Wondering what it is like to visit Disney World during the Covid-19 Pandemic? We were, too! That’s why we recently celebrated my daughter’s ninth birthday visiting the Magic Kingdom. While the Coronavirus has changed a lot at Disney, many of the changes are things I hope to never see go away! Read below for full details on what it’s like to do Disney during the Pandemic.

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Safety First

First and foremost, Disney wants to make sure you feel safe. I can say that they have hit this benchmark 110%. Here are some of the safety measures that Walt Disney World has taken to make sure you stay safe at their parks during Covid:
  • Temperature Checks Required Before Entering any of the Parks or Disney Springs
    • ALL guests are required to have their temperature taken before allowed entry into Disney World's Parks:  Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios, as well as Disney Springs.
  • You Must Make A Park Reservation
    • In order to enter a park, you have to make a reservation ahead of time. This helps ensure that park capacity stays low and makes it easier to trace in the event of an outbreak.
  • Face Masks
    • Face masks must be worn by everyone ages two and up at all times. ZERO exceptions are made for this. The mask can only be removed when you are actively eating or drinking. The mask must cover your nose and mouth, and gaiters are not permitted. 
    • Think you can pop the mask off for some photo ops? Think again. Disney has cast members placed literally every ten feet around the castle to preven this from happening. The rules are taken very seriously and anyone not abiding is asked to leave the park. 
    • You are able to remove your mask once you are seated in a restaurant; however, it’s asked that you put it back on any time you get up from the table. 
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Social Distancing

Many social distancing measures have been put into place to ensure that plenty of space is available between guests. Here are all the different places we saw social distancing measures being taken. 

  • On The Buses
    • There are assigned numbers for the seats on the buses and buses are being operated at VERY low capacity. Dividers have also been put up in the buses between groups of seats for added protection.
  • In The Parking Lots
    • Disney even has social distancing requirments for your car! At the Magic Kingdom, cast members asked guests to park in every other spot so that as you gathered your belongings and prepared for your day, you had plenty of space between you and the next group of guests. Masks were also required in the parking lot as soon as you exited your vehicle.
  • In The Parks
    • Six to twelve foot markings are now in place throughout the parks. This is so that as lines wind back and forth, you keep at least six feet of distance around you at all times. As the lines wind back and forth, by keeping the twelve foot markings, this keeps the lines staggered, so those in the line next to you are still six feet away.
    • Many of the lines have been extended outside of the rides to ensure social distancing is allowed.
    • On rides an open space is being left between parties not traveling together. For instance, if you’re riding Pirates of the Caribbean with your family of four, you would be seated in the front row, and another family in the back with no other guests in between.
  • In The Stores
    • A big part of the fun at Disney is always souvenir shopping, but Disney has made sure it’s safe and socially distanced as well! First, Disney is implementing the social distancing markers in the lines at the stores. Second, they have changed many stores so there is one door that is the entrance and another door that is the exit. Lastly, when checking out, they’ve extended the check-out line areas to ensure there is plenty of space between guests.

  • In The Restaurants
    • Disney has limited the number of tables they are seating in their restaurants. There are empty tables between each party to ensure that social distancing requirements are met.

Changes in the Parks

Secondly, the biggest change you will “see” in the parks is the requirement of masks. Guests all wear face masks and many cast members wear masks and a shield. Other changes that have been made are as follows:
  • Hand Sanitizer Stations
    • Sanitizer is available at every single attraction and multiple locations throughout the parks.
  • No Character Interactions
    • There is no character interaction right now; however, they are doing small cavalcades and pop up’s throughout the day, so you still get the chance to see some characters. 
    • The Beast still makes an appearance at Be Our Guest, but you cannot touch or take photos with him.
    • Topolino’s Terrace, in Disney’s Riviera Resort, still has character appearances, too. Same rules apply with no photos or touching.
  • Physical Distancing Dividers
    • Dividers have been placed in many of the waiting areas for rides so that guests have some form of protection between themselves and those guests in the next line. These dividers are also being utilized on some rides throughout the parks. 
    • The monorails now have  vinyl dividers to act as a barrier between guests within the monorail’s cabin space.
    • Plexiglass shields are now in place at all registers at both shopping and dining venues.
  • No More Fingerprint Taken at the Entry
    • When entering the park, you no longer use your fingerprint with your ticket to enter, you just scan your band or card. (This is a change I hope stays! I have always found it gross that every guest coming in the park and then using the FastPass System scans their index finger on the same reader!)
  • No More FastPasses
    • Hopefully this is just for now, but there are is no FastPass System in place at Disney World at this time. Lines are not as short as they were back when Disney first reopened, but they do move quickly and the parks are definitely operating at lower capacities than normal.
  • No More Dining Plans
    • Another thing we hope is just for now, but there are no dining plan options available at Disney at this time.
  • Decreased Park Hours
    • The park hours at Disney are currently much shorter than normal. The day we visited Magic Kingdom it was open from 9am to 6pm. 

Different But Still Fun

Many have asked us if it was still worth it to go to Disney. Yes, things were different, but it was still fun! The masks were hot, but we were fortunate and it was cloudy and we did not have overly high temperatures, so that helped.   We really enjoyed the extra space on the buses and the lower crowds. I also felt like having so much space between others in line gave you the feeling that you were just there with your family, and it really forced you to interact with one another and have family time. This part was great!   In conclusion, yes, it’s not “the same” but it’s still Disney. Will you still have a great time? Absolutely! While I’m not 100% sure I will do Disney again in a mask, I am 100% glad that we did experience Disney during this very different time.   

How about you? Have you been to Disney it’s reopening during the Pandemic? If not, do you plan to go with the changes that’ve made still in place? Contact us below to begin planning, today!