disney world during covid
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What it’s Like Visiting Disney World During COVID-19

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The pandemic has caused changes we have all felt at home, at school and at work. But how has everything changed a visit to Walt Disney World during COVID? Well…let us show you!

It’s hard to keep the Nerds away from Disney parks. We masked up, boarded a plane, sanitized our seats and trays, followed the rules, and washed out hands often – and it was all worth it! It didn’t take long upon arriving to notice the changes at Disney World during COVID. The overall experience really was not too intrusive (except for the masks given the hot and muggy weather).

The differences start showing up the moment you begin to plan your visit. Disney World’s website has references to COVID as it pertains to visiting parks, staying at hotels, etc.

disney world during covid
The transportation system at Disney World during COVID has adapted. Monorails and busses, pictured here, limit guest capacity and make it clear where groups can sit.

We did see some struggles on the monorail from hotels along the monorail – like the Polynesian, Grand Floridian and Contemporary – for guests to get on board. instead they had to wait while the limited capacity trains circled back for them. This was among the most frustrating things we saw while visiting Disney World during COVID. We were lucky enough to be early, but there would have been some steam coming from the Nerd’s head having paid a premium to stay at a “monorail resort” and not be able to get on the monorail.

As folks disembark from their chosen method of transportation (read: car, bus or monorail) and approach the parks, Disney Springs, hotels, etc. they have their temperature checked and will be unable to miss the signs reminding them of the rules. From there, there were the basic requirements, like masks.

Disney World during COVID
Masks, of course, were the order of the day and required everywhere in the parks except when eating or drinking.

Snacks are always on the Nerds’ minds when visiting Disney World. Whether its a cookie sandwich or Mickey pretzel, queueing up for food is a Disney park right of passage.

Disney World during COVID
Quick Service restaurants have social distancing markers laid out to remind guests to stay 6 feet apart.

And of course the Disney World attractions…I mean, that’s also a good reason to visit! The queues were spaced out very well and guests of all ages were following the guidelines.

disney world during covid
Social distance markers were present at every attraction to remind people to stay apart when visiting Disney World during COVID.
disney world during covid
Splash Mountain had a socially distanced queue that seemed to just…keep…going…

Some of the queuing was actually pretty nice because it added order where there had previously been chaos.

disney world during covid
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway’s queue zigged and zagged. Though people stayed in their “lane” with some snacking in line. Of course…this was prior to the rule change.

Of course, the limited crowds also helped keep everything more orderly.

disney world during covid
Indoor queues even had extra markers added to help funnel crowds in areas that normally were a “free for all”.

Attractions seemed to come in two options:

  1. A barrier put between seats so that capacity could be maximized
  2. Lower capacity with physically distanced guests
disney world during covid
Attractions like Living with the Land opted for barriers, likely to allow for additional capacity as needed.

Disney World classics all took slightly modified approaches to social distancing. Haunted Mansion, for example, has suspended the use of the “elevator” and the area is just part of the queue to the “doom buggies”.

disney world during covid
Magic Kingdom’s it’s a small world spaced out guests in the boats resulting in longer lines due to the decreased capacity.

Meanwhile, theater shows closed off rows and/or seats within the rows.

disney world during covid
The American Adventure in Epcot practiced social distancing….although there were only four people (two groups of two) during the first show of the day.
disney world during covid
Groups of more than four people at Disney World during COVID are required to split up in order to avoid the seats intended to stay empty.

Restaurants varied in much the same way. They all distance patrons who visit Disney World during COVID. Traditional restaurants like Be Our Guest were otherwise operating normally. Buffets take a different approach. In these eateries, they bring a sampling of all the buffet items in courses and, upon request, will bring “seconds” of any favorites.

disney world during covid
The Biergarten takes a unique approach to its buffet during COVID.

Obviously, it is easy to see evidence of the pandemic while visiting Disney World during COVID. However, the Nerds did not find that it greatly detracted from the experience and it was nice to get out, have fun and still manage to forget about the craziness for while!

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