This year has been the year of no Disney trips for me. In light of the world health situation, we haven’t been back until recently. I was so apprehensive to have our first visit back. However, Disney has always put the safety of their guests first and I know I could trust them to do this the right way. I wanted to share some tips with you for safely visiting Disney for your next trip.
Safely Visiting Disney
We received 4 tickets a gift card to facilitate our review. However, all, opinions in this post are my own and were not influenced by this gift.
Things to bring with you
When planning a trip to Disney there are certain items you need to bring along in order to enjoy the safest trip possible. We are big fans of packing up a backpack with a few supplies that help to make the trip better. A little bit of pre-planning can be a game-changer for your park visit. While there are many items you can get in the park, sometimes it helps to have some on hand.
- Masks – With current masks mandates, wearing a mask full time except for eating or drinking is required. I highly recommend packing 2-4 masks per person. Disney sells fabric masks for $6 each. You will want to have backup masks as the heat can make a mask incredibly uncomfortable.
- Baby Wipes – The Florida heat can be a lot if you are not used to it. Bring along baby wipes to wipe down your neck and cool down while in the park.
- Hand Sanitizer – While the park has multiple hand sanitizer stations that are easy to access, having your own on hand can help you to get to it if you decide you need to clean your hands more frequently.
- First aid items – We always pack tylenol, bandaids, and benadryl when we visit Disney. (If you have food allergies, bring benadryl along just in case you have an exposure.) Having items like bandaids on hand can help if you get a blister while in the park.
- Water Bottles – Florida gets HOT! We went 10/09/2020 and it was well over 90° most of the day. While you can get water at many of the food locations for free, it can help to have your own water bottle on hand so that you can drink at your pace and not worry about lines.
How is Disney handling crowds and safety?
When it comes to crowds, it can be hard to picture a theme park doing a good job with social distancing and keeping their guests safe. Whether during a pandemic or not, dealing with crowds can be overwhelming. The good news is, Disney has some incredible plans in place to help keep crowds safe. Here are a few of the protocols we appreciated.
- Mask wearing – Wearing masks in mandatory in all areas of Disney World. There is only one exception to this rule. If you are eating or drinking in a stationary position you may take off your mask. Other than that, people are wearing masks all day and cast members are reminding those who take them off to put them back on.
- Transportation – The different transportation options to the park have social distancing protocols in place. For instance, the monorail has a requirement of one family per bench. On the ferry, you are assigned a green dot to stand on in order to stay distanced from other parties. Each transportation option will have its own rules to protect guests.
- Ride Lines – Ride lines will look considerably longer as they will be socially distanced. Not only will you be six feet away from guests in front of you or behind you, but you will generally be six feet away on each side as well. There are markers on the ground to help you properly social distance.
- Gift Shops and the Emporium – All of the gift shops have cast members keeping an account of how many people come in or out of the shops. This means you may wait in line for the opportunity to enter the store. However, this also means there will be fewer crowds in the store which is a benefit.
How is Disney handling shows and cavalcades?
One area you will see a big difference at Disney is in regards to shows and parades. When we visited there were no stage shows being performed, no fireworks will go off, and there were no parades. In the place of parades, there were what are called cavalcades. These mini parades were a nice alternative. Some shows were also running. Here is some information about how shows and cavalcades are being handled.
- Shows – While you will not see shows on the main stage, there are still three shows that are showing. You can see Country Bear Jamboree, Tiki Room, and Carousel of Progress. For these shows, social distancing will be required Mask wearing is also required during the shows.
- Cavalcades – Because there are no parades or meet and greets at Disney during this season of life, they have character cavalcades. These will feature one to 10 characters on a parade float or on a trolley. There is no set schedule. However, grabbing a spot to sit and watch these along the route can be a great way to relax.
How is Disney keeping guests safe on rides?
One of the most amazing things about visiting Disney is the incredible rides! There are so many rides to enjoy in the park. While these rides can be magical, there are some fears people might have in light of current times. However, Disney has gone above and beyond to make sure that you will be safe on the rides. Here are a few ways they are helping you stay safe.
- Socially Distanced Rides – The rides have social distance protocols in place to help keep space between guests. Some of these include distancing the lines, putting fewer people on the ride at one time, and even putting parties together with only those they care for.
- Advanced Cleaning – Rides are being cleaned more between riders. This advanced cleaning is meant to keep guests safe.
- Hand Sanitizer Stations – Many rides have hand sanitizer stations available at the end of the ride, throughout the queue, and even at the beginning of the ride.
- Masks – While on rides, mask-wearing is still expected. Cast members will remind you to wear masks throughout the entirety of the ride.
How is Disney keeping food safe?
Disney makes some magically delicious foods. They are packed with some of the best flavors ever and are an essential part of any Disney visit. However, a lot of research shares that restaurants can be part of the problem. So how does that work when you are visiting the parks? I have some tips and information about how Disney is handling food safety in light of the current health conditions in this country.
- Take advantage of mobile ordering. – One big way Disney is handling the crowds and avoiding lines is through the use of mobile ordering. Using the My Disney Experience app to order is simple, quick, and eliminates the need for lines.
- Indoor and outdoor seating. – Depending on your level of comfort, you can decide between indoor and outdoor seating at many locations. Not all locations have this available. Plan your meal around what brings you the most peace.
- Frequent Cleaning – Every table is cleaned thoroughly between guests! This will give you the chance to eat at a table you know is safe.
- Well-spaced tables – Not every table will be used. Some will be left empty in order to keep things safely distanced.
What is Disney doing with character interactions?
Character meet and greets have always been one of my favorite parts of visiting Disney. While I wish I could say character meet and greets still looked the same, they just can’t. So how does Disney make sure these are safe? Well, to be honest, most character experiences have been removed and replaced with alternatives.
- See Stitch on the Tomorrowland Stage – While you have to keep your distance from Stitch, you can get a pic with Stitch from a distance. There is no real line. You will just wait your turn to stand in front of Stitch for a pic.
- Rotating Characters at Main Street Train Station – While you can’t get close to the characters, many characters will rotate through on this stage. There is no schedule but you can watch to see these characters come up for short time frames.
What is Disney doing with the holidays?
It’s no secret that our family loves events like Not So Scary or Very Merry. This year, these events will not be allowed to run. So how is Disney bringing the holidays to life this year? While there will be no after hours parties, you can still gorgeous holiday decor, special food items, and elements of holiday parades in the cavalcades. Don’t miss out on the holidays at Disney this year!
But did I feel safe?
This was our first time back to the park as a family. I walked in with some hesitation not because I didn’t trust Disney but because this was a first. It was the best possible scenario we could expect from a trip back to the parks. Masks were being worn, people were socially distancing, and cast members stayed on top of keeping things clean.
Would I go back?
One Million Percent Yes! We were able to have a magical day filled with many of the Disney memories we will treasure! It’s not the same but there is still magic to be found!