Tips for Minimizing Germs While Eating at Disney Post Quarantine
Even as you read this, the cast members at Walt Disney World are working tirelessly to find ways to make your next visit safe and sanitary. While Disney has always held a golden standard for cleanliness, we’ll see even more stringent measures moving forward. We can expect to see more sanitizing, distancing between guests, and less self-serve options. That being said, we can’t expect Disney to take on all the responsibility. So, here are some ways that you can minimize the spread of germs when snacking in the parks. (We can also promise you this, none of these strategies will make your Mickey bar taste any less delicious!) Let’s dive into some tips that will keep us all full and perfectly healthy.
Keep Your Hands to Yourself
Gone are the days of eating Main Street U.S.A. popcorn with your hands – at least for the time being. I know it’s tempting to eat food-on-the-go, and you can still do so. We just recommend you either select snacks that come on a stick, in a wrapper, or can be eaten with utensils. (Yes, fries can be enjoyed with a fork.) Just avoid all fingers to food contact. Even the most alert guest will still find themselves gripping handrails and touching a variety of things all day. It’s a reality in theme parks. Mitigate the risk by not picking up a hotdog after riding Space Mountain. Taking time to use a knife and fork really will make a difference.
Sharing is Not Caring
Forget everything you learned in elementary school. This is not the time to share goodies with friends and family. While sharing Disney snacks is a great way to sample many delicacies, we need to become more careful in our menu selections. It will feel weird at first to deny your child a bite of your turkey leg or a taste of your dinner but resist. The safest option will be to only eat what is in your own hands or on your plate. Don’t spread germs to your party because someone couldn’t decide what to order or can’t finish their meal! We’re all better off wasting a little food and drink than potentially making somebody sick. This is an occasion where it’s ok to be selfish, for the sake of safety.
Whistle While You Disinfect
Disney will still be cleaning around the clock, but it wouldn’t hurt to get into a cleaning habit yourself! Stuff your park bag full of Clorox wipes and small bottles of hand sanitizer. Get in the habit of always wiping off your seating areas and even wiping off the outside of your foot containers. And while Disney will encourage you to take whatever precautions necessary to feel safe, don’t forget that they are here to improve your guest experience. If you notice that a picnic area is looking a little worse for wear, let a cast member know. After all, a clean park is a happy park.
Resist the Condiment Bar
WDW has some beloved quick-service locations and some even more beloved condiment/toppings bars. Locations like Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café have gathered cult followings due to their comfort food menus and more importantly, their generous toppings bars. Varieties of salsas, guacamole, and burger toppings of every kind have been known to grace these “free” bars. While I’m sure Disney will find a way to make these tasty embellishments available, it’s unlikely these bars will be open. And once they are, you might not feel comfortable loading up your plate. In those instances, avoid grabbing your toppings from a self-serve location and ask a cast member for assistance. I’m sure they’d be more than happy to provide mustard/mushrooms/etc. in a sanitary manner. Also, you can always carry single servings of condiment packages. Whatever makes you comfortable is the right move!
Eat at Buffets … Maybe
Disney has always defied what we typically expect in a buffet. Instead of cold, flavorless piles of food, Disney buffets are consistently fresh, delicious, and spotless. But in these uncertain times, even a Disney buffet may not be spotless enough. For now, you may want to avoid buffet restaurants completely. On the other hand, you can consider eating at one if it includes shields over the food and cast members who serve the individual dishes. For questions like this, don’t hesitate to call Disney Dining at (407) 939-3463 to find out which precautions are being taken. The folks at Disney certainly want us back in all their restaurants, but they want to go about it the right way.
If any vacation destination is up to the challenge of resuming travel in a post-pandemic world, it’s Disney. However, we still have a lot of personal responsibility when it comes to daily decisions, like dining. With these tips in mind, you should be prepared a wonderful Disney experience, minus the germs. Good luck!
Rebekah is a life-long Disney enthusiast who is thrilled to be sharing her passion with fellow fanatics! As someone who lived on a Disney diet in childhood, her appreciation for the company has only grown over time. When Rebekah isn't planning her next trip, she can be found reading, blogging, obsessively exercising, and participating in the musical theater community.