What Will Visiting Disney Be Like Post-Covid?
Everything You Need to Know About the Disney Reopening Plan
Like pretty much everything in our lives, Walt Disney World Resort has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The park closed in mid-March and remained closed for weeks as the virus spread across Florida and the rest of the U.S. As the world begins to reopen, Walt Disney World Resort has a Disney reopening plan, but things are looking much different than they did before the pandemic. Here’s everything you need to know about Disney’s reopening plan
What’s Open and What’s Closed?
All four of Walt Disney World’s theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and Epcot) are now open. Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and Blizzard Beach are both still closed, as is the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, with future opening dates still to be determined. Disney Vacation Club properties and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground are open, and Disney Springs is also in the process of reopening. The availability of certain amenities and features may be quite different than in the past, so it would be wise to contact any accommodations directly to see what exactly the situation is expected to be at your time of travel.
If you are planning a trip to Disney, you are probably wondering if your favorite attractions will be available. Many dining establishments, special events and experiences are open and available for guests, but some are cancelled and some are open with different protocols. In order to find out if your favorite tours and experiences will be available and how to reserve them, visit Disney World’s website. Some popular experiences that are temporarily paused are parades and nighttime spectaculars, character greetings and playgrounds. The characters will still be in the park but will not be as up close and personal as they have been in the past.
Enhanced Cleaning Procedures During Disney’s Reopening
Even though visiting any public place comes with some inherent risk of COVID-19 exposure, Disney is doing their best to ensure that park guests and employees stay healthy. Part of their strategy involves enhanced cleaning procedures throughout the park. They are doing extra cleanings of high-traffic areas in the parks, including hand rails, seating, restrooms, elevators and more. Disney Resort hotels have also modified their housekeeping procedures to include deeper cleaning and less contact.
Face Masks, Temperature Screening and Social Distancing
Disney has put several guidelines into place to help protect the health and safety of their employees and guests. These include face masks, temperature checks and physical distancing. Face masks will be required by all employees and guests ages 2 and up. They must be kept on at all times except when dining in a restaurant or swimming. Temperature screenings may be required. If your temperature is checked and it exceeds 100.4F, you and your party will not be allowed to enter the park.
Numerous procedures at Walt Disney World have been adapted to promote physical distancing. These include directional signage and ground markers throughout the park to help guests navigate and minimize contact in common areas. In areas where it is difficult to physically distance from others, physical barriers have been installed. Disney cast members have been trained in physical distancing best practices, so taking a selfie with Cinderella may not be possible during your Disney trip this summer.
Reservations for Park Entry
Disney is limiting the number of guests that can visit their theme parks each day. Due to this, guests must use the Disney Park Pass System to make reservations before arriving at the park. In order to enter, you will have to provide both a reservation and a valid admission for the park. Guests will not be allowed to visit more than one park in a day due to attendance limitations. In addition, if you have a multi-day ticket you will need to make a reservation for each day that you plan to visit.
At this point, annual pass sales have been suspended, however, existing annual passholders can still make reservations to visit the park and may still renew their pass. Park reservations will continue to be limited in number for the foreseeable future, so planning ahead is highly recommended.
What to Expect When You Arrive at the Park
During the reopening period, guests to Walt Disney World will be required to have their temperature checked and will then undergo a modified security screening before entering the park. Disney is recommending that guests pack their belongings in clear bags whenever possible and to limit the amount of items you bring into the park to expedite the security process, as this aids in reducing contact between employees and guests.
Parking and Transportation
During Disney’s reopening, transportation will be operating with special physical-distancing measures in place. This includes in the lines and loading areas, as well as on board the park’s buses, boats and monorails. Face coverings are required anytime you are using Walt Disney World transportation. Since visiting multiple parks in one days is not allowed currently, transportation between the theme parks is unavailable. The monorail service between the Transportation & Ticket Center and EPCOT is also suspended at this time.
Guests are recommended to use the cashless payment options at the auto plaza when parking. Cars will be allowed to park in every other parking space in order to help with physical distancing. The parking trams are also temporarily suspended.
Make your Visit Smooth With a Free Mobile App
Make the most of your trip to Disney by downloading the My Disney Experience app. This helpful app is strongly recommended by Disney and has several features to enhance your visit. For instance, you can save time and order ahead when going out for dinner. You can also access a digital menu on your smart phone when dining in at some of the park’s restaurants and you can even check in online at your Disney resort hotel. All of these features will help reduce contact and encourage physical distancing during your visit. Some attractions such as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance may use a virtual queue inside the app to avoid the distancing challenges presented by physical queues.