Visiting Walt Disney World During A Pandemic
The magic. That is why guests travel to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Well, let's face it, things are different now, but there is still magic to be found!
What was different? There were differences at Walt Disney World this vacation, that is for sure! To keep the crowds to a minimum, fireworks as well as shows are currently on hold. Parades are not happening, yet at the same time, they are! If you hear a change in the music as you are walking (it's suddenly a little louder, for example), keep your eyes peeled! A cavalcade is going to be coming by within the next couple of minutes. A cavalcade is a single float with one or more of your favorite Disney characters onboard! In the Magic Kingdom, we saw one with Tinkerbell on a treasure chest as well as another that had Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy! It wasn't a parade by any means, but it was still fun to see the characters out and about without needing to do battle for a prime location. There are also cavalcades in Hollywood Studios and Epcot (out in the World Showcase). Animal Kingdo
Park Reservations...Did you know you now need a reservation to get into a Walt Disney World Theme Park? You do! Once you have purchased your package or tickets and have them linked to your My Disney Experience Account, you can make your park reservations. This is a way to keep the park capacities where they need to be, and guarantee you entry to the park the day you have your reservation. No Park Hopping...Park Hopping is a must do for some guests. Not everyone wants to start at 8 in the morning and be in the same park for the duration of the day. Unfortunately right now, Park Hopping is not an option. So, when you make your park reservations, really weigh your options as to where you want to be each day. Also, when you book your dining, remember to keep it in the same park or book at one of the amazing locations in a resort or at Disney Springs.
Disney Dining is off the table for the moment. Honestly, I don't really know the reason why they have pulled every Disney Dining plan, as I am sure that the Quick Service Plan still could have worked, but they have nixed all of the plans. We are staying on top of it and are hoping that they will be back soon.
Next up is social distancing...Now, Ill be honest, I don't hate this in the lines. It was hot in August and just nice to not have someone standing right behind you as you wait. Disney has labeled out approximately 6' between parties on the queue floors. In some cases, it looks like a lot more, but they have just done this so parties aren't standing next to each other as the line moves. Just keep your eyes open as you are in line as you can't always see around the corners, so may not know when the group in front of you has moved.
Ordering food...this used to be simple. Go in, place your order, get food, go to table. This is for the quick service locations anyway. Now, this isn't the option you are given. To get your food, you now need to place a mobile order, using the My Disney Experience App on your phone, wait for your "food is ready" message, then go in and get your food. All in all is this really a huge process? No. Essentially you are standing in line, without standing in a line. What if I don't have a smartphone (because let's face it, there are guests who don't)? Well, simply tell the Cast Member at the door and they will direct you as to where to go to place an order using cash or a card.
Last but certainly not least.....Masks. Masks need to be worn at all times while at Disney. The only exceptions are when you are eating or drinking, in which case you also need to be stationary. No, you can't walk around and sip drinks around the world at this time. You can also take your mask off in a relaxation station (each park has 2 that I know of). When at your resort, if you are in the pool enclosure, you can have the mask off while swimming and while in your chair. If you want to go get a snack or drink, the mask does need to be on while walking around.
Again, there is still magic to be found at Disney! If you are considering a vacation, it is a fantastic time to go! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at Kris@playtimevacations.net We look forward to working with you on your next Walt Disney World Vacation!