Walt Disney World Coronavirus / COVID-19 Reopening Plans

Last updated 20 Sept 2021

BREAKING: Re-opening dates for Port Orleans Resorts announced! Riverside 14th October, French Quarter 28th October. Bookings commence 8th July.

This website is somewhat different to the multitude of general Disney-related resources around the internet in that we focus specifically on matters relating to the two Port Orleans resort hotels and their guests. There are many other sites that cover the rest of Walt Disney World in intricate detail so I don’t intend to duplicate all of that information here. However in these unprecedented times, as Walt Disney World gradually reopens its operations after the complete closure from mid-March until mid-July 2020, the following summary will hopefully prove useful.

The latest information as of 20 Sept 2021 regarding the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels is as follows:

  • All of the Disney Vacation Club Villa locations at Walt Disney World have now re-opened (including Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Disney’s Old Key West Resort) although some of the hotels to which they are attached remain closed.
  • Resort hotels which are currently open for regular room bookings are as follows:
    • Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
    • Disney’s Pop Century Resort
    • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
    • Disney’s Riviera Resort
    • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
    • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
    • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
    • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort [Now Open, 16 October 2020]
    • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort [Now Open, 1 November 2020]
    • Disney’s All Star Resort Movies [Now Open, 22 March 2021]
    • Disney’s Beach Club Resort [Now Open, 30 May 2021]
    • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge [Now Open, 6 June 2021]
    • Disney’s Boardwalk Inn (non-DVC rooms) [Now Open, 2 July 2021]
  • 19 July 2021: Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort will re-open after a refurbishment program [Now open]
  • 26 August 2021: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort (non-DVC rooms) [Announced 15 June; Now open]
  • 16 September 2021: Disney’s All Star Resort Music [Announced 7 July; Now open]
  • 14 October 2021: Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside [Announced 7 July]
  • 28 October 2021: Disney’s Port Orleans Resort French Quarter [Announced 7 July]
  • No re-opening date: Disney’s All Star Resort Sports [was to have been 9 December, now indefinitely delayed]

20 Sept 2021: All Star Sports' reopening date of 9 December has been indefinitely postponed to allow them to undertake unspecified refurbishment work. No new opening date has been communicated.

7 July 2021: Disney today informed travel agents of the planned re-opening dates of the remaining Walt Disney World resort hotels, including our very own Port Orleans Resorts! Guests will be able to make bookings starting tomorrow (8 July) for the following dates:

Overall, Riverside will have been closed for a total of 572 days, and French Quarter for 586 days, the longest period either resort has ever been shuttered in their history. All resort hotels will have re-opened in time for Christmas 2021.

15 June 2021: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort (the regular non-DVC hotel room section) has been given a re-opening date of 26 August. Just the remaining two All Star Resorts and Port Orleans to go now.

23 April 2021: Disney’s Boardwalk Inn (the regular non-DVC hotel room section) has been given a re-opening date of 2 July 2021.

15 December 2020: The reopening date for the All Star Movies Resort has been further delayed by another month until 22 March. Dates have also been announced for the Beach Club (30 May 2021) and Wilderness Lodge (6 June 2021). Sadly this would tend to imply that nothing is expected to happen with our Port Orleans Resorts until at least mid-June, unless demand increases noticeably in the meantime anyway.

21 October 2020: Disney today announced a re-opening date of 9 February 2020 for the All Star Movies Resort. Nothing for the other All Star Resorts as yet, nor for our own Port Orleans Resorts, but at least things are very slowly moving in the right direction. The fact that they are planning to open just one of the three All Stars may mean that Port Orleans could also get a split re-opening date when it does occur. Only time will tell.

29 September 2020: Disney announced that they are laying off a massive 28,000 cast members across their Florida and California sites, most of whom had previously been furloughed. Presumably with the end of the financial year imminent, and no end to the current crisis in sight, the company had to make some tough decisions based on predicted forthcoming attendance and revenue. Sadly, this awful news includes the loss of many entertainment cast members, including Riverside’s own “Ya Haa” Bob Jackson who had been the River Roost Lounge’s hugely popular night-time entertainer for 23 years. I wish Bob all the best for the future; he has been the heart and soul of Riverside for 23 years, and whenever the resort eventually re-opens it just won’t be the same without his infectious, tirelessly energetic performances. Good luck Bob, you will be sorely missed — no one made more fun than you.

24 June 2020: Walt Disney World has just announced their forthcoming reopening plans for the Resort Hotels, and sadly it’s not good news for Port Orleans fans. It was already known that the Fort Wilderness campground and the majority of the DVC Villas were due to open on 22 June, and now Animal Kingdom’s Jambo House Villas, Pop Century and the Contemporary Resort have been slated for 11 July to coincide with the theme parks’ re-opening. A number of other resorts now have staggered dates from then through to 14 October, but neither of the Port Orleans locations even have a date listed as yet, indicating that Disney do not expect to re-open them before Halloween at the very earliest. Guests with existing bookings who still wish to visit Walt Disney World should expect to be relocated to other Disney Resort hotels.

Update 24 June: Disney just released the WDW Resort hotel rates for 2021, and Port Orleans (along with the All Star Resorts, Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge) do not have any availability listed for the entire year. Whether this means that Disney is just not releasing any booking availability until they have announced confirmed re-opening dates, or if they genuinely do not expect some or all of these resorts to reopen for perhaps another 12 months, is unclear at the moment.

22 June 2020: The new park-entry reservation system opens online on the My Disney Experience website (not the app) at 7am EDT for guests with existing hotel bookings as long as they also have valid park admission passes linked to their account. [Update: it broke, you may have to wait a while to get in] On 26 June Annual Passholders without hotel reservations will be able to book reservations, but there is a limit of three booked dates held at any one time. On 28 June off-site guests with any other ticket types will be able to make reservations. All of these bookings are subject to availability due to park capacities, and sadly we can expect a pre-reservation system to remain in place for the foreseeable future — perhaps until September 2021.

Earlier information:

The above is just a brief summary of the currently understood reopening plans, for more information please keep an eye on local blogging sites who are posting updates multiple times a day, such as WDW News Today, Kenny the Pirate, and of course the official Walt Disney World website and Resorts page.