By: Morgan Paul and Avery Korman
Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida will forever be known as the most magical place on Earth due to the energetic staff, iconic characters, and fun attractions. Even with all the changes to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Disney is still working hard to make your trip the best it can be. Before you enter one of Disney World’s four parks, you must pre-order your tickets for yourself and your family. To control crowds, there will be a limited number of tickets available per day so you must plan ahead. On top of this, park-hopping has been suspended for at least the remainder of 2020 and into the beginning of 2021. This means you can only visit one Disney park per day, so you need to plan accordingly.
Two of the most noticeable changes are that everyone ages two and up are required to wear a face mask, and all attraction lines are marked with places to wait to ensure everyone stays six feet apart. When you enter the park, you still go through security, but now temperatures are taken before you enter. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or above will not be allowed to enter. While in the park, there will be no more fast passes, which means everyone will wait in the same line. They are also using a Peroxide Multi-Surface Cleaner and Disinfectant between all riders to help prevent the spread of germs.
Unfortunately, due to new safety protocols, some shows and attractions are suspended at this time. Characters will still be seen wandering around the parks, but meet and greets are no longer happening. Disney’s Water Parks, “Typhoon Lagoon” and “Blizzard Beach”, are also temporarily closed. Happily Ever After, the fireworks show that usually takes place nightly in front of the castle, all other shows, and scheduled parades are also suspended to prevent large gatherings. They are replaced, instead, with character cavalcades that will appear randomly throughout the parks in a parade-like fashion.
Dining at Disney is known for its bubbly staff and kid-friendly atmosphere. While this will not change, there will be new procedures enacted to ensure everyone’s safety. To reduce the spread of germs through touch, Disney has incorporated technology in regular activities. Disney is now encouraging the use of contactless payment methods instead of cash, and all menus are now digital. Before eating, it is strongly recommended to make a reservation because the operation hours of the restaurants have changed and restaurant capacity is limited. While dining, there will be no more buffets to reduce cross-contamination, and you cannot go to another park for dinner. Character meals and dinner shows are also suspended at this time.
Through this challenging time, so much has changed in the world including Disney World. Disney has done everything they can to ensure your safety while keeping the main elements that make Disney so magical. Your visit to Disney World might not be the same, but it will still be an experience that you will never forget.