My family and I recently returned from a week-long trip to Walt Disney World and boy, did we do and learn so much!
If you are a seasoned Disney guest, traveling to Walt Disney World this year will be much different. In this post, I’m sharing all the things we learned about the new policies and procedures and breaking down what we experienced at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Masks, Masks, Masks
There are no exemptions to the rule. Masks are required at all times and EVERYWHERE. The only locations within Walt Disney World Resort that you are allowed to remove your mask are: inside a designated “Relaxation Station” in the theme parks, within the fencing of resort pools, inside your hotel room, once you are seated and eating at a restaurant and when stationary and actively eating or drinking.
You can not eat or drink while walking. You must step aside and stop before eating or drinking. You cannot remove your mask for photos. You do cannot remove your mask during rides, including the Kilamajaro Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. There are cast members all over the parks and resorts posted up to remind you of the social distancing and mask policy. Within the parks and along the Boardwalk we saw many cast members holding paddle board signs reminding you to socially distance and that your mask is required to be on and properly secured.
If you drop your mask during a ride or during a photo and purchased Memory Maker, your photos will not be provided as the behavior goes against Disney’s policy.
If you or a member of your party cannot or will not wear a mask for any reason whatsoever, now is not the time to travel to Walt Disney World. The mask policy is strictly enforced and they will ask you to leave if failure to comply. There are relaxation zones within the parks where you may go and sit and remove your mask while you are within that area of the park.
Before you are able to enter a restaurant or theme park, you must have a multiple layer cloth face covering or disposable face covering that is secure. No neck gaitors or bandana’s or mesh masks are permitted. Disney is constantly amended their mask policy and safety procedures, so checking the Know Before You Go site is crucial. Additionally, you must also go through a temperature screening before you may enter a restaurant or a theme park. Currently, these temperature is being performed by Advent Health. Once you have gone through your screening, you are then able to go through your security screening.
At resorts, you are encouraged to use your phone or Magic Band to check-in to your room and bypass the front desk. The key is minimizing contacts and unnecessary interactions. Cast Members are available to assist you if needed but they highly encourage you to do as much on your own as possible. Additionally, if traveling and utilizing Disney’s Magical Express, they are not offering baggage pick-up at the airport. Guests are required to handle their own bags.
Go the Distance – 6 ft or more!
Everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE, at Walt Disney World you will find social distancing markers. From the Magic Kingdom ferry boats, to the lines for quick service and attractions, everything is marked. Table and seats are marked as “For Your Safety this seat/table is Unavailable.”
Additionally, Cast Members are scattered around the parks and in the queues to remind you to stay apart and wear your mask. In queues, you will find distancing markers, plexiglass and hand sanitizer stations.
Ferries, monorails, and buses are all marked for social distancing and ran with limited capacity. Disney’s Skyliner is running with one family per cabin. Same is true for ride vehicles on attractions and on hotel elevators. Ride vehicles are loaded with one family or maybe one family every couple of rows. On Kilmanjaro’s Safari, guests are seated in every row but high plexiglass has been installed between rows and masks are required to stay on.
Hand Washing Stations
In addition to hand sanitizer stations, you will find hand washing stations throughout the parks. This is helpful when a trip to the bathroom isn’t necessary and your just walking along. We leveraged these several times. It was a great peace of mind addition to the parks and hope they never get rid of them!
Disney has always been a very clean place but now it’s next level. Ride vehicles are cycled without guests regularly and are sprayed with disinfectant. Tables are cleaned between guests, and there seems to be noticeably more cleaning staff out during the day. Just about ever Cast Member walking among the them park hubs have claws for grabbing trash and items needed for collection. Random cleaning can be seen of railings and polls from time to time.
Mobile Ordering and Dining Reservations
Many Quick Service locations, including at resorts, now offer mobile ordering in the My Disney Experience App. Similar to how you would mobile order with your favorite fast casual establishment, you pre-order your meal and for a particular window of time. Once you arrive, you check-in and they begin to prepare your meal. When the meal is ready for pick-up you show the Cast Member in front of the restaurant or shop and they let you through to the mobile order pick-up window assigned in your app.
Due to limitations on capacity for social distancing, many Table Service restaurants have limited number of dining reservations. It is key to check My Disney Experience frequently and try to pre-book any Table Service dining you are wanting to experience.
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Thanks for sharing 👍