Top 17 Walt Disney World Must-Do’s During This Phased Reopening

Chef Mickey and Chef Goofy
Credit: Disney

It’s no secret that things have changed at Disney World. Many of these changes are upsetting for some. However, there is some good coming out of these changes as well. In our opinion, these good things—plus the new additions we saw pop up in the last couple of years—far outweigh the negatives caused by the changes made due to the pandemic, and we are still finding plenty of magic each and every time we visit the Walt Disney World Resort. Wondering what kinds of things you should do to ensure you experience this same magic? Well, honestly, just visiting the parks is enough. However, the 17 things below are the very best things to experience at Disney World right now, and adding them to your itinerary will help ensure you have a super awesome trip.


1. Hop on Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

The newest addition to the Disney attraction lineup, this adorable dark ride features some seriously amazing effects. We love that the ride includes the Fab Five and that it’s good for all ages. Best of all, because crowd levels are low and FastPass+ is not currently offered, the lines for this are actually manageable.

Credit: Disney

2. Snag a Spot on Rise of the Resistance

Another brand new attraction, Rise of the Resistance is a completely immersive and absolutely amazing experience. That said, because the ride uses a virtual queue, getting a place in line was nearly impossible before the pandemic. Now, it is still difficult to snag a spot, but it is a little bit easier thanks to lower crowd levels.

3. Ride Other Popular Attractions

There are of course a huge number of other super popular attractions. Most of these have significantly shorter average wait times, because there are fewer people in the parks and FastPass+ is not offered. Take advantage of this now while it’s still the case!

Bonus Tip!

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4. Dine at Cinderella’s Royal Table

Currently, the princesses are not making the rounds at Cinderella’s Royal Table. While this is bad news for princess lovers, it’s awesome news for those who just want to dine in the castle. Why? Well, prices have been reduced to reflect the lack of characters, making this a more affordable experience.

Cinderella's Royal Table

5. Have a Meal with Mickey and Friends

When Disney first began their phased reopening, one of the only character meals offered in WDW was breakfast at Toppolino’s Terrace in the Riviera Resort. Now Mickey and his friends have thankfully returned to Chef Mickey’s in the Contemporary. Choosing either of these dining options is now an ideal way to see some characters while traditional meet-and-greets aren’t an option.

6. …or Have an In-Park Meal With the Fab Five

Prefer to do all your dining in the parks? Not to worry, there are a few options for character dining within the parks as well. Minnie and friends greet guests at Hollywood in Vine in Hollywood Studios and is a great way to see some classic friends while eating, as is Garden Grill in Epcot. The Beast also visits guests who choose to dine at Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom.

7. Eat a Family-Style Meal

Buffets are not available at Disney World at the moment. This makes perfect sense considering the current situation, and we actually love the alternative. Instead of buffet-style dining, Disney is serving up family-style meals, meaning huge platters of food are brought to your table. These kinds of meals are still all-you-can-eat (and then some), and you never have to get up to grab your own food, making for a much more relaxing experience.

8. Enjoy the Lower Crowds

Lower crowd levels lend themselves very well to a more relaxing Disney World vacation. Be sure to slow down and take the time to truly appreciate having more personal space while in the parks. Keeping track of kids is no longer a huge chore, and walking from one place to the next is a breeze. You might even be able to snap a photo without strangers in the background.

9. Dive into the Pool

While many resort entertainment options are unavailable, the pools are still open. Not only that, some poolside games are being offered as well. Give yourself time to enjoy the pool at your Disney Resort during your stay.

Wilderness Lodge Pool

10. Watch a Movie Under the Stars

Another great resort entertainment option that is available, “Movies Under the Stars” are fun for all ages. Movies are always family-friendly and are played outdoors, meaning social distancing will be easy peasy.

11. Attend a Festival

Even with all the changes that have been made recently, Epcot is still hosting its many seasonal festivals. Personally, we’ve been enjoying all the exciting things to see and do during the recent Flower and Garden Festival. Make your way to the World Showcase so you can fully experience these festivals whenever they’re happening.

12. Stop for the Cavalcades

While meet-and-greets are currently unavailable and shows and parades have been canceled, you can still catch glimpses of the characters during “Character Cavalcades”. These mini parades happen at random times throughout the day in all four parks, and are definitely worth stopping for.

Credit: Disney

13. Catch Character Fun

Besides the Character Cavalcades, you might also see characters here and there around the parks. While you can’t approach the characters, you are welcome to take selfies with them from a distance, and they are often up for some interactive fun.

14. Jump on the Skyliner

The newest transportation option in Disney World is the Skyliner. If you’re looking for something to do during a resort day, you might give this gondola ride in the sky a try.

Bonus Tip!

BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Disney travel deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius! Discover More >


15. Explore Other Resorts

While you’re at it, why not explore some other resorts? You won’t be able to walk into any resort you like without any preplanning, as you will need a dining reservation or a mobile food order in order to enter a resort. However, once you’re there, you can spend an hour or two exploring the place.

Disney’s Riviera Resort

16. Play a Round of Golf

Another great option for those non-park rest days is golf. With two awesome mini golf courses and a super nice traditional golf course, there is something for every type of golfer. Best of all, playing golf is a super easy way to maintain social distancing while still having fun.

17. Relax Without Strict Plans

Last but not least, we urge you to use your Disney vacation during this time to relax a bit. As mentioned before, the lower crowds make this a bit easier to do, but so does a lack of FastPass+ and the strict plans that come along with such reservations. Instead of running from one place to the next trying to catch reservations, you can stroll and take your time.

About Chelsea

Chelsea is a lifelong Disney fanatic who lives and travels full time in an RV with her son and husband. Their family takes full advantage of their unique living situation by visiting Disney parks on both sides of the country as often as possible. In doing so, the Gonzales family gathers loads of great tips and info about the parks, which Chelsea is thrilled to share with readers here. Visit Chelsea's blog: Wonder Wherever We Wander! Here you’ll find a wealth of valuable information as well as a variety of reviews and resources to help you navigate the often uncharted territory of roadschooling.

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