Today is finally the day!
After 20 months of not being able to travel to see loved ones or vacation at Disneyland or Walt Disney World, international visitors can now enter the United States.
During the pandemic, travel was sadly incredibly difficult for many, especially if you were planning on traveling internationally to the U.S.
For those looking to visit the Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort from abroad, the rules and regulations made that quite difficult — almost impossible.
First instated by the Trump administration back in March 20202, and later expanded to include more countries by President Joe Biden earlier this year, the restrictions prohibited most visitors from the EU, U.K., South Africa, India, Brazil, and China from flying into the U.S.
There was some great news from The White House for international travelers, with travel restrictions being lifted for fully vaccinated foreign nationals effective November 8 at land borders and for air travel.
Beginning today, foreign, non-immigrant adults traveling to the United States from the United Kingdom, Europe and beyond will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with limited exceptions. Additionally, all travelers are required to get a COVID-19 test prior to boarding an aircraft to the United States.
For those wanting to be the first to fly to the U.S. today – the first international visitors since March 2020 – however, there is certainly a steep cost. Airfares are soaring, with travelers trying desperately to see family, friends, or fulfill canceled Disney vacations as soon as they can after over a year and a half away.
Airports across the United States are anticipating a busy week for international arrivals, with TSA and airline agents dealing with a sudden increase in border access and plane capacity.
Orlando International Aiport (MCO) is the hub for most travelers coming to visit Walt Disney World in Florida, and even before seeing international arrivals today was seeing up to 5 hours wait for TSA:
My mom is currently at the Orlando Airport @MCO where the @TSA security line looks like this. Passengers being told the wait is 4-5 hours. @united rebooked my mom on a flight two hours later due to these lines. United told her it’s a TSA issue
My mom is currently at the Orlando Airport @MCO where the @TSA security line looks like this. Passengers being told the wait is 4-5 hours. @united rebooked my mom on a flight two hours later due to these lines. United told her it’s a TSA issue pic.twitter.com/wiTsejSBn7
— Jenn Sullivan (@JennSullivanTV) November 7, 2021
Disney Parks are welcoming Guests back from overseas with open arms, with the Disney Parks official Twitter posting this sweet welcome video today:
— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) November 8, 2021
And back in England, Heathrow Airport in London saw a special take-off of two planes bound for the United States:
A fantastic morning at #Heathrow as the US reopens to fully vaccinated travellers, with @British_Airways and @VirginAtlantic celebrating with first ever commercial simultaneous take-off from London to New York, guided by @NATS
A fantastic morning at #Heathrow as the US reopens to fully vaccinated travellers, with @British_Airways and @VirginAtlantic celebrating with first ever commercial simultaneous take-off from London to New York, guided by @NATS. 🇬🇧🛫🛫🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/Vq2WEkcIPh
— Heathrow Airport (@HeathrowAirport) November 8, 2021
As a British native, I am thrilled to see international visitors get to explore the beauty and adventure of the U.S. again. Welcome back, everyone!
Are you traveling today to the U.S. from abroad? Let us know your experience!
If you are looking to plan your next Disney Parks vacation but need some help, don’t forget to contact the expert Disney Vacation Planners at Academy Travel to help you put together your dream trip. Get in touch for a free quote today!