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This is an article discussing is Disney World safe and an inside look at the new Disney World.
This is an editorial submitted by a guest contributor. This article is designed to inform [but necessarily encourage] a visit to Walt Disney World resort during the Covid-19 pandemic.
You’ve really got to hand it Mickey and his pals, they’ve seemed to come back stronger than ever. Don’t believe me? Keep on reading!
Walt Disney World was closed for almost four months prior to their grand reopening, making it by far the longest closure in the theme park’s 49 years of operation. As the world stood still, Disney immediately got to work, making massive operational modifications designed to safeguard guests for their future return to the most magical place on earth.
Now, we don’t need to tell you that as Walt Disney World superfans, we know the parks like the back of our hands. We tell you 23 of the Best Rides at Disney World for Toddlers, 11 Money Saving Tips For Disney World on a Budget, or even 5 of the Best Fast Passes for Magic Kingdom.
So, naturally, when there is even the slightest alteration made to our home away from home, our inner Mother Gothel comes out, forcing us to become a wee-bit overprotective and irrationally concerned. Seriously! We seize up anytime we sense a disturbance in the force.
But fear not, fellow Mousketeers! We have been to Walt Disney World 2.0 and as it turns out all that panic was in vain. Though some revisions take a little getting used to, the good far outweighs the bad. In fact, I think they just may have re-built a better mouse!
That is why we are so excited to present to you an insider’s take on the “New Normal” at Disney World and include five changes and tips!
Is Disney World Safe?
Too Grateful To Be Hateful
Whether you’re whistling while you work your way down Main Street, U.S.A or skywalking through Galaxy’s Edge, Walt Disney World is rarely at a loss for smiling faces. And while mandatory masks for Guests, as well as Cast Members, make it rather difficult to spot those pearly whites, you cannot ignore all the smiling eyes!
Upon entering both Magic Kingdom [during Annual Passholder Preview] and EPCOT [for Reopening Day], I was absolutely overwhelmed by the level of pure euphoria that packed the parks.
From fans making a mad dash to their favorite attraction to a welcome line of Cast Members filling the EPCOT walkways, I can honestly say that I have never seen such an outward display of appreciation for Walt Disney World from Guests and Cast Members alike. There were more exchanges of “how-do-you-do” and “mighty-pleasant-greetin’” than you could possibly imagine. I spend less time wondering is Disney World safe and more time enjoying the park.
The four-month hiatus proved to be well worth the wait. In fact, I believe this time away served as a reminder of just how lucky we are to have this beautiful utopian beacon of hope and happily ever after.
Update: I have been back to Walt Disney World since week one of reopening and that sense of relief and wonderment still pervades and prevails!
Makin’ Memories, Makin’ Memories
Look, I will be the first to admit that I can be a little goofy with my Walt Disney World vacation planning. Between time-stamped spreadsheets to pre-meditated bathroom breaks, when it comes to maximizing my time in the parks, I bring obsessive to a whole new world.
But excess planning may be causing unnecessary harm to your vacation! You see, despite your hyper-vigilance, you are missing the forest through the Tree of Life! Bouncing from one thing to the next may seem like a great way to carpe Disney, but it narrows your focus.
Put down the MyDisneyExperience App, quit making a beeline to your next conquest, stop worrying is Disney World safe, breathe in the sweet air emitting from The Plaza Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street, and take in the majesty that surrounds you.
This ‘new and improved’ Walt Disney World offers us the rare opportunity to slow down, share each moment with our family and friends, and make more memories than we could have ever planned to make. Why? Because we didn’t plan to make them at all.
A Real Walk in The Park
Ever dream of having the parks all to yourself? Well, now you pretty much can!
Due to limited park capacity, you can practically lay down in the middle of Future World. Never once did I have to weave in-and-out of a party, dodge a stroller, or feel as though my personal space was being invaded.
It was a real walk in the park. [Pun intended]
Don’t Miss Your Queue!
Don’t get all Donald Duck on me when I break the news to you, but Fast Passes are currently unavailable at Walt Disney World. I know, I know! But this is actually fab-five-tastic news for anyone looking to hop right on those E-ticket attractions!
Due to limited crowd capacity, attraction Wait Times are at an all-time low! We’re talking like 10 Minute Wait Time for Flight of Passage low.
This also allows Guests to board an attraction without bypassing the queue, as is standard when utilizing a Fast Pass. Why does this matter? Walt Disney World queues help enhance the attraction that you are about to ride. This is where you can find a meticulously concocted collection of yeti memorabilia or watch Tinkerbell flitter and fly around the Darling residents.
And to think, all this time you’ve been ‘passing’ by them!
Distancing and sanitation and masks, oh my! Is Disney World Safe?
This is the main thing people want to know: is Disney World safe? Despite the ongoing threat of the coronavirus, from a cleanliness standpoint, this may be the safest time to visit the resort.
Walt Disney World Cast Members have been working overtime to implement safety measures suggested by government officials and health advisers, including mandatory face coverings, temperature screenings, physical distancing, plexiglass barriers, and the sterilization of ride vehicles.
I secretly love these additions and hope that some of these enchanting protocols become a permanent “new normal” at Walt Disney World.
Before the Walt Disney World reopening, if you wanted a shot at landing a spot at the best Disney World restaurants for kids, you had no choice but to wake up at the crack of dawn 180 days prior to your vacation and log onto My Disney Experience to pick what you and your entire party wanted to eat six-months from now!
Thankfully, the reopening phase has brought Advanced Dining Reservations pre-booking down to a more palatable 60-day window! So, if you are planning a spur of the moment trip, you just may be able to snag a seat at your favorite Walt Disney World dining destinations.
Is Disney World Safe? Tips to Guide You.
1. Find a mask that fits you as perfectly as Cinderella’s glass slipper!
One size most certainly does not fit all. Some masks are too loose, some masks are too tight, and those masks that land in between seem to make your glasses fog up like Cherry Tree Lane! Do yourself a favor and spend some time searching for the mask that works for you. After all, you’re going to be wearing it for hours on end.
2. Pack extra masks!
While I did not find wearing the mask throughout the parks to be particularly trying, I did manage to sweat through them. Wearing a clean [and effective] mask is keeping Disney World safe. So once you find the mask that works for you, grab as many as you can. You’ll be glad you did when it is time for your refreshing mid-day mask change.
3. BYOS [Bring Your Own Sanitizer]
Despite the fact that there are tons of sterilizing stations throughout the parks, try bringing your own little bottle of hand sanitizer to use at your own convenience. You won’t have to go out of your way to access them and you can pick your own scent.
4. Allot Some Extra Time for Your Magic Carpet Ride
Unfortunately, Walt Disney World transportation has suffered a few cutbacks due to the new changes and as a result, has been moving a bit slower. Limited capacity aboard each mode of transportation has not helped speed things along either. Be sure to tack on a few extra minutes to your travel time. If you can drive or rent a car, I strongly suggest that you take advantage of this opportunity. That way, you call the shots. Not to mention, it is probably the most sanitation-friendly option!
5. Relaxation Stations
Disney has created several conveniently located relaxation stations throughout the parks designated for temporary mask removal. Use them! Even just a moment or two of brevity can help you catch your second wind and rally for that next tour through World Showcase!
6. Mix It Up!
Given the limited number of Guests in the park throughout this reopening phase, you have time and space to do more than just the typical Walt Disney World “Ride, Churro, Rinse and Repeat” method. Why not mix it up a little? I suggest hosting a scavenger hunt in the park with your family! You’re bound to find some not-so-hidden gems [and Mickeys] that you never noticed before! After all, the Disney is in the details and memories are made when you least expect it.
Despite my hundreds of trips to the Magic Kingdom, I have never noticed the unique markings on a bench in Adventureland. Why? My over-planning-itus forced me to skip right over it as I made a mad dash for The Jungle Cruise!
If you’re asking me, is Disney World safe, my answer is yes. Despite all the changes, Walt Disney World has remained as magical as ever. Their hard work and dedication throughout this time of transition are most admirable. They have done a wonderful job getting things back to normal. Well, back to the “new normal.” This time, with just a pinch more of pixie-dust sparkle.