One of the most common reactions to Disney World’s reopening from visitors is that they felt ‘safer at Magic Kingdom than their local grocery store’ and that’s a result of Disney’s high level of attention to detail. Disney World has implemented a number of different safety measures with the guidance of health officials to protect guests and cast members. If you’re looking to pull off that last minute Disney World trip, here are some of the must know tips for your vacation.
5 Tips to Have a Great Last-Minute Walt Disney World Trip During the Pandemic
1. Get a Park Pass Reservation
Disney World is keeping capacity at an all time low at the parks which has resulted in some of the lowest wait times for attractions we’ve seen in years. They’re doing this by requiring advance reservations with their new Park Pass system to all their theme parks.
Here is how you make a Park Pass Reservation:
- Link your park tickets/admission to your Disney account. You will need valid park admission to make a reservation.
- Create your party. Before you make a reservation, you’ll be prompted to create a party from your Family & Friends list on your account. This ensures your group has the same reservations for your trip.
- Select a date and park. Choose the date and time you’d like to visit from the available reservations.
- Review and confirm your plans. You will also be prompted to agree to a COVID-19 liability waiver.
There is currently no park hopping during this initial reopening phase and guests are required to make a reservation for each day of their trip.
2. Get a Comfortable Mask
Disney has followed health experts’ recommendations and require face coverings for all guests ages two years and older. This policy has been fined tuned since the park opening with Disney also adding additional requirements such as: no gaitors/bandanas, face coverings cannot have valves or holes of any kind, and guests must remain stationary when removing a mask to eat or drink.
Cast members have been strict with their enforcement of this policy. For instance, guests wearing the mask below their nose will be told to pull it up and if a guest removes their mask while walking to take a drink they are kindly asked to step aside.
Don’t wait until your trip to find out how wearing a mask outside in the heat feels. Practice before your vacation, especially if you have kids, so you have a good idea of what mask feels the most comfortable. Many guests report that the paper surgical masks feel the best in the hot weather while others prefer the cloth coverings.
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3. Be Aware of Transportation Changes
If you choose to stay on-site at Disney World, which I recommend to keep yourself inside that Disney magic bubble, there’s been some changes to transportation inside the resort.
These changes include:
- physical distancing aboard buses, monorails and watercraft boats
- face coverings required on all Disney World transportation, including in the loading areas
- Disney Skyliner will load one party per gondola
- Minnie Van Service and valet service is not available
Like many other areas of the resort, plexiglass barriers have been installed in areas (like the monorail) where physical distancing is harder to achieve.
4. Prepare for Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Hollywood Studios has seen the most popularity with Park Pass reservations which makes it the park that has the longest lines. At least, long lines by our new standards which still remains under an hour.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is as popular as ever and increasingly so with the new Rise of the Resistance attraction. Rise of the Resistance will use a virtual queue requiring guests to book a ride spot with the Disney My Experience app at 10AM and 2PM for a chance to ride. Guests can only ride once per day.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway opened right before the closure and that ride has drawn many guests in droves visiting the parks since the reopening. If you’re planning a Hollywood Studios day, be prepared for the difference in how this park feels at the moment due to its increased popularity and limited space.
5. Make Dining Reservations
One of the ways Disney World is managing physical distancing is to limit the capacity of restaurants inside the parks. If you want to ensure you get a spot at the table for some of your favorite Disney World restaurants, then you should plan on making an advance reservation. Also, be aware that Disney has made changes to their festival and special events calendar that has impacted some restaurants.
You can make dining reservations online or by calling (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463. Guests under 18 years of age must have parent or guardian permission to call. You can also utilize mobile ordering at quick-service locations for faster service and limited contact.
When you take into account Disney’s high commitment to health and safety of guests and cast members, this might be the perfect time to plan that last-minute trip to Disney World.
Writer’s Bio: Lindsay Brookshier is the editor of MickeyVisit.com and DisneyDose.com. Their tips help people save money and experience more at Walt Disney World and Disneyland and have been featured in Forbes, Travel+Leisure, the LA Times, Yahoo! News, and more.