail, ferries and the Skyliner.
If you are staying off-site many hotels in Orlando will offer shuttles to the theme parks or you can hop in a taxi or ride-sharing service such as Uber or Lyft.
If you like the flexibility that having a car gives you then hiring a car or bringing your own can be a great option! Disney World is a huge resort so a mode of transport is necessary. Having your own car can allow you to easily get around on a schedule that works for you and helps you avoid queues for the complimentary transport.
Parking at the Disney Parks costs $25 a day. If you are staying at a Disney Resort the parking fees vary depending on the type of resort you are staying at. Parking at a value resort costs $15 a night, at a moderate resort is $20 a night and at a deluxe resort costs $25 a night. If you are staying at a Resort you get free park parking so you can save some money, particularly if you are staying at a value or moderate resort as the parking fees are cheaper than the park parking fees!
Disney World Without FastPasses
When Disney World reopened the FastPass+ system was suspended. It has yet to return to the parks.
With lower capacity came lower wait times so there was less need for FastPasses. Now that more and more people are visiting the Disney Parks the queues times are getting longer. At the present time there is no date announced for if, or when, Fastpasses will return.
Before the Disney Parks closed you could visit without using FastPasses but it may mean long waits in queues. To help navigate this if you wanted to get to ride on the attractions that draw the biggest queues your best bet was to head straight to this ride at rope drop or just before park close for the lowest waits. Now that the FastPass+ system isn't operating this is still the best advice to get on the most popular attractions!
Disney World Without Magic Bands
You can easily visit Disney World without a Magic Band. The ability to use your wrist as your room key, park ticket, FastPass reservations and dining plan credits has been super convenient but with a lot of these functions currently not operating using a Magic Band is not necessary.
If you do love using a Magic Band then you are able to buy them from many of the stores around the parks and in the resorts.
Disney are no longer offering complimentary Magic Bands when you stay at their resorts. Instead you will receive a Key To The World card, which has many of the same uses as a Magic Band. The one major benefit to a Magic Band over the Key To The World card, apart from looking cool, is that a Magic Band is always close to hand and easy to access. With a card you have to get it out and replace it somewhere safe every time you use it.
Disney World Without Masks
Face coverings are a requirement at Disney World for all guests aged 2 and over.
Disney World recently updated their face covering policy to state that face coverings are still required even if you have received the Covid-19 vaccine. Face coverings will likely be with us for the foreseeable future.
It is hard to predict when face coverings will no longer be needed but if you were wanting to visit once this policy has been removed it is advisable to look at booking trips for at least 2022 or 2023.
Disney World Without Dining Plan
The Dining Plan was a great option if you wanted to visit and know all of your dining and snacks had already been paid for. It was particularly good for Brits as a big incentive to stay in a Disney Resort was the Free Disney Dining offer.
Unfortunately the dining plan has been temporarily suspended and is not available currently.
Depending on the way you like to visit Disney would decide whether the Disney Dining Plan was a good option for your group. If you love to experience all the amazing Disney foods and types of dining experiences available to you and dining is a big part of your trip the dining plan was a great fit! If you prefer smaller meals or one main meal a day with a few snacks the dining plan may not work out the best value for you.
As the dining plan is currently not on offer be sure to check out my Dining Planner For Walt Disney World to help you easily prepare in advance for where you would like to dine and how much money you will need to take with you for all your dining!
Disney World Without The Parks
You can absolutely visit Disney World without visiting the Disney Parks!
There is so much available to do on Disney property including:
Disney Springs for shopping, dining and entertainment
Resort hopping to visit the beautiful Disney Resorts, visit their shops, restaurants and soak up the atmosphere
Sports such as golf
Two Disney themed miniature golf courses
In an upcoming blog post I will detail all the amazing things you can do at Disney World without visiting the parks!
Disney World Without The Rides
The great thing about Disney World is there is so much to experience that you can easily visit the Disney Parks without going on the rides!
Disney is famous for the incredible atmosphere at the parks and this alone makes your visit so special!
In the parks themselves as well as rides there are incredible attractions, such as Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room or It's Tough To Be A Bug in Animal Kingdom. These aren't rides and are great to enjoy! You can also visit areas such as Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse or the incredible animal trails at Animal Kingdom
Currently there are no parades to watch but instead you can enjoy the character cavalcades that happen throughout the day where you can see all your favourite Disney characters on floats, in cars or on boats!
Can also enjoy performances! Look out for the Dapper Dans in Magic Kingdon, JAMMitors in EPCOT or visit the Frozen Sing-A-Long show in Hollywood Studios.
There is so much amazing food to try whilst at Disney World so a trip without rides means more time to try out the amazing dining options and experiences!
Don't forget all the amazing souvenirs you can buy! There is a whole range of different types of shops available in the parks. Some even offer fantastic experiences such as building your own lightsaber at Savi's Workshop in Galaxy Edge at Hollywood Studios
Disney is famous for its entertainment such as shows and fireworks but these are temporarily suspended. Once these return you will have even more options of things to do at Disney that aren't rides!
Disney World Without Park Tickets
You can visit Walt Disney World Resort without park tickets but will not be able to visit any of the Disney Parks. However as mentioned above there is lot you can do on property without stepping foot inside the theme parks!
I hope you have enjoyed finding out the answers to some of the most Googled questions about Disney World!