The magic has been silenced. For the first time in history The Walt Disney World Travel Company has ceased operations in a effort to protect guests and cast members from invisible demon that has brought the World to its knees. Disney is first and foremost concerned about the safety and well-being of guests and cast members. It is because of this, and out of an abundance of caution, that Disney made the decision to temporarily halt operations at every Disney owned company through the end of March, and Disney Cruise Line through mid-April.
The news media and bloggers were quick to pick up on Disney's closure and communicate it with the general public - some with accuracy, others not so much. Therefore, we are creating this post to clear the air and forward the official information directly from Disney to you. Right now, this is a fluid situation. What we do know is that Disney is working closely with local and national health organizations to monitor the situation and will continue to react in the best interest of guests and cast members.
The information below is copied word-for-word from Disney's official statements to us. We will give you as much information as possible including details regarding Disney's temporary closer and re-opening and modified cancellation policies. We will continue to update this post as new announcements are made, so check back for the latest news.
Official statements from The Walt Disney World Travel Company:
UPDATE - March 20, 2020: In an abundance of caution, all Disney owned-and-operated locations at Disney Springs are currently temporarily closed. As of March 21, all other retail and restaurant locations at Disney Springs will also be temporarily closed. Please continue to check the Disney Springs website and websites of locations you wish to visit for information on when locations at Disney Springs will reopen.
UPDATE - March 17, 2020: Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort will also close at 5 p.m. Friday, March 20 through the end of the month. This will give Guests the ability to make necessary travel arrangements or book alternative accommodations.
Due to the Resort hotel closures, and in keeping with our focus on the well-being of our Guests and Cast Members, Disney Floral & Gifts is temporarily suspending operations on Wednesday, March 18 close of business through the end of the month. The Disney Floral & Gifts website will be adjusted so that no orders will process for delivery from March 20-April 4 at Walt Disney World Resort.
UPDATE - March 15, 2020: With circumstances continuing to change rapidly around the globe, we are making critical and timely decisions based on guidance from local, national and international health agencies. As we have shared before, we are basing our decisions on the safety and well-being of our Cast Members and our Guests, since there is nothing more important than that.
Based on that, at Disney Springs in Florida, we will be closing all of the Disney owned and operated locations, including shops and restaurants, beginning Tuesday, March 17, through the end of the month. Select restaurants and retail locations at Disney Springs may remain open and your Clients should call the location they wish to visit for operating hours.
In addition, Disney owned and operated hotels at Walt Disney World Resort and Disney’s Vero Beach Resort will close at 5 p.m. Friday, March 20 through the end of the month. This will give Guests the ability to make necessary travel arrangements or book alternative accommodations.
Like the rest of our Cast Members, those who work in the Disney owned areas will continue to be paid through the end of the month.
We will continue to monitor the situation and maintain regular contact with the appropriate officials and health experts.
Original Post Announcing Temporary Closure - In keeping with our focus on the well-being of our Guests, Cast Members and your Clients, we are proceeding with the closure of our theme parks at Walt Disney World® Resort, beginning March 16, through the end of the month.
The Walt Disney Company will pay its Cast Members during that closure period.
We will continue to stay in close contact with appropriate officials and health experts.
Effective March 15, 2020, until further notice, we’re making a temporary adjustment to our final payment policy for Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort packages booked through Walt Disney Travel Company. For existing bookings, final payment to WDTC will now be due 7 days prior to Guest arrival. Payment may be made online or by phone. For new package reservations made through DTA, with arrival in less than 30 days, payments will be due in full. Please note that our call centers can take partial payments.
Certain Walt Disney World Resort reservations are eligible to be cancelled online. Walt Disney Travel Company packages may be cancelled online if the package was originally booked online and if there are no third-party components in the package. To check if a package is eligible for online cancellation, please visit the Disney Travel Agents website and pull up your Client’s reservation. If you are able to cancel online, the option to do so will be shown on the page. If not, please call the Walt Disney World call center.
March 11, 2020 - Walt Disney Travel Company is making a temporary adjustment to its policy on change fees for Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort vacations. The following applies only to leisure package bookings made through Walt Disney Travel Company.
Until further notice, Disney will waive the Disney-imposed $50 change fee for Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort packages.
Guests may move their reservation to a future date in 2020.
Changes are subject to availability, and the guest is responsible for paying any increase in price resulting from the change. In addition, any change fees assessed by third-party hotels or other suppliers must be paid, and some products or services may be non-refundable. If air transportation has been ticketed, the guest will be responsible for any increase in airfare as well as any change fee assessed by the airline.
For clients who purchased travel insurance, there is an updated policy in effect until further notice: Up to 24 hours prior to arrival, Guests may modify their arrival dates and maintain coverage under the protection policy as long as there is not a claim on the original travel dates.
Some events and dining experiences may not be offered on the new dates and may be non-refundable.
This temporary policy does not apply to changes made for groups, meetings, and other room block bookings.
If a vacation is cancelled, all applicable cancellation fees continue to apply.
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