The Disney Experience During COVID-19


Massimo Aguila

Picture demonstrating park-goers wearing masks and enjoying the park.

Massimo Aguila, CavsConnect Staff

Going out during COVID-19 can be a challenging feat as it is, especially when accommodating to availability, limits and safety regulations, making it harder for families to plan vacations. A popular choice before the pandemic and even today, are the Disney World Parks in Orlando, Florida. Here are a few things to keep in mind and take into consideration when planning a trip to Disney in the age of Coronavirus.

Wearing Masks
As expected, whenever walking through the parks, visitors must wear masks down to the chin and above the nose. Fail to do so, and it is very likely a Disney employee will ask one to put on face coverings correctly and quickly. There are, however, exceptions to this. For example, when stationary, visitors may eat or drink. There are also areas designated as “Relaxation Stations,” that can be located on the map, serving as spaces where families can relax with their masks off at tables that are socially distanced.

Social Distancing
Before the pandemic, it was very usual to see large crowds of people gathered very closely together. While there are still a large volume of visitors, there is not nearly as much as before the pandemic. The crowds are estimated to be more than 40% smaller than their size before. There are websites that help avoid the mobs by using Disney’s own data to predict the least amount of visitors on a given day, or inversely, the most visitors at the park.

Restaurants are equally restricted, with separated tables as well as limited seating and availability. Although there are few exceptions, for the most part, to be seated at a Disney restaurant reservations are required. However, caution is advised; it is important to make sure the party is able to make it as Disney does charge $10-$25 per person for missed reservations or cancellations made less than one day in advance. In the restaurant, the typical mask procedure usually expected in any other dining room is required, meaning masks are required until the hostess has seated the party.

With smaller crowds, there are shorter lines, a big bonus for park-goers during this time. Lines are significantly shorter with wait times usually less than half of what they used to be. For example, the Mount Everest ride in the Animal Kingdom park was usually expected to be around one hour 15 minutes in 2019, but today it averages at around 20-35 minutes.

When it comes to actually rid

ing the roller coasters, Disney employees separate visitors by party. If a party has eight members for example, depending on the ride, that party would take up two cars. No one else would be permitted on the car; even if there is space, they would be placed further ahead. The same applies if there is only one person riding it.

Fast Passes
Those looking for Fast Passes to skip even a reduced line are out of luck. In order to help maintain social distancing when in lines, Disney has decided to temporarily suspen

d Fast Passes. This way they can use up the former fast pass area to create more line space. The only exceptions to this rule include disability access to the ride, and to ride swap, meaning if someone has to leave before the ride for any type of emergency, they may return to enjoy the experience.

The Disney Resorts were always a fun and convenient way to enjoy the Disney parks because of the included experience and accessibility to transportation to the parks. Not all the parks are available, but of those that are, typical cleaning procedures of hotels is practiced. Disney has gone to great lengths to ensure the safest possible stay. Due to the Disney App’s capabilities, it is possible to reserve and enter a room with no contact with any employee since the app can open all necessary doors and all other included services.

While wait times and crowds have reduced due to the pandemic, plenty of restrictions on park times have been implemented. Depending on the day, the parks will open later, at around 9 a.m., and closing between 7-10 p.m. Although, times are constantly changing, and with the progression to normalcy, it is predicted the parks will begin opening and closing at more usual times.

Eventually, as the vaccine becomes more widespread and herd immunity is achieved against COVID-19, Disney Parks will surely be among the attractions that quickly regain their popularity.