Since the pandemic started, my husband and I have visited Disney World several times and each time we have gone, I have felt like the overall experience has gotten better and better! I've been asked a few times how Disney is in this new COVID world, so I've highlighted my top suggestions and tips for visiting the parks below.
If you're attending a theme park, you are now required to make a theme park admission reservation online for the day(s) you want to visit the parks. This allows Disney to track how many people are attending the parks each day for reduced capacity. Don't forget to make your reservation online before visiting the parks! Park hours are also different now, as well as other interactive experiences. Be sure to check out the Disney website prior to your visit for the most up-to-date information!
Upon entry to any of the parks, you will wait in a socially distanced line (place markers are on the ground) and have your temperature taken. You will also have to wear a mask throughout your entire day at the park. The only exception is when you're eating or drinking, but even then, you have to be seated or standing. You are not allowed to walk around with your mask off no matter what. Cast Members do a really good job at monitoring guests and telling those that take their masks off to put them back on.
Ride lines will appear relatively longer than usual, so don't be discouraged if you see a long line that is outside of the ride itself. An important thing to remember is there are now place markers on the ground that guests are required to stand on, which makes the line significantly longer. On average, we waited 45 minutes for most rides, but it felt much faster because the lines are pretty much always moving. A number of rides also have plexiglass installed between seats or have rows closed so you aren't right on top of another group.
Dining is also slightly different now. For each of our visits, we used the quick-service restaurants, which now requires a mobile order via the My Disney Experience app. Basically, you order your food from the restaurant of your choice and then choose a window of time. Once you arrive at the restaurant at that given time, you tap the button in the app for them to start preparing your food. When your food is ready, you'll be notified and you'll simply show it to the Cast Member standing at the front of the restaurant. If your window of time starts at 11:20 and you're ready to eat but aren't right in front of the restaurant yet, I recommend tapping prepare my food anyways. It takes roughly 10 - 15 minutes to prepare once you have tapped it, so if you're close enough to the restaurant, it's worth it to get a head start!
Disney has also changed the hotel experience quite a bit. You are now able to check-in with direct-to-room service, meaning you can check-in online and go directly to your room. You can either use your magic band to open your room door or the My Disney Experience app. Be sure to enable notifications on your app or set it up for them to text you so you know when your room is ready.
Similar to the parks, you'll have to do a mobile order via the My Disney Experience app for quick-service restaurants. They also limit the amount of people in the hotel gift shops, so you'll most likely have to wait in a socially distanced line for that as well.
The rooms are as clean as always, and a card is displayed highlighting the extra cleaning procedures they are utilizing. In addition, your television remote will come in a sealed bag.
My Top Suggestions For a Safe and Healthy Trip
Bring hand sanitizer. While they have numerous touchless hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the park and hotel, it's nice to have your own on hand.
Wipe down high-touch areas in your hotel. I always bring Clorox wipes to ANY hotel I stay in and I wipe down the remote, sink handles, toilet flusher, etc. Even though they are required to clean these areas, it never hurts to be extra safe!
Bring several masks. If you're going to be going to multiple parks or staying a few days, have a couple of different masks. You don't want to wear the same mask throughout your entire trip, especially in the Florida heat.
Distance yourself from others. While there are place markers on the ground to keep people distanced in lines, you don't want to get up close to others while you're walking around the parks.
Always wash your hands before you eat! Don't forget - you're touching things that hundreds of people have also touched.
Have the My Disney Experience app downloaded beforehand. The app itself has a ton of information about the park you're planning on visiting and also COVID updates/changes.