BREAKING NEWS: DISNEY WORLD IS CLOSING DUE TO COVID-19!
March 12, 2020: Thursday evening, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida released the following statement saying:
“In an abundance of caution and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we are proceeding with the closure of our theme park at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida beginning at the close of business on Sunday, March 15th, through the end of the month,” a Disney spokesperson said.
The Walt Disney Company will pay its cast members during that closure period. The hotel at Walt Disney World resort will remain open until further notice. The retail and dining at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World will remain open.
Domestic Walt Disney Company employees who are able to work from home are being asked to do so, including those at The Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Television, ESPN, Direct-to-Consumer, and Parks, Experiences and Products. We will continue to stay in close contact with appropriate officials and health experts.”
Disney World resort employs more than 75,000 people, making it the largest single-site employer in the United States.
Earning Guest Passes has changed for DCP cast members!
For more info: The HUB>>Quick Links>>Complimentary Admission.
You must complete a certain number of service hours to earn guest passes:
150 Hours Worked = 3 One Day Park Hopper Passes (3)
300 Hours Worked = 3 More One Day Park Hopper Passes (3+3=6)
600 Hours Worked = 3 More One Day Park Hopper Passes (3+3+3=9)
CPs can now only earn up to 9 One Day Park Hopper Passes in a calendar year.
The new One Day Park Hopper guest passes are referred to as the ‘Chip & Dale’ passes…you can see why!
Note that most CPs will work about 30 hours per week in a normal, non-holiday week.
This means that for most CPs, they will have to work 5 weeks to receive the first 3 guest passes. Unless you extend your program, you probably will not work 600 hours during your program, especially the Spring Program CPs. The passes are mailed to you about 10 days after completing each 150 hour work period.
But, CPs will still have opportunities to receive additional free Park guest passes through volunteering with Disney VoluntEARS and at other company-sponsored events. The Family Holiday Celebration passes that are issued during the Fall DCP Program are for 1 day/1 guest entrance.
You can not just give the Guest Passes to family/friends and have them use them. When visiting a WDW theme park with a guest(s), you must touch your Blue Main Gate Pass to the Mickey touch point first, then immediately your guest(s) must touch their Guest Pass to the touch point.
After that first use, you don’t have to stay with your guests (i.e., you can go to work) and they can use their Guest Pass to park hop without you being there. But, you are responsible for their behavior – and any misbehavior – so use your Guest Passes wisely!
There have definitely been stories of family members freaking out and expecting special treatment in the parks and this bad behavior can even be enough to ‘term’ i.e., fire the cast member!
Trouble with your passes: Talk to your manager or call Global Human Resources Operations at (321) 939-7000 if you need to update your address.
Remember, your Self Entrance Pass is good for you and your guests at US-Based Disney Parks:
Disney World (FL)
Hong Kong Disneyland
And, don’t forget, you get free parking at WDW and DLR by showing your company ID (currently at $25/day).
For more info and current black-out dates: The HUB>>Quick Links>>Complimentary Admission
We thought we would post the upcoming blockout dates for using your Disney guest passes for all four WDW theme parks for the next few months in case family and friends are planning a visit to Orlando to see you!
New official link for cast members to check on blockout dates at all Disney Parks: https://blockoutdates.disney.com/
February 2020 – April 2020: The blockout dates for the 4 WDW parks are below.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom:
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
NOTE: Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened August 29th and Rise of the Resistance opened December 5, 2019! Both main gate and guest passes are still blocked out all spring!
The 2019-2020 Disney Family Holiday Celebration ends February 13, 2020!
40% off merchandise discount is still in effect until then! Whoo-hoo!
Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon: Free Admission for Cast Members!
Update: Typhoon Lagoon is currently closed for refurbishment and will not reopen until March 2020.
Both of Disney’s water parks are refurbished annually, typically between October to March. The refurbishment schedule is staggered so guests can enjoy at least one water park experience year-round.
Comments about the Disney Water Parks: Cast members can get into the Disney water parks for free ($69 value). You can also buy 1/2 price tickets ($34.50) for family and friends at the gate. Cast members must be present with their guests.
Please note that the water parks close when the temperature falls below 65 degrees (the water is not heated) or if thunderstorms/lightning are nearby.
Discounted (10% off) ticket rates: Discounted Tickets for Cast Members.
Remember, CMs can buy discounted park tickets for their guests at the Company D store to use on blocked out days.
Parking at all the theme parks is currently $25/day.
Remember, cast members get free parking. Just show your ID badge at the gate.
They are now more consistently checking Annual Pass Holders IDs for free parking at the entrance gate. And the guards at the resorts are questioning all guests if they have a resort or dining reservation at the resort before allowing guests to park.
Read more here: Disney Increase Parking Fees to $25 a Day
We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/
Have a magical day!