More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

The Magic is Returning

Josh D'Amaro

by , Chairman, Disney Experiences

With the announcement of the proposed reopening dates for the Disneyland Resort, we are one more exciting step closer to reopening all of our Disney parks and experiences around the world.  Throughout the past few weeks, we have reopened Shanghai Disneyland, Disney Springs and several Disney stores, and set dates for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts, with more announcements coming soon.

We are purposefully taking baby steps during this very intentional phased approach.  As one of the first major theme parks to close our operations and the last to reopen, we have been deliberate about keeping the health and safety of our cast, guests and local communities top of mind. And as we look forward to bringing our cast members back to work, and welcoming you back as cherished guests – we know it will take all of us working together responsibly to recapture the magic.

We’re fortunate to be guided by a talented team of professionals who’ve helped us implement a variety of new health and safety measures reflecting the guidance of local health and government authorities. These are designed with both the cast and guests in mind for the unique environments of each of our parks, resorts and stores.

While certain aspects of your visit may change, I assure you the quality of our storytelling, magic of our experiences and the caliber of our cast members has not. We recognize the trust that you have in the Disney brand, and we will continue to earn your trust every day.  

My confidence comes in part from all of the hard work our teams have been doing behind the scenes in the past few months… as well as by the early successes we have seen at Shanghai Disneyland, the first of our theme parks to reopen. Guest satisfaction has been extremely high, and we will continue to make sure that as we bring back experiences, our attention to promoting your safety, maintaining your trust and providing unique ways for you to come together with family and friends to create new memories remains high as well.

Walt Disney once said that it takes people to make the dream a reality, and as we prepare ourselves to reopen his original park, I want you to know how eternally grateful I am for all of you who have made Disney parks, stores, hotels, cruise lines, guided tours and vacation properties part of your lives, as well as for the cast members, crew members, Imagineers, and employees who have brought them to life for the past 65 years.  

I know this has been a difficult year due to the impacts of COVID-19, but I can’t help but feel a great sense of hope and optimism. And like many of you, I look forward to hearing the laughter and seeing the joy of families making memories together… and I can’t wait to see you when the magic returns to all of our parks and resorts. 

Be well, 


  • hey…. please can we have some information for families planning (HOPING) to come to Disney this coming August 2020…. we are being told we need to make a decision by 25th June in order to keep our flights but unsure as to the quarantine rule in the USA and if you will be allowing us Brits to be able to enter?
    Any indication would be greatly appreciated …… we have waited 3 years to get to this point and would love to be able to still get there!?!?!?!
    Thanks , Kay UK

  • I’m so happy that Disneyland will be opening – on my birthday! I just have a lot of anxiety about the reservation system that I can’t seem to get any more information about. We had a room reservation for the Grand Californian starting 7/16 but so far I’m seeing that that’s not happening and we’ve moved on to Plan B. However, I’m wondering how many people want to go the first day and if I’m going to be able to get two of us to be able to actually get into the parks. (My anxiety comes from the last D23 Expo reservation system which I wasn’t able to get into for about 2 hours and everything was booked already. I’m hoping this won’t be the case.) I’m just thankful that we have annual passes and will not need to purchase tickets. However, I find I’ve been unable to make dining reservations either. Will that come back at the same time we can get a reservation to get into the parks?

  • We have an upcoming reservation at our DVC resort on August 16-22. I have not been able to purchase park tickets or make any reservations, and since my vacation was booked with banked points from the previous use year, if I cancel, my points will expire on 12/1. There has not been an extension for points in the December use year. It is not feasible to expect those of us with hotel reservations to keep the reservations if we cannot purchase park tickets. I’m happy to cancel my trip and reschedule but not if I will risk losing all of my points for this trip. As a Disney veteran and DVC member and former annual passholder, this is not the customer service I’ve come to know and expect of Disney.

  • I know that it’s a big operation, but I’m struggling with the parks will open, in some way, on July 11th, but you can’t tell me if my resort will be open in mid-August. As a WDW veteran, it seems as if there really isn’t a plan at this time. As an outside observer, I think Disney is damaging their reputation.

  • Can Disney please give some information to is Brits who are due to visit in the coming few months. We have had this trip booked for 18 months and have been so excited to be coming “home”. We still plan to come, even with all restrictions but our biggest anxiety is what happens if your country isn’t open to us or places a 14 day quarantine on us? We are being asked now to commit to the booking before 30th June or change it now, but can we make changes in those situations after 30th June or do we just lose all money because we chose to stick with the planned reservation? Josh, we are really supportive and appreciate your situation but we NEED information now about how this is all going to actually work to be able to make decisions. Lisa – UK

  • Please stop telling us what we can’t do.
    No dining plan, no dining reservations, no fireworks, no parades, no BBB, no extra magic hours (which I don’t understand)…and maybe no park reservations. We understand the restrictions but we want just a pixie dust of information for those who have resort reservations and tickets already.
    You told all of us loyal Disney vacationers that we would be able to rebook our dining reservations etc at 60 days. How is that going to happen when we don’t know if we can even go to the park? I am not going to spend 4 days at Disney World and not be able to go. We just want more information. A little hope in this time of craziness.

  • We are very excited to hear about Disneyland. We will be at WDW on the 24th enjoying the magic we call home. While everyone is excited and want all the answers, many of us understand and appreciate the methodical approach. We will wear masks, and be patient guests as dining and parks are figured out. I hope others show up ready to support our happy place and cast members that give us so much joy in this time of careful trial. Josh, you will hear more squeaky wheels right now, but there are a great many people that trust you will bring the magic back and are willing to do their part to support. As I’ve told my kids when they try hard things, “you’ve got this.” I’m so excited to hear “welcome home” in 12 days.

  • I’m OK with opening the parks as long as people are given the choice not to extend their annual passes as Disney originally promised.

    However, when I called Disney Guest Relations yesterday, and tried to tell them I didn’t wish to extend my still valid and fully paid for pass, the Cast Member informed me that Disney would NOT give me a pro-rated rebate for the period of time that Disneyland was closed due to the Coronavirus shutdown! I then asked to speak with a supervisor, who was very apologetic and sympathetic but explained that this was, in fact, Disney’s policy, regardless what they publicly announced, and they had no power to change it. To be clear, I had never requested an extension.

    They told me that the only options Disney is willing to offer me is to either:

    1. Extend my pass
    2. Lose the 3+ months fully paid up pass cost. Since I have a Signature Plus pass, that works out to about $250.

    Again, to be clear, my pass was 100% fully paid fo r prior to the shut down. It was (and still is) valid and active (not expired). And I have never requested that Disney extend it. And, yet, Disney is refusing to refund anything to me for the period that the parks were closed, and insists that my only option is either to extend my pass or lose the money I’d paid for those 3+ months.

  • Josh, if it takes people to make the dream a reality, then I hope for your sake some turn up for the extremely watered down experience they’re going to get (if they’re lucky enough to win a golden ticket to be allowed into a park at all!) and at the same high prices as before.
    As a loyal Disney foreign visitor for over 30 years (no exaggeration, me and family members have spent 300+days in the parks) I genuinely fear it may not be worth my jet lag any more, and that’s even if your government agrees to let me into the country!

  • Hello Josh, hope you and your family are well. Im hoping for a little guidance as we currently have 4 day Park hopper tic (from what I saw no park hopper will be allow) but when I got my tickets that were to start on July 12th. However, no one has reached out to me and I thought on your website it says that with anyone that already has park tickets that they will be reached out to and we have not been and I wanted to ensure that someone was going to email me or call me to ensure that we will be ok. Before its open again for people to buy new tickets as WE already have our tickets for July but no one has reached out to me in regards to my upcoming trip to the parks on July 12 since we already have our tickets… I thought on the website it said that you guys will be helping users that already have tickets. Please help with mom of 4 boys.

  • Welcome to the blog Mr. Josh!

  • We all want the Magic with some details so we know how to move forward with our vacations getting closer and closer.
    It’s very difficult having planned last year for a May trip and then have to reschedule for September, have our dining cancelled for the second trip and not know how to make a reservation for our passes.
    Can we guarantee that we will be able to use our multi-day passes? Who wants to go and wonder IF we will get in, that defeats all the long term planning for this vacation.
    So although a nice post, it is still short on tangible answers.

  • Hi, Is there still a Disney Parks Blog email newsletter? Thanks!

  • Was glad to see you promoted to Chairman of Disney Parks and experiences. Just seeing what you have accomplished in other areas of Disney have been amazing, and I feel like you will bring great experiences to the Disney Parks. Looking forward to our family August trip even with all the limitations of reopening. Keeping fingers crossed there will also be some great bounce back discounts for those of us coming at the re-opening since we will have less hours and limited experiences. We would love to take another trip at full opening next year and use our left over park tickets. 😉 that is just a little hint…lol
    Good luck on new magical adventures!

  • Thank you for this encouraging report. We have been planning a trip for late September for over a year. I cried when our ADR’s were cancelled. We are praying this will all work out fine, and our trip will be fantastic.

  • I’ve heard several rumors about the reopening. we are planning to come back to Disneyworld in sept. one of the rumors I heard was that you won’t be able to use the park hopper feature (which we paid for). is this true? if it is true, what if I need to leave to go to the hotel room for a bit, would I be allowed back into the park I just left?

  • Josh, I have an Annual Pass and I’m not able to wear a mask in the park for any length of time. I need to know how to cancel my passes.

  • When will new tickets be sold. We have a trip planned for next mont?

  • Josh, We look forward to safely entering Disneyland once again as soon as the parks reopen. Please remember that the magic of Disneyland is rooted in its unique LIVE entertainment and that no other Disney park anywhere in the world has that same level of magic. While we know that some experiences (parades & fireworks) will be sidelined for a while even after the parks reopen, PLEASE make sure that the Disneyland Band, The Strawhatters, The Royal Street Bachelors, The Dapper Dans, The Pearly Band, The Main Street Pianists, 5 & Dime and all the other great musical storytellers are there to welcome us back ON opening day. And PLEASE make sure that Mickey and his pals are there to surround us with the magic that Uncle Walt created 65 years ago. We have faith in you, Josh… and we know that you will treat Disneyland right. Thanks in advance!

  • I could not be happier about today’s news. It truly hurt my heart when the sad realization set in that Disneyland Resort — a place that brings so much joy to people all year long — would have to close indefinitely in the wake of a pandemic. Even when I cannot be at the parks, there is a comfort in knowing they are open, bringing smiles to other happy faces. I don’t think a lot of people quite understand how much Disneyland means to some guests — it’s much more than just a simple theme park, or a place to go on fun rides and eat Dole Whips and Mickey-shaped food (although who can resist those?). Some visitors feel a real connection to the park — it’s part of who they are, if they’ve been going there long enough. It’s a place that helps make irreplaceable memories, inspires limitless creativity and imagination, and, in many cases, offers an escape from the troubles they are facing. I cannot even put into words how much Disneyland has meant to me throughout my life.

    I know that some things will change in the parks and around the Resort — certain changes will be temporary and some might last a while longer — but I am so, soooo thrilled that Disneyland will be open in time for its 65th birthday!

  • So we know that you will be re-opening, but how. Will parks be limited to a certain number of people a day? Will we need reservations? How far in advance should be book?

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