Things You Can’t Do at Disney in 2021
Visiting Disney World in 2021 will certainly be different than previous Disney vacations! Walt Disney World is back open but there are still some attractions and experiences that are unavailable.
Many people have been questioning if a Disney trip is even worth it in 2021 with the face masks, social distancing, and closings throughout the Disney parks.
Before you make that important decision, consider what Disney things you can’t do in 2021 before you make a decision.
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Disney – Things You Can’t Do
Surprisingly, most of Disney is open following the reopening in July 2020. But there are a few things that have yet to reopen at Walt Disney World that you will want to be aware of before your next Disney trip!
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Character Meet and Greets
If you have little kids, one of their favorite things to do at the Disney parks is to meet their favorite Disney characters. Unfortunately, your kids won’t be able to meet characters at Disney right now.
Disney was concerned that character meet and greets would require guests be in close proximity to one another. Because the pandemic is still ongoing, Disney decided this wasn’t in alignment with COVID safety guidelines.
For now, character meet and greets is something you can’t do at Disney in 2021. Hopefully in the near future, Disney will be able to offer character meet and greets again safely.
To make up for this, Disney introduced the idea of character cavalcades. Basically, Disney character cavalcades are parade floats that move throughout the Disney Parks with your favorite Disney characters onboard.
Each Disney Park has character cavalcades frequently throughout the day so you’ll have an opportunity to see your favorite characters.
It’s unfortunate but a thing you can’t do at Disney 2021 is character meet and greets. This experience will surely be back in the future so look forward to Disney character meet and greets once the pandemic is over.
Since your kids won’t be able to greet their favorite characters, consider buying a Disney plush before your Disney trip so they’re favorite character is always nearby.
Live Entertainment at Disney
One of my favorite things about the Disney Parks is the live entertainment. I mean who doesn’t love the Beauty and the Beast Show or Festival of the Lion King?
When Disney World reopened in July, they decided not to reopen live entertainment and shows right away.
I think Disney realized that live entertainment performers would be in close proximity to other performers and Disney guests which is dangerous during the pandemic.
Disney even went so far to pause operations dealing with live street performers at the Disney parks and resorts. For example, the Dapper Dan’s and the Grand Floridian Pianist have not returned since the Disney reopening in July.
Since we are on the other side of the pandemic and things are getting better, I’m optimistic that will see live entertainment at Disney World later in 2021.
If you’re visiting Disney soon, be aware that a thing you can’t do at Disney World in 2021, may be live entertainment and shows.
If visiting Disney in 2021, there is so much to see throughout the Disney parks. To see everything Disney has to offer, you’ll do a lot of walking. Pick up some of my favorite walking shoes before your trip to Florida!
You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t love Disney fireworks! There’s nothing like ending a Disney Park day with Cinderella Castle fireworks.
When Disney reopened in July, they decided not to bring back fireworks because crowds end up congregating to watch the Disney World fireworks.
Instead, Disney introduced nightly projections on the Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle. The projections run continuously from dark to park closing so there is plenty of time for Disney guests to see the projections while social distancing.
Personally, I’m hoping to see the return of some fireworks to Walt Disney World for the 50th anniversary in late 2021.
Disney’s Epcot is undergoing major construction and this construction included a new nighttime show, Harmonious. Harmonious construction is coming along quickly so I’m hoping the new Epcot nighttime show will be ready for Disney’s 50th anniversary in October.
While Disney fireworks are a thing you can’t do at Disney right now, but I’m hopeful that we will see fireworks at Disney again in 2021.
Disney Fastpasses are one of those things that people either love or hate. There have been mixed reactions about the Disney World Fastpass System being paused.
But another thing you can’t do at Walt Disney World 2021 is use the Fastpass System. It’s unclear why Disney stopped the usage of Fastpasses but now, the only option is to use the stand-by line to wait for rides.
I would be confident in saying Disney won’t be using the Fastpass System in 2021 but I’m almost certain the Fastpass System will be back sooner or later.
The moral of the story, be prepared to stand in normal stand-by lines on your Disney trip in 2021. But in the future, be on the lookout for the Disney Fastpass System to return.
If you’d like more information on the Fastpass System, check out our exclusive Disney World Fastpass System tips!
Since Fastpass isn’t running right now, you’ll be waiting in stand by lines more than normal. Make sure to prep your phone for the lines as you’ll use more phone battery than normal. A portable phone charger is a MUST.
Park Hop Freely
You may be saying that the Disney World Park Hopper option returned in early 2021 and you are correct. But something you can’t do at Disney 2021 is show up at a park without checking the My Disney Experience app or having a Park Pass reservation.
Back in the good old days with a Disney Park Hopper, you simply showed up to whatever park you wanted without any prior planning or reservations. But those days are gone.
Today, you have to reserve a spot at a Disney Park using the Disney Park Pass System. From there if you want to park hop, you have to check the Disney app or call the 1-800 number to check if Park Hopping is available.
In 2021, a thing you can’t do at Disney is the ease and spontaneity of Park Hopping without planning. Unfortunately, I think the Park Pass System and reserving spots at the Disney Parks are here to stay so it’s something we’ll just have to get used to.
If you are planning to park hop, the easiest, most convenient way to get into the parks is a Magic Band. Make sure to pick up a Disney Magic Band so you can link it to your ticket before your trip.
Large Groups Dining at Disney
Like most places in the country, Disney World isn’t allowing parties of more than six people to dine together at one table. When Disney reopened, they prohibited large parties at Disney restaurants for guest and employee safety.
In general, it’s not easy to dine as a large party at Disney but a thing you can’t do at Disney World in 2021 is group dining.
If you’re visiting Disney with a large group soon, consider breaking your group up by making multiple dining reservations. To have the most success with getting overlapping dining times, make your Disney dining reservations 60 days ahead of your Disney trip.
I would anticipate this rule staying in effect through 2021 or until the pandemic is over because it’s easier for Disney to deal with smaller parties and it’s safer for everyone.
Maskless Pictures at Disney
Last but not least, Disney has been very strict and not allowing Disney guests to remove their face masks for pictures.
I know that everyone loves to take the iconic family picture in front of Disney’s Cinderella Castle but for the time being, this picture will include masks.
In general, Disney has been strict with their face mask policy and only allowing Disney guests to remove their face masks while eating and drinking while stationary. For more info on wearing a face mask at Disney, check out our post on the Disney Face Mask Policy.
The final thing you can’t do at Disney World in 2021 is take a Disney picture maskless.
Disney World 2021 will certainly be different than your previous Disney trips but it will be trip to remember with all kind of Disney changes.
There are positives and negatives to all the changes and things you can’t do at Disney right now but be prepared before you decide to go to Walt Disney World in 2021.
Since you’ll need several face masks while at Disney, consider picking up some Disney face masks before you go.