If your travels take you to Walt Disney World in the near future you will certainly notice a few changes. As we continue to live in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, places like Disney and other theme park attractions are taking a number of cautionary steps in an effort to allow guests to return while protecting everyone’s safety. For those of us who have visited Walt Disney World in the past, here are a few changes you will quickly notice.
Park Reservation Needed
Before you even arrive at the park all guests must make a Park Reservation. Just having a ticket “in hand” no longer guarantees you access to the park. Once you purchase your park tickets, guests must complete the extra step of also reserving a specific day in a specific park. All the reservation steps are completed through the My Disney Experience and is in place to minimize crowds levels.
From the moment, you are step foot on Disney property you will immediately notice the extraordinary efforts to create social distancing. If you are driving to the parks, know that Cast Members are controlling the timing of the cars allowed into the parking areas, not allowing too many cars to pass through the gates at one time. Social distancing is even observed with parked cars with Cast Members directing guests to skip a space between vehicles. As you wait for the various Disney transportation, including buses and monorails, you will notice markers laid out on the ground clearly indicating where each family group should wait. You will also see similar markers as you go through security and temperature screening areas and as you move through the attraction lines. Disney table service restaurants are utilizing Mobile Check-In in order to minimize contact with others.
One of the most disappointing reopening announcements for guests was the temporary pause of character meet and greets. Although there is not the up-close personal contact with the characters, Walt Disney World has put on their creative hats to make sure guests still get to experience and see all their favorite Disney characters. One of the best ways this is being accomplished is through Character Cavalcades. These mini-parades feature some of the beloved characters in unique displays. For example, Merida can be seen riding her horse Angus through the park followed by a float carrying many other Disney Princesses. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse along with Daisy and Donald Duck and Pluto share a float lead by a number of Disney performers as they make their way through Frontierland and down Main Street at Magic Kingdom. Over at Hollywood Studios, all the great Disney Junior characters join in a Character Cavalcade to greet the littlest of Disney fans. Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Chip ‘n Dale, Pluto, and a host of Toy Story favorites also make appearances throughout the day in their own cavalcade. Princess fans will be excited to see a carriage full of their favorites making their way around World Showcase in Epcot. And at Animal Kingdom, be sure to look at the waters around Discovery Island to see some fun characters taking a leisurely river cruise.
Lower Crowd Levels
The most notable difference for guests is the much lower crowd levels. Due to the lower number of people at the parks, most attractions have no wait times and even the most popular attractions are seeing wait times as low as 15 to 20 minutes. As a result of the low crowd levels, FastPasses are not being utilized at this time and, honestly, they are not needed.
Remember, when you are ready to plan your next Walt Disney World vacation, Castle and Cruise Adventures is ready to help. Request a free quote or complimentary phone consultation at https://castleandcruiseadventures.com/RequestQuote/.
Photo: WDW Magic