Hello Everyone and thanks for joining me !!
I am a travel advisor and small business owner with Cruise Planners. I recently spent a week at Walt Disney World with my 14 year old son. We were there from July 21 - 28, 2020. I wanted to share with you what we experienced as far as safety protocols and over all enjoyment of the trip.
We flew out of Denver July 21st on a 6:15 am flight on Southwest. The airport itself was not busy and the food vendors were practicing social distancing. There are hand sanitizer dispensers all over the airport so there is no excuse not to use them often. Get used to seeing the spacing dots on the floor to guide you where to stand, they will be with us for a while and truth be told, I am a fan of them. Everyone is required to wear a mask unless you are actively eating or drinking.
The flight itself was good, they did NOT take our temperature before boarding. I was a little surprised by this but was not uncomfortable with it. Other airlines may take your temp so be prepared for it. The flight was 2/3 full. They are leaving the middle seat empty to allow for social distancing. This is at the discretion of the airline so check the website for your air carrier to see what exact guidelines they are taking in regards to this. During the flight you must keep your mask on (covering your nose and mouth) if you are over the age of 2 years old. I found this to be very easy as the temperature in the airplane was cooler. I even took a nice nap during the flight while wearing mine. They served a small snack and pre-filled water cups during the flight. The cups came with a lid that I removed for the photo. We had a connecting flight but did not have to change aircrafts. They allowed us to stay on the plane while the cleaning crew came through and cleaned and sanitized the seats and areas of the people that did exit the plane.
The flight was uneventful and we were excited to get to our next destination !
We rented a car so we did not take the Magical Express to the resort. We were originally booked at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside but since that resort had not re-opened yet we got a nice lil' upgrade to The Cabins at Fort Wilderness. Here is a video of our cabin upon our arrival.
The room was very clean and things like the tv remote, or other items that are multiple touch use, were wrapped in plastic with a seal on them to show they had been cleaned and sanitized. The resorts are not presently doing standard daily housekeeping. They came every other day to change the towels and empty the garbage.
We got settled and unpacked and then headed to Disney Springs to explore and get dinner. This is where we had our first temperature screening. They used a no touch scanner and the process was so quick and painless that you barely noticed it ! All cast member are required to wear masks and most times they also wore a face shield on top of the mask. You will see that later in my photos.
When parking at the parks they even had the vehicles social distance ! That pretty white one was our fun ride for the week. Outside each park they had white tents to go into to have your temperature screened. A very quick process, we did not wait in line for this more than one other group in front of us. We arrived each day at park opening. They do have reduced hours and no extra magic hours so I would highly recommend getting there at opening time. If you are taking a Disney World Resort bus within resorts or the parks they have partitions in place between every few seats to keep parties distanced safely. ** Masks are required to be worn properly over the mouth and nose at all times while in the parks and public areas * * The only exception is while you are actively eating or drinking while stationary, so you must sit down to eat and drink, no sipping your coffee or licking your ice cream while walking around. The other exception is while at the resort pools you are not required to wear you mask but it is suggested unless you are physically in the pool or hot tub.
Social distancing while in lines for rides is set up very well. You will see the markers on the floors of where to stand. The photos below are from inside Haunted Mansion & Rise of the Resistance. It should also be noted that there are sooooo many hand sanitizer dispensers all over all the parks and resorts. You literally can see at least one from where you stand every moment of the day. There are multiple one's at the entrance and exit of every single ride, restaurant, bathroom & attraction. We brought our own small bottles for our backpack but we never used them once because there was an abundance of them readily available to us at any given moment.
While waiting to get on the ride they have plexiglass partitions between the loading stalls, and even then they had the stall next to you empty whenever feasible and possible. They placed you in cars or rows with several empty between parties. The photos below are from Toy Story Mania & Pirates of the Caribbean.
They did not have shows with live performers but they did have all the one's with animatronics or movies. They clearly marked where exactly you should sit and had roped off every other row so that you could not enter it. Photos below are from Country Bear Jamboree & Mickey's PhilharMagic, where you had the dot on the floor to stand on while waiting to enter and then seats marked similarly once inside the theater.
Dining was a great experience. You can still make reservations for sit down dinners or quick service dining is available everywhere. Keep in mind that most of the places were not open for breakfast so if you are going to the parks early you might want to eat before you arrive. There is no character dining with the exception of the Garden Grill at Epcot where Chip & Dale will come out and interact with you from a distance but not take photos standing next to you. They highly encouraged mobile orders and had a QR code outside each restaurant for you to scan and see the menu and place your order. Once you got your food you could easily find a table as the photos below show. They are from Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe in Frontierland & Pinocchio Village Haus in Fantasyland. We did eat at Rain Forest Cafe at Animal Kingdom with a reservation. We arrived about 1/2 hour early but were seated right away. They gave us paper disposable menus. Masks are required to be worn while sitting at your table until food and beverages are served.
They had these awesome Relaxation Stations at various locations around all 4 parks. They are a place where you can just go and take a break from the mask while social distancing. We utilized them often as it was upper 90's every day while we were there.
Now the million dollar question .... how were the crowds and wait times ? For the particular week we were there they were extremely low and minimal. Since we have returned home, Disney has re-opened a few more hotels so expect for those numbers to increase. They have suspended all fast passes and gone old school to where you just wait in line for the desired ride. We did not wait for any ride for more than 20 mins. and we went on everything multiple times, most times we walked right on. I will elaborate more on that when I cover the individual parks. The photos below are from Soarin' at Epcot and walking to Pandora in Animal Kingdom, both photos were taken in the early afternoon.
Stay tuned for more info on each individual park ! Feel free to contact me at [email protected] if you have a specific question. I hope you have enjoyed my piece on the awesome safety protocols that Disney has taken great care in putting in place to keep you safe while visiting the parks and resorts.
As always, I would love to help you plan your next adventure www.seathisworld.com or call me direct at 970-732-0801
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