How will COVID-19 Change Walt Disney World?
How will COVID-19 change Walt Disney World and the other Disney Parks? At this point in time, it’s unclear what the future holds but COVID has certainly had an immediate impact on the Disney Parks. Right now, we are seeing lots of changes in security, safety, and park capacity but what will these changes look like in the future?
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Disney World Reopening
Update: There is tons of news about the Disney Parks reopenings. Check out all the updated news here!
Disney World reopened in mid-July with significant security changes. Disney has significantly limited the capacity of all Disney Parks right now. To manage capacity, Disney is requiring reservations through the Disney Park Pass System. With the Disney Park Pass System , a certain number of spots are reserved for Disney resort guest, Annual Pass holders, and other Disney ticket holders.
Also to manage guest capacity, Disney has made a significant change to park ticket structure. Disney World tickets generally have lots of options like Park Hopper, Water Parks options, and more. Because of COVID-19, Disney guests are limited to one theme park per day. This ticket change is in effect through at least the rest of 2020.
As far as safety measures, all Disney Park guests are required to wear masks. Disney has gone the extra step and required guests wear face masks with ear holes. This means the popular neck gaiters are not allowed. Disney guests are required to wear a mask at all times and can only take off the mask for eating and drinking. BUT you must eat and drink in a stationary location. Many people were taking advantage of this loophole and walking around the parks while eating and drinking.
Disney World parks and Disney Springs are also requiring each guest get their temperature checked prior to entry.
For other security measures, Disney has placed social distancing signs on the ground in each line queue, in each attraction, in all dining locations, and elsewhere throughout the Disney parks. Disney has also limited seating on attractions, shows, and dining locations to better allow for social distancing.
I’ve talked to many people who have visited Disney World since the reopening in July and everyone I talked to felt extremely safe. From what I’m hearing, Disney is doing an excellent job of making Disney guests feel safe during this unprecedented pandemic!
Since we’ll all be wearing face masks for awhile. Make sure to pick up a cute one!
As of August 2020, Disneyland is still not open and there are no reopening plans yet. California has been hit extremely hard by the pandemic but I’m sure Disneyland plans to open as soon as it’s safe!
Downtown Disney in Anaheim reopened in July with a phased reopened. Like the other Disney Parks, Downtown Disney capacity is limited and temperature screenings are required.
To enter Downtown Disney, guests will be required to wear a face mask and adhere to social distancing procedures.
Like Disney Springs, Downtown Disney’s restaurants and shops are owned and operated by third parties so their policies and procedures may vary slightly. Most Downtown Disney restaurants and shops are reopened, but here’s more information on Downtown Disney’s reopening .
Shanghai Disneyland Reopening
Shanghai Disneyland reopened their gates on May 11th at less than 30% park capacity. In addition to reduced capacity, Disney is also implementing temperature checks prior to park entry, requiring all guests and cast members wear masks, placing social distance markers throughout the park, and reducing ride capacity to ensure guests are social distancing. Along with the increased safety procedures, cast members are continuously sanitizing and disinfecting frequently touched surface areas.
Disney Springs Reopening
At Walt Disney World, Disney Springs is beginning Phase 1 of their reopening on May 20. Disney Springs was the first part of Disney World to open and they were the testing ground for the security measures used at Disney World.
Most of Disney Spring’s restaurants and shops are now reopened with social distancing measures and mask requirements. Many of the Disney Springs restaurants and shops have third party ownership so many of these establishments have slightly different policies but all are taking the necessary precautions to keep Disney guests safe.
In addition to the safety measures, Disney Springs is taking temperature checks before guests can enter Disney Springs. For your next Disney Springs or Disney World trip, make sure to get a Disney Face Mask !
Disney Parks in the Future
So what will Disney Parks look like in the future? At this point no one knows but this is my best guess!
Everyone is hoping the pandemic will get better in early 2021 with the introduction of a vaccine. If this is the case, the current security and safety measures will be in place at least through mid-2021.
I would assume Disney will keep these precautions in place even after the pandemic starts to get better. Disney Parks could be an ideal location for group spread because of the large number of people, small spaces, and people from around the world. So I would estimate, the current security measures will be in place through at least 2021 if not into early 2022.
If you planning on visiting a Disney Park in the next year or two, the parks will look and feel dramatically different. Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration will also look significantly different than everyone anticipated.
Bring Disney Home
Our world is facing an unprecedented pandemic and the world is trying to reopen as safely as possible. While waiting this pandemic out, many people are staying safe and staying home.
There are lots of fun things you can do locally and at home to keep the Disney spirit alive. For example, one of my favorite Disney World restaurants is Art Smith’s Homecomin‘. During quarantine, my family tried to recreate Art Smith’s fried chicken with our new favorite kitchen gadget.
We are all trying to adapt to our new world. Keep the Disney magic alive in your home by trying out Disney recipes, buy some Disney home decor, or watch your favorite Disney movies. My family is also spending time planning our next Disney World and Disneyland vacations! What better way to get in a happy mood but to dream about Disney!
What are your favorite things to do at the Magic Kingdom? Check out our Magic Kingdom tips! Hopefully before long, our world will get back to normal and we will be able to visit the Disney Parks again but until then, my family is trying to make the most of the pandemic!