What to Expect at Walt Disney World Resorts Post Shutdown

Walt Disney World resorts have now reopened after being closed for over 3 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All the Disney magic you know and love has returned, but things might look slightly different.

My friend Amanda from Vegan Disney Food stayed at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort shortly after the resorts reopened and shared many of the new safety measures in place. Let’s take a look!

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Lobby

Resort Arrival

Before even entering the resorts, you will be met with lots of new signage with all of the Health and Safety protocols Disney has in place.

Health & Safety Notice at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Photo: Amanda Tinney
Health & Safety Reminders at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Photo: Amanda Tinney
Health & Safety Notice at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Photo: Amanda Tinney

All of the trash can doors are now kept open to reduce contact. As someone who hates touching trash can doors, I love this!

Photo: Amanda Tinney

In the lobby of the resorts, you will find more signage on how to skip the front desk if you completed Online Check-In.

Grand Floridian Lobby Signage
Photo: Amanda Tinney

Utilizing Online Check-In is HIGHLY recommended to avoid unnecessary contact with Cast Members at the front desk. Your room number will be sent directly to you via text or email when ready and it can also be found in your My Disney Experience app. You can use your MagicBand or My Disney Experience to then open your room!

If you do need to go to the front desk, you will find sanitized pens available with a separate cup for used pens. I’m also loving this!

Photo: Amanda Tinney
Photo: Amanda Tinney

Resort Rooms

Now let’s move on to the rooms and what new features you will find in there. Amanda stayed in a beautiful Deluxe Studio in the Disney Vacation Club section of the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. This is located in a separate building to the right of the Main Lobby. The simple, sophisticated design of these rooms are stunning.

Photo: Amanda Tinney

All resort rooms are now going through an enchanced cleaning process between each guest. This includes:

  • Additional attention to high-touch areas like door handles and TV remotes
  • Housekeeping tools will be cleaned between rooms
  • Floors will be steam cleaned and vacuumed between guests

TV Remote, Cleaned & Wrapped
Photo: Amanda Tinney

I have also seen photos from Disney’s Hilton Head Resort that there are similar plastic coverings over the soap pumps in the shower, so you might expect to see that as well.

During your stay you will also find:

  • Individually wrapped glassware
  • Double-cased pillows
  • Additional items that have been cleaned and wrapped in single-use packaging
  • Light daily cleaning: towel & amenity replenishment, trash removal, vacuuming if needed

Note that housekeeping service can be declined for your entire stay. This can be done during online check-in.

Recreation Areas

Moving outside at the resort, it is a virtual ghost town in these early days. Ever want to have an entire Disney resort to yourself? Now’s your chance!

Beach at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Photo: Amanda Tinney
Beach at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Photo: Amanda Tinney

All of the seating around the pools has been placed a minimum of 6 feet apart to allow for proper distancing, so don’t move those chairs!

Photo: Amanda Tinney

Note that not all of the pools at the resorts will be open during this initial phase of opening. For instance, only one of the pools at the Grand Floridian was open during this visit. Same goes for additional recreation options.

Resort Restaurants

Many of your favorite resort dining options are now open, but it’s not everything. Click here for a current list of available dining options.

At the restaurants, you will find them either virtually empty…

Grand Floridian Cafe
Photo: Amanda Tinney

Or with seating very spread apart. Amanda reported that only 8 tables were seated when she dined at Kona Cafe, which give ample space for social distancing.

Photo: Amanda Tinney

New at the restaurants are QR Code Menus to eliminate the use of high-touch items like menus and reduce the waste from paper menus. While I love looking at a nice menu at a restaurant, I think this is a fantastic idea!

Try out the QR Code!
Photo: Amanda Tinney

Note that many restaurants are currently operating with a limited menu, but most will still have those popular dishes you love. Tonga Toast is still available at Kona Cafe!

At the end of your meal, your bill now comes in a paper folio instead of the reusable ones.

Photo: Amanda Tinney

While we’re talking about restaurants, you MUST check out Amanda’s site Vegan Disney Food for fantastic reviews of all Disney restaurants. Even if you’re not vegan, she offers a fantastic look at what each restaurant has to offer and might get you to try something new!


Yes, things may look a little different these days at Walt Disney World, but rest assured that all of the magic is still there. Amanda assured me that she felt very safe during her visit and everything was very clean. Only time will tell how this will continue when the parks begin to open up and the resorts get more crowded.

If you are planning on visiting Walt Disney World soon or are just interested to see what other safety measures have been put in place, please visit KNOW BEFORE YOU GO for all of the most up to date information.

Happy Travels!


Getting ready to plan your next vacation? Good news, I’m a Personal Travel Planner and my passion is to bring joy to people through travel!

Contact me for a FREE no-obligation quote to the destination you’ve been dreaming of. I am an authorized Disney Vacation Planner, a Certified Universal Vacation Planner, and have extensive experience traveling along the East Coast, along with various other locations across the country and in Europe. I specialize in working with families, couples, honeymooners, foodies, runners and girls’ getaways. Let’s get started!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.