Visiting Walt Disney World During A Pandemic
Recently the Walt Disney World Resort reopened their gates after a nearly four month closure due to COVID-19.
Things around the park may seem a little different to seasoned park-goers to help accommodate Disney's new safety protocols.
Temperature Screenings: Before entering any of the parks or Disney Springs, an Advent Health health professional will take your temperature. If you or anyone entering with you are found to have a temperature over 100.4 or higher, you will be denied entry.
Enhanced Cleaning Procedures: Disney has really upped their game when it comes to cleaning. While you spend time in the parks and Disney Springs, you will see numerous cast members cleaning everywhere. You may even at some point have slightly longer wait times for rides as Disney completely shuts down the ride to give all the ride vehicles a thorough cleaning. When it comes to keeping yourself safe, you will be able to find hand sanitizing stations everywhere. They are located at all food locations, and at the entrances and exits of all rides. There are also certain areas that have touch-less hand washing stations.
Physical Distancing: Whether it comes to ground markings or actual physical barriers in the ride queues, Disney has implemented numerous ways to help you social distance from other guests.
Dining: Disney has implemented a few changes when it comes to dining, which helps limit contact. First is mobile ordering. Mobile ordering is available on your My Disney Experience app, and it has been implemented at all open quick service restaurants in the parks and at the resorts.
Disney has also implemented a few changes when it comes to your dining reservations. Disney is encouraging you to check in to your dining reservation in the My Disney Experience app. When you arrive at your dining reservation, you are able to check in on the app, and you are actually able to list any allergies and any celebrations right on the app. Then, when your table is available, you will receive a text letting you know a cast member is waiting to bring you to your table. Disney has also implemented mobile menus for their restaurants, instead of providing you with actual menus. Though, don't worry if you are a little technology challenged, we did find that some restaurants were providing disposable menus if you asked.
Character Interactions: Though Disney has currently suspended any character meet and greets, they have put together numerous ways to still see some of your favorite characters. One of my favorite ways was having some of your favorite characters in numerous random locations around the parks. This allows you to say hi to the characters and even take a few selfies from a safe distance away.
Disney has also suspended any parades to crowds from gathering, and have instead implemented what I'd call a "mini character parade." These do not have specific set times, and while we were visiting Magic Kingdom we actually saw some version numerous times. These mini parades consist of a float or two with a few characters, or even one of your favorite Disney characters riding a horse!
Face Masks: This is probably one of the biggest changes when it comes to your Walt Disney World visit. Disney has made face masks mandatory on Disney property. To help accommodate this, Disney has put together special areas throughout the parks called Relaxation Stations. These areas are Disney's designated no mask zones. These zones provide tables or chairs that have been specifically spaced apart to accommodate social distancing, yet still gives you a change to breathe and take a short break from your mask.
Though your Disney parks visit may look a little different from what you've grown used to, that doesn't mean it is any less magic. In fact, I think you'll find that the Disney magic is still all around you, there are still numerous ways to create more amazing, magical moments and memories.