COVID-19. Who would have ever thought that such a microscopic enemy could wreak such havoc on planet Earth—hundreds of thousands of people infected worldwide, schools and churches closing, only essential marketplaces open (and even then, only with reduced hours), city, state and federal governments affected, beaches closed—the list goes on. The novel coronavirus of 2019 is a powerful force—even affecting Disney Parks operations, up to and including closures. The good news is that our beloved parks are beginning to wake from their slumber. Disney World and Disneyland are both set to open their gates once more in July 2020. But trips to the parks post-quarantine will look quite different in ways we can imagine and in ways we can’t. How do we prepare ourselves to experience the magic once again in this—our new normal?
Thank goodness even coronavirus can’t put an end to Disney magic. Let’s take a look at a few things we need to know in preparation for our trip to the parks once they reopen.
7. The murky debate over whether that park bag is necessary just got much more clear.
Some Disney fanatics say that a park bag is absolutely essential while other fans say they skip the bulky and sometimes cumbersome bag. But new safety measures may make us all want to bring some kind of bag, backpack or sling with us into the parks. That’s because things like hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, extra face coverings (and maybe gloves depending on your level of comfort) will be necessary for making the most out of your post-quarantine Disney trip–at least for now.
6. Guests will have to have a valid park reservation.
From Walt Disney World’s official website we have learned that in order to experience the Most Magical Place on Earth once it opens on July 11, we will have to have a reservation. Yes, even Annual Passholders. At this time, we are waiting details on that reservation system, but we do know that admission will be based on whether Guests have valid tickets and reservations in place.
5. Initially, no new ticket purchases will be permitted.
This makes accessing the parks a little more difficult. Per their website, Disney has explained that at this time, no new ticket sales will take place. Guests who already have valid tickets and Guests who hold Annual Passes will have access to the new reservation system in the beginning. But don’t lose heart! This is only temporary and ticket sales will no doubt become available as different phases of park reopening take place.
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4. Even Annual Passholders aren’t guaranteed admission.
You read that correctly. Even Guests with Annual Passes will not be guaranteed admission. Annual Passholders will be among the first to have access to the new reservation system but limited park capacities may initially preclude even Passholders from securing a reservation.
3. Disney has settled the debate over wearing masks.
Even if we’ve checked off everything on our lists ( the parks are open, we’ve got a reservation, we’ve got valid park admission, Mickey ears in hand, joy and elation in our hearts), no mask equals no admission. Many people have had no issue with wearing masks, citing their own personal health and even the health of others, but many people do take issue with being forced to wear face coverings in public. No matter which side of the fence we are on, so far Disney is making it clear: face coverings must be worn by Guests ages 2 and older.
2. Disney tells us that new measures mean our visits make look different than before.
Disney is taking no chances when it comes to COVID-19, which means they’re taking extra precautions when it comes to patient safety. They have based these precautions on guidelines and recommendations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other government entities.
1. It will be a bit different, but the magic remains.
We have learned that once Walt Disney World is open, certain attractions and experiences like parades (Festival of Fantasy, etc.), shows (Mickey’s Friendship Faire) fireworks spectaculars, etc., will have limited availability or may be closed. Also, character meet and greets will hit the pause button so that Guests can have the safest environment possible. And while this is certainly disappointing, it still makes us happy that our beloved parks are reopening and that no matter what, Disney magic is forever, and even these new precautions, closures and guidelines won’t change that.
So. . . when is your next trip?