What to expect at Walt Disney World During Corona
Life at Walt Disney World certainly has changed since its closure in early March of 2020. Walt Disney World reopened four months later with many new safety protocols. Many people wondered if it was worth time and money to visit during the pandemic due to the new precautions now in place. Our family of course rushed right over to Walt Disney World so we could check out the theme parks for ourselves and be able to report back to you about our experience. In this article, I will describe the major changes that have taken place at Walt Disney World and give you our opinion on the changes.
Currently, to enter the Disney theme parks you not only have to have valid theme park admission, but also a theme park reservation for the same park on the same date. To make a theme park reservation you must first purchase a ticket for the time period you would like to visit. Once you have a ticket you may then make a theme park reservation via the Disney Park Pass system.
Making a theme park reservation is quick and easy. We had no issues with making a reservation. Keep in mind, theme park reservations do sell out so I would suggest checking the Theme Park Reservation Availability before purchasing your park tickets. Once you purchase your tickets make sure you hurry and make your reservation so that they don't run out of availability for your dates.
Reduced Capacity and Physical Distancing
To keep everyone physicaly distanced, Disney is currently only allowing 35% capacity in the parks, and you will notice markers set up in the queue lines keeping parties 6 feet apart from each other. This is one change that our family has really enjoyed. Without large crowds, it certainly feels more relaxed and peaceful while at the parks.
Masks and Temperature Screenings
Disney means business when it comes to wearing masks. Everyone ages 2 and up must wear masks everywhere on Walt Disney World property. The only exceptions are when you are swimming, when you are in one of the "relaxation stations", or when you are actively eating or drinking while stationary. Masks must be made with at least 2 layers of material, fully covering the mouth and nose and fitting securely under the chin and snugly around the sides of the face. Masks must be secured with ties or ear loops and allow the Guest to remain hands-free. Due to these guidelines, neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas, and face coverings containing valves, mesh material, or holes of any kind are not acceptable.
When it comes to temperature screenings, Disney will check your temperature with a no-touch themometer and those with temperatures of 100.4 F or greater will not be allowed entry into the Walt Disney World theme parks, the Disney Springs area, as well as table-service restaurants at Disney Resort hotels. Please arrive early to give yourself a little bit of time to get through the temperature check line.
Meeting the Characters
Meeting the characters after Covid is a bit different than you may be used to. Instead of standing in line to wait your turn for a hug from Mickey Mouse you will notice character cavelcades all around the parks where you can see the characters drive by and wave to you from a distance. You will also notice characters standing in different spots throught the parks making it possible for you to get a selfie with your favorite characters but from a distance.
When it comes to Character Meals, many are not currently open, however there are a few Character Meals that are open. Once again, your experience will be a bit different than you remember. Instead of buffets they are served table-service or family style which I absolutely love. When the waiters bring our food to our table, I am free to sit and wait for the characters so that I do not miss a thing. The characters will come by and stand back from your table so that you can snap some photos from a distance. No more autographs or hugs, but still an amazing experience.
Shows, Parades and Fireworks
Most shows, fireworks, and parades are not currently running. The only live stage show at Walt Disney World currently is For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-along Celebration at Hollywood Studios. Our family was not happy that these things are not available, but it did give us some time to stop and smell the roses so to speak. We weren't rushed on this past trip, and were able to spend some time searching for hidden Mickeys, trying out new snacks, and taking photos with the characters we found around the parks.
Should I Visit Walt Disney World During Corona?
While your next vacation at Walt Disney World may be different than you remember it, Walt Disney World is still the most magical place on earth! There is so much to see and do even during Corona that you are bound to have the time of your life. I would highly suggest visiting during this time (if you or anyone in your family is not high risk) to do so due to the lighter crowds, the change from buffet to sit-down meals at the restaraunts that offer Character Meals, and the laid back feel currently at the parks. It is still absolutely true that a bad day at Disney is better than a good day anywhere else, however, there are no bad days at Disney! Not even during Corona. You will have an amazing time, and if you would like My Greatest Adventure Travel to help you plan your next magical vacation send us an email at reservations@mygreatestadventure travel or visit us at mygreatestadventuretravel.com.