Walt Disney World Post Pandemic
If you’ve visited Disney World in the past, a Disney trip today will look vastly different. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world and how we travel. In 2020, travel took the biggest hit it’s taken in years if not ever. Because of this, Disney World crowds are at an all time low. Depending on how you look at it, this can mean good and bad things for your next Disney vacation!
We are going to walk through all the changes you will face when you visit Disney World post COVID-19.
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There have been some small changes to air travel and airports. And like everywhere in the world right now, you are required to wear a mask at all times in the airport and onboard the air craft. You probably want to bring more than one Face Mask. I don’t know about you but mine gets sweaty and gross sometimes!
Through my recent travel experience, many airports are still largely shut down. Meaning most of the restaurants and shops inside the airport are still closed. I would prepare by bringing food, snacks, and entertainment with you. I would also pick up a portable phone holder ! These are great for holding your phone while watching movies on your flight!
Altogether, airlines and airports have been significantly impacted by the lack of travel but there haven’t been any significant changes to the way we travel. Make sure to wear a mask, social distance, and be prepared with food and snacks!
Disney Resort Changes
While the Disney World resorts are still the same, the cleaning and security policies have been updated. To begin, Disney has increased the cleaning of public and high-touch areas like elevators, handle rails, etc.
In your Disney resort room, your room will be thoroughly cleaned prior to your arrival. The housekeeping staff will pay extra attention to high-touch areas like TV remotes, door handles, and the bathroom. Disney is also making an effort to individually wrap as many items as possible like glassware, remotes, etc.
If you want to go the extra step to keep your room clean, pick up one of these portable UV Sanitizer on Amazon! I’ve heard they’re amazing! I’ve yet to try one though!
It’s worth noting that all housekeeping tools are also being individually cleaned into between every room.
Housekeeping is also only doing a light clean up every other day. This service can be declined. The light clean up will entail trash removal, towel replenishment, restocking bathroom items, and wiping of the counters.
Besides the cleaning and housekeeping policies, Disney is strongly recommending guests use mobile check-in on the My Disney Experience App. This limits physical touch in the resort lobby and gives you access to a digital room key.
Disney Resort Services Not Available
Many of the services you know and love are temporarily paused at Disney World post COVID:
- Disney Airline Check In
- Club Level Service
- In-room celebrations
- In-room dining
- Shipping Services
- In-room childcare
- Dry Cleaning and Valet Laundry
- Character experiences
- Marina rentals
Disney Transportation Changes
If your planning on using Disney’s Magical Express upon arrival to Orlando, make sure to get your checked bags off the luggage carousel. Disney is no longer getting your checked bags for you.
Disney has also done a great job of social distancing parties onboard the Magical Express bus. The bus is loaded back to front with a row in between each party.
The Disney bus system is operating similarly to the Magical Express. The buses are segmented into different sections with plexi-glass into between each section.
Once in the bus line, a Disney cast member will assign your party a number. You are assigned to this number on the bus and this is where you will sit.
Based on what I’ve heard, each bus is limited to 6 parties. Don’t let this scare you though. Disney is running more buses than normal and since crowds are down, you won’t wait long for a bus. Don’t let the line get you worried!
This same process is being used for both the monorails and the boats too. Disney’s Skyliner System is a little different, only 1 party is allowed per cabin. I’ve heard Skyliner lines have been long because of this but the line moves very quickly.
Disney Transportation Services Not Available
Right now, Disney has temporarily paused a few transportation services:
- Disney’s Minnie Van Service
- Valet Parking at the Disney World Resorts
PIN ME FOR LATER!
Disney Dining Changes
The big change to Disney dining is the advanced reservation window and the limited capacity at all Disney restaurants. Previously, you could make Disney dining reservations 180 days in advance but today, Disney resorts guests can make advanced dining reservations only 60 days in advance.
Be aware, you need a reservation to visit Disney World Resort restaurants. For in park dining, you need a park ticket and a reservation with the Disney Park Pass System!
To aid with the pandemic, Disney has turned to the My Disney Experience App for additional features. You should now check in for your reservation using the My Disney Experience App.
Like the rest of the world, Disney table service restaurants are now using QR codes to display the menu. If you’re new to QR codes, you scan the code with your phone camera and the menu will pop up.
For quick service locations, Disney is strongly recommending guests use Mobile Order on the My Disney Experience App. I also recommend Mobile Order! You can skip the line and just grab your food when it’s ready!
At this time, Disney is also requesting all guests use cashless payment options like the Magic Band, credit card, mobile wallet, etc.
Disney Dining Services Not Available
The following Disney Dining services are not available right now:
- Disney Dining Plan
- Character Dining
- Dinner Shows
Disney World Parks
The Disney Parks have seen a dramatic change to accommodate COVID-19 safety and cleaning protocols. Disney has implemented the Park Pass System to manage park capacity and guest attendance.
Right now, you must schedule your park days through the Park Pass System. You are limited to one park per day. This means no park hopping. Because of this system, for the rest of 2020 you can only purchase standard Disney World tickets.
Besides the park pass system, the Disney parks are covered in social distancing and face mask markings. Both are required for guests 2 years and older. Disney has also implemented temperature checks prior to park entry.
I recommend bringing somepocket sized hand sanitizer ! It’s really convenient to sanitize after you touch anything!
Once inside the park, line queues and attractions are also setup to accommodate social distancing. Each queue has ground plaques that are 6 feet apart and plexi-glass when the line goes back and forth. Because of social distanced queues, lines will look really long so check the My Disney Experience App for accurate wait times.
In ride and show seating is also socially distanced. Ride cars are skipping rows to allow for distancing. For example, Pirates of the Caribbean is using every other row. Shows and attractions are also skipping seats and rows for better distancing. For example, in Mickey’s PhilharMagic, sections of seats are marked off per your party size.
The characters are always a big part of the Disney parks but character meet and greets are temporarily cancelled. The Disney Parks are doing character cavalcades or parades to allow you to see the characters. All the characters you know and love will come down the parade route to greet you!
If your looking to take pictures with the characters, think about getting a pop socket or phone ring. They make getting great selfies much easier!
Many people are used to using the Disney Photopass photographers to take great photos! While the Photopass photographer will still take your picture and link it to your Magic Band, these photographers can no longer take your personal device to take a photo.
Like everywhere else on Disney property, they are taking special measures to clean high-touch areas and keep us safe!
Disney Park Services Not Available
During the current Disney World reopening, the following services are temporarily paused:
- Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
- Character Experiences
- Disney’s Fastpass+
- Extra Magic Hours
- Pin Trading
Why you Should Visit Disney Post COVID-19
Many people are still nervous to travel but right now is an excellent time to visit Walt Disney World. In my life, I’ve never seen crowds so low. There will never be a time when you will get to go to such empty Disney parks again. If your a big Disney fan like I am, visiting Disney World right now is the ultimate dream.
- Crowds have never been so low
- Minimal ride wait times
- Airline prices are low
- You get amazing Disney photographs
- You get Disney to yourself
Our world has changed dramatically in the last few months but travel is starting to increase again. Like everywhere else, Disney World has changed and adapted to accommodate the security requirements of a post COVID-19 world.
Visiting Disney World post COVID-19 may sound scary to some but Disney has taken the upmost responsibility to keep guests safe and comfortable. Out of all the people I’ve talked to who have recently visited Walt Disney World, all sang Disney’s praises about the safety and their comfort level while visiting Disney.
If your considering visiting Disney World in the next few weeks and months, make sure to check out the latest Disney World updates! Disney World is changing with the times which makes right now an excellent time to visit Walt Disney World!
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